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LifeWhataJoy

Devotions by Susan Werthem

PTSD

As I stood in line to pay for my groceries I noticed we were being delayed by a lady I had spoken to in the frozen food aisle. She only had 2 items but did not seem to have enough money to pay for the two bags of greens. I quietly walked up to the cashier and gave her a five dollar bill to cover the bill and then returned to my place behind an older gentleman.

Aggravated the transaction was taking too long the man complained to me. He was on oxygen and it was apparent standing there was a challenge. The next thing I knew he was sitting on the plastic bag carousel shelf from the empty lane next to us.

I asked if he was okay. Soon we were having a conversation. He told me he was born in 1946, a war baby he said. As we continued to talk, I learned he was a Marine in the Vietnam War. I shared that my Dad was in the Air Force during WWII and my husband was in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

He said that when he returned from the war that he was ignored as a Veteran… “Nobody wanted to have anything to do with us!” His eyes teared up as he explained to me what it was like for him back then. He went on the say that many of his friends and family members never made it home from the war. Two siblings died in Vietnam along with several close friends. I tried my best to console this man, but there was little time to do so even in this very slow line.

PTSD is a battle that so many of our soldiers and victims /witnesses of abuse or crime face on a daily basis. It can be a debilitating illness that our medical community does not have the total solution for healing. They are making significant strides in this area, but we still have a long way to go.

I do not even begin to pretend I have the answers, any answers; all I can do is offer my prayers and caring. If you or your loved one suffers from this serious mental health disorder… SEEK HELP.

When our boys were growing up there was a young girl, I’ll call her Sandy, that lived in our neighborhood. Now an adult and married we’ve reconnected through Facebook. Her husband is battling PTSD. Please pray for Sandy and her husband. This evil disorder is robbing both of them of the joy they deserve.

We never know what baggage, hurts, and pains those around us are carrying. Take the time to be attuned to others; reach out and offer a kind word. I’m glad I took the time to speak with that gentleman in line at the store. He thanked me before he left the store. I pray that my words were the right ones and that he found them to provide him hope.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…

(1 Thessalonians 5:11a)

Blessings, Susan

 

 

Reunions

I graduated from High School (HS) 45 years ago.

45 YEARS AGO!!

I can barely believe it. Time has passed so quickly. Back then at the age of 17 I really felt like I had all the time in the world to live my life.

Now I’m 62 and realize time is running out.

In just a few days we will be having our 45th HS Reunion. In the past I went to the tenth but no other, even though I live locally. This year I am not only attending I’m on the Planning Committee!

The thought of seeing old…okay that was rude…seeing ole friends is exciting. At 45 years it should be a fun nostalgic visit back in time. High school was an important part of all of our lives and it helped form who we are. Together we can celebrate our current lives without all the hoopla and drama from high school.copy-of-invite

I met my husband in high school. He was a senior and I was a sophomore. His friends became my friends. The result was I lost touch with some of my classmates. It is time to rekindle relationships, even if only for an evening.

There are many people locally who are not attending this year’s reunion. Why I do not know. Perhaps they remember those awkward HS emotions or gained weight or things did not work out as planned… believe me I understand… especially the weight thing! I do not judge… everyone has their own reasons and I respect that! But this year, I have decided to join the group, put any of my own reasons in the past and expect them to accept me for who I am as I do the same.

We’ll spend a few hours together, enjoy each other’s company, and go home with some new memories and perhaps new or renewed friendships.

Being a part of the Planning Committee has already renewed some ole friendships and definitely started some new ones. I read somewhere that at a 10th reunion many times people are still in that High School mode, at the 20th people may be trying to impress one another,  the 30th is why Spanx were invented (I found this one hysterical and a good idea!! ha ha), and the 40th and on are for creating memories.

Memories… good memories… that’s what I hope we generate. We will share our photos of our children and grandchildren, possibly of a vacation or two, and promise to keep in touch… and hopefully we really do so! We will remember those who are no longer with us and silently pray we will be able to return for the 50th. Unfortunately a few of us will not. If the 50th starts without me, know that I am with Christ and that this life’s journey has been a blessing, a blast, and  I am ever so thankful for my family, friends and faith.

For by grace I have been saved through faith. And this is not of my own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that I cannot may boast. (from Ephesians 2:8&9)

Earlier this year my BFF asked me what age I thought I might die. UGH well that was rather serious.🙂 But I pondered the question and said 75 or around 78. Taking our tape measurer she pulled it out to 78 inches and then pointed to the 62 mark…my age.

There were so many inches behind the 62 and a very short span from 62 to 78…not much time left!! That was a powerful visual.

What it said to me was make the most of what time I have left here on earth.

Got a bucket list? If not make one… and then do those things.

For years my husband and I have spoken about going out west to see the Grand Canyon and Sedona. We decided we were not putting it off another year. We just returned from Nevada, Utah, and Arizona!!

Recently I read a Facebook post from an “ole” high school friend:

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

– Unknown

How true!!

Another interesting tidbit I read online was that people who plan trips are happier – even if they never go on the trip!! When I told my husband about this study I had to confess I frequently plan trips that we never go on!! Ha Ha! Today I just planned a trip for next month to New England; no we are not going, but I selected a great airbnb.

Blessings, Susan … hope you have a blessed day!

We are part of the solution

This afternoon I sat back in my recliner, put my feet up and opened Facebook. Looking for something sweet and cute to view…perhaps another animal video, a yummy recipe, or someone’s vacation pictures.

Instead I read a friend’s FB post about a person she follows on Twitter who lives in the UK. He had just posted he had taken an overdose of pain medication…90 pills!!

She had been unable to contact the UK police. So now what?

We are on the other side of the Atlantic, but that was not going to stop me from reaching out. I thought perhaps the USA Suicide Hotline might help, but they cannot do anything about international suicide attempts.

Next I looked at his Twitter account…just who is he and where does he live? Would he have his location listed on his Twitter account? YES!

His hometown was listed. I knew my phone did not allow international calls, but I still tried calling his police department…No that did not work. Then I searched FB using his hometown as the search word. On the hometown’s FB page a body building business had just posted a comment. I responded telling them of the situation. They immediately responded. The young man was someone they knew and they said they would take care of it.

I also emailed his local police department just to be on the safe side and posted on their Twitter feed that he needed help.

No, I was not the only one that was trying to get him help. Across the world, as a community, many of us contacted people in his town and his local police department.

It was a great relief to read a Tweet by one of his friends that the police were with him. Please pray for this very troubled young man.

Thankfully with FB and Twitter, we could help a hurting soul across the pond.Untitled presentation-3

Once I knew he was being taken care of I read through some of his Tweets. Not long ago he was posting everyday things…then Nice happened. As terrorist attacks increased, his conversations became more dark. He voiced his lack of faith and the folly in the belief in God.

He may not believe in God, but I believe God placed the right people in his path today. I pray that one day he comes to the realization that there is a God…my God. I count it a privilege to have been a part of the solution.

Psalm 34:18-19 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

I just read he is in the hospital. This was a very close call and not sure he is out of the woods. Please lift him up in prayer.

Blessings, Susan

Announcing new book…soon to be on Kindle

Announcing my new book, “A Hurting Heart Prays”, is in its final stages. It will be available on Kindle soon.

A book of prayers based on Scriptures to assure you that God cares for you and your loved one even in your darkest hour and to give you peace. I’ll discuss how God always answers our prayers and give you Hope in the midst of a crisis.Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.03.46 PM

Pedaling

Unfortunately I am not in the best shape. Years ago I was…but not now….sad but true.

I try to walk…but it is so hot, my knees and back hurt. And yes, if I was in better shape and lost weight it would be easier…DUH. But how to get in shape with knees that have bone rubbing on bone?!

My husband had this bike in the garage that he picked up at a discount store. I have tried to ride it, but about 4 or 5 houses down the road (and they are close together) I found myself exhausted and my knees screaming.

He wanted to start riding again this week (after a sabbatical due to surgery). He too found it almost impossible to get much further than I did. The seat was killing him, along with his back, hips, etc…good news is that neither of us had any pain in our earlobes. LOL

Off to the bike shop he went to get a new seat. Like a good salesman, the shop owner had him try another bike with a “better seat”. AH…maybe it was not just our poor stamina, maybe the bike contributed to the issue.

Needless to say he has a new bike. It is lightweight, has flat foot pedaling (don’t ask me to explain that)…but the end result is that it is easier to ride.

I tried it out. I only went about a quarter of a mile the first time, but much better than my past adventures on his old bike of about 300 feet!! I went a little more the next day and today on day three I rode 3 miles!! YES, 3 miles!!

Now for those of you that are spinners and long distant bikers that does not sound impressive; however, I am impressed.

What a difference when you have the right tool for the job!!Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 7.24.00 PM

That’s exactly how it is regarding the gift of eternal life. If I want to go to heaven, I need the right relationship with Christ. I can be the nicest person, do the most generous acts, be the picture of human decency, but if I do not have a relationship with Christ, I will not go to heaven.

Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? If not, please click here to learn how He can change your life as He did mine. It takes FAITH – Forgiveness which is Available to all but it is Impossible for God to allow sin into heaven unless you Turn away from your sin and to Christ resulting in the gift of Heaven. That is exactly what FAITH in Christ is!!

Don’t be relying on the tool of “niceness” to get into heaven…rely on Christ.

Blessings, Susan

God WILL show up ~ by susan werthem

I had only been a Christian for about 2 years when I transferred to the Surgical Suite as an Operating Room Registered Nurse. We were not a busy department as we were located just across the street from the large county hospital. This resulted in many hours of downtime; sitting in the OR Lounge, chatting, gossiping, and even smoking (YES SMOKING!!! This was 1979!!).

One of our Nurse Anesthetist (“Carrie“) was interested in tarot cards, ghosts (she said she had them in her house), fortune telling, and palm reading. Her stories captivated the other staff members and physicians. She could be seen reading palms in the lounge telling fortunes or sharing the latest chapter on the “ghosts” escapades in her house. Soon the group asked her to bring her tarot cards in so that she could give them a reading.

I was freaked. “What am I going to do if she brings in these cards? Lord, will I have enough boldness to say no? To walk away? I am just a baby Christian. HELP!!!”

Days went by, no cards brought in…okay, “I’m safe.” I thought.

Then one afternoon I walked into the lounge, as I sat down I noticed Carrie was sitting on the floor with another nurse across from her with tarot cards spread out in between them.

“Oh NO!” my mind screamed. Panic set in. I felt like I was frozen in my chair.

Have you ever felt so conflicted? Knowing you should leave a discussion, an event, a party, a meeting, etc. but for some reason you just cannot will yourself to move? That was me.

One by one she read the other nurses’ cards. Everyone was fascinated; except me!

I could not stop praying, “Please, Lord, get me out of this. I cannot get up and walk across this room and leave. Please, please help me.” I even prayed for an emergency surgery to be scheduled just to prevent me from having to take a turn. Can you imagine such a selfish prayer?

No one needed emergency surgery that afternoon….and soon I was the only person who had not had their cards read. BUMMER!

“Ok, Susan, your turn. Come on and sit down,” Carrie said with a smile.

I felt like I was going to my execution. I knew I was participating in something wrong, the occult, but there I was sitting on the floor.

“Lord, where are you? Why didn’t you stop this? Help me!!”

As she turned the cards over she suddenly stopped and said, “Oh, no. You have a Father figure in your life that you turn to for everything before you make a decision. This is not good.” She went on about this “figure” thinking it was my husband that had me under his control.

I was flabbergasted!! Silently I thanked God. He had come through in a BIG WAY!!

“That’s God!” I shouted. “That’s God!! I go to Him for everything.”

The look on Carrie’s face was of shock. She briefly said a few other things about the cards, then swooped up the deck, and was out of there as fast as she could run.

WOW! Now that was powerful. An emergency surgery may have disrupted the card reading, but revealing Himself in such a dynamic way let everyone know who really is in charge. Carrie brought her cards back many times to give reading, but never asked me again to sit on the floor across from her.

If you find yourself in the midst of something you know is not of God, ask for His help. He will appear in a mighty way and probably not at all like you expected.

He knew I was weak and succumbed to peer pressure, but that day He turned my weakness into strength. From that day forward I did not a have a spirit of  timidity…”For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

His Word goes on to say, “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.”

Speak up and share your faith. You do not need to stand on a chair, wave a flag, and shout out Scriptures. But you can sweetly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ask Him to point out how you can do so. Look for everyday opportunities to let others know about our God.

We have remained silent too long…our rights as Christians are swiftly being erased from the American tapestry of life. Our children must not forget who His is.

And when you see God show up in a miraculous way, never forget what you have seen. Do not let that memory fade away. Tell your children and your children’s children. Never forget the day God appeared in your life.

If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, His Holy Spirit dwells, lives within us! John 14:17 tells us that the Holy Spirit will be our Helper and He will remain with us. Do not take that lightly.

Whatever challenges you are presented with today, lean on Him. Ask for His guidance. Let Him take control.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:5)

God revealing Himself through tarot cards? You may say that is blasphemy…but I say He heard my cries, saw my need and He showed up.

Cry out to Him today…and when He shows up, don’t be surprised…EXPECT HIM!! For you are in the PALM OF HIS HAND….not in the palm reader’s hands!!

Blessings, Susan

Finding Forgiveness In Between

Saturday I attended the Memorial Service / Celebration of Life Service for the husband of a Sunday School Class member. I had never met him and barely know his wife; however, through her beautiful emails I felt I knew them both.

At least once a week she shared their journey. via an email message. His continued zest for life no matter what Cancer threw at him, along with her love and devotion was beyond most marriages…(and theirs was not even four years long). Each entry gave a message of hope.

The stories his friends and family shared at the service made me wish I had met him, enjoyed their company…had been friends. The photo montage showed a couple that loved life and each other.

We have no idea how long we have here on earth…we may live into our 80s or 90s…but for some today may be our last day with our family and friends.

When it came time for our pastor to speak, he said, ‘When those photos went by on the screen, I imagined myself up there. I imagined my family and friends in the audience. Did you do the same?’

YES! Everyone was nodding yes.

He went on to say, will we have lived a life that not only our friends and family are proud of but one that Christ is too? Will death be the greatest day of our life because it’s the day we see Jesus face to face?

Are you confident that if today was your last day here on earth that when you become  absent from the body that you would immediately be present with The Lord?

Not sure? Click here to learn how you may KNOW for SURE!!

Live your life to the fullest. Is there someone you need to make amends? I am not talking about a mere apology, rather complete RESTORATION of that relationship. Ask yourself, “Is what they did or I did worth what has become of this fractured, dysfunctional relationship? Does it really matter in the long run who was right or who was wrong?”

Be the bigger person, reach out, restore, renew…as there will be one day your pictures will be the focus of the montage, your friends and family will be telling the great stories of your life…but the whispers may be of the fractured relationships you left behind.

Forgiveness is tough. And just because you have forgiven someone it does not mean you are condoning or  justifying the deed or the person. BUT…Forgiveness is the beginning of our own healing…the cleansing of that bitter poison in our hearts that eats away at our souls. Allow God to heal you so that you can renew those relationships that are broken.

(Now please note, if that relationship is broken because that person did physical harm to you – an abusive relationship – forgiveness is still possible and necessary for your wellbeing both physically and spiritually, but that does not mean you have to communicate with that person. You must always be safe. God loves that person but God does not condone cruel or violent behavior. Forgiveness in your heart will give you peace…The Peace of God.)

I doubt there is one reader out there that does not have some sort of dysfunction in their family. A mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, uncle, aunt, friend or co-worker that has just gotten under your skin causing a fester of sorts. It may just be a small abrasion, or it may be a complete fracture of the relationship.

Make amends. One Stone at a Time.

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I plead with you. Make amends. Examine your heart. Is this worth it? Your day is coming when your name will be on the funeral bulletin, your photos flashed across the screen…make amends while there is still time.

Forgiveness begins with the surrender of our own will. Start by asking God to work in your heart, to initiate the healing…you will be amazed at the results.

In Matthew 6:6-15, Jesus gives us The Lord’s Prayer…an example of how we are to pray. The Message version says it well:

6 “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. 

7 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. 

8 Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. 

9 With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. 

10 Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below. 

11Keep us alive with three square meals. 

12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. 

13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes. 

14 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. 

15 If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

Is God speaking to you?  May you find the strength through The Power of the Holy Spirit to make amends.

Blessings to you…Susan

Safe

We were in Houston the other day. On the way to the airport we stopped at a park by Nassau Bay where we were greeted by a couple of geese and several mallards.

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“HONK, HONK!”

At one point a goose was just outside the car door.

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Right Outside our Passenger Door!!

Unfazed by our vehicle the mallards stood in the middle of the road and then circle our car.

Obviously they were not afraid. They felt safe and protected…and they were.

WHY?

We were at Nassau Bay Peninsula Wildlife Park, a Bird Sanctuary.

No one messes with them as they are protected by The Law.

Normally it is highly unusual to see wild birds be so friendly. I was able to walk within just a few feet of two male mallards and a female before they slowly meandered away.wp-1462407449470.jpg

 

 

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That is how we should feel…even as danger or calamity appears…safe and protected…by The Lord. We should not fret when pain or suffering comes near, because we know that He will protect us.

The LORD will keep you from all harm– He will watch over your life; Psalm 121:7-8

The past 6 months we have faced some serious personal trials; calamity did hover outside our doorway; however, we always knew we were under the watchful eye of God; under His protective wing.

AND when “danger” approached, we meandered away just like the ducks…we meandered away from fear and closer to Christ. We fell into the arms of Christ our protector.

As written in the Psalms, we knew He would not let us down. We hurled ourselves upon Him and He flung blessings upon us.

I am not saying that all troubles were gone, but we knew were we SAFE. The prayers of our faithful friends and family carried us through and continue to do so.

Are you facing what appears to be  insurmountable circumstances? Hurl yourself into the arms of God.

Be SAFE…

S – SEEK others to pray for you, especially when you cannot 

A – ABSORB His goodness

F – FLING yourself into the arms of Christ

E – EXPECT God to carry you through your hurt

Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect God for He will be there soon!!

Blessings, Susan

God is in the Details

“God is in the Details”

One of my BFFs says this frequently…and she is so right. This evening I witnessed His ever present nudging…letting me know He is in the Details!

It has been almost 5 months since I have written a word for this blog. We have been experiencing some rather serious trials and I was just not able to think about writing. Today was the first day I even looked at my website.

Seriously, the FIRST TIME in over 5 months!!

This afternoon I looked and made sure no one had hacked it…changed the font…saw no one had left a comment in 5 months…good, as I had not responded. Granted I should get an email notifying me of a comment, but if you knew how I had also neglected my Inbox until this week, you would understand. (66,000 unread emails! But that’s another story…Praise God, I got that addressed!!)

So…back to “God is in the Details”.

I wanted to write tonight. I had the topic all planned. Upon opening my website I saw I had a comment. The first comment in 5 months and it was posted 11 minutes ago!! ELEVEN MINUTES AGO!!

It was in regards to my “NYC – Remembering 911” post. Please click here and take the time to read…all the way down to DJS’s comment.

DJS has no idea how their comment was such a God thing for me.

I want to say thank you to DJS.wp-1461894699540.jpg

God is truly in the details…don’t forget it.

Blessings, Susan

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