Devotions by Susan Werthem

#ChooseLove by susan werthem

Recently I viewed a video on Facebook of a young child, a toddler, lovingly feed yogurt to an older woman. She apparently had suffered a stoke. The tenderness in which this boy spoon-feed her and wiped her mouth brought tears to my eyes.

This was truly Love in Action.

If my life was filmed, would there be evidence of Love in Action? Would yours?

Did I volunteer to bring dinner to a sick friend? Send them a card? Teach someone how to use their new phone? Help that person in the motorized cart at the grocery store reach an item on the top shelf? Bake cookies for the new neighbors? Drop off supplies at the local school? Even let that person go ahead of me in line?

The list is unending. Daily we have opportunies to perform positive actions. It’s our CHOICE! With the world bent on criticizing everyone’s words, opinions, beliefs, actions, ect., it’s time for each individual to take a stand… #ChooseLove.


It was on a Monday when Christ entered into the Temple in Jerusalem. Just the day before He had been greeted by the people with shouts of joy as He road a colt into the city.

With His followers Jesus walked through the Temple and spoke of what it meant to live a God-centered life, how to pray, and the importance of forgiveness. Then the Sadducees (religious leaders that did not believe in the resurrection) asked about marriage in heaven. Christ told them they would not have asked that question if they understood the Scriptures.

Now you can imagine how upset the Temple officials became after hearing Christ accuse them of not knowing the Scriptures!!

Immediately the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders confronted Him and demanded, “Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?” 

Jesus responded that He would present His credentials if they would answer a question; About the baptism of John—who authorized it: heaven or humans? .

The religious leaders decided the safest answer was to plead ignorance, as either response ‘heaven’ or ‘human’ would cause public criticism.

Since they were unable to answer His question, Christ decided to to tell various stories.

The first parable was the story about the Vineyard. Christ went on to speak about paying taxes and finally the people’s relationship with God.

Hearing this lively discussion one of the religion scholars came up and asked,“Which is most important of all the commandments?”

The scholar may have thought He had tricked Jesus with this question, but we see Christ present:


First Christ said to LOVE The Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.

And second: Love others as well as you love yourself.There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” (Scriptures from Mark 11 &12 MSG)

To Love Others as well as you love yourself!

Lord, I pray that my life reflects your commands.

Are you living out His commandment of LOVE?


Share your positive actions.

Blessings, Susan

Don’t be Overwhelmed

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2 ESV)

Whether you are looking at the evening news or out your front door, life can be and is very OVERWHELMING.

Hurricane Matthew has wrecked havoc up and down our SE coastline. As a community of believers WE MUST PRAY for those that have had their homes and businesses damaged or destroyed, but that is not enough!! We must put ACTION behind those prayers.

The Aftermath

For some the destruction has been severe; loss of home and community. Matthew has changed their lives forever.

Did you know that 37% of the children who were displaced by Katrina suffer from anxiety and behavioral disorders? I don’t want that to happen to this generation of Matthew survivors.

I do not pretend to be a psychologist but I do know that everyone needs to ensure they and their loved ones address any mental health issues. Obviously if you are in the middle of cleaning up the roof that is now in your living room or wishing you just had a living room, you may not be in the position to get counseling now; when you can, do so. Take advantage of any programs your community offers.

God not only wants us to pray, He expects us to act.


For those of us that had little or no damage we can help physically, financially, or by reaching out…even with a phone call.

Physically… Our youngest son lives about 5 hours away, so he asked his friend that lives near us to check on our home as we had evacuated. Before we came home his friend had done some minor cleanup in our yard and the next day he helped my husband for several hours. We are forever grateful for his labor of love. When we pulled into our community our new neighbors came over and lent a helping hand… only for a short while as they too had debris to deal with, but their actions meant so much to us.

Financially… Find a charity you trust and support them.

Reaching out… As I have read the various Facebook posts, it has been apparent that as friends shared their pictures of their damaged homes or businesses, it was important to all to hear from their friends. Even if it was just a “sad” face or a few words such as “I’m so sorry.” Most could not help, as they were dealing with their own issues. But stories of neighbors helping neighbors, friends calling one another… that is what we as Americans are made of… grit and compassion.

Seeing our community come together has been inspirational. How have you been a part of the story? Share your experiences of grit and compassion.

Blessings, Susan



This past weekend I attended my 45th high school reunion. Seeing many of the people that helped shape who I am was so much fun.

Barbara was one of these individuals. We lived just around the corner from each other. I have such fond memories of us riding bikes, playing dolls, going to the playground to swing or climb on the monkey bars, and just being typical kids of the ’60s.

One day while I was at her house I stole a small toy black plastic scottie dog. As soon as I arrived home the guilt was overwhelming. Back on my bicycle, peddling as fast as I could I returned to her home. Riding past her yard I quickly tossed the toy onto her lawn.

I’ve often thought about how it looked after the lawn mower got ahold of it!!

Now, some 50 odd years later I still remember that day!! How in the world can I still be holding onto that “guilt”?!!!

Well seriously, it has not kept me up at night, but whenever anyone has asked if I have ever stolen anything this is the first thing that comes to mind… plus shoplifting about 20 cents worth of candy from GC Murphy’s Five & Dime. (I walked out of the store and immediately returned, threw the money and the candy at the cashier!)

So goes my life of crime.

When I saw Barbara at the reunion this weekend one of the first things I shared with her was my criminal activity of stealing her toy scottie dog. We laughed. Today I posted on her Facebook page a photo of such a dog and said “I found it!” LOL

If these two silly childish actions have stayed with me for my entire life , imagine what real guilt can do to us. It eats away like a poison. Sometimes our guilt is from a serious offense, but many times these feelings are triggered by the littlest things.

We have all made mistakes. Embrace your stumbles, learn from them, and grow.

Years ago while attending a women’s Christian retreat the main speaker started her presentation with the words, “Ladies, you are NOT GUILTY!!”

To my surprise just about all 300 ladies started to shout out with enthusiasm. Who would have thought that so many of us carried around that burden of guilt. Is this a male / female thing? I don’t know. I will need to ask Cece and Melinda. (Two lovely friends I grew up with and also saw this weekend… both psychologists.)

What were these ladies at the retreat feeling guilty about? A wide variety of things…

  • Leaving their husbands at home to watch the kids.
  • Spending too much on their outfit or wearing an old one
  • Not inviting that friend to the retreat…or wishing they had not!

It appears to me that women tend to experience feelings of guilt more often than men… we may feel guilty when…

  • We attend a baby shower and we spent too much on the gift or not.
  • We should have gotten that degree or studied harder.
  • We should have written that friend or perhaps not written that email.
  • We should have gone to the doctor sooner.
  • We should have eaten carrots and not those candy bars.
  • We should have ____________….. you fill in the blank.

Many of us carry around a bucket of “Should Haves”.

What “Should Haves” are cluttering your mind and heart?

REPAIR those feelings.

R – Realize you have these feelings of guilt

E – Examine the validity of these feelings

P – Pinpoint if the guilt is rational

A – Address any  legitimate unhealthy deeds

I – Identify those minuscule actions

R – Repair and make amends when appropriate, but RELEASE yourself from unwarranted guilt.

Only Christ was perfect.

He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.

(1 Peter 2:22)

We may view other’s lives as perfect, but know that all of us have shortcomings. If you did something wrong, learn from it. Move on. Move forward.

Life is too short to fret over a toy scottie dog!!

Blessings, Susan


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




I graduated from High School (HS) 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


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

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