1. Susan Schmidt

    The Good Shepherd


    Jesus, the Good Shepherd, watches over His flock as He keeps an eye in the distance for prey that may attack His sheep. He smiles as He watches the lambs frolic together and romp joyfully.

    The time to move the flock has arrived and He stoops to pick up one of the smaller lambs that isn’t able to keep up with the others. He tenderly holds the lamb over His heart and looks into its eyes. He speaks softly to the lamb, who knows the Shepherd’s voice and isn’t afraid. Jesus gently embraces the lamb and begins to slowly walk as the flock falls into place behind Him. He is holding the lamb in one arm and with His other hand He carries His staff to keep the flock in order. He moves slowly through the green grass that is softly blowing in the breeze and watches His flock to keep them from harm. The lamb in His arm softly baas as it nestles even closer to its Shepherd.

    Jesus sees one of the sheep beginning to stray and extends His staff to pull it back with the others as He continues on His way. The sounds of the sheep baaing to each other and the whispers of the grass as they move through it fill the air. Jesus approaches  a stream and gently lowers the lamb so that it may join the others as they drink. His watchful eye continually moves over the flock to ensure that they are all safe and haven’t wandered far from Him.

    Our Good Shepherd watches over us as a shepherd watches his sheep. He wants us to come to Him so that He can embrace us to give us whatever we may need – love, comfort, encouragement, peace, or rest. He looks at us tenderly and watches over us and at times He may extend his staff to pull us back to Him. He wants to lead us into green pastures to give us rest and the flowing water of His Holy Spirit to restore our souls.

    Turn to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, today and step into His presence. Walk into His arms to find His peace and rest.


    Thank You for watching over me in Your loving way. May I be still to bask in Your presence and to listen for Your voice as You lead me. May I drink in Your Holy Spirit that You will fill me completely as I turn to reenter my busy life. Thank You for Your goodness, mercy, and peace.

    In the precious name of Jesus,


    He tends His flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lams in His arms and carries them close to Hi heart; He gentle leads those that have young. – Isaiah 40:11

    “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” – John 10:11

    “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,” – John 10:14

    For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes. – Revelation 7:17

  2. Susan Schmidt

    And the Floods Came


    “Noah, go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous,” were the words that the Lord spoke to me. The time has come when what God told me many years ago is coming to pass.

    I have walked in close fellowship with God and over the years I witnessed society becoming more sinful. One day the Lord spoke to me that He has decided to destroy all living creatures for they have filled the earth with violence. He will wipe them all out along with the earth. He told me to build a large boat and He gave me the dimensions and instructions on how it was to be constructed. He said that my family and I will board this boat along with animals.

    As I thought on these things I sat down with my family to share with them all that I had been instructed to do. My wife, my sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives all sat with me as I told them what the Lord instructed. At first they were incredulous and asked me if I was sure that this was what I was to do. I assured them that the instructions were very clear and as they knew of my fellowship with the Lord, they came to accept the task along with me. We sat and began talking of our process and how we might go about this arduous task.

    That was many, many years ago now and we are nearing completion of our mighty task. As my sons and I have been building the boat, my wife and daughters-in-law have been preparing the food for the animals and for the family. The Lord has provided instructions and we are carrying out His will.

    When we began,  many of the villagers came to me to ask what I was doing and when I explained that the earth was going to be flooded, they laughed at me. For many years, the taunting continued, but we kept working. Eventually they grew tired of ridiculing us and just shook their heads as they passed by.

    There were times when we became tired and weary, but we kept working and began to see the shape of the boat take place. The Lord instructed that the boat was to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. There is an 18-inch opening below the roof, a door in the side, and three decks in the boat. We worked at times in the beating sun and at other times during rainstorms, but we did not stop. We came to know each inch of this boat and at times would walk along the levels that have been constructed. The enormity of the boat and the work that has been done leaves me standing in awe.

    But now our work is done, and the Lord has said that it is time to go into the boat as in seven days the rain will begin. We all started to bring into the boat the food and remainder of our belongings.

    It is now seven days after the Lord spoke, and I’m working on loading the last of the supplies when I hear some noises behind me and turn to look.

    To my amazement, I see animals walking toward the boat! They are coming toward me in pairs of two, male and female as the Lord had told me. He also told me that He would bring the animals to me and as they walk toward me, my family is standing here as well, and we watch as they enter the boat. Some of these animals I have seen before, but there are many here that I have never seen and did not know existed! There are even birds flying toward us and into the boat. The animals are guided into the ark and onto the various levels that were built.

    We watch in amazement for quite a while until we see the last of the animals come into the boat. We wait for just a while longer, but it seems that all the animals have arrived. My wife, sons, and daughters-in-law all head into the boat as well. I stop and take a last look around me and then turn and walk into the boat. After I walked through the door, it slowly starts to rise on its own and we stand in amazement as it closes and seals. The Lord’s hand has closed us safely inside.

    As I walk through the levels of the boat I look at the animals that the Lord has brought to us. There is a calmness in the air, and I hear gentle sounds like murmurings coming from many of the animals. I make my way to the upper level to look out of the opening below the roof.

    The skies have grown constantly darker over the last seven days and now the heavens open as the rain has begun……

    Insight The story of Noah and the building of the ark is found in Genesis 6 – 7:16. The boat was exactly six times longer than it was wide, and ten times longer than it was high. It is estimated that there could have been as many as 45,000 animals on the ark.

    There were three other occasions when God directed animals to come to people:  Exodus 16:13, Number 11:31 and 1 Kings 17:2-6.

    Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him to do.

    Prayer:  Father, May I be as obedient as Noah when You ask me to do something. Remind me that there are times when a task may take a period for completion and that I need to trust You. May You give me strength when I need it and the wisdom to continue to follow the instructions that You give me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

    Copyright 2023

  3. Susan Schmidt

    Jairus’ Encounter With Jesus


    My daughter has been ill, and my wife and I are afraid that she may die. I look across her bedside at my wife’s tearful face as she looks at me with eyes pleading for me to do something. How helpless we feel!

    I’m the leader of our local synagogue and I have heard of Jesus of Nazareth and that He has healed many. I lift my head and turn to my wife. “I’m going to go and locate Jesus. I’ll ask Him to come and heal our daughter so that she may live.”

    I rise quickly to my feet and hurry out the door. Which way to go? I see a crowd in the distance and determine that this would be the best place for me to start. As I hurry along the dust from the road creates a small cloud behind me. As I approach a crowd, I see someone in the center who is speaking.

    How do I get through all these people to talk with Jesus? I know that my daughter’s life is slowly seeping out of her as the minutes are ticking by. I see a break in the crowd and move through it. I continue to weave in and out of the crowd and get closer and closer to Jesus.

    Finally! I am at the edge of the crowd, and He is before me. I fall at His feet pleading with Him. “My little daughter is dying. Please come and lay Your hands on her, heal her so she can live.”

    Jesus looks at me with compassion and indicates that He will go with me to our home. My hope is that we are not too late to save her.

    As we begin walking, Jesus suddenly stops and begins looking around. Why, oh why is He not hurrying with me?

    Jesus looks around and asks, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to Him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can You ask, ‘Who touched Me?’” But Jesus continues to look around to see who had done it.

    A woman finally comes and falls at His feet to admit that she was the one. He tells her that her faith has made her well, to go in peace, and her suffering is over.

    While Jesus is speaking to her, messengers arrive and tell me “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”

    Just as the words hit me and grief begins to overwhelm me, Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”

    As I have just witnessed how faith has healed one woman, my faith is strengthened, and I have hope that my daughter will be made well.

    Jesus stops the crowd from going further with us and asks Peter, James, and John to accompany us to my home. As we approach my home, we see much commotion, weeping and wailing. We go inside and Jesus asks, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.”

    The crowd has not witnessed what I have, and they begin laughing at Him. Jesus tells them all to leave and takes me, my wife, and His three disciples into the room where my daughter is lying. It nearly breaks my heart to see her lifeless body lying where I left her.

    Jesus crosses the room and looks tenderly at her young face. He reaches down to take her hand into His and says, “Little girl, get up!” Her eyes open and a smile lights up her face. She immediately gets up and walks around the room! My wife and I look at each other in amazement as tears of joy roll down our faces. Our precious daughter is alive! We have witnessed a miracle!

    Jesus tells us not to tell anyone what has happened and instructs us to give our daughter something to eat.

    This day that started in sorrow has ended in abundant joy. My faith has been rewarded immeasurably.


    The story of Jairus and his 12-year-old daughter is found in Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56.

    Prayer:  Father, Sometimes I stumble in my faith and wonder why it seems You have paused in Your answer to me. May my faith not waver as I continue my walk with You. Help me to continue to trust You and Your miraculous timing for Your way is best. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

    Copyright 2023

  4. Susan Schmidt

    Throw the First Stone


    I knew it was wrong, yet I did it anyway. I followed my heart and my emotions, and I am now reaping the consequences. My heart is beating loudly as I know what is going to happen to me. I was caught in an act of adultery and Moses’ law says that I am to be stoned. I am being led through the streets by the Pharisees and teachers of the religious law, and I do not know where I am being taken. I have someone on each side of me holding my arms so that I cannot escape. I try to slow them down and drag my feet and hold back as much as possible.

    As we are moving through the streets I see the curious stares of others looking at me as we move along. Some of them turn away, others look at me wondering what I may have done, and still others look with sneers. I turn away from them so they cannot see my face, and I lower my head as well. The dust from the street covers my feet and clouds of it rise as we pass by.

    I see the Temple ahead with a crowd of people gathered around. As we approach the crowd, I hear Jesus speaking to them. Those holding onto my arms push their way through the crowd to where Jesus is seated. He pauses in His talk and stands as He looks at them curiously.

    “Teacher,” they say to Jesus, “This woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

    Jesus continues to search their faces and then He does something very curious. He stoops down and begins writing in the dust. Those who brought me here first look at each other and I can see the looks that they are exchanging. They anticipated a quick response from Him, and when He does not reply, they continue to demand an answer from Him.

    He stands up and says, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” He then stoops down again and continues to write in the dust. Though I am close to Him, I cannot see what He is writing, and He keeps His head down as He continues to write.

    During this exchange I am standing here waiting for the first stones to strike my body and anticipating the pain that is to come. My heart is beating rapidly, and I look around nervously wondering if there is any way that I can escape what is sure to come.

    But an amazing thing happens! First one elder and then another drop their heads, turn, and walk away as they drop the stones that they were carrying. Soon others who brought me here silently slip away one by one and I realize that there is no one left who accused me and brought me here. I am left standing alone with Jesus with the crowd watching expectantly and waiting to hear how Jesus will respond.

    Jesus then stands once again, and I feel His eyes on me. I raise my head and look into His face where I see compassion radiating from Him. He looks at me and asks, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

    I gaze at Him with relief pouring over me and my heart returning to normal. “No, Lord,” I reply. I am amazed at what has transpired and words fail me.

    “Neither do I. Go and sin no more,” was His response.

    The forgiveness and love radiating from Him flow over me as I turn to go.

    Insight: The story of the adulterous woman is found in John 8:1-11.

    The law required that parties to adultery be stoned (Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22). The law also stated that a person could be put to death only with two or more witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15). (Faculty of Moody Bible Institute, 2014). As no witnesses remained to condemn her, Jesus released her.

    Prayer:  Father, Thank You for seeing me through eyes of love and compassion. Thank You for extending to me the gift of forgiveness when I come to You and confess my sins. May I accept that forgiveness and as I step back into the world, know that Your forgiveness goes with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

    Copyright 2023

  5. Susan Schmidt

    Walking On Water


    We have just spent a long day with Jesus as He talked with the crowds on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. People came from all over to hear Him and to hopefully find healing. He touched many today both with His words and His healing touch. I cannot believe all that I have seen and heard.

    Jesus also fed all these people! I am still amazed that we passed out baskets of food to all those gathered and yet we still had twelve baskets of leftovers! There looked to be about 5,000 men here as well as women and children. The offering of bread and fish came from a small boy who gladly shared his lunch.

    Jesus is thanking the crowd for being with Him this day and sending them back to their villages. The sun has recently set, and the glow of the sunset is reflected in the sky as dusk is falling. The wind continues to gently move among the trees and the water splashes on the shore near the boat.

    Jesus has just told us to take the boat and go to Capernaum. He is not going with us now but has chosen to stay behind to go into the hills and to pray. He does this frequently – goes off by Himself to pray to His Father.

    “Andrew! Stop daydreaming and help us to get ready to launch the boat,” called my brother, Peter.

    “I’m coming!” I reply as I walk down the hillside toward the boat. There are twelve of us who Jesus invited to follow Him and to learn from Him. Peter and I were fishermen here on the Sea of Galilee and when Jesus called to us to become fishers of men, we dropped our nets to join Him. He also called to James and John, and they have followed Jesus as well.

    We all step into the water to push the boat further into the sea as the moon rises and reflects on the water. We climb into the boat and grab the oars to begin our journey to the next town where Jesus will minister.

    Our journey starts well enough but as we move out from the shore and night descends the wind begins to grow stronger. We’re familiar with the change in the winds as this can occur over the sea here. We put more of ourselves into rowing in the hope that we can arrive at Capernaum before the winds are too strong for us.

    The hours roll on and the wind and waves have increased, and we are becoming tired with our rowing. This is one of the worst windstorms that we have seen, and our efforts are for naught. We are now miles from shore and it’s too difficult for us to return.

    Suddenly Peter cries out that he sees someone coming toward us on the water. We stop temporarily so that we can look out as well. We are all terrified and cry out, “It’s a ghost!”

    Jesus speaks to us immediately saying, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage, I am here!”

    “It’s Jesus!” Peter shouts to us above the wind.

    “But that’s impossible!” I shout back to him. “We need to keep rowing so that we can get to shore before we capsize!”

    The wind and waves have increased, and we are all becoming tired from our fight against nature.

    “Lord, if it’s really You, tell me to come to You, walking on the water,” Peter shouts.

    “Yes, come,” Jesus responds.

    Peter did not need any further encouragement as he made his way to the side of the boat.

    “Peter! Come back and stay here with us! You know that you can’t get out of the boat and into these rough waves! You’ll drown for certain!” I call to him.

    Peter has been impulsive from the time that we were young boys and often found himself in difficult situations throughout our childhood and into adulthood. He rarely asks for permission and often rashly moves forward headlong into difficulties. To hear Peter ask permission is in itself a miracle.

    Peter ignores my pleas to stay in the boat and eagerly puts his leg over the side. I grab him by the sleeve and implore him to remain with us in the boat, but he looks at me and insists that he will be fine.

    As Peter begins to put his other leg over the side, I grab onto the oars to help keep the boat in place while we are tossed back and forth.

    Despite all logic I see Peter taking tentative steps across the water as he walks toward Jesus! We all pause to watch in amazement to see this incredible sight.

    Peter took deliberate steps on the water, but as the wind continues to batter against him, he then turns to look around him taking his eyes off Jesus. As soon as he did this, he begins to sink! He turns toward Jesus and shouts, “Save me, Lord!” Jesus is there immediately putting out His hand to Peter to raise him from a watery grave. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt Me?”

    As the two of them come to the boat, we reach out to help them climb over the side. As soon as Jesus gets into the boat, the winds and waves miraculously calm, and we immediately arrive at our destination. We then worship Him exclaiming, “You really are the Son of God!”

    As we climb out of the boat to haul it to shore, we exchange looks of amazement at what we had just witnessed. We have seen many things that defy logic, and this is another miracle that will remain in our memories.

    Insight:  The story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water can be found in Matthew 14:22-34; Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21. The Sea of Galilee is 650’ below sea level, is 8 miles wide at its widest point, 160’ deep and is nestled among the hills surrounding it. Because of the geography, storms of the type described in scripture often occur.

    Prayer:  Father, when I am battered by the storms of life, may my eyes turn to You, and may I reach out my hand to clasp Yours as You guide and direct me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    Copyright 2023

  6. Susan Schmidt

    Feeding the 5,000


    “Ruth! Ruth! Come quickly! We need to be on our way,” cried my husband, Elias, as he burst into our home.

    “Elias! Where are we going?” I asked as I stood up from my weaving.

    “I have heard that Jesus the Nazarene is on a boat headed this way. If we hurry, we may be able to see and hear Him. Come quickly now so we can be on our way,” he responded as we gathered our things together to leave.

    As a Jewish woman, it is our custom to cover our heads when we leave our home, so I put on my head wrap before leaving.

    Elias and I have heard talk of Jesus of Nazareth. It has been said that He has healing power and that those who were blind now see, the deaf hear and the lame walk. We have heard that lepers have been healed as well. Who could this man be and how does He do these things? We have also heard that He is a teacher and explains the writings of Moses and the prophets.

    We stepped out of our home to see others who were also heading away from the village as we all hurried toward where we had heard Jesus was heading. It is springtime and the sky is blue with clouds floating lazily above us. The wind is gently blowing off the water as we walk quickly along.

    As we walk I hear others talking about Jesus and speculating on what we may hear this day, and if we will be fortunate enough to get close to Him and to see Him and perhaps feel His touch. Some who are with us are being led by others. Ahead of me I spot someone moving slowly with crutches as he makes his way forward. I gaze into his eyes and wish him a good day as we pass by. Some are moving along quickly, nearly at a run, as they are anxious to see Jesus. Others who are ill are moving more slowly yet determined to catch a glimpse of this man and perhaps to feel His healing touch on their infirmed bodies.

    Elias and I have heard talk of Jesus as we have gathered in the synagogue for worship. We can scarcely believe the stories that we have heard about Him. Who is his man? From where did He receive His power and authority?

    The dust rises from the ground as the crowd makes its way to where it has been said the boat is headed. This may be our only opportunity to see and hear Jesus, so we continue our trek to our destination. I am thankful that Elias has brought the wineskin with him so that we are able to drink as we go.

    As we approach our destination we see that the boat is being hauled to shore by some men. Jesus is climbing from the boat and enters the shallow water as He makes His way to the shoreline. His smile shows warmth and tenderness as he greets those waiting on the shore. There is an occasional laugh from Him as the children scamper around in the water. The others from the boat come alongside Him.

    “Master, perhaps we can go this way. I see a place where You can sit and those who have joined us will be able to hear and see You,” said one of those who is with Him.

    As they make their way toward the location indicated, those of us who have arrived quickly go to find a place to sit. I am fortunate to find a group of women and children who are close to where He sits as Elias joins a group of men in the same area.

    As I wait for others to be seated, I wonder what I may see and hear this day. I see behind and beside Jesus are those who were with Him in the boat. They talk among themselves as they bring some water to Jesus. One of them stops and shades his eyes as he looks out over the crowd that is gathering.

    The breeze from the Sea of Galilee cools the gathering as the sun glints off the water. There are many people who have come to hear Jesus and they continue to find places on the hillside to sit and stand so that they may hear Him. Word of Him has spread throughout the area and I am not surprised to see how many have come to see for themselves the One who teaches and heals.

    Jesus stands and raises His hands to get the attention of the gathering. It takes a few moments, but the crowd stills so that He can be heard. He greets us with a warmth in His voice as He begins to speak. Only the sound of His voice and waves lapping at the shore can be heard as we raptly listen as He teaches.

    He speaks to us and teaches from the words of Moses and the prophets. His words make the teachings come alive and give an insight that I have not heard before. Jesus continues to teach and eventually sits on a stump that is behind Him.

    As Jesus continues speaking I cannot believe how much time has passed as the sun has moved overhead throughout the day. There were times during His teaching when those who were ill came before Him asking to be healed. I saw Him touch the eyes of the blind and they walked away with their eyes lifted toward Heaven and rejoicing. Those who could not hear received the gentle touch of His hands to their ears as He smiled upon them. They lifted their hands to heaven in praise as they walked away. Oh, and those who were crippled also received His touch. Their crutches were thrown to the side as they began to dance joyfully as Jesus smiled and laughed with them. It was an amazing sight to behold, and I was blessed to be close enough to see the miracles that were performed before me.

    I see Jesus turn to speak with one of His disciples. The man raises his hands as though to say, “I don’t know what I can do.” I see the disciples begin to walk into the crowd, and a little boy gives one of them some items. The disciples go back to Jesus and give Him what the child has offered.

    The disciples then turn to us and ask everyone to sit down in groups of 50. After we were all seated, Jesus took what was given to Him, and I heard Him offer thanks for the bread and then for the fish. “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.”

    After this He began breaking the bread and handing it to the disciples, who placed it in baskets and began to hand out the food. As the basket came to me, I saw that it was filled, and I took as much bread and fish that I could eat and passed the basket to the next person. This continued and everyone was eating from the offering that was made.

    There are many here today and the food continues to be sent out among the people. I look around me and see that everyone is eating and laughing as they enjoy this unexpected feast. After a time, I see that the disciples begin moving through the crowd with baskets to gather up what is left over. As they move through the throng I can see leftover bread and fish being placed in the baskets. The baskets are taken back behind Jesus, and I see that there are 12 baskets that are filled with these leftovers. How can this be? There was only a small amount to begin with, but everyone has eaten their fill yet there is food remaining.

    The sun is slowly starting to move toward the horizon as Jesus continues to teach and heal. There are some who begin to say, “Surely, He is the Prophet we have been expecting!” and start to move toward Him. As they begin to move toward Jesus, I see Him turn and slip into the hills by himself while His disciples remain behind.

    Elias is coming toward me now so that we can start toward our home before nightfall. Our return home is much slower than when we started out as we are talking and exclaiming about all that we have seen and heard this day. I hear the chatter of those around us who are also discussing the events of the day. Ahead of us is the man that I saw earlier walking with crutches. He is now healed and is dancing in the road with his friends and rejoicing with them.

    This has been an eventful day and as we approach our home, I give thanks to our God that I was blessed to be able to participate and to hear and see Jesus.

    Insight:  The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is the only one that is recorded in all four of the gospels. The story can be read in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:1-15 and I encourage you to read of this miracle for yourself. The Bible does not tell us the prayer that Jesus offered for the bread and fish, and the prayer that is used here is a common Jewish thanksgiving prayer that Jesus may have used. Synagogues were located in towns that had 10 or more families.

    Prayer:  Father, thank You for the daily food that you provide for me. I also give you thanks for the food of Your Word that is available to me. May You open my spiritual eyes to see the miracles and wonders around me and that Your Word may come alive to me as I read it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    Copyright 2023

  7. Susan Schmidt

    The Master Remodeler


    Picture your spiritual life like a house that is being remodeled.

    See the wall that you erected? That needs to be torn down. It may be a wall of pride or unforgiveness or an addiction. Do you hear the power saw of God as He begins to cut that wall down? It may come down a little at a time or it may come down with a crash, but once He has begun the process, He will continue. It may depend on your receptiveness to His process on how quickly that wall will fall.

    Perhaps there needs to be some rewiring done. You may be holding onto something whether it’s an incorrect belief or a misconception that you have held onto. He is working in your life to rewire that belief to His truth. Wires are behind walls, and this shows your hidden beliefs that haven’t been exposed. Or perhaps there are exposed wires showing and they have shocked those around you. Know that your Father is working in you to fix what is wrong so that you won’t push others away from you.

    There is the plumber who has come to clear the sink of water that will not flush down the drain. This resembles the old – something you are holding onto that won’t allow the new water to come in. Perhaps you are holding onto grief and won’t let it go. Until you let this move through your mind, heart and spirit, your Father has no room to bring the new into your life. Do you hear that whoosh of water as it flows away from you? You are now open to the cleansing water of God as He pours into you once again.

    Before you began your remodel, you need to go into your closet to clear it out. How many things are there that you are not using yet they are taking space in your life? This resembles the baggage that you are carrying in your emotional and spiritual life. Turn to the Father and ask for His guidance on the items that are cluttering your life and need to be removed. Perhaps it is a hurt that you have carried for years. It may sit at the back of the closet for long periods of time, but every so often it gets pulled out and looked at, the dust shaken off it as that past hurt is relived once again.

    Just as a house remodel takes time, a spiritual “remodel” will take time as well.

    The Lord is our Master remodeler, and He can make us new once again. But He will only come in when we open the door of our heart and soul to Him. When we trust in Him to rebuild us into His image. Won’t you trust Him today?

    Copyright 2023

  8. Susan Schmidt

    Carrying a Cross


    “Are you tired of carrying that cross yet?” said a woman playing Mary, mother of Jesus.

    Our team was presenting a drama during a church service and this was the last service of the day and we were waiting for our cue. The man playing Jesus had carried the cross up the aisle several times already and though it wasn’t particularly heavy, the weight of it was beginning to wear on him.

    Pondering these words it occurred to me that each of us is carrying a cross, or burden, of one kind or another. A cross that we’re not willing to set down at the feet of Jesus. Some of us carry a smaller cross so we either believe that we can carry it on our own, or that it’s too small to “bother” the Father. But this type of cross can become heavy.  Others will carry a large cross and will continue to buckle under its weight until being crushed completely.

    Why do we do this? Do we think it’s too small to take to the Father? Or is it so large that we think that there is no way out so we continue to carry the weight ourselves?

    Psalm 145:14 tells us – The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

    And in Matthew 12:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

    Whatever burden you may be carrying, take it to the Father today.


    Thank You for your unfailing love and that You love us so deeply that You want us to bring everything to You. As I go through my day today, may You remind me of those burdens that I may be carrying so that I may bring them to You. You are the almighty, everlasting One and nothing is impossible for You. May I give you glory and praise today. Thank You for the many blessings that You have poured over me already. May Your love be reflected through me to those with whom I come into contact.

    In Jesus’ Name,


  9. Susan Schmidt

    Are You a Peter or John?


    3Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home. – John 20:3-10 (NLT)

    This portion of the scripture begins when Mary Magdalen went to Jesus’ tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away. She ran and found Peter and John, who then ran for the tomb. As you read the passage, you see that John arrived at the tomb first, but rather than going in he stops and looks into the tomb. Peter – the impetuous disciple – arrives and promptly enters the tomb. He didn’t stop first to see what, if anything, was inside but rushes right into the tomb.

    Who are you like – Peter or John? Do you rush into your time with the Father headfirst? Or are you more like John, more deliberate and cautious? There are advantages to both and I would probably classify myself as being more like John. But oh to be like Peter sometimes! To rush in and anticipate what the Lord is going to do. To have that fire burning to spend time with the Father and then to rush without hesitating to do as He asks me to do.

    Now that I’m more aware of my tendencies, may I sometimes act like Peter rushing in to do what the Lord asks me to do.


    Thank You for the lessons that You provide to us in Your word. May Your Holy Spirit be with me as I read Your word and apply it to my life. May I be obedient to You in doing what You ask me to do, and going where You ask me to go. May You continue to work through me in whatever way You choose.

    In Jesus’ Name,


  10. Susan Schmidt

    Big Dreams


    Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

    Every day I read devotionals from various sources and this past week I read two on having big dreams. Most of the time I can read my devotionals and walk away and forget them, but for some reason these have stuck with me.

    Our God can do much, much more than we can think or imagine, so why do we tend to shy away from asking Him for our big dreams? Could it be that we’re afraid that He won’t answer us – or maybe we’re afraid that He will. For if He does answer us, what might He ask of me?

    What’s your big dream? What is it that you have longed for, but haven’t asked Him?

    In John 16:24 Jesus tells us, “You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” Did you see that? He says abundant joy. I believe that this will happen for us when we pray what His will is for us.

    My big dream has been with me for some time now, but the timing hasn’t been His timing. That’s not to say that I don’t think of it and plan for it, but I’m waiting on His timing otherwise it’s not going to happen. Several years ago I attended a Beth Moore event and something that she said took root in me and the Holy Spirit gave me inspiration for a book or series of books. It will take time for research and then the writing, but it’s something that I anticipate with great joy.

    This morning I woke and had the undeniable urge to write. In my quiet time with the Father, I believe that He’s told me to write these blog posts for now and that this will lead to something else.

    As I’m beginning to pursue my big dream, I hope that not only will you travel with me in this new adventure, but that you will begin to pursue your own big dream as well. Each journey begins with the first step. Step out with me in faith as we follow the Father’s lead.