1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

Skip to toolbar