1. Susan Schmidt

    Carrying a Cross

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    “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.

    Father,

    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,

    Amen!

  2. Susan Schmidt

    Are You a Peter or John?

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    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.

    Father,

    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,

    Amen!

  3. Susan Schmidt

    Big Dreams

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    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.

  4. Susan Schmidt

    Ask For Instructions

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    Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”

    “Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him. – Luke 22:8-9

    This passage of Scripture tells us that Jesus was preparing for the Last Supper. What struck me was Jesus telling them to go and prepare and rather than just running off to do what they thought they needed to do, they first asked Him where they should go.

    How many times do we know the Lord is sending us off to do His work and we just rush off without first asking Him for instructions? The disciples had been with Jesus for a number of years and they knew that He would have a plan, so they simply asked Him.

    As we read further through the following verses, we see that Jesus gave them specific instructions on what they were to do. And it’s no surprise that they found everything as He had said.

    May we also learn this lesson: To ask the Lord first and wait for His response before we go rushing ahead.

    Father, Thank You for Your word and the lessons that You teach us. May I also ask You for instructions before I go rushing off to do Your work. May I also be still to listen so that I may follow your instructions fully. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  5. Susan Schmidt

    Tears In a Bottle

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    You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. – Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

    This year brought me some unexpected sadness and I’ve cried many tears. What a loving Father we have…He has caught every one of those tears and put them in a bottle. Not only that, He has recorded why those tears were shed. Perhaps when I finally see Him, we will sit together as we go through His book and review those times of tears of joy and sadness. It will be then that I’ll see how His loving hand was on me and comforting me through each of those moments – when we are together in a place where there are no more tears or sadness. Thank You, Father, for your loving care and mercy.

    Father God,

    Your care for me during times of sorrow warms my heart. You are such a loving Father full of compassion – beyond my finite understanding. I anticipate the time when I can see how Your loving hand was over me during my time here on earth. I bless You, Father. Praise to You Lord! Praise You, Jesus! Hallelujah!

    In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  6. HisDaughter

    Mustard Seed Faith

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    He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

    Have you ever seen a mustard seed? I’ve recently stumbled across a necklace I had as a child that has a mustard seed encased in a plastic ball. The seed is so very small that if it were loose it could be easily lost.

    If you look at Matthew 17:14-20 you’ll see that Jesus was talking to his disciples. They were unable to cast out a demon and came to Jesus to ask why they couldn’t drive it out. These were the apostles, the men who had been with Jesus, witnessed His healing power, and had experienced His teaching first-hand. If anyone would have faith, I would think that it would have been them. Yet they didn’t have the faith necessary to work in Jesus’ name.

    This makes me think that perhaps my faith is even smaller than the apostles’ faith – a mere particle of the mustard seed faith that Jesus mentioned. This thought has been with me this week and has me longing to draw even closer to the Father and to ask Him to work in me to increase my faith. May He become greater in me that my faith would increase to the size of the mustard seed.

    Adonai,

    Thank You for the lesson on faith. May I take Your words into my heart and seek You to increase my faith. May Your words take root in me that my faith would grow. Teach me, Father, and help me to grow my faith into the size of that mustard seed and even larger than that if it is in Your will. May Your light continue to shine in me that I would be Your beacon in this world.

    In Jesus’ Name, Amen

  7. Susan Schmidt

    His Unfailing Love

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    But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. – Psalm 33:18 (NLT)

    Unfailing love. Two of the most beautiful words that describe how our heavenly Father loves us. I love the Psalms and read them daily, and the words unfailing love are repeated often. I’ve begun to highlight the words every time I see them as a reminder of how much my Father loves me.

    Just what does unfailing mean anyway? The dictionary tells us that this adjective means inexhaustible, endless and completely dependable. Yep, that sums up the love that Yahweh has for His children. How blessed we are to have such a loving Father! Some other verses on unfailing love:

    The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands. – Psalm 25:10 (NLT)

    I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. – Psalm 31:7 (NLT)

    Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23: 6 (NLT)

    Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. – Psalm 36:5 (NLT)

    This one is particularly beautiful:

    How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. – Psalm 37:7 (NLT)

    When was the last time that you thanked El Elyon (Most High God) for his unfailing love? Won’t you join me in praising Him and thanking Him for loving us?

    Adonai,

    Today I come before You to give thanks for Your unfailing love. Your Word tells me over and over again how much You love Your children and I am humbled to know that the Creator of the Universe loves me with a love that is endless. My heart and my mind can’t begin to take it in! Praise You, Father, for Your love and goodness and for loving me so very much! May I extend Your love to others that I meet that they may see You through me.

    In Jesus’ name, Amen

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