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

    Are You a Good Steward?

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    For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

    My pastor had a powerful message on stewardship. In part of the message he spoke about being good stewards of what God has given us. He has given us everything – money, jobs, a car, a home, talents and skills. OK, I knew that. What struck me, though, was that we are also to be good stewards of our time. Uh oh. Hadn’t thought about that one before. I’m self-employed and my clients pay me for my time, so through my work day I am extremely aware of my time and how it’s being spent. But my “off” time is another matter. Am I being a good steward of my time? How am I using it? Am I watching mindless TV or have I spent some of that time reading the Word and learning more about my Father? Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that for everything there is a season. May this season of my life be a time that I will use wisely.

    Father God,

    You are the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and end of time. Thank You for making me aware that I need to be a good steward of my time. I ask that You give me discernment today that I would use my time wisely, and would know those things that need to be done today and those that can wait for another day. Show me, Father, how to use my time wisely. Be with me during this season of my life that I may use my time to talk with You and to spend more time learning about You. Thank You for being such a loving Father and for showing me in Your gentle way that You want to spend more time with me.

    In Jesus’ name, Amen

  6. Susan Schmidt

    What’s In A Name?

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    I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. – Exodus 6:3 (NLT)

    He has revealed His names to us and recently in my studies I’ve been reading about the names of God and that we should use His name as we pray. Just as we love to hear our names called by our loved ones, how He must love to hear us call Him by His name! El Shaddai, El Elyon, Adonai, Yahweh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah-Raah, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Shammah, Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jehovah Mekoddishkem, El Olam, Elohim, Qanna, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Shalom and Jehovah Sabaoth are some of the many names of our Father.

    He knows you and me by name, and if you’re a child of God, He has your name written on the palm of his hand. “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands……” – Isaiah 49:16 (NLT). How wonderful to know that He loves us so much that our names are written on His palms! Not only that, we will eventually have a new name that He gives us. “….And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it. – Rev. 2:17 (NLT).  Wow! He knows each of His children so well that He will give each of us a new name engraved on a white stone. A name that only He and I will understand. The Bible doesn’t tell us any more, but perhaps the name will be based on our personalities or how our walk has been with Him. What a loving Father we have!

    As He knows you so well, are you going to get to know Him as well? Will you join with me in learning His names and calling Him by name when you pray?

    El Shaddai,

    You alone are El Elyon and I praise Your name! Thank You for Your love and for writing my name on the palms of Your hands. No one can erase it or take it from me and I thank You for being my Yahweh. Father may I learn Your names and commit them to memory so that I can call You by name when I talk with You. Thank You for Your love, mercy and grace.

    In Jesus’ Name – Amen

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