Sunday, October 23, 2016

Humility Prayer

“Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older.
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
 ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that he may lift you up in due time.”
1 Peter 5:5-6 (NIV)

hupĕrēphanŏs5244 – appearing above others (conspicuous), i.e. (fig.) haughty: - proud.

charis5485 – graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstr. or concr.; lit., fig. or spiritual: espec. the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

tapĕinŏs5011 – depressed, i.e. (fig.) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition): - base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.

      Does this passage infer that we are to put ourselves down and demean our gifts? NO! We are just to realize that all of our brothers and sisters are gifted in unique ways, and we are not above anyone else. We need to use our gifts and talents to the glory of God and not to draw attention to ourselves. When we do this, God will continue to influence our hearts so that others see Jesus in us.

            Father, allow me to be inconspicuous even when I’m on the platform in front of the crowd. Let your light so shine through me that praise is given to you (Matthew 5:16). Thank you for your transforming grace.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


aischrŏkĕrdōs147 - sordidly: - for filthy lucre’s sake.

            We don’t use the word lucre much these days, but its derivative, lucrative, is used frequently. I always sense a red flag when someone says, “This could be a really lucrative deal.” I’m sure they mean profitable; but in my mind, there is a connotation of not quite legitimate or possibly taking advantage of someone.
            There are some ministers that appear to shepherd not as servants, but for private gain. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of them in the headlines, sporting large houses and fancy cars purchased with money sent in by their followers. God warns those who shepherd his people to be eager to serve and to lead by example rather than imposing their way on those in their care. I’ve been blessed to have a couple of pastors who really took this passage to heart. I’m pleased to read that they will receive “the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

            Father, thank you for the godly examples I’ve had in many pastors and Sunday school teachers. Thank you for promising them a permanent reward.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Like Joseph

There are many examples in our lives of how God uses a seemingly bad situation to move us into place for the fulfillment of His best for us. I (Susie) taught elementary school for a number of years at a Christian school. I had a student whose parents were in a custody battle. As a result, a sweet student (I’ll call him Nicholas) had to move away to live with his father. My students were all terribly sad because they loved Nicholas and would miss him.
       Fast forward a few months. We found out that shortly after he moved, Nicholas required a kidney transplant. His father was the perfect donor, and the city they lived in had one of the foremost transplant teams at a prominent hospital.
       When I told the class this news and asked them to pray for Nicholas’ continued recovery, a little boy raised his hand (I’ll call him Isaac). Our approximate conversation:

“Miss Hale, this is like the story of Joseph, not Jesus’ daddy, but Old testament Joseph.”
“How so, Isaac?”
“Joseph’s brothers were mean to him and sold him to another country, but God helped him become famous there and put him in charge. Then when his brothers came to beg him for food, Joseph was able to help them and their father.”
“We thought it was bad that Nicholas had to move, but God moved him exactly where he needed to be to get a new kidney.”
“Wow, thank you for reminding us that God is always in control, Isaac!”

Out of the mouths of babes – these were first graders! Isaac was not even regularly attending church. His main instruction in the Word was at school. God is faithful! God took care of Israel, and He cares for those who trust Him today. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

THE WAY-MAKER - Proverbs 3:5-6

The Way-Maker
By Susan Slade and Susie Hale

       We usually quote this as either “he will direct your paths” or “he will make your paths straight. We liked this Complete Jewish Bible translation because the word “level” gave us a new perspective. Israel has a lot of rocky, hilly terrain. Someone would go before an important person, and make the path more level. Think of John the Baptist going before the Lord to prepare the way. In these verses, the Lord says that when we rely on Him, He levels, straightens, makes our pathway smooth and clear. He makes clear to us which paths to take and enables us to maneuver them. That does not mean life is easy but that it is doable in His strength. The impossible is made possible when we are following the Way-Maker.

Monday, October 17, 2016


“If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer 
or thief or any other kind of criminal,
or even as a meddler.
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed,
but praise God that you bear that name.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; 
and if it begins with us,
what will the outcome be for those 
who do not obey the gospel of God? And,
‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, 
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will 
should commit themselves to their faithful Creator 
and continue to do good.”
1 Peter 4:15-19 (NIV)

pistŏs4103 – trustworthy; subj. trustful: - believe (-ing, -r), faithful (-ly), sure, true.

            God is faithful to enable us to do whatever he calls us to do even if that calling involves suffering. After being beaten mercilessly with rods, Paul and Silas sang praise songs in jail (Acts 16:25) When God sent an earthquake to free them, Paul kept the jailer from committing suicide by pointing out that none of the prisoners had escaped. Then he won his jailer to the Lord!

Father, empower me to remain faithful to you no matter what circumstances may arise. Thank you for being my faithful Creator, Sustainer, and Savior!

Sunday, October 16, 2016


“Dear friends, do not be surprised 
at the painful trial you are suffering,
as though something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ,
so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, 
you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory 
and of God rests on you.”
1 Peter 4:12-14

anapauō373 – (reflex.) to repose (lit. or fig. [be exempt], remain); by impl. to refresh: - take ease, refresh, (give, take) rest.

            People persecuted because of their faith in Jesus speak of the great joy they have experienced. They have a burning desire to continue telling others about the new life they have in Christ even though that may mean intense suffering. They have been refreshed by God.

            Father, thank you for this reminder that I can lean on you when I need to take ease and be refreshed. Thank you for the promise that I will be glorified and in your presence for eternity.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Peace Amid Turmoil
By Susie Hale & Susan Slade, 10/13/16

Because we are in Jesus,
We have peace in the middle of trouble.
But this does not mean He encases us
In a conflict-free safety bubble.
Although we may be suffering
The brutality of evil men,
We can rest assured that ultimately
The Lord’s in control of them.
We may be in the middle of turmoil,
Storms clouds swirling all around;
But as we focus our eyes on the Lord,
His peace within us will abound. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Photo by Marianne Montalvo

Poem by Susie Hale, Precious Jewels Ministries

When I remember the wonders I read in Your word

and those You have done in my own life as well,

how can I keep from praising Your name?

When I meditate on Your mighty acts, I must tell

everyone I know that you are an awesome God!

My heart rejoices as I seek Your face.

On Your strength I know I can rely.

Help me to make known all You have done.

When people ask about my joy, may I reply

by recounting the wonders of my marvelous God!