Thunder

Your voice will not be denied,

God of Heaven and earth

 

It thunders,

for Your power rumbles great

 

And we should all be

extremely grateful

that our God of Thunder

 

does not pour out His holy wrath

every time we rebel against You

 

For Your power is staggering

and Your voice immense

 

My heart listens for Your quiet voice

knowing Your thunderous voice is coming

 

when holiness brings judgment

with a loud and deafening clap

 

And there are those who hide in Your shelter

and those who stand exposed

 

I will be sheltered

by my Jesus’ sacrificial love

 

– Susie Stewart

 

The Lord thundered from heaven. The Most High made His voice heard.

– 2 Samuel 22:14 (GW)

 

Whenever this happens, my heart stops—
I’m stunned, I can’t catch my breath.
Listen to it! Listen to His thunder,
the rolling, rumbling thunder of His voice.
He lets loose His lightnings from horizon to horizon,
lighting up the earth from pole to pole.
In their wake, the thunder echoes His voice,
powerful and majestic.
He lets out all the stops, He holds nothing back.
No one can mistake that voice—
His word thundering so wondrously,
His mighty acts staggering our understanding.

– Job 37:1-5 (MSG)

 

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

– Psalm 27:5 (NIV)

 

The blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder. Moses spoke, and God answered with a voice that rumbled like thunder.

– Exodus 19:19 (VOICE)

 

The Eternal thundered in the heavens; the Highest spoke; His voice rumbled [in the midst of hail and lightning].

– Psalm 18:13 (VOICE)

 

I was caught up at once in deep worship and, oh!—a Throne set in Heaven with One Seated on the Throne, suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald. Twenty-four thrones circled the Throne, with Twenty-four Elders seated, white-robed, gold-crowned. Lightning flash and thunder crash pulsed from the Throne. Seven fire-blazing torches fronted the Throne (these are the Sevenfold Spirit of God). Before the Throne it was like a clear crystal sea.

– Revelation 4:4-6 (MSG)

 

After the fire, there was a still small voice.

 – 1 Kings 19:12 (WEB)

 

“Pagosa Springs” sung by my brother, Danny Oertli

 

The Wait

When it comes to waiting on God

you can either wait with your hands on your hips

or you can wait with your hands outstretched in worship

 

Which do you think is the wise way

to wait on Almighty God?

 

Rest in His agenda

 

– Susie Stewart

 

At the end of the four hundred and thirty years, to that very day, all the hosts of the Lord [gathered into tribal armies] left the land of Egypt.

– Exodus 12:41 (AMP)

 

I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for and confidently expect the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.

– Psalm 27:13, 14 (AMP)

 

But as for me, I trust [confidently] in You and Your greatness, O Lord;
I said, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hands…

– Psalm 31:14, 15 (AMP)

 

One caution:  When we bring our questions to God, we need to wait for His answer.  We must not throw our questions at Him and then go to a friend and complain, “I can’t understand what God is doing to me.”  Such actions constitute unbelief.  So after you bring God your questions, hold your ground, even if you are still in the dark about why you are waiting or about how long you will wait.

– Linda Dillow

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Fight!

 

What battle are you fighting?

 

There always is one

right?

 

A battle in your mind for purity

A battle in your home for peace

A battle at work for your witness

A battle in your heart for trust

A battle in your family for unity

 

And on and on…

 

And we often forget,

that at the root,

the battle is not with the people

 

The real battle is fought in the spiritual realm

 

 

The weapons we fight with

look like

 

Vigilance of mind

Prayer

Truth-seeking

Readiness

Faith

Steadiness

and

Standing firm

 

And too often

Jesus Followers surrender

 

We give in

when we need to fight!

 

There is an unseen world

swirling all around us

 

The battle is fierce!

 

And we approach it with

niceness

excuses

depression

cowering

apathy

fear

anxiety

defeat

 

The stance is casual and weak

in this intense battle

 

There is a clash of swords unseen

Light and darkness having it out

 

A struggle

between good and evil

 

And in the physical world

it feels like silence,

Deafening silence

 

But KNOW that all is not silent

It is unearthly LOUD

 

Our apathy

our surrender to evil

our cowardice

 

cause us to walk in limbo

or defeat

instead of victory

 

Let us stand up and fight, Warriors!

 

Better yet, let us get down on our knees

and fight

 

Fight for our purity!

Fight for our families!

Fight for our friendships!

Fight for our peace of mind!

Fight for our trust in God!

 

And may we not stand down

in our witness

 

For the battle belongs to the Lord

 

– Susie Stewart

 

He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

– 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NLT)

 

This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world.

– Ephesians 6:12 (GW)

 

David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—He’s handing you to us on a platter!”

– 1 Samuel 17:46-48 (MSG)

 

It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

– Zechariah 4:6 (NLT)

 

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

– Exodus 14:13,14 (NIV)

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

– Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

What They Need

You desire to give of yourself

to the people in your life

 

You want to make sure you provide

what they need

 

You want to be everything you can

for them

 

But what they need more than anything

is for you

to spend time

with Jesus

 

Nothing will enable you to be

what they need

more

than being with Him

 

So guard your time with Jesus

talking to Him

listening to Him

learning from Him

repenting before Him

soaking in His love

being open with Him

processing the Word with Him

Worshiping Him

 

Being

with

Him

 

Then the radiance of Jesus

will be evident to all those people

who need you

 

And they will have

what they need –

 

Jesus

 

– Susie Stewart

 

* I was inspired to write this after hearing my friend Nicole Rowell speak on this subject.  Thank you, Nicole!  I am blessed by your time with Jesus.

 

Moses told God —  If it is true that You look favorably on me, let me know Your ways so I may understand You more fully and continue to enjoy Your favor.

– Exodus 33:13 (NLT)

 

…the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

– Exodus 33:11 (NLT)

 

When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord.

– Exodus 34:29 (NLT)

 

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

– Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

 

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

– Matthew 6:33 (MSG)

 

Photo by Gracie Oertli

 

 

 

Comparison

Comparison

 

Useful in shopping for a good deal

Not so great with people

 

Comparing yourself to others

usually leads to feelings

of inferiority

or superiority

 

Be who God made you to be

and be glad for others in their gifts, abilities and blessings

 

Compare when you’re shopping

But don’t do it with people

 

Just

Love

people

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

– Galatians 6:4,5 (MSG)

 

You are not to covet what your neighbor has or set your heart on getting his house, his wife, his male or female servants, his ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

– Exodus 20:17 (VOICE)

 

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

– Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Defender

He is defending you,

firm and resolute in your corner

 

He Himself,

when all others have turned away

 

The God of the Universe

is your defense

your strength

your vindication

 

And isn’t it so good

to have a Defender

who sees all?

 

Who sees what you are going through?

 

Who sees what is not fair

or right?

 

Be at peace knowing

that He’s got you

 

– Susie Stewart

 

The LORD, the LORD Himself, is my strength and my defense;  He has become my salvation.

– Isaiah 12:2 (NIV)

 

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. …The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

– Exodus 14:13,14 (NIV)

 

I love you, Lord;
You are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and He saved me from my enemies.
The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from His sanctuary;
my cry to Him reached His ears.
Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of His anger.
Smoke poured from His nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from His mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from Him.
He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath His feet.
Mounted on a mighty angelic being, He flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
He shrouded Himself in darkness,
veiling His approach with dark rain clouds.
Thick clouds shielded the brightness around Him
and rained down hail and burning coals.
The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded
amid the hail and burning coals.
He shot His arrows and scattered His enemies;
great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused.
Then at your command, O Lord,
at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
He rescued me because He delights in me.
The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
He restored me because of my innocence.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned His decrees.
I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.
-Psalm 18:1-34 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

My brother, Danny Oertli – “Fight For Me”

Warrior

Do you know

that your King

is also your Warrior?

 

He fights for YOU

 

The fiercest battles

are the unseen

 

And because you are His

He will defend you

 

Almighty Warrior

Savior

Defender

Rock

 

Surrender to Him

and He will fight for you

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

The Lord is with me like a mighty warrior….

– Jeremiah 20:11 (NIV)

 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

– Exodus 14:14 (NIV) 

 

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

– 2 Chronicles 20:17 (NIV)

 

For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’

– Deuteronomy 20:4 (NLT)

 

Artist unkown

 

Most Important

 

If I were to ask you right now,

“What one person or thing is the most important to you?”

what comes to mind first?

 

Does it match up with what you’re doing with your life, how you spend your time?

 

And do people recognize the importance of that person or thing to you?  Would they answer that question the same way about you?

 

Or was that your “right” answer?

– Susie Stewart

 

Whom have I in heaven but You?
I desire You more than anything on earth.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever.

– Psalm 73:25,26 (NLT)

 

Do not put any other gods in place of Me.

– Exodus 20:3 (NIRV)

 

Our god is the thing, or person, which we think most precious, for whom we would make the greatest sacrifice, and who moves our heart with the warmest love. He is the person or thing that if lost would leave us desolate.
– Alan Redpath

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart