Hope has turned to despair
Depression is closing in
Oh may I not fall into the sin of unbelief
Lord…I feel as though I have been exiled
Banished from Your presence
May I not given in to my feelings
Soul…I must take every thought captive
Find encouragement in God’s word
May I firmly cinch the Belt of Truth around me
When I feel as though I’m drowning
May I reach out and cling
To the Rock Who is higher than I
When I feel abandoned
May I remember Your promises
Assured that You will never leave, nor forsake me
When the darkness descends
May You be my Bright & Morning Star
The Light unto my path
When taunted, “Where is your God?”
May I remember…while He is invisible
God is never inactive
May I seek You Lord
Bask in the glory of Your presence
See my life in light of Your purpose and plan
May I find hope in Your radiance
Comfort in Your word
Peace in Your presence
Susan Bunts Wachtel
June 14, 2009
Have you had the experience that when the Pastor is preaching…you feel certain that the message is just for you? That’s what I experienced today. I felt as though Pastor Philip De Courcy was preaching a message designed especially for me. I’ll bet you a lot of folks felt that way this morning.
It was the right message and was in God’s perfect timing.
Pastor Philip preached a message out of Psalm 42 -43 on despair and depression. The word of God not only comforts and acts as a healing balm but it challenges us to “get a grip” . In this instance…take every thought captive.
This poem was motivated by and composed from the notes I took from today’s sermon.
I have sinned
And against man
Justifiably reproached by those who love me
I long to flee from sin
Turn my this ship around
I haven’t the strength on my own
Where do I begin
How do I start
To turn my life around
I’ve tried…really I have
It seems like every door is closed
Slammed shut in my face
What am I supposed to do now
I don’t even know if I believe in God
But I do believe in the devil
For he has deceived me
I believed his lies…hook, line and sinker
Drugs and alcohol
They were supposed to numb the pain
Help me feel good about who I am
Make me forget about everything I’m not
But before I knew it…sin took hold of me
What kind of son betrays his own mother
The one who loved me
Always freely gave
I went from the occasional
“Little white lie”
My heart grew cold and calloused
Trapped by my iniquity
With ease I’ve hurt and used
Anyone in my path
Society tells me
I’ve served my time
Paid the price
For the wrong I’ve done
Now I’ve been set free
I want to change…I really do
People tell me they are praying
Not sure what that means…but please don’t stop
Yes…I desperately need God’s help
But I also need
A helping hand
From real live flesh and blood
Someone who understands
Knows what I’m feeling
Encountered those demons within
That I’m fighting with all my might
Someone to hold me accountable
Show me how to get along
What to do…what not to do
How to live in the day to day world
Someone who understands
What seems like baby steps
Is a giant leap
For this broken, hurting soul
Susan Bunts Wachtel
February 10, 2009
When I read the first lines of this poem to my husband Chris he thought, “Oh no…what has Susan done that she needs to confess?” But I assured him it wasn’t my story I was writing about…but instead a compilation of some of those broken, hurting souls we know. It is by the grace of God…I’ve been spared the wayward path of some.
But we all know some of these people…family or friends whose lives have spiraled out of control. Or maybe…just maybe…it’s me that God has delivered from my wayward past. May God help these broken, hurting souls.
Thank you to those who have a heart to help. Those who offer a helping hand, prayer, wise counsel from God’s word…and tough love. This poem is dedicated to Gary Peterson who heads the Prison Ministry at Kindred Community Church.
Joy in my sorrow
Comfort in my pain
Faith in my doubt
Light in the darkness
Peace in the storms
Hope in my trials
Strength in my weakness
Forgiveness of my sin
A never forsaking Friend
by Susan Bunts Wachtel
January 11, 2009
By the grace of God
Our church still stands
From the fire and winds
Sparks and embers flew wild
The peril was great
The dangers many
He gave courage to men
Emboldened them to take a stand
The fire burned close
As it neared our beloved cross
Fire burned hot
Ash rained down
Prayers of the faithful were raised
Pleading for God’s mercy and grace
Homes nearby went up in flames
By God’s grace…lives were spared
As ash and cinders fell
Flames dared to touch the sign
But God used men
Everyday heroes to accomplish His will
By the grace of God
Our church still stands
May we never take for granted
That this building will be here one more day
May we thank God for the privilege to worship Him here
The body of Christ united…at Kindred
By the grace of God
Our church still stands
Susan Bunts Wachtel
November 15, 2008
How easy it is to be complacent…take for granted that our church will always be here for us to assemble and worship our Lord and Savior.
But as the ash rained down…and smoke filled the sky when we looked toward the east our hearts were burdened to pray for God’s mercy and grace in these circumstances.
Thank you Lord…for answering our prayers…and protecting the building called Kindred Community Church. We are most grateful. Thank you for sending brave men…ordinary citizens…to stand in the gap. We thank you for the firefights who willingly put their lives on the lines. We pray for those who have lost their homes in the fires. We pray for relief for all effected by the fires.
The pictures above are of our beloved cross…the sight of which I love so very much. They were taken just last Sunday…on a cloud filled rainy day. When I see it from a distance…it so reminds me of God’s love and His power in my life and circumstances. When I see it…my stress level starts to melt away.
Who would have thought that just a week later…our church building would lie in the path of wildfires. Well our God knew that…nothing takes Him by surprise. Today…He protected our church home. While tomorrow…we will not meet as a church body…you can be sure that the members of Kindred will be one in giving thanks to our God for His mercy and grace bestowed upon our church.
Just a few miles away…in the middle of moving to a new apartment, my husband Chris and I looked up into the sky as the smoke clouds increased and the sun turned red.
We were amazed at God’s hand upon us as we heard the news that apartments we had considered moving to just a couple weeks earlier…had just gone up in flames. 50 apartment homes were lost. By the grace of God…so far no lives have been lost.
Below are the pictures taken with my cell phone. The ash was poured down…and breathing was difficult…and we were several miles from the fire. I can’t even imagine how horrible it would be for those much closer and in the path of the flames.
Standing in His presence,
His glory descended upon Kindred,
One body united in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A small taste of heaven,
Oh Lord I humbly pray,
Never bid me to leave Thee.
Worshiping before Your throne,
I now know,
Your glory alone is more than enough.
Our hearts bursting,
With the fullness of Christ,
Oh my Lord, You can not be contained.
May this be my Ebenezer stone…my remembrance,
May I never leave Your presence dear Lord,
Your glory so divine.
by Susan Bunts
November 5, 2007
This poem is dedicated to Christ Jesus our all sufficient Savior and Lord and to the body of Christ at Kindred Community Church.
And for my precious Pattie and Robyn Bolton…after experiencing a small taste of heaven and what it will be like worshiping before His throne…we can know that your precious husband and father Bob is complete and whole as he stands before his Savior Christ Jesus. One day we will join him…and Chuck and Hugo and worship our Savior truly as one body in Christ. Praise Him!
The above poem is my meager attempt to capture last night’s installation ceremony of our new precious and beloved Pastor Philip De Courcy.
The poem misses the mark…but by golly last night at Kindred Community Church God was present and made His presence and His glory known. Thank You Jesus!
Below are some slide show pictures that captured the ceremony. Welcome Pastor Philip…we thank God for bringing you to this body of Christ at Kindred!
As I pause and reflect,
On the eve of the installation of our new Pastor,
Your passing seems all the more final.
But let me assure you,
Not day goes by,
In which I don’t feel the influence,
Of God’s humble servant.
God used you,
Your fiery passion,
To awaken and grow a love,
Even a longing for His Holy Word.
To this day…I still listen to your sermons,
All the while finding the Holy Spirit,
Guiding, correcting and convicting me of sin,
Through the power of God’s Word.
So many churches,
Turned their backs,
On the truth of God’s Word.
Praise God…and Him only,
For Kindred will not go down that road,
He has prepared another faithful servant,
Able, most willing to preach the full counsel of God’s Word.
I still delight at handing out your messages,
Knowing firsthand that God will touch hearts,
Those whose circumstances are most desperate,
Bring comfort and strength as they depend on my Lord.
I think of you often,
Thank my God daily,
For messages delivered through His faithful servants,
God’s call…to run the race well and finish strong.
October 12, 2007
From my lips,
“Hope deferred makes my heart sick.”
Yet both hope and despair fill my heart.
I’m so small,
Incapable when seen through my own eyes.
In the delay,
You promise a purpose.
Seeking to grow my faith.
You delight to handling with ease.
Your word assures,
Nothing is impossible with You.
My burdens unbearable,
They are all small to my God.
An answer forthcoming,
Much greater than I can ask or imagine.
by Susan Bunts 9/23/07
As I walked to my car on Wednesday after Bible study I ended my conversation Mike quoting the verse, “Hope deferred makes a heart sick.” – Proverbs 13:12
My heavy is heart and grows weary as prayers seemingly go unanswered. But God had planned a message of hope in Pastor Philip De Courcy’s first sermon at Kindred Community Church.
Many tears were shed as we saw God’s faithful answer to our many prayers for a man of God, faithful to preach His Word. A man who speaks with authority because he speaks the Word of God. Yet humble…ever mindful but there for the grace of God, there go I.
I still wait for an answer to my prayers…and was reminded that there is no better person to put my hope in…Christ Jesus my Lord. To Him who is able to do more than I can even ask or imagine. Nothing, no nothing is impossible with my God. I wait expectantly upon my Lord.
Fall down and mingle,
Our hearts will never forget,
The one who ran the first leg of our race.
In eager anticipation,
We look to You, oh Lord,
Humbly we plead,
For the one whom You have called to come serve.
We offer thanksgiving,
For those who faithfully executed,
Bore the responsibility,
Searched diligently until he was found.
They faced a daunting task,
Through Your power alone,
Withstood the enemy’s attacks accurately aimed,
To prevent Your Word from reaching the world.
We praise You,
For the Elders that You raised up,
With uncompromised commitment to obey,
To call him who will preach Your Word.
Eternal security of those not yet saved,
Weighs in the balance,
Only the truth of Your Word,
Will save them to the uttermost.
By Susan Bunts
September 2, 2007
The above poem is dedicated first and foremost to Christ Jesus my Lord and His sacrifice on the cross…saving this sinner to the uttermost. He was faithful to answer our prayers and petitions to bring us a new Pastor. We at Kindred Community Church are humbled and most grateful for all that He’s done. First He gave us a servant by the name of Chuck Obremski…who sought Him with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. Through the power and work of the Holy Spirit…our dear Pastor laid a firm solid foundation based upon the Word of God.
When God called our beloved Pastor home…the search began for one who would pick up the next leg of the race. Our church Elders appointed members of our church…godly Christians mature in their faith to search for our next Pastor. We didn’t know how long the process would take…but it took almost two years for God’s plan to come to fruition.
I am most grateful and filled with praise and thanksgiving to share the news that the Search Committee members recommended a man who would soon be called by our church Elders to answers God’s call to serve the body of Christ at Kindred Community Church.
On Sunday…our Elders shared the good news that Pastor Philip De Courcy had accepted God’s call.
As soon as I heard who was to be named our new Pastor…I searched his current church’s website. I wanted to see what this man looks like…but more importantly how he preaches. Does he stick to the word of God…or fill it with meaningless fluff? I downloaded several messages and started to listen.
Tears filled my eyes…and I wanted to weep as I heard a man who boldly preached the word of God. Thank you Jesus!
Now lest you think that I will be feeling right fine sitting there every Sunday as Pastor De Courcy preaches…you are sadly mistaken. I can assure you that within minutes of listening to this dear man…God used him to convict my heart of sin. Not a blatant outward sin that the world may know…but one that is just as corrupting. Sin that unless purged makes me unfit in my Christian walk. One that will cause a break in fellowship with a Holy, Righteous God. But also sin that has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus shed upon the cross.
Pastor Philip De Courcy comes from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Toledo, Ohio. Although he will soon make a trek from the Midwest…he brings with him and Irish brogue…much to my heart’s delight. Our dear Pastor hails from Ireland. Now isn’t that lovely?
Recently when listening to a Beth Moore Bible Study called “A Woman’s Heart”…she brought up the point of whose voices are we listening too. For a married woman…the voice she hears the most is her husband. But what other voices do we allow to influence us because we regularly partake.
As a single woman…I am ever cognizant of the fact that I have no husband…no godly man to share my life with. But I still have an influence from other’s voices. I got to thinking about whose voices have most impacted my life. Obviously my parents when I was young…and those voices tend to never leave your head…both the good and bad messages.
Of the other influences in my life…one primary one was my beloved Pastor Chuck Obremski. It was my great privilege to sit under his expositional Bible study and teaching for six years. In addition, I have all the CDs from his teaching that have been made available. If you pull alongside my car…you will likely hear Chuck’s voice. Another influence I recently discovered is Beth Moore…and I have hungrily devoured her teaching. She is wonderful…and shares insights into God’s word that are most precious to me.
From a secular standpoint…Dennis Prager has been a huge influence on my life. I go back to his early days on the radio with “Religion on the Line” every Sunday night. To this day…I’m eager to listen to his program…now via podcast. For about the last eight or so years…I’ve been listening to Hugh Hewitt. Hugh was my voice of 911. That’s the program I was listening to when the planes struck the twin towers in New York. Hugh is the one influenced me to join the world of blogging.
Now this dear man Pastor Philip De Courcy will become a man who will greatly influence my life. I praise God that Pastor De Courcy is a man wholly devoted to preaching the full counsel of God’s word. That he has a love and reverence for God…and a love for people. A desire to reach the unsaved world with the Gospel message.
When I listened to Pastor De Courcy’s first words…I was aware that one day this man will be near and dear to my heart. That one day…we at Kindred will grow to love and hold him most dear. One day…he too will be my beloved Pastor. He will never replace Pastor Chuck…but he will be a fine compliment for the one who will pick up the next leg of the race.