DAUGHTERS OF THE ONE TRUE KING

September 22, 2017

Daughters of the One True King

by Viviana Bradley,
Ministry Assistant
at Mirror Ministries
337.602.6018

See what kind of love the Father has given to us,

 that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

 The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3:1 

 

I remember growing up without a father in my life. I was around age four when I realized not having a father and sending Father’s Day cards to my grandpa was unusual. Once I had this realization, I prayed. Everyday I would pray for the Lord to bless me with a father who would love me as his own and take care of me. I constantly prayed for four years. When I was eight, I began wondering why God wasn’t answering my prayer. I was beginning to become frustrated and impatient with God. Then the Lord revealed something to me. He revealed that HE is my father who loves me as His own and takes care of me. He showed me that I was loved by the highest King in the universe. I accepted that the Lord was my ultimate Father in Heaven and believed His son died for me on the cross. One year later I was at my mom’s wedding watching her say ‘I do’ to the man who would love me as his own daughter. The Lord blessed me with a man whose love for me was unconditional. He adopted me when I was nine, and I have been his daughter ever since.

Living without a father was more impactful on my life than originally realized. As a young girl, the first man I wanted to fall in love with was my father. However, without my biological father in my life, I felt unworthy and thought, “If my own flesh and blood had no desire for me then what man would?” Beginning in middle school, the devil began telling me that I was not worthy of love, and I believed him. I pushed anybody who said they loved me away, because I was fearful they would leave and break my heart. I fell in love with boys who didn’t love me and got my heart hurt whenever they left. I was so fearful of people walking out on me that I walked out emotionally on everyone first. I was alone, depressed, and angry. I wondered why the Lord didn’t, originally, give me a father who loved me. I wondered what it was about me that made him leave. Then the Lord reminded me of something He taught me years ago. He reminded me that He wanted me. He reminded me of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid so I could have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father.

There is a Father in heaven whose love for you and I is so great. How wonderful is it to know that there is a God who, once we accept Him as our Savior, adopts us into His Kingdom family. The Father of Heaven sent down His only Son to be sacrificed for us so we could have a personal relationship with Him.

Once we have acknowledged that the Lord is our Father, our desire should be to be more like Christ and grow in our spiritual relationship with Him. However, the devil still loves to lie to us, and we believe that we are still undeserving of God’s love or even the love from those around us.

Thankfully we have other Christians who can help us recognize and deny the devil’s lies, and they can help us see past the hurts of our past.

Mirror Ministries is one of the many places God has been using to help women see past their hurts and learn ways to grow in their spiritual relationship. The Lord is using Susanne Hughes and her painful past to counsel women aged sixteen and older who are suffering, who don’t know Christ, or who long for a deeper relationship with Him.

Here at Mirror Ministries there are 5 points that enable clients to becoming more like Christ:

  1. Reading, understanding, and practicing principles and precepts of The Word of God.
  2. Relying on The Lord
  3. Relying on His Son, Jesus Christ
  4. Relying on The Holy Spirit
  5. Living a life of consistent prayer

The goal at Mirror Ministries is to show women they are Daughters of the One True King, Jesus Christ. Through scripture, prayer, and the gift of counseling the Lord has placed in Susanne Hughes’ heart, women can learn to live out their lives like Christ and grow in their spiritual walk daily.

If you are a teenager (age 16 or older) or a woman who is suffering from the lies of the devil you have embraced in your heart and mind, let me encourage you to call Mirror Ministries today. I would be delighted to schedule an appointment for you to receive Christian counseling with Susanne Hughes.

Mirror Ministries is a wonderful place to begin your journey towards becoming renewed in Christ and recognizing His unconditional love for you. Our office number is (337) 602-6018. I look forward to talking with you.

 

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BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN POST HARVEY

September 8, 2017

Being A Good Samaritan Post Harvey

by Viviana Bradley,
Ministry Assistant
at Mirror Ministries
337.602.6018

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho,
when he was attacked by robbers.
They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away,
leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road,
and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him,
passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled,
came where the man was; and when he saw him,
he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds,
pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey,
brought him to an inn and took care of him.”
(Luke 10: 29-34)

 

The expectancy of hurricanes never seems to catch us off guard, but the damages they leave behind always take us by storm. On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit East Texas and several days later Harvey impacted Southwest Louisiana leaving behind countless victims, inconceivable property destruction, brokenness and heartache that cannot be measured. Hurricane Harvey has shocked the country with its damaging winds and flood waters. But Harvey didn’t just shock us with its physical destruction; it also shocked us by its emotional destruction. Thousands of homeless people lost everything amid this storm; homeowners were forced to leave everything behind; the elderly were stranded in care facilities; people were stranded on roofs or clinging to trees. Disaster struck not only Texas and part of Louisiana, it struck the whole country as we watched Harvey wipe out everything in its path.

As a result, people are hurting, broken, tired and cold. As Christians, we are called to show love to the hurting and broken. We are to show mercy just like the Samaritan did to the man who was robbed and beaten (Luke 10:29). When it comes to natural disasters (or anything that affects entire communities), many people are quick to volunteer, to give, and to sacrifice for others; but why aren’t we so eager to help others on a perfectly sunny day? As Christians, we are called to minister every day, regardless of the weather. Jesus ate with the sinners and visited with people that everyone else wouldn’t even look at. He spent time amongst tax collectors, adulteries, prostitutes, doubters, the sick, and so many other “unwanted” people. We are, also, called to show love and mercy to those who persecute us and be an example to those who are broken. We need to have the urgency to give our time and affection to the hurting every single day, not just when disaster strikes.

During my time of personal brokenness, before the Lord renewed me in Him, I was so beaten down that I didn’t see the point of existing anymore. My past caught up with me: the broken relationship with my father, being physically and emotionally abused in high school, struggling with self-harm, and so many other things that the father of lies was throwing at me; BUT, the Lord showed me grace. I had people in my life that were quick to help me. My friends and family and even people I didn’t know, sacrificed their time and energy to cry with me, pray with me, and minister to me. They were being examples of God’s endless love towards His people. Like the Samaritan, my friends and family had mercy on me through Christ, and they did everything they could to make sure I was following God in my everyday walk with Him. During my own hurricane that left behind destruction, a flood of emotions and guilt, and countless things lost, the Lord provided me with my own team of volunteers.

The victims affected by Hurricane Harvey are in desperate need of volunteers, too. They need our love, our prayers, and our time.  They need to know we are hurting for them and with them. God calls us to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). Our neighbors are hurting. Let us show them God’s love.  Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Get involved.

 

TESSITURA – My Thrive Zone by Susanne Hughes

May 5, 2017

 

In her book Finding Your Voice, top-selling Christian artist, Natalie Grant writes, “Vocal range is the set of notes between and including the highest and lowest notes you can hit.  Within your range lies a specific span of notes that trained singers refer to as ‘tessitura.’  Do you know how people talk about their comfort zone?  The tessitura is even better than that.  It’s your thrive zone – your unique vocal range where you truly shine.  Your sweet spot.”

Natalie Grant then uses an analogy of the musical tessitura and compares it to the sweet spot or thrive zone we have in service to The Lord.  She says, “You were created with a set of skills, personality traits, passions, desires, likes, dislikes. …You are a unique, beautiful, one-of-a-kind creation designed to do unique, beautiful, one-of-a-kind things. …God has created in each of us a distinct and unique tessitura – the sweet spot in which we shine. …Your range is special and unique.  Your thrive zone is where you thrive. …He created you to have a life filled with the joy of knowing Him and knowing that you are fulfilling your true call in life. …Your unique tessitura isn’t a concession.  It’s the acceptance of who you really are.  There is power in that.  It means you are living and working from a position of strength, which is not only empowering but allows you to have a greater impact on the world around you.  It’s your thrive zone.”

There have been many times in my life that I have been content in the role I found myself at the time.  In middle school and high school, it was athletics.  In college and afterwards, it was my work with adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.  By the time I was in my late twenties and early thirties, it was becoming and being a wife and a stay-at-home mom.  In my forties, I found additional contentment in my calling to teach The Word of God to women.  However, it was not until just a few months ago, in my fifties, that I have hit the tessitura for my life…the thrive zone for which I was created and called.

Helping people has always been something I have enjoyed.  If I see or know of a need someone has, I love to do what I can to help them.  God took that a step further for me in 2006/2007 when He healed my heart of the pains of childhood sexual abuse and then called me to minister to the hearts of women through the teaching of His Word.  With that call came the unquestionable assurance that The Lord would one day mesh my educational background, my professional background, and my teaching ministry and bring me to a point of providing sound Biblical counseling to women.  That day arrived in September 2016.

Under The Lord’s very clear direction, I immediately began to execute His plan for the establishment of the counseling aspect of Mirror Ministries.  At times, it felt as if things were moving along at a snail’s pace, and honestly, they were.  Looking back, however, I can see God’s hand and provision in every detail of the ministry expansion.  On February 1, 2017, Mirror Ministries opened our office and became a safe haven for women seeking spiritual health through Truth that comes only from a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.

As I said, I am in my fifties, and I cannot recall a time in my life when I have felt more completely centered in the will of God.  I wake each day with a joyful expectation and an awed awareness of the responsibility placed before me to direct women to wholeness in Jesus Christ.  Each day as I enter the office that undoubtedly The Lord has provided, and each day as I encounter the various hurts women carry on them like heavy chains, and with each woman I am privileged to serve as a Biblical Counselor, I am aware that this is why I was created!  This is my thrive zone!  This is my sweet spot!  This is my tessitura, and I could not be more honored, humbled, and grateful!!!

 

THE NOISE OF LIFE by Susanne Hughes

March 23, 2017

Excerpt taken from my book “Everyday Parables – Hearing God’s Voice In the Simple Things of Life”  (c) 2008 Mirror Ministries).

Chapter Seven

The Noise of Life 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on

religion? Come to me. Get away with me

and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you

how to take a real rest. Walk with me and

work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the

unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything

heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with

me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

MATTHEW 11:28-30 (The MSG)

 

I walk three miles several days a week at our church activity center. The indoor track is very nice and is suspended above the remainder of the workout facilities and double gym. As I walk, I pray or sing praises to the Lord. It is a quiet and solitary time that I enjoy as a refresher to begin each new day.

There I was, walking and fellowshipping with my Heavenly Father, when I heard a noise that is not too prevalent at 5:00 a.m.—the loud, thunderous sound of a basketball bouncing. My first feeling was one of frustration. The silence of my morning had been abruptly interrupted. My praise, worship, and prayer time were brought to a screeching halt. My peace was now challenged. The questions began to race through my head. “Who is this man, and what is he doing?” “Can’t he see that people are all walking and working out in peace and quiet?” “Doesn’t he realize what he is doing is distracting and disturbing?”

With each bounce of the ball against the wood floor in that hollow gym, the sound radiated and magnified right through me. My mind was quickly diverted from the prayers I was praying to the intense sound of that ball hitting the hardwood floor and echoing throughout the building. As I rounded the track on the side of the building that is not above the gym, I would re-engage in conversation with the Lord. As I continued walking and approached the part of the track that is directly above the gym, I could hear the ball bouncing. With each lap around the track, I would get anxious and tense in my spirit and lay my prayers aside.

By the third time around, I felt God speak to my spirit in that still, small voice that actually radiated, “Do you hear that?”

I was stunned, but His question demanded a response so I replied, “Yes, Lord. I hear it. Isn’t it distracting and unsettling? Isn’t he being rude?”

The Lord inquired of me again, “Do you really hear it?”

“Yes, Lord. I really hear it,” was my sharp response.

The next words I heard the Lord speak stopped me cold in my tracks. “The sound of that ball bouncing is the noise in your life—the busyness that keeps you from Me. Do you hear it?”

BOOM

“The busyness.”

BOOM

“The ‘To Do’ lists.”

BOOM

“The housework.”

BOOM

“The community events.”

BOOM

“The misdirected ministries.”

BOOM

I replied, “Ministries, Lord?”

“Yes—church, ministries, and activities that you and your family are involved in because you think you have to be or because you want to be; and yet, have I told you to do so or asked you to do so?”

BOOM BOOM BOOM

“Long hours at work.”

BOOM

“Sporting events for the children.”

BOOM

“TV.”

BOOM

“The telephone and cell phone.”

BOOM BOOM BOOM

God definitely had my attention.

In those moments with the Lord, it occurred to me that my prayer life is often interrupted by the bouncing ball of life, too. Just as I settle in to pray and spend time with my Father, I often hear the noise of the world—“You have laundry to do.” “Don’t forget to run that errand.” “Your children need to be dropped off at practice, and do not forget to get milk, pay bills, and cook supper.” And the list goes on. The noisy bounce of the daily grind can often distract us from what is the most important part of our day—being focused in an attitude of prayer, praise, and worship to the King.

I left the fitness center that morning with a fresh awareness that my time is not my own. It belongs to the One who created it. I need to offer it to Him day-by-day, hour-by-hour, moment-by-moment and follow His direction in my life.

     Lord God, thank You for using even the simplest things in lifea basketballto get my attention and to teach me eternally significant lessons. Forgive me, Father, for allowing the noise and the busyness of my life to prevent me from staying still and quiet at Your feet. Forgive me for involving myself and my energies in things You may not have ordained for my life. Help me, Lord, to focus on first things firstYouto always look for Your wisdom in what I should do with my time, effort and energy. Help me to see You even in the errands, laundry, and bill paying that have to be done. Help me, Father, to seek You and Your wisdom for my life. It is then that I know I will truly encounter You. In Your name I pray. Amen.

A WIN-WIN SITUATION by Susanne Hughes

November 20, 2015

Excerpt taken from my book “Everyday Parables – Hearing God’s Voice In the Simple Things of Life” ((c) 2008 Mirror Ministries).

Chapter Six

A WIN-WIN SITUATION

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding

abundantly above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us ….

Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)

 

When our son was diagnosed with “a life sentence” disability at sixteen months of age, God gave me Ephesians 3:20 as a promise that He would heal him.  Although God did indeed fulfill His promise and heal our son, I am embarrassed to admit that I was naive enough at the time to think that “healing” meant freedom from illness in order to live a lengthy, quality life here on earth.  That was until my precious friend Donna was given only months to live because of cancer.

Even as her illness progressed, I watched this unbelievable warrior of God battle cancer and Satan as she witnessed to everyone with whom her journey brought her into contact.  No matter her circumstances, no matter her pain, the eternal destiny of others impelled her to fight on.  Her deep desire and longing to be actively involved in bringing others to Jesus was often the motivation that carried her through each day.

One morning in the midst of crying before God for my dear friend’s healing, God spoke to my spirit and said, “Donna is in a win-win situation.  Because she knows and loves my Son Jesus, if I heal her on earth, she wins.  If I heal her through bringing her home to me, she wins.”  This profound thought brought comfort to the very core of my being and taught me that the promise of true healing might come for some people when they are called from this life into His glorious arms.

When I shared this revelation with Donna, she smiled and talked about the peace and freedom this divine wisdom brought to her.  On difficult days, Donna would often remind herself and those around her that she was in a “win-win” situation.  She truly found comfort in the reality that either way, she would be a winner.

Three and a half years after that revelation from God, the power that worketh in her gave Donna exceeding abundantly above all that she could ask or think.  God called her from this earthly life right into His glorious arms.  She is a winner!  She is healed!  She is with her King!

 

Dear Father, thank You for Your many promises in Your Living Word!  Thank You for loved ones through whom You teach us so much.  Thank You for my precious friend Donna through whose life and death I will never be the same.  Please tell her I love her!  Amen.

 

BEING REAL by Susanne Hughes

November 12, 2015

Ch 5 - Being Real

Excerpt taken from my book “Everyday Parables – Hearing God’s Voice In the Simple Things of Life” ((c) 2008 Mirror Ministries).

Chapter Five

BEING REAL

 

“ … The LORD does not look at the things

 man looks at.  Man looks at the outward

appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1 SAMUEL 16:7 (NIV)

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from my youngest son’s kindergarten teacher. She told me she was making character assignments for the Christmas Pageant and wanted my Joseph to play the part of Joseph in their class performance.  She explained how my son’s outstanding behavior and character were the reason for her selection of him.  I was honored and gave a resounding “certainly” to her inquiry about Joseph being allowed to play the part.

Two weeks before the performance, my son began getting into trouble at school.  Disruptive encounters with classmates became a daily part of his actions.  These behaviors were very uncharacteristic of him.  Then, one week before the play, I was called to school to discuss his behavior with school personnel.  I was not pleased with the choices Joseph had been making and the way he was behaving at school.  His teacher and I were certain there was a frustration in his life of which we were unaware.  Because we knew these behaviors were not a part of Joseph’s typical personality, we decided to allow him to continue to participate in the class Christmas Pageant in the role of Joseph, Mary’s husband and the earthly father of Jesus.

As I sat at the performance and watched my child, dressed in Biblical attire, play the role of Joseph, I thought about the fact that no one in that room except for the teacher and myself had any idea of the behavior struggles my son was having.  I thought about the disguise he was animating in front of a room full of people.  I wondered how many of us go through life with  disguises on and daily encounter dozens or hundreds of people who only see the costumes and never really see the real us underneath the costumes.  We put so much energy into playing the “role” of a Christian, that we have failed to remove the disguises and to be seen for who we really are.

Our attempt to appear to have our lives in order can actually be a stumbling block for someone else.  Others might perceive that they have to have their acts together before they can come to Christ.  As they wait for the false perfection to emerge in their lives, they remain out of fellowship with God, and their eternity weighs in the balance.

We must come to face the fact that as humans, we will never be perfect.  We must accept that it is okay not to have our lives completely in order and all together.  We must understand that if we could achieve this level of perfection, there would have been no need for Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary.  Once we accept these truths and act upon them, our masks and costumes can be removed, thus making our hearts vulnerable to a hurting world.  In this manner, we open the door and invite others to share with us and ask tough questions.  The answers to these questions might reassure them that we are not perfect as children of the King, and, likewise, that they do not have to be perfect before they come to Christ.

Joseph’s behavioral difficulties resolved as quickly as they started.  How thankful I am that his teacher allowed him to proceed with playing the role of the earthly father of Jesus.  The lessons I learned from God through this experience will not soon be forgotten.

Gracious and loving Lord, thank You that You do not expect us to be perfect before we can come to You.  Thank You that Your desire is for us to be whole through being transparent.  Thank You also, Father, for loving us with all our scars even when we try so hard to hide them.  For we are confident, Lord, that You see past the disguises and long for us to be real.  Real with You.  Real with ourselves.  Real with others.  Help us to know that it is Your unconditional love that completes us.  It is in the precious name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

CHOKING ON MY COMFORT by Susanne Hughes

November 6, 2015

Ch 4 - Choking on My Comfort

Excerpt taken from my book “Everyday Parables – Hearing God’s Voice In the Simple Things of Life” ((c) 2008 Mirror Ministries).

Chapter Four

CHOKING ON MY COMFORT

 

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do

not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather

 into barns and yet your heavenly Father

feeds them. Are you not worth much more

than they? … But seek first His kingdom

 and His righteousness; and all these things

 shall be added to you.”

MATTHEW 6:26, 33 (NASB)

 

God placed a call on my life—Ladies’ Ministry. God showed me how to begin—studying His Word and sitting at His feet daily for hours on end.  I had no doubt He would show me where and when He would begin building this ministry to which He was calling me.

I surrendered every cord of the rope to the Lord except one strand—my comfort.  I was employed and contributing to the finances of our family while carrying the cash flow for any “extras” we wanted.  Every time I thought about quitting my part-time job, I reasoned that there would be things we would have to stop doing because of a shortage of extra funds.  Therefore, I continued working.

While walking with a precious sister in the Lord each morning, I would share the dilemma I was facing.  I said things such as, “I will quit working if God gives my husband a raise,” or “I will quit working if we have enough money saved up to carry us until God builds the ministry.”  If.  If.  If.  “If” began most of my sentences regarding action needed on my part to surrender to the call God had on my life.

Then, one morning, my Sunday School teacher began class with a question: “What does the word ‘if’ mean?”  Ladies began to give their answers.  I was unusually still and quiet as I instantly knew God was speaking to me.  As the teacher proceeded, she said, “Why is it that when God calls us to do something we throw an ‘if’ in our answer when our comfort is affected?”  Zing!  Was that stone aimed at me?  It must have been, because it nailed me right between the eyes!  I realized I could no longer hide behind my “ifs.”  My desire for comfort was choking out the very work God was calling me to do.

Within only a few minutes, our teacher asked us to bow our heads and close our eyes.  She instructed us to bring our “ifs” to the altar and lay them before God.  Knowing nothing of my recent struggles, she began to pray, “Father, we bring our ‘ifs’ to you and lay them at Your feet.  I believe there is someone in this very room that You are calling into a new ministry.  Let them lay their ‘if’ down today.”

That was the last thing I heard her say.  I was trembling.  I could not move fast enough to get myself into the center of God’s will.  That same afternoon I wrote my resignation letter.  I turned it in the following morning, and thirty days later I was home sitting at the feet of Jesus seeking His wisdom and His direction for what is now Mirror Ministries, Inc.

God conquered my “ifs” with His persistent pursuit of my obedience, and I love Him for it! He has met every need that my family and I have had, and I glorify Him for it.  He has revealed Himself to me in fresh, new, personal ways, and I bless Him for it.

 

Father, thank You for not giving up on me.  Thank You for pursuing me until I surrendered the very last “if”my comfort. Thank You for being my provider and for allowing me to trust You to meet my needs and the needs of my family as You bring me into a new ministry for You.  Find me faithful, Father, to do what You have called me to do, and may You receive all the glory for any good done along the way.  I love You!  Amen.

LESSONS I LEARNED FROM A HIBISCUS (Part 2) by Susanne Hughes

October 30, 2015

Ch 3.2 - Lessons I learned from A Hibiscus Part 2

Excerpt taken from my book “Everyday Parables – Hearing God’s Voice In the Simple Things of Life” ((c) 2008 Mirror Ministries).

Chapter Three

 LESSONS I LEARNED FROM A HIBISCUS (Part 2)

“I am the vine, you are the branches;

he who abides in Me, and I in him,

he bears much fruit; for apart from Me

 you can do nothing.”

JOHN 15:5 (NASB)

 

I awakened feeling anxious again this morning, sweat pouring from my forehead in a fitful state. God is really dealing with me.  The healing is coming.  I awakened my husband and shared all I was feeling with him.  I admitted to him that I am scared about the valley that lies ahead, because I know I will have to confront my own sin as I deal with issues from my past.  I confessed to my husband that although I am scared, I desperately want to face the monster in that valley, defeat him, and come out victorious on the other side.  I want to emerge healthier and more useful to God!  My husband was gentle, sweet, tender.  He prayed for me and held me.

Later, as I stepped outside to take my morning walk, I noticed that hibiscus bush from the day before.  All the dead, brown leaves were gone.  Gone! Every one of them had fallen off! They were all lying on the ground.  The new growth had forced off the dead leaves, which just yesterday had seemed firmly affixed to the plant.  I felt inspired.  Jesus was so compassionate this morning to give me the confidence that, as He brings new growth into my life, He will remove my old, dead, rotten sins.  Not that I will ever forget—I don’t want to forget.  Oh Lord, please don’t allow me to forget, lest I go back into the pit of despair, but help me to press on in search of new growth.  Help me to submit to Your pruning of the dead leaves in preparation for new life.

 

     Father, I anxiously await the touch of Your pruning hand.  I submit myself to whatever shears You wish to use to remove that which is not useful to my lifethat which stands in the way of my usefulness to You, and that which is sin and impedes my relationship with You. Remove everything, Father, that is not glorifying to You.  Bring forth a new, healthy, vibrant life for Your use.  I am Yours!  Amen.


 

LESSONS I LEARNED FROM A HIBISCUS (Part 1) by Susanne Hughes

October 22, 2015

Ch 2 - Lessons I learned from A Hibiscus Part 1

The following is Chapter 2 from my book “Everyday Parables – Hearing God’s Voice In the Simple Things of Life” ((c) 2008 Mirror Ministries).  Each week I will post a new parable from my book.  It is my desire that these personal encounters I had with God on my road to spiritual healing will speak to your heart and soul and encourage you in your walk with Him.

Engulfed in Grace,

Susanne

Chapter Two

 LESSONS I LEARNED FROM A HIBISCUS (Part 1)

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone

who drinks of this water shall thirst again;

but whoever drinks of the water that I

shall give him shall never thirst; but the

water that I shall give him shall become

in him a well of water springing up

to eternal life.”

JOHN 4:13-14 (NASB)

 

I went to bed late last night with deep feelings of regret and guilt. As I was working through some of the difficulties of my past, I traveled emotional roads that were difficult for me.  My mind and my heart were heavy.

I awakened this morning with the same feelings of oppression.  I dragged myself out of bed and prepared for my morning walk, believing that if I could get some fresh air, some exercise, and some quiet time alone with Jesus, my spirit would be renewed.  I was not prepared for the message He would speak to me.

Once outside, I took notice of a hibiscus bush that, the day before, had been dried up and virtually dead.  When I had returned from my walk the previous day, I watered the plant, but thought it to be beyond saving.  The plant had been covered with brown, dried, and brittle leaves.  There had been a few green leaves, but even they were dried and brittle.  I remembered thinking that the plant resembled my emotional condition…brittle!

However, with the dawn of this new morning, something about the hibiscus plant was different.  There was color.  There was evidence of life.  The brown leaves were still present, but I could not help but notice the way the hibiscus was clinging to life, desiring to “make it.”  How I could relate!

The change in that plant in only a 24-hour period was startling.  My mind raced.  What had made the difference?  What could have possibly caused that plant to make such a drastic change in such a short period of time?  Then it was as if I heard someone answer the question.  “Water” was the reply.  God had once again spoken to my spirit through something as mundane as a hibiscus plant.

How amazing are the healing and life-giving properties of water!  Water rejuvenated that bush the same way Jesus was rejuvenating my heart and life with His life-giving properties.  The healing properties of His water and His love were being applied to my broken heart and soul and bringing about a healing that only He could provide.

As I continue to walk this road I must travel toward healing, I know there will be pain, regret, guilt, sadness, and a revisiting of times I would rather not explore again.  However, I know traveling back is for my good, for my healing, for my future to be healthier, and, ultimately, for me to be whole.

In order for me to be healed, I also know there must be a death to the “old me;” but I also know that God will not leave me in my current state of emotions.  He will birth in me healing that will bring about new life.  He will be here to apply His life-giving properties, and I will spring forth with newness and freshness and, for once, be whole and healthy.  At that point, my life will be a source of life for others around me.  My testimony will bring life to them through the message of the healing power of the Living Water.

Father, You are the source of my life!  You are the well into which I am tapped.  You are the water I so desperately need.  Fill me, Father.  Overflow my life with Your Living Water, that I may gush forth as a well of life to the world around me.  I trust you as my Healer!  I trust you as my Sustainer!  In Your name I pray.  Amen.

BENEATH THE FLOOD by Susanne Hughes

October 15, 2015

Beneath Flood 2

The following is Chapter 1 from my book “Everyday Parables – Hearing God’s Voice In the Simple Things of Life” ((c) 2008 Mirror Ministries).  Each week I will post a new parable from my book.  It is my desire that these personal encounters I had with God will speak to your heart and soul and encourage you in your walk with Him.

Engulfed in Grace,

Susanne

Chapter One

 BENEATH THE FLOOD

 

Come now, and let us reason together,

saith the LORD: though your sins be as

scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;

though they be red like crimson, they

shall be as wool.

ISAIAH 1:18 (KJV)

 

As I journeyed on my walk today, I was in a spirit of prayer. How I yearned for God to fill me with love, tenderness, and compassion. How I longed to be broken by Him and put back together as a new creation. As I prayed, I felt an overwhelming prompting to sing. I did. Out loud. In public as I walked in my neighborhood. Unashamedly, I sang (and I cannot sing) and the words flowed from me. Unrestrained. Uninhibited.

What can wash away my sins?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, precious is the flow

That makes me white as snow.

No other fount I know.

Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 1

As I sang, I pictured myself standing below the cross of Calvary—the cross on which my Savior died. In times past when I sang this old hymn, I pictured myself “baptized” in His blood, washed clean from my sins. This time was different. It was the first time in my journey with Jesus that I had pictured myself standing beneath the cross—actually present at His crucifixion as He suffered and died for me. I was an eyewitness to the penalty of my own sin. There I was—standing beneath my Savior who was taking my place on that cross. His blood was flowing from His veins, down His body, over the cross, and onto my head. As the blood rolled down my face and onto the rest of my body, I envisioned myself completely immersed in His love. Every inch of my body was covered. Mixed with His blood were His tears. I saw firsthand the pain and sadness I had brought to Him for the choices I had made and actions I had taken. Praises to my God for I also saw His love! Nothing was holding Him on that cross but love. He could have come down, but He stayed there because of love—love for me! How personal, how lovely, how amazing is the life changing power of His blood to cover all my sin and to bring forgiveness, love, acceptance, and cleansing to my soul! What a God! What a Savior! What power in the blood!

 

Abba Father, words are too insignificant to express all that I feel. The freedom I find in You is beyond measure. “Thank You” seems so meaningless, but it is all I have to offer You. Thank You for the vision You gave me today. Thank You for the reality of what You did for me 2,000 years ago that reaches through the portals of time and covers me today. I love You, Jesus! Thank You and Amen.

 

1 “Nothing But The Blood” written by Robert Lowry, 1876.