Susan Rodgers

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Rainy Days

I wrote the following poem one morning a year ago. I came across it a couple days ago when I was looking through my journal. In light of the weather we are experiencing as a result of Tropical Storm Lee, I feel it's appropriate and fun to share it today.

Rainy Days
Toward the end of a long night,
I sit quietly by candlelight.
Heavy clouds mask the sunrise,
While some gaze with wistful eyes.
But I bask in rainy days,
A wry smile upon my face,
Considering the many pleasures
Of this soggy, “dreary” weather:
Snuggles by a cozy fire,
Quality time—my heart’s desire!
Soup and warm bread for supper—
Could things get any better?
Jammies, slippers, fuzzy socks,
Stories, movies, and long talks.
A fleece blanket, a Christmas song,
Cuddling the whole night long.
Ah yes, I look forward in many ways
To this chilly, rainy day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

How He Loves Us

Tomorrow, four weeks after my dad passed away, is Jordan Gautreau's funeral. I feel sort of like we're in the middle of a storm. I thought I'd gained my footing, and then WHAM! a new wave crashes over me. My eyes sting from crying, yet I keep clinging to Jesus. I know He'll see us through this.

My brother Dan posted a blog Jordan wrote a while back. It is so beautiful; I am copying and pasting it into my blog as well.

(Dan's blog:)

oh how He loves us
by Dan Ohlerking on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 8:21pm

michelle gros read this today from a post on Jordan Gautreau's blog a while back.


(Jordan's blog:)

So I’ve been listening to this song lately called “How He loves us”. The origional version is by a guy by the name of John McMillan or something. Kim Walker does a remake that is equally as powerful. Anyway it basically talks about, yep you got it you smart cookie, His love for us. The lyrics to this song are so powerful, aside from the depth of His love for us, there is a line that says, “and suddenly I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by Glory” Man that is a powerful thought, that when we enter into His presence, into His glory all of the things of life that have been afflicting us suddednly disappear behind who He is. Strong. It’s really quite humbling to think of the depth of love that He has for me, and how undeserving I am of it. Makes me want to love others with a reckless abandon and to really appreciate those I already love.

I love you Lord. You are worthy. You are sovereign. You are majestic. You are caring. You are in control. You know the plan. You want my best. You are my Lord and Saviour. You are my King. You are my portion. You are my shield. You are my rock. You are my deliverer. You are my substance. You are my healer. You are my provider, my strongtower, my hope, my future, my glory, my all in all, my everything. Have Your way. Teach me to die. Lord crucify me. Crucify my hopes, and dreams, crucify everything that is of me. Life through death. Thank you for allowing me to partake in the fellowship of your suffering.


more than ever before i want to live my life with THIS as my devotion. He loves me so much and so i will love Him and others much. no matter what it takes.

thanks Jordan. you are an incredible inspiration. you will be missed, but we WILL see you again.

(me again:)

And to that I say, "Amen!"

By the way, that is the very song that went through my mom's heart and mind right after Dad passed away, and we sung it at the services for him.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today we buried Cocoa. Yes, there were tears. In this "dry" season, clouds appropriately moved in on the blue sky just as the kids, Sibo, and I were filling the grave. The gray sky and cold drizzle matched our mood.

Still, I am thankful for the five years we had with her. If I went outside early in the morning for time with Jesus, she was faithful to come greet me, silently begging for loves. The day after she died, I kept thinking I was hearing her. It was just a droopy palm tree branch brushing on the trunk.

The kids buried notes with her. My mom sent an email with thoughts and memories about Cocoa. I am going to close with a quote from that message:

"The Bible doesn’t say one way or the other about dogs going to heaven. But I’m sure that IF they do, Cocoa will be there."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What Happened?!

This morning, as I reflect on the events of the past four weeks, I am in awe. We’ve experienced God’s miraculous intervention, and I’m eager to share the story with you.

About four weeks ago, Levi starting having tummy trouble: pain every time he ate, accompanied by numerous trips to the restroom as well as nausea. Living in Africa, we are no strangers to this sort of thing. I kept him supplied with liquids and bland foods, thinking it would be over in a few days. Only the symptoms hung on, and he began to drop weight.

At the end of the third week, the doctors recommended we took him to a pediatrician in Nelspruit, South Africa. It is still a mystery how we got in to this particular doctor—just another thumbprint of God through all this.

I’ll admit I was a little concerned about how Levi would do with the 2½ -hour trip to Nelspruit. It’s not like there are rest areas along the drive! Somehow, by God’s grace, we never had to stop on the side of the road for a potty break.

The doctor decided to admit Levi to the hospital and made arrangements for tests to be run. It was Wednesday afternoon. I knew people were waking up in America; I knew people were joining the call to fast and pray for Levi. I was so thankful for the prayer covering.

The first sign of change: the last urgent trip to the bathroom for Levi was right before the doctor’s appointment. Thirty hours then passed before we were able to get a stool sample. It was such sudden and dramatic change from the 15 to 20 trips a day Levi was having. The doctor asked if I had heard of “Murphy’s Law.” I knew it wasn’t Murphy who authored this!

Levi was still experiencing pain every time he ate, though. I read the Word to him, sang songs, and also read aloud the messages people sent. How extremely encouraging that was for all of us! I also put onto index cards some of the scriptures people had sent us and stuck them on the mirror in his room.

Friday afternoon, they put him to sleep to perform a colonoscopy. The results came back normal. Levi was released from the hospital with the doctor wanting us to come back in a few days for a follow-up on Levi and the other test results. So far nothing has been found.

Saturday we went back home, and I felt compelled to encourage Levi to receive God’s healing, to reach out and claim it. His face lit up, and he said, “Yeah!” That was a huge turning point for him! He decided to go be outside with the girls. Oh, it was good to see him moving around!

Sunday morning he wanted to leave for church early with Daddy. The healthy, always-ready-early Levi was back! Ben shared Levi’s testimony at church, having him come forward along with a young man who also has experienced miraculous healing from being in a coma a month ago, to coming to church in a wheelchair, to coming to church on crutches, to yesterday walking into church unassisted. Together, we celebrated the Lord’s goodness. God’s presence was thick and powerful!

Recently, I participated in a lady’s Bible study on the book of Esther. One of the things we learned is how the Lord several times took what the enemy meant for harm and turned the table, making it into something good for His people. Since completing this study, I have begun to recognize the Lord doing it over and over again. In fact, the theme resonates throughout the Bible and as well as in our lives today. I sometimes think it must be frustrating to be the devil with so many of his evil schemes turning out to be blessings and tools for strengthening the family of God!

To all of you who prayed, thank you! If you fasted, thank you! For the emails and encouraging words, we Rodgers thank you from the bottom of our heart! God did hear, God did act, God did heal! I am so awash in awe of His goodness, I can’t help but praise Him!

Please let me say it again: THANK YOU for your prayers!

Yesterday, I read in Matthew 9 about a group taking their paraplegic friend to Jesus. “Seeing their faith, Jesus…” Jesus acted on account of the faith of the people taking their friend to Him. I feel like YOU have been those friends for Levi (and all of us), in faith taking him to Jesus in a unified effort. I love being in the body of Christ; I love being in this beautiful family of God!

So, what happened? The devil had a plan for harm. The body of Christ rallied together and brought a family member to Him, and God turned what was evil into something good. The Lord has yet again trumped the schemes of the enemy, and today we are shouting Jesus’ praise!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Missionaries to Africa!

One of my favorite ministries is to help "catch" new missionaries as they move to Africa. Currently staying with us is the Stauber family from Celebration Church in Austin, Texas. They climbed off a plane from the States two weeks ago and are moving on to Mozambique next week to pastor a CarePoint/Celebration church campus plant in Xai-Xai.

(Diane, Mel, Rachel, and Matthew Stauber)

They are amazing people! Our kids love their kids, and they already refer to each other as "cousins." It has been such a blessing to have them in our home.

Please, will you join us in lifting them up in prayer as they jump head-first into ministering in rural Africa?

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending more laborers to help with this huge harvest! Please will You protect them and equip them to do all You've called them to do? Please send people to come alongside them and help them in their community. Bless them, awesome God, and help them produce much fruit for Your kingdom. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

(Kayla and Rachel at Kakhoza CarePoint)

Monday, April 26, 2010

27 April 10 Journal Entry

Excerpts from 27 April 10 Journal Entry

Yesterday I watched a Louie Giglio DVD: Christ in You, the Hope of Glory, Pt 1.

Main point: We CAN’T get out of sin without Christ. We don’t need to be fixed, we need to be saved. We CAN’T do it on our own! Christ takes us out of our sin, comes into our hearts, and places us in Him as well. Louie had a Tupperware analogy. He labeled boxes and placed them inside one another. What stuck out to me was his point, which was not by any means new to me, but the revelation was fresh:

“We CAN’T live a righteous life on our own.”

Object lesson for me:

Before the video, Levi tried building a fire and failed. Finally, I gave it a shot and failed. Then Levi, Trinity, and I went a few steps outside our gate (their eyes were big, “We’re going OUTSIDE our gate, Mommy?”) and gathered sticks and cut grass for kindling.

Problem: everything was wet. Ends up we also had too much ash in the fireplace from the previous fire so the air couldn’t get to our meticulously built teepee of sticks, paper, and semi-wet grass. I tried and tried for about 45 minutes, even praying for the Lord to make the fire go.

I finally gave up, frustrated. It was a holiday, so nobody was around who I could ask for help. I thought about going to the grocery store for fire starter, but wasn’t sure if it would be open. I decided we’d just get fuzzy blankets and make due without it.

I gave up.

I read books to Trinity, then I put in Louie. During the message, Joyce popped in, wondering if I wanted her to work. I’m not sure why she thought that—it was Monday, her normal day off, as well as a holiday. But here she was, ready to go. I saw her notice the mess of effort around our fireplace. She was kind but obviously amused. I asked her if she would take a minute to help us build a fire, joking about it perhaps being a “malungu” thing to not be able to build a fire (which it is joked about among Swazi’s). She laughed. She cleaned up the ash, dumping the tray somewhere outside.

Within minutes (with one match to my 25) she had a raging fire going. She was pretty non-chalant about it, too, and had no boy-scout teepee of sticks to get it going. Her BARE hands can move things around in a hot oven, take a bee-sting and feel nothing (calloused!), and move around papers with her fingers literally in the flame. She did it, and made it look so easy.

It was a gift. She didn’t have to do that.

So, during the resumed DVD, as Louie was saying, “We CAN’T do it! We need a Savior!” my eyes fluttered to our now raging fire. The Lord reminded me of how I gave up and walked away from it. All the perseverance and effort on my part was fruitless. I needed someone to do it for me. Joyce was Jesus personified to me yesterday.

And Jesus helped me see how this applies to the rest of my life. My antagonizing bad habits (like skin-picking and food-obsessing)—I can’t beat them without Jesus doing it in me! I can’t kick my legalistic tendencies. I can’t be kind, and certainly not love unconditionally. I mercilessly judge others, and then become guilty of the same thing. My family endures the brunt of that. (I’m so sorry!)

Louie said that when God looks at us, He sees us and loves us, but mostly He sees Jesus. Jesus IS our righteousness. He did it for us as He knows we cannot.

Colossians 1:27
“God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

What I read in Daniel yesterday adds to the message it seems the Lord is pressing to me: SUBMERGE myself in CHRIST. Not a new thought, but somehow, once again, I’ve gotten very wrapped up in it being my own effort.

I know, from times in the past, the more I’m consumed with simply KNOWING Jesus and being close to Him, the less I am run by my flesh.

Lord, please help me GET this! Once and for all, not waffling back to old patterns.

Colossians 2:6
“Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Saying Good-bye

Today my friend, Crystal, leaves Swaziland. She and her sweet family moved here about a year after we did (which was in 2003!), and we've been good friends ever since. Now the Lord is leading them to move on. My heart is aching again, my eyes once more leaking with the grief that accompanies saying good-bye.

To Crystal:

You have walked with me through so much. You listen well, you empathise, and you've been there to speak truth to me when I needed to hear it most. You've been transparent at Bible studies, which has given me the courage to do the same. You are a beautiful woman of God (inside and out), a loving minister, a sweet wife, a patient mom--an example to me in so many ways.

I want everyone to know how blessed I am to have you in my life, and how blessed they'll be if they get to know you!

Although I am crying that you are leaving, I'm so thankful for the time I've had you here. The joy of the friendship is worth the heartache when we part. Thankfully, for those who love Jesus, no good-bye is forever. I can breathe a little deeper, now, just having thought of that again.

Hamba Kahle, ungami wami. May our paths soon cross again! I love you.