Susan Rodgers

Monday, May 29, 2006

Enough Said

I just read today in a Beth Moore Bible study the following words:

"The weaknesses of God's children do not strain the strength of God."

Enough said.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Day in the Life of a Children's Cup Missionary

We ‘Cup Team members have been given a homework assignment of documenting a day of our lives, hour by hour. Saturday, 27 May 06, was the date I was given. So, here is what happened to me yesterday. Check out my dad’s blog tomorrow, for Sunday is his day to document.

Talked with Ben; prayed together
Quiet time/devotions

Got kids organized
Ben and Kayla to grocery store
Set up Levi and Trinity by the fire with warm strawberry soy milk and Levi’s new movie: Flight of the Navigator

Got myself dressed and my room organized (partly, anyway…)
Checked email; finished writing in journal

Breakfast: Ben made eggs and toast. He also bought strawberries!

Played ping-pong with Ben
Doug Myers stopped by

Went jogging with Ben (it was hard that time! EISH! Maybe I ate too much breakfast.)

Played outside with the kids and the dogs (soccer, pushed them on the swings, practiced hand-stands and round-offs)
Sung Happy Birthday LOUD and off-key to Patrick, who had just gotten back from taking Bible Club helpers camping

Lunch (Ben was on a role and fried shrimp for lunch!)

Mom called! She’d just gotten back to the States.
Finish getting self ready
Help Trinity get dressed after her bath (she got in with Kayla who washed her for me—thank you, Kayla!)

Prepared house for friends to come

People began showing up, and I always feel myself relaxing as they come through the door! I LOVE having everyone over.

Fed the masses: Mostly American missionaries come to our house on Saturday nights, sometimes over 40 people show up if you count all the kids. We have potluck meals with themes (Mexican, Pizza, Soup, etc.)
Sung happy birthday to Pat (again in appropriate off-key style) and Wyatt Chapman

Julie Anderson played the guitar and led worship
Watched a John Bevere video about drawing near to God
Prayed together and fellowshipped

Locked up house, prayed over the kids, prepared for bed

Ben and I talked about our day and prayed together

Okay, I’m a mommy so use your imagination to fill in gaps with trips to the potty with Trinity and the other typical things mommies do. Each day is full—never boring! I’m very thankful for the ways the Lord has blessed me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


“Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction. Nothing makes them stumble.” (reference? It’s on a card in the kitchen…)

The Lord’s instructions bring peace if we obey.

Yesterday I put on the Second Chapter of Acts collection album, and a song really spoke to me:

Yesterday my heart was fine
Now it’s skipping out of time
I should have listened to my heartstrings
Never should have taken that left turn
Should have listened to my heartstrings
Now my sweet life is tumbling tumbling down

All at once I was in trouble
I need help and on the double
Someone said it is so subtle
Lord, it’s true
When I lose sight of You!
So, no matter how much it kills me to obey those Holy Spirit nudges, my heartstrings, I know it will bring peace if I do.

Romans 8:13
“If you live according to the flesh, you will die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

Romans 9:16
“So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God Who shows mercy.”

I am acutely aware of my inability to obey without the Lord’s help. This verse 16 confirms that’s true. So back to letting God consume me and work righteousness in me. Focus on Jesus. He’ll help me to hear and obey the Holy Spirit—my heartstrings.

Trusting All the Way

Have you ever had a passage of scripture nearly jump off the page at you?

Last week at our ladies’ Bible study I had several verses impact me, but one more than the others. I went home that night and looked it up in different translations. Then I wrote it in my journal. Then I put it on a couple index cards on my bathroom mirror. Then I wrote it again and stuck it on the wall by our computer. I sent it in an email to a friend. Am I obsessed? Why not blog it? Maybe it will encourage someone else…

Hebrews 10:35-38 (TNIV)
“SO DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
In just a little while, He Who is coming will come and will not delay…
My righteous ones will live by faith. I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

Hebrews 10:35-36,39 (Message)
So don’t throw it all away. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.
We’re not quitters who lose out. Oh no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Growing Missionary Family

I just want to exclaim to the Lord and everyone I know how thankful I am (we all are, for that matter) that Charles and Kristen are here! We have already had so many amazing moments together. They totally are already an essential part of the ‘Cup family.

Charles is fun and unpredictable—ready to get you laughing in one moment and then in the next moment saying, “Can we just pray about this right now?” A few nights ago he roped us into dancing in the kitchen (making fools of ourselves—Mom videoed it even) to a peppy David Crowder song. It was a little game some Care Point kids taught Charles and Kirsten after they’d taught them the “Hokey Pokey.” We were laughing so hard.

Another time we were sitting by the fire, talking about stuff when Charles turned on some worship music and asked if we could just pray for a few minutes. We ended up praying for quite a while—praying alone, praying for each other, praying aloud about different stuff. It was really cool. Spontaneous prayer meeting.

Kristen is also wonderful. She is warm, friendly, ready to listen and ready to share her stories as well. I love her so much already. She adds a lot to our group. (And she already has a flock of missionaries thrilled that she does hair!)

They both have totally jumped in to ministry stuff already. Kristen is going with Teresa today to do medical stuff at one of the Care Points. It's not her first time, either. Charles met with a pastor yesterday regarding getting his church involved at a certain Care Point. Last week he and Pat hung curtains Barbara Conti (Pat's mom) made for the children's ward at one of the hospitals. I could fill this whole blog with different ways they are getting involved. Y'all can be proud of them!

We’re having them over for dinner all the time as they’re settling into life here in Swaziland. I LOVE it and selfishly dread the day they’re more independent of us. Kristen assured me tonight that she’s all into getting together with friends for dinner.

Two years ago Ben and I were desperately praying every day for the Lord to send us more workers. He is totally answering our prayers, and we are overwhelmed with the amazing people He is putting here. The VanRensburgs, Patrick, the Rehmeyers, and now the Youngs--I love them all so much.

Wow, Lord, thank You!

Friday, May 12, 2006


Yesterday was an amazing day. It started with men’s early morning prayer meeting at our house. I set out home-made bagels and goodies along with starting a pot of coffee while Ben built a fire. Ben and I sat watching the fire while we waited for the guys to show up (then I would leave the living room).

At one point I remember saying as I kind of stared into the flames, “I just don’t know about this medical degree dream, Ben. I just don’t see how it’s gonna happen.” I concluded it with saying, “Lord, my life is Yours. Whatever You want to do with it.”

Then in the afternoon Teresa and I had the amazing experience of helping a woman deliver her baby in her house. (The story should be in the next ‘Cup Newsletter—see if you don’t receive this and would like to. It’s free.)

God had His hand in the entire process. And I also look back and see how that whole event could have taken place without my being there, and everything would have been alright. But He did let me be there, an active participant. And I left that woman’s house with a greater desire than ever before to get a medical degree, to be a doctor.

If He does not have this for my future, I’d consider yesterday’s experience to be a cruel joke on me. But the Lord doesn’t operate like that. And Ben and Mom individually said the words that confirmed what I was timidly hoping for in my heart, that this is a promise about the future He has for me.

That word promise has a lot of meaning to me. The first rainbow was the Lord’s symbol of His promise to Noah to not flood the earth. Every time it rains and sun shines at the same time, I’m out scanning the sky for a rainbow. I’m kind of fanatical about it, even. I’ll stop a conversation to go look for a rainbow. I draw a little rainbow in the margin of my Bible every time I read the word “promise” or “covenant.” Rainbows are a visual reminder to me of God’s Words.

God’s promises are never broken, just like a perfect rainbow. They are beautiful, too. And they only come in His perfect timing.

So, with great emotion I type this, exposing another corner of my heart and a huge desire I have. I don’t know how the Lord will bring it about or the timing. I’m still a bit timid about it, but hopeful. While I wait, I’ll choose to trust Him and continue to surrender my life to Him, a living sacrifice.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Just More Journal Gush

John 7:18b
“But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

Personal application: Live life for God’s glory and it’ll be much easier to live a righteous life. If I’m living for His glory, I’ll be much less likely to make selfish decisions.

Wow. I keep looking for that “humble, submissive in spirit, and trembling at the Lord’s Word” verse when today my eyes have caught verses in Jeremiah 23.

v.22 – leadership enabling people to hear God’s words (or not)
v.26 – refers to deceit in their minds (Oh how I understand that one—deceit in my mind!)
v.27 – the people forgot God because of Baal worship. They forgot His Name.

Anything more important to myself than God is an idol. Get wrapped up in an idol and it truly is easy to forget about God. Then the temporary high finally crashes and I’m once again reminded that only the Lord can satisfy.

v.29 – “'Is not My Word like fire'—the Lord’s declaration—'and like a sledgehammer that pulverizes rock?'”

His Words are so important! I must be tuned in! Those “little nudges” are in reality so much more than that—I MUST OBEY. It is not an option.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit says, “Do this,” when I really don’t want to. I REALLY would rather do that other thing. Sometimes it seems so small and insignificant. But little foxes spoil the vine, right? Little disobediences can royally mess up the big picture.

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His Name’s sake.” (Psalm 23) Ah, again obeying with the purpose of the Lord’s glory. His instructions keep me on the right path.

“Trust me,” He says in my heart.

Proverbs 3:5 (Holman Christian Standard Version)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on our own understanding.”

My own understanding often says, “This little thing won’t hurt.” For example, I sense the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t say those words right now.” I think, “Why not? They aren’t gossip or lies.” But then I’m reminded (especially when I DISOBEY) that all the Lord’s Words are like fire. It is critical that I obey in all my decisions.

“Think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.”

Some days I get frustrated because it seems like at every turn the Holy Spirit is pulling me from what I’m about to do. I feel like a toddler who keeps nearly wandering off the sidewalk into the street or ditch. I get frustrated when I get my eyes off the Lord and onto my own selfish wants. Back to being humble (not thinking about myself), submissive in spirit (having an attitude of obedience), and trembling at the Lord’s Word (prompt to obey when He speaks, not debating or analyzing).

So, if I’m focused on Christ, I’m a whole lot less likely to wander off course. That’s not a news flash, but how profound it is and how easily I forget!

Friday, May 05, 2006

6 May 06 entry

Colossians 1:11, 12
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, Who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.”

“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

2:6, 7
“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.”

Okay, thankfulness seems to be a big theme of late in the verses the Lord is spotlighting for me.

Lord, I repent of being unthankful and choosing discontentment. I repent of looking to anyone or anything else to be my joy and strength. You are bigger, better, more beautiful, loving me lavishly (even if I can’t figure it out or even fully receive it), the ultimate hero. I will choose to delight in You.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Straight From My Journal

I often copy scriptures into my journal that the Lord uses to speak to my heart. Here is everything I copied this morning. In this blog I have italicized my own personal comments I’d jotted between the verses. Once again, being vulnerable, I am choosing to share this in hopes that someone else will perhaps draw strength.

2 Corinthians 1:3,4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Galatians 5:16
“Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

That to me says obey those nudges. Be tuned in, humble (not thinking of what I want), submissive in spirit, and trembling at the Lord’s word (that’s in Jeremiah? Isaiah?).

v. 17 & 18
“For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, then you are not under the law.”

Another verse that came to mind yesterday:
“Don’t be surprised at this painful trial as though something strange were happening to you.”

“Jesus said, ‘In this world you will have many troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world!”

Philippians 4:13

Ephesians 2:3-5
“We too all previously lived among them in our fleshy desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as others were also.
“But God, Who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved!”

Philippians 3:13
“For it is God Who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.”

Romans 7:5,6a
“For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions operated through the law in every part of us and bore fruit to death. But now we have been released from the law, SINCE WE HAVE DIED TO WHAT HELD US.”

v. 11
“For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.”

v. 22-25
“For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will save me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.”

Romans 8:1
“Therefore, NO CONDEMNATION now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

“Those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit.

“For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.”

“If you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

Romans 9:16
“So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God Who shows mercy.”

How acutely aware I am of the fact that my efforts are futile! Jesus, please give me the strength to slam the dagger into my fleshy cravings. May they die. May You be glorified.