A Stroke By The Master’s Hand

“Oh, Lord, I know it is not within the power of man to map his life and plan his course.” – Jeremiah 10:2

I could have never mapped out all of the intricate details of my life nor had the strength in myself alone to live the ups and the downs. It has taken a lifetime for me to begin to fully grasp and appreciate that the Master has designed every detail of the canvas of my life. With this understanding comes the perfect peace that all things do work out for the good for those that know and love Him.

The Heavenly Father continues to paint on my life’s canvas. He  is working on a masterpiece and has been working on it since the day of my birth, perfecting every detail accordingly to His master plan that was designed for me from before the foundation of time.

He has made use of various brushes, textures, and colors to bring forth His creation in me. From the beginning He allowed deafness to overtake me. Those colors reflected confusion and separation as laughter and ridicule overtook the child that talked funny. Then there was the gray storm clouds of sexual abuse as a child from a close family friend.

He created the bright colors of the joy of triumph as a champion skater to soften the agony of defeat in my days as a failure in my academics. He elevated me in my professional role at the FBI thus giving the world the TV series, Sue Thomas: FBEye.  In those days it was not all that it appeared to be.  Although I was successful at the FBI, in my spiritual life I was a miserable fugitive, wanted and pursued by God.

My faith in His Divine Plan went even deeper on the night of December 1st, 2017 when the Master while at work painting my life’s canvas, took one stroke of His brush and created a stroke in my cerebellum. In one instant my life changed as I knew it. I was unable to walk and swallow. I couldn’t even sit up on my own but kept falling to the right side.  My precious eyesight was affected with severe double vision.  By one stroke of the Master’s hand my life took on a new dimension and I had to let go of my own ideas and trust His hand that He always knows what is best for me.  I experienced first hand those words of Jeremiah, when he wrote, “it is not within my power to map my life nor to plan my course.”

My thoughts

In the last 2 months I have been recovering. I spent two weeks in the hospital, and then had home visits from the physical therapist. With physical therapy I am regaining my strength and re-learning how to walk. I can now climb fourteen stairs in my home with assistance. My throat and tongue muscles have slowly come back, and I can enjoy a meal and eat regular food again, although it is a slow process. Something I marvel at is that I did not lose my speech. To me this is so profound. It took many years for me to learn to speak, and in the stroke of a second it could have been lost. In God’s goodness and mercy He did not take from me my Gift from God and my Gift to God, my ability to speak. Since that day of the stroke of His hand, He has even given me 6 speaking appointments this spring, to proclaim Him and to make Him known!!!

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29: 11-13

What an exciting walk it is with the Master!  He has formed each of us in our mother’s womb and designed our lives before the foundation of time. Each and every minute is safely in His hands with the purpose always of leading us back to Him. He will use each situation to  reveal Himself to us that we may grow in understanding and wisdom.  This wisdom and understanding of Himself is His prosperity to us – such knowledge is wealth untold!

This latest stroke by the Master’s hand is teaching me to walk anew in my faith and understanding of Him.  Now I ask you, what situation are you facing, what crisis is in your life, that He has painted on your canvas today to bring you to Him in a deeper way?  Remember, all things are from Him, with Him and in Him. As He was in the beginning, now and ever shall be, world without end, AMEN!

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Faith that moves mountains, but….

1Corinthians13-2IfIHaveNotLoveIAmNothinggold

As we know, the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon humankind is love. It is the most delicate and priceless gift  ever given. But it does not always come in fancy wrapping paper with brightly colored bows; rather it can come with the ugliest wrappings and trimmings, which are also called human nature.

Is there someone in your life that has inflicted great pain on your heart and spirit? Has this someone caused you to stumble in your walk with the Lord? Have you gone from a dislike of this person to a dying decay of resentment, bitterness and even hatred??

I’ve had this experience and I finally realized that this was a God given gift to me showing me His infinite mercy and wisdom. Yes, He has blessed me with the spiritual gifts of prophecy and wisdom and I  have faith that moves mountains but with this one life that He put into mine, I could not love with a pure love, and thus, I became nothing.

Time has gone by while I have attempted to give this thorn to my Lord over and over. I testify to the fact that if we do not learn the lesson well the first time, the school master will return the lesson more severely and more painfully. The small thorn that once was a mere splinter had grown into the insurmountable weight of a cross and I had taken upon myself to bear the weight and after a time it had caused me to stumble.

I cannot change this person no matter how much I wish or try but God can change me and there lies my only hope. Hope is standing in the dark and looking out and seeing the light. I realized that to move forward I must surrender all of my emotions and feelings… I must surrender myself and put this person before me and above me in every way. I must reach out and hold them in my arms with an embrace and whisper, “I will never let you go for without you, without love for you, I am nothing.”

 

Friends, a new year begins along with a new day!  Let us remove the weights of bitterness, resentment, and hatred‎, and begin anew! All the ugliness and trimmings of your gift will be made new when you realize the person that causes so much pain in your life is a gift sent by the hand of God to show you that all you do and all you behold is nothing…

… but the greatest of these is love.

The Excellence of Love gives all and expects nothing nor seeks anything by its giving. Love is simply giving while forsaking looking for anything in its return.

December is Giving Month

OSN Team

God in His timing is always perfect! We have just learned that PayPal will give 1 percent to every dollar donated to Sue Thomas Ministries for Operation Silent Night through their PayPal Giving Fund which is specifically designed to bless nonprofit organizations such as OSN. Friends, will you support this outreach and help get the word out to your friends through email or Facebook so they can join you in supporting OSN? To have this opportunity to receive a 1 per cent donation from PayPal right before we hit the streets for the homeless is a unique gift for which we give thanks.
OPERATION SILENT NIGHT is well on its way with bakers, baking, and orders taking! We are praying for a record of 450 dozen homemade cookies sold this year! You can see pictures of the cookies at www.facebook.com/operationsilentnight

The release of The Just Plain Values Magazine with the OSN story has just been released. You can read the article here  Yes, we are in full swing and we ask for your help from November 28th – December 31st.
Please simply hit this button to give  – your gift brings forth the warmth of blankets and clothes and food to eat to the hidden lost people of the streets.

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The greatest gift you can give is to the least of your brethren as you give unto Him. Your gift does make a difference!
For Him and Those Who Sleep on the Streets,
Sue thomas, Co-Founder
Deborah Shofstahl‎, Co-Founder

 

 

Take a breath

It’s that time of the year! Is your heart overflowing with thankfulness every day or are you holding your breath until the turkey arrives picture perfect on the laden table? Our National Day of Thanksgiving may be scheduled for next week, but before the count down begins and everything switches into full speed, and you’re madly dashing to complete and check off the to-do list, please remember to pause, take a deep breath, and give thanks for the countless blessings that have been bestowed upon you throughout the year, through God’s generous giving, or His gracious withholding. Oh, there is so much to give thanks for!  These winter months are a perfect time to smell the bouquets of fragrant roses that were handed to you throughout the year. First, give thanks for your very breath of life,  then take a deep breath and continue counting one by one. In today’s frantic society the season officially begins before Halloween. We all know this is nothing short of a nightmare, so if you have survived this far, then give thanks for the grace of getting through your nightmares!

Colossians 3.17

We stay busy around here. This month, my interview with Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth airs on her radio program,  Revive Our Hearts. The dates are November 27th, 28th, and 29th.  Be sure to check your local Christian radio station for the time the program will air. It is called “Finding Hope In The Silence” and is a series you won’t want to miss.20170503_-204

The month also sees preparation for Operation Silent Night’s annual fundraising  Christmas Cookie Platters. Last year over 400 dozen cookies were sold -this year the goal is for 450 dozen! Please check out Operation Silent Night’s Facebook page for more information and delicious pictures!

We will keep you posted on current news so please stay with us! Our hearts are overflowing with thanks and we consider you to be one of our blessings.

On Bended Knee

I am a woman with great passion for football! This passion started at an early age when, as an elementary kid, I donned shoulder pads with my helmet‎ and played football with my high school brothers. Yes, I was kicking field goals in my bare feet!

With every high school game that passion increased and came to glorious heights when I attended Ohio State during the golden years of the legendary coach, Woody Hays.  Fifty years later, I am still glued to Ohio State Football Games. Now, that’s a ton of passion and there is even room for my beloved Patriots with the big boys, the pros!!

As a former competitive skater, I follow sports as a whole. I have the deep conviction that in true sports you’re not out to beat the other guy but to beat yourself. You are constantly raising that bar higher and striving to win that title. In the end you can only blame yourself  in defeat or smile with great satisfaction with a win.  Character is built through either the joy of triumph or the agony of defeat.

But sports is not my first passion. My faith in my Lord and Savior‎ is my greatest passion. I cannot get enough of Him. I want to know Him more and more. This Man who died for me…who is He? Therein lies my passion for life.

Whoa, what on earth does your passion for football have to do with your greatest passion, your love for Jesus Christ? Can’t you see it?  It’s been on all the news networks and is the talk of the country. There is a common denominator, ON BENDED KNEE!!!
God’s Word teaches me, “Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”   Philippians 2.10

Today, in the football coliseums, the warriors of that great sport, football, are taking a knee! Have you ever seen so many strong athletic men go down publicly on bended knee? Wouldn’t it be so incredible if they and the entire stadium would go on bended knees to praise the Name of Jesus and to give thanks for their very breath of life? Then after the completion of that prayer to rise and stand in strength to acknowledge that we indeed are one nation under God?

I’m confused when I watch football these days. Laws have made it that you cannot pray before a game,  but now they are allowed to go on bended knee in public demonstration. Men, you can’t have it both ways. If you’re on your knees, PRAY for our country and for your soul!

‎There’s only two times a grown man will go on bended knee. First to humble themselves before their almighty God and secondly to be on the same level as a child. If only all of God’s people would publicly go on bended knee to proclaim that He is Lord, and to glorify His name! And for those who are going on bended knee in the stadiums to make a statement,  this word is for them. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”  I Corinthians 13.11

In these turbulent times, we need to remember the words of President George Washington written over 200 years ago but still appropriate for where we are today…

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Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen     George Washington’s Prayer for the United States of America