Posts by Suzie Eller

Today’s Truth

Three things will last forever-- faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT).


 


 


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She held out the soft white blanket scalloped in pink ribbon. “I’m not sure I want to give it to her,” my mom said. The stitches were a bit looser than my mother’s past handiwork. When I studied her hands, I saw the beginnings of arthritis. I could also see love in every crocheted inch of the blanket she held out.


That was nearly 13 years ago. That first great-grandchild is almost a teenager. Several other great-grandchildren have come along since. When I hold my mother’s hands in my own today, her fingers are bent and swollen at the joints. The arthritis that was just creeping in way back then has taken over many of her joints. She continues

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Today’s Truth

The master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 NLT).


 


 


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I was reading stories about several women making a difference in the world. One was raising funds to dig wells in villages desperate for clean water. Another started a compassionate work program for women rescued from the slave trade. Yet another launched a nonprofit to come alongside refugees to help them get established in their new communities.


I loved these stories. They were inspiring! Yet even as I privately cheered them on, it caused me to look at my own life. 


God, is there something BIG that I’m supposed to be doing?


In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of a master who gave his servants differing amounts of money and asked them to invest it while he was gone. One

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Today’s Truth

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also John 14:2-3 (ESV).


 


 


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He sat in his favorite overstuffed chair. Pictures of his children and grandchildren hung on the wall. His wife of nearly 60 years sat not far away.


“It’s time to go home,” he declared. 


My father-in-law had struggled with dementia for a long time. This once strong, funny patriarch couldn’t remember those he had loved. He didn’t know where home was anymore, even as he sat in the house he built and had lived in for decades. Toward the end, this became a regular battle. Finally, his sons came up with a plan. When he announced he wanted to go home, one of them would grab their coat. 


“Let’s go,” they’d say. 


My father-in-law would pile in the passenger seat of his

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Today’s Truth

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” Isaiah 61:3 (KJV).


 


 


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I was flying out of town for a week. A few minutes before leaving for the airport, I glanced at my airline ticket and saw a code I didn’t recognize. I did a quick check. To my dismay, I discovered the code meant I couldn’t bring any type of luggage with me. In fact, I was limited to a small backpack that could fit under the seat. 


What could I do? 


I started improvising. I tucked the essentials in my small backpack (my computer, makeup, an extra pair of shoes, and clean underwear). Then I put on two pairs of pants. A camisole. Two shirts. A sweater and a jacket. Two pairs of socks. A pair of boots. 


An hour later when I

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Today’s Truth

Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV).


 


Friend to Friend


She was three. She arched her arm and pointed her fingers at me.


“You’re frozen, Gaga!”


I stopped in place, one arm behind me, the other in the air. She giggled, then quickly unfroze me.


There was a time if you were in the vicinity of anyone under the age of six, you were familiar with the movie, Frozen. It’s the story of two sisters struggling in their relationship with each other and in finding acceptance. At one point Elsa, the older sister sang these words:


Let it go, let it go


And I’ll rise like the break of dawn


Those words are similar to those I sensed God whispering years ago.


Suzie, let go of the past that you cannot undo. 


Let me rise

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Today’s Truth

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love (Ephesians 4:2 NLT).


 


 


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It was a big holiday. A little one had spent a lot of time in the car, traveling from one event to the next. His sleep schedule was thrown off. He was overstimulated. He had held it together until he couldn’t anymore. I remember thinking that this little guy just needed some quiet, his routine, and a nap. I wanted to scoop him up and let him know that it was going to be okay, and that he had done a really good job for a long time.


Later that same night I found myself cranky. We had driven two hours that day and would drive two hours home that night. All day I was surrounded by laughter and

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Today’s Truth

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14 NIV)


 


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As I recovered from surgery, I was ordered to be still. That meant sitting in a recliner for a month. No heavy lifting. No driving. Though I have a “Mary” heart, I evidently possess a “Martha” brain. I struggled with this. I wanted to fill that time with something productive. 


Maybe I needed to seek God in my down time and have a spiritual epiphany.


Maybe I should read deep and profound books, so I could grow and learn. 


Maybe I could fold laundry, if nothing else.


In my struggle, I discounted an important truth: Healing is hard work.


I wasn’t idle. Not at all. My body was recovering from major surgery. My bones and sinew needed stillness to reconnect, restore, and thrive. My heart and spirit

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Today’s Truth

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV).


 


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God whispered that call to growth over your heart and you were ready, right then. Growth in your faith. Growth in your understanding. Growth in confidence. Growth in a relationship.


Then that thing happened.


A pandemic.


An illness.


An unexpected loss.


A struggle.


So, you asked, “Lord, did I really hear you? How can I grow when things are so hard?”


In today’s verse, Paul is speaking to a church who longs to give everything to Jesus. They are growing, but it feels challenging. They are in a culture that doesn’t appreciate their faith. They are trying to “unlearn” what they’ve always believed to be true. They are in the heart of persecution. Yet Paul assures them that God is faithful. God would be the instrument

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Today’s Truth

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (Luke 5:16 NLT)


 


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I had been in a busy season of ministry and family. I was running perilously close to empty, but I just kept going. One day my husband gently approached me.


“Suzie, you need to fill back up.”


If those who love you the most are noticing, then it’s time to take a pause.


I found a small, affordable rustic cabin not far from home. I put aside technology, ministry, and the things I normally do, and for a weekend, I was alone with God.


When I arrived home, I was renewed.


Jesus depended on prayer often.


“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16 NLT).


By His example, I know that I need this too. While going away to a cabin is

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Today’s Truth

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:1-2 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


My study that morning was in one of the smaller books of the Bible tucked in the pages of the Old Testament. I had only read a couple of verses when one caught my eye. It seemed to leap from the page into my heart. Though I was certain I had read this story before, it felt new. I felt a tug to stop and dig deeper, so I did. That verse and the story it unfolded ministered to me for days.


I wonder if that’s how Nicodemus felt the night he met Jesus under the cover of darkness.


“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at

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Today’s Truth

Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants (Deuteronomy 32:2 NLT).


 


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The letter from my dad was on my pillow. He was not a man of words. I held it in my hands, knowing it was rare and precious. I still have the tattered pieces of that letter today.


I also have other letters that I treasure, and they are just as tattered.


Years ago, when I was learning about God, I longed to go deeper in my faith. I found a black notebook and colorful markers, and each morning I would sit and write all the things I wanted to say to God. If it was just a few moments, that was okay. If it led to a longer time, that was good too. I hoped to meet with Him as

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Today’s Truth

Come quickly to help me, O Lord my savior (Psalm 38:22 NLT).

Friend to Friend


I was 32, a young mama, and battling breast cancer. The news had come at an already-hard time. My husband worked long hours each week, trying to keep our business afloat. When he paid the business expenses each month, there was just a small amount left to pay ourselves. The pressure often made me feel like I was near to drowning, but we told no one about our financial battle.


Christmas was weeks away. Our children had school expenses. I was going through radiation and chemotherapy, and medical bills were piling up. One day as I walked to the mailbox, I dreaded what I knew would be inside. Bills, bills, and more bills.


But this day was different. Tucked among

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Today’s Truth

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord (Psalm 31:24 NKJV).

Friend to Friend


When I was growing up my favorite movie was the classic Wizard of Oz. I lay on the carpet, completely absorbed as Dorothy battled flying monkeys and fled from the wicked witch of the West. I wondered if she’d make it to Oz or ever find her way home to Auntie Em. It seemed unfair. A girl and a tiny dog all on their own, until she met her unlikely heroes. A tin man, a cowardly lion, and my personal favorite, the scarecrow. Nothing changed, not really. A wicked witch still wished her harm. Flying monkeys still followed her every move. But suddenly, she was surrounded by those who traveled the road with her, and that made all

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Today’s Truth

Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent (Exodus 33:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend


The room was hot. A fan pushed the sweltering 110+ degree air between us as we sat on the floor. When the reading lesson was complete, we were introduced. Shy smiles broke language and cultural barriers. A handful were Christians. Others practiced different religions. I asked several women to share their names. As one young woman spoke, she pointed at her mother, who stood in the back, and tears fell. The interpreter told me that her mother was seriously sick. She couldn’t afford a doctor, and she fell more ill each day.


I wanted to pray for her. If we were in a church, I wouldn’t have hesitated, but we were guests in this community, in this culture, and

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Today’s Truth

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).

Friend to Friend


It started innocently enough. A friend said something. I disagreed. For whatever reason, her words hit a tender spot. It was important that we talk about it because she mattered to me, yet I was hit with a myriad of temptations.


I was tempted to make her see it my way.


I was tempted to keep talking until she “got it.”


I was tempted to let my frustration simmer between us.


Don’t do it.


A gentle nudge in my spirit asked me to consider a different way.


Can we be honest that we are all tempted from time to time? In today’s passage, Paul reminds us of that fact.


“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful;

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Today’s Truth

The Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26 NKJV).

Friend to Friend


We were sitting around the family table when my mom announced, “Suzie, you didn’t talk until you were four.”


Um, what?


This was news to me. “So, are you saying that I was quiet?”


“Nope, you didn’t talk at all. Not a word. In fact, if it hadn’t been for your sister, we would have never known what you needed.”


My sister is four years older than me. Evidently, she became a student of her little sister who had no words. When I wanted a drink, she told mom. When I was tired or hungry, she made certain that this was communicated.


I eventually found my words, but may I be honest with you?


There have been other times when I’ve lost my words.

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Today’s Truth

Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing (Ephesians 6:21 NIV).

Friend to Friend


Many had left the morning church service, but I remained on the pew. Tears fell as I talked to God.


Father, what is my calling?


It felt like others had this figured out. I wanted to know what God wanted me to do, and yet I had no idea what that looked like. That’s when I noticed a boot swinging down the row from me.


A young teen and his little sister sat quietly. He had long, dark blonde hair that hung over his eyes. She chewed her gum with gusto. I got to know them a few months earlier when they asked for a ride home after church. That soon became a regular occurrence. I’d stop at a drive through

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Today’s Truth

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19 NIV)!

Friend to Friend


Audrey pulled the cover over her eyes.


“Check for bears,” she begged.


I checked one more time. I held up a dust bunny and we laughed because that certainly wasn’t a bear. Yet her fears remained. Finally, I climbed in the bed with her until she fell asleep, her tiny form pressed against mine.


Have you ever struggled with fear? We all have. In John 20, a group of disciples are gripped with anxious thoughts. They had witnessed Jesus’ arrest and death on the cross. They had heard the rumors that authorities were searching for followers of Jesus. So, they hid.


When a group of women rushed through the door to tell them the tomb was empty, they left their hiding place

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Today’s Truth

Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared Matthew 8:1b-2 (NLT).

Friend to Friend


I met an old friend from school days that I hadn’t seen for years. She invited me to join her and her husband for dinner. For the next hour, we sat around the table enjoying enchiladas and old memories.


At one point, she told her husband a story from our days in school. As she described the incident, it felt odd. The girl she described in the story was shy. She was hurting. She was angry. It felt like she was talking about someone else.


And she was.


God had healed my heart long ago. I was no longer that shy, angry, hurting girl. I was a confident, whole woman who knew the love of a Savior. When she finished her

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8