Author Archives: Susan Stilwell

Susan Stilwell is a wife to Steve, mom to Scott and Sarah. After that, she writes, teaches, blogs and speaks. If you want to see her get really excited, ask her about her travels to Israel! One of Susan’s favorite things to do is to chat over coffee. And don’t forget your smartphone and laptop — this former programmer is full of helpful hints! You can connect with Susan on her websiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram, or Google+

The Power of Easter

It’s almost too familiar, the Easter story.

Jesus’ arrest, trial, scourging, crucifixion and resurrection. God’s remarkable story of redemption settles in our hearts, but we often lose the awe.

A perfect man, the Lord Jesus Christ, was wrongly accused by a group of people who felt threatened by Him. They conspired against Him and had Him beaten and executed.

Most Christians understand the spiritual implications of Jesus’ sacrifice, that He

  • bore the weight of our cross,
  • took our punishment, and
  • paid the penalty for our sin.

But we often lose sight of what happened in the physical realm, that the beating Jesus received left Him bloody and unrecognizable.

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To sing in the suffering

I love music. From Bach to Boston to bluegrass, I love how it evokes emotion and stirs the soul. I especially love the story-telling that distinguishes country music.

I’m a big fan of Jennifer Nettles, lead singer of the band SugarLand. I recently watched part of a program chronicling the August 2011 concert tragedy at the Indiana State Fair. Minutes before the band took the stage, a fierce storm ripped through the fairgrounds. Stage rigging twisted and collapsed into the crowd, killing five and injuring 40.

I’ve been to many such concerts. Never once did I fear for my life or expect my evening to take a disastrous turn.

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When He calls us by name

I’m teaching a series at my church on the Gospel of John. Chapter 20 opens with the frantic scene at the tomb. The women had returned with burial spices to prepare Jesus’ body, except there was no body. They alert the disciples, who are equally puzzled.

This verse struck me:

Then the disciples went back to their homes,
but Mary stood outside the tomb crying.
~John 20:10-11a (niv)

The men left, perhaps fearing the arrival of angry authorities. My personal suspicion, based on 26 years with my husband and 23 years raising a son, is that the men weren’t sure what else to do.

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When your wait is over, will you be ready to roll?

 I’m tired of waiting.

I recently had foot surgery, so I’m hobbling around in a boot waiting for my foot to heal.

My son moved 7 hrs from home and we can’t schedule a visit until March.

We need some repair work done around the house, but we can’t start until (1) we have the funds, and (2) the weather breaks.

I find myself thinking, “I can’t wait until…”

Woman on dock at lake (iStockphoto)

It’s hard for me to accomplish things in the present when my mind meanders in the future. I catch my thoughts drifting to the time when today’s problems are solved and my life is trouble-free life.

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The Star That Leads to the Savior

Christmas star - Christian photos dot net

Most of us read Luke’s account of the Christmas story, but a fascinating detail about the birth of Jesus is found in Matthew’s gospel.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,

“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” ~Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)

It’s such familiar part of the story that it’s easy to overlook something interesting: why on earth wise men from the east would travel so far to see a Jewish king?

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Thankful for Opportunities

St Martin Sunset

For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
~Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

I’m thankful for OPPORTUNITIES to

1. Travel, and see different parts of the world.

2. Sponsor children in foreign countries, including a little girl I’ve met in Guatemala.

3. Serve with friends. The Lord has opened so many interesting doors for us!

4. Live in a free country. Americans take so many privileges for granted.

5. Teach God’s Word. I still can’t believe He’s called me and equipped me for such an amazing thing.

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Thankful for Family

Stilwell Family Thanksiving 2012

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her…

~Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)

I’m thankful for FAMILY:

1. Steve, my wonderful husband of 26 years. We’re actually on a little getaway today!

2. Scott and Sarah, my awesome children. I won’t start bragging about them, but suffice it to say those two are BRAG-WORTHY!

3. Monica and Janet, my sweet sisters. And I’m grateful we live within 2 hours of each other!

4. Godly parents and in-laws, all of whom live in the same town with us.

5. Koinonia, our church Life Group. We’ve lived lots of life together, and we truly consider them family.

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What I ask myself when technology makes me crazy

typing handsTechnology frustrates me. Can I get an Amen from anybody?

I’ve been wrestling with a technical issue and, as of this writing, we haven’t been able to resolve it. I say “we” because the problem is beyond my ability to fix, so I’m paying someone to fix it for me.

Yes I have a degree in computer science, which makes me think I should have the upper hand on technical problems. But I earned that degree back in the 80s, so more than a few things have changed since then. Besides shoulder pads and big hair.

And technology is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up.

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