Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Girls in the SISTERHOOD:

I have a few things I want you to know about!

• The early bird discount for our "Never the Same" missions trip will expire at the end of January, so you need to get your application in! We're going to Antigua, Guatemala June 28-July 11, 2010. And we always need leaders. So if one of your parents wants to come, great! You can download the student application AND the leader application at: neverthesamemissions.com

• A precious woman in my Sunday school class has offered to purchase a one-year subscription to SUSIE Magazine for a teen girl who can't afford it. If this is you, send me your name and complete mailing address at: susie@susiemag.com and label it: I NEED THE MAG. (Please only do this if you really can't afford the subscription. If you can afford it but just don't want to spend the money, this isn't for you.)

• You have an entire year to save up for our SUSIE Magazine Mom/Daughter Cruise. It's Feb. 17-21, 2011. We'll depart from Miami and hit two ports: Key West, FL and Cozumel, Mexico (both known for swimming with the dolphins). I'll give more information on this later. But please talk to your mom, grandma, aunt and any other fun females you want to bring on this amazing cruise!

Are you reading the Bible?
Are you praying?
What's God doing in your life?

I love you and want to know!

Susie Shellenberger

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hi, Girls!

I want to continue this line of thought:
Is God really good?
Or are we just swallowing that simply
because the Psalmist tells us so in
Psalm 145?

If you haven't read the past two blog
entries, please do so, or you may
feel a little lost with where this is going.

In my last entry, I asked:

Why doesn’t God remove temptation, obliterate the devil, destroy the demons?

Here are two reasons:

First: God created man in His image (Genesis 1:26).

Therefore, because He's sovereign,
He gave us a certain measure of sovereignty, as well.
In other words . . . He didn’t create us as robots.
He allows us to make our own daily choices.He won't force us into His ways.
He won't MAKE us live according to His Word.

He allows us the freedom of choice.
And many times, the choices we make
bring hurt to ourselves.
So to shake our fist at GOD
and say, "How come, God?"
is unfair.

Second: Not only did God make you in His image
and give you a certain degree of sovereignty,
but God made you for a purpose—
and that's intimacy.

God the Father desires that we love Him.
And because true love demands a choice,
He won't force Himself upon us
but will give an alternative to us.
The alternative is evil.
The alternative is sin and self.
So if I choose to ignore God and say,
"I don't want to develop intimacy with You.
I want to live for myself and call my own shots."
Then the only alternative I have
is in the direction of evil.
And God will allow me that liberty.

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah
said that it's only because of God's mercies
that we're not ALL consumed (Lamentations 3:22).

Really, every one of us should have been consumed
a long time ago. It's only because of God's goodness
and mercy that we're alive today!
This is true spiritually and literally.

Think about it:
The air we breathe is composed in
and a few assorted gasses.
If the oxygen content was a mere 2% higher,
the world would catch fire and we'd all burn!
If the nitrogen content was 2% higher,
we'd all be poisoned and die immediately.
Who keeps the atmosphere in such perfect balance?

Yet we've all rebelled against Him.
We've all sinned against Him
But He is good and merciful to every one of us.
He's slow to anger
full of mercy and
lets us continue on and on and on
until we finally come to the place
where we finally bow
in repentance and give our lives to Him.

The question isn’t, “Why is there evil?”

The question is, “Why is God so good?”

He really is good!


You are loved!
Susie Shellenberger

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hi, Girls!

It's been a while since I've posted,
but I want to continue this thought
on God's goodness.

Do you believe God is good simply
Psalmist tells us so
in Psalm 145:9?
Or has your knowledge
of His goodness
become more intimate?

There was an evangelist named Charles Templeton—
who was extremely popular and used mightly of God
way back in the 1950s.

After years of amazing ministry
and seeing God move in peoples' lives,
he simply walked away from his faith
and became an agnostic.

"I looked at the world," he said
"and it doesn't seem to me that it spoke
of a God who could be described as
father. It seems to be a universe
indifferent to man and to all
of God's creatures."

In other words . . .
If God is so good, why is there so much
suffering and evil and horror in the world?

Why are babies born deformed?
Why do people rape and kill?
Why are thousands starving to death each day?
Is God really good?

This is a question that haunts humanity.
Is God good?

What do we say to our friends when they're
honestly asking this question?

And what's the word for ourselves
when WE struggle with tragedy and difficulty?

Girls, whenever we have questions about the character of God,
we need to look to Jesus for the answers.

When we look at Jesus, we see that He freely
acknowledged the problem of pain
and the existence of evil.

"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," He taught us to pray
(Matthew 6:13).

"In this world, you will have tribulation," He said (John 16:33).

"There will be trouble; you're going to have problems."

Charles Templeton (the former evangelist) asked,
"Why is God doing this?"

But his question was misdirected.
God is NOT the author of confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Man brings harm upon himself when he rebels against God,
when he ignores the ways and Word of God,
and when he violates the commands of God.

Why, then, doesn't God obliterate the devil,
destroy the demons,
remove temptation?

I'll stop here.
I'm going to give two answers to this question
on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

But first, I want some feedback from you.
How does this hit you?

You are loved!
Susie Shellenberger