Monday, April 8, 2013


From Susan:
Several years ago I went to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit Retreat Center in Conyers, Georgia, for some time alone with the Lord, simply enjoying His presence and the splendor of His creation. For those of us who have busy lives and are constantly with children, being intentional about getting away into the Lord's presence is so very refreshing and restorative (I recommend it!) I was only there 24 hours, yet while there, was awakened three times in my sleep (just like Samuel! - the only time in my life this has ever happened!), with this sentence in my mind:  "I have not called you only to the literal orphans, but to all the orphans."  I understood clearly what this meant: there are many children and adults with living parents, yet they feel dead inside because they feel alone, lonely, worthless, hopeless. God's new call for me was way beyond the literal 153 million orphans, and it included all those who were figurative orphans and needed their view of themselves transformed -- transformed to see themselves as daughters and sons of the King of kings, of infinite value, untold worth, and with eternal hope. On a number of occasions since, when I am talking with someone, regardless of their age, I find myself wondering, 'are you one of them?'  By this, I mean, 'are you perhaps a figurative orphan whom the Lord wants to encourage? If they are, Lord, please encourage them in Your love.' 

After something this monumental happens -- like God clearly unfolding part of His calling -- it helps me to discuss it and get prayer from my husband and our pastors and elders, so that is what I did.  As we prayed that night one of our elders shared with us this truth:  "Behold I have set before you an open door." (Rev 3:8), and encouraged me that the Lord was showing me the door He had opened, and that I would know, by His Spirit and direction, when and how to walk through it.  This 'OPEN DOOR' passage, since, has been very meaningful to me personally. In the past week the joy of the OPEN DOORS has multiplied, and gone from 1 to 3!  I would love to pass along to you what has blessed me!

3 Open Doors!
Today, for you and for me, there are 3 Open Doors!  And all in the space of the two open pages for Revelation 3:5 thrugh 4:5 in my ESV Bibble!

1) God's Open Door (Revelation 3:7-8)

"The words of the holy one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one can shut....behold I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut."  
Whatever God's promised land is for you, NO ONE can shut the door to His good purposes in your life today, or tomorrow, for the rest of your life on earth, or for eternity.  Beth and Stephen tell the story of being in Russia and being denied the needed documents for their adoption, of going back to the place they were staying and seeking the Lord in prayer, and of the Lord speaking words of life back into their deflated hearts through this assuring verse of His calling and His intent to open the doors needed for their adoption.

2) Your Open Door (Rev 3:20)

"Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me."  So, what I see of about this second door is this. Anyone who has visited a Russian flat knows that there is the outer steel door which must be opened first;  so, it is like the husband coming home and opening that heavy first outer door, and then knocking and tenderly calling his wife by name..."Honey, it's me (knock, knock)."  She must open that second door in order for him to come inside the home and for them to enjoy time in each other's company. It is this same way for us. The Lord is like that
bridegroom/husband, who holds the first door wide open, determined no one can shut the door on His deep and eternal and unconditional and sufficient love and delight in you and me; and then He politely, gentleman that He is, knocks on the second while calling our names, waiting for us to open this second door of our hearts and invite Him in, to spend time together in each other's presence, listening and speaking in intimate conversation.

3) Heaven's Open Door (Rev 4:1)

"And after this I looked and behold, a door standing open in heaven..Come up here, and I will show you what must take place. At once I was in the Spirit and behold, one seated on the throne...." (read aloud what comes next to your children today an spend some time drawing or painting THAT together....we have done it and they love it!). When we keep reading, expecting to see a series of events unfolding on earth;  instead, what we immediately see, is that what 'must take place' is just this: After God opens DOOR ONE, and then we open DOOR TWO, His Spirit opens DOOR THREE for you and me to see, in a glorious way, Jesus, the Lion and the Lamb, seated on Heaven's throne! We walk into heaven's Open Door to worship the One who is seated on the throne and who lives forever and ever, as we and they cast our crowns (proof of our service) before the throne (we don't need those crowns!) saying, "...worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power." It is as unlikely as entering Narnia through the open door of the wardrobe.  And it is ours, available, today.

So today, for you, dear soulmate, our prayer is this....that you have eyes to see THREE OPEN DOORS! 
- DOOR ONE, which the God of heaven is holding open just for you and your family, so that your part in His Story will be unstoppable...un-shutable!
- DOOR TWO, which you yourself open up so that you and your Friend can spend some time in conversation
- DOOR THREE, which the Spirit Himself reveals, in the intimacy of worship.
And after all this, we cannot help being filled with joy....the kind of joy that is like Peter's:  joy inexpressible and full of glory!


  1. This is excellent; thank you. I am one of those "figurative orphans" who is soaking up all the truth and encouragement you (Susan and Beth) have to offer. So, again, thanks. :)

  2. Jerusha....praise God for these open doors....let's walk thru!!!!