by Susan Sampson

What would they think if they could see? Why do I
care so much what they think of me? What is the
worst that could happen if they saw; When I am
open, vulnerable, and completely raw?

What is the worst; why do I fear?
Why do I put up these walls so no one can get near?
To keep myself from being rejected, I can hear my heart say.
But then I hear Jesus, and He whispers, “That is not the way.

I know how you feel; I endured the rejection.
It was for you, my love, that I walked the road of persecution.
So don’t be afraid, because I am right there.
I will never leave you; you are always in my care.”

There is One, He says, who truly knows your heart.
For He created your inmost being and knew your name back from the start.

My Lord and my God; He’s seen it all;
The dirt, the filth and every time I fall.
And yet He waits; not to condemn;
But to love me and forgive me and help me start again.

For it is in my weakness that God’s power can be seen.
It is in my weakness, that His glory is revealed.
So now He calls me to trust in Him and lay down all my pride.
To go ahead and let them see what’s really there inside.

I can hear Him whisper, “Follow Me and do not fear. Let
Me tear down those walls so My people can get near.”
Open your heart, be real and be true…
For only then will they see Jesus in you.


This poem appears in the Thistlebend Discipleship Study Falling in Love Again with Your Lord available here.

Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 9:51-56 ESV

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up,
he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
52 And he sent messengers ahead of him,
who went and entered a village of the Samaritans,
to make preparations for him.
53 But the people did not receive him,
because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw it,
they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire
to come down from heaven and consume them?”
55 But he turned and rebuked them.
56 And they went on to another village.


God has a standard for us to live by.
His standard.
It isn’t according to our way of thinking.
His ways can seem unnecessary, strange, or even harsh at times.
We can often think our ways make more sense than God’s ways.
But God’s ways aren’t our ways.
His ways are higher than our ways.
His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

God is perfectly loving, kind, just, righteous, holy,
perfect, merciful, and gracious at all times.

He wants us to serve Him and not ourselves.
And He wants us to consider others before and above ourselves.

We think like man.
We think like James and John,
often times wanting to tell fire to come down from heaven
on our “enemies.”

But what does God have to say?

Luke 6:35-36
35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to
them without expecting to get anything back. Then your
reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High,
because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Love our enemies?


Yes, God expects us to love others just as He has loved us.
Not just people who are challenging, but those we see as
our enemies as well.
He wants us to carry out His kingdom on earth not our own.

A fellow eMoment reader wrote that she heard
a pastor the other day say we must not treat “sinners”
as the enemy.  We go to other nations and gladly
and boldly preach the good news to “sinners”
— those that are lost.
But in America we treat them as the enemy.
If we would only seek the Lord first.
If we would only stop and pray.
If we would live according to His standard,
His kingdom, His Word.
If we would live and love as if He were LORD.

He would be glorified.
His name would be exalted.

If we wouldn’t be so concerned about
being right.

Which is more important?
Being right or being righteous?

Luke 6:27-36
27 But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those
who mistreat you.
29 If someone strikes you on one cheek,
turn to him the other also.
If someone takes your cloak,
do not stop him from taking your tunic.
30 Give to everyone who asks you,
and if anyone takes what belongs to you,
do not demand it back.
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 If you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who are good to you,
what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.
34 And if you lend to those
from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’
expecting to be repaid in full.
35 But love your enemies,
do good to them, and lend to them
without expecting to get anything back.
Then your reward will be great,
and you will be sons of the Most High,
because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.


Choose one truth from today and apply it to your heart.
Take it with you throughout the day.


Lord, help us fix our eyes on you.
The One who is Righteous.
May we follow you.

In His hands for His glory,


A Thistlebend Ministries eMoment devotion. To have eMoments emailed to your inbox, subscribe on the bottom right of our Home page.

by Angie Thomas

I was really encouraged and challenged by Laurie’s teaching this week.  I can totally relate to hearing the song of the Siren and being lured by it.  It is my flesh, my default.  Even though I knew Jesus at a fairly young age I really had no clue how to walk out my faith for the first twenty to twenty-five year of my life.  My early years of being a believer revolved around me thinking that because I emotionally loved Jesus I was following Him.  In reality, most of the time I was following the Sirens’ Song of the World.

Then Jesus pulled me out of that mess and I really desired to follow Him, but the Song of the Sirens just started sounding different. A bit more subtle but still so alluring. Perfectionism, performance-based faith, and self-righteousness became the new songs I danced to.  Oh, and don’t forget to add in image worship and a love for clothes.  After all, I needed to dress up that cool Christian facade I was masquerading behind.

Now as a wife and mother I still struggle to listen to the lure of materialism, but also the Songs of discouragement, anger, and feeling overwhelmed.  It is interesting.  One might think as we grow closer to the Lord the Siren’s Songs would fade, but while at times the intensity diminishes at other times it seems the devil tries all the harder to ramp up the volume of the Songs.  The Bible says he is a crafty deceiver and he certainly knows how to change the Songs to match our current season of life.

But there is hope!  Great hope!  Of course our Perfect, Loving Lord always provides the antidote to the enemy’s lies!  How appropriate that He dedicated an entire book of the Bible to His Songs!  Songs of Truth and Life!  It is no accident that the book of Psalms contains 150 chapters of these precious Songs and that they sit smack dab in the middle of our Bibles!  Laurie encouraged us in the Seeds of Spring lecture to find two or three of these Psalms to make our own, Scriptures that speak to and whisper the truths of God to our hearts, especially when the songs of the Sirens start to sound like reality.

Here are a few of my very favorites!  May they encourage your heart today and may the Lord lead you to discover your own precious antidotes.  I love this promise in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…”  May His Psalms help you to destroy those strongholds.  It’s all about listening to better music!*

Psalm 16:5-8
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;

in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord

Psalm 138:7-8
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;

your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

May the Lord lead you to your “better music”!



*The distinction between the Siren’s song and the “better music” in the Seeds of Spring lecture was based on a sermon point by pastor Mark Janke at Grace Church, Louisville.