Tag Archives: Suni’s Blogs

Now That’s Good News

by Suni Bradford

I recently attended a festival that was designed to share with people the truth and love of our Savior. The message of His desire to have a personal relationship with us.  I wondered how many had heard the message of hope before.  Perhaps, they hadn’t felt the call or perhaps before they never responded. They may have been embarrassed and still others felt the strongest most overwhelming call of their lives.  They felt it emotionally as well as the physical pull from God.  The message which said, “I am love, come to me”. I remember that feeling very clearly when the Holy Spirit first spoke to me.

I got to experience a daughter, who was already a believer see her father come to Christ. She shined as you could see the joy radiating from her.  I had to ask them if I could take a picture of them.  I used her camera so she could see and remember this very special day.  Incredible.

The unselfishness and sincere desire to share the love, hope and life we all can have in Jesus Christ was beautiful.  From the great man that had vision, to the performers along with all of the many people that volunteered and served in one form or another to make this life changing event happen.

As I watched and listened to all the chattering of excitement, laughter, singing to praise music and the fabulous smell of kettle corn, I felt such joy and so blessed to be part of this great family. The whole experience was a reaffirming of His greatness. I could feel the energy in the air by the lives given over to the amazing God and by the reviving of a believer’s faith.  The wave that rolls out around all involved can be an accepted and welcomed drenching. Or it can feel like you’re on an abandoned ship.  Jesus stilled the waters before and He’ll still them again.  Fortunately, we may be attacked for our choice to change and live a different life.  It may make friends or family members uncomfortable as they do not understand this “God” we have found.  It takes great courage and I can guarantee that this new life is worth the risk.  So, be brave little engines and live boldly today.

The saying be brave little engines come from a cartoon called Thomas (the tank engine) and the toy workshops, theme song.  The first verses goes like this.  There are times to be brave and times to be strong, when you are lost and all alone.  You might be somewhere strange and dark, but long to be safe at home.

I think that the people that have accepted Christ, were being very brave and strong as they felt lost and alone and they heard God.  Even if they were in a huge crowd they heard His call. When we feel we are in a dark place, God offers us a safe home and He is always there waiting with open arms.  Now that’s good news.Congratulation and welcome to our family.

So again,  be brave little engines and live boldly today.

Love to all,  Suni

The Joy In Being A Loved Child

by Suni Bradford

Even at the fine age of 48 I love going to visit my Mom & Dad.

As I headed up I-5 to Redding, California, the joy and anticipation of a weekend of fun, visiting and rest was a treat. I cherish the opportunity to spend time with them.

Many times when I tell someone I’m headed to Redding they respond with “oh, that drive is so boring”.  I really enjoy the drive,  it’s usually a time I look forward to, time filled with solitude, reflection, anticipation and praise.

There had been a very light shower earlier in the day, which is almost always a promise for a pretty sky, and it was.  The sky was a crisp teal blue with huge white fluffy clouds, the sun would shine behind the clouds as if peeking through, creating a vibrant display of rays.

The scene reminds me of God’s greatness.

I can envision His gloriousness emanating from the clouds.   His welcoming arms reaching out to me.

Beautiful….

There were many eye pleasing landscapes that I could go into as well as the awesome time I had with my parents but what I really want to share with you is the love God has for His children and how this love can change everything.

Our Heavenly Father wants to be just that “Our Father”.

Many have had earthly fathers that have failed them. God, the Father will never fail us.  James 4:8 tells us clearly that, “God the Father is loving, compassionate, and full of mercy.” He longs to hold us in his arms and to heal, comfort and encourage us. He wants to be our loving daddy. We are assured of his response to us as his children: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  And again in Lamentations 3:22-23, “We can know that He wants to love and care for us everyday.    The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”

The Bible is full of scripture regarding His love for us.
Paul prayed for the people in Ephesians 3:18-19, “I pray that you will be able to understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep His love is.  I pray that you will know the love of Christ. His love goes beyond anything we can understand. I pray that you will be filled with God Himself.”

Whether you have been a believer for some time or your just wondering about what He is all about.  Open your heart and mind; be ready to be loved by the greatest Father ever.  Sounds like a greeting card but it’s true.  Rest in His arms and hang on for the best ride of your life.

Love, Suni

P.S. Mom’s we know you love us too.

A Matter of Perspective

by Suni Bradford

We were on a well-deserved weekend trip in the bay area. We were strolling along the pier enjoying the sea air, the sound of seagulls and knick-knack shops, when we stumbled upon an art gallery nestled back in a corner. There were many different types of art. The collections were directed to all types of tastes and personalities. There were beautiful, creative and then there were the pieces that I thought were very bizarre and some downright scary. I have pondered on what the artist’s thoughts and feelings were at the time they created their works of art. How they must get out a lot of different emotions out through this form of release.

What a fun way to praise and relieve stress. I can see it now.
Praise music cranked up
Easel, canvas & paintbrush
Paint & painting apron

Think of all the money they save on therapy! I’m just kidding, not everyone needs therapy, that’s what we have girlfriends, mentors and prayer partners for.

I know that I’ve had beautiful, creative, bizarre and some downright scary emotions and perspectives on things in my life and my surroundings. I have been resistant to change, in some areas through the years. Actually I’ve been downright stubborn and lazy about it, I’m not sure why because resistance usually doesn’t feel good (unless I’m on a healthy eating plan and resisting a brownie).

Realizing that I do at times need a paradigm shift in some of my thought patterns. I’ve found the best way to do this is, talking to God, listening to God and reading His word. I am a sinner that fights with impatience and intolerance when things don’t go my way. Sounds like a spoiled brat, huh? Anyone else?

A video on youtube named Paradigm shift by Fellowship Bible Church Littlerock, AR. hit a little to close to home because it pointed out to me my selfishness and self-centeredness. www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlRK1vqcuvg

I feel comforted that God has the bird’s eye view of our lives and He has planted the desire to be transformed into His likeness in my heart. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Now it’s up to me to get it into my mind. To change my perspective will be a constant discipline but the payoff comes when having compassion and loving others comes a little more natural. Take a look at Philippians 4:8, as Paul’s gives us direction as to our thoughts 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I pray God is pulling on your heartstrings as well to live intentionally in thoughts and actions today.

Love to all, Suni

His Great Gift

by Suni Bradford

Do you remember the phrase “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” ? It has always made me laugh, then the thought came to me that Whimpy from Popeye (a cartoon I love to watch as a child) was developing debt. Did Tuesday’s debt ever get paid?  They never showed that, did they?

We can get in trouble with our financial debt by wanting something today and not having the means to pay it tomorrow.  Interest used to motivate us to pay those debts sooner but today interest seems to be an accepted expense. I sometimes think of how different our views about debt would be if we were educated early.  Many of us have been forced to claim bankruptcy either because of poor choices we have made or because of circumstances beyond our control.  This can be overwhelmingly stressful.

At the time I found Christ, I did not have much financial debt but I was emotionally bankrupt. Jesus Christ fully paid for my debt, debt of sin that is.

Salvation is a gift so freely given.  The gratitude I have for Christ’s saving grace makes me want to service Him today and forever. I want to give him recognition for saving me for without it I would still be walking around with a lack of direction and hollowness inside.  I want to share this free gift with others so we all can feel the weight of sin lifted.  The joy that is evident in someone that has His great love inside them shines through, with my hope being that others feel the warmth from that great light and it will draw them to their Savior. Let us not worry about tomorrow but shine today.

A portion of scripture that gives me peace and a since of great value is Matthew 6:25-33

25  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Ladies I pray you have a blessed day and shine like stars.

Suni

Stretching Into Leadership

The first thing that pops into my mind when I hear the word leadership is perhaps a role as a pastor of a church, a motivational speaker or a CEO of a corporation.   Are you the one that automatically takes charge in any situation? Maybe you aren’t and would rather not.

So many of us have never thought of ourselves as leaders, yet others have no problem seeing them selves in that role and would actually thrive in a position as such.

However, we do lead in so many areas of our lives if we stop and really look at all we do in our daily lives. Mothers for example are industrious leaders.   I believe we are all called to lead in one form or another.  The list of ways to lead others below is just scratching the surface.  There are limitless possibilities.

  • Speaking events (teaching, preaching, sharing experience etc.)
  • Event planning / organization
  • Study groups (small or large)
  • Childcare
  • Worship
  • Administration

Sometimes God asks us to do things that we may not want to do. Or should I say Many times.   He spoke to me about something He would like me to do, my first response was thank you very much but you’ve got the wrong girl.  But He hasn’t let me forget it.

Philippians 4:13 gives me the hope and the confidence, that I have a helper.  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”

Do you remember the saying “fake it till you make it?”

For me this means to move towards the goal by growing my confidence and doing the uncomfortable things needed to become the leader, I believe He wants me to be. A quote that inspired me is “Attitudes influence behavior, but behavior also influences attitudes”.   Everything changes with our attitudes, positive or negatively. Having an “I can” attitude spurs on an excitement to behave as if I am already equipped.

Hopefully this inspires other ladies to step out in faith.  Do what the Lord is asking of you.   Be bold. Let’s reach more women, increase their knowledge of His word, build their confidence, and build the kingdom for Christ by teaching them to be leaders.

Philippians 1:6 gives us great news. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I see us as His worker bees and I’ve been comfy on the hive too long.

Live brilliantly ladies.  Suni J

Gaga For God

By Suni Bradford

ga·ga/ˈgäˌgä/

Adjective: Excessive enthusiasm, crazy, infatuation

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

My dear friend Lisa invited me to a bible study at her parent’s house.  It was a cozy setting, a man with his acoustic guitar in hand and the worship began.  I’m not sure how many weeks I had attended but this night was special.   I physically felt His calling, I later learned that the Holy Spirit was present.  

It was an extremely emotional experience. I don’t think I realized what was happening.  I did accept Jesus Christ as my Savior.  He was knocking, I answered and I’m so grateful. 

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

I was seeing things about Jesus everywhere I went, it seemed.  Maybe I was just more aware or perhaps placed by God’s perfect design.  We went yard selling the weekend following and at the first stop, I found a brand new bible in the box. And the next stop was this gorgeous 2ft x 3ft matted pressed paper portrait of Jesus in an elegant gold frame. I was so excited.  I felt as if God was telling me, I’ll give you what you need to learn and remember my son.   I was ga-ga about God.  He was everywhere.  The good news is He still is. We can forget to notice because of our fast paced lives. The following are some ways we can keep our enthusiasm and turn our infatuation into long term true love. 

5 ways to stay in love with God

  • Reading and studying the word
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Christian music, concerts and events
  • Associate with other believers
  • Sharing His love with non believers

2 Timothy 1:7 Tells us that God gave a spirit of power, love and self control.

A great verse to keep in our mind’s eye as we making these things a regular part of who we are.  

Live brilliantly and thrive.

Love to all, Suni

Sisterly Love

By Suni Bradford

I was working at Macy’s in the bay area at the time, organizing the front of the store that faced the inside of the mall. When I looked up and saw a women going up the escalator. She was exposing all without realizing it. She had tucked the back of her skirt into her panty hose. My co-workers and I were laughing. At first we thought maybe it was a candid camera setup. But I didn’t have the heart to let her continue cruising through the mall if it wasn’t. She was very grateful. Thank God for compassion.

Disclaimer: This following is not intended to make anyone feel guilty but to show that we can live more joyful lives when our hearts are in the right place.

Sometimes when talking with friends we get caught up in gossip, judgment and character assassination of others. Inside and outside of church. Ouch… These are not attributes we can brag about.

As Christian women, can we be honest with each other? Holding our sisters in Christ accountable is a sensitive matter as it can be very embarrassing and it must be done with love. The guilt and shame we feel when someone brings things to our attention may cause us to react. The need to defend my motives and myself is an automatic response. What we hear may hurt at the time but when we look at the truth in it and ask for God’s help to see what we need to do to be what He wants us to be. So many times we are not even aware of what we sound like to others. We must be careful if professing to be christians among non Christians, we are being watched.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.

Humility can be a catalyst for growth; if we take the awareness’s of our shortcomings to heart. We need each other to help us stay focused on the good. Treating others well just feels right. We are not perfect and never will be but we can continue to grow into more loving women.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

When we hold each other accountable in a loving way we can grow together in our friendship, in our walk with Christ causing a larger impact by inspiring others to do the same. My hope is that we can build Christly character by filling up our minds with the word and that will attract others to Christ because of what they see in us as believers.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Live the life worthy of the calling you have received. Hallelujah.

Let’s love, pray and grow together.

Suni


The Best Available

By Suni Bradford

On my way into the grocery store the other day a man stopped me. He was obviously down or perhaps even homeless. He asked if I would buy him something to eat. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling particularly giving or feeling the holy spirit’s nudges as I often do. Nonetheless I went to the store and said, “pick out a few things”, asked him to be gentle on my budget, and meet me toward the front.

I had finished shopping and went to find him. He had chosen a lovely expensive stick of salami and some imported smoked cheese. In my usual sarcastic humor I said “by all means you might as well add some crackers”. I didn’t dare say wine. We spoke about his life circumstances as we waited in line. He appeared fairly content and he said he believes in God. He then said thank you and left.

Several things I contemplated when reflecting on the encounter.

One thought was why not get the best when we ask for help? No earthly counselor or friend can give us the guidance, care and love that our Heavenly Father offers. God wants us to depend on him. He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 14:26

Another being, that we never know who we are entertaining. I know for myself, if I could remember and practice this principle, what a difference could be made for expanding the kingdom.

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. 
Matthew 25:35

The last being, how grateful I am that I always have enough and the confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ through studying His Word which tells me He has my best interest at heart. His goodness can and will shine through any fear of not enough when I stay close to Him and put on the shield of protection. This gift so freely given, not earned. I encourage you women to spend time depending on God for comfort, wisdom and guidance.

We have the best available. So go live courageous and shine brilliantly today.

Suni

Feeling His Messages

By Suni Bradford

It had been a great day. Headed home from work, feeling content, singing my praise music and enjoying the light rain.  I love praising God as I drive. It is a great place to praise Him and not embarrass yourself as far as your voice is concerned.  My saying is “I’m a star in my car”.  Steal it if you want.

I‘m sure I look like a crazy lady as I do raise my hands.   I know what your thinking, both hands. Really ?  Well, most the time I still have one hand on the wheel.  At least now with cell phones they don’t know if you’re crazy or having a conversation. Which I am grateful to say we have the opportunity to have conversations with a very real God who is with us no matter where we are, how well we sing or how eloquent we feel that we pray.

Music is a constant reminder of His love for us and the desires of His heart as well as our cries to Him.  The song I AM NEW by Jason Gray came on and as I sing this song I have heard many times.  The Holy Spirit was present and said listen. Listen closely to the lyrics in this song.  Personalize and absorb what I am saying to you.

Now I won’t deny

The worst you could say about me
But I’m not defined
By mistakes that I’ve made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy

And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Too long I have lived
In the shadows of shame
Believing that there
Was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn’t see me the way that I do
He doesn’t see me the way that I do

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

I am not who I was
I am being remade, I am new
Dead to the old man, I’m coming alive
I am new

Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

This is who we are now…

I AM NEW by Jason Gray

The love I felt (feel) was so strong, I had tears of joy running down my face.  I knew at that moment that He is doing great things in me.  No matter how long have been Christians; we can be assured that we are constantly being renewed for His good.

Then as I passed the park near my house a tree stood making the statement of new life, one side had no leaves and the other was completely green.  Thanks God for the warm fuzzy. He wants me to share this joy with ladies. To encourage you to give yourselves to knowing and to living for God with every cell in our bodies.

Live Brilliantly Today™

Suni

Growing Through Life’s Challenges

By Suni Bradford

Most of us, believers and non-believers, tend to go to God for help when painful issues such as marital, lost children, financial issues arise.  Our fears that stem from not knowing how to handle these pains can sometimes put us into a numb, frozen state.  We go searching for relief, peace and direction.  We desperately need some help and may feel the need for others input when there seems to be no immediate answers from our Loving Counselor.  If we are a non-believer this can be very lonely and non productive.

There are two directions we can choose. One being, God’s will in our lives and the other being self will. By trusting God at and through His word, we can feel the relief of knowing that He does have our best interest at heart.  His word tells us over and over that He is in control.  He has a perfect plan for us.

Jeremiah 1:5  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

We see such a small glimpse of our lives and in our humanness cannot see as He sees.  The full picture is far more then we can ever imagine.  We have so many scriptures to got to for peace.

Romans 8:18 “Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  More is always revealed.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 tells us, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Secondly, we can operate in self-will.  The need for instant answers can easily bring us more discomfort, anxiety and perhaps guilt for hasty decisions made or actions taken.  By rushing to make these decisions because we feel guilt from someone else or lose of control is not a healthy emotional state. The result on our mental and physical wounds can show up in many forms such as isolation and illness.  By looking to God for clarity in our motives we can take responsibility for our part and leave the rest to what it is.  Keeping in mind that the only people we can control is ourselves.  If financial hardship is the challenge and we are making efforts to change our circumstances, faith is our lifesaver.

A prayer that I rely upon is the serenity prayer.  “God grant me serenity to accept the things cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. This is a simple rule but can be a challenge to live by.

Many challenges will come our way through our life, the Word tells us this and yet we continue to be taken back when they hit. As we learn to go to God in all things, the good, the bad and the ugly, we can begin to understand His amazing love for us.  He wants to be our all.  We were designed that way.  We can choose to take advantage of the free gift.  By practicing waiting on the Lord we can have a completely different view of these growing pains.  We can grow to have more Christ like characteristics.  In turn helping us to handle future challenges with more grace and perhaps helping another to do the same.

We sometimes think that God should deliver an immediate answer for tough decisions that we need to make.  Especially when we are doing the right things, like prayer, meditation, time in the word and Godly counsel.  His answer may simply be “be still and wait”.

I can picture Jesus sitting waiting for His hurt children to come sit on His lap and be soothed.  As so many of us have done with our earthly parents, for example; when scuffing a knee or being bullied.  He feels our hurts.

Live Brilliantly Today™