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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new..blah, blah, blah

New Year, new day....gone with the old! Blah, blah, blah.

Frankly it's just a bunch of hype if you ask me.
I don't know about you, but I'm walking into this New Year with the same trials and struggles, joys and hopes that I had yesterday. They're not dropping off when the ball drops.

Yes, I believe that is it a good time to re-evaluate our lives and decide what needs to change and set some goals. If the calendar year changing is what propels you to do that, great. It needs to be done. But don't stop there. We need to be just as motivated to change and take a good look at our lives on March 3rd (random date).

Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for newness! I love that His mercies are new everyday.
Every single one of these days...

Lam 3:22-23
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

I LOVE that!!!!
I count on that, every single day of my life.
I love that we are to look ahead and not behind us:

Isaiah 43:18-19
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

But that is a word for EVERY DAY.
It means that we are to be new in the attitude of our minds and put off our sinful nature.

Eph 4:20-24
20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.

21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Put off the former life, the life of sin. The life of fear, doubt and worry. Put it all off and be made new in the attitude of your minds.
I love verse 24:
YOU were created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Every day.

I love new beginnings, I do look back on this year and learn from my mistakes. I set goals for the upcoming year. But I don't get caught up in the attitude and hype of a New Year, as if it's more important to re-evaluate today than any other day.

This walk with Christ is not January to December. It's day by day.
We should examine our hearts and lives every day.

We should also live to praise and thank Him, every day!
Ps 145:22
Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever.

I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve and of course I'll be around this whole year talking about the Lord and His amazing love, every day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two shall become One ~ R.E.S.P.E.C.T.


This is so good. It's a blog article by the author of the book I love so much,
"Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerich:

He Needs Respect and She Needs Love, Or Is it?

A great refresher for all of us, tell them I sent you :)

I'm praying for our marriages!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Needing the waters to part?

He can do that.

Heb 11:29
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land;
but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

He has not changed, He still parts the waters on behalf of his children.

Do you realize that it was God that led them TO that impassable waterway?
Ex 13:18
So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.

Then, I love what Moses tells the people as they look at their impossible circumstances and panic:

Ex 14:13-14
Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid.
Stand firm and you will see the deliverance
the LORD will bring you today.
The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.
14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Let's read these words in light of OUR current
circumstances and believe the God who loves
being faced with a "this one's impossible" situation.

Believe Him now.

For a further boost of faith, listen to this song. It's one of my favorites (warning, cheezy video).

Friday, December 26, 2008

In a crowd? Want to get people's attention?

Touch the hem of His garment, they will all take notice.

Luke 8:42-48
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.

44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 "Who touched me?" Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."

46 But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.

48 Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Loving this, enjoy!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Thanks to all for the sweet well wishes, I've been very sick. I'll be back online when I can.
Much love,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fluff and other random happenings

I know, I know I've been kind of quiet lately. I'm trying to get better, still struggling with strep throat and now on my 2nd antibiotic. I've been so tired, I've hardly done any writing.

So here's some ramblings....

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas season. I know it can be so stressful. This year I chose to lighten the load of the holidays. Our family has decided that Christmas has been way overdone and under appreciated, so we are only buying gifts for the kids and plan to emphasize the importance of family and being together.

Also, this is the first year that I have not sent Christmas cards in 21 years!! I feel a little guilty about it, but couldn't get the kids together for a picture. I have to admit though, it really took a load of work off my plate.

So if you didn't get a card from weren't snubbed...technically I snubbed everyone!

But I still love ya!


Matt is coming home today...providing his planes get through these storms! It will be good to have the family together again- maybe I'll get a picture this time!


This past Saturday I went to a Kennedy girls get together.
Evidently I am a shirt-tail relation to the Kennedy's.

We tried to nail down exactly how we were related to the Kennedy's of Camelot but no one was real sure. Grandma's last name was Kennedy and the fact that one of the Aunt's was rumored to have a very large portrait of JFK in her home seems to be the proof that there are a few drops of Kennedy blood corsing through our veins.

This got me thinking. Maybe I could re-invent the Kennedy name. A conservative, God-fearing Kennedy.

I'm thinking..."The New Kennedy"
or "Kennedy 2.0"
Or maybe "The Softer Side of Kennedy"

But how would that work? Would I change my name? Susan Kennedy-Cramer?
Now that Caroline is looking for a Senate seat in New York, I could be her counter part over her in Michigan.

On second thought, Michigan has some really serious issues these days. Jobs, the big 3 and do I really want to represent a state that looks like a mitten?

I'm just not sure politics is my thing. I think I'll just stick to blogging and skip the whole name change.


I hope you have a wonderful weekend, I'm sure many of you will be gathering with friends and family. I think this year especially has caused us all to re-think our priorities and place value on what is truly important.
Mark 12:30-31
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.

Love God, love your family and friends. That's what matters.

Much love,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There is a Holy Spirit, and It's Not Me

I'm re-posting some of the most popular posts-this one I should re-read just about once a week! :)
This was originally posted February 8, 2008.
Much love, Sue!


Mark and I have been married over 20 years. As we’ve ‘grown together in the grace of life’ we have both learned much about each other and much about how God wants us to treat one another.

Mark was raised in a Christian home, but really started serving the Lord around the time we got married. I had been raised Catholic, but didn’t come to know the Lord until I was in high school. It was then that I started living for the Lord, and so when Mark and I got married, I was the “stronger one spiritually.” I use that phrase loosely because even though I had a few more years of Biblical teaching under my belt, I was anything but spiritually strong. However, I sure thought I was!

We both wanted to live for the Lord and serve Him with our whole hearts. But, I continued to see things in my husband that needed “fixing.” I made it my job in life to “fix” him because as anyone could tell, I was more spiritually mature than he. (ha!)

I thought he should pray more, so I would drop little hints about it and put him on the spot when I saw fit. I thought he should read his Bible more, so I made sure it was strategically placed for him to find it and every chance I had I would let him know that it was something he should be doing more of.

I was stealth I tell you! I made sure that he knew there was more he should be doing for the Lord. After all- if I didn’t, who would? And let me tell you, it’s not easy being stealth when you have a giant plank sticking out of your eye getting in the way all the time! I had to work hard at it.

Then there were my moments of condescension. I could so easy manipulate a conversation to let him know that he needed to be a better Christian. Mind you…this was all while I was being a good and submissive wife. I truly felt that I was doing all the right things and that the Lord was leading me in my controlling ways.

I’m not sure how long it was before my husband starting saying, “Hark, what is that I hear? Is that the Holy Spirit speaking?”

Of course at first, I knew this was just rebellion. Surely God was about to “get him.” How dare he blame me when he is the one with the obvious issues!

Until, I finally heard the still small voice of the actual Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and telling me how wrong I was. This was not an overnight lesson for me. I have learned this, repented and turned around time after time and done the same thing over again.

Eventually I realized the destruction I was bringing in our relationship and the lack of trust that I had in the Lord.

I saw that when I would shut my mouth about a situation and pray and then truly give it to God, He would intervene and do a mighty work in my husband and in me.

The key, I have learned, is stepping out of the way.

Let God be God, let the Holy Spirit do the correcting, training and teaching in both of our lives.

I had a need to control. That need was based on the fact that I did not trust that the Lord answered my prayers. I did not trust that the Holy Spirit would actually speak to my husband about leading our family. That’s really hard to admit, but it’s true. I felt that I could do a better job leading my husband than the Holy Spirit could.

John 16:13-14
3 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

1 Peter 1:2
2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit

Did you catch that? “The sanctifying work of the Spirit.”

The Spirit does the work. The Spirit is the one who sanctifies, not us.

1 Peter 3:1
3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives

I find it funny that is actually says, “without words.” How well does He know us?!

It is our behavior that will speak louder to our husbands. The Lord showed me that I could trust Him, and more importantly that I had so much more work to do on myself! If I would obey the Lord and do MY job in this marriage, He would take care of the rest.

I got a mental picture of the Lord standing before my husband and me standing in the middle of them getting in the way. When I finally stepped back, I saw the Lord do amazing things in my heart and in my husband’s heart.

Our faith became real to both of us.

Prov 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

A familiar verse, once again is so true.

Let the Lord, His Holy Spirit, do a mighty work in you by handing over the burden of your husband’s walk with Christ to Him. It’s not yours to carry.

Pray for your husband. But first pray for yourself, that you would honor the Lord in your marriage and be the Godly wife He has called you to be. Let your actions speak louder than your words.
It’s a prayer I pray often and I still remind myself of this truth:
There is a Holy Spirit, and it’s not me.

I’m praying for our marriages,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Decking the Halls


It's that time of year again, here's a peek into the Cramer Christmas pad.

It's looking like it will be a white Christmas here in Michigan, yay!

Our First Christmas 1987, can hardly believe I just celebrated 21 years with my best friend.

Lot's of joy in this house!

Lauren doing the Jingle Bell Rock.

One of my favorite decorations, this picture of a snowman ~ "praising the Lord"!
All he needs is a cup of hot coffee...well maybe a vanilla bean frappacino instead...

The family room.

The living room.

And because so many of you have been asking about the Christmas Gala
that I spoke at, here is a picture of when I told the story of my
"Worship Accident"
The evening was wonderful, what an amazing bunch of women! They were precious.
And the best part was that no one
threw any shoes at me!!

And here is the reason that we fuss and bother, though sometimes we forget.
I pray that we would not leave the precious baby in the manger,
but embrace Him in our hearts and lives forever.

Thank you for stopping by Praise and Coffee today.

I wish you and your family a beautiful Christmas
and Happy New Year.

Thanks Boomama for doing all the work once again!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is my Dignity

The program started out just fine, standing all in a line.

But then came the humiliation began.

They really were darling! There's nothing more fun than a bunch of kids singing 12 songs one word behind the teacher.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December Praise and Coffee Winner


Congratulataions to Heather at Living for HIM!

Enjoy your Praise and Coffee!

Thanks so much to all of you that entered! Next giveaway will start January 1, 2009.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Building our Marriage on the Rock

In keeping with the "building on the rock" that I talked about the other day~originally posted January 8, 2008.

Hello girls,
I am really looking forward to Two shall be One ~ Tuesdays.

Mark and I have spent so much time ministering to couples who are struggling in their marriage. I would have to say it is what we have spent MOST of our time doing over the past several years.

We spent many years sitting under great marriage teaching in our church, we went to conferences on marriage, we watched several video series by Gary Smalley and have attended accredited classes on marriage relationships.

We are not professional counselors by any stretch of the imagination, but the Lord has seen fit to use us in marriage ministry time and time again. Sometimes learning right along with that couple!

We are also not the perfect couple. Those of you who know us just let out a hearty- “that’s for sure!” We are a normal couple, have normal arguments and trials, but we have an amazing, loving and forgiving God.

When Mark was Pastoring we did several series together on marriage and I want to share some of that with you and mix it with new things the Lord has been showing me in my own life.

So, let’s start at the beginning, and we will probably swing through this station again and again as it is the foundation for any good marriage.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells a story about 2 houses.
One is built on the rock and one is built on the sand.
When the “storms” come, the one built on the rock stood
wile the one built on the sand fell with a great crash.
Let’s look at this verse and instead of the word house,
let’s use the word marriage.

Matthew 7:24-27
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house (marriage) on the rock.
25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house (marriage); yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house (marriage) on sand.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house (marriage), and it fell with a great crash."

Puts a little different spin on it doesn’t it?

What I find to be so interesting about this story is the storm and the lack of definition of it.

So many times when we would ask people what their marriage was built on, they would want to focus on how awful things were and if the circumstances weren’t so awful they would be fine. They just needed to “get through” this.

That’s just not true.

The truth is, the storm is not your problem.
I believe that’s why the storm is not the focus…the foundation of the houses is the focus.

Now, I realize that I am only speaking to one half of the marriage here (unless you sweet ladies are copy and pasting this in an email to your hubbys!). And I know that some of you feel that it is out of your hands. Yes, parts of it may be.

However, in verse 24 it says, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house/marriage on the rock.”

I am an everyone, I think you are an everyone.

We are not responsible for our husband putting God’s words into practice, but we
are accountable to the Lord for the Word that WE put into practice.
Prov 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

One of the most profound things I ever learned about my marriage was to stop pointing my finger at my spouse and start pointing it in the mirror.

What can I do differently?
I would literally ask myself that, and still do!

I could tear my marriage down so quick (and have done it), but the Lord specifically tells us women…BUILD YOUR HOUSE!

If you tear down your husband,
you tear down your house
and the word of God calls you/me foolish.

I want to be wise.

I want to obey God’s Word and put it into practice and that will build my house on the solid foundation. So that WHEN the storms come…my home will stand.

There is so much to say…but I really feel like these messages are to be nuggets for you to chew on. I don’t want to overwhelm you with so much that you just go away spinning.

So here’s the nugget…BUILD.

You know in your heart how to build.
Start with yourself and then bring it into your marriage.

Build yourself up on God’s word and pray.
Don’t just pray that your husband would change!
I challenge you to pray that God would change you.

Lord, I lift up every person reading this. I pray that you would strengthen their marriage by showing them how to make You their foundation. Lord heal marriages. Heal brokenhearts and give hope to those who have none. You are able Lord to do exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think, Father please do that in marriages. Forgive us our sins and help us to forgive those who’ve sinned against us.
In the mightly name of Jesus, Amen.

I'm praying for our marriages,

Monday, December 8, 2008

Catching up and stuff!

After a long weekend with strep thoat, I am starting to feel a little better. I am so thankful to my hubby for spending time with Lauren so that I could sleep away the days.

They went to Chuck E. Cheese, out to eat a few times and the weekly trip to Home Depot. Lots of Daddy/daughter time.

Now I have a mountain of email and things to catch up on, I just love you guys!! All My Facebook and Twitter friends have been so sweet with their well-wishes, thank you!!

I am very happy to be feeling better as I have a busy week. Lauren has a Christmas program, Mark is headed to Canada for business meetings and I am speaking at a church on Friday for a Women's Christmas Gala. If you live in Southern Michigan, come on out! Info is on the button in my sidebar.

For those of you that are thinking about having a Praise and Coffee Night Out after the first of the year, I would love to get it on the calendar on the new website. HERE.
I have a blog radio interview coming up in January and would love to be able to tell about all your Praise and Coffee Nights. Email me your dates when you get them.

Don't forget to sign up for the Praise and Coffee Giveaway, drawing on Wednesday! Scroll down to the post from Dec. 1st.

One more thing...

Gal 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Storm is NOT the Problem

There are many "storms" brewing these days.

The financial crisis in this country is beyond ignoring anymore. I have yet to meet one person who has not been affected by it. The wars and rumors of wars are troubling.

Because of this, many families are struggling, marriages are under tremendous pressure and people are just plain worried about tomorrow and what it will bring.

But in these verses, Jesus gives us a word picture that gives us hope.

Matt 7:24-27

24 "Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock.

26 But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.

27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash."

Two houses, side by side...same storm hits both houses. One stands, one falls.

Our natural thinking would tell us that one of the storms was harder and stronger, but that is not the case in the scenario that Jesus paints for us.

The only difference was the foundation of each house. One built on solid rock, one built on sand.
Then He explains how that applies to us personally:

Matt 7:24
Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise

Matt 7:26
But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish

The storm-no matter how big, loud or awesome it is- is not the problem.
The problem comes when we don't obey God's Word and how He tells us to live our lives.

Our foundations become solid when we obey God's Word.

It's time to live what we believe, live it loud and don't compromise- no matter what that compromise seems to promise.

Be wise in the way we live. Live with integrity, honor the Lord.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Worship Accident

Have you ever had a worship accident?
I have, let me explain.

The other morning I was reading and writing at my computer, no big deal, seemed fairly safe. But see, I have worship music playing in the background. This is where the it gets dangerous.

So there I am reading an article online and the music builds to a powerful part where it says.
"Majesty, Majesty Jesus Lamb of God!" and at that moment I throw my arms up to praise Him. But I forget that I had set up a new lamp so that I could do my Bible study without turning on the main room light.
And there you have it- arms flying up in the air to worship, hand slamming into said lamp and whammo- broken finger nails.

It really put a damper on my worship. I'm sure it was satan :)

But then it occured to me. How do I explain this to Janice, my nail tech???
I don't know if she will understand what it means to have a worship accident.
I could always make something up.

I'll bet they don't wear acrylic nails in the throne room. Good thing.

Here is the song that started it all.
I'm warning you, clear an area before you listen.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Quick to listen???


I am posting today over at the Internet Cafe' and it is not necessarily a marriage post, but I definitely know that it can apply to our marriages.

When we take the time to not only listen to our husband's words, but the "why" behind those words, it is honoring to them.

Take the time to pay attention to the things your husband says and learn to pick up on the things he might not be saying.

Click on over to the Cafe, I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment over there and let me know if it applies to you. Are you a better listener or talker??

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Praise and Coffee Giveaway!

We had a very nice weekend, I hope you did too.
Here are a few pics of ours.

Grandpa and Lauren playing. Goofy girl!

Josh and Sam.

Steph at the buffet!

And we spent the rest of the weekend decorating the house.

Here's my little elf helping.

Now for the giveaway...

The Praise is...
Travis Cottrell's "Ring the Bells"
We all love Travis!!!!

The coffee is:

Millstone Holiday Peppermint flavor.

And don't forget, Bayview Cards wants to bless you too! You will also receive a beautiful box of their homemade cards!!

To enter the drawing, leave a comment on this post. Make sure there is some way for me to contact you if you win (link to a blog or email). No anonymous enteries- it always surprises me when I get those! The drawing will be on the 10th of December.

If you have my GIVEAWAY button on your blog, let me know (please don't assume that I will remember) and you will be entered TWICE!!!!


And I can't end this post without sharing a verse that's been on my mind:

Isaiah 55:8-9
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

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