Articles written by Sue Carlisle


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  • God's Dream

    Sue Carlisle|Updated May 14, 2024

    For years I've written about our awesome Creator, but sometimes I wonder how much truth sinks into my own heart. It seems that enjoying a tasty meal with all of its flavors or admiring a beautiful landscape is different than trusting the One who gave us all of it. I get frustrated with my own disconnect sometimes. I praise God because He is so great, but then I hesitate when He asks me to trust Him. Why is that? Do any of you have such issues? A situation from over 20 years...

  • Spring

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Mar 26, 2024

    The tree in front of our house appears dark and bare against a gray sky. It looks dead; yet by the time you read this it will be full of pink blossoms. The dry, brown grass will turn green and life will begin to flourish once again. The transformation lifts my spirits. Spring brings new lambs, calves and colts to farmers and ranchers and fawns, kits and cubs to the fields and bush. So much new life all at once! "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity...

  • Seeking Truth

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Jan 22, 2024

    I like to have a purpose or a goal-something that gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning-and the start of a new year seems like a good time to examine my purposes and explore new goals. I always thought I would like to be a treasure hunter. I watched a documentary the other night about how divers accidentally discovered a Spanish shipwreck from 1715; it had carried millions in gold and jewels. They set their anchor, flagged their location, and the show ended. Oh,...

  • Where Does My Help Come From?

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    I like writing about butterflies and the wonders of water and light, but to do so right now in the midst of wars and misery seems more like someone avoiding reality and escaping to some fantasy world; it doesn't seem professional. At least I didn't think so-until I realized that focusing on God's creation is exactly what brings me comfort in the midst of a painful, broken world. Psalm 121 begins with, "I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?" I had always...

  • Pumpkin Spice

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Sep 15, 2023

    August is not yet over while I write this, but the light outside is changing. A few leaves are preparing for their fall showing by displaying a few reds and oranges here and there. It always seems too early for these changes to happen, but the changes do warn us that winter is coming and we need time to prepare, both mentally and physically. We have about six months of winter in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where I live. Snow begins falling and sticking in November and tells us...

  • Living Words

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Jul 14, 2023

    Words fascinate me. I like word paintings where wildflowers carpet a meadow and chipmunks chatter above the breeze whispering through the nearby pines. What sights and sounds would you add to your scene? I enjoy imaginative words like kaleidoscope. The colourful pieces at the end of the telescopic tube dramatically change patterns with the slightest turn of the tumbler. Combined words are the most meaningful. Chocolate is a good prefix to any word. What word would you use to...

  • Unknown Plans

    Sue Carlisle|Updated May 18, 2023

    What are your plans today? We had an ice storm early this morning so I cancelled my previous plans, put on some warm, comfy clothes, made some orange-cranberry scones and a cup of tea, and sat at my computer to write you a note. Plans change for all sorts of reasons. Through my TV, I rode along with some storm chasers yesterday. I thought they got a bit too close to those tornados for my comfort. I cannot imagine facing such monsters, and the fact that many come at night...

  • Peace in the Storm

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Mar 20, 2023

    How are you today? I'm munching on chocolate. An ice storm roared through earlier today. My husband, Wes, wondered what the noise was, and I explained that a snow plow must be working on the road. After 15 minutes, I realized that the "plow" had not moved; instead the wind was plowing through our community. But that's not the reason for the chocolate; it only adds backdrop to my sadness and uncertainty. How do you feel about the world's trauma and upheaval? The earthquakes in...

  • Quiet Comfort

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Jan 27, 2023

    How are you with silence? I wouldn’t want continuous silence, but I enjoy special moments of stillness. I especially like quiet. My dad once told me that it was because I grew up in Wyoming. Dad really missed Wyoming in his last years. I don’t live there any longer so I miss it too. I remember nature’s concert as the Wind River flowed around a big bend in the pasture. Water rippled over rocks here and there, adding high notes to the river’s music. I can still hear that sw...

  • Changing Seasons

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Sep 30, 2022

    Summer is leaving and autumn is arriving. Some call it Fall. I sometimes wonder if that is because it is related to the Fall of Man from the Garden of Eden. We are falling away from green grass and colorful flowers and heading for white and brown frozen things. I'm not really depressed about it, as it may sound; I enjoy cuddling under a soft blanket and reading or watching a movie as storms rage outside. I just know that life is more difficult in winter. This changing season...

  • From Darkness to Light

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Aug 5, 2022

    As darkness retreats at sunrise, there is no place quite like the mountains to enjoy the first rays of morning light. Shimmering rays dance across the lake, inviting wildlife to leave their shadowy shelters for a cool morning drink. Through the stillness I hear the familiar plink of a fish jumping to snatch an insect. Insistent jays and chattering chipmunks urge me to pay attention to the glory around me. Indian paintbrush, yellow buttercups and purple mountain columbine...

  • New Life in an Old Heart

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Jun 23, 2022

    My life changed that day. I had prepared a visual feast for my Sunday school class. I loaded books on mountains and waterfalls, colorful birds and fish, animals from every continent, galaxies and snowflakes into boxes in readiness for the next morning. Just as a funny thought, I asked the Lord if He had anything to add. I did not really expect an answer; I thought I had covered His creation well and I was just doing a lesson. But He did answer me. I heard, "All things were...

  • Life Times

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Jun 23, 2022

    Have you ever sensed life passing so fast that you couldn't keep up with it? Every ten days we have to do laundry, and I constantly say, "I just did laundry yesterday!" Christmas always takes me by surprise. I turn 75 this summer; yet I'm sure I turned 17 only a few months ago. I heard of someone doing this with their age, so I tried it and was amazed by what I saw. I imagined a tack pinning the end of a string on 1947, the year I was born. Then I extended that string up to...

  • Wonders

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Mar 28, 2022

    I watched the jet streaming across the sky and wondered at how many people were inside; I wondered where they were going and if they were nervous about speeding along at such heights. How can that plane fly through the same air that we breathe into our lungs? It seems too airy to carry anything. How does that cruise ship carrying 3,000 people, their vacation stuff and enough food to feed them all, float along on water that I can dip my hand into? I would never have believed...

  • The Giver and His Gift

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Nov 22, 2021

    Imagine how you would feel if you and your loved one had a harsh disagreement; painful words flew back and forth until you separated into different parts of the house or maybe even different parts of town. The next day you received a beautiful bouquet of flowers; you hurried to open the card, hoping to see words of comfort and unending love. As you tore open the card, unfamiliar handwriting assaulted your hopes; a friendly neighbor just thought you might need some cheer for yo...

  • Trees

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Oct 4, 2021

    I felt a little weary and discouraged this morning. We just returned from a road trip where I discovered that travelling is harder on my joints than it used to be. We visited my brother who is now in hospice at home. We had a treasured visit for a few days, and I am grateful for that. We had not been to the United States for a couple of years, and people in malls and restaurants seemed wary and stressed. It is not surprising with the gun violence, the southern border crisis,...

  • Choosing Love

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Sep 2, 2021

    This has been a difficult article to write, not because of my personal circumstances, but because I have a hard time writing a joyful article when the residential school story is stirring the heartache of so many again. My mom's cousin, Wilma, who was like my aunt, had been sent from Nebraska to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, but she never talked about it around me. It may have even been a good experience for her; I don't know. She was a bright light in my life....

  • The Wonder of You

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Jun 7, 2021

    Dear Friends, I have been writing for Indian Life for around 16 years, so I often feel like I am writing to friends, even though I have not met many of you. For the March/April issue, as I could not pull enough creative thoughts together to write anything. My father died of COVID-19 in January, my last living aunt died a week later, and that same week a friend here collapsed unexpectedly and died. She had recently been to my house sharing some Christmas baking. She had looked...

  • Creative Artistry

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Feb 2, 2021

    After the political animosity, the protests, riots, killings, fires, floods, and COVID19, I need a break. Even though I did not lose my home or a loved one in the past few months, I feel the weight and stress around me. I get frustrated with the lawlessness and saddened and stressed by other people's losses across North America. (I don't keep up with the rest of the world.) Jesus warned His disciples about difficulties coming when He told them, "At that time many will turn awa...

  • Loving Laminin

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Dec 8, 2020

    To avoid my ho-hum attitude associated with taking earth and its marvels for granted, I try pretending. What if I lived in a distant galaxy and came to visit earth for the first time? What would I think of it all? I began my series on miracles with our atmosphere. I take it for granted. I breathe it in, walk around in it, view distant stars through it, and ignore the fact that without the atmosphere I would cease to exist. Flight is another matter. I have never lost my awe...

  • The Life in Spice

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Oct 14, 2020

    In my last article, I began a new series about God's miracles that are all around us. I still think about that thin atmospheric line protecting us from the cold blackness of outer space. Life is fragile, yet so abundant! We usually think of miracles as a healing or something supernatural and extraordinary, but to me, as I think of that thin line, even a mundane banana is a miracle. How did we get such things as bananas onto this planet? We didn't. That is the miracle! As leave...

  • God's Life Line

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Aug 6, 2020

    My favorite mystery ended, and the screensaver satellite image of earth began. I felt too awake to go to bed so I sat, fascinated with watching the picture. I focused on the ribbon of atmosphere dividing our living planet from the frigid blackness of space. It looked so thin, so fragile. I felt uneasy. If that line went away, we would all be dead in a microsecond. I guess gravity must hold our atmosphere in place, but what if the One who provided life changed His mind about...

  • The Creator's Victory

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Jun 15, 2020

    I want to conclude my series based on my book, Walking with the Creator, with thoughts from the final lesson, The Creator's Victory. The beguiling serpent offered Eve some intriguing lies. He told her that the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would taste good and make her wise-and that contrary to what God told her, she really would not die. God had given her every good tree in the Garden except for the one that involved evil. I wondered why such a tree...

  • The Christmas Star

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Apr 8, 2020

    I grew up in Wyoming so I treasured my panoramic view of the stars as seen through the dry mountain air. But, apparently, I had always viewed them with some sort of anchor in the scene such as a house or a tree. One night I decided to position myself with no earthly objects to clutter the view; I saw only stars. In one terrifying second I experienced my body plummeting into space. I grabbed the grass to keep from falling and steadied myself by looking at our house. I felt...

  • A 20-20 Focus

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Apr 7, 2020

    I cannot believe it is a fourth of the way through 2020! To me, reaching 2020 is like hitting one of those life-changing numbers like 20, 40 or 70. Each one carries a different emotion and expectation. I felt a bit uncertain when I turned 70, but no matter what our age, we can be certain that God has a plan. Here is part of the last lesson from my book, Walking with the Creator Along the Narrow Road. The third chapter of Genesis is a drama about a broken relationship between...

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