Where Is Your Focus

The following post is by Lori Lyn Skipper. _____ Pic credit: Laura Mowrey With salty tears running down my cheeks, swallowing over the lump in my throat and my heart aching, I begin this blog. I learned yesterday a long-time friend and co-sharer of the Gospel passed on to Glory in the morning. Upon reading the news yesterday my mind began wandering to years past. And conviction fell. And today as I was looking at her pictures, again, conviction fell. She was one of the most beautiful, God-fearing women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, she genuinely had a beautiful heart and spirit. My heart aches for her husband, her children, her brother and best friend/sister-in-law and her parents. It also aches for all those who knew her and for those that never had the great pleasure of making her acquaintance.... Read more →

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To Bless or Curse: Which Will It Be?

By Martha Bush In my post last month, I told of a betrayal that touched the lives of all my immediate family. This betrayal, with all its false allegations, lead to a court trial. Convinced that I had forgiven the parties involved, even before the trial began, I still had a gnawing feeling that something was still missing. I discovered that the missing link was to Take a Step Beyond Forgiveness - Bless My Enemies. Bless those who persecute you. Bless and Curse not.” (Romans 12:14) My efforts to find out “HOW” to apply the blessing principle lead me to Numbers 6:22-27: The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron this is HOW I want my people blessed: the Lord bless and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” You can... Read more →

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THIS is What Happens When We Fast

SUMites, Wow, this fast was amazing. I fasted food for five days. Only had an egg and a piece of bread Wednesday morning and Thursday. Friday, day five and very hungry but determined, I sat down at my computer to write a new chapter in a new book, Kingdom Keys. Gang, I wrote stuff that was so inspired that I’m kinda freaked out. It is revelation about Simon Peter and His moment when Jesus asks a life altering question. I can’t wait to share it with you. I was covered in holy chill bumps as I finished putting these thoughts on the screen. Mike walked in and I read an entire passage of scripture and then what the Holy Spirit prompted. Mike stood in my office and listened. Of course, he wasn’t sure how to process what I shared but he listened to his wife SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD... Read more →

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The Finest Food and Drink

Hi everyone, on the last day of our fast - we are so close to the finish line! It’s been wonderful adventuring with you and, as always, we’ve made memories. I often think of this site as a memorial of where we’ve been. I can just imagine sitting in a rocking chair as an old lady, looking back. Today we’re going to take communion together; it is the finest food and drink. In giving us this bread and wine, it is as if God has set us the most wonderful table; one we really cannot imagine. In today’s post I’d like to tell you about a treasured item that frames my home. I’ll tell you about it, and then we’ll have communion. Several years ago, when my husband and I bought our house, we decided to put in a new front door. We wanted one with a stained-glass window, and... Read more →

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Five Smooth Stones

Hi everyone As I write, it’s Thursday morning here in New Zealand, and I'm a hungry girl. Each fast I do more than I did before; and yet, this fast, like my others before, has been an imperfect one. Yesterday, for example, I went to work hungry. By 1pm it was awful. I left my office where I was putting on a cheerful front, shut myself in the toilet cubicle and said to Jesus, “HOW did you do this for 40 days?” It made me realize I hadn’t ever considered Jesus’s 40 days of no food or water. At 2pm, I freaked, I had a class to teach: “What if I faint in front of the class?” That was it. Seizing control of my situation, I reached for my bag, pulled out a small wrapped bar called ‘one square meal’, and gobbled it up. My hunger disappeared and I missed... Read more →

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A Very Special Rescue

Hi friends How’s the fasting going? This one's ambitious for me – soup only for dinner has made me starry-eyed! But I'm enjoying the afternoons where I can just sit. I hope you enjoyed yesterday's clips. Amazingly, there is a part two to that story, which I've been excited to share. I'll start with this scripture, which I believe is for us today: “In that day, there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; ... And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea.” Isaiah 11:11 (NKJV) Now to the story: Remember back in June the twelve Thai boys and their... Read more →

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Take a Look

Hi everyone! It's day two of the fast, and I hope you’re doing well. If one day you don’t manage what you set out to, don’t worry -- we just pick ourselves up and carry on. One thing that I believe God adores about the SUMites is our HOPE. Like Abraham, who had a son at age 100, we have been given something unbelievable to hope for: The turning of hearts among those who would be the least likely. Holding on to this hope is pretty difficult, but if we choose it we are partnering in God’s move: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.” Romans 4:18 (NIV) What is hope? One possibility is that it's the actual picture of the victory, which we then choose to believe. It is, perhaps, the ‘different spirit’ held by Joshua and Caleb, who were sent... Read more →

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His Light Shines on a Fasting Heart

Hi SUM family Welcome to day one of our fast, and happy new year! From what I’m hearing, we’re not the only ones who are being led to fast right now. Quite separately, even my home church is fasting and I know other Christians are too. We’re led by the same Spirit. This is my eighth fast with the SUM community, and every time it has been extraordinary. From these shared adventures, I now know that fasting does something very special. With that in mind, I thought I’d share my first ever fasting story. It’s a fun story, but it illustrates the fact that fasting shifts things. It was just before I found the SUM community. I’d noticed in scripture that fasting makes the impossible possible, and so I quietly planned to try it. The opportunity finally came when my husband and boys planned a trip away, leaving me home... Read more →

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Rosh Hashanah Fast

Hi everyone, Ann here. Next Monday it is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This day, also known as the Feast of Trumpets, was a festival given to the Israelites by God, commemorated by trumpet blasts (Leviticus 23:23-32). Trumpet blasts in scripture often symbolize gathering the people together for victory. To that I say, yes please! In past years the SUM community has honored this time by fasting together for the week. We’re going to continue the tradition this year, starting on Monday the 10th at sunrise, and finishing at sunset on Friday the 14th. I always find this fast a beautiful time. It seems to knit us together and bring breakthrough to different parts of our community. We’ve had some amazing things happen in these fasts, and I still get a high when I look back on the comments and remember those moments. Personally, because this time is one... Read more →

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Abiding leads to Transformation

Hello, Ian here once again. As you probably have noticed in many of my posts in the last few years I’ve sought to desire more of God, to experience that oneness with the Father that Jesus prays for us about in John 17. Hey, and isn’t it fabulous that Jesus, Himself, actively helps us in the process? Everyday. As He continually intercedes in prayer for us. This desire for more brought me, firstly, to writing a new non-fiction book, and then when I discovered I didn’t have sufficient material, secondly, to take up study again in participating in a Spiritual Formation course. To date I marvel at what I’m both learning and experiencing. The Heart It’s a journey of the heart as the prophet Jeremiah declared: “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their... Read more →

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