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July 2015

17 entries from June 2015

July 4th: Renewing Our Hope and Trust in God

Dear SUM family, Lynn and I hope and pray the series on the Books of Peter has encouraged and strengthened you. We enjoyed sharing this journey with you, and Lynn and I both feel so honored to be a part of this community and to be praying for you. Your requests Monday have moved our hearts so deeply, and we know they have moved our King Jesus' heart too. He died for us, He lives for us, He cries with us, He heals us. We believe this in the Name of Mighty Jesus, and as His Word stands, But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them. — Isaiah 52:6 NLT My friends, this is the truth we stand on and right now as many of are... Read more →

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Do You Need Healing? The Books Of Peter - Suffering & Healing

He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed." -1 Peter 3:24 Dineen and I chatted this morning about this very thing, our thoughts centered on Isaiah 61:1 The Bible is clear that we will endure suffering. The books of Peter have many passages but the suffering that every believer can expect to endure is also what Jesus suffered - persecution of our faith. Believers can also suffered due to our own stubbornness, pride, and fear which can lead to poor choices. Fear and agreement with the enemy’s lies provides a chink in our armor and access to our person. Example: Bitterness, if bitterness dwells in our heart for very long, it can affect us physically in all manner of illnesses. (We become prisoners.) Additionally, This fact is utterly unfair... Read more →

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Books of Peter: Secure in the Face of Opposition (part 2)

Dear friends, on Wednesday we talked about how it was Peter’s intent to encourage his readers to be of one mind as believers, to place loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ above disagreements and insults. Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over... Read more →

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Submission - The Books of Peter

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own 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, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. —1 Peter... Read more →

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The Books of Peter: Secure in the Face of Opposition (part 1)

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But... Read more →

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Prepared To Give An Answer - The Books of Peter

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.—1 Peter 3:13-16 Reading through Peter a few weeks ago, I came to this passage. And immediately I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to pose this question to all of you. What is your answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have? This is our testimony. If you... Read more →

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2 Peter 3: God Waits Too

So happy to be with you today, my friends. I love our community. We are family and live daily the truths of Jesus Christ together. Lynn and I love our S.U.M. family so much. You all amaze and bless us everyday in how you love and pray for each other. And for us! Just wow…my heart is so full of pride in you, if I may say that. And I sense what I’m feeling is coming from our Papa God’s heart. He is proud of us, SUMites. We are known by our love. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. — John 13:34-35 As we continue our Summer Bible Study in the books of Peter, I found myself this... Read more →

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The Pit - The Books of Peter

Today's study post comes from Sumite, Pam O. Thanks Pam for your great words of encouragement. SUMites, our community is, and has been, under a lot persecution. I just recently posted some of my woes on this forum. It is so uplifting to receive words of encouragement from others in the battlefield. However, the Lord has placed these thoughts and words on my heart and I hope you don’t mind if I share these insights with you. It started with a passage from John 12:27 where Jesus is in the Garden and struggling with what lies ahead. He says, “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!” These words just jumped off the page at me. In essence, why am I praying to be delivered from the very reason God put me here? In contrast... Read more →

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God Restores Us Too (part 2)

Dear friends, on Saturday I started telling you a little bit about the dark night of the soul I walked through in 2014 and what 1 Peter 5:6-10 came to mean to me. Let’s look at those verses again and I’ll finish my story. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. — 1 Peter 5:6-10... Read more →

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Bible Study Interrupt

I’m going to interrupt our Bible Study today. I had prepared a post for today. It’s written and ready, however as the weekend progressed and while standing in line with my husband at Walmart, I sensed the Holy Spirit, strongly caution me to wait and pray and contemplate that particular post. (There must be more He wants to teach me.) So, I’m going to pray about it. Stay tuned. In place of that post, the Holy Spirit, urged me to relay a message to our community. To all of you in our amazing family on the web, our church without walls. This is the story. This past week has been very difficult for me. And I can’t express nor explain all that transpired but I came under heavy persecution for my faith. And I guess it was to be expected as I wrote about persecution last week. I didn’t realize... Read more →

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God Restores Us Too

Dear friends, today I want to talk about a part of 1 Peter that has been very powerful in my life. It is a truth that God proved to me over the course of a year and a half, and is in fact, still showing me. What I’m about to share with you has been powerful and life-changing. It proved to me that I truly could stand on God’s Word and trust Him to do what He says. Even if I didn’t completely feel I could believe the promise, I stepped out in faith with a heart desire to fully believe it. Astonishingly, God honored my action with astounding faithfulness. I’ve shared in the past how difficult 2014 was for me. Health issues combined with a very real battle for my mind took me into a dark night of the soul, a spiritual battle, that God allowed in order to... Read more →

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Persecution - The Books Of Peter - Will The Church Go Underground?

So…… Ahem, ya. (long sigh) I planned on writing about suffering. So this week I experienced persecution, first-hand. Sheesh! Why does that always happen? Peter shares a few common themes through his two books. Today we are going to look at suffering. Specifically let’s read: If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. —1 Peter 4:14 Most of the passages within Peter’s books focus on suffering for our faith. Persecution. Stay tuned as we will discuss suffering and physical healing next. But today, I believe we should focus on the suffering we endure because of our faith. It’s obvious when reading through the books of Peter that he was a persecuted man. His feelings and his charge to the churches for endurance are evident. I personally believe that persecution is the only suffering that... Read more →

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1 Peter 1 & 2: Foundations and Identity (part 2)

My friends, I know summer is upon you and many of you are in the throws of school ending, schedules changing, and summer plans. Please know that we love that you make this place a part of your busy lives—Lynn and I are honored to be a part of your lives. On Saturday, I left you with two questions. What was a cornerstone and Who was/is that cornerstone? As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. — 1 Peter 2:4-6 ESV... Read more →

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Summer Study - An Ordinary People Who Have Been With Jesus

Gang, As we work out way through the books of Peter, I would be remiss if I didn’t stop to share some thoughts about my last post on Friday. So, let me expand a bit on what I shared. One thing has nagged me about the post. I shared an example of a fictitious husband who is lost in a world of self-hatred which expresses in his life through alcohol addiction and rage. It grieves me to say that many SUMites walk in this place with an angry, drunken spouse. Because I know this, I want you to hear me now. I understand that it’s not easy or simple to forgive and love someone that behaves in destructive and hurtful patterns. Let me state the following: If you are living in an abusive marriage, seek help. Today, this hour. For yourself and your children. Pray to break off the spirit... Read more →

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1 Peter 1 & 2: Building Foundations (part 1)

My friends, we’ve been set up. But in a good way. A great way. Let me explain. Or better yet, I’ll let Peter explain… This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. — 1 Peter 1:10-12 NLT We walk in this truth today, the very truth of salvation that the prophets and even the angels... Read more →

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Peter 2 - It's Hard To Love People

Man, reading through the books of Peter have set my faith on fire. I want to chat with you about so many of the passages. There is such power to live a life of strong faith within these titles. And these two small books speak specifics to all of us walking in a spiritually mismatch marriage. So hold on to your hats, we’re gonna experience a whirlwind of faith that shakes our world in every good way. Awesomeness!!!! I want to start in a weird place, turn to 2 Peter, chapter 1. It was in this chapter, months ago, that I realized the Spirit was pointing out the pathway of faith to me. I wrote in my Bible at the time in the margin: The Pathway of a Life of Faith. Let’s take a look: Let me point out verse three: By his divine power, God has given us everything... Read more →

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Summer Bible Study: Peter’s Restoration

Peter’s story of restoration is one of my favorites in the Bible. And I think knowing where he came from gives us even deeper appreciated of his letters which reflect the man of faith he became. So let’s just jump to John 21 and look at the foundation Jesus built in the man we know as Peter. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because... Read more →

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