48 posts categorized "Bible"

Spiritual Leadership For The Unequally Yoked

Leadership of the family is absolutely challenging when married to an unbeliever. Years ago, my husband was far away from God. It was obvious that he would not be leading our family in daily devotions nor praying with us. My reality at the time was on the receiving end of his hostility toward all things of faith. He was adamant that he wouldn’t attend church. I think in that season every emotion on the spectrum would bombard my thoughts. Taking them captive to Christ saved me from unending confusion and fear. In the early years of marriage, as a young wife, I Christian leader on the radio say: If your husband has abdicated or refused to step into the role as the spiritual leader of your home then God expects, you, as the wife to take that place in the family. FREEDOM!!! I was freed to become the leader for... Read more →

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Spiritual Leadership When Unequally Yoked       

Nation of SUM Warriors, To follow up on my post from Monday, there some discussion about the perspective I shared. It’s interesting to me that a few readers were uncomfortable with my perspective on the old English, King James Version of 1 Peter 3. I get it! Of course, I’m not a theologian. I’m only an ordinary wife and believer who is on this faith journey along with the rest of you. And I only pointed out my perspective because sometimes the Lord is the one who is longing to bring greater understanding to scripture. I will add one more comment about the King James rendering. For centuries the church in general accepted this particular rendering which included the word conversation. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that new translations came into the public readership and were widely received, that the rendering of conversation changed to behavior. King James was written... Read more →

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Begin Thanksgiving With Thanks

The predawn light slips through the window as I sleepily rub my eyes and wait for the coffee to trickle into the pot. The aroma awakens a gentle smile. I swirl in the creamer then shuffle to my prayer room. There I gather my life-line, my Bible and the spiral binder. All is quiet. The family slumbers. It’s peaceful in this early morning hour. My hands clasp about the cup, glad warmth seeps into my fingers. The warm air from the heater begins to circulate the room, as do the angelic. Seated under the lamp, I slowly open the pages. The precious and powerful pages that literally saved my life, changed my heart and continue to do so. These are the very pages where I met Jesus. I turn to the latter days of November. Rough and worn pages reflect scribbles of familiar writing, my thankfulness across the top, of... Read more →

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Part 2: You Are Loved! &The Mystery Revealed

Dear friends, I'd love it if you'd post a quick review on Amazon. We so appreciate that. Every sale benefits this ministry and pays our bills. And reviews help us tremendously. Thank you! Love you! ~Dineen Tweet this!: “So my philosophy has shifted from seeking an easier life to seeking God for a more fulfilling life.” pg. 9 #youarelovedcoloringbiblestudy Order from The SUM Shop or Amazon Read more →

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Digging for Truth in the Bible

My friends, a few weeks back several of you left comments about wanting to know how I study the Bible and dig out the truths and revelations. I want to share that with you today so you can start digging deeper and seeking to know God more intimately too! First and foremost, understand that this is how the Holy Spirit and I operate together. He leads, I follow, and He reveals truth. First, let’s start with the tools I use: A journaling Bible (ESV translation) A journal and pen An iPad The Olive Tree Bible App In this Bible app, I have multiple translations (11 to be exact) of the Bible, several of which include the Strong’s Numbers that give you the Greek and Hebrew words and definitions. I also have three commentaries, study notes for two translations, and a cross reference. For example, here is a screen shot of... Read more →

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The Rooms in God's House

Hello, dear friends! So good to be back with you this week! I couldn't wait to share this beautiful revelation from John 14. God's Word is so very present and for us now. I pray this insight brings that home to your hearts in an astounding way. The words I am referencing: Rooms: monē — a staying, abode, mansion, abiding, dwelling, metaphor of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers (comes from menō — to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): — abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own, live, not to depart. House: oikia — a house, an inhabited edifice, a dwelling Way: hodos — way, journey, metaphorically a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding. And I hope this prayer blessed you and your marriage as you wait in expectancy for God to fill the "room" of our spouse's heart... Read more →

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Seeing Our Spouse Like God Does

We live in a world that defines us by what we do, but as believers we are called to walk to the beat of a different drum. That beat is the pulse of the Father's heart and who He says we are. SUMites, our Heavenly Father’s heart beats for our spouse too, because he has placed an eternal identity in them as well, just waiting to be unlocked, and I firmly believe we are called to partner with God to help identify, reveal and release that identity in them. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. — Ecc 3:11 I also believe this is a key part of our authority in Christ and in our marriage as the spiritual leader in the home. We... Read more →

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The Book of Esther: Enemies Destroyed and a New Holiday

Esther, mosaic, Jerusalem-The Church of Hagia Maria Zion-The Dormition Church For such a time as this… SUMites, when we last left Esther and Mordecai, the king had given them Mordecai his signet ring (authority). Esther seems to hold such great favor with the king that just her explanation of her relationship to Mordecai results in this transfer of authority. Esther again speaks to the king, falling at his feet in tears as she pleads for the lives of her people. The king gives both her and Mordecai permission to do what they feel best to save the Jews. The king’s scribes are summoned and a new proclamation is written to “react” to the one Haman had made. Since a Persian’s king’s decree could not be revoked, this counter attack was the best way to stop the annihilation of the Jewish population. Once again, the God of the Jews is protecting... Read more →

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The Book of Esther: The Queen Risks Everything

Esther, mosaic, Jerusalem-The Church of Hagia Maria Zion-The Dormition Church For such a time as this… My friends, we’re moving deeper into the story of Esther where things are moving much faster and starting to heat up in a big way. We left the story with Queen Esther’s life hanging in the balance. As chapter five opens, Queen Esther has put on her royal robes (put on her best dress) and enters the king’s throne room. We hold our breath and wait. What will her fate be? Yet we know who, I mean WHO, has her back, right? With God behind her, she is destined for victory. Just as we are, my friends. Often, it’s all in how we look at it. Like Mordecai, we can turn every situation upside down and ask God, “What do you want to do here? What are the possibilities?” King Xerxes extends his scepter,... Read more →

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A Declaration of Salvation

Hello, SUMites! Can you believe we’re already in March? Time seems to keep speeding up on me, so I’ve made the decision to look forward to Christmas all year long. If this most precious season is going to keep fleeting by on me, I’m going to make the most of it the rest of the year. Are you laughing at me? LOL! That’s fine if you are. But on a deeper note, I believe this is actually part of the journey God has me walking to know more joy and delight, especially delight in Him. Which brings me back to Isaiah. Who would have, at first glance, thought that the book of Isaiah is one we can delight in? But it is. It is the book that holds the most prophetic words about the Messiah coming and who He would be to the Israelites. And to us… That’s the delightfully... Read more →

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The Rains of God’s Glory

My friends, I have something very special to share with you today. It’s something I was unsure about sharing at first, but a phone convo with Lynn helped me see I should indeed share it with you. And since then, God has revealed a bit more and connected more dots. In early 2014 God told me to pray for California. This was before our move to Florida. II was sitting on my porch one morning with my favorite mug full of coffee and my Bible. As I read and prayed, God told me to “pray a wave a faith over California.” I didn’t quite understand what that would look like, but I did what He asked and began praying this obediently for months. Fast forward to the Spring of 2015. We’d moved part time to Florida but still spent several months in California and still owned our home there. The... Read more →

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Our Perception and God’s

I’m fascinated by Jesus. I’m fascinated by how He interacts with people in the Bible and today. And I’m fascinated by the deeper meanings the Holy Spirit brings to us as we move closer to the truth of who we are and find healing in that process. My friends, one such story is found in Luke 7, the story of Jesus being anointed by a sinful woman. If you have a moment, read this account in Luke 7:36-50. As I read this story recently, the Holy Spirit answered a long-held question I had in a very unexpected way. This question came from Jesus’ statement, “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” I asked the Lord once again, “Lord, do I have to be forgiven of a lot of things in order to love you better?” The question sounded ridiculous to me as I wrote it in my journal, because... Read more →

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The Times They are a Changin'

My friends, I pray this video encourages you. As I suggested, read Ezra and this amazing story of how God used King Cyrus, the leaders of the Trans Eurphrates, King Artaxerxes and King Darius to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The very people and plans to stop this wound up revealing the original edict by Cyrus to rebuild the Temple. God loves to turn things on end and surprise us, SUMites. Remember, things won't look the way you expect. This is not a time of either or. It's a time of yes and both and AMEN! So let's be in prayer together for our loved ones. When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be... Read more →

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Defending the Bible

A few days ago, I received a prayer request from a new reader. As I answered her email, I realized that her situation is also similar to many of us. So, I want to share her question/prayer request and my answer. Let me know if you are in this season of marriage and struggle and I will be so glad to pray for you. Hugs, Lynn From B: My husband says he believes but every time that I open my Bible or talk about God he makes me feel like I'm wasting my time and brings up controversial issues in the bible to try to prove it’s not true. It weakens my faith because he makes really good points and it then makes me feel stupid for believing it. I don't want to feel this way and I know it's Satan trying to steal my joy and my faith and... Read more →

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The Power of God’s Words

"Jesus is your sword." One of the things I love about living in Florida is the cloud formations. They are tall and fluffy, filling the sky with a terrain of fluffy like cotton. Then other times they are imposing and dark, flashing with lighting and pouring down rain. Rarely is the sky completely devoid of these puffy wonders. One bright and humid Florida morning, I went for a walk to worship and pray. My conversation with God that day was about prayer and words. I wanted to understand more about what He seemed to be impressing upon my heart to understand. I looked up in the sky and noticed a could that looked just like a sword, which I thought was so interesting. But what made it relevant was what the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I looked at this simple formation. “Jesus is your sword.” My friends, this... Read more →

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Guest Post: The Mismatched Family by Dee Rusnak

Dear friends, I'm traveling this week and will be in Nashville for the ACFW conference. I'm thrilled to share this most encouraging post by SUMite, Dee Rusnak. How amazing to think our Lord and Savior Jesus understands our mismatched places because He lived it too. Thank you, Dee, for once again sharing your beautiful heart and encouraging words with us! Love you! See you next week, SUMites! Dineen The Mismatched Family By Dee Rusnak How often have we learned that God is never in a hurry, or at least within our time frame? Or better, never in the way we expect? We read in Joshua how ripe Jericho was for the taking, but God said not so fast with the Israelites who were hungry to take the land. And, when they did, it was in such an unorthodox way (Joshua 6 - marching around the city). Why do we want... Read more →

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What Does God Want From Me?

Hello SUMite Nation, The Holy Spirit is speaking the Word – PRAYER! (Don’t tune out. This is good.) “Oh man, did she just write – PRAYER.” Did you just whisper this under your breath? Let me explain what I feel the Lord is impressing upon me as well as upon most of His church right now. Prayer. Some of you may remember that I served on staff in Women’s Ministry at my local church for years. I led Bible study groups, choose studies for our women and directed a lot of the Bible study efforts. I left that position four or five years ago as our online and book ministry began to grow. What I always found fascinating and utterly disappointing in the years of choosing Bible studies was the fact that if we chose a Bible study about prayer, no one signed up. Yep. Bummer! But true. However, what... Read more →

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You are Powerful!

My friends, today’s post came as a complete surprise to me. Interesting way to start, isn’t it? Well, the Holy Spirit seems to be doing things quite differently in me these days, so I’m doing my best to follow His lead and trust He has a something already in mind even when He waits to the last minute! For this planner girl who likes her ducks in a row, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I am more than willing to walk this adventure with Him. It’s full of surprises! So how did this unexpected post unfold? An email. I was answering a dears sister’s plea for help about praying for her family. As I wrote to her, the verse keeps speaking to my heart right now became a key element, which then led to another verse that I’ve held dear for a while. And then in the midst... Read more →

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Change The DATE - Praying The Word

OOPIE! Yep, Lynn's back and I'm showing my blonde. Many of you have already registered for the LIVE online class, Praying The Word of God with me. AWESOMENESS! However, I gave you the wrong date. The date of both classes is now scheduled for August 16th. Class times at 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. PACIFIC. This is the following week on a Tuesday. If you already registered and cannot make that date, please forgive me. I hope to offer the class again later in the fall. It's not too late to sign up. To register visit the registration page Praying the Word with Lynn Donovan. The class is FREE. Let me ask you a few questions. Do you want to pray with power? Do you want to pray and actually know God heard you? Do you want to see the results from your prayers? This class is intended to instruct... Read more →

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Want To Know How To Pray For Real Results?

A few weeks ago I experienced a breakthrough in my faith walk. Breakthroughs are amazing but I find in my life they usually follow a difficult season. This was true once again for me. However, the result of persevering in faith through the challenges is astonishing. So my friends, if you are in the darkest part of your valley, press in to the Father, because the breakthrough is SO worth it. This particular breakthrough increased my belief in the prayers that I utter for others. I began to really see powerful and immediate things change when I prayed for people. Say what? Being filled with a fresh anointing of faith and exuberance, I posted something to my Facebook wall about breakthrough and how I was walking in a fresh anointing of Holy Spirit fire. At the end of this post I asked a simply three-word question: Who want’s prayer? Within... Read more →

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Dealing with Disappointment

Photo courtesy of taoty/FreeDigitalPhotos.net You know when you’re in church listening to the sermon and you feel the pastor is speaking specifically to you and only to you? Well I had that experience a week ago. The message was all about disappointment. But I also sensed the Lord wanted me to share some of it with us. Yes, leaning on my pastor for inspiration once again. I trust you don’t mind. Misplaced Expectations We’re often disappointed aren’t we? Things aren’t turning out the way they should be or how we hoped they would? Our spouse still hasn’t made a commitment to the Lord even though we’ve been praying for it for however many years. In fact, they appear to be even more opposed to it. Our kiddies are struggling too which grieves us so and increasingly sends us to our knees. What about our dearest friendships? The intimacy we once... Read more →

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Part Four: The Promised Provision

My friends, are you ready for more of God’s amazing truth and love? Are you ready to have your thinking transformed a bit today? Let’s go back to the book of Jeremiah and take another look at King Zedekiah’s story. Let’s look at the first five verses of Jeremiah 34, because this is where things get really interesting. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all the armies from the kingdoms he ruled, and he fought against Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. At that time this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape his grasp but will be captured and taken to meet the king of Babylon face... Read more →

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Part Three: When Things Don’t Make Sense

Recently, I sat in a big room with about 50 people worshiping God in their own way, creating one big mass of noise. But when I closed my eyes, Holy Spirit tuned my ears to hear each individual sound—instruments, voices singing and praying. Each one was distinct and clear. Then I opened my eyes and heard God in my spirit say, “Things won’t look the way you expect.” The next day, God brought me to Jeremiah 33-39 and sat me there for at least a week. I’m still trying to digest the full range of God’s heart in this, my friends, so I suspect more will unfold as I share with you what God is teaching me right now in this season. So let’s start with the story of King Zedikiah of Judah and Jeremiah the prophet. There are so many details to this story so I encourage you to... Read more →

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A Past and Present Story

Hello, SUM family. I'm with Lynn in wondering how this month has gone by so fast! Here I thought I'd run out of stories only to find I needed to pick and choose the best ones, because there are so many. And I will say they are truly God's stories—the evidence of His love and presence. We all have His-stories to tell, my friends. They are our testimonies. My story today has it’s roots in the past and is blossoming in unexpected ways today today. I never expected to be ordained. In a way that truth is still settling into my heart and mind, because it's not something I ever felt worthy to aspire to. But we know our worth is determined by what Jesus did and not what we do. I find I must remind myself of that daily. I trust God daily to free me from that performance... Read more →

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The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

On Tuesday I wrote about God’s promises and asked you to choose one promise you are standing for right now, write it on an idea card and as a prophetic act, stand on it and speak this promise over yourself, your family, or whatever the situation this promise is for. I want to back up just a bit and be sure that our community understands just how powerful it is the speak God’s Word back to Him, to speak what came from the supernatural into the natural realm (Heb. 11:3). If if you read the Psalms, you’ll notice King David was a master at this. Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. — Psalm 27:13 In the early years of my Christian faith, I didn’t understand this. I always read my Bible, studied Scriptures and memorized verses... Read more →

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