30 posts categorized "Communication"

The Destroyer Has Arrived. Do You Know Its Name?

Love vs. Fear Choose wisely. SUMites, I’ve been in a new classroom with Jesus. Wow has it been interesting. ….. and timely. And since the beginning of this blog in 2006 the Lord instructed me to share what I’m learning. So, in the next few weeks we are going to look as several aspects of our society and church relationships. We will examine conflict resolution, restoration and honor. We will look at the spiritual realm in light of the teaching and perhaps touch on a few more issues as the Lord leads. Additionally, all of the teaching and skills we acquire through this series will have a wide affect on our homes, our church life, our social constructs, marriages but mostly in our personal relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Today, I’m just gonna jump into the deep end of the pool and hope I don’t drown or... Read more →

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#fingerprintrevelations

Hey SUMnation! Tiffany here. Some of you have heard me talk about this unique journey that the Lord has me on right now with my job. I shared this on the SUM sisters in Christ group on Facebook but wanted to reach out and share here as some of you (especially the men) may have questions about what I do as a job and how God is gifting me for ministry. I wanted to give you a quick snap shot into where I spend 40 hours a week and when my heart is prepped right and my mind focusing on the Lord I am given insight that can only come from the Holy Spirit. Welcome to my fingerprinting station (picture left). There are two other girls that I work with in my office and we each have our own computer/desk and our own fingerprint station. For the most part my... Read more →

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Men Stuff ... Part 2

mage courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Ian here again. Firstly, thank you for your engagement in the first of this occasional series of posts. I loved seeing the discussion and responding to the comments that were made. I hadn’t planned on writing another such post so soon but the universe conspired (ie the power of 3 made me sit up and take notice) to bring some thoughts to bear that I thought might serve as a useful discussion. Firstly, I was chatting with a couple of wise men last week and we were particularly discussing how men communicate. Secondly, we’re all aware of the #metoo dialogue that has had significant airplay over the past few months. I recently read a fascinating article written by a bloke who explored how this predatory side of men had evolved and finally, one of my favourite authors, Tim Winton (an Aussie National... Read more →

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Choosing to Remember

Image courtesy of Supertrooper at FreeDigitalPhotos.net I’m fascinated by how often we allow sweeping generalizations to satisfy us. One area we often use them is in comparing the sexes. How often do we hear the statements of the ilk, “Women are more relational,” and “Men need time in their caves”? I know I’ve been guilty of believing and saying the first one. I heard the second one in a sermon yesterday; however, I’m not a great believer in it as I think the cave notion for men is often a form of escape. Positive, yes. But not always. A Relational God The more I read the Word and especially spend time in Genesis understanding the ramifications of the Fall I’m amazed how relational God is. The mystery of the trinity in its most basic form is relational: 3-in-1. And how God walked in the garden communing with Adam and Eve... Read more →

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Change of Seasons

Image courtesy of graur codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net We hit winter last week. Here in Australia, winter officially starts 1 June. We've had a mild autumn (or 'fall' for you North American folks) and it's only in the last two weeks when the temperature at night has fallen below ten degrees celsius. I typically enjoy winter as here in Sydney it's mostly mild and relatively dry. As I’ve grown older I’ve come to appreciate our lives, like the weather, can be full of different seasons. Typically, a new season starts when there’s a change in our circumstances. Generally, the new season comes about through some major change. What I find interesting about such new seasons is the impact they can have on our conversations and areas of interest. For the first time in our almost 25 years together, both my wife and I are not working in the Corporate world. We... Read more →

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Broadening our Horizons

Image courtesy of namakuki at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Being a SUMITE is full of interesting conundrums that can at times lead to much discouragement. One of these conundrums is our commitment to various Christian communities. I use the plural here to reflect both the church we attend plus other relationships (one-on-one and group) that we may partake in. As we’ve discussed before, sometimes our commitments can have a significant impact on our partners. Frustration, discouragement, isolation and sheer anger are some of the feelings our partners experience. These emotions naturally flow into our marriages and can cause our partners and us much stress. Lack of Interest A common refrain we often hear from our partners is a lack of interest in our faith journey. So our church attendance, content shared at meetings, etc just aren’t of interest. There’s a chunk of our lives that is pivotal to us that our partners are... Read more →

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Guest Post: Perceptions by Dee Rusnak

Happy New Year, SUMites! So good to be back with you! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with special moments of delight and love. I'm so glad my daughters and son-in-love were with us this year. Our Christmas was busy and fun! As we walk into 2017 together, my friends, I want to encourage you to press into your relationship with God even deeper, to sit with Him quietly and begin asking Him what He wants to do and be for you in 2017. This is a great way to get ready for our praying and fasting next week. I keep hearing God say, "I want to do something different." I don't fully understand what that is yet, as I've been very distracted with the holidays and family, but I'm trusting He will show me. I'm so ready for "different"! How about you? Here's a wonderful post by our... Read more →

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Foundations Series: GOD'S LOVE

God's love is complete. Jesus made sure of that at the cross. So if God did that in order to love us that way, why would He be angry with us or withhold His goodness from us? Something to think about. The truth always turns the lie upside down. Love you, my friends! Dineen Read more →

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How do you "hear God? (part 3)

My friends, in light of some of the questions generated by my post yesterday, Lynn and I swapped days so I can address some of those today, specifically the mention of fortune cookies. First, I want you to know that my heart is for every one of you to walk in deep intimacy with God and hear His voice clearly. I want His very best for you, because I love you so much and we are family. And having that kind of relationship with God makes all the difference in our lives and especially our marriages. When we put God first, He brings order and peace to our lives even in the midst of the storms in our lives and marriages. I know I would not have the marriage I have today had I not made the decision twenty plus years ago to put God first. But I want to... Read more →

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How do you "hear God? (part 2)

When I opened my email early this morning, one of the first headlines I read was an article on Spirit Led Woman, entitled "Why You May Not Recognize God Speaking to You." I had to smile—one, because here we are talking about the very same,-much needed subject, and two, because I recognized God speaking to me indirectly at that very moment in what I like to call "a confirmation." How so? Here's the path to this recognition: I always pray and ask Holy Spirit to tell me what I need to write about for our blog based upon what YOU, our readers need. His leading reminded me of this exercise He'd led me to just weeks earlier, which started with a Scriptural instruction from the Bible. Yesterday Lynn and I discussed the need for more teaching on this subject and decided that in May we would make this one of... Read more →

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How do you "hear" God?

Over the last several weeks I’ve been following along with the Lenten reading on Margaret Feinberg’s site that Ian shared with us. I feel like I’m taking a walk with Luke through his testimony of his time with Jesus and what happened after the cross. It's a fascinating way to follow the progression of events. Thank you for the recommendation, Ian! What I want to share with you today is one verse in particular that a stopped me in my reading and became an assignment I gave myself and a few dear friends. It’s a verse I know I’ve read many times, but you know how that happens, when a verse just grabs you, one know you’ve read many a time but in that moment, Holy Spirit is saying, “pay attention to this!”? And He literally meant “pay attention…” “So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen... Read more →

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Let's Talk About Lies

Greetings My SUM Family, My heart has received such encouragement and joy from your words and prayers on Monday. God has worked out some amazing things in this difficult time. We are now moving forward. I’m excited to see what the Lord has for my son and our family. I Heart you! Today however, I want to talk about lies. In the last month I’ve had to deal a lot with lies and deception. And what I’ve learned is how easily lies can trip and flow from lips. Fortunately for me God has given me a powerful discernment when someone is lying to me. I quickly recognize when I’m not getting the full or correct story. It’s like a spiritual gut check and I immediately know some things are just not right. My daughter has even said to her friends, in front of me, “I never lie to my mom.... Read more →

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New Series For July

Hi SUMite Family. Lynn Donovan here. Question: Can you believe half of 2014 is over??? We are jumping into the last half of the year and I still have so much I want to accomplish and even more I’m waiting for many, many prayers to be answered. So as we jump into July Dineen and I were thinking that we will take the first week of July off. So many of us are traveling, attending BBQ’s and just darn busy. We will pick up again on Monday, July 7th. I would like to take a quick study of the book, The Five Love Languages (in our sidebar). So SUMites, what is your love language? What is your spouse’s love language? Share on Facebook or in the comments. Can you guess mine? Dineen’s? What is the love language of Jesus? Hmmmm. Things to ponder. We will tackle this next week. For... Read more →

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The Movie: NOAH

Well, I don’t know about you but this past few days I’ve been reading some reviews and reports about the movie, Noah, that opened on Friday. It’s fascinating to me how many differing views there are from the Christian population alone. Honestly, I’ve been disappointed to read some of them. I will state here I haven’t yet watched the film but I’m sharing only my thoughts and perspective regarding all the hoopla! First, let me acknowledge that there are many who bristle that the movie is not a perfect depiction of scripture. It’s not even close as I understand. But I wonder why that gets so many people turned inside out. Many of the Christian fictions books we read by the millions also are filled with a large amount of creative license. But, that’s not what I want to consider today. For all of us who are married to Pre-believers,... Read more →

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Preparing Elevator Speeches

In last Wednesday's post, I opened a dialog about apologetics (the practice of presenting rational explanations for our faith in response to objections against Christianity). Thank you to all to shared comments. There is a lot of wisdom, power and diversity in our SUMite community. I find such value in reading the comments. Let’s explore an additional piece of advice when speaking of spiritual matters. Consider this whether sharing with your loved one, a co-worker or a stranger. Be consciously prepared to speak with truth and spirit. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24 Several people shared that they think of the perfect thing to say … AFTER a conversation is over. We’ve all been there. Wouldn’t it be empowering to have already thought-out responses to frequently heard questions and challenges to our faith? At work, we call these “elevator speeches”... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — Jesus Gives Us the Words

Hello my friends! I hope your week has been full of God encounters and sweet moments in His Word. I have a nugget to share with you before we launch into worship. I just looooooooove this one too, because even though Jesus told this to the disciples, explaining the resistance and persecution they would come against as they shared the gospel, it applies to us today. Take a look: "And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict." — Luke 21:12-19 SUMites, I have found this to be true. I love the first part where Jesus tells them NOT to figure out how they will defend themselves ahead of time. Think about that a moment. Logic tells... Read more →

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What Do You Need?

My friends, It's been quite a few adventurous weeks. And now as I sit down to visit with you, I'm thinking it;s time to turn to some practical topics. Topics such as how to THRIVE in your spiritually mismatched marriage. So today, I would like your ideas and opinions as to what topcis you would like to visit in the next few weeks. I know so often we seem overwhelmed with difficulties in our marriages. I would like to take the power of God and turn to the positives that we as the believing spouse can bring about in our love relationship with our husbands. What would you like to talk about? Let me know in the comments and let's grow our marriages through the power and love of Jesus. Have an amazing week. I love you, Lynn Read more →

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Special Guest Today! Please Welcome Suzie Eller!

My precious friends, today I want to introduce you to Susanne (Suzie) Eller. She's been a great support to the SUM ministry and now we get to share her with you! Suzie's message of forgiveness in her book, The Unburdened Heart is desperately needed today and by so many. I hope you find answers and comfort in her words below. Feel free to leave comments and pray for each other. This is a tough topic. And we'll do a random drawing from the comments for a book winner, who will receive a copy of her book. Love you all dearly and know you are in my heart and prayers! Hugs! Dineen Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author. She’s written six books, hundreds of articles, and writes devos with Encouragement for Today that reaches over 500,000 women. Suzie is a radio co-host with Luann Prater at... Read more →

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - Fear

What is bizarre in all this is what happened inside of me. FEAR. After twenty years of asking for his willingness to attend a marriage class and receiving his rejection, I was terrified to say…… YES…… I literally didn’t answer him because I was overwhelmed by all the fears and feelings of rejection that ran over me as I sat dumbfounded in my chair. Let me share some of the thoughts that raced through my head in the few seconds that followed. If I say yes and he changes his mind, it will crush me. I should just let him off the hook; after all, he really doesn’t want to go. I’m not sure I want to go. Can I handle taking my unbelieving husband to church where many judgmental Christians might make him feel embarrassed? Will I be embarrassed if he says or does the wrong thing? Sheesh and... Read more →

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - Never, say Never - This is NOT about James Bond

Several months ago, I told you that God was working some new things in my husband, in us. At the time, the Lord impressed upon me to hide these things in my heart until they were settled out. Today, all these months later, the changes that began in January and February have reached a stall and I have learned a few things. I think it’s time to share with you what I’ve learned. I remember the moment distinctly. I sat in my office, frozen, fearful to say, “Yes.” What ensued leading up to this moment was weird filled with conflict and hurt feelings and stress. Our 20th wedding anniversary was approaching and I remember saying something to my husband that went something like this: “We’ve been married now for 20 years. Honey, I “get it” that you don’t embrace my faith. I really understand. But, after 20 years can you... Read more →

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How Do We Reconnect?

Staying connected with your spouse can be a challenge. I'm finding this to be harder to do as we get older. I shared recently that we'd become empty nesters, but our status is now back to three. Here we are again, adjusting to new and old dynamics. Here I thought my greatest challenge would be keeping myself from falling into old patterns so that the new ones my husband and I had created would remain established. I didn't stop and think what his reaction might be—that he might be the one to fall back into old patterns. So, I'm facing the challenge of reconnecting with my hubby. Inertia I find inertia to be one of my greatest enemies in life. I know, I know. We're human and we like our comfortable areas. But that doesn't serve me well. The "easy" thing to do right now would be to just let... Read more →

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Talking Without Words

Part of a presentation I’m giving on Wednesday has a section about romance and romancing your guy. I love this part because I get to give a group of women some facts and tangible ideas of how to romance their husbands. Some of this lands on communication and its vital role in any relationship. And it can be a useful tool to flirt with your spouse. But how do we really communicate? Recent statistics show that only 7% of our communication is done with words and 38% with intonation and sound of voice. Which means over half of our communication is done with our body. Fifty-five percent to be precise and most of that is done with our eyes. Think about that a minute. Do you look at your husband when you talk to him? Do you focus on him when he’s speaking to you? Can you remember the details... Read more →

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Weekend Devo — Are you listening, dear?

This 1881 engraving appeared in Charles Dickens "Bleak House" and is actually depicting a marriage proposal. What cracks me up is the woman is oblivious to what he's doing. Even the bird on the poor guy's shoulder is more aware of what's going on than she is. Do you do that? Sometimes I do. I'm so tuned into finishing something or distracted with something in my thoughts (we writers do that A LOT!) that I realize my poor husband has said something to me and I've missed it. What's worse is seeing his disappointed expression when he says, "You weren't listening, were you?" Everyone wants to be heard. And more importantly, our spouses do. So here's an extra challenge for you as part of our "Out-love Your Spouse" October challenge. Listen intentionally and really pay attention when they are talking. Repeat parts back to show that you really heard them.... Read more →

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Reaction Mode

Are you in reaction mode in your marriage? Reaction mode is this highly destructive and very draining place where you and your spouse are walking in your marriage more like adversaries than partners. Every comment is scrutinized under suspicion and communication has completely broken down. Years ago I was in this place in my marriage and I will tell you that I was the heart of the problem because my heart wasn’t in a good place. Years of resentment toward my husband and unmet expectations had created this barrier between us. Though not always true, I find this often starts with women. We stop communicating out of unforgiveness and resentment. Or, like me, we never learned to communicate in a healthy manner. The saddest part of reaction mode is that it leads to contempt toward your husband. And where there is contempt, respect no longer exists. The two cannot coexist.... Read more →

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When Should I Speak Out About My Faith?

Ahem, well, some of you know that through a series of circumstances, distraction and stupid moves, *blush,* I blew away all the files on my laptop hard drive two weeks ago. Grrrrrr. The video file of the September broadcast of The Intentional Marriage, with both Dineen and me, was a casualty. Double grrrrrrr. With that said, I still think the question we addressed is a common issue in an unequally yoked marriage. Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts. Here is the question from Sue Tipler. She posted this question on August 2nd on our Facebook Page. If you aren’t part of this fantastic support community, you are missing out. The conversation is more casual and personal. Post a question, add content you think would encourage others and become friends with others on this path of the “uniquely yoked" marriage. Join us at Spiritually Unequal Marriage –Facebook. Sue... Read more →

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