300 posts categorized "Conflict and Challenges"

Conflict Is Finished. Now Jesus

SUMite Nation, Well I’m feeling we are at the close of our month-long classroom regarding conflict. And you may not feel as though it was worthy of your time but in the future, the truths of how to approach conflict with other believers will return to your mind and you will walk through it Biblically, work through forgiveness and seek restoration when possible. What is really weird is that this month, personally, I’ve worked through conflict with believers, unbelievers, family and more. Guess Jesus wanted me to be ready for the conflict that is surely ahead in my life. I want to leave you with a portion of an email I sent out the other day. I believe it holds Biblical wisdom for us all. I want to point out that in the Bible, Peter and Paul experienced great conflict over circumcision and food laws, so much so, that this... Read more →

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An Honor Lesson Dealt In Cards.

Hello SUM family, Tiffany Here! Lynn has asked the SUM leadership team to read the book Culture of Honor by Danny Silk for this summer series on honor. I want to share a brief exerpt and give a real life example from my time in God's classroom. I can't say that it has been easy but I praise God that He hasn't given up on me! "A spirit of gentleness" is an important phrase. It specifically describes the heart attitude of the one doing the confrontation. Gentleness is the perfect term to describe the attitude we must have with those who have made mistakes or failed somehow. Gentleness does not mean nice, and it doesn't mean polite. The heart of gentleness is the belief that "I do not need to control you." Mastery of gentleness begins in our belief system. Do we believe that we can control others? Let's review... Read more →

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Romans 14 - Mic Drop!

Gang, the grandkids are visiting Nana’s today and we are either at the beach or the Wild Animal Park today. Hallelujah!! So, today I’ll leave you with wise words from SUMite, Martha Bush: I remember providing a woman a scripture several months ago that I try to abide by when it seems as though I might face conflict over scriptures or doctrines. I could see she was going one way, and me the other on whatever it was. So, I just said, okay, this is the scripture I use when I see I am going in opposite directions from someone--------Romans 14. (READ THIS PASSAGE. IT’S BELOW.) Paul was talking about division in the church over eating meat. "Just be fully persuaded in your own mind what you believe, and leave it there, so as not to cause division among your brethren. I had rather, as I told her, be unified... Read more →

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Jesus Is Brilliant - Matthew 18

If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. —Matthew 18:15 Imagine, what would happen if someone came to you personally and privately (Matthew 18) to chat about something they held against you. And you actually listened. Responded, “I’m so sorry you felt that way. It was never my intention and I would never knowingly be mean, vindictive, or harsh. I didn’t realize I hurt you. Please forgive me and let’s make this right.” The culture of honor, where God lives and people thrive, exists through preserving respect and honor. This verse is specific to the need to privately point out the offense. On Friday, The situation completely blew up due to the lack of a private and honest conversation between the leader and the women who were “concerned.” By the way,... Read more →

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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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The New Kingdom Era

SUMites, It’s July 1st. Half of 2018 remains, and we are merely beginning to step into the miracles and the Presence of God that Kingdom era offers. Today, I want to share with you my thoughts about what is happening in the Kingdom of God in this season. Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to our SUM leadership team last week. Before I share, I also want to let you know that I’m being led by Jesus to teach about Kingdom honor and dignity. I witness a great deal of wounding in the church because of accusation against another brother or sister in Christ. I’m convinced that there is great error on occasions when a believer sins. And the restoration process is what I believe, harsh, unforgiving ….. it feels like punishment. As children of the Kingdom, we must learn to handle disagreement with our church family... Read more →

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We Rob Ourselves By The End Game

Confessions of a Believer. The Process SUM Nation, I have a confession. I hate social media. I have another confession. I love social media. There are great things about our connections online and some things that aren’t so great. Every day I find myself involved with several platforms of social media. Facebook, Twitter and recently I began to post on Instagram, as if I don’t already have a ton of stuff to do already, share, like and see. Good grief. As people we are more connected than ever and yet, I am of the belief that we “feel” more disconnected than ever. How about you? And the speed of our lives often feels like a carnival performer with 10 plates all spinning on tall sticks and frantically working to keep them aloft. The tension of it all creates anxiety within merely by thinking about it. I just wonder. Why? Why... Read more →

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Holidays and Mothers-In-Law

As we are nearing the season where we spend time with the in-laws, I thought it appropriate to share this post from the archives. …nearly 60 percent of all marriages suffer from tension with mothers-in-law, normally between the daughter-in-law and her husband's mother. From the archives: In-Laws I wonder how many of you felt your blood pressure rise at the mere mention of this topic? Well, considering the statistic above, I can bet a number of you bristle in this area of your marriage. And, to our guy readers, I can only address this topic from my perspective but would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. See if you relate to any of these statements: "She's always telling me what to do" "She keeps meddling" "She wants constant companionship" "She competes with me for my husband" These tend to be the most common complaints of wives. But for... Read more →

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When Your Spouse Walks Away From God

My friends, as you can see from the title, we tackling a very difficult and painful topic today. It’s one I think we should address as it’s something many of you are living out. And one of you even asked for this subject to be addressed on our recent survey. Please. Please talk about spouses leaving the faith. — Kelly So, let me first say to Kelly and all those SUMites out there in this same position that I am so sorry. The closest I can come to relate to this kind of situation is how I felt when my husband made the choice of atheism. He’d recently bought a Bible, and I was convinced he would soon join me in this faith journey. Needless to say I was devastated. But God helped me let go of my expectations and to trust Him to bring my marriage through to a... 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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Grace in the Waiting

The Israelites were a people who waited. They waited for the promise of restoration to their homeland for over 70 years. My friends, we are like the Israelites. We are also a people group united in our time of waiting as we yearn and hope for the promise of salvation. And God has given grace-filled promises for every part of it. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. — Isaiah 40:28 Nothing is unknown to Him. Every possibility is the doorway to another, yet the ultimate goal is always the same. He is the one unchanging constant in this life, my friends. He exists beyond time as we understand, as He just is. He is our Creator, our Redeemer, our Savior—His heart is to... Read more →

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Waiting on the Promises with Hope

My advent wreath—the first candle lit represents hope. Hello, SUM Family! Life at the new Miller Home has been crazy busy and hectic to say the least. We’re mostly settled in with just a few boxes here and there.My daughters and son-in-love will soon arrive to spend Christmas with us—our first Christmas in our new home. Needless to say hubby and I have been busy little bees getting things put in place and finishing some projects ourselves like towel bars and and a few light fixtures. Then, of course, decorating the house for Christmas, gift shopping, social events…my list is growing, my friends. How about yours? I think we all share this common challenge of managing the business of the season while trying not to lose the heart and hope of what it truly means. Christmas is all about promise. Our Messiah Jesus was/is the greatest promise given to us.... Read more →

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Reaction Mode

Dear friends, the following is a post I did a few years back. The Holy Spirit has continually reminded me of this post the last week or so, but I wasn't sure if it was a needed subject at the moment. Then on Thursday as I was working on the registration details for the Hope Ignited conference our healing rooms and my church were hosting, I heard the Holy Spirit say over and over again throughout the day, "Don't take offense." I assumed it was for me, specifically something the Holy Spirit knew I would encounter at some point over the weekend at the conference. Then our worship leader gave a word on this very subject Friday evening. I knew then it was a corporate word. And then Lynn's post yesterday confirmed that! Wow! Don't you just love how the Holy Spirit speaks to us? God is on the move,... 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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Expecting Perfection

My friends, I’m finally settled (mostly) in our new home and writing my first post for the blog from my new office. I am so excited about one part in particular. Why? I have doors. Yep, doesn’t take a whole lot to make this gal happy. I can now close the doors of my office and play worship music whenever I want and speak privately on the phone on the occasions when I’m blessed to minister to someone. And I’m learning some new lessons in this season about expectations. Specifically my expectations of God. Early on God made it clear this home was a blessing from His hand and I was to receive it as such. But what I didn’t expect were the complications that came. Foundation issues, mistakes (the tub vs. the shower) and a backed up sewer line on our fourth day, just to name the big ones.... 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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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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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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God Keeps His Promises

My friends, I want to take our theme of standing for Jesus and move to standing on His promises. What does that mean? How do we identify a promise in the Bible? How do we pray and stand upon them, especially when what we see happening in our lives or those we love or in the world around us doesn't agree? I love God’s promises. I firmly believe and declare regular that they are my shield and protection as it says in Psalm 91. When daughter Leslie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, I stood on every promise He gave me through that and He was faithful to His Word. God has proven His faithfulness to me mainly through my daughters and my marriage. But I will also be honest and authentic in saying I feel like this area of my faith has been tested more in the last... Read more →

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Powerful Prayer To Defeat Anger

This photo CRACKS ME UP! Continued from Friday's post.... BUT…. This is what I learned from that experience. I believe I was wrestling with a spirit of anger. I believe it was demonic in nature and it erupted in very rare moments as to keep me from recognizing it. And just like a volcano, when eruptions happen…. Devastation. Later that evening when the eruption cooled and I knew things were in a bad place, I fell on my face and I begged God to forgive me. I asked Him to remove this spirit of anger from me and I promised Him I would never again let this anger be part of my life. God did just that. I haven’t felt that weird surge of ferocious anger since. And out of His great love, he healed everything in our family. Everything. Our Father is so good that He delivers us, heals... Read more →

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Good Grief, Their's More... The Spirit of Anger (2 part-er, must read for anyone dealing with anger)

-Chronicles of the Donovan Clan Okay, ya… There’s more. I’m not sure what classroom I’m currently enrolled within the Kingdom. But I think the sub-title is humility, mixed with a large study of personal revelation, confession and healing. This is a good and can also be extraordinarily challenging learning season for a believer. However, when the instructor is the Holy Spirit and the personal coach is my Jesus and the school is owned by my Papa, I’m going to graduate, Summa cum laude. My friends, I am willing to bet there are several of you who are also in this classroom with me, or about to be enrolled or perhaps a few graduates. But, this is what the Lord is teaching me which coincidentally, dovetails with my post about bitterness on Monday. Recently I was listening to a podcast as the pastor described the three main things he considers to... Read more →

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We Stand for Jesus

A week ago I shared in my post the things I am standing for. I sensed then Holy Spirit might be leading me to share a story that began in 2013 that had to do with the word and command in the Bible, to “stand.” Jesus presented it to me as a question, but its full meaning wouldn’t become clearer until almost a year later. Will you stand for Me? The question came as I worshiped with over a thousand others at a faith based conference. Will you stand for Me? So unexpected and suddenly there. Often I would hear something and wonder, “Is that me or is that you, Lord?” This time I knew it was Jesus. I went to my knees. Yes, Lord, I will stand for you. That was at the end of 2013 and before I understood that this question was the beginning of what was... Read more →

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Reflections on the Apostle Paul and Life

Hello, my SUM family. I'm writing to you while on the road. An asphalt ribbon stretches before us as my hubby drives us across the United States. The U-haul attached to our trusty VW wagon holds the remainder of our possessions—at least all that we could fit. And in the backseat our 18 year old Mitty kitty rides trustfully with us to his new home. He's a good little beastie. We have officially made Florida our home. Our daughters are now on their own adventures, living in different parts of California. As they helped us pack up the rest of our home of 11 years, my heart walked a dance of memories, both good and challenging. Yes, that house saw a lot of challenges and more importantly, a lot of love. I will say leaving it was harder than I thought, yet in the same breath I was ready to... Read more →

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My Unexpected Christmas

Happy (almost) New Year, my dear friends! I feel like I've been on a long trip and haven't seen my family in a long time. And now I've come back home. I've missed you! My shoulder surgery went well, and I've started physical therapy. This whole process has been much more difficult and painful than I anticipated, which has made working at my desk and typing next to impossible. But day by day I'm healing and am able to do more. Please be patient with me as I ease back into writing here and please know how much your prayers and words have helped encourage and sustain me. What I want to share with you today is about what God did in all this process. The day before my surgery I sat in my quiet time, sad and a bit fearful. Not about my surgery but about Christmas. I was... Read more →

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