Chronicles of the Donovan Clan Summer 2018

Elise (Love her shirt) SUMites, As I type this post, it’s Tuesday morning and I’m sitting in my backyard garden with little, Avery, age two. She is chattering up a storm as the rest of the family sleeps. We have been all over southern California with my son and granddaughters. Yesterday as Elise, age five, crawled into bed with Nana after a very busy beach day, her dad came in to tuck her in. “Daddy, we have blessings. In Jesus name.” He grins, looks over at me, “I can tell we have been at Nana’s house.” My dear SUMite family, THIS is what a legacy looks like. Are we perfect Christians. Nope. But this Nana, Mom, and wife prays. I bring these babies, their daddy and my husband before the Lord with petitions of love and protection, salvation and the good gifts of God. And I’m fully convinced that my... 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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Church - My Hardest Act

Hi everyone, Ann here! My husband and I have been 'spiritually different' for almost five years now, and it’s become easier for us both. However, there is one thing that continues to floor me and I thought I’d share it with you today. It’s this: The act of giving my husband a kiss goodbye on a Sunday morning, getting in the car, and turning on the ignition to go to… church. Hubby and I are like peas and carrots, we’re a packaged pair, and this whole walking out the door on a Sunday feels somehow wrong. Or is it? Each Sunday morning I drive through the quiet city, and the minute I turn on worship music it sends an oomph to my heart. At that moment the disconnect between that music and the breakfast clatter I've just left feels stark. I reach the church car-park and walk towards the hall.... 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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In Every Situation Ask Yourself, Is This A Violation of Love?

“I sat down in the booth for lunch, anxious and excited to finally spend some “chat” time with the Women’s Ministry Director from my church, where I have taught Bible study for years. To my devastation, this meet up was made under false pretense because she began by sharing an accusation made against me by three women in my Bible study group. I sat stunned, my heart breaking into a thousand pieces. I was condemned and was being disciplined for something I never was asked about and was completely hit with these accusations in utter surprise. And to top it off, they were inaccurate. I was condemned, deceived and reprimanded without anyone seeking to hear my perspective.” I (Lynn) nearly wept as I listened to this woman share her story. She changed church association after more than 20 years because of this great error and unbiblical rendering of a verdict... Read more →

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Who is to Say?

By Martha Bush "Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thou God my God." (Ruth 1:16 KJV) With that final scripture spoken over us, my groom and I kissed and ran down the aisle to start our new life together. From a peanut farm in Georgia to Tripoli, Libya, and on to Maine, Louisiana, and Texas-I lodged with him. His family became my people, and along the way, we had two kids of our own. And then it happened. Seven years into the marriage, I fell in love with someone else. His name was Jesus, and at that point, the god of this world we had served together, was no longer my God. Fast forward to another season of this high school sweetheart romance and marriage-I wanted out! I had grown tired of waiting on God's promises... 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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There is always more with God

Photo courtesy of wallpaperlistings.com Happy 4thof July to all my American friends. Ian from Down Under here. For many years I’ve struggled with anxiety. It’s played an even more prominent role in my life the last 15 years that happened to coincide with my stepping away from the Corporate world into working for myself. What I’ve discovered those of us who struggle with anxiety is we all have our individual pressure points which can exacerbate or set-off moments of extreme stress. Interestingly, my big two have been associated with either public transport (planes, trains, buses) or people living in my house. Disconnect with Faith The latter pressure point always bothered me because we’re called to be hospitable. And I want to be welcoming of people sharing our home. But my desire for control and ‘home being my safe place’ has often overridden the want to be hospitable. No, I don’t... 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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Devotion by: Christine Smith

Over the years I believe God has occasionally given me what I call an “image” that I then attempt to draw. I haven’t had one for years until this morning during my quiet pray time with Him. I decided to intentionally wait on Him instead of doing all the talking. I saw myself sitting in a rowboat, oars silently resting in the still waters, facing away toward an endless horizon of nothingness. This is me and my spiritually unequally yoked marriage. Then a second image came. I wasn’t alone after all! Jesus was right there with me all along! That’s us ladies! We’re not alone in this walk no matter how lonely it feels at times. He knows and He is with us. Blessings, Christine P.S. I’ve never been in a rowboat in my entire life! Read more →

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Unequally Yoked - 2 Corinthians 6:14

Today, I welcome my friend, Lori to Let's Talk Live. We talk about living in an unequally yoked marriage. Take a listen. For more video teaching click on the navigation bar, Video Teaching. Some fantastic content is recorded there. I've been praying for more than a month about our annual Summer Bible study series. And the Lord is actually leading me to a study of Matthew 18. I want to have a community conversation about how as a church we walk through conflict, how the Lord is changing the assignment of the church in this current season, and finally I want to chat about how we create a culture of honor here at SUM. Stay tuned. These messages are powerful, from the heart of God and I believe that the SUM Community is commissioned to bring forth unity through honor and unity. We are on the leading edge of this... Read more →

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The Power to Accomplish

God wants to draw us closer to Him. He delights in using unusual and strange means to speak to us, drawing us away from the mundane routine of our lives to pursue Him. Since most of us are prone to living our lives independent of Him, He uses something unusual to catch our attention and draw us to Himself. He speaks in a cryptic fashion so that we have to seek Him for understanding. Many times He will use a vision, dream, impression, or some other phenomenon to get our attention. When we are captured by the phenomenon and begin investigating, God then speaks to us and brings us into His presence. -- Steve Thompson (You May All Prophesy! p. 52) Hey SUM family, Tiffany again! Over the years I have always been amazed at the God-sized things that people have done in ministry and missions. I have been overwhelmed... Read more →

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What Will It Take To Increase YOUR Faith?

Hey SUMites, Tiffany here! I asked Lynn if I could do an additional post this month because I wanted to share a really cool story with you. I pray it activates and strengthens your faith to use your God given authority like it has me. In my spare time, I love to upcycle things. Especially using license plates and 100+ year old barn wood from my grandpa's family farm. This year I really ramped up my exposure going from doing the typical 2 -3 shows a year to 9-10 this year. On Friday afternoon, June 8th, the back power hatch when out in our suburban. It refused to open! I had to open the half window and reach through to try and get my groceries. We have a pickup truck but I can't use it for shows because we don't have a topper and I take a LOT of stuff... Read more →

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Life Is Too Short to Live Any Way but Happy! By Lori Lyn Skipper

Welcome back to the adventures of Lori Lyn Skipper. My son, Brad, and I made it just fine after his dad left us because we had God on our side. Yes, there were definite struggles, but I had such a peace about me, Philippians 4:7 NLT: Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. The Lord called me to the ministry in 1998. I preached my first sermon in March 1999. I eventually moved to Benton, IL by the leading of the Lord where I continued serving in the ministry. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, lupus, arthritis, and chronic degenerative disc disease. In 2005, I almost died from these and other afflictions, such as Barrett’s esophagus and bleeding internally, but God! I know that by Jesus’ stripes I am healed because the... Read more →

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Our Bottom Drawer

Hi friends, Ann here! In preparation for today’s post I’d been asking God what to write. I had a head full of ideas but in the early hours of this morning those went completely out the window as I woke with a pounding heart and a picture of a cavernous wooden bottom drawer! As I lay trying to make sense of it, words from the Holy Spirit landed in my head: SUMites, as you fill your bottom drawer you’re providing for those who have been named ‘clear and bright’, and you are evangelizing through a microphone. This, it seemed, was to be today’s post: A bottom drawer, provision, and a microphone, what fun! I’ll describe where it took me, and I hope this word encourages you today. The Bottom Drawer In times past, hopeful young women used to collect special things in a ‘bottom drawer’ to bring to their marriage.... Read more →

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The Dichotomy of A Life, by Lori Lyn Skipper - Part II

Welcome back! As a quick reminder, I moved to Springfield, IL in 1990. It was there that I met my son Brad’s dad. The birth of Brad was so very different than when I gave birth to Brian. I was instantly protective of him. On June 26, 1996 my life took a major turn. Without going into every detail, I was hit by a train that day while driving my S10 pickup truck. I broke my neck in 2 places as well as my tailbone. I had multiple bruises, bit my tongue almost off and had a concussion. God in His great mercy spared my life. A week after the wreck, while at home, I had a flashback and had a stroke; (the doctor said it was my body trying to protect itself because my brain perceived danger). I was paralyzed on the right side of my body and could... Read more →

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I Was A Drunk. What You Don't Know!

Hi All! Lori Skipper here. I’m not sharing the following for accolades for myself but to show the greatness of our God. When I say I am like Paul, “the chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15), I am being very serious. I want to show you how God really does choose the foolish and weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27). I am a part of the SUM Sisters in Christ Facebook group and participate in conversations that I would like to delve a litter deeper. So, while Lynn is away, I’m stepping in for a few posts. I’ve lived through a lot in my past, thusly, I’ve gained wisdom through the school of hard knocks. It took me many years of running away from faith before I finally surrendered to Christ. OK, put on your seat-belts, keep both hands... Read more →

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The Royal Wedding

By Martha Bush On May 19, 2018, the world tuned in to watch on television as Meghan Markle arrived at Windsor Castle. All eyes were upon her as she walked down the aisle in St. George's Chapel to say, “I do” to Prince Harry. Meghan was referred to as a commoner because she was not born into a royal family bloodline. Yet, on that day, Queen Elizabeth gave the bride and groom the ultimate wedding gift - brand new royal titles! From that day forward, Harry and Meghan would be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was a fairytale wedding - one that all little girls dream about. It took me back to my childhood when I played pretend games with my girlfriends. We often pictured ourselves in a faraway land where we would meet our prince charming and ride away in a carriage drawn by white... Read more →

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Kathi Lipp Guest on Let's TALK LIVE

SUMite Nation, Tomorrow, June 13th, on our SUM Facebook page at 12:00 (noon) Pacific, my wonderful friend, Kathi Lipp will be our guest on Let's TALK LIVE. We are going to chat about one of her new projects, Get Yourself Organized. It will be a blast. Plan to tune in and participate in the comments. I will be giving away two copies of Kathi's books, The Husband Project & The Marriage Project. And a free copy of her Get Yourself Organized. So lucky SUMites who comment during the live broadcast will be winners. Plan to tune in LIVE and enjoy our conversation and get yourself organized this summer. Hugs, Lynn Read more →

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Suicide Is Defeated - Read This!

SUMites, Last week, news feeds displayed faces of two celebrities who committed suicide. When there is a celebrity suicide, such as Robin Williams, the national suicide rates jump 10 %. Well not this time! Upon reading the headlines and then a Facebook friend sharing about his experience, see below, I was compelled by Jesus to share a story with you. Several years ago, the Lord had me in an advanced classroom where I learned many of the secret weapons the demonic realm employs against us. And one of the things I learned is how the voice of suicide is perpetuated into a person’s life, so much so, that they take their own life. I am compelled to share this because when someone reads it, they will be immediately set free. It may be challenging to process but ask the Lord to reveal the truth in what I share. During this... Read more →

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Declaration Friday

Declaration Friday Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask for grace for today. I receive Your grace for today. Thank you for your fuel from heaven. Amen. Father, I declare that my family will become mighty children of God. They will be free, in Jesus name. They will not miss their destiny. They will become a living testimony of the saving power of Jesus Christ. I stand in faith. AMEN 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Read more →

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Turning Up Each Day

Image courtesy of Dreamstop.com One of the key points I make to people who ask me for some advice on writing is the importance of turning up each day. Don’t wait for inspiration to come before you start writing, it only comes when you start. It’s surprisingly magical and wonderful what words, phrases, character traits, etc etc you never expected to write suddenly appear on the page in front of you. The same applies to our spiritual walks. Pentecost Sunday This is a subject that’s been on my heart and mind for a couple of weeks. It started after Pentecost Sunday (50 days after Easter Sunday) and we had a special time in church, one I even experienced watching online. My Pastor decided to have a second Pentecost Sunday the following weekend and once again, the Spirit turned up in a special way. If we look back at the first... Read more →

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You CAN Raise Your Kids to Faith as Adults - Read This!

SUMites, Recently on our Facebook page, Patty posted a question: What topics would you like to see covered in future posts. Today I want to tackle a topic and perhaps will take on a few more in the month of June. There were a ton of inquiries about raising children to faith. Gang, Dineen and I raised our kids to faith and if we can do it, so can you. And we wrote a GREAT book with powerful training, instruction and it’s filled with scriptures, truths, and hope. Here is a story from Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home. (Lynn) My daughter was bullied in High school. It went on for several months and she was a wreck and so was I. But I am a praying mama and when mamas pray, heaven listens. I’m convinced that the astonishing outcome of this terrible situation was because of the... Read more →

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The Demonic and Secrets

SUMites, Today I feel the Lord is leading me to write about Secrets. Yes, secrecy is something so many of us tangle with in our lives. But the longer I live, the more I've come to realize that secrets are actually weapons of the devil. Let me share something that occurred in our family a few years ago. In 2008 my husband was told by his boss that he would be let go in January of 2009. Like millions of Americans we became unemployed in that horrific economic downturn. My husband, at the time in the late months of 2008, was convinced he would find work quickly and thus he asked me to keep our financial situation from our daughter, Caitie. I agreed to his request because it was his life, his employment situation and Mike didn’t want our daughter to worry unnecessarily. Keeping a secret, or let’s be real... 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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