45 posts categorized "Unconditional Love"

What Gods Love Looks Like

SUMite Family, I have to share that the word “family” has taken on an entirely larger implication in my life this past week. So, to say that you are my family, please know that I’m overwhelmed with authentic love and hope for you. Let me explain. I’m working on a new writing project and praise Jesus, the downloads are now flowing. It’s been astonishing. I’ve waited nearly a year for this past week and the few weeks that are ahead to hear the voice of God and His heart for the assignment He’s given to me. And this week in particular, I’m writing about the love of God. The love of a Father. Well, I don’t know how in the world you can encapsulate the love of God into a single chapter. However, I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to write this out because God will figure it out for me... Read more →

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The Throne of Grace, Part Two

My friends, at the end of my post on Wednesday I said I had another stunning piece of this treasure hunt we are on. Below is a page from my Sanctuary Bible (yes, the very one Abba led me to) and it holds an excerpt from a book titled, Never Alone by David and Teresa Ferguson. Read it and then meet me below this new way to look at our marriages and pray into them. First, I want to speak to those of you who are separated and whose spouse has walked away from God. As I've shared in the past, my heart is heavy for you and remains so. My heart and prayers are with you. And today, I want to speak a message to you that I feel Jesus wants you to know more than anything. Jesus understands your betrayal and rejection better than anyone. Read the accounts... Read more →

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The Throne of Grace

My friends, I’m wrestling to understand another revelation that I feel God is slowly unwrapping for me. Again, like the one about the cross being Jesus’ marriage proposal to us, this new one budded as I sat in church on Sunday. I jotted it on the note sheet with a question mark by it. Heart = Throne Room? It it subtle yet stunning. Obvious yet obscured by “safe thinking” and rules that tend to separate us from “claiming” the holiness of God. Yet if we are to believe we bare the righteousness of Christ and are co-heirs, then we are holy and righteous in our redemption in Christ. Perhaps this separation is embraced more out of protection for we know pride is a great stumbling block, yet to deny what we have been given is to deny the cross itself. I hope I am making sense. Please follow me as... Read more →

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Guest Post by Trish Fuhlendorf: Happy vs. Holy

After I became a Christian, it seemed like my marriage got a little worse every day. Stu couldn’t stand the fact that I was a Christian. He hated seeing me read the Bible and if he saw me reading a paperback, he would always ask what I was reading; knowing that it would be another Christian book. Then the criticism would begin, “Is that the only thing you can read?” In addition to the light vs. dark dynamic that was getting worse all the time, his drinking and subsequent anger were on the rise. I got to a point where I couldn’t find any commonality between us and I dreaded him walking through the door each evening. I remember seeking counsel from a woman at my church. She suggested that I make a list of Stu’s positive attributes. This would accomplish two things, it would help me focus on the... Read more →

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Empowered Living: Romans 8:31-39

My friends, we’re at the end or our Romans study. I’m amazed at how much the Holy Spirit has been showing and teaching us. I never imagined this series would wind up being nine parts. I absolutely love studying and teaching God’s Word. Thank you so much for taking this journey with me. I’ve loved reading your comments and hearing your hearts so much. God is movin’ and “groovin’” in the SUMite community! On Wednesday I shared my favorite verse (Romans 8:28) with you and how the enemy tried to make me doubt what I knew to be true—that God is GOOD, always. This last part of Romans 8 holds a truth that meant more to me last year than I ever imagined. Let’s take a look at Romans 8:31-39: ESV: 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?... Read more →

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Empowered Living: Romans 8:12-17

Happy Saturday, my friends! How are you doing? Feeling more empowered yet? Still soaking in the truths from Romans 8:9-11? I loved your comments on Wednesday, and I love that we’re on this journey together. Please keep sharing your thoughts in the comments. We inspired and encourage one another when we do that. Today we’ll dig into Romans 8:12-17. I’m only using the NIV and Voice translations to keep things a little less cumbersome, so pull out your favorite translation and be sure to read it there as well. NIV: 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God... Read more →

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Day 4: Asking Day

In a SOZO healing session, when we give something over to God, we are directed to ask Jesus what He has in return to us. I confess, the first time I encountered this, my reaction was to wonder if this was offensive to my Lord and Savior. Did I have that right to ask? When I asked, He quickly replied with something He wanted to give me to replace what I had relinquished. Sometimes it was just an affirmation of His love. Other times, He had specific things to give me. There have even been times as I’ve prayed for myself or others that I received the word, “Ask.” Jesus was telling me or the person I was praying for that He was waiting for us to ask Him for something. His Word even tells us this: Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on... Read more →

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The Three Deadly Ds: Disparaging Disbelief

Dear friends, before Thanksgiving I started a series on the Three Deadly Ds: Dubious Doubt, Debilitating Disbelief and Disparaging Disappointment. In Part One of Dubious Doubt we talked about how the enemy comes in and plants seeds of doubt, as he did with Adam and Eve, and in Part Two I shared some examples of breakthroughs that came as a result of pushing doubt aside and re-establishing God's truth firmly in its rightful place. Today, let's talk about Debilitating Disbelief. And that is exactly what the enemy's intention is, to debilitate (weaken, enfeeble, enervate, devitalize, sap, drain, exhaust, weary, fatigue, prostrate; undermine, impair, indispose, incapacitate, cripple, disable, paralyze, immobilize; informal knock out, do in) our faith. Once doubt has come in like a ravaging worm, disbelief moves in to fill those empty places like a fungus or mold. Your mind is riddled with questions and you may even feel tormented... Read more →

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Our Transforming Influence

My friends, I’ve been reading and studying Proverbs the last couple weeks, specifically using the Passion translation. I’m enjoying this new translation very much and find the flow to be more poetic and inspiring. And going between translations to compare has given me more insights and appreciation of Solomon’s words of wisdom. What I’m specifically searching and praying for is wisdom. Next to praying for Jesus’ protection that I not be deceived in any way (2 Thess. 2:3), I pray for wisdom in all areas of my life. And as you read Proverbs, you begin to discover that wisdom is inseparable from God’s love and His Son, Jesus. Last week a verse in this translation brought me back to a conversation I had recently with my pastor about my pre-believer. It’s about a precious place we as the believing spouse hold in our loved one’s lives—a place of honor and... Read more →

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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When Is It My Turn?

SUMites, Let’s have a chat. I’m pretty sure that last week’s posts about Janet and Trish’s spouses coming to faith brought about a range of feelings in our SUM Nation. But today I want to speak to those of us who may feel forgotten. For those of you who read these stories and whispered, “God, when? When is it my turn? When will this happen in my life.” So many emotions, feelings and thoughts were made know to me in this past week. True happiness for these women. Feelings of jealously, then followed by guilt because their story seems so far from a reality in our life. Perhaps you are confused and maybe a few of us are really just MAD. Mad at God. Mad at our spouse. Mad at ourselves for being in this predicament. Anybody????? Can I ask you to hear me out for a minute? Firstly, gang,... Read more →

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Intimacy Through Worship

My friends, your comments on Wednesday's post, Worship is More Than a Song, were amazing! You all had such great things to share about what worship means to you. Some of you even shared links to articles you had written on this very subject. I absolutely love seeing things like this, because it shows our Great God's hand moving in synchronicity through His children to bring His loving plans and purposes into place for us individually and the body of Christ. And what blows me away is that God doesn’t need our help, but by His great love and delight in us, He chooses to work His plans out through His children. I love this line from Amanda’s post on her blog: "True worship is a kaleidoscope of every color in the spectrum that combine to make one shining, brilliant white!” And this one from our very own Heather Passuello’s... Read more →

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Our Greatest Promise (Part 1)

My friends, this is part three of the salvation series Abba has been leading me to share. The first week we talked about how we are Wired for Salvation and last week, we discussed the differences in our identity before and after accepting Christ in Sinner vs. New Creation. This week we will explore our greatest promise and guarantee of eternity because of our salvation—the Holy Spirit. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. — 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. — Ephesians 4:30 The Holy Spirit... Read more →

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Humble Confidence

Dear friends, our very own Teresa T. has a great message for us today: This group loves God’s word and often discusses how to best apply the scriptures. Winning Him Without Words encourages us to serve as a living testimony, rather than to badger our pre-believers with arguments and ploys. So, it is important for us to be clear in our own minds about what scriptures ask us to do. 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, …. 1Peter 3:15 (NIV) Some translations use the word “meekness” instead of “gentleness.” Let’s explore some commandments on humility and confidence that can appear, at first glance, to be difficult to put together. How can we be both? Join me in a short... Read more →

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Don't Know What to Pray?

Over the years I've learned that our mismatched situations come in all shapes and sizes. When I'm asked what mismatched means I explain that it can be as clear as one spouse believes in God and the other doesn't, as gray as differing faiths or degrees of faith (i.e. a believer married to a Muslim or one spouse growing in faith but the other isn’t) or as painful as one spouse walking completely away from God. Even this description is a broad attempt to capture its meaning. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Let’s leave that stuff to God and trust Him to make sense of it (Prov. 3:5). Today I want to share from what I know to be true in my marriage. From my perspective, my hubby is like Fort Knox in letting anything about believing in God penetrate his fortress of atheism. I've... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — The Throne of Grace

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. — Hebrews 4:14-16 On morning as I woke up, I heard Jesus say to my heart, “Come learn about My grace.” I’d been reading in Hebrews and the verse above had caught my attention, namely the confidence part, not a place I’ve excelled in. LOL! As I sat with Abba that morning and sought His heart, I believe He wanted... Read more →

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Do We Believe It?

My friends, I’d planned to write a very different post today about two very important things we need to know—who does God say He is and who does He say we are. But I think we’ve actually talked a fair amount about how important it is for us to understand who we are in Christ (click here for a list of Scriptures that say who you are in Jesus). And the Bible is packed with full of the truth of who God is. And if you didn’t read my post, Spread the Love, I’d like to encourage you to read it and do the exercises at the bottom. Let Abba fill your heart and mind with the truth of who He says you are. In light of all this, I’m beginning to see the bigger challenge is to truly believe what God says about Himself and us. How many times... Read more →

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It's Bigger Than the Big Picture

My dear friends, I have so much on my heart to share with you right now. As I sit and type this I am literally praying for words and ORDER to begin sharing what we experienced at Bethel and what I have come away with. More clearly now than ever I am grasping two things. One, I must be intentional to share it all, share everything I have received in order for God’s work in and through me to produce fruit not only in others but in myself as well. As a person who tends to hold things in, and deeply I might add, God is moving me to an understanding of how this is not His desire. I am so thankful that Abba completes EVERY good work He starts. Amen? And two, I can best explain from a quote from a book. In Lifestyle of a Prophet, author James... Read more →

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Marriage Challenge No. 1

So, I’ve been inspired by a friend of mine Courtney Joseph who has a new book coming out, Women Living Well. I will share more about that later. It’s a really great book. I was privileged to read it before its release and she has a couple of chapters that are Marriage Challenges. One of the challenges is a kissing challenge. Okay, for many of us who have been married a number of years there are statistics out there that indicate that 40% of married couples will go an entire week without a kiss. I’m not sure about this but I do think that as we settle into marriage, are raising children, working and become increasingly busy and distracted, we miss the opportunity to connect with our spouse through an intimate kiss. Yikes, I know this is true in my case. So, this week, I’m throwing down the gauntlet. It... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — It Starts With a Willing Heart

So 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, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again 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, “ Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep." — John 21:15-17 I know I talked about this passage a while back, maybe even a couple years ago, but... Read more →

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Chronicles Of A Humbled Donovan

Okay….. So, ahem… You know what ALWAYS happens when I share teaching with you. I live it out… Well, this series on taking a step into the Jordan is no exception. So today I’m going to share with you an experience that has opened up a giant hole in my heart that only our merciful and loving God can fill. And I wonder if some of you will find this hole exists in your heart as well? Travel this path with me today because I bet it reveals something within you that you didn’t know existed. Let me set the stage. Many of you know my friend, Maria. I’ve introduced her here before. She has a healing and deliverance ministry through a large church in San Diego where they help women who are emerging from the adult films industry. Pornography is, of course, an open door to demonic oppression. Maria... Read more →

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