42 posts categorized "Grace"

Abiding and Abounding

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Hello SUMite friends, Ian from Down Under here. I keep bumping into a recurring theme of how to do this Christian life well. I’ve probably made reference to it in previous posts. It has two elements to it, and different people use different terms to describe these elements. A nun I listened to a few years back described a typical day as consisting of time for ‘contemplation’ and then time for ‘action’ ending the day with more of the former. Interestingly, if you studied a typical day Jesus lived we would probably find that’s how His day would be broken into. What’s critical is that a good life includes both elements. Recently I came across an alternative description: ‘abiding’ and ‘abounding’ which are taken from two key New Testament verses: John 15:4 (NRSV) – Jesus says, “Abide in me as I abide in... Read more →

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Deliverance After YEARS Of Torment! Hallelujah!

Hello SUM Family, Tiffany Here! The last couple of months I have been sharing a bit about what I have learned from reading a book called From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris. I was assigned to read this book in class and I am so glad that I read it! This book has been truly amazing. To read the previous two posts I've written in this "mini-series" click on the links below. This Is Just The Pits! Do You Want Evidence Or The Truth? In September I began to take steps to transition into a new church. As you read this, I have now been at this new church for 3 weeks. Each and every week has been so powerful and effective. Today I want to share with you a recent experience unlike anything I've ever had. It happened a little over a week ago on October 14, 2018.... Read more →

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Learning to Receive Love

Photo credit: Austin Neill Hi everyone, Ian from Sydney here. For most of my SUM married life I thought I was okay doing the Christian life on my own. I’m an introvert by nature and enjoy my own company and for a number of years struggled with being in crowded situations. I still do and will usually choose to sit on the end of rows in any theatre or auditorium. This is purely a relief mechanism so that I know I can ‘get out’ quickly if I need to. As we’ve talked about many times over the years, it’s often easier for us Christians to maintain peace in our households by not engaging too much in church activities and such like. I’ve actually been very blessed by my wife who has always actively encouraged me to attend church: she knows it’s good for me. However, I resisted for years getting... Read more →

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This Is Just The Pits!

Hello Sum family! Tiffany here: It is very easy to see the heaviness and struggle going on in the world. Just in our own community there is a weight of illness, backsliding (in ourselves or our spouses), addictions, anger, depression, anxiety, spiritual attacks to our identity, self-worth, motivation, and will to keep going in the faith. There is bitterness and envy, there is confusion and doubt - toward others and even God Himself. It's like we have lost sight of who we REALLY are (we'll talk more about this later). Before I continue, I want to preface that I don't believe that our SUM community is in this bad of shape. I don't believe that we are all struggling at all times. I do however, see a trend of these things happening in the ranks...and it seems to be increasing. I myself have been struggling a lot lately. I feel... 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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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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I Can't Believe That JUST Happened!

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here! I have a confession. These last couple months have been really hard! I have struggled with things that I haven't for a while – at least a year. Things I thought were long gone have resurfaced. Things that I just gained victory from – snatching up my money, time, effort, thoughts. I have to admit that it is mainly my fault. I let my guard down. I got prideful...remember what it says about this in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!” This is what happens when we take our eyes off of Jesus. Just like Peter stepping out onto the water and looking at the waves crashing around him – I was sinking. I lost my first love. Funny how things can develop so quickly! Just last August I began my journey on the fast... Read more →

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How Sturdy Is Your Seat?

My friends, I loved your comments from my post on Monday. Several of you shared you would really like to know more about the Greek meanings of the words I’m researching, so please know that I’m thinking and praying about how to do that best. Right now I think a video would be easiest to explain and bring these treasures to life, so stay posted. Today, let’s start talking about where we “sit” with God. Let’s take a look at Ephesians. The first chapter of Ephesians is all about our identity, who were are as new creations in Christ Jesus and what we’ve been given as our inheritance in Him. Many of you shared in the survey that you wanted to understand more about our identity in Christ as well. Knowing and understanding these truths is very important to the sturdiness of our “seat,” especially where and how we “sit”... Read more →

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Lenten Reflections: Week 4 - Everyday Grace

Photo courtesy of gubgib/FreeDigitalPhotos.net As I’ve grown older I’ve come far more accepting of my mess. Not the physical one (I’m actually quite a tidy person) but the one in my heart and mind. We’ve all got some of it. One of the joys of Lent is intentionally spending time doing a spring-clean, self-examination in the presence of the Lord to identify areas of our life where sin and/or negative habits have taken up residence. Sin clings "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne... Read more →

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Defending Our Mind

SUMites, we’ve just come out of our week of prayer & fasting. I must say I am blown away at how powerful this year’s fast seemed to be in our community. Abba is really taking us to new levels and places this year, my friends. Don’t be surprised if things continue to be revealed, shift and unfold over the next several weeks. We’ve set the stage for 2017 in a powerful way and God does not disappoint. Over the week, God revealed some truths in Scripture and connected some dots for me. One I’d like to share with you today, because it’s a new prayer strategy for me. And in light of some of the things God showed me this week and Lynn’s upcoming series on emotional healing, I believe it is timely. We’ve studied this verse before. In fact, Lynn has a video about it over there in the... Read more →

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Politics And My Spouse

So, ahem ya! Not a topic that any sane person should delve into, however, I’m wondering how many of you are dealing with conflict at home because of differing views over the Presidential election in America? Anyone? I suspect I’m not alone. For those of you who are in harmony with your spouse over political choices, give the rest of us grace as we try to wade through this issue. And for the SUMite family who live outside of the USA, PLEASE pray for us. We need it! I want to start this conversation by stating clearly a few things. One, I’m not supporting a specific candidate nor trying to sway anyone toward or away from a candidate. Two, we will have this conversation in this house covered by grace and without condemnation or anger. Three, I absolutely believe that God’s people should vote. What I really want to talk... Read more →

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A 76-Year Love Dance With Jesus

My friends, can I just tell you how GLAD I am to be back at my desk and typing. I’m thrilled. After traveling in January, I came down with some serious illnesses and one in particular could have been devastating. I will share more about that as we move through the story I’m about to tell. Already in this Jubilee Year, I’ve been utterly privileged to watch Jesus restore, heal and save. And today I’m compelled to ascribe Great Glory to our Jesus because of His endless and fathomless love, mercy and kindness. I have a testimony to share that is partly mine but mostly it’s a magnificent story belonging to my mother. This story is a telling of a love dance between an old woman of 76 years of age and our timeless Lord Jesus. I pray I bring him honor through these words. I’ve watched as a close... Read more →

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The Light of Truth

My friends, I want to share a recent revelation with you. It was one of those moments that the truth of something I already knew finally hit all the way home. Have you had one of those moments—a suddenly moment—where something you thought you understood suddenly becomes clearer and more powerful? For me is it was as if the seed that had been planted was watered and then sprouted roots downward and grew upward to take permanent hold in my heart. And as we are in the season of Lent it is the perfect time to speak of the work of the cross. Though the event of the cross is in our past, I believe the work of the cross is continuous. Paul even spoke of this ongoing process: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my... Read more →

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Lent Reflections - The Cross

Photo courtesy of www.LumoProject.com We’re more than half way now. In a little over three weeks it will be Good Friday. The day Jesus went to the Cross, voluntarily, to die. For us. In the last few weeks I’ve been struck by a few songs that have emphasized the Cross and what Jesus did for us. Last week my church had a visit from Dr. David Yonggi Cho. Dr Cho has a remarkable ministry and story to tell. He started out as a minister to five people and now his church in South Korea has over 800,000 members. By all accounts it’s the biggest church in the world. He attributes a lot of what he’s done to prayer. He spends three hours a day in prayer rising every early in the morning. He said when he was younger (he’s just celebrated his 80th birthday) he used to pray for five... Read more →

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The Helmet of Salvation Defeats The Religious Spirit

What is salvation? I can bet you know the answer but the answer is so much bigger than you know. Can I ask you a few questions? Do you serve in church? Attend Bible study? Watch the babies during first service? Organize the potluck? Work tirelessly to organize the Christmas event? Do you feel like you have worked yourself to exhaustion and your kids miss their mother? And let’s not mention our spouse and how he feels. Yikes! I ask these questions, NOT to cast condemnation. I’ve done all of the things above. But what I see often in these scenarios is the Religious Spirit. —Religion tries to tell you that if you do more, God will give you more grace. So you do more and become a tired Christian trying to earn God’s love and grace. Religion will kill you because you are trying to earn what has already... Read more →

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Jubilee - The Restoration Puzzle

Community Fast together: September 14th: Rosh Hashanah Part I - the Promise of Jubilee Don’t you find it interesting that God established a Jubilee year? I mean really. He knew we would mess up. Make mistakes. Go into debt. Trade our Freedom for bondage. Under the Old Covenant He also established a Family Redeemer who would rescue family members from disaster. Fascinating. I could write an entire series on that alone and how Jesus became the ultimate Family Redeemer for the human race. But, alas that will be another day. *grin* Onward…. As we leave the year of the Shmita (2014) and head into a year of Jubilee, I think we should understand what Jubilee was intended under the law and then we will ponder what Jubilee is to those of us under grace. As I mentioned on Monday, Jubilee was a year of restoration. “Where Jewish people were restored... Read more →

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Even Bullies Need Love

Hello, SUMites! Welcome to week three of the Equipping Our Kids in a Contrary Culture series. This week I’m zeroing in on chapter six in our book, Not Alone, about Generous Kids. I share some stories in this chapter about my daughters, stories that are near and dear to my heart and one that nearly tore my heart out at the time. I bet just about every one you out there has a parenting story like that. I’d rather suffer myself than see my children suffer. Anybody else out there feel the same? Years ago, I asked Jesus to help me love others as He loves them. I still pray this prayer and ask Him to help me see others as He sees them, including my kiddos and my hubby. And without judgement. That can be a tough area to walk in today’s world, especially when we are being mistreated.... Read more →

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No More Chains

My friends, my post today is a kind of merging of two stories. You see, I thought they were separate, yet as I prayed for Abba's clear leading on what to write, He impressed upon my heart that they are indeed connected. The first story is one we are very familiar with. The prodigal son. I find myself caught by the father's love for this wayward boy of his... And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. — Luke 15:20 ESV For several days I kept reading and examining this one line, because I was so touched by the father's heart before he even embraced his son with forgiveness. It's that small little word that we can often overlook. The son's father saw him. I looked... 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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This IS Grace In Real Life

The following was taken from a post on the 1 Peter 3 Living Group. It's testimony from Pam Anderson. My friends, you will see Grace differently in this. Thanks Pam, Lynn & Dineen and your SUM family. Hello Everyone, God has been doing an amazing work in my home, my husband and my marriage. Let me begin by saying that the word God gave me for both 2014 & 2015 is GRACE! I expected a new word for 2015, but that didn’t happen. Little did I realize what AMAZING things he had planned! Yes, AMAZING GRACE. To make a very long story as short as possible, since October of 2014, Grace has become a staple word in our home. Even for my husband! I can’t begin to tell you what a Divine move this. My husband, Bob, is a very hard, military man (served 32 years). He was trained to... 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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Reader Question

Hey ladies, You mentioned in your book together about how you handle media choices. Could you share some advice? Music, tv, entertainers (comedians), too much screen time overall? Also praying that pornography is not an current or future issue. Thanks! Jen Jen’s question is such a good one, my friends, and she graciously gave me permission to answer it here on our blog. What Choices? My friends, as we walk in closer intimacy with Jesus, we become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Don’t be surprised if you are finding yourself unable to read, watch and listen to things you used to. For example, I used to love to read thrillers and watch shows like Criminal Minds. I can’t anymore—haven’t been able to for a while. In fact, just the other night, my hubby and I were watching one of our shows together (we have a handful we both... Read more →

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The Greatest Romance of All Time

On Sunday I sat in church and watched a short video clip done by an energetic young man. I can’t remember much of what he said because partway through he said something that planted a thought in my mind that bloomed into something I’m finding quite amazing. Then today (yesterday as you read this), the Holy Spirit brought me to a Scripture that opened the fuller meaning and picture of this thought. I am a bit undone by it. Let’s see what you think, my friends. As women, we long to be wooed. I remember as a young girl playing with Barbies, I would stage Barbie’s wedding to Ken. It was quite something actually, at least in my mind. As a teenager, romance books replaced Barbie and Ken to feed my imagination of what romance meant. And no, not in a good way. So, as a young adult, my hubby’s... Read more →

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Our Breakthrough Happened! He's a Believer!

My friends, you know we have been praying for a breakthrough in our community for a long time. Recenlty Lynn and I have felt that a shift was coming, and we are over the moon to share with you that IT HAS HAPPENED! Janet Sommer is a long time member of this community. Lynn and I have had the pleasure of getting to know her better over the years, and I myself am blessed to have the treasure of her friendship, encouragement and prayer. She has remained faithful to God even in challenging times and continued to pray for her husband and sow the seeds of faith. And the plow came. A few weeks back when I shared in a video blog post that God told me things look like they're going backward, but He was about to turn them around. You could say that about Janet's situation, and God... Read more →

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The Unexpected Divine Appointments

Dear friends, as I walked and prayed Tuesday morning, I asked Abba for the words to share with you what I experienced at Bethel. I really wasn’t sure if I had anything definitive as God kept this visit very personal, which makes sense for this year of intimacy He’s called me to. But as I walked the memories and words began to flow (thank You, Abba, You are so good), like a kaleidoscope of images and colors that stood unique but together created the complete story of God’s intentions. Where to start? At the beginning of the journey. I was a bit anxious about making this trip on my own (I love road trips when hubby is in charge) and my car had been acting up a little. (I should share with you that I call my little VW Bug by the name of Gracie as she is a gift... Read more →

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