91 posts categorized "Guest Post"

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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MORE THAN I COULD HAVE ASKED OR IMAGINED!

Shelley Cruze with Husband and Son By SUMite, Shelley Cruz I was raised in a wonderful Christian home but walked away from God as a teenager because I thought that I was missing out on all the fun in life. I married, started my career, bought a home with my husband and had two babies. After 12 years of living for myself, I finally realized that the “fun” and all the other things I used to fill the void were leaving me feeling empty. I knew what I was missing was a relationship with Jesus and in 1996, I rededicated my life to Him. I wanted my children to know Jesus and began to teach them and brought them to church with me. I longed for my husband to know Christ, so I began praying for him. Soon after, he began coming to church with me, but it became quickly... Read more →

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God Can Change A Man's Heart!

by Niki Hathorn Hello SUMite friends! I have some wonderful news today. When I met my husband in our early twenties, we were both believers but not even close to walking with Jesus. Fast forward to my early thirties, we were married, and I was pregnant with our first child. It was at that time when Jesus finally got hold of me. I found a church to attend, started reading my Bible, I became involved in community with some wonderful ladies, and really began to grow. My husband would participate once in a while - when convenient for him, but I wasn't seeing much change in his life. In fact, debauchery and anger seemed to take over any joy that he had. It's been a long and difficult road. In August, I went to bed on a Sunday night and fell asleep telling Jesus that I didn't think I could... Read more →

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Where Is Your Focus

The following post is by Lori Lyn Skipper. _____ Pic credit: Laura Mowrey With salty tears running down my cheeks, swallowing over the lump in my throat and my heart aching, I begin this blog. I learned yesterday a long-time friend and co-sharer of the Gospel passed on to Glory in the morning. Upon reading the news yesterday my mind began wandering to years past. And conviction fell. And today as I was looking at her pictures, again, conviction fell. She was one of the most beautiful, God-fearing women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Not only was she beautiful on the outside, she genuinely had a beautiful heart and spirit. My heart aches for her husband, her children, her brother and best friend/sister-in-law and her parents. It also aches for all those who knew her and for those that never had the great pleasure of making her acquaintance.... Read more →

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Abiding leads to Transformation

Hello, Ian here once again. As you probably have noticed in many of my posts in the last few years I’ve sought to desire more of God, to experience that oneness with the Father that Jesus prays for us about in John 17. Hey, and isn’t it fabulous that Jesus, Himself, actively helps us in the process? Everyday. As He continually intercedes in prayer for us. This desire for more brought me, firstly, to writing a new non-fiction book, and then when I discovered I didn’t have sufficient material, secondly, to take up study again in participating in a Spiritual Formation course. To date I marvel at what I’m both learning and experiencing. The Heart It’s a journey of the heart as the prophet Jeremiah declared: “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their... Read more →

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Seasons in Life

Hello, Ian from Sydney here. “Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.” (Luke 5: 3-6 ESV) The disciples were experienced fishermen. They knew the lake of Gennesaret intimately having fished it for years. We’re told they fished all night and caught nothing. And this relative newcomer whom they knew to NOT be a fisherman tells them to cast their nets out again. What would... 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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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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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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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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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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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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SUMites Summit on the Summit by Libby

When I was paying for the SUM community, Holy Spirit started downloading words and pictures into my soul for us! So, in prayer, I grabbed my pen and sketch pad and let Holy Spirit flow through me. This is the first time I have ever done this, and let me tell you, it was awesome and I want more!!! I really hope that the photo at the end of this post expresses it properly (best viewed on laptop/pc). I pray that God will bless you through it and reveal to you in your heart what He wants you to know :) I believe He is calling together an army from across the nations to join forces together against evil. In the spiritual realm we are together and we are kicking up noise! An uproar against satan and his wicked plans. The angels can hear us and they rejoice! The demons... Read more →

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Devotion: by Lori Lyn Skipper

Ladies, our husbands need encouragement. I was having a conversation with my best friend recently about our spouses. We both had questions and concerns. So, we did the best thing we could do, we prayed. As we were praying, I began to thank God for creating men and women differently. I thanked Him for making men physically stronger than women, for making men the head of the households, the protectors, the providers, and the disciplinarian. Then I began to thank Him for creating women to be submissive to their husbands, for making us weaker physically, and for making us stronger in other areas than men are. If our husbands are making decisions that we are not in agreement with, we need to be praying for them, not nagging them. We need to encourage them and let them know how much we appreciate all that they do for our marriage and... Read more →

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Marriage Redemption In Real Life This Easter

I received this from Sumite, Becky Walker. It is testimony for all of us. Blessing this week. Love, Lynn ----- For anyone who does not know me or what God has been doing, I want to remind everyone of God's promise to me. I wrote the following in a post around Thanksgiving: Years ago, before my husband left (3 years ago), the Lord promised me that my husband would return, not a slave to sin, but a brother in Christ (Philemon 1:15-16). He also promised me that He would give my husband an undivided heart and place His Holy Spirit in him, remove his stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26). I have clung to these promises and claimed these promises, even in the face of opposition, because of the faith He gives me. On January 19th, exactly a week after the end... Read more →

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He Opened It. I Waited With a Butterfly Stomach

The following was written by Dorothy Fleming, a long-time reader here at SUM. She shared this story with me and I knew all of us need to receive it. Thank you Dorothy for your love, example and your Christ-like heart. Hugs, Lynn *** January 6, 2018 Making My Husband Cry on Christmas It started with a 2017 Valentine’s Day post by Gary Thomas author of the book “Cherish –The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage”. He kept a journal for a whole year writing each day how he cherished his wife. He then gave the journal to her at Christmas. Hmmm. What a great idea! I can do that I thought…can’t I? However, keeping a cherish journal for a SUM spouse presents some challenges, right? Not only would I need to find something to cherish each and every day for days, weeks, months, but accomplish it without directly... Read more →

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Be Aware! Don’t Compare!

Today, I am tickled to share with you my friend, Kathy Collar Miller. Welcome Kathy! by Kathy Collard Miller Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I’ll make sure I’m never bad like her.” Or “I want to be good like her.” We all have and it may seem like a really good thing to focus on avoiding the mistakes of some and emulating the good points of others. Even the Apostle Paul wrote to his friends in Philippi, Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us (3:17). But if we read his words earlier in that chapter, he says, Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it... Read more →

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Advent - Sharing the Longing

Image courtesy of 9comeback at FreeDigitalPhotos.net One Bible story that I keep coming back to each Advent season is the one that features Zechariah and Elizabeth. I hadn’t spent a lot of time reflecting upon it until a few years ago when I began to observe Advent. Most of you will know their story is briefly told in Luke 1 before Mary’s story. I’d encourage you to read it again (v5-25) and as we’ve done in the past read it meditatively. Perhaps listen to it and put yourself into the story. Imagine you are Zechariah or Elizabeth or one of the crowd and see what the Spirit reveals to you. Longing This couple was probably in their late 50’s or early 60’s. He was a respected Jewish priest and would have been highly thought of within society. However, even though holding an elevated position in society they were probably looked... Read more →

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God's Promise For A Marriage - Thankfulness This Thanksgiving

Becky and Her Two Children Promises by: SUMite Becky Walker I wanted to write about the Lord’s promises and explain what the Lord recently revealed to me. I encountered opposition about claiming the Lord’s promises for my husband. My husband and I have been separated for almost three years and he actually divorced me in May 2016, but I didn’t even know about it until a year later. He has since married someone else and they have separated. I have also consulted with my lawyer who says that the divorce was not carried out legally and we could contest it. That door still has not slammed shut. Years ago, before my husband left, the Lord promised me that my husband would return, not a slave to sin, but a brother in Christ (Philemon 1:15-16). He also promised me that He would give my husband an undivided heart and place His... Read more →

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Oh, Captain…Our Captain! by Dee Rusnak

“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” — Hebrews 2:10 When you think of a wilderness, what is the first picture that pops into your mind? Perhaps a tree-thick forest, or a breathtaking landscape of a mountain terrain, or even the soft extending sands of desert dunes? What about a wasteland? Desolation? Emptiness? Solitude? This is the biblical description for wilderness, or eremos, the place where Jesus was driven immediately following His Baptism. The Spirit of God descended upon Him and promptly began His work…launching His Son into the arid wilderness to be tested and tempted in every way for 40 days. The first temptation of man took place in a plush garden with gorgeous scenery, fresh crisp air, warm comforting breezes, surrounded by the musical... Read more →

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Jesus Paid The Parking Fine

Lynn here. Last week I received a wonderful email from Tamara Hari, who is a long-time reader and lives in Switzerland. It is beautiful and filled with truth. Thank you Tamara. ***** Hello, my dear wonderful friends – how is life in your part of the world? Mine is so full of wonderful surprises and sometimes a bit of holes too. I am always so positive, and God has spoken so clearly in my husband’s life, sadly, once again, when it comes to repent: regret and turn around, he has chosen the wrong way. So now I am licking my disappointment wounds, and God gave me this amazing sermon to listen to this morning – that is why I am writing – not sure if this is worth posting but it touched my heart so deeply, I felt led to share: We all know the story of the prodigal son,... Read more →

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How God Spoke to My Heart About My Husband

Dear friends, I am on "vacation" this week. It's actually my oldest daughter, Rachel, who is on vacation and spending the week with Mike and I. We won't get to see her at Christmas this year so I am making the most of this week with my girl. I'll be back next next week. In the meantime, this testimony from Alissa is so beautiful and powerful, of how God met her, reassured her, and even gave her revelation and insight to understand what was really at the heart of her husband's choice to be an agnostic. When I asked her if I could share her testimony here, this is what she said: Absolutely you can use this. One thing I learned on my missions trip was the power of testimony. We learned that the word testimony, literally means 'God do it again'. So if my testimony can give someone else... Read more →

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Was I Really Lamenting?

I was tired. Weary. Drained. I thought I heard from God that my spouse’s salvation was supposed to come last year. When God told me to be more specific with my prayers, I was more specific with my questions. I asked when, Lord, when?? I heard two years. Well, those two years came to pass…nothing. I waited a couple weeks. A couple weeks turned to two months, and two months turned into eight months. The thing was…I did not give up on God’s promise – but I did give up my fight. I was in a stage of utter disappointment. “Well, God! If you told me it’s going to happen, it will and I’m just going to trust it! I’m DONE praying! Done! I’m tired of being the only spiritual leader in my household. I’m tired of being the only one spiritually guiding my child! It’s not supposed to be... Read more →

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Guest Post by Dee Rusnak: The Chosen One

Dear Friends, today we are blessed to have a guest post by our very own Dee Rusnak. I know her words will encourage you as much as they did me. Thank you, Dee! I'm looking forward to sharing my next post with you, possibly a series, about partnering with God to release what He has placed already in our spouse. Eternity (Etc 3:11)! But how do we do that? Stay tuned... Love you, SUMites! ~Dineen The Chosen One by Dee Rusnak “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) One of the most compelling salvation stories in the Bible is the one of the thief on the cross. It just boggles the mind that at one moment this dangerous criminal is mocking Jesus, and the next admitting to his own guilt and being saved. The Bible... Read more →

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