35 posts categorized "Perseverance in Trials"

A Table Set For Victory

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here. I pray that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love gathering with family, eating fantastic food and reflecting on all of the favor, mercy, and goodness of Daddy that has happened for the year. As I was thinking last week about what Holy Spirit wanted me to share, I fingerprinted a man with a business logo on his sweatshirt that said "Stillwater." This prompted me to look up "still water" in the Bible. The main passage that came to mind was in Psalm 23: 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of... 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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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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The Promise of Christmas

One of my favorite traditions of Christmas is the advent wreath. I first observed this at our international church while living in Switzerland and fell in love with the candles and their meaning. Every year I’ve used or remade our wreath, searching for just the right candles each year. But this year wound up a little different than I expected (there’s that word again). I’d actually prayed a few times over the years for a really nice wreath and candle holder. This year I wanted to find something different. These were simple desires I thought about and left unspoken. And this is the year that Abba surprised me with a new one. The most interesting part of this story is that I wasn’t the one to find it. My husband did. How’s that for some Christmas humor and delight? We saw this candle holder in a store and both loved... Read more →

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I Kick Disappointment To The Curb!

I began this series on disappointment from a place of victory. Last week I have shared my defeat, struggle in captivity of the enemy and my escape. I have told you that we face a very real enemy who is continually looked for ways to derail our faith and life in God. The enemy will work relentlessly in one area, which has proven to be quite successful. The demonic realm will try to drown you. Not in water but in problems. And if he can’t get to you directly, he will overwhelm your family. I'm mad!! My disappointment and oppression ended while I was visiting my mother in Colorado. Finally, the day prior to my departure, the Lord began to talk to me again. I felt the oppression lift. The Dove came home. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!!!! I prayed with people that day with power and God showed up. But... Read more →

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Fight The Demonic

In fighting against the tide of the demonic there is nothing more powerful than our words. The tongue has the power of life and death —Proverbs 18:21a I literally believe this. So I speak two kinds of words. Words of life - faith, belief, affirmation and truth from the Word of God over my life and family. And second, I speak words that bind, cancel, blind, silence and cast out the enemy. If you could walk with me one morning in the vineyards, you would likely think I’m wacked. I pray out loud. I shout, wave my arms, raise my arms and let the Holy Spirit inspired words flow. The spoken Word in prayer wields great power. I tell the devil he is a liar and my God who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. I will pray something like this: In the name... Read more →

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God Restores Us Too (part 2)

Dear friends, on Saturday I started telling you a little bit about the dark night of the soul I walked through in 2014 and what 1 Peter 5:6-10 came to mean to me. Let’s look at those verses again and I’ll finish my story. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. — 1 Peter 5:6-10... Read more →

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Bible Study Interrupt

I’m going to interrupt our Bible Study today. I had prepared a post for today. It’s written and ready, however as the weekend progressed and while standing in line with my husband at Walmart, I sensed the Holy Spirit, strongly caution me to wait and pray and contemplate that particular post. (There must be more He wants to teach me.) So, I’m going to pray about it. Stay tuned. In place of that post, the Holy Spirit, urged me to relay a message to our community. To all of you in our amazing family on the web, our church without walls. This is the story. This past week has been very difficult for me. And I can’t express nor explain all that transpired but I came under heavy persecution for my faith. And I guess it was to be expected as I wrote about persecution last week. I didn’t realize... Read more →

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Persecution - The Books Of Peter - Will The Church Go Underground?

So…… Ahem, ya. (long sigh) I planned on writing about suffering. So this week I experienced persecution, first-hand. Sheesh! Why does that always happen? Peter shares a few common themes through his two books. Today we are going to look at suffering. Specifically let’s read: If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. —1 Peter 4:14 Most of the passages within Peter’s books focus on suffering for our faith. Persecution. Stay tuned as we will discuss suffering and physical healing next. But today, I believe we should focus on the suffering we endure because of our faith. It’s obvious when reading through the books of Peter that he was a persecuted man. His feelings and his charge to the churches for endurance are evident. I personally believe that persecution is the only suffering that... Read more →

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20 Years of Parenting In Faith

SUMites, It’s late in the day on Sunday, Mother’s Day. And it’s quiet now as my son and his family have left for home and my hubby of 23 years is having a Sunday afternoon snooze. I’ve waited years and cried many tears hoping for a day such as today. Mother’s Day was simple yet profound. My family attended church with me this morning and then lunch was at our house. Yep, Mike sat beside me in church again. Yet as I’m alone in my hallway office, typing, my heart is stirring with some emotions and thoughts about you. I know Mother’s Day can turn out to be a giant disappointment to many in our community. I want you to know right now, I’m praying for your disappointed heart, even broken heart. Often our family members don’t remember to send a card or phone. Often our husband doesn’t remember and... Read more →

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A Promise For The Unequally Yoked

Good morning my friends: I know this is a crazed time of year. I pray you are getting enough rest and finding the Lord is your strength. Let’s pick up on our letter that the Lord has assigned to our community. Revelation 3. Remember we considered the open door that has been swung wide for us which cannot be shut. Now is the last half of verse eight: I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. This statement alone can bring tears to my eyes. Perhaps you are like me. There were days in my early years of marriage where it seemed as though it would have been easier to deny my faith in front of my husband than to stand and fight the onslaught of arguments and efforts for me to defend Jesus. I remember reading this last... Read more →

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The Destruction of the Demonic Warrior

Today is a continuation of Stone’s testimony. Part I was posted on Monday. On Friday I intend to get started teaching on the power we have to defeat the demonic. Stay tuned… Now here is Part II from my friend, Stone. Temecula, CA Worship In The Valley: A worship event in Temecula, CA on November 20th. Then I was brought back to the battlefield with a new knowledge of the enemy’s strategy and his determination to prevent me from ever setting foot on the battlefield because it is my destiny to speak into the face of darkness and command that he let God’s people go, that his captives be set free in the name of Jesus. Before this battle has begun I know and so does he that he is destined to lose his hold over God’s beloved who he has shackled with fear, depression, suicide, self-mutilation and abuse. He... Read more →

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The Destruction of the Demonic Warrior

It’s Thanksgiving this week. And I know all of us are very busy. And I’ve been very ill again. However, James 5 was in my daily Bible this week so I went for healing prayer. And I know my full healing is now decreed. AMEN! This week I have family in town and will likely be crazed entertaining but loving every minute of time I have with my mom who is visiting from Colorado. My daughter will be here and her friends, my son and my granddaughter. It’s going to be a great turkey day! Dineen and I are going to take the week off from posting. So today and Wednesday, I want to share with you an email that arrived on Thursday evening from a young woman whom I’ve prayed for, love on, and encouraged through the many months/years of her healing process. I asked her permission to share... Read more →

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God's Preparation: Trials and Challenges

Dear Friends, one of the most extraordinary things that God is showing me of late is how interconnected things are and how often we miss it. So here is the first part of an unexpected series—I say unexpected because I'd made notes for what I thought were four different posts and then realized they are very much interconnected and make a whole. I love how God does that! I remember years ago thinking that as I got older, "things" (i.e. life in general) would get easier, because I would be wiser, more experienced (is that redundant?) and overall have a better grip on life. In some ways that has proved true, but I'm finding that the deeper I seek to walk with God, the challenges have grown. Yes, we have a relentless enemy determined to to keep us from walking in our full destiny (remember, he can't take away our... Read more →

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The Truest Words From The Heart of Every Believer In A Spiritual Mismatched Marriage

Today I'm sharing a letter I received last week. I haven known Tamara for a very long time. She is likely one of our very earliest readers. She has walked in her uneuqlly yoked marriage for many years. In her short email I think she captured the truest parts of our heart. I'm not sure how this letter will affect you but I know it was tender, difficult and yet an encouragment. Lynn Hello Dear Friend, As I read your excerpts in that message – in God Sized Dreaming – I thought yes, only we, who are in that situation understand it. I was so sure Jack wanted to accept the Lords calling. But I was wrong. We had some very good and difficult talks and he explained very clearly: I don’t want to change. I don’t need to change. I believe enough to get me into heaven. So I... Read more →

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The Seven Seasons of The Walls

Hello SUMite Nation: Today I want to share some thoughts as we continue our journey toward the Promised Land. Remember we have been talking about seasons. If we can condense the long years and seasons and see them from heaven’s view. this is what our journey truly looks like. And it’s beautiful. Day two is finished and were back at the camp. But you know what is happening here? With each step it’s a revelation of how to do this journey better, more effective, with confidence. We learn to find the joy as we cross the same territory. We sing to our kids along the way and share stories of hope. We tell them of the glory of God. On day three, we fall down. We are exhausted, confused and just plain tired. It’s our brother's and sister's turn to come along side of us, pick us up and carry... Read more →

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Battlefield of the Mind: Pleading the Blood of Jesus

The last three weeks we have talked about the battlefield of the mind and the transformation that the Bible speaks of in Romans 12:2, first with Feasting on God’s Word, then part two, Claiming and Praying God’s Promises and last week, Giving the Holy Spirit Authority. This week I want to talk about pleading the blood of Jesus. Through this time of breaking and rebuilding that Abba has had me in, He’s given me a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ramifications and power of the blood of Christ and what makes it so powerful. As we travel through the Word of God, we see His ultimate plan of one perfect and final sacrifice. The Old Testament is the promise of the Messiah and the preparation of His coming. The New Testament is the revelation of the Messiah and His salvation plan for us. Sacrificial blood runs through the entire... Read more →

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2014 A Year of Hope

Hello My Friends, Well there is a lot happening around here. On Monday, my son and his family, his wife and daughter, Elise, who is 10 months old will be moving in with us. They are relocating from Las Vegas, NV to start a new life here in California. This is great news for a grammy’s heart. But what is even better news is how this came about. I prayed. I prayed for years and years asking the Lord to bring my son near. There were seasons, years, where that hope seemed impossible. It was inconceivable that my son would move… ever… So when this all came about, quite quickly, I can only shout to the faithfulness of our God. And if you have been a reader for any amount of time here at SUM, you will know that in the past 12 months I have FINALLY received the answers... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — We are Overcomers!

My friends, I just love our weekend worship time together. Today I want to share a couple things with you. The first is something God whispered to me one morning during my quiet time as I read a devo that talked about planting seeds (It's popping up everywhere! Yes, punned inteded. LOL!): Eternity = The seeds of salvation. Then God reminded me of this verse of Scripture that I have prayed for my husband and many unbelievers for several years: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. — Ecclesiastes 3:11 The seeds of salvation are planted in us from the very beginning. That is God's heart for us. So I'm praying for God to water and sprout those seeds in my hubby so he will be one... Read more →

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A Step of Faith

My precious friends, God has put a fire in my heart to speak to you about taking a step of faith. There is something God is calling many of us to do—something unique to our place and time and season—and He’s given you a promise that goes with this. And maybe you’ve prayed and waited for a long time for this promise but nothing is happening. What did God call you to do first? What was His call to action? Because as we move forward in this faith journey (and we must always be maturing), our faith in action becomes more crucial to our journey forward. In other words, we will have to take a believing step of faith forward to activate the promise we’ve been given. Let me explain this with the story of Israel crossing the Jordan in Joshua 3. First let’s set the stage with the Israelites... Read more →

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I Wanted to Stop Praying

I wonder if you are feeling weary? I know this month we are writing about love and I do have so much more rolling around in my brain to share about love. God’s love, our self-love and loving others. But, now for almost a week, I’m just not in the “mood” to write about that. What I’m wrangling with this season is weariness. It crystalized for me last week when I actually heard myself whisper out loud to the Lord, these words, “Lord, I’m just so weary of constantly fighting the battle. I’m tired of always being on the front lines. I’m exhausted hoping and waiting for the salvation of my husband. I’m fatigued as I pray almost incessantly for my children.” As soon as this little prayer left my lips, the words then hit my brain and then my heart. In the moment I wanted to stop praying so... Read more →

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A Step of Faith

In the last week I’ve come across two kinds of believers. The first is an older widow who has walked some challenging roads of life and loss and has become a very special influence and inspiration to me. We were discussing our loved ones who are still resisting God—my husband, her grandson. Our prebelievers. Her answer is simply it’s a matter of time because we know we are praying God’s will. It’s as simple as that for her. No doubt, no questioning. At some point our prebelievers will step into belief because it’s God’s will. The other is a gentleman whose wife and he have suffered more loss than I can imagine. He walks the road of faith but I see his discouragement, his despair. His wife turned away long ago. He expressed a kind of “what’s the point” perspective to me in regards to Bible study because it just... Read more →

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Taking a Walk with Nehemiah, Part 2

On Tuesday we started our journey with Nehemiah and his calling to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. In the comments, Shelly pointed something amazing out in Nehemiah 2: After this post I was intrigued to read Nehemiah myself with the perspective of marriage at hand. Only made it to chapter 2 but what stood out was 2:21... "The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall (marriage). But you (those who were against him, my interpretation...satan) But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem (my home)." Satan has no share, legal right or historic claim to our marriages! A powerful statement to remember when the battlefield of the mind seems to be getting the best of you. Is that not amazing? I love how Shelly took this piece of God's Word and brought out the truth we could apply... Read more →

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The Stories Behind the Story

Hello again, dear friends. First, I want to give a big hug and shout out to Lynn for letting me monopolize the blog this week to share this story with you. She rocks! Second, I want to thank you again for sharing this with me. It’s the culmination of a dream that started in 2009 and the SUM community is a very important part of it. I’m so excited to share some additional tid bits about the birth and progression of this story with you. How The Soul Saver turned out to be almost prophetic in my life. When I started writing the story in 2009, it was just a glimmer in my heart and mind. I knew the basics. I knew Lexie was a believer. I knew her husband, Hugh, was an atheist and a physics professor at Stanford University. And I knew they’d lost a child to a... Read more →

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An Open Letter To The Spiritually Mismatched

The Lord impressed upon me to share a post I wrote for Focus on the Family -The Live Forum two weeks ago. I pray you are encouraged and hear God’s voice as He speaks to all of us, the Unequally Yoked. Sometimes people misunderstand our ministry by thinking we are in opposition to God’s Word as it commands in 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJ) As a woman who has been unequally yoked now for 20 years, I understand the truth behind God’s desire in this passage. The life of the spiritual mismatched is difficult. There were days I didn’t know if I would survive the spiritual warfare. To read the article join me at the Internet Cafe. AND be sure to stop back in here on Friday as I... Read more →

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