Hi SUM family, Ann here!
Last week, upon reading Lynn's post, I found myself nodding my head rather vigorously in agreement with this statement:
"I believe that as followers of Jesus we are amid one of the most challenging seasons of our faith life."
Oh yes ... What an intense spiritual time we're navigating right now!
Here in this community I suspect many of us would say that our primary faith challenge has always been our spiritually mismatched marriage. But, I wonder if our challenges have now morphed considerably, due to the array of 'hot' issues that are noisily emerging within society and the church.
Gah! Hard times.
Thinking about the role models we have in scripture, there is one man -- A minister of the Gospel -- who stands out as having tackled a lot of hot issues. Crazy, gnarly stuff. He advised his various church flocks on how to handle these things, and we also see him in action in the New Testament -- Speaking out and walking in practical wisdom.
For me, he's the perfect role model for us in this time we're in. It's the Apostle Paul.
And so, our Summer Bible Study is going to be on him. We've called it Paul -- The Fight of Faith. The study will start next Monday, and it will take the form of Lynn and I each selecting some of our favorite stories -- or vignettes -- from Paul's life.
We're rolling up our sleeves and rubbing our hands together waiting to start, so ... Watch this space!
In the meantime, I'd love to hear a little from you: What are the trickiest issues you're facing at the moment in your faith life?
Hi friends. For today's post here’s a little video that I just did live on our Facebook page. Enjoy!
Lynn Donovan here. Gang, it’s time to catch up with you. I’m going to share a few random thoughts. So grab your coffee, strap in, get ready. LET’S GO!
First, I believe that as followers of Jesus, we are amid one of the most challenging seasons of our faith life. This feels especially true when compared to a number of generations that preceded us. For me personally, since January, I’ve faced difficulty and pain that almost toppled me. Even in my marriage. Even though Mike is a believer.
So, if you have walked through or are currently in the Valley of the shadow of death, TAKE HEART.
- You aren’t alone.
- It will end.
- Needed lessons regarding surrender and determination are learned.
- Discovery of personal idols are revealed.
Then you will:
- Walk into a higher level of intimacy with our King.
- Realize how your personal idols were open doors to the demonic.
- Discover the blessings of surrender.
- Make changes that bring health. Physical health, mental and emotional health and health to your soul.
I’m convinced that we are headed for some interesting times and seasons ahead. The assignment against the Church is intense. Right now, Satan and his minions are working out plans to totally destroy or at least scramble the church. So, when it happens you will know that the effort was intentional. But God will reveal many truths in this season as well. And the Church of Jesus Christ will never be destroyed.
I hear the verse: What can be shaken will be shaken.
Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. – HEBREWS 12:27
We, The Remnant, and I mean all of us who are/were unequally yoked. We have been prepared. It wasn’t a wasted life to live with an unbeliever. We perceive things the majority of the church can’t begin to understand. We appreciate what it’s like to balance and live in the in-between.
And WE KNOW THE TRUTH. We were forced to figure out our beliefs because we lived with persecution within our own homes. So, we will be the first to sniff out deception. To uncover the lies and to unite, even if underground, to bring hope and truth to others who are desperate for a word from God.
One thing I know for certain. Choose every day to arise and…
- Follow hard after Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit
- Forgive Freely
- Kick the devil out
- Choose to never be offended
- Love with truth
- Allow wisdom of the Word to be your guide
- Know who you are and Whose you are
Finally, for all of you who feel broken. I know exactly how you feel. I can promise you this. When everything is broken and the only thing you have is Jesus. When He is all we have left. He is more than enough. And He is all the matters.
I love you dearly. Keep Marching because your faith is so very important in this season. Hugs, Lynn
Hey SUM family, Tiffany here!
I am absolutely blown away about how quickly this year has come and gone. It is hard to believe that in less than a month, my kiddos are back in session from the summer.
My husband and I do not share the same feelings about the academic year. Sure, we are both excited for our kids to make new friends at a new school. However, this mama's heart has to wrestle with all of the various things coming "down the pipes" as far as education and curriculum.
I have attempted to take a more active stance. Ever since the summer before last school year, I got involved in the school board meetings. Even to the point of running in our district as a write-in candidate. I want to get more involved in the school system so I can better monitor what is being taught.
I've written before that God told me "no" when I begged for homeschooling last year. Looking back now, I see the reasons behind it. I still have a hearts tug here and there. I still wish that I could be at home with my kiddos...do my own thing while raising them. It just isn't the season for that. We will see if it ever will be.
I know there are many stances on education for our children. I did not want to write today to cause a debate or division. I want to share a couple of things that God has taught me to pray over my children. This has helped me tremendously in covering them as well as trusting God with the details of my kids' lives.
- The blood of Jesus - this is first and foremost the top prayer. I cover myself, my husband, my kids, our home, property, vehicles, the places were the adults work, the place where the kids go to school, our neighborhood, etc.
- Supernatural detox - this was given to me as I was praying over my son during bedtime routines. I was praying about all the things that were coming into his mind, eye and ear gates. I was distraught because I had heard something that he was exposed to. In my desperation, I prayed something like this, "Lord I pray a supernatural detox over Easton from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. I pray that every breath that he exhales, he is releasing everything that is not good for him - it is flowing out of his body like a detox of his heart and mind. I pray that every breath that he inhales, he is taking in of Your kingdom. Upon every inhale, he is becoming cleansed of these spiritual toxins sent to come against him."
- Supernatural camouflage - I heard from a woman from my church small group that God have her this phrase. That the supernatural camouflage keeps us hidden from the enemy. We are not to be found in the presence of our enemies. We are completely out of sight and untraceable. I pray this over my children.
- Angels on assignment - I do this all the time. I have experienced some pretty awful things in life. I have also learned about such evil things that are happening to children every day. These two things combined have me quite protective of my children. I know that this is important. However, finding the balance of when to let go of the ropes a little bit has been difficult. In order to squelch the fear bandits, I will watch my children walk away (e.g. starting to go to the bathroom on their own at certain public places) and say, "Angels, go with them. Keep them safe and bring them back to me." I envision these gigantic Angels walking with them. How amazing is our Heavenly Father that He gives us our own personal security detail?! How much love of our Daddy! In my mind's eye I have seen my two Angels walking one on each side of me. When I walk through doors, one goes in front and one sticks their hand out as if to say, "after you." It made me stand up a little straighter and walk a little prouder. This sounds funny but we are more secured than a president, king, queen or celebrity. You think that those security guards are intense? ::psh::
- Holy Spirit - He may be toward the bottom of the list but He is not the least by any means. John 14:26 says, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 15:26 says, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" When we introduce our children to the precious Holy Spirit, we are rest assured that they will be learning the Truth. His job is to recall to mind what we have heard from God's word. In the right moment of time. We need to combat the lies that an education system may be teaching our children with God's principles. Teach them the Word of God. Give them practical examples of how scripture is playing out in their lives. Life lessons rooted in God's Word will stick with them.
- God's grace - don't get hung up on where you want to be in life. Me, for example, wishing to homeschool. God's grace is sufficient for you and your children. When back to school time comes faster than a speeding bullet, don't fear. God has your children where He wants them. I am emboldened to teach my children how to be a light for Jesus in the halls of their schools. Who will bring Jesus back into the school halls? Who will be a light and beacon of hope? I for one am proud to say that my children are helping usher in the next generation right where they are.
I could go on and on. Maybe a book someday? ::grin:: Let's talk in the comments. What are some prayers that you pray over your children? What has God shown you in order to equip your children for battle?
Love and blessings!
Hi again dear SUMites
I said in my last post that the Holy Spirit had given us two playful pictures to hold at the moment. The first one I described in the last post. The second one I'm sharing today.
We are children to Jesus, and sometimes he will use playful analogies with us. What he seems to be saying to us today is this:
The way I am moving in the SUM community is like an ice-cream van.
My friends, does it mean anything to you yet? Perhaps you can see it instantly, but I couldn't. I needed a bit of help from him.
This is the fun of the Holy Spirit. He tells us something. We realize we have no idea what it means. He then gives us the interpretation when we ask for it - POW! And that's how we know it was him.
Yep, this is how it went. Having pondered the symbol of ice cream van unsuccessfully for a day or so, I just could not figure it out. So I asked the Holy Spirit for help.
Instantly it came:
What I am doing in the SUM community is like an ice cream van. The three testimonies you have seen are the sound of the music starting. You can hear the whisper of it, it's faint but it is a definite and clear sound in the air. You wonder if it will come to your street. You dearly hope that you will not miss out. But I am good! It's coming to you. You will not miss out. Get ready for the goodies!
With a word like this, God will often give us confirmation. In this case, so that I could be brave enough to write this he told me this: I've told you about an ice cream van before, go and look it up.
Yes, he had. I remember I had heard him say 'Ice cream van' before (That was all, just 'ice cream van', hilarious!! I could have thought I was hallucinating, but I did write it down .. Perhaps because I've been learning that hearing God speak can sometimes be a bit of a weird experience!) Thankfully because I had written it down I could pull out my phone and search in the diary app I use for such records. 'Ice cream van', I typed ... And there it was. It was the week of the January 2019 fast. Just like the vision of the cloths that I described in the previous post. Two stories from God when we were fasting back in January 2019. Two stories from God about what we have just experienced. Salvation testimonies. And more to come.
I even love the fact we fasted together, he gave the words then ... But they have come to life now. I suppose that's the way God works ... It's also perhaps a little nod to the fact that he honors our fasting.
Finally ... The analogy of a SUM ice cream van is such a sweet one. I guess, after all, we are his kids.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14, NIV)
Be encouraged, everyone, and have a great weekend!