Gear Up: SALVATION

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

When you grow up in church, you can develop an odd vocabulary compared to the rest of the world. A pew, a vestibule, and a sanctuary mean completely different things to a church goer. We might think of a sanctuary as an auditorium dedicated to worship, while a non-church-goer might picture a wild bird refuge instead. And what on earth is a vestibule anyways? Can’t we just call it a lobby? Kidding aside, “salvation” is one of those words that gets an odd meaning in church circles. We think of salvation as a person receiving God’s forgiveness from their sins. This is truly one of its meanings, but not its original meaning. To understand the next part of our armor, we need to understand the meaning of this word. The Greek word for salvation, soterios, is based on the root word, soteria, which means: defender, defense; saving, bringing salvation; hope of future salvation. To gain a broader perspective of “the helmet of salvation”, let’s look at another passage talking about helmets and salvation. So what is this salvation? What are we saved from? According to this passage, we are saved from the wrath of God upon unrepentant sinners. Jesus is our defender … Read More

Rising Up 2017 – Join Our Prayer Event!

Jen CudmoreCurrent Events, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

“God is seeking women who will take up the mantle of prayer to release healing, deliverance and glory upon the earth … The Lord is mustering an army to cry out in prayer and intercession against the wicked schemes of the enemy in the land.” ~Michelle McClain-Walters Prayer is desperately needed. Fires and floods. Racism and entitlement. Disregard and disrespect. With the moral decline of our culture and the natural disasters hitting our country, our only hope is a Savior. As daughters of the King of Kings, we must intercede on behalf of our nation and our children. Alaska can make a difference! Let each woman of God rise up like a lioness with boldness and cry out to God to heal our land! This October, several organizations are coming together to initiate a Jesus movement in our nation’s capitol! For 4 days, Christians will gather at the National Mall. Praise music with 300 worship teams, round-the-clock prayer, street evangelism, 50 tents representing all 50 states – this will be an event like America has never seen before! Will you join the call and rise up? Those of us who cannot travel to Washington DC can still be a part … Read More

Gear Up: FAITH

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

We are in active spiritual warfare. The attacks come from media, culture, and history revisionists…not to mention our own temptations, desires, and lusts. Knowing this, I pray through Ephesians 6, carefully mentioning each part of my spiritual armor as though I can manufacture them by my words. I am slowly learning that, while this is a good place to start, our armor goes much deeper than that. It is NOT something we can instantly produce. Rather, it is something God produces for us as He helps us walk in a life of obedience. The next part of our armor is the shield of FAITH. The modern church seems to struggle with this one. In the days of the early church, Christians saw miracles left and right. The blind received their sight. The dead were brought back to life. The lame received strength to walk. Few of us see those faith-building miracles today. They seem to be relegated to the missionaries who spend their lives in the deep jungles of foreign continents. But whose fault is that? Did God stop delivering? Or did we stop asking? We must ask for faith. In Jesus’ earthly ministry, people flocked to Him for healing … Read More

Gear Up: PEACE

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting, Trials0 Comments

When our oldest was about three or four, she had a favorite tune she liked to sing. We all recognized the tune, but the words she sang made no sense. We could not figure out what she meant by “hap-py shoes, hap-py shoes”. Why were her shoes happy? Were they going to the park? It turned out that she had misunderstood the words of an old children’s song that I sang to her. It goes, “Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry.” Since patience was a big word for someone her size, she equated it to something she knew…shoes. Happy shoes, at that. Honestly, I feel that way about our next piece of armor. I have struggled to grasp what is meant by the “gospel of peace”, and so I have filled in my imagination with some strange meanings. Huh? Maybe I am the only one who struggles with this, but just in case, let’s break it down like we broke down “Have Patience” for our little girl. Shoes make us ready. When our oldest was curious, into-everything toddler, I started following the advice of the Fly Lady, … Read More

When you don’t know how or what to pray for…

Guest BloggerFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

Do you ever get a prayer request that is private or “unspoken” and you don’t know exactly what to pray for? Or perhaps you are going through a situation that requires decision-making or life-changes and you are not quite sure how to proceed or what to ask for? Let me encourage you with this: “…your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) I know it’s hard sometimes to not be specific in our prayers and/or not get a clear answer on what to do. But when you ask the Lord our God for His will to be done, for His name to be glorified, for His presence and peace to overcome, you surrender to His feet, you lay down your burdens, and trust that everything will happen according to His perfect plan. God doesn’t need our permission to accomplish His mighty acts, but He does seek our invitation into our lives and souls to glorify His name in us. Even though life doesn’t come with a precise instructions manual, Jesus gave us the Bible as a gift. Use it as a road map to heaven! Go to Him! Following Matthew 6:8, He gave us the Lord’s … Read More

Gear Up: RIGHTEOUSNESS

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

When I hear the word righteousness, I picture a severe, mirthless character standing on a mountain-top looking down upon a valley of wretched sinners. Or a silver-haired, sour-faced reverend dishing out long lists of rules. Or a stuffy church lady in her fancy Sunday hat criticizing unruly teenagers. You, too? Boy, are we wrong. These caricatures are waaaaaay off the mark. In fact, each one represents pride rather than righteousness. So what IS righteousness? And why does it matter? Last week’s blog suggested that we might be putting our spiritual armor like a toddler puts on his clothes…inside out and backwards! We examine how truth is a protecter, how it is absolute, and how God’s Word IS our source of truth. We were challenged to say more than a trite prayer to really wear the first part in our armor, which is the belt of truth. The next part of our gear is the body armour, or breastplate, of righteousness. If righteousness is not the proud picture of piety described in the first paragraph, then what is it? The American Heritage Dictionary defines righteousness as “meeting the standards of what is right and just”.* Righteousness is the breastplate that protects our … Read More

Gear Up: TRUTH

Carol DunfeeBible Study, Faith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

Have you ever watched a toddler dress himself? Socks go on backwards. Underwear ends up on his head. Pants are inside out. It’s really quite entertaining, until you have to leave the house! His clothing would function much better if he could only put it on properly. What if we are putting on our spiritual armor inside out and backwards? Have you ever wondered if we are wearing our gospel-shoes on the wrong feet? What if we have the wrong grip on our swords? I can imagine that God often chuckles at my own fumbling attempts to wear my spiritual armor. He must shake his head as I try to wrap my brain around these strange concepts. Many Bible teachers focus on the items themselves: the sword, the shield, the helmet, etc. This summer I became curious about what I would learn if I studied the armor from a different perspective. What if I focused on what each of those pieces represents rather than the word picture? What if I ask how truth affects spiritual warfare rather than focusing on the belt? Maybe it would only be a minor difference, but I felt like I needed to find out. According … Read More

Where Are The Houses Of Prayer?

Jen CudmoreFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

They stood in a circle, about 40 of them, in the center of the parking lot. United, hands clasped with their neighbor and heads bowed, they prayed. No fear. No shame. No wavering. As I drove by, tears stung the back of my eyes. Emotions assailed me. I was thrilled to witness such an incredible sight, so many people openly gathering before the throne of the Most High God! And yet I felt sad that such a sight is so rare. I could not recall the last time I had been involved in a prayer circle like that! And I wondered if God’s reaction was a little like mine. I thought back to a question that’s been heavy on my heart for several months: Why don’t more churches gather for prayer and fasting? When I was young, every once in a while our little church met just to pray. As I grew older, I noticed that some churches had regular prayer meetings, and some didn’t. I never thought much about it until I came across this scripture: “And as [Jesus] taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” … Read More

The Hazard of People-Pleasing

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting1 Comment

All my life I have craved approval. In elementary school, I wanted my friends to like me. In high school, I wanted the popular kids to accept me. In college, I wanted to be respected and liked. I was terrified that someone would think I was “strange”, so I kept my little quirks to myself. As an adult, I have grown more independent, but I still crave approval. I want people to think positive thoughts about me. I can express some pretty strong opinions when I know I’m in the company of like-minded friends, but I clam up in embarrassment as soon as a dissenting opinion is expressed. Blogging has added a whole new dynamic to this fear of displeasing people. It’s fine and dandy to write strongly and boldly in front of my computer. It’s a completely different thing to put that writing out on the internet for all to see. When God has shown me something revolutionary, I am still tempted to keep it hidden so that no one thinks I’m “strange”. A friend of mine posted a sermon from Francis Chan recently. Chan mentioned how he has often been tempted to water down a message from God … Read More

Is Jesus REALLY Enough?

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting, Trials2 Comments

We sing at the top of our lungs. We raise our hands in worship, proclaiming the greatness of our God. We join with hundreds of others in worship of Jesus, the One who died and rose again to pay our sin-debt. Yet we are a bunch of hypocrites. We proclaim the wonders of our Savior on Sunday morning and then fret about the greatness of our problems the rest of the week. Five minutes after we sing that there is no stronger power than Jesus, we revert to worry about how we are going to meet the pressures of the coming week. Hold on. It’s time we get that emotional worship experience to sink deeper. We must let those words of praise and faith penetrate our minds and hearts, too. They must change our way of thinking, so that we no longer wallow in doubt, fear, and defeat. Recently, a friend encouraged several of us bloggers to remember the omnipotent power of Jesus’ name. She had us look up John 14:12-14… I have read these verses many times over the last several months. They really became alive for me when I went through Kim Erickson’s His Last Words twice during … Read More

A Little Comma

Carol DunfeeHoliday, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

I generally like to fit in and fly under the radar. I don’t mind being different, but I don’t want to make a scene about it. So, when I noticed my dad saying the Pledge of Allegiance differently, I hoped no one else noticed. After all, why say it differently than the 500 other people in the building?? Everyone around him says, “One nation, under God, indivisible,” with a small pause at each comma. Dad removes one single comma. A little comma that changes everything. He says, “One nation, under God indivisible…” I asked him about it one time. He explained that you can’t separate America’s indivisibility from its relationship to God. America’s ability to remain a united nation is wholly dependent upon America’s choice to remain “under God”. By removing the comma, We recognize that without God’s grace, our nation is NOT indivisible. It is subject to being torn apart–from within and from without. We admit that our national security is dependent upon God, not politics or military might. We confess that God is not obligated to protect a nation that rejects Him. We acknowledge that God is sovereign. We humbly surrender our sins of arrogance and pride. As … Read More

Did You Pray About That?

Jen CudmorePrayer & Fasting0 Comments

prayer

I don’t recall the specific situation; I just remember that I was mad. I marched over to where my friend was sitting and told her the details of what happened. Her words stopped me in my tracks and defused my emotions in about half a second. She raised an eyebrow as she regarded me. “Did you pray about that?” I gulped, then gave a nervous chuckle. “Well, not yet. It just happened.” I went back to my seat, sufficiently scolded that I had not taken my concerns to God first. That situation was the start of a new journey for me. I knew I was instructed in the Bible to pray without ceasing, but I had not been applying the concept. I began to recall many other situations where I got upset or worried rather than handing the burden over to my Savior. God wants to be part of our day, and more than just a genie who grants our wishes. He wants to be acknowledged and involved in everything we do. We sometimes forget that talking with God is an honor. We have direct access to the King of Kings! That’s something to get excited about! He devotes His … Read More

Where Do Unanswered Prayers Go?

Heather GillisFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

I don’t know about you but I have thought about this question many times.  There have been many prayers I have prayed my whole life, God still hasn’t answered.  Does that mean he doesn’t care?  Does it mean God isn’t listening?  I pray this post encourages you to know that God indeed is listening and he cares and loves you very much. I have heard many say ‘God didn’t answer my prayer, that must mean he doesn’t love me.’  Even though it may be true God doesn’t answer all of our prayers the way we want him to, he isn’t a genie in the bottle waiting to grant our every wish.  God doesn’t work that way.  He is our Father who loves us, who knows what is best for us, who sees the bigger picture and has the best plan ever for our lives.  To not answer our prayers may mean that God has something better waiting ahead. When our third child was born with a fatal kidney disease, my husband and I prayed for God to please heal our son and for him not to suffer anymore.   We had so many people praying for healing for him.  The day he … Read More

Response in the Struggle

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Prayer & Fasting, Redemption1 Comment

What is the proper response when I hear my own thoughts asking, “what am I to do if things stay the way they are today…am I always going to feel this lonely, this sad, this empty, this hopeless…what would happen if I just gave up…” I wrestle through the times that my thinking is brings me down and I am desperate to know when the struggle will end. When my emotions get the best of me and I find myself feeling as if things will never change…that I may be stuck in the sadness and tire of the fight. A significant part of me really does feel bad to entertain thoughts of giving up. I feel guilty because I know some of the verses that I needed to echo in order to repeat truth and the honest answer to that dilemma is…in and of myself, I didn’t have the strength to keep reminding myself of the truth. In my weakness and weariness I long for release from the pain…I am exhausted from the hurt that keeps me company. It feels like an unwanted guest that has overstayed its welcome. I feel irritable and impatient. I no longer looked at the … Read More

Stand Firm: Pray Without Ceasing

Jen CudmoreFaith, Prayer & Fasting1 Comment

“Christ actually meant prayer to be the great power by which His church should do its work…” Andrew Murray We’ve begun a series on How to Stand Firm. First, we discussed briefly why we can’t allow ourselves to be moved when the enemy attacks. Last week we reviewed the armor of God and why that is so significant in our lives. Today, we’ll discuss a tool that is seriously (and sadly) under-utilized in our world today: prayer. Previously I shared 4 ways to resist the enemy based on the scripture from James 4:7 stating if we resist, he will flee. Another way to resist is to never stop praying (1 Thes 5:16). Satan hates when believers pray. He knows that when we humble ourselves before God, the Holy Spirit and God’s glory are released on earth. The Bible tells us to ask and it will be given to us (Matthew 7), that if we remain in Him then whatever we wish will be done (John 15:7). Prayer is essential if we want to see God move. Simply put, talking with God changes things. The early church in Acts grew immensely because of the believers’ devotion to prayer. Major revivals throughout … Read More

When Gratitude Unlocked a Miracle

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting, Trials, Womanhood1 Comment

Last week, I wrote about giving thanks in the middle of trouble. Little did I know just how much I would need that message on the very day the blog published. A few months ago, several of us at Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry began praying about having a vendor table at a local homeschool convention. The topics of womanhood and women’s discipleship had been forefront in our minds. We were approved to teach a class about those topics at the convention. I cannot tell you how much prayer went into the preparation. I can only tell you that it was a LOT!! We prayed for the women who would attend our class. We asked God to use our class to set women free from false beliefs, to open their eyes to life-giving truth, and to release God’s favor over their lives. Our goals were big and we believed them to be God-given. The day of that class was the same day that I published the blog about gratitude. I planned to attend our middle child’s school concert that morning before heading to the convention at 10:00. As my husband and kids were about ready to head out the door for work and … Read More

Why is Prayer so Important in Marriage?

Heather GillisFaith, Marriage, Prayer & Fasting, Trials2 Comments

Marriage is one of the biggest blessings in life, yet 40%-50% of marriages end up in divorce.  If marriage is such a blessing, then why do so many marriages fail?  I think there are many factors at play–a person’s background and upbringing, parents who had a loving successful marriage, children, poor role models, trials, dysfunctional habits.  But I think one of the most important factors that help couples STAY together is PRAYER. A study written by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement stated out of 1156 couples, those who prayed together on a daily basis less than 1% ended in divorce.  The study went even further to analyze what the couples did at home together.   Were they apart of the same denomination?  Did they attend church together?  Did they share the same beliefs and values?  Did they do any worship activities at home? The study found there was a higher level of marital satisfaction when the couples shared the same religious practices at home which included reading the Bible together.  Unfortunately despite knowing this information, only 4% of Christian couples pray together on a daily basis.  The important message from the study was if you want a strong marriage that … Read More

Tell me about your daddy

Rosalynn LasleyPrayer & Fasting, Redemption, Trials1 Comment

Jesus Love

I have been avoiding writing this post for a very long time.  The title alone is one that can elicit a wide variety of responses.  For some people the thought of their dad will cause a visible smile to spread across their face, thinking of all of the lovely things that make their dad who he is.  For others it may cause their eyes to well up with tears because their dad is no longer on earth.  There are others who may get a sinking feeling in their stomach because their relationship with their dad isn’t a good one.  There are some who may not know their dad at all.  There are some who think of a stepdad or foster dad when thinking of their dad.  There may even be some who won’t read this post at all because it has to do with dads.  That’s why it has been so hard for me to write this, it’s hard for me to talk about my dad. When people talk about God as The Father, its is often hard for me to comprehend that.  I don’t have a good relationship with my dad so my view of what a father looks like is cloudy.  I … Read More

A Love that Never Fails

Heather GillisFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

  This post is a little different from previous posts I have written, mostly because I have written a love poem and prayer to share about God’s agapé love for us. If there was only one thing I could write about as a writer in the whole entire world, it would be about God’s love for us.  My hope and prayer is God would use the words we write on these pages to tell His story in our hearts, to shout above the noise of this world so we can hear and see how much He loves and cares for us.  I pray these pages of words tell about His goodness, His faithfulness, how He will and do anything for us.  There is nothing we could ask of God, He isn’t be able to do.  His love is the greatest of all love, an agapé love, one that can never be destroyed–one that never fails or ever leaves us. In the Bible, there are four different translations for love in the Greek language.  We can determine what type of the love the Bible is speaking of in the context it is used.  There is a term for brotherly love ‘philia,’ a term for … Read More

What Does It Mean To Surrender?

Jen CudmoreFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

Surrender. What emotions does this word invoke in your heart? For some, it’s positive, stirring memories of a sweet moment with God. For others, it’s negative, bringing light to areas defiantly kept away from Him. Years ago, I recall being confused about what it means to be surrendered to God. Does it just mean that I’ve agreed to believe in Him and serve Him? Does that mean I go where He tells me to go? Does it mean I trust Him – a lot? Does it mean I follow all His Thou-shalt-not rules? According to Merriam-Webster, surrender is defined this way: 1a :  to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand b :  to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another 2a :  to give (oneself) up into the power of another to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence) Recently during our 21-Day-Fast, God brought this word to my mind. Curious, I wondered what He was prompting me to do. If you had asked me a month ago, I would have quickly agreed that Yes, I’m fully surrendered to God. But as I dug deep into my … Read More