Gear Up: GOD’s WORD

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

Misconceptions are funny things. You don’t know you have them until they are corrected. I really thought that the armor of God was put on by saying a few words in prayer each day. Now I understand that this armor is a lifestyle of becoming more aligned with Christ’s character. It is a result of constant prayer, repentance, humility, and most importantly, of seeking the face of Jesus. The final part of our armor is unique it is the only part that is offensive. All other parts are for protection and defense, while this one is meant to attack, take ground, and cut down the forces of evil. I have always wondered why God didn’t arm us with catapults, tanks, and missiles! After all, Satan and his cohorts are relentless in their attack. Wouldn’t a few spiritual atomic bombs be more effective? What I have learned about this simple sword has convinced me otherwise… As a student, I attended schools where English grammar was a big deal. From first grade on, I remember diagramming sentences. Even in high school and college English, we had to reassemble our sentences on those lines that look like scaffolding and rocket ships. I didn’t … Read More

This is really hard!

Rosalynn LasleyTrials0 Comments

As we rounded the corner on that quiet little street downtown, my heart started to beat out of my chest, and I thought I might be sick. I’ve only been to a funeral twice before, but never like this, this was different. This one hurt the most of them all. I didn’t know what to think, how to feel, what to say. I wanted to be strong and brave, I wanted to smile and comfort others, but I truly didn’t know if I had it in me. That day we were going to honor my grandfathers life, now that all we have left are our memories of what life was like with him.   I took a few deep breaths, said a quick prayer, and put some gum in my mouth to try to calm my stomach. Then I slowly got out of the car and made my way into the funeral home. Time went a million miles a minute and in slow motion all at the same time. Grief is strange like that sometimes. As I walked inside, holding tightly to my husband’s arm, I scanned the quiet crowd of familiar faces. Of all of the people that were there, … Read More

Voice of God: Tips for Hearing Him

Jen CudmoreFaith0 Comments

How do we know when God is speaking to us? Everyone’s experience will be different, based on needs and personality, and it may feel daunting in the beginning. When I first started trying to hear Him, I found that learning to recognize His voice wasn’t as hard as I expected. I began to pray that He would teach me to hear Him, and soon discovered that He spoke more often than I realized – I labeled it as my own conscience. Over time, I have learned to pick out the subtle differences between a prompting of the Holy Spirit, and a prompting from my own conscience. The first time I remember distinctly hearing an exact phrase from the Lord was several years back when my daughter had head lice. She caught it 3 times in less than a year and a half, and I was quite upset. I may have even yelled at God a little bit. Yet His answer was perfectly clear. His exact words to me were “I have been trying to get your attention, and you are not listening.” Yes, I reluctantly admit, my first real encounter with the voice of God was a reprimand! The single … Read More

Voice of God: Why Hearing Him Matters

Jen CudmoreFaith0 Comments

“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Deuteronomy 8:3 Our culture has become an arena of differing personal opinions, all vying to be claimed as the ultimate truth. I’ve been saddened of late by all the thoughts that we as a society try to force on each other. Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared a little of my heart, how God has convicted me of being opinionated and shown me that voicing opinions really doesn’t bring about much good. I’ve written about: How sharing our opinion actually causes division How to know when to share an opinion How to focus less on my opinion and more on Holy Spirit promptings Is there anything wrong with me voicing my own thoughts? Not necessarily. But the words of a Savior, Redeemer, and Prince of Peace are worth so much more than my own. But how often to we really listen? How much do we try to hear the voice of God? How much do we even care? And why does it matter? God is interested in the details of our lives. If we listen, He can guide us away from … Read More

My Opinions, When Compared with the Holy Spirit

Jen CudmoreFaith0 Comments

  “…without the quickening of the Holy Spirit even truth is of small advantage.” Watchman Nee Previously, we’ve discussed how sharing our opinion can be valuable. Knowing when to speak up can be tricky, because God doesn’t want us to get caught up in petty arguments. Sometimes we need to keep our opinions to ourselves. Too often our opinions cause division.   So what if, instead of speaking with our own agenda, we chose to speak based on the prompting of the Holy Spirit? I get weary of being surrounded by opinions. In the past 48 hours, I’ve encountered: a woman at the grocery store who wanted to tell me her thoughts on the public school system. my friend on social media who once more has something negative to say about our political leadership. a coworker who didn’t like a new process we’ve put into place. my child who doesn’t want to eat the dish that’s been made for dinner. What would the world be like if we spoke less of our own opinions and more of God’s thoughts? What if, when we talk about school, we discussed how God wants Christians in all avenues of education, that He doesn’t … Read More

A Holy Love That Makes Us Complete

Heather GillisFaith, Redemption, Trials0 Comments

Happy Monday!  Last Monday I posted about how God’s holy love makes us new. God’s holy love has the power to transform our hearts and lives. Surrender is the first step to our transformation. Today we are taking a closer look at how God’s holy love makes us complete. We may not always like when tragedy or struggle enters our lives, but God is all-powerful and able to do so much more with our struggles than we ever could. In God’s holy love we are made perfect. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 God’s holy love never punishes but disciplines us.  God’s love isn’t meant to get back at us but for us to have the best life ever in Him.  God knows our needs better than us–He encourages holiness. To get where God desires us, He requires our obedience and discipline. We may not always like what God desires for us, but that’s okay, we don’t have to.  The fruit of self-discipline doesn’t come from us but from God Himself and reaps great rewards … Read More

God-Sized Dreams

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

Like many Proverbs, I never understood this one. What could the plans of my heart have to do with my answers belonging to God? It was like a riddle that eluded my grasp. The New Living Translation states it like this: “We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer.” Two years ago, the founder of Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry and I were in a planning meeting together. She suddenly announced that she needed more bloggers to write for ACWM’s new website. She asked if any of us liked to write. Without a hesitation, my mouth opened and said, “Yes!” Then my brain kicked in: “Wait! I don’t write for people. I used to journal, but no one ever read an of it. And that was years ago! What did you just say, Carol?? I honestly believe God opened my mouth before my rational mind could object. Writing for ACWM has been a blessing both unexpected and profound. Blogging helped heal my heart from our family’s bout with a brain tumor. It has redeemed the pain and agony of that year, while revealing God to me in ways I never expected. Could this be an application … Read More

The Best Christmas Gifts Ever

Heather GillisHoliday1 Comment

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”James 1:17 Tis the Season……Everyone is getting ready for Holidays.  Preparing baked goodies, getting ready for parties and buying Christmas gifts!  It takes a lot of time, preparation and planning to find the perfect gift for that someone special.   Have you ever received a gift so perfect you remember the joy and excitement you felt when you opened it?  I bet you could tell me what the gift was and how you felt when you received and opened it.   As a parent, I bet you can remember that special gift you gave your child and the joy you received watching them open it and their reaction after receiving it.   Giving Gifts is a great way of showing another person that they are special and how much you care for them.  A gift is only a gift if it is received, accepted then opened, otherwise it’s just a box with a gift in it.  What good is a gift if it is never opened and received? I am sure many of you have … Read More

One Days Battle

Jewel ZymurgyTrials0 Comments

Sometimes it’s just strikes me as funny, thinking about the path being walked, in search of or in joining with Jesus during the day. Many times it looks nothing like the idea that I had in my own head for what it shouldlook like—actually, it rarely comes close. That can seem like such a sad comment to some, though to me it’s an exciting adventure. I think it would be like being able to be the one who gets to light the big fireworks on the Fourth of July—exciting, kind of scary…in the end—exhilaratingly cool. I knew I was to share part of my story with others. I seem to always have an idea of what that may look like, though rarely do I have it so rehearsed that I know exactly what to say and when. 6:30 hit and you could count the number of people on one hand… I thought to myself “I’m ok; it’s a small group…” A few more people showed up and I tried to convince myself further, “I’ve got this.” …as I uneasily looked around… As more people showed up, I got more nervous and I jotted down a few reminders in my notes … Read More

Rocks, Thorns, and Other Hazards

Carol DunfeeTrials0 Comments

I come from a green-thumb family. My grandparents had a huge garden full of delicious vegetables. I remember spending summer afternoons shelling peas with my grandma. My parents continued the tradition of gardening and have shown our kids how much fun it is to dig potatoes out of your own garden. I have even tried my hand at it a few times. I was able to grow delicious zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. However, my inability to stay on top of the weeds has resulted in my husband banning me from gardening.  Somehow, the summers I chose to garden were the ones where I was either pregnant, nursing a baby, or chasing a toddler….not a great combination for pulling weeds!! I grew up hearing the parable of the farmer from Matthew 13. A farmer sowed seed on different kinds of ground. Some seed fell on a hardened footpath and was eaten by birds before it could sprout. Some seed fell on shallow, rocky soil where the roots were unable to grow down deep to save it during the hot summer. Other seed fell among weeds and thorns, where it wasn’t able to compete for the nutrients in the soil. Finally, some seed fell on good soil where it grew, flourished … Read More

Hold My Hand, My Ways are Pure!

Guest BloggerFaith0 Comments

It’s a choice to have… A life with Him, a life to live with Him, a life to have Faith in Him, a life that is Pure by His blood, a life surrounded by His Presence. Thank goodness He gives us that life.  His love never fails. I am so thankful Jesus never lets go of my hand, especially when I struggle with sin.  I am not perfect, by no means, but I know I can claim Jesus as my Savior and he will help purify me at any given moment. Photo By Katelyn Hall So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!  Shout for joy, all whose hearts are pure!  Psalms 32:11 The last couple of days have been stressful at work for both my husband and I.  Balancing work, the children, the home, the pets, and our marriage can be very overcoming.  Before my husband and I know it, we are at each other’s throats, arguing, bickering, and nitpicking at each other’s faults.  Sound familiar? At times like this, I think Jesus where are you to rescue us from this?    If only we would call on Jesus to bring forth His Presence … Read More

Jesus FIRST–Unity within Diversity

Carol DunfeeFaith0 Comments

As a preschooler, I remember a book that had a picture of a fainting princess. The illustration showed her arms and legs in strange positions. My preschool mind assumed that fainting meant that your arms and legs traded places. How wrong I was!! Fainting has no ability to change the locations of your body parts. What a goof! But what if the different parts of our bodies rebelled and decided to leave their locations and try out different ones? Or what if they tried to leave the body altogether? That would be just as absurd as my preschool assumption about arms and legs trading places. It just doesn’t work. Sometimes, it seems the church tries to operate that way. We separate from those who look or act differently. We try to rearrange members to fit an agenda. We focus on secondary issues instead of clinging to Jesus and modeling our lives after Him. As a result, we lack true unity, but we try to cover it up with man-made, rule-based uniformity.  Just as human bodies thrive when a diversity of cells come together in a unified purpose, so does the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12 talks about the roles … Read More

“I See Dead People”, Part 2….or Power for the War Room

Carol DunfeePrayer & Fasting0 Comments

In part 1, I shared my story of God bringing me back to life (in the spiritual sense, of course). After hitting the “publish” button for that blog, I knew I had to return to that passage. Something was tickling the back of my mind. I listened to the video of “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” again and noticed a link to the story behind the song. The guy in that video mentioned briefly that Ezekiel had to speak to the dry bones before God brought them back to life. Hmmmm… That’s it!! That was the feather tickling my brain. Two nights later, I opened the Bible to Ezekiel 37 again. I took notes on the word, prophesy. It’s not a common word in modern English, expect for in Christian circles. Even then, it can take on ambiguous meanings. According to dictionary.com, some of the word’s definitions include: ·         “To make inspired declarations of what is to come” ·         “To speak as a mediator between God and human kind, or in God’s stead” Bingo! Those definitions certainly fit Ezekiel’s words over the dry bones. He spoke God’s words about what was to come. He spoke as a mediator between God and … Read More

“I See Dead People”

Carol DunfeePrayer & Fasting0 Comments

I loved the movie, The Sixth Sense. The acting was superb. The plot was unique and suspenseful. It’s one of those movies that must be seen twice.Bruce Willis’s character was a psychiatrist trying to help a little boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, through the fear of his gruesome visions of dead people. The boy is troubled by the dead who beg for his help in avenging their untimely deaths. The suspenseful story ends when the doctor realizes that the only reason the boy can see him is because he himself is DEAD, a victim of his own set of tragic events.The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel saw dead people, too. God showed him a valley full of dry bones. God asked Ezekiel if these bones could live. Wisely, the prophet answered, “O Lord God, you know.” God instructed Ezekiel to tell the dry bones that they were going to be fitted back together, grow flesh and skin, and breath again. As Ezekiel talked to the bones (Seriously?), they joined together to form whole skeletons. Flesh and skin appeared on the bodies.God had more for Ezekiel to say. After God’s instructions, he then told the four winds to blow their breath … Read More

A 7-Day Challenge

Carol DunfeePrayer & Fasting0 Comments

Earlier this summer, a guest speaker at our church spoke on the Holy Spirit. Over the next several weeks, our pastor spoke at least 4-5 more times on the Holy Spirit. A friend, who I hadn’t seen in a couple years, spent some time at our house. She talked about the Holy Spirit.  Ding. Ding. Ding. I was beginning to suspect that God was trying to get my attention. I remembered a Francis Chan book called Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit . I had downloaded it to my Kindle app several years ago when Chan offered several of his books for free. Since I hadn’t read it, I decided that now just might be a good time to do that. Reading was relatively uneventful until a week ago, when I stumbled upon Chapter 6…page 127 to be exact. “…if you were in step with the Holy Spirit, listening to and obeying Him, you wouldn’t sin (Gal. 5:16). In any given moment, it is impossible to live in the power of the Spirit and sin at the same time. Sin is wholly opposed to everything that is of the Spirit. They really are mutually exclusive and totally contrary … Read More

Thorns, Weeds, Rocks, and Other Gardening Hazards

Carol DunfeePrayer & Fasting, Trials0 Comments

I come from a green-thumb family. My grandparents had a huge garden full of delicious vegetables. I remember spending summer afternoons shelling peas with my grandma. My parents continued the tradition of gardening and have shown our kids how much fun it is to dig potatoes out of your own garden. I have even tried my hand at it a few times. I was able to grow delicious zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. However, my inability to stay on top of the weeds has resulted in my husband banning me from gardening.  Somehow, the summers I chose to garden were the ones where I was either pregnant, nursing a baby, or chasing a toddler….not a great combination for pulling weeds!! I grew up hearing the parable of the farmer from Matthew 13. A farmer sowed seed on different kinds of ground. Some seed fell on a hardened footpathand was eaten by birds before it could sprout. Some seed fell on shallow, rocky soil where the roots were unable to grow down deep to save it during the hot summer. Other seed fell among weeds and thorns, where it wasn’t able to compete for the nutrients in the soil. Finally, some seed … Read More