Jules Suman †

Finding my voice as a wife, mother, teacher, and a follower of Jesus

Neapolitan Ice Cream September 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — julessuman @ 2:25 pm

Originally posted on Brian Suman:

icecreamMy thoughts this week wrapped around following Jesus, watching cancer fight against my father’s well-being, and trials of everyday life. It’s like Neapolitan ice cream where all colors stand alone but can be blended together easily. But life is not like a bowl of ice cream and our ultimate pleasure and relief doesn’t come in carton.

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Caught in a Storm September 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — julessuman @ 11:45 am

Originally posted on Brian Suman:

boat in a stormThis past week was a challenging one to say the least. There are multiple things going on in my life and I wasn’t able to spiritually brace myself for the storm that hit me. (The problem there is ‘I’ wasn’t able instead of letting Jesus battle for me.) It hit so hard that it caused me to study less, pray less, and even question my walk with God. Not trying to be over dramatic, but it hit pretty hard. I like to be real and transparent and share these things with others because I know that I am not alone. I am not the only one that asks, “why God?” and I am not the only one that feels as if their walls are caving in and the implosion is immanent. 

“You don’t have enough faith,”Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even…

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Fight the good fight August 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — julessuman @ 8:37 am

Feeling really tired and groggy this morning. Very little sleep. Massive headache. Completely lacking inspiration. I sit here with my Bible open to Hebrews. I intensely read the introduction that describes the time and place it was written, and the meaning and message contained within. About four verses in, my mind wanders…why am I “studying” Hebrews this morning? Or perhaps the better question would be, what am I avoiding by studying Hebrews this morning? Why am I not reflecting on the real stuff that is on my heart right now? And I’m fairly certain I know the answer. My heart is not good currently. In a lot of ways, it is hurting. I have some serious issues going on in my heart right now and I guess I just don’t really want to face them. I really have some serious work to do on my heart – NO, I need to let go, realize I can’t do the work that needs done, and allow Jesus to work on my heart, because right now, its a bit of an ugly mess. I am ashamed and embarrassed…but I can’t fix it. I have to sincerely admit that my heart is not right, and ask God to work in me…to take it away from me. That is so hard for me to do. Through Christ I have grown so much and have found amazing freedom from all that has held me down in the past…but everyday its like my human nature (the old me) fights my redeemed self for control. My nature is to wall up, crawl into a hole and choose to be numb when things get tough and I am hurting. But the Spirit that lives within me will not allow me to live that way any longer. The Spirit within me prompts me to fight the good fight, and fights for me to break old ways, destroy negative habits and be who I am in Christ. Its a constant battle that rages between my old self and the new me in Christ. But it is surely a fight worth fighting.

 

Not if…when August 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — julessuman @ 6:09 am

Hebrews 3:15 says “Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.'” This passage is referring to an original passage in Psalm 95, but this morning it really speaks to me. The scripture doesn’t say “Today IF you hear his voice…” It very clearly says when. Today WHEN you hear his voice. So I ask myself…will I be listening for his voice today when he speaks? Will I be in tune with the Spirit and listening for the voice to speak? Or will I allow the noise of the world to drown out what he has for me today? And when I hear his voice speak to me, what will I do with it? Will I follow the prompting of the spirit? (James 4:17 – If you know what you ought to do and don’t do it…). WIll I hear but then decided to do things my own way today?

My prayer this morning is that WHEN I hear the sweet voice of the Spirit today I will listen with an open heart and follow. That I will not be too distracted or caught up in my day to hear the voice that guides me in the right was, but instead I will be so in tune with the Spirit that it drowns everything else out – the doubts, the fears, the negative talk around me. I pray that I will hear and receive what is given to me today…with a willing heart.

 

Bible Study # 5 How can you sleep right now? August 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — julessuman @ 7:37 am

stormFor this post, I thought I would do things just a little bit differently. I will share the text for the story, and then the discussion questions. I think this will give everyone a chance to really dive into the Word, study it, come up with their own observations and share them through comments. I hope that makes sense.

The story I want to share can be found in 3 of the 4 gospels. Let’s look at it in Luke 8: 22-25. On this day, Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and to cross to the other side. As they did, Jesus took a nap (justification for my afternoon naps! Even Jesus napped!) A violent storm surrounded the boat…you can read the rest!

Discussion questions.

1. Jesus napped…do you think this was intentional on Jesus’ part?

2. What does this tell us about the authority of Jesus?

3. What do you think about the way the disciples reacted?

4. Talk about a time that you felt Jesus slept through your storm.

5. What lessons is God teaching us through this story?

 

Man was made, not man-made August 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — julessuman @ 4:47 pm

Originally posted on Brian Suman:

manmadeThe Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. – Genesis 2:15

From the beginning of creation, man was made to be the guardian over God’s wonderful works and resources. He was to tend to the garden and make sure that it had appropriate care. Being from the origin, man had not made anything himself. Not a tool, not a wheelbarrow, not anything that would aid him in his tasks or work at hand. You could argue that the first thing man-made was a mistake that would cost them their place in Eden and ultimately God sending them out into the world.

So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. – Genesis 3:23 

The definition of cultivate is to try to acquire or develop…

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Bible Study – #4 “Today” August 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — susanmkopp @ 10:30 am

467359811_640The text for this study is taken from Luke 23:39-43.  This text is from the crucifixion of Jesus.  We don’t normally copy over the exact text but it seemed appropriate this time.  Keep in mind, this is text taken while Jesus hung on the cross, between two other “criminals.”

 

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

For me, there has always been something tragically beautiful about the crucifixion.  I realize that sounds a bit morbid but hear me out.   A man gave up his life for me.  A man was tortured, hung on a cross and died for me.  What is not beautiful about that?  But that’s not the only beautiful part of this story.  He did all of this for everyone, including the thieves that hung beside him.

 

As I type this, I struggle to find the right words for this study so I’m just going to ramble on (like I do best) about what is so astounding to me, about this story.

 

Jesus told that criminal that he would be with Jesus TODAY.

 

Are you hearing me?  TODAY.

 

There was no “I’ll swing by and get you when I come back in three days.”  Or “Hey, let me chat with big Papa and we’ll think about it.”  Or “Let me think about it, I’m a little preoccupied right now.”

 

He said TODAY.  Right now.  As soon as you take your last breath, the next one will be taken in glory.

 

Isn’t that amazing?  Isn’t that epic?  Doesn’t that give you chills?  If it doesn’t, it should and let me tell you why.

 

God forgives those who ask for it.  Instantly.  You don’t have to wait, you don’t have to do penance, you only have to ask.  BOOM.  Done.  God just asks that you believe in him.  This criminal clearly believed that Jesus was the Messiah.  He confessed this with his mouth when he asked those mocking Jesus why they weren’t afraid.  Then, he simply asked that Jesus remember him when he got to his kingdom.  He acknowledged Jesus was Lord, asked for forgiveness and it was done.  Done.  Done.  Done.  Here are a few scriptures you can read on your own time to back this up:  1 John 1:9, Acts 3:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17…I had to Google some of these, I need to be better.

 

God loves us.  It’s true.  He loves us so much that he sent his son to die for us.

 

This small scripture may go unnoticed by most and certainly isn’t really thought of when you think of Jesus’ last moments on the cross and I can understand why.  There was quite a bit going on in those last hours of his life but it strikes something in me (and chokes me up with tears, and causes me to rant to Brian and Jules about how awesome this moment was) that he says “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

This makes my heart sing.  Crazy, unfathomable love.  It’s hard for me to understand but I can relate to this criminal in the sense that I need redemption.  I need to be saved.  I need a savior.  I need this kind of love.  I need someone to love me beyond what I’ve done, beyond the mistakes I’ve made, beyond what I think of myself.

Questions:

1.  What do you think paradise means in this context?

2.  Put yourself in the shoes of this criminal – what do think his emotions/thoughts were after Jesus said this to him?

3.  Think of another promise God has made in the Bible that has stuck out to you.  Explain why.

4. What kind of criminal do you think you are?

5.  What does “today” mean to you?

 

 
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