Summer Bible Study

Summer Study PeterFriends,

Beginning June 1st we will walk the pathways of the 1&2 Peter. I've been drawn to those books of recent and the truths and  precepts are life changing. I plan to offer parts of the passages for study and we will discus how these paths strengthen our faith. These truths will set us on the Kingdom pathways and lead us to live life well. There are so many great teachings from Peter and I'm psyched to look at them together.

FacebookDineen and I will be taking a break from writing on SUM this week. We will be back next Monday, June 1st to begin our study. This week, following Memorial Day, find us on our SUM Facebook Page. We will be praying there, asking some questions and hanging out with those who are part of our FB community. Click here to join the FB conversation.

Have a great week. Please know that we hold precious your hearts in our heart and pray continually for you. We BELIEVE our God is faithful to save.... To save us, our spouse and our entire family. We stand with you in faith. In Jesus name. Love, Lynn


Pentecost: Celebrating the Holy Spirit

1415366_heart_cross_2This past week my thoughts have returned over and over again to Pentecost, which is the second of the three great Jewish feasts. It’s celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest.  

And for the body of Christ it is the anniversary of the gift of the Holy Spirit. In light of what we've been sharing here at S.U.M., I've done much reflection on what the early believers were thinking and praying over during those days between the resurrection of Christ and the reception of the Holy Spirit.

Did they question what they saw? Did they wonder what was to come? Did they to struggle to believe and to keep believing? I can only imagine how the beauty of their community continued to uplift and uphold each of them in this time of waiting. Just as we do here at S.U.M.

These believers waited as Jesus had instructed them to, and then the Holy Spirit came, full of power and fire. The Law and tradition brought them together in years past to celebrate an earthly harvest. This day, these new believers witnessed the beginning of the greatest harvest ever seen—of souls (Acts 2).

And that harvest continues to flourish and grow today. That blows my mind to think of Pentecost in this light. I feel connected to those early believers in their faith and hunger for more—to see more and to do more. To see Jesus again and His Kingdom on earth.

So, my friends, this weekend I want to celebrate this great gift we have been given in our salvation in Jesus. This last year my intimacy has grown greatly with the Holy Spirit and I love Him dearly—how He works in us and gives us the heart of Jesus and the Father constantly in this indescribable selflessness and power to bring glory to the Son, Jesus Christ. 

I've woken in the middle of the night and in the mornings with the song Holy Spirit, You are Welcome Here. One of you shared it here recently too. This song poured out from my lips at the healing rooms Tuesday, spontaneously and to my surprise (I don't normally do stuff like that). And this song seems to usher in His presence in a very special and powerful way 

Let's worship Him together, SUMites, and invite the Holy Spirit to come in greater presence and power than ever before. 

Holy Spirit, You are most welcome here in the SUMite Nation! Flood us and fill the atmosphere here in this church without walls and our homes. Move in the hearts of those we are contending for like never before. Let our homes become the places of witness and proof to the Great Harvest! In the Powerful, Living and Loving name of Jesus Christ, amen!

Joining spiritual hands with you, my SUM family, in prayer and worship! 
Dineen


I Am A Bummer Lamb

John 10 4  and 5
Every year as I read my way through my daily Bible, I arrive in the book of John and read the passage about Jesus, The Good Shepherd. Each time I read John 10 my heart and mind goes to a story I once heard about sheep. It overwhelms my heart every year.

Today I want to share it with you.

John 10:4b-5 He goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.

John 10:9-11 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:14-16 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

I remember the story of how every once in a while a ewe gives birth to a lamb and for some reason rejects the baby. It could be because the mother is old and just too tired to deal with the baby or perhaps she doesn’t have enough milk for twin lambs and she rejects one.

Sheep herders call those lambs, bummer lambs.

Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die. (Okay, get out the Kleenex. I’ll wait.)

So this is the amazing part of the story which fills my heart. The shepherd takes the lamb into his home. Feeds it one-on-one with a bottle and keeps it warm. He will wrap it up and hold it close so that the lamb is on his chest next to his heart. the lamb hears the shepherd’s heartbeat.

When the lamb is strong the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. The little lambs now can stay with the heard and they thrive.

Now this is the part of the story that gets me every time. When the shepherd goes out to check on his herd, the most amazing thing happens. He will call out to his sheep, “Sheep, sheep, sheep.” Do you know what happens?

The FIRST to run to him are the bummer lambs because they know him. They know his voice. (Waaaaa, where’s the Kleenex.)

It’s not that they are more loved — it’s just that they believe it.

My SUMites, I am a bummer lamb and so are you.

We are NOT orphans. We are not rejected, lost and unloved.  Jesus loves his bummer lambs.

Let’s actually dare to believe it.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

This story about the bummer lamb is adapted from Sheila Walsh. Thanks Sheila and Ann Voskamp!


The Struggle to Believe

Heb11-1My friends, the Holy Spirit has me in several places in the Bible right now. Colossians, Genesis, 1 Corinthians along with dips into James and the Psalms. In short, my head is spinning a bit, trying to put the pieces together of whatever Lord Jesus is trying to teach me. And I say try, because I’m not sure I’m getting it quite yet.  

However, I will try to share what I feel He is impressing upon me in one area. It’s a challenging one so bear with me. This piece of Scripture unfortunately has often been misused in teaching that “works” save us, so I want to be clear here that this is not what I believe, nor do I believe this is what the Bible teaches us. James was teaching a group of Jewish Christians whose background was Judaism—the Law, that by keeping the law perfectly (actions) they would be saved. 

 James wanted them to understand they didn’t need to apply this same belief system to salvation in Jesus Christ. Their actions, good works, desire to help others, etc. were the fruit that came from salvation in Christ and completed their faith. And he references Abraham to make his point: 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”— and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. — James 2:21-24 

First let me clarify that “justified” does not mean saved. The Greek word, dikaioō means to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent: free, justify(ier), be righteous. 

Therefore, our “works” do not save us but are the proof of our salvation and faith being alive and active. Our actions justify our salvation. I think most of us understand this, but as someone who has struggled with performance so much in the past (and still do at times), I want to be clear.

The part of this scriptural truth I want to try and focus on today is the completing part. James is saying that Abraham’s faith was completed by his works. What I find so interesting in this part of what James is saying is that it wasn’t the specific act of offering Isaac, his promised son on the altar (Gen. 22)—the son from whom God said he would bring Abraham more descendants than the stars or grains of sand on the beach but that Abraham believed God. 

Let me say it again. He believed God. That is what made his faith complete and his action of obeying God was that proof. He believed God and trusted Him.

Right now, I’m struggling to be in that place. I think many of us are, because we are still in this place of waiting in the delivery room. But I’m also intrigued by this. I’ve sought God for understanding and this is what He told me.

This is the great disconnect. My children ask but continue to doubt. I want to them to ask and believe. I want you to ask and believe, Dineen.

Don’t ask, then wait to believe when you see evidence. Ask and believe together. Ask and then move forward in belief and trust.

Dear friends, I share this as I feel Abba is speaking to me and my heart. I see how I have waited to believe when I saw evidence. It’s a place we can wind up in when we ask for things we know is in alignment with God’s heart over and over again (like the salvation of our spouse), yet see no evidence of an answer or change. I’m right there with you, however…

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. — Hebrews 11:1 ESV

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. — Hebrews 11:1 NLT 

So, I am inspired to continue to ask, because in this “lesson” Abba has me in, I’m seeing my impatience for something to happen opens a door for the enemy to shoot his lie that my prayers haven’t mattered, so why keep trying? Sound familiar? 

I find myself inspired by Noah who it’s estimated spent over a hundred years building the ark. I don’t know about you, but after about ten or 20 years I think I might have revisited the original convo with God and at least asked, “Did I hear you right?” 

And trust me, I have had to go back and ask Abba about several words He’s given me about my husband, my future, my girls—those things I hold closest to my heart and agonize over.

Yes, agonize. As I can only imagine Abraham did with Isaac. And I do believe “the altar” is the place to put those things we hold most dear to the point of trusting in ourselves more than God. Or anything we want more than we want God, even the salvation of a loved one. 

But the altar is not the place of death. It is the place of ultimate trust and the beginning of revelation and provision, as God defines and determines is needed. It is the place of changed perceptions and unexpected answers. It is the place where dying dreams can be reshaped or reborn. 

I have no clear solution to solve that great disconnect other that what God has told me to do. Believe and trust. And this is where I stopped my post on Monday, to simmer, pray and consider. Tuesday morning I was greeted with a devotional starting with Hebrews 11:1 and a message about raising my expectations of God. I shook my head and laughed.

Tuesday was also my day to work at the healing rooms, so I dared to pray specifically for someone we have prayed for many times for healing and deliverance from deep depression. I’ve been desperate to see this person freed. My prayer was, “Lord, I want this person healed. If today is his day of healing, bring him to the healing rooms.” 

Later that morning at the end our worship and prayer time, he walked in the door. God had big plans for him, my friends. This man was delivered of lies and darkness that have bound him for years.

I am stunned, not just for this person but for myself. God not only answered our prayers for this person, but He answered mine as well—my cry to step out in faith just a little bit more boldly and to believe God—before I saw any evidence. 

Dear friends, my faith has been strengthened through this to boldly ask for more. I know there will be times of discouragement, but I’d like to think I’ll remember to keep contending and keep pressing in. God never gives up. And neither will I. 

Holding you up with love and prayers before our Great King!
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God's Dream For Your Life Is Bigger Than You Can Imagine!!

SUMite Nation:

Many of you participated in our Dream With God experience during Rosh Hashanah, 2014. If you didn’t, don’t click out. Because God is up to some crazy, neat stuff and our entire community is part of this.

I thought my “Dream List” was crazy, BIG and filled with impossibilities but this past week, I was praying with a few friends and Christi said to me, “You aren’t praying big enough.” Now SUMites, I’ve been praying:

2 million souls
2 million books
2 million dollars

This seems impossible to me.

But I was so taken back by Christi’s declaration that I spent two days and asked God, “What would you want, Lord? What do you dream? What should I be dreaming?”

Friends, take heed, when you ask God questions like this……. I went a laid down in the afternoon on Friday and over the next two hours God began to down load a vision that is so far beyond my mind that I couldn’t think of it myself. I began to see schools…. Ministry schools, supernatural training of teachers, leaders and every believer who wants more of God. I saw houses of prayer in our valley spring up that will worship God 24/7 and people from all over came to receive prayer, healing and deliverance.

God said, “Two million souls is way too small. Lynn, dream and contend for ONE BILLION SOULS.” The harvest is rich but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest and train those to bring the broken, the demonized, the sick the proud, the poor into My House.” Pray for the resources. $10 million to start.

(By this point I’m in spiritual shock and awe.)

Then I heard a name or a type of another school that God was wanting. I keep hearing “Gregorian.” I don’t know what that means so when I woke, I Googled the word. There are many meanings such as our Gregorian calendar and it’s a name of a rock band. But what I saw that grabbed my attention was there was a Pope named Pope Gregory… He was a good Pope who was born 540 years after Christ. Now get this. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.

I about fell off my chair. The second school that God wants is a school of music… A WORSHIP SCHOOL. For students and for teachers. Duh!!! Worship is at the core of my heart. I’m happiest when in worship. Sometimes I’m soooo blonde! Sheesh!

Gang, I’ve been humbly contending to just get my next book approved by the Publishing Committee. (Which I still contending) But I’ve been dreaming way too small. I serve the God of the Universe of all time and eternity. And He can do this.

Do I have a clue how? NO. But I believe right now He is connecting me with people who have connections who will share His vision for the future of His Kingdom. I can’t wait to see how this all comes together.

On Friday, the Lord told me to write this down. It is my vision for my future and I’m to share it, read it often, keep it at the forefront of my prayers and thoughts. So here it is. I will post further in detail in a new website I’m going to launch soon.

Okay, so NOW I say to each of you my SUMite brothers and sisters. Did you dream with me last fall? If you did, have you checked your lists lately and thanked God for His faithful fulfilments? At this time also renew your prayers for those dreams yet to come to pass.

Right now, I believe the Lord is calling all of us to once again write down our dreams, our vision, for our purposes to bring His Kingdom to earth. So, right now make it plain. Go into your quiet time. Ask God again to dream with you. No, to give you His dreams!

Matthew 9 36 38Write it down. Share what pops into your mind right now in the comments and make a public declaration of what and where God is leading you. We are walking in an anointed time and I ABSOLUTELY believe our community was born for such a time as this.

I love you so much. I can’t wait to read what the Lord is placing on your heart. Let’s dream BIGGER SUMite nation. There are a billions souls waiting to experience the love of Jesus, His healing, freedom and the abundant life. End of days are upon us. Let’s bust out the truth and bring it to our world who needs to experience perfect love.

See you in the comments. Share any and all that the Holy Spirit is impressing upon you. Nothing is too weird, too big, too great or outlandish. Love you, Lynn

Here is the link to the original post: Dream Big.

PS. My Biggest dream: My husband and family meet and fall in love with Jesus, The King of Kings!