Defeat Discouragement and SUMite Nation New Writers

SUMite Nation,

DiscouragementDon’t give into discouragement. The month advances and perhaps you fasted, perhaps not. But God is moved by our prayers. For me personally this past week has been tough. I’ve battled discouragement, confusion and even frustration as the answers I’m seeking, have yet to come to light. In my discouragement I felt my spirit drain of its hope and despair was standing by just waiting to pounce.

I gathered myself and went on a prayer march on Sunday morning. Along the route the Lord spoke, “You are a Daughter of the King. Rise up and remember. You have fabulous promises. My Word is a hammer that shatters despair and disappointment (Jeremiah 23:29). Press in. The devil is scheming and plotting, and blocking your breakthrough and dreams. Decree the promises over your life. Speak that which is not as though it is (Romans 4:17).”

Wow, did I ever need that pep talk! So do you. Believe and do not listen to the lies of the enemy. GREAT things await those of us who believe!

Gang, I also want to share some exciting additions to the SUM writing family. I will continue to write on Mondays and Fridays. I’ll also offer an occasional guest post in some of my slots.

Many of you reached out to offer your help since Dineen moved along. And I’m thrilled that there are so many aspiring writers out there and most of them went through my online writing seminar. So along with my voice and our long-time contributor, Ian Acheson, please welcome Ann Hutchison, who is also our Newsletter coordinator and writer. Christy Edney who coordinates our Prayer Partner ministry and the Facebook Group along with Taylor Talmage. This month Tiffany Carter joins us. She will write once a month and Martha Bush, who recently wrote some great articles on submission. Martha will contribute random posts as time permits. Finally, we also have a new voice that will be writing and sharing short inspiration on our SUM Facebook page, Patty Tower, who starts in February.

To read more about the team members, click on the Meet The Team link in the menu. Also, if you have a story to share, please visit the Contributors page for post guidelines and submissions. I am always looking for SUM family to share their triumphs and hopes who have been part of our community in the comments, etc.

I love all of you. I’m NOT giving up on the dreams the Lord has placed in my heart. Don’t you give up either. Perseverance, persistence and rejecting the lies of the enemy is the pathway to victory!

HALLELUJAH!!!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


God Visited Me During The Fast - A MUST READ

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comThe following arrived in my email box on Monday. IT’S A MUST READ:

***** Written by SUMite: Anja

I have one more testimony to add to all of those our amazing God did in this community. 

I was looking forward to the fast for some time because I knew I just had to do it. I was so desperate for a break through.

2017 was a year where I and my marriage just continued to break apart. In September (something always changes in September ;-)) it got so bad I had to seek out psychological assistance because I started to show physical symptoms to the situations surrounding me. It would be a story too long to write here but let me just say, my marriage was/ is at a point where we no longer communicate apart from things concerning our son because we cannot see eye to eye on anything. Too many discussions have happened, too many hurting words said and no change in attitude for more than one year. Luckily, we are both very stubborn people and as I am holding on to this marriage because I trust in our God. My Husband is holding on, so he is not the one to walk away. As a result, to this breakdown in September, I let go of a lot of things and have been working on focusing on what is most important: The Lord and my relationship to him. Immediately, I was better and by now psychological assistance is not needed any longer. What would be needed is a couple’s therapy…but my hubby is not one for that.

So, forward to the fast. I knew God wanted me to do this fast. I prayed a lot in the last few months but somehow, I could reach no breakthrough. A lot of teachings happened, but no breakthrough. I craved to feel God physically and I have asked him sooo many times to reveal himself to me and to reveal things to me.

I started this fast with a very sick 2-year-old, myself not in great health and a lot of stuff coming at me at work. I fasted from sunup to sundown only eating dinner and yes finishing up all the cake from my 30th birthday on the 7th (I wanted to fast from sweets as well, but I knew God didn’t want all that food go to the trash so…). It went quite well but every time I wanted to sit down for my quiet time the fever of my son flared up or he was suddenly waking up from his nap much too early etc. I could sense this to be the devil’s doing and I didn’t give up finding a little time here and there to read the word or pray. Then on Thursday morning (sleep deprived, hungry, and irritated) my husband picked a fight on the way to work and I just couldn’t control myself any longer (yes, I was rather nasty there). I was so sad after that and even though I asked God and my hubby for forgiveness (which he didn’t accept) I just felt as if I was never going to have a breakthrough in this fast. I had a long prayer time in the afternoon with a sick boy on my lap. There the first miracle happened: His fever finally broke in the evening. Glory to God. I kept on going and on Friday after lunch time I sat down for communion and told the Lord “It’s now or never. I’m dying inside, I need you now”. I read your post about three times until I understood everything. It was such a revelation! I read the passage in John 6 and meditated on the verses and then prayed while taking communion and claiming the transforming power of Jesus on my life. Then I asked God to meet me physically, I wanted to feel him.

Lynn, I’m still blown away, HE showed up big time! First like a ball that is being passed from one hand to the other then this ball moved towards me until I felt His heavy presence (it’s like a weight resting on you, but it’s not heavy at all) in my chest.  It stayed there for a whole afternoon. Then God started speaking to me. Let me say here, I think he always spoke to me, but I have always doubted if it was his voice because I always thought this was my overactive imagination and my wishful thinking. Now it was him so clearly and his message is so powerful. Let me give you some excerpts from this:

He started with: Love, you are fine!

Then he led my eyes the verse 63 in John 6. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life!

He said: The words are the bible but also what I, the Lord, very personally tell you. That’s why you need Me to speak to you. I will fill you with a song (I’m a worshipper and have craved to write a song for the Lord for all my life). I will fill you with myself. I am in you. I love you. I will guide you. Listen to me!

You are chosen for greater things. I will overcome because I love you. I need you to know Me. I need you to strengthen yourself in Me. You are love because you love Me.

I’ll transfer my love into you so that you may overflow. It’s a year of REVELATION (note I have always prayed for a year of restoration, but I never thought I would get revelations!). Be patient!

Then there was silence and I asked the Lord if he would change something in my marriage because I find the situation unbearable. Before I finished voicing this he answered: Yes, I will change something in your marriage so that it will become more bearable.

Be aware! …..(I do not recall this part) soon.

You are free!

Then he pointed out verse 65: this is why I told you that no-one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.

The Lord said: I have enabled you to hear My voice more freely now. The quietness has been broken!

Then I asked why my marriage is so bad and here comes the real truth. He said: I needed to take away the intimacy with your husband so that you can experience intimacy with Me!

Gosh, that hurt! And yes, it’s true, I always was guilty of putting my husband first. With God’s help never to happen again.

Then God moved on to telling me that I should start by memorizing His prayer and always start the day off like this and in the same time surrender to Him.

Then my questions moved back to my marriage and how to behave in the confrontations I’m having with my hubby. I’m so sick of being hurt and hurting back!

And God said: Let me do the talking. In quarrels, be still and trust Me. I’ll build your trust in Me. Leave your man to Me. He’s mine. I’ll handle him. I’ll protect you. You’ll always quarrel as long as Your husband is not in Me but you’ll teach him love. I’ll guide you. I’ll restore your relationship and all the others too. Let me work and watch!

This was everything I needed to hear. For me this made my day, but God was not finished yet. He showered me with a gift so amazing it still moves me to tears. He became very personal:

You are my daughter! I mean you ARE my daughter. You come from ME! I’m your father. I’m very personal and My love for you is amazing! It shields you and teaches you. It holds you dear. You are from My blood and my flesh! I have made you fearfully and perfectly. I will multiply in you in strength. You have begun something. Your days of suffering are over.

 

Anja
Anja

Wow, at this point I had to ask the Lord to stop because I couldn’t take it anymore. He stayed with me for the rest of the day. Right there, in this wonderful heaviness in my chest. In the evening I went to worship practice and we had moments of free worship that were amazing. I was even asked what changed because people noticed my voice to be in their words “angelic". So yes! I had a breakthrough! And what kind of breakthrough!  God now shows up with his presence about 1-2 times a day when I ask Him to. It’s amazing. I’m free, I’m happy, I’m hopeful. Even my hubby looks at me with puzzled eyes. When I look in the mirror I don’t see a change. But obviously there is one.

 

Lynn, I’m so grateful to you for your ministry to the SUM. Without all your encouragement, and the testimonies I read from other SUM, I would not be at this point today. I’m so looking forward to this year! I know it will be a very important one for us SUM.

Be amazingly blessed

Hugs, Anja

Anja (30) I’m first and foremost daughter of our great King, wife to my beautiful pre-believer and mummy to our little sweetheart boy. I live in beautiful Switzerland working part-time in our watchmaking family business and for the rest of my time loving on my Swiss-Italian family. I have been given the wonderful gift of music and worship and I love serving on the worship team at our local church.  

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


Staunch, Skeptic, and Special!

“I’ve never met a Christian I liked!” declared Seamus* to the rest of us at his table. I frowned at him quizzically. Personally, I had no problem with Christians; my thing was sheer indifference. I just couldn’t relate to their fervor. SUM Hand of friendship

By the end of the year, however, the unexpected had happened: I had gone from indifferent to fervent. Yikes!

Indeed!  It was amazing, and with it came healing, joy, and a very real experience of God; but it left me in a strange place: I was now a lone Christian in a friendship group of atheists. Seamus was one of those friends, along with his wife.

I know 'couple friends' are something to be thankful for … but … mm … it hasn’t been roses. Let’s just say that while Seamus’s wife is extremely easy-going, Seamus himself is not a tactful man, and he is convinced Christianity is untrue. This combination of traits is not easy for me. If I was atheist, of course I would enjoy Seamus’s verbosity, but I’m not.

“Do you hear this, Ann”, he recently cackled as I fetched him a beer, “People who believe in Jesus are crazy.”

I wanted to give him a smack.  

“How on earth do I handle him?” I asked God. “He’s so ANNOYING!”

Over and over I battled feelings of offense at this guy who was supposed to be my friend. Quite honestly, I wanted to leave the friendship but (oh dear!) God seemed to want me to stay. Stay, and live these words:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you… For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not the tax collectors do the same?” (Matt 5:43-44, 46, NKJV) 

I’ve only just noticed how pragmatic those words are: ‘Bless’, ‘do good’, and ‘pray for’. You don’t need to feel love to do this, you just take baby steps. And so that’s what I did, baby step by baby step. It’s been four years now.

Today, I can happily say Seamus and I remain friends. God has put other believing people in my life, but this friendship with him is, perhaps, particularly special. It’s special because it’s a friendship surviving on love. 

Bless. Pray for. Do good to him.

More recently, that love has got me thinking about what my responsibilities are as Seamus’s friend. How do I carry the gospel? He is my friend, not my spouse, so is ‘winning without words’ still applicable? Or should I be more aggressive?

As if in answer, I stumbled across a wonderful book about how skeptics convert. You may find it as interesting as I did – especially if you live right in the heart of skeptic-land.

The book is called ‘I once was lost: What post-modern skeptics taught us about their path to Jesus’. The authors, Don Everts and Doug Schaupp, interviewed numerous adult converts and found that there is a common series of thresholds that skeptics have to cross when faced with faith. What’s more, these thresholds seem to be crossed in the same order by those who do convert.

I’m guessing there are spouses in our community who are sitting at any of these five thresholds. In fact, the authors argue that someone can sit at any given threshold for years.  Too right – I myself sat somewhere between the first and the second for the first 38 years of my life.

The thresholds are:

(1) Learn to trust a Christian

(2) Move from complacent to curious

(3) Become willing to make changes to your life

(4) Become an active seeker of God, and

(5) Step into the Kingdom.

It’s possible my friend Seamus is only just crossing threshold one – trusting a Christian. Perhaps I’m the one he’ll finally bring himself to… like?!  And then perhaps I can finally use words. For now, the Holy Spirit seems to tell me to stay wordless until He tells me otherwise.

How about you? How have you handled others (besides your spouse) who struggle with your faith?  And how do we witness to those who are staunchly opposed?  I look forward to hearing your insights!

Ann 

*Seamus is a real person, but I’ve changed his name

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


Guess What Happened On Wednessay Of Our Fast?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHi SUM Nation,

Our annual fast was one of the most powerful experiences in our community to date. The emails and comments that arrived bear proof that our God is moving upon our prayers. Be assured that our sacrifice of fasting pulled on heaven.

I know many of us had some significant experiences. Many received revelation, and many discovered a growing depth in your relationship with the Lord. Hallelujah.

I had a profound experience on Wednesday: I was at church and the meeting I was attending was concluded. I stood in the building, chatting with two other ladies about our current experiences with God. We were discussing the astonishing things God is doing and how our minds are being blown up right now. It’s one of my favorite things to do, compare notes with other believers who are hungry for God. Anyhoo, our excitement was obvious to anyone who may have been left in the room watching…..In a sudden moment, we felt a swhoosh pass by our huddled little group. It felt as though a large person was passing by us in a rush. (The thing is, no one was near us at the time.) Then out of nowhere a tiny little feather floated down among us. I tried catching it and we stared in wonder. In silence and then we all started talking at once, “Did you feel that? Do you see that? I felt something pass by.”

What do you suppose??????

My friends, the realm of God is very active. The angelic have been dispatched on missions in response to our sacrifice and prayers. I’m convinced we are going to see the Veil thin even more in 2018 and behold miracles. We, the SUMites, through our sacrifice, our dying to self and our married love, will be the first to be welcomed to participate in the missions of the Kingdom…

GLORY… I tell you…. IT’S GLORY!

I realize that many of us will now wait with anticipation for what may come from our week of concert prayer. I can’t wait to hear about it all. Email me with your stories.

Also, today, I am led to thank a beautiful woman, Rosheeda Lee, who wrote me years ago and asked if she could lead our community in a January fast. We began fasting because of her. Most of you missed Rosheeda’s voice here at SUM, she was remarkable. A voice of utter love, forgiveness and mercy. I learned so much from her writing. And she was young but held the wisdom of an eighty-year-old. Rosheeda went to be with the Lord in 2013 when her car rolled as she was on her way to meet myself and Dineen at a conference in Texas. I miss her so much.

But, don’t be sad. Because in this fast, I could see her robed in glorious white. Smiling the biggest smile as part of the Great Cloud of Witnesses as she watched us all fast and pray. The Lord is rewarding her greatly because she was the one who started our annual corporate fast!

Never doubt the power of small beginnings. What you do every day matters so very much in the Kingdom of God. TRULY!

My friends, your commitment to fast, no matter how small or imperfect was a gift to our King! I encourage you to fast again with us in the fall. For me, I am continuing to fast until February 12, 2018. So, if you hear grumbling off in the distance, it’s merely my tummy and my SPIRIT hungering for more of our God!

On Friday I received an email from Karen of Clovis, CA. She emailed me a prayer that concluded one of our annual fasts, circa 2016. I want to pray it now.

 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” — John 6:44

I believe this with all my heart, soul, mind and spirit! Will you pray with me?

We praise You, Mighty Lord Jesus, for You are the bread and wine to our lives, our souls and our spirits. Thank You for giving this provision to our spouses too! Lord, send the workers needed for this Great Harvest. Send people into our midst to reveal Your presence and love to our pre-believers. Reveal and show that love to them through us, for we are Your workers too, Lord!

Lord Jesus, there is Resurrection Life in all You do. We ask for this resurrection life to be released over our pre-believers, our lives, our marriages, our children and every place in our lives where dry bones need to be called back to life. Breathe Your breath of life over all of us. We call these dry places to life, in the Saving and Life-Resurrecting Name of Jesus.

Lord Jesus, we ask for vengeance against the enemy and the demonic for all they have stolen from us, the SUMites, from our pre-believers, from our children and even from our ancestors. We ask for full recompense and restoration of what has been lost and stolen (Isa. 35).

Lord, call in the harvest of our pre-believers and prodigals. Bring them to You, Lord, every single one of them. Lord Jesus, when You walked this earth, every person who came to You was healed. We present our prodigals and pre-believers to You like the man lowered through the roof and ask that every single one be saved and healed.

In the Mighty Name of Jesus, amen!

What are your thoughts, experiences and hopes from our 2018 fast? Share in the comments. I love you my family on the web. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


Golden Awards of Fasting

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGolden Globes

I wrote this during my prayer time in the morning of the last day of our fast. I was re-reading it this morning, the following day, I felt as though it was a message for our community from the heart of God.

Allow me to share it with you.

Good morning Daddy,

I pray we have made You smile. I love you. I love our annual fast together.

……

We have our own Golden Globes, our spheres of honor, accolades given, bestowed by our Father. Ribbons, awards, nations bestowed in response to our sacrifice and the laying down of our hearts, prayers, service and giving of gifts and finances.

Blessings forever more.
Redemption of hearts.
Restoration of relationships.
Strength to the feeble.
Vitality to the sick.
Everlasting life.

The Golden Globes for the Kingdom are the testimonies of the Saints. The Crowns of Gold and glory, won on the battlefield of life. The very crowns which one day, will be throne at the feet of the King!

Saints walk the red carpet. It is the path, Less Taken. Stained by the blood of sanctification. Standing regal in gowns of glittering gold and white as snow. Sashes of honor displayed crossing the chest bearing the love and loyalty to our Father. Jewels of perfection placed within the mantels that drape shoulders, reflecting a lifetime of giving, love, sacrifice for one another on earth.

Golden Globes are bestowed as living ornaments that declare for all eternity,

OUR GOD IS GOOD!

His Name be praised forever, Jehovah! Yeshua!

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. AMEN

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow