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November 2011
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January 2012

18 entries from December 2011

Prayer and Fasting 2012

Fasting keeps you sensitive to His Spirit, enabling You to live holy. I am convinced that we will never walk in the perfect will of God until we seek Him through fasting. When you present your body in the manner, you open yourself up to hear from God. You will prove or discover His good and perfect will for your life. Paul was fasting when God called him and shared the assignment for his life (Acts 9:7-9). Peter was fasting on the rooftop when God gave him a new revelation and called him to take the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Fasting prepares the way for God to give you fresh revelation, fresh vision, and clear purpose. ~J. Franklin I want a fresh start in 2012. Do you? Our fast will begin on sunrise of January 2nd and last through sunset of January 6th. That's this Monday. There are... Read more →

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Fasting. Does It Work?

When you eliminate food from your diet for a number of days, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God. Matthew 6: Jesus said, "When you give....When you pray..... When you fast...." This passage in Matthew six is where Jesus made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, is a normal part of the believer's life. On January 2-6 we will fast as a community of believers. There are many different ways to fast. Last year we set out several examples of fasts and I want to list them here again today. Please begin to pray and ask God to prepare you and to point you to the fast that will work for you. Are you willing to forgo a Snicker's bar in the afternoon to over come a recurring sin in your life? ----- So what is fasting?... Read more →

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Praying & Fasting for 2012

With the New Year ahead, I find myself anticipating what God has planned. If you were with us here at S.U.M. last January, you may remember that we fasted that first week. I will confess that I did not want to participate. First of all, fasting has never been easy for me. I’m one of those people who struggles with a food addiction so this is a big undertaking for me. Second, my family and I were traveling from Florida back to California by car that week. Fasting on the road seemed even more daunting. I made up my mind to do what I could. I wanted to at least fast during the day. So, as the week of fasting approached, I started praying and asking God to prepare me to do this. He above anyone else knows how I struggle in this area. My heart's desire was to honor... Read more →

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From Our House.....

To Yours... Merry Christmas Dineen and I wish you a blessed Chrismas filled with laughter, memories and the love of Christ. Tune in on Monday, December 26th as we set our sites on the new year and talk about what's coming next. Hugs, Lynn Read more →

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A Charlie Brown Christmas For Me

I grew up waiting each Christmas season for two special TV shows to appear on our old television set. Yes, I grew up in the “Dark Ages”, according to my teenager. There weren’t video recordings nor hundreds of channels with millions of re-runs. You had one chance, once a year. That was it. I anxiously awaited, A Charlie Brown Christmas which was followed by The Grinch That Stole Christmas. I would sit in the basement, next to the aluminum Christmas tree with the weird color wheel turning. Mom, would bring down the freshly popped corn which was coated with the most divine candy coating and we would make popcorn balls. With popcorn ball in hand, I sat criss-cross apple sauce on the floor and watch as Charlie Brown and the gang lit up our small television. This is my personal testimony of the meaning of Christmas in my life. Join... Read more →

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Weekend Devo — 'Twas the Week Before Christmas

I'm having an "ahh" moment with a cup of my favorite tea. The warm scent of English blend wafts across my nose and my eyes close in welcome relief. The stress in my shoulders seeps away as I settle into my comfy chair and on the matching ottoman I prop my aching feet. I'm tired but happy. My Christmas shopping is done. Next week promises busy moments with my family as we make ready for Christmas baking and fun. My oldest daughter will turn 22 and additional presents will be under the tree for her new fiance (we always have a gift for this sweet guy but this year he's earned a few more!). We even have a stocking for him hung by the chimney for Christmas day. My youngest (18 as of last week—yes, we have Christmas babies!) won't be with us—she's tucked snug with family in Florida, enjoying... Read more →

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A Christmas Legend??? I Believe

This story was written by Rev. Howard C. Schade, pastor of the First Reformed Church in Nyack, New York. By the time the story was anthologized in Alice Gray’s Christmas Stories for the Heart in 1998, Rev. Schade already had passed away in 1989 and could not be contacted to verify the details of the story, which is why Snopes calls this story a “legend.” I choose to believe! By Rev. Howard C. Schade The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve. They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on December 18 were ahead of... Read more →

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Thankful Thursday - A Focused Moment

Hi Everyone, It's a bit late in the day to join Thankful Thursday but my heart and Dineen's heart overflows with gratitude. We thank our Lord for allowing us to share the hope we have for our unequally yoked marriages with the team and eventually the listeners of the radio program, Focus on the Family. We arrived at the Focus campus yesterday and went straight into the recording session. We will share more at a later date. For today, Dineen and I want to offer praise to Jesus for this day and to thank our Lord for the community here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. You are our eternal family and we love you very much. Lynn and Dineen Read more →

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Away in a Manger, Then a Tomb—The Humility of Christ

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” — Luke 1:34-37 (NIV, emphasis mine) As I read the account of Gabriel’s visit to Mary above, that last line pulled me in and kept there for a while. Here’s the mighty Gabriel telling Mary what she needs to know most of all. In the 1984 version of the NIV, that line reads, “For nothing is impossible with God.” This is a message for us too... Read more →

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Couple of Updates

Good Monday Morning. My heart is full as I write to all of you my friends that meet here at SUM. This particular Christmas season offers a unique gift. I have watched God work through all the struggles, challenges and pain in my life and bring it all into perspective. I have come full circle. And it is good. I share my story in our December Newsletter. If you are not receiving our monthly e-Newsletter, Thrive in Love, please click over and sign up. Your email address is absolutely confidential and never shared with anyone. Read this month's here and receive January's in your inbox. I also want to announce the winner of the Thanksgiving Twitter prizes. Thank you for all who joined us in posting praises through Twitter #PraiseatSUM. The winner is: MamaCre8s. Heather Gafney. Heather, email me your mailing address. I'm signing off today as I have so... Read more →

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Weekend Devo — The Greatest Gift of All

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:44-46 I love these two parables because they show a “sold out” mentality for Jesus. The man is willing to let go of everything to obtain the greatest treasure of all—the kingdom of heaven. Our salvation is our most precious gift, but do we live like that? Do we live everyday in the awareness that we have been saved by the Son of God and now wear His righteousness as our own? It is all because of Jesus that we can embrace this... Read more →

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Give Yourself THIS Gift This Christmas

On Tuesday I was sitting in my office at Church. I love where our Women’s Ministry office is located. We are situated next to the receptionist, near the front door, one doorway away from the break room and at the apex of all foot traffic. Everyone passes by our office and I have candy on my desk so we have visitors often, even if they don’t want a Snickers Bar. On any ordinary day, our office is smalish but on Tuesday, Christmas exploded in there with the remnants of all of our Christmas Dessert paraphernalia so it was also cramped. In addition, we are treated with a wall of windows, which is great for looking outside but makes for a sauna by 9 a.m. But, I wouldn’t trade our little humble abode for any other room in the place. I have enjoyed, even marveled over some of the amazing conversations... Read more →

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Thankful Thursday - Holy Chill Bumps

Gave me Holy Chill bumps. (only 2 short minutes) Shut down distractions. Turn on Speakers. Be moved. So thankful this Christmas. So utterly thankful. Lynn Read more →

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He Came Upon a Midnight Clear—For YOU!

My Bible study group completed our study yesterday. We’d walked the past 11 weeks through the story of David with Beth Moore. On this last day she shared a powerful visual of a staff that had once been a vine. The bottom was straight but about half way up, the thick stalk rose upward in a tight spiral. Beth Moore then showed how the vine would have grown around a branch, surrounding it, holding it, and referred to Jesus’s words that He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15). It’s a visual that I will never forget because it so aptly shows how Christ is all around us, surrounding us. This vine that climbed from a small beginning. . . She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this... Read more →

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Creating Christmas Memories with your Kids on the Cheap

Holiday Traditions Some of you know that I can be a bit wacky. With that said, my adventurous nature is in full gear during the Christmas season. And I AM, ahem, adventurous. And I share my escapades with my daughter. We have built memories that will last forever. One of our favorite things to do at Christmas is decorate. Ya, ya, ya, blah, blah, blah, decorate (yawn)…. What else is new? Yes, but we decorate in “Donovan” style. We always decorate the outside of our home. And it’s never typical. We like to create our decorations and we don’t do anything ordinary. Read the rest of this story over at Sharing the Journey. These are some of our favorite holiday antics from the Donovan home to yours this season. Hope you have a chance to try one of them. Hugs, Lynn Read more →

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Don't Get In a Twist

A visit to my local nail salon is always fascinating. Now, please don’t think poorly of me. This is the one pampering I allow myself. I visit the local Vietnamese nail salon for a pink and white fill. Don’t do the toes, nor the anything else much but this one thing. But I am so glad I have this one little luxury because a one hour visit in that place is simply fascinating, illuminating and shows me so much about what Jesus teaches. First, when you walk in the door you can’t miss the gold-platted Buddha that sits of to the left. Yep, now don’t get your undies in a twist because I visit a salon with a Buddha. Think about this. Jesus went where the lost, broken, and unsaved went. He ate with the sinners. I find out more interesting things in this place and delve into a sub-culture... Read more →

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Have Yourself a Merry "Intentional" Christmas

I don't know about you but I feel like Christmas has hit me unexpectedly these last few years. Sometimes we just get so bogged down with the demands and trials of life that we only have the energy to react to this season of decorating, shopping and gift giving. Well, I've decided I want more this year. Actually, what I mean is I want less. I want this holiday to be different. I want to be intentional about it, not just roll along with the current and try to avoid the undertow. Here's what I'm thinking: 1. I’m being intentional in my joy. This will be the first year that we wont have both our girls with us. My youngest daughter will be in Florida with our extended family. This is difficult but part of how families change. So, we will do at least two Christmas events this year. One... Read more →

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