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21 entries from March 2013

He is Risen

Awesomeness

Rejoice in the Lord always! And again, I say rejoice!

He IS risen!

I don't know about you, but that reality makes me wanna party like a rock-star (a holy rock-star, of course!). :-D

He is due worship and praise and adulation beyond your wildest imaginations.

Give Him his due today, guys! :-) Celebrate the miraculous truth that Christ lives!  

 

Lord God,

I come before you with such excitement! Such grateful, thankful, overwhelming excitement! My savior lives! He lives! He rose up and left his grave clothes behind! He lives, so that we can too. With You. For all eternity. We worship You, Holy One. We praise Your mighty, matchless name! Thank you Lord that You gave us a sin-bearer and that he willingly took the cup You placed before him. Oh Father we adore you! May we take the spirit of Easter with us every day. May we daily live our lives in remembrance of the sacrifice and in the great freedom of the new covenant of grace. We thank you and we praise you Lord. In Christ's name. Amen.

 HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY, ALL!!!!  

Ro

Rise

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I Remember

AwesomenessI Remember - And You Should, Too 

I'm sitting at my desk, thinking about the week leading up to Easter and how every day has ministered to me personally as I sat down to share. 

The post for yesterday.. Wow... I'm not a shouter. I'm not a super vocal worshipper, but this whole week the Holy Spirit has just been so ALIVE inside me as I have worked through these posts. 

I remember that place in my walk where conviction rested so heavily on me and I began to grasp the fact that I am a MESS. I remember recognizing that I had grieved the Lord, that I had hurt him, that he suffered because of me. And then in that same breath, He showed me that no matter who I was - or even am, or what I've done, His love for me is as great now as it was before I cost him his life... 

I suppose that this could be a day filled with study and meditation and some great activity to remind us of the beauty that is the Christ, but gang, we don't need any of that. 

All we need is Jesus. 

Let your heart & spirit testify today. Remember where you were. Remember what it felt like when you realized exactly what you cost the Lord... 

Go to him today and talk with him. Ask him to remind you - and then ask him to show you who you are now. Ask him to minister to you. Take your delight in him and welcome his delight in you today as you await the celebration that is tomorrow. 

I love you gang, and I hope that you have had a wonderful, worshipful, reflective week...

Ro

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It Is Finished

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we ARE healed. 

AwesomenessThey beat him. They pierced his body. They brutalized him and hung him on a cross. Then they watched him die.

They shamed him. Then they watched him die.

All because of me. 

And he took it. 

All because of me.

I am so convicted when I think of the cost of his love. I am just so convicted... 

But ya'll! Look at the emphasis in the verse. Just look at it. All the abuse Christ took, all the pain he bore, is in the past. It. Is. Finished. Finished. All done. Never to be done again. There is no need, because when my Jesus hung his head on that cross and died, he finished it for all eternity. 

The moment he died, he saved me. He saved you! Because he bore our pain, our shame, our torment, we are continually redeemed. We ARE healed. Are, as in, "in the present state of". It will never be taken from us, the gift of constant pardon from our overwhelming humanity... 

I type this and I am so frustrated because my words fail me. I cannot possibly convey the enormity of what Christ gave us that day on Calvary. My heart just wants to shout - one of those old down home black Baptist church shouts *grins*! And really. If anything is worth a shout, the fact that someone who didn't have to, paid for my mess - and then loved me after it - sure should be. Oh ya'll... As SUMites, this should resonate deeply and convict us beyond explanation. 

Ya'll... 

Tetelestai. It is finished. 

Lord,

I don't know what to say. I don't even know how to come to You right now. How could you ever have loved me so? How could you ever have been so passionate for me? Thank you Lord that it is finished. In Jesus' Name. Amen. 

*insert church-lady shout here* :-) 

Love you.
Ro

 

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Remember Me

Remember Me

This is the day before Good Friday. And as I sit and think of what this time must have been like, I have to believe that the Messiah would've wanted to spend his last hours in fellowship with the ones he loved most. I would imagine that they broke bread and fellowshipped as never before... I bet Jesus savored what had to be bittersweet - if not outright painful - moments with his disciples. 

It was about being together. Being together and understanding that what Christ was going to endure was all for them - for US all - so that we would never have to know separation from him. He told them that his body would be broken and his blood shed. He told them to remember - to remember and to testify. 1Corinthians 11: 23-26. 

AwesomenessGang, it's all about remembering him. Remembering that we are under grace now and no longer the law because he was wounded for us. He paid our price so that we could live without fear of the penalty that really is our due. And all that he asks of us is that we not forget - that we go out and tell somebody else about it until he comes again - because by telling his story, we have to always call him back to our minds and our hearts. 

Ladies - and gents- let's spend today in intimate, personal communion with our Lord. Remember him today. Be with him. Lavish him with your love as you recall the great love he carries for you personally. And then find an opportunity to share that beauty with another. Find the opportunity to proclaim him! 

Lord,
We thank you. Draw us into Holy Communion with you today. Remind us as you did your disciples, so that we can go out and remind others. We love you Lord. In your sweet name. Amen.

~Rosheeda Lee

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Freedom

All that Christ did, He did so that we would be slaves no more to the law—and more than that, to our own sinful nature. Freedom guys.

1415366_heart_cross_2FREEDOM.

Christ redeemed us so that we could enjoy freedom in this life and the next.

Oh Lord, thank you for Your Son. Thank you that our redeemer chose to love us with a fierce, all consuming, never-be-the-same-again kind of love. Thank You, Messiah, for Your gift to us. We come to You today just to worship You. We come to lavish on You. To adore You. To bask in the beauty of Your presence. Thank You for the gift of freedom—freedom to experience this life on Your terms and ours alone. Freedom to believe in someone greater than ourselves, freedom from ourselves, freedom to discover Your great grace, Your mighty power, Your all consuming passion and fire. Freedom to live, to move, to be! Hallelujah Lord! Hallelujah! Hallelujah that we are free in Christ! Hallelujah! I praise You, Oh God. Hallelujah. OH JESUS! Glory to Your name, Your holy name! You are righteous, blameless, pure. Everything that I could never be, You ARE! And You gave up Your right-hand seat for me—for my mess, my foolishness, my garbage. Even as You knew that I would reject You with my actions, even as You knew that I would choose myself over You for many, many years, even as you knew that I didn't love You yet, even as You knew that I would never be able to fully comprehend or repay your sacrifice and my great debt to You—even in the face of all that, in the face of ALL THAT, You chose me. You. Chose. Me. Just so that I would be free. Oh God, I am unworthy. I praise You, Lord. Oh, how I praise You. How I worship You. How I adore You. Oh God, Abba Father, I cry out to You right now for more of You. More of You. More and more and more and more of You. Diminish me that You might increase. Live out Your passions in me. Give me new freedoms, new graces, new mercies every day. Be my passion, as I am Yours. Be my passion, Abba. Oh please, be my passion. Oh God there is a fire shut up in my bones and my very marrow cries out to be near You. Don't elude me. Don't hide from me. Fill me up. Fill me up again and again and again until I don't know where I end and You begin. Consume me. Use my freedom in You, for Your glory. Use my freedom in You for Your good pleasure. Take me God and make me free. In Christ's precious, holy, life-changing name, Amen.

—Rosheeda Lee

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The Greatest Sacrifice

The word that came to mind for this post was "lent"... So, you guessed it. I started searching and reading and trying to flesh this thing out—and of all that I read and pondered, the one thing that stands out the most is that Lent is time of great sacrifice.

1415366_heart_cross_2Gang, let me tell you, no matter the sacrifices we make to show our gratitude, love, or humility, there is a sacrifice ever so much greater than any we've ever known or will ever be able to duplicate: the sacrifice of a man's life to pay the debt for me and you and everyone who lives. Jesus Christ. He gave His life up for me—for you!

He is the propitiation for our sins. The payment in full of every debt we will ever owe.

That's good news!

That's REALLY good news.

He paid the price so we wouldn't have to...

Father I am so grateful. So grateful. That You love me so much that You would give Your Son for me. That He would willingly bear my shame so that I could live in eternal communion with You. There are no words that can ever adequately convey my thanks. I am humbled, Lord, to know that I could never pay my own way. I could never be good enough or worthy enough in my own right. I could never be holy enough to enter into Your courts on my own. That You gave Christ to be my sin-bearer. I humble myself right now before Your throne and I cry out praises to You, my King. Lord, You are great and greatly to be praised. You are great and greatly to be praised. Oh Father, YOU ARE GREAT, and greatly to be praised. Jesus... Thank you, Jesus. That You gave Your life for me so that I could live with You in eternity. That You became the greatest sacrifice man will ever know so that we would never have to live separate from Your love. Oh Jesus. Messiah. How I praise You. How I thank You. I adore You, Lord. You have loved me with a depth that my heart and mind cannot possibly fathom. I give my life to You. I give myself to You right now and I give You all authority, all power, all dominion. Be the head of my heart and the Lord of my life. May my life be a testimony of gratefulness to You for the greatest act of Love I will ever know. All this in Christ's sweet name. Amen.

— Rosheeda Lee

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Hope Floats


Praying over this post, this is what the Lord gave me. And I thought, "Ok. Hope is really a perfect topic for Holy Week." I mean...that's really what its all about. Freeing us of the bonds of sin and giving us hope in the security of eternity.

1415366_heart_cross_2But I still didn't get it. Hope floats? Really Lord?

For more than a week.

"Hope Floats."

"Hope floats. Write it down."

"Hope Floats. This is the first post."

"Hope Floats."

So FINALLY I asked the question: "Ok Lord. Hope Floats. What does it mean?" (Now keep in mind that Hope Floats is the name of one of my favorite movies so I was REALLY not sure where this was headed! ha!)

"Hope. It helps YOU to float - to rise above your circumstances. It helps you to be lifted above your worries, your doubts, your fears. I sent My son so that all humanity would be able to live with the confident expectation of abundance in this life and giddy anticipation of the grandeur of life with Me in Paradise."

Really. What do you say after that?

Hope floats.

Lord God, I come before You in humble reverence and great awe. I come before You with a heart so deeply touched, so deeply pierced by the reality of what You've done for me. Without You, without Jesus, all my efforts in this life would be in vain. That You gave me Your son so that I wouldn't have to face the due penalty for my sin. That He willingly sacrificed His life so that I wouldn't lose mine. I am humbled. Deeply humbled. Deeply grateful to Him and to You. Break my heart this day, this week, this month, this year ahead for those who don't know yet the hope that You've given mankind in Christ. Break my heart for Your creation. Break my heart for those who belong to You but who don't know anymore how to hope. Replenish my hope. Fill me to overflowing so that I can fill somebody else with what I can't contain in my own heart. I so often lose sight of the reality and the enormity of who I am in You, who You've enabled me to be through Jesus. Help me to remember. Help me to hold tightly to Your truth above all else. My hope IS in You. Oh Lord please. Please Father...

I love You, Lord. I love Jesus. And I thank You both for your sacrifice for me. I worship You, Oh Lord. I exalt You. I praise Your holy name. Oh Jesus. You are worthy of honor. You are worthy of praise. I adore You. I adore You, Lord. I adore You, Messiah. Oh that Your love has justified me. Words cannot express... not in this lifetime... I will spend all eternity singing Your praises, proclaiming Your truth, Oh how I love you. I am unworthy, but You have called me worthy. I am not good enough, but You have made me good enough. Words fail me Lord, but You alone know... You alone know the absolute depths of my passion and desires and trust in Your love, plan and goodness for me. Father rest on me today. Fill me with You. Fill me afresh. Pour out and overwhelm me. Overwhelm me today with who You are and how You love me. Overwhelm me Lord. Overwhelm me. All these things in Christ's precious name. Amen.

—Rosheeda Lee

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Weekend Devo — God Loved Us First!

1415366_heart_cross_2
My friends, we have a wonderful week of devotions planned for next week. Rosheeda has prayfully written something for each day so that we can walk through the week with hope, faith and love planted squarely in our Jesus, and celbrate the greatest gift of this life and the next (yep, it's the gift that truly keeps on giving...). 

What I am learning (and hearing from all over the place) is that until we know who we are and whose we are, we are limping along in faith. This is where our true power, strength and freedom sits, my friends. Take it from someone who has limped along for so many years and is now beginning to understand how deeply we are loved.

One new revelation came to me just this week (from that step of faith I made!). In Mattthew 22:34-40 Jesus answers the Pharisees that the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. That was the old covenant. 

In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus said He came to fulfill the law. And He did by coming and dying for us. And 1 John 4 (and please read through this amazing chapter) is all about the truth and that God loved us first. This is the new covenant.

Now, let's connect the dots. Under the law they were commanded to love God. In the fullment of the Law (Jesus' death) we are loved by God first. When we embrace this love and begin to understand that we no longer have to perform and work to love God, His identity is released into us. Then we can't help but love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is profound, my friends, and yet so beautifully simple in it's truth.

This is the greatest truth I've been embracing since last fall and the process has been astounding, beautiful and so liberating. I want this and am praying for this for every single one of you.

God loves you. No ifs, ands, or buts. Jesus came for you. You don't have to do a thing to embrace that kind of love except to say yes and then to believe you are totally loved—that God can't love you anymore or any less than He already does. And nothing you do now will make you any less righteous in His eyes than the day you accepted Jesus.

Walk in this truth, my precisous sisters and brothers in Jesus. We are loved.

Loving and praying for you with the heart of Jesus!
Dineen 

 

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The Prodigal and Our Unrelenting God

Good Morning, Lynn Here. If you have prayed for any length for a prodigal or a spouse to come to faith and feel like they are so lost, so far from God that it will never happen, then this story is for you.

I want to introduce my friend, Angie Knight. I met Angie in the very early years of blogging. I met her face-to-face at a blogger’s retreat in her home state of Florida in 2009. That was an ordained and anointed retreat for me. Many, MANY works of God came from that weekend where the women prayed over me. Winning Him Without Words was just one. While I was there I met Angie’s precious family. I stayed in her home and met her husband and daughters. It was an amazing weekend.

 

Angie and girls
Angie and her daughters

 

Since then her life and mine have become a little busy. Hers with mission trips to Cambodia and Slavic countries and mine with our community here at SUM. Our hearts remain connected through the beautiful fabric of the Body of Christ and yet we haven’t talked in probably over a year or more. So here is where the story soars to the supernatural.

God is Divine and Providential.

Okay, so on Wednesday I was finishing the final chapter for our new book, Not Alone. This chapter is about parenting through rebellion and the Prodigal Adult. And I’ve been asking God to give me words to include. Now here is the really good part.

Out of the blue after more than a year, Angie posts on my Facebook wall this: For those with a prodigal (anything)...this will encourage you ;) (I've had you on my mind Lynn Donovan! Have a GREAT week!) She includes a link to an article on her blog. She hasn’t written there in months and months.

Why am I always flabbergasted that God listens to me and actually helps me in amazing ways??? Sheesh. (Lord, thank you for your faithfulness.)

Okay, Let me set the stage. Angie, her mother, her sister, daughters and one of her granddaughters had taken a weekend trip to spend the time together at a beach resort. Sunday morning arrives and it’s time to pack up and head toward home.

This is the story she shared with me. 

My daughter was 15 years old when she decided the "church path" was not for her--and she walked in a mighty dark wilderness for a long time.  Glimpses of the old Tiff would be seen from time to time, and we continued to pray on.  One thing we knew for certain--that was the MOST difficult thing any parent has to face--we could not bale her out of every situation--because we had ENTRUSTED God to work on her and in her to bring her back to a place of desiring HIM. 

Tiffany and her daughter joined us for the beach retreat weekend and as we drove toward home we wanted to stop at a local church for Sunday services. We had a church in mind and set off in with plenty of time to make services. However, due to a flood, Tiffany in the lead car, took a detour and we ended up at a country church, where Pastor Danny Davis met us with hearty handshakes, laughter and a very welcoming spirit.  Without going into the details of the service, let me just stop and say, it was NOT business as usual.

God continued on with ordering and setting the day out in HIS plan and fashion.

The special speaker did not get to speak.  The LORD brought the message that morning through the voice of the pastor--and I could honestly tell you --I saw a visible change, as well as "felt" it when the Holy Spirit began to move.

As the pastor, under a heavy anointing was walking back and forth, speaking what GOD was in that instant laying on his heart--the string of us girls from mother all the way down to the youngest, our granddaughter, completely filled up one whole pew.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Angie Knight, you are about to see your miracle.  You are about to see something that you've prayed about for a long time become reality." 

He walked on, shook, I was weeping, praising--not knowing what exactly--because, truthfully, there are many things I'm praying about--yet my mind went to this row of women.

And then it happend, Tiffany went forward.

That morning, The Lord gave me a front row seat as He brought His daughter back home.

As a mother of a prodigal, there is nothing in this life sweeter than to witness her "rebirth." Her birth was wonderful--but the birthing of her "new life" was extraordinary. Words fail me at this point.  It was one of those, "you had to have been there" days.  We rejoiced all the way home.

Perhaps you are the parent of a prodigal that you have prayed for and feel there's not much hope...can I tell you something?

Please keep praying.

Your prodigal has a day...set and ordered by The Lord.

If you think it will happen "one particular" way, please give up your idea to Him and let Him do the orchestrating of the music of that life. He has written the most beautiful score to be heard—and only He knows when it will be played.

My day came quite unexpectedly in some ways, but then totally expected in others. Take heart parents. Keep praying.

Your prodigal is still being watched by an Almighty Eye. —Angie Knight

Tiff and daughter
(Tiffany's story is included in our new book. I can't wait for you to read it, Hugs, Lynn)

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God Set Me Up!

IStock_000008478972XSmallA couple weeks ago I wrote my post about the Israelites crossing the Jordan as a step of faith in their journey to claim their Promised Land. I also wrote about how this is our story as well, that we too have Jordans to cross and Jerichos to march around in order to claim the territory God has promised us.

I wrote that post from the comfort and safety of my home, from my favorite chair where I sit and meet with God each day, feeling quite content with the Jordans and Jerichos I’d already put behind me (yes, there will be many in this life of growing in Jesus!) and without any thought or consideration that God might just be setting me up.

Well, He did. Big time.

Let me back up to last fall and tell a snippet of a story from when Lynn and I were at the conference at Bethel. During the first night of worship, God gave me a small glimpse (thankfully because I think more would have crushed me!) of His heart and put a calling on my heart.

My friends, I honestly wasn't sure what to do with what I heard so I've been praying over it ever since, asking God for understanding and guidance, for people and training—whatever I would need to move forward in this calling.

Saturday the first answer to this prayer presented itself. And it scared me. Here was the door opening to an opportunity to be educated and trained just as I’d asked. My Jordan was my fear. Would I dare to move through it to walk through that door?

My fear ran the gamut, my friends. From going to a place unknown, both physically and spiritually, to how it would affect my family as far as the time commitment. I saw all kinds of reasons to justify not taking that step of faith.

And only one reason to take it. Obedience. In my prayers I'd told God I'd move forward if He sent me what I needed. He kept His part of the deal and now I will keep mine.

So here I sit in my comfy chair again writing this post with a whole new perspective on Jordans and Jerichos because this is a big one for me. Am I still scared? Yes, I am. I've always struggled with the unknown, as I imagine so many of you do. We want to stay safe and comfortable in what we know. But to do so would mean sacrificing what will most likely be one of the greatest adventures of my life because God never disappoints. He’s big and awesome and, praise Him, completely in control.

I am stepping forward—my trust in God is putting my faith into action.

I don't know what the Jericho is in this story yet. Just as the Israelites didn't know the full picture until the walls came down, I suspect I won't either until the fuller picture comes into view. I trust the waters of my family and time challenges will part as God makes the path clear for me.

My friends, I'm closing this post with the hopes that you will be inspired to take that scary step into the waters of the Jordan before you. God has big stuff in store for us. Let's take this next step together!

Love and TREASURE you all so much!
Dineen

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Good Marriage Advice

 

A good marriage is the union of two forgivers. ~Ruth Graham

 

Hand holding

Back from my retreat.... so tired... so good.... So God!!! More coming later. Have an amazing week, Hugs, Lynn

PS. Elise Amber Goodwill 
Born: 3/17/2013
9:47 am 
7 lb. 10 oz.

Parents: Bradley  & Felicia Goodwill (my son) 

I'm a grandma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Photos on FB soon. Friend me. I love you my friends. I really love you, Lynn

FB- Lynn Donovan

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Weekend Worship — Set a Fire!

My friends, Lynn is at a women's retreat this weekend, serving as a leader for her church. I would love to direct our prayers toward her and the women she is serving this weekend. She has such a heart for these women and wants to see them walk in freedom. We are praying for godly breakthroughs and for God to set a fire in their hearts for more of Him. That's a prayer that God delights to answer!

We are praying this for our upcoming conference in April as well. God is moving in undeniable ways that are beautiful, stunning and for our generation, my friends. Let's pray for Lynn and pray for God to set a fire down in our souls that we can't contain that we can't control because we want more of God!

Love you fiercely with the passion of Jesus!
Dineen

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Honor and a Little Humor in Marriage

Yesterday Mike and I celebrated our 21 wedding anniversary.

Because all of you know how challenging a spiritual mismatch can be, I just marvel at all God has brought about in me, my husband, our children and all through our marriage covenant. 

Miracles abounding around here. May I just say, "Honey, I love you and I'm looking forward to the next 21 years."

I've been thinking a lot about honor and marriage. I've been pondering the qualities of my husband that are honorable. And today, just for fun, I want to share a hilarious video that points to an amazing quality my man possesses.

My guy can find the perfect anniversary, birthday and any-kind-of-card-day for me. 

Mike Donovan IS the guy in the video who seeks the perfect card for his wife. He spends an hour at Hallmark. I spend 10 minutes at Wal-Mart. Sheesh! He is SO much better at this than me.

Thank you Mike, you are so amazing and able to find the perfect card.

Okay enjoy. And today think about one area in your spouse that is honorable. Is he a good father? A good provider? When you type his honorable qualities in the comments it becomes a written record for the Kingdom. So today, honor your spouse and then watch as God honors you. Hugs, Lynn

 

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Special Guest Today! Please Welcome Suzie Eller!

My precious friends, today I want to introduce you to Susanne (Suzie) Eller. She's been a great support to the SUM ministry and now we get to share her with you! Suzie's message of forgiveness in her book, The Unburdened Heart is desperately needed today and by so many. I hope you find answers and comfort in her words below. 

Feel free to leave comments and pray for each other. This is a tough topic. And we'll do a random drawing from the comments for a book winner, who will receive a copy of her book.

Love you all dearly and know you are in my heart and prayers!
Hugs!
Dineen

SE13-1060-682x1024Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author. She’s written six books, hundreds of articles, and writes devos with Encouragement for Today that reaches over 500,000 women. Suzie is a radio co-host with Luann Prater at Encouragement Cafe Joy FM. She encourages women through two Facebook communities reaching over 20,000 five days a week. She’s been featured on TV and radio such as Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, MidDay Connection, The Harvest Show, and many others. Most importantly, she is a wife, mom, and “Gaga” to four beautiful grandbabies. Connect with Suzie at www.tsuzanneeller.com

 

Suzie, you’ve been listening to many stories from women who struggle to forgive. How many women struggle with forgiveness in their marriages?
 
Nearly 50% of the women who share their stories on my blog, or in person, say that their biggest struggle to forgive is in their marriage.
 
For many, it’s when a spouse is continually unkind, or says words that diminish her.
 
In this instance, many women bear their soul and are told either to get out, to seek counsel, or to submit.
 
The first leaves a woman who desires to stay and work things out because she loves her husband and wants her marriage to succeed, with a heavier burden. 
 
In the second, seeking counsel is wise advice, as long as it’s counsel that is skilled in helping a couple, with God’s help, find new ground in their marriage. Many times “counsel” can be someone who do not have those skills.
 
The third, to submit, is often shared without proper context. The word “submit” is thrown out without the beautiful framework of instructing husbands to love their wives as “Christ loved the church”. This is why wise counsel is key. Submission is respect, it’s great love, it’s working through the harder spots.
 
So, how do you begin to forgive in this instance?
 
It’s a blend of truth, grace, and confidence.
 
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that abuse is allowed to continue. However, he’s not yours to fix, and that’s where we often spend our energies.
 
What can you do then? You can speak the truth. Truth is shared, perhaps in the setting of a counselor’s office, or perhaps in a moment where it’s not heated, after prayer and with love, and with the intent of working toward a healthier relationship. Truth is coated with grace, knowing that we all fall short. It’s shared with wisdom and without accusation. And in some instances, it’s shared with healthy boundaries, not to punish, but to work toward the healthiest relationship possible. (A great book on boundaries that is both healthy and filled with wisdom is Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud and Townsend.)
 
What about unfaithfulness?
 
A percentage of that 50% wrote in that they struggled to forgive because of unfaithfulness. I shared Carlie’s story, a woman whose husband left her after 29 years of marriage. In this case, the word forgive meant that God moved into the broken and raw places of His daughter. He knew her. He knew her heart. She intentionally walked into a relationship with God during that painful time so that He could fill up her “temple”, residing in Her, healing her, moving in her in those moments when she wanted nothing more than to take revenge, or lash out. In Carlie’s case, her husband went on with his new life, but she also had new life that filled her up in the harder months ahead. She was redefined in so many ways – single mom, single woman. But her role as God’s daughter was made that much more clear and concrete.
 
Unburdened-Heart_GrassSky_smallFor those whose spouse asked for forgiveness and who desired to change, forgiving is key as you rebuild trust. But give yourself permission to be honest with your heavenly father, with the understanding that there is nothing in scripture that condones unfaithfulness. It’s not in God’s plan or His character. If He grieves over the fallen sparrow (Matt. 10:29), then He grieves over your marriage. He is big enough to handle your honesty while leading you to a new level of spiritual intimacy with Him and even tender vulnerability in your relationship with Him as you work through this harder aspect of forgiving. At this moment, it may seem impossible to forgive on your own, but are you willing? That’s the only question that you need to answer. God is a Healer, and my prayer is that your marriage goes to a new place, but also that you sense God’s hand over you as you work through this difficult place, and that one day you look back and see His tender touch over you and your marriage.
 

Read chapter one of Suzie's book.

Listen to Suzie share her journey to forgiveness.

 

*****

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The Day Quickly Approaches

Easter approaches.

Let’s hold up our spouse for a salvation, a transformation, experience this year on Easter morning.

 

Almighty God,

You are the Creator of all things. We are your chosen, your children. We worship you. We are your vessel to be used for your purposes and passions. Lord, fill us up with your love so that we shine in a dark world. Lord, Let your love overwhelm me that I may spill it out like a beautiful aroma on those around me. Especially, my spouse.

Papa, Daddy, I ask for you to reveal yourself and your purposes to my husband/wife ________________ today, this hour. Father, I ask that you open their spiritual eyes and ears that they can see the lies and hear the truth.

Now Lord, through the authority given to me through King Jesus, your son, and through your living and breathing Word, Luke 9:1&2, I take authority of any spirits that are speaking lies to my spouse. I bind the spirit of deafness and dumbness that is not allowing your penetrating words into his heart. Break my spouse’s heart for people. Let him see that there is more to this world than science and explanations. Lord, birth in him a reality that there is another realm that is real, powerful and that IT IS GOOD.

Father, this hour I declare that the name _______________________ (Mike Donovan) is sealed as a name written in the Book of Life. Lord, do everything in your perfect planning and purposes to bring my spouse to the truth and salvation of Jesus Christ. And when that hour dawns may the entire heaven and earth rejoice.

Father, let my spouse’s life bring you glory. Let the salvation of my spouse shouts to thousands of others that God is Great, powerful and above all things.

Mostly, I ask only to live in your Presence as it is Your Presence that sanctifies my spouse and my children. I love you. I love your son. I love the Holy Spirit that rest upon my shoulder like a Dove.

To You O God, be all glory, honor, power, praise, forever, and ever. Hallelujah…. In King Jesus name. Amen.

*****

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Weekend Worship — Moving Forward

This weekend I'm at Lynn's—we're working on the conference coming in April. We are so excited about this event! God keeps showing us more and more of what He wants to accomplish and reveal at this conference. We are so blown away!

My friends, God sure seems to have us on a fasttrack to our Promise Land right now. Many of us are hearing the same things and feeling God's nudge to move forward because He has a whole lot more for us to see and embrace. Remember, the Israelites still had many challenges to face in their Promise Land but the promise of a land of their own did come and they were a key part to claiming each new territory.

We've had a lot to absorb this week so I'm keeping today simple with just a song to worship God together. He makes all things new, my friends! ALL THINGS! Keep taking those steps of faith and you will see Him do it!

Love you dearly!
Dineen 

 

*****

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My Beloved Sister

Hi Everyone,

Lynn and Dineen Family LifeThis afternoon Dineen will be arriving at the San Diego aiport where I will pick her up. We are heading off to the Jesus Culture Concert for what I’m anticipating will be three hours of worship and life-changing face time with our Great God.

Dineen is then joining me at the Donovan Clan house for a working weekend (and some comicle hilarity served up, Donovan Style). We are finishing our talk and working through the million details needed in preparation for our conference at Christ The King Church in Kingwood, TX on April 6. That’s in four weeks. Yikes!

Please know that this entire weekend we will be seeking God’s Presence, His favor, His words and will be praying for our community and our conference.

Dineen and I are EXPECTING BIG things. And God doesn’t disappoint. What we come up with by the end of the weekend will be something that is so inspired by the Holy Spirit that when we speak, the conference attendees will not hear Lynn or Dineen. They will hear Jesus speak to them. That is our prayer our hope and our earnest plea. More of you Lord and less of us.

My friends, how I wish you were at the concert with us. One day… One day… We will be all together. What a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus. We’ll sing and shout the victory….

And now, I want to share a letter that the Lord spoke for someone out there who needs to hear from him.  On Monday we will talk about how to pray for our spouse as we lead up to Easter.

We love you, Lynn and Dineen.

My Beloved, 

I have known you since before the beginning of all things. I have walked beside you as you took your first step. I’ve sat with you as you cried in fear over the things that are broken in your life and those things that have caused you great harm. I have watched you grow into a beautiful woman. 

I have sent my angels to you to protect you when you were careless and in harm’s way. I have wrapped you in a cloak of protection from the enemy who has wanted to destroy you because I love you with a fierce passion. I have placed my heart upon you and have delighted to see you seek me. 

I have told you that I love you every day that you step outside and glimpse my face in the nature that surrounds you. I have wiped your brow when you have worked hard. I have held you in my arms when you felt empty. And at night when tears slipped down your face, it was I who gently kissed them from your cheeks. 

I have loved you with a zeal and a never ending force that if you understood it, nothing would ever defeat you or even seem difficult. I look upon your face and I smile. I delight in you and I call to you every day to see me around you. I send you tiny love notes in the morning and again throughout your day. 

I look upon you with eyes of favor. I open doors for you. Show you my glory and I truly just like who you are. For all of who you are. 

My Beloved, today believe that I am a God who lavishes His love upon His chosen. And you are chosen. I give to you the secrets of my Kingdom. I give to you my love….. my very heart. Now come follow me. Give me all of you and I will take you on the wildest adventure of your life. 

Live with me, my son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit because nothing in this life will ever delight you, fill you, prosper you and romance you more than me. 

I love you forever and all time,

Abba, Father

*****

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A Step of Faith

IStock_000008478972XSmallMy precious friends, God has put a fire in my heart to speak to you about taking a step of faith. There is something God is calling many of us to do—something unique to our place and time and season—and He’s given you a promise that goes with this. And maybe you’ve prayed and waited for a long time for this promise but nothing is happening.

What did God call you to do first? What was His call to action? Because as we move forward in this faith journey (and we must always be maturing), our faith in action becomes more crucial to our journey forward. In other words, we will have to take a believing step of faith forward to activate the promise we’ve been given.

Let me explain this with the story of Israel crossing the Jordan in Joshua 3. First let’s set the stage with the Israelites and the Red Sea. At this point the Israelites are very “young” in their faith walk with God. They’re just getting the lay of the land, so to speak and yes, pun intended. They witness an entire ocean part before their eyes by the hand of God. This is their point of reference as they approach the Jordan, which is at its fullest at this time of the year, in this season of harvest. The Jordan is overflowing. It’s a time to claim new territory.

Amidst this picture, Joshua relays God’s instructions to the Israelites:

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap. — Joshua 3:11-13

The Jordan is the next step (literally and figuratively) in the Israelites faith journey. This time God is not going to move the waters first. He’s calling the priests and all the Israelites to take a step of faith first—to step into the water before God moves it. God has already proven He is capable of such a feat with the feet (oh, I just couldn’t resist that one!). Now, He wants to see the Israelites grow in their faith and belief in Him—to believe God—and trust Him to do what He said He would do.

So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. — Joshua 3:14-17

The priests were instructed to step first, not to wait for the waters to part. They had to take a step of faith. Any by doing so, the waters moved, just as God said they would. But God did even more with their step of faith:

  1. They crossed on dry ground. God could have left the ground wet, which most likely would have meant the priests feet would have sunk into the mud, especially under the weight of the ark of the covenant. God made a way for the priests that was complete to God’s vision of their purpose and journey. God does this for us as well. When He calls us to a direction, He prepares the way. That doesn’t mean it will be easy but with God, we will not fail.
  2. They stood in the middle, not the edge. The priests not only stood in the middle, they stood firm and in place with the ark of the covenant on their shoulders. This is the promise of God’s presence in their lives and a future with Him. The way had been prepared for them, now they prepared the way for rest of the Israelites. Think of your home as that parted river and God is asking you to stand firm with His presence in and upon you. You bear the promise for your future and the future of all who will pass with you.
  3. Israel crossed on the same dry ground. The entire nation of Israel passed through under the protection of the priests’ presence. This is part of our sanctification of our family through our faith (remember 1 Cor 7:14). We bring our spouse, our children—all those we claim under the umbrella of our home and faith—over the dry ground to the other side. This is how our unbelieving spouses and loved ones are blessed through us and by our prayers for them. As we stand firm in whatever God has called us to do, we bring those we are praying for with us.
  4. They crossed opposite Jericho with Adam a great distance away. I can’t help but wonder if Adam is mentioned as a reminder of where they came from. Where we come from. Not as a threat but to see our past sins as far away and show us how far we have come. God had them cross in the exact place and position for their next challenge and step in the promise. Each step of faith builds upon the last and prepares for the next. Jericho would be there next victory. They didn’t know this but God did.

My friends, I pray I’ve adequately conveyed this amazing truth. Whatever it is that God has told you, given you do to, or shown you, move forward and believe God! Do not hesitate or debate, because until you take a step of faith, the promise remains a mere thought.

If God is calling you to believe Him and trust Him more, do it. Anytime doubt enters your mind, boot it out and affirm the word that God has given you. Claim it as your truth and that it is done! If God is calling you to an action, do it! Even if it scary and uncomfortable, move forward with this action (just like the Priests taking that first step into the raging waters) and the promise given will be activated.

And if God is calling you to simply stand, then stand and know that your promise is on the way. God completes everything He sets in motion but He wants us to be a part of it. He will wait on us to make the first move. This is how we claim and hold new territory in our lives.

So move! Be bold! Be courageous! God never expects us to do these things on our own. He is standing right there with us through the entire journey preparing the way, strengthening us for the weight we are called to carry, entrusting us with the promise of those we bring along the way, and guarding over our path until the completion.

My friends, this message is as much for me as it is for you. In the past my fear of the unknown has kept me planted in comfortable places but at a price. We miss out on the wild adventure of living life with God in the unexpected when we do that. I'm learning to step out in faith more and more, and each time I do, God is right there showing me or doing something new in my life.

God wants this for you too! So take that step of faith, precious one. If you're not sure what this step is, ask Him. God is waiting and ready to show you!

Love you fiercely in Jesus!
Dineen

*****

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Jump Into The Next Four Weeks - See The Miracles

My friends, in the past few months since returning from Bethel, so much has happened in my spiritual walk. And you know what is so cool? I’ve witness a shift in our community as well. There is a new sweetness within our people. A newly born passion to be authentic and it’s when we ARE authentic that real healing and hope happens. I’ve witnessed changes in hearts. The prayer life of this community exploded. The prayers we give to one another are releasing power and authority and change into other’s lives. And literally some of you have been transformed.

And as I think upon all that is happened, I’m more excited for what is still awaiting all of us in the days ahead. I’m convinced there is a movement, a shift in the Heavenly atmosphere that is coming to earth, actually that is already arriving and we will all be part of this great move God is orchestrating even now among our nations. My friends, WE get to be part of it. We won’t miss out like some believers. We are on the edge of the cliff. Out there in the distance lingering in the mist is our God. He says, “Jump.” As I stand on this cliff, I don’t see Him I can only hear his quiet and calm voice. I wonder if He will truly catch me if I trust Him with all things.

Mistclif

I’m scared he won’t catch me or that I may jump too early or I didn’t hear him right. But the lure that is pulling me forward is so powerful with promise that I’m pushed to the final edge. I’m going to believe Him and I can’t see His hands that wait just beyond the edge in the mist but I’m taking the chance. This jump is going to be the wildest, most fantastic and utterly supernatural experience that we the chosen out of many generations of believers will be participants, not spectators but we will live in power of heaven on earth. We will leap into the cloud and see His glory.

If you are ready to be this bold for the cause of Christ, then pray with me.

Abba, Father,

I freely jump into your Presence. I’m leaving all the mundane of my life in your hands. I am filled with a burning fire to be part of what you are doing on earth. Lead me to people who can teach me and lead me in this new anointing of the Holy Spirit. Lord, show me the spectacular. Reveal the astonishing. Fill me with so much of your character, joy and love that I shine and lavish You upon all people I meet. Bring it on Lord. Let’s move in your power, by your authority and let Heaven come to earth. In Jesus name. All for your honor and glory. Amen.

 

Okay, with all that out now. I think we need to pray for the next four weeks for our spouse. We have four weeks leading up to Easter. Perfect timing. So this is what I’m thinking about prayer.

My friend, Maria who I met at Bethel, recently sent me a text it said: So I’ve been sitting here praying for you and God showed me…. Told me to tell you. To lay hands on your husband in the middle of the night while he’s sleeping and to pray over him. Begin to release God’s love, goodness and calling upon your husband. To pray, “Lord, get him.”

What I find fascinating is that I used to pray like this for my husband but haven’t in a long, long time. And I will also tell you that I didn’t jump right into doing this the day this text message arrived. But you know what did start to happen? Every morning a five in the morning, I wake up. Yep, I’m wide awake and actually a bit frustrated that I’m lying there in the dark. So finally, lying there in the dark, I decide to put my hand on my husband and start praying.

It’s been several days in a row now that God wakes me at five am. I pray every morning at five am to release God’s power and anointing on my husband. That the Holy Spirit would reveal Himself to my husband.

Hmmmmm, I kinda ignored what Maria said but God is ready to move. Man I wish I had obeyed immediately and prayed over my husband earlier at night I might be a bit more rested *grin.* I’m fairly certain that God  will be waking me every morning now at 5 am for quite a while.

God is moving. So consider this YOUR text message. Start to pray at night with the laying on of hands upon your spouse and release God’s power, presence and purpose into their life.

Are you willing to jump with me? Are you willing to pray at night for your spouse? Are you wanting to be part of all that God has?

We will be focusing on praying for our spouses for the next four weeks leading up to Easter.  Expect miracles my friends. I love you so much. Hugs, Lynn 

*****

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Weekend Worship — Holy Hummingbirds, Batman!

1218423_14961810My wonderful and precious friends, I wish we could all be in one room worshipping God together. What a sweet incense that would be, rising up to our Lord, wouldn't it? The beautiful part is, one day we will get to do this. Our room will be the throneroom of heaven and we will all be together singing "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!"

God's promises are so good, so rich and so astounding. I love watching Him work. But I confess I had a rough moment last week. You know, one of those days that just seems to know no other way but bad. Communication completely failed, feelings were hurt. I went to my room and got on my knees to pray for my family, specifically for my hubby and daughter to regroup and work things out, for our financial situation which was like riding a roller coaster at the moment (hubby got laid off but Praise God already had another job lined up—one of the benefits working in Silicon Valley), and for more of God because I was desperate for His presence.

Does this make sense? I know you can relate, my friends. So I asked for God to send me a hummingbird. I love these little birds as much as I love sunflowers. The fascitnate me, their intricasy and delicacy. I asked God to send me just one little hummingbird to show me He's there, that He wants to bless me with more of Himself, that He has a plan for us financially too. 

My prayer revealed that I'd bought into a lie again, thinking that God didn't want good things for me, that He withheld His presence and gifts from me. It was a painful process to be sure, but I'm glad to be rid of it and on guard of it coming back. My mind is being renewed!

Two days later I was putting flowers in a flowerbox on the railing and I heard a the hum. My husband was with me and pointed at this tiny beauty flitting up and down, then buzzing in place for a moment before zinging straight up into the air, then dive-bombing back down.

I was so choked up I couldn't talk! I turned away from my husband because one, I couldn't talk (LOL!) and two, how could I explain this amazing hug from God? A beautiful moment that I so wish I could have shared with him. . .

I'm so glad my daughter Leslie walked out on the porch few moments later so I could tell her because I was about to burst! And now I get to share this with you, my friends. When we delight in God, and desire more of Him in our lives, He loves to give us the desires of our heart. He loves to delight us and delight in us.

Lord, this day, this very special day, I ask that you delight each of my SUM sisters (and brothers) in some small way. Show them your presence and love. Let them know how much You adore them and desire only good for them. Reassure them that You are there and You are working for their good and blessing them. Thank you, Lord Jesus. We absolutely adore You! Amen!

Love you all so very much! Let's worship our great God together!
Dineen 

*****

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No Ordinary Light

Today I want to share something with you that may seem a bit weird. And I’m not even really sure why I’m supposed to share this story. However since the time it occurred the Lord has placed it continually before me as the next post I’m to write. I’m thinking somehow this encounter will greatly encourage someone out there that God is trying to reach.

So here we go.

Many of you know that almost every morning I go on a “walk-n-pray.” I drive to a park on the edge of town, not too far from my home. I walk in a giant loop around the rural vineyards in our Southern California Wine Country. The loop covers dirt roads, areas where it’s paved. Lots of pastures with horses, vines and fruit trees. It’s a paradise to me and every day I experience God in this wilderness.

Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. (Mark 6:46)

Because I have experienced the power of praying in the wilderness, I understand why Jesus often left everyone for the solitude and beauty of the country.

I’ve walked this particular loop for a year now, hundreds of times I’ve walked by very familiar sights, familiar dogs who greet me, other regular walkers on the path and a number of horses and fields of green (At least it’s green right now. It’s brown in the fall).

It might appear to be a boring adventure to travel this same route but God is never boring and I’ve had some crazy encounters. One early morning as I walked the route there was a gentle breeze blowing, most uncommon for the morning hours around here. And for some reason, my iPod wasn’t working. I was just walking in the silence. And THAT’S when I heard it. I heard the trees around me begin to sing worship to God. It was an unusual sound but spectacular. I almost fell down, overwhelmed by the music.

                Neat.

But that’s not the story I want to share with you today. No. What I want to share is what I saw this past week. Like I said, I’ve walked this route hundreds of times past many of the same fields, vines, homes and such. And on this particular morning I was approaching an intersection with a stop sign which marks my halfway point of my walk.

On my walk this particular day I know I had been praying for an anointing of the Holy Spirit. I’d been talking to God about falling behind in my writing assignments because I was recently ill and sat on the couch for two weeks. I was asking Him for words. But mostly, I was listening to my praise music and simply walking in worship. I prayed for a Holy Fire to be lit in my soul. That I would bring light and hope and compassion to people. That I would love people with the love of Christ. And as I walked the Holy Spirit just filled my soul.

It was at this specific time that I happened to look to my left and saw my shadow on the ground. What I saw so surprised me that I was stunned. I stopped, frozen in my tracks. I just stared at my long shadow that crossed into the field next to the road. Today, my shadow wasn’t ordinary. Today, I saw something more.

There was a glowing bright and moving light surrounding my shadow.

As I stared in stunned awe, I heard God say to me, “Lynn, this is what I see when I look upon you.” What I saw was a white light, so pure white that it was brighter than sunlight. And this light around my shadow moved in and out like a sparkling star. Well that’s the best way I can describe it.

                God said,” This is the light that surrounds you Lynn. And you know what?”

                “What Lord?”

                “THIS (light) is what the devil sees when you walk in a room and it scares him to death.”

Whoa! That’s all I heard. So, I thought to myself when I walk forward this glowing light will disappear but it didn’t. It traveled with my shadow. It sparkled and shined so white that now sunlight seems a little yellow in color by contrast to this light.

 Now I’m not sure why God showed this to me and why He created this light to shine around my shadow? And like you, I thought that it’s just the sunrise behind me. However when I began walking and the light followed, still living, moving and glistening, I knew this was something special.

Finally I turned the corner and the light faded away but I will hold that image forever in my head. That moment with God was sheer love. God just wanted to love on me and show me that when He looks down upon me, I shine a light all around.

                HOW COOL IS THAT?

Okay, I tried to capture a photo of this light on my iPhone. It’s right below. And of course, it doesn’t come through like what I saw. But you can see the glow around me, not the movement of the light. It may not look like much to you but I know that someone in our community needs to know that God sees them. That God sees the light they hold within them. That when the evil one looks upon them it shudders with fear and runs away.

  IMG_0539

1 Peter 2:9
B
ut you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

*****

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