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17 entries from April 2013

Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

Hi My Friends, 

It’s been a long, long time since we have had a Donovan Clan update. And that is likely because I haven’t anything remarkable to report on my husband’s faith journey. But yesterday, the Holy Spirit came near and flooded my mind with a thousand memories of God’s faithfulness to this 5 foot 4, blond-brained, messed up but utterly thankful woman. It was as if I had a moment where a lifetime flashed before my eyes.

It wasn’t my lifetime but my daughters. You see on Saturday night my daughter participated in a Rite of Passage.

Senior Prom.

This is exceptional for me for several reasons. And it was for my daughter as well. Let me explain. My daughter hasn’t been one to attend school dances. But after much convincing by me and her friends, she agreed to attend this last dance of her high school years.

We spent the day along with her BFF doing the thing that girls around here do the day of prom. Hair. Makeup. Dress, shoes. We went all out. My husband is convinced we will need to take a second mortgage to afford this "Princess Experience." Yikes!  *grin*

 

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Thanks Shawna for the personal touch.

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Fun at the makeup counter - Macy's

Expenses aside. It turned out to be amazing. A day and evening filled with memories built to last for a lifetime. But on Sunday all of those memories filled my heart and I heard God whisper to me, “Lynn, you have been faithful. And Lynn, I have been faithful.”

 

In an instant I knew the Holy Spirit was revealing to me the truth  of living out my faith in front of my child for all of her 18 years. She has grown up to be an amazing kid. She’s far from perfect and she will tell you that she doesn’t have this faith thing figured out for herself yet. But, she is a good kid who made it through the struggles of a large Southern California High School with integrity and hope.

She is so much like me in many ways. And vastly different in many more. She has a sarcastic wit I can’t begin to understand. She is a self-starter and highly organized (She organized the prom activities, from early in the day, through the parents photos all the way to the transportation to and from). I think she got that from me *wink.*

So, I’m at a place now where my many, many years of parenting a child under my roof are nearing an end. In four short months she will begin her orientation at the college she selected. And my friends, this is where I just cry and thank God for all of His faithfulness. For the years of my prayers for this child are answered. For the times He walked with her in the halls of her school when she was sad or scared. He held her hand. Listened to my words of pleading for her and HE WAS ALWAYS FAITHFUL.

So today this Donovan Clan update is to share my love for God. To encourage you that God hears the prayers of a mother’s (and a father's) heart and to renew your hope that the years, tears and prayers you are pouring into your children are WORTH IT!

It’s one of my proudest days to share with my SUMite family that in the fall, my daughter Caitie will be attending a Christian College. She came to this choice after much discussion, college visits, debate between her parents (typical) and prayer. She will be a student of the Torrey Honors Institute at BIOLA University (Bible Institute of Los Angeles).

The Faithfulness of my God continues to astound me.

I will tell you that this decision was a point of great contention in the Donovan home. As you might guess my husband wanted my daughter to attend his alma mater, UC Berkeley. Typical in our home, these universities are polar opposites in perspectives and ideals.  I write a lot more about this in our new book that releases in October. That book is filled with stories of God’s faithfulness to ordinary mothers. I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Anyhoo, in a few weeks Caitie will graduate from High School. Dineen’s eldest daughter will marry her prince charming. And us two women, -- we are just ordinary wives and moms who stand in the lavish grace and love of a God who takes our breath away….. every….. single….. day……

Please press through your disappointments, your struggles and surrender to the God who adores you. Living on the other side of surrender is where the miracles lie. And it’s so very, very worth it.

I love you. Thank you for sharing this time in my life with me. And thank you for allowing me to share my daughter with you as well.

Here are a few of my photos from the day. Have a great week my friend. I love you. Lynn

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Classic Mike Donovan says to this young man, "Hey, if you take that hat off will a rabbit pop out?"

He cackled up a storm. I whacked my husband on the arm and gave him "the look."

Poor kid, he may never visit the Donovan home again. Sheesh! Personally, I LOVED the hat. So did Caitie.

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My favorite photo of the evening

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Weekend Worship — Lord, I Need You!

Happy weekend, my precious friends! This song by Matt Maher is getting a lot of play time on the airwaves and on my playlist. The words Maher croons out, "Lord, I need you" is the common cry and song of our hearts, isn't it?

What's so profound is what happens when we tell Jesus, "I need You." He swoops in like the hero that He is and saves us. We are forever transformed and changed. And He doesn't stop there. He continually responds to our needs, doesn't He? He is our friend and comforter. 

He is our very righteousness and right-ness with God. Amen?

Lord Jesus, we need you. We need you every hour of every day. Every moment of our lives. And we are so very, very grateful that You hear and answer our cry—each and every one of them. Every time. In Your precious and awe-inspiring name, amen!

Have an amazing and love-filled weekend, my friends! I love you!
Dineen 

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Help! I'm Sinking!

Hello Everyone. Today I'm interrupting our series to share a story that Sue Tipler sent to me. Sue is part of our amazing community. Take a listen in. I bet all of us can relate to her struggle of this past week. Thanks Sue. Hugs, Lynn

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By: Sue Tipler


I felt stuck recently. In fact I felt like I was sinking in quicksand. 

Let me explain. Recently my son objected to attending Sunday morning church with me. During this conversation with my son, my husband surprisingly jumped in and supported me. He said to my son, “You made a commitment to God and you need to follow through on it."

My son asked, "Why haven't you made that commitment?" He followed that with "You're probably wondering why I haven't made that commitment."

His response, "We'll talk about that another time but right now you need to go to church". 

Wow, that was almost refreshing. 

Fast forward to the evening. 

My husband took me to dinner while the kids attended Youth Group. After dinner while we were on our way to pick them up he brought up the conversation from the morning and added.  "When you stop trying to change me everything will be fine".  A few other things were said including an apology for my previous actions; then the killer statement came: "You know I'm too logical to believe."

I dwelled on his statement for days.  It compounded the struggle I was already facing; trying to stay in God's Word, meeting the expectations of my leadership position at Bible study, as well as the duties of wife and mother.  I wanted to give up! I thought to myself, If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em right? 

Finally I wrote a lengthy e-mail to Renee, a Godly friend, who suggested meeting for coffee the next morning; I took her up on it.  One of the things she asked me, trying to understand what it’s like to live  unequally yoked was, "What is what is an analogy for your marriage and home life?  What's it like?”

“It feels like being in quicksand.  You don't even realize you're in it until it's too late; and the more you struggle to get out, the deeper you sink in.”

I sink in the miry depths,
    where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
    the floods engulf me. (Psalm 69:2)

“I need a big stick to pull me out and for me it's my Bible study and Christian friends; but when my husband gets home it's like the stick gets covered in oil and I can't hang on.” 

Renee gave me some encouragement in addition to her response to my e-mail the day before, and asked me to do some research on quicksand to see if there's anything spiritual there.  So I did.  I learned some things and God spoke to me. 

QSFirst, real quicksand is rarely deep enough for you to perish. 

Secondly, it's true that if you struggle and thrash around you'll only sink deeper. 

Third, How do you escape the mire?  Relax, move slowly, look up and let the quicksand move you into a floating position. 

So what was God trying to say to me in this seemingly benign information?  First, God will not let you sink so far you can’t get out.  He will rescue you.

Rescue me from the mire,
do not let me sink (Psalm 69:14a)

Second, if you struggle and thrash around you will sink deeper (remember Peter when he tried to walk on water on his own?).  Third: How to escape?  Relax, look Up, and let God put you in a position to be floating on top of the situation instead of being mired in it. 

I didn’t need a stick. I only need Him.

Even if you don’t see anything happening in your husband’s life, you can relax:

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Look Up:

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Let God move you to be over the situation instead of mired in it:

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:11-12)

And, Oh by the way:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.   Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

We’re all in this together, my friends.

Blessings and hugs,
Sue

Sue TiplerHi, my name is Sue Tipler. I'm from mid-Michigan and have been part of the SUM community for about two years. I've been married to my wonderful husband for almost 28 years and we have two beautiful children: a daughter who's a Freshman in high school and a son who's a 6th-grader in Middle School. I've been struggling with my "spiritually single" status for the majority of our marriage, but never more than in the last 10 years or so. Thanks to an area Bible Study I've been getting closer to the Lord, but my husband has not. I can see God working, but my husband swears he’s "too logical" to believe. He is supportive of me and the children's involvement in church but he wants no part of it. Although I don't visit the SUM website as often as I'd like it is a beacon of light when things get dark.

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Do You Really Believe God is Good?

IStock_000006935189XSmallAs I prayed and asked God what He wanted me to share with you today He kept bringing me back to His goodness. And not just His goodness but BELEIVING He is truly good and desires only good for our lives.

As I listened to His heart and I listen to the hearts of so many others (even my own at times), I sense it is an area that needs more exploration and explanation.

Because if you don’t truly BELIEVE God is good and that He is ALWAYS good, you can’t trust Him.

I mentioned in my last post about God’s motivation being pure—that one thing that God is not capable of is having an impure, selfish, or ulterior motive in anything and everything He does. It’s completely out of His character!

I’ve shared in the past that Romans 8:28 is my life verse. I’ve lived and breathed this verse since I was a young child—before I ever read it. For whatever reason God deemed it GOOD, to placethis truth deep within my heart.

And yet I still am learning the full truth of this amazing piece of Scripture!

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

The phrase “all things” caught my eye this time. As I looked up the Greek words, I discovered something breathtakingly all-encompassing. Though the NASB translation uses two words, the original Greek translation uses just one—something that’s fairly common actually.

The Greek for this phrase, all things, is pas and means all, every, all the things, all kinds, all men, all people, all respects, always, any, anyone, anything, continually, entire, every kind, every respect, everyone and the list goes on and on. I’m just highlighting a few here.

We tend to think of “things” only in the tangible sense, but the Greek word alludes to far more. God works in every area of our lives for our good. In the people we love, all the situations we’re in and in us. Continually. The scope is huge!

My friends, I so want to impart this truth to you because the more we embrace that God is truly working for our good, totally and completely in all ways and always, and that He is completely and totally trustworthy, we walk through life a mere fraction of who God intends us to be. We don’t embrace the power and authority we have through our salvation in Christ (Luke 9:1-2, Eph. 1:19-20) because we think we can’t, we shouldn’t, we’re afraid, or we don’t even realize what’s available to us.

Now let’s take a look at one more word in this priceless biblical gem. That word is “purpose.” The Greek word is prothesis and means a setting forth, sacred, consecrated, purpose and resolute. It’s derived from the Greek word protithemi, which means to set before, displayed publicly, planned and purposed.

Now put that together with what comes before this word, purpose: “to those who are called...”

We are not just saved by grace, my precious friends, we are called to join our Lord in His good works, in His sacred and consecrated plans and purposes! And not just for ourselves but for others too, like our pre-believers! God just doesn’t give us the necessary, He gives us His very best. And He entrusts it to us. You better believe He has a special plan and purpose for you in your marriage, as a mother, at your job. Even at the grocery store! (Don’t forget those divine appointments.)

God trusts us enough to entrust His love and purposes in us. Can you trust Him?

Let’s shout a holy YES from our rooftops!

Love you so very much!
Dineen

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Part the Jordan River, Part III

(Part IV of our current Series: Parting the Red Sea and Parting the Jordan River.)

Good Monday Morning Sumites.

This is going to be a fantastic week. And I think we are going to discover what can happen in an ordinary believer’s life when we take a step of faith and then step out in trust. Ahhhhh, hold on because this gets really, really good.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comLet’s pick up our story from Joshua 3 and find out what happened to the people who were stuck on one side of the river with no way to get across to the Promised Land. Read with me.

Joshua 3:14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar however I have some interesting perspective and first-hand experience in watching faith activated. I’ve become convinced that somehow our freewill is tied up in all of this but how that plays out individually is a mystery to me. But I can say with certainty there are absolutely many times where God is anxiously waiting for us to say yes to Him. He wants to bring healing and hope and real miracles but we must take the step of faith. We activate our faith birthing trust and we step out into many times situations that seem impossible and can be frightening. And what I think happens most of the time is God calls us to step out in faith and we fear judgment of “man” and we stay sidelined because we assume we will look like fools to those watching.

So I have a question for our community today. Think about your life right now. Do you think God is waiting for you to exercise your freewill and to step out in a moment of faith to be part of what He is doing on planet earth?

I want you to pray sincerely about this all week. Ask God to place a burden upon you so heavily that you can’t escape it if there is some action He is calling you to take in your faith walk. Tell me about it in the comments. Be real so we can pray with you and can pray for one another.

My next post will be about how Jesus taught us to take a step of trust and how He modeled it for us here on earth. Good stuff ahead. We are planting the seeds now because the harvest is around the corner… Remember you are the harvesters and our God wants our participation in His purposes.

I can't wait to hear about your life and what God is directing in your faith walk. I love you my friends. I really love you, Lynn

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Weekend Worship — Lay Me Down!

My precious Sumites, I love this song by Chris Tomlin because it's about the surrendered life and the JOY of living like we belong to Jesus. Because we do! We are His and He is ours. This is also what Scripture means when it says, "the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Neh. 8:10.)

When we walk in this place of surrender and obedience, we know freedom, joy and peace. To the world it makes no sense, but we know better, don't we? And oh, my spirit longs to share this with everyone! We want everyone to know our amazing healer and comforter, Jesus. Especially in light of the horrible events this past week.

We have the Holy Spirit and God is calling us to share Him! Have an amazing weekend, my dear sisters and brothers in Jesus. May His presence fill and rest upon you, may His blessings rain down over you and your family and may His strength, courage, love, power and authority reign supreme in your life!

We adore You, Jesus! Amen!

Love you so much, my friends!
Dineen

 

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Part the Jordan River

Hey SUMers! 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comDid you enjoy the read through Joshua 3:1-7?

I wonder about something. When you read the OT passages do you kinda view the people of the stories as characters. Like a character in a fiction book? Well, Joshua is a real man. He lived on this planet and I can’t wait to meet him one day. I’m going to ask him a bazillion questions about living to be an old man, yet still having the health and vitality of a youth. What was it like to see the pillar of fire at night and the cloud during the day. Were you as astonished as me because your traveled in the wilderness for 40 years and yet your clothing and shoes never wore out?

                I’m sure I will pepper him with so many questions that he will have to spend a least a 100 years with me alone to satisfy my curiosity. Ahhhh, to dream about our ever-lasting future…. It’s one of my favorite pastimes.

                My friends, there is so much we can learn from Joshua but what I want to take a look at what begins to play out starting in verse 7. Now remember with me that the Israelites have been wondering. They have witnessed God move for them with supernatural miracles. God has now released them to finally to take ownership of the Promised Land. We could do an entire study on these concepts alone. But what I want us to recognize is a couple of things.

                Verse 8: God commands Joshua: Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’

                Now catch something here. There is a shift in God’s expectations of His people. For years the people have watched God provide for them supernaturally with Manna, water from a rock, escape the Egyptians through the Red Sea. But today, this day, something is different.

                Read with me: 9 Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” 

14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. 

Okay, I can’t even begin to explain why the river is at flood stage during harvest season but it is roaring. It is wide and virtually uncrossable for the 1.5 million people of Israel. But, let’s not get stuck on that phenomenon. Let’s get stuck on the next one.

God instructs the people to MAKE THE FIRST MOVE. He commands the priests to step into the river FIRST. He instructs them to carry the Ark of the Covenant and to step into the raging waters. They must TRUST that God will do what He promised and cut the flow off.

They had to choose that very moment to activate their faith. For years they have watched God take care of them but today, they will take His Presence with them and step into the water. This is when their faith is activated and faith becomes trust.

God wants them to grow up. To become a people of trust to be participants in the miracles and not just the benefactors of His goodness and grace. I’m also intrigued that in just a couple of chapters the people ate grain from the land and I quote Joshua 5:12, “The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land.”

So I can bet you know where I’m going with this train of thought.

Do you believe this kind of trust is what God wants from us? Thoughts? Love you, Lynn

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Trust + Surrender + Obedience = Breakthrough

13218223_sMy friends, a few weeks ago I talked about A Step of Faith. In that post I said “we will have to take a believing step of faith to activate the promise we’ve been given.” This was all about trusting God and moving in that trust (faith) to step forward.

Nearly a month later I wrote a post about The Surrendered Life. In that post I shared, “The better I know God, the more I trust Him. And the more I trust Him, the more I am able to surrender to Him.”

Now God has me on the next stage of this journey to understand obedience. I see it this way. As we come to know God and truly believe He is good (Think about that right there and see if you truly believe God is good. Remember, He’s not capable of an impure motivation. He is just GOOD and works for our good. Always. Read Romans 8, specifically verse 28) we are able to surrender more and more of our lives (the outward manifestations of our actions and desires) and more of our hearts (where our desires and motivations behind our actions are birthed). I hope that makes sense.

So we have knowledge and understanding from experience, which enables us to trust God more, which then enables us to surrender more.

Then comes obedience.

Often times our surrender will require an act of obedience. Sometimes it’s more inward, like surrendering our control over our lives. We make a choice, we give this to God and then our actions and choices thereafter reflect this choice. Remember the power of choice.

But sometimes God wants us to specifically move in obedience in a particular way, especially when it comes to strongholds in our lives where we have to surrender a thing, a dream or even a person. Anything that holds more importance in our lives than God is an idol. Even if it’s something we see as being good for us, if we make an idol of it, God can’t give it to us, whatever it is because it’s not in His GOOD character to lead us into sin.

I have walked most of my life with a particular stronghold in my life that I have asked God over and over again to remove. If you’re thinking of Paul right now and his struggle, in which God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” then you’re right on target with me. Just call me Paul (grin). God gives me that verse frequently. I’ve prayed for years for God to take it out of my life, yet now I’m realizing the truth of this quote I read in a devo from Rick Warren:

“The secret to changing your life is not willpower. It’s God giving you the will and the power through the Holy Spirit to do what needs to be done.”

That means we have to make the choice to follow God wherever He takes us. Yes, we can ask God to move in us and change whatever we are battling within ourselves, but now I’m discovering I can’t keep reverting to my willpower when I don’t see results fast enough and I can’t just sit there and expect God to do all the work.

I knew this already, but for some reason, I was still holding onto to what I wanted and doing it myself instead of surrendering it completely to God and trusting Him to do this change in me. It’s a daily walk of obedience.

The amazing thing is, since I have made this choice to be “all in” and do it God’s way, I already feel stronger and more resolved. My choice has activated the promise (God asking me to trust Him to do this in me) and I feel the will and the power through the Holy Spirit already in action.

This is the start of my breakthrough and I’m praying for more. All this that I’m sharing here today is true for everything we walk through, whether it's a stronghold, a trial, or even a dream God has set in our heart. God wants us to walk fully in this will and power through the Holy Spirit.

It’s a life long journey and adventure, that’s for sure. Not easy but challenging and exciting. It’s that verse from Psalm 34, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man (and woman) who trusts in Him!”

This is truth behind the path of faith, the surrendered life, the abundant life, the intentional life—of Jesus, who is THE WAY, and THE TRUTH and THE LIFE!

Can I get an amen?

Love you like crazy!
Dineen

Image credit: alvinge / 123RF Stock Photo

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Where is the parting of my Red Sea?

SoocI’m wondering if you’ve noticed???

There has been a shift in our atmosphere here among the Sumites. This house has gone through a transition in the last six months. Dineen and I have talked about this transition a lot but what was really cool is that last week I was talking to Beverly Etzel, one of our long-time readers at the conference and this is what she said, “In the early years our discussions (posts at SUM) centered around husbands (spouses). Now they are centered around our faith. They are upward focused (on God) instead of side-focused (on man).

Whoa!

She is so right. So I’m wondering if you have noticed the transition in yourself? Have you watched your Sumite friends here online make this shift also? Well, do you know why this shift has taken place?

In the last week I’ve talked to God a lot about our community and I keep hearing this passage that Jesus spoke in Luke.

He (Jesus) told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2 NIV

I’m convinced that this family at SUM is in training to be Harvesters. My friends, think about it. I’m convinced by the Spirit that this time period and this generation sits on the precipice of one of the greatest revivals the world has ever experienced. We have been chosen to take what we have gained through our community here to the communities, the individuals, the broken and bleeding souls around us, we are to take the Good News!!!

You may read this right now and begin nodding your head because you know this is true. You may read this and think, “Lynn, you’re crazy.” But I want you to know that if you are part of this community, you are being called to be a harvester. Especially if you feel ill-equipped when you read this. I always feel ill-equipped. It’s us ordinary people that bring great glory to God when we move in His love and power to accomplish His purposes. So, as we move forward in this series, I want you to pray about how God is already using you as a harvester and ask Him about what more He has for you in the days ahead.

It’s gonna’ be a wild ride. Scary at times, completely over our heads at times, fantastic and supernatural, miracle-filled, kinda journey. But it’s going to be the best adventure you have ever lived. That’s a promise.

This interesting transition in our community ( our family) has been fascinating, beautiful and filled with God’s anointing and I bear witness to the fact that lives have changed. The Holy Spirit is alive and well here at SUM. Amen.. AMEN! And now we, the SUMers (Another Ro coined name) will step up and take what we know to people who need an encounter with the Most High God, His Son Jesus and the Spirit that lives in us.

Onward.

So, let’s launch into this new study. There is much to share and uncover and it’s so cool that when we approach a study God puts the same subject on both my heart and Dineen’s. This study is no exception.

Last Saturday Dineen did some teaching from the book of Joshua. This past week my Daily Bible took me through this very passage as well. So we are going to spend some time with Joshua, the Israelites and a few others from the ancient times. There is such a richness in the OT and it’s going to spring to life here in the weeks ahead and prove that God’s WORD no matter how old, still is living and powerful and filled with lessons that will grow our faith walk.

Get out your Bible and read with me Joshua 3. Read through verse seven and stop there. We are setting the stage here. The family of Abraham has been liberated from Egypt over 40 years ago through a series of supernatural miracles. And as they left Egypt the multitude watched God part the Red Sea and the people walked through on dry ground. This is a critical fact to remember as we move through this study.

But let’s camp today on verse seven. There is a phrase in this verse that intrigues me. The Lord says to Joshua, “so they may know that I am with you.” God wants the Israelites to recognize that God is with Joshua and is preparing to do the miraculous to confirm His Presence upon this man.

My questions: Are you attracted to people whom you recognize have the Spirit of God in them? Do you think people today want to see God is with you?

This entire series is going to be about the Presence of God in us. It’s about our faith and how faith in God isn’t enough to see the miracles we are looking for. We need to add something to our faith and when we add that “something” that is when we see the parting of the waters, the signs and wonders, the miracles. And I’m talking about real miracles.

You know what that component is? It’s Trust.

Trust is different from faith and that’s what we are going to talk about on Friday. For today, read through this chapter of Joshua and ponder what is it about trust that is critical to the kinds of supernatural miracles we are asking for.

It’s going to be a great series. I’ve have some new stories to tell and we are all being called to the harvest fields. Get ready my friends. We are going to ROCK this world with the Good News!!!

So share with me your thoughts on Joshua, faith, trust or just leave an AMEN, I’m in! Love you. Have an amazing week living in His Presence. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Weekend Worship — FREEDOM!

My precious friends, since our conference I am more and more convinced that God is moving is a big way and His message is all about Hi love and freedom—the freedom that comes when we walk in faith, trusting Him for our lives and knowing who ecactly we are in Jesus.

Recently I wrote a couple posts about steps of faith and I'm seeing that same message everywhere. God is speaking the same things to people from all over the world—people who don't even know each other and it's big, big, BIG!

When I catch a glimpse of that big picture (thank you, Lord), I am awestruck and struck by God's GOODNESS. All that He does comes from His goodness. That's His nature and the only way He works. He is completely truthworthy and faithful!

I chose the lyrics version of this song from Jesus Culture because someone out there needs to see these words and accept them as God's truth for them. Let's worship together, my friends, and praise God for our freedom in Jesus and ask Him to do even more in our lives so that we can share it with others. 

Our Abba wants us FREE!

Love you so very, very much!
Dineen

 

*****

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Live With Intention

So, can I just say it’s been the weirdest week. I have experienced every emotion from sheer elation to deep sadness and about everything in between. With that said, perhaps my “word filter” isn’t in full gear meaning that you are going to get my guts… It could be Icky… but it’s always going to be authentic.

Here are my thoughts. I love Rosheeda and truly have felt a deep sadness all week. I’m not a sad person so this is a really weird place to be. But then there are moments when an email arrives and I hear about how our Great King has touched a life. It’s for those moments when God encounters a person and they are forever changed… It’s for those moments that I live.

I need to tell you that I hear the Lord saying to me, “Move forward.” He does not want me to forget Ro but He reminded me that the time on this earth is short. There is so much work to do. The Harvesters are few and we MUST push forward. God is desperate to reach people with His love and healing. So, we are moving forward. I may mention Rosheeda from time-to-time but please know that even if I don’t mention her--- it’s not because I’m not missing her. It’s only that I have to push forward and to remain focused on the goal ahead. It’s about accomplishing God’s purposes. So I will continue to grieve but on this forum we have still so much to learn. So let’s get moving.

With that said, I’m feeling the passion about a new series. It’s titled, Faith Isn’t Enough. Do you wonder where the miracles are? Are you puzzled about why you are struggling and why God isn't moving? Well, I’m itching to talk about this because as believers, I’m convinced we need faith. Yet we need something that functions along with faith. And that something is where the power is at. And that something is what we are going to be talking about Monday.

For today I want to share some happy things. Photos and snippets from the Intentional Life Conference. I also want to thank the ministry team for the phenomenal job they did to organize and pull off such a fantastic event. THANK YOU.

So enjoy the photos. Enjoy the quotes. Leave me a note in the comments. I LOVE YOU. I really love you. 

 

Ministry team
Ministry Team

 

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Best quote of the weekend heard by Teresa T. “This is better than five hours of marriage counseling.”  LOVE IT!!! Not sure who said this but THANK YOU. Made my weekend!!!!

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Charlotte, Lynn, Dineen, Martha B.

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Lynette, Dorothy, Hanna


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Teresa T and Denise

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Some of the amazing Prayer Team


 

Hi Lynn,

I had an amazing encounter with The Holy Spirit on Saturday. He shows up when we least expect Him! When I signed up for the course, I thought I'd have some laughs. Maybe some tears. I'd tell the ladies next to me, "That was great, right?" And forget all about it when getting my boys ready for church on Sunday.

After you ended the morning session, I could not contain myself. The letter you read to a group of ladies on Friday prior to the conference continued to burn within me. I went forward in attempts to encourage you and yet received an amazing word from The Lord through you, Lynn. You didn't know me, yet the words you prayed over me, He has been placing on my heart to pray. That never happens to me.

Thank you for your kindness and transparency. You may have already forgotten the names and faces you met. But I will never forget you taking the time to share His heart and His words over me. I choose to walk in His authority and His anointing. ~Vivian

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I have always felt less than deserving, or insignificant. I have always wanted to live a life that is INTENTIONAL, a life that matters. Today I know I matter, that He loves me. I 'knew' this on a mostly superficial level, but for the last few months this is being repeated over and over to me. I finally see it...within the depths of my heart I see it. Thank you Daddy. ~Lynette

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Basket of lies

During the freedom portion of the conference when Lynn and Dineen were praying and people were laying down the lies they had believed, I was still working through my own stuff and they were wrapping up and I heard Lynn say, ‘Lord, someone in here isn’t finished…’ I know, and I think I knew, that was me. So the band played another song and God kept speaking truth into me and blew me away. I remember it was the moment He told me I would have absolutely EVERYTHING I wanted, Everything I‘ve dreamed about in this life etc. – aka everything I’ve been wanting and desiring and waiting for…  I was overcome with emotion and His love and I just melted! ~Gillian

 

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Lynn, Gillian, Noah, Dineen


 

The conference was incredible! What a BLESSING you two are to so many!!!! HUGS HUGS! Love in Him! ~Malinn

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Lynn again: And my friends, you know how I love the Doves God sends my way. On Sunday morning as the plane was taxying down the runway to take me home, I opened a gift from a sweet Sumite, Debbie, who wasn’t even at the conference but sent it along with Martha Bush. Here is what I unwrapped. 

 

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It's a photo of a mama bird in her nest.

 

The emotions of the weekend overtook me and I wept right there on the plane. And to just make it more amazing on Monday Vivian shared a photo of a dove that was resting at her house.

Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~ I love my Daddy so much…. 

Dineen and I promised God that if He opened the doors, we would go. We are desperate to share the Lord’s Presence with others. In Him is healing. In Him is health. In Him is joy. In Him is abundance. We are only the conduits. God is desperate to help His people. Desperate for their healing, happiness and hope to be restored. So, the conference was not about us. 

It was always about an encounter with the Most High. And I am certain lives were forever altered in the Presence of our Great King, His Son and the Holy Spirit. That is why we push forward. That is why we will forever share the hope we have because it’s miraculous. 

We love you. Have an amazing day and see you back here for Monday. It’s going to be a great series. It will change the way you see your faith and you will step onto the path of miracles. Hugs, Lynn  

 

Thank you Daddy for your unfathomable redemptive love. Thank you for the lives that were changed. Thank you for the healing and thank you for your love. We love You, Your Son and the Spirit that binds us all together. Amen.

*For some reason I don't have a photo of Beverly or Becky and if I missed any of the other SUMites in the photos, pleae email me and send me a photo lynn@mismatchedandthriving.com

*****

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The Path of Faith

Zv7DW5Pjtz6K9BomWNbQ2cVm8J7DiiBoxVfSTRlhkg4My precious friends, I know we're mourning the loss of Rosheeda and celebrating her new home in glory! Ro is the one who inspired me a couple years ago to surrender to God and to seek to live and understand what a surrendered life looks like. She lived and breathed it. She lived and breathed Jesus. And that's what we shared about her at the conference, that she lived an intentional life for God.

Our conference was a huge success—successful just as God wanted it to be. Lives and hearts were healed and Lynn and I were allowed to be a part of that and witness it. I'm still amazed and astonished at what He did—what He spoke to my heart would happen just before the conference. Why am I surprised? We'd prayed for it, asked for it for months, weeks, then days before.

There would be healing. And there was.

Truly amazing—I can barely find the words to describe my awestruck wonder at how God does that. We began the day in ashes and up from those burning embers rose such beauty and restoration that we could only stand in wonder and be there in any way God called us to.

God comforted, sustained and worked through us to bring His Kingdom to Earth as it is in Heaven. What a glorious tribute to God's presence among us, not only there but among this community too. So many of you prayed for the women attending and for the weekend to bring so much to their lives.

And God heard every prayer.

This community is so amazing. Our hearts are joined in so many ways, but mostly in our love for Jesus, for our Abba and by the same Holy Spirit the dwells in each of us.

This morning as I went on my walk and pray, I followed my usual path and felt God’s nudge to take several pictures of my path. Strange, but as I did He showed me what He wanted me to see and share with you.

Sometimes God asks us to change direction, yet the new path He’s telling us to follow isn’t visible. And it won’t be unless we continue forward, trusting that the path is there and that He’ll make the way clear.

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We walk a little further and the new path that was once indiscernible to our own eyes now becomes visible and makes sense. With renewed confidence, we quicken our step and continue on.

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Until we see a turn in the path. What’s around the corner? Even though it’s unexpected to us, it’s not for God, Who tells us to keep going and trust Him for what’s yet again invisible to our eyes. We remember the start of this journey and God’s faithfulness then, which has increased our faith to trust Him again and continue forward.

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And then we reach the final destination of our journey—this place God purposed us to be all along. He always knew the way and could have told us the full picture but instead He wants us to trust Him for each step as He gently guides us through each unexpected curve or those places where we have to trust the path is there even if we can’t see it.

That’s when we get to look back and see all the curve and twists that brought us to this new place, this new territory in our lives. We catch a greater glimpse than where we started of God’s faithfulness and care for us. We begin to understand that just because we can’t see the full picture, it doesn’t mean our life is out of control.

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And to see this faithfulness so clearly in our lives is to know God better, to understand His great heart for us, and to grow in trust. This is the path that births big faith within us and brings God’s presence more visible around us.

So, my precious friends, God’s heart is for you to take the next step. Whatever that may be. Trust that the path is there. Trust that God has prepared a way for you. And trust that He is walking every step of it with you.

Our SUM community is a special part of His provision along the way. We are here to cheer each other on when the journey gets tough, here to lend a shoulder to the ones too tired to keep going and here to celebrate all seasons of life, and death, with each other.

As Ro so beautifully dubbed us, we are the SUMites. 

I love you all so very much,

Dineen

*****

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Rosheeda Lee

This page is to honor our ministry partner, Rosheeda Lee, who went home to glory on April 5, 2013. Rosheeda served this community with such love that we are forever changed. 

Please take time to read a letter from her parents, Sheila and Roderick Lee. Click here. The post below is the original post for our community and the comments in this post shout the legacy of Rosheeda and her love for the people of Spiritually Unequal Marriage. 

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My Sweet Family of SUMites, (Did you know Rosheeda coined our name? *sniff*) 

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Rosheeda Lee

It is with deep grief and shock that I (Lynn) and Dineen write to you today. On Friday, April 5, 2013 our dearest sister in Christ, Rosheeda Lee, was killed in an automobile accident. 

 

Rosheeda was on her way to meet us at the Intentional Life Conference that afternoon. The details are sketchy right now but they think she was trying to avoid an accident, swerved, lost control of her SUV and it flipped. She did not suffer and the LORD was so gracious in limiting her physical trauma to her body. She passed on her way to the hospital. It was quick and she DID NOT SUFFER. 

I don’t even know how to convey to you how much I loved Ro and how much Dineen loved her. We heard the news early on Saturday morning before our conference began. I cried my eyes out. I’m still crying, so is Dineen and I know may of you are as well. 

Ro was an intricate part of our ministry here. She has led our annual fasting in January for years. She just wrote our Easter devotions last week. I’m re-reading them now with new love and grief. She also handled our prayer team and our Twitter account. She did all of this because she loved me and Dineen and she loved all of you so very much. Mostly she loved Jesus and His people.

What I’m discovering over the past several days is that Rosheeda served like this wherever she was. She has touched lives for our Jesus in ways we will never understand or uncover but Jesus saw every deed. 

MOSTLY JESUS SAW HER BEAUTIFUL HEART. 

She is home now with our Daddy and she would likely be sayin, “Y’all, why you bein’ sad? I’m having the time of my life and will see y’all soon.” 

WE LOVE YOU ROSHEEDA LEE. 

You have left a lasting impact on our lives. Dineen and I can’t wait to hug your neck in glory. 

My friends, let’s honor Ro by sending a card or even better a hand-written letter to her parents and share how she impacted our lives with her love. Please write this week to: 

To: The Parents of Rosheeda Lee
C/O Laurel Land Funeral Home
6000 S R L Thornton Fwy 
Dallas, TX 75232

The services will be held Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, on Saturday at 11 a.m. 

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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit 

Also, today it would greatly encourage Dineen and I and all of our community if you could leave just a quick note in the comments and share how she encouraged you, share your love for her, your thoughts on her service to all of us and how her love impacted you. We would be so, so thankful. We are trying to work through our grief which is compounded knowing she was on her way to meet us. 

Rosheeda Lee, I know in my heart you are with our Jesus and are having an amazing experience but for those of us still here, we miss you. We will always miss you and you have forever made me and Dineen and all of us better people. WE love you so much, Lynn and Dineen

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If you would like to contribute a small amount to the flowers we are sending from SUM, please click on the button below. We will include your name on the card. Please do not contribute more than $5. Thank you. Love, Lynn

***Update*** I've ordered the flowers. Thank you to everyone who contributed. We will send such beauty to the service from this community who loved Rosheeda so much. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Weekend Worship — I Surrender!

My precious friends, I'm still pondering the meaning of surrendering our lives to Jesus. I've always been struck by how Jesus stood before His accusors and said nothing to defend Himself. That speaks to me of a holy dignity that rises above the opinions of men and sits squarely and humbly with God. 

The Bible tells us to be holy. I beginning to think surrendering is part of being holy—a place where nothing matters at much as our Lord and Savior. Nothing compares to Him either. And we literally can't outgive God! The more we give ourselves to Him, the more He gives Himself to us! It's an amazing and beautiful exchange.

  • We let go of our self-righteousness and receive the righteousness of Jesus.
  • We give Him our man made dignity and step into royalty as co-heirs with Jesus.
  • We hand over our self and world-made identities and receive our true identity in Jesus as children of God who are accepted, adopted, blessed, chosen, cherished, forgiven, loved, lavished and redeemed.

God's economy is so much better than what the world has to offer. Don't let the enemy tell you diffently either, because he will try to convince you that you're making a huge sacrifice when in reality you're letting go of lies and walking in truth.

The TRUTH—Jesus, who is our way, our TRUTH, and our life. So keep Him belted firmly around your waist, my friends. Yep, that word—TRUTH—in John 14:6 is the same Greek word in Ephesians 6. Jesus is our belt of truth and the piece of our armor that keeps the rest in place.

Now let's worship Him together, sing our hearts out to Him in surrender and tell our Lord and Savior that we want more and more of Him. 

Love you dearly!
Dineen 

 

*****

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Dating a Non Christian?

So, let's talk about this. What are your thoughts on what Pastor Keller shares? Hugs, Lynn. PS. I will be joining in the conversation as time permits this weekend and then again when I'm home on Monday. Hugs, Lynn

 

*****

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The Surrendered Life

7355562_sMy friends, Lynn and I are just days away from meeting some of you at the Intentional Life Conference. I am so excited to finally meet you in person and give you hugs! This community (SUMites as Ro called us!) is so precious to me. Those of you not coming, I feel like I’m carrying each of you in my heart to this conference.

These last few months we have witnessed God do some amazing things right here in our online community. I’m excitedly anticipating what God is going to do this weekend in the lives of all of the women attending. We are praying down the heavens to rest in and upon the church in Kingwood, their precious team working so hard behind the scenes to put everything in place, and for each and every woman who attends to leave on Saturday with a fresh anointing on their lives and new freedom that will manifest on a daily basis.

Just as we pray SUM community here too because Lynn and I want so desperately to see each one of you walking in this place of power and freedom in Christ because of what He's done for us and who we are in Him.

The week before Easter I was struck by the complete and pure example that Jesus presents as "surrendered." We think we “giving up” so much when we surrender to God—the world certainly thinks so and the enemy has convinced us of it too—but I’m discovering that when we surrender our lives to Jesus, that's when we WIN! We receive our complete birthright and inheritance in Him! In light of this holy dignity and His righteousness, who would want pride-based dignity before men and rights the world determines and changes on an hourly basis?

Some things we surrender once and we’re done with it because we have chosen to follow God. Some things we surrender for a time, waiting patiently and expectantly (or at least try to!) until God returns it to us in His promises and miracles. And some things we have to surrender on a daily and even hourly basis because our best choice is to trust God.

Surrendering isn’t always easy, and most definitely is always a process but the more I do it the more I embrace this amazing truth in my life.

My friends, SURRENDER = FREEDOM!

When I have surrendered my pain, God brought healing. When I have surrendered my grief, God brought comfort. When I have surrendered my expectations, God filled my needs. When I have surrendered my wants and dreams, He has given me more than I ever hoped for or imagined. When I give Him my heart, my worship and my trust by stepping out in faith, He has given me Himself.

This is the surrendered life. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. It’s not for the hero but the humble at heart. It’s not always what you want but it will always be exactly what you need most.

It’s about finding the heart of God and resting there. My friends, this is our peace that surpasses understanding in the storms of life. In this place, we can do anything and everything with and through Jesus, who’s Holy Spirit strengthens, guides, comforts and loves us, and know JOY even when everything around us is chaos.

The better I know God, the more I trust Him. And the more I trust Him, the more I am able to surrender to Him. I’m learning to leave off the “buts” and just believe.

Just believe.

Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, Father God, I pray that every woman and man who reads this prayer would receive a fresh anointing of faith. I pray that doubts would fall away, fears would flee and every day would bring new and stronger belief in You! Lord, open our eyes completely to Your presence in Your Word, the world and in us! Forgive us our unbelief and help us BELIEVE! You are the God of the impossible. Help us to walk every day with the expectation that You are present and working all around us. We stand ready to take the next step, Lord! Show us the way! In Your powerful name, Jesus, amen!

I love you all so very much, my friends, and I am praying and believing with you!

Dineen

*****

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Faith, Hope, and Love

Hi Everyone, 

Wow, it’s been a crazy, busy week. And now we are heading into our conference week with a million things to do. But before the crazy ramps up, let me just share a part of my heart.

 

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My favorite photo from the weekend. My daughter, Caitie, and my grandaughter, Elise. Elise is my son's daughter.

 

I am positively psyched to FINALLY meet some of you this weekend. Can you believe it? 

And before I get distracted about all of that…. Can we all stand in unison to applaud and thank Rosheeda Lee for leading us through the Passion Week of remembrance? THANK YOU Rosheeda for serving the Kingdom of God. Your words are anointed and the love you give to this community shines brightly in the heavenlies… 

My friends, if you are joining us on Friday or if you are not, please hear me now and KNOW this in the depths of my heart. I love you. And if we don’t meet this weekend God promises there will be many other opportunities on this earth and we will absolutely spend thousands upon thousands of years together in the age to come. So let’s all pray for one another. That the seeds planted this past week and the weekend ahead will grow in us and our spouses, and our children. Let’s pray for miracles. And I mean real, supernatural miracles. Let’s ask God for the hard stuff and expect answers to real prayers of the ridiculous. 

I pray ridiculous, fantastic, outlandish prayers with expectation because my God does not disappoint. He is a God of lavish love, prosperity and purpose. So, I’m expecting Him to show up with power, healing and life-transforming love this weekend. And all of us, whether at the conference or not, will be affected. 

With that said, I also am compelled by the Spirit to speak to someone in this house who needs this word. HOPE. We are children of the God of hope. It may appear at this hour you have no hope. That your circumstances, your life, your pain will never change. I say to you now, “That is ta lie from the pit of hell. Reject that lie.” Because the truth is your life will change. Your pain will subside. You will see a sliver of light upon your situation. God has told me to share that it’s not up to me, Lynn Donovan, to tell you how or when your circumstances will change but to assure you through the love and power of Christ, they will. I can’t explain God’s timeline but God will work through your circumstances to bring change. 

How do I know? The Bible, God’s Holy Word, is a book, a blueprint for life and it’s a living hope.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 Faith sees.

Hope feels.

Love heals.

 If you are battling depression, financial ruin, marriage crisis, serious health scares, wayward children, a world gone mad, dysfunctional family, and crippling pain, Jesus sees you right where you are and feels your despair. It is not His will for you to live this way. It is His will for you to thrive. 

How do I know? Because God has delivered me from so many of these. My testimony is your hope. Drink deeply the love of our Savior. And have faith. Hope in His promises and live in His lavish love. 

Have an amazing week living in the Presence. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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