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19 entries from May 2013

Meet Joanne

Today it's our great delight to introduce one of our SUMites who has stepped into a leadership role in our community by sharing her words of encouragement throughout the comments here on the SUM site an on FB. For a long while we have considered Joanne as part of our ministry. We call her our Community Care Chairwoman because she shares her open heart with love with so many of you. She prays and comments back to so many of you who leave comments. 

We so appreciate that Joanne just voluntarily stepped into this role as our writing and speaking schedules get crazy and we simply don't have enough hours to be as active as we want to be. But, isn't it just like our Lord to send people to be part of this community just when we need them.

So today meet Joanne. Leave her a word of encouragement and a word of how she has encouraged you. We love you Joanne and are so glad to share your face with those you love here, the SUMites.

 

Joanne Marsh
Joanne and Hero


 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 

Born. Born again. Waiting actively for eternal life. 

I came to the Spiritually Unequal Marriage website through a Christian friend who discovered this community while surfing the internet. She and I both shared and supported each other in our struggles of marriage to an unbeliever. At first I logged in occasionally just to read but as life continued with battles I found myself needing to interact with the conversations.

My interaction of late I believe has been initiated with memories of our sweet "Ro" who went home this year, 2013. As I observed some comments with no replies my heart felt that each person should have a response, just as I recalled Ro taking time to do. There's a feeling of loneliness in a SUM and I do not want anyone to feel they are not "seen" or "heard" in this community.

Growing to understand the "love one another" commandment at such a time as this in my life, I am truly appreciating why this rule is key!

We need to stand beside one another as children of God. When we do this we are encouraged, comforted, strengthened and empowered to keep marching on. We bring God and His power into our presence with prayers in this community that is feeling more like family now, and that confirms to us daily that all things ARE possible WITH God.

As we grow, we learn. As we learn, we share. As we share, we mature.

Visit Joann on her site: Joanne Marsh Portraits

God speaks loudest to you through that which He has given you great joy.

*****

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

SUM Books 4


Wedding Pictures!!!

My friends, I'm so happy that I get to share these with you! The entire weekend was amazing! So full of love and joy. I felt all your prayers through the weekend for the wedding, for my daughter, for my health—all of it. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

As we drove to the wedding venue, my daughter Leslie excitedly pointed out this in the sky. Can you see the dove? It was so big and clear. I know this was God's sweet message to tell us His blessings were all over this event and marriage.

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My biggest fear was having a coughing fit during the ceremony and I was fine for the entire day. The reception afterwards was truly the celebration I'd hoped it would be and more. Most of us danced and laughed into the night. It was glorious! 

Here are some pictures that are the highlights of the day. The photographer, Nerinna Valera, has even more on her Facebook Page here: Nerinna Valera Photography. She and her team are amazing!

 

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Dad and Mom getting the bride ready...

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Rachel with her sister Leslie 
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A sweet moment between the bride and her grandma (my mother, Donna).


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"First Meet" (Gives the bride and groom a private first meeting before the ceremony.)

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Bridal Party!

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Dad (Mike) walking our girl down the "aisle."

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Mr. & Mrs. Silva!

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Yes, that's Princess Leia with Han Solo (May 25th is the release date of all the Star Wars movies.)

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Leslie giving a toast to the couple (and making us all cry!)

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Thank you for sharing my joy, my friends, and for indulging me in this photofest. God so exceeded my expectations and answered all our prayers for an amazing and joy-filled day. I can't believe I have a married daughter! I can't believe I have a son-in-love! And I almost can't believe how richly blessed I am, but God keeps reminding me. 

Love you all so much!
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Miracle Update

Below is a note from Lisa about the miracle this community helped to create across the world. You can read more about it here. Thank you SUMites your love is streatching to distant lands that are desperate for the love of our Savior. I love you, Lynn

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Seven months ago, I was pleading with God to heal me of malaria...like, NOW. He heard, but didn't obey my command. His plan was to walk me through it, not take me out of it. It was a longer walk than I anticipated, but worthy of my time. Along that path, I came to know that 50% of malaria can be prevented by sleeping under a mosquito net. Say what?? 

My next prayer was, "Lord, I need money for 500 mosquito nets."

He instantly shot back, "Why ask for 500 when you know I always give you twice what you ask for?"

"Ok then...I need money for 1,000!" 

Today, this very minute, 1000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets are piled into a cramped little room in Yuwaraj Gajmer's home in eastern Nepal, getting ready for distribution!! PRAISE GOD!!! 

Lest you think they came without a CHALLENGE, think again! God had promised to supply them, but He never promised it'd be fast...or easy! But, in all honesty, the booty is sweeter having had to work so hard for it! 

NetsI have fallen flat on my face before the Lord with great sobs of thankfulness for His answered prayer. I wish I could thank each of you in the same way...the hundreds of you who so cheerfully gave, financially, so our beloved Nepali villagers could make it through this mosquito season (and many such seasons to come) without their family members dying of malaria. May the blessing you poured out onto the "least of these" be returned to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over!! 

You will hear from me again shortly (as soon as the nets have been distributed) with stories and pictures of our long-awaited day of distribution. So...stayed tuned!! 

Much love and thankfulness...
Lisa

Loading of nets

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — A Story of God's Faithfulness

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Mr. and Mrs. Keith Silva
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. — Psalm 17:6

My friends, this is a special day for me and my family. It's my oldest daughter's wedding day. For me it's also a testimony to God's faithfulness.

For years as I prayed over my girls, I have also prayed for the future men in their lives—for their future husbands. I prayed for men of integrity—godly men who knew Jesus and lived it out in their lives. I also prayed that God would prepare my girls and help them to be godly wives and helpers to their future husbands.

Today my daughter, Rachel, will walk down the aisle with this young man, Keith, who started "courting" her six years ago and is more than I prayed for or imagined. God answered my prayers far beyond my expectations. He is so good to this praying mama.

I'm so excited to see these two start their lives together. Already they exhibit the love and respect for each other as God intends it to be. I am so very proud of both of them and will now continue to pray for them to be united in their marriage and to love and respect each other as Christ tells us in Ephesians 6. 

So, rejoice with me, my Sumite family. Besides seeing my daughter and son-in-law speak their love and unite as one in marriage before family and friends, nothing gives me more joy today than sharing it with you.

I treasure and love you all so very, very much. Thank you for sharing this special day with me!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Chronicles Of A Humbled Donovan

Okay….. So, ahem…

You know what ALWAYS happens when I share teaching with you. I live it out… Well, this series on taking a step into the Jordan is no exception.

So today I’m going to share with you an experience that has opened up a giant hole in my heart that only our merciful and loving God can fill. And I wonder if some of you will find this hole exists in your heart as well? Travel this path with me today because I bet it reveals something within you that you didn’t know existed.

Let me set the stage. Many of you know my friend, Maria. I’ve introduced her here before. She has a healing and deliverance ministry through a large church in San Diego where they help women who are emerging from the adult films industry. Pornography is, of course, an open door to demonic oppression. Maria prays and delivers many of these women and they find healing and wholeness in Jesus. AMEN.

I had lunch with Maria this week. This woman is quite insightful and we began a discussion about rejection. She and I have talked a lot about this aspect of pain because we are convinced so much of our hurts, and the lies we believe, our spiritual struggles exist because we have been rejected by someone whom we wanted to love us.

Much of our teaching at retreats and conferences center around this very aspect. And we lead women to discover the truth and identity in Christ and obtain healing.

What I didn’t expect at this lunch with Maria, which by the way included a two and half hour discussion, with prayers, healing and tears (on my part) was that I needed to hear a truth.

Gulp.

This truth hit me so hard when Maria spoke it I literally felt pain in my soul (heart) and I cried right there at the table in Macaroni Grill. Sheesh! I'm sure our poor waiter was thoroughly freaked out. Oh well.

Okay, So let me loosely recap our conversation:

“Maria, I want you to pray for me about an area in my life where I struggle.” I asked. (Yes, I struggle with stuff in my life, just like all of you.)

So, I explained to Maria my struggle, It’s too long to write it out here.

Wouldn’t you know it; Maria turns this whole rejection thing around on me. Ouch!

“Lynn, is this struggle rooted in rejection?”

I think for a minute and then it hits me. “Ah, yes.” I stammer staring at her across the table. You see the light of the Holy Spirit just went on in my heart.

“Maria, I guess I still hold pain in my heart because my husband was not capable of loving me how I needed to be loved.” i.e…. Rejection of my faith…. And likely other areas too. (Just being authentic here.)

Now this is where my world split open.

“Lynn, he likely was never loved in the way you want to be loved. Lynn, it’s most likely that he was rejected way back in his life somewhere, perhaps parents? I don’t know. But Lynn,

He’s hurting.”

How come I’ve never considered the pain and rejection he may be carrying and that he conceals from me? Sometimes God shows me just how utterly selfish I can be.

 

I could bawl my eyes out just typing this.

In an instant God opened up a door into my heart and revealed something that brings me pain and shame. I knew in that instant that I’ve withheld a small part of my love, genuine love, kindness and compassion from my husband. I withheld it out of rejection. Out of some twisted belief that because he didn’t love me how I needed to be loved, that I was justified to withhold part of my love that I could have given him.

“Oh Maria, he IS hurting.” It’s all I could say.

Maria, doesn’t judge me. She loves me. She prays over me. I release my bitterness, the past rejection. Then a new love floods my heart for my hurting husband who has likely never been fully loved and accepted himself.

EVER!

So, that happened on Wednesday. As I write this it’s Thursday morning. My husband is away on a business trip and will arrived home this evening after a grueling work week. He is going to come home to his safe haven, our home. But when he walks in the door tonight, his wife is different.

It is my life’s goal from this day forward to love that man with unconditional and a full and accepting love. My friends, I don’t even know what that looks like right now.

But, I do know what that feels like. My Papa, Daddy, loves me like that. And living in His Presence, His love, is a place where EVERYTHING is okay, good, grace covered and happy. My husband needs to experience this kind of love. It is the very least and the very best that I can give to him.

So as I prayed about all of this today God opened up his Word to me and this is what I read:

FewaJohn 13: 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” 

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 

I sat stunned in my chair. God immediately said to me, “Wash his feet.” And God means this literally as well as to serve my husband with a new love and affection.

So, tonight after my husband’s long business trip as he sits down to watch television, I’m going to quietly kneel before him, remove his shoes, wash his feet, cover them with lotion and place slippers on his feet. I will rise and then kiss him on the lips and tell him how much I love him. I’m going to thank him for working so hard. I will tell him I could love him better and to forgive me for not doing so before now. And I will assure him that I’m going to be better at it in the future. And promise him I will try to do it better and better every day for the rest of our lives.

I’m not sure what will happen but I KNOW that my Daddy is proud. And after all, God does this for me…. every…… single….. day…

Signed, a humble and ever learning servant, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Beauty For Ashes

My friends, below is a precious letter from Rosheeda's parents. They have reached out to Lynn and I and have expressed their desire to be a part of this community. Even in their grief, God's love shines so profoundly through them. Such beauty rising up from ashes...

If you scroll down in the side bar, you'll now see "Rosheeda Lee Legacy Page." This is in memory of Rosheeda and all she gave to our community, including our name, Sumites. Our desire and prayer is to honor her and share her legacy with others who come to this site down the road.

Now it's my pleasure to introduct Sheila and Roderick Lee:

 

Hello. I sat a while ago and re-visited the comments from the SUM community and cried and smiled at the many statements from so many people God allowed to be loving, encouraging and inspirational to my daughter. Somehow in this life we become focused on what we receive and don't realize what we give in return when we acknowledge our recognition of God's personal attentiveness to us through whomever it might be at the time.

149549_1718064274966_3616516_nMy wife and I were privileged to have 2 children—1 daughter and 1 son. Rosheeda was oldest. Over the years we chose to teach them what we believed to be Godly principles regarding your service to Lord. One of the most important things revolved around the personal relationship between you and The Living God and how your service to Him is private. No accolades unless He chooses to expose your submission to the gifts provided through His Spirit. In saying this I am saying that neither my wife nor myself knew of her choice to be involved in the SUM Ministry. We are however so humbled that she chose to submit to God's leading in such a necessary ministry.

I cannot claim to understand the grief and anguish Our God must have felt when Jesus prayed so fervently to Him in the garden. But I do know the scriptures said "an Angel from Heaven appeared to him and STRENGTHENED Him, and being in ANGUISH HE PRAYED MORE FERVENTLY AND HIS SWEAT BECAME LIKE DROPS OF BLOOD FALLING TO THE GROUND. Our God provided MORE for His own Son to fulfill His plan for our salvation. My wife and I daily seek him to provide for us the same strength to Glorify Him in our lives as our daughter did.

Rosheeda had such a commitment in everything she chose to do... She understood that ministry isn't an act it's what we live everyday. As necessary as breathing.

My daughter shared a bond with us as unique as men are from women. However, the bond between she and I can only be compared to the Love of Our Heavenly Father and the Son he gave for us. Rosheeda lived in a way that was a likeness to her mother and a jewel in the Crown of her grandmother's. As she did for the "SUMites" she also coined a phrase for her Niece regarding the conduct of a "Lee Woman".

I won't tell you Sheila and I are good, I will tell you that we LOVE the God we serve and we are prepared to wake up everyday and Glorify Him because he is WORTHY.

We are humbled to be recognized as the parents of such a wonderful, dignified young woman. As often as we think of her we will think of each of you by name or need because she loved you all so.

Under His grace
Sheila and Roderick Lee
902 Cambridge drive
Duncanville, Texas 75137

 

Mr. and Mrs. Lee included their contact information for you, my friends. Reach out them as you feel led either here in the comments or with the information they provided or both. 

Love you so very much!
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


When God Shows Up!!!

 My SUMite family. 

Where do I begin? I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers on Friday. Little did I know how much I would need them. 

There was such a fantastic breakthrough at this event that I’m convinced the transformation in lives will echo through the generations to come. THAT is how BIG our God moved in this event. 

I want to share with you some photos of the people for whom you prayed. Please know that these ladies didn’t know your name or even that you prayed for them. But in heaven, they will be in your line to give you thanks because so many found freedom, deliverance, new gifts in the prophetic and ministries. 

Wow, just Wow. 

And as for Dineen and I. We just get to be part of it. Only the conduit to watch our powerful God have a love encounter with a woman. 

Here are some of my favorite photos. Have an amazing week. 

And Dineen and I have a new series brewing in our hearts. Get ready community because you are about to be encouraged!!!! We love you. We really, really love you with a full heart and in the power of the redemptive love of the God of the Universe. Hugs, Lynn 

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Thank you Daddy for loving people and Your relentless pursuit to bring us into Your Presence, to free us from the lies of the enemy and to give us a life of joy, adventure and peace. We love you beyond words of description. Bless these women and send them forth. In King Jesus name. Amen.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — Come Away!

My friends, Lynn and I are speaking at a women's retreat at Rancho Community Church in Temecula, CA this weekend. We are anticipating an amazing work of God in the women attending. As I write this, I'm days away from the event and Lynn and I are both anticipating the rebirth and renewal of faith, the release of the Holy Spirit and healing on so many levels. It's all part of what we've been sharing on the blog—God is moving in HUGE ways and calling His daughters forth.

In other words, a completely astonishing work of God!

I am already in awe of what our Almighty God does when we just let Him into our hearts and lives and give Him everything!

Have an amazing weekend drenched in the love and power of Jesus, my friends. I'm praying for the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn brighter than ever before in all of us! Amen!

Hugging you tight with love and prayers!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Prayer for The Many

Good Friday Morning.

I completely spaced preparing my post for today. I guess there is a lot on my mind and heart. 

For today may I ask the community of the SUMites to pray for myself and for Dineen. Tonight at 7 pm PST I will take the stage at Rancho Community Church. Dineen in the morning and both of us together tomorrow afternoon. Please pray that every word we speak releases the Holy Spirit into that room. Pray that every word is spoken with an anointing to bring hope, healing and His Presence to the women who attend.

Please pray with us that the audience does not hear Lynn & Dineen but they hear Jesus' calling them to a vibrant and full relationship.

On my walk on Thursday I looked up into the sky and I saw a single cloud formation and it looked exactly like a graphic Dineen uses all the time in her posts. Here it is.


HS Flame
As I looked at this single cloud in the brilliant blue sky, God impressed upon my heart, "This is an anointing that is coming to the valley.

Whoa... Can't wait to see what happens!

So Lord, let it come. Let your Holy Presence be so tangible, so powerful that it messes up people tonight and tomorrow. (In a good way) Let their lives be so totally turned upside down that they are never the same. Let them discover that living in Your Presence is all we need. Everything else falls into place when we walk in the light of the Most High. In King Jesus name. Amen

Love you all so much. I will be trying to post photos and such on my Twitter and FB page (friend me please) and our SUM FB page. See you there. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


A Keen Perspective

IStock_000011902087XSmallMy friends, I have to tell you that this post was birthed from the title first. I don't know why God does it that way with me but He does. So as I prayed for this weeks words, the title came. I looked up the word “keen” and found this definition and these synonyms:

—having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm, a keen desire to learn, sharp or penetrating, eager, anxious, intent, determine, champing at the bit, ardent, passionate.

A Keen Perspective. I typed it at the top of a blank page and sensed what God wanted this message to be about. I understood this is what kind of belief God is calling us to. What I have to share in the rest of this post will require you to have a “keen perspective” of God, of His kingdom and of what He is doing all around you.

I spent a lot of time in Acts the past week and I knew somehow (Thank you, Holy Spirit) the story of Saul's conversion—his encounter with Jesus, his ensuing blindness and three days of complete fasting and prayer. Then his scales fell and, in my mind's eye and my own interpretation, Paul was born.

It's about rebirth and transformation. Ongoing and never ending if we allow God to continually do these things in us. We are never completed or finished, which is a good thing. We have the privilege to constantly growing and changing and becoming more and more true to the image in which we were fashioned after.

It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

As I shared, during my week of reading Acts I felt drawn read and reread Acts 9 and Paul's transformation. So miraculous and astounding, right there. Paul could have stayed in this place, figuratively speaking, for a long time, but God had so much more in mind for Paul than a moment. Jesus had a lifetime plan for Paul. Not an easy one but one I dare say was way beyond what Saul had imagined for himself as a scholar or a Pharisee.

Paul now had the very presence of Jesus to take his theology and connect the dots to this man's heart and soul. What Paul had read about now met him square in the face in truth and transformed Paul’s very being. The change would be unmistakable and very clearly of God’s hand. How else would anyone believe Paul was the real deal?

And as I read this somehow deep in my spirit I knew this message was for us. I haven't shared with you that one of my gifting is prophecy because there was a time years ago as a new believer that I was criticized in this area and shut it down out of fear and hurt. But it's always been there simmering under the surface. Since our encounters with God at Bethel Church in Redding, CA, God has called Lynn and I out to walk in our giftings in many new ways. We did none of this, aside from saying "yes" to God's call—a call He extends to all of us.

As I said, I read Paul's story over and over again. A message stirred in me and I now feel led to share it. I debated, to be honest, wondering if this is still part of my time of training (In the past I've gotten many personal messages, but lately what I'm hearing has been more for the community and my church.).

Okay, I think I've danced around this long enough. Here is what I heard and I do believe it is for our SUM community, the Sumites. Prayerfully read the rest of this post. I will be praying for the Holy Spirit to move in every person who reads the rest of this to receive whatever God has for you.

"My people are like Saul during his conversion. I’m speaking to their hearts, telling them great things in preparation for the scales to be removed. Three days—this time is invaluable. Fast, be still, pray, listen for my voice. Great transformation is coming."

I believe the “three days” is figurative. The call to fast, be still and pray as we listen for God’s voice is not. God is calling us out in a mighty way, my friends. Our Sumite community is being raised up in a unique way, all according to God’s plan.

What you don’t know and I now sense God wants you to know is that early last year, we received an email from a reader that her husband had come to Jesus. A tearful and joyful moment to be sure. As I praised God I heard Him speak to my spirit, “This is the first of many.”

Since then Lynn and I have been praying for “the many” and praying for the right time to share this with you. In the last two weeks we’ve received three letters either by email or Facebook—one man returned to his faith and two others are asking to go to church with their wives and praying.

And now I share one final message I feel God has given this amazing community of believers, sisters and brothers in Christ, who are walking in the love of Jesus and want to desperately share it because we live with someone who desperately needs that love.

Sumites, for that reason alone we have a unique calling that goes beyond us, beyond our marriages. As I’ve shared before God is a redeemer. He wastes nothing. We’ve been thinking and believing that our calling is right in our homes, in our marriages. And God is saying, that is just preparation for a greater movement that He is getting us ready for. God is calling us to believe Him like we never have before.

My friends, my heart for you grows daily! I leave this final message with you. Know that I love you all so very much and am praying for you!

Dineen

Let’s pray: Lord, we stand before You with hearts and spirits ready to receive whatever You have for us.

Call to Preparation

As Moses prepared the Israelites, I am preparing this community for a great work. I need open and willing hearts ready to go forward because it’s time to step into new territory. This is my call of preparation. Prepare your hearts for my presence and my words. You’ve asked for the hearts of loved ones for a long time. I’m ready to move but you must be ready too.

I’m calling My army to rise up. I’m bringing dead bones back to life, bringing dead marriages back to life, turning hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. The time has come to act and move. This is your time, My daughters and sons, your time to walk in great victory and claim your inheritance.

The enemy has tried to convince you that you haven’t been faithful to Me and that you are powerless. This is far from the truth. My heart grieves to see you broken and weeping in these lies when the truth of your true victory lies almost right in front of you.

What lies ahead will be difficult but I am always with you. You don’t need to even ask that because I am always with you. Always. Trust Me for every step, look to Me for your every need. As I am with you, I am also already ahead of you preparing the way. And I am at the end of this journey as well, preparing your banquet table.

Do you not see My heart for you? Do you not see how much I love you? I sing over you and I dance for you. Every step of faith you take propels Me to rejoice and dance and sing in celebration. I beam proudly and point at you and say, “See her? She is my daughter and I am well pleased with her.”

The smallest of steps brings you closer to Me because you have chosen to trust Me more.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


A God Encounter Changes A Marriage

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comCrossing the Jordan series has covered a lot of new territory that we haven’t trekked before. I’m convinced that God is using this online community of The SUMites to take His love encounter to the communities where we live. Please know the Dineen and I have literally prayed and prayed for this very thing.

So why do we write about living in the Presence of God? Why do we share with you how to move closer to God and how to encounter His power, love and grace especially since this is a marriage blog?

It’s because when you have finally stepp over to the other side of surrender and fully embrace the love and power of the Most High, marriages change. Our children change. The very atmosphere of our homes change. For example.

A giant issue in my life was attending church alone……. Today, it just doesn’t matter.

Fears that my daughter won’t become a believer….. It just doesn’t matter (as much). I KNOW God's holding her in the very palm of His hand. I know because I've asked Him to do so.

Television disagreements with my husband….. don't mater any more.

Morality clashes……

Politics……

Money worries……

IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER.

It’s not that I don’t think about these issues, I do. And I pray about them a lot. However, they don’t cripple me emotionally anymore. Nor do I place unnecessary worry and fear in my heart over them. 

And I share this with you with complete honesty and conviction. I serve an all-powerful God and He absolutely has my best interests in the forefront of His mind and heart. He is completely capable to handle all of these marriage issues and He WILL work them out for my good and His glory. The only thing I need to do is to pursue this fantastic love relationship with Him, to live in radical obedience and to move when He tells me to. And THAT move is usually a step of faith. A step of faith takes courage, and trust and absolute obedience. But when you step in with the Father leading the way, you will encounter Him in the supernatural and be astonished at the depth of His lavish love. 

Dineen and I experienced this supernatural love encounter with the Most High in October in Bethel. And once you’ve stood in the Presence of God, you are never the same. It changes everything. We are desperate for all of you to jump onto this path with us.

We must settle two things in our minds, then we are ready to step over to the other side. We must believe what God says about us and Himself are absolutely true (Bible). We must KNOW who we are in Christ. We must settle these matters firmly and forever. Who is God? The absolute beginning and the end of all things.

Who am I? I am Royalty, a child of the Most High. God’s Word tells me over and over who I am, it descirbes the love that is mine, the power I possess and the purpose of my every breath. Wow, what peace comes when we have fully accepted the truth of our identity.

And as I type all of this I want you to know something. You don't need to be perfect. I'm far from it. I still have hangups and sin issues (Big stuff I'm still working through). God likes to use us broken and messed up people because when we are redeemed it SHOUTS to the world the power and love of our Great King.

So jump into this Great Awakening. I know many of you already have. Pray something like this.

Dad, I don’t want to sit on the sidelines any longer. I believe that if your word says we are to heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received then I want to do all of it. I desire to live in your presence Lord. Show me where I grieve the Holy Spirit and empower me to cast off all sin that keeps me from a vivid relationship with you. Affirm in me now and forever who I am. I am Royalty. A child of the Most High. I walk in Your purposes and privilege. Lord I’m hungry to receive your gifts of the Spirit. Healing, prophecy, speaking in tongues. Lord all of it. I want all of it that you have to give to your children. Teach me. Affirm me so that I will never come into agreement with the lies of the enemy again. In the powerful, name of my King, Jesus. Amen.

 As we ponder these words today, who of you can share a story with me and our family of SUMites of how God changed you first then you saw change happen in your spouse or kids? I would so dearly love to read these accounts. Also, who would like to share an encounter they had with our Most High God? See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn 

So on  Friday I will finally get around to sharing the words of Christ as He demonstrates the step of faith in front of a couple of guys. (I hope we get there on Friday *grin*)

*****

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SUM Books 4


When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You hung my first painting on the refrigerator
And I wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You fed a stray cat
And I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You baked a birthday cake just for me
And I knew that little things were special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You said a prayer
And I believed there was a God that I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You kissed me good-night
And I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw tears come from your eyes
And I learned that sometimes things hurt—
But that it's alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You smiled
And it made me want to look that pretty too.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You cared
And I wanted to be everything I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking—
I looked . . .
And wanted to say thanks
For all those things you did
When you thought I wasn’t looking.
--Mary Rita Schilke Korzan

*****

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SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — Overwhelmed by God

Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servants house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O Lord God. What more can David still say to You concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know Your servant. O Lord, for Your servants sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things. O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. — 1 Chonicles 17:16-20

I love this part of David's story. He wanted to build a house of cedar for the ark of the covenant, to create a permanant home for the presence of God. But God totally turns it around and basically says He will establish David's kingdom through his family line and even speaks of His plans for David's descendants. God promises David He will never take His presence away from David and his family lineage.

Then David goes before the Lord and says, "Who am I, Oh Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?"

As I read this I felt myself overwhelmed by God's goodness. Imagine how David felt in this moment? He desired to honor God in the best way he could think of and God takes his offering and turns it completely around and multiplies it back to David. Our Lord is that GOOD!

Wow. Now think of our offering of ourselves. We become the temple of God's Holy Spirit, not a home of cedar but a home of the heart. And God takes our humble offering and multiplies it over and over again. We are blessed to be this "temple" to His Holy Spirit in ways we will not completely understand until we are made complete in Christ and stand in His presence.

I am overwhelmed by God's grace, generosity and goodness. We can't outgive God. His delight in us exceeds perception and understanding. His faithfulness endures forever!

Oh Lord, who are we that You would give us Your very Spirit to live and dwell in us? We are Your children, Your chosen and loved ones whom You bless over and over again with Your very goodness. Thank You, Lord, for bringing us this far. Thank You, Lord, for regarding us and loving us in such high degree. Thank You, Lord, for Your greatness and all that You do in and through us. Abba, there is no one like You! We adore you, Jesus! Amen!

Love you, my friends, so very very much. We belong to the Most High God and we are His delight! 
Dineen 

*****

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Miracles and Why God Doesn't Heal

Hello SUMites! 

God has been beating me about on the head trying to share with me this “thing” I keep talking about. I’m trying to describe to you, our community, and to others I talk with in person this movement by God. It’s a movement in the spiritual realm that is bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. People are experiencing God in profound and different ways than in years past. Experiences such as the encounter I described on Monday. This thing, this movement God told me is

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comTHE GREAT AWAKENING of the church.

I’ve seen this word written in giant letters on a wall. I’ve had it arrive over and over through email and finally on Monday I “Got it.” Sheesh, it takes me awhile. But, I’m now fully convinced that we are witnessing a giant awakening of God’s people. Did you know that in China over 23,000 people come to Christ every weekend? The Asian population is hungry for God. There are people dreaming dreams of Jesus in the Muslim countries. In America, we the people of God, are being filled with the Holy Spirit power and love. We are stepping fully into the truth of the Bible. Jesus said, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12).

This is not just a good thought or great theology. God REALLY wants expects His people to do greater things. Our command is exactly what I shared on Friday. Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

This is not a command specific to clergy, pastors or great Bible teachers. It is for EVERYONE. You… Me… All of God’s people.

I believe this so fully and have been pleading with God for more of His Presence to serve His purposes that is why He showed up in that room weeks ago when a group of ordinary women prayed for healing. This story, His power and love alive and in action in our lives brings great honor to our God. And it’s is His will to bring healing. I absolutely believe that.

So why then are some not healed?

Do you remember that God reminded me the day following this crazy encounter that is was the “woman’s” faith and trust combined with God’s love and power that healed her? She believed God could heal her. She then trusted that God would heal her.

Our faith is very much part of the equation. Not always but most of the time. God wants us to be part of His work.

Through my extensive study and research about healing over the past six months I have discovered a few things about God’s miracles. First, you can’t put God in a box. He moves with full knowledge and power in a person’s life. Two, God will choose to heal some and not heal others. We won’t always understand why. But let me share with you a perspective that might bring you peace about God’s healing intentions.

This is an excerpt from an email I received on Monday and it best describes what I’m trying to say. It’s from Lynette, one of our SUMers:

Dear Lynn,

Good morning! Hope you are well. Great blog post today! I also believe God wants us healed, but something came to me as I was reading. While I believe in healing, I also know sometimes God doesn't heal. I asked many times for my mom to be healed when she was dying, but God didn't heal her. I asked God about it and He told me she had a hard life, and she was tired, it was time for her to be free of the chains of this life. (She was saved right before she died) So I do think sometimes God has His own reasons for not doing it, and it takes faith to trust in that too.

Another story I heard in my first church was a man had cancer and the whole church prayed, the pastor strongly believed in healing, and she was unsure of why he didn't get healed. She said God told her that if he healed him, the man would have walked away from God and went back to his life of drugs. So God in His wisdom and knowledge of events that were to come took him home.  So in a way they were 'healed.' I'm not trying to contradict anything you said in the blog, just wanted to share how I have seen God work at times.

Hugs,
Lynette

Well said Lynette. Sometimes God heals and sometimes He doesn’t. We won’t always understand.

We are called to take a step of faith and at least try. Will we fail sometimes? Yes. So, we pray to understand what happened. We also must recognize we are all on a journey and it takes experience and wisdom to begin to move in a new realm of God. We are ALL, each one of us, in process and it takes time to arrive. But, we are to pull up our courage and take risks.

It was a risk for me to lay on hands and pray for physical healing. The experience was so strange that if I shared it with my husband, he would think I’m crazy.* I am willing to lose my dignity and look a fool in the eyes of others and specifically other’s whose opinion of me matters. But God’s opinion of me matters so more than any human that I am willing to lay down everything, my pride, my position, my reputation to be part of His Work on planet earth.

Okay, once again this post as gone looooooong. Sheesh. A girl can talk… I want to share more about how Jesus models a step of faith on Monday. See you then. Today, I’m wondering if you can share a story of healing from your life. I love you. I really love you, Lynn 

*PS. I did share it with him. A story for another day.

*****

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God is an Equipper

HiResMy friends, we are witness to amazing times right now. God is doing some really big stuff right now all over the world. First, I want to share some Bible verses that caught my attention years ago and now God has brought front and center again. Take a look at two often overlooked people in the Old Testament by the names of Bezalel and Oholiab.

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship. And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of testimony, and the mercy seat upon it, and all the furniture of the tent, the table also and its utensils, and the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering also with all its utensils, and the laver and its stand, the woven garments as well, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, with which to carry on their priesthood; the anointing oil also, and the fragrant incense for the holy place, they are to make them according to all that I have commanded you. — Exodus 31:1-11

God literally put this ability into these two men and all who were considered skillful to create and build the Tabernacle as God designed it. We tend to think we are born with a skill set and it’s done. According to this, the specific skills and knowledge needed came at the time of need. Not only that, God called specific people forth, namely Bezalel and Oholiab.

Remember this is Old Testament times where God chose specific times to give His Spirit to specific men and women He called to specific tasks. And in each case God gave these people wisdom, understanding and knowledge and equipped them for their specified calling. (Consider David, Samuel and Esther to name a few.)

Now let’s jump to the New Testament, to another piece of Scripture that also captured my attention years ago and has intrigued me ever since. This one is about you and me.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. — Ephesians 1:18-21

Let me just interject here how amazing I find it that Jesus was also known as a carpenter. To think of His earthly profession in light of Him also being the One who created and all was created for (Col. 1:16-17), it makes perfect sense He would create with His hands as a man as well. Just a thought...

Now back to the equipping part. As I said, in Old Testament times God gave His Spirit according to a specific need or task or calling to specific people He chose to accomplish His purposes.

Then Jesus came to give all of us His Spirit, once and for all—not just a portion in accordance to a task or purpose here on earth but in the full sense of a heavenly calling.

According to Ephesians 1:18-21 God’s complete and great power is “toward us who believe” and is in accordance to the “strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead.”

In other words, the same power that resurrected Jesus—brought Him back to life—dwells in us who believe—God’s complete and Holy Spirit.

Let that sink in deep for a moment, my friends. If I were speaking, I would stop here for a “pregnant pause,” because I am absolutely desperate for you to understand this. We are not given just a portion to accomplish a momentary task. No, we have been given “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” for now and all time—eternity. God has given what He holds dear to whom He holds dear. We are His saints and Christ’s inheritance (vs. 18).

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. —Ephesians 1:22-23

When I first stumbled upon this truth and spoke it out loud, I’m sorry to say my church family at the time thought I was a bit “over the top,” and me being so new to this walk of faith at that time thought I had overstepped my ability and knowledge to understand God’s Word. In truth it wasn’t me interpreting or understanding this truth, but the Holy Spirit—that same power that resurrected Christ, living in me and equipping me with the knowledge and wisdom to understand God’s Word.

When I first stumbled upon this truth and spoke it out loud, I’m sorry to say my church family at the time thought I was a bit “over the top,” and me being so new to this walk of faith at that time thought I had overstepped my ability and knowledge to understand God’s Word. In truth it wasn’t me interpreting or understanding this truth, but the Holy Spirit—that same power that resurrected Christ, living in me and equipping me with the knowledge and wisdom to understand God’s Word.

That same power lives in you, my friends. Why wouldn’t it? Ask yourself that. Why wouldn’t God equip you just as He equips all of us with the power and authority Jesus came and died for in order to give it to us? Will He give you less or more than anyone else? No, He came for all so that all would be filled and completely equipped!

My fellow Sumites, we are all part of the church, the body of Christ. The question is not whether the Holy Spirit lives in you but how much do you want Him to fill and empower and equip you on a day-to-day basis?

Ask for it, walk in it, live it. That’s what God is calling us to do right now—to ask for His Holy Spirit to fill and over flow in us, to walk in this place of boldness and reassurance of His presence in us in complete fullness, and to live as if we are seated in this power with Christ in the heavenly realms, looking down at our trials and challenges from a heavenly perspective instead of looking from the depths of our fear and wondering how God will show up.

God is already there. God is in every situation we face because He’s in you. In all of us. We are completely equipped.

So here’s a final question for you: If Jesus is seated in the heavenlies and also dwells in us, why do we think of heaven and earth as being so separate? What if the gap between heaven and earth is much smaller and thinner than we ever realized?

I'm pondering that one with you!
Love you!
Dineen

*****

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SUM Books 4


What is God's Will For Each of Us?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

On Friday we left with the strange and fascinating story about Elijah. How he stepped out onto the mountain to haven an encounter with God.

If you remember, (if you don’t’ remember, you MUST read Friday’s post) I’m seated in a Bible study addressing the leader as I’m speaking. I continued explaining my thoughts on this passage in 1 Kings and said, “I believe this (taking a step of faith) is especially true when it comes to healing. Healing of our hearts, our spirit and especially physical healing.”

Well that is when everything went nuts.

The leader stopped talking. I stopped talking. She was staring at me with such intensity and I didn’t have a clue what was going on. All of a sudden she bursts into tears and says to me, “Lynn, I have been asking God that you would pray for me for my physical healing and that I would know it’s of Him when I heard you speak of it from your own lips.”

I think I sat there dumbfounded. But then it was if the Holy Spirit flooded that room with such power that I jumped to my feet. I asked her to stand. The six of us in that room surrounded her, layed our hands upon her and began to pray.

Now it’s difficult for me to explain what happened next.

Let me start of by sharing that the experience I’m about to tell you had its origin months earlier when I experience an encounter with the Most High. It was the same filling and expression of the Holy Spirit that happened to me in worship while at the Bethel conference. A Holy God encounter.

I began to tremble. I felt God’s power and love come down over me and flow to the others in the room and onto the leader who was facing me and my hands rested upon her shoulders. My eyes were closed and I don’t really remember all that I prayed. But I prayed with power, certainty, conviction and petition for healing.

The woman began to shake and tremble. I was fully trembling under the power that was coming from above me and coursing through my body. When this happens to me it’s like I’m being electrocuted, kinda in a good way. I can feel it flow down from my head, bounce off the bottom of my feet, back to my head and back down again. I can’t breathe in the beginning and I can’t move. I’m frozen under the waves of power and love flowing over me. Then my right hand begins to shake uncontrollably, vibrating with a force I don’t understand nor can I fully explain. I become completely hot from head to toe breaking out in a not-too-feminine sweat.

The woman in front of me is now trembling. I can feel her growing hot. I’m praying a Holy shake down of heaven upon this woman, declaring her healing from cancer and fear. I prayed with a passion and purpose that clearly was of the Holy Spirit.

We finished and I think we were all wiped out and so astonished at all that just happened it took days for us to process it all.

The next day as I was praying, giving utter thanks to God for answering my prayers to bring healing and her prayers FOR healing and just allowing me to be part of His Kingdom, I heard the Lord say to me a few things.

“It was her faith and belief and my love and power that healed her.” And God went on to assure me that her healing was completely between the two of them and that I was only the conduit. Her healing is entirely up to her belief (her step of faith) and God’s love and power. Wow, that just removes me completely from the picture and I AM SO UTTERLY RELIEVED BY THAT. I don’t want to be responsible for her healing but I do want to be part of what God is doing on this earth.

How about you?

Okay, once again I can imagine it’s a weird and challenging story to take in. It’s challenging for me to write about this kind of supernatural stuff because it is often the Christians who can’t believe God still moves like this in our current day. But, I hope that all of you have known me for some time and KNOW my character and my faith. I’m just on a journey like all of you to live fully in the Presence of the Most High. I WANT for all of you to have a Holy encounter with our Daddy. So begin to pray something like this:

Lord, I’m hungry for more of You. I’m hungry to experience my faith not just know it as theology. I want to have a Holy encounter with grace, healing, hope and your power. I deeply desire to be a conduit of your Presence and bring Your purposes to people. Increase in me Papa, Daddy. I will exchange my dignity, my possessions, my everything just to live every day in Your Holy Presence. Teach me Lord how to move closer to you. Send me to people who can teach me more about your glory, signs and wonders. I want to live like Jesus did, bringing hope, truth, light and healing. I want to live out His command in Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

In King Jesus name. Amen

Matthew 10:8 IS God's will for each and everyone of His people. Today, tomorrow and for all of our life. Do you believe this? 

*****

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SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — A New Twist on Loneliness

My firends, we've talked a lot about loneliness in our mismatched marriages over the years, but I heard a new twist on it while listening to a podcast by Pastor Nathan Edwardson. It's amazing. Are you ready? This is what he said:

"Loneliness is an invitation to know and pursue the One who will never abandon us."

Wow. Talk about flipping your thinking to a new dimension. It's turning a negative into a positive. What a stunning idea, to think of our lonely moments as an invitation to know and pursue our Lord! Let's do it!

And now for some weekend worship. Here are two songs by the group Salvador. (Joanne, this will get your feet moving in your kitchen!) Turn up the volume and get ready to dance, my friends, because it's time to worship Jesus with some foot action!

Have an amazing weekend seeking the One who absolutely adores you!
Dineen

*****

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SUM Books 4


The Jordan River Is Only A Step

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHey, let’s continue with our series and -Part the Jordan, shall we?

I know many of you shared with me your “Jordan.” We all have areas that God is working out in us for our good and His glory. And my friends please know I have earnestly prayed for you.

So let’s talk about what it truly means to take a step of action.

I think we first need to define and believe that God can take action to accomplish His will anytime and anyway He sees fit. But, what is really cool if you think about it, is that God wants us to participate in His work. Like Dineen said on Wednesday, “He could do it all Himself but then where would that leave us? Mere spectators? A flat picture on a table with no substance or depth?”

HOW UTTERLY BORING!

We would find our faith unfulfilling and shakable.

Okay, I know some of you would like a space of boring in your life however; you truly rob yourself of witnessing the miracles. It’s in our calamity and trials that our utter dependence brings us into the realm of His Presence. It’s in His Presence the calamity, chaos, and pain let up and then finally disappear. It’s in this place of utter surrender that we experience a paradigm shift and see the world with a vastly different perspective.

I know this to be true as I am living proof. So is Dineen and many of you are on the road to this destination. But the road to experience the Presence and the miracles begins with a step of faith.

We all have faith. We believe that Jesus is the son of God, our Savior. But many of us truly don’t believe in the miracles of the Bible. Perhaps we have been taught theology that miracles were only for the first century church. Or that God doesn’t move in the supernatural in this era.

I have one word to say about all that….. Bull. *ahem* pardon me. But we either believe what the Bible says or we don’t. The Holy anointed Word of God reveals supernatural events, miracles, healings, and deliverance from evil, throughout all the centuries. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, I have faith that miracles are possible today. In fact, I know they are because I have experienced the supernatural.

My friends, faith for miracles often begins with a step of action. I truly see God wanting us to participate in His supernatural work for several reasons. One being that we will be astonished and a witness and receive His favor. Which propagates more of His Works and favor.

God deeply desires for us to be vessels of His love, purposes and His will. That is where a step of faith becomes critical. We must at times many times take action to initiate God’s purposes. I think there are moments when God is poised to move in the supernatural and He’s waiting anxiously for someone, anyone of faith to take the first step to release His power.

Let me explain how this has worked in my own life. Since returning home from our Bethel conference last October, I have been begging God in earnest, daily prayer and petition for the gift of healing. I’ve read a lot and searched out those who could help me to understand how God moves in this realm of physical healing.

And now here is where the story gets weird. And in fact, someone reading this is not ready to receive this truth that God moves in such ways. That’s okay. Some will not understand because they aren’t ready to receive this new glimpse into the Kingdom. And you may wonder why? Why would God not allow glimpses into the Kingdom? You must be in a place of spiritual development or maturity.Remember, Christ taught in parables because people who were to ready to receive the Kingdom truths would hear them and those who weren’t ready, they would not be held accountable to the truths. When we are made ready through a vibrant relationship with Christ, God stands waiting to share more and ever increasing glimpses (miracles) of His supernatural Kingdom.

Okay, with all that said here is my own personal experience. Please read this with grace and love and ask God to talk to you about what I share.

It was about two months ago that I attended my regular Bible study at church. And through an uncanny series of discussion in the group we came to a place in the discussion where I was asked to explain my thoughts on the following passage:

1 Kings:11-13 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” 

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

I looked at the woman directly who asked me to share my thoughts and I said, “This passage is fascinating to me on many levels but today I’m moved by one tiny portion. Elijah was having an encounter with God. And all of these fantastic natural events happened. As the wind came Elijah hid himself in the cave. After the whisper of God’s voice, now get this, Elijah steps out of the cave and into God’s presence.

“For me, this is an example for believers today. We must take that first step of courage and step out to meet with the Presence. This first step of action is exercising our will. It is our faith in action.”

Okay, there is a ton more to this story and it gets crazier from here. I will tell you more about it on Monday and also about how Jesus teaches this same principal.

For today, I’m wondering about you. Think about your walk with God. Do you think you have experienced a moment where God was just waiting for you to step out in belief to do something that seems incredible, impossible, or would appear foolish to others?

I want to hear about your stories. Because I know you have examples where you were MADE to turn your faith into belief (action). My friends, I can’t wait to hear how God is moving you to grow in your faith and belief walk. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Trusting God is Like Building a Puzzle

IStock_000017949870XSmallMy friends, I have to tell you I wrote this post partly on my iPhone as I did my walk and pray. I can only imagine that my fellow walkers and joggers thought I was a text addict, but when God has something to say, I’ve learned not to rely on my memory and write it down.

I went out on this walk with the goal to hear God on a particular issue. I needed answers, or at least an answer. I believed I’d received part of it during my quiet time, but I needed more.

You see, I’m in that place where you think you’ve heard what God is telling you to do but it’s pushing you to a whole new level of trust and dependence upon Him and you just want to be sure. As I prayed and sought God in this, He began to show me how trusting Him is like building a puzzle.

When God thought of us, created us and thinks of us, He sees a complete picture—who we are created to be and this reflects God’s heart for us. Yet we live in this world of brokenness and evil that has fractured our picture into pieces. Our faith walk is a journey to find those pieces and put them where they belong until we have the complete picture. I believe this is a life long journey and we see the full picture when we go home to heaven.

So in the meantime we have these puzzle pieces and each one represents an area of our life or situation that God asks us to trust and walk with Him. As we do, each piece goes into place and we begin to see more of the big picture and have a better understanding of God’s plan. This also gives us reference and inspiration for the next area or puzzle piece.

Sometimes the areas we work on start outside of the puzzle frame. You know, when you work on a section of the puzzle and build it part way until you see where it fits in the bigger picture.

Right now I’m in one of those areas. I can see only this small section that I’m working on and it’s a crucial area to the bigger picture. It involves not just me but my hubby as well. You see, there’s something I could do to help solve part of this problem but God is asking me to wait and let Him do this. I have no idea how, only that He’s asking me to trust Him in a whole new way.

As I walked and prayed God spoke to my heart and said, “We’re building the picture together, Dineen.”

It’s a big challenge to trust God in this, but I am willing. He’s proved Himself faithful over and over again. But I realized that staying this course of trust means I will have to explain to my husband why I’m waiting and not implementing this solution. The question then came, “do I fear my husband’s displeasure more than God’s?”

Yet another area and opportunity to trust God. I will have to wait to see how this plays out and trust God here as well. Get the picture?

Thankfully, God already knows the big picture. After all, He created it and everything He does in our lives is intended to add to this picture to bring it to completion, because everything He starts He finishes (Phil. 1:6). He could do it all Himself but then where would that leave us? Mere spectators? A flat picture on a table with no substance or depth?

Just like when we sit down to actually build a puzzle, we know the end will result in a complete picture. We study each piece and come to appreciate its detail and significance to the completed image. All the pieces are there and Abba is working right there with us to put it all together. He’s asking us not only to trust Him for each piece but for the whole picture as well.

This is the adventure of faith and trust and belief. We don’t know how all the pieces fit together but God does and the picture is vast because it’s not just our own picture we’re working with God to create but also the areas of overlap where our lives intersect with the lives of those we love, those we pray for, those we care about and those He calls us to serve.

It’s about building the picture of a lifetime.

Walk in trust, my friends. God won’t let you down and He is by far the best puzzle master I know. Share in the comments what your “puzzle piece” is right now and let’s pray for each other.

Love you with the passion Jesus!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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