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17 entries from December 2013

Take The Key To The Door

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Good Monday morning SUMites, 

It looks like our 2014, fast is gonna be the biggest one yet. Thank you everyone for adding your prayer requests and your “I’m in” comments to my post on Friday. 

***If you know someone who needs to be part of this fast, email them, message them, send fire signals, whatever it takes, right now and invite them to join us. I’m contending that God is positioned to answer prayer like never before. I believe we are going to see the unexpected, the miraculous and we are going to experience His love at a heart level that will change everything. AWESOMENESS!!  So send that email now. *grin* 

Today, I keep hearing the Lord just pound into my head, over and over….. 

Fire falls on sacrifice. 

It’s as if God is on the edge of His throne (seat), crossing His fingers, hoping that we, His children, will just take a step of faith and see if He proves true to His word…. He’s asking us to sacrifice food and in response to our gesture of refraining from food, He will send His Holy fire to bring about the very thing(s) we need most. 

I truly believe this. I am convinced that my week long fast will jettison my faith walk up a level. I’m expecting to hear His voice. I’m expecting to see angels. I’m expecting my healing anointing to grow in power and effectiveness. I’m expecting to be given His heart. That is what I want from this fast. More of Him. 

The fire of “favor” falls on sacrifice. 

So as we move into this time of fasting, I want to share a letter that Judy Gordon Morrow received from the Father. It’s from her book, The Listening Heart. I asked Judy if I could share it with the SUMites. She said, “I would be absolutely honored if you were to use anything you like from The Listening Heart. The book has been God's from the beginning, and I pray it will reach every heart he has in mind.” 

Please read it… All the way through. It’s the key for the door of fasting and prayer. If you take this letter into your heart, you will be ready for what God has prepared for you. 

January 24, 2011 

It’s easier to dismiss Me than to obey Me. Thus, My children are ambivalent about hearing Me. It’s easier not to listen than to pay attention. It’s easier to question if it is Me talking than to be receptive to My voice. For if they should allow themselves to actually hear Me and acknowledge Me, then their hearing of Me would require a response -a response of faith, a response of belief, a response of surrender -each one being a response of obedience. 

It is easier not to listen and instead shroud the beauty of commuting with Me under the clouds of doubt and mystery. To acknowledge Me and My voice requires the next step: obedience. It is easier to ignore Me and claim that My voice can’t really be known. This saddens Me, My child, when all I long to do is to convey My best to My children. 

Yet fear of obedience becomes the very obstacle to their obtaining My best. Instead, they follow their plans and then wonder why things didn’t turn out better. I desire first place, not last- when I am only sought in the midst of an emergency or crisis. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Give Me, your Father, your first fruits, and I will multiply your harvest. The very first fruit is a heart surrendered to Me for My purposes. Every other first follows that one.

 

If you need some guidance on prayer and fasting, please visit this post from our fasting season last year:

Fasting: Does It Work? There are links at the bottom that will help you.

 

See you on Friday with a Word that will help launch us into a week of power, love and intimacy. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Weekend Worship — The Post I Didn’t Expect to Write

PhotoI’d expected a Christmas full of excitement and expectation, but it turned out very different than what I’d expected. My friends, I always hesitate to share this kind of stuff because I only want to be an encouragement to you. But I’m trusting that in obeying His nudge to share this weird journey Abba will encourage you greatly. Because a promise comes at the end of it.

As I said, I’d expected a very different Christmas. For a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into detail (only because they aren’t really necessary to this story) I found myself struggling to find my joy and peace during a season that’s supposed to be full of it. My smiles and laughter felt forced. And I continually cried out to Abba, “What is wrong with me?”

I pushed through, determined to enjoy Christmas as much as possible. And I did find moments of peace and joy in the presence of my family and quiet moments with Jesus. Not the best of Christmases but still good.

Now stay with me because what comes next involves you. Yes, you.

On Thursday my Bible lay open on the ottoman in front of my favorite chair. I thought I was done for the morning, but as I rose to walk away and get on with my day, these words from Joel caught my eye:

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. — Joel 1:14

My thoughts returned to these words throughout the rest of the day. My spiritual gut said it had to do with our community fast and that Abba had more to tell me. So I nudged my parched spirit into a place of prayerful expectation.

Friday morning I read the whole book of Joel. Not a book full of hope and joy, but it is one full of Abba’s heart and desire for His people to return to Him. And His promises.

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. — Joel 2:13

Rend our heart, not our garments... Abba’s agenda has always been about the heart—His heart for us and His desire for our hearts to be His.

I continued to read and came to those amazing verses at the end of chapter two. Joel prophesied the very thing that happened at Pentecost when Abba poured out His Holy Spirit over believers and Peter reminded the assembly of it (Acts 2:1-41).

As I finished my reading, I wrote my thoughts in my journal and ended with a question, “Abba, what is your heart in this? What do you want me to know?

My pen hovered over the page, hoping for an answer. And one came. “I will tell you on your walk.”

So out I went with leash in hand and my wacky pooch at the end of it. I listened to worship music and my still slightly parched spirit hoped the Lord would fill me with His much presence and an answer.

I came around a bend and looked up. And there it was, a sunbow. A bright circle enclosed the sun but on the left side I could see one bright spot that looked like a rocket of blue that had shot to the edge of the circle and exploded into a circle of color—rainbow colors. I hope you can see some of it in the picture above.

And as I looked at it, Abba spoke to my heart something like this: “This is the answer. Promises. That is My heart for this fast. I have promises for the SUMites.”

My friends, tears flooded my eyes and hope bloomed afresh in my spirit. Abba is so good to us. He’s so good and patient with me. Even when I feel like I'm failing Him, He rushes in and shows me His love and goodness—for me and for you.

I have a feeling our upcoming fast will be quite different than years past. I’m expecting it to be everything Abba desires it to be. I’ve already begun seeking Him for my word for 2014 and He rushed in and gave me one so very unexpected.

But alas, that is a story for next time. And I promise it too will be full of His promises.

So grateful for you, my fellow SUMites. We do not walk this journey alone!
Dineensig

 

 

 

 

*****

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2014 Community Fast

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Good Friday morning to you, SUMites! 

I sure do enjoy Christmas. It’s a gentle time of year, filled with hope, peace and family. And as I write this post today, I’ve just said goodbye to my husband’s family and they are headed home. December is a neat month where people seem to be just a little less hard and a little more kind. Our random act of kindness -miracle project in this month was amazing. I have received stories from you that I will share here or on Facebook in the future. There are some amazing believers that are part of this community. I’m undone by your love for God and for people and the generosity that flows from your heart. 

But just as much as I like Christmas, I love the New Year. I’m actually feeling pumped up about all that this body, this community of SUMites, can accomplish as we pray together in the New Year. 

If you are new to our community this year, we welcome you to join us as we fast pray the first week of January, We fast and pray the first full week of every January. This year we will be fasting from January 6-10. This is a Monday through Friday fast. And I encourage you, if at all possible to commit to some kind of a food fast where you refrain from eating food in some way such as from one meal a day, or fast the entire day or fast through the whole week. (I’m committed to fasting completely, only liquids the entire week. I am EXPECTING  a giant breakthrough.) 

God’s Word is filled with instructions regarding fasting. And I haven’t quite figured it out yet but fasting profoundly affects our prayer life and it draws us closer to God. So today, I want you to ask God about how you should participate in this fast. More than anything I truly want every SUMite to experience a breakthrough in their life in 2014. I also want every one of us to grow into a deeper, more intimate, relationship with Jesus. 

Beginning Monday, I will share some information about how to fast and how to do it successfully. For today, just leave me a note in the comments that you are “in.” Also, add in the comments what breakthrough you need because Dineen and I will pray and contend with you for your breakthrough along with our own. 

I’m truly expecting the God of the universe to show up and do amazing things in our lives. Astonishing, life-altering, miracles in our lives personally and those of our family. Let’s truly put this fasting thing before God, and watch him honor his word as it relates to fasting and prayer. 

Are you IN? 

I love you. Get ready for a week of change that will redirect your future. And following the week of fasting, I’m burning to start writing about spiritual warfare. I already have a few articles written about how to help our children fight in the unseen realm. It’s going to be soooo good. I can’t wait to see how ordinary, humble men and women, kick the devils butt out of our lives, away from our children, and how our prayers help to set our spouses free. SO GOOD!!! 

Get ready because I’m convinced 2014 is going to be OUR Year of the Lord! Woo Hoo. I love you. I love Jesus. Let’s bring His Kingdom to earth this next year. WOO HOOOOOOO! Love and hugs, Lynn

 

Matthew 6:25 “I tell you, do not worry. Don’t worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don’t worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than eating?

*****

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Merry Christmas SUMites! Video Message

 

We love and adore you. Have a blessed and Holy Christmas. Love Lynn & Dineen.

Check back on Friday as we have some exciting updates about what 2014 will bring here at SUM. I'm so pumped up for everything that God will do in our lives in the new year. Until then, Merry Christmas from me {Lynn} and Dineen. 

*****

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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-

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Weekend Worship — Our Greatest Gift to Jesus

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On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. — Matthew 2:11

I've always read this verse in light of the gifts the Magi brought Jesus. Yet just this week as I read this verse again, I realized the very first gift they each gave the Baby Jesus wasn't their treasures but their worship.

I don't know why that struck me so profoundly this year but it did. Our greatest and most desired gift that Jesus longs to receive is our worship. Through time set aside to focus just on Him, through praise and worships songs, and through lives lived with Jesus so present in our hearts that everything we see and do is done in the light and presence of His love.

This is worship. The greatest gift given to the baby Jesus. Our greatest gift we can ever give to our loving and mighty Savior.

Oh come let us adore Him…

And in light of all of our wonderful RAK stories, Abba impressed upon me this week that it was time to share a prophetic word He gave me in October. Be blessed, my friends, in knowing you walk in Abba’s great favor because you are doing what He has asked us to.

Merry Christmas!
Dineensig

 

 

 

On October 13, 2013 I heard the Lord say to me, “Prophesy over my church.”

This is what He told me to write down:

"The land is broken and I have called you to heal it. You are my hands and feet of healing. I’m sending you, church. Heed My call. Don’t delay.

Go! Time is short. Your time is short and the generations must be ready. Take your children and teach them. Show them who I am. They are to take up the call along side you and beyond.

A glorious wave of my Spirit and power is coming like you’ve never seen before. This will give you all you need to walk in strength. And look for Me because I walk among you. I am the beggar on the street, the heartbroken child abandoned and alone. I am the wanderer who can’t find his way home. I am every broken and lost heart. Look for me in these places and help bring forth my light and truth.

I have set eternity in every heart. Do you see it? Ask Me and I will show you.

You ask for My heart, but you already have it, poured out on the cross, forever given. Nothing can change that. I AM forever yours."

 

*****

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There Was Once A Man Who Didn't Believe..

There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

Snow_church One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.

"That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.

When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.

The geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn, but they still didn't catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human.

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.Geese winter

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn - and one by one the other geese followed it to safety!

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind:

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, and perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized!

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.

Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:

Mangercross "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"

~Author Unknown

 

*****

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How One RAK Inspired Another

My friends, a couple weeks ago I shared this post about my daughter Leslie and her amazing heart of generosity. Specifically her act of kindness in taking a Visa gift card she had received on her birthday and giving it to a homeless person.

What blows me away is how we are inspired by these acts of kindness and find ourselves moving in similar places. I'm finding this is something that I want to make a part of my daily life. It's so much fun! 

And that's Jesus in us, my friends. Read this beautiful story from Heidi and how Jesus honored her heart's desire to help someone. He led her right to this mom...

 

ImageFinally here I am, though I feel my RAK is not near as awesome as some I have read, but I promised an update anyway. As I had mentioned before I don't have access to our funds so I needed to be creative, because I really wanted to give back since God has given sooooo much to me! :-) I need to back up a bit so bare with me.

My Mom had sent me a $100 gift card for my birthday and as you can imagine I was totally excited, being that I never have money of my own, which for woman my age can be very humiliating when out with friends. Then I read the RAK post. I sooo wanted to do that leave money here and there, but I knew I would have to ask my hubby who wouldn't have allowed it.

Then I thought I wonder if I could find a way to cash it—nope that wouldn't work either. Then I thought I'll just give it away, but worried it would hurt my moms feelings. Well finally, after reading about your daughter, Dineen, and how she said " Mom, this gift is for me right? Well this is what I want, it will make me happy," I said to myself "exactally! It will make me happy, and was given to me with the idea it was mine to spend how I wished!"

My first thought was, the freezing temp here that we had, I wanted to buy blankets, search out homeless people who didn't make it into shelters and give them to them. Well finding the homeless turned out be a task in its self, and when I did, I felt I would be in danger getting out of my car alone. Also they all were covered in blankets and jackets. So I drove praying, "God if this is what you want me to do I will, I trust you will keep me safe, but I need to know if this is your idea or mine."

So I kept driving, then Wal-mart popped into my head! Hmmm, I thought, is that what I should do, Father, find someone in need there? So I told myself, I will go to Wal-Mart, and if I find someone that stands out and looks in need, then I will give them my card. If not blankets. Wal-Mart it is!

I walked around with an empty cart pretending to shop, even checked out the blankets to see how many I could get for $100. Finally, walking in the food section, I saw a mom and her two children with about four items in her cart and using a calculator to figure out what else she could afford. I could tell by their clothing it had been quite awhile since they had anything new.

I could hear the children pleading for something they wanted or needed. So that was it. I walked over, stuck my hand out and said, "Here this is for you."

She was embarrassed and said, "Oh no, you don't have to do that!"

I told her, "It was given to me as a birthday present, and I want to do it for you. I saw you working on your calculator. Merry Christmas."

And then Itook off! I was embarrassed too and didn't want her to feel bad by drawing attention to us, or try to give it back. I could hear her say "thank you" as I disappeared. I had planed to place God in my words in speaking with her, but didn't because I could see she was worried people would look at her.

 

Heidi, thank you so much for sharing this precious story with us. I have no doubt that mom knew our great Abba was looking out for her that day and He did it through you.

My friends, our testimonies are inspiring and when we share them with a heart to glorify and praise Jesus, we inspire others. So share your testimonies with that heart and ignore the enemy's attempt to condemn and make you think you're bragging. He would love to keep us quiet so that others won't be inspired to do similar acts of love and kindness.

And I wish you could have seen my daughter's face when I told her how her act of kindness had inspired someone to do something similar. I tell you, I literally saw her spirit expand with in her. So beautfiul and so precious. Heidi gave my daughter a gift too in her desire to help another in like manner.

Wow, wow and wow again! This is the heart of Christmas, my friends. The love of Jesus in action. Not to earn the praises of others but to share the sacrifical love that was born first as a tiny baby and came with the sole purpose to save the world. 

Jesus, our great King, Savior and Friend. The epitomy of love, Who CHOSE to dwell in us. He's in you, my friends. Let that sink in and blow you away! Then let Him shine brightly through you.

Love you so much! Be shiney for Jesus!
Dineensig

*****

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A “wild goose chase” with God is never futile!

A “wild goose chase” with God is never futile!   

I want to share a great story with you that began last year. Sometimes when we let the Holy Spirit lead us, we feel like HE is taking us on a wild goose chase but know this, God knows exactly what HE is doing... Our job is to simply LISTEN, OBEY (immediately) and TRUST!!!

Last year a Christian man entered our church one Sunday morning with a young weathered man named Joe that he had picked up while hitchhiking. The Christian man shared the love of Christ with Joe during the drive and when they got to their destination city, the Christian asked Joe if we wanted to go to a church to hear more about this love of God. Surprisingly to the Christian, Joe accepted and this was the morning I met my new friend. My heart really went out to this young man for some reason. I took his phone number and kept in touch with him.

God gave me an opportunity to take him grocery shopping and to buy him lunch and this lead to Joe sharing all about his childhood. Much too long to get into here but suffice to say that he no longer had any contact with his dad and his mom’s current partner didn’t want to have anything to do with Joe. I came to learn that he had really been in survival mode since he was about 15 years old. Today, Joe is still a boy on the run but I have always kept in touch with him via Facebook. A few months ago the Lord put it on my heart to go see him and take him to a testimonial supper in the town where he was currently residing. I had seen this Christian speaker only a few weeks prior in my own hometown. I really thought this story would touch Joe. In addition, since it was a supper conference, I felt he would definitely accept my invitation, even if it was just for a free meal.  When I called him to see if he wanted to go he said “Sure, can I bring my girlfriend?” So of course, I was excited that I would be bringing not only one person but two people that needed to hear about the love of Jesus. As I was driving to the town (about 90 minute drive), I was praying for Joe and the Lord told me to also pray for his girlfriend, so I did.

We had a nice evening and the girlfriend, Isa, was very touched by the testimony.  She shared with me that she had almost died in a car accident a few years prior. The boy that was driving died immediately on impact. She went through intense therapy to get back on her feet.  I was in complete “awe” how God had put this young lady on my path that night. I bought her the book that the speaker wrote and I left them in the hands of a Christian couple I had met a few weeks earlier at the same event in my hometown. This couple were so full of LOVE and “yes” they lived in the same town as Joe and Isa...How cool is that!!  God really arranges everything doesn’t He?

I was to give my testimony at my church a few weeks later and asked this Christian couple if they would be willing to come and to bring Joe and Isa along with them.  The couple gladly accepted however unfortunately, Joe and Isa backed down at the last minute.  Interestingly enough, however, Isa had shared with me that she had a brother named Steve that lived in a foster home and gave me the name of the town. I just so happened to have a young man named Carl that I have been mentoring spiritually for the last five years and he also lives in a foster home in the same town. Well sure enough, when I called Carl and asked him if there was a Steve living in his home he said “yes”... another God-incident.

A friend of mine had already made plans to bring Carl to my testimonial breakfast so I asked Carl to invite Steve to come along with him. Not only did Steve come but he accepted Christ that day!!! PRAISE GOD!

This past Sunday I saw Steve at my former church (this is where I met Carl).  I went there since a man was giving his testimony and I really wanted to hear his story. Afterwards, I took Steve out for lunch and he shared with me that since he gave his life to Christ last month he has stopped drinking. He had been drinking since he was 15 (today he is 28). I told him it was the grace of God that had given him the strength to quit.

Lisa200x200The more I learn to trust God; HE never ceases to amaze me.  I just feel so blessed today to be an instrument in HIS hands.  I have  another “wild goose hunt” story I’d like to share with you at some point if you are interested (just let me know in the comments below) but for now be blessed as God wants to take YOU on the ride of your life too … all you need to do is hang on tight (to HIM), TRUST and SMILE.

Lisa D'eschambault 

*****

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A RAK Rejection, Opens My Heart

Hi Lynn! 


Kindra RAKI just wanted to share my "God encounter" from today.  I am taking you up on your challenge to perform random acts of kindness during December. I am a teacher at an elementary school.  I decided my first act would be in my school's teacher workroom.  Earlier this week, I taped a baggie containing $1.25 and the following note on the soda machine: "This soda is on me.  Enjoy!"  

The baggie has been there for two days and was still taped to the machine when I left school today.  As I drove home today, I began to think about my co-workers and their unwillingness to embrace this small blessing. It made me sad for them.  As I prayed, God made it clear to me that many of these ladies, most of which are Christians who attend church regularly, are holding back in their relationship with Him.  They have not completely surrendered their lives to the One who can bring them everlasting peace and joy.  There is a great amount of pride, unforgiveness, and even anger that many of them need to deal with. These emotions are keeping them from accepting even the smallest blessing in their lives.   

Today my eyes have been opened a little more too how God must feel when we refuse to accept the blessings He has for us each and every day.  We get caught up in our own selfish emotions.  Over and over we reject Him.  But, God does not give up on us!  He is always loving, always forgiving.  

I pray that my co-workers will come to know the abundance of blessings God has waiting for them each and every day.  As I am feeling a small amount of "rejection" from this experience, I know that God is using this as an opportunity to increase my awareness of the many blessings He has for me each and every day! 

This has not discouraged me.  I will continue to seek out opportunities to be a blessing to others.  I can't wait to see what else God wants to teach me! 

Kindra profile photoOne more thing.  When I get home from school each day, my routine is to read several devotionals and of course check-out the SUM website. ;)  I am attaching a link to a devotional that was waiting for me today.  It reinforced the exact things God was telling me as I drove home today!  WOW! 

http://encouragedinchrist.org/2013/12/surrender-and-peace-power-and-glory/

Be blessed!
Kindra Szarka

*****

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Ho Ho Ho... But I'm Not Happy. I'm Stressed Out!

Hi My SUMite Friends, 

Well if you’re anything like me, you’re in the middle of the busiest part of this Christmas season. It’s this time a year that most of us feel overwhelmed by all of our added responsibilities, such as buying gifts, wrapping gifts, shipping gifts, decorating, etc. etc. 

And for me specifically, I feel emotionally, spiritually, physically worn out. 

But this last week I discovered real power of one of the fruits of the spirit, self-control. And this is how it played out for me. Most of you know that last Wednesday, I flew to Virginia Beach to be interviewed on the 700 Club Interactive program. Prior to leaving, I met with my local critique group on Tuesday which was fun, but it turned into a late evening. I woke early the next morning to fight traffic to get to the airport in San Diego. I then boarded a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, where weather delays kept me from making my connecting flight to Virginia Beach. Therefore, I arrived finally at my destination at 11:30 PM. I think I finally went to sleep at 1 AM East Coast time. 

Jet wingI was up early to prepare for the morning interview. It was a blast. I’m completely humbled that I was allowed to share with a broad audience the hope we have as believers in Christ for our marriages and our families. Following the interview I had a quick lunch with some of the staff from CBN and then it was off to the airport for a cross-country return flight. 

I arrived in Atlanta, and wouldn’t you know it, I again had a flight delay due to mechanical issues. It’s at this point, when you’re sitting on the floor in a very busy airport waiting for a flight that the fatigue of the last two days sets in. Exhaustion overtakes and patience with people and circumstances is often stretched to the breaking point. Can anyone relate? 

It’s often at these times when my normal, cheerful, self can become short in patients with other people. But for some reason this time it was different for me. I kept hearing the word over and over in my head, self-restraint. 

Self-restraint. 

Hmmmmm, I think the Holy Spirit was speaking softly over me that entire evening. Finally, after a five hour delay, I finally boarded the plane for a five hour flight home. I retrieved my car and then it was a one hour drive on the freeway to finally arrive at home about midnight. 

What is interesting to me is that normally when I arrive home utterly exhausted, such as I was this evening I adopt an attitude that it’s okay just to let my control over my emotions go. And I don’t reign in my attitude of exhaustion and my short temper when I walk in the door. It’s as if I’ve given myself permission to be mean and ugly with my spouse, just because I’m home. 

Throughout this long trip home, while at the airport, while sitting in the seat on the flight home, I managed to maintain a smile and reign in my frustration and tiredness, determined not to take out my emotions on another person. So when I finally arrived home, I looked at the door from the garage into the house and before I entered it, I said to myself, “Self-restraint.” 

I was determined to walk into the house wearing maturity and self-restraint and to have a pleasant yet tired conversation with my husband. And I guess this self-restraint attitude was born out of my experience of returning home a few months ago exhausted from traveling. And I walked in the door, unrestrained, fight ensued, and the one who was truly hurt and even more frustrated, was me.

I walked in, I smiled. I unpacked and then kissed him on the lips. I crawled into bed. No fight. Just love....

All was right with the world.

"Thank you Holy Spirit." 

So in this season of perpetual joy *grin* perhaps I could share with you two little words that the Holy Spirit likes to speak: Self Restraint. Sometimes just whispering them to yourself will keep you from lighting your house on fire.

James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

On another note: I just want to thank everyone for your prayers for me as I traveled last week. I felt them. I also felt as though God allowed me to shine a light upon the thousands of us who are spiritually mismatched. There’s a growing awareness in the body of Christ, as well as pastors, and in the general church that there are many women and men who are living in a mismatched marriage. 

And what I really love the most is that they are discovering that we, the SUMites, have so much to offer the church, our families, our husbands and our communities. I stand amazed at the love of God for those of us who walk in this crazy, wacky, mixed up journey of the spiritually mismatched. I love you have an amazing day. Love and hugs, Lynn

(If you missed the boradcast, there is a link in the sidebar now.)

Photo Credit By artur84, published on 16 April 2013
Stock Photo - image ID: 100159152

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Walking in Mary and Joseph's Sandals, Part 2

15540150_sMy friends, sorry for the delay in posting the rest of this series. I hope you’re enjoying exploring Scripture for more nuggets and details surrounding our Savior’s birth. I love how Abba’s Word comes alive as we do this. Did you discover new things as you read Luke chapters one and two?

What I noticed first as I read is that Luke, a gentile, tells the story more from Mary’s perspective. Makes me wonder if Joseph was still in the picture (these recordings were done after Christ’s death, as much as 30 years after, I believe). One commentary I read a while back suggested the possibility that Joseph may have died at some point as he’s not present at all after Jesus’ temporary disappearance at age 12 when he stayed behind in Jerusalem to be in his Father’s house.

Both Zechariah and Mary have encounters with the angel Gabriel—Zechariah regarding his son John’s conception and birth (Luke 1:11-22), and Mary being chosen to bare the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38). And don’t you just love what Gabriel says in verse 37? Powerful!

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

There are four specific mentions of the Holy Spirit being active at this point (pre-resurrection). The first when Gabriel tells Zechariah he will soon have a son, who will be “filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). The second when Mary visits Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s voice, John leaps in Elizabeth’s womb and she is filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:39-45). The third comes at John’s birth when Zechariah’s voice is restored and prophesies over his son (Luke 1:67).

I want to interject here and say I wonder if Luke, being a physician, was being a tad ironic in verse 62 when the make signs to Zechariah about John’s name. The man was made mute, not deaf! Yet how often does that actually happen?

Okay, back to the Holy Spirit. The next mention of His presence comes in chapter two when Jesus is presented at the temple. Here we meet Simeon, who seemed to have many interactions with the Holy Spirit. I love that God heard this man’s dream to see the Messiah and grants it before his death (Luke 2:25-32). Simeon wasn’t a prophet but he did prophesy over Jesus. Then we meet Anna who is a prophetess and continues to give thanks and speak about the child (Luke 2:36-38).

Did you noticed there were not Magi mentioned in Luke’s account? And one of my favorite parts is when the angels appear to the shepherds—not to the kings and rulers of this time. To the shepherds who almost seem to be a prophetic symbol or resemblance to the humility and status that Jesus came into this world and continued to walk in it. And He would be called our great Shepherd too!

Now as a mom, I found two areas very tender and intriguing. First in Luke 2:19 and 51 where it says that Mary “treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Can you imagine? Those two mentions of her holding these truths about her son—the Son of God—in her heart, always stop me as I read. She’d spent nine months carrying this child and now she held the Son of God in her arms, kissed his brow, fed Him, changed His diaper…

And now she speaks prophetic words of what He would mean to a nation. Reading it or even knowing about it is one thing, but to be living it out is entirely different. Mary was a strong presence in Jesus’ life all the way to the cross.

And then we jump to Jesus at about age 12 when He is clearly aware of who and what He is (Luke 2:41-52). Did He always know? Or what point did He become aware of who He really was? Did Gabriel visit Him too? (Okay, that’s me being a little humorous—I’m sure Jesus could hear His Father just fine without the help of an angel.)

Seriously though, these are the things that get my brain moving and wondering what they thought, felt and perceived. Absolutely mind blowing when you think about it. I can’t wait to get to heaven and talk to all those involved!

So, my friends, this concludes our exploration of the birth of Christ. What parts stood out to you? Resonated with your heart in some way? Left you wanting to know more? Just listen the song below for awe inspiring thoughts! Wow, Mary kissed the face of God…

And finally, here is my Christmas gift for you. Using the NIV translation, I’ve taken parts from the books of Matthew, Luke and John to compile a chronological account of Jesus’ birth.  Click to download The Birth of Jesus. Enjoy!

Love you all so much! Merry Christmas!
Dineensig

Image credit: yupiramos / 123RF Stock Photo

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More Than A Random Act of Kindness

Greetings SUMites. I hope you’re having a beautiful Christmas season filled with love and holiness. Today I have a special treat for you. What you’re about to read below was sent to me by a fellow SUMites, Cindy. This email arrived in my inbox on Saturday. However, I didn’t get to read it until late Sunday evening. I was utterly moved by this story, and by Cindy, and by watching her share the love of God. 

I pray you are moved to outrageous and generous acts of loving kindness for other people. Hugs, Lynn

 

Connecting with Someone Who Just Needed a Little Help.
By: Cindy Martina (Fellow SUMite) 

ManhomeWhile volunteering to feed the homeless a meal in Santa Ana, CA recently, the Lord moved me to help a man. I was serving punch when he came through the line. I noticed he was limping. When he came back for seconds, I asked him if he was okay. Tears started to fall and he said he had been hit by a car. 

I said, “Oh my goodness,” and I offered to pray for him. 

He said, “Thanks.” 

The next 20 minutes or were so very busy, finishing serving and then cleaning up that I was not thinking about him at all. However, when I went to my car to leave I saw him sitting on the curb. Seeing him there, I felt the “nudge” from God. I stopped my car, walked over to him and asked how I could help him. 

He began to cry. 

I was so moved (Holy Spirit ~ NO doubt) by this man. I offered my phone, but he had no one to call. Forgoing my plans to visit a friend, I sat down next to him and we tried to find him a place to spend the night. He had come to California with a carnival which had shut down. He stayed in a motel till his money ran out. He had been on the streets for three nights. All he owned had been stolen. I asked him if he drank. He said no. I asked him if he did drugs. He said no, he was Muslim. 

I hope and believe that I reacted like Jesus would have. I loved him. I drove him to the Salvation Army shelter, about four miles away. I prayed for him, in Jesus’ name, and praise God, when 3:30p.m. rolled around, he was able to get a bed. 

Two days later the Lord led me to offer to buy him a bus ticket home. When I offered this to him on the phone, he was overcome with gratitude. The next day I picked him up from the shelter, drove him to Greyhound and bought his one way ticket to Ft. Worth. I gave him plenty of reading material… Biblical articles comparing Christianity to Islam. A New Testament and some other little Christian booklets. I was able to tell him, in all sincerity, that God loves him, is pursuing him, and that God has a plan for his life. Then I sent him on his way with a prayer, a couple of hugs, and tears from both of us. 

Mostly Hawaii Jan 2013 Cindy M032I cannot put into words the blessing this whole experience was for me. I am just eternally grateful that God gave me this opportunity to be Jesus’ Hands and Feet. For one person. One person that I pray for daily and that I can’t wait to see again someday. And I expect to hear about all the marvelous works that God will do through his life.

Cindy <><

"...For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord..." ~Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

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Weekend Worship — My Random Act of Kindness (RAK)

788824_dollar_billIt wasn’t an ordinary day for us. It was a landmark day. It was a day that would hold more meaning than I expected.

Our agenda that day was to get Leslie’s yearly MRI done and behind us so we could focus on Thanksgiving. It’s routine now and thankfully down to a yearly check to confirm she is still cancer free. And this was a landmark event—five years since her diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor.

We breathed a sigh of relief when it was done and headed to our next destination—the grocery story. There I bustled with my purse and shopping list, focused on what I needed to do next with my daughter along to help.

As I headed for the shopping carts, I hear a voice ask, “Can you spare some change for food?”

I follow the source and find myself looking down at a young woman sitting next to a young man about her age. They seem as average as anyone I would have passed inside the store, yet there they sat asking for food in front of a building full of it.

My friends, this is where it gets interesting and astonishing—not for them but for me!

I suddenly found myself sitting on the cement step next to them, asking about their situation—not to be nosey but to give a listening heart and ear. This young woman’s eyes grew large and a bit stunned, reflecting exactly what I was feeling inside.

Let me share a little of my inner dialogue with myself. “What are you doing? What in the world made you do that!?”

The Holy Spirit did. And I still laugh as I think about it, because something like this is way out of my comfort zone. But in that moment, it wasn’t. I didn’t even think about it, just did it.

After they shared their story of being in a program to help people get back on their feet, but that the facility didn’t have a much in their “coffers” to help them, I felt led to share with them where we had just come from. I was able to point to my daughter and say, “There stands my walking and talking miracle.”

Having very little cash in my wallet, I offered to buy them a gift card inside the grocery story. Veronica thanked me profusely and came with me. As we walked into the store, she shared how she was a cancer survivor too. Breast cancer.

The power of testimony.

My friends, God’s divine appointments never cease to stun me. In that moment I understood why I was supposed to share about Leslie and how God planned this day to remind all of us about His goodness in the past and see it front and center that day.

I felt like the one blessed more than Veronica as I shared God’s goodness to us and told her that all I was doing was passing it on. God loves us that much and wants us to share His goodness. I continued to pray for Veronica and her friend the rest of the day. And praised Abba for the chance to give. Yes, I had moments of doubt, wondering if I did the right thing, but I recognized the enemy’s attempt to discourage me from doing things like this again.

And I learned that being taken out of our comfort zone doesn’t always mean we will be uncomfortable, but we will most certainly be blessed beyond our expectations.

Keep sharing your RAKs, my friends! Can’t wait to hear more! Love you with the heart of Jesus! Dineensig

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A Testimony of Kindness

My friends, you are going to love this story. Our very own Lynette Duquette shares her recent encounter and divine appointment to help someone. Read and be inspired! God is so good and loves it when we partner with Him to do things like this!

Me1My Story of Generosity
by Lynette Duquette

I wasn't alone for this, but it had a profound impact on me. Last night I was at my CR step study. We had just finished up and I was sharing that I was still struggling with what happened at my last church. I am having a hard time trusting any spiritual male authority in my life right now. As we were finsihing up, we heard pounding on the door, and being in a bad past of town, we all were a bit scared. We all answered the door together. There stood Jane. She was wearing only pants, a sweater, and a hat. She had sores all over her face and hands. She asked if we had any canned goods, she was hungry, cold and tired as she had been walking for hours. She had to walk about 3 miles to get back to wear she could stay with a friend, but she said her feet were hurting. She looked for a bed in the shelter, but none were available. She was weeping and it broke my heart. We took her downstairs and gave her food, a coat, a scarf and another hat. She couldn't stop saying how grateful she was and how kind we were, we didn't have to do so much. She was saying that people usually didn't show her care and concern the way we did, that she didn't deserve it. I looked her in the eye and said, "Jane, this is how much Jesus loves you."

We ended up giving her a ride to the next city over. My friend drove and I followed, just to be safe as this other city has some bad area too, and that is where Jane was headed. My friend got to talk to the Lord about her, and she is a believer, but circumstances in her life had caused her to question God and His love for her. We dropped her off and both headed home.

I have been unsure of many things lately. Not my faith or God, but not trusting myself to hear Him correctly. As we were driving Jane home, I heard God say "Trust Me, you are right where you need to be." I'm thinking today...God needs me to be here, in this area, at this time." Honestly, I am more in awe by what happened last night than Jane is.

Is that not amazing! Wow, we just never know when opportunities like this will knock on our door and find us out and about in our day. 

6a00d83451ee9f69e201910481a300970c-200wiAnd one final note. If you haven't had a chance to listen to our interviews on Dr. Dobson's Family Talk, the broadcasts are being re-aired and can be accessed and listened to here HERE. Part two is broadcasting today.

Have an amazing weekend, my friends. Come back tomorrow for another story. I'm so looking forward to sharing what Abba did in this divine appointment!

Merry Christmas!
Dineensig

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SUM News!

IStock_000016649243XSmallMy friends, I know I said last week that we’d be discussing Luke chapters one and two today, but we have a lot going on at the moment in the radio-sphere, the blogosphere, the web-sphere and a few other places that we want to make sure you get to take part in. So today’s post is kind of a coral ‘em up and keep you “posted” day. We will go back to our journey with Mary and Joseph either Saturday or next Wednesday. And I’m working on a little gift for you too—something you’ll be able to download and enjoy. Stay tuned for that!

So here’s what’s happening, SUMites!

  1. Lynn will be on 700 Club Interactive tomorrow morning from 11:00 to 11:30 am Eastern time. I’m SO excited to catch this LIVE interview. Let’s keep her in our prayers and pray for those who Abba brings our way as a result of this wonderful opportunity to share His love. Click HERE to watch.

  2. The interview we did in August with Dr. Dobson made their “Best of the Best in 2013” list. Yay! God is GOOD! They will be re-airing the show Thursday and Friday. Click HERE to listen each day. And again, please pray for those hearts that God touches with renewed hope and leads them here so we can encourage, love and pray for them. This is our SUMite Nation at its best! Woohoo!!!

  3. How’s your community project/random act of kindess going? So exciting! Can’t wait to hear your stories too. I have one I’m looking forward to sharing with you about a trip to the grocery store—shocked me and the woman I had the chance to share God’s love and blessings with. Abba is so awesome!

  4. Here’s another story I’d love to share with you about my daughter Leslie, and her generous heart. Read “Shocking the World with Generosity,” HERE. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

  5. Our very own Martha Bush has a post up by Lynn at her site, Martha’s Blog. “The Home with the Open Door.” Go and check out this inspiring article about powerful parenting HERE.

That about sums up what’s happening at SUM! (Yes, goofy pun intended.) Have an amazing week, my friends. Now let’s close with a prayer for all those moms and dads out there (inlcuding us!) who worry about raising their children to know Jesus.

King Jesus, You are our Best Friend, our Comforter, our Strength and the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Lord, I ask that You renew, strengthen and restore every mom and dad who is reading this right now. Pour out Your Spirit over each one and over their homes and children. Fill each one with new hope that they CAN raise their little ones to know You, because You are right there helping us do it—every day, every hour and with every single prayer. Leave no doubts in their hearts and minds that You are pouring out Your love and blessings over them. Abba, let this be the day that we take a step of faith and say, “Yes, we can raise our children to know Jesus, because we are not alone. The Creator of the universe has invested His Son in our children and HE WILL NOT FAIL! In Your Holy and Powerful Name, Jesus, amen!

Love you, my precious friends! Take that step of faith and BELIEVE James 5:16. As believers we bear the righteousness of Jesus and our prayers are powerful and effective! Amen!
Dineensig

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700 Club Interactive

{Lynn} On Wednesday I will get on a plane and head toward Virgina. On Thursday I will be interviewed about our book, Not Alone. Gang, I would be so thankful to have a word whispered to our Lord for me.  

700 ineractiveHere is some information from Molly who is the Senior Guest Coordinator for the 700 Club. She has been so great to me. Thanks Molly:  

700 Club Interactive is a live web-cast we produce from 11:00 – 11:30 am ET (10:00 am CT, 9:00 am MT and 8:00 am PT) so your friends can log onto www.cbn.com to see you live.  Then it will be broadcast nationally on the ABC FAMILY cable network on Monday, December, 11 at 9:30 am ET/PT and at 8:30 am CT.  Mountain time depends on the local cable system.  If the cable system takes the ABC FAMILY East coast feed, it will be seen at 7:30 am MT.  If the  cable system takes the West coast feed, it will be seen at 10:30 am MT.   After this program is broadcast on Dec 11, it will be posted on www.700ClubInterctive.com.  ~Molly

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart because I truly am a bit nervous. I hope to post photos and updates on our Facebook page of the ziplocks or the random acts of kindness or the opportunities to share the Kingdom Gospel while on my travel across America and back. Love you. Taking each of you with me in my heart. Hugs, Lynn

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It's Community Miracle Time

Good Monday Morning Sumites,  (This is a Community Miracle of the #SUMite Nation)

I have been praying to have the heart of God for a few months now. And as we move into the month of December, I feel God asking this community to LIVE THE GOSPEL. 

How do we do that? How do we impact people around us with the Gospel? 

The answer: WE LOVE

How do we love? 

Answer: GENEROUSLY

The video below is Todd White sharing his love with strangers. If you have ever watched the movie, Father of Lights, Todd appears in the last scene and it's a Holy Mind Blow.

This video is roughly 15 minutes long but it will inspire you to lavish love and give it generously. Take the time to listen and be inspired. 

 

You may say to yourself, I'm unable to be generous like Todd. How can I give like that? Well, my friends, give what you can. Be outrageously generous with what you have.

I have an experiment to offer you this December. See this photo?

Random Act of Kindness

Well, how about if each of us put a $1 or $5 or even $10 in a plastic ziplock bag. Include a blank sticky note and put at least 3-5 of these prepared bags in your purse or wallet. And then ask God to bring about an opportunity to share. Then leave a note taped somewhere, hand someone the ziplock with the money, or buy someone a coffee, pay for their groceries.

I did this once. I saw a women who I knew from church. Her and her husband were both unemployed. She was in the checkout lane at Walmart with her mother. They were counting change and looking for more money in their purses. I walked up, swiped my card in front of their astonished faces. They cried, I cried, the Walmart employee stood speechless as she watched.

or just ...... Allow God to direct you. I will make a bold promise. God will reward you and this Christmas will be the Best Christmas you have ever had.

I'm headed to Virginia on Wednesday. I'm loading my purse with prepared ziplocks and I plan to be generous. Sometimes anonymously but I'm hoping to love on someone in person to share "the Gospel" of love and generosity with strangers. 

God is a generous God. He lavishes his love and provision upon His children. The more we give the more He will give us..... And the more we give. The more He gives. What a fun and cool plan. I LOVE God's ways!!

Let's meet up here again in few weeks and share photos, experiences. But let's share how we loved God' and His people by our generosity. Email me your stories and photos of where you left bags. 

Please email me.

Are you up for this? Because those who dare to participate in this love experience will be the ones God blesses generously.

Here is my sticky note. I hope people will visit our #SUMiteNation on Facebook and Twitter to find out what it's all about. 

IMG_1333[1]

I love you. God is generous and wants you to experience the joy and miracles that happen when we love others with His generous and outrageous love. And people are so open to the love of God during this time of year. Hugs, Lynn

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