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16 entries from February 2014

A Ten Year Journey to Becoming Equally Yoked

CarolAndDougMy friend, Carol, and her husband are both Christian. This spiritual unity enhances their marriage union. But it wasn’t always that way. They agreed to share their story as an encouragement to those of us who are, or have been, in unequally yoked relationships. 

Wherever you are on your own journey, won’t you join me in celebrating with Carol and Doug?

 

The Early Days

Carol and Doug had known each other since high school. They grew, married other people, and moved on with their lives.

They rekindled their relationship years later when they were both single again. Carol’s children had grown and were living on their own. Doug’s young children lived with his ex-wife. 

Carol did not realize that theirs would be a spiritually mismatched marriage. Doug had professed his belief in the Bible. Yet, after working 6-day weeks, he preferred to skip church so he could stay home and rest on Sundays.

Raising a Family

Soon their spiritual differences became more apparent. Doug’s ex-wife was addicted to drugs and not able to take proper care of the children.  They were living without electric or water for months. The house and the children’s clothing were in disarray. Carol and Doug took the 5 children, ages 3 to 8, into their home. 

Carol naturally wanted to raise the children to love The Lord. Taking them to church services began to be a point of contention. At first, the children went out of curiosity. Then, they wanted to follow their father’s example and stay home instead. He offered no support in her efforts. At one point, Carol confronted him with, “It is your responsibility to bring these children up in the Lord.” That did not go over well at all.  He was offended and put up a wall of resistance.

Weekly Invitations

She sought advice from her pastor. He suggested that she continually pray and invite him to church every week. She did this for nearly 2 years. His response started out with a simple, “No. I don’t think so.” Over time, his responses became angrier. She would be in tears. Oh, he’d go when the kids were performing in a Christmas pageant or something. They really wrestled with their approach to guiding the children’s spiritual growth.   

After a few years, the ex-wife wanted the kids back. Since they never filed legal paperwork for custody, they had to let the kids go.

A Different Approach

There were several changes in Carol’s life around the same time that the children returned to their mother. She joined a different church and started a new job.

Carol’s new pastor had gentler advice. He said to pray, but not to prod. Prodding can be perceived as hounding. She prayed that God work on Doug’s heart. She prayed for other people to come into his life and influence him. 

Carol continued to try to persuade him through the example of her daily walk with The Lord. If an argument started, she would calmly excuse herself to pray. When she returned to continue the discussion, her advice was consistently sound and reasonable.

Sadly, the family faced devastating news. Doug’s daughter had a brain tumor. Throughout this time, Carol had a lot of support from Christians. Doug started to pray with her for the benefit of his beloved daughter. She eventually passed away.

Positive Influences

Coincidently (or God-incidently), Carol noticed the same friendly face at her new job that she recognized as the worship leader at her new church. Carol and Mary soon became friends.

They learned that their husbands had a lot in common – motorcycles, cars and growing up in the same small town. They had differences too. One was a company executive; the other a mechanic. Ted was a devout Christian; Doug still had not committed. The ladies decided that Doug and Ted needed to meet.

The couples got together socially and their friendships grew. Early on, it was a concert that Ted and Mary rode their motorcycle to. Ted was open about his faith. He shared how Christianity helped him through situations with his own children. Doug seemed comfortable with this type of conversation coming from another man. When Carol invited Doug to church again, she added that they could go to breakfast afterwards with Mary and Ted. Doug agreed! He is now a faithful Christian and attends church regularly.

Doug says that at first, attending church was something he did just to make Carol happy. But now, he attends to worship The Lord. 

Many things worked together to soften his heart and draw him to Christ. He was broken by the loss of his daughter. He saw how Christians supported each other through trials. He saw the wisdom Carol obtained through prayer. And he heard the testimony of another man, whom he respected.

Advice for SUMites

I asked Carol what advice she could share with us. She said that the biggest lesson is to be patient. It took ten years of their marriage before Doug was saved. She advises that we occasionally ask our prebelievers to church, but not to push. Pray for workers in the field, like Ted. Sometimes, people have to hear the message over and over and from different people before their hearts are ready. 

Carol and Doug’s story seemed to correspond with Dineen and Lynn’s book, Winning Him Without Words. The chapter,“Key#2 Don’t Save your Husband – Save Yourself” says it this way “When I finally let go and stopped all my foolish and unproductive efforts to save my man, two things happened. First, I discovered new freedom. A terrible heaviness I didn’t know I had been carrying lifted from my shoulders. I no longer felt the pressure to do whatever it takes to push my husband to faith. I stopped obsessing over what “activity” I should try next to force my husband toward faith. I was able to step back and finally trust God wholeheartedly with my husand’s salvation. What a relief.”

Prayer

Hallelujah, Lord. We celebrate every soul that comes to know and love You.  We celebrate this family that now puts you at the center of their marriage. Continue to bless them and their love story. Bless Mary and Ted. Strengthen the rest of us, Lord. Give us patience and wisdom. Help us share love with our prebelievers. Some of us are in difficult positions or estranged from our spouses. Help us forgive them and live our lives freely for You. Thank you for this community and the support we find here.

Conversation

Everyone’s story is different. Could you relate, in some way, to this testimony? Does it encourage or discourage you to hear stories like this?

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It's All About A Wedding!

Hello SUMites, 

Lynn here. I’m posting on Wednesday today as I’m traveling the remainder of the week. Teresa will be sharing a fascinating interview on Friday. Dineen will be back in March. Woo Hoo!! Thank you Teresa T. for filling in this month. I love you my friend. And we appreciate your heart and time. Hugs, SUMites! 

I’m heading out to South Bend, IN today as I was invited to be a guest on The Harvest Show. I’m chuckling a bit because this California girl is heading into the Polar Vortex. My friends, I don’t even own clothing that is sufficient for the temperatures they are forecasting for Thursday. Ahem, the high 8 degrees and the low, -7. *OUCH*.. I want to tour Notre Dame on Thursday, as I have the afternoon free. It will be snowing. Hmmmmmm. On second thought, I may have the time of my life. May have to throw a few snowballs. I love being child-like. *grin* 

Okay, watch for travel adventures on Twitter and my Facebook page (friend me)

Onward…. 

It’s all about a wedding!!!! 

Bride and Boquet By nuchylee, published on 27 November 2012This book, the Bible…. It’s all about a wedding. Over the next few weeks I want to share with you my thoughts on the wedding, the Bride, Covenant and the notes I took from the conference I attended in January. I find it fascinating in that I’ve feel as though for the first time in my life, I’ve truly come to understand and glimpse what “Covenant” is about, the implications of entering in, and the power within a covenant. 

I will tell you now that I’m still learning as God leads this out so as I learn more, I will share. 

This study of covenant began as one of the speakers, Kris Vallatton, spoke on covenant at the conference that Dineen and I attended in January. Let me share just a few notes from that session. 

*So many people are looking for their destiny when they should be looking for their people (family). 

*What began as an accident needs to be now done on purpose.

*Cohabitating: You are in it for what you get.

*Covenant: You are in it for what you give. 

*Find your family.

 

The entire hour that Kris spoke all I could think about is two things; my marriage and children (family) and my SUMite family. 

I started to ponder at what point I turned in my years of marriage from a “what I get out of this” kind of marriage to “what I give to this marriage?” Let me tell you that it will likely be a life-time for me to ever be completely selfless in relationships. Truly. Are you completely selfless in relationships? Even in our relationship with God?? But, I have come far from the early years. And covenant now holds a deeper meaning and power in my mind and heart. 

So let’s talk about the wedding. In the beginning Genesis 2:24 the two became what? 

In Canaan Jesus performs His first miracle. It was at a what? 

The parable of the Ten Virgins…. Who was coming for them? 

The very last book of the Bible…. Revelations 22:17  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” … 

It’s about a wedding. It’s about a Bride. It’s about a Groom and it’s about the Father. My friends, let’s wrap our minds around Covenant because it’s purpose and power is at the heart of the Word of God. 

Okay, I have so much more to say on this. Today, share with me your thoughts on the wedding. If you remember in October I experienced an open vision of this amazing Groom, read about that here (first post). 

Love you… Hope to see you as I travel this week. Please pray for me as I truly get nervous right before the shows. I love you my friends. I have a heart covenant with you.. It’s true. It’s real. It’s eternal. Hugs, Lynn 

PS. I have an amazing story about covenant that I will share next week. Love you. 

Vastness of Our God

By nuchylee, published on 27 November 2012

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Open Heavens

Good Monday Morning,

I want to give this community a heads-up. 

Many of you know that Dineen and I have attended a life-changing conference for the last two years at Bethel Church in Redding California. The Open Heaven's Conference.

I want to let you know that there are several of our SUMite family who are planning, saving and striving to get themselves to this conference this October. The conference is slated, tentatively, for October 8-10, 2014.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to go. God wants you to go. 

So start saving your money.

I will announce it here when registration opens later this summer. In the mean time, I want to share with you a message from one of the pastors of Bethel. This message will rock your world and greatly encourage you.

Kris Vallatton 

Kris Vallatton Prophets and Prophecy 2 16 2014

So what are your thoughts? What did you think of the description of the angel, Michael? Whoa... This is a taste of the conference. Start saving, start praying and I want to hug your neck there in October.

 

Okay, thoughts about this podcast? See you in the comments, Lynn

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Weekend Worship — The "Year of Intimacy" Continues

HeartinCloudsMy friends, I've truly missed you this week. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I want to share more of what I'm learning from Jesus in this "year of intimacy" that He is taking me through. Some of it has been painful as more of the lies that have infiltrated my heart and mind and kept me from fully believing and trusting Abba have been exposed. And I so want all of us to be free of these lies that keep us from fully living in the abundant life that Jesus died for us to have.

What truly surprised me is how I thought I had embraced and accepted that Jesus loved me (I still remember singing that song "Jesus loves me, this I know" as a child), yet the full weight and meaning of His love hadn't really reached my heart and soul. Let me share some of those lies and then the truth Jesus is showing me. I pray it blessed and releases something in your heart as it is doing in mine so that we, "being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to measure of all the fullness of God." Eph 3:17-19

Lie #1: I'm not lovable.
Truth: Abba doesn't create anything outside of His love because He IS love (1 John 5:16). Why would He create you and not love you? And He loves you all the way, without reserve, because that's Who He is. And nothing can separate or take that away from us. Not even our own doubts or unbelief. (Romans 8:38-39) Break your agreement with this lie right now, confess your doubts and unbelief to Him, and RECEIVE His forgiveness, love, grace and peace (1 John 1:9). Any time this thought lie comes back, capture it and give it to Jesus (2 Cor. 10:5).

Lie #2: I'm not entitled or allowed to receive Abba's gifts and blessings.
Truth: Again, we are truly and deeply loved (by Jesus' great love and not our merit, Eph 2:8-9) and all that He has for us comes to us from that place of love. Just as we receive salvation as a gift that we can't earn or justify by our own ability, the same is true of His gifts and blessings. Plus we are heirs with Christ and receive a full inheritance (Romans 8:17). Again, confess and renounce this lie and CLAIM your promises, gifts and blessings! And keep claiming them.

Okay, my friends, that's enough for today. Ask for "supernatural abundant grace" as you walk through these lies and renounce them. Jesus has more than enough! As I learn more I will share it with you. Please know that I as pray for these areas in my life, I am praying for you too, my SUMite family, because I want you to walk in the fullness of God just as I want to. We are the saints God's Word refers to and we are given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. I'm praying for all of us to understand, believe and receive these truths!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. — Ephesians 1:3-4

We are CHOSEN!
Love you all so much!
Dineen

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On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Good Friday morning SUMites Nation: 

TLPMy friends, it looks like the enemy has stolen much from the family of the SUMites. The post on Monday moved my heart and I rose up with a righteous anger in prayer for all of you. I’m declaring through the love of Jesus that marriages, addiction, childhood, abuse, financial distress, homes, and more are completely restored and redeemed, seven –fold. In Jesus name amen. (And Lord, take the enemy to the pit and spank him please). 

Today I want to share a new way to pray. I may have shared this in the past, so if this is a repeat, I’m sorry. But my heart is moved to help this SUMite family discover the true power we have in our prayer life and how God desperately wants us to pray. 

I pray to Remind Him of his promises and to compel Him to action. It may seem strange that we would need to compel God to action. But what I’m finding is by reminding God of his promises and repeating the Word back to Him actually accomplishes many things. For one, it’s placing the powerful, living, Word of God into our hearts. It also creates intimacy between us and our Lord. If you don’t believe me, I want you to give it a try this next few weeks. 

Let’s work with the passage of Scripture that has more power than you think. This is a passage we all know very well and yet I believe we’ve missed so much of its truth, power and the intimacy it brings. 

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the evil one.’

If you remember from Monday’s post, I shared with you that there is no cancer in heaven. So I have begun to pray The Lord’s Prayer like this: 

Our father in heaven, holy is your name. Lord let me bring your Kingdom to earth. Lord in heaven there is no cancer. So I’m believing there is no cancer here on earth in the realms where I pray. I Know Your Kingdom reigns in my house. I know Your Spirit reigns in my heart. So, when I pray for healing of people with cancer, I’m calling down your Kingdom into this earth. In the powerful name of Your Holy, Son, Jesus. AMEN! 

So, right now I ask you what is happening in your life that is not of the kingdom? I want you to begin to pray the Lord’s Prayer back to God. And tell Him, that in His Kingdom, there is (financial provision, no abuse, addictions, separations, ending of marriages, children who are victimized…. To name a few). Pray your specific prayer over and over in a personal dialog with our King. In Jesus name. 

I want you to write your prayer out NOW in the comments. I will pray alongside of you. It is redemption time and we are the prayer warriors who are joining with our Lord to take back ground from an ugly and evil enemy. In the name of our Redeemer, Jesus. Amen. 

I love you my friends, Lynn 

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Preparing Elevator Speeches

 

In last Wednesday's post, I opened a dialog about apologetics (the practice of Elevator

presenting rational explanations for our faith in response to objections against Christianity). Thank you to all to shared comments. There is a lot of wisdom, power and diversity in our SUMite community. I find such value in reading the comments.

Let’s explore an additional piece of advice when speaking of spiritual matters. Consider this whether sharing with your loved one, a co-worker or a stranger. 

Be consciously prepared to speak with truth and spirit. 

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24

Several people shared that they think of the perfect thing to say … AFTER a conversation is over. We’ve all been there. Wouldn’t it be empowering to have already thought-out responses to frequently heard questions and challenges to our faith? At work, we call these “elevator speeches” which are intended to convey a powerful message in the brief time it takes to make a trip on an elevator. 

Picture getting up in the morning and putting on your spiritual armor. (Ephesians 6:13-17) These elevator speeches can be arrows in our quiver.  “Prepared” is in quotes because we should tailor how we phrase the response to have the most impact for the situation.

Let us reason together...Isaiah 1:18

This community loves God and His word. We all know that we are to study the word and contemplate how it applies to us. (Matthew 7:24, 2 Timothy 3:16…) What I am suggesting is to think through a list of commonly heard questions and complaints. Think how you would like to respond, having at least one way to explain your stand – using both truth and spirit together. 

  • How do you know there is a God?
  • You can’t prove God scientifically. (I can’t play a Mozart concerto using a slide rule either. It isn’t the right tool!)
  • If there is a God, why does He let horrible things happen?
  • If God loved you, the car would not have broken down.
  • Etc.

Truth

Our comments have to honor the truth as God defines truth. Are you prepared to back your beliefs with scripture? Do you know why you believe what you do? Or have you held your beliefs so long that you no longer remember where you picked them up? Skeptics will jump on anything they believe to be a weakness. 

Be cautious of truth without spirit. In the Bible, the Pharisees, got all twisted around rites and rituals. Whacking people on the head with rules is not persuasive. In every day life, this might come across as avoiding or belittling someone who has a reputation of being “loose.” Yes. We are called to live a moral life. That’s truth. Jesus set the example of listening to prostitutes and drawing them to a better way. That’s truth and spirit.

Spirit

As it relates to our testimony, this is where we can include our own passion, personality and experiences. “I believe in God, because he has made these changes in my life….” 

I can be inspired by someone else’s explanation. To be authentic, I have to listen to the Spirit and share my own witness. 

A caution is to not get so caught up in feelings that we wander away from truth.  When we do that, we make ourselves a god. We can make opinions and feelings into a god. It might sound something like this. “If God is loving, he would want EVERYONE to go to heaven. Hell would not even exist.” The speaker desires others to be blessed, but isn’t standing in agreement with scripture. Frankly, some scripture can carry a hard truth. Are we ready to discuss those topics? 

I’ve tried to concisely make a case for us to think through spiritual matters, preparing ourselves to explain our positions with truth and spirit.  Please help me out by expanding the conversation in the comments. 

To inspire you, here is a short video (courtesy of FallingPlates.com) that does an awesome job of conveying the gospel message in truth and spirit. Have a tissue ready. 

 

Prayer

Abba. We love You. We want to grow in Your way. We want to know You better. Guide our thoughts and speech so that they bring honor to You and truth to the world. Open doors and put us in situations in which we can share Your message. Amen.

Conversation

So, what do you think? What are some frequently heard questions or challenges that you’ve heard? Isn’t the video moving? In England, do they call these “lift speeches?” :-)

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I Am Taking The devil To Court!

Good Monday Morning SUMite Nation: 

WinningHimDid you know that three years ago today, Winning Him Without Words, was released? Who knew God would take two ordinary gals and we would share our struggles in a book. And today, three years later, I’m humbled to the core to know that many of you have read this love offering to God. So many of you have shared with Dineen and I that you found hope and help in the pages. You found Jesus there. 

Jesus can change absolutely everything. I’m convinced our prayers are more powerful than we believe and that 2014 is going to prove that the Kingdom of God is marching forward and breakthrough this year is common place. Woo Hoo!! 

Let me at ‘em!!! 

Okay I have something really good for our Community. 

Today I’m about to deliver a mortal blow to the enemy. In fact, ALL OF US are about to take back significant ground that the enemy has taken from our families. 

Are you ready? 

Let’s go. 

I’ve been reading a book, Burnring Ones, by Jerame Nelson. This book ROCKS. As one who is hungry for more of God, I’m a voracious reader of those who have written about the manifest Presence, power, and glory of God. Jerame is what he termed, a Dread Champion. He has inspired me to truly step up to a new level of faith and action. I am a Dread Champion too! Look out devil. 

There are so many areas in our lives that satan and his minions have caused us pain. He has literally stolen our family, our health, our homes and more. 

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~John 10:10 NIV 

Today we are going to shine the light of God in this area and reclaim territory that has been lost, even lost for years and years. We are going to understand more about the justice of our King. 

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:6 

 

So here is my story and this day I’m demanding that justice be rendered. 

On August 10, 2007 my brother who was the baby of the family, age 42, passed away. His young life was stolen from our family through the disease of cancer. He died of Melanoma. 

In the Kingdom of heaven, cancer doesn’t exist. I’m convinced that this disease was perpetuated by the enemy and my brother died way too young. The devil came to steal a life and trespass. He crossed a line that at the time we didn’t know how to defend. But, I’m not going to live a victim. I know God is always good. He is on my side and is in the business of justice, redemption and restoration. 

I am now contending against this attack on my family and demanding in the courts of heaven asking for a sevenfold restoration for what was stolen from me. I am asking for a sevenfold anointing to destroy cancer in people for whom I pray. 

Where is this in the Bible? 

People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. 31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. ~Proverbs 6:30-31 

Now get this: The thief must repay sevenfold…..

 

God’s heavenly courts are open for us to petition and demand justice. I’m petitioning my Righteous Father to restore to me the years stolen and the pain of this loss. I’m asking God to demand restitution for the years stolen from my brother’s children. I’m asking the Lord to replace those lost years by restoring health to others here on earth now. I want to see people, even terminal, healed and whole in Jesus name. 

In Jesus name. 

So today, what has the enemy stolen from you? Approach the throne of grace. Begin to petition God about this promise in His holy and powerful Word. Begin to believe you will be made whole, times seven, for what the devil has stolen, killed or destroyed in your life. 

Man, I’m certain that the enemy is mad about this post today. I’m asking you to leave me a word in the comments about what you are now declaring restored, sevenfold. I will pray with you. 

This moment, this day, this hour the court of the Most High is in session and it’s our day as our loving Father extends His scepter and welcomes us to the mercy seat to make our requests known. And then we only need to stand back, pray with belief, and then watch as our God moves for us. 

Woo Hoo. I can’t wait to see what comes from this moment in the SUMite Nation. Lookout devil. Your deceptions are over. We are the ordinary/ extraordinary army of the Most High and we demand this day a return of ALL that you have stolen and it MUST BE RESTORED SEVENFOLD. In Jesus name. AMEN.

 

PS. I'm feeling much better this week. Can you tell? I love you my SUMite family. I really love you. Lynn

 

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Weekend Worship — Better Than Life

My friends, Dineen here. Forgive me for not being "around" as much the last week or so. I've had to take on some design work and teaching a fiction track at a conference to help my family fincancially. Very time consuming work and thus why I am SOOOO thankful that our very own Teresa T. has so willingly jumped in the write a few Wednesday posts for me. But I'm still here for Weekend Worship and will be back to my usual schedule in March. So appreciate your understanding, and your prayers! This conference prep is kicking my...well you know. :-)

Anyway, here are some Scripture promises that I have written in my journal this last week that I have been claiming for myself. Love how the Holy Spirit moves in Abba's Word to encouarge and uplift us. So powerful! I'm learning to embrace these promises as truth, my truth!

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. — 1 Peter 5:10

Woohoo! Amen! Jesus, HIMSELF, restores us, makes us strong, firm and steadfast. Wow!

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. — 1 John 4:4

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. — 1 John 4:14-15

In fact, this is love for God:to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. — 1 John 5:3-4

We are overcomers! What Scriptural truth are you praying over yourself right now, or your family? Let's share Abba's great Word and be inspired and encouraged. 

Lord Jesus, because Your love is better than life, our lips will glorify You! Amen! (Psalm 63:3)

Love you dearly, my friends, and thank you SO much for your love, support and prayers!
Dineen

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The Best Valentine

He speaks to us:

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love to be made whole and holy by his love.... Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living. ~Ephesians 1

 

What does it feel like to know that God has been thinking of you for a very, very long time?

Heart Tree By Ohmega1982, published on 31 January 2014

By Ohmega1982, published on 31 January 2014

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No Apologies for Apologetics

 ID-100155962

(Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

We were on vacation and sitting under the shade of a palm tree overlooking a breath-taking blue lagoon. “Are you seriously sitting there reading the Bible?” Yes. I am reading about how beautiful Queen Esther saves her people. I love this Bible event. (I try not to call them Bible “stories” because people sometimes confuse that word with “fable.”)

“You’re crazy. How do you even know there is a God?” Oh, Babe. Look around. Isn’t this gorgeous? We just spent the day swimming in the ocean with fantastic creatures – that huge whale shark that feeds on tiny plankton, the octopus that changes shape and color… How can water that is so, well fluid, have so much force in the form waves and current? Who thought of gravity? There is God. He is intelligent. He loves us and gives us awesome things. Can’t you see the possibility of it? “OK. You’re still crazy.” Yup. Always have been. I’m crazy for you too, you know.

Conversations like this present themselves from time to time. “Winning Him Without Words” teaches us that it is ineffective to preach at our pre-believing loved ones to the point we harass them. At the same time, we have to be prepared to lovingly explain our faith when given the opportunity.

Apologetics is the practice of presenting rational explanations for our faith in response to objections against Christianity.

1 Peter 3:15 “but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.”  Holman Christian Standard Bible                                              

Inspired by this scripture, there are a few approaches I try to follow.

  • I try to wait on an opportunity. A comment. A question. A TV show.
  • I try to keep it short. I try to hold my comments to only the specific question or topic. There is no point in overwhelming our pre-believers.
  • I monitor my tone. I don’t want to sound offended or overly defensive. Depending on the situation, calm and factual or outright happy may be the right tone. When speaking of God, we must speak with love in our hearts.
  • I try to keep my audience’s perspective in mind. In the conversation above, if I told my husband how I feel God’s presence in my heart, he would have just rolled his eyes or had me locked up. Instead, I responded based on the undeniable majesty that surrounded us that day. I know that he was also moved by the beauty.
  • I try to remember that each such conversation is a seed. I don’t have to keep talking until he totally agrees with me. I just have to plant the seed.

I’ve heard some objections to Christianity that seem especially strange to me. One that stands out was when a fellow at the gym said that he doesn’t believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead because in all of history no one before or since has been able to do that again. I agreed (I’m sure I looked startled.) That is what makes it so wondrous. No ordinary man could do that. Only Jesus could rise from the dead of his own power because he was God’s Son in human form.

Conversation

I don’t claim to be an expert at apologetics. Rather it is an area that I am hungry to develop. Are you? Is this an area we can explore and grow in together, Sumites? What are some objections you have heard and how did you handle them? Do you have tips or best practices to share? Do you have questions for which you’d like input about how to handle?

Prayer

Dear Lord, give us the right words to say when we have the opportunity to explain our faith. Let our actions and our words both bear witness of Your majesty. Prepare our hearts. Prepare our minds. And give us opportunities to share the Truth. Amen.

 

*****

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Achew! And A FIRE!

Good Monday Morning SUMites!! 


IStock_000012236885XSmallWell as I write today, Sunday afternoon, I’m sicker than a dog… Wonder where that saying comes from??? Weird.. But, what you are getting right now is raw and unfiltered. My head is filled with goo, as Dineen says. Achew! 

I’ve been asking God for the last several hours to give me words to write. And perhaps because of this nasty cold, I can’t hear as well??? Or not.. So right now I’m going to share a few things that are burning on my heart. 

Firstly, I’m on and interesting study of two words (concepts). 

Humility…….. and   Fire. 

Strange that God has camped me out on both of these. I’m moved, in that, for the first time I’ve come to realize that God is humility. He is the most humble of person (if I may reference Him in this way) to exist. And it’s men and women who are humble before Him to whom God will reveal the fire. 

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. (NIV) Matthew 7:7 

Do you know why this verse in in His Word? 

It’s because God is humble. He is a gentleman. And yet, He is powerful and filled with holy fire. It’s our relentless pursuit of Him that opens the door to receive the anointing of glory. The fire that fills us with healing power, creativity, wisdom, discernment, words of knowledge, just to name a few is what comes with the humble relentless pursuit of God. When we find the humble place, and not a false humility, but a true place of humility before God, He then turns us around and says go forth into the darkness and bring my light, the miracles, the healings because I love the people that I have created and I want all of them to be brought home into the Kingdom. 

I’m gathering scripture verses right now on humility. And it seems that I’m surrounded by believers right now who are fire-bearers. I’m learning a lot right now about both. And I’m convinced that I AM A FIRE-BEARER. Oh how I wish you were here with me because this fire that burns in me hot right now, I SO WANT TO PASS IT TO YOU. 

So pray with me. Some of you are going to receive it this hour. I absolutely believe this. Here we go. 

I declare Lord that any who has the character of humility and the hunger for Your fire, now reading this prayer, I make this declaration over them as a believer and follower of Christ Jesus, that they are now receiving the anointing of humility and fire. Lord, I don’t want to travel this road alone. I want the Nation of the SUMites to rise up and WE, humble every day, ordinary people, will be used by you to transform our homes, our cities, even the world. Lord I ask you extend your scepter to us. Grant us audience and activation of these words. We receive your fire. Let it burn away everything that is religious and let it light us so on fire that we place our hands on people and they are healed, they are wrapped in a love that is so pure and full that it changes absolutely everything. Lord, do this in us as well. Wrap us in a love that blots out the voices of darkness, then opens the great doors of heaven that belong to us this year. 

Open the heavinlies God because this nation, your children of SUM, we adore you. We serve you. We triumph over your enemies. We will bear witness to supernatural miracles. We will see people healed of disease and broken hearts. We will bear the glory of the Great King. And we will walk in humble intimacy with you. That is our heart’s desire Lord. In the name above all names, Jesus. Amen.

 

Okay, my friends, pray this prayer and give me a BIG AMEN in the comments. 

Conversation:

What is real humility?
What is false humility?
Who were humble examples from the Word? 

Love you so much, Lynn

*****

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Weekend Worship - Beauty of Holiness

Psalm 29: 1-2 Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

So, what is worship? So many people think that in church, we're worshiping God with singing, but really we're just praising.

What is real worship? What does it mean to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness? 

When was the last time you bowed down before the king, you-alone in your bedroom-when nobody's around?

What does worship look like in heaven? 

And finally what happens when we worhip the name of Jesus? See you in the comments, Lynn

 

 

True worship is: It’s posture and attitude of your heart. It’s recognizing God’s rightful place in your heart.

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NOW... That's a GOOD Word!

Hello Everyone. 

Today I’m going to do something a little different. I’ve been reading back through the notes I took at the conference last week. 

Wow!! SO GOOD! 

So, today I’m going to share some of them. I pray with the Holy Spirit power and anointing that these words are taken in through your eyes. Then they penetrate your heart. Then I’m asking the Holy Spirit to make them alive with power and authority and with love, joy and peace in your life. By the time you are finished reading, I’m hoping you’ve experienced an encounter with THE MOST HIGH. In Jesus name. 

--

White Open Door2014 is a year for the open door. There are doors standing open that God’s has made available to His people. Doors of new beginnings, Holy Spirit, Re-start, harvest, and we are to walk in and release the Kingdom of peace and joy.

It is a time of fire- Baptism of fire. The fire of holiness. We are in the beginning of the move of fire.

This year many will experience an increase in Words of Knowledge. God will release the Hope-Ambassadors in waves. It is a year of restoration. Stop and see the one person in front of us.

Only love can make a miracle. 

--

There will be a joining of the generations, young, old and in-between. We need each other’s voices in our lives and to join together for this great harvest. 

--

Bloodlines are being delivered. And promises that were made to your ancestors can be claimed in your generation. Promises that were caught up in corruption will be redeemed.

Our Jehovah Jireh: There will be a transfer of provision.

Women will be welcomed out of a place of suppression.

God is seeking those who wear a spirit of love. The measure of love in your heart, your ministry, is evident in how you love people who are paid to help you. Waitress, service industry, disenfranchised.

--

God doesn’t care about what you don’t have. He only cares about what we have. (He can bring great works and miracles from little when it’s surrendered to Him.)

You are more than your strengths. You are more than your weaknesses. Sometimes God causes us to work in our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9) God wants to use you in your weakness so that people know it’s God using you. 

--

There is a great wave of miracles coming in 2014.

When you read a story in the Bible it’s not just history. It’s meant to be lived. 

--

It’s time to ask for the nations as our inheritance.

(It’s time to ask for the SUMite Nation.)

John 5:19 See what the Father is doing and do likewise.

God is searching for Burning Ones. Zechariah 2:5; Who will bring encounters that bring the harvest. John 5:35

The merging of the generations is key to bring about the harvest and the anointing of power. Unity releases God’s fire.

Anointing comes when you have positioned yourself for it and when you have paid the price. Anointing can happen and it will. But it will stick to a person of character.

BE HUNGRY.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to You. Luke 3

Worship is more than songs. It’s posture and attitude of your heart. It’s recognizing God’s rightful place in your heart.

Thankfulness releases glory. Feel under attack? Start thanking God.

What is the fire of God? LOVE

When seeking God; He hates multitasking.

Half-hearted obedience is really cloaked rebellion.

Psalm 100:3 Troops will volunteer freely. (SUMites???) 

--

How do you amplify God’s voice? Intimacy

It’s a sign of immaturity if God has to shout at you.

God has secrets Proverbs 22. God hides secrets for us and from us.

John 16:13 He will guide you into all truth.

Stay like a child.

Don’t think you know what you’re doing.

Always give Him the glory. Then I will use you.

2014 will be a year God’s people understand the AWE of God. 

-- 

Okay that’s plenty for now. I still have a ton of notes from one session that is about family. God’s family. I will write about that soon because…. That’s a good word! 

Lord, let these words fall upon the paths (hearts) that are open. Let them multiply thirty, sixty, a hundred times in their lives and the lives of others. Lord, may these words spoken by men and women who love you, rise up in us and may all that you desire and will be accomplished in this family and community of SUM. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

 

Speakers: James Goll, Chuck Pierce, Sean Boltz, Stacey Campbell, Jereme Nelson, Bobby Conners, Kris Vallatton

*****

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Trade in Your Yoke

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My friends, as Lynn shared on Monday, Abba so overwhelmed us that last day at the conference. For the spiritually mismatched to be called out and recognized in this way was deeply humbling and amazing! It brought me to tears as my heart burst for all of us here. And to be prayed for like this, ALL of us, was as if the very heavens had opened up and Jesus' light shined on every one of us.

After Stacey's prayer and another man began to pray over us and he spoke of Jesus' yoke. I heard his words, but it was Jesus' heart that spoke the loudest in my mind at that moment. This is what I heard:

"It is time for you to exchange your unequal yoke for My yoke."

Then on Monday morning, I spent a long time in prayer with my journal open and my pen in hand, seeking Jesus for more understanding of what He wanted us to know and understand. I asked Him to share His heart. This is what I heard:

"The time for striving in prayers is over. Now is the time to rest in trust in Me. I have heard every prayer and seen every tear. Trust Me. Rest in My unending love that extends not just to you but to your spouse too. Just as I have held you in My hand, I hold them as well. Trust, trust, trust Me. Now more than ever."

SUMites, I asked The Lord to help me understand what He meant about the striving in prayers to be over. Did He mean to stop praying? And what I got was this strong sense that it was now time to believe what we have asked. We are to speak it as truth over our pre-believers.

Then I went to that verse that we have all heard so many times about Jesus' yoke:

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." —Matthew 11:29-30

I knew "rest" was a key word here between what I'd heard and this verse so I compared the Greek words used in other places for "rest" and discovered the one used in Matthew is different than the others. This one means to give rest, give intermission from labor, refresh."

Dear friends, I was so blown away at how all the pieces of this fell together. And based upon some of your comments on Monday's post, I believe many of you are hearing the same thing from our great King.

The other key word in this Scripture is learn. So don't worry that you don't quite understand what Jesus is asking us to do. He will teach us. That is His intention here, to teach us about His yoke, but first we have to give Him our unequal yokes.

So do this as a symbolic gesture and pray in your own words something like this:

Jesus, today I am handing you my unequal yoke and all my broken expectations and tears as a result of it. And in it's place, I take your yoke and wear it proudly. Teach me what all this means and show me how to walk forward in my marriage from this day forward NOT as someone who is unequally yoked, but as someone who is EQUALLY YOKED with YOU. In Your Powerful and Mighty Name, Jesus, amen.

I am so excited to see what the future—the near future—holds for all of us, my dear friends. We are on a mighty journey together.

Love you!
Dineen

Image credit: hudakore / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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God Has Heard Our Prayers For Our Spouse

Hello My SUM Family, 

I’m overwhelmed with all that happened at the conference. But specifically overwhelmed that God saw all of us, the Unequally Yoked. And on Saturday God burdened the heart of one of the speakers, Stacey Campbell. She prayed for all of us and she laid hands on me specifically and prophesied over me. Her prayer was a prophetic prayer for us as a whole and me personally. 

Below I’m sharing the words she spoke for us. She asked all of us who were married to unbelievers to stand and then the Lord spoke through her to us. 

So please receive this prayer with an anointing of love and power behind the words because God is moving in our SUMite Nation. We have so much to share about that in the weeks ahead. But for now, listen with your heart and be loved by our Father. Hugs, Lynn 

Stacey Campbell February 1, 2014 

I would like to start by praying for wives and husbands who have spouses who aren’t saved yet. My heart is just broken for you. So if there is any you are praying for an unbelieving spouse could you stand please. 

Lord, I just want to pray for all of these believers who are waiting… waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting,  Lord, for the promises of God to be fulfilled. And praying in faith. And I just hear the Lord say that what you’ve sewn in tears… I see tears… tears, tears, tears. Many tears and in silence. And in silence.

I feel like you have born this pain in very, very much silence. Because you hit a point where you knew that actions had to speak louder than your words. Like the unbelieving spouse would be won without a word and God began to give you that revelation. 

And so many times it’s just been agony, agony, agony, piercing agony for you. Just like Mary. Mary’s heart was pierced when she saw Jesus. I feel like your heart is often pierced, but you’ve kept believing. 

And the Lord wants you to know that there is a turning coming that there are circumstances that the Lord is working behind the scenes in your husband’s life, that there is a turning coming. And I feel like the Lord says, “It won’t’ be long. It won’t be long. IT WON’T BE LONG. Don’t be weary in well doing because it won’t be long. Those prayers are ascending and what you’ve sewn in tears you will reap with joy. And it will bless you and it will bless your children.” 

Lord, we just thank you for what you are doing. In Jesus name.

 

I wept.

We are heard by God, my friends. In every way I felt this week God said, “I hear you. I see you. I love you.” 

I have so much more to share with you. I love you deeply, with a holy and compassionate love, my friends. Lynn

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Weekend Worship — The Glory Within

My friends, I told you Wednesday that I had something amazing to share with you. I’ve been reading all the books of the prophets since last year and last week, landed in the book of Zechariah. As I read Zechariah 2, my spirit began to blaze and come to live. And verse 5 completely did me in. Take a look:

Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him:
“Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’”

As I read this, it was as if Abba whispered in my ear that we, the SUMites, are like Jerusalem in that we are a city without walls. And we are growing! And Abba’s promise is that He will be a wall of fire around us and our glory within!

My friends, I’ve been praying this for all of us since then. “Lord, be that wall of fire around us and our glory within!” Pray with me, SUMites, that we would be a blazing light in the world and shine for all to see. I believe Abba is going to be calling upon us to share our fire, our hearts, and His great love for all. This blaze was started right in our homes and now He is calling us to carry the torch into our churches and communities.

I don’t know what this will look like and I’m sure it will be different for each of us. As I shared in my post last week, we are being called and this is part of what Abba is revealing at this time. If you feel the Holy Spirit stirring a piece of this message in you, share it in the comments. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Be on fire for Him!
Dineensig

*****

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