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16 entries from April 2014

The Battlefield of the Mind: Claiming and Praying God’s Promises

ThemindLast week we talked about Feasting on God’s Word. Have you started your own search for the truths and promises that God has for you? I hope you brought them with you today.

Remember, this is a journey about transforming our minds, so I’ll ask you again, what are your thoughts focused on right now? What is sapping your attention on a daily basis? Are you ready to take control of your thoughts and emotions and claim the mind of Christ?

Then let’s start claiming those promises you found. Speak them out loud as prayers and claim them as your truth. The next day, go back and reread what you've written. Do this each day, recording each Scripture in whatever translation brings its truth and meaning to your heart. The amazing thing is that every promise in the Bible (and I think I read somewhere there are about 6,000 of them) are ours.

Here’s an example of one I have claimed and am praying over myself frequently and is easy to just speak out loud as it is:

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? —Psalm 27:1 (NASB)

Here’s another favorite that I take and turn into a prayer specifically for me:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. —Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord, I commit to trusting you with all my heart and will not depend upon my own understanding. I will seek Your will in everything I do, because I know that You will show me the way and lead me on the right path—the path of Your plan and purpose for my life.

And how about this one for our pre-believers:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. — 2 Peter 3:9

Lord, thank You that You keep your promises according to Your perfect timing. Thank You for Your patience with me and with my spouse. I know You want him/her to come to repentance and and that You will pursue my pre-believer relentlessly with Your love and Your promise of salvation.

Every single one of God’s promises is yours and mine. Not just a few. Not just the ones you think apply. And don’t believe this is only true for those who already seem to have the faith to move mountains. God knew we would need to build our faith daily upon the truths of His promises and not upon how we woke up feeling that day. His promises are intended for all of us, because we are made stronger through them in the midst of our weakness. (2 Cor 12:9) Then and only then can we become strong through Jesus so we can do all things (Phil 4:13), including moving mountains.

So begin collecting the promises that are speaking to you right now and claim and pray them over you, your spouse, your children and over those situations and circumstances that have you tied in knots. When things shift and change, look for new ones. You will discover news ones almost every time you read the Bible. Just ask the Holy Spirit to show you what specific promise that He wants you to see that day. Over time (in even as little as week!) you will begin to find that those issues are starting to look smaller and smaller in the light of God’s truth—His promises. This is how our minds are transformed as it says in Romans 12:2.

God’s Word stands forever and His promises never fail. He never fails. I am learning to believe this not only with my heart but my mind as well, even when I can’t see it, can’t even feel it. It’s a daily walk of taking God’s Word and then believing it by faith (Hebrews 4:2).

And the more I walk in this season, the more I am convinced our battles start more often in our minds than we realize. And God’s Word and promises are the answers to breakthroughs and realizing we are already victorious.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place (including our minds!). — 2 Cor. 2:14

Proverbs 3:5-6 is God’s promise to lead us. Second Corinthians 2:14 is the promise that His leading is in triumph. Ours is the choice to believe it.

Believing with you!
Dineen

*****

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It Doesn't Make Sense

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comNow Jericho was tightly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. ~Joshua 6:1 

Yep, I see this verse as a metaphor. Do you? 

Let’s move forward with our story in Joshua. 

In chapter six God gives specific instructions to Joshua. Walk around the city, in silence. But I wonder if Joshua explained to the entire population of the Isrelites the entire plan? Sometimes we don’t receive the entire plan for our lives either. So let’s ponder this a bit more. 

In verses 6-8 we read: 

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.” 

When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there. ~Joshua 6:6-8 

I fear that because this story has become so familiar to us we miss the vast implications of each passage. Ponder with me now, THIS STORY IS BAZAAR. The people aren’t called to arms. They are called to walk around the city. Every…. single…. person….. Warriors, Priests, Mothers, Fathers, Grannies, babies. The youngest to the oldest. 

And they must walk around the city one time and listen to the insults of those on the walls who think they are crazy for “believing a God” will deliver the city into their hands. Oh man oh man, this sounds so familiar to me. And honestly, they do look crazy. I wonder how many times my husband has thought I’m nuts because I tell him I hear God speak to me. I often feel like I’m asked to do crazy things by God. Remember my story about God telling me to cross the street and pray for an old woman with a cane? Yep, I thought to myself, “Oh Lord, I could look like a complete idiot.” (read the lady and cane story here) 

But what I’ve also discovered is that when God prompts me, AND I OBEY, I’m never made to feel stupid and at this point in my relationship with Him, I really don’t care if I appear to others as a loon. I’ve seen too much. I’ve experienced too much to ever turn back or doubt when He speaks to me to attempt the “crazy.” 

So let’s think about this. What do we do with our feelings and struggles? 

The Spiritually Mismatched usually walks around the walls of a spouse and we feel lonely. We feel lost in the crowd at church. Misunderstood and forgotten. We ask ourselves, “Do I really belong here? Am I strong enough to do this?”. We think to ourselves, I won’t do it if I don’t understand exactly what God is asking and what will result. I don’t believe God will do anything and I will look like a fool.

Each step is very difficult. Each day, step by weary step, we struggle in the silence of the crowd. It’s hard. It’s so very hard. And even in the middle of our difficulty we must pick up those who have fallen. We must carry the babies. We must carry the ninety-year-old grannie around the wall with us. We place their arms upon our shoulders and walk for them. Pull them, encourage them even when we need the encouragement…. 

I’m overwhelmed how this story is so like my own. 

Step by determined step… Without knowing what was going to happen… AND IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.. Why were they doing this preposterous thing? Why are we doing this preposterous thing???

*****

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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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A Reader Question: Could I Be Unequally Yoked?

Let’s tackle a reader question today. Often I receive an email such as below. Today, I’m sharing this reader’s question and my reply. I hope for all of those in our SUM House who are walking this particular journey in marriage find encouragement. Hugs, Lynn 

Hello, Lynn:

I've been wondering about something: is it assumed that the spouse who is not a believer knows s/he is not a believer and is okay with the other walking the path of Christ?  I ask this, because I get the feeling, as I was watching your book promotional video, that both parties are okay with claiming "I am a believer" and "I am not a believer."  This is not the situation I have; I am married to a man who thinks he is a Christian but I see no spiritual fruit, no evidence that he is a true follower of the Lord Jesus.  Let's just say he would not be pleased to hear me say we are "spiritually mismatched."  Hoping this is not a unique situation and that you can speak into this area, at your convenience. 

Thank you again for you and Dineen writing this book.  I pray for you both, for your marriages and the ministry.

My Dear Sweet Sister in Christ: 

I will tell you that your situation is not unique. Almost half of our readership are spouses who are married to men who say they are believers. For example they attend church but at home it’s a different story. Or as in your life, there just isn’t any fruit. It’s truly heartbreaking the day you realize this is true as it’s not what you expected for your life and marriage. I am so sorry. 

And it is true that you are not alone in that you aren’t able to truly join a group at church or admit to people at church that you feel spiritually mismatched because your husband appears to all people as though he is a believer. That situations is painfully lonely. 

But my friend, you are welcome to be part of our family. There is some comfort in that it’s an online situation where our presence in your life doesn’t have to confront your husband directly. Please become a regular reader. Live with us. Allow us to pray for you. Let us love on you. You will learn much as we travel this road together. God will show up in you and all around you. And your love for Jesus will one day be one of the keys that changes your husband’s heart. Pray relentlessly and be hungry for more of God. Read His Word daily and allow the Holy Spirit to transform you. 

I love you my friend. You are now among friends who truly know the pain, fear, sorrow you feel. And we can be the voice to say you that you can do this crazy, spiritually mismatched, marriage and do it well with the love of Christ and with sisters who walk it out with you. Love you much. Let me know how to pray for you. Hugs, Lynn

 

If you have a question that you would like to be discussed here on SUM, please use the contact form and email me. 

*****

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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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Joshua, The Wall's AND Who Is This Guy?

Hey Gang, 

Let’s get back to Joshua, the Israelites, and those ever present and menacing Walls of Jericho. 

I find it interesting as I began to write this series, I was also reading this very story in my Daily Bible this past couple of weeks. There is such a depth and richness in these chapters that I could probably write a book about the parallels to our life today. 

But alas. I have too much to do right now. *grin* 

Today I want to specifically address something that I think most of us miss in this story. But before I go there I think we need to remember that in several places in this story, the beginning chapters of the Book of Joshua, God calls the people to consecrate themselves. Before crossing the Jordan River (Joshua 3:5) and on this particular day the people witnessed a miracle. Both Dineen and I have written about this very thing. The Priests stepped into the water (faith in action) and the water piled in a heap, up-stream. They crossed the Jordan, a million plus or so, to arrive near Jericho (witnessed the miracle). Which, by the way, completely freaked out their enemies behind the walls. The Bible says: And their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites (Joshua 5:1). 

Again in preparation and consecration, God commands Joshua to circumcise the entire male population (Joshua 5:2).  They are set apart as Holy unto the Lord. I often wonder if we also go through a season of circumcision. The cutting away of the worldly in order for God to bring us into His Holiness and  Promised Land? Makes a girl ponder, that is for sure. 

BUT today, let’s get to something very interesting that I bet most people don’t notice. 

Joshua 5: 13 –15 

Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” 

“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[e] have for his servant?” 

The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. 

This is the commander of the Lord’s armies. AND this is the second time this angel came to lead the people into the Promised Land. 

The Second Time! 

Forty years earlier God said:

Exodus 23:21-23  “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out.”

I have to stop and dwell on the implications. God prepared an angel at the beginning of the journey to fight for the people. To “go ahead of you” and bring the people into the Promised Land. 

The people rebelled. Fear held more power over the people than their faith in God. 

The angel waited 40 years to complete the assignment given by the Lord. And on the day that the people were finally ready, the angel and the armies of heaven were present and ready. 

We are not that different. 

I have to wonder if God sent angels years ago to help me discover my Promises. And because I wasn’t ready to believe those promises, the abundant life that was truly mine to have, the angels have been waiting, waiting, waiting. I wonder what promises were made to my relative of even a few generations ago that God made and He is still waiting to fulfil. 

Right now we are in this transition season. The 40 days between Passover and Pentecost. During this season of transition I think it’s our preparation period. Our consecration. Our season to ask God to return the angels that He prepared just for us that we may enter into the battles at hand with absolute assurety that victory is ours. The captives and prisoners will be freed and that the plunder is our reward. 

More than anything, I pray this post does what’s it’s designed to do. Mess up your mind and stir your soul. 

Have you ever thought about the angels that have been dispatched to fight with us in spiritual warfare? Do you think you have faced the Promised Land before but were too fearful to fight for it? And what do you think or even know are promises that were given to your relatives that they did not see fulfilled in their life time that God is hoping and cheering you on to receive the glory, reward and riches He has been waiting to pour out in abundance. 

Wow. This book Joshua is messing with me. I think there is so much God is desperately wanting us to pray and ask for in this season of transition. 

My question: Do you have the courage to ask God for the angel armies to storm the walls? 

Have a great weekend. I’m looking forward to your thoughts. I love you my friends, Lynn

  Wooden walls background

PS. Thank for your patience during our website down time. My hosting service was hacked but seems to be doing great now. I hope you had a chance to read about Gina’s miracle on Monday.

*****

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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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The Battlefield of the Mind: Feasting on God’s Word

ThemindWhat are you thinking right now? What are you worried about? What has your heart and mind twisted in knots on a daily basis?

Do you know you have control over this? That you are not at the mercy of your thoughts and emotions?

I didn't understand this for a long time. Only recently have I come to more ably see just how much I judged my faith (and myself) by my emotions. It’s an ongoing process that I want to share with you, my friends, so we can grow together in this area—one I believe is crucial to every area of our lives and especially in our mismatched marriages. Because as we are transformed, you better believe your prebeliever is going to notice!

And what I thought would be one post has now become multiple parts. So welcome to this series about the battlefield of our minds and how we can truly have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). I’m excited to share this with you and especially excited to hear back from you about your own journey in this area.

Let’s start with faith. Faith is based upon truth—the promises found in the Word of God—whether seen or unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Our minds can take these very promises and, through the lens of the world, our past hurts and the enemy's lies, turn them into mere shadows of the truth, void of the power they are intended to have in our lives.

My friends, of all the territories God calls us to claim in our lives of faith, I believe our minds are the most crucial territory of all that we must be constantly tending and feeding. The last three months have taught me this very well.

So how do we stand and hold our place in victory over this battlefield of our minds?

I know you’ve heard this one before: read and study the Bible. A big part of how God transforms us is through His Word (Romans 12:2). You don't have to be in seminary or even in a Bible study at your church (although this can be a very helpful part, don’t be dependent upon this one way of studying God’s Word). Just make time each day to sit down and read it. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God's promises and when one speaks to you, write it down in a journal. Ask God to help you understand what it means for you and record that as well.

You can follow a reading plan, follow God's leading as to where He wants you to read, or start with a devotional and read the Scriptures before and after the main verse. Just be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's nudges as you read. If you find yourself deeply touched by a verse, stop and let it sink in. Let the God speak to you through His words on the page.

Even if you've barely read a paragraph that day, you have received gold! It's not about how much you read, but about how much you listen and take in. Don't rush. Just relax and enjoy it. Even if nothing in particular stands out, you've fed your spirit and your soul with God's truth. Remember, it’s not about how we feel, it’s about believing, it’s about faith.

One resource I've found to be very helpful is Charles Stanley's InTouch Ministries website. I have the app on my iPad and use it daily to read the devotionals and especially if I want a list of Scriptures specific to an area, like fear or purpose. (God’s Promises on InTouch Minsitries

If you have a Bible app on your phone or an iPad, do a word search and write down the Scriptures that apply and give you comfort and peace. You can even do this online at BibleGateway.com with multiple translations.

The next part of this series will be about claiming and praying these promises over our lives and I’ll even share some examples, so have at least one or two ready that you have found so you can practice. Until then, my friends, feast on God’s Word daily. It’s the most important meal of your day!

Love you dearly!
Dineen

Image credit: carlacastagno / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

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Kingdom Miracle - Fantastic Update

Grace with Cross


On this late Easter Sunday afternoon I find it absolutely the perfect time to update you about one of our community miracles. 

Many of you who are new to our community have yet to participate in one of our miracle adventures. But you can read about our past miracles on our Kingdom Miracle page. (Link is in the navigation bar at the top) 

But for many of you who have been family here for a few years you will remember our Kingdom miracle for Gina. 

You can read Gina's story by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. 

So many, many of you prayed for this girl who was 17 years old and facing life-threatening melanoma cancer. You mailed letters, cards and sent emails by the hundreds. Makes me all teary-eyed again to just think how our community went to the Father in prayers of healing for Gina. 

Gina was and still is my teenage daughter, Caitie's best friend. The girls finished out their senior year as Gina went through several treatments for the ocular cancer cells. The cancer did not go away. There were many dark days when she faced this disease alone. 

Gina told me about a year ago that when she was feeling low, sad and despondent about her prognosis and the fact that she could be facing her death in five years she would pull out the letters we sent to her and read them over and again. She said, "They always made me cry but they also brought me comfort." 

My friends, MY FRIENDS, I spoke with our Gina on Thursday. 

Our miracle happened! Praise Jesus. She is in full remission with zero detectable cancer cells in her body. 

Can I get a WOO HOO!!  Hallelujah and thank you Jesus. 

We serve a God who loves. Who heals and who answers prayer. 

Thank you my family for surrounding this young girl. You demonstrative love helped to get her through the dark months. I love you so much. I love Jesus. 

And on this day where we celebrate the risen King, I fall to my knees and weep with joy. 

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 

 

Amen. Please thank our Lord for this miracle. And I wait for God to reveal the next Kingdom miracle that He has for us. Love you so much, Lynn

Gina's request now is to pray that she remain cancer free for the rest of her life. 

I posted a few of the prayers that were sent in down in the comments.. They will fill your heart.

*****

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

SUM Books 4


It's About A Wedding



Revelation 2 7I’m deeply moved on this day, Good Friday, as I consider my Betrothed. Since writing the Wedding Day series a few weeks back, and my experience meeting the Prince of Peace, I’m continually reminded that I am a bride. We, all of us believers, are a bride. We are THE bride of Christ. 

This past week while I was on my walk-n-pray, I was listening to a new song on my iPhone. This song was sent to me by a sister SUMite, Colleen Rogers. It’s title: Holy (Wedding Day) 

As the song queued up and began to play. It was very early in the morning just before the break of dawn. There were low clouds on the horizon and as I walked the sun burst through to greet me. The music swelled and I saw a picture in my mind. 

We, all of us, millions upon millions were gathered for a wedding ceremony. 

We were in heaven, it was light and bright. I could see all of us clothed in white. But I saw clearly that I was standing at the foot of the throne. I was wearing a floor-length, pristine white gown. It was belted and the cloth was soft and it almost shimmered with movement. The sleeves were long and open as they rested against my hands that were at my sides. 

The music was playing and there was to be a wedding. 

It was the marriage of the Son of God. 

Gulp…. 

And we are the Bride. All around me were my friends. You my SUMites, my husband (double gulp), my children. I wanted to press into you closely and hold your hands and link arms with all of you. I have walked this journey so long with so many of you and I LOVE YOU deeply. I felt like I just wanted to be surrounded by you as we are prepared and about to participate in the most important ceremony to ever take place throughout all history. The heavens have anticipated this very moment since before the world began. The Angels were there singing as we stood before God and the Mercy Seat. 

The Son of God steps out. He is smiling. He is filled with excitement and I’m taken back to see the love and thrill on His face for me. (I burst into tears on the trail at this point) 

The ceremony began. In my head the next thing I saw was myself stepping forward. I stood before Him and watched as my Betrothed placed a long chain necklace around my neck. At the end of the chain was a stone and my name was written upon it. I couldn’t read my name. I just knew that is what it was. (Revelation 2:17)

One by one, each of us stepped forward and received this necklace as we became the Bride in the most significant event in all eternity. 

It’s the marriage ceremony of the Lamb. 

Holy…. Holy….. Holy….. Worthy is the Lamb. 

As I take in this scene the lyrics of the song are my undoing. As I remember today that my betrothed was hung on a cross for me….. 

I am undone.

I pray you are undone today too! The Bride becoming, Lynn

*****

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

SUM Books 4


The Day the Devil Came to Steal My Life

Today it's my supreme pleasure to introduce you to Lisa Bujanda. She along with her husband, Gil, are the pastors of my church here in Temecula. I adore Lisa and count it a true blessing to have her as a sister in Christ. She has been walking in the gifts of the spirit since she had a miraculous encounter with love. So today, I pray her true and personal story will inspire you. 

I love you Lisa and Gil. May your story bring great honor and glory to Jesus. Hugs, Lynn

----- 

LisabujandaIt was the week of my 23rd birthday. I was at death’s door with a Heart & Lung disease. Doctors had given me no hope and no cure. 

On October 3rd of 1983, I sat in the doctors office with my fiancé Gil as the doctors words echoed in our ears. “You have six months to a year to live.” 

I was barely a young adult. His words were devastating. What, my life was ending? How does a 20-year-old deal with that kind of news? It brought me to my knees and I cried out to God for help. At that moment my young life flashed before my eyes and I realized I wouldn’t have a future. No career, no kids. I wouldn’t see my children grow up, graduate, get married and have kids of their own. My hopes and dreams were smashed. 

The doctors only advice was to get on the Heart-Lung transplant list. He said it could buy me some time. At that time the surgery was very experimental. Only ten Heart-Lung surgeries with my specific diagnosis had been done in the entire world. As I awaited a call to go to Stanford University to be evaluated and put on the active list, we began to do fund-raising. We did numerous TV spots and newspaper articles. This propelled me into a deep depression. It’s nothing like watching yourself on the evening news and hearing the doctor said she has no more time left. 

We hit rock bottom; but we continued to cry out to God for help. We gave God permission to mess with our theology and teach us His truth. Our prayer was -just speak to us.  

God answered our prayer and began to teach us about who He is. He began to reveal His goodness. He is a good God and He reminded us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever- Hebrews 13:8 

He taught us that He still heals today and for us to trust Him. Our loving Father gave us many promises to stand on and believe. On Easter Sunday we decided to trust Him fully for healing. And instead of instantly getting better I got worse. The promise was tested. I began to deteriorate to the point of being bed ridden and on oxygen 24/7. I had severe chest pain and could barely move because of the lack of oxygen. 

The doctor came to our house that week and told Gil to get everything ready that I would be dead by the end of the week. But Gil received a word from God that night. It was Psalm 40: 1-3. “I waited patiently from the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire: he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” 

A few days after the doctors visit I said my good byes to my husband Gil. I knew it was time. I felt all the energy drain from my body and felt like I was drifting in a tunnel. I was in complete peace and then I heard the Father God say. “No it's not your time.” Instantly all the energy came back into my body. 

God is good all the time!! 

Please don’t blame God for the things that the enemy brings. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus comes to bring life and life more abundantly. 

If something is stealing, killing or destroying your life; it is the enemy not God.

Our prayer should be Father let Your Kingdom come and let Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. God does not bring sickness and disease that’s the enemy’s doing. 

Jesus brought me new life that day and I will never be the same. He gave me a second chance at life. He can give you a second chance and restore seven-fold what the enemy has stolen in your life. Trust Him! 

My favorite verse: Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” 

You can read more about my story in my book "Destined for Life" by Lisa A Bujanda on Amazon.com

Lisa A. Bujanda
Revive Hope

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Revive-Hope/609571489084298

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Your Breakthrough Is Here - Passover

Hi SUMite Family, 

This week I’m departing from our Joshua and The Walls series. Today I want to share my thoughts and prayer about Passover. And on Friday, I’m sharing a glimpse I had of The Wedding of the Son of God and His Bride. (It’s way cool and perfect for Good Friday. Be sure to stop in then.) 

What is Passover? Passover is a festival of freedom. It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the Seder, which occurs on the first night. 

As believers we know we are not under the Old Testament law. We are living in the age of grace because of the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. And as a person who loves God and ponders His ways and thoughts, I’m thinking that many of the ancient feasts and celebrations that He originated still hold meaning and expectation. 

This year’s Passover holds significance to me personally. You see, since December I have been praying for many of you in this SUMite family. Many of you by name. And I mean ALL of you, even if you have never made any personal contact with me nor left your name in a comment. I have prayed for you. 

And this is why. 

Breakthrough is coming for many of you with THIS Passover. 

At the end of last year many of my brothers and sisters in Christ were in the midst of enduring and trying to just survive tremendous spiritual warfare. Many of you have battled a life that seems to have run over you. Circumstances have left you defeated and bereft of hope. And you have been in this dark pit for months now. Many of you are specifically facing crippling financial stresses. There are many who are wrangling with overwhelming anxiety, dark depression, abusive spouses and heartbreak because of wondering children and a litany of other demonic tortures. 

Well my friends, I’ve been praying for you. I’ve been contending for you. For months. I’ve sacrificed in the quiet of the early morning as I beseeched the God of the universe to silence the enemy and bring freedom to the many of you who are held captive and as prisoners of this life’s evils.

My prayers began in December and as I marched through January I began to hear the Lord tell me they will lift. There is a change, a shift, which is ordained of heaven that will happen at Passover. 

THAT’S TOMORROW! 

I’ve been praying for a breakthrough. A breakthrough for many. I’ve been contending for this shift over the home of _________________________ (insert your name because I’ve prayed it.) My breakthrough, although contended for in private and sacrificed in prayer, over the past months will also bring breakthrough to many others. MANY OTHERS. 

THAT’S how our God’s Kingdom rolls!!!!!! 

The honest prayers of one can bring breakthrough for hundreds. I earnestly believe this with all of my heart. So today my friends, if you need this breakthrough to move into a new season with the Lord, declare it now and out loud. 

Father God, I receive this breakthrough on this day. This is the day that You Passover this earth and free me from the grips of the enemy. Lord, and free others from the terror of the evil one. Today, Lord, I receive my deliverance just as you delivered our ancestors long ago. You freed them from the tyranny of slavery and gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. Today, Lord, I too declare in front of the Kingdom of God my freedom day. 

I will promise to seek you with all of my heart from this day forward. I make a new and lasting covenant to pursue you with a relentless hunger. I will also step out of my bondage and make it my life’s purpose to free others who are on the road behind me. 

Today, I rebuke and break off any stronghold or bondage of the enemy that has kept me from stepping into my rightful inheritance as a child of the Most High God. And I slam the door shut on any lies I have believed that the devil has used to tell me anything that is not truth about myself and my circumstances. 

Lord, My Holy God, I receive my freedom by the holy blood of the Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, Your Son. And I will live all of my days from this day forward, pursuing peace, joy and love. I will choose to love you with my whole heart and spend the rest of my life loving people. 

I declare and decree my deliverance, my future that is abundant, and ask today that you show me now where you have made my path straight that I may get on with bringing Your Kingdom to earth. 

In the most powerful name in all creation and the heavenly realms, Jesus, The Christ. The Passover Lamb of God. AMEN.

 

I have contended for you. I absolutely believe many of you will begin to see hints of the freedom that has just been released upon your life today. My friends, now give thanks to our Papa, Jesus and the Dove for you are been released to receive your full inheritance. In Jesus name. 

I love you. I will always contend for your lives, marriage and children. I will never stop standing in the gap when you are weak and unable. I am your friend and your prayer warrior. Your sister in Christ, Lynn

Psalm 23
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Weekend Worship — Letter of Love

Provers 3  1-6
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My friends, I want to give you some updates on the Miller household as there has been a lot going on lately. Praise God, we now know my daughter’s heart issue is due to her thyroid. She and I share the same issue and now we’re both on the right track to feeling better in this area. She is now on medication for this, and I’m on a new one that seems to be working better so far. Thank You, mighty Jesus that Your healing comes in so many ways.

I also want to share with you that God told me toward the end of last year that He was “preparing His vessel.” I see now this was part of His plan for this year of intimacy. What I now understand even more is that it can be quite painful. Forgive me for not being as active as much these last few weeks but Abba has me dealing with some things I’ve kept pushing way for when there was time until finally He said, “It’s time.”

My family and I have been through a lot the last seven years or so (cancer, death, financial upheavals, etc. along with some issues from my past) and I thought I was dealing with most of it okay, but when God wants to move us to new places (prepare the vessel) it means the old and lingering crud must be scraped out so that His glory can be better held and reflected.

So that is what I’ve been walking through and Lynn has been my cheerleader and prayer warrior, along with some very specific friends God has called to walk along side me in this (really and truly amazing to suddenly get a call or text from a friend who says, God told me to call and pray with you).

And even more surprising has been watching my husband come along side me in this time as I never imagined but had longed and hoped for. He’s been my comforter and my hero. So unexpected and so amazingly God—the proof I needed that Abba is working in my guy even when I can’t see it.

I’m so grateful for my family at home and for you, my SUM family. Abba has promised me this time of preparation is about to end, and I hope that means I will get to share more of what He does and is doing when He tells me it’s okay to do so.

In the meantime, know that I am here, that I love you all so very much and I am praying for this amazing family of God.

Love you so much,
Dineen

(Here are some songs that have greatly ministered to me this week.)

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Who Is Behind The Wall's of Jericho?

What is the Promised Land for 2014?

My Friends, 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWe are standing on the threshold of entering the Promised Land. Let’s pause a minute to contemplate the implications. The similarities of our ancestors, the Israelites, and the implications of entering the Promised Land in our own lives is remarkable. 

Consider this: The men, women, and children who were about to cross the Jordan River (Joshua), most of them grew up in the wilderness. These children didn’t see the miracles as the Egyptians threw gold and jewelry at them begging them to leave the city as they departed from slavery forever. (Exodus 12) These children were born in the wilderness and they listened and learned from their mothers and fathers in the campground at night or on the path (how about an automobile ride?) about the power of God and His great love that rescued the Family of Abraham from slavery. 

I’m kinda blown away in how I see myself as a mother, continually pointing out, sharing, and encouraging my son and daughter in their faith pursuit in our God. We are similar to the Israelites in that my kids have yet to experience the power and miracles of heaven. My faith, my stories, my love for Christ has been the model that they will lean on when they press into their adult lives. They will rely on my lessons, voice, to give them hope and to propel them into a love relationship with God. 

Am I alone in the Holy Mind-blow here???? 

Well, Anyhoo. Let’s keep going. The Promised Land

I have to pause and ponder; do they have a clue what they will inherit in the Promised Land? Do WE have a clue about our own Promised Land in 2014? Makes a blonde girl's head ache… hmmmmm 

If you remember the Israelites received a glimpse of the  Promised Land back in Joshua’s day. The scouts of 40 years earlier shared the reports of the Land of Milk and Honey (Numbers 13:27). 

I’ve also glimpsed a tiny bit of our Promised Land of 2014. As I was listening to God during the download for this series, I was given a visual of what our Promised Land looked like. More specifically, what was the plunder behind the Walls of Jericho? Did the people of Israel know what they would find behind the walls? Do we know what is behind the walls once they come down? 

Did the Israelites even know what would happen once they began their walk around the walls? Hmmmmmm? Things to wonder??? 

So here is what I saw in my mind’s eye: As a SUMite, I found myself standing at the bottom of the walls. I’m looking up and I see my husband on the wall. He is glaring down at me. Why? Because he is captive and deceived. You see the walls protect a Kingdom. What’s behind the gates: It’s a Kingdom of darkness with a throne of an absolute heartless and evil master. This creature hates his captives. He wounded the inhabitants with arrows of pain, lies, and doubt and took them captive with his deceit. When you give careful attention you can witness the minions running about relentlessly feeding our loved ones with a toxic brew of fear, pain, anger, lies and the cancer of the soul; bitterness and offense. 

I observe further as my husband sits atop the wall throwing insults down at me. His false bravado is stirred up as the enemy provides an endless barrage of lies through his carefully crafted media machine. I can see some of the captives on the wall furiously tapping away on their laptops reading the atheist blogs. They hurl hatred and fear upon those of us below. 

Wow! ( I have an active imagination *sheepish grin) 

But you know what is also behind the walls? Promises. The promises of God. The many promises of God’s favor and provision for us, His children. Promises of abundance (John 10:10) and of a life and hope a future.  I could list at least 100 or more off the top of my head. But alas, I’m already reaching my word count limit today. *grin* 

And you know what also is behind the walls? Our loved ones wait. The release of the captives!!! (Luke 4:18) 

My friends, we are similar in so many ways to the Israelites. We catch glimpses of glory. We experience some of the Milk and Honey but don’t know with certainty what we will find behind our walls of Jericho. So just as our ancestors began to walk the walls by faith, believing what God will fulfull all of His promises. We also choose by faith to believe in the treasures that await us in this life and the next. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worthy to exert ourselves for those trapped in the Kingdom of darkness. 

And I’m beyond excited to see how God is going to move to bring us into the Promised Land. Aren’t you? 

Today, examine your heart. What is your Promised Land? What is the petition of your heart? What have you whispered for, cried out for, what is it that for decades you have waited, believing in His promises? What are you praying into and contending for? Be expectant my friends because God is about to show up! 

It’s time. It’s time. It’s time. 

It’s also scary. God may ask us to do something that appears impossible, preposterous and even embarrassing. There’s no guarantee but there is a God who goes with us and His Promised Land is better that we can conceive in our own feeble thoughts. And THAT’S A PROMISE! 

I’m ready to get on with this walking assignment. Are you?

I adore you my family of SUMites. Let’s walk this out together. Have an amazing day in His Presence. Hugs, Lynn

 

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The Gentle and Astonishing Message In The Snow

Lynn here. Today it's my great honor to share a miraculos story. Please jon me for something rare and beautiful as told by one of our own SUMites, Joanne.

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Joanne MarshWhat a privilege and honor this is for me today to be able to share with you an extraordinary event in my life. This event was the first step for me to help me realize how God can reveal His intimacy and love. 

When I lost my Golden Retriever who was like a child for me, I was devastated. Not only had I lost my canine child I lost my walking partner. I can't even begin to presume how many miles we covered together. After Jake was gone I just had to get myself back out walking again no matter how hard or how lonely it felt. I recall starting down the sidewalk that led from my front door and suddenly as if guided supernaturally, I spun around and went back to the house to grab the camera off the fridge. I do not recall being led to go back for it. Back outside and finally making progress, I felt a heavy burden weighing me down as I walked alone. As I walked, I continued in constant conversation with God. I asked Him to show me a sign that He had Jake with Him. I trusted He did but I just NEEDED to know. I needed to SEE. The grief was so deep that I needed some HOPE. I needed to see with my eyes that indeed, my boy was with God. 

As I walked I thought I was seeing some shapes in the clouds that possibly might have meant something but I finally gave up knowing I was grasping at anything to find comfort . The remainder of my walk was spent with my head hanging downward in heavy concentration on the road under my feet. "Just let me get home because my body feels like it weighs a ton." 

Joanns paw print snowSuddenly I felt as if someone behind me grabbed my head with their two hands and lifted my face up pointing me to  the left to see THIS IMAGE in the field before me. I gasped as my two hands flew to my mouth and my knees buckled. I was so stunned I didn't know whether to laugh or cry? All I knew was THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE SIGN. My Father led me down specific streets without my awareness and led me to this EXACT SPOT. This image in the snow was for me to see and KNOW. God has my boy! 

This experience is an enormous blessing I will always treasure. Because God prompted me to return for my camera, I became aware that this event was to be shared at every opportunity given. I always pray that when we share our stories where God responding to our prayers that others will find great hope. And then they in turn will begin to seek Him in a personal way. And that they will know He is here with us and also SEE He is here with us!

~Joanne (SUMite)

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New Series: The SUMites and the Israelites

A Revelation. 

Ephesians 1:17 Keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 

This has been my prayer for the past several weeks. I’ve petitioned the heavinlies for an increase of this part of God’s Spirit because I want to know Him better. 

Well this past Saturday I believe I experienced a revelation. It’s as if God pushed the enter button and I received a download of understanding (revelation) that continues to unfold in in multifaceted wisdom. Wow… I didn’t even know I could talk that way…. *grin* 

I listened to a message by my friend, Tim Manigault on Friday night. It was inspired and on Saturday morning the heavens opened to expand the meaning and the emphasis upon our community of SUM. So, I have so much to share and I pray that with every post you are also anointed with the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that you receive understanding about your glorious position in God’s plan, the reasons and the expectations and hope we have for our mismatched marriages and ultimately we are left with three things at the end of this journey. Hope, peace and love. The love of the Father that overcomes all things. And finally, that you may know Him better. 

So let’s get started with the story. 

Strong and Courag
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Get out your Bibles and let’s turn to Joshua Chapter One.

Joshua 1 After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3 I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— 4 from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea[a] in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 

The Israelites have walked through the wilderness for 40 years. And my friends this is where we look into the story and find they are now on the edge of the Promised Land. There are many, many facets of this story that parallel our own. Until today, I didn’t really understand just how powerful and important this story is to those of us who are spiritually mismatched. Let’s get started to walk this journey together and with our ancestors. 

In the beginning of the chapter one of the most important things of the entire story occurs. And if you rushed through the verses above, I bet you missed it. You know what is the key to the Jericho wall experience? 

God spoke. 

Joshua hears the voice of God. 

I think so much of our faith journey is learning to hear God. God speaks all the time. ALL THE TIME! It’s often part of our faith training to learn to hear him. I’ve been learning to hear the voice of God over a span of two decades and only feel as though I’m starting to understand and hear how God speaks to me. I hear Him often now. I hear him at times as I read His Word. I can experience His voice as it appears that some of the text will literally jump off the page at me. It looks as though it’s been bolded as well. God speaks His love to me through the delivery of Mylar balloons that arrive on a consistent basis. I hear Him in so many ways and at times, directly as if He is speaking directly to my spirit, such was the revelation of this series and many of the passages in the two books we wrote. 

Joshua hears the voice of God. 

The crowd of Israelites are bone weary. They have trudged through years of wilderness. I wonder does this sound like all of us. Walking with our unbelieving spouse is lonely. We are fearful about how to proceed, even when we know that God is going before us, just as the Israelites did. We are weary of bearing the burden. We are weary being the only spiritual influence in our homes. We are weary of being the only person to encourage ourselves in our faith. Can I get an amen? 

My friends, we are weary. We have experienced the wasteland wondering if we will ever make it to the Promised Land. 

BUT, here we are now. On the edge of glory (Yes, rock it Lady Gaga). We are on the edge of glory and our time has arrived. I’m certain of this as God was downloading to me this past Saturday. Many of the dreams we have sacrificed are about to be restored. We will partake in the plunder. We will be the rescuers of many. We will bring hope and freedom to those who are imprisoned by an evil king behind the walls. 

So, today, I ask you. Are you ready to take the first step ahead with me on this journey? Are you ready to finally see the Promised Land? Even better, are you willing to hear the voice of God and do exactly what He says to “own” the Promised Land? 

We have so much to explore as the Israelites walk. As we walk along with them. And when we conclude this journey together you will see your life, your marriage, your faith journey differently. 

You will discover that you are strong and courageous. Right now in 2014. Right now as you live your ordinary life, cooking in the kitchen, working at your job, raising the children. These are the tasks at hand as we march together to victory, to hearing the voice of God, to deliverance of the captives and to receive the riches of God’s glory and favor. 

Are you in? 

Give a shout and consecrate yourselves. Today, we stand on Holy ground. There is much ahead and it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be a blast. I love you my friends. I love you. 

This week read the entire account of Joshua the Israelites and the Walls of Jericho. See you on Friday for what happens next. Hugs, Lynn

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A Tribute To Rosheeda Lee

One year ago today our beloved, Rosheeda Lee passed on to glory. Ro was a Pillar of this community and we all love and miss her so much. (Visit her Legacy Page her on SUM)

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comRecently I received an email from one of our SUMite members, Sonya. (Ro named us the SUMites). It's a beautiful and encouraging word from Ro's heart. Today let's honor her memory. I know, without doubt, Ro is on the edge of her chair in glory. She is cheering for us, praying over us, loving on us. She will be one of the first to meet us at the gates when we cross over.  (I love you Rosheeda Lee, Hugs, Lynn)

SUMites Sonya:

Sonya has been part of our community for a long time and several years ago she when through hell. She has held the very hand of God through it and we have loved on her and her girls. During that time Rosheeda Lee reached out to Sonya. 

Recently Sonya shared with me an old email from January 2011. It will encourage us all. Thank you Sonya for offering this love to Rosheeda. So today on the anniversary of Rosheeda Lee, one of our writers and one of the most beautiful daughters of God, we share her great words of love and wisdom. 

Rosheeda Lee:

Job was righteous and the Lord allowed him to be tested by allowing satan to attack each area of His life. The Lord DOES allow bad things to happen in the lives of those who love Him and truly do follow Him 1) to grow that person 2) to grow others and 3) to mature us spiritually and naturally. Job is the perfect place to be. It answers your question completely. 

Lucifer had to petition the Lord to attack Job; he wasn’t free to simply go out find somebody and tear their life to shreds. God decided who, when, how much and for how long. And He decided when it was done. God's decision to allow Job's testing was rooted in His sovereignty and His plan for Job's life, not sent because Job had somehow failed and needed to be punished (which is the implication made by Job's friends and the people who have spoken to you). God simply knew what Job did not: no matter what, Job would stand and allow the full glory of God to be seen in His life. What we go through is most times not really about us at all but about what God wants to do through us FOR others... 

Whatever God allows in our lives, He allows for His ultimate glory and our good - and that process is most often not easy. His word says that we will face trials of many kinds but to let perseverance have its perfect work in us so that we will lack in no good thing. The pain is to build, not to destroy. 

I will be praying for you and will give you any verses God lays on my heart for your situation. 

ro

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Why We Have Trouble Seeing God's Glory

Why We Have Trouble Seeing God's Glory... By Lynette Duquette (SUMite) 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSome of us in the SUM community were talking about God's word for us in 2014. What specific word is going to be used to propel us this year? I believe mine, through various circumstances, is glory...God's glory, and in these last days there is a hunger for God's glory. The visible, tangible type of glory that is overwhelming. The Hebrew word for glory is kabod. The root word means 'heavy'. I know there have been times during worship that God's glory was so 'heavy' I could hardly move. God's glory is also defined as His riches, power, justice, and majesty. How often do we cry out “show me Your glory”? 

 I said that God gave me the word glory for the year so I started looking up scriptures referencing God's glory. I looked up sermons online about it. Bill Johnson has one posted on You Tube, so I sat down and watched it. As I watched, some of the things he said really gave me a serious gut check. Why? Recently, I obtained a third job doing activities in a nursing home. I love the job, I get to pray for those elderly folks who may be ending their journey on this earth soon. But, I am so busy now! Honestly, my time with the Lord has suffered. 

Two of the quotes that really stuck with me from Bill's sermon is 'Busyness is the enemy of God's glory.' and 'Constant introspection cause us to not see the glory, because we are so focused on ourselves.' 

Luke 10:38-42 says- Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. ESV 

Romans 12:22 says- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV 

I often wonder what Martha would have seen or experienced had she not been so very busy. Would she have seen a healing? A sinner forgiven? In the eyes of the world, busyness is seen as a place of pride. “Look how much I accomplish!” In the eyes of God though, how much of what we try to accomplish is for the Lord, or for the world? What can we truly accomplish without His presence? Busyness does not mean fruitfulness. It also doesn't just mean all the good we think we are doing, it can mean focusing on the not so good. “I did this wrong, I sinned this way, I'm not good enough.” The lies of the enemy and God's glory cannot exist together. I cannot tell you many times my mind has been busy with those types of thoughts! 

Surprisingly, this is also seen as pride. Any type of self-focus can be considered pride. I looked up the definition of pride, and one of the definitions was a group of lions. This scripture then came to me- 

1Peter 5:8- Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

Wow! The devil lost his place in heaven and being in the presence of God's glory, because of pride! After reading this, do you recognize where God's glory has been hidden from you? Are you unable to see it? What can you change about your busyness to make sure His glory shows up in your life? 

Love to my fellow Sumites,
Lynette

 

I am a mom, wife of an unbeliever, and I came to Christ shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. I enjoy photography, reading and writing. I love to be outdoors and anything having to do with nature and animals. I currently work at a nursing home with dementia patients. My journey was set afire again after meeting Lynn and Dineen in Texas a couple years ago, and I have an insatiable hunger after God! God has been opening new doors and closing others. I never imagine how this this faith journey could be so hard yet so amazing at the same time! 

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Another Audio Book Giveaway!

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This time it's for Not Alone! We love it when we can share with our SUMite family. Enter for yourself, enter for a friend, enter for a family member! No doubt Abba will lead your heart to someone who needs it. He's so good at that. :-)

Enjoy!
Dineen

 

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