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15 entries from June 2014

New Series For July

Hi SUMite Family. 

Lynn Donovan here. Question: Can you believe half of 2014 is over??? We are jumping into the last half of the year and I still have so much I want to accomplish and even more I’m waiting for many, many prayers to be answered.

So as we jump into July Dineen and I were thinking that we will take the first week of July off. So many of us are traveling, attending BBQ’s and just darn busy. We will pick up again on Monday, July 7th. I would like to take a quick study of the book, The Five Love Languages (in our sidebar). 

Five-love-languages

So SUMites, what is your love language? What is your spouse’s love language? Share on Facebook or in the comments. Can you guess mine? Dineen’s? What is the love language of Jesus? Hmmmm. Things to ponder. We will tackle this next week. For now. Have a great week off and thank you for loving God and people. Hugs, Lynn

 

 

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SUM Books 4


Reader Question: My Friends Want To Save My Husband

Subject: What to do when your friends want to save your husband

Dear Lynn:

I have an interesting concern; one I have yet to hear about in the comments and posts throughout the SUM Nation community. 

I have a community of Christian friends who are "Jesus with skin on." These women (and men) have taken a particular interest in my husband’s unbelief.  Several times they have said to me "I invited so and so from my church to such and such event so they might have an influence on your husband." Or "I have taken Robert (my husband’s name) on as my personal salvation project." I wonder how I, as Roberts wife, have never thought of him as "my personal salvation project." 

I don't purposefully invite Christians into my home just so they might have an impact on Robert.  I am very much alright with handing Robert to God.  In fact, several times God has told me to "let go." (I have interpreted this to mean God has Robert...He has everything taken care of).  My goal right now is learning how to thrive in our mismatched marriage.  I am practicing powerful prayer and fully trusting God to help me respect Robert, and to keep my eyes focused on Jesus when they want to focus on something else.  

I am concerned for my friends and don't know what to say when the tell me these things without sounding condescending.  

Words of advice? Have you been in a similar situation? 

I appreciate my friends concerns and love, love their prayers and sweet spirits.  I just want them to know that, as with everything, God has it taken care of! If I can let go, why can't they? 

Your loving friend and fellow SUM, 
Stacey

 

Answer: Lynn 

Hi Stacey, 

Let me tell you that I KNOW exactly how you feel. I think you have exactly the right perspective and are living out what God has asked you to in your marriage. Often well-meaning Christian friends say and do stupid stuff. It's hurtful and they truly don't understand what we are living through. It's difficult to tell them not to take your husband on as a personal salvation project. They won't understand. What you should do is pray that God let's those kinds of words just roll off your back and not become offended. 

I think it's beautiful how you are protective of your husband and how you are sold-out believing God's promises for him. Wow.... Girl, you are way ahead in this crazy journey. 

Pray for wisdom from the Lord to know how and when to talk with your friends. Ask God to open doors for conversation to talk with your friends about how their intentions are good yet sometimes not always helpful. Keep praying and praying for your husband. Mostly Stacey, you just press into the love of our Father. He has you in the very palm of your hand. Love you my friend. BIG hugs... (and well done girl) Lynn

I'm so glad you are part of our amazing community. Love you my friend. 

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SUM Books 4


Our Greatest Promise (Part 2)

8406391_sHappy Friday, my friends! Let’s finish what we started on Wednesday. I left off with an analogy of the Holy Spirit flowing in our lives like blood in our veins and how it’s important to keep the “flow” free of unrighteous impediments. As I said at the end of Wednesday’s post, the Holy Spirit helps us do this.

He is very good at His job of showing us places in our lives and hearts that we need to deal with, of nudging us to do the right thing, and even of reminding us of God’s love and will for our lives. Also known as godly conviction, it is done with the love and heart of God for our good. Not to be confused with condemnation either (Romans 8:1), it is relieving, freeing and healing.

Just about every day, I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything I need to confess or see in myself. I talk to Jesus about it and ask for forgiveness if I need it or for help dealing with or overcoming an issue. Then if there is nothing else, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me and overflow in me, and that my day would bring glory and honor to Jesus.

When the Holy Spirit can move freely in us, our lives are changed and empowered. Abba wants for us to walk in this place of righteousness and empowerment that He sent His Son Jesus to bring us. And it is the Holy Spirit that does this work in us.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. — Philippians 2:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:13

So often we try to fix ourselves when the best thing we can do is sit quietly before God and let Him do these great works in us. We do our part (repentance and obedience) and He does His part (saving and transforming).

And my friends, I’m discovering through this year of intimacy that the key is knowing God better and better:

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. — Colossians 1:9-14

And the motivation behind all this is always, always, always God’s pure and unconditional love. He tells us to confess our sins and be filled with His Holy Spirit not out of harshness or so that we “get it right.” His desire has been, is and always will be to connect our heart to His so that His love can flow into our hearts freely, as blood flows freely in a healthy body, as the Blood of Christ flowed freely to save us.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. — Romans 5:3-5

And when the Holy Spirit flows freely in us, we are doing what Paul called “walking in the Spirit” and we are empowered to do those things that please God, whether they are serving others, or overcoming a sin or idol in our lives, or loving the difficult ones in our lives who Abba has specifically called us to love.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. — Galations 5:16 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. — Ephesians 2:10

Our greatest challenge as believers is also our gateway to freedom and unfailing faith: is to trust and believe. As Peter says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine” (1 Peter 1:7).

Our greatest and most important calling is to know and love Him (Deut. 6:5, Mark 12:30), to be still and know, trust and believe that He is who He says he is (Psalm 46:10), and let Him do the great work in us that He began and is faithful to finish (Phil. 1:6).

And I am finding that it is in the quiet moments when I manage to still my heart, my soul and my spirit before Him, that His loves pours freely, His wisdom comes in priceless gems, and His presence overwhelms me.

My friends, may the Lord bless you and protect you, may the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you, may the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Have an amazing weekend. Love you so much!
Dineen

Copyright: dirkercken / 123RF Stock Photo

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SUM Books 4


Our Greatest Promise (Part 1)

8406391_sMy friends, this is part three of the salvation series Abba has been leading me to share. The first week we talked about how we are Wired for Salvation and last week, we discussed the differences in our identity before and after accepting Christ in Sinner vs. New Creation. This week we will explore our greatest promise and guarantee of eternity because of our salvation—the Holy Spirit.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. — 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. — Ephesians 4:30

The Holy Spirit is our seal of ownership that we belong to God and our guarantee that we are and will be saved on the day of redemption. If you know you the Holy Spirit dwells in you, then you know you are saved and have an unshakeable eternal destination and home.

But I want to talk about “the more” of this promise, specifically the difference between being dwelling and filling. We can’t change or affect that the Holy Spirit lives in us thanks to the saving grace of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, but we can affect how much we are filled by the Holy Spirit’s power.

First, God’s Word tell us to be filled.

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, — Ephesians 5:18

Paul cleverly uses the comparison of wine because he wants us to understand that we are meant to be “saturated” (the Greek intention of the word drunk) with the Holy Spirit. That we are to be affected so much that His presence is seen by others—Christ in us.

Yet the one thing that impedes the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives is sin, whether it’s intentional or not. And though there can be debate on what sin is, I am learning that it is pretty much anything that shows a lack of trust in God.

Worry, fear, anxiety are three I have battled with more in the last six months than I ever imagined I would. And if you asked me last year if these are “sins” I would have told you I wasn’t sure.

Yet now I see them in a different light, that the first entrance of these and things like anger and unforgiveness are like temptations. They enter in as possibilities and become sin in our lives when we entertain and give them place in our lives. (If you’ve described yourself as a worry wart in joking, it’s time to shake that label and tell worry to take a hike.)

Thus why this piece of truth is so vital to our mental, physical and spiritual health—to our soul, mind and spirit.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9

Again this is not to be legalistic, but it is something we need to consider and practice on a daily basis. What unrighteousness are we carrying that impedes the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives? 

What lie are staying in agreement with? What fear are we allowing to keep us from full accepting all that God wants to give us? Sometimes we know when it’s a sin (like lashing out at a loved one) or sometimes it’s a past hurt or wound that we are holding onto and Abba says it’s time to hand it over.

Think of it this way. Our veins are filled with blood and when the blood flows freely through our bodies, we are healthy and strong. But then there’s this thing called plaque (unhealthy build up of white blood cells or ‘sin”) that builds up in our veins and if we don’t do anything about it (change our diet and exercise, etc, in other words ‘repent’ and ‘confess’) the blood flow is impeded and our health declines.

Amazingly, the Holy Spirit helps us do this. On Friday I will explain how that happens. (Lynn has graciously given me her blogging day.) Until then, I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

Love you, dear friends!
Dineen

Copyright: dirkercken / 123RF Stock Photo

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SUM Books 4


Humble Confidence

Dear friends, our very own Teresa T. has a great message for us today:

HumbleConfidentThis group loves God’s word and often discusses how to best apply the scriptures. Winning Him Without Words encourages us to serve as a living testimony, rather than to badger our pre-believers with arguments and ploys. So, it is important for us to be clear in our own minds about what scriptures ask us to do.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, …. 1Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Some translations use the word “meekness” instead of “gentleness.”

Let’s explore some commandments on humility and confidence that can appear, at first glance, to be difficult to put together. How can we be both? Join me in a short series of posts to explore how we can marry these commandments together in our lives. I hope that through discussion, we will find that they fit together nicely.

Let’s start by looking at humility and meekness. Here are a few passages:

Passage

Comment

Micah 6:8 (NIV)

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
      And what does the Lord require of you?
  To act justly and to love mercy
      and  to walk humbly with your God.

I love this passage. It is good  to be humble. The Lord requires us to be humble. That’s clear.

Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly   loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

This passage is also a command. Here, humility is in good company with  other sweet characteristics that speak to the condition of our hearts. Humility is not just a rank or station in life. It is a state of being.

Matthew 20:26 – 27 (NIV)

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become   great among you must be your servant, and  whoever wants to be first must be your slave—

What? Become the least to become the greatest? 

God’s economy just is not the same as the world’s economy. In this passage, Christ gives a terrific definition of humility.  And He tells us that He values it.

Proverbs 3:34 (HCSB)

He mocks those who mock,
  but gives grace to the humble.

Proverbs 3:34 (ESV)

Toward the scorners he is scornful,But to the humble, he gives favor.

He values humility so much. The humble get grace and favor. Sign me up.

Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

Blessed are the meek,
      for  they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5 (HCSB)

The gentle are blessed,
  for they will inherit the earth.

Do you recognize the Beatitudes?

Looking at different translations can help to clarity scriptures.   Here, one translation uses the word “meek” and another “gentle.”

Humility means to be modest and to consider your own importance less than you consider the importance of others. It means to respect God and others. It means to accept God's authority. Other words that mean humble include meek, modest and unpretentious. Arrogance is the opposite of humility.

When we realize that all our strengths come from Him and He loves us in spite of our earthly faults, we can be more gentle and loving toward others.

Humility does not imply self-loathing. Humility does not require us to think we are worthless. We are not. We are created in His image (Genesis 1:27). We have heard that so often, but stop to think how powerful that is. We are created in the image of God. Wowzers. There is something good in each of us that it meant to reveal an aspect of God. And God sent His Son to die for us so that we can live an abundant life (John 3:16). He values us. Modest does not mean frumpy. Respecting others does not mean we disrespect ourselves.

I think that it takes a certain amount of self-confidence to be humble. We can put others first when we are not constantly looking for self-affirmation.

Review the verses listed in the table above once again. We are rewarded for being humble. Doesn’t that give you courage? Are you starting to see that humility and courage really do go together? The next time I post, we’ll look more closely at courage.

Prayer

Lord, soften our hearts. Let us become humble and put value on others. Help us to not seek compliments or the center of attention. Help us to lavish attention on our loved ones and invest time in them, even when we are tired. Show us how we can bless a stranger. Let us be patient, kind and caring. Amen.

Conversation

What does humility mean to you? How do you see its relationship with courage?  How does humility help you to show love? There are plenty of other verses on humility and meekness. Is there one that speaks to you? Can you think of a "role model" who exhibits this trait? Share in the comments below.

Thanks

Thanks, Lynette, for inspiring this post! I enjoy our discussions. ~ Teresa

Such a great message about humility. Thank you, Teresa! Hugs! ~Dineen & Lynn

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The Truest Words From The Heart of Every Believer In A Spiritual Mismatched Marriage

Today I'm sharing a letter I received last week. I haven known Tamara for a very long time. She is likely one of our very earliest readers. She has walked in her uneuqlly yoked marriage for many years. In her short email I think she captured the truest parts of our heart. I'm not sure how this letter will affect you but I know it was tender, difficult and yet an encouragment. Lynn

Hello Dear Friend,  Hello Dear Friend

As I read your excerpts in that message – in God Sized Dreaming – I thought yes, only we, who are in that situation understand it. 

I was so sure Jack wanted to accept the Lords calling. But I was wrong. We had some very good and difficult talks and he explained very clearly: I don’t want to change. I don’t need to change. I believe enough to get me into heaven. 

So I must go alone and still be married. I am sure God will carry and lead me and I am sure I shall experience wonderful God-moments but still..... 

My marriage is a disappointment. 

This is not why I got married. I wasn’t a Christian when we married but the vision was always the same: together we walk, work, fight for the same goal.....whatever it is. But this goal of mine: JESUS,,,,,,,Isn’t his goal. So I must walk alone or fall down and I don’t like falling. 

God touched me very clearly and deeply this May and I know He will bring me safely to His harbor. I know He will give me wonderful friends, He already has, to love and comfort me and have fellowship with. But He can’t replace not having a husband at my side. 

I hope someday I will understand and see why we had to walk this very disappointing walk. We can write all we want; it doesn’t change the fact that we are alone in faith in our marriages. I love how you support and encourage at SUM. That is very important. I don’t know where I would be today without that. And then......one matures and when the hubbie doesn’t accept Christ you have to make a decision: Do I still trust in the Lord even if my husband doesn’t? Do I trust the Lord enough to stay with a person who doesn’t love my God? Do I trust Gods word that He will take care of me and all of my needs even if it doesn’t look like it?  Am I willing to decide to love this person even if he doesn’t honor my way of life? And when you can say yes to all then you know: this is what grown-up in God is like. It is painful and yet it is freedom in Christ and true worship: I have decided to follow Jesus, even if this means going alone. 

Do you know what I hope I will hear and understand too, Lynn? Why was it so difficult for our spouses to accept Christ? I look at your Mike, I don’t remember where you posted it, with your grandchild, and I thought: why is it so difficult for you to accept Christ with such a loving devoted wife? And then I realized, it is not about us it is about their own decision: Do I need Christ, or not?????     So very sad for all those lost years. 

That is also what makes me happy: either here on earth when they accept Christ or in heaven when we don’t need to think about that anymore we will look back and realize: it was only a blink of an eye in time .....in comparison of our Great God in Heaven. 

Be ever, ever, ever so blessed, you and the lovely Dineen for your loyal and great service in God, 

Loving greetings Tamara

Part II of our interview was on God Sized Dreams here. Thank you Christine Wright and team for allowing us to share the hope we have over at your home. PS. Christine is also a SUMite. I stand amazed to see all of the ministries that have arisen out of this body of Christ here in our SUMite Nation. I love you my family, Lynn

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Angel on The Roadway

Heidi and Lynn
Lynn & Heidi

Heidi Holmes has been a regular reader of SUM for about two and a half years. She made the five hour drive from Las Vegas, NV to Temecula last week to participate in our Walmart Prayer Day. Heidi told me that a year ago she was so riddled with fear and anxiety, she could have never made a trip like this alone. (I have her permission to share) 

God has brought so much healing into her life. 

Heidi left on Friday the day following the event and an astonishing thing occurred. Here is her story: By Heidi Holmes 

Ok here goes... Driving back to Nevada the following day still drunk on Gods presence and glory that showed up in Temecula, I could do nothing but smile and praise His name, singing with each song of praise on the radio with tear-filled eyes. I was so full of gratefulness and utterly in complete love with this King who does not disappoint! The song "I Can Only Imagine" came on, only the symphony version, (I had not heard this version before). I can't begin to tell you how divinely heavenly, the sound was! My body completely overwhelmed in love and the spirits chills. I wanted that feeling to last forever. 

As the song played I focused on a semi I truck in front of me, straining to see what was on the back. As I got close enough to see, I saw that it was a pair if angel wings, with the words "Angel Transportation”. I thought “Hmmm, must be the angel armies I prayed for on this trip escorting me home ;-) " . 

Angel wings SUM NationI passed the truck smiling a little thank you, not really knowing if it meant anything at the moment. I continued down the road in my drunken state of love for my Father smiling ear to ear and still tearful eyes, trying to wrap my mind around the past couple days. Three miles down the road from the truck, I see a sports car in the far left lane (3 lane freeway) hit the brakes, swerve to left side of road then over correct to right to get back on the road heading horizontally to the travel lanes. 

I think to myself, “Oh no! THIS isn't good he's going WRECK!!!” But he has two lanes of traffic to pass through. I’m probably safe." However, I still fear for the driver. 

Suddenly everything stopped, then started in slow motion. The car kept swerving ALL over horizontally making it between all the cars. I could even see their panicked faces. Even the all American phrase for panic "Ohhhh sh.....t" was readable from where I was. I have to admit that very phrase almost escaped my lips as the approached my lane far right of the freeway. 

As they spun around in front of me 360 degrees twice, I KNEW my fate was sure, there was NO way I'd be able to avoid them at the distance and speed of 80 miles per hour I was traveling. But time slowed even more, panic vanished, calmness took over, and my truck slowed as I maneuvered in a calm matter, SO unlike me. My truck avoided their car all together!! 

I had avoided the car and ended up stopped both vehicles side by side pointed down the freeway in the RIGHT direction!!!! 

Are you kidding me?!! 

I'm alive, they are alive, and not a scratch on either!!! I paused, made eye contact and waived a "are you ok?" wave. And then drove on because of all of the traffic behind us. I looked in my review mirror and saw the car with the two men in it had pulled of the road and parked. No doubt to give a prayer of thanks! I of course, was bawling and sobbing my thanks the rest of the way home. 

Indeed!! There was "Angel Transportation" !!!! :-) 

The symphony version of "I Can Only Imagine" listen loudly with eyes closed and be blessed :-) I Can Only Imagine ~ MercyMe w/ London Symphony Orchestra ...

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Sinner vs. New Creation

8406391_sMy friends, welcome to part two of this series on salvation. I just love how Abba shows me these truths and walks me through them. They are truths I desperately need and feel honored to share. As one is blessed with wisdom and knowledge to know Him better, I believe many are blessed too, as He calls us to share what we are given in all manners. I am learning more and more about God’s generosity and am continually blown away by what He shows me. I pray that by the end of this post, you are as blown away by what He revealed to my hungry heart.

To review, last week I talked about how we are wired for salvation and how it’s not us who brings a person to salvation but our Father who draws or calls them first to His Son, Jesus. Read that first part, Wired for Salvation, if you haven’t had a chance to yet. This week, we will talk about our identity.

Before we make that most crucial decision to ask Jesus to be our Savior, our identity is “sinner.” Once we take this step and Jesus lives in us (John 17:20), we are new creations who still sin at times. Our identity has changed as we are now children of God and belong to His family. We have sonship (Romans 8:15, 23).

To continue to define ourselves as sinners is kind of like having a split personality and the Bible even says light and darkness can’t coexist. So we can’t be both identities, sinner and new creation. How can Jesus be in us, how can the Holy Spirit dwell in us with the “old man” so to speak?

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun. And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. — 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. — Colossians 2:9-12
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Ephesians 2:10

After accepting Christ, our identity is in Jesus.Yes, we still sin (an action) at times, but as we bear the righteousness of Christ, our identity (who we are) now resides in Him. We are seen in the same righteousness as Christ (Romans 5:17).

Now apply this to your pre-believer. If he or she doesn’t know Jesus as their Savior, how can we expect them to behave as new creations? Yet that is what we do at times, isn’t it? And the enemy wants nothing more than to either keep them from knowing Jesus, or keep us fruitless with his lies.

Last week I talked with dear friend Kevin Adams (author of The Extravagant Fool) about this very subject and loved what he said. I told him I had to share it with you.

“The enemy can’t uncreate us, but he will try to make us unproductive. We don’t practice sin, we stumble.” — Kevin Adams

The final piece Abba brought me is in the story of the Prodigal, again a direction I never anticipated, and it’s a truth God wants us to know and believe. This story not only shows a lost son coming back to his father (the Father), but it also represents the generous heart of our Father in Heaven. The son acknowledged his sin to his father, but never once does the father call him a sinner.

“for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” — Luke 15:24

He calls him son. This son of mine.

God does not call us sinners. He calls us His children. He calls us and claims us as His own.

He calls us His.

That is our greatest truth to walk in and it is powerful. In this year of intimacy Abba called me to walk in, this above all else has been the focus of our time together as He reveals the lies and shows me His promises. And this next part had me bawling like a baby. Seriously, because it is so contrary to what I have believed for too long—that I must work to get what I want.

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

The father’s son had believed he had to work for what he had all along. We don’t have to work for God’s favor. We don’t have to work for His blessings. We don’t have to work for His love. He’s already given us everything.

He calls us by our true identity. His child. His son. His daughter. His!

My friends, what lie keeps you from fully embracing the truth that God loves you unconditionally (Romans 8:38-39) and calls you His? I want to hear your heart so that I can pray for you, because my victory is yours too.

Love you dearly! 

Dineen

Copyright: dirkercken / 123RF Stock Photo

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SUM Books 4


The Miracles of Walmart Prayer Day

Hello SUM Nation: 

I hope you watched the video from our Walmart Prayer Day, if not click here and get ready to smile. 

My friends, the Lord surely showed up and heaven opened over that store. Let me share some of the details that touched my heart. 

Imported Photos 00155There were 10 Team members including the Teen-Brigade, as they have become known, who were the sign holders and photographer. Thank you: Heidi Holmes, my sweet sister Sumite, who drove from Nevada to participate. And Jodie, Bob, Sue, Lindsay, Lynn, Felicia and grandbaby Elise. Gina, Caitie Erich and Karamia. 

Ten people from different churches and streams of faith. NOW THAT is unity in the Body of Christ. 

John 17:20-23

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 

I watched scripture come to life!!! 

But you know what is even cooler than that?? 

The gifts came from all of you. Believers from all ages, societies, different faith streams and nationalities….. This event was the most beautiful examples of the unified Body of Christ in action THAT I HAVE EVER WITNESSED! 

Our Papa, Lord is so well pleased with the people of the SUM Nation. 

I prayed for at least 10 people myself. Four people asked for prayer for back pain. Several for healing from cancer. 

One man in particular emerged from the store. I held out my hand with a gift card for him. I said, “I have a gift card for you. And could you use prayer?” 

He looked me in the face with eyes very serious and said, “I don’t want your card. I want prayer.” I still tear up just thinking about this man so desperate for prayer. His name was Marsh. I prayed for his back pain and surgery. My friends, today please pray that Marsh is so touched by God that surgery isn’t necessary. Let’s pray for his miracle. 

Heidi told me that a woman came back to her and told her how she spent the gift card. The woman said to Heidi, “I bought pajamas for my sister. Her husband just left her and the kids.” 

I was astounded by the number of men in their 30’s and 40’s who wanted prayer and who were prayed for. It became clear to me that men often want prayer but they don’t ask for it. I’m grieved in my heart for the men of this world who carry great burdens and don’t have people in their lives to pray with them. (Our unbelieving spouses also come to mind). 

We had a few hilarious moments. I prayed for a woman’s hands. She crochets often. Her name was Rosie Posey.. She was a fire cracker and a hoot. Sue and Lindsey contended with a cantankerous lil’ ole’ lady but in the end, this woman who didn’t want a hug embraced Sue. LOVE WINS!!! 

One story came to me hours after the event. I received a message through FB from a friend of mine. She wrote: Were you outside Walmart giving hugs and gift cards? I saw a post on a Temecula group of someone who received one. She loved the gift card, but the comment that got my attention was when she said she hadn't had a hug in 7 months

As we were leaving that morning, a man who was leaving the store said, “Thank you so much. Thank you so very much. It was a really great thing that you did today.” And right after that a man in the parking lot shouts over to me, “I will pay this forward.” I smiled and nodded. He said louder and with conviction, “I will pay this forward.” 

I smiled broader and said, “Thank you.” (He wanted to make sure I knew he meant it (smile)). 

Oh my friends, our world needs love. Our world needs Jesus. Last Thursday many people experienced that love. I’m still astounded at how many people wanted prayer. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I KNOW ALL OF YOU stood in love, with prayers and in agreement with us on Thursday. Your prayers were powerful. That is why the morning went so smoothly. 

I know there will be more that comes from this day and I will surely keep you up to date as we continue to receive feedback. 

I love you my dear and eternal sisters and brothers here at SUM. I gave your love away to strangers and they were touched. 

Here are some more photos. Have a great week. 

If you want more information on how to organize a Walmart Prayer Day in your home town, leave me a note in the comments.

Lynn and man praying

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Rosie Posie
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Lindsay E.
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Jodie T.

 

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I literally do not know how I came to have this photo. BUT I'm so glad I do.
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Sue L.

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Walmart Prayer Day

I'm undone. I'm humbled.

The entire team was filled with God's grace and favor. We prayed. We loved. We handed out all of your gifts.

The feedback already is amazing. Men leaving the store said, "Thank you so much for doing this." AND "I will pay this forward."

Message I received an hour later through Facebook: I just received this message from Montserrat, a Temecula resident, about our Walmart Day. I'm undone. She wrote: Were you outside Walmart giving hugs and gift cards? I saw a post on a Temecula group of someone who received one. She Loved the gift card, but the comment that got my attention was when she said she hadn't had a hug in 7 months.

People were so receptive for the most part. Overwhelmed. Some were hesitant. They expected there to be a catch but most just received. And we gave.

We gave the love of Jesus away today.

SUMite family. THANK YOU. You touched heaven today. Okay more later but for now, here are the photos. TURN ON THE SOUND. (share the video and perhaps the world will change because our community believes in LOVE!)

Walmart Prayer Day from Spiritually Unequal Marriage on Vimeo.

I love you so much. Lynn

 

 

Heidi and Lynn
Lynn Donovan and Heidi Holmes (SUMites) Heidi drove from Nevada to pray for people

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Wired for Salvation

8406391_sMy friends, as I neared the end of the Transforming the Mind series, Abba downloaded a new one about salvation. Honestly, I never expected to write about this subject, but obviously He wants us to understand more about what His salvation is, because it truly is His and comes from Him alone (Psalm 51:12).

Did you know we are wired for salvation? That is Abba’s heart for us and why He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. All of us.

And if we look at the Bible as a whole (the sum of all its parts) the message is consistent throughout that God’s intent was always to have a relationship with His creation, specifically us.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. — Ecclesiastes 3:11

A few years ago, Abba gave me this verse to pray over my husband. As I reflect back, I think it was as much for my benefit as for his, because the truth of this Scripture has stuck with me ever since.

There is a promise there of God’s goodness and intent toward His creation.

God places eternity in every human heart. We were created to be in relationship with God and with Him in eternity. Me. You. And our pre-believers.

How do we get saved?
We don’t actually. This question implies that we have control or power over this process. But Paul clearly states that salvation is a gift:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9

Our only action is to repent and receive it. So if we understand this truth within the parameters of our own lives, let’s apply this to the pre-believers in our lives.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. — John 6:44   And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father. — John 6:65

I will never forget the day the truth in these Scriptures hit me. My whole world shifted. Suddenly I understood that my husband’s salvation didn’t rest upon my shoulders. That misconception only added the burden of getting it right, which inevitably lead to feeling like a failure as each day passed without seeing a change in my husband.

It wasn’t my yoke to carry.

This was the beginning of my freedom to love my pre-believer just as he was and to grow in my faith as I learned how to thrive in my marriage while I trusted (and still do) God to work out my husband’s salvation according to His beautiful timing. The irony here is as we make this transition, our lives become the greater testimony to our pre-believers of Who Jesus is than our words. Our actions hold the higher truth.

What’s our role as intercessor/influencer?
Does that mean we can sit back and do nothing? By no means, no! Our faith plays an integral part in this process. God seems to prefer to partner with His children to accomplish His purposes. Not because He has to, but because He chooses to.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. — 2 Corinthians 5 18-19

Our faith and prayers sanctify our pre-believers and our children—all who we claim by our faith and prayers.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. — 1 Corinthians 7:14

(For more on sanctification, read this.)

And as we intercede with our prayers for all the pre-believers in our lives, we are given the promise that Jesus intercedes for them and SAVES those who come to God through Him. Just as Jesus contended for each of us to know Him, He intercedes and contends for our pre-believers.

Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. — Hebrews 7:22-26

And He lives forever to intercede! Our King Jesus works tirelessly to intercede with the Father on the behalf of our pre-believers. We do not walk this mismatched journey alone in any way. As we embrace these truths—which I am desperate for you to, my dear friends—we are able to thrive in our faith and in God’s love in the middle of whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Praying that God's promises come alive for you like never before!
Dineen

Copyright: dirkercken / 123RF Stock Photo

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#SUM Nation Walmart Day

Hi Sumites, 

Things are coming together for this Thursday, our Walmart Prayer Day. I also call this adventure one of our Random Acts of Kindness days. 

When I started this adventure all I had was a Word. A Word from God. I saw a picture in my mind of shoppers at Walmart in line to check out and shoppers in line for prayer. I didn’t know if this was a good idea, if you would support it, or if anyone would show up with me to pray.

Well of course, we won’t know the full scope of this escapade until it’s finished. But let me tell you what has happened already. You, the SUMite Nation have donated in small amounts at a time and some large amounts (a few of you) so much money that we have a ton of gift cards. I have money to purchase the flowers for the kids and enough to cover the signs and other small expenses. 

THANK YOU! 

Donations came from all over the world. Who knew? 

God did!!! 

On Thursday the crowd who is joining me continues to grow. When I started this adventure I wasn’t sure if one other person would be brave enough to stand outside of Walmart and ask people if they want prayer. But it seems that most of the people I’ve asked said yes. And as more people find out, they want to join in. I believe SUMites are coming from out-of-state. What I love is that all the volunteers are from different churches. What a beautiful way to represent the united Body of Christ to the world. I can’t wait to hug your necks and share photos. 

I’m overwhelmed by God’s people. Overwhelmed that people are willing to give their money. Give their time. Teenagers willing to walk around with signs and hug people and give them a smile. 

Our world is a tough place. In the last week alone my head spins when I consider all the shootings across America, Canada and elsewhere. BUT, there are good people in the world. And the SUMite Nation… We are the good people. We are people filled with love, the Holy Spirit and with a relentless hope. We are the people who can make a change for good and reflect love and kindness. 

I believe Thursday will reflect everything that this community is about. 

For this week will you pray for Thursday. I expect push-back from the dark realms but I know with our prayers there will be people on Thursday whose very life may be altered forever, who will be saved, or healed, because we gave, we prayed, we loved. 

Monday: Pray that the Walmart store comes under an open heaven. That the store is free from any and all dark dominion, curses or lies of the enemy. Pray for the management of the store in this way as well. 

Tuesday: Pray that God keeps our prayer team healthy and that no one is kept from attending. 

Wednesday: Pray for the people who will be shopping. Pray that God gives us boldness and courage and that the shoppers are receptive and feel safe to receive prayer.

Thursday: Pray all that morning for divine encounters, healings, angelic visitations, and for powerful miracles. Pray that people have an encounter with God. 

Friday: I will post photos and share stories. We will be posting on Thursday some photos and thoughts on our Sum Facebook page

I love you SUMites. I KNOW we hold a special place in the Kingdom. Our trials and difficulties in our mismatched marriages lead us from glory to glory. This is one of the glories!!! 

Hugging you tight. Lynn

1 Corinthians 13

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She's Moving to Idaho

For those who have read Winning Him Without Words I share a story about one of my friends who sorta, spiritually adopted me, in the early years of my marriage. This story was so powerful in my parenting that I shared it again in our book, Not Alone. 

Here is an excerpt: 

Several days following the “Kitchen Table Debacle,” as I have come to call it, I sat down at a local restaurant for breakfast with a new friend. I had met Jenny the week prior at our church Bible study. She was a tad bit older than I was, and a lot wiser. She and I clicked from the start. I remember pouring out my fears about my daughter’s salvation while Jenny listened. After hearing my story, she said something to me that I will never forget. She gave me a Scripture verse.

Train up a ChildTrain up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6, KJV).

Jenny looked across the table, gently holding me in her eyes. She patted my hand and said, “Lynn, you do the best you can to train your daughter and then you trust the Lord to keep His promise.”

I cried.

Tears of relief. Tears of hope.

She went on to say, “The key to this verse is the word ‘old’.”

Immediately I felt a wave of peace wash over me. I knew exactly what she meant. Our kids may stray from living a life for God. They might outright rebel. They might buy into the lies of the enemy and embrace the ways of the world. Or choose to discount Jesus just like Dad has done. It is a possibility. This is also true of children raised in a home with two believing parents. There are kids who choose to travel the painful path of the prodigal child. But—and how I love it that with God in the story there is always a “but”—if we have trained our children, taken advantage of every teachable moment, encouraged them to attend church (I share more on this in later chapters) and loved on them with the infectious love of Jesus, they will return to God.

I am proof of this truth! 

Since that time of this rare and beautiful Titus-Two mentoring season, our lives have changed and grown busy. We will sporadically meet for breakfast at our same little booth in a very old diner in Old Town Temecula. The last time we met was about two and a half years ago. I shared with her how her teaching on Proverbs 22:6 greatly impacted my life and how I have now shared that with thousands of other mothers through our book. 

Jenny looked at me and relayed a troubling story. She and her husband had been estranged from their adult son for months. He was in a dark place and faraway from God. She looked across the table and I could read the doubt and lack of belief in the words she had shared with me year before. 

Well today I met Jenny Lee at our same little diner, in our same booth to say “Goodbye.” She is moving to Idaho in a few weeks. As our conversation began I asked, “Okay, why Idaho?” 

“My son lives there.” 

“What, I thought the two of you weren’t speaking.” 

“Well, I happened to send him a text last year. That text opened up a door and he called me. He said that he has missed me and Dad so much. He apologized and then asked us to move to Idaho to be near him and the grandkids.” 

“Oh Jenny,” I can’t help but say I told you so, “See your very words that you gave me from Proverbs have proven true even to you. Even when you doubted you would ever speak to your son again.” 

My SUMite family, God’s Word is powerful. Our God is faithful. There is always hope. If you are breathing, God is working. We must always be praying for our children. And in my life of recent, I’ve discovered I need to pray with more faith and frequency for my adult children. Sheesh the crowd her at the Donovan Clan House is keeping me on my knees but I KNOW the King is listening. He is moving. He is faithful.

To my dear sweet friend, Jenny Lee. You were Jesus with skin on when I needed Him. Thank you for loving a messed up young wife. Thank you for being my friend. I look forward with great anticipation for all of the adventures and sharing of testimonies that we will have in the eons ahead of us. And all of our testimonies will be about the faithfulness of our God. The love of Jesus for His Bride and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

May the Lord bless you and keep you in your new home in Idaho. With love your eternal sister, Lynn

On Monday: Our Walmart Prayer Day Update... It's awesome. Stay tuned. Have an amazing weekend.

Both books

 

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Transforming the Mind: Finding God in Worship

ThemindMy friends, we have walked this journey of transforming our minds now for six weeks. We began with Feasting on God’s Word, then continued with Claiming and Praying God’s Promises, Giving the Holy Spirit Authority, Pleading the Blood of Jesus, Thanking and Praising, and last week, Choosing Joy. This week, we will talk about finding God in worship. This is by far the most challenging to write, for two reasons. One, the enemy is very much apposed to this topic, because it is what he tried to get from Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4:9) and what he has wanted all along in order to be like God. And two, because it’s still growing and forming in my own life. So I will share what I have discovered thus far.

From the very beginning the plan was to worship God. Even wise men traveled from afar knowing that the only proper welcome to bring a new King was worship.

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose,* and we have come to worship him.” — Matthew 2:2

God even wrote eternity on our hearts (Ecc. 3:11) to be awakened by His call and to bring the Son glory. The pages of the Bible reveal men and women after God's own heart who stood apart from the idol worshipers to bring true worship to the One True God. Theirs are the stories we still read today and find inspiration and wisdom.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. — Psalm 9:1-2 (a Psalm of David) Even the devil understood the intrinsic value of worship in finding the heart of God and the connection it created between creation and Creator, and sought to steal it for himself.

Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” — Matthew 4:8-10

A few years ago, I remember talking to our dear friend Ro on the phone, asking her about her relationship with God. I longed for the intimacy she seemed to have so naturally with God, Whom she referred to affectionately as her Friend. James too spoke of Abraham as a friend of God. I wanted that—yearned for it.

Not long after this conversation, I sat in prayer, seeking God for this very thing, He told me, "You will find Me in worship."

I confess, it probably took me close to a year to begin to pursue God in this manner, to seek more understanding. The pursuit to worship God more and deeper as ensued ever since. And as I have learned more about the incredible depths of God's love, I've learned that the heart of worship resides in Jesus' two greatest commands to us:

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” — Mark 12:29-31

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love others. The first encompasses a life of worship. Our intimacy with Him each day as we intentionally seek His presence. To view every part of our lives from the perspective of God's Word and promises and to live these out in our lives every day. Singing songs of praise to Him in corporate worship or even in our own homes as we listen to Christian music while making dinner for our family. To seek Him just for Himself, because we are are grateful and stunned that the Creator of the universe desires first and foremost to love us, to delight in us, to be in an intimate relationship with us.

The second springs from the first, for when we love and worship God, His love flows through us, intertwines with our hearts until the separation is no longer distinguishable and flows to a broken and hurting world.

It's that simple, yet that challenging as it requires commitment, intentionality, submission and obedience. Extravagant worship (what God truly deserves) must cost us something. Are we willing to lose our lives to gain them back?

My experience has been that which we gain back is usually more than we give. That's the generosity of our God. He rushes in with His love and faithfulness and gives more than we ask or can even imagine (Eph 3:20). Moses stood on a mountain and asked to see God's glory. What did God do? He hid Moses in a crevice and brought not a mighty show of His power but His goodness.

The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. — Exodus 33:19

And this is part of what Jesus came to bring us, that we would be able to experience God's goodness and worship Him anywhere, even in the realms of our minds and hearts regardless of whether we are in a church or alone.

Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” — John 4:21-24

It is the connection of spirt to the Spirit and truth to the Truth. Worshiping God becomes the expression of our lives that reveals the hope within.

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. — 1Peter 3:15

I propose that our thinking of worship has been limited to the walls of our churches and Sunday mornings, or to faith conferences that vibrate with the presence of the Holy Spirit. These are indeed vital to our growth and understanding of the power and necessity of corporate worship. I myself hunger for more of this in my life. (And I dare to say the difference between a church and a social center is the condition in which the members worship—or don’t.)

Yet with everything God gives and models for us, there is more—much more—than this one glowing facet of the jewel and prize known as worshiping the Lord your God with all your heart (spirit), soul and strength (body, perseverance, health). Just as He is three "persons" in one, we are called the worship with our three parts—spirit, soul and body. And I believe we are called to steward each part with care, that our spirits remain connect to the Spirit, that our souls are fed and cared for, that our bodies and minds are renewed and strengthened.

Worship is living our lives daily, walking in and with the Holy Spirit. Spending time in the Bible each day, seeking truth, knowledge and wisdom to know Him better. Believing His promises and claiming them for our lives. Giving Him praise and thanks everyday just for Him, for His constant love, presence, sacrifice and holiness, and for all He gives us. Choosing His joy even when circumstances make it difficult. Praying and believing He hears us and is working for our good.

He encompasses all. He is all. And He is more than worthy of all we have to offer Him. We don’t have to get our act together first. We don’t have to the perfect marriage and family. We don't have to wait until Sunday or for a conference. No prerequisites or qualifiers. He’s with us all the time. He longs for us to know Him and for us to be known by Him (1 Cor. 13:12).

When we love Him, we are worshiping Him. When we love others, we are worshiping Him. When we use our gifts, blessings and provisions to serve Him and others, we are worshiping Him.

Perhaps our greater challenge is bringing Sunday worship into everyday living. First and foremost, He desires that we be still and know Him. This is our highest form of worship and the place where He shows us His goodness.

And His glory.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. — Psalm 23:6

Praying He reveals His goodness to you today!
Dineen

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Kingdom Prayer - Pray This With Me

#SUM Nation, today would you join me in prayer: 

Lord, Holy Papa, Your children gather here in this unexpected house. The House of SUM where we come from all the nations to share our hearts with You and with each other. Thank you for this amazing place where we gather to unite “the church.” Thank you this is a place where we don’t judge one another by appearance. We see one another at the heart level — through words. It’s beautiful here Lord. Thank you for allowing us to see one another just as You see us. You look at the heart. 

Father, we love you. We adore our Betrothed, King Jesus and we are lost without the Dove that indwells and sits upon our shoulder. Thank you for your love, grace, provision, lavish gifts. Thank you that you wanted kids and chose us. 

Today, Father I’m moved to ask Your hand of covering over our Kingdom Miracle event that will happen on June 12, 2014. Lord, today prepare the legions of angels and release them to go before us to open the doors of heaven over this store. Make the morning go smoothly with all those who are volunteering, with the staff of Walmart and especially the shoppers. 

Lord, there are already several who need healing that will approach those doors on that specific Thursday. Oh Father, please, please give them courage to ask for our prayers. And then Lord, You move in power and love. Bring healing, hope, restoration and goodness to these lives. Bring Your Presences so powerfully that the demons flee in fear and that heaven opens over this store. 

Lord, we want to see Your glory and proclaim that God is alive and well and He works in the lives of ordinary people outside of churches and in the places where the broken gather. We, Your People, ask that You astound us with such unexpected surprises that we can’t wait to do this again. And that Your fame and glory spread out across the nations. 

Daddy, help us to pray with your power and authority. Pray with love. Place such a powerful love anointing upon us that when people look into our eyes, they immediately feel peace and joy. We pray that they see the reflection of Your Son, Jesus. 

May all that we do bring you glory. Fight with us against disease, oppression, and the lies of the enemy. We declare You have ordained great victories for this day and we will be obedient to bring people love, healing, and mostly Your heart into their lives. 

We pray with belief in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Lord's Prayer
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I love you my friends. Have a fantastic week. THRIVE in His Presence. Hgus, Lynn

 

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