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14 entries from November 2014

The Spirit Of Confusion

Hello SUMites: 

Thank you for your grace as Dineen and I have been absent from our home here on the web in the last few days. Dineen is moving this week to Florida. I checked in with her today and she expects to land near San Antonio this evening. I have been fighting an ornery cold that has persisted for two weeks. And everyone in our house has come down with this beast. I’m feeling a bit better today. Thank you for your prayers. 

Thank you for praying and loving one another in our absence. Some of you, like Joanne and a few others, consistently step in and cover for us in the comments and on Facebook. THAT is what the body of Christ looks like in action. Neat. 

My friends, December is here. Say what? We are now entering into a very busy time of year. We are also in a special season. It’s this time of year that more people are open to the love and truth of Jesus Christ. So while Dineen is traveling and settling into her new place, I will try to write to cover two subjects close to my heart. On Mondays and Fridays I’m going to share my thoughts about some spiritual challenges that keep us from growing in our faith and also affect our marriage. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, time permitting, I want to talk about how the Christmas season is a season to share our faith with our spouse and our kids. 

How does that sound? Please be patient with me if I don’t hit the posting timeline perfectly. It’s a busy month and already I have commitments to attend a ton of events. And more than anything, as I tackle the series on the spiritual realms, I must, must, hear from the Lord. I only want to share what I’m hearing from the Father. 

Okay? 

Okay.. 

Let’s get started. 

2 timothy 1 7 photoThe Spirit of Confusion 

As we delve into this study, I want to wrap my arms of love around you and tell you that you are here and part of this community because of divine destiny. You have been chosen by the very voice of God to be part of the discussion in the weeks ahead. Your name was spoken and one of two things is destined to be yours. One; freedom from oppression and two; the knowledge and anointing to help others to become free. 

Hallelujah! 

In this house there is NO judgment. If you see yourself in some of the scenarios or conditions I describe in this series, there is NO CONDEMNATION. Consider yourself touched by the Lord that He has decreed your freedom day. I will not judge. I will be absolutely open to your honest questions and your request for prayer if you find you need freedom from a certain demonic influence. 

Agreed? 

Agreed. 

With all of that stated as our ground rules, let me ask you a few questions.

Do you struggle to read the Bible? When you read the Word is it confusing to you and you grow frustrated and give up quickly? Does it seem to you that often your world is swirling around you? I mean by that, do you feel like everyone else “gets” what’s going on and you never do? Is your home chaotic? Is your job a constant upheaval and uncertainty? Do you feel like you are confused often? And does this confusion lead to fear? 

I know that many of us could answer yes to some of these questions during different seasons in our lives. But I want to speak to those of our House to seem to be continually in a swirling storm of confusion which leads to fear. I’m especially drawn to those who try to read God’s Word and it is always confusing thus that’s why you never read it. 

If anyone can answer yes to most of these questions, I want to let Jesus bring some clarity to your life today. I’ve come to realize that many times when you sit down to read the Bible and its confusing and you just can’t comprehend what its saying; you are likely dealing with a spirit of confusion. It’s a demonic spirit whose relentless assignment is to keep your life in a continual upheaval. Its mission is to leave you frustrated, uncertain and to muddle your thoughts. 

How many of you feel better already just knowing it’s not your brain. It’s not because you are stupid. Your confusion isn’t a permanent disability either.  

(I hear angels shouting right now over you: FREEDOM). Your freedom is here. 

In order to find freedom from this demonic influence and all others, we need to chat about how the demonic realm can bare influence in our lives. Can it have influence when we are Christians? Are we defenseless against a demonic power? How do we gain our freedom, specifically? 

Well I have the answers to these questions and more. And I have first-hand experience in dealing with the demonic and with deliverance. It’s strange but not scary. In fact, by the time we finish this series, you won’t be afraid of these petty evil spirits, you will be equipped and empowered to remove them from power. Hallelujah and amen. 

It’s imperative we understand fully the spiritual realms. If we are unaware of the devils schemes, we can’t pray against them. AND we must be equipped because we are the sole believer who must war for our spouse and children. I know you can war for your family and win. I know this because I have lived it. I have many stories to share that I pray will be more ammunition in your arsenal to defeat the devil and bring freedom and victory to your home. 

For today, I want to leave those who believe they are contending with a spirit of confusion a few words of love and freedom. One, purchase a Bible in a translation that is easy to understand, The New Living Bible, is a great choice. Stay out of the Old King James until you get the basics down. And two, believe this truth: You are destined to live a life of calm and live in wisdom not confusion. You are a child of God. Your birthright is righteousness, peace and joy. You are entitled as part of your Holy inheritance to walk in wisdom. 

THAT IS THE TRUTH. 

So beginning today, let these scriptures become your life’s cry: 

I 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. —Ephesians 1:17 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. —James 1:5 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. —2 Corinthians 10:5 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. —2 Timothy 1:7 

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD. —Isaiah 11:2 

My friends, do any of you need prayer is this area? Leave me a comment. Have any of you struggled with this spirit and found freedom, share how? Do any of you have more scripture verses that bring freedom from confusion, share them in the comments. 

Powerful Lord Jesus. You have given your followers, all of us, the power and authority to cast out evil spirits. (Luke 9:1&2) Lord, teach us. Equip us further and let us do Your work here on earth and bring freedom, wisdom, love and life to those around us who are suffering in the dark. In Your powerful name, Jesus. Amen. 

Watch this video and learn more about Luke 9:1&2.

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A Thankful Hanky Story For Thanksgiving Day

SUMites, I just wanted to give Lynn & Dineen an update on the healing hankies. I purchased one of these anointed cloths for a co-worker's daughter. When I gave it to her, you can imagine the look of doubt and skepticism.

Anyway, just last week she came to the office exclaiming how her daughter is now handling a new medication, has come down from her upstairs for family gatherings, and even driven a car. All of which she has not been able to do in years. She was raving about the medicine, but I gently reminded her that all this kind of coincided with the timing of receiving the hanky - hmmmm:)... -Pam Osborn

 

Psalm 136 1

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The Destruction of the Demonic Warrior

Today is a continuation of Stone’s testimony. Part I was posted on Monday. On Friday I intend to get started teaching on the power we have to defeat the demonic. Stay tuned… Now here is Part II from my friend, Stone. 

Temecula, CA
Worship In The Valley: A worship event in Temecula, CA on November 20th. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comThen I was brought back to the battlefield with a new knowledge of the enemy’s strategy and his determination to prevent me from ever setting foot on the battlefield because it is my destiny to speak into the face of darkness and command that he let God’s people go, that his captives be set free in the name of Jesus. Before this battle has begun I know and so does he that he is destined to lose his hold over God’s beloved who he has shackled with fear, depression, suicide, self-mutilation and abuse. He has been lying to them, keeping them captive to his lies for too long and God has heard their cries and is committed to them to receiving their freedom. He is going to use me to speak freedom into the lives of his beloved, His chosen and treasured people and they will receive freedom, He will speak through my wounds and years in bondage. He is going to shine through me and shine His light of life, freedom and joy into the lives of His beloved. 

Then He did something amazing! God called me to cast this spirit out of my life, He told me to command that this demonic spirit no longer has permission or authority to stand at my door and torment my nights, or speak lies into my life. I commanded this spirit, who has followed me my whole life at the command of the enemy, to go that it can’t stand beside my bed keeping me awake all night or at my door shouting at me tormenting me or come into my home at all. God assured me that He is my sword and my shield, my strength and my defender and that His hand of protection is upon me and that I am safe in His presence. He showed me that I have the authority in the name of Jesus to command that this enemy leave my home and torment me no longer. 

I am God’s chosen; His cherished and beloved daughter and I have a destiny to pursue my passion of bringing hope and freedom into the hearts and lives of the lost, the hurting, the broken. He has given me authority to speak hope and freedom into the hearts of those enslaved by suicide, depression, self-mutilation and abuse. As I look at the battlefield I know that this victory is sure, that the enemy is terrified of God’s power and passion for His people, he knows that his reign of terror over them is ending and that they will have freedom.  

Jesus is going to rain down and wash away the chains and shackles he’s been using to hold on to God’s beloved. Their freedom is coming and His people are going to run away from their captivity in waves and there is nothing that he can do to stop it. He could not destroy me, he never could but that didn’t stop him from trying, that didn’t stop him from assigning his chosen warrior to stand at my doorway and torment me, shout lies into my life and try to keep me down, convinced of my own enslavement and utter ruin. But Jesus reached out His hand released me from my chains, and carried me out of my prison of pain and suffering. Jesus led me out into a beautiful meadow and taught me to walk with Him in joy and freedom, he taught me a new song and He is singing it with me. He is with me as He always has been and always will be. 

I love you and I'm praying for healing over you and your family.

Hugs,
Stone

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The Destruction of the Demonic Warrior

It’s Thanksgiving this week. And I know all of us are very busy. And I’ve been very ill again. However, James 5 was in my daily Bible this week so I went for healing prayer. And I know my full healing is now decreed. AMEN! 

This week I have family in town and will likely be crazed entertaining but loving every minute of time I have with my mom who is visiting from Colorado. My daughter will be here and her friends, my son and my granddaughter. It’s going to be a great turkey day! 

Dineen and I are going to take the week off from posting. So today and Wednesday, I want to share with you an email that arrived on Thursday evening from a young woman whom I’ve prayed for, love on, and encouraged through the many months/years of her healing process. I asked her permission to share her testimony. I know there is someone in our Sum family who needs to hear this word. 

Luke 10 19From my friend: Stone.
Temecula, CA
Worship In The Valley: A worship event in Temecula, CA on November 20th

I’ve been in a season of isolation, pain, depression and hopelessness, and yet I’ve known this whole time that it hasn’t been real, I have refused to take ownership of it as from me or a part of me. I’ve prayed against it over and over again, I’ve begged and pleaded with the Lord to free me from this painful darkness and yet it persisted. I kept my eyes on Him and continued to ask for freedom, trusting that it won’t always be like this, that hope and freedom are here and that more is coming. I know that I haven’t been betrayed or abandoned, through all of this Jesus has been right beside me and His passionate love for me has never wavered. I haven’t been alone for even one second, even though I’ve felt completely alone I’ve known that He has never left me alone and that this is not for me, this is not what my life will be like. I’ve known that a shift was coming.               

So tonight I came expecting, I struggled to get there, fighting off a cold and exhaustion from a long and trying week at work but I knew that God had something for me to receive tonight. Upon arrival I wanted to leave, and that feeling grew to where I felt like I couldn’t stand it and I knew without a doubt that it was the enemy’s desperation, his last attempt to prevent me from receiving all that I did tonight. This realization made me that much more determined, more committed to staying and receiving all that He had in store for me tonight.               

Tonight I got to see myself the way my mentors have been describing to me. Tonight I got to see myself as a warrior, a leader, strong and brave, leading a strong and mighty army into battle. This description has been terrifying me but tonight it was incredible because He also gave me a peace and an incredibly deep assurance that everyone who had come with me onto this battlefield is someone I chose because I trust them. God assured me that everyone who has joined in this army is someone I can trust. He gave me peace about the discernment He has given me and the things He has shown me over the last few years as we’ve built this tribe around me. As I followed Him into the heart of this battlefield He showed me just how sure the enemy is of his coming defeat. He knows we’re coming, that I have my eye on him and my heart set on his defeat, he knows that we’ve come for his captives; we’ve come united in Jesus to set his captives free.               

As the fire grew within me I saw into my past, but from a whole new perspective, I saw the strategy of the enemy and the power and goodness of God. I saw His hand of protection over me always, and I knew that this was all set in motion before I was born and that I’ve never been alone. As the Pastor spoke of peaceful sleep I was reminded of the years I spent my nights in terror. I remembered the nights I wept before The Lord, crying out the name of Jesus over and over for hours. As a young child I couldn’t see Him there, I begged and pleaded in what I thought was in vain, but throughout this past year Jesus has been showing me exactly where He was. As I stared into the face of darkness at the demon that the devil stationed outside my bedroom doorway Jesus stood in the doorway of my room as my shield, keeping her from entering my room and destroying me. I saw this spirit outside my room for years, I was always afraid for my life because its goal was to destroy me, convince me that I meant nothing to God, that I was completely and utterly alone, that I was unloved, betrayed and abandoned, hopeless.               

What I saw tonight was just how strategic this assignment was, God showed me that my destiny has always been to march on the enemy’s camp and demand that His captives be set free from cutting, suicide, depression and abuse and that through me He would speak into the hearts of His beloved and show them that they are free. I saw the enemy’s determination to destroy me, to crush me to a point where I would never rise up and destroy his hold on God’s children through depression and suffering. I saw that he did not have authority to kill me; it didn’t stop him from trying or keep him from trying to destroy me. He selected a strong and determined warrior to stand at my door every night for years and for years they stood outside my bedroom instilling fear, depression and lies into my heart, all night long they called out to me, shouting lies of my worthlessness, of my smallness and insignificance, threating pain, death, dismemberment and utter destruction, ruin. He sent a chosen warrior but God sent His Son. 

Jesus stood inside my bedroom every night looking into the face of this chosen warrior and spoke the truth, He spoke of the coming destruction, He reminded them that He has already won the war and He spoke truth and love into my room and over me.   —End Part I… Stone

 

Okay, my friends it gets even better. Tune in Wednesday and let this testimony set you free. Hugs, Lynn

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The Three Deadly Ds: Dubious Doubt, part 2

21139604_sOn Wednesday I shared the first part of the first of the Deadly Ds, “Dubious Doubt.” Scroll down and read part one if you haven’t already, that way you get the full picture of how doubt can impact our faith and what happens when we start to see it and push it off, with the help of the Holy Spirit. I’m excited to tell you the rest of this story because I want you to learn this valuable lesson and begin to walk in more breakthroughs like I am, praise God!

Now the conclusion of Dubious Doubt

As a result of God lifting this shroud and showing me the full scope of what doubt does to our faith, I have been praying for Abba to remove this doubt in my mind and heart, I have chosen to believe all the things God has told me and I have begun reclaiming what the enemy has taken away from me. I believe that was lost will be restored, just as God’s Word says:

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

My friends, I have been praying this truth for months and declaring it will be done. And that is exactly what is happening as I have begun to refuse doubt and choose belief. An astonishing shift and breakthrough has come as a result.

On Tuesday I worked in the Healing Rooms in our area. Nothing was going to keep me from going—the enemy often tries to prevent me from going. Knowing that I had been praying for God to clear the way and prevent any hinderances. We are in the middle of a repipe in our house and issues have cropped up, keeping me at the house to monitor the work. And it was looking like I would have to be at the house again on this day.

But God answered my prayer in my sweet hubby, who offered to work from home so I could go. My pre believer husband stayed home so I could work in the healing rooms. How cool is that? God makes me laugh a lot at how He does stuff.

Now, I had been asking God for more for our healing room’s team and for those coming for healing. I stepped into belief as I never have before in asking God for more of His presence and healing power to be present and released in our healing rooms. If you look at the accounts of Jesus’ healings, it always says everyone was healed. Not some—everyone. I wanted that for our team and especially for all who were coming for healing.

As my teammate and I prayed for our first person (we start out knowing only if the person is male or female), God shared His heart with me about this person, much to do with His pleasure over how she carried His holiness, His plans for her (divine destiny) and a promise to do what she asked.

Then I heard “knees.” Seemed a little off track, but I wrote it down anyway. Then we brought her into the room to pray, she shared a list of health issues and finished with the one that bothered her the most.

Her knee.

We shared the precious words God had given us for her and then began to pray. As she sat there, I placed my hands on her knee, believing that Jesus would do what He said. I believed it, told Jesus since He said it, it would happen. He told me “knees,” right?

At the finish of this prayer, I asked her if she felt any difference. She again described what was wrong. I was not about to give up! I had chosen to believe what God told me was true, and I wasn’t about to back down now.

I told her to stand up. With my hands on her knee we prayed again, believing that Jesus would do what He said. But this time, I prayed for Jesus to remove all doubt. I don’t know why, but I have learned that the breakthroughs we receive become the power behind our prayers and are often the very thing God winds up calling us to pray for another person.

So I prayed in the Spirit and in faith. Jesus’ healing came down wave after wave so strong that I could barely breathe! We finished praying, then asked how her knew felt. This time she smiled, said it was much better, and not only that, God had given her a picture of the bone being restored.

Breakthrough! We continued to pray for each one of her issues and a couple more she boldly asked for healing for, including arthritis in her wrist. She moved her wrist more freely right away! Each step emboldened her to ask for more!

God gave her a special image for each part He was healing, showing her what He was doing. What’s so amazing is this was the ultimate purpose of God’s for her, because her deepest heart ache was that she felt she hadn’t heard God in a long time. Yet image after image was coming to her!

Doubt had been removed! Her faith was reaffirmed and she was encouraged!

My friends, this dear woman wasn’t the only woman who’s faith was emboldened. I saw first hand what happens when doubt is removed. Miracles happen. God showed me this clearly not only in this woman but in me.

I believed God would do what He said. And He did.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” — Mark 11:22-24

This is not a name-it-and-claim-it style of belief, or prosperity religion, or whatever you call it. I’m talking about God’s truth. This is about believing His Word and trusting Him to do what He says. All of it. What He has shown you in His Word, He will do. What He has spoken to your heart, He will do. Our God is faithful and He cannot lie.

The very next morning as I sat in my quiet time, I read this quote in my devotional book (The Listening Heart by Judy Morrow):

You have trust Him in few things, and He has not failed you. Trust Him now for everything, and see if He does not do for you exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ever have asked or thought, not according to your power or capacity, but according to His own mighty power, that will work in you all the good pleasure of His most blessed will. — Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911)

I knew right away God was saying, “See? See what happens when you refuse doubt and believe Me?”

My friends, I want to encourage you to begin a rampage on doubt, just as I am. Let’s capture every thought of doubt and bring it before the enlightened truth of God’s Word. Does it still stand? I bet you it won’t. The Holy Spirit will help us do this—I know He will.

Our God doesn’t want us to be doubters. He wants us to be His believers!

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Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo 

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The Three Deadly Ds

21139604_sMy friends, today I want to begin a series about the three deadly Ds: Doubt, Disbelief and Disappointment. Gods’s been showing me some very sobering truths about these three and how the enemy uses them very subtly to kill, steal and destroy our faith. I’ve been a victim to these three—perhaps you have been too. So let’s take our time and explore these three deadly Ds so that we can learn to recognize them in our life, learn to defeat them, and even learn to discern the enemy’s attempts to shoot these arrows at us so we can raise our shields of faith in defense (Ephesians 6:16) and deflect him like the fly that he is. Let’s begin where it starts…

 

Dubious Doubt

Doubt is subtle and makes its entry slow and stealthily. This is the birth of sin. Lets go back to Genesis 3 a moment and take a look at the first entry of doubt into mankind’s existence.

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” — Genesis 3:1-5

The enemy enters shrewdly and begins his dialogue with a question—“Did God really say…?” That is the seed of doubt he plants with the intent of making his target question and doubt God and His truth. God told Adam and Eve clearly the truth about the tree of knowledge. The enemy cast doubt upon this truth, but even more subtly, the enemy made Eve doubt whether she could trust God. This is the subtext here, my friends. Read these and tell me if you relate to any of them:

  • God is withholding something (His goodness) from me.
  • Therefore, God doesn’t really love me.
  • So, I must not be good enough.

As Eve stood there, I can only imagine how these played out in seconds in her mind. That’s all it takes for doubt to implant and sprout.

  • She now perceived God’s protection as keeping her from something better.
  • She now perceived God’s stipulation as Him not loving her completely and she has somehow been rejected.
  • She now perceived a lack within herself that would only be solved by taking matters into her own hands and doing what she thought best. She doubts God.

My friends, the enemy’s tactics have not changed since the beginning. He uses the very same strategy he used on Eve to try to destroy us. And when we begin to entertain doubt, everything thereafter is affected from this tarnished perspective.

Let’s take a look at James:

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,” — James 1:5-7 NASB

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” — James 1:5-7 NLT

I want you to look at both of these translations to see the full meaning behind them. And I encourage you to do your own study as well. In the NASB translation I’ve bolded the part that so clearly shows the meaning of James’ words about God’s generosity. Our God does not give according to our ability or perceived worth. If He did, He would not have sent His Son Jesus to die for everyone. And the Bible—which He gave us as His Word and truth, to learn from and grow in—is full of wisdom. God desires to give us wisdom.

In the NLT translation, the bolded statement is clear that our faith must be in God alone, not ourselves. Almost as if to say, “No back up plans.” When we do this we’re not trusting God. We’re not believing what His Word says. We doubt God and the truth of His word.

At the end of last year and early into this year, the enemy hit me so hard that this doubt crept in and began to attack my faith. I even began to doubt the truth of Romans 8:28! If you’ve been hanging out her for any length of time, you know that is my life verse. I’ve lived by it for years, have taught its truths and have built my faith upon it.

Yet there I was in total chaos doubting what I had once known to be true. The enemy had found an opening and snuck in asking, “Is God really good to you?”

If you look at the verses earlier in James 1, you’ll see he’s talking about our faith being tested. This leads to our need for wisdom. What James is saying is that when we ask for wisdom, we must believe we will receive it. And I believe this truth applies to all of God’s promises. He’s given us His Word and He is faithful. Instead of tossing back and forth like that wave looking for answers, we need to be still and wait upon Him to give us the answers, wisdom and grace that we need. And believe that He will.

I have danced around the truth of James’ words for years, my friends, not wanting to be that doubter tossed by the wind and sea—it’s very humbling and sobering to realize I’d allowed the waves of doubt to rock my boat. But now that the shrouding clouds have lifted, I’m learning to recognize doubt and eradicate it.

I love this quote from Jennifer LeClaire:

“The battle is in the mind but the war is for your heart. Believing in our mind is mental assent but believing in our heart—having pure faith in our heart—is where the miracles happen.” — Jennifer LeClaire, author of Heart of the Prophetic

God’s Word tells us that:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

What are those weapons of war that we wield? God’s Word, prayer, faith, truth—our spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-17). My friends, the battle truly is in our minds first, thus why a transformed and renewed mind is crucial to a doubt free walk of faith.

Doubts diminish as faith increases.

I will stop her for now, but be sure to come back Friday for the rest of this revelation God gave me about "dubious doubt" and the stunning proof He gave me of what happens when we shift from doubt to belief. It's a story about miracles, my friends. I can't wait to tell you the rest!

Grateful to be on this journey with you!

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Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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The World Needs An Encounter - You Give it To Them!

Matt 12 21Today I want to fill you with possibilities. I want you to know that our God is GREAT and He has an amazing life for each of us. 

God has led me on such a powerful faith journey in the last two years and it only continues to gain momentum and fascination. Often here on the web I share my victories as I want this little spot here in the internet to be an encouragement to you. I also share my defeats and pain. But more often than not, I write about the good things God is doing. I don’t always share the tough lessons that accompany spiritual growth. But those lessons are part of the journey and I want you to know this past year has been filled with more of them than I have let on. 

So I share this bit of information with you so that you know with the gains of the Kingdom that I have experienced, I have also come through very difficult lessons, spiritual warfare, some setbacks, and lots of struggle. However, the stories I’m about to share make it all worth the lessons and time in the classroom of the Kingdom. 

In the last several weeks I’ve been called out by God to become brave. In fact, that’s the title of my next book: Becoming Brave. And I’m diligently seeking the Lord for His Words for this manuscript. 

So today I want to share with you what happens when you dial in the combination of the Kingdom. Remember the three-part combination from Friday’s post? If not, go read it now. 

In the last several weeks God’s voice has intensified in my life. And I want to share with you what I hear and what God asks of me.

Most of you know that nearly every morning I head out to the vineyards and walk-n-pray for about an hour. Crazy and amazing things happen during this intimate time when I’m alone with the Trinity. But this week, several mornings in a row, as I was nearing my car to return home, I noted a young man stretching in the park. He looked to be about 19 or 20 years old. Something about him drew my spirit to him. Well after three days of this, as I entered the park, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said, "Go over to that young man and tell him…….."

I argued with God, “Lord, it’s always weird when I go to speak to a complete stranger.” 

Then I said, “Okay, Lord, I will do it if he looks up at me and says something.” 

So what do you think happened? 

Yep, indeed. The young man greeted me with a smile and said, “Hey. Good morning.” 

My inner voice: Yep God. I knew that was going to happen. 

Me, “Hi. Ahem, well….." I walked over to talk with him. "This may be weird but I’m drawn to your spirit. Are you a believer?” 

“Yes, I am. A devout Catholic.” 

“Well, I want to tell you that God sees you. He has a calling on your life and has plans for you.” And I shared a few others things, detrails, I felt the Spirit was impressing upon me about him. 

He smiles as big as the outdoors. I’m relieved that I’m not going to be feeling awkward when I see him in the future. 

“That’s so amazing. I had someone else speak the same thing over me, my priest," the young man responds.

We went on to have an amazing conversation and I heard God tell me to instruct him to begin to read God’s Word. So I told him that he needed to get God’s Word into him and doors will be opened for his calling. But He must have the Word of God in him so that satan will not snatch it away. So I told him what kind of Bible to buy. He took out his phone and made a note. 

I finally asked his name, “Michael.” I smiled a knowing smile.... (There are a lot of Michaels in my life.)

I said goodby. Hopped in my car and thanked Jesus that He loves that young man so much that He would encourage him into his devine destiny. That was a few days ago.

Today, I was ordering a burger for lunch and the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that the woman helping me at the counter had a good heart. I felt the intense love God has for her. Then the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that this woman was facing some very difficult decision but if she were to pray to God, He would help her through them.

So….. yep……. I didn’t say anything to her. I took my order to my table. And for the next 20 minutes the Holy Spirit urged (nagged) me to tell this woman what I heard. My friends, it’s weird and uncomfortable and I take a risk of complete humiliation but not once has God been wrong nor let me down. 

Finally, as I’m ready to leave, I approach the counter. The restaurant is getting busy. The woman comes over to me. I lean way into speak to her as I don’t want to speak too loudly and make a spectacle of her or myself. 

“I just want to tell you that when I saw you 30 minutes ago, God told me you have a good heart.” She smiles. “And that you are facing some difficult decisions in your life.” I pause and see if she affirms this. 

She does, “Yes, that’s true.” 

“If you pray, God will help you through those.” 

I smile, “You have such a good heart. God adores you.” She smiles, I turn and leave. I think she thinks I'm nuts. Then all of a sudden I hear her shout to me as I’m across the restaurant and half way out the door, “Thank you. THANK YOU!” she shouts louder. I felt the joy in her voice. 

GOOD GRIEF….. 

These encounters make every struggle and difficulty worth it all.. Times ten.

My friends, we the SUMites are leaders in faith. We have walked the painful and difficult path of faith building. It’s time now to step into our Kingdom destiny and bring the hope of the world to…. Well, the world. 

And what is the hope of the world? It’s the Lord God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Keep praying. Be hungry for more. Ask for more and more and do the hard work of sanctification. We are all going to walk in His divine power, love and healing. 

In Jesus name. Amen. 

And his name will be the hope of all the world." —Matthew 12:21

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

This post is so much about God's love for people and it's about obedience. We believers owe an encounter to the world. Because once a person encounters the love of our God of the Universe, His Son and the Spirit, it changes everything.

Hugs, Lynn

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Living Our Divine Destiny

18207172_sBack in October I shared a story about one of the divine appointments I had at the writers conference I attended. My new friend, Jacqueline’s words of wisdom seemed to peek some interest and Ian even suggested another post to explain. Great idea, Ian! Thank you!

And what was that wisdom?

"Don't live the life you think you are supposed to but live the life God is leading you to.”

I think this is one of those words of wisdom that can mean different things to each of us, depending upon our experiences and situation. So, I will unpack a bit what this has meant to me. I know it helps me to learn and apply things like this by example so here goes.

Jacqueline’s sage advice helped me see how I’d pursued certain aspects of my faith walk and life based upon what I saw others doing and my own expectations. There’s nothing wrong with learning from and being inspired by those around us—that’s a benefit of being part of a community. The danger is when it runs into comparison.

I assumed my “results” would or should be the same, but when they weren’t, I assumed I’d somehow messed up or failed. Or even worse, that God didn’t truly love me and withheld His goodness and gifts from me.

Yes, all lies that the enemy had craftily shot into my soul. And sometimes God has to shake us up to unearth those embedded lies to expose and dig them out. Not fun, but so very necessary if we are to walk in the fullness of the freedom and inheritance we have in Christ—to live our diving destiny.

So what did my friend’s wisdom teach me?

First it affirmed that the path I’ve been on this year is the right one. I’m learning that even in the similarities of our gifts, we still function uniquely. If I try to use my spiritual gifts the same way another person uses theirs, I’m not operating as the person God created me to be. Therefor I am trying to live my life as I thought I was supposed to instead of how the Holy Spirit is leading me.

Does that make sense? I hope so. Because, as I said, we can find many ways to apply Jacqueline’s wisdom. I can even think of one from my past, when I was around 30 and my plan was to go back to art school to get my next degree. That is the life I had been pursuing, thinking that was the direction I need to go to use my talents.

In the midst of this, God caught my attention and showed me He had another plan in mind for me. I really and truly wanted to pursue college, but it was based upon what I thought I should be doing, which was also based upon very worldly expectations.

The direction He took me? Not at all what I expected and I have never regretted my choice of letting go of the art college plan to follow Him. He’s way more creative anyway. ;-)

Amazingly, God’s plan for me didn’t mean I had to give up my art. He’s placed many artistic opportunities in my path, the latest one, designing book covers—a dream I held as a teenager and had forgotten about.

And I think part of this wisdom is being present, being alert and aware of what God is doing and communicating to us. I love this piece of wisdom from Proverbs:

Know the importance of the season you're in. — Proverbs 10:5 (Passion Translation)

Every season is important and part of God’s plan and direction for our lives, even the tough ones. And God has this amazing ability to take those difficult places and turn them into moments of beauty. How else could my youngest daughter walk through brain cancer and six years later have such sweet memories of the moments that were fun, comforting and full of love? And such a big heart to help others?

Sometimes moving forward with God means letting go of ourselves. Just. Let. Go. Perhaps that’s what Jesus meant when He said we must lose our lives in order to gain our real life in Him.

How about you, my friends? Do you know what God's divine destiny is for you? Are you unsure? This is an area He leads me to pray for people often when I work in the Healing Rooms here. It would be an honor to pray for you so please leave a comment so I can pray for you.

My SUM family, I’m so glad to be on this journey with you. I’m so grateful God’s plan for my life has brought me this amazing place full of fun, comfort and love. I love your hearts, my friends. So very much. SignatureGraphic2

 

 

 

 

Copyright: maridav / 123RF Stock Photo

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The Combination To The Power Of Heaven

Hi My Friends,  (Combination is at the bottom. Read all the way through.) 

Isaiah 53 5
Today I want to share a few thoughts with regard to healing. Several weeks ago I shared with you a few stories about healing.  

I finally want to chat with you about a mystery, the healing power of Jesus. Firstly, always, always, Jesus is our healer. He was bruised (Isaiah 53:5) for our iniquity and upon him the stripes of His beatings were for our healing. Man, if you just allow that thought in your head…… Recently I was listening to some teaching about healing. Did you know that Jesus’ face was beaten to a point that He was unrecognizable? When I consider the suffering He bore for my healing, I refuse to let one little bit of it go unclaimed. I will not waste the torture He endured that was meant for my healing. How about you? 

Anyhoo, by this point you know that I absolutely believe in healing. Healing of the soul, spirit and of our physical body. I’ve seen it. Experienced it and believe what the Word of God says about healing. 

But today I think we need to talk about why some aren’t healed. Why people receive healing prayer and nothing happens or a partial healing occurs. I will say right up front. We don’t know. It is a complete mystery as to why some aren’t healed and some are. 

But I can also share some firm thoughts as to what can keep us from experiencing healing. Let’s start with three things.

  1. Unbelief
  2. Unforgiveness
  3. Bitterness 

Unbelief. I want to share a story from the Healing Rooms. When the three of us, myself, my daughter Caitie and Gina entered the room, we were already halfway healed. Why? Because first, we TRULY believed we would be, could be. We did NOT doubt but truly walked in child-like faith. I’m in a season right now where God is teaching me the power of child-like faith. I have witnessed more supernatural encounters since returning from Bethel than I have ever before. I am convinced it’s because I have combined three things.

  • Child-like faith (I will explain more)
  • Compassion
  • No judgment 

Man, when you put these all together in a soul, Jesus shows up with all kinds of power and love. 

Child-like faith is the opposite of unbelief. Now get this: I choose to believe. Flat out decide that God’s Word is true, and it is. This kind of faith is gained and learned through maturity. What a contradiction of thoughts. Spiritual maturity births child-like faith. Oh how like the Lord to purpose faith this way. 

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.—1 Corinthians 1:27 

Unforgiveness which gives birth to bitterness keeps so many of us from everything of the Kingdom. I am at a place in my faith walk where I literally choose to not be offended even when I have every right to be offended. I take the offense to Jesus and ask Him to help me rid it from my heart. I choose love. I choose love. I choose love. Couple love with compassion and it’s powerful my friends. 

Which leads to judgment. Ah, now this is the place that gets in the way of most believers. We judge people so harshly. In the depths of our heart we size a person up, declare their faults and failures in our minds and then sentence them to shame, unworthiness or wickedness. And we do all that in seconds. 

What Jesus is teaching me now is some powerful lessons in choosing compassion over judgment.   

Recently I was praying and the Lord brought homeless people to my mind. And I grieved for them. I said out loud in my prayers, “Lord, I will give to them. I don’t care how they came to be homeless or that they may be drunks, druggies, lazy. I will just love them.” 

You know what God said back to me? “Lynn, if you will love these people for me without judging them, why do you judge your daughter-in-law who has left your son. She needs help right now. Will you help her too?” 

GULP! 

Ouch. I mailed her a card, a photo of Elise and money that day. Yeppers. I did. 

What I saw in the healing rooms were those who were child-like and those who were judging everything that happened. They saw God interacting with people and God can be unexpected. Things can get animated as people encounter the God of the Universe. They were skeptical and thought they knew how people should behave. These were the people who did not experience healing. They were too busy judging…. And get this- really, they were judging our God! It scares me to even think about casting judgment on God for the way He interacts with people. SCARES ME!!! 

On the way to the conference when all of us were together sitting at a restaurant for lunch, I put down one ground rule for our conference experience. I looked straight into the eyes of the teens and said, “No matter what you might see or experience this week, you cannot judge others by what they look like or what they may do. If you don't judge, you will encounter everything you are hoping for.” 

Guess what? 

They did! 

And so can you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
 

Monday I want to share what has been happening in these weeks since Jesus has been teaching me. I feel like He has given me the combination lock to unlock the power of heaven and voice of God. Child-like faith, compassion and absolutely NO judgment. 

I’m in awe of what He is doing. 

And I’m STILL wanting to get onto this series about how to deal with the spirit of confusion, the critical spirit and few other unwelcome and evil entities we contend with. Are you up for all of this my friends? 

Why do you think I spend so much time teaching about the truths of God and focusing on our spiritual growth instead of speaking to unequally yoked marriages? It’s because, once we have our faith walk in the thriving zone, everything falls into that zone as well. 

I love you my family on the web. Stay tuned because the breakthroughs are gaining momentum and if you are a regular here, you have one or more coming. In Jesus name. Amen.

*****

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Our Transforming Influence

Proverbs 124My friends, I’ve been reading and studying Proverbs the last couple weeks, specifically using the Passion translation. I’m enjoying this new translation very much and find the flow to be more poetic and inspiring. And going between translations to compare has given me more insights and appreciation of Solomon’s words of wisdom.

What I’m specifically searching and praying for is wisdom. Next to praying for Jesus’ protection that I not be deceived in any way (2 Thess. 2:3), I pray for wisdom in all areas of my life. And as you read Proverbs, you begin to discover that wisdom is inseparable from God’s love and His Son, Jesus.

Last week a verse in this translation brought me back to a conversation I had recently with my pastor about my pre-believer. It’s about a precious place we as the believing spouse hold in our loved one’s lives—a place of honor and influence that we must take before God daily to seek wisdom and unconditional love.

I’ve included three translations of Proverbs 12:4:

The integrity and strength of a virtuous wife
Transforms her husband into an honored king.
But the wife who disgraces her husband
Weakens the strength of his identity. — Passion translation

A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones. — NLT

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. — NIV

What I love about the Passion translation is the passion and weight behind its meaning. I find it difficult to put into words (just as I did that day as I talked with my pastor) what it means to stand in this place of influence. So, I will do my best to describe what it means to me.

I see in my husband such amazing potential—that potential for eternity that God places in ALL of us (Eccl. 3:11). And I feel honored that God has called me to this place by his side to help release it. As I grow in faith and am transformed (and this is at times very messy!), my husband is affected. Even in some of the struggles I’ve walked in this year, I have seen attributes of love and faithfulness revealed in my husband that I didn’t know were there. Even though I couldn’t see it, God has been working in Mike in unexpected ways.

My friends, I know this isn’t easy, and at times we will mess up miserably. At times we just won’t feel like “doing it” anymore. But as God’s Word says, we must persevere for the prize that waits ahead. At the very least, I want to know God’s favor and pleasure in me for my faithfulness to my husband, but my expectation is based in the faith and hope I have in Jesus who can do more than I can even imagine and that expectation is that one day, my husband will choose Jesus.

Until then, I choose to walk in this place of influence to come along side and help my husband see the potential I see God has placed in him. I seek ways to affirm him in who he is (identity) and how he works and cares for his family. I am intentional to express my appreciation of him, which just recently and unexpectedly came full circle back to me in a precious card telling me he appreciated me. I look for opportunities to hear his heart and tune in to what he may not be saying. I keep asking Abba to bring him to Jesus (John 6). And everyday I thank Jesus for all the ways He presents Himself to my husband in answer to those prayers (mine and others) and affirm my belief that one day his answer will be “yes.” I love walking in this place in partnership with God and under His leadership to be that influence in my hubby’s life and heart. And I’ve watched my husband aspire step by step to be a leader of honor (the honored king) to his family, even as I wait for his full salvation transformation (i.e. preparation…just love how God works).

Let me also be clear that I am in no way perfect. In fact, I am very flawed and have learned to heed the Holy Spirit’s nudge to seek forgiveness from both God and my husband when I mess up. Amazingly, God uses it all to bring transformation not only in me but in my husband as well. That is our assurance of God’s goodness and presence always at work for our good.

Dear friends, I believe God gives us the choice to walk in this very unique place of opportunity (again, as we’ve said in the past, we do not believe God asks or expects us to stay in abusive situations) as believers empowered by the Son of God, as a calling that is part of the Great Commission right in our own homes. We can walk in it with integrity and honor that will boost our pre-believer closer to the potential God has placed in him or her. Or we can struggle in bitterness and resentment that will bring not only ourselves into despair but will waste away or hinder that potential identity in Christ just waiting to be released in our pre-believer.

We carry the very presence of God and His Kingdom through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. All the time, we bring this power and influence to our pre-believer’s life. We may not see any change or effect, but by faith (what we believe to be true and not what is seen—Hebrews 11:1) I believe something happens. And not by our efforts but by God’s love working in and through us.

So be encouraged as you continue to walk and persevere in this very special place you hold in your pre-believer’s life and Abba’s heart. You are impacting the Kingdom of God and your pre-believer every single day.

Love you dearly!
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When Is It My Turn?

SUMites, 

Let’s have a chat. 

Matthew 13 44I’m pretty sure that last week’s posts about Janet and Trish’s spouses coming to faith brought about a range of feelings in our SUM Nation. 

But today I want to speak to those of us who may feel forgotten. For those of you who read these stories and whispered, “God, when? When is it my turn? When will this happen in my life.” 

So many emotions, feelings and thoughts were made know to me in this past week. True happiness for these women. Feelings of jealously, then followed by guilt because their story seems so far from a reality in our life. Perhaps you are confused and maybe a few of us are really just MAD. Mad at God. Mad at our spouse. Mad at ourselves for being in this predicament. Anybody????? 

Can I ask you to hear me out for a minute? 

Firstly, gang, I’m right there with you. I have prayed for my husband for so long and with such passion that I’m puzzled. I ask the same question, “When God?” 

So I guess this message today is for all of you who are behind me on this rocky road of the unequally yoked path. I want to point out some things I bet that you haven’t realized while traveling this journey. There are often times that we are so intently focused on two things that we miss so much the Lord is bringing to us in our daily lives. They are: Our spouse’s salvation, our pain. 

For years I prayed with selfishness for my husband’s salvation. Those prayers were completely selfish and unproductive. My motives for his salvation, at the core, were to make my life easier. And my other prayers were the lamenting of the pain of disappointment in my marriage. Now, hear me, I’m not minimizing either. 

However, I have arrived at a place in my faith and marriage that I can share a smidgen of wisdom with you in the hopes you acquire the blessings intended for us in these unique marriages much sooner than I found them. Okay? 

Let’s be real. The unequally yoked life is hard. Compounding different world views with a spouse who struggles with an addiction or destructive behaviors is almost unbearable at times. But it’s in this real pain that we are forced to surrender our self and to lean fully into the arms of our healer, Jesus. 

I know without a doubt that I would not have the faith life I have today without the years of struggle. And you know what? God knew that too. An easily life for me would have robbed me so many miraculous encounters with the King. Because I chose to believe the Word and surrender many of my preconceived ideas over to God, I now live in great favor, tremendous joy and profound supernatural peace. I literally hear the voice of God now and I am on fire with the Holy Spirit. Knowing what I know today, I would go through it all again to receive the rare and priceless gifts I am now walking in. Today I truly understand what it is like to hold a pearl of great price in the palm of your hands. 

My friends, reflect of the lives of Janet and Trish. Janet fasted. Have you sincerely fasted for a number of days? Have you prayed night and day asking for God’s wisdom and for the salvation of your spouse? Have you surrendered your heart to God and given Him everything. That is no small task and it takes years. 

Be patient with yourself. The greatest thing you can do is to choose to see all that is right before your eyes while you think you are waiting for life to begin when your spouse comes to faith. 

God is speaking to you. Have you learned to hear Him?
Jesus is your betrothed. Have you acknowledged that He wants your heart every day?
The Holy Spirit has so much power to bring to bear in your life. Have you grieved Him? 

So this week let’s say to God, “Papa, I know I have wondered when it would be my turn. And Lord, I greatly desire to see my spouse come to faith. But teach me now, today, to be so in tune with your spirit that I don’t miss anything more that you have for me. Be gentle with me while I learn to let go of fear, pride, selfish ambition, arrogance and judgment. And fill me today with your good gifts. Let me life represent you well, Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.”

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Stay tuned as I want to finish up the series about healing on Friday. Why are some healed and others are not? 

*****

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Mismatched, Addiction and Now...He's a Believer! (Part 2)

If you haven't read part one of Trish's testimony, just scroll down and read it first. Here's part two of her amazing testimony and her husband Stu's video testimony. We are so excited to share this with you, SUMites, and we hope to hear more from Trish as she shares more from her unque perspective and experience in living with an addicted spouse. We know that will minister to many of you as well. Stu's transformation not only changed his heart, it even changed his appearance too. Read on and watch...

Trish headshot

Around the time that Stu was at his heaviest, drinking the most, on medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol and depression was when God reached down and grabbed him. A conversion experience, only slightly less impressive than that of Saul/Paul!

Stu was taking his company at that time, through an initial public offering. He was on a 3 week, “road show” and was in London on the day of his salvation. He was walking down the streets of London with the CEO (an atheist) of the company and one of their investment bankers. The CEO commented about how religion was at the root of every world problem. Stu remembers thinking that this made sense to him. That night, in his hotel room he contemplated, “but what would the world be like without Jesus?” He experienced a dramatic infiltration of the Holy Spirit; he dropped to the floor and spent the night crying out to the Lord in a state of repentance.

Now you would think, after all of these years of us being unequally yoked that he would have enthusiastically shared with me the good news, but you see, prior to his conversion, Stu said that only the weak were Christians and now he was one of them. He was frightened (to say the least) about what this new life would look like, so for then, no one knew.

Stu

One day, Stu finally agreed to start attending church with me. This was the first big change that I saw, and little by little, I noticed the sermon messages started to get through to him. Then one day, and I will never forget it, Stu said to me, “Trish, I think my heart is softening.” What? Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” had manifested right before my eyes! My heart soared!

As ecstatic and grateful as I was over my husband’s salvation, our life suddenly became worse. He lost his job, his alcoholism went from drunkenness to periods of blackout, and he got a DUI. We also bought a business that went under and bankruptcy ensued. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) learned that after he and the CEO were fired from his last company, the company restated earnings from a time period when Stu was the CFO. The SEC decided to formally file charges of fraud. A four week trial ensued. Those four week, it turned out, were more painful for me than for Stu. It was actually a time for him to draw even closer to Jesus because Jesus also had been falsely accused. Stu sat right on Jesus’ lap the whole trial, drawing closer and closer to Him every day. Stu was ultimately not found responsible of the charges, but his name had been publicly dragged through the mud.

Thanks be to God, that some time before the trial; after 30 days of rehab, numerous relapses, and hundreds of AA meetings. Stu finally fully surrendered himself and the addiction to God. True sobriety is a gift only from God.

It was also about this time that Stu came to me and said, “Trish, this abundance of love that I have for Jesus, isn’t going away; I would like to go back to school for my Masters of Divinity.” So be it.

2013-07-01 13.18.04

My former non-believing husband will graduate with his Masters of Divinity this spring.  He is the Evangelism and Outreach Pastor at one of the biggest churches in Colorado and I work for K-LOVE.

The Lord has done the unimaginable. He took a couple that did not know or care for Him; reached down and saved us both (about 10 years apart). Through years of pain and suffering; He shook the shakable elements of our lives, and left only the unshakable to remain. Hebrews 12:27 “the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” Now, our trials and our stories are used for His glory. 

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or imagine. — Ephesians 3:20
 
And now here's Stu's powerful testimony! 

Redemption - Stu Fuhlendorf - July 21, 2013 from Mission Hills Church on Vimeo.

 

Trish and Stu, thank you for your amazing testimonies and tender hearts to share tehm with us! We are so grateful and thankful God led you to us. SUMites, what an amazing story of God's redmeptive power and love! More are coming! We believe it! Get ready to tell your stories! 
Dineen & Lynn

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Another Astounding Testimony: Mismatched, Addiction and Now...He's a Believer!

My friends, you just read about Janet's husband's transformation and a few of you even shared stories in the comments about your spouses coming to faith in Christ! Wow! Lynn and I—our heads are spinning and our hearts are jumping for joy!

AND, here is another one! Trish Fuhlendorf reached out to us a few weeks ago and shared a stunning video testimony done by her husband who is now a full time pastor. Once we saw it, we had to know more! Trish not only lived in a mismatched marriage for ten years, but also lived and dealt with her husband's addiction to alcohol as well. 

I love what Trish shared in her email: "I have a very small local marriage ministry here in Denver, which consists of the Lord placing Christian women, who are struggling in their marriages (many who are ready to leave), whether it be because they are unequally yoked, and/or married to an addict. Been there, done that...have both t-shirts."

Today we are sharing part one of Trish's testimony. On Friday, we will have part two up along with the video testimony her husband Stu did in a message he gave at his church. My friends, don't miss a moment of this stunning testimony. We have prayed for these testimonies and now they are streaming in! To God be ALL the glory!

Trish headshot

I am the youngest of six children and was raised Catholic. In a way, I am grateful for my Catholic upbringing because it did provide me with the foundation that Jesus is the Son of God. What was missing however, was the commitment to surrendering my life to Christ’s lordship. At 21, I was most definitely, lord of my life.

I met Stu May 3rd, 1986; appropriately, at a bar. We were married 11 months later as equally yoked pagans. Stu was a teacher when I met him, but decided that financially, this was not the career that would give him the life he wanted. So, we moved from Denver to San Diego so that Stu could pursue his MBA, while I worked to support us as an Aerospace engineer. It was during these two years that I was first exposed to my husband’s anger. I did not make a connection between his bursts of anger and his use of alcohol. I drank too, so his drinking was meaningless to me. I do however remember times when friends had to carry him to our car because he was so intoxicated.

After graduate school, we moved back to Colorado where Stu eventually landed his first Chief Financial Officer position at the age of 29. I gave birth to our two children and our life went on.

At about the age of 36, a friend of mine gave me a book, but said as she handed it to me, “Watch out, it will change your life!” Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to start reading it. It was “Left Behind”. About a quarter of the way into it, I realized that in the event of rapture, I would absolutely be “left behind”.

I was attending a small community church at the time and made an appointment with the Pastor to go over my laundry list of questions about Christianity. He beautifully answered all of my questions and encouraged me to attend the upcoming women’s retreat. That weekend, at the retreat, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and never looked back. This is when the fun began. Initially, I concealed my new found faith, but over time, decided that was ridiculous and I started to read my Bible openly.

“What?!? What do you mean you’re now a Christian? I thought I married a Christian!” Stu felt that since we celebrated Christmas and Easter that perhaps we were Christians.

As I grew deeper and deeper in my faith, he became angrier and angrier. Arguments were a regular occurrence and soon, we discovered that we had nothing in common.

Shortly after we married, Stu began to gain weight and over the years, ballooned to 310 lbs. His drinking was also on a steady increase. Because I didn’t have alcoholism in my family, I was not really aware of the signs. Again, since I drank, I just thought there were 2 kinds of drinkers, those that became the life of the party and those who became angry. I, unfortunately, was married to the latter.

Over time however, I noticed that the amount he consumed and the time in which he consumed it, were significantly higher than in my situation. I confronted him that he might have a drinking problem. He agreed and that began the roller coaster of trying to solve the problem.

Stu and I were now in our mid-forties. Unequally yoked, battling addiction and both miserable in our marriage. I continued to pray, attend church and do my best to be the spiritual head of our household. By this time, I had thoroughly, studied the Bible, looking for an “out clause” for my marriage. Adultery and abandonment did not apply to my situation, but I wanted out. It was at this time that the Lord showed me that my holiness was more important to Him, than my happiness. I must be a witness for the covenant of marriage. I clung to many scriptures during this time, but I think the two that had the greatest impact on me were, Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (this was my promise) and 1 Corinthians 2:14 “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (This verse completely changed the way that I prayed for my unsaved husband...)

Be sure to "tune in" Friday for part two of Trish's amazing testimony and Stu's video testimony.
We love you, SUMites!
Dineen & Lynn

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Our Breakthrough Happened! He's a Believer!

My friends, you know we have been praying for a breakthrough in our community for a long time. Recenlty Lynn and I have felt that a shift was coming, and we are over the moon to share with you that IT HAS HAPPENED!

Janet Sommer is a long time member of this community. Lynn and I have had the pleasure of getting to know her better over the years, and I myself am blessed to have the treasure of her friendship, encouragement and prayer. She has remained faithful to God even in challenging times and continued to pray for her husband and sow the seeds of faith. And the plow came.

A few weeks back when I shared in a video blog post that God told me things look like they're going backward, but He was about to turn them around. You could say that about Janet's situation, and God did exactly what He said He would—turned things around.

BIG TIME!

God moved and brought down walls and lies to expose a soul to the light of His saving love. Now this man has accepted faith, chosen to believe in Jesus and his transformation is tangible and visible. Read Janet's breathtaking letter as Lynn and I did, amazingly at the very same time in different parts of California. And have tissues ready because we both bawled and wound up on the phone rejoicing and praising Jesus.

My friends, this is just the beginning. We firmly believe this is the first domino that will lead to more disbelief toppling into submission to righteous faith in Jesus Christ. This is the power of testimonies, as the Bible says. Power is released and faith is increased! Amen! Thank You, Jesus!

Here's Janet's astonishing and beautiful letter...

HeadshotThe SUMites are so precious and dear to me, especially you two sisters. It was here I was convicted not to leave my pre-believer for an "easier marriage" to a *believer*. It was here I was first encouraged to try a fast thanks to Rosheeda along with the shared precious knowledge and encouragement here. It was here I learned and was challenged to pursue God despite my husband's lack of interest or pursuit. Slowly, and courageously, as I stepped out to the call of bible study, serving in various ministries and even singing in the church band I found my husband to be supportive and there, right beside me. Although divided, we were still intact.

It was here I felt an unspoken bond of the life as a spouse to a pre-believer, and the genuine love and community for those I didn't know. The list of how I grew, how I stood in my faith, how I went from discouraged to encouraged and courageous is endless. But most importantly, it was here, as you both poured out your hearts, that I learned how to hand mine to Jesus first, instead of my husband.

I am writing to you, from the sanctity of my bed, after a couple days of reflection. And I feel so conflicted. I recently sat on the bed one afternoon and was confused to watch a very sheer veil lift off my eyes, rising from the bottom to the top. My vision was crisper, sunlight was brighter and more pure. I had been texting my husband and simply commented that I felt a fog lift. He quickly texted back that he felt the exact same way.

Later it was revealed to me that was the moment he accepted what happened to him at our marriage counselor's office and yielded to faith. You see, at our marriage counselor's office, he suddenly grabbed my hand, said some hurtful things and walked out unwilling to listen to anything I said. He later shared that during that time he felt tremendous heat, felt forced & compelled to say those things to me, and then experienced wind. He says he let something behind. Then he described that something as "evil". He physically looks different; he emotionally is different. He talks about God and praying and how grateful he is that God removed evil and blinders from him. He's so kind, gentle and intentional now. He says he can't believe he had no idea of the true wife I was, but that a God has revealed that, among many other things, to him. Neither of us can believe the difference!

And as I lay here, experiencing what we all long for, I can't help but notice how it didn't happen as I thought it would. In my mind the Holy Spirit would wreck him at a church service or at a time he was standing by me supporting my involvement-- not at marriage counseling. I never even imagined we would one day sit on that cliche couch as a counselor walked us through talking about our struggles-- after a mere 22 years together. Nothing is what I imagined.... not the timing, not it actually happening, not the genuine, radical results... nothing. And I can't help but to be conflicted.... joyous for me, yet longing for you and everyone in this online family.

I am here solidly... rooted in grace, equipped with knowledge & authority... with a believing husband, because of your bravery, your boldness and your obedience to this ministry and community. It's awkward but peaceful, scary but hope-filled, cautious navigating yet easy to move forward. The life I knew and was comfortable with, after soooo many years in a UY marriage, is changing. It's beautiful... and scary. Words will never explain the treasure SUMites are to me, nor the gems you two most certainly are in my crown. A crown I'm not worthy of but have been ransomed for and deemed worthy to wear. And I can't wait for the day when my believing husband learns exactly how much it was a lot of Jesus, a lot of God, plenty of the Holy Spirit and just as much this SUMite nation that kept me waiting, with sanity, in hope for him and this new marriage we have.

On a hysterical note, he recently asked how I knew Dineen. I said through a blog. He asked which, and I reluctantly stated. He then asked if he was a case study!!! lol

I promise you every moment, every discouragement and hurt, every argument trying to obey God and find balance in respecting our spouse, every tear shed and prayer said to God is so worth seeing and living this moment. Our spouses and marriages are worth fighting for! And they say it's about "the journey", right? As I transition into this new life as a chord of three I can't help but to storm heavens gates even more for each of you, so truly it was my honor to donate to this ministry.

Much indebted and eternally grateful for this ministry.... Janet

Janet, we love you so much. We are rejoicing with you and continuing to pray for this time of transition, adjustment and wonder. The angels are cheering you on and so is this community. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story with your SUMite family. Love you so much! —Dineen & Lynn

Abba, thank You for bringing this man to Your Son, Jesus. Thank You, King Jesus, for lifting the darkness and filling him with Your saving love and light. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for filling our new brother in Christ with Your Holy Presence. Lord, protect and guide this believing couple into new realms of faith and discovery of Who You are and who they are in You. We praise You, Lord, with loud voices and joy-filled hearts for this miracle. And we humbly ask...DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN until every one of our pre-believers walks in faith! Let this community bring You great glory, King Jesus. We adore You! Amen!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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