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18 entries from March 2016

An Open Letter To The Unequally Yoked

 This is a re-post from April 9, 2012 I shared over at the Internet Cafe. I pray it touches your heart. Email it to someone you know who is just learning to walk this path. Hugs, Lynn

I'm posting this on Friday as I'm traveling this weekend. Be back on Monday. Hugs, Lynn

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The Lord impressed upon me to share a post I wrote for Focus on the Family -The Live Forum two weeks ago. I pray you are encouraged and hear God's voice as He speaks to all of us, the Unequally Yoked.

Dear Spiritually Mismatched,

Sometimes people misunderstand our ministry by thinking we are in opposition to God's Word as it commands in

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJ)

As a woman who has been unequally yoked now for more than 20 years, I understand the truth behind God's desire in this passage. The life of the spiritually mismatched is difficult. There were days I didn't know if I would survive the spiritual warfare.

So let me be clear here. Dineen and I believe that the calling to all unmarried believers is to marry a believer. However, we also know that many arrive unequally yoked because of different paths. Such as my prodigal road or when someone becomes a believer after they marry.

Within these marriages, we want to honor our covenant to God for our marriage and we want to honor our husband. So, we determine that we love God more than we love ourselves and commit to pray the dangerous prayerLord do whatever it takes to save my spouse. We then set out to live a life that honors God even in the midst of two different world views. I can only simply say...it is hard. But,

BUT, we serve God Almighty and His Son, Jesus. All things are possible. I absolutely believe Scripture and what God tells me about His love, grace, power and provision. There have been many lessons I've had to learn on this crazy, mixed-up and bumpy road about surrender, expectations, love and forgiveness but every lesson has been my opportunity to grow closer to God.

For my husband's unbelief has been the cradle to grow my faith and for that I am truly thankful.

We, the unequally yoked, may struggle, hurt deeply, but we will experience God in profound and life-transforming experiences. Today, I wouldn't trade my journey for any other road. God knows what He's doing. He knew it would take a mismatched marriage to breakthrough all my stubborn pride.

I'm so glad He loves me that much. I have found freedom, built character, experienced profound and deep love and have laughed with absolute delight while watching the astonishing supernatural happen around me...because He loves me and I love Him.

I will forever praise the name of God and His Son, Jesus, my Redeemer.

I love Jesus and I love you my friends. Let the Lord of light overwhelm your heart this very hour. Be blessed, Lynn

If you haven't read out book, Winning Him Without Words, the link is below. Be encouraged because our journey is profoundly important in the Kingdom! Hugs, Lynn

Winning Him Small

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

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In the Courtroom with the Apostle Paul

19197771_sMy friends, I know many of us sat in church alone on Easter Sunday. I did too. But today I want to encourage you with a story that has gripped my heart with a message that is for us, SUMites.

Turn back to the pages of Acts and let's look at the story of Paul. I am captivated by this man's journey, my friends. As I read the words he shares with King Agrippa about his Damascus Road encounter, it was as if I were right there sitting in the courtroom. Read Paul's story. Imagine yourself sitting in the audience with great anticipation, listening to every heart-pounding word. Imagine the intensity of Saul, a Pharisee who approved Stephen's stoning and held the coats of the men who killed him. Saul, so sure in his belief that Jesus was an imposter, he chased the believers of the Way to imprison them, to stop them. Listen with your spirit and lean in with your heart.

“I used to believe that I ought to do everything I could to oppose the very name of Jesus the Nazarene. Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus. I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.

“One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests. About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. You are to tell the world what you have seen and what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

“And so, King Agrippa, I obeyed that vision from heaven." — Acts 26:9-19

As Paul speaks I imagine the silence in the room to be complete and heavy with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Not a word or a whisper could stop this moment of truth. Every word and every detail has been planned and purposed for the glory and revelation of Jesus.

My friends, as I shared earlier, I felt like I was present in that audience, witnessing this account. The intensity had me sitting at the edge of my own seat, leaning over my Bible. The heart of the message for this moment in time came clearly in a knowing in my heart and spirit. A message for us, SUMites.

This is what I felt the Holy Spirit wants us to understand. The man Saul vehemently opposed Jesus with a fierce and violent passion, yet in a moment of Jesus' choosing, He revealed His presence to Saul. And this man became transformed to one of the loudest voices, Paul, promoting and sharing Jesus with untold numbers and writing the majority of the New Testament. If Jesus' presence could turn such a staunch opposer's heart to Him, then no one is beyond His reach. He didn't manipulate, coerce, or condemn Saul to believe. He simply revealed Who He is. And if He can do this for such a man as Saul, He can do the same with our spouses, my friends.

SUM family, pray with me: Lord Jesus, thank You that Your presence alone is so great and all consuming that we are transformed in Your presence. Reveal Your grace and salvation to our spouses as You have said You would. We believe, Lord. We believe! Let it be as You have said it would be. In the saving name of Jesus, amen!

Dear friends, I have more to share next week about Paul's story and how his words have become my words right now in this time as I stand for you and my family in faith. I love you!
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Leslie Update:

Many of you have asked me to give you updates on my daughter, Leslie. I will include these at the bottom of my posts when there’s something new. Please keep Leslie in your prayers today. She will undergo more tests Wednesday. MRI’s to look at muscles on her left side. We are fighting the insurance company to approve a CT scan to see if there are tumors in her chest cavity. Could be that this is being blocked by God because she doesn’t need it. He’s done this before to protect her. Stand with me in believing God's promise to me in Isaiah 58:11, that she will be as a well watered garden. Thank you, my SUM family. I love you!

Copyright: kjekol / 123RF Stock Photo

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

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76 Years AND My Personal Miracle

Okay, this is the LAST in the series of post I began in March about my mother's redemption. How appropriate that I finish this story up and share my own miracle on Easter Sunday.

Part I

Part II

Part III

And the final post: Miracles Still Happen Today Because of Jesus!

My mother then interrupted me to share one last story. And I share it with you now because the truth behind it is weighty for all of us. She said to me that last week she was contacted by the mother of one of her students. The student was in my mother’s Sundays school class when she was five years old. The mom of this student said that her daughter was turning 16 years old. And the best present she could give to her daughter, was, well….. her.

So they arranged to meet for a surprise breakfast for my now 76-year-old mom to meet this 16 year old girl for her birthday celebration. As my mother walked from the light into the darkened restaurant, her eyes weren’t adjusted yet to the dimmer light when from across the room a squeal was let loose and this vibrant and beautiful, sixteen-year-old girl rushed to my mom and embraced her. The love shared between this old woman and young woman was tangible in the restaurant.

My mother imparted the love of Jesus into her life when she was just a little girl and years later that young girl loves her in a way, I can’t fully grasp. The reunion was astonishingly holy and beautiful.

As I listened to my mother describe this moment, I reached for more Kleenex. I could barely whisper into the phone but I uttered the words, “Fruit, Mom.”

“This is the fruit of your life. You have poured so much of Jesus into others and today, Jesus is showing you the fruit of your labors, of your love.”

Healing.

Breakthrough.

Fruit.

Even at 76 years old our Savior never stops loving us, healing us, leading us into breakthrough and continues to reveal our fruit.

Oh my siblings, my SUMites, I have no language to describe my grateful heart. The love I feel. How utterly undone I am to be an honored witness to a life-long dance of love with a Savior of one woman’s heart.

I hung up the phone and worshiped and I knew Jesus was calling my mother, Sue, The Rose of Sharon, His beloved Bride, whom He dearly loves.

Okay wipe your eyes because there is another part to this story….. Yes, wait…. There’s more.

Remember the conference in Las Vegas? Well something else happened while we were there that week. Now the story I’m about to share is, ahem, kinda personal and delicate. I’m going to talk about some anatomy that may make some of you squirm but if I don’t share this story, I’ve robbed Jesus of a great glory and others of a testimony of power and healing.

So here we go.

On the second day of the conference, throughout the day, I began to notice some pain in my right breast. An aching pain that kinda nagged at my subconscious. With the events of the day I paid this weird pain no notice until finally at 4 a.m. I’m wide awake and the pain is pulsing in a dull throb. I roll on top of the blankets and begin to feel around to try to figure out why I’m in pain.

And then I felt it. A lump near the center of my breast. Gulp. I reexamined several times, yep it’s truly there. No doubt.

Let me tell you what happens in four in the morning when you feel a lump. FEAR. Immediately my mind screamed and my heart pounded and fear pulsed through my body. For just a minute…. And I mean that because in that minute the years of truth and training and Bible study rose up before me and conquered that fear.

I said aloud into the dark room, “No, I choose to be in faith and not in fear.”

I prayed and spoke and declared every promise I KNOW as truth into the dark in that hour. My heart rate calmed and my spirit walked in real faith. I will not walk in fear. I will walk in faith.

And I did. When my mother woke, I told her about what I found. Now remember my mother worked in oncology for more than three decades. She examined. And the look on her face alone confirmed that indeed, there is a lump.

I called my doctor from Las Vegas and set in motion a ton of appointments. Mamo, ultrasound, surgery appointment. Geeze. Even taking this action, I stood in faith and fear did not grip me. I truly promise you. I believed this lump would be healed.

That night at the conference I received prayer. I put out an APB to my intercessors and those amazing people, you know who you are, they prayed down heaven about me.

I returned home and two weeks later following my Mamo and ultrasound – NO LUMP. Nothing. Clean….

Healed!

I called my mom, who had been praying unceasingly for me and shared the miraculous new. She said, “I praise God and am so relieved. Lynn, that lump was big.”

I gulped and replied, “I’m glad you didn’t tell me that at the time.”

My SUMite friends, miracles are happening all around us. And you are not going to be left out. God is on the move with astonishing power and love. We MUST let go of our unbelief and choose to stand in faith. Kick that old familiar spirit of fear out of the house. Stand upon the promised of our King. Attend a conference where they teach healing. Let me pray for your healing. We all can love and pray for one another. The prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16). I know this to be true and proven over and over again as I live and breathe.

Jesus: Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. - Matthew 18:18-19

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

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What Really Happened With The Crown Of Thorns

In my kitchen is a small house plant. It’s called a Crown of Thorns. I’ve had this particular plant for years. Regretfully, year after year it has been barren. Never producing the pink blossoms I’ve expected. For some strange reason I can’t part with it. Perhaps it's because of the name….

Indeed, this plant’s stock is thorny. And they can grow to become very large and menacing. Many grow here in Southern California and they look imperious and I cringe when I think about Jesus and Good Friday. By the way, why in the world to they call today, “Good Friday.” It was terrible….. But I always remember….

Sunday’s a comin!

They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. — Matthew 27:28-31

Do you think the Crown of Thorns is significant? Up until just recently, I always thought that the crown was of course, a mockery of His kingship or that it was in some way a spiritual representation that the devil perverted.

But No.

It’s so much more than all of that. The placement of the Crown of Thorns on the head of Christ was pointedly redemptive.

It breaks the curse placed upon the ground when Adam sinned.

 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.” — Genesis 3:17-18

Everything about today! The day where Jesus mediated the New Covenant and set our redemption into place. Everything about the Crucifixion is meaningful.

This is just one of the many things the blood of Christ redeems.

Today, I received a phone call from Deborah, a Sumites from years gone by. She called me to share how she is hungry for more of God and to share all that the Lord has redeemed in her life. Today, on this day, Good Friday, I weep as I type. I’m overwhelmed as I think of the lives, that I have personally known, that have been redeemed, healed, saved because Jesus gave everything ….. TODAY, on “Good Friday.”

And as I was on the phone, I walked into the kitchen and my little plant, my Crown of Thorns, blooms. And it blooms in petals of perfect white.

Crown of Thorns

I love you so much Jesus. I lack adequate language to say how your love has redeemed everything in my life and those who are part of our SUMite home. We honor you Jesus with words of worship, love and eternal loyalty. I’m so thankful we have all of eternity to love you and honor your sacrifice of this day.

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

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The Tearing of the Veil

IMG_4884My friends, I’m heading Holy Spirit’s nudge to write about the veil, which hung in the Jewish Tabernacle built by the Israelites and Moses per God's detailed specifications. I've always been fascinated with the veil and how it tore at the moment Jesus died. But let's go back to the first place the veil was established.

It stood as a physical and spiritual separation between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, an inner room that held the Ark of the Covenant, the very presence of God. Made of finely woven linen and embroidered with blue, scarlet and purple cherubim, the veil hung from gold hooks attached to four posts of acacia wood, which were also overlaid with gold (Exodus 26:31-33). And strict rules determined when and how the priests could enter this Most Holy of Places, which if not adhered to resulted in death.

The Hebrew word for veil holds one unusual definition—separatrix. In mathematics, separatrix is defined as the boundary separating two modes of behavior. Dictionary.com defines it as "something that divides or separates, as the line between light and dark areas on a partially illuminated surface."

This veil would remain in place for hundreds of years, a constant reminder of the separation that existed between man and God due to sin. Darkness on one side, light on the other...

Exodus 28:36-38 speaks of the gold medallion adorning Aaron's turban. He was required to wear this on his turban to bear any guilt of the Israelites when they consecrated their sacred offerings in order to make the people acceptable. As the animal sacrifices were a prophetic representation of the final and complete Sacrificial Lamb, this medallion held the prophetic representation of the the Cross, the finished work of Jesus.

Fast forward to Good Friday, the darkest day of history that would usher in the greatest Light of all. Jesus spoke his last and released His spirit into the Father's hands. 

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” — Matthew 27:51-54

Not a simple tear, but a violent act from Heaven. I believe this was the first entrance of God's Kingdom come to earth. Our Heavenly Father gave His Son to remove the barrier and He wanted us to know it. Ripped from top to bottom, the symbolic act clearly tells of the fierce love of God removing the barrier. Nothing would separate God from people for the Son had become the bridge and His Holy Spirit the constant connection.

I am awestruck by this act, so violent yet full of love. A human being would have most likely torn the curtain from the bottom, clearly an act of man. Father God made it clear this tear was by His hand, from top to bottom, from Heaven to Earth. The final declaration of forgiveness and acceptance. 

It shook the earth, split rocks, opened tombs and raised the dead to life. Light had invaded the darkness and brought new life, new beginnings, a new way. The Way, the Truth and the Life.

Jesus.

The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! — 2 Corinthians 3:7-11

My friends, I have this image of the veil in my mind, it's weighty fabric musty and old from all the years it hung between God and man. As the ground began to shake, I imagine dust shaking loose from the aged fibers and the weighty fabric undulating gently at first from its golden hooks, then rippling more violently as the earthquake shook the ground and framework of the Tabernacle. 

Then the heavens opened and perhaps a surge of light shot down from the sky, renting the cloth in two with a tearing sound as loud as thunder and startling as the earth shaking beneath it. Almost as if the fabric once thought to be holy now hung as an offense to the One who hung on the cross.

Do you see it, my friends? The tattered edges of the veil, split and rendered useless? Nothing would separate God from His creation any longer. Do you see how the passion of the Christ rendered the veil impotent and powerless?

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. — 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

The enemy will attempt to replicate the veil in our loves ones, but even he knows the truth, that he wears the shame of defeat and the veil of lies he attempts to project cannot stand up under the light of Jesus. 

And we reflect His light. We reflect His love. We reflect the heart of the Father's love that made a way for ALL to come to Him. And that is the promise of Easter! He is RISEN! He is RISEN INDEED! AMEN!

Happy Easter, my friends. Love you!
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My Unsaved Spouse and Church This Easter

HandsI am wondering if any of you will be asking your spouse to attend Easter services with you?

Are you feeling anxious about asking? About Him attending?

Let’s talk about that today in the comments. I’m looking for suggestions and ideas to share with our community to encourage our spouses to attend church and yet preserve the peace in our home and at church, if our spouse decides to join the family.

See you in the comments. Hugs, 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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How Do You "Speak" God?

MouthMy friends, as I listened to a very gifted teacher at my recent healing rooms training I attended teach about our words, I knew right away this applied to our "how do we hear God" series, thus my title "How Do We "Speak" God?" It seems the natural progression, as Scripture says what we hold in our heart is what comes out of our mouths.

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. — Luke 6:45 NLT

God's Word also says we are created in His image, therefore we are creative beings, like our Creator. We just have different ways of expressing that creativity. God's Word shows the power of His words to create, bless and curse. And as image bearers of Christ, we are warned about the power of our very own words to give life or death:

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. — Proverbs 18:21 NIV

The more I walk this path of faith and understand the importance of studying God's Word to put truth into my heart so that it will flow from my mouth, the more aware I have become of the words I think and speak throughout my day. Our thought life is a very powerful entity, one that when full of lies and not controlled, leads to bad decisions and hurtful words. This is the heart of where our words pour out, so we must guard our hearts and minds well.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. — Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Think about that verse for few minutes. I intentionally chose the New Living Translation because of the last part of its wording—determines the course of your life. That also means it can determine the course of our marriages, of our relationships with our children, our friends, our co-workers, etc.

Let me say that again. What we choose to think and speak can determine the course of our marriages, my friends. And let me tell you, that is powerful. I will never forget the day I stood in my husband's home office and realized the words I just spoke had created a negative atmosphere between us. The thought hit me—most likely the Holy Spirit—that if I didn't change my heart and my words, my marriage would fail.

That's when God began opening doors for me to the resources I needed—books like Beloved Unbeliever and a small group for the spiritually mismatched. It started with my recognition of need and God's answer to that prayer. You are a part of the SUM family for the very same reasons. God knows your need, wants you and your marriage to thrive and has answered your prayer with support, resources and encouragement from this amazing "church without walls."

My friends, as God changed my heart, my words began to change. What I spoke to my husband became more about edification and unity. The Holy Spirit worked very hard, I'm sure, to help rein in my tongue that had learned the wrong kind of fruit to bear. And guarding my heart is something I must do constantly for I know who is prowling around with the intent to destroy my family (John 10:10). You know that too.

I once heard a woman speaking to her husband at a grocery store that brought home this truth in such a powerful way. That not only do our words "speak" but also our tone. I am sure the Holy Spirit placed me there that day to see this picture, because I've never forgotten it. With each contempt filled word, this man's head sunk lower and lower.

SUMites, we have the choice each day to use our words to build up or tear down. I have come to the place now where I am constantly looking for ways to build up my husband and our marriage. The amazing thing is this has increased my gratitude for my husband and our marriage dramatically, which has drawn him closer to me and brought more opportunities to share my faith with him. And I am eating the fruit of this in ways I never even thought possible. As a child of multiple divorces, this has changed me profoundly—in a wonderful, God-intended way. Thank You, Jesus!

And this has rippled into every area of my life. My relationships with family, friends and even strangers. This is how we become these open doors for the Kingdom of God to burst through, carrying the love of Jesus. That just blows my mind to a whole new realm. How about you?

My friends, share how you have used your words to bring change to your life, your marriage, your family, etc. Let's encourage and inspire one another right here with our words. SUMites, I've seen you in action and you are GOOD at it!  

I have a special post for Thursday in honor of Easter. I am also flying back to California on Thursday to help my daughter move and help my hubby get our house there ready to be sold (Sniffle. That house was a true gift and blessing from God, as is our new one we are building—more on that soon!)

I intend to continue this speaking series next week to expound upon the power of our words as we speak Scripture and God's promises over our lives and marriages. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help me do justice to that post! That could be an entire book right there. 

I love you, my friends. I believe in you and your hearts for your marriages. I stand with you in prayer for your marriages to be healed, to be restored and to be places of prosperity and thriving. And I am standing with each and every one of you for the SALVATION of your spouse and loved ones. That is my heart for you and the Father's too (2 Peter 3:9)!
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It's Palm Sunday - How Did You Come To Faith?

It’s Palm Sunday! I’ll finish up the remaining few posts about my mom’s story in April. Also in April, I’m compelled to talk about weariness. In the last few months, my heart has ached for SUMites who have told me they are weary in the waiting. Man, do I ever feel a revelation of the Spirit coming to speak to weariness in our community!! Look for that in April as well.

Three-crossesBUT TODAY!!!!  Let’s turn our focus, thoughts and worship toward Calvary!

My friends, did you know that everything we will ever need, was accomplished through the cross! Everything, in that moment, was made available to us who believe in Jesus, the Son of God, our Redeemer! 

So often the enemy gets us to look at our struggles. Our challenges. Pain. He is relentless to make sure we focus on the galactic mountain we are facing. He draws us away from the truth of our inheritance, our authority, our provision, and our faith to see the dark and thrust us into fear.

Hallelujah for the Cross!

When we remove our eyes for just a second to look clearly on the truth of the Resurrection, we see that we have everything we need to say to that mountain….. MOVE!!! 

Our resurrected Jesus became a man, to show us, to model for us, exactly how to live a life of victory, love and receive our inheritance as a Child of God right now on earth as well as in eternity.

I know the very mountain that many of you are facing right now. And there are many SUMites who are facing what appears to be unsurmountable cliffs of doom that I can’t even imagine, However, our Jesus is bigger than all of it. Truly!

Today, this hour, take out your Bible. Turn to Matthew 17:20. Underline it! Write the name of the Mountain you want to move and then put 2016! And say aloud the passage.

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”— Matthew 17:20 NIV

The truth of this single verse just ROCKS my world.. Nothing will be impossible… Jesus, I dream pretty big. I pray even bigger. Lord, the SUMites aren’t cowards. We stand in the cross-hairs every day in our own homes. Jesus, MOVE OUR MOUNTAIN! We cry out. We believe. We believe. WE BELIEVE!!!!

So, today my friends, tell me, how did you come to believe? How old were you? Share your salvation experience. Together let’s thank Jesus together as we were chosen to be children of the Most High God before time began! (Ephesians 1:4) Hallelujah!!

I can’t wait to hear your story and pray over your mountain in the comments. Have an astonishing week. Make plans to attend church. Attend a Friday service if you can. Do some kind of activity with your kids that brings the significance of this week alive in their hearts. I share in our book, Not Alone, how the Resurrection Eggs, greatly impacted my young daughter. This year, I get to open each one with my granddaughter. Oh, my heart swells!

SUMites….. He is risen! Just as He said! AMEN!

I love you, Lynn

Matthew 17 20

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

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Breakthrough after years of.......

Part III today... Part I (click here) Part II (click here)

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Mom & Kaylee crop
Granddaughter reunion in January

But, my friends, wait as I grab tissue to dab at the tears, there is STILL MORE.

Yesterday, when my mother called to check up on my health progress, at the end of our phone call, I said, “Mom, thank you for always praying for me and my healing. But Mom, how can I pray for you?”

And this is almost the best part of the story.

She said, “You know I wasn’t going to mention it to you but since you asked, I think I’m having some kind of a spiritual breakthrough.”

“What? Oh Do tell me more. I want to hear everything.”

“Well, for some reason I am teary. I don’t know really what is happening but I’m so teary and weepy.”

OH HOLY GOD BE PRAISED!!!

“Oh Mom, I’m so glad you told me about this. I’ve been praying for you to have a breakthrough in this area for years. Mom, it’s okay to cry. It’s healthy to cry. It’s healing to cry over your pain. Mom, you know that Jesus cries. It’ right and good to cry.”

“Well, yes I know that Jesus cries.”

“Mom, do you know that on that day many years ago when you said to yourself that you would never cry again, did you know that when you said those words you made a word vow, a curse against yourself? Mom, when that happened a demon attached to it and even in later years when you wanted to cry, even needed to cry, you were unable.”

“But Mom, praise be to our Jesus because He has set you free and yes, mom, you are having a spiritual breakthrough! Mom, if you need to have a long-bawling-cry your heart out- cry, then do it. Don’t stop it up because Jesus is right there to hold you through the tears.”

“I’m afraid that if I start, I won’t stop.”

“Don’t stop this mom. Let Jesus heal you all the way. And you will be healed when you let it all go.”

“I love you so much Mom. It has been my profound privilege to be a witness to how Jesus has loved you all of your life. Through such great tragedies and heart wrenching loss, He has danced with you and loved you every day of your life. He saw you as a small child, determined to get to Sunday school to be with Him, so determined you walked alone. He has watched you train up three children in the Lord. He has stood with you as you taught Sunday school to little children four and five years old for years and years. And mom, you are still teaching those little ones today, which just inspires me.”

“Mom, Jesus would not let you leave this earthly life, without giving you these profound, healing encounters because He loves you, He sees you. He knows you honored Him and believed without wavering even when everything appeared hopeless….. But you cried out, “I believe in Jesus.”

My mother then interrupted me to share one last story. And I share it with you now because the truth behind it is weighty for all of us...... 

-----

Part IV on Monday my friends.

I wonder if any of you have found yourself in a place where something you swore would or would never happen again in your life and become a barrier to you. If you have, please leave me a comment, that I may pray for you. Or email me, link for my private email is in the sidebar. 

I love you my friends. I am watching the Lord move with power and freedom in many of our lives. Email me your stories. I want to celebrate with you.

Have a blessed weekend. And remember to set your clocks forward on Saturday night in America. Hugs, Lynn

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How Do You "Hear" God...For Your Spouse?

IStock_000005733150MediumMy dear friends, I hope the journaling exercise to "pay attention" to how you hear God has been a blessing and encouragement to you. Your comments have encouraged me greatly! I love how God speaks to us in many ways and specifically to our need and relationship with Him. Let’s review that verse again:

“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” — Luke 8:18 NLT

Today I will share that story I promised you, one that will show another form of how God can speak to us. I've had the joy of training and working in two different healing rooms (Silicon Valley and now Manatee County). In fact, just this past weekend I attended more training and had the joy of facilitating as well. 

And God has used the last several years to teach me so much about healing prayers through teachers and mentors in these places and especially through the Holy Spirit, our greatest Teacher and Mentor of all. Over time, I've learned to recognize better when He's showing me something. I believe He communicates this way with me, because I am an artist and a very visual person.

If you study the book of Acts, you will see many descriptions of the disciples receiving images and even visions of God's leading. Just before his death, Stephen is given a glimpse of Jesus and heaven (Acts 7:55). Ananias heard the Lord instructing him in a vision to go to Saul because God had given Saul a vision of Ananias as part of Saul's conversion from a Pharisee to a believer who would be known as Paul (Acts 9:10-19). And God showed Peter through two visions that he was not to discriminate against Gentiles (Acts 10:3-33).

I love serving people in the healing rooms. We are there to pray with people for their needs, to encourage and edify them as Scripture directs, and we work in teams of three because we are stronger as a three-fold cord.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. — 1 Thess. 5:11 ESV

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. — Ecc. 4:12 NIV

On this particular day, a woman came in for prayer about the purchase of a house. She and her husband had felt clear leading to buy a specific house and had made an offer, but the inspection now showed issues that they would not be able to afford. Confusion had set in.

As our team sought God for leading in how to pray for her, I saw an image of a house in my mind. At first I simply thought it was the natural reaction of the mind to connect an image to thoughts, but as I said, I have learned through experience and practice to pay attention when I get an image, especially in this type of setting. Yet I am always careful to defer to Holy Spirit's leading to share a word of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8). 

Our sister in Christ then joined us in the prayer room and we began to speak truth into her heart to help her refocus on God and His leading for her. I felt Holy Spirit direct me to share the image so I did. 

I described the image of the house in the detail the Holy Spirit had given me. I'm always a bit nervous to do things like this, but again I'm learning to trust Him more than myself. It's not easy. It’s a risk and an act of faith to trust in what God is doing and not what I understand or perceive is happening.

Turned out the image was the house she and her husband wanted to purchase, and sharing with her what God had shown me, along with what the other team members felt Holy Spirit telling them, confirmed and affirmed this dear woman on the God-lead path she was obediently trying to follow. She just needed reassurance that even though complications had cropped up, God was still in the lead and would provide. She left encouraged and felt even closer to God as a result. As we all do when we see, hear, feel and sense God's presence with us—we are drawn closer to Him and hunger for even more.

And I was too, as was the prayer team. These encounters never cease to astound me and draw me closer to God. I pray they never do. The end of this story is wonderful. The couple moved forward in faith and made another offer. They purchased the house for a price that gave them room to make the repairs. God did exactly what He said He would.

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. — Deut. 7:9 NLT

My friends, the amazing thing is I am learning to apply this way of praying to my family. One night Holy Spirit showed me that I didn't believe He would show me what to pray for my family like I do in the healing rooms. I'm learning to first seek and listen before I start praying what I think my husband or daughters need. 

Sometimes our best intentions and love can keep us from hearing what God wants us to know, because we are more focused on the issue at hand instead of the answer God is waiting to give us.

Now as I pray for my husband, I wait for a leading or image to show me where God's working in him. That way I know how to pray and work with God in this transformation process. God wants me to see my husband as already saved and pray and praise accordingly. Just as God instructed Peter in his vision to not make a judgement of a person's place in God's kingdom, I feel God telling us the same thing, my friends. This verse spoke that truth to my heart this week:

Peter told them, "You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. — Acts 10:28

Right now we need to be seeking God for His heart and how He sees our spouses, our loved ones, and pray and declare in agreement. We only have a partial picture with our own perspective. God has the full picture and He knows our spouses (1 Cor. 13:12).

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6

That day of Jesus Christ is now, my friends. The Greek translation for the word "day" means the space between dark and dawn. I believe this is the time between Jesus' coming and return and we are in that time right now! So don't be discouraged! He is faithful to complete what He has told us He will do. SALVATION!

Dear friends, we live in an incredible time of witnessing God move in our spouses' lives and hearts! Be assured He is working. Seek Him, ask Him to show you and trust Him to complete the good work He has started as you join Him accordingly in prayer and trust for your spouse's salvation. Amen? Amen!

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When I See You In Heaven - Chronicles Of The Donovan Clan

It’s today, March 14, 2016. Twenty-four years of married life. As I pondered my husband and our marriage this week, the Holy Spirit revealed something utterly unexpected and peculiar…. a letter. A letter to my husband as I see him in the future.


Mike When I see you in heaven...When I See You In Heaven

Mike, when I see you in heaven, will there be tears in my eyes?

Will I glimpse your face across the expanse of the Great Assembly of worshipers? Will I run to you? Will you run to me? When I see you in heaven, I believe we will both run, full-out, with every bit of intention and intensity, to reach one another.  

When I see you in heaven, will you have tears in your eyes? Will you wrap your arms around me in a fierce embrace? Will you pull away and place your hands on both sides of my face as you draw my eyes unto yours?

When I see you in heaven, will you whisper into my eyes through gulps of love and emotion, a breathless thank you.

At that moment will your heart expand as you fully grasp the impact of the years I prayed for this very moment? Will you utter deep groanings of intense joy knowing that I tarried for you in earnest prayer year after year?

When I see you in heaven, will you look upon my face and gently brush away the drops of joyful tears falling on my cheeks.

When I see you in that moment, I will place my finger over your lips to hush your words of thanks. I will tell you, “It’s our Father’s love that saved us. It’s our Father’s love that walked with me through our many years of married life. It’s our Father’s love that held me in the lonely moments and it’s our Father’s love that stood with you when you felt alone and weary of our quarrels.”

When I see you in heaven, I will join my hand in yours as we turn toward the throne. In that moment, our Father will look down upon us both with profound joy and love upon His face. In that singular moment, a life-time of battling the enemy will be revealed. The days and nights I called out to Jesus to protect you, to keep you from the lies of the enemy and to save you from his evil intentions, they all will flash before you. In that moment we will comprehend God’s purpose which placed me at your side as your life-long partner on earth. Under His full understanding we will comprehend that this tiny, 5 foot 2 blonde, girl was a commanding intercessor for your health and prosperity. In that instant you will bear witness to the relentless combat I engaged for our children.

When I see you in heaven, we will share in the greatest joy- your full salvation. Every harsh word ever spoken will be erased instantly, lost in the glory of our King. We will look upon one another’s face and realize that every hurt and disappointment is forever forgotten and forgiven. Our brokenness is instantly covered by the crimson blood of Jesus our King.

When I see you in heaven, I will lead you by the hand to the steps of the throne. With utter sobs I will look up into the face of my heavenly Father and tell Him, “THANK YOU. You gave me this man and I did not fail my assignment. I walked out many years of hope deferred and I did not stop for one moment and give in, give up or lose hope.”

“Father, I couldn’t have done any of it without your love, grace, mercy, kindness and wisdom and power. I’m utterly undone, Father, the faithful love You poured into my life over and over and over is evidenced today, as I see Mike in heaven.”

When I see you in heaven, I will turn toward the vast expanse of the saints and I will honor, celebrate and declare for all eternity the fathomless love of our Father before them as I grasp your hand. And Mike, when I see you in heaven standing there beside me, you will do the same.

When I see you in heaven, Mike Donovan, my heart will be full and we will have all of eternity to discover, recover and uncover things that were left undone or unfinished on earth. I’m so excited to take your hand and step into our eternal life in Jesus Christ, when I see you in heaven.

Happy Anniversary,

I love you, Lynn

Mike and Lynn 2 Nov 2011

*****

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How do you "hear God? (part 3)

IStock_000001262149XSmallMy friends, in light of some of the questions generated by my post yesterday, Lynn and I swapped days so I can address some of those today, specifically the mention of fortune cookies. 

First, I want you to know that my heart is for every one of you to walk in deep intimacy with God and hear His voice clearly. I want His very best for you, because I love you so much and we are family. And having that kind of relationship with God makes all the difference in our lives and especially our marriages. When we put God first, He brings order and peace to our lives even in the midst of the storms in our lives and marriages. I know I would not have the marriage I have today had I not made the decision twenty plus years ago to put God first.

But I want to clarify something. My relationship with God and how I hear Him has come from years of studying His Word, sitting under the teaching of trusted leaders, Stephen Ministry and healing rooms training, and, most importantly, a daily commitment to spend time in His presence in prayer, reading the Bible and worship. At this point in my faith journey, this can be an hour or more daily. Usually as much as two hours or more at times. This is what God has called me to do.

I'm not sharing this to brag, but to help you understand the foundation I've built with God to discern and recognize His voice. Along with my continual heart cry to know Him better, I've asked Him to keep me from being deceived in any way. 

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. — Psalms 32:8

So if I seemed casual about the fortune cookie discussion, please understand I am very careful about things like this. When I am in doubt, I am quick to seek God for wisdom or confirmation. If it doesn’t line up with God’s Word, then it’s not truth and needs to be discarded and ignored. Especially if you are just starting on this path, it’s even more important to be filling and transforming your mind with God’s Word. 

As I replied to Taylor, my goal was to generate some conversation so we could cover those "gray" areas. I think it's important that we carefully guard our minds and hearts. Anything that can create an open door for the enemy needs to be avoided. That is something each of us has to decide for ourselves, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, as we have similar and different areas of vulnerability.

The message Tiffany's shared clearly spoke the truth of Phil 4:19 to her heart, that God would provide for her every need. She received this in the light of the truth Jesus, and what she knew to be true biblically. The confirmations I received were for moves already in place that I knew God had set in place. It was like a love nod from God saying, "you're on the right track!" 

Some things are very clearly not of God, and we can make a clear decision. Other times it’s important that we take it right to Abba and ask for clarity, confirmation, or conviction. And His answer will always be filled with His love and direction, not condemnation (Romans 8:1). Even Jesus did this.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” — John 5:30

This is why it's so important that we are constantly reading our Bibles and spending time with God. Our spiritual foundation needs to be strong so that we know the difference between God's voice and the enemy’s.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. — Isaiah 30:21

My friends, Lynn will continue her story about her mother next Tuesday and as this post is long already, I will save my story for next Thursday. Please keep sharing how you are hearing God. The are wonderful and so encouraging! I find myself nodding as I read them and saying, “yes, yes!” SUMites, you are amazing. I know it’s challenging being the spiritual leaders in our homes, which requires us to be more diligent, but look at how much you are growing and living stronger in your faith. God is so faithful!

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. — 1 Cor 16:13-14
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How do you "hear God? (part 2)

IStock_000014889792XSmallWhen I opened my email early this morning, one of the first headlines I read was an article on Spirit Led Woman, entitled "Why You May Not Recognize God Speaking to You." I had to smile—one, because here we are talking about the very same,-much needed subject, and two, because I recognized God speaking to me indirectly at that very moment in what I like to call "a confirmation."

How so? Here's the path to this recognition:

  1. I always pray and ask Holy Spirit to tell me what I need to write about for our blog based upon what YOU, our readers need. His leading reminded me of this exercise He'd led me to just weeks earlier, which started with a Scriptural instruction from the Bible.
  2. Yesterday Lynn and I discussed the need for more teaching on this subject and decided that in May we would make this one of the topics we will cover in four one hour online teaching seminars we've already had in the works. (More information and sign-up details to come so stay tuned! We are so excited about launching this!)
  3. Then I see this article on Spirit Led Woman. Thank You, Lord, for Your leading!

By experience, I've learned to recognize this kind of confirmation as following God's lead for the universal church. Last year, His leading was focused on knowing His love. This year seems to be starting off with a clear message about knowing His voice. The Holy Spirit, Who connects us all is communicating the Father's heart in a broad spectrum for His children to hear.

And this is just one way of communication. Over the last few weeks God has used the following ways to communicate with me:

•His still small voice

•Scripture

•The counsel of a trusted friend

•Several devotionals 

•Ian's post about Lent

•Your comments on our blog

•A song on K-LOVE (a single line carried the same message I felt God impress upon my heart that morning.

•Waking up with a particular song repeating in my mind (this usually tells me what God wants me to focus on that day)

•A dream in answer to a prayer for specific wisdom and insight

•A prophetic word confirmed by the "coming soon" sign in the front yard of my CA house.

And there are even more that I could draw upon from past events and experiences. In the Bible you will see God communicating through dreams, visions, animals, rainbows, people, and more. Very often these come in combinations. For example, I will sense God's heart in my morning quiet time, telling me something specific. Then I will get a devotional or an email from a friend on that very same topic. Then on Sunday, my pastor will speak on the very same subject.

Sometimes it can be very clear to us, like a friend reaching out saying God put us on their heart and they just want us to know they're praying for us. What they don't know is that very morning we cried out to God for help because something in our life has just fallen apart. Can you relate?

Or you sense God leading you in a direction to do something that is way out of your comfort zone. Then suddenly the training, the invitation, or the steps to move forward are presented to you in an undeniable way that you know deep in your spirit that is the next step.

Lynn has shared how Mylar balloons have shown up for her and even her husband with a word so specific you just can't miss it! Tiffany shared on my Tuesday post about fortune cookie messages, which I've experienced too. (God has confirmed every one of our major moves with a cookie message. I just giggle and enjoy God’s ways.)

God has even used feathers for many of us. Sometimes these can push the boundaries of what we are comfortable with, but nothing is off limits for God to use. However, it is up to us to test what we hear and discern against the truth of God’s Word, to prayerfully consider and ask God for confirmation if we’re unsure, and to discern the source (spirit) of the word as Scripture tells us (1 John 4:1). 

The most important key to hearing God's voice, my friends, is your relationship with Him. Our intimacy with God is what opens our eyes, ears, heart and spirit to discerning, hearing and recognizing when He is speaking to us. Thus the more we seek to know Him and spend time with Him, the more you will hear Him and recognize when He is speaking because of the past experiences you are building upon.

Our daily time with Him isn't about fulfilling a duty. It's about building a relationship with our Father God, our best friend Jesus, our comforter Holy Spirit so that we KNOW Him, recognize His presence and voice, and can follow and receive from Him. 

We won't get this perfect every time. It's a trial and error learning process for sure. And thus why I so diligently (and vocally) express the importance of journaling. But it is worth the effort, my dear friends. At one dark point in this shoulder recovery the Holy Spirit told me to reread my journal. I did and was reminded of all the things God had spoken to me recently and was greatly encouraged.

I hope you’ll share in the comments how God has been speaking to you these last two days AND continue to keep a log for a couple of weeks—I have a feeling Abba is going to give you some very special words and confirmations that will increase your faith to hear more. 

Next week I will share a couple stories of how God used imagery to show me very specific details for a person I was praying for. Trust me, this blew my mind completely, yet the facts were undeniable…

And now, SUMites, let’s pray. Father God, we are Your SUMites and we stand humbly before You with a burning hunger and desire to hear and see You more. Lord, You created us to be in an intimate relationship with You, to walk in friendship with You as Abraham did. You created our senses to perceive not just the natural but the supernatural as well. Give us eyes and ears to see and hear You. Increase our faith, Lord, to hear and recognize Your holy voice, presence and intervention more and more. We love You, Lord Jesus! Thank You for sitting at the right hand of the Father and interceding for us every moment. We are so grateful. Lift our hearts, minds, and spirit to the heavenly realms so we are focused on You. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, my friends. So much. Praying for you!
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How do you "hear" God?

41250080_sOver the last several weeks I’ve been following along with the Lenten reading on Margaret Feinberg’s site that Ian shared with us. I feel like I’m taking a walk with Luke through his testimony of his time with Jesus and what happened after the cross. It's a fascinating way to follow the progression of events. Thank you for the recommendation, Ian!

What I want to share with you today is one verse in particular that a stopped me in my reading and became an assignment I gave myself and a few dear friends. It’s a verse I know I’ve read many times, but you know how that happens, when a verse just grabs you, one know you’ve read many a time but in that moment, Holy Spirit is saying, “pay attention to this!”?

And He literally meant “pay attention…”

“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” — Luke 8:18 NLT

The ESV translations reads like this:

Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away. — Luke 8:18

The first part of this verse about paying attention to how you hear God kind of surprised me, because I think most of us would express some kind of frustration or concern about hearing God. I know I have. Did I hear Him correctly? Was that Him or was that me I heard? Or we question the method or venue, wondering if God would actually communicate with us in such a way. How about you?

My friends, you know me well enough by now to know that I’m going to dig into the Greek and Hebrew meanings of words, and I did just that. As usual this one small verse holds some very fascinating gems.

The Greek word for pay attention or take care is blepō and has a long list of general meanings, such as to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine. This is wise instruction for us, of course, but the one that stood our for me was to discover by use, to know by experience. The “how” part.

Over the last several years as I’ve gone deeper with God, I’ve discovered there are so many ways that God communicates with us. And sometimes I think He changes things up so we continue to seek and depend upon Him for His leading and learn more about Him and His ways. Which brings to mind another AMAZING verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. — Proverbs 3:5-6

But let’s go back to that meaning, to discover by use, to know by experience—the how. The “assignment” I felt Holy Spirit impressing upon me was to keep a log of all the ways I hear God. That’s exactly what this verse is telling us to do—to pay attention to how we hear God. Not just to the what, but to the how. The amazing this is, the more you pay attention the more you will discover other ways God is speaking to you as you experience communication with Him.

For the last several weeks I’ve simply jotted down when I heard something from God, and how He communicated it with me. It’s been a fascinating observation.

My dear SUM family, I’d like to give this assignment to you. For at least a week, simply note each time you feel God has spoken to you and how He did so. It can be something you hear, read, see, feel, smell, taste, sense, or just know. And can even be a combination of these too. On Thursday I will share some of the ways I’ve sensed and heard God speaking to me. And I hope you’ll share some of yours too!

So how about it? Are you in? Leave me a comment so I can pray for you to have “eyes to see and ears to hear” everything our precious Lord wants to tell you! And have fun, my friends! God loves to speak to us! 

Love you and praying for you every day, my SUM family!
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Dancing With Jesus..... The Miraculous Happens

Part II .......  

And indeed, a second and successful surgery saved her life. AMEN!

My privileged vantage point has been awesome. I have a front row seat to view the life-long, faithfulness of God in these very later years of my mother’s life.

Over the last few years as my own spiritual journey expanded and intensely grew, I shared so much of my faith experiences with my mom. I told her about the many freedoms I’ve attained through Jesus and also how some of the bondage that has lived in our family blood line has been cancelled  I prayed over the phone with her to free her from familial spirits of Free Masonry and other issues that have plagued our family line for generations.

In these her latter years, my mother is experiencing areas of heart healing from our Savior. The memories bring a smile of Godly joy to my face as I bear witness to my mother stepping into further freedom. And the next story is such an amazing event.

Several months ago my mom received an unexpected phone call. Her granddaughter, my brother’s daughter, wanted to visit and spend the weekend with her grandma. Plans were set in motion and indeed the reunion was more than either could have hoped or dreamed. Many misunderstandings were reconciled and love was shared. Old photos were looked over and crazy antics of my brother were told. Laughter and love all were given as the Lord looked down with a great smile of satisfaction. Years of hopeful prayer came into their fullness in those few days. And this relationship has been fully restored. In Jesus name. Thank you and hallelujah!

But wait…. There is more, so much more. Just because He can…

For several years I’ve invited my mother to attend the Open Heaven’s Conference with me. You may have been a reader here for some years and know that my life, as well as Dineen’s, forever altered at that conference in 2012. The spiritual fire that was set loose in me recalibrated every aspect of my faith, my love of God and how I love people as well as defined and focused my Godly purpose. And I’ve shared so much of my experiences with my mom but she always hesitated to join me for this annual event.

Mom Lynn Heidi LV Conference II
This is SUMite, Heidi, myself and my mom at the conference.


However, in January several amazing speakers, including Bill Johnson, were going to be at a conference at a church in Las Vegas. So I invited my mom to join me as a celebration of her 76th birthday that coincided with the event.

She said yes.

So two women, bearing bibles, head to Las Vegas…… to go to church. The irony is not lost on my heart.

Now here is where the story moved into the realm of our miraculous God.

The first evening of the conference near the conclusion of the night, Bill, offered prayer for healing. My mother stands. For at least six months she has been nursing, treating and bearing up under a weird ulcer-like-sore, the size of a golf ball, on the belt-line of her waist. The thing is an ugly, open, and painful sore that has been infected numerous times.

As an interesting side note, my mother has never, in all her years of faith, seen God heal anyone, physically. But at this moment, after the Spirit lead teaching and worship, my mother stands….. she stands in faith for healing and she receives prayer over this ailment on her abdomen.

Two people who were seated around us step over and lay hands upon her and pray. Then I place my hand upon this area of concern and pray. It’s in this holy moment that I feel heat leave my hand and warm the area on her stomach. My mom feels nothing but I know what just happened.

Jesus was in the room!

Prayer ends. Hugs all around and we depart for our hotel.

Early the next morning my mom steps from the bedroom area and finds me on the couch in our hotel room. She exclaims, “Lynn, look at this.” She raises her shirt, “Look, there is a scab on this sore." The astonishment on her face was beautiful to behold.  "I have prayed for months for a scab to form.”

“Oh, Mom. Jesus has healed you.” I leap from the couch.

 JESUS HAS HEALED YOU OVER NIGHT!

Gang, I take a closer look at the scab. Indeed, a round scab now covers the previously red and irritated area. My head still blows up when I think back to this moment.

And now let me bring glory and honor to our healer, the Lord Jesus Christ. By the time the conference ended and we departed, the entire area was healed, the scab fell off and all that remained was a shadowy area, a scar, that is a permanent marker of her supernatural healing.

But, my friends, wait as I grab tissue to dab at the tears, there is STILL MORE. So much more to tell........

But, alas this post has already gone too long.... So on Friday I'm going to share the best part of what happens next... Stay tuned!

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Side note: It's so interesting to me that I'm finally getting over of a month and a half of illness myself. I've prayed extensively about health and healing in the past several months. So has Dineen. Today during my prayer time, the Lord was very specific about sharing a healing prayer with all of you. I posted  the prayer on our SUM Facebook page. It's also posted on my personal blog. Lynndonovan.org.

If you are struggling with health issues, perhaps this prayer would be helpful to you. Read it and pray it, aloud and often, over yourself for the next 30 days.

Finally, in faith I stand with you and I say: Be healed and whole in Jesus name.

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Okay, see you Friday. Let me know what you think of my moms story in the comments and share your prayer for healing as well. I love you my SUMite family! Make it a fantastic week ahead. After all, you are a Child of the Most High God. LIVE LIKE IT!!!  Woo Hoo! Hugs, Lynn

*****

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A 76-Year Love Dance With Jesus

Isaiah 46 4
My friends, can I just tell you how GLAD I am to be back at my desk and typing. I’m thrilled. After traveling in January, I came down with some serious illnesses and one in particular could have been devastating. I will share more about that as we move through the story I’m about to tell.

Already in this Jubilee Year, I’ve been utterly privileged to watch Jesus restore, heal and save. And today I’m compelled to ascribe Great Glory to our Jesus because of His endless and fathomless love, mercy and kindness. I have a testimony to share that is partly mine but mostly it’s a magnificent story belonging to my mother.

This story is a telling of a love dance between an old woman of 76 years of age and our timeless Lord Jesus. I pray I bring him honor through these words.

I’ve watched as a close up participant, and also from a distance. I have perceived and viewed from many angles, a life-long love dance between my mom and Jesus. But it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve born witness to the truly profound and supernatural moves of God in my mother’s life.

Let’s set the stage.

My mother, Sharron Sue Parks, was born in a small-town, a farming community in southern Colorado. Her childhood was wonderful and she was adored by my grandparents. My mother told me years ago that the Lord called out to her to draw her unto his love and a life of faith. On Sunday mornings as a child of eight or nine she would set out to walk to Sunday school alone. Sometimes her Aunt would take her to church because her parents didn’t attend (another story for another time). But she was drawn to Jesus and many a Sunday morning walked, by herself, to church. She grew up in the First Christian church in her small town and married by father there in 1959.

The newlywed couple moved to Denver and I was born a year later. Married life was challenging from the beginning but she pressed into living for her family and marriage. Three kids later and a few moves of the family found us in Las Vegas. I was a teenager and my siblings and I were shuffled into new schools, a new culture and a new life, once again.

May things occurred over the years. My father left my mom after 25 years. Following a long and protracted divorce proceeding, she found herself alone. The night the divorce was finalize, she cried herself to sleep. When she woke the next morning, she vowed to herself that crying didn’t solve anything and that she would never cry again.

She never did. Years and years passed. Not a single tear.

My mother’s tender heart was crushed further when my brother passed away at a young age of 41, following a long illness where he battled with cancer. Her pain and emotional beating was barely survivable. But she never stopped praying. Even on the day of my brother’s passing when three demons appeared before her and said hissingly, “We’ve got him now. He belongs to us.” My mother in her darkest moment said the only truth she knew and held in her heart, “I believe in Jesus.” And the demons immediately left. (BTW, demons lie. My brother was a believer.)

Her pain increased in other life circumstances but somehow through all the pain, she still remained loved and in love with her Jesus. The same kind Savior who once walked with her to Sunday school when she was a small girl. He adored her then and never left her even in the darkest of years that passed. Even when her questions and doubts overwhelmed her faith.

Sue eventually retired from her management and nursing position in a large Oncology center. She moved back to her home state of Colorado. It was during this time she faced a life-threatening surgical complication. She virtually faced death’s door. I remember praying and praying for her life. And I clearly heard the Lord give me this passage of scripture for her:

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was near death. Isaiah the man of God, the son of Amoz, came to him and said, “The Lord says, ‘Make those of your house ready, for you will die and not live.’” 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord, 3 and said, “O Lord, I ask you from my heart to remember now how I have walked with You in truth and with a whole heart. I have done what is good in Your eyes.” And Hezekiah cried with a bitter cry. 4 Then the Word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘The Lord, the God of your father David, says, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. See, I will add fifteen years to your life. — Isaiah: 38 1-6 NLV 

I knew the Lord intended to extend her life. God had heard the years of prayers uttered by my mother to one day be reunited with her granddaughter, her son’s only living child. She had not seen her for years following my brother’s death because there was great pain on both sides of this family when he died. Yet, in my prayer time, I KNEW, THAT I KNEW, THAT I KNEW, IN MY KNOWER, God would reunite them and all would be forgiven.

My mother didn’t have the faith for this but I did and I stood in the gap with faith for her reunion and knew God had granted her extended years to answer this old woman’s heart’s desire.

And indeed, a second and successful surgery saved her life. AMEN!

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Okay, this is the end of part one of the story.. But it's also the beginning of even more amazing testimony. Stop back on Monday as I share what happened next. I love you my SUMite family. This testimony bears witness to the love of Jesus and becomes a powerful in our own lives. My mom is 76 years of age but Jesus is moving with great power in her life right now.

Jesus never stops redeeming, healing and restoring our lives no matter how many years it takes.
Never, ever. AMEN!

See you Monday. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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The Light of Truth

19268965_sMy friends, I want to share a recent revelation with you. It was one of those moments that the truth of something I already knew finally hit all the way home. Have you had one of those moments—a suddenly moment—where something you thought you understood suddenly becomes clearer and more powerful? 

For me is it was as if the seed that had been planted was watered and then sprouted roots downward and grew upward to take permanent hold in my heart. And as we are in the season of Lent it is the perfect time to speak of the work of the cross. 

Though the event of the cross is in our past, I believe the work of the cross is continuous. Paul even spoke of this ongoing process:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. — Philippians 2:12-13 ESV

During some very painful and difficult moments in my recovery the enemy tried to move in and take advantage of my weakened state, just as we know he did with Jesus in His wilderness time. 

And I let him. The enemy tries to convince us first that either he doesn't exist or that he is more powerful than God. I believed the latter at a very young age and had no one to tell me otherwise, therefore I learned fear and this has been an ongoing battle for me.

But God has been dealing with this fear and lie for the last few years, and I believe a major and much-needed shift occurred just recently. I've been reading a workbook about the healing ministry and this author's description of the enemy's place in our lives clicked in my mind and heart like never before.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. — Hebrews 2:14-15 NASB

In my own words, this is the understanding I have been meditating on that has brought this truth home fully for me. Christ's purpose in coming and dying on the cross was to save us by rendering the enemy powerless. Not mostly powerless, but completely powerless. Christ even shamed the enemy.

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. — Colossians 2:15 NLT

My friends, I am not talking about spiritual warfare here, but the simple truth that the enemy is powerless (Our very own SUMite, Jo, has shared this with us too). He has absolutely no power of his own. At Christ's death, that power and authority was transferred from the enemy to us. 

Now this is probably repetitive, but I have a feeling some of you need this revelation as much as I needed it. It comes down to this: the presence and power the enemy holds in our own lives is because we have allowed it. For me this was the truth that finally hit home because if I have allowed it, I can disallow it. I am NOT at the mercy of the enemy. He is at my mercy, so to speak. I have to power and authority to boot him out.

Somehow this truth hit home at much deeper level, therefore disarming the enemy's power in my life, because it isn't his power! It's mine! And I am taking it back.

The challenge, my friends, is identifying the lies I have believed and replacing it with the truth. THAT is what completely boots the enemy out and keeps him from being able to come back. He can't, for God is light, and in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). Truth is light.

And like the story of the house delivered of a demon, yet seven more returned, we just fill the empty place left with truth, with God's presence (Matt. 12:45). Even the evil influences brought in from our pre-believers can't hold authority over us if we don't let them, which I'm finding is as simple—and challenging—as believing they don't. Yes, they will make our lives more difficult as we live with the repercussions this influence has on our spouses, but ultimately, the enemy can't hold any power over us.

The workbook I was studying gave a perfect analogy of this using garbage and flies. Think of the garbage as the lies we believe and the flies as the demons. We can swat at those flies but they will keep coming back to the garbage (the lies). When we get rid of the lies (the garbage) the flies have nothing drawing them back. 

"If we deal with the reason the demons are there in the first place, they can be permanently removed without a battle." —Edward M. Smith

I believe the final revelation for me came with the understanding that what I choose (or not choose) to believe limits and removes the enemy's influence in my life. The transformation of our minds (Romans 12:2) is an ongoing and life-long process and one we must be diligent about to maintain, but this truth finally brings home for me that the power lies in my hands through Jesus Christ who strengthens and empowers me, therefore I can do ALL things through Him (Phil 4:13).

My friends, I pray this revelation is making sense and is doing for you what it did for me. And please understand that this is in no way judging or condemning. I still have places in my life where I seem to keep going around the same mountain over and over again. I’m now changing my prayer strategy to ask Holy Spirit to reveal the lies I am believing so that I can root and boot it out. My heart today is to help you see that the choice is in our hands. We are not powerless victims of the enemy. We have the power and we can choose to take action.

Suddenly (I'm starting to truly get these "suddenly" moments now) the fear of the enemy's power in my life is gone. I see the lie for what it is and I know the truth. I do not have to be afraid or dread his attempts to harm me (Ps. 27:1). I hold the power through Jesus Christ's finished work in me (salvation), not the enemy, and I refuse to let him hold fear over me anymore. I am not at his mercy. I am the recipient of God’s mercy and grace.

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:32

I am understanding this verse on a much deeper level now, and I am determined to keep this revelation rooted deeply in my soul and spirit. SUMites, I pray for each one of us that the ever-shining light of Jesus burning in each of us will expose the lies we have taken upon ourselves to believe so that we will know the truth and be set free. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!

Share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to “talk” more about this with you! Love you so much, my friends!
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*****

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Lent Reflections - The Cross

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Photo courtesy of www.LumoProject.com


We’re more than half way now. In a little over three weeks it will be Good Friday. The day Jesus went to the Cross, voluntarily, to die.

For us.

In the last few weeks I’ve been struck by a few songs that have emphasized the Cross and what Jesus did for us. Last week my church had a visit from Dr. David Yonggi Cho.
Dr Cho has a remarkable ministry and story to tell. He started out as a minister to five people and now his church in South Korea has over 800,000 members. By all accounts it’s the biggest church in the world.

He attributes a lot of what he’s done to prayer. He spends three hours a day in prayer rising every early in the morning. He said when he was younger (he’s just celebrated his 80th birthday) he used to pray for five hours a day.

He mentioned that when he first starts praying he simply starts by meditating for a while on the Cross and what Christ did for us. This fills him with gratitude and praise but also assurance that Jesus has broken the hold sin has over us and “by His wounds He has healed us.”

Letting Go

It’s very easy for us to be self-absorbed. It doesn’t mean we’re selfish or narcissistic, it just means we spend too much time thinking about ourselves. I know I do. Particularly when things aren’t working out the way we want them to, we’re not feeling well or we’ve had a disagreement with our spouse. It’s like our automatic response is to think about ‘me’.

As I journey longer with the Lord I’m increasingly realizing that He went to the Cross so we would be more enamored with another story than our own. His.

His story is breathtaking. And He asks us to partner with Him in it. Blows my mind everytime.

This week spend a little time picturing Jesus on the Cross. Put yourself with His mother, John and the others as they watch in horror and absolute awe, as He chooses to die rather than save Himself. So we could live.

Perhaps reflect on these lyrics by Chris Tomlin and his song “At the Cross.” 

There's a place where mercy reigns and never dies

There's a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide

Where all the love I've ever found

Comes like a flood

Comes flowing down

[Chorus:]

At the cross

At the cross

I surrender my life

I'm in awe of You

I'm in awe of You

Where Your love ran red

and my sin washed white

I owe all to You

I owe all to You Jesus

There's a place where sin and shame are powerless

Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness

Where all the love I've ever found

Comes like a flood

Comes flowing down

[Chorus]

Here my hope is found

Here on holy ground

Here I bow down

Here I bow down

Here arms open wide

Here You save my life

Here I bow down

Here I bow down

[Chorus]

Lord Jesus, we love you. We worship you. We’re in awe of you. Words can’t express our gratitude for what you did at the Cross. For us. For our spouses. For our families. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you that you ransomed your life for ours. We praise you. We receive all the work and triumph of the cross, the blood, the sacrifice. Thank you for washing us clean. Jesus, we want more of you. Please fill us with more and help us let go of our selves so we can be of the business of running with you on your Kingdom mission. In your precious name we pray. Amen

*****

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