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15 entries from June 2016

Friday Prayer: The Armor of God

Hey there, SUMites! Here's one of those surprises! On Fridays I will post a prayer through the month of July. God's impressed upon me to share these prayers to help encourage and bless you. So here goes...are you ready? (Turn up your volume if needed. I forgot how allergy season here in Florida makes me lose my voice a bit.)

Praying on Your Armor

Lord, I am putting on the Armor of God. (Eph 6:10-17)

My belt of truth for Jesus is my way, my truth and my life. (John 14:16)

My breastplate of righteousness for I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor 5:21)

My shield of faith for the righteous shall live by faith. (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38)

My sword of the Spirit—the very Word and promises of God which are my shield and protection. (Psalm 91:4)

My feet fitted in the Gospel of Peace for Jesus is my firm foundation. (Luke 6:48-49)

And my helmut of Salvation for I am covered and live in freedom under the sacrificial blood of Jesus. (Heb 10:19, Eph 1:7, Eph 2:13, Rev 1:5)

SUMites, share your favorite armor Scriptures in the comments. And pray this over your children too. Make it like a game and you will implant the truth of God's protection, their identity in Jesus, and truths about their inheritance too!
Love you! ~Dineen

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Foundations Series: An Introduction

FeetSUMites, how is your summer going? Have you seen God moving and working around you? I call those shifts because sometimes I can feel them in my spirit, like something is shifting to a new level. 

And how about those upgrades? What has God revealed to you there? What promises have you discovered? I am so excited about what God is doing in my life and yours, my friends. I wish we could all sit down together and share these amazing stories. 

Oh wait! We’ll get to do that in heaven, won’t we? And I have a feeling we’ll be too excited to sit. LOL!

We’re going to do some exploring in the month of July about foundational truths. I also have some guest posts I’m excited to share with you, a reader question about intimacy that I will share my reply and some other surprises I’m still working on. Summer fun!

The Holy Spirit has me in “expectant learning” mode, which means He wants to teach and show me specific things. The first thing He said was, “Let’s talk about hope.” I said okay, let’s talk! I’m still waiting for Him to get started on that one.

Then in the last week or so, I’ve been hearing and seeing the word “foundations” in my spirit. Holy Spirit spoke to me about it in the middle of the night, helping me understand that Abba wants us to be firmly established (grounded) in some foundational truths—His words in answer to my request for better understanding. And then the next morning He confirmed this with one of the first emails I read that had the word “FOUNDATION” in bold caps. The reference was to a font product but was clearly God’s way of leading me forward. Love it when He does that.

Later that same morning as I sat in my favorite chair by the big window in my office, coffee in hand, I asked Abba for more clarity. What did He want me to know? 

He said, “I am building foundations in every heart.” 

So today, let’s talk about what this word, foundation, means in the Bible. I researched this word in both the Old and New Testaments but felt God wanted us to focus on two more common uses in the New Testament. 

First, let’s look at one of these uses in Matthew:

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” — Matthew 25:34

In this verse, the Greek word for foundation is katabolé and holds meanings such as laying down a foundation, figuratively to conception and conceiving as with seeds (plants and animals). “Foundation” here refers to the creating of the world but also references our inheritance. We’ll come back to that as we move along in this series.

Now, let’s take a look at a familiar parable in Luke:

“Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” — Luke 6:48-49

The Greek word used here for foundation is themelios and means laid down as a foundation of a building, wall, or city. And metaphorically means beginnings, first principals as of an institution or system of truth. This is where I believe God wants to take us in “building foundations in our hearts,” my friends.

And as He’s revealed more to me, I’ve come to see He is using the house my husband and I are building here in Sarasota to help me understand His heart behind all this. He created me after all, so He knows I am a very visual person.

That cute feet picture up there is my husband and I standing on the freshly poured foundation of our house. I didn’t know then that God would tell me to pull this picture out for this series, yet as I’ve stated before, He is absolutely brilliant and awe-inspiring.

And we marked this foundations with our initials, to lay our claim, to establish our ownership (inheritance) in this place. How cool is that?

Initials
Our initials in the cement...

Well, my friends, there is something in this foundation story that includes you. It’s a surprise I’ve held for months waiting for God to tell me when to reveal it. And that is where I will continue next week with the next installment of this Foundation Series. I anxiously await for Holy Spirit to continue showing me what we are to learn in this. We will be exploring faith, hope, love, salvation and inheritance. Pray for me to listen intently and not miss anything, my friends. He’s already showed me the foundational truth about salvation. And it is amazing!

Have an amazing 4th of July, SUM family! I know our nation is in a odd place, as are many countries right now. There’s that shifting thing again. God is working in answer to our prayers to make sense of what we are seeing that doesn’t make sense right now. Remember, God said things won’t look the way we expect. I believe that applies here too. Pray faithfully in whatever place God has put you, SUMites. Your prayers are a powerful part of this change and shift!

Love you dearly!
Dineen

 

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Guest Post: Ripe for Harvest

Dear friends, today's post is written by our very own Dee Rusnak. Thank you, Dee, for sharing your heart with us. Have an amazing week, SUMites! ~Dineen  

Ripe for Harvest 

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Copyright: dedivan1923 / 123RF Stock Photo

Years ago, the Lord beckoned me to join a group of dancers at my church. Seriously? I’m 54 with no dance experience, not even a lesson! What was God thinking? I prayed and reluctantly auditioned, trusting the Lord would help me, and cause them to see what He sees. Let me tell you, He faithfully equips, even when we don’t know what on earth we’re doing. To my surprise, I was enthusiastically welcomed to the team! I began taking dance classes at a Christian dance center. Each class gave a recital at the end of the term with all the dancers participating in the finale.

One finale in particular was extremely moving and prophetic. We were all dressed in different costumes of white. There was a group of dancers already on the stage carrying candles. They slowly began to form a circle, as though marching around the throne of God. As they continued moving, all the other dancers, also carrying candles, slowly streamed in from every part of the auditorium, joining these dancers on the stage. The circle grew larger and larger until the stage was completely filled as the final dancer moved in conjunction with the others.

Then suddenly we all stopped and blew out our candles, as if the call for salvation was complete. I thought about this dance when we recently determined to pray our one minute prayer for our spouses - as they are all being called by God to join His family, one by one, from every corner of the world. It also reminded me of us SUMites, earnestly in prayer, marching purposefully around the city of Jericho in anticipation for the walls to crumble. Our spouses are within those city walls thinking they are safe, tucked away from the claws of religion, while all along being deceived and kept prisoner in enemy territory.

In Key 4 of “Winning Him Without Words,” one of the questions is: “How hard is it for you to trust God for the salvation of your husband?” The question caused me to think…I’m mismatched because God saved me first. I’m on this path because that is God’s plan for me. God has His reasons why He chose me first, so, who am I to question that? Everything about God is spiritual. His kingdom is spiritual. His salvation plan is spiritual. None of us are awakened to that spiritual realm unless He Himself reveals it.

But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:10)

Is it possible for my husband, or anyone for that matter, to choose to be spiritually born or know spiritual truths without God initiating that process? Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 comes to mind. That cemented my answer: of course I trust God! From where else does salvation come?

That evening I was reading in John 4 about the woman at the well. Following her amazing encounter with Jesus, she ran back to her town and simply said, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” That’s all she said. Short and sweet. No rehearsed verses. She spoke her heart.

What happens next is nothing short of miraculous. The people LEFT THE CITY and CAME TO HIM! Her simple words triggered such a grand response that changed their lives forever. The Holy Spirit had been working silently in their hearts beforehand without them even knowing it.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Meanwhile, Jesus was telling His disciples, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOK at the fields! They are RIPE for harvest.”

Then, over the hill came the harvest. MANY of the Samaritans from that town BELIEVED in Him because of her testimony, and MANY MORE became believers because of His words. Our dance all those years ago portrayed people from every walk of life streaming to the throne of God – called by God Himself to be His very own. Jesus says the harvest is ripe. Perhaps we’re to open our eyes and see the harvest who lives right there in our own home, knowing His Spirit is enthusiastically preparing their hearts for His special day of their salvation!

Dee and JerryDee Rusnak and her husband of 44 years, Jerry, both retired, live in Westerville, Ohio. They have three grown sons and three adorable grandchildren, with one more on the way due Christmas Day!

 

 

 

 

 

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Fear Vs. God!!! WE WIN... RIGHT NOW!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comThis past few weeks have been fantastically interesting.

Brexit – American politics – mass shootings – Stock Market crash – Zika Virus – Alligators at Disney World – Canada in turmoil – Israel – finances – kidnapping –

…..and these are just the headlines from the past couple of weeks!

Can I just say…….. Sheesh! Enough already!

FEAR has permeated just about all aspects of life.

----- My friends, I intended to write about fear and our identity but today I want to address our fears about our world. I’m so sorry to those of you who want more teaching on identity. Please forgive me as I will have to write about that very large concept in the future. Today is my last post until August 1st. I’m taking a writing break during July. I will be doing some travel and catching up on a few projects in my office during the month. The time will fly. Dineen is at the helm and she is amazing. I know she is working on some things for the month of July already.

OKAY – Back to this fear thing.

FEAR IS A SPIRIT. It is a demonic force that is highly effective to destroy mankind. What is satan’s mission? In John 10:10 – to kill, steal and destroy.

Think about it. We live in a world where fear is everywhere. The enemy uses fear to stir up our emotions. Fear is at the heart of politics, it is prominent in religious organizations, in government, schools and fear is the primary tool in a political campaign. Fear is rampant on television. The enemy shouts fear 24/7 from ALL media sources.

Now sit back because I want to tell you the truth about fear.

Fear is a lie.

I want to debunk some of the great fears our world is currently facing. I’m sharing a side of the issues that I believe are truthful and are Kingdom inspired.

Let’s take Biexit. Currently the nation is swimming in turmoil. We have many of our own readership who live in Great Britton and are caught in this ugly and frightful tide.

After some prayer, this is what Jesus has placed upon my heart about this fantastic country.

The United Kingdom has been a proud country for many, many centuries. It has endured great wars and struggles and yet the people there, my people, have been resilient and powerful. They have been independent and sovereign and quite successful for millennia. They may have departed from a political and economic coalition today and the nation may struggle as they work to regain their sovereign state, but they are a strong people and will regain their country. They have no need to fear. Could there be challenges. Might the children be denied a similar retirement as their fathers? Perhaps but perhaps not. It may look different from today but this nation is mine. Now,….. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

My dear, dear sisters and brothers, SUMites across the pond. We are praying for you. Jesus sees you and He will not abandon you. Keep praying.

Okay, how about the fears we have in America over the advancement of sexual sin in our country? Let me share a conversation between my daughter, Caitie who is 21 and attend a Christian college.

Me, “Caitie, I just feel enormously burdened about the direction of our country. So many of our Christian values are under attack and thwarted in the political and legal realms.”

Caitie in her blunt and surprisingly mature wisdom replies, “Mom! You are not going to save the world. Jesus will save the world. And think about this mom, none of this (meaning the legislative changes to marriage, and the pending legislation in California to discredit Christian colleges)….. Mom, none of these things happening in our culture is new to God.”

“Look at the Roman culture, mom. This kind of sexual sin has been around since the dawn of mankind. God knows what He is doing and we don’t need to be afraid.”

“You are so right, Caitie. We must continue to pray.”

SUMites, WE DON’T NEED TO BE AFRAID. How do I know? Because God is awakening the church. If you are a reader here, YOU have been called into this awakening. Things are happening in churches everywhere. God’s people are rising up to be the salt and light that the world needs. We will move in signs and wonders and even though the world grows darker and more lost, we can REST fully in the assurance that God’s Sovereign hand is upon His children. It may get rocky. But we can walk through it. Heck, we live in persecution most every day in our own homes. We the SUMites need to go out and teach the church how to endure and love those who persecute us.

SUMites, what if things get so bad that I die in some crazed war or famine or fire??? My friends, I’m not threatened by heaven. I know where I’m going so I’m determined to stand for truth.

SUMites. Let me tell you what I believe God is doing.

A Great Awakening

1857 was the beginning of the Third Great Awakening, which began in New York City following a stock market crash. Do you know how this awakening came to life? POCKETS OF PRAY-ERS. Men and women who met in homes, at the workplace on lunch hours and after hours. God’s people began to pray and it released a powerful revival. (Read more about the Great Awakenings)

Today, this is the call to the World wide church, our assignment is to gather and pray for our countries, our world and for the church to rise into power. It is a for such a time as this for Jesus Christ to take the world back through love, signs, wonders and miracles.

I meet every other Friday with women in my home. We pray. We prayed this past Friday for our county, for our world and for the advancement of the Kingdom. It was powerful and angels were sent on assignment. You can do the same thing. And today, we have the internet. God is alive and well on the net. So today, take heart. Be of GREAT courage and pray. Our world is heading for one of the largest, most amazing awakening-revivals ever to hit planet earth. It's the BEST time to be alive!!!!

Today, pray. Pray in the comments and let’s “AMEN” one another. Let’s loose heaven (Matt 18:18) and send angels on assignment. Let’s bind the devils and cripple their attempts to scare us (Matt 18:18). Let’s rise and be men and women who are: The Armies of the Living God.

Hallelujah!!! I love you. See you in the comments and again in August. BIG hugs, Lynn

*****

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Fear Vs HOPE

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMites!

How do we become free from fear?

We lean on the Word. The scripture verse we have covered so far in this series remain truly powerful. I shared how I first began my journey to be free from fear in a post sever years ago. At night I would wake, absolutely scared out of my mind.

I would sit up in bed and begin to whisper, aloud, the passage from 2 Timothy 7. I would repeat is over and over until my pounding heart would settle and the fear would subside. I look back on that season of learning and memorizing scriptures and how when I repeated God’s Word aloud, it would calm me down and change the atmosphere at night in my dark bedroom, that season of my life was so important in my spiritual growth.

The Word of God is LIVING and active. And my experience with 2 Timothy 1:7 is a real and powerful example. Copy me if you are in this season!!

There is another word that we need in our faith lives to defeat fear. It is:

HOPE

I find it interesting as I’m writing this series that I came to this conclusion. SUMites the devil will do utterly everything to crush our hope. To destroy our hope. To leave us hopeless.

And right now I sense the Holy Spirit instructing me to STIR UP HOPE IN THE BRETHREN. I don’t even use the word -brethren, so I know it’s the Holy Spirit. *grin*

Can we have hope in the direst of circumstances? I will answer with a resounding YES!

The minute we let hope slip away, we are doomed.

How do we stay hopeful? In the comments was a new reader who said she has been married for 44 years. I cringe to think I may wait 44 years for my husband’s salvation. I struggle to keep praying for his salvation going on 25 years as of now.

Let me tell you how we grow hope and keep it alive and thriving in our hearts even as we wade through challenges, troubles and persecution.

We center our thoughts and faith upon God’s faithfulness.

I know for me there are times when I’ve prayed or barely even prayed and God has answered me immediately. Sometime He answers even when I’m just thinking about something. He delights in showing us His love, power and that He is listening.

Our year of unemployment in 2009 was a year of astounding financial miracles. Also, I’ve been healed physically. I’ve prayed silly prayers and really crazy prayers and the Lord has delighted to answer in power, provision and in a way there was absolutely no doubt that it was God alone who answered.

Yet, I’ve prayed for more than two decades for my spouse’s salvation and He tarries.

BUT I remain filled with hope. I am hopeful because I’ve watched the Lord answer, provide, deliver, sustain, delight and prove Himself and His faithfulness in other areas over and over and over and over again.

Why does God answer some prayers and others, He doesn’t? I don’t know the full answer to that questions. But I do know that God has a process. A process for our faith and lives as well as others that interact with us. He is working out a process. In my life, many times answers to prayer was delayed because my character wasn’t strong enough to walk in integrity if He gave me too much responsibility or gifts. They would have destroyed me.

Many times the Lord delays because it’s all about His perfect timing. I wonder if that is true in my life. Would my voice to the unequally yoked remain as powerful or effective if my husband came to faith tomorrow? Hmmmmmm, things I wonder about.

BUT, through the many years I bear witness to His lavish love, His gifts, His straight out miracles and answers to prayer. I walk in peaceful hope. I am assured of hope as I KNOW in my knower, that all things work together for good for those who love Him who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)

We overcome fear with hope. And hope springs eternal (Col 1:5). Hope is a product of the Lord’s faithful love.

SET UP THE MARKERS

We need markers my friends. The Israelites would put up stone markers to remember the hand of God in their lives. I write in my Daily Bible. In the margin I write the year and how God was faithful. Each year as I read through my Bible, I revisit the markers of His faithfulness in my life.

It births fresh hope in my spirit. My hope is in my Father. My hope is in my position as a Child of the King. My hope is fleshed out knowing I am an image bearer of Christ Jesus and included in a profound and unlimited inheritance. And so much of my inheritance is available to me right now on planet earth.

Grasp your hope. Open up the gifts of your inheritance. Celebrate what the King has done and keep praying for those things, yet to happen.

This is the model to this verse: Perfect love casts out fear. —1 John 4:18

On Monday, we will look at how our identity in Christ leads us to perfect love. Have an amazing weekend.

Please share with me in the comments a “Marker” in your life. How did God answer your prayer in an unexpected and profound manner?

*****

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Part Four: The Promised Provision

IMG_0009My friends, are you ready for more of God’s amazing truth and love? Are you ready to have your thinking transformed a bit today? Let’s go back to the book of Jeremiah and take another look at King Zedekiah’s story.

Let’s look at the first five verses of Jeremiah 34, because this is where things get really interesting.

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all the armies from the kingdoms he ruled, and he fought against Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. At that time this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape his grasp but will be captured and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face. Then you will be exiled to Babylon.

 “‘But listen to this promise from the LORD, O Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the LORD says: You will not be killed in war but will die peacefully. People will burn incense in your memory, just as they did for your ancestors, the kings who preceded you. They will mourn for you, crying, “Alas, our master is dead!” This I have decreed, says the LORD.” — Jeremiah 34:1-5

I just recently listened to a faith message that presented a concept I hadn’t considered about God’s character and plans of us. Then God showed me the truth of it here in this passage in Jeremiah 34.

In every difficulty we face, there is a God-given promise. 

If you think about it, if you think about God’s nature and promises like Romans 8:28 that God works for our good in ALL things, then it makes perfect sense. That alone is the promise in a nutshell. Especially believers in Jesus who are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. God will not and cannot deny Himself.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. — 2 Timothy 2:13

God gave Jeremiah a message for King Zedekiah of what was going to happen, that Nebuchadneezzar would take the city of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and there would be no escape. Yet God has made a provision for Zedekiah—a promise. Jeremiah even says, “Listen to this promise form the Lord…”

In Jeremiah 38:17-20, King Zedekiah questions Jeremiah again, and again Jeremiah repeats God’s promise. Which if you look back to what Jeremiah said in chapter 34, showed God’s intention to honor Zedekiah’s obedience with a legacy of honor and praise. Sadly, Zedekiah admits his afraid to surrender and fears King Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath more than he trusts God to keep His promise. In chapter 39 we read of his failed attempt to escape with resulted in him watching his sons be slaughtered before his enemy gouged out his eyes. 

Not pleasant, I know, but my dear SUMites, here’s the other part of this amazing thing God is showing me. That promise in our challenge is the key to our breakthrough and our victory, and we walk as conquerors. And the more we do it, the more afraid of us the enemy is! 

This is what it means to fight from victory, not for victory. A promise for every thing we face is already in place for us to find and claim. We are already victorious, already declared conquerors. Now it’s up to us to live like it.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. — Romans 8:37

Not just partial victory, my friends. Overwhelming victory. God won the battle for us when He put our promise in place. Ask Abba what promise He has put into place for the circumstances you are struggling with. Has He already given you a Scripture or two, like He has given me for my daughter Leslie? Has He spoken a word of reassurance to you in the dark of night that you’re afraid to hope for?

My friends, this beautiful SUM family is a huge testimony of God’s faithfulness. He will not fail you. And trust me, I know how hard it can be to look for God in a situation so difficult that all we can see is the mountain of our pain, yet not a glimpse of what God is doing in the midst of it. But I know—have learned—from those very situations that He’s most definitely there. Just not how we expect Him to be. It may not make sense…yet, but it will. 

And I’m discovering that those are the most astonishing moments of God’s undeniable presence manifesting all around us. He’s always been there. I just needed to quit looking for what I expected and see Him.

I love you, my friends. Know that God is giving you the power and the desire to do whatever it is He’s asking you (Phil. 2:13) and He absolutely adores you.

Father God, bless Your SUM Nation with every spiritual blessing You have already set aside for each of us. Fill us, Holy Spirit, with wisdom and revelation to know the direction to go no matter what the circumstances around us look like or are telling us to do. We want only Your voice, Lord Jesus, our Great Shepherd, who gave everything for us to live the abundant life You’ve set before us. Fill us with great courage to take the next step, and the next and the next. Your will be done, Lord, on earth, right now as You have already declared it in Heaven. And to You, Lord, be all the glory. We love You! In the name of Jesus, we pray, amen!

Love you, SUMites!
~Dineen

*****

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Part Three: When Things Don’t Make Sense

IMG_0008Recently, I sat in a big room with about 50 people worshiping God in their own way, creating one big mass of noise. But when I closed my eyes, Holy Spirit tuned my ears to hear each individual sound—instruments, voices singing and praying. Each one was distinct and clear. Then I opened my eyes and heard God in my spirit say, “Things won’t look the way you expect.”

The next day, God brought me to Jeremiah 33-39 and sat me there for at least a week. I’m still trying to digest the full range of God’s heart in this, my friends, so I suspect more will unfold as I share with you what God is teaching me right now in this season.

So let’s start with the story of King Zedikiah of Judah and Jeremiah the prophet. There are so many details to this story so I encourage you to read these chapters yourself and study them. But let’s set the stage for the story about obedience and promises.

The attack against Jerusalem and the towns of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is in actuality a tool God is using to discipline the Israelites who have continually disobeyed God. Yet God has made a provision for His people to still live. He’s warned His people repeatedly through Jeremiah, yet the leadership continues to refuse to do what Jeremiah is telling them. 

First he warned King Zedekiah’s predecessor and brother, King Jehoiakim, who burned the scroll recording God’s instructions and provisions to Jeremiah. Jeremiah dictates another scroll to his secretary with even more detail. Then Zedekiah is appointed king over Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, but is warned by God through Jeremiah not to believe the forces of Babylon will stay away. 

And there is a Pharaoh and an Egyptian army involved in all this but I won’t go into that. To say the least, Jeremiah is a complicated book with many pieces, people and armies coming into play. Meanwhile, God is instructing them to stop fighting against the Babylon invasion—to surrender to their enemy— so that they may live. Despite Jeremiah’s continual warnings, the kings and officials continue to resist.

Why? Because it doesn’t make sense. None of it did. I can just imagine them sitting there, remembering the promises from Jeremiah 29 about a hope and a future, and more words of provision in Jeremiah 33, and scratching their heads at the disconnect. In their mind, surrendering to their enemy seemed an impossible path to peace, prosperity and restoration—the very things God promised them if they obeyed His direction to surrender.

Like that moment in a room full of people worshiping, as I observed with my eyes, I could only discern the whole as a noisy mass. Yet when I closed my eyes and trusted the leading of the Holy Spirit, He revealed to me the details of each part and the beauty each held separately. He wanted me to understand that what I observed with my logic, assumptions, and perhaps even presumptions didn’t encompass God’s perspective, nor His plans for me that evening.

He wanted to use circumstances that made no sense to teach me something and to prepare me for what He has provided for me in the coming weeks and months. I knew then He was about to change things up big time. And He did. Basically, my friends, He’s turned my world upside down (in a good way) and changed up how I hear Him and brought new clarity to who I am in Him, how I am to function in my giftings, and what I’m called to do in this great big adventure of His. 

But I had to walk through a lot of things that didn’t makes sense and do the things He showed me that also didn’t always make sense. In some areas, He’s still leading me doing things I don’t quite understand, but I am learning to obey and trust Him to show me what I need to know when I need to know it.

This is all part of the upgrades I spoke of last week and is also His provision for what’s coming. So, my friends, I want to encourage you to dig a little deeper in the circumstances of your life that aren’t making sense. Ask God to show you want you need to know and/or do. Perhaps it’s a time for you to close your eyes and let Him separate the pieces to help you understand what He’s doing in each part to bring clarity and purpose. Read Proverbs 3:5-6, study it, make it your way of living life with God. There is such great peace in this.

In the next part of this series, we'll return to the story of King Zedekiah and Jeremiah where I will share a stunning truth about the difficulties we face—a provision for each and every one. This one’s rockin’ my world a bit—in a great way! I can’t wait to share that one with you.

Love you, SUMites! Remember God’s truth that He is ALWAYS for you and NOTHING can separate you from His love (Romans 8:31-39).
~Dineen

 

*****

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Consuming Fears About our Children

2 timothy 1 7On Friday I shared some truths about stepping out of this curse of the fear of man. Growing in our faith was the first truth I shared and leads to victorious living. Our faith growth, learning and living out of God’s Truths is what I stand upon every day. I’ve become a ROCK, a house built upon stone and not sand (Matt 7:24). Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, I spend quality time with God. There is no agenda, like completing a Bible study assignment. It’s just me, my Bible, a journal and my Lord. Ahhhhhhh, bliss!

I will never stop preaching about the absolute need to spend time alone with the Lord. It is out of my intimacy with the Trinity that I can walk in victory, laughter, adventure, joy and hope…. Every… single…. Day. Hallelujah!

With that said, I promised last week to share a little about fear we hold as parents. When I speak or pray for moms who are parenting small children, I hear this over and over again., “I’m so scared something is going to happen to them. I’m afraid they will get hurt or that I’m not doing a good job raising them. I’m terrified they will die.”

Oh how my heart breaks to see their faces distorted by this kind of fear.

This is what I say to them.

Do you believe that God loves your children more than you do?

Of course they do, however if we are being honest, they also doubt.

I can promise you that God has amazing plans for your children. Each of them. He delights when they wake up every morning and it’s God who stands with them when they are playing on the playground or in their room or at preschool. I want you to pray with me this prayer:

Jesus, today I truly place each of my kids in your hands. I ask you to surround them with warrior angels that will travel with them all of their lives to protect them and also to guide them. Jesus, today I release this fear I’ve held in my heart that something terrible will happen to them. I say I will trust you and I ask you to give me wisdom and discernment when I do need to step in to protect but that I would also know through Your Holy Spirit when I can let loose and allow them to explore, create, take risks and discover this amazing world and life You have given them.

They are your children and I will pray protection over them every day, by name. And then I will trust you to walk with them and give them the abundant life. In Your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

You may ask me, “Lynn, what if something does happen to them?”

My friends, we can always find a million reasons to fear. But why pick up anxiety, nurse it and nurture it when we don’t need to. If a day comes and my children suffer, you can bet this praying mama will ring the ears off my Papa God in intercession for them. Listen to what Jesus says about this:

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. —Matthew 6:34

My friends, some of the worst things we will ever have to deal with are the fears about things that actually never happen. Don’t waste your time in fear. Today, pray and commit your children into the care of Christ. Then laugh with them, take them for ice cream, go outside and make mud pies or play in the sand or just be silly. Take them on adventures that they will never forget.

That’s the kind of life I live every day with my Father. Every day is a wild adventure with the King!

Have a blast. Love you, Lynn

*****

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Fear of Husbands - The Prescription For Fear

1 john 4 18 smallI was deeply moved by many of the comments on Friday’s post about the fear of man. Can I just say  - BLESS YOU, SUMites because of your courage to voice your real struggles. I want to share a comment as this is the crux of many of the comments last week:

The first thing that struck me was fear of my husband, his reaction to different things I might say or do, I fear I will push him farther away from God or me even by saying or doing the wrong thing.

I understand your heart, as I lived in this very place. Three years into my marriage, after a terrible night where my husband and I argued about faith, I woke up the next morning and realized, I am unequally yoked. O Lord, help. I don’t have a clue what to do now.

I lived for a long time in fear of my husband’s comments or reactions to any discussions of faith. And even more difficult was the rejection I felt when I would invite him to church or other faith centered events and he would decline. In fact, I think I still have moments where the rejection can pang my heart.

In the last several months I’ve been utterly fascinated with the developments in the presidential election. My husband and I often are at odds about politics. And years ago discussion about, politics, religion and social issues that conflicted with Biblical truths were sure to ignite WWIII.

However, I have come so far from those early years in my marriage and faith walk. And those of you who are walking years behind me and Dineen, let us be the voices to SHOUT, “IT WILL GET EASIER AND BETTER.”

God wanted to remind me and encourage you in several things today if you are walking in fear of your husband’s reactions.

  1. Over the years both my husband and I have come to peace about our different world views.

In the early years of our marriage I think I was very insecure and lacked wisdom and knowledge about my faith. I think my only grounding came from what I heard on Sunday morning. My lack of Bible reading added to my confusion and fears.

I also believe that my husband suffered the same. He wasn’t really sure what he believed and formed his convictions from sources that he wasn’t even sure he believed. When people are insecure or uncertain and feel threatened, they often react in anger. This is exactly what our early marriage looked like.

As we mature in years and faith, fears over our husband’s reactions diminish and your husband also reacts less. I’m convinced that my solid, year-after-year, commitment to grow in my faith has been the most powerful statement to my husband. It's brought us both peace.

  1. Choose love over fear.

Also in the comments from Friday, Gill reminded me of this: Most of our reactions or actions are motivated out of fear or love. Think about this for a minute. Hundreds of decision you face every day are fear based or love at the core.

Perfect love cast out all fear. —1 John 4:18. SUMites, this verse, well, it’s a journey. I believe throughout most of our lives we are in training to cast away our fears and learn to love God and people. Choose love my friends. I will share more about this on Monday. I see so many mothers live in fear as it comes to their children. I believe the Lord is directing me to share how to step out of that. Stay tuned! 

And finally the most powerful source to escape fear is:

  1. Identity……

Most of my fear of man was blown out of the water when I truly began to walk out of my identity as a child of God.

What does this mean? How do we walk in your identity? Can we grasp what it means to be an image bearer of Christ? Do we know our purpose in this life? There are awesome promises and great revelation ahead my friends. I can’t wait to get to this topic!

 See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Part Two: Upgrades

UpgradesSUMites, I promised to share more of what God is showing me for our community right now. I believe this next part will be so encouraging to you and will strengthen your spirit greatly. Let’s go back to Isaiah 60. There are several parts to this chapter that God has in the works for us right now.

I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. — Isaiah 60:17

This verse is about upgrades. As we grow in our faith and intimacy with God, He upgrades us to new levels of understanding (revelation) of what our calling and purposes are. He also takes our spiritual gifts to higher levels of operation to work toward and accomplish those works, which He prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). He establishes (a very important word right now) these purposes, gifts and us in Him to come from Him and—most importantly—to work with Him, because God intends all of it to operate within the boundaries of our intimacy and relationship with Him. And He equips and prepares us to step into each level. 

I know that’s a lot to chew on right now so let me put it into context. Think about the challenges and trials that have taught you to trust God more and to operate more in your gifting. For example, let’s say your gift is exhortation—you are an encourager. Yet recently you have been greatly discouraged by either external circumstances or internal conflict, which could very well be an attack from the enemy. 

Maybe you “wallow” for a day or two but then the Holy Spirit reminds you who you are and that you have skills—big skills created and gifted to you because you are God’s kid. You begin to seek Jesus for comfort and direction by praying, reading your Bible and worshiping, therefore deepening your intimacy in Him, which then results in you being encouraged. 

You’ve now learned how to encourage yourself in the Lord, which then becomes experiential for you. Let me also say there are many ways to encourage yourself in the Lord—think of David who wrote Psalms and Paul and Silas who sang hymns in the darkness of a prison cell.

Then a barely a week later a friend tells you she is struggling in the exact same thing you did and you know exactly how to encourage her through this difficult time, and because you have experienced it first hand, you realize you have authority to pray and wisdom to share in this type of situation. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing this many times to help others. All that is part of what God uses to bring us to each new level of how we are called to function in the body of Christ. 

Right now, God is very much on the move (yes, can’t get away from that song and I believe it’s very relevant and prophetic for right now) and things are happening, my friends. We are being upgraded to new levels according to what we have overcome and in preparation for what is coming next. It’s exciting, but I know that in some ways it’s grown more difficult. 

Some of you have shared that you feel like you’ve come under greater attack. Since the release of our corporate word in January, I came under one of the worst enemy attacks I’ve ever experienced. Many of you praying over the prayer list have shared you are experiencing more warfare than ever in your marriages. I’ve noticed this too in my own marriage over the weekend, but recognized it for what it was—the enemy’s attempt to distract and discourage—and prayed blessings and protection over all my relationships.

I want to let you in on a little secret the enemy likes to keep us blind to. The very place he attacks you repeatedly is the very place of your gifting. If you are gifted to be an intercessor, he will try to make you think your prayers aren’t making a difference, that they don’t matter, until finally you find yourself hardly praying at all. And a prayer-less believer is a powerless believer.

When you see a place in your life that the enemy is hitting you harder than normal, take stock and ask these questions:

  • Is this a place where God has called me to do something specific?
  • Is this attack in the area of my spiritual gift(s)? If it is a direct contradiction to your gift, then the enemy’s trying to keep you from doing what God has set you up to do best.
  • Is this actually an area you often feel weak and want to grow stronger? Then ask God to turn the enemy’s plans around for good. Ask Holy Spirit to show you what you need to do in that area and teach you to think differently about it (Romans 12:2). That’s when God perfects His strength in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)

Most importantly, SUMites, don’t back down as that’s exactly what the enemy wants you to do. He only gets louder when he knows he’s losing ground. And that is what we’re doing, we are taking ground that the enemy has no legal right to in our own life and the life of our spouse and our family who are sanctified by our faith (1 Cor. 7:14). 

There is truth behind the saying it is darkest before the dawn. We are on the verge of so much breakthrough as we surround our lives, families and this community with our prayers. Here’s the exciting part of our unfolding promise of salvation from Jesus:

Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. — Isaiah 60:18b

Look at that, SUMites! Turns out this church without walls is getting walls after all! An upgrade to walls of SALVATION! And here’s the next part of the promise I feel God wants us to know is coming.

Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. — Isaiah 61:7

This promise is about restoration. God restores what the enemy attempts to destroy. Trust Him to do this and to do it in His way and timing. I believe this is in answer to our prayers for peace and prosperity in our marriages—part of what God asked us to do in January as part of His salvation word to us. 

This is what we are heading toward, SUMites. Stay close to God, go deeper with Him. Our hearts to listen and obey His leading are an important part of what’s happening right now. And I will tell you what God spoke to me last week,

Things won’t look the way you expect.

Now that’s the next part of this series, so stay tuned. I’m looking forward to sharing that one with you. Love you so much, SUM family! I’m praying daily for each of you to be strengthened, equipped and encouraged! In the name of Jesus, amen!
~Dineen

*****

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Part One: We are the SUMites

IMG_5100SUMites, today I want to remind you who you are. Holy Spirit has impressed this upon me right now in conjunction with our SALVATION word for this year. And if I sound like a broken record about that word, understand that the Lord has told me I am to continually hold this before you and remind you of it from time to time. He’s even given me specific things to do that I am waiting for Him to tell me when to share them.

But today He wants you to remember WHO you are. Who He says you are. Who He has created you to be in this time as a SUMite. 

Last April Holy Spirit had me sitting in the book of Isaiah, specifically Isaiah 60. At the end of this chapter I underlined the words and wrote “SUM” next to them. I knew that’s what God was creating us to be as community.

Today He brought me back to this verse and pointed out more that I didn’t understand last year. That’s because He is so much more brilliant than I am and has much better timing. LOL!

The smallest family will become a thousand people,and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen. — Isaiah 60:22

SUMites, I want to break this down because this will be just the first part of a series I feel—yes, very much feel—Holy Spirit is building to equip, train and prepare us for the full revelation of our salvation word. We are an army in training, so let’s get ready.

First, this is who we are as a community and what God has done and is doing in and through us.

The smallest family will become a thousand people…

We started with just a handful of “readers,” which then grew to be a community, then a family, as I shared that progression during last month’s celebration. Today that family includes over 2,000 people. God exceeded His quota, my friends. I find that incredibly fantastic and beyond what we could have asked or even imagined (Eph. 3:20).

and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation…

We hold an additional name along with SUMites—SUM Nation. A name that just seemed to fit was actually God’s plan for us. Isn’t that astonishing?

At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen.

That He did! And He is still doing it. Making us a mighty nation of women and men who have persevered in our faith and are praying, believing and standing for the salvation of our spouses. 

I believe this promise is now coming from heaven to earth. I see the progression so clearly and am excited to share that with you. In January, God gave us a corporate word—SALVATION—and specific ways to pray over our spouses and family. 

Do you remember earlier in the year when I wrote about paying attention to how we hear God and asked you to keep a journal of how and what God is speaking to you? Many of you shared you began to hear God more. And Lynn and I did the online web training last month too. What I realize now, my friends, is that was also part of God’s training and preparation for what’s coming. Isn’t that cool?

Last month we had an overwhelming response to the post about the one minute prayer, which we now have many praying for each other’s spouse and a team of intercessors who have answered God’s call to pray over the entire list. He’s united us into a mighty army of prayer warriors, my friends, and we will soon have a prayer book to prove it! 

And He’s not done. There is so much more, SUMites. I wish I could pour it into one post but it’s just too much. His promises have been put into position, and we are an important part of the realization of those promises for it is God’s nature to partner with His creation to bring into place His glorious plans.

God is not only in the process of training us, He is upgrading us. Taking us up to the next level. That is the next part of what God is showing me in Isaiah 60 and what I will share on Thursday, along with more encouragement for you regarding the increase in spiritual warfare many of us are experiencing.

I’ve started praying for testimonies to start coming in, and some have, mainly of how God has begun to move in marriages and loved ones. My friends, these are so encouraging! Please share in the comments anything God is doing in your life right now. Ask God to show you what He’s up too. The very thing you share, no matter how small, may be the confirmation another SUMite needs right now.

Lord Jesus, You have gifted us with eyes to see and ears to hear. Bless us all with more insight and wisdom to see where You are working and hear Your leading so we may join with You in this  wonder and miracle of the Great Harvest. In the mighty and saving name of Jesus, amen!

God bless you, SUMites, with great joy and wonder in Him today!
Love you!
Dineen

 

*****

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My Arrogance—A lesson Learned by Pam Anderson

CoupleholdinghandsMy Arrogance—A lesson Learned

Arrogance is defined by one online dictionary as: an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people.

Recently, Lynn wrote a powerful and thought provoking post called “I Created Bitterness-A Weird Confession."  Well, I have a similar confession. A while back, God revealed to me that I had become a hindrance to my husband. I was causing him bitterness toward God.  Why?  Because of my arrogance.

You see, my husband has always been a very spiritual man, not religious, but spiritual. A seeking man. He has a very strong belief in God, but his relationship with God is different than mine.  I realize now when I recommitted my life to Christ 10 years ago, I went on a journey that didn't consider him, and the message I conveyed to my husband was that I was better than him. To him, it was devastating, and caused him great bitterness—he felt as though I left him. He felt that the rug that represented our dreams, hopes and future, had been pulled out from under him. And looking back now, I see how my actions and words caused him to feel that way.

I am thankful God has opened my eyes to my arrogance.  God has shown me that He is working not only in, but THROUGH, my husband and I need to get out of His way—Now!

So I embarked on a new journey with my husband. I’ve started asking him his thoughts on certain spiritual concepts and scripture.  I’ll say, “Do you have a minute, I’d like pass something by you and get your thoughts on it.” At first, he was surprised and skeptical; I’m sure thinking this was another way to make him wrong and try to wrangle him into seeing things “my way.” 

But God has impressed on me to listen, very closely, to what my husband is saying, assuring me that He is working THROUGH my husband! I'll tell my husband, "That's really interesting, I've never thought of it that way before," and the discussion will go into areas I never dreamed, thought, or imagined (based on Ephesians 3:20). It leads to more and more discussions.  I don't correct him; I just respect him and listen.

So recently, God reiterated this lesson He is teaching me—more like He hit me upside my head!  I had just stopped reading a book, because it said Jesus was a prophet. I thought this would be a good discussion opportunity for us, so I asked him what he thought. Are you ready for this?  My husband says, “I can’t believe you’re even asking me this.  The Bible says that Jesus is the Son of God, not a prophet—that’s who He is!” 

I just stared at my husband, in awe! But here’s the crazy part—this is what my husband has always believed. But I didn’t give it the credit it was due.  Why?   I was blinded by my arrogance! Because he was not acting the way, or saying the things, or doing the things “I” thought he should (ugggh…).

Prior to this spiritual awakening God is currently doing in ME, I was NOT being a sweet aroma to my husband. Instead of seeing me as a loving, respectful wife and friend, he saw me as judgmental and arrogant, things he wanted nothing to do with. I was on my high horse, snubbing my nose at my husband, instead of fostering his spiritual nature. Not intentionally, but I was, none the less. 

The fact that I thought my husband’s relationship with God had to look and feel like my relationship with God was arrogant.  In essence, I was setting out to make my husband in “my own image”! (Ouch, that hurt!)

We are at different places on our spiritual journeys; however, for the first time, I see us going the same direction! Why?  Because the poison of arrogance is no longer present in me. Our marriage is now peaceful and fun. I’m just letting God do his thing, His way, in our lives and marriage.  My husband calls it Spiritually Different versus Spiritually Unequal, and I love that.

This path is truly a humbling one, but it's filled with much hope, wonder and abundance.

Blessings in Christ,
Pam 

Pam HeadshotI worked in the healthcare industry for 25 years and walked away from an executive position to support my husband in his writing career and pursue our dreams together.  A step of faith that has taken me, and my marriage, in directions I could never have thought, asked, dreamed or imagined (Eph. 3:20).  I am humbled and in awe of God’s faithfulness.

*****

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Fear Of Man - It's our Freedom Day!

Hello my Friends,

Wow, it feels as though a long time has passed since I shared with you what the Lord is teaching me. I have a doozy of a lesson today. But before we jump in, thank you for celebrating our 10-year anniversary with us. I read every comment that arrived and was teary with joy at your expressions of love. These are treasures that are now part of my crown that I can’t wait to throw at the feet of Jesus. Forgive me for not responding, I’m living in a season of a million details. Can anyone relate???

But truly!!! Thank you.

Okay, let’s roll on.

I thought this topic of the fear of man was going to be fairly straight forward. It’s not. I’ve been embroiled in thoughts about this for weeks. So it’s likely going to take some time to wade through it all. Be patient.

So does this happen to you?

You are contemplating a decision in your life such as taking a bolder step of faith in public. Or speaking up about a situation in your life, marriage, career or social positions. Do you have to think through what may be all the possible responses and what people around you might think about you if you were to make changes or speak up?

Yep, me too.

This is the fear of man.

Whoa! Hold on you say. What I’m driving at is when you know that you know in your knower, God has spoken to you about a certain course of action, correction, direction and you then must contemplate, suppose and mull over every single person’s response before you decide if you are going to move, that is the fear of man.

I truly believe that fear is demonic in nature. Fear controls, manipulates and destroys what God intends to prosper, bless and set free. Often the devil uses others to create fear in order that we never come to live in our divine purpose and calling.

I could likely talk about this topic of fear for days on end. Almost every person I pray for has some kind of bondage to fear that blocks or diminishes God’s will in their life. What is so amazing for me is when I pray with them for their freedom, there are those whom I literally can see their eyes dilate as fear leaves. And in a few, I have watched as even the shape of their face will change as they are set free from fear and step into the love of Christ with greater confidence.

Awesomeness!!!

SUMites, many of us live in fear. And if all I do for the rest of my life is to bring freedom from fear through Christ Jesus to this community, I will have lived out one of my primary purposes on earth.

So in the next few weeks, I want to put some tools in your spiritual tool belt to deal with the spirit of fear. I am hearing the Holy spirit speak to us: Your time is at hand. Step out of fear and live in my promises.

How does that feel to everyone?

Cool!

Okay, we have a lot of work to do and a short time to do it as I will be taking the month of July off. In August we will launch into our annual Summer Bible Study series. But for June…. WE ARE TAKING DOWN FEAR. Woo Hoo!!

Start with this verse:

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. —Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)

My friends, memorize this. But mostly…. Just believe it.

I have an assignment for you over the weekend. In your quiet time ask the Holy Spirit, “What do I fear? Does this fear sit outside the truth of the Word of God?”

Okay, if you are bold or ready, please share your answers with me in the comments. Firstly, taking fear out of the dark immediately lessens its power. Second, I can pray over this and perhaps will have some scriptures to offer you as well that will help you to become free. Thirdly, you are likely not alone. You will find another who can walk through this journey with you.

Funny thing. This post came out way different and unexpected to what I originally thought. Somehow I think the Holy Spirit will drive this series with power, purpose and GREAT FREEDOM. Hallelujah!!

TODAY IS YOUR FREEDOM DAY. I love you, SUMite Nation. Let’s get free and take the love of Christ to the world with power and purpose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

Galatians 5 1

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Reach for the Stars

ReachfortheStarsMy friends, we’ve already started to receive prayers from many of you for our new book, Praying for Your Unsaved Spouse. I’m hoping there are many more of you out there praying, considering and even writing your prayer story.

But if you’ve decided that’s just not something you can do, I want to tell you a little story. About a year or so after I rededicated my life to Jesus, my church started a Stephen Ministry and put a call out for participants. It was a two year commitment—a year of training and a year of service within the church. 

When I read it, I thought how wonderful that will be for our church membership, but I didn’t even consider signing up. I had two young children and a husband who didn’t share my faith at all. Didn’t seem like a good fit for me. How could I do something like that?

That same week, my pastor called me into his office to chat. He asked me if I’d considered signing up for the Stephen Ministry training. I told him honestly, no. He looked me straight in the face and asked, “Please pray about it.”

My friends, I was surprised that my pastor, who knew my situation and knew me, would think I’d be a good candidate for this. But I was very willing to pray about it. And that’s what I did the very next morning. 

I love the saying that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He calls. Jesus told the disciples not to worry about what to say but to trust that the Holy Spirit would give them the exact words they would need (Matt. 10:19, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:11).

That morning I sat in my favorite chair with my Bible in my lap, I began to pray about what my pastor had asked me. And before I could even finish my prayer, I heard God clearly say, “Well, what did you think I had in mind for you?”

You see, sometimes we disqualify ourselves for things because we haven’t done them before. Or we make assumptions that disqualify us that are completely contrary to God’s truth—and His plan—for us. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:10

My friends, if you think you are not qualified or capable of contributing to this project, please let me encourage you to seek God and ask Him. Let Him be the one to tell you what you are capable of. I have a feeling you will be very much surprised and delighted. And if you want some biblical inspiration of just how specific God can do this, read about Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 31. The only difference between them and you is that you already have the Holy Spirit living in you.

And I have a feeling there are prayers you haven’t thought about that have become near and dear to your heart. They don’t have to be about just salvation. How about prayers for your spouse to have favor at work or to be the best parent he or she can be with God’s help? We’ve seen God move in amazing ways through our spouses. What prayers have impacted your life as a SUMite? What prayers have impacted your marriage?

SUMites, I believe you have something to pray and say. Even if it’s something new that God inspires you with, share it! You’ll inspire more SUMites along this path than you will ever know. Like I say, God is not wasteful. He will take whatever you offer up to Him and multiply it beyond your wildest imagination (Eph 3:20)

I never imagined myself as a Stephen Minister, but God had planned it all along. And you know what’s even more amazing? All that training was part of God’s plan to bring me here too, to be a part of this beautiful SUM ministry. He’s the best equipper I know!

And I want to let you in on a little secret. As I was praying for this book and for our SUM family, Holy Spirit showed me there will be a sequel to this book—one filled with the salvation stories of our spouses! Can you imagine that, SUMites? Wow, God is on the move!

Holy Spirit, fill every SUMite praying this prayer with words and inspiration to be shared with those coming up behind us. I pray they be filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge and with all kinds of words to express their heart and prayers. In the mighty and most able name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUM family!
Dineen

*****

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-

Covers Three Books


The Big Reveal

SUMCoverDuo
Hello SUMites!

I bet you're looking at these two covers and wondering what is going on. Well, this is our big surprise. I put my graphic designer skills to work and created two covers for a book that we are going to publish—a book filled with prayers for the salvation of our spouses.

Guess who's going to write it?

YOU!

Yes, you heard us right. As the covers show, this will be a collection of prayers written by this community (Lynn and I too!) and we will publish it just like any other book. You will be able to download it from Amazon for Kindle or order a print copy. 

AND you get to vote on which cover you want. But there's a requirement for this vote. You have to submit a prayer for the book! If there's a story behind the prayer, be sure to include that too. Like how God led you to that verse and how you turned it into a prayer for your spouse. Or how something inspired you to pray that prayer. 

Now don't let that scare you off, my friends. If you have written down prayers for or journaled prayers for your spouse, dig those out and get them ready to go. Here are the submission requirements:

  • 500 - 1000 words in a Word document. 
  • Include 2 to 3 sentences at the end that will tell readers your name and who you are. You're the author, after all!
  • Re-read and edit your submission to check for typos and missing punctuation, then email them to me. Lynn and will review all submissions and help you with any final edits to make your submission shine!
  • Sign a release giving us permission to use your submission. You'll receive one of these by email with a request to return the form by postal mail. We'll need this in order to include your prayer.

Dear friends, I hope you're as excited about this as we are. Our goal is to compile the book and have it completed by the end of the summer. Imagine holding a book in your hands with something in it that you wrote. So pray for Holy Spirit inspiration and trust Him to give you words. And have fun!

All right, SUMites, let your writer flags fly, make a record of your heart-felt prayers, share your words and inspire others.

We are the SUMites and we have something to pray!

Woohoo! 
Love you!
Dineen

*****

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-

Covers Three Books