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18 entries from August 2016

My Husband Entered My World, part 2

Mike&NeenHello, SUMites! I have to say I’m so excited to share the rest of this story for you. God did some pretty awesome things during the week of the ACFW conference. I was so blessed to hug old friends I hadn’t seen since last year and to make some new friends as well. Since I serve there as head of registration, I come in contact with so many of the attendees, and let me tell you, the Holy Spirit always has a plan for each year. And He never tells me until He puts me in action! 

This year, He randomly told me to pray for people, usually as they shared a simple concern or health issue. The Holy Spirit would nudge me to pray with them, so I would ask if I could pray for them, right there. Do you know, that not one person declined? And every time, we both wound up so blessed and encouraged. God is so amazing!

Now back to my story…

As I shared on Tuesday, my sweet hubby seemed to connect with my friend, Jim. Seeing Mike so warmly congratulate Jim just about burst my heart with pure joy. I still get teary eye to think of my husband that night. He was warm, caring and full of humor. I watched him intentionally engage with those at our table, and he even made one of my shy friends sitting next to him feel more comfortable. I’m so proud of this guy.

The next day, Mike left early to drive home. I would fly out later in the day once we had the conference office packed and shipped out for next year. Later that morning, I saw Jim in the lobby and headed his direction, curious to hear what he thought of Mike’s intentionality to congratulate Jim on his awards.

What Jim shared confirmed all the prayers I’ve been praying over the years according to God’s leading and also confirmed what God has spoken to my heart about Mike and what’s coming.

Jim said something like this, “Your husband wasn’t at all what I expected. When I looked at him, I saw Jesus. He is right there, shining out of your husband already. And what’s so amazing is, he doesn’t even realize it yet.”

My friends, we’ve prayed for years for our spouses. We’ve stood in the gap for them with our prayers and love. We’ve called out the gold iGod has placed in them. And your comments from Tuesday are part of the confirmation God so lovingly has given me through all this that He is moving in our spouses more than we realize. And sometimes it takes someone outside of the day-in and day-out to help us see it.

SUMites, ask God to show you what He wants you to know about your spouse right now and then pray it in truth, out loud whenever you can. At night when they are sleeping. In the house while they are at work. From your car as you drive to work or in the carpool. I’ve even prayed the Scriptures God has given me and declared them over my husband as I looked at him through a window in the house while he was outside on the porch.

And here’s another one I’ve started to do. Scripture is full of examples of angels delivering God’s Word. When my husband is away, I command the angels assigned to him to speak those same truths that I have over him. So God’s Word and truth are constantly being spoken to my sweet hubby. And I am watching his spirit awakening (Eph 5:14).

And when you see that gold in them, point it out and confirm it to your spouse. Then watch them grow and become more and more like the amazing man or woman of God they’ve been created to be. This is what our prayers do, my friends. God’s truth spoken by the righteous is powerful (James 5:16).

Lord Jesus, give every SUMite a Word and promise for their spouse and give them boldness, faith and opportunities to pray and speak it out loud. And we command the angels assigned to our pre-believers to speak these very same truths over them, to call their spirits to arise and wake up for Christ is giving them light! In the powerful name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites! We are going to be amazed by what God doing.
Dineen

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My Husband Entered My World

Mike&NeenI shared the week before last that I would be in Nashville for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. What I didn't tell you is that my sweet hubby agreed to come for part of the week. Yes, my friends, he entered my world of fiction and met some amazing people on fire for Jesus, who, like Him, share hope and redemption through story (parables).

One of those people he met was our very own Ian Acheson. And forgive me for not having photos. I’ve been kicking myself since the airport yesterday for not taking any pictures of us. I even had the pleasure and blessing of meeting Ian’s lovely wife, Fiona. She is beautiful, gentle in heart and I sense a strength in her that is enduring and precious. God is laying a precious foundation in her. 

And Ian is everything you glean from his writing and more—humble, honest and authentic. We both received some amazing confirmations from God about our writing, and I am so excited about the path God is revealing to Ian. I will let him share that as he feels led to. Amazing!

Another friend my husband met was Jim Rubart. I share his name in case you want to check out his amazing books and see his heart for Jesus. Jim is an easy going guy, much like my husband. I’d shared with Jim earlier in the week some of the things God has been doing in and around Mike. Jim has been a great friend for years and has prayed for my hubby over those  years too.

Now I hadn’t planned a meeting between them, but God obviously did.

We’d just returned to the hotel Friday evening after having dinner with some friends who live near Nashville. As we walked in I spotted Jim and told Mike I wanted to introduce him. 

We approached Jim, who was talking to a group of ACFWers, and I tapped his shoulder. “Jim, I’d like you to meet my husband, Mike.”

Jim spun around with a big smile and welcomed my husband, saying he’d heard so much about him. Then Jim stepped back, said something like he wasn’t sure how Mike would feel about this, then proceeded to wrap my husband in a bear hug.

It gets even better. My husband hugged him back with equal enthusiasm and laughter. A few minutes later we said our goodbyes. Mike laughed and said, “I don’t know why he thought I’d be uncomfortable with that.”

I just smiled. Glowed inside. My friends, this was a precious exchange of God’s love. Little did I know there was more to come.

The next evening we attended the Gala—a dinner and awards ceremony—my book The Soul Saver won the Carol Award at this event in 2013. It’s kind of like the Oscars for Christian writers and authors (unpublished and published).

We sat down at our table with the rest of the ACFW staff—dear friends of mine who I’ve known for years, who have prayed with me and who I knew would just be themselves with my dear hubby. I noticed Mike looking around and asked him what he was searching for. 

“Just looking for Jim,” he answered. I could only smile. Joy!

Our meal was filled with good food and conversation. I have to say I am so proud of the man  my husband has become. His compassion and humor easily and readily came across. Then dinner ended and the awards began. Later in the ceremony, Jim’s book (The Five Times I Met Myself) won his category. At the end of the evening, Mike said he wanted to go over and congratulate Jim. Inside I was doing a jig! Wow!

We managed to find Jim in the bustle of congratulations and pictures being taken of the winners. Mike shook Jim’s hand and expressed his happiness for Jim. I made eye contact with Jim and mouthed, “his idea” as I pointed to my hubby. Again, I was so touched and proud of this man and how he showed his heart. 

A heart I have prayed over for years, to be the man of God he was created to be, for the the eternity in his heart to be released (Ecc 3:11) and for him to love me as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25)—all this I was seeing this very night.

There’s more to the story, my friends. I will share that on Thursday. Please do come back because it’s the culmination of a beautiful confirmation from God that He is very much at work in my husband’s heart. He is so faithfully answering all those prayers in ways I never imagined (Eph 3:20).

And God is working in your spouse’s heart too, SUMites, in answer to all your prayers. Our prayers. So much more than we realize and can see…but sometimes others can…

Can’t wait to share the rest with you. Love you!
Dineen

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Our Free Will Is Powerful In Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWell, I wonder how many of you had an “opportunity” to exercise your confidence and take a step of faith in love and out of fear this past few days?

I will tell you one thing, when you pray in confidence, the devils are afraid and you bear witness to some pretty astonishing things in the Kingdom of God!

Hallelujah and AMEN!

So here is the next component of powerful prayer.

WILL

Our will. Our free will.

Christians like to debate, free will. And we, who are married to pre-believers, live daily praying that our spouse will engage their free will and turn to Jesus. But what many believers don’t realize is that our will, when engaged in prayer is powerful.

I’m struggling with how to explain this. Because it is similar to engaging confidence and belief. But there is something more.

What I believe is that as God’s kids, we are to pray heaven to earth, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What makes powerful intercession is when His will and our will are aligned and then we stand in conviction.

We are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the Lord’s purposes to bring about the fulfilment of your prayers. It is God’s will and thus your will to pray and see people freed and healed.

The only way I can think to explain is to provide two examples.

One: O Lord, I humbly ask that you would be kind to me. I have had a headache and it won’t go away. Lord, if it is your will, please heal me. Amen

Two: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I state clearly right now that Jesus died for my complete healing. I come before the Throne of Grace to be healed completely and permanently by the blood of Jesus. Holy Spirit right now, in Jesus name, I command this pain in my head to leave and never return. And in the place of pain I speak peace, joy and healing. I praise you Lord that you love me so much to provide my healing. I will walk in your love and healing right now. In Your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

I wonder, can you discern the difference?

Do I believe God can and does respond to both prayers? Absolutely. Yet, I KNOW that when we pray within our authority, exerting our full conviction (our will) in belief with confidence. The heavenly realm responds. First, angels move under this kind of direction and second, demons flee as they are afraid of what you might say next and it scars the crap out of them.

When I pray and demand that the demonic leave someone for whom I’m praying or for myself, I go on to set the demons on fire and chain them in the pit, never to return. They don’t want to mess with me, my friends. *grin* (Could it be that I am a small-but giant badass in the Kingdom? Can I say that on a Christian blog? *sheepish grin*)

So, I have a question for you. Have you prayed in this manner, in full belief, with confidence and exerting your full will? Have you had someone pray over you who prays with these convictions?

Share your stories in the comments. I can’t wait to read them. And please take a minute to share because the Holy Spirit is impressing upon me that your testimonies are going to help another reader to find healing, hope and transformation.

Let’s be a community of badasses for the Kingdom of God and start kicking butts and taking names and chaining the demonic in the pit!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

You are amazing prayer warriors, SUMites…

*****

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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Here's The Rub With Prayer Strategies

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOkay, how is this prayer series feeling for you? Are you walking in belief today? I know so many of you are on this amazing journey to become prayer warriors that scare the crap out of the demonic. Wahooooo! So, let’s work on another component of effective prayer.

Confidence.

Yep, this is a public and private thing. Confidence is crucial for effective prayer.

Confidence follows right on the heels of belief. But it’s a BIG jump off the cliff to believe and then follow through in confidence. But our Father greatly desires that we develop into people of Godly confidence.

Let me give you an example of what I think this looks like in real life.

My local church offers a once a month “Overflow Worship” night. We come together on a Sunday night and the service is all worship. I LOVE these. My most intimate moments with the Lord occur in worship. About a year ago during one of these sessions, the worship leader got up and said this, “Anyone who wants an extra touch tonight from the Lord, come on down to the front.”

At first no one moved. No one wanted to be the first. No one wanted all eyes on them. The people in the audience were more fearful of the opinions of people than to receive a touch from God. I can tell you there were people in the audience that REALLY wanted to go forward. They ached to go up front on the chance God would see them and help them, but fear kept them pinned to their seat.

NOT this girl. I decided in a moment I didn’t care what people thought, I wanted God more. I moved out of the seats and walked straight up to the very front. Finally, a few more people also went up front. But many remained seated.

This is what I believe God is looking at. He is waiting on the edge of His seat, hoping, cheering and urging our spirit to respond to Him. And it’s often in the public square that God does this. He wants you to take a step of faith to receive His blessing, healing and more. He’s speaking over you, “Come on baby girl. You can do this. Take one confident step out of the shadows, out of the fear. Show me you are willing to take a step for me and I will throw the floodgates of heaven open over you.”

Love is a choice. Much of our life is decided as we choose between love and fear. Choose love. God is calling His children to choose love. Choose to believe. Choose to be confident in what we know is true.

Confidence is a compelling attribute in a believer.

BTW, do you know what I received because I stepped out of the shadows and went down front? I’m convinced I saw an angle that night. It’s an astonishing story but alas I’m way over word count. I will have to share it another time.

Okay, now here is the rub. Because you just read this post, God is going to place before you a moment to step out in faith with confidence and choose Him, choose love. It’s gonna happen and likely in the next few days and probably it will require a public display of faith. So pray now to be ready and respond when He does. Then come back here and tell all of us about it.

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating four essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence

Have an amazing encounter with our King. I Love you. Lynn

*****

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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Guest Post: The Mismatched Family by Dee Rusnak

Dear friends, I'm traveling this week and will be in Nashville for the ACFW conference. I'm thrilled to share this most encouraging post by SUMite, Dee Rusnak. How amazing to think our Lord and Savior Jesus understands our mismatched places because He lived it too. 

Thank you, Dee, for once again sharing your beautiful heart and encouraging words with us! Love you!
See you next week, SUMites!
Dineen

The Mismatched Family 
By Dee Rusnak

JesusTestedHow often have we learned that God is never in a hurry, or at least within our time frame? Or better, never in the way we expect? We read in Joshua how ripe Jericho was for the taking, but God said not so fast with the Israelites who were hungry to take the land. And, when they did, it was in such an unorthodox way (Joshua 6 - marching around the city). Why do we want to rush things and do it in our own way? For me it's so I can rest knowing my ducks are all in a row. If my entire family were saved, then peace would be upon me, or so I think. But God is drawing them in His time and according to His ways. I struggle with that.

In reading through God's Word we find that the family of Jesus didn't believe while He was among them, even to the point of sarcasm. "But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to Him, 'You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that Your disciples may see the miracles You do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world' For even His own brothers did not believe in Him." (John 7:3-5)

Mark (3:21) recounts that His family thought "He is out of His mind!" How did Jesus handle the fact that His own family didn't believe? Matthew 13 lists them as James, Joseph, Simon and Jude, and some unnamed sisters. Jesus certainly had the power to change their hearts. After all, time was ticking and He wasn't going to be on earth much longer. Time to get Your ducks in a row here, Lord! Did Mary teach them and groom them as they were growing up, especially nearing adulthood, about their older brother as Savior? Did His true identity come as a total shock to His younger siblings? Where were they during His crucifixion? Didn't they love Him or try to defend Him? Interestingly, none of this is mentioned in God's Word.

However, we know that some were saved. In 1 Corinthians 15:5-7 Paul writes "He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of His followers at the same time...Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born." Mary and His brothers waited in the upper room for the Holy Spirit following His ascension, "They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." (Acts 1:14) But, which brothers, if not all? Two brothers that we know of, James and Jude, were converted and wrote books in the New Testament. James later became a leader in the Jerusalem church. What about His sisters? Did He pray for His Father to draw them? Were there still family members who did not believe? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins?

If Jesus was tempted in every way just as we are, was He as concerned for the souls of His family, just as we are for those in our lives? "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus was quite familiar with God's ways and His timing. Never do we see Him fretting throughout His life. As Psalm 37 says "Do not fret - fretting only brings harm." Yet He entrusted God with all things, including Himself, and the salvation of His earthly family…and us!

Jesus prayed…

“I do not pray for these alone (disciples), but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23)

SUMs, Jesus had a mismatched family! We are literally walking in His shoes (sandals)! When we read that He has experienced everything we go through, did you ever consider this situation? We’ve never been alone, SUMs, nor will we ever be! He’s been where we are! He gets it! In His great compassion and love for us, He has given us an example to follow of what we’re to do while we wait: Pray. Trust. Obey. Look what happened with James and Jude! Not only did they believe, but were used by God as Bible authors! Forget the ducks. Instead, together let’s listen intently to God’s very heartbeat: "who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4), and let us watch Him do what's impossible for us but is so very possible for Him!

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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Prayer Strategies

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOf late, the Holy Spirit is shouting to my soul, two words: Prayer Strategies. Truly, just ask Dineen. Every time I’m on the phone with her, this comes up. And wow wee, am I ever receiving some powerful prayer strategies for this season.

My friends, so many of us aren’t experiencing the answers to our prayers and I’m grieved by this fact. Well, NO LONGER… We the SUMites are going to learn how to pray and pray with fierceness that sets captives free and releases the prisoners. What say you? Ready to learn more?

Belief!

Simple really. But utterly so complicated.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. —Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

A key component to effective prayer is belief. Really, this is at the core of most issues of faith. We simply MUST believe. What does that mean and what does that really look like? Good questions.

In the early years of our mismatched marriage, I struggled for a long time in my faith because I had a relationship with church and not with Jesus. What I mean by that is, the primary focus of my time, learning, and prayer life was centered in church. I didn’t study the Word on my own, I only believed what I heard from the pulpit. I didn’t pray much. I only remember uttering crisis prayers from that time in my life. You know, the kind of prayers you beg God to intervene when you have totally screwed up your life? Yep, I was a crisis praying kinda girl. Good grief, so embarrassing to admit. But I’m not alone, am I?

Because my faith was built on sand, I lacked the depth of relationship and Bible wisdom I needed to cease doubting and truly believe what God said in His word. Praise be to God because for those people, like me, who are truly hungry for more of God, the Lord will go to great lengths to bring you into full faith…

We MUST believe in God, His Word, His plan and His purposes for us, our family, our community, nation and the world. When you take that step over that line in the sand and vow to never look back in doubt, a whole new realm of answered prayer begins to unfold.

Example: Recently, I have come to fully believe what the Word teaches about healing. I have experienced supernatural healing. Read my story here: Does Jesus Heal Today?  

But I have also prayed for others for their healing and have watched Jesus, Holy Spirit and the angels move and bring emotional healing and healing of physical ailments. I have prayed healing over myself many times and it happens. Say what? I’m still mystified about how this all works but I have belief that God heals, thus He does.

So here is a recent story: A few weeks ago, two weird, red and ugly and swollen sores showed up on my face and they were something other than acne. They were mean looking and had been on my face for a couple of weeks and showed no sign of healing or leaving. I pointed them out to a friend whom I was praying and said to her, “I believe God will remove these sores from my face. They are illegal and the demonic is not going to mar my face because I am a Child of God.”

Two days later these weird sores were gone. I texted my friend and gave witness that I had been blessing my face and praying over these sores and commanding them to go. They had to go and I believed. I prayed in faith and they were banished. By the way, she had a breakthrough as well! Hallelujah our God, our amazing Father, is soooo good and kind. Thank you Lord!

My friends, we need to step into belief. Did you read the last half of the verse I shared earlier?

He rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Let’s choose to believe. Really believe. How do we do this. Start to pray for supernatural faith. Declare you believe the Word of God. And when a moment in time arrives to choose fear or faith.

CHOOSE FAITH.

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating three essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6

Okay, who needs to state clearly and publicly that they want to step into a new level of faith? In the comments pray that you want supernatural faith and belief. Declare it in the comments for all SUMites to read. We ALL will come into agreement with you, you with all of us.

This is your time to activate your faith and begin to walk in your destiny.

I LOVE you all so much. I will be echoing your declarations in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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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What Does God Want From Me?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHello SUMite Nation,

The Holy Spirit is speaking the Word – PRAYER! (Don’t tune out. This is good.)

“Oh man, did she just write – PRAYER.”

Did you just whisper this under your breath?

Let me explain what I feel the Lord is impressing upon me as well as upon most of His church right now.

Prayer.

Some of you may remember that I served on staff in Women’s Ministry at my local church for years. I led Bible study groups, choose studies for our women and directed a lot of the Bible study efforts. I left that position four or five years ago as our online and book ministry began to grow.

What I always found fascinating and utterly disappointing in the years of choosing Bible studies was the fact that if we chose a Bible study about prayer, no one signed up. Yep.

Bummer! But true.

However, what I’m discovering in 2016 is that God’s people are hungry to learn about prayer and learn to pray effectively. It was evident by the online class on prayer this past Tuesday. And it seems that every time I post a prayer on Facebook, it gets shared around. I’m so truly excited about this change in the heart of the Church. Hallelujah.

So over the next few posts I want to pour more into prayer. I want to encourage all of you who attended the class with more information. And for those of you who missed it, now is your time to also gain wisdom, knowledge and anointing to pray with power for REAL results!

Sound good?

A word before we continue: Prayer is NOT a way to arm twist the Lord into doing our will. Prayer is a conversation between a Father and His child. It's learning to listen to God and then obeying His will. 

I want to look at a few keys to vibrant prayer as well as “blocks” that keep us from breakthroughs. Such as:

  • The Word of God
  • Belief
  • Confidence
  • Will
  • Courage

And finally we will discuss the “why.” When prayer remains unanswered, why?

I might throw a few extras in somewhere along the line. Also, I won’t spend too much time on discussion about praying the Word of God because that was covered in the class on Tuesday. (I hope to offer that class again in the future, for those of you who wanted to attend and couldn’t.)

You know maybe we actually need to start at the beginning. How do we create a prayer life? What do we do when we just can’t pray? How do we respond when we feel so beaten that our prayers are full of defeat and tears? Anyone?

I’ve shared many times that all I have in the Kingdom, is the result of my intentional efforts to create time and space to be with God. I know this is often THE most challenging part of prayer but even a few minutes a day will change your life. You can read about that here: Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living. (Skip down to where you see the Bible and start reading there.)

Today, I pray significantly different than I did in 2008 when that post was written. I often pray about the same things but the way I pray, the words I speak and my convictions are what has changed and is also what moves heaven in response.

So, today, I challenge you that if you to create and stick to a time to read the Word and pray everyday.

Let me leave today’s post by reiterating two essential components of effective prayer.

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.

Okay, what might be helpful is for all of you to share how you created time and space in your life for prayer. Share in the comments. Someone reading this need to emulate what you did. Especially help mothers of young children with suggestions.

Also, share in the comments if you learned news tips from the class, Praying the Word, and how you will now pray the Word in your prayer life. Someone reading this also needs to read how you pray the Word.

SUMites, God intends to set His praying people upon a broken, dark and evil world. He expects His kids to pray and bring His Kingdom to earth. Are you ready? It’s gonna be fantastic.

I’m traveling the next couple of weeks. I will be checking in here as I am able and pop in to be part of our astounding community.

Okay, PLEASE take a minute to write what you have learned to help a SUMite on the road behind you. Love you a ton, 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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Seeing the “Gold” in Our Spouse

NowenQuoteI went through my old files today and found a post I’d written about my husband’s positive qualities. The list made me think about a verse in Ecclesiastes that I absolutely love. Why? Because it’s a picture of God’s heart and how He sees us.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. — Ecc. 3:11

There are three little words in this verse—made, put and heart. But the Hebrew translation of these words holds a list of meanings that would fill a page. I’m just listing a few of them to give you a taste:

Made—to do or make in the broadest sense, become, bear, bestow, fashion

Put — give with greatest latitude, restore

Heart — feelings, will, even intellect, inner man, soul

And to think He did this with everything—everything—kind of blows my mind. He’s fashioned us with beauty and bestowed beauty upon us to grow in beauty as we resemble Jesus more and more. He’s given us eternity with the greatest latitude and restored us to Him, to His kingdom through Jesus. And He put all of this promise in our hearts, wills and souls—the very essence of who we are. 

Now take a look at this truth:

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. — Romans 4:17

How amazing to think that the same way God called into being this “gold” He placed in us, He’d doing the very same thing with our spouses, our family members, our friends—every single person He places on our heart to pray for. In fact, that nudge should tell us He’s already in action and He’s asking us to partner with Him with our prayers.

So as we look at our spouses, think about the eternity that God has already placed into them. Ask God to show you what it looks like, to see your spouse through the eyes of God. 

Deep friendship is a calling forth of each other’s chosenness and a natural affirmation of being precious in God’s eyes. — Henri Nowen

Then as we see and treat them according to that chosenness (and pray), they begin to walk in that truth. I’m witnessing this right now with my husband.

That old post I found? Here’s part of what I wrote about him in 2007:

He’s the kindest, most loving man I have ever met. I’ve always felt cherished in our marriage. He’s a great dad, provider, and all around great guy. He’s affectionate, loves his girls to pieces, enjoys hanging out with his family, and actually saved a binky (a pacifier) from each of our girls as a memento.

He’s generous, quick to give of his resources, and wants only the best for not only us but for his extended family as well. Part of the reason I fell in love with this guy was because of his big and wonderful family. 

He’s patient, even-keeled, passionate about his interests, loves his work, and is constantly stretching his mind.

Shortly after I read this, he brought me a yellowed piece of paper with big child-like letters, written by our oldest daughter when she was about five years old. He’s still a big softy...and more. I love watching what God is doing all around my husband and how he responds without even realizing it. I see the calling on his life now and the love of God already flows through him in ways that surprise me.

My friends, I want to challenge you today to make a list about your spouse. Write down all the positive qualities you see in him or her. Then hold this before God and praise Him for creating your spouse to be that person. And ask God to show you more of what He’s placed in him or her to add to your list. Don’t be surprised if this becomes new inspiration in how to pray for him or her. 

And feel free to share in the comments. We can have a little “brag-fest” and inspire one another with our hopes and prayers for our loved ones.

SUMites, we hold great hope for ourselves in our growing intimacy with God. We can hold that same hope for our spouses as well and trust God to bring them into that hope of Jesus in His perfect timing.

Lord Jesus, thank You for creating us and holding us together with Your amazing and complete love. Thank You that You do this for our spouses too. I pray for fresh eyes for every SUMite to see his or her spouse through Your lens of love and grace. Reveal the “gold” you’ve placed in them so that we can be part of calling it forth. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, my friends! My prayers are joining with yours.
Dineen

(P.S. I will be in Nashville next week for the annual American Christian Fiction Writes conference. Woohoo! I get to spend the week hanging out with fun people who have characters talking in their heads (just kidding...well mostly...). See you on the 30th!)

*****

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Growing Up a Marriage

GrowingUpMarriageWhat if nurturing a marriage is like nurturing a child?

The question entered my thoughts as I sat next to my hubby in the car, comfortable and confident that he would take us to our next destination well. I began to contemplate the journey of a marriage. Like the birth of a child, a marriage has similar beginnings. The first inkling of love starts (conception) and a relationship begins to form (the embryo).

With time the nature of the relationship is made clear as to whether it will grow into a marriage (It’s a girl! It’s a boy!). Then the big day comes—the WEDDING! (The birth!), and thus come the adjustments to living life as two (or three—one a wee…).

My friends, my contemplations came as a bit of a revelation as I pondered. We would never raise a child with the expectation of instant perfection from the moment of birth. Yet why do we step into marriage with a similar expectation that from the moment we say, “I do,” everything should be perfect? And if it’s not, we question the marriage.

I know I did this in the early part of my marriage, because I bought the world’s depiction of what love and marriage were supposed to be. And when conflicts cropped up, which are inevitable in any relationship that include people, I wondered if I’d made a mistake. Or did we make sense…

The reality is, a marriage has to grow up. 

When a child is born, we don’t expect her or him to be a fully functioning adult. There is no “add water, stir and voile!” instant adult! Ready to go and tackle the world! There are stages to raising a child from birth and nurturing him or her to adulthood.

What if marriage is the same way? 

Those early years when we’re trying to figure out how everything works and how to live together—what if those are like the infancy and “terrible twos” of toddlerhood? 

The challenges of agreeing on how to manage and delegate daily life—finances, home, children. Makes me think of chicken pox and kindergarten. Grade school and braces. Homework, and “who kisses the skinned knee this time, honey?”

Bigger issues come that push the boundaries of the two becoming one and staying one. Now that sounds like a teenager in the works, if there ever was one. Do you agree?

With age and few gray hairs come the journey of growing older (not old) and appreciating the rhythm of life. Children have become teens have become adults. New journeys about to be conceived and birthed…

And with them the understanding that the marriage is still growing, taking shape (hopefully not too many pounds bigger) and evolving to the next stage of living live as two. A process ever changing and shifting with each stage of life.

And as we watch our children grow, bloom and become the people God created them to be, we can do the same with our marriages, appreciating each stage, even the pimply ones full of drama and tears to the ones encapsulated with the simple holding of hands in the car as we drive along to the next destination.

Just some of my contemplations in an ordinary day, my friends, as I appreciate all that my husband and I have overcome and walked together, and look forward to what’s to come. 

May God bless you with some deep and joy-filled contemplations today as well, SUMites! 

Love you!
Dineen

*****

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Sumite Prayer Partners

James 5 16Good morning Sumite family! We have some very exciting news for you today! First, let me begin with a little background information. Recently, I have noticed more and more people requesting prayer in all areas of my life, even from pre-believers. I've noticed an increase, especially here, within the virtual walls of our church. It's as if people are crying out to God in a more desperate way. After noticing this increase, I asked God to show me how to best meet this need within our community in spite of our geographic limitations. He answered me with John 17, specifically verse 20-23. Let's read Jesus' prayer:

"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who would ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one - as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me."

This passage convicted me of how often believers miss out on this unity with the Holy Spirit and with other believers. It may be due to denominational differences, differences of opinion, varying life experience, the hectic pace of life or the enemy whispering in our ear. But, here in our community, we have been given the chance to experience this perfect unity. The opportunity to come together purely as Followers of Christ, to stand on His word and live obedient lives. That led me to my next question, how can we move toward this perfect unity? For that answer let's consider these verses:

1 Timothy 2:1 "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them."

1 Thessalonians 5:11 "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."

2 Chronicles 7:14" Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land."

After laying my questions before God and digging into His word, I began to see His answer was Prayer Partners. Specifically, one to one dedicated and confidential prayer partnerships. Those who are interested would contact us and then be partnered up with another person through email. You would commit to contacting your partner at least once a week (but hopefully  more often) to share prayer requests, praises and then pray daily. The method of contact is up to you and your partner, you have a world of unlimited technology at your finger tips.

Can you see how God has broken down our geographic limitations? God-willing, these partnerships will bloom into authentic friendships deepening your walk with Christ and becoming the living example of John 17:23. We will also post monthly prayer topics to focus our prayer efforts and intercede as the body of Christ. These monthly topics will give us the opportunity to cover our faithful leaders, Lynn and Dineen, and other issues as the Spirit directs us. 

If you're ready to receive a prayer partner and embark on this new adventure then click on my name below this post! 

Christy Edney

Dineen and I, Lynn, are psyched that Christy has stepped into this new role here in our community. Christy has been an active part of our community since 2011. She has a heart full of love for God and for people.

Watch for a post from her about prayer and prayer partners once a month. Thank you Christy for your love and dedication to this family on the web. 

*****

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Politics - An Ordinary Wife

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comPolitics and an ordinary believing wife. That would be me.

So, let’s pick up with one more truth to navigate the political season with our pre-believer.

Three: Politics won't rescue our world.

The shootings in America, the bombings in France and Belgium, the massacre in Nice, France, with a truck are utterly evil. They shock us to our core and the enemy uses these events to release fear into our hearts, homes and nations. No matter how many laws you pass, you can’t legislate evil out of the world.

Our world needs a heart change. It’s about the heart. It’s LOVE that changes everything.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18

And my friends, we are loved -perfectly.

It’s a perfect kind of love that flows from our Father that empowers and moves me to love my husband even as we watch the evening news during a political season. It’s an unexplainable, heart-changing and supernatural love that overrides my fear of the future, fear about the political season and fear over my husband’s salvation.

Our Father is good. Utterly good. His intentions for His kids is goodness, prosperity, love, and adventure just to name a few. We need only begin to walk in His truth and let it transforms us from fearful and ridged people into beautiful, kind, good and giving believers.

So, even though at times, as I watch the news and I find myself wanting to speak truth to my husband as the talking heads roar on the tube, I fall under the restraint of the Holy Spirit and know my God loves me. He loves my husband. He loves this beautiful world he created. He hasn’t abandoned us as orphans and He is executing His extraordinary and astonishing plans. And it continues to blow my mind that He asks us to participate with Him in His strategies. Our faith, our prayers our votes, they matter…..

They matter so very much.

Be at peace this election season. Don’t become riled up over all the crazy. Pray and respond in love and in the grace of the Holy Spirit. Who knows? Come November maybe God will surprise all of us.

I adore you my friend. Thanks for tagging along with me as I work through my own angst about this season. Your grace and love overwhelms me. I adore you. Lynn

*****

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Lord of the Harvest

15753952_sHe said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

My friends, I don’t know if you remember me sharing in June of 2013 a dream God gave me, which I believe was a precursor to our salvation word this year and what’s to come. There are several pieces to this that the Holy Spirit is showing me, and I am excited to share with you. So let’s start with a refresher of that dream and then pray in this harvest!

May 2013 (date of dream)

I was half awake, half asleep, but the dream was very vivid. I stood before a tall cornfield—taller than me. Jesus stood next to me.

He gestured to the crop and said, "This is the Great Harvest.”

I said, "Lord, I can't see past this, can you show me more?”

Suddenly I was up higher and could see tall mountains in the far distance. The crop spanned all the way to the mountains!

At the time I found it very curious that I saw corn in this dream as opposed to wheat. With some investigation and research, I discovered that the Bible references to grain can mean either corn or wheat and are often connected with oil and wine.

“From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. — Genesis 27:28

Isaac said to Esau, “I have made Jacob your master and have declared that all his brothers will be his servants. I have guaranteed him an abundance of grain and wine—what is left for me to give you, my son?” — Genesis 27:37

“If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat. — Deut. 11:13-15

Look at this Scripture from Joel, which is part of God’s promise of restoration:

The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. — Joel 2:24

Grain and wine were such integral parts of the Israelites lives and culture that it makes complete sense that Jesus would use bread and wine to bring such powerful symbolism, connection and power to what we practice today as communion.

And harvest time is always about prosperity, provisions and promise—of abundant life. The Old Testament displayed this in the physical sense first through manna and then provision from the promised land. Jesus took this provision of physical sustenance and connected it to our spiritual need as well. 

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. — John 6:35

Now recently several SUMites have shared stories of how their spouses have walked away from their faith either on this blog or on our 1Peter3Living Yahoo group. My friends, I can’t tell you how deeply this grieved me. These are the stories that break my heart and bring me to tears before God. 

And that is what I did one day last week. It made no sense to me in light of the promises God has been sharing with me—with all of us. I went to Him in tears and asked, “Lord, what is going on? You’ve promised us salvation and even shown me this is coming. Have I missed something, not prayed enough? Is the enemy winning this battle?”

I saw only two possibilities, but our God of the impossible replied with His, “I’m revealing the greater glory.”

Dear friends, my tears turned to laughter as the Holy Spirit whispered this to my heart, “The prodigals are being called back and the unbelievers are being drawn in.”

Our Papa God is so good! He’s bringing our loved ones to His Son just as Jesus said He would. 

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” — John 6:44

SUMites, I believe this with all my heart, soul, mind and spirit! Will you pray with me?

We praise You, Mighty Lord Jesus, for You are the bread and wine to our lives, our souls and our spirits. Thank You for giving this provision to our spouses too! Lord, send the workers needed for this Great Harvest. Send people into our midst to reveal Your presence and love to our pre-believers. Reveal and show that love to them through us, for we are Your workers too, Lord! 

Lord Jesus, there is Resurrection Life in all You do. We ask for this resurrection life to be released over our pre-believers, our lives, our marriages, our children and every place in our lives where dry bones need to be called back to life. Breathe Your breath of life over all of us. We call these dry places to life, in the Saving and Life-Resurrecting Name of Jesus. 

Lord Jesus, we ask for vengeance against the enemy and the demonic for all they have stolen from us, the SUMites, from our pre-believers, from our children and even from our ancestors. We ask for full recompense and restoration of what has been lost and stolen (Isa. 35).

Lord, call in the harvest of our pre-believers and prodigals. Bring them to You, Lord, every single one of them. Lord Jesus, when You walked this earth, every person who came to You was healed. We present our prodigals and pre-believers to You like the man lowered through the roof and ask that every single one be saved and healed. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

*****

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Politics Part II

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSo, ya, I’m a glutton for punishment as I’m going to talk about politics AGAIN! *Sheesh*

Let’s look at the next truth as it applies to our homes, marriage and politics. This next one is a biggie!

Two: God doesn’t need to be defended.

So, I’m not sure if you relate to this but in our early years of marriage, I felt it was my duty to defend God and His ways to my husband. It was as though, I had to stand for righteousness and point out the error of my husband’s ways and strive unto exhaustion to convince him to change his beliefs and political views.

Anyone????

Oh SUMers, what a relief to hand that burden over to Jesus. I think so many of us have labored through that messy minefield. We can’t save our husbands – at A L L. That job belongs to Jesus. Hallelujah!

If you just read this and feel as though you have been stuck in the badlands trying to convince your husband the error of his ways, well, today is YOUR FREEDOM DAY. Pray with me.

Lord Jesus, I’m sorry I have taken on the burden to save my husband/wife. I repent and I ask your forgiveness. Today Lord Jesus, I step out of the way and I surrender my spouse over to you. I know that when I pray within your will, you answer. And I know that it is your will that no person should perish. That’s your Word in 2 Peter 3:9.

Jesus, I place the full burden into your capable hands and I ask you to move quickly to save my spouse. Reveal your love and purposes to her/him. Keep him from the deceptions and lies of the demonic and bring him into the truth and grace of heaven. In your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

Okay, if you just prayed this prayer I want you to leave your spouse’s name in the comments along with a hardy, AMEN, and anything else you believe you want to state in writing into the heavenly realm. I’m believing for us right now that writing our spouse’s name and a prayer over them is symbolic of our united prayers for that person. And I’m asking now that the Lord moves in power with angelic assignments over these prayers.

So right now, I state a hardy and loud. AMEN over Mike Donovan for his full salvation and receiving of the Holy Spirit, even now Lord, today. AMEN

Okay, what say you? See you in the comments. I love you SUMite Nation. You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I have more to share on this topic. Stay tuned.) 

I heart you SUM Nation. Have a really great day! Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Politics And My Spouse

Daniel 2 21So, ahem ya!

Not a topic that any sane person should delve into, however, I’m wondering how many of you are dealing with conflict at home because of differing views over the Presidential election in America?

Anyone?

I suspect I’m not alone. For those of you who are in harmony with your spouse over political choices, give the rest of us grace as we try to wade through this issue. And for the SUMite family who live outside of the USA, PLEASE pray for us. We need it!

I want to start this conversation by stating clearly a few things. One, I’m not supporting a specific candidate nor trying to sway anyone toward or away from a candidate. Two, we will have this conversation in this house covered by grace and without condemnation or anger. Three, I absolutely believe that God’s people should vote.

What I really want to talk about is how do we handle the election seasons with an unbelieving spouse? I want to talk about this because this issue is very personal. So bear with me if you can’t relate so much. Try to apply what I share to other areas where you have extreme conflict with your spouse, and let’s apply some wisdom to all of our lives (and politics).

Okay? We good?

Moving on…..

I’m going to share what happens in the Donovan Clan house during an election cycle and also share some personal insights. Your experience may be similar or somewhat different.

First, I’ve come to understand that every four years our home falls under a distinct tension. Mike and I have been married for nearly 25 years and I know that every summer heading to a November election, strain arises in our marriage, especially if we watch the evening national news broadcasts together which is typical for us. I can almost feel it in the air: division, anger, disgust, unbelief etc. etc. etc. and these are just my emotions. *grin*

The political process is geared to divide. Divide the country and it divides our unity in marriage. This fact makes me fume, personally.

You may ask, “Lynn, why do you let it get to you?”

Well, in the last few years, political decisions have greatly affected the moral compass and positions of our citizenry. The Supreme Court irrevocably impacted the sanctity of marriage through a ruling last June. The judges on the Federal Bench in California have ruled time and again against principals and positions that are Biblical in their truth and standing. Right now the California Legislature is poised to remove all codes of conduct from the 20 plus Christian Universities in our State. You can bet the laws they are passing right now to change the morality at the Christian universities will be drawn up against our churches in the state in a matter of months. The ramifications are disastrous for marriages and families and for people of faith.

Our voice and our votes matter.

So, you can see how I might be a little concerned about the political system.

Now here is the rub. My husband is usually a very mild-mannered, phlegmatic man, however, when it comes to politics he is as far left as you can get. He is very passionate about politics. In fact, I’ve come to realize that the DNC is his god. He gets truly fired up about his beliefs and wholeheartedly supports the direction the DNC takes regarding all issues. He is not like this about anything else. (No offense intended democratic SUMites. I’m only stating how extreme my husband is.)

So this brings me to the nightly news and what I have learned over the years. I share my hard-fought lessons with you in the hopes you won’t spend as much time and grief in the arena with your husband over politics.

One: God is on the throne no matter who is in the house (White house). Can I get an amen!

Just reading that doesn’t it bring your heart peace? My friends, I can just imagine God sitting on the throne, looking down at earth at the ceaseless whirring of the political machine. He sits back and then gives a hardy, belly-laugh about all the nonsense that is spinning on earth.

SUMites, we can take a second, catch our breath and KNOW that God isn’t up there fretting that the world seems to have gone mad. He isn’t surprised by the climate and insanity in our world. He’s actually seen it all before. It’s frustrating to say this -but history repeats itself. Mankind continues to fall away from God.

He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. —Daniel 2:21 (NLT)

This passage gives me comfort in its truth.

What I think makes God shake His head is this. His Kids, that would be us, -we don’t pray. We are a vital piece of the solution to create unity and bring Godly people and decisions to our world. Our prayers have enormous impact upon the demonic realm that is the source of all conflict, especially in politics. So, let’s pray.

I challenge you to meet with friends and pray specifically for our election and our country between now and November. Did you know that the last Great Awakening began because people in New York City began to meet in homes and businesses and they prayed. Prayer works and right now our world NEEDS another Great Awakening.

I pray with a couple of gals in my home every other Friday and Wow Wee. We set the heavenly realms ablaze with our prayers for our country. So, I ask you right now, be intentional and gather one or two around you to pray once a week or biweekly.

Now let me tell you what I think is really happening. The next Great Awakening is already underway. I know you are overwhelmed by the unrelenting evil in the world right now. But there is enormous good. The good people and good deeds and the miraculous doesn’t make the evening news but it’s happening all over the place. And you, SUMites, you are part of this Awakening. You are leaders in preparing our world for the end times. (Okay, I’m getting off topic, but God has recently shared so much with me about how He has been grooming the unequally yoked specifically for future events. I have SO MUCH to share about this. But alas, it must happen after this series.)

So, are you up for the challenge? Can you pray at home in your quiet time? Will you stick with me as we meander down this road? And did any of this help someone?

I have more. On Monday let’s look at item number two… It’s awesome. LOVE you my family, you are an amazing bunch of God’s Kids and I adore you. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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You are Powerful!

James5-16My friends, today’s post came as a complete surprise to me. Interesting way to start, isn’t it? 

Well, the Holy Spirit seems to be doing things quite differently in me these days, so I’m doing my best to follow His lead and trust He has a something already in mind even when He waits to the last minute! For this planner girl who likes her ducks in a row, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I am more than willing to walk this adventure with Him. It’s full of surprises! 

So how did this unexpected post unfold? An email. I was answering a dears sister’s plea for help about praying for her family. As I wrote to her, the verse keeps speaking to my heart right now became a key element, which then led to another verse that I’ve held dear for a while. And then in the midst of it, the Holy Spirit led me to a third piece of Scripture that bridges the two. 

When God told me He’s building bridges and making connections, I didn’t expect this kind of connection too! God is a lot fun, my friends. I think He absolutely loves it when He surprises us with new revelations of His Word, which reveals more of Who He is. 

So, that first verse comes from Jeremiah, during a conversation, or rather a revelation from God, to help Jeremiah see his calling. God had chosen him to be a prophet to the nations and a mouthpiece for His plans and intentions toward His people. And after reassuring Jeremiah that He is (present tense) with Jeremiah all the way, God gives Jeremiah words. And not only that, He tells Jeremiah what He does with His words. 

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” — Jeremiah 1:12

Now think about this, SUMites. Just as God gave Jeremiah His words to speak, God has given us His Words as well.

 The entire Bible. 

And just as God gave Jeremiah authority as His prophet to speak God’s Words, we’ve been given that are authority too as God’s children through the blood of Christ.

And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. — Romans 5:9-11 (Read verses 1-8 and let the fullness of God’s love wash over you too.)

Now the last Scripture that you’ve probably heard me repeat rather frequently:

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. — James 5:16b

So what’s the full connection here? We are made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, as righteous people our prayers are powerful, effective and produce wonderful results, because God watches over His Words to perform it. 

In other “words,” when we pray Scriptures out loud, we can expect our prayers to be effective because one, we are righteous people through Jesus, and two, God is watching over those Words to perform it. Why does He do this? Because His words are full of His heart and love, so when we pray it, we are praying in alignment with His heart, will and love for us and others. And because His Word says so! 

SUMites, I want you to really think about this. The revelation of this is mind blowing if you take it in and BELIEVE it. That’s the key ingredient in this scenario is to believe it. I don’t mean have faith or bigger faith. I mean, just believe it. Know it’s the truth. How else could it be?

This is not about us trying to control or manipulate God. We are simply praying His words back to Him and His Word says: 

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:10-11

Okay, yet another connection! I love the connections in God’s Word, my friends. They are constant, continuous, multi-layered and fascinating! 

Now if you feel you need to understand more about praying Scripture out loud or creating prayers from Scripture, be sure to sign up for Lynn’s class, Praying the Word. You don’t want to miss it!

I love you, my friends. You are more powerful and effective in the lives of your loved ones than you realize. Walk in confidence with your God and His Word. You are righteous and powerful through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus! Amen!

*****

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Righting Wrongs or do we?

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Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I rushed out of the company’s lobby and hopped into a vacant taxi, a bevy of emotions bursting within me: shock, anger, hurt, disappointment and confusion. But surprisingly, genuine peace. I called Fiona and shared the news. Her response was also mixed. Could see the positives but the immediate financial impact wasn’t ideal.

That morning, I had left to meet my client expecting to receive a letter of employment whilst driving north to Newcastle (a two hour trip) to meet a prospective supplier.

My client, the CEO and Sales Director, were running late, having flown in from Melbourne. They rushed past me towards the main lobby reception with only a curt hello saying we needed to have a meeting before we left for our Newcastle appointment. Little eye contact and both visibly tense.

There was clearly something going on and I had to play catch-up. Once in the meeting room, it was obvious that something unpleasant was about to take place. And who was to be the recipient.

It was all over in fifteen minutes.

I stood up, emotion gripping my throat, handed them the details of the Newcastle appointment and sincerely wished both of them the best of luck.

I’d just been fired.

Shocked more by what was said and how than by losing my job. I was stunned by some of the accusations the CEO made; it was beyond “its just business”, it was very personal.

On returning home I moped around, made a few calls to people, and then sensed I should pray. Surprisingly, I prayed for the CEO, for blessing for him, for his family and business.

And what a salve it was to my aching heart.

Payback

We’ve all had those moments. Tremendously hurtful actions and/or words that often create a deep, deep wound in our heart. To minimize it’s crippling effect we may desire payback. Words, actions, abuse, rejection, you know the drill. Our pain leads us to inflict pain back. It can feel good, can’t it? Like cool water applied to sunburn. But it soothes only momentarily. The pain of that wound can go deep and linger for a long time.

It hurts. Really hurts.

David and King Saul

We’re all familiar with David’s story. Anointed as a teenager as the future king of Israel by the prophet Samuel David had to serve the current king, Saul. For thirteen years.

Saul soon became threatened by David’s popularity and went on a mission to have him killed. David fled as most normal people would when a maniacal king wanted your head on a platter.

David and his men spent much time hiding in caves for safety and on one occasion his tormentor and pursuer, Saul, entered the same cave to relieve himself. The king was completely oblivious to the fact he had an audience in the shadows.

David’s men encouraged him to take the opportunity to slay the king. He’d never have a better chance. And then he could assume his God-ordained role as king.

But David refused. He did, however, sneak up behind the king and cut a piece of his robe off. Even this troubled David. He was such an honorable man, even to the one who was trying to kill him.

When Saul was some distance from the cave, David called out to him and showed him the piece of robe:

“Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.” (1 Samuel 24:11-15; NKJV)

What graciousness.

Saul wept on hearing David’s words. He was torn between doing the right thing and saving his title.

Infection

Often when we’ve been mistreated we allow the wound to linger. We may have struck back but that doesn’t actually bring healing, simply a momentary release.

I’ve always been susceptible to bullies, mainly of the verbal kind. I’m someone who in a threatening situation can be slow to framing the right response and before I know it the pain has been inflicted. By the time I’m ready to say something that’s intelligent and not hurtful back, the moment’s gone.

The hurt lingers. And grows like infection spreads in your body if untreated.

“It [love] does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” (1 Corinthians 13:5; NLT)

Fairness

Yes, being treated poorly, being bullied, being mistreated, is unfair. Very unfair. In all our humanness we believe we have the right to justice, getting even.

But that’s why grace is so amazing.

Grace is totally and completely undeserved. That’s the point of it.

I’m not suggesting we simply roll over and allow ourselves to be continually mistreated.

Sharing our pain with the Lord is so important. Give it to Him. Everytime. He understands. Jesus death on the cross was terribly unfair. He didn’t deserve to be punished, ridiculed and killed.

The Cross.

There’s grace at the cross. Always. Everytime.

Are you struggling with anger or deep hurt from being mistreated, bullied or simply misunderstood? I know a blog post like this doesn’t go anywhere near solving it but I know going to the cross does.

God knows our pain. And He knows how to heal it. Share it with Him and ask Him to heal it. Sit in the silence with Him. He is the silence. Allow Him to minister to you. (Ps 46:10)

If you feel able do share it with us below so we can pray over you.

Grace and peace, dear Sumites.

*****

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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Change The DATE - Praying The Word

OOPIE!

Yep, Lynn's back and I'm showing my blonde. 

Many of you have already registered for the LIVE online class, Praying The Word of God with me. AWESOMENESS!

However, I gave you the wrong date. The date of both classes is now scheduled for August 16th. Class times at 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. PACIFIC. This is the following week on a Tuesday.

If you already registered and cannot make that date, please forgive me. I hope to offer the class again later in the fall.

It's not too late to sign up. To register visit the registration page Praying the Word with Lynn Donovan. The class is FREE.

Let me ask you a few questions. Do you want to pray with power? Do you want to pray and actually know God heard you? Do you want to see the results from your prayers?

This class is intended to instruct you how to activate the angelic realm to respond to your prayers. We will look at several passages and I will teach you how to pray them with power and purposes in your life. One of my power passages is Matthew 18:18. Can't wait to teach you how to pray this with power. In this session we will also cover praying out of our identity and from the place of authority as a Child of our good Papa.

Once again sorry for the date change. Stay tuned because our prayers absolutely are intricate to the salvation and success of our spouse, children and our own lives.

Register today: Praying The Word with Lynn Donovan

*****

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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