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18 entries from October 2016

Expecting and Dreaming!

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My daughter Leslie's blessing prayer on our entry. :-)


My friends, Mike and I are getting settled into our home. There are still boxes to be unpacked and things to be put away, but I am loving the process. And the promise. There is so much promise coming…

I shared on our Facebook page recently a verse that the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my attention over and over again. I honestly have never had a verse “dog” me this much. 

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. — Romans 16:20

I didn’t fully understand the full “breath” of this word at first until I was in a moment of worship and God overwhelmed me with not just His love but a hope so great it brought me to tears of joy. It’s huge! And then I understood that our Papa God is about to release a greater hope into this world than we have seen before. His promises are true and just—our enemy is destined to be crushed under our feet. That’s where we stand, my friends, for Jesus, and the enemy is crushed. 

And this great hope will accompany His love as never before. It’s absolutely huge. We will be stunned, awestruck and swept over by intense gratitude as it appears and transforms us in ways I can’t even imagine at the moment. I am so full (pregnant?) with expectation.

My friends, will you dream with me? I believe God is about to do some amazing things right in this SUM community. I’m asking Him personally for something I never could have thought of without His loving inspiration and this budding hope working in me. It’s just not something I would have thought of asking on my own. And when the words first left my lips I was shocked to hear them.

I’m asking that Abba move in my daughter Leslie to want to be baptized. I’m asking Him to put this on her heart and that she’ll ask me to baptize her in our pool in our new home while she is here for Christmas. I believe God will move in this, and it may not happen as soon as I’m asking, but I believe it will happen. 

Why? Because I believe this dream is from Him. And why would He give me a dream He didn’t plan to fulfill?

So, SUM family, it’s dreaming day. What are you dreaming of? Here’s one I want to ask God for now, with your agreement, dear friends. 

Lord, we are dreaming of homes that are spiritually matched! We ask that our House of SUM become a House of SEM—Spiritually Equal Marriages! In the name of Jesus, amen!

I love you so much, my friends! I can’t wait to read about your dreams, to bless them and pray with you.
Dineen

A few more of the Scriptures written on the beams...XOXO!

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What Do We Do With Halloween?

PumpkinsEach year when October 31st rolls around I find it fascinating how many of us in the Christian community struggle, trying to figure out what to do with this day. Is it a holiday? Should we celebrate it? Do we allow our kids to participate in Trick-or-Treat? Is it a sin if they do?

I’m not going to jump into the debate over the real reason for Halloween. And I’m not ignorant of the fact that there are some very evil practices of the occult centered around this night. However, I think I want to share some perspective. We, as unequally yoked Christian parents, are burdened with guilt.

Churches tend to point us to their carnival night as the only right thing. Some believers are adamant that any participation at all is a slight to God. At some point, we as parents can worry that our children will be influenced or intrigued by the “dark side” if we allow them to trick-or-treat. There are a lot of different influences, ideas, and traditions that come to bear upon our minds over this one night.

My perspective is this:

Release your guilt.

I was raised in a Christian home and I also went trick-or-treating every single year. It was one of the highlights of my childhood. My siblings and I had an absolute blast and still today, Halloween brings back many fond childhood memories. I loved watching, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and bobbing for apples, we even constructed a few spook alleys. We would have a contest between my siblings when we were older to see who would come home with the most “loot.” We would eat candy until we puked. Okay, too much information, I know!

My once a year candy quest did not turn me to the dark side.

So relax.

Make this a time to reach out to your neighbors. It’s a great experience for your unbelieving husband to walk the neighborhood with the kids and to chat with the other dads. Don’t worry if your husband objects to the church carnival and wants to take the kids out. Let him.

I will add that it's good and necessary to chat with your kids, age appropriate, about Halloween and it’s absolutely necessary we make sure they are safe, supervised, and have a candy check before they snack. But, don’t stress out over trick-or-treat.

Pray over your babies, kiss them on the cheek. Dad too! And then let them have fun! 

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When Caitie was 13 she hosted a party in our garage. She decorated, made the food, (everyone brought something), played Tween music a bit too loud, cleaned up and had a blast.

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Stay tuned as we move into November, December and January. Fun stuff ahead for our family of SUM!!!  Love you, Lynn

PS. My favorite is Snickers grin And thank you for all the loot you have sent me over the years!!!!

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Moving Day!

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My daughter Leslie wrote this in the entry.

SUMites, today’s the big day. As you read this, hubby and I are moving into our new home. I can’t begin to tell you how excited we are. I can’t wait to pray over the Scriptures you sent as I sit in my “war room,” knowing those same words that are written on the interior beams of the house. Yes, I will have a small room that I can call my “war room,” my friends, where I can meet with God and pin my prayer concerns to a big bulletin board I can’t wait to design. Have any ideas on that? Send them to me or leave them in the comments.

I don’t fully understand what God is doing in this symbolic representation our home and our SUM family. I can only tell you that He has some crazy big kingdom purposes for this house. Already I can see people in our home for Bible study and ministry, and many coming to Christ in those times. I can see people being baptized in our swimming pool(a standard feature here in Florida) and people in our neighborhood being drawn to this home that holds the presence of the Holy Spirit, because deep in their soul they know something’s missing and they want—need—that hope. 

But you know what absolutely brings me to tears of joy? I believe this is what God is doing in all of us and all our homes. I can’t tell you how I know that, I just do. I firmly believe God’s word to me about this latter house being greater than the former is symbolic of what God is doing in the “House of S.U.M. too.”

“The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace,” declares the Lord of hosts. — Haggai 2:9

And that is a word I want to release over each of you today. 

Abba Father, thank You for the promise of Your Word. We pray in agreement that the latter glory of the House of S.U.M. and every SUMite’s home will be greater than the former. We dedicate this ministry and our homes to You for Your kingdom purposes and for Your glory alone. Lord, we ask that the heavens would open even wider over this church without walls and each of our homes to pour out more of Your presence, provision and blessings so that the world will take notice—our spouses, our children, our families and friends, and even our neighbors. And fill our homes with peace, Lord! Great peace! In the name of Jesus, amen!

SUMites, I have more hope to share with you next week. So much more! I’m praying already that it will knock your socks off. I believe it’s the next part of “moving day” and some pretty amazing things God is going to be doing.

Love you!
Dineen

Here are a few of the Scriptures written on the beams. :-)

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

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A Holy Spirit Moment

CrossMy friends, I have a fascinating story to tell you today. I shared in the past that God is changing things up a bit in how He speaks to me. Let me tell you this is both a bit frustrating and very exciting, but I absolutely love this adventure with Him. And I love His unexpected ways.

Well, He did something very unexpected just recently and right in my own kitchen. A few weeks ago I was standing at the counter, spreading refried beans on corn chips to make nachos. Yuuum!

Hubby was still in his office working. I sang along with worship music as I worked. Let me just say I am so glad I held a butter knife instead of a sharp blade. 

The Holy Spirit showed up big time. I was so overcome by His presence that I had to drop the corn chip and knife on the counter. I couldn’t do anything else except stand there and soak Him in! 

My friends, I’ve had encounters with God’s presence in my quiet time and at church. But this was so unexpected, sudden and overwhelming. It was like the Holy Spirit wanted me to understand that His showing up wasn’t dependent upon my efforts to make it happen. That is something Abba continues to work out in me and let go of as it’s a form of striving. 

So there I stood, hands out and tears running down my cheeks as I worshiped. God’s presence usually brings me to tears, because His love is so overwhelming. I knew hubby was in the house somewhere, which normally would have caused concern about what he might see and interpret, but as the thought crossed my mind I simply pushed it away. I didn’t care. I could do nothing but stand there and worship.

And then it happened. My husband walked in. Yet I remained in my worshipful state and noticed he just walked on by. Didn’t say a word.

Once the moment passed and I opened my eyes, Mike came back into the kitchen. He looked at me with concern, and asked, “Are you okay?”

As I wiped away my tears, I said, “Yes, I’m great actually. Just having a God moment.”

“Okay…He’s not being mean to you, is He?”

“No, sweetie. He’s just loving on me.”

Then he nodded and walked away. My friends, this is actually the second time my husband has expressed that concern, and it’s given me insight to understand that the God he was taught about at the private Christian school he attended as a teenager was not the loving and true God we know and love. And that breaks my heart.

Yet I rejoice in this encounter and what I learned! God is so good. I’m so excited to share this with you, because I believe it will give you insight and possibly even breakthrough in your prayers for your spouse.

  1. I experienced the presence of God without “working” for it.
  2. God’s presence and love truly do cast out fear! My concern about my husband walking in on my worshipful moment drifted away without a care and didn’t return. Thank You, Lord!
  3. My husband was able to again witness God’s love and presence working in and around me, even if he doesn’t fully understand it yet.
  4. Most importantly, I now have more insight in how to pray for my sweet hubby, and that is huge! My hubby has such a tender heart. Now I understand what his choice of atheism was truly about. It’s not so much about unbelief but a way for him to cope with the disconnect. 

SUMites, I wonder how many of our spouses are truly operating from that place of disconnect. As God showed me this, my heart swelled with even more love and understanding for my husband. And heartache too, because I can almost see with my spiritual eyes that moment he chose this path.  

So, my friends, I am praying against this tarnished mindset of Who God is that’s causing him to reject the image of a cruel god instead of knowing the One True and Loving God Almighty. I am praying for his spiritual eyes to be opened to the truth of Who God really is and to encounter the love of God all around him. That includes me too, that God’s love would pour through me even more. 

I believe God is working in amazing ways in our loved ones that we can’t even perceive yet. He’s revealing the pieces to us as well. I know that can be confusing and frustrating, but I’m learning to look at these pieces and simply ask God to show me how to connect them. And He does! 

And He will do this for you too. So my friends, I pray for greater wisdom to flood our entire SUM community. I pray that our own spiritual ears and eyes would be opened more and that we would have greater discernment to hear and see what the Holy Spirit is telling us right now. Because it’s really, really good stuff.

And Lord Jesus, we praise and worship with all our love. We give You and our hearts and lives freely as we walk this path of faith. Help us live each day in greater awareness and expectation of You. We love You so much! In the name of Jesus, amen!

I love you, SUMites! You are amazing!
Dineen

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

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I Need Love: He Needs Respect

And we both go about it all the wrong way.

My friends, sometimes I struggle with respect. It is a challenge to respect my husband when I face the reality of his world view. I love him with a full heart. Yet, respect is a challenge. Likewise, he struggles to show me the love that my heart desires as a woman.

There is a weird cycle that starts and keeps marriages in pain and conflict. Well, right on time after a conflict with my husband, an email shows up. It's a link to an awesome teaching about love and respect. I learned so much about how a couple can become caught up in this cycle and how to learn to love better and respect our mate. 

In fact, I asked Mike to listen to these broadcasts and he did. Great conversation and empathy developed in both of us. And we really talked about out differences and how to do better with love and respect.

I feel compelled to share them with you. These are about 20 minutes each, wise and humorous recordings of Dr. Eggerichs the author of Love & Respect. Please listen to them because there are real suggestions and great wisdom to make your marriage life better.

Hugs, Lynn

Respect: A Marriage Essential Part I

Respect: A Marriage Essential Part II

 

 

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

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Sumite Prayer Partners

Good morning Sumite brothers and sisters!

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It is hard to believe that we're two months into these newly formed prayer partnerships! I would love to hear stories about how the Spirit is working and growing these into authentic friendships. Feel free to email me with stories or prayer requests at any time. Also, if this is the first time you've heard of prayer partnerships, then please click this link to learn more: Sumite Prayer Partnerships. If you would like to receive a prayer partner, then please click this link to email me: Email Sumite Prayer Partners

Now, please pray with me:

Heavenly Father, thank you for this loving community. This place to come, to hear your words and rest among other like minded followers of Jesus Christ. Today we lift up our ministry leaders, Lynn and Dineen. We ask you to provide an angel army that would fight the spiritual battles on their behalf. Place a hedge of protection around these women, their husbands and their children. In the name of Jesus Christ, we bless them with a blanket of love and encouragement. Please remind them to seek your will and rest in your loving embrace. Provide them with the time and energy to continue on with the tasks that you place before them. We ask these things in the name of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, amen! 

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

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The Flutterby

FlutterbyMy friends, this will be a fairly short post, but it speaks a big truth. God has been using butterflies quiet a bit to speak His love to my heart lately. Kind of like He did the feathers. Every time I go on a prayer walk or sit by a window for my quiet time, a butterfly swoops by. Not an unusual thing, but the Holy Spirit has made me aware of this phenomenon. 

Last week I was out walking one of our precious poochies on a beautiful fall morning. The humidity had dropped and the temperature was pleasant and cool. Thick tree branches reached over me, creating a canopy of green leaves.

Movement caught my eye. I looked up and saw a butterfly. A large one fluttering by, reaching the highest branches above. She was larger than most of the butterflies I’d seen so far and fluttered her wings quickly to reach her perch.

Amazingly, this beauty had a deficit. On one side, half of her wing was missing. Yet she flew strong and landed high above. While I watched the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart something like this…

See her beauty. Look how large she is, how strongly she flies. Despite the damage to her wing, she still serves her calling to fly and reach the heights of the trees. You may see a lack or a deficit but the Father only sees the beauty of His creation doing exactly what He designed it to do.

SUMites, I was so moved by this site. This spoke to those things in myself or my life that I tend to focus on and see only through the eyes of limitation. Can you relate? I have a feeling you can. 

But Abba Father wants us to understand that whatever has hindered, damaged, or harmed us can’t keep us from being who He created us to be. These things in no way change who we are in His eyes for we stand before Him blameless and pure, nor do they take away any of His goodness and purposes for us.

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. — Col. 1:22

We are meant to fly for Him and fly high. And that’s how He sees us, as His precious children doing and living the life He paid so much to give us. He never expects us to be perfect. And He’s always ready to point out our beauty and His great love for and delight in us.

So I am thankful for that image of the “flutterby.” Next time I grow frustrated with myself when I see only limitations or when I become impatient with myself for not overcoming something as quickly as I think I should, I will remember her wings working to take her high into the trees regardless of the damage to her wing.

My friends, what do you feel God is speaking to your heart about this flutterby story? Let’s share and encourage one another in the comments.

Love you!
Dineen

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

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A Glimpse of Heaven

October 12, 2012, was THEE day.

My entire universe altered as I stood in worship at Open Heavens and experienced the Presence of God. Dineen too was forever changed that day. Our ministry was forever changed and I pray that many of you have received encouragement and have experienced a change in your life because of that day.

This year was my fifth-anniversary visit. It always amazes me that Bill remembers me and our ministry. He truly cares for all of us who walk this difficult road, the spiritually mismatched.

I want to share some glimpses of the week. And share one moment that God gifted to me.

Meet Edna, Sandy, Evelyn, Grace and Maria. These five ladies came all the way from North Carolina.

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They came because of Evelyn, who is on the far right, a SUMite and she had read about my adventures on the blog in years past. 

Amazing things happened with these ladies. Like when Evelyn asked for prayer for her hearing loss. As I stood next to her, waiting for the pastor to instruct us to pray, Evelyn looks up at me and says, “I feel heat on my right ear. Heat.”

I am teary with joyous excitement as I reply to her, “Your healing is happening and we haven’t even started to pray yet.” After prayer, she said she experienced a popping sound and her hearing was improved.

I remain utterly mystified how God heals but I'm undone to be allowed to pray and to be a conduit to miracles is….. well….. I have no language to explain. God just ROCKS!!! 

I share some photos below along with one personal story. It's not often that I consider the efforts of my life on earth. I serve the Lord out of love and passion, to empower and strengthen the Saints. So, I was undone on Wednesday. Let me explain. October of 2012 was my first year. In 2013, I invited a woman named Sue. Her life was forever changed. In 2014, 2015 and this year she invited more and more people. I invite people. And they joined us on the adventure this year.

During worship on Wednesday, Sue stepped back to where I was standing and whispered, “Lynn, look down these two rows of people.”

I looked down the rows at a collection of people and children. There were 31 people in our group and others around the auditorium that were in attendance because I took a chance. God heard my call, felt my hunger, for MORE of Him. And through the wildest of circumstances and convincing Dineen to go on this wild adventure with me, we came to Open Heavens in 2012 and set in motion life-change for many others.

Sue went on to say, “These rows of people who are here, experiencing healing and a renewal of their faith, Lynn, they are the fruit. The fruit of your life.”

I burst into uncontrolled sobs.

Even now a lump is in my throat. I don’t often consider the fruit of my life, but on this particular day, the Lord in His great love allowed me a glimpse. I am unraveled.

My friends, once in a while, a glimpse of our efforts is worth months and months of contending in our struggles. I pray this week that God gives you a glimpse of all that your life is pouring into others. And let me assure you of this. If you are spiritually mismatched, your life IS pouring into others.

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This is Sue. She prays for hours for people while we wait in line.

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SUMite: Evelyn recognized me coming out of a port-o-potty... A blessing indeed.

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I was praying for people in line and this wonderful woman from Australia asked me to pray for her.

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Some of our group. They came from as far as the UK. That Is SUMite, Jim Edwards, in the back.

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This is Gracie Wright.  She is an author of children's books. We were in line at O'Dark 30. Someone brought donuts.

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Lynn, Bill, Stone

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Jenn Johnson and Stone. They have a new album soon and it's awesome.

They shared several new songs from their new album that will be out in a few months. The song, He's In The Waiting, is utterly transformative. Stay tuned.  

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My travel companion this year.

 IMG_4377These girls stood up in the conference. They attended with their parents who live in Colorado. Both girls eyesight was miraculously healed last year. Girls Eyesight Healed by God.

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SUMites: Lynn and Jim Edwards

  

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FRUIT: I'm undone!

My friends, God is on the move. Hang on because we are bearing witness to the church arising, awakening and impacting our world.  

We are the church of the Most High God. And I believe we are going to quickly be the church of the book of Acts. Hang on because IT'S THE BEST RIDE EVER!!

I pray you are overwhelmed with wave after wave of His love today. Hugging you, 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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A Tale of Vindication, Forgiveness and Obedience

Micah6-8Hello, SUMites! I left you hanging a bit on Monday with the rest of this house story and a specific Word from our Father's heart. So let's dig right in...

Early in the summer we went to check on our house and see the current progress. As we walked through unfinished doorways, we noticed the tubs had been installed. However, I was certain one of them was supposed to be a walk-in-shower. Yet when I questioned this, the building supervisor insisted this bathroom always had a tub per the design. 

When I pointed out we paid for shower doors, he told they would be added to the tub. That, in fact, they had them once in the model, which I checked and saw no evidence of this. Yet I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

My friends, I wasn't happy at all about this, because I don't like tubs. And something in all this didn't sit right with me. But out of respect for my husband's desire for peace in this issue and the apparent wall I'd hit, I let it go. And my reasoning kicked in to say, "It's just a bathroom."

But in my heart, I secretly asked God for vindication in this situation. I knew I was right. However, I also recognized that I had to let go of that need to be proven right. So I gave it to Him. Unbeknownst to me, God began moving to bring the right person and circumstances into place to reveal the truth…

Now fast forward to about two weeks ago. With the tiling now completed, it was time for shower glass to be installed. Except that bathroom with the tub? Yep, no glass doors. So I asked the new building assistant manager appointed to our house about it. He said they don't usually put doors on tubs, but he would look into it.

My friends, an anger flared up in me that burned hot as the reality that we'd been lied to began to come into clarity. And I was frustrated. I knew we'd be refunded anything we'd paid for in error, but that need in me to be proven right flared up again. I had to keep giving it to God, even when it woke me up in the middle of the night.

The next day, the assistant manager called us to say we were right, we were supposed to get a walk-in-shower. Just not in the bathroom I originally thought. Okay, well, I was mostly right, I thought. Giggle...

Then the question became, did we still want this at the risk of it delaying our closing? Our house had already taken twice as long as promised because of errors on the builders part. My friends, again, I warred in myself about this just being a bathroom, but I wanted what was promised to us. Mostly I wanted this house to be what God had planned for us. The assistant manager said he would see what he could do it get it done on time without affecting our closing date.

So, I confess here that this was where I gloated just a bit. Only to my sweet hubby who affirmed that I'd been right. Yet part of me still wasn't settled about it all. I know this sounds crazy, but it still seemed incomplete. And we still weren't sure if our closing would be delayed, which could cause problems with the whole move. We have to be out of our rental house by the end of this month.

Over the next few hours I began to process the full picture of what God was doing with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course. First, I was finally vindicated and proven right. As I praised God for working all this out for us, He reminded me of how I had prayed for this very thing months ago. 

For a bathroom. 

I know—sounds crazy, doesn't’ it? But God had a deeper plan and purpose here. As the complete picture came into view, I realized how the former building supervisor (yes, he was moved to a another subdivision) had outright lied to us. I've never been lied to like that before, SUMites. Not that I'm aware of. And it cut me deeply. 

I am quick to see the best in people and trust them. I felt a deep betrayal by this person and found myself several times going to my computer to craft a letter to make it known to our realtor and our sales rep. But God stopped me and called me to forgive. So I prayerfully asked for His help to do so and began to pray for this person too, to become a man of integrity as God was calling him to be.

The next morning, the assistant manager called again to apologize and say he'd read the plan wrong, that the bathroom I originally thought (and had asked about months earlier) was actually the one that was supposed to have a full shower. He also said they were committed to making it right and completing it on time for our closing. 

I was stunned, my friends, as I realized that was the part that had felt unfinished in my spirit. I had prayed specifically about this one bathroom. But where I thought God was done, He wasn't. He made sure it was the specific bathroom I had prayed for. Down to the detail. And I'm very aware that this part fell into place after I'd chosen to forgive and pray for this person.

SUMites, I am still stunned at the "completeness" of God's vindication. He's impressed upon me not to settle for almost done when it comes to His plans and purposes. That He is a God who completes what He says and promises all the way.

And a beautiful bonus blessing came from all this. We were so grateful for this assistant manager’s help, attention and commitment to detail—and his integrity and honesty—that we wrote a letter to the division president commending him. And now this man, who I know God clearly placed to help us, has been promoted to building supervisor! God is so amazing. I love that another person was blessed in this crazy ordeal.

And yet there is more. God always has a deeper plan and purpose in all He does. As I reviewed all that had happened, He impressed upon me that this story of a bathroom is actually one about vindication, forgiveness and obedience. One I thought would simply live in the archives of my memory, but God had a plan for it all along, to be shared. 

Abba impressed upon me a message from His heart for all of us right now, as we stand on the precipice of what He's about to do and reveal in our lives, our marriages and this community. This is what I hear God telling us right now:

The past must be forgiven—the lies, the betrayals. Know that I have seen each one for I am a God of justice. But I am also a God of forgiveness—Your Good Father, Your Savior Jesus. With the Holy Spirit, we are One in Our great love for you and your family.

For the full revelation of what I have for you, let the hurts of the past go and choose to forgive. Even let go of your regrets. What I hold for you is so much better. I promise.

Let Me be your defender and justice giver. You will see in Me a greater love in this process than you can even imagine. I make all things good. I make all things right. Trust Me. Trust me with your heart.

And someone reading this—possibly several—need to hear this from your Papa God:

I have already forgiven you, my child. Now it’s time to forgive yourself.

My friends, here's the truth I've learned in this. Our enemy is not the person who hurts us—its satan. When we don't forgive those who hurt us, we empower the enemy in our life. And we empower him in the life of the one who hurt us. 

Now here's the revelation that brought me to tears and to my knees. When we forgive, we are acting like Jesus. When we forgive, death is defeated. The enemy is literally defeated. Forgiveness is one of our greatest weapons against the enemy. This stunning truth was exhibited on the cross. Forgiveness renders the enemy utterly defeated. And there is an exchange of power in this, SUMites. When we forgive, we release the power of God just like the death of Christ released the Holy Spirit. In our lives AND in the lives of those we forgive.

SUMites, if you feel led, make a declaration in the comments that from this day forth you choose to forgive and that any ground the enemy had in your life is now restored to you. In the mighty name of Jesus, so be it! AMEN!

I love you, my friends! I’m standing and praying with you always!
Dineen

 

*****

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Someone New.

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Photo courtesy of khunaspix/FreeDigitalPhotos.nety/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My family loves Cirque Du Soleil. They bring a production down under every couple of years and we make sure we get tickets. We celebrated our youngest 21st birthday at the latest show, Kooza, a few weeks ago. It was extra special because Jake went on stage before the performance started. If you’ve ever seen a Cirque show some of the performers roam through the audience prior to the show starting and Jake got grabbed by one of them. She put a tutu around him and had him do a few ballet steps. I was so proud of him as he wasn’t put off by the 2,000 sets of eyes staring and gave it a real go much to the audience’s appreciation. It’ll be a memory that stays with him for a long time I expect.

The trapeze

One of the standout performances was the trapeze act where a singular performer dazzled us. She didn’t have a protective net, however, was hooked up to a wire so if she did fall she wouldn’t fall far. Last week I read something that used the trapeze act as a useful analogy to compare our old life before we met Jesus and the new one we have when in relationship with Him. I’ve found in my journey that I’m juggling the two. When I’m on the old life trapeze, doing what’s ingrained in me from my years living it, old habits, sin, and so, there’s a strange comfortableness about it because I’ve got that wire holding me. The new life trapeze is always swinging next to me but there’s neither a wire nor protective net. However, Jesus is standing on the platform smiling encouraging me to hop off the old life trapeze. Take the step.

Jump!

It’s scary especially when I look down. No wire. No net.

But when I keep my eyes on Him I’m emboldened to … jump.

“Gotta keep looking at Him. Keep looking at Him, Ian. Don’t take your eyes off Jesus.”

Now I’m swinging … “Keep your eyes on Me, Ian”

Okay … now I’m standing.

You get the picture.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You’ve probably read that verse a thousand times you know it off by heart. What I love about it is there’s no in between. It’s like being pregnant. You either are or you’re not.

We are new creations. The old us has gone. We are now filled with God. In us! He’s in us. Hallelujah.

But we still keep eyeing off that other trapeze bar and we hop back on it more often than we like. Don’t we? We get crabby at our partner, our children because we’ve had a bad day. We look enviously at the fancy new car our friends have just bought. You know the drill.

Fullness of Life

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

I’ve been studying Nehemiah recently. Here is a man who is besotted by God and by God’s purposes. So much so he does something crazy: asks the king to let him rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The king affirms Nehemiah and off he goes, assembles helpers and despite lots of opposition they rebuild the wall in 52 days.

Nehemiah is a man who experienced life to the full. He was a man devoted to prayer, seeking the will of God and obeying it. And Nehemiah did something truly remarkable. God equipped him to do His work.

God wants to equip us to do His work to. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to do something like rebuild Jerusalem; it’s as simple as being kind to our partners and children when we really don’t want to.

We can only do that if we stay on the new trapeze bar with our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. In Colossians 3 (verses 1-5) it’s explicit that we can only let go of our old nature by looking to “things above”. It starts there.

If life’s a struggle at present for whatever reason can I encourage you to start looking at “things above”. Remember it’s not the truth that sets you free but “knowing the truth” (John 8:32)

You are a new creation.

You are one with Jesus.

Your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Know the truth in your heart, in your mind and you will be set free.

Grace and peace dear SUMite friends.

*****

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God's Justice For Marriage

 

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  — Luke 18: (NIV)

I looked at Ann in stunned silence. Her words echoed in my ears as I felt the full impact of the truth just spoken.

Ann and I pray for people at our local church. On this particular morning, we prayed for a woman who was dealing with the aftermath of infidelity. The prayer time was powerful and the Lord showed up with such love and healing that the three of us were overwhelmed and a bit teary.

The woman who received prayer left the church. Ann and I stayed behind to chat. As we discussed what had just transpired, Ann looked at me and said, “Lynn, do you know what God’s justice for this marriage looks like?”

I shook my head. I hadn’t really thought along the lines that God has justice in His heart for broken marriages. He has justice for all marriages that have experienced pain, loneliness or disappointment.

“God’s justice in marriage is a perfectly restored and redeemed, blessed union. That the husband and wife will be restored to a better love. That they will be a couple, filled with adoration for one another. That respect and honor is at the core of their hearts and that they give willingly and with love to the other with surrender and patience. God’s justice is to see them rise into places of authority out of their forgiveness. That they will become so united that their children are raised in an atmosphere of love and faith in Jesus.

God’s justice is to see everything the enemy destroyed to be completely restored, redeemed and renewed. And the rest of their marriage be a testimony to the overflow of every good gift that is from heaven above.

I stared at Ann as her words fell upon me like the oil of Gilead. Her words over this broken marriage were a revelation for all marriages. For my marriage.

This is the Justice of God. It is His will to see our unequally yoked marriages become equally yoked, filled with love, mutual respect, steeped in forgiveness, honor, hope and fully devoted to faith in Jesus Christ.

My friends, let’s cry out for the Justice of God. Let’s pray the scripture of Luke 18:7 and decree that our marriage is ready for God’s justice to reign. Pray with me.

Lord Almighty, I cry out for Your justice in my marriage. I cry out for You to redeem lost moments, lost opportunities to share love, lost years of living in faith together. I cry out for Your justice to redeem our hearts, restore our hope and to pour supernatural forgiveness for one another into our hearts. Lord, I cry out for Your perfect, restorative justice that you will see a marriage redeemed and centered in Christ. Amen

If you just prayed this prayer, give me an AMEN in the comments. I'm praying His justice over your life, marriage and children today. In Jesus name. AMEN 

I love you my SUMites. Victory is OURS in the Lord! Hallelujah, Hugs, Lynn

*****

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The Tale of Two Houses

NewHouseMy friends, I pray you are still discovering sweet revelations and blessings from last week's fasting and praying for Rosh Hashanah. Dawn did an amazing job leading us. Thank you, my friend! We love you so much! 

And my friends, your comments were moving and inspiring. If you didn't read Ann's comment about her revelation dream for us that she posted on Thursday, please go read it in the comments. It's very encouraging and confirmed many things for me. In fact, God used her comment and Dawn's story about her house to show me what I was to share with you next. 

Can I just say, I love our Father's heart for us and our spouses? He is so passionate about us, my friends! I'm overwhelmed by His love and heart for us.

Now about our house...we are just 16 days away from closing. We have watched our house transform from a cement slab and framed walls to a nearly completed home full of details—cabinets, counters, painted walls and landscaping. My husband and I are so excited that we go by our house about twice a day just to see what new things have been done that day.

Now something happened early on in this process that came full circle just a week ago and God has show me it's a word for us. But first, I need to tell you a story of how this all began.

Back in 2004...

My husband and I decided it was time to buy a house. We'd moved back to the U.S. (to California) from Switzerland two years prior and had rented a house so we could get acquainted with the area and figure out where we wanted to settle. However, as you may or may not know, the housing prices in California were/are quite high. And the houses that were in our budget sold fast, usually through bidding wars.

One Sunday I went to church full of despair. We'd not found a house and had decided we would continue renting. I asked my Sunday school group to pray for us. We planned to check one more area that afternoon, but if that didn't pan out, we'd call our landlord and negotiate another lease.

That afternoon we drove to the area a friend had suggested but didn't find it. We had a fairly small area to work in because of our oldest daughter's high school district. When we reached that outer street, we resigned ourselves to just go home.

Just a few blocks down, we saw an open house sign on a house that was just renovated and hadn't even been officially listed yet. We debated stopping and finally did. 

My friends, I kid you not, as I walked into that house and barely saw more than just the front living area, I said to my husband, "This is our house."

We contacted our realtor, who was (is) a believer and told her to make an offer. And then we went to war. Several offers came in for that house. We'd offered the full asking price but knew the chances were slim to get it. Mike and discussed offering more and decided we'd take the risk. Our budget would be stretched, and we weren't sure how we'd do it, but my ever-optimist husband said we'd figure out a way. 

I called our realtor and asked if we should offer more. She asked for a little time to pray about it. A half hour later she called and agreed it was a good plan. Then we waited. 

The next day my husband came home with a story of his own. He'd received an unexpected raise that day, and it was exactly what we would need to afford the higher price mortgage. 

We got the house. SUMites, every time I looked at our house after that, all I saw in my mind was this big red bow around it, because it was a gift from God. We walked through a lot in that house (including the miracles of my daughter’s cancer recovery) and God us blessed us richly, even in the sale of the home to a sweet family with a little boy.

Now, fast forward to our house we are building now. As I shared in my post in July, God showed me this new house is a also a gift from His hand and that I was to rejoice in it. 

On September 8th, God led me to the book of Haggai. 

"'The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” — Haggai 2:9 ESV

As I read this, I began to tremble, my friends. That may sound crazy, but I knew that God had spoken something very deep to my spirit. And He reminded me of two other times this Word was spoken over me in the last year and half. Now He was affirming that the house He was giving us  ow and all that He has planned and purposed for it (which He's given me just a glimpse of His kingdom plans there and let me just say, "WOW!") will be greater than our former house.

SUMites, as I have shared in this past, this new house has become a monument of God's presence, provision and plans for this community. Our SUM family.

This word, that our latter "home" will be greater than our former one is for all of us. Ann's comment last week confirmed this for me. And showed me now was the time to share it as we near the completion of this home.

But God has given me another specific word, my friends. One that starts with an event that would require me to forgive someone connected to the completion of this home for lying and breaking our trust. It's a crazy story of God's unexpected justice and protection of His provision and plans. You will be utterly amazed.

Please be sure to come back for the rest of this story on Friday and to hear God's heart for us right now. This is a message you don’t want to miss, straight from the Father’s heart.

We are on the precipice, my friends. I know it's challenging to be on the mountain top with an assuredness and determination to pray into what God reveals to us, then to wait and pray, wait and pray, wait and pray and not see any visible change. But let me be the voice of truth to you and reassure you that our God is working diligently to bring forth His promise in reply to our prayers. 

Today I'm asking you to make a new declaration in the comments that you trust the Lord for all that He has promised you because He is your God.

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” — Psalms 31:14

Declare what you are trusting Him for too, my friends. Let's speak out into the natural what God is setting into place in the heavens! (Heb. 11:3)

I love you, SUM family. Please know that I am faithfully praying Jer. 24:7 and the Scriptures you sent me over you and your spouse. God is faithful to His Word!
~ Dineen

 

*****

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SUMRoshHashanah

So here I am

What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I'll fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It's the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say it's over now

Lyrics to The Hurt and the Healer by Casting Crowns

Friends, We made it!  Our week of fasting is over after today.  The word that comes to mind is VICTORY!  Victory over the enemy is ours!  Remember from day one – Overwhelming victory!

I don’t have any breakthrough stories for this week yet, but we don’t always see them right away or sometimes ever.  We will never know this side of heaven, how many chains were broken this week – but know that they were.  Battles were raged and won this week as a result of our fast.

I look forward to hearing how the week went for all of you – revelations, breakthroughs, restoration in broken areas, promises given, promises claimed.  I’m sure there’s much to be thankful for!  For this last day of fasting, let’s blast Heaven with praise and thanksgiving.

1 Corinthians 15:57

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Father,

Today we rejoice and give you thanks!  Thank you for all that you have done and for all that you are doing.  Thank you for this community and for the gift of like-minded friends that we have found here.  Thank you for the many blessings you bestow on us daily.  Thank you for our families and for our spouses.  Thank you that our hope is in You and that You are working all things together for our good and for the good of those we love. Thank you that victory is ours through You.  In Your Holy Name!  Amen!

Thank you all for sharing this journey with me!

*****

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Wisdom and Discernment

SUMRoshHashanah

 

I'm finding myself at a loss for for words

And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would you pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That you're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In your holiness
Word of God speak

Lyrics to Word of God Speak by Third Day

I hope you all are having an amazing week.  Chances are good that you are under spiritual attack, as sometime happens during weeks like this.  Hang in there!  We are down to 2 days.  I can’t wait to hear the praise reports – big and small - from our time of fasting.

I was trying to think if I had a testimony to share about fasting for wisdom and discernment, but sadly I don’t.  I am a rash decision maker.  I know the thought has occurred to me to do this, but in the end – I just make decisions because I don’t like them hanging in the air.  I wonder what would be different and how much heartache I may have saved myself if I had simply taken a day to fast about big crossroads I’ve come to.  I will admit, sadly, that there have also been times when I was pretty sure I didn’t want to “hear” what God had to say about it.

After reading Monday’s comments, it was clear that many of us are in need of wisdom and discernment.  There is no better time to pray and listen and get alone with God than when fasting.  So, if you haven’t made time to do that this week, do so today.

Father,

I come before you today, thankful for each and every person participating in the community fast this week.  I pray that each of us in the SUM community will see a clearly marked path before us.  I pray that Your voice is clear and distinct in directing us in the ways we should go.  I pray that whether we turn to the right or to the left, our ears will hear a voice behind us, saying, “This is the way you should go.”  Give us patience to wait for guidance from You when answers don’t come quickly.  Fill us with peace as we make these hard decisions in our lives.  Be with us every step of the way, Father, and gently nudge us back when we get off track.  In your Holy Name, we pray.  Amen!

*****

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A Story of Surrender

 

SUMRoshHashanah

And when you're tired of fighting

Chained by your control
There's freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

Lyrics to Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

I was on the fence about sharing this today, because it gets a little personal.  But I think it’s an amazing story of God’s glory.  So I’ll just be vague about a few of the details.  It’s also a story of what happens when we surrender and give God room to do His thing – not my strong point.

My divorce was final in September of 2014 – one year prior to our Jubilee Fast.  This was after 2 years of separation.  After a drawn out divorce, the final results ended with 50/50 child custody and my paying J child support monthly.  That’s where it gets a little personal.  It’s just a weird thing in Colorado that everything has to be oddly even.  I fought this.  I complained about this to anyone who would listen.  I felt wronged and knew he didn’t need it and I let him and everyone else know I felt this way.  It wasn’t so much about the money, but it devastated me that he would take it.  And at one point, he even threatened to come after me for more.  And the whole time (over a year), God was whispering – “You need to let it go.  Pay it with a happy heart.  Be thankful for that you have it to give him.”  Basically – “SURRENDER IT TO ME.”

It took the Jubilee Fast for me to do that.  It was then that I quit speaking negatively of J at all – to anyone, about anything.  I began lifting him up with my words.  I even quit complaining about paying him.  But I did continue to pray that he would feel convicted about taking the money each month.  Even as I prayed it though, I knew it was a stretch.  It felt like one of those impossible prayers, that you wonder why you even bother praying.

Here’s where it gets SO good!

In February of this year, I found out that he had stopped depositing my checks since October of the previous year.  I didn’t know because of the way I had it set up with my bank.  It took 3 months for the checks to return to me when he didn’t cash them.  The very last check he accepted was September of our Jubilee Fast.  In February, when I realized he had not deposited checks for Oct, Nov, Dec and Jan – I texted him asking why.  He replied back, “I just thought you and the girls could use if for something better.”  I have tears writing this and remembering that day.

I learned so many things from that experience, but the one that sticks with me most is that sometimes God moves and we don’t realize it until later.  There was an entire 3 – 4 months that my prayers had already been answered and I had no idea.  God moved mightily in September, but didn’t reveal that to me right away – for whatever reason.  I also learned just how powerful it is to surrender and obey, when He’s really convicting us to do so.  I struggle so much with this, but He has shown me more than once that He fights my battles better than I ever could – but I have to move out of the way and let Him.

I would love to hear your stories of surrender.  Maybe it’s a glory story or something God is calling you to surrender that you just haven’t been able to.  This week is a great week to bring those struggles before The Throne.

*****

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Obstacles to Fasting

 

 SUMRoshHashanah

 

“If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and miles
If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies
If you’re trying to feel the same old holes inside
There’s a better life
There’s a better life

If you’ve got pain
He’s a pain taker
If you feel lost
He’s a way maker
If you need freedom or saving
He’s a prison-shaking Savior
If you’ve got chains
He’s a chain breaker”

Lyrics to Chain Breaker by Zack Williams

I guess by now, you’ve figured out that I love music.  If I had to pick a theme song for our fast, this would be it.  I for one am so tired of hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies.  This week is where the rubber the meets the road – where prayer meets fasting – so LOOK OUT! 

With fasting, however, comes obstacles and road blocks.  Some of you confirmed that yesterday in the comments.  Fasting is not twisting God’s arm, it is sending Satan and any plans he has to harm you straight back to hell.  It’s taking hold of the promises God has given you and refusing to give up until they come to pass.  It’s adding jet fuel and rocket blasters to your prayers.  So, of course, Satan will throw anything he can in your way or tell you any lie you might believe to prevent you from fasting.  I know this first hand and have to make sure my sword is extra sharp before I enter into a fast so I can  be prepared to yield it to those lies and obstacles and distractions.

For me personally, Satan is always quick to remind me of a million reasons why I don’t have time to fast.  He is also quick to remind me of all the times I tried and failed halfway through the day or week. Or how hard it is and how grumpy I sometimes get – the list of reasons not to fast are endless and the reminders of them are constant.  Make sure you aren’t allowing any lies from the enemy keep you from fasting or sticking with it through the week.

The rewards of fasting are great.  You may or may not see a breakthrough this week, but know that chains are being broken and promises are being reclaimed – whether you see them now or not.

What obstacles are standing in your way this week that we can pray for?  If you are comfortable, share your struggles with fasting so that we can pray for each other and lead each other into victory this week.

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  Romans 8:37 NLT

Not just any victory – overwhelming victory!  That’s what this week is about, my friends!

Thank you for sharing the breakthroughs you are holding front and center this week. I’m praying with and for you all!  I am claiming overwhelming victory for each and every one of you.

*****

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A Testimony of Fasting - Day 1 of SUM Community Fast

SUMRoshHashanah

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

Lyrics from “My Story” Big Daddy Weave

The words to that song are the words to my song – my story.  And to tell you my story is to tell of Him.  My story of the last year is one filled with hope, love, victory and abundance.  It has been a jubilee year indeed and it all started with the Rosh Hashanah community fast here in our Sum Community. 

It was Monday, September 14th.  I had not fasted in a quite a while and I was actually at a very stagnant, even stale, place in my prayer life.  I was disappointed with God for not moving in my timeline, I was stressed out from the contentious relationship with my ex-husband and I was doing this fast because I just needed to feel that closeness with the Lord that I had not felt in a very long time.  And the thought of a Jubilee year on the heels of one of the hardest 3 years of my life sounded very appealing too.  While it was not my driving force, a breakthrough would definitely have been welcome.

It would be very hard to fit an entire year of blessings into a blog post, so I will start with that day.  On that day, everything with my ex-husband (for whom I have been standing for over 4 years with no hope in sight) turned on a dime.  It started with him calling me about his sick grandfather (shocking in itself) and since that conversation we have become friends, gone on family outings, helped each other out and even attended church together on Easter Sunday– ALL a result of that one day of fasting when everything turned around. And I believe that every day since then has brought us closer to restoration – no minor miracle, my friends!

For our first day of fasting, I will tell you of one other amazing story to bookend this past Jubilee year.  It ended as grand (grand as only God can do) as it started.  As you are reading this, I am moving into a house I purchased for me and my girls.  I had been renting a house for the last 4 years, but my daughter was starting high school and wanted to attend a particular school in a different area.  I decided I needed to go ahead and buy a house in that district.  So we started praying back in March for a ranch style house (just a personal preference), within our budget and with a school bus for both girls. 

The housing market in Denver is just crazy, so after getting outbid on every house we liked, I decided a new build was the only way to go.  Upon inquiring about new builds, I found out ranch style houses are VERY popular and there were none of those models available.  Apparently they were the first to sell.  So I settled on a 2 story house, significantly out of my comfortable price point and decided this was just the way it was meant to be.  At least both girls would have a bus to and from school. 

Fast forward to Sunday June 19th… I got a call from the sales office saying that our house completion had been pushed back to next year instead of the original Oct/Nov date I had been told.  Oh – and did I mention my lease was up in July and we had moved into my sister’s basement for what we assumed would be a short amount of time?  This news was devastating, BUT GOD!  As I am in tears with the poor sales lady, she says “We do have a ranch that is available and finished.  The family who originally intended to buy it was transferred out of state. If you’d like to come see it, we’d be willing to work with you on the price and transfer your earnest money.”

The girls and I went to see it that day.  It was everything we wanted and we fell in love with it immediately. It even had the same finishes (white cabinets, gray quartz countertops) that we had picked out for the other house.  We closed on September 30 and best of all; the price they gave us was well within the budget I had prayed for.  Wow – don’t you just LOVE how God rolls!?!

The kind of fast I am choosing to do this week is solid food from sun up to sun down Monday – Friday.  The breakthrough(s) I am particularly praying for are the usual ones I’ve been praying for years – that J will come to know the love of Christ first hand and know true unconditional love for the first time in his life and that my marriage and our family would be restored.  I would love to hear the breakthroughs you are all fasting for so we can pray for each other during this special time.  What mountains do you want to see moved as a result of your fast this week?

I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be leading this fast and doing it with all of you. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about obstacles to fasting and how we can stand strong against them.  “See” you then!

*****

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