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18 entries from March 2017

The Book of Esther: A New Queen and a Conspiracy

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Esther, mosaic, Jerusalem-The Church of Hagia Maria Zion-The Dormition Church

For such a time as this…

I remember nearly twenty years ago studying the book of Esther and finding myself enamored with this woman of humble means and her willingness to sacrifice her life to save her people. I wondered if I could do such a thing myself. I felt (and still do) very connected the Jewish people and their story. Most likely because my birth father and my grandfather were Jewish. However, my grandfather married a Methodist woman and refused to allow his children to be raised Jewish. 

Interesting how one person's decision can change the entire course of those who come after, isn't it? Vashti chose to refuse the king. Esther chose to risk her life. Mordecai chose to reveal a plot against a king, who would haphazardly follow the council of a wicked man bent on destroying the Jews.

So here we are, my friends, at a pivotal time in Esther's story. Her life story is changed by Vashti's choice and the king's decision to find a new queen. Makes you wonder what her aspirations may have been before this. We can only theorize based upon what we know about the culture of the time. The movie "One Night with the King" is one such venture to imagine a backstory for Esther while staying grounded biblically. (If you haven't seen it yet, plan a movie day!)

Chapter two opens with King Xerxes seemingly in a place of regret. His fury has subsided and he remembers Vashti and what he has decreed about her. Perhaps seeing his regret, his personal attendants rush in to assuage the king's heart. Let's find a new queen for the king!

And this is where the lives of the King Xerxes, Mordecai and Esther begin to intersect. Mordecai (which means "little man" or "worshipper of Mars") was captured under King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign and now holds a position of leadership. He stands outside the gates, most likely as an elder to settle disputes brought to him by respected citizens. In chapter three he is referred to as a royal official. In fact, we are introduced to him before we meet Esther. 

Esther, which means "star," is actually the daughter of Mordecai’s uncle. Perhaps her parents were killed in the invasion by Nebuchadnezzar. However, we only know Mordecai has raised her like his own. Esther is brought to the palace as a candidate for the position of queen and is about to walk into a world of which she probably knows little and become the star of the show, so to speak, though it is her humility and demure nature that begin to win her favor with those she encounters. And we continue to watch the "behind the scenes" workings of God, Who is still unmentioned. Yet from our perspective we clearly see God's hand at work, as good and evil interplay.

Esther pleases the eunuch Hegai (which simply means "eunuch") and wins his favor immediately. He provides a year of beauty treatments, special food and assigns her seven (there it is is again) female attendants selected from the king's palace. God continues to prepare this pivotal time in history to bring Esther into a constant light of favor, ultimately with the king who was more attracted to her than any of the other candidates.

And we see Esther grow in wisdom as well, as she takes with her to the palace only that which Hegai, the eunuch advises her to take. Hegai is clearly strategic in his actions to ensure that Esther will be chosen. And she continues to be obedient to Mordecai's instructions that she keep her nationality a secret.

Again we see more of the author's elusion to God's presence in the seven attendants assigned to Esther, who is brought to King Xerxes in the seventh year of his reign. What's fascinating here, as well, is the time involved in all of this. We tend to read the story and assume it unfolds quickly after Vashti's deposition, but in fact, four years have passed. And Esther sits as queen for five years before the conflict with Haman begins. 

Yet another smaller plot unfolds at the end of chapter two that seems to also be part of God's great "set-up" in this story. Two of the kings eunuchs who protected the king's private quarters have become angry for some reason and are plotting to kill the king. And Mordecai happens to be the one positioned to overhear it from his place at the king's gate. I can't help but wonder what went through Mordecai's mind when he first overheard this plot. Did he consider the implications first?

He gets word to Esther of the plot, who in turn tells the king, giving Mordecai credit as the source. The eunuchs are are hanged and the events are recorded in the book of annals right in the king's presence, yet Mordecai isn't rewarded. I find it interesting how conveniently the king forgets only to be reminded during a sleepless night in chapter six.

The intrigue continues to build, my friends. In the opening to chapter three King Xerxes honors Haman, giving him a seat higher than all the other nobles. Haman isn't even mentioned in the list of those seven nobles mentioned in chapter one, but here he is elevated to the highest position next to the king. What shifts of power have occurred during this six to seven year period of Esther's place as queen? 

As the spotlight shifts to Haman, which means "magnificent," he is revealed to be quite a vain and conniving person. His ego seems to only be fueled by the king's royal officials requirement to bow before him—an order from the king himself.

But Mordecai refused.

And that is where we will leave it for now, SUMites. So much more is coming as this story continues to unfold and culminates to a very unexpected revelation the Holy Spirit showed me. I'm excited to tell you about that...soon. First the pieces must all come into place to build the full picture of what God was doing in the story of Esther and what He is doing in us today. It's astonishing and mind blowing! 

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

Copyright: zatletic / 123RF Stock Photo

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Lenten Reflections: Week 5 - Slow down

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Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lynn and Dineen are supplying such wonderful teaching and inspiration that I sensed the Lord simply wanted to encourage us today. 

We can get caught up striving during Lent. Have you felt that pull? To be working harder at getting something more out of this season as we approach Holy Week and Easter. To feel closer to the Lord, to be different. Yes? I hear little whispers suggesting there should be something more.

 

Heart Preparation

Giving up things and applying greater focus to spiritual disciplines is a good thing.

“Disciplines are not the answer; they only lead us to the Answer.” (Richard Foster)

They’re helping open our heart, a spring clean if you will, so that we can experience more of Him.

Meditation

Today may I suggest you spend less time focusing on the process of Lent, the giving up and doing stuff, but rather simply contemplate Jesus.

I’ve always loved this verse from Zephaniah:

“The Lord your God is with you,

    the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

    but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph 3:17 NIV)

Allow yourself a few moments to be delighted in. Yes, you are His beloved! And our God delights in you and rejoices in you with singing.

Picture that in your mind: Jesus and an angelic choir singing over you.

Let go of all that is going on, the madness of your day, the kiddies raging around the house desperate for something, that work deadline that is edging ever closer, or whatever.

Simply sit or lie or gaze – and allow your Lord to cherish you.

Grace and peace, dear friends.

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God Replies To The Cry Of My Heart

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSitting in church last Sunday, I read Acts 2 and felt the Holy Spirit cover me with revelation. God spoke to my spirit and said, “Lynn, I’m pouring out my spirit on all flesh. I’m giving people, visions, dreams and I’m empowering my servants, both men and women, with my Spirit that they would prophesy.”

It freaks me out to even type this because so many people are wary and perhaps even freighted to consider that people today can prophesy. So, I believe it is time to share some of my recent experiences with the Lord. I do this to break fear from our community about what God’s Word says here. I also, pray with all of my heart, that what God is doing in me, He is doing and will do more in your life and faith.

Why?

Because it’s awesome!

It’s astonishing, filling and miraculous to be used by God in this way.

God’s response to my cry for a revelation of love was to tell me that He is pouring out His love by giving Believers these astonishing gifts from heaven. God said to me, “Lynn, My love is being demonstrated in a new way that My people haven’t see in prior generations. I AM GIVING THEM MYSELF! I am giving them powerful gifts. I am instructing them in love. I am doing this because the time is coming that my people MUST be ready!”

Holy Astonishment, Batman!!!!!!

It is my prayer that for the past few weeks you have also been crying out for a revelation of love. Because I know God will answer you and your journey into the “more” of God is worth everything. HE IS the Pearl of Great Price!

Several years ago, I would sit in church, my Bible open on my lap. I would read passages about miracles in the Bible and I would pray, “God, I believe Your Word so why aren’t we seeing miracles. Why don’t they happen today? I don’t understand? But I truly BELIEVE. I really do. So, help me to understand.”

Gang, get ready because when you pray something like this….. Well, God will answer you and blow up your life.

God responded to my heart’s cry by sending me on a crazy journey. A faith journey and an actual trip all over the Western part of America. I hope it’s okay with you but, I feel as though I need to share this story again for the many new readers here at SUM.

In response to my prayer, asking God about the miracles in the Bible, He sent me from California to Grand Junction, Colorado. I was visiting my mother, who lives there, along with my entire family. Well on a Sunday morning the family had planned to get up early and leave town for a hot springs resort in the mountains. Well, everyone slept in except myself and my mother.

“Mom, since everyone is still sleeping, why don’t we get dressed and go to your church this morning.”

Little did I know that morning was the beginning of a journey that radically changed my life, Dineen’s life and since then…. Many others. God is brilliant!!

I attended church and a guest speaker shared that morning about witnessing miracles in a church in America. REAL physical healings, just like the Bible, the passages I’ve asked God about. Well I was undone upon hearing this. There is so much to this part of the story but I must press on.

I returned home from that encounter. I checked out the church and called some friends I trusted in the industry. They said that if I ever have a chance to go visit, Bethel, I should do it.

So, I call Dineen, my partner in crazy antics, “Dineen, I think we should go.”

Dineen is just wacky enough to go along with my adventures. So I Googled the next conference, “Open Heavens.” Little did I know that at that conference on October 12, 2012, God would show up, personally, and have a love encounter with little ole me…. And Dineen too!

THIS ENCOUNTER WAS A LIFE-CHANGING REVELATION OF LOVE WITH THE FATHER.

We were changed forever. Many of you read our stories here on the blog. And we have never been the same. On that day Dineen and I were launched into this Acts Two fulfillment. And it’s been the best five years of my life. You can read that encounter here Living In The Presence

And that is how I have arrived in the season that I am walking in now.

I’m hearing the Lord regularly, for myself and for others. I’ve prayed for people and the demons flee. I’ve received a prophetic gifting that I can hear the Lord speak to me about others. I don't even know how to explain this but...... It's the LORD!

And God is doing this in you too. Today in the comments, share with me what God is doing in your faith life. I don't care if you think it's a small thing. If God has healed your heart in any way. If you have witnessed Him respond to any of your prayers. If you are receiving insight into the Word, or are you possibly walking in a new spiritual gift, I WANT YOU TO SHARE. Your words bring glory to our King!

Share and let's glorify the King.... Remember God said, "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh." Let's not doubt but believe and let Him do it!

See you in the comments. I LOVE YOU JESUS. I CAN'T SEE YOU BUT I LOVE YOU! I love you SUMites. Hugs, Lynn

FAST with me the week beginning April 2 to Easter. Break the fast with Easter lunch. I'm convinced God has much to reveal to His people in this week. We aren't the only church that will be fasting this week. Jump in and ask God for BIG Dreams!!! 

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Chapter One of Esther: The King Divorces Queen Vashti

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Esther, mosaic, Jerusalem-The Church of Hagia Maria Zion-The Dormition Church

For such a time as this...

Hello, my friends! Welcome to part one of our study of Esther! Like many of you who commented on Monday, I love the book of Esther. The more I read and study it, the more I appreciate the complexity and the multiple layers that compose this fascinating story. 

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A little glimpse of my work area as I study Esther.

And that is how I've decided to approach this amazing book of the Bible. We will go chapter by chapter in search of the truths and details of each layer. 

The Layers of Esther

When I look at stories, I tend to look for layers and how they intertwine together. Esther is rich in this kind of structure and symbolism as well. I hope you get as excited as I do when I discover these details. They truly bring the story to life in my mind, and in my heart, my friends.

These layers appear to be:

  • God's work "behind the scenes"
  • The enemy's reaction to God’s work "behind the scenes"
  • The changing and building relationships between the characters
  • The shifting of positions of those in authority and those in leadership
  • The positioning of key people to save the nation of Israel

First, let's ground our story in a relatable timeline. Esther's story begins to unfold about 15 years before Ezra would lead his expedition to Jerusalem. If you've read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, you're probably already familiar with the poor state of the temple and surrounding walls in Jerusalem and the astonishing way God moved a pagan king (Cyrus) to help the Israelites begin to rebuild it. So basically, the books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are about the restoration of Israel.

So, imagine if you will, that you are a Jew living in one of the 127 provinces ruled by King Xerxes. Your people have been in exile for some time and have settled all over these provinces. Yet you sense things are about to stir and change. You know the prophecies of the Torah and have a tenuous hold on the the promise that one day Yahweh would restore the nation of Israel and return you and your people to Jerusalem. But perhaps you're struggling to imagine how God could accomplish such a thing after the destruction of the past.

Yet right in the midst of your story, another begins to unfold. We're now peeking into the palace of King Xerxes as he closes 180 days of celebrations to display his vast wealth and the glory of his majesty. The palace is full of nobles, officials and the servants doing their bidding. And now, the king is giving a final banquet in the enclosed garden with unlimited food and drink. 

Here's where we find the first hints of God's presence, clues I believe the unknown author of this story included to show that God was always there even though He's not mentioned. We see this in the use of the number seven, which is associated with God and His creation.

  • The king's banquet was to last seven days.
  • The king commands seven specifically named eunuchs to bring Queen Vashti before him.
  • The king consults seven specifically named nobles of Persia and Media, who were considered wise and closest to the king.
  • The confrontation with Vashti occurs on the seventh day of the banquet.

What else can we glean and take not of in this first chapter of Esther's story? The celebration of Purim doesn’t exist yet, as it it a tradition direction birthed out of the events of Esther. We will explore that more as it unfolds toward the end of the book and how it continues to be a key part and celebration for Jews today.

Some speculate that the king’s request for Queen Vashti to present herself before the court may have actually meant she was to appear nude, waring only her crown. However, that is not historically or biblically supported. But it does seem she would have been in a somewhat humiliation position to be on display before men who had been drinking without limit for seven days. Yet surely she knew the risk and felt she needed to still refuse the king’s request.

Now let's have a little fun here. How about the names of those nobles and eunuchs? I find those fascinating as well. Names were often used to indicate the person's vocation, character, or relevance in the stories of the Bible. And remember, these were real people, SUMites.

Seven Eunuchs

First, let's quickly cover that the role of a eunuch wasn't usually voluntary. The position required the man to be castrated, which seemed to be considered an insurance of loyalty to the king and the protection of the king's property, specifically his wives and concubines. 

Here are the seven eunuchs mentioned in chapter one and their meaning:

Mehuman - faith

Biztha - booty

Harbona - ass-driver

Bigtha - in the wine press

Abagtha - God-given

Zethar - star

Carkes- severe

What's interesting is that Bigtha and Abagtha are listed together in the ESV translation, yet not in others. But that's a question for the scholars out there. 

Seven Nobles 

Here are the names and meanings of the seven nobles mentioned in chapter one:

Carshena - illustrious

Shethar - a star

Admatha - a testimony to them

Tarshish - yellow jasper

Meres - lofty

Marsena - worthy

Memucan - dignified

And it is Memucan who speaks in reply to the kings question of what to do about Vashti’s refusal of the king’s request, which they perceive to be a threat not only to the king’s authority but also to the authority of every husband in his home.  

My friends, in this first chapter alone have "watched" the positions of two roles change. The place of queen is now vacant due to Vashti's dismissal (divorce) by the king. And a new proclamation in every language has been sent to all the provinces stipulating that the husband is the ruler in his home. 

How interesting...how interesting that the voice of the women in this kingdom was silenced at this point of the story. Here we see the enemy's reaction to God's action, as if he is anticipating God's plans to bring a new voice from an unsuspecting place and person to save the remnants of Israel.

And that's where we will leave this fascinating story for today. My friends, what aspects of Esther are coming to life for you? What insights are you gleaning? Let's have some fun in the comments!

Love you!
Dineen

 

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The ACTS 2 Church

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMite Nation, did read Acts 2????

My friends, I'm compelled to share with you that my soul is sensing an urgency. We, the church, are in a divine and holy season. An unprecedented season of acceleration. I’m seeing this in my faith walk and in the faith walk of Dineen and others. Many of you, the SUMites, are experiencing this as well.

God is granting gifts to His people. (The pouring out of His Spirit) This acceleration is advancing the Kingdom in powerful ways. Hopes and dreams we have carried for years are now moving forward. Things that took years to bring to reality are now happening in months. This acceleration is also evident in the church. Gifts of the Spirit are being imparted and people are experiencing God’s love, spirit and gifting is powerful ways they never dreamed possible.

This is also a season of Holy Breakthrough. I’ve seen areas of faith change. I’ve witnessed and have participated in deliverances, healings, spiritual growth at a tremendous rate.

God is moving and as I read through Acts 2 again…… All I can say is…… IT’S HAPPENING.

So, jump in the “River” with me because it’s fantastic.

Onward….

On Monday I shared about sitting in church and realizing that God has been responding to my cry for a revelation of love for weeks. Sometimes, I’m just so blonde. (I hope that makes someone reading this feel better when you miss things too. *grin*)

Anyhoo, why in the world would God respond to my cry for revelation with a passage in Acts? Well on Sunday, while sitting in church, God went on to speak to me, “Lynn, don’t you get it? I’m giving you (all my people) something that I haven’t never given another generation. I’m giving them everything in this passage. It’s profound. It’s all you have been crying out for. You are seeing things, experiencing things of the Kingdom that Saints of past centuries could only wonder about.”

***** Can I just tell you, even typing this gives me a “fear of the Lord” and tremendous excitement and anticipation all rolled up together. I feel this excitement in the middle of my stomach. I hope you have a stomach full of this as well.

Let’s look at Acts 2:
In the last days, God says,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your young men will see visions,

your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and they will prophesy.

I will show wonders in the heavens above

and signs on the earth below,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

And everyone who calls

on the name of the Lord will be saved.

I will be straight-forth with you. Up until Sunday, I didn’t think we were truly in the “Last Days.” I know that may be weird but I’m an optimist and I see so much hope in our world, even though there is tremendous darkness and evil. However, after hearing directly from the Lord, I’m now a believer *grin*.

So on Sunday, God spoke to my heart in reply to my cry for a revelation of love. He said, “Lynn, I’m pouring out My Spirit on all flesh.” People of prior centuries have read this and wondered what this could possibly mean. Well, I’m of the belief that we are NOW seeing this passage come to pass within our lifetime, before our very eyes.

IN OUR LIVES!!!!

What are the implication of this truth in our lives. What does this look like right now in 2017? AND most importantly, how do we get in on this fulfillment of this passage????  

Woo Hoo!!! I can’t wait to answer these questions. So, on Tuesday, let’s chat more about it. For today, cry out in your prayer time. I’ve decided to fast the week of April 2 until Easter because I discovered how utterly powerful and how clearly, we hear God after a five day fast. Consider joining me. How hungry are you???? Pursue God hard and He answers you with love and revelation!!!  And that’s a promise!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled. - Matthew 5:6

I love you Papa God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. I love you Saints of old and I love you Saints of today. I love you Heavenly Hosts and the Great cloud of Witnesses!!!  So much awaits and is for us…. Lord I want it all. In Jesus name. AMEN

Love you SUMites. What are your thoughts about this passage? Share with me in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

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Lenten Reflections: Week 4 - Everyday Grace

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Photo courtesy of gubgib/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I’ve grown older I’ve come far more accepting of my mess. Not the physical one (I’m actually quite a tidy person) but the one in my heart and mind. We’ve all got some of it. One of the joys of Lent is intentionally spending time doing a spring-clean, self-examination in the presence of the Lord to identify areas of our life where sin and/or negative habits have taken up residence.

Sin clings

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. "(Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV)

Do you struggle with recurring sins that invade you regularly? What about the idols in your life that consume too much of your waking hours and desires? I sure have both and I take a degree of comfort from the above verses as it validates that our sins cling to us. Our sinful nature isn’t likely to walk away without a fight, hence, the reason we keep grappling with a particular issue.

My typical response

Too often I’ve found my initial response is to tackle the issue myself so I’ll research it, get some reading material and/or participate in courses to help me combat it. Now in itself I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with getting assistance so as to help change a habit or whatever.

But in many respects if we’re only seeking human intervention, we’re bound to fail. Because what we end up doing is focus too much on the sin and ourselves.

On accepting Jesus as our Lord we might think the sin issue is now sorted. We’ve acknowledged our need for Jesus and responded affirmatively to the gospel. “Yes, the power of sin has been broken, but the presence of sin still remains inside us and is being progressively eradicated by God’s delivering grace.”1

But those pesky sins keep clinging to us. It’s sin’s nature to do that as the verse above implies. One voice keeps telling us what a failure we are because we can’t get this thing under control and so we keep working in our own strength to resolve it. We ask people to keep us accountable, to check in on us and help us. And a day doesn’t go by when we ask for forgiveness and even cry out to God: “Help me, please.”

An Awakening

Once again, age (dare I say maturity?) has taught me that engaging Jesus in the spring-cleaning process is essential. As uncomfortable as sitting in one’s mess can be, having our loving Maker sitting alongside us makes it a lot more bearable.

“No mere human has ever been able to conquer its (sin) power on its own.”2

It’s taken me a long time to learn this truism. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have moments of feeling “fainthearted.”

Allow Jesus to gently guide you to sort through your stuff. We can be tempted to run or hide. We don’t want Him to see our muck but I always find He’s so caring in these moments. He wants the best for us and often our muck has created a veil, it could be ever so slight, between us. “As painful as it is to be exposed at this level, awakening is evidence of God’s grace.”3

In “looking to Jesus” (see the Hebrews verse) He is clearing the veil and bringing us into closer union with Him.

"If repentance isn't a daily part of your life, how is grace a daily part of your life?" (Ann Voskamp)

In acknowledging that Jesus needs to be whom I turn to when I drop the ball is wonderfully re-assuring. In recognising my need for Jesus throughout every day has helped me appreciate how much I need His grace everyday.

May I encourage you to spend some time this week sitting with Jesus and reviewing aspects of your life: family, friendships, work, church, etc and ask Him to reveal anything that might be hindering your connection. And then repent.

Let’s celebrate the grace that Jesus makes available all day every day.

Notes: 1. “New Morning Mercies,” Paul David Tripp, Crossway Books 2014, March 18 Devotional 2. “Comforts from the Cross,” Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Crossway Books, 2009, p48. 3. “Lent ‘ A Season of Returning,” Ruth Haley Barton, Transforming Resources, Week 3.

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The Mystery and Wonder of Esther

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Esther, mosaic, Jerusalem-The Church of Hagia Maria Zion-The Dormition Church

For such a time as this...

Hello SUMites! I mentioned last week that I was feeling led to do an series on Esther. Since then I can’t seem to stay away from this book and have poured hours of research into digging into the deeper places of this astonishing story. So consider this an introduction to Esther and what I have in store thus far to share with you. And I encourage you to read the book yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal its truths and promises to you too.

One of the most significant aspects of the story of Esther is that God is not mentioned by name once in the book. He isn’t even referred to. But He is very much implied. However, there are actually clues I believe the author put in place to make indirect references to God’s presence, something I hadn’t noticed before. So fascinating!

In researching the people highlighted in this story, I discovered the Hebrew meaning of their names to often be significant and indicators of their place in this God-driven story. And that even key attributes of God’s character are clearly yet indirectly displayed.

On a larger scale Esther is the story of the birth of a Jewish tradition and celebration (Purim) that has had significant historical impact in that last century alone that is unmistakably God’s work to save the nation of Israel. 

My friends, Esther is a very multifaceted true story that holds romance, power, intrigue and much more. I am excited to explore its depths with you and look forward to hearing your comments too. We are going to have fun with this one, SUMites, and in reading about Esther and the nation of Israel, I’ve no doubt we will discover our own stories and God-driven purposes in the lives of our spouses and our families. And in our nation as well.

So, are you with me on this one? Ready to go an adventure with me? If so, give a shout out in the comments and share anything else that’s on your heart, my friends. I know the Holy Spirit is already at work among us, the SUM Nation, stirring our hearts for “such a time as this.”

And in the mighty and saving name of Jesus, I say, AMEN!

Love you so much, my friends!
Dineen

Copyright: zatletic / 123RF Stock Photo

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A Revelation of LOVE - THIS IS WILD!!!

A Revelation Of Love

SUMites,

It’s Sunday afternoon here at the Donovan Clan home. It’s a beautiful spring day. The windows are open and a gentle breeze is flowing, praise and worship plays in the background and I’m feeling the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

I have to tell you what happened this morning at church. Well, for weeks I’ve been crying out, praying, pleading, asking for God to tell me what to write. You see I want to write about a Revelation of Love. I want to share how we can receive a revelation of love, a real love encounter with God. I am convinced that we can ask for these kind of encounters. And when the Lord shows up….. IT’S GLORY. It’s life changing!! 

I’ve experienced several life-changing encounters with the Father. Specifically, on October 12, 2012 my life radically changed and my faith was recalibrated. But, like all believers, I have seasons when my faith life can feel dry or distant. I’m just being real here. But, I KNOW that we can call out for “more of God.” The Lord loves to answer these kind of prayers.

In this series, I am going to share with you how I believe we can call out (pray) for a revelation of love. And I will share how I cried out and how the Lord answered me. It’s my hope that as you see how the Lord responded to me, you will be filled with hope and the tenacity to also cry out for a revelation of love from our Father.

So back to church this morning.

I remind you that I’ve been asking God for weeks about what to write. And often the Lord will wait to the last minute to share His heart with me. His delay and taking me to the last minute makes me a bit nervous. Because I knew I needed to come home and write about a Revelation of Love and hadn’t yet heard from God. And I’ll remind you that for weeks in my prayer time, walk-n-prays, and even in the middle of the night, I was praying, “God, I’m crying out for a revelation of love. Lord, I asking for a baptism of love.” And for weeks….. silence.

After worship this morning, the pastor began to speak about wisdom and we worked out way through some scriptures about wisdom. A great topic to be sure. However, in my soul, my heart spoke to God. “Lord, I’m still crying out for a revelation of love.”

Immediately, God responded!

I heard a passage of scripture. I have been hearing this scripture over and over again in response to my prayer but it was so crazy I ignored it. It was so strange I dismissed it as something I was thinking and not a reply from the Lord.

So, in the middle of church it was as if God said to me, “Lynn, I’ve been telling you and you haven’t been listening.”

*Gulp* and *Double Yikes*

So, here is what I heard. Exactly. Word-for-Word:

I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.

All of a sudden I realized that this passage of scripture, I’ve been hearing for weeks, is the response to my cry for a “Revelation of Love.”

While the pastor continued to speak, I was lost in the moment this the Lord. I am familiar with this passage and in my memory, I thought I could find it in Isaiah. I opened my Bible and looked. I started with Isaiah 60,  then 62, and other chapters….. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. It’s not there.

By this point, I’m completely freaked out and MUST know why am I hearing this passage and why is God sharing this with me in the middle of church.

I pull out my phone. I Google it. Finding the address, I open my Bible again to the passage and begin to read it.

As the Words flooded my mind, I literally began to shake under the power and love of the Father. I was trembling and revelation flooded my soul. And it was immediately clear that this revelation is for all of us.

The passage: Acts 2  - Joel 2

My mind blew up and I’m nearly trembling now as I type this message to you. SUMite Nation, God is doing things right now that we have never seen before in the history of the world. AND WE ARE INCLUDED IN HIS PLANS AND PURPOSES.

But alas this post is already WAY LOOOOOOONG!

Friday, I’m going to share why God responded to my cry for a Revelation of Love for our SUMite Nation, for me, with this strange passage of Acts 2.

I ask you right now to go look up this passage. And I want you to start praying today:

Lord, I’m asking for a revelation of love. I am hungry for more of You, Your Kingdom, Your purposes, and revelation from Your heart. In Jesus name.

In the comments, make this prayer your public declaration that you are crying out for more. Copy the prayer, type your name, and say AMEN… Then pray it every day because something miraculous happens to the heart of a believer that seeks hard after God.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. This spring is going to be amazing. I’m so blessed to walk this faith journey with all of you. Hugs, Lynn

 

*****

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Lenten Reflections Wk 3: the Secret Place

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Photo courtesy of James Barker/Free DigitalPhotos.net

We’re all familiar with the often-repeated comment that Jesus didn’t give the disciples a lesson on anything but how to pray. And this lesson came in amongst His great message: the Sermon on the Mount –

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”(Matthew 6:5-6 NIV)

This gave us the notion of the secret place. The place we go to meet with Jesus. For many of us we have a regular habit of going into a room (I do, my study) but this isn’t always possible for some people for whatever reason. Its essence involves getting alone with Jesus wherever that might be, in your car, on a mountain, sitting by a stream, etc.

Being Intentional about Intimacy

In our modern lives it’s very easy to be always on the go taking God with us. We all have our own versions of this depending on what particular season we’re experiencing in life. God wants to be involved in all we do and so bringing Him along as you go through your day is important. The essence of godliness is being aware of God at all times and actively engaging Him in whatever we’re doing.

“If we want to fully walk out the callings the Lord places on our lives, we must spend time with Him, cultivating intimacy in the secret place.”1

Jesus loves being with us and He so wants us to want to spend time with Him. It’s like any relationship we have quality time together leads to intimacy. Sharing our hearts draws us together. There is no shortcut to developing intimacy.

“Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ … The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” (Exodus 33:7,11 NIV)

It’s easy when reading Exodus 33 to skip over the second half of verse 11. It’s a chapter about Moses and the Glory of the Lord. It’s a BIG chapter, exciting to read, as we get a little insight into the intimacy the Lord shared with Moses. But I’ve always been fascinated by this brief mention of Moses right hand man: Joshua.

I think most of us love the book of Joshua. How Joshua succeeded his mentor, Moses, and led the Israelites into their Promised Land. Often when we think about our Promised Land we think about something physical whether it’s a place or a new career or new season of some sort. But I believe it reflects us stepping into a new season of intimacy with the Lord.

And how did Joshua achieve it?

He didn’t leave the tent. He lingered in the Presence of God.

“What’s more, when we spend time in the secret place, our passion and hunger for Jesus grow.”2

Joshua discovered that for himself when he was an apprentice. And the Lord rewarded him by giving him the responsibility of leading his people into the Promised Land.

Progress or … not?

Over the weekend I was thinking about the first two weeks of Lent and questioned what had changed. Sure, I’ve not eaten chocolate (well, most days) and not looked at FB and Instagram. But it’s a lot more than giving up something. Isn’t it?

These past few days my life unexpectedly slowed down. So I’ve spent more time in my secret place, being more intentional about sitting in His presence. And I’ve loved it. And I don’t want to leave it.

How about you? Have you had a recent opportunity to spend quality time in your secret place with Jesus?

BTW, where is your secret place? Be great to encourage each other by sharing where (or how) we go to our secret place.

Let me pray for us:

Jesus, we love you, we worship you. Thank you that you so desire intimacy with us. Help us to realize that the desire in our hearts is the same: to have intimacy with you. Because you put it there in the beginning. When you made us. Please show us, even if it means interrupting our lives, how to spend time with you in the secret place. In Your loving name we pray. Amen.

Notes: 1. Daily Insights to Birthing the Miraculous: 100 Devotions for Reflection and Prayer, Heidi Baker. Charisma House 2016 p32. 2 ibid.

*****

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Sumite Prayer Partners - A Prayer of Praise

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Hello brothers and sisters in Christ, Christy Edney here. Today I would like to lift up prayers of thanksgiving and praise. Please open your Bible, read all of Psalm 65 then join me in the following prayer.

Let all that I am praise God the father and our Lord, Jesus Christ! If I have but only one remaining breath then let it be used to praise the life giving king of all. For He is worthy of all my praise. Though I stumble and trip over the nature of my sin, You go before me and plan ahead for my failures. Father, your grace and mercy go beyond human understanding. Such mercy and grace awaits each person who would declare the name of Jesus Christ and put their faith in him. Mighty God, thank you for pursuing those who would attempt to run from you. We thank you for the work that you have done in these hearts and the work that we know you will do. Lord, you are the object of our faith, the source of our peace, joy and hope. Thank you for being our provider, protector and so much more than my words can capture. In the matchless name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen!

If you would like to receive a prayer partner then please click this link to send me an email: Sumite Prayer Partners

If you and your partner have hit a roadblock in your relationship then please click this link to send me an email: Sumite Prayer Partners

Love and prayers!

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25 Years

SUMite Nation,

This date on March 14, 1992 was the day we married. I looked through some of the photos. A couple of crazy kids. Wow, twenty five years passes quickly.

Wedding pic 1992

We have come through much and I tell you this from the bottom of my heart.

I love this man. 

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Thank you for celebrating this special anniversary with us. Mike and I will be traveling to Europe later this summer to celebrate our love and marriage.

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Stay strong SUMites. It's the journey that makes us holy! Love, Lynn

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A Miller Update

Mike&Leslie
Leslie & Mike, Christmas 2016

Hello, my dear friends. I’m taking today’s post as an opportunity to update you on my daughter, Leslie. Many of you have asked me to keep you updated, which touches my heart beyond belief. Thank you. Your love and prayers fill my heart with comfort, joy and peace.

If you’re new to the site, my daughter Leslie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at age 14 in 2008. She is 23 now and cancer free. (If you want the full story, you can do a search of her name to access the archives.) At the end of 2015 she began to exhibit side effects of her radiation treatments from 2009 and had to stop working due to pain and trembling throughout her limbs. Just as it seemed she was finally stepping into a full life, healthy.

Leslie has still not been able to go back to work. It’s been over a year now. Her pain level is still high and after a year of seeing the doctors at Stanford (not the same team who helped save her life) and not getting anywhere or any relief, she has begun to take control of her own health care.

That’s a big step. I confess that was difficult at first for this mama who can hover at times, but she has done a fabulous job pursuing her own health solutions and answers.

As a result, she’s managed to find out more with a rheumatologist nearby in just a short month. Right now the doctor’s report says she has arthritis in her tendons, her right ankle being the most damaged. 

My friends, I am going to be honest with you here. I didn’t know what to pray for as this was unfolding. I, of course, wanted a good report and prayed for that, but I was torn. I wanted answers for her so she could figure out how to manage the pain in her body and live a fuller life. 

So I am grateful for answers, but I am not coming into agreement with this diagnosis, nor will I speak it over her. I have learned in the healing rooms to pray and believe with each person at whatever level they are willing to believe God for their healing, but I have also witnessed God increase each person's faith in those moments to believe and ask God for more than they can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).

So, I will support my sweet girl and believe with her at whatever level she is at to believe she can be restored, even through treatments and medications, which I’m not against. God clearly worked in tandem with the doctors to save her life in 2008, and it is a story full of miracles.

I believe in God’s Word that says we WERE healed by the stripes of Jesus, and that His salvation (sozo) covers our physical restoration too. And I am standing on the promise God gave me for Leslie from Isaiah:

The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. — Isaiah 58:11

My friends, I am not discouraged. Initially my heart ached, and I poured that out to my Papa God. He gave me comfort, peace and reassurance. He does not forget His promises. Quite the opposite. He constantly watches, plans and sets things in to motion to fulfill His Word out of His great compassion and in His perfect timing.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! — Isaiah 30:18

And for every promise God gives us, He gives us the provision too. So this is how I am “upgrading” how I am praying this over my daughter. 

Father God, You have given me the promise for Leslie. I speak it back to You, in faith. That You, Lord, are guiding Leslie continually, not just now but throughout her life. That you are giving her water in the dry places of her body and restoring her strength. That every provision she needs to walk in health is already in place for her. 

I declare in agreement with Your Word, Lord, that Leslie will be as a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. She will be restored in the places she has struggled and pour out great beauty, fruit and hope to others in dry places. She will be a garden that blooms and produces fruit that cries out and shouts of Your great power, love and glory, Lord. In the endless name of Jesus, amen!

SUMites, I believe now is the time for us to renew our prayers and declarations for the promises God has given us. He does not falter, nor does He step away from us. Our breakthroughs could be just a single prayer away. Let’s not give up the race now. 

Our Great God will not fail us. I believe He will move and do things in ways we have never seen before and never could have imagined. I’m already seeing Him do this in small things, and it’s absolutely stunning. I can’t even imagine what this will look like as He increases in us, our lives and circumstances and through the prayers we pray over those we uplift to Him. 

Share your hearts and thoughts in the comments, my friends. I am standing with you in prayer for every promise, every provision, every declaration.

Love you so very much,
Dineen

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Change Your Life AND Someone Else's!

Dear Lynn,

I just wanted to say thank you one more time for investing in us last week! The knowledge you poured into us, I could have never afforded and the LOVE, ah, no money could buy! Having you to believe in us, is invaluable! I am humbled by your generosity and value for the stories God has place in each of us! I pray you are ridiculously blessed for what you’ve given us! —Christina

I received this note in the mail a few weeks ago. I truly care about the stories God has placed in you. I want to help you write your best story for the Kingdom.

It’s not too late to register and be part of something that can literally change your life and bring GREAT honor to our Lord Jesus Christ.

SUMite writers workshop:

The first of the workshops will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 9:00 am Pacific. Please check your calendar and your time zone prior to reserving your spot. Space is limited as I want to have live discussion and interaction. This is a two hour workshop, filled with real experience, tips and tremendous encouragement.

In this workshop I will be covering:

  • How to organize your story 
  • Defining your writing purpose
  • Defining your audience
  • Writing from the heart for transformation and healing
  • Writing style and your voice
  • How to write tight and write well
  • Grammar, punctuation and other helps
  • Where do we go from here????

This workshop will inspire you. All my workshops are Holy Spirit focused and inspired. I will also pray over you the writer's blessing. And I will release you to become a Kingdom scribe to take your story and His redemption to the world. 

This is the first of three workshops. Expect a writing assignment at the end that will get your started. Register today, this is a non-refundable purchase and holds your place in our virtual classroom. After registration, expect an email from me to confirm your registration. I will provide classroom instructions a few days prior to the class.

Thank you for trusting me to be part of your writing journey. God has called you to write and He will do amazing things through your writing. Hugs, Lynn

Writer's Workshop $25

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Lenten reflections: the power of solitude and silence

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Photo kindly supplied by Mary de Muth

Two weeks ago I received an email from my brother letting me (and my other siblings) that mom was in hospital due to extremely high blood pressure and was likely to stay there for a few days. Mom is Dad’s main carer so it was clear that we kids were going to need to help care for Dad while mom was convalescing.

As my employment is currently variable I was able to man the day shift and my brother and a family friend took turns doing the night shift. Everything I had planned for the week was now re-scheduled or cancelled.

One of the side effects of Dad’s strokes a few years ago was a reduction in certain cognitive functions so powers of speech, reading and concentration were impaired. Conversations with Dad take longer than usual and as a result tend to cover fewer topics simply because of the effort required.

But I’ve come to appreciate two wonderful gifts this season has provided: reading him books and spending time in each other’s presence being silent. In particular, just being with Dad has become a special time, irrespective of whether anything is said.

40 days in the Wilderness

“Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.” (Mark 1:12-13 NKJV)

As we know, the structure and themes of the 40 days of Lent is based on the wilderness experience of Jesus. Beyond these 40 days we read often during the gospels how Jesus would leave the crowds, the disciples and spend entire nights by Himself. Well, I don’t believe He was by Himself; rather He was communing with the Father.

Solitude

Jesus gave high priority to the practice of solitude. He sought solitude on many occasions and in particular, chose mountains to be the place of choice for solitude.

In order to seek God, we need to find places where we can be alone with Him. It obviously doesn’t have to be a mountain, but its’ important to find a space in your day where you can be alone with Him, leaving everything and everyone aside. Lynn and Dineen share regularly of their prayer walks.

It’s hard in our busy lives to find moments of solitude especially if you’re working 12 hours a day or taking care of little kiddies all day. I know I used to often escape to the bathroom at work and just sit in one of the stalls for five or ten minutes to get away.

Silence

I love this statement from Dr Archie Parrish:

“If solitude means getting away from the busyness around us, silence is stilling the busyness within us.”1

I know I find it difficult to slow the internal talk. Being silent can be terribly confronting and at first can be unsatisfying because it’s where we meet our demons. The clashing cymbals of anxiety, anger, critical spirit and expectation to name just a sample are likely to invade our quiet time. And that’s before we add in external gongs like hungry kiddies wanting breakfast, email, social media, and so on.

I recall reading about Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1) one year during Advent. They both had long periods of quiet during Elizabeth’s pregnancy: Zechariah nine months, Elizabeth five. Time to meditate and contemplate all the angel Gabriel had told them and whom they were soon to introduce to the world: their son, John, who was to be known as John the Baptist.

“The more we inhabit silence, the better our hearing becomes. When we step back into the noise of our world, our hearing is a bit more fine-tuned and more likely to catch God’s whispers. In this way, we learn to stay alert and awake”2

This Week

Whether or not you’re observing Lent may I encourage you to this week to discover a way in which you can allow yourself some time to be alone and silent. Five minutes will suffice if that’s all you can find. Settle yourself with some deep breaths, in and out. Initially simply focus on your breathing as you allow your mind to “let go” of everything. As one gong invades (they will) simply release it as you exhale.

Once you’ve found some calm simply ask the Lord a question:

“Lord, how can I let you love me in this moment?”

Enjoy being cherished and loved by your Lord.

How do you find time to be still and enjoy simply being in the Lord’s presence? Be wonderful if we could amongst ourselves as a way of encouraging each other with some new ideas.

Be blessed, dear friends.

Notes: 1. “A Simple Way to Pray – The Wisdom of Martin Luther on Prayer;” Dr Archie Parrish – Serve International, Fifth Ed 2009, p96 2. “Silence – and other Surprising Invitations of Advent”, Enuma Okoro, Upper Room, p.56

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LOVE > fear

LOVEHello, my friends. On Sunday, my pastor started us out in Isaiah, which made me chuckle—seems many of us are planted in the book of Isaiah right now. Makes sense when we tune in to see what God is doing right now…and how He’s working. 

Today I want to share another part of Isaiah as a prayer, but first I have a question for you today.

Are you battling fear?

I have a feeling there are a lot of you out there nodding your heads. In fact, I’m almost certain all of us have battled fear at some point in our lives. Fear became a very real and present challenge for me in early 2014, along with anxiety attacks that would last for hours. I’d never in my life experienced anything like it. 

But God was and is faithful. He told me then He’d be my healer and He was. And when the enemy tries to rear it up again, I know the truth, that God’s love truly does cast out all fear. 

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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. — 1John 4:17-18 (NIV)

LOVE > fear. Always.

One aspect that my pastor pointed it out is that the word ‘perfect’ in Greek means complete. So how is God’s love perfected in us? We all want to know and feel God’s love. I know I do. And we can ask for that, ask for Him to show us His love for us, reveal His presence, His heart for us. But it doesn’t stop there. When we express/show/share God’s love with another person (our spouse, friend, neighbor), God’s love is perfected in us. 

Think about it this way. God’s love is actually always in us. His Spirit is in us, therefore so is His love. We can ask for it feel more present, more alive, to operate more in it and to share it. And that’s the deal here. His love isn’t just meant to flow between us and Him. It’s also intended to be shared with others. That’s the full circle, so to speak, and what 1 John 4 is all about. 

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. — 1 John 4:19-20

And our love is our greatest weapon, whether we are giving it to God in worship or pouring it our on another person. My friends, our faith reminds the enemy of his destruction, and our love sends him running in his own fear! Fear and love simply can’t coexist. Love literally drives fear away. That is powerful! God’s love is the most powerful force on earth, because HE. IS. LOVE.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. — Phil. 1:27-28 (ESV)

So when the enemy tries to make me afraid, I refuse him and I dwell in God’s love. I speak it out. I declare the truth. And I am set free. 

Love is the solution to fear. So next time you feel fear coming on, think about God and how much He loves you, adores you, lives as love in you and thinks on you with uncountable thoughts of love! (Psalm 139:17)

Think about your spouse and how much you love him or her, think about your children and how much you love them, or love on your pooch or kitty (I’m serious!). Ever notice how you much better you feel when you help someone in need? When we express love, fear flees!

Now about that prayer. This one is a promise from God about fear and it applies to our children too.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established;
you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
and from terror, for it shall not come near you. — Isaiah 54:13-14

Let’s pray it as a response and declaration like this:

Almighty Lord, thank You for teaching my children,
and for giving them great peace.
Thank You that You are establishing me, my spouse and my children in righteousness.
(also part of our 1 Car 7:14 promise)
Oppression will be far removed and we will not fear.
Fear and terror can no longer come near us.
In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!

SUMites, I leave you with these two powerful Scriptures as well.

Do everything in love. — 1 Cor. 16:14 (NIV)

Let love be your highest goal! — 1 Cor. 14:1 (NLT)

Those are my mottos, my friends! I love you, I love you, I love you. And thank you for loving me.
Dineen

*****

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SUM Nation Survey

SUMites,

Would you please take just a few minutes to help us make our community better and stronger

The link below is a quick survey about how you found SUM. We are also asking about what you want to read in the future and what other events we might offer. Please, PLEASE take a minute to complete this confidential survey. We won't share your information nor will you receive an email from us.

Thank you SUM family. Together we are a strong family who loves one another as we march toward victory in our faith and marriage. Hugs, Lynn

SUM Nation Survey: March 6, 2017

And get ready because I'm about to burst as we learn how to receive a Revelation of Love. We will start this fantastic journey with the Lord on March 20th. 

Look up Zephaniah 3:17. I know this and Zachariah 12 will become powerful in our faith and lives. I'm fasting this week and praying for you to receive this revelation of love..... It changes everything. I love you, Lynn

 

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A Declaration of Salvation

IMG_0071Hello, SUMites! Can you believe we’re already in March? Time seems to keep speeding up on me, so I’ve made the decision to look forward to Christmas all year long. If this most precious season is going to keep fleeting by on me, I’m going to make the most of it the rest of the year.

Are you laughing at me? LOL! That’s fine if you are. But on a deeper note, I believe this is actually part of the journey God has me walking to know more joy and delight, especially delight in Him.

Which brings me back to Isaiah. Who would have, at first glance, thought that the book of Isaiah is one we can delight in? But it is. It is the book that holds the most prophetic words about the Messiah coming and who He would be to the Israelites. And to us…

That’s the delightfully stunning part, my friends. As this book was inspired, our Papa God was even thinking of us—you and me…and our spouses. Isaiah is a book about God’s ardent love for His people and His desire and plan for our redemption and restoration to Him. 

In fact, the name Isaiah means “the Lord is salvation.” That right there makes my heart go ka-thunk. To think our Heavenly Father’s plans and love for us span from the very beginning to the very end, well, that’s just a stunning picture of how great His love is. We truly are rooted and established in love—His love.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Eph. 3:16-19 (NIV)

Read those same verses in the Passion Translation:

And I pray that he would pour out over you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.

Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life, providing you with a secure foundation that grows and grows.

18-19Then, as your spiritual strength increases, you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement, beyond academic knowledge—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! — Eph. 3:16-19 (TPT)

SUMites, this is what is blowing my mind this morning as I write this. And this is what I feel the Holy Spirit is impressing upon me right now. The entire book of Isaiah is a passionate declaration of God’s jealousy over His people and His great love for them. And it is a book that applied to the Israelites in their current times and spans all the way to us and beyond because of the promises it holds. It was the decree of the Messiah to come and a declaration of Who our Savior Jesus is today, for us.

This is the clarity the Holy Spirit has brought to my heart for two weeks now to understand how I can—we can—apply and pray these Scriptures over ourselves and especially over our spouses. This is the clarity He brought as He showed me Isaiah 12 and placed a knowledge and understanding in my spirit of how to pray it for my husband. And this is the clarity I feel He is telling me to share with you. I’m excited to share it with you, my SUM family.

In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” — Isaiah 12:1-6 (NIV)

This is how the Holy Spirit led me to pray/declare it:

On the day of your salvation, Michael, you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord.
Although your pleasure could not rest upon me,
You turned away your displeasure to pursue and love me.
I declare God is my salvation!
I will trust Him and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord Himself, is my strength and defense;
He has become my salvation.”

And on that day, Michael will say:
“I give praise to the Lord and proclaim His name;
I will make it known among the nations what He has done for me,
and proclaim that His name is exalted.
I sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things in me;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people!
For great is the Holy One of Israel, the Almighty God, among us!

In the saving name of Jesus, amen!

My friends, I encourage you to not only do this with Isaiah 12, but with any piece of Scripture that seems to grab you, because, I promise you, that is the Holy Spirit revealing something to you. Ask Him what it is, speak it out, mediated on it, journal it, declare it and rest in it until He tells you to move on.

And never forgot the promise of Jeremiah 1:12, that God watches over His Word to perform it. Speak it, then trust Him for the time and place for it’s fulfillment. He is faithful to His Word. SUMites, if you've prayed this for your spouse, put his or name in your comment with an amen. I want to pray in agreement with you.

I love you, my friends, and I pray that the revelation of God’s Word is astounding in your heart, your life, your marriage and to those around you. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!
Dineen

 

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