9 posts categorized "Compassion"

When I Was In Prison.... SUMite, You Visited Me.

Woman prison SUMThe last few questions of the Survey were about attending some of our events. Such as a conference, a virtual classroom or one of our charity events. As one of the leaders of our SUM community, I’m personally overwhelmed each and every time we offer or host one of these kind of events. These events are where names on a screen become people in front of me. I SEE JESUS IN YOUR EYES. I have so much love for you that I could burst with hope and joy.

My favorite event of all time was the Wal-Mart prayer event. Still, to this day, I’m deeply impacted by two things from that day. One, the utter generosity of our community who gave to provide gift cards and flowers to the patrons that day and also prayed. Two, those who stopped to receive prayer outside of Walmart on a warm Thursday morning a few years ago. You can read about it here if you have time.

We haven’t offered an event like this since because I truly wait to hear from the Holy Spirit. And you know what?

IT’S TIME. It’s time again to be a community who reaches people with the hope we have discovered through Jesus.

A few weeks ago, I asked friends of mine who has a ministry to our local women's prison if  they would be interested in a donation of our some books, Winning Them With Prayer, for the women? Both her and her husband were THRILLED and replied with thankful surprise and resounding, YES! They went on to tell how desperately they needed a prayer book.

A couple of years ago I actually met a woman from this prison. She was a woman who had been recently saved then released and was staying with the couple I mentioned, until she found a job. I listened as she gave her testimony. I bawled through most of it. You see, she was my age. She wasn’t born into the life that I was blessed with. She was born into abuse. In and out of jail for drug abuse, violence, theft and few other things. She looked haggard with skin and teeth suffering the years of drugs and her voice was graveled from chain smoking. But I looked at her and wept….. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ME.

Many women such as this one, come to faith right there while doing time because of the prison ministry. They study and read the Bible. They pray and then they worry and cry. Many of them fear their release as they must return into very difficult situations and to family members who are far away from Christ. Friends, they make our unequally yoked marriages look easy.

The ministry works diligently to equip them as fast as they can so they don’t lose their faith when they leave prison. It’s a monumental task. So when I offered the prayer book, the ministry leader was thrilled. (I wish you could have seen her face.)

Now what is also interesting is that within a few weeks following my offer to the prison, a SUMite made a large donation to our ministry to cover the cost of the first shipment of books. God is so cool. And thank you to that SUMite because your donation will have eternal ramifications on families who are in desperate need.

So SUMites, we have an opportunity to give another set of books to another prison ministry. Will you think about giving $5, $10 or $20 toward these women?

Or would you consider giving a recurring donation monthly of $5, $10 or $20 to our SUM ministry to be used to pay for the postage of books, the internet expenses and the furthering of the SUMite ministry to other countries. We need to get our books translated and published in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and few other languages. These expenses are simply way outside of what Dineen and I can afford.

God is telling me that it’s time that the "church" embrace us, the spiritually mismatched. It’s time for us to step up and be a missionary for others besides our family. And we can do it.

Pray and ask the Lord, Can I make a small donation monthly?

AND a GIANT THANK YOU to all of you who already give. We are utterly thankful and use every penny for further the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let your heart guide you. And if you can’t give, pray for the women in the prisons that these books transform their faith life and families as ours is transformed. In Jesus name. AMEN

There are two buttons below to choose from and consider:

This button is for a donation of any amount to our 501c3, tax-deductible Non-profit Ministry, Three Keys Ministries. To give to the book ministry, use the button beneath it.

 

 The button below is to make a donation to the same ministry but specifically to give to the prison book ministry. THANK YOU.  Lynn & Dineen

Prison Book Ministry
 

THANK YOU.... THANK YOU.... THANK YOU... And may the Lord bless you and keep you and may His face shine down upon you. Hugs, Lynn & 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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My Husband Entered My World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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-

SUM Books 4


Summer Study - An Ordinary People Who Have Been With Jesus

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGang, 

As we work out way through the books of Peter, I would be remiss if I didn’t stop to share some thoughts about my last post on Friday. So, let me expand a bit on what I shared. One thing has nagged me about the post. 

I shared an example of a fictitious husband who is lost in a world of self-hatred which expresses in his life through alcohol addiction and rage. It grieves me to say that many SUMites walk in this place with an angry, drunken spouse. Because I know this, I want you to hear me now. I understand that it’s not easy or simple to forgive and love someone that behaves in destructive and hurtful patterns. 

Let me state the following: If you are living in an abusive marriage, seek help. Today, this hour. For yourself and your children. 

Pray to break off the spirit of alcohol, rage, self-hatred, etc. etc. Cast those ugly minions into the pit, never to return. In Jesus name. I will pray with you!

Learning to love people and “see” them through the eyes of Christ, however, empowers us to see past the superficial. We can ignore the annoying, the stubborn, the impossible, the arrogant and the godless people whom we live with, work with and come into contact with. The love of Christ, seats us in heavenly realms (Ephesians 2) and we can love an impossible mother-in-law, a boss who is a jerk, the neighbor who has loud parties, even the coach of the T-ball team who is ignoring our kid. 

This week I want to challenge you to do something amazing. I want you to ask God to help you “see” those who are unlovely through the lens of love. Now this is really important, pray and ask God for wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17) that you can perceive what is really going on in a person’s life who annoys you and then begin to pray for them. 

Let me share a Kingdom secret with you: When you pray in earnest for someone it becomes impossible to hate them. Try me on this! No try Jesus on this! 

Also, this week I want you to take a risk for the Kingdom. I want you to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When you feel the urging of the Spirit to say something to a friend, a stranger about your faith or Jesus or pray to for them, I want you to follow through. God, has told me that He has encounters for us and this week especially, people will be open to receive a word of love from Christ, through you. Are you up for this risk? God won’t let you down if you follow through. And as one who has obeyed when God told me to speak to someone, I can tell you this. When you finish with the encounter it will be one of the most amazing things you will ever do. (Here is one of my encounter stories.)

SUMite Nation, Peter was an ordinary man and unschooled fisherman. Peter became a risk taker. He jumped out of the boat and walk on water. He was the first to speak to the new church on Pentecost. He was the one who went into the tomb to look for Jesus. Peter risked his life to preach the living Word, Jesus, to a lost and hopeless people. 

Let’s be like him this week. Let’s bring Jesus to someone who needs to be unchained from satan. 

The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. —Acts 4:13 

My friends, we are ordinary people with no special training but WE HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS. This week, let's let our lives reflect this astonishing truth. 

I wanna hear your stories. I may head off to Walmart to pray again this week.

O Jesus, give all of us boldness. In Your powerful name, Jesus. AMEN

On Friday, we are going to examine suffering. You are gong to be surprised by what I have to say. But it's in the book. Get ready for some freedom!!!!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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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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Peter 2 - It's Hard To Love People

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMan, reading through the books of Peter have set my faith on fire. I want to chat with you about so many of the passages. There is such power to live a life of strong faith within these titles. And these two small books speak specifics to all of us walking in a spiritually mismatch marriage. So hold on to your hats, we’re gonna experience a whirlwind of faith that shakes our world in every good way.

Awesomeness!!!!

I want to start in a weird place, turn to 2 Peter, chapter 1. It was in this chapter, months ago, that I realized the Spirit was pointing out the pathway of faith to me. I wrote in my Bible at the time in the margin: The Pathway of a Life of Faith. Let’s take a look:

Let me point out verse three:  

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.

Holy Mind-Blow! 

I want to talk about power in the next few weeks, but for now just hold on to this as a teaser.

Move along to verses four through eight:

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Okay, do you perceive the stepping stones, I call them stepping stones of His Promises.

Pathway of Faith 2 Peter 1
Click on this photo, print, use for homework. :)


 

I hope this visual cements the steps of faith in your mind. 

Walking along these stepping stones is what moves us from nursing on milk as spiritual babies, to mature men and women of faith. All of us are currently standing on one of these stones. We take steps forward or back depending on our circumstances and faith maturity. Overall, I think that we understand most of these concepts of faith development and can pursue them through practice and through the encouragement of the Word. 

All, with the exception of one. 

I’m finding that making the leap from mutual affection to love is difficult for many believers. Let me explain. As believers we love God. We adore Him, our Savior, Jesus and the Spirit. We spend time with Him, worship, praise, pray and find that loving God is a pretty cool thing. It's easy to love God. Where we struggle is loving people. 

And I “get it.” People are hard. People disappoint, let you down, they outright lie, deceive and harm you. People are selfish, arrogant, sexually immoral, greedy, and lewd, filled with envy as well as a host of other hurtful and awful character traits. Sounds like the passage out of Mark 7. And this is just a list of our relatives……. *grin* Let alone the strangers in the world. *double grin* 

Christians love God but we often struggle to love people. I know this to be true of so many people including Pastors, teachers of the Word, life-long believers and those whom you would never guess that sound like they love but their actions or their life or even their own words betray them. Because they have been offended and hurt they see people as an annoyance, a bother, awful and unworthy of their time and effort let alone their love. Yikes, could this be me too?

But Peter is reiterating a command of Jesus: Love one another. But how? 

Ah, now we are getting somewhere. 

I am convinced that several months ago the Lord gave me a picture of a combination lock to help me communicate how to love others like Jesus. And I believe there are several components to making this last great hurdle from affection to real-Godly-love. 

As believer’s we have an edge when it comes to loving people because we are empowered and enabled to view people through the eyes of Jesus. 

Let’s consider a husband who struggles with anger or alcohol or both. 

Jesus sees a broken boy underneath this man’s addiction and explosions of rage, who was unloved by his earthly father (most likely). A man who never received affirmation of his value nor training on how to be a man of integrity. He is an angry man who feels he is always a victim of everyone and everything. Looking deeper still, Jesus sees the demonic oppression over his life from the spirit of drink and the spirit of anger. And mostly likely, what Jesus sees at the core of all of this is: An orphan spirit and a spirit of self-loathing or/and self-hatred. 

Whew! That’s a lot! 

Sometimes we need to just take a minute and ask the Lord to help us "see" the person in front of us, who has just ticked us off, through the eyes of Christ. This moment of clarity will lead to some pretty amazing revelations and realizations that can create a paradigm shift in our thoughts, actions, and reactions and then release authentic love for this person. 

It’s a process. It’s another set of stepping stones. Here they are. 

  • Supernatural Love – Lord, I can’t love on my own willpower. I ask for Your heart that I may love others like you love. Place Your heart within me and let me always speak and act out of Your love.
  • Prayer – Lord, help me to see with your eyes. Grant me perception and understanding.
  • Forgiveness – Lord, You need to help me to even want to forgive. Lord, I can’t do this on my own. You will need to change my heart and soul to forgive this person through your supernatural power and love.
  • Compassion – Lord, release in me supernatural compassion to love people, all people with your heart. Let Your compassion reign in my heart with every person with whom I have contact, on the phone, text, face-to-face, any capacity, whether they are a waiter at my lunch table, the janitor of the building, the pastor of my church, my husband, my wife, my children, their teachers, anyone and everyone. Lord, let me see them with your eyes. Always with compassion. In Jesus name. Amen.
  • No Judgement – O Lord, Jesus. I will not judge people by their outward appearance but will seek through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to perceive what is in their heart. Help me to see where they are broken and help me to live to love them in that broken place.
  • Child-like Faith – Lord, make love simple. Make love easy. Pour so much of your love into me that it flows out freely like a child, through a river of living water of love onto every person I meet and especially to my relatives, my immediate family and to my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Okay, a lot already to study, contemplate and pray. Tell me where you are on the stepping stones. What you are currently praying. Has this post of The Study of Peter helped you? 

Today's challenge/homework (for those who love homework): click on the photo in this post of the stepping stones, print it out. Take it into your prayer time and ask God about the stones here and which one, or more than one, He is currently asking you to seek to understand. Listen as the Holy Spirit guides. He might direct you to write names next to stones or issues or prayers. I would love for you to share those with me in a week or so.

I love you my friends. See you on Monday for another bunch of great words from the books of Peter. And Dineen will be sharing on Saturday. Woo Hoo! It's a blast reading the Word of God with you! Hugs, Lynn

  image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

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-

SUM Books 4


Disparaging Disappointment, Part 2

14511569_sSo glad you're back, my friends. The end of this series is so near and dear to my heart, because it's written with a deep love and desire for you to live in the fullness of Jesus and all He has for us. I believe we will see great tremendous breakthroughs individually and as a community in 2015 and I don't want you to miss any of it. I don't want to miss any of it either!

Now for the final part of this series. Scroll down to part one if you need to catch up. The links for the previous parts are there as well.

As I shared in part one, this journey was so unexpected for me. I had to face some dark places in my heart and mind and allow the Holy Spirit to peel back layers of lies and pain so that He could bring the healing Jesus wanted me to have. And as I faced the additional challenge of being patient in the process, the Holy Spirit gave me this prayer:

Lord, help me to be patient so I can focus on what you're doing right now instead of what You haven't done yet.

And just this week I found this nugget in Romans:

But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.— Romans 8:25 NLT

God's process will entail whatever is necessary to stop the enemy's ultimate plan to destroy our faith by stealing the one thing that he can never attain—hope.

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God! —Psalms 42:11 NLT

In a dark moment of despair, David recognized his disappointment and saw that his hope needed to be placed again in God. And with it came his decision to praise and thank God, no matter what the circumstances around him looked like. Sadly, by destroying our hope, the enemy keeps us from being the aroma of Christ to our prebelievers.

Dear friends, we have powerful tools to fight the three Deadly Ds of doubt, disbelief and disappointment and they are:

  • God's Word
  • A thankful heart
  • Praise and worship

These are also keys to kingdom living, to the abundant life, to sustaining our hope, joy and peace.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” — Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT

No matter what, choose every day to read God's Word, to thank Him for everything (even the bad stuff—for the good He Will bring out of it) and praise Him for what He has done, is doing and will do in your life. Jesus will meet your needs in astounding ways as you do this, because you're diving deeper in intimacy with Him.

And when your mind begins to race again with all the doubts, disbelief and disappointment, return to this place of rest and wait patiently for Him to act (Psalm 37:7). You will find yourself entering this place more frequently and easily until one day you will realize that not only have you persevered, you are now stronger than you have every been. You have defeated the enemy. You have moved to a whole new level of faith. God's anointings and gifts for you are growing stronger. You find yourself in situations (divine appointments) to now bring all that you have learned to others.

Just as I am doing right here, my friends, sharing all this with you. For that I give Abba Father, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit all the praise and glory! As this community prays and waits for our prebelievers to come to faith, my heart and prayer for you, SUMites, is the same as Paul's was for the Philippians:

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

— Philippians 1:3-11 NLT

With deepest love and admiration for you in Jesus,
SignatureGraphic2
Photo Copyright: 72soul / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

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-

SUM Books 4


The Combination To The Power Of Heaven

Hi My Friends,  (Combination is at the bottom. Read all the way through.) 

Isaiah 53 5
Today I want to share a few thoughts with regard to healing. Several weeks ago I shared with you a few stories about healing.  

I finally want to chat with you about a mystery, the healing power of Jesus. Firstly, always, always, Jesus is our healer. He was bruised (Isaiah 53:5) for our iniquity and upon him the stripes of His beatings were for our healing. Man, if you just allow that thought in your head…… Recently I was listening to some teaching about healing. Did you know that Jesus’ face was beaten to a point that He was unrecognizable? When I consider the suffering He bore for my healing, I refuse to let one little bit of it go unclaimed. I will not waste the torture He endured that was meant for my healing. How about you? 

Anyhoo, by this point you know that I absolutely believe in healing. Healing of the soul, spirit and of our physical body. I’ve seen it. Experienced it and believe what the Word of God says about healing. 

But today I think we need to talk about why some aren’t healed. Why people receive healing prayer and nothing happens or a partial healing occurs. I will say right up front. We don’t know. It is a complete mystery as to why some aren’t healed and some are. 

But I can also share some firm thoughts as to what can keep us from experiencing healing. Let’s start with three things.

  1. Unbelief
  2. Unforgiveness
  3. Bitterness 

Unbelief. I want to share a story from the Healing Rooms. When the three of us, myself, my daughter Caitie and Gina entered the room, we were already halfway healed. Why? Because first, we TRULY believed we would be, could be. We did NOT doubt but truly walked in child-like faith. I’m in a season right now where God is teaching me the power of child-like faith. I have witnessed more supernatural encounters since returning from Bethel than I have ever before. I am convinced it’s because I have combined three things.

  • Child-like faith (I will explain more)
  • Compassion
  • No judgment 

Man, when you put these all together in a soul, Jesus shows up with all kinds of power and love. 

Child-like faith is the opposite of unbelief. Now get this: I choose to believe. Flat out decide that God’s Word is true, and it is. This kind of faith is gained and learned through maturity. What a contradiction of thoughts. Spiritual maturity births child-like faith. Oh how like the Lord to purpose faith this way. 

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.—1 Corinthians 1:27 

Unforgiveness which gives birth to bitterness keeps so many of us from everything of the Kingdom. I am at a place in my faith walk where I literally choose to not be offended even when I have every right to be offended. I take the offense to Jesus and ask Him to help me rid it from my heart. I choose love. I choose love. I choose love. Couple love with compassion and it’s powerful my friends. 

Which leads to judgment. Ah, now this is the place that gets in the way of most believers. We judge people so harshly. In the depths of our heart we size a person up, declare their faults and failures in our minds and then sentence them to shame, unworthiness or wickedness. And we do all that in seconds. 

What Jesus is teaching me now is some powerful lessons in choosing compassion over judgment.   

Recently I was praying and the Lord brought homeless people to my mind. And I grieved for them. I said out loud in my prayers, “Lord, I will give to them. I don’t care how they came to be homeless or that they may be drunks, druggies, lazy. I will just love them.” 

You know what God said back to me? “Lynn, if you will love these people for me without judging them, why do you judge your daughter-in-law who has left your son. She needs help right now. Will you help her too?” 

GULP! 

Ouch. I mailed her a card, a photo of Elise and money that day. Yeppers. I did. 

What I saw in the healing rooms were those who were child-like and those who were judging everything that happened. They saw God interacting with people and God can be unexpected. Things can get animated as people encounter the God of the Universe. They were skeptical and thought they knew how people should behave. These were the people who did not experience healing. They were too busy judging…. And get this- really, they were judging our God! It scares me to even think about casting judgment on God for the way He interacts with people. SCARES ME!!! 

On the way to the conference when all of us were together sitting at a restaurant for lunch, I put down one ground rule for our conference experience. I looked straight into the eyes of the teens and said, “No matter what you might see or experience this week, you cannot judge others by what they look like or what they may do. If you don't judge, you will encounter everything you are hoping for.” 

Guess what? 

They did! 

And so can you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
 

Monday I want to share what has been happening in these weeks since Jesus has been teaching me. I feel like He has given me the combination lock to unlock the power of heaven and voice of God. Child-like faith, compassion and absolutely NO judgment. 

I’m in awe of what He is doing. 

And I’m STILL wanting to get onto this series about how to deal with the spirit of confusion, the critical spirit and few other unwelcome and evil entities we contend with. Are you up for all of this my friends? 

Why do you think I spend so much time teaching about the truths of God and focusing on our spiritual growth instead of speaking to unequally yoked marriages? It’s because, once we have our faith walk in the thriving zone, everything falls into that zone as well. 

I love you my family on the web. Stay tuned because the breakthroughs are gaining momentum and if you are a regular here, you have one or more coming. In Jesus name. Amen.

*****

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-

SUM Books 4


Line by Line: God's Thoughts on Guilt and Shame

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Good Friday Morning My Friends, 

I want to add to our summer study something that is not specific to our line by line study but something I feel as though the Lord is desperate to tell His children. 

I was talking with Dineen on Tuesday and sharing with her a discussion I had with a very close friend of mine who was tormented by shame and guilt because of past decisions in her life. I hung up the phone with Dineen after sharing the story and all of sudden The Voice of God was speaking so loudly to me in that bathroom where I was getting ready that I know I’m to share His thoughts about this subject today. 

From the conversation with Dineen we were made acutely aware of how unworthy so many of God’s children feel. How beat up, emotionally and spiritually, because of the many mistakes we have made in our lives. How we live with such deep shame over words we have spoken. We carry enormous gilt over the tremendous errors in our judgment that have brought pain into our children’s lives and into our own. 

We feel like this all the time. And on dark days the enemy snakes in and tells us all day long that we are a failure. We are stupid for making that decision. He tells us to say to ourselves, Oh, how I wish I wouldn’t Isiah 4 9have said that. I would give my life to make a different decision. I have suffered so greatly because I chose to do this instead of doing that. 

If we could see this shame and guilt upon us in the spiritual realm, it would look like enormous chains upon us, dragging behind us, sapping our energy and our love. Can anyone relate? 

So right now I want you to hear what I heard from the Father. Receive this as your truth and step into His words of freedom right now. 

 

My Sweet and Holy Child, 

Do you not understand that I know how very difficult it is to live on earth? Are you not aware that I am fully and completely sensitive of how hard it is to live there? I know the pain you face. I didn’t send you to earth as your Father, blindly-unaware of every tiny detail that you would face. 

I know it’s hard to live there. I knew that before I sent you. And I knew that you would make mistakes. You would make big mistakes. You would make choices that would affect your life adversely for the rest of your earthly life. I knew that would happen. I knew your choices would cause you pain. And choices that your parents made would cause you hurt and struggle. I knew the decisions you made would hurt your children too. 

I am fully aware my child that your words have hurt others deeply. So deeply that they have forever separated you from a loved one. And I know that words spoken to you in carelessness have been giant swords that pierced your heart and left you broken. 

I know this life is hard. It is hard from the beginning and there will be struggles until you die. But I know all about every one of your struggles, your guilt, your shame and your difficulties. And it’s all okay. 

I knew when you arrived of the planet you would struggle. And I knew you would make poor choices at times. And it’s the same for every person on earth. 

You all make bad choices at times. It’s not like you are the only person who hurt someone with a choice you made. Everyone does it. Everyone makes tremendous blunders and messes up their life and the life of others. 

It’s all okay. 

You are not worse than anyone else because they ALL MAKE mistakes. Big mistakes. 

What I want from you is simple. Admit you made them. Ask for forgiveness. I WILL FORGIVE YOU IMMEDIATELY. Make right what you can. Then FORGIVE YOURSELF. 

I expected you to make these giant mistakes because life is hard on planet earth. So live in this truth. The lie you have believed is that no one else screws up this badly. It’s a lie. Everyone messes up their life and the life of others. 

But I am your Papa of Grace. It will all work out in the end. For I use all things for the good of those who love Me. You’ll see. Give yourself grace. Grace is forgiveness and kindness and love. But grace is also empowerment to do better the next time. And you will do better the next time. 

So let go of this shame and guilt. I will not condemn you because my Son stood before me with your name on His lips. He died for you and He speaks to Me often on your behalf. I love you. My Son loves you and the Holy Spirit is with you to help you do better next time. 

The best thing you can do is to follow hard after the teaching in my Holy Word, talk with me all the time, bring your life before me and let Me direct your path. I will never leave you nor forsake you my child. You can learn to walk through this very difficult life with grace, love, joy and peace. That is what I want for you for the rest of your life. 

I adore you. Please adore yourself. 

Signed, Your Papa
Abba, Father 

PS. Jesus says, “Hi.”

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Reader Question: How do I defend my faith?

Dear friends, here's another reader question that really challenged me in my answer to her. Sometimes there isn't a clean cut and clear answer. And as Scripture says, we don't understand God's ways, but we do know He is always good and always faithful. Pray for our dear SUMite sister in this situation. Hugs! ~Dineen

I've been reading the blog on and off for a year, and just started reading Winning Him Without Words. The website address prompted me to come visit again. I appreciate the honesty in Tamara's letter (see post here), and it lets me know I am not alone. I feel a similar frustration but for a different issue. Yes, my husband in not a believer but it has led me to seek His truth even more so than before. I know I am not with him in error, and I hold onto the words in the Bible that advise me to stay with my unbelieving spouse unless he no longer wants to be with me.

However, for 5 years I have been trying to conceive and have tried nothing and everything we could and could not afford. I don't know how to explain to my husband that "everything is possible if you believe" when I have believed so many times, and nothing. I don't know how to answer my husbands questions because, how can I honestly say that the Lord must have something better in mind? And so I just sound like a lunatic. Yes. God is enough. God can comfort and love me, but He cannot replace a baby in my arms. This makes it very complicated to defend my faith and I understand why my husband does not believe.

My friend, I'm so sorry you are in this position. I feel your disappointment and pain. I wish I had an easy answer or explanation for you, but I don't. I've recently had to deal with something in my own life in similar fashion that didn't make sense even to me, yet I knew my only recourse was to trust God. I couldn't explain it to my husband, nor did I try to defend God. I just simply shared what I felt God was showing me through it and how God was helping me walk through it.

Sometimes all we can say is, "I don't know, but I will trust God." It's essentially what Proverbs 3:5-6 is about, to trust God and not lean on our own understanding, to seek His will and believe He'll show us the way.

These are the times that we are challenged to truly believe and hold onto the truth of Romans 8:28, that God is always good and that He is always working for our good. I know how hard that is when faced with such unexplainable circumstances.

I will offer you no pat answer or cliché of words you’ve most likely heard over and over again. But I will say, don’t let go of God. When you are confronted with these difficult questions, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words. You may find the answer He gives you to speak will bring you comfort and peace as well.

We don’t see the full picture, but we can trust that God does, that He is on the throne and is working for not just your good but your husband’s too. I believe God can bring something beautiful and amazing from every heartache in our lives. And I am believing this for you too.

Hugging you tight with love and prayers,
Dineen

Provers 3  1-6

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Hope Restorers

(Read this post all the way through because you don’t want to miss what is about to happen) 

Lynn here……It’s Sunday evening here as I write this note to you. I’m smiling as I type for two reasons. First, the Denver Broncos WON!!  All is right with the world. Second, I spent the better part of two hours reading the comments left on the fasting posts from last week. Wow. 

Your words for one another, move my spirit. They move the Lord’s heart. Words of love, encouragement, wisdom, and words that exalt and nurture each other. Words that bring honor, glory, praise and worship to our King. This community is amazing and we truly are a representative of God’s love. And because of our love, the world may know that God sent His only Son. 

The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as you loved Me. John 17:22-23 

My head is filled with so much from the past few days. God has imparted some revelation and truths. He has filled me with a fire, a burning passion, for all of you and for the work He has assigned this community. I don’t even know where to start. 

I want to write about Spiritual warfare. Post such as recognizing the enemy spirits in our lives such as defeating the Orphan Spirit, contending with the Religious Spirit, ridding our lives of the Poverty Spirit, rebuking death,and breaking a “soul tie.” I have a ton more topics in this realm rattling around in my heart and soul.   

Then I’m overflowing with posts and thoughts about healing. Learning wow our healing is declared and delivered and learning how to receive it. And I’m talking about healing in every area; emotional, spiritual, and PHYSICAL… Just astounding stuff… I tell you, I’m so excited about all that God is doing right now. 

And then there’s the really, really BIG stuff. God’s plans for 2014 and for this community. Did you know that you are part of this community by His powerful and love-filled design? He personally chose you. He has placed you here as vessels of love and compassion. Out of our deep struggles in our mismatched marriages, we are the very ones who will be the first in Kingdom’s purposes. We are the Hope-Restorers. 

WE ARE THE HOPE RESTORERS!

What does this mean? 

My friends, this is the reason that our little community was born in 2006. There is great and powerful work in the Kingdom and we have been put together to have a significant influence in this world. Influence that comes with supernatural power and compassion. We truly are an anointed vessel to bring change to our homes, our cities, our states and nations. I can’t wait to see how God is going to use us to do this but I’m completely convinced we play a powerful role in the near future, even today. (Psalm 67) 

I have more to say on this as well. But tonight as I write, I hear the Father speaking to us. He knows that we have much to do and we will experience great things in the near future but before we move forward into all of that, He just wants to love on us. So, please take a minute and step once more into your prayer time, your secret place. Allow the Father to gently place His hands on each side of your face. Feel Him gently come near, embracing your face and lifting your face with closed eyes to listen to Him speak words of love into your heart. Hear Him now as He holds your face, your very countenance, in His embrace. 

"I am delighted in all of you." 

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing." ~Zephaniah 3:17 


My friends, shortly after returning from Bethel, God woke me in the night. I kept hearing over and over, Zephaniah three. Over and over. I called Dineen the next morning and asked her, “Is there even a book in the Bible that is named Zephaniah?” I had some distant remembrance in my foggy brain. But why was God giving me this verse? 

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Read the verse below as well. I will remove sorrow, He says. I will deal with all who oppressed you. Wow!

Well, finally today, I understand why. I received this verse in an email this week. The email was about God’s people becoming Hope-Restorers. And low and behold, I open my Bible up and this single verse was underlined from the time when God gave it to me months ago. It is a confirmation that God wants us to feel His love and His gladness. He will quiet us with His love and sing loudly over us. Whoa.. 

Just WHOA!! 

So, I’m not sure what I will write about first but come Friday get ready. Because we are beginning a new era at SUM. We are a body who has been chosen to bring much healing, love, and compassion to the world. And this healing, love, and compassion- He is giving them to us first. Exciting! 

I know I’ve shared a lot with you. So what do you think? Where should we get started? I love all of you so much. So very much. Pray BIG this week. Ask the impossible and then share your stories with me as you watch our Father move. Hugs, Lynn

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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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