50 posts categorized "Fear"

Receive This From God's Heart...

My precious friends, last week God dropped this into my spirit and I've held it close, waiting for Him to tell me to share it. So read this and receive it from His heart to yours. 

Love you so much!
Dineen

This is My time of restoration and establishing My children in My timeline for them.

Look for the revelations of My heart, of My love. I have situated you in the midst of these revelations. One simply has to look.

There is no need or room for doubt. Remember, My love conquers all and My love lives in you—My Son. That is what makes you more than a conqueror. You are My child. Mine.

My love far outweighs the cares of this world and all the burdens you perceive. Apply My love to every one of them—to everything—like a salve. The name of Jesus and My love are one in the same. Understand this and you will have the greatest weapon, prayer strategy, comfort and peace than you have every known or realized.

Let Me reassure you of this: You lack nothing. I do not ill-equip My children. You have everything you need already. Just believe and tap into it. Ask and receive. It is My delight to give it to you.

Now is not the time to squander what I’ve given you by living in fear and doubt. Even in the remnants of your mind there can be no place for this. Not when I’ve given you everything. Everything. The very heavens are yours! Why else would I teach you to pray “on earth as it is in heaven”?

You are completely established in My righteousness. From this place you cannot fail. I’ve set you up for complete success. Be bold. Have fun. Walk in wonder.

And above all, know My goodness is perfect, unflawed—brilliant like a perfect diamond. I’m giving you jewels, my children, I’m giving you jewels.

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*****

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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

*****

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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The Power of Love in a Confusing World

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Photo courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Another week has passed with more terrorism in Turkey and Iraq, more confusion in Britain over Brexit and here down under we didn’t get a winner in the Federal election that was held over the weekend (it’s still too close to call!)

As Lynn so positively pointed out in her last post a week or so ago, we don’t need to be afraid. Nor do we need to let this confusion, turmoil and uncertainty rattle us.

When I read Lynn’s post on my Monday it brought me back to the message my pastor shared with us over that weekend titled: “Face your Fears.” His message had some powerful content that I thought would provide additional encouragement for us all.

Fear and the Fall

Interesting he started by outlining fear started the very moment sin entered the world. Remember what Adam and Eve first did when God came looking for them? They tried to hide and were ashamed of their nakedness.

“The root of every fear is the deep awareness in your soul that through sin you are separate from God.
”

But as a result of Jesus life and death He has provided an escape from fear by removing that separation from God. Hallelujah!

Set Free from Fear

The answer to fear is a greater fear; the fear of God.

I think I’m only really beginning to understand that statement. In being in awe of God and all he has done for us, all of a sudden He becomes very BIG and our fears don’t seem as big.

Fear is a spirit. But as we know from 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love and of a sound mind.”

I love that verse. We have the Spirit inside us and He’s all powerful.

And He loves us like crazy.

My pastor outlined three steps to being set free from fear.

1. Face the Fear – don’t walk away from it. Call it out and hand it to Jesus. Counter it with the Word of God. Use that sword of the spirit Dineen prayed over us on Friday. I have one or two key verses that I use to do this, eg, Isaiah 41:10.

2. Pray desperately – often we can pray for the “fear” to go, eg, the circumstance we’re facing to disappear but in praying desperately the situation may not change but we become acutely aware of His presence. As Ann Voskamp says:

“We simply want our situation solved – when God simply wants to be the answer.”

And that takes the sting out of fear.

3. Make a move – one of the sound bites that particularly grabbed me from Mark’s message was:

“Your fear is living in the territory God wants for you.”

But the enemy is trying to stop us from claiming our territory. So our fear paralyses us. Our health, or our marriage, or our job, or friendships don’t improve.

Taking a step in faith to claim that territory reject the fear. And God meets us there. A miracle can only occur when we make a move.

Love Conquers Fear

I heard this lovely story a few days ago. My friend’s son is in London, England at the moment and he is living in share accommodation. On the night the Brexit vote was declared he and his friends were confused and a little perturbed by the outcome.

There was a knock on the door. Standing at the door were their neighbors who they didn’t really know. They were holding dinner in their hands and suggested they all sit down and have a meal together. So Chris welcomed them inside and they all shared a meal together which helped Chris and his friends feel better about what was going on. The neighbors were Muslims and as it was still Ramadan they shared their evening meal with Chris and his friends.

What a lovely story, don’t you think?

Grace and peace, dear friends.

*****

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

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

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

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

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

FEAR has permeated just about all aspects of life.

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

OKAY – Back to this fear thing.

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

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

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

Fear is a lie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Great Awakening

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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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Fear Vs HOPE

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMites!

How do we become free from fear?

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

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

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

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

HOPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SET UP THE MARKERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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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Consuming Fears About our Children

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

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

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

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

This is what I say to them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a blast. Love you, Lynn

*****

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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Fear of Husbands - The Prescription For Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Choose love over fear.

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

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

And finally the most powerful source to escape fear is:

  1. Identity……

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

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

 See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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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Fear Of Man - It's our Freedom Day!

Hello my Friends,

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

But truly!!! Thank you.

Okay, let’s roll on.

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

So does this happen to you?

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

Yep, me too.

This is the fear of man.

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

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

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

Awesomeness!!!

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

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

How does that feel to everyone?

Cool!

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

Start with this verse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

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76 Years AND My Personal Miracle

Okay, this is the LAST in the series of post I began in March about my mother's redemption. How appropriate that I finish this story up and share my own miracle on Easter Sunday.

Part I

Part II

Part III

And the final post: Miracles Still Happen Today Because of Jesus!

My mother then interrupted me to share one last story. And I share it with you now because the truth behind it is weighty for all of us. She said to me that last week she was contacted by the mother of one of her students. The student was in my mother’s Sundays school class when she was five years old. The mom of this student said that her daughter was turning 16 years old. And the best present she could give to her daughter, was, well….. her.

So they arranged to meet for a surprise breakfast for my now 76-year-old mom to meet this 16 year old girl for her birthday celebration. As my mother walked from the light into the darkened restaurant, her eyes weren’t adjusted yet to the dimmer light when from across the room a squeal was let loose and this vibrant and beautiful, sixteen-year-old girl rushed to my mom and embraced her. The love shared between this old woman and young woman was tangible in the restaurant.

My mother imparted the love of Jesus into her life when she was just a little girl and years later that young girl loves her in a way, I can’t fully grasp. The reunion was astonishingly holy and beautiful.

As I listened to my mother describe this moment, I reached for more Kleenex. I could barely whisper into the phone but I uttered the words, “Fruit, Mom.”

“This is the fruit of your life. You have poured so much of Jesus into others and today, Jesus is showing you the fruit of your labors, of your love.”

Healing.

Breakthrough.

Fruit.

Even at 76 years old our Savior never stops loving us, healing us, leading us into breakthrough and continues to reveal our fruit.

Oh my siblings, my SUMites, I have no language to describe my grateful heart. The love I feel. How utterly undone I am to be an honored witness to a life-long dance of love with a Savior of one woman’s heart.

I hung up the phone and worshiped and I knew Jesus was calling my mother, Sue, The Rose of Sharon, His beloved Bride, whom He dearly loves.

Okay wipe your eyes because there is another part to this story….. Yes, wait…. There’s more.

Remember the conference in Las Vegas? Well something else happened while we were there that week. Now the story I’m about to share is, ahem, kinda personal and delicate. I’m going to talk about some anatomy that may make some of you squirm but if I don’t share this story, I’ve robbed Jesus of a great glory and others of a testimony of power and healing.

So here we go.

On the second day of the conference, throughout the day, I began to notice some pain in my right breast. An aching pain that kinda nagged at my subconscious. With the events of the day I paid this weird pain no notice until finally at 4 a.m. I’m wide awake and the pain is pulsing in a dull throb. I roll on top of the blankets and begin to feel around to try to figure out why I’m in pain.

And then I felt it. A lump near the center of my breast. Gulp. I reexamined several times, yep it’s truly there. No doubt.

Let me tell you what happens in four in the morning when you feel a lump. FEAR. Immediately my mind screamed and my heart pounded and fear pulsed through my body. For just a minute…. And I mean that because in that minute the years of truth and training and Bible study rose up before me and conquered that fear.

I said aloud into the dark room, “No, I choose to be in faith and not in fear.”

I prayed and spoke and declared every promise I KNOW as truth into the dark in that hour. My heart rate calmed and my spirit walked in real faith. I will not walk in fear. I will walk in faith.

And I did. When my mother woke, I told her about what I found. Now remember my mother worked in oncology for more than three decades. She examined. And the look on her face alone confirmed that indeed, there is a lump.

I called my doctor from Las Vegas and set in motion a ton of appointments. Mamo, ultrasound, surgery appointment. Geeze. Even taking this action, I stood in faith and fear did not grip me. I truly promise you. I believed this lump would be healed.

That night at the conference I received prayer. I put out an APB to my intercessors and those amazing people, you know who you are, they prayed down heaven about me.

I returned home and two weeks later following my Mamo and ultrasound – NO LUMP. Nothing. Clean….

Healed!

I called my mom, who had been praying unceasingly for me and shared the miraculous new. She said, “I praise God and am so relieved. Lynn, that lump was big.”

I gulped and replied, “I’m glad you didn’t tell me that at the time.”

My SUMite friends, miracles are happening all around us. And you are not going to be left out. God is on the move with astonishing power and love. We MUST let go of our unbelief and choose to stand in faith. Kick that old familiar spirit of fear out of the house. Stand upon the promised of our King. Attend a conference where they teach healing. Let me pray for your healing. We all can love and pray for one another. The prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16). I know this to be true and proven over and over again as I live and breathe.

Jesus: Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. - Matthew 18:18-19

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The Light of Truth

19268965_sMy friends, I want to share a recent revelation with you. It was one of those moments that the truth of something I already knew finally hit all the way home. Have you had one of those moments—a suddenly moment—where something you thought you understood suddenly becomes clearer and more powerful? 

For me is it was as if the seed that had been planted was watered and then sprouted roots downward and grew upward to take permanent hold in my heart. And as we are in the season of Lent it is the perfect time to speak of the work of the cross. 

Though the event of the cross is in our past, I believe the work of the cross is continuous. Paul even spoke of this ongoing process:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. — Philippians 2:12-13 ESV

During some very painful and difficult moments in my recovery the enemy tried to move in and take advantage of my weakened state, just as we know he did with Jesus in His wilderness time. 

And I let him. The enemy tries to convince us first that either he doesn't exist or that he is more powerful than God. I believed the latter at a very young age and had no one to tell me otherwise, therefore I learned fear and this has been an ongoing battle for me.

But God has been dealing with this fear and lie for the last few years, and I believe a major and much-needed shift occurred just recently. I've been reading a workbook about the healing ministry and this author's description of the enemy's place in our lives clicked in my mind and heart like never before.

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. — Hebrews 2:14-15 NASB

In my own words, this is the understanding I have been meditating on that has brought this truth home fully for me. Christ's purpose in coming and dying on the cross was to save us by rendering the enemy powerless. Not mostly powerless, but completely powerless. Christ even shamed the enemy.

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. — Colossians 2:15 NLT

My friends, I am not talking about spiritual warfare here, but the simple truth that the enemy is powerless (Our very own SUMite, Jo, has shared this with us too). He has absolutely no power of his own. At Christ's death, that power and authority was transferred from the enemy to us. 

Now this is probably repetitive, but I have a feeling some of you need this revelation as much as I needed it. It comes down to this: the presence and power the enemy holds in our own lives is because we have allowed it. For me this was the truth that finally hit home because if I have allowed it, I can disallow it. I am NOT at the mercy of the enemy. He is at my mercy, so to speak. I have to power and authority to boot him out.

Somehow this truth hit home at much deeper level, therefore disarming the enemy's power in my life, because it isn't his power! It's mine! And I am taking it back.

The challenge, my friends, is identifying the lies I have believed and replacing it with the truth. THAT is what completely boots the enemy out and keeps him from being able to come back. He can't, for God is light, and in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). Truth is light.

And like the story of the house delivered of a demon, yet seven more returned, we just fill the empty place left with truth, with God's presence (Matt. 12:45). Even the evil influences brought in from our pre-believers can't hold authority over us if we don't let them, which I'm finding is as simple—and challenging—as believing they don't. Yes, they will make our lives more difficult as we live with the repercussions this influence has on our spouses, but ultimately, the enemy can't hold any power over us.

The workbook I was studying gave a perfect analogy of this using garbage and flies. Think of the garbage as the lies we believe and the flies as the demons. We can swat at those flies but they will keep coming back to the garbage (the lies). When we get rid of the lies (the garbage) the flies have nothing drawing them back. 

"If we deal with the reason the demons are there in the first place, they can be permanently removed without a battle." —Edward M. Smith

I believe the final revelation for me came with the understanding that what I choose (or not choose) to believe limits and removes the enemy's influence in my life. The transformation of our minds (Romans 12:2) is an ongoing and life-long process and one we must be diligent about to maintain, but this truth finally brings home for me that the power lies in my hands through Jesus Christ who strengthens and empowers me, therefore I can do ALL things through Him (Phil 4:13).

My friends, I pray this revelation is making sense and is doing for you what it did for me. And please understand that this is in no way judging or condemning. I still have places in my life where I seem to keep going around the same mountain over and over again. I’m now changing my prayer strategy to ask Holy Spirit to reveal the lies I am believing so that I can root and boot it out. My heart today is to help you see that the choice is in our hands. We are not powerless victims of the enemy. We have the power and we can choose to take action.

Suddenly (I'm starting to truly get these "suddenly" moments now) the fear of the enemy's power in my life is gone. I see the lie for what it is and I know the truth. I do not have to be afraid or dread his attempts to harm me (Ps. 27:1). I hold the power through Jesus Christ's finished work in me (salvation), not the enemy, and I refuse to let him hold fear over me anymore. I am not at his mercy. I am the recipient of God’s mercy and grace.

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:32

I am understanding this verse on a much deeper level now, and I am determined to keep this revelation rooted deeply in my soul and spirit. SUMites, I pray for each one of us that the ever-shining light of Jesus burning in each of us will expose the lies we have taken upon ourselves to believe so that we will know the truth and be set free. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!

Share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to “talk” more about this with you! Love you so much, my friends!
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My Unexpected Christmas

933344_i_love_youHappy (almost) New Year, my dear friends! I feel like I've been on a long trip and haven't seen my family in a long time. And now I've come back home. I've missed you! My shoulder surgery went well, and I've started physical therapy. This whole process has been much more difficult and painful than I anticipated, which has made working at my desk and typing next to impossible. But day by day I'm healing and am able to do more. Please be patient with me as I ease back into writing here and please know how much your prayers and words have helped encourage and sustain me.

What I want to share with you today is about what God did in all this process. The day before my surgery I sat in my quiet time, sad and a bit fearful. Not about my surgery but about Christmas. I was struggling with being apart from my daughters for the first time at Christmas and trying to figure out how to handle it all without diminishing my husband's Christmas by making him think I couldn't enjoy the holiday with just him. I hope that makes sense. 

As I sat there praying, God whispered to my heart, "Give Me Christmas, Dineen."

I realized in that moment that I was still trying to "salvage" Christmas, to cling to what I knew and make it work in spite of the distance between us and our girls, my surgery and recovery, and my daughter's heart issues. I didn't know what God had in mind or what Christmas would look like in His hands, but I said yes. "Take it, Lord. It's all Yours."

After the surgery I was surprised by how little I could do and thankful we'd managed to get our shopping done before hand. I could do little more than sit on the couch with my right shoulder strapped to my Iceman (a icing system). I was so grateful to have my husband's selfless attention to take care of me as well as my mother and mother-in-law who helped as well. Not exactly easy to do for this girl who's so used to taking care of everyone else and herself.

And God worked in and through it all. Smoothed my mama-worries over my girls having a good Christmas—they worked our their own plans to be together and did the same traditions we always did together. We were able to FaceTime (love technology!) on Christmas Eve and open our gifts together.

I was able to be present at the infamous cake baking day the women in my husband's family do each year, even though they didn't let me do much (probably a good thing!). And Christmas with my husband's family was warm and fun. 

It was not at all the Christmas I expected—one I attempted to hold together myself and lived in fear of it falling apart. Instead it was full of love, care and a deeper closeness to my husband that never expected would happen in such circumstances.

My friends, I am the first to admit I like the safe route. I like to know the outcome ahead of time, because it gives me a sense of security. I have a feeling many of you can relate to that as well. 

But God doesn't work that way, does He? He wants to be our security and place of safety so that we rely and trust in Him instead of ourselves, our own abilities and our circumstances. I do find it challenging to live in that place with Him, but I am learning—though quite painfully at times (hee hee)—to let go and trust God.

Here's a verse that I've been pondering this Christmas season and holding close to my heart and limited abilities at the moment.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. — 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)

SUMites, that last part of the verse brings me great reassurance that even when we think we fall short or we haven't quite got things right, our attempts are not in vain. Every single prayer, act of service, word of encouragement, etc. is significant. We may not see the results but they are there none-the-less. God knows. God sees. That's what counts. He knows our hearts no matter what the outcome—or lack of one—may appear to be. He has the full picture and puts the pieces together as only He can.

God called me to let go of what I knew so He could so something new in me. My greatest lesson this Christmas was that it didn't have to be perfect or according to my expectations to be a great Christmas. How about you? What did God show you during this most precious time of the year? I love you, my SUM family. I'm so glad to be back here and look forward to your comments.
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Lies, Fear and Armor. Oh my!

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d15b17ab970c-320wiOver my next couple posts (possibly more) I want to talk to you about our identity and our armor. I’ve felt the need the last few weeks to pray on my armor every day and as I’ve done so the Holy Spirit has shown me a stunning truth. Our identity in Christ and the Armor of God are the same.

Our identity in Christ is our armor.

My friends, I’m so enthralled by this revelation. Once I understood this truth, suddenly the Scriptures that support it came to life and that is what I’m excited to share with you. Some of it you may find challenging as it will require you to look inward to identify some lies that you may still be operating under, what we’re calling “umbrella crushers” for this series, but I promise you that once you identify a lie, sweet freedom rushes in are you will be changed and charged up!

So, let’s get started with our Belt of Truth (Eph 6:14). First let’s establish that Jesus is our belt. 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:6

He is truth, therefore He is the one who holds us, defines us and protects us.

For “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’” — Acts 17:28

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. — Col. 1:17

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. — Ephesians 2:10

The thing is, if we are operating under some lies, we will step out of God’s protective umbrella more easily. For instance, if you don’t trust God to answer your prayer over a matter in which you need leading and grow impatient for the answer, you will be tempted (there’s the opening for the enemy to come in) to take matters into your own hand and wind up making a decision based upon that deception. The story of Abraham and Sarah is a good example of this (Gen. 16). 

And lies create fear. We will feel insecure and unprotected when we put what we fear in a higher place than our belief in God and His Word to help us overcome it. Then our human need for security will propel us to do things to create a sense of security (like taking control) in order to feel safe.

So how do we reveal a lie? First I will used myself as an example. I shared recently that the Holy Spirit showed me that I had believed the enemy’s ability to deceive me was greater than Jesus’ power to lead me (He is our Good Shepherd).

My first clue was that I realized I didn’t feel safe. Though I thought I had overcome my misconception from my youth that the enemy was more powerful than God, I still didn’t feel safe. My second clue was that I constantly prayed for the Holy Spirit to not let me be deceived. That’s when the Holy Spirit helped me identify the lie that I believed the enemy’s ability to deceive me was greater than Jesus’ power to lead me. This lie made me doubt whether I heard God’s voice correctly all the time and kept me from stepping into all that God has for me in many ways.

Truth (and confidence in Him) has since replaced the lie, and I’ve operated under the umbrella of God’s protection and free of fear in this area ever since. Plus I hear God even better!

Now I’m going to use a character from a story I’m working on right now to show you how we can walk through this process and identify a lie. (Yes, writers draw from real life to build our characters. What better way to make them believable, right?) 

I have a character who is operating under a lie. Selah gets her name from her parents who were a major force in the Christian music industry, and she is gifted by God to write anointed music that heals people. Yet she has no desire to work in that industry. 

Why not?

Because she doesn’t want to be like her parents and feels she has to prove herself in a different market. This need has driven her decisions through college and her career.

Why doesn’t she want to be like her parents?

She saw how much they gave to their ministry and God, and that it was while serving in this way that they were tragically killed. Thus serving God with her gift scares her.

Why does it scare her?

Because she blames God for taking her parents away from her and believes this is how God operates. She must overcome this lie with the truth that God is good, that God didn’t take her parents away from her, and that the dream she is pursuing is actually from God and He wants to make it come true, even better than she could imagine. Because where she sees the secular and Christian market as separate, God wants to use her to create a bridge to join them.

Now it’s your turn, my friends. I would not ask this of you had I not discerned that this is God’s heart for you right now. He wants you free of whatever lie you may be operating under so that you can walk in confidence with the Truth, with Jesus, girded around your waist holding you and keeping you safe.

Quiet Time Study:

Sit before God and ask yourself these questions. If you get stuck, then share in the comments (if your comfortable to do so) and let’s help each other find the freedom Jesus has for all of us. Or email me privately.

  • What scares you? Think about what have you been praying against.
  • Why does it scare you?
  • Where do you see God in this situation?
  • What is the truth? 

When you get down to the truth, find Scriptures that support your revelation, write them out and pray them out loud until you truly believe them as your truth. Any time your fear creeps back up, pray them again. My truths are now Psalm 32:7-8, Isa. 41:13, John 10:27-30 and several others about God’s protection.

Community Questions:

  • What lie has misdirected your faith and choices in the past (share as you feel comfortable)?
  • How do you walk in truth in this area now?

On Thursday I will talk about our Breastplate of Righteousness and the Shield of Faith. This is where it gets really interesting my friends. I’m stunned just by what I discovered about these two areas of our identity/armor. 

Holy Spirit, I pray for every SUMite reading this post today that You would come gently to them and reveal any lie they are operating under that hinders their intimacy with You and causes them to be fearful, depressed or anxious. In the name of Jesus, I ask that these lies be broken off them, removed and never allowed to return. Holy Spirit, lead them to the truth in God’s Word so that they can begin healing and living their faith in security and confidence in the truth of who they are in Jesus. Remind us to put on our belt of truth every day! In the truth-filled name of Jesus, amen!

Love and praying for you, my friends!
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Part 3: He is Faithful!

Gillian Russell - Part III

Part 3 Gill
God had asked me, in the depth of my soul, to trust Him to bring my unborn baby back to life. And although everyone else said this had to be a new baby, I trusted God that it wasn't, and now that I was most definitely pregnant again, I waited for God's miracle to become visible to the world. 

The official due date I was eventually given was 2-3 weeks earlier than what it should have been, given the blood test I took at the clinic that came back 100% negative. But most of all, God never once told me otherwise (directly with words to my heart or without words in that deep secret place in my soul). Indeed, it would have been much easier if He had. Continuing to hold onto this baby in my heart was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Yet every time I began to think this could be a new child and would ask God about letting go of Annabelle so I could grieve and move on, I found no peace. The only path for me was compete trust there in the dark.  

A good friend also told me to keep trusting, because this was all so much bigger. She would encourage me to hang on to my boys, to my husband and to the baby, and to keep hang on to God, trusting what He had spoken to my soul, no matter what facts or evidence I might see. God had asked me to walk by faith alone. And she kept assuring me often that there was more to this than I could see, that no matter how it ended, it would be a miracle.

At the time I struggled with seeing it that way if things didn't go how I had understood and was expecting. As time went on I realized I really didn't know what would come of all this, and that was okay. I discovered a whole new depth of wonder as I learned to surrender to the utter mystery of His sovereignty.

The journey was like nothing I'd ever walked before. God had always come through with whatever He had asked of me in the past. By summer I was convinced this baby had to come any day now. I even started to feel mild contractions which I hadn't had early on with any of my other babies. But they came and went and nothing happened, and God remained silent on the issue.

As time went on like this, the truth of what God was really up to grew more mysterious. A wise friend listened to my story and then spoke right into the darkness itself, that God was letting me walk in this darkness now because He knew the joy and the strength and the good that would come out of it. God knows that it is in the darkness that we find our strength (and especially our strength in Him!) And so He was lovingly allowing this trial of my faith.

He was making me holy. 

I was so in awe of her words, and they were utter transformation in my soul. I had felt this struggle in my spirit many times before, especially when God felt absent. Practically at least, I often thought it must be something I had done  when God felt distant, like I had forgotten about him and now He was waiting for me to come wholly after Him again.  And yet the darkness itself, was a gift! For so long I had felt the need to fight against the darkness, the overwhelm, the heaviness, the helplessness, whatever felt wrong to me in my soul when they were a good thing, a gift, the real path TO holiness, and to Him! 
 
The pregnancy itself was also unlike any other I'd experienced before (who else has ever waited EXPECTING a baby for 12 months?). It was really hard on me, both physically and spiritually. The physical challenges, of course, my husband understood but it was impossible for him to have any concept of what walking through this was like for me spiritually. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, holding onto this baby in my heart. There were what felt like many days, when I would be so tired by lunch time I'd have to go have a nap instead of getting food for my family. And by the end of the day I usually wasn't up to doing too much in the kitchen, or all that pleasant to be around either. As this went on, I began to notice that my husband had been stepping up with the housework to help fill in the gaps. I also realized he seemed to be a whole lot more patient with me lately through all my tiredness and upsets and I discovered this seemed to have started right after I specifically thanked him for being extra patient at my priest's instruction.

I began trying to find something to thank my husband for each day, and began to have some real success from the awesome marriage tips that Shaunti Feldham shares. In particular God helped me understand that I don't have to be ruled by my emotions; He gave me new perspective to see them as fleeting, and taught me to let go of my negative feelings and frustrations quickly, which helped take more stress off of my husband (stress that I had been contributing).

One night my oldest son was telling me something about bad guys and how (like I've tried to teach him) they aren't really bad guys (usually) just misunderstood or they don't understand the real truth etc...(Take the baddie cars from the 2nd movie- they were all lemons and never felt appreciated) And for some reason as I was reminding him of this it hit me so clearly: that by pushing me so hard with all of this- God was also giving my sweet husband greater opportunities to extend grace to me- as he saw me struggling. Through this journey God was giving my husband opportunities to grow in that beautiful, selfless love! It was such a profound moment to suddenly realize how God was working on my husband's heart with this too!

And in that way, I discovered that even though I was still waiting to meet this special baby, God had already been faithful! He had spoken to my heart right from the beginning that this miracle baby would bring change to my husband's heart and even with the baby still snug in my tummy, I could already see that it was! Truly, this was our miracle! While I still believed it was the same baby, as God had still not given me any indication otherwise,  I began to accept that it could be a boy and that either way,  the baby might not come before the due date or possibly not till after it sometime, and so it might not look anything spectacular to anyone- unless they are living close.  Close enough to see the miles that this man has come this last year- while I've been walking this journey alongside him with all the faith God has given me. Boy or girl, this was our miracle because it was alr Gill Intl Lifeeady changing his heart.

Come mid August I was still waiting. I knew that only God could know the timing and maybe there would be no great manifestation of God's power- ( for the world even) because God was working something much more hidden, in the depths of a soul. And maybe, that was the real miracle. 

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Submission - The Books of Peter

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. —1 Peter 3:1-6

When I was a young wife, this passage raised my hackles. But as I have now lived more than two decades with my unbelieving spouse, I testify to the power and truth behind this wisdom.

I know that there remains great confusion in the “church” over what Peter intends here. I’ve known women who were told to submit to men who were abusive and evil. Although I think in general, church leadership has steered away from this kind of demand in the past decade. I know that within homes, especially marriages of the unequally yoked, husbands have quoted this verse to their believing wives in order to manipulate and control them. Let me be clear, if a man quotes this to his wife he is speaking out of fear and arrogance. His intent is not love but to control.

A husband of integrity would never need to speak this verse to his wife. And a wife should never acquiesce to a man who holds scripture over her to control her. And wives you don’t get off easy either. Mutual respect and love should reign supreme in your relationship and thus a husband would never think of manipulating his wife in such a way. Love and respect must be the core of every marriage. Of course, people aren’t perfect and most of us are somewhere on the path learning to love and respect our spouse well.

Reading back through 1 Peter 3, I can only offer what I have learned in the two plus decades that I have tried to apply this passage to my life. Trying to win my husband with my words of confrontation, condemnation, conviction, manipulation, fear, and begging, well….. it just doesn’t work. Period. The end.

You know what works? The behavior of purity and reverence of my life. What does that look like? Well, my husband CANNOT deny that I believe. He sees the hours I spend with my Lord. He has witnessed my years of praying for him and our family. He sees that I am clothed with hope. He sees that I possess a relentless well spring of joy and that I am a person of profound faith.

I am adorned with a grace that allows me to forgive the unforgivable and I have modeled that to him and our children. I have been honored with an unfading beauty which is the Spirit of the Living God. My husband may not understand it, but our home is a peaceful place. It is a sanctuary that allows him, our children and myself to live authentically. I have friends who call and want to visit just because our house is and I quote, “so peaceful.” My faith changes the atmosphere of my home and often improves the atmosphere wherever I go. (More stories for another day)

I have willingly laid down many dreams and hopes in support of this one man because God said he is worth it. I’ve cried at times and then I’ve prayed with power. I’ve lived the best that I can within the love and power of Jesus. I have adorned myself with humility, most of the time *grin*, and have done the right thing by loving him with a full heart. The dreams I had as a young wife may have been lost but in return God has given me abundantly more than I could have hoped, conceived or dreamed. And God is not finished yet.

At the end of this particular passage Peter urges wives to do what is right and when we do, we will walk in the legacy of Godly women who have gone before us. How beautiful is that? I want to pass this legacy on to my daughter.

And finally Peter says, “Do not give way to fear.”

Submission is not fear. Submission is love and respect. And by the way, it goes both ways between a husband and a wife. Now, this is where the rubber meets the road: Submission is meeting the needs of our spouse. As a believer it means meeting his/her needs even when yours remain unmet. But do not fear because over time, just like me, you will discover that your husband  will begin to meet your needs and he will treat you with respect because you modeled it first. And my dear wives, if there are needs in your heart that are never met by your earthly husband, Jesus will more than meet them all.

I leave you now with a story of ultimate submission. I pray this story wrecks you in every good way because this man's submission was for us:

Jesus Christ, who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.

Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Wives, do not fear, let Christ raise you up. Because when He does, your husband will fall to his knees and acknowledge that you were right all along and he will proclaim that Jesus is Lord! Never stop praying. Never stop hoping and never stop re-presenting Christ in your marriage, home, family and to the world!

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Bible Study Interrupt

I’m going to interrupt our Bible Study today. I had prepared a post for today. It’s written and ready, however as the weekend progressed and while standing in line with my husband at Walmart, I sensed the Holy Spirit, strongly caution me to wait and pray and contemplate that particular post. (There must be more He wants to teach me.)

So, I’m going to pray about it. Stay tuned.

In place of that post, the Holy Spirit, urged me to relay a message to our community. To all of you in our amazing family on the web, our church without walls. This is the story.

This past week has been very difficult for me. And I can’t express nor explain all that transpired but I came under heavy persecution for my faith. And I guess it was to be expected as I wrote about persecution last week. I didn’t realize I would live it out in real-life, color. Sheesh!

I’ve cried a lot this past week. I’ve felt a heavy weariness -in doing good- which is difficult for me to understand. Most of the time, I’m one of the most hopeful people on the planet but this past week has challenged me numerously.

But God……

I literally cried out to God. I felt like this was what David felt and cried out when He was persecuted. But low and behold, out of the blue my hero showed up. In the form of my unbelieving husband.

Saturday morning Mike found me in my office, typical. He looks at me and says this:

“I thought we might do a few things in the yard, then have lunch and then we can go to church.” Yep, deer in headlights. He continues, “And since we are going to church on Saturday night, let’s get up and go to the early matinee of Jurassic World. Then we can go to a late breakfast. What do you think?”

I’m dumbfounded. I think my ears were ringing and I couldn’t hear anything else after he said, “We can go to church.”

SUMites, it’s late in the day Sunday afternoon and we did all of those things. Why am I sharing this with you? Because of HOPE. Just when I felt weary, God moves my husband’s heart to love on me.

God can work outlandish circumstances to love on His kids. So this message is for those who are weary. Those who can’t even comprehend a spouse saying to you, “Can we go to church.”

God can move anyone at any time.

Do I understand why my husband doesn’t surrender to Jesus? No. Do I understand why my years of praying for his salvation go unanswered? No. But my Papa, God loves me. He is with me even in the weariness, the doubt, the discouragement, the fear and He restores my hope.

Pray this with me:

I am a child of the Most High God. I am adored. I am cherished. God has planned my life and it is awesome. He has great adventures for me and every day I will seek to see His miracles, His beauty and His love.

I will never back down from my high and holy calling to live with courage, boldness and perseverance even under the great pressures of persecution. Even if the gates of hell are opened, I WILL STAND FIRM in His protection and love.

I will never relent in praying, seeking and loving others into His Kingdom. I will NOT be defeated. I will never let satan have my family and it is my life’s mission to free anyone and everyone I can from the chains of hell.

I am called, I am chosen. I have authority. I walk in the Holy Spirit power and anointing to defeat the minions and bring the love of Jesus to the broken, the sick, the lost and bereft. I am an ordinary woman but in the Kingdom, I stand 14 feet tall and wield a sword of such magnitude I terrify the darkness. I will swing that sword of truth to bring deliverance and healing through scripture and the love of King Jesus.

I am an ordinary wife, mom, believer but I will not bow down to fear, weariness or defeat. EVER!

In the Most Powerful Name – The Name above ALL NAMES, Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lord. AMEN

Thanks my family for allowing me to share even when I’m living in a vulnerable place. I adore you. Tell me how I may pray for you this week. Love, Lynn

Psalm 147 11

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Anxiety's Remedy

My Friends,

I will confess that I experienced an upside down week. On several occasions I was pulled into anxiety (fear). Can I just tell you I don’t dwell in the land of anxiety often and as I look back on the two incidents that threw me off my game, I’m now mad.

The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy our peace and joy. And many times in our unequally yoked marriages, he schemes to use our spouse and our children. Sheesh!  Does that somehow seem unfair to you as it does to me? Well, today SUMites. Let me share some truths and this next week, we will not live in anxiety but in peace and joy; the atmosphere of heaven.

Are you in?

Happiness- The root word is happenings. Our circumstances.

When our circumstances (happenings) overwhelm us and we feel all alone, isolated, distant from God. The enemy is aimed straight at your life and his goal is to keep you in anxiety fretting over all the “happenings” in your life.

Joy- is rejoicing in the Spirit. Rooted in God. The goodness and faithfulness of our Papa.

When we remain in the posture of joy, we DEFEAT the enemy. So how do we do that? It’s on our face crying out and it’s a life of thanksgiving. I’m telling you that if you spend even 20 minutes thanking the Lord for all that you have, you will change the atmosphere of your heart, your day and dare I say, even your spouse and kids.

So I challenge you. Every morning this week, take out your journal, write down in any random order the gifts, blessings and abundance you have in your life. Then watch as all of heaven rejoices with you and hell trembles.

Thankfulness is the key to open heaven’s gates and to rest in the reality of our Lord’s Presence.

Now here is your promise:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:4-7 

Now the challenge: In the comments we are going to break anxiety. Praise the Lord with Thanksgiving there. I will be praying along with you and I want to know on Friday that you experienced the power, love, peace and joy of our Father and the Kingdom of heaven.

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A Change in Perspective, Part Three

21167907_sDear friends, I’ve been sharing insights the Holy Spirit has been giving me on certain passages of Scripture, specifically how Jesus first changed the perspective of the person before healing or restoring them. Honestly, the more I study it, the more my spirit and mind tune in to. I’m now seeing how these and other healings that Jesus did are almost like a partnership. Jesus is very intentional in how He talks to the person first, discerns their heart and need. Remember, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1), just like we are, so again, we can truly appreciate how our Savior came to truly walk “among us and like us.”

Today’s insight is brief, but I believe it will change our perspective this time. Take a look at the verse below.

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” — Luke 4:18

We recognize this as a powerful verse, read by Jesus from Isaiah 61:1-2 at the synagogue in Nazareth as a bold and truthful statement of who He was and why He’d come. This was right at the beginning of His ministry and His proclamation was not a welcome one.

What I want to zone in on though is the word “blind.” In the Greek translation, the word is typhlos and means opaque, smokey, blind (physically or mentally).

I’ve always thought of it more as the physical blindness, especially in light of the blind men Jesus healed (John 9, Mark 8, Luke 18 - these use the same word). But this time the Holy Spirit wanted me to see more.

Even as I am writing this, I am struck by the fact that the very people listening to Jesus read this that day were probably some of the most “blind” people He encountered. They were truly mentally blind

Upon further investigation though, I discovered typhlos is related to the Greek word typhoo which means to inflate with self- conceit:— high-minded, be lifted up with pride, be proud.

And if we look back at this moment of history with Jesus standing among the men and rabbis in this synagogue, it is clearly pride that is keeping them blind. And I’d imagine fear as well—fear of losing their places of authority, which is so sad to think about, my friends, because they lost their true authority by rejecting Jesus.

Wow…even as I’m writing this, revelations keep coming. And I see our pre-believers in this same place. I for one am sure pride is part, if not most, of what keeps my husband from acknowledging Jesus.  

But this isn’t something we have to be discouraged about. I believe this is yet another insight the Holy Spirit is giving us to understand our pre-believers just a little better and to change our perspective too. We can pray for their spiritual and mental eyes to be healed, for pride to be rebuked in the name of Jesus and perhaps even ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the roots of fear in our spouses. What fear keeps them from seeing? Truly seeing…

What do you think, my friends? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

And I love you like crazy!
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What Gods Love Looks Like

SUMite Family, 

Taste and see psalm 34 8I have to share that the word “family” has taken on an entirely larger implication in my life this past week. So, to say that you are my family, please know that I’m overwhelmed with authentic love and hope for you. Let me explain. 

I’m working on a new writing project and praise Jesus, the downloads are now flowing. It’s been astonishing. I’ve waited nearly a year for this past week and the few weeks that are ahead to hear the voice of God and His heart for the assignment He’s given to me. And this week in particular, I’m writing about the love of God. 

The love of a Father. 

Well, I don’t know how in the world you can encapsulate the love of God into a single chapter. However, I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to write this out because God will figure it out for me and then, I can’t wait to read it myself!!!! *grin* Really! 

So as I’m trying to figure out what specific attributes to share and asking myself, How do I explain the love of God, the Lord decided that I need to experience His love through profound experiences all week. I am so full of the love of our Father today that when I arrived at church, I hugged everyone I could get my hands on. The Father’s love poured off of me onto people. I just couldn’t help it. And wouldn’t you know it; almost all of the worship were songs about the love of God. I just can hardly stand up under the relentless expressions of my Daddy’s love this day. 

Today I feel I am to share what I’m experiencing and learning. I pray you are wrecked by our Daddy’s love this week too. 

Last week as I prepared to write on this topic my prayer and conversation with God turned into cries to experience His love. I cried out, “Father, I want a baptism of love. I want to be overwhelmed by your love. I want to experience a love so grand, so profound that I see (things, people) as you see them.” 

Let me share some insights of my week. They are not in any particular order:

  • I’m no longer an orphan. I’m a daughter of the King.
  • I don’t need to strive for His love. I need only to rest and receive His love.
  • I am His happy thought.
  • I am His smile.
  • I’m the one He waits for in the morning when I wake because He’s missed me while I was sleeping.
  • His love is abundant living.
  • He has good gifts for His children. That means me…. and you!
  • He is fun.
  • He is hilarious.
  • He is protective.
  • Because of the love of God my finances look different. My health is different. My relationships are different. My perspective, hope, and future are different.
  • I’m released into my creative calling. I thrive living in what I was created to do since before time began.
  • I have a destiny.
  • My value, my identity, dignity and dreams are restored.
  • I am His treasure.
  • I hear His voice.
  • I know God will bless what I’m doing instead of asking God to bless what I’m doing.
  • I’m His favorite. (So are you.)
  • I have a family. 

Do you know what it means to others and unbelievers when I truly understand that I am loved by our Father?

  • People are safe with a daughter of God.
  • I view other sons and daughters as someone with whom I used to compete and now I see them as someone I can complete.
  • I look for the gold in people and their holy destiny thus I stop treating them based on their history.
  • I celebrate sons and daughters instead of tolerate them.
  • We are lovers, warriors and ambassadors.
  • We are moving from a church (organization) to a family. 

God is love. —1 John 4:16

God is good. —Psalm 136:1 

My friends, when we truly believe these scriptures guess what happens. We see God differently. When we see God differently we then see ourselves differently. When we see ourselves differently we then see others differently. 

My family, my dear adored family, I know that our Papa’s love can touch every deep fear in our heart and leave us forever change, healed and restored. We need only to cry out and ask to see ourselves as our Father sees us. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good. —Psalm 34:8  I’ve come to believe this is one of the most powerful scripture verses in the entire Bible. Oh what a different life we can live when we step out of unbelief and truly know that we know in our knower that God is love, God is good and God has good things for His kids. 

Thoughts? 

I pray that when you read this phrase today: I love you, that you somehow hear the Father whispering the words directly to your heart. 

And finally, imagine what our pre-believers might experience if we begin to see ourselves as God sees us. A Holy mind-blow!!!!!!!!!! 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

Thanks Lief Hetland. You inspired the many affirmations of this post.

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The Throne of Grace

IStock_000014923738XSmallMy friends, I’m wrestling to understand another revelation that I feel God is slowly unwrapping for me. Again, like the one about the cross being Jesus’ marriage proposal to us, this new one budded as I sat in church on Sunday. I jotted it on the note sheet with a question mark by it. 

Heart = Throne Room?

It it subtle yet stunning. Obvious yet obscured by “safe thinking” and rules that tend to separate us from “claiming” the holiness of God. Yet if we are to believe we bare the righteousness of Christ and are co-heirs, then we are holy and righteous in our redemption in Christ. Perhaps this separation is embraced more out of protection for we know pride is a great stumbling block, yet to deny what we have been given is to deny the cross itself.

I hope I am making sense. Please follow me as best you can as I get these thoughts down. I will share with you the chain of thoughts and events that are leading me to this revelation.  

Last year, my year of intimacy with God started at the throne of Grace one early morning as the Jesus woke me to come sit with him and learn more about this verse:

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. — Hebrews 4:16

This “invitation” and Proverbs 3:5-6 became crucial keys to my healing journey:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. — Proverbs 3:5-6 

What I didn’t realize until later is God told me He was doing this back in 2013. One day as I looked at a walking cane that was twisted and gnarled at the handle, yet straight to the bottom. He said, “I am making all paths straight.” 

So with that understanding, my attention was understandably grabbed again when this verse (Prov. 3:5-6) showed up again last week. One morning my Bible literally fell open to this verse. Well, you might say that is understandable especially if it is a well visited verse from the past. BUT, this is a new Bible, my friends. 

Yes, Holy Spirit, I am listening…

Back to Sunday. The thought came as our pastor spoke about being wholehearted in our faith. His second point contained a key verse. Yes, THAT one, yet again.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

I placed a star by it, unsure yet what God wanted me to understand. I realize now He was preparing me for a push in my boundaries of safety in my belief. He was asking me—reminding me—not to lean on my own understanding. He had a revelation that would push the separation of safety that I still tend to cling to.

I’d also started listening to the last in a series of messages about fear by Pastor Steve Thompson on Sunday but was unable to finish it. Monday morning on my walk and pray I resumed listening to his message. As it neared the end of this message about truly understanding that Jesus lives in us, that we carry the presence of God, Thompson asked his listeners about the throne of grace. He asked, “Where is it?” 

My notation on Sunday’s bulletin flashed in my mind: Heart = Throne Room?

Could it be that “my thought” was the Holy Spirit revealing another aspect of what I’d tried to keep separate? I believe the analogy of us having a throne to our life is valid and that to give our lives to Jesus means to relinquish this place of control to Him. That we step off the throne and give this rightful place to Him, our Savior and King. Our Lord…

And if we as believers are to pray with faith that His will be done on Earth (and in us) as it is in Heaven (right now) (Matt. 6:10), and we sit in heavenly realms with Jesus (Eph. 2:6), and as we are in Him, He is in us and is in the Father (John 17:20-23), then can this thought, this wonder, that the throne of grace is closer than I realized is valid? That as this throne of grace most certainly exists in the heavenly realms, does it also exist in us? In our hearts? 

For surely I know that throne of my heart was once dark, selfish, judgmental, jealous and fearful. Yet Jesus has come in and turned this throne into a reflection of His—a throne of grace, love, mercy, sacrificial love, beauty, acceptance, validation, identity, peace and joy.

And let me be clear that if this place exists in me it only and truly by the Grace of God, and not by anything I have done.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. — 2 Cor. 4:7 NLT

What do we know to be true? That God has given us the open invitation to come to His throne of grace—anytime. But I can’t help but think that when we see the distance is much less than we think, and realize it is Jesus who comes in search of us (and our pre-belivers), just as God came to the Garden of Eden to “search” for Adam and Eve after they had sinned (He came to them…), we come closer to fully embracing the depths of God’s love. His grace. And His grace is big and powerful.

I need His grace daily. I need His love desperately. I need God. And we know our pre-believers need Him too. So here is my final question and where I suspect God is leading us. What is our part in bringing this grace from the throne of our inner lives to our homes so that all will be saved? 

Another verse that seems to be popping up a lot this week:

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. — Acts 16:31

I believe this piece of Scripture is a promise for us today as well, and I am believing and praying it for my pre-believer. My friends, I believe we have a theme building here with Ann’s dream about “the resting of grace” along with the revelation the Holy Spirit showed me last week about the cross bring a marriage proposal, and now this one, that as believers and lovers of God, we hold the throne of grace within us. And I am asking King Jesus to let this grace flow from the throne through me to my husband. I’ve prayed this about Abba’s great love, but now I sense that this prayer about grace, this resting of grace, is an integral part of God’s next move in our SUMite community. Will you join me in this prayer?

On Saturday I will share another stunning piece of this puzzle—something God planted in front of me this morning and gave me the leading and confidence to share this post and concept with you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, my friends.

Love you dearly!
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Day 2: Altar Offerings

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My friends, my heart is so full of love and awe—of you! Reading your comments the last two days…I’m so touched and blown away by your prayers for Lynn and I and for each other! Wow! I can just see Abba nodding His head with pride and pointing out this online community to the heavenly host and saying, “See? This is what the body of Christ really looks like." 

Wow, wow, wow…

And it’s with that full heart that I share today what God spoke to me about our community. On Sunday as I was worshiping at church I was also praying for the words to share this week, for whatever was on Abba's heart for us.

The word "annihilation" came clearly to me. Now that's a pretty strong word and not one I use often. I asked Abba to clarify, to help me understand His heart. And this is what He revealed for our SUMite community:

Annihilation of all fear, doubt and unbelief. I am declaring a "holy war" on all fear, doubt and unbelief. 2015 will be a "Year of Freedom."

I am lifting this community up to a whole new level of strength and belief. In Me. In My Word. In My promises. No more of the old. The New is in place and now I will reveal it. My strength is yours and all you need I have already provided. Your strength is found in Me and Me alone. I am your destiny. I am your hope. I am your future. It is done. 

Believe ME. 

As I wrote this down, my friends, I began to sense that today God is asking us to put an offering on the altar, to release those things we've been holding onto:

  • Fears
  • Doubts
  • Unbelief
  • Willfulness 
  • Pride
  • Unforgiveness
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Offenses
  • Pain and hurts
  • Our pre-believers
  • Our very selves

This is our holy offering, our incense to the Lord. There is significance to the offering and "the burning" (releasing) of that which we place there. This is an act of faith, a choice to let go more than we ever have and to trust God even more, a deeper trust than ever before.

It is an act of love.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Ephesians 5:1-2

Take time today or in the morning to sit quietly and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what God is asking you to give to Him, to trust Him with. Then make that offering. Write it in your journal, because I believe that later this year Abba will take you back to this moment and show you what He has done with your offering.

My friends, share what you are offering up to the Lord in the comments so that we may pray for each other. As I said, this is an act love, and it's also an act of faith and trust. Not an easy thing to do, but when we make the choice and offering, I believe the Holy Spirit comes to help us walk in trust and faith. We are not required to provide the sacrifice, just to have a willingness to let go and trust, just as Abraham did with his son Isaac. 

And of course, share any breakthroughs you are having and let’s be encouraged together!  

King Jesus, we offer these “things” we've held on to, our selves and our pre-believers to you today as a holy offering, sweet with the aroma of our love and adoration for You. We pray that it pleases You and brings you great glory. We praise You now for what You will do with these offerings—what only YOU can do because You are Holy and Mighty and Faithful! 

Abba Father, we believe YOU. Make us strong and raise us up as You have declared. In the Powerful name of Jesus, amen!

Love you dearly, my friends, and praying for you!
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The Spirit Of Confusion

Hello SUMites: 

Thank you for your grace as Dineen and I have been absent from our home here on the web in the last few days. Dineen is moving this week to Florida. I checked in with her today and she expects to land near San Antonio this evening. I have been fighting an ornery cold that has persisted for two weeks. And everyone in our house has come down with this beast. I’m feeling a bit better today. Thank you for your prayers. 

Thank you for praying and loving one another in our absence. Some of you, like Joanne and a few others, consistently step in and cover for us in the comments and on Facebook. THAT is what the body of Christ looks like in action. Neat. 

My friends, December is here. Say what? We are now entering into a very busy time of year. We are also in a special season. It’s this time of year that more people are open to the love and truth of Jesus Christ. So while Dineen is traveling and settling into her new place, I will try to write to cover two subjects close to my heart. On Mondays and Fridays I’m going to share my thoughts about some spiritual challenges that keep us from growing in our faith and also affect our marriage. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, time permitting, I want to talk about how the Christmas season is a season to share our faith with our spouse and our kids. 

How does that sound? Please be patient with me if I don’t hit the posting timeline perfectly. It’s a busy month and already I have commitments to attend a ton of events. And more than anything, as I tackle the series on the spiritual realms, I must, must, hear from the Lord. I only want to share what I’m hearing from the Father. 

Okay? 

Okay.. 

Let’s get started. 

2 timothy 1 7 photoThe Spirit of Confusion 

As we delve into this study, I want to wrap my arms of love around you and tell you that you are here and part of this community because of divine destiny. You have been chosen by the very voice of God to be part of the discussion in the weeks ahead. Your name was spoken and one of two things is destined to be yours. One; freedom from oppression and two; the knowledge and anointing to help others to become free. 

Hallelujah! 

In this house there is NO judgment. If you see yourself in some of the scenarios or conditions I describe in this series, there is NO CONDEMNATION. Consider yourself touched by the Lord that He has decreed your freedom day. I will not judge. I will be absolutely open to your honest questions and your request for prayer if you find you need freedom from a certain demonic influence. 

Agreed? 

Agreed. 

With all of that stated as our ground rules, let me ask you a few questions.

Do you struggle to read the Bible? When you read the Word is it confusing to you and you grow frustrated and give up quickly? Does it seem to you that often your world is swirling around you? I mean by that, do you feel like everyone else “gets” what’s going on and you never do? Is your home chaotic? Is your job a constant upheaval and uncertainty? Do you feel like you are confused often? And does this confusion lead to fear? 

I know that many of us could answer yes to some of these questions during different seasons in our lives. But I want to speak to those of our House to seem to be continually in a swirling storm of confusion which leads to fear. I’m especially drawn to those who try to read God’s Word and it is always confusing thus that’s why you never read it. 

If anyone can answer yes to most of these questions, I want to let Jesus bring some clarity to your life today. I’ve come to realize that many times when you sit down to read the Bible and its confusing and you just can’t comprehend what its saying; you are likely dealing with a spirit of confusion. It’s a demonic spirit whose relentless assignment is to keep your life in a continual upheaval. Its mission is to leave you frustrated, uncertain and to muddle your thoughts. 

How many of you feel better already just knowing it’s not your brain. It’s not because you are stupid. Your confusion isn’t a permanent disability either.  

(I hear angels shouting right now over you: FREEDOM). Your freedom is here. 

In order to find freedom from this demonic influence and all others, we need to chat about how the demonic realm can bare influence in our lives. Can it have influence when we are Christians? Are we defenseless against a demonic power? How do we gain our freedom, specifically? 

Well I have the answers to these questions and more. And I have first-hand experience in dealing with the demonic and with deliverance. It’s strange but not scary. In fact, by the time we finish this series, you won’t be afraid of these petty evil spirits, you will be equipped and empowered to remove them from power. Hallelujah and amen. 

It’s imperative we understand fully the spiritual realms. If we are unaware of the devils schemes, we can’t pray against them. AND we must be equipped because we are the sole believer who must war for our spouse and children. I know you can war for your family and win. I know this because I have lived it. I have many stories to share that I pray will be more ammunition in your arsenal to defeat the devil and bring freedom and victory to your home. 

For today, I want to leave those who believe they are contending with a spirit of confusion a few words of love and freedom. One, purchase a Bible in a translation that is easy to understand, The New Living Bible, is a great choice. Stay out of the Old King James until you get the basics down. And two, believe this truth: You are destined to live a life of calm and live in wisdom not confusion. You are a child of God. Your birthright is righteousness, peace and joy. You are entitled as part of your Holy inheritance to walk in wisdom. 

THAT IS THE TRUTH. 

So beginning today, let these scriptures become your life’s cry: 

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. —Ephesians 1:17 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. —James 1:5 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. —2 Corinthians 10:5 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. —2 Timothy 1:7 

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD. —Isaiah 11:2 

My friends, do any of you need prayer is this area? Leave me a comment. Have any of you struggled with this spirit and found freedom, share how? Do any of you have more scripture verses that bring freedom from confusion, share them in the comments. 

Powerful Lord Jesus. You have given your followers, all of us, the power and authority to cast out evil spirits. (Luke 9:1&2) Lord, teach us. Equip us further and let us do Your work here on earth and bring freedom, wisdom, love and life to those around us who are suffering in the dark. In Your powerful name, Jesus. Amen. 

Watch this video and learn more about Luke 9:1&2.

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

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The Destruction of the Demonic Warrior

It’s Thanksgiving this week. And I know all of us are very busy. And I’ve been very ill again. However, James 5 was in my daily Bible this week so I went for healing prayer. And I know my full healing is now decreed. AMEN! 

This week I have family in town and will likely be crazed entertaining but loving every minute of time I have with my mom who is visiting from Colorado. My daughter will be here and her friends, my son and my granddaughter. It’s going to be a great turkey day! 

Dineen and I are going to take the week off from posting. So today and Wednesday, I want to share with you an email that arrived on Thursday evening from a young woman whom I’ve prayed for, love on, and encouraged through the many months/years of her healing process. I asked her permission to share her testimony. I know there is someone in our Sum family who needs to hear this word. 

Luke 10 19From my friend: Stone.
Temecula, CA
Worship In The Valley: A worship event in Temecula, CA on November 20th

I’ve been in a season of isolation, pain, depression and hopelessness, and yet I’ve known this whole time that it hasn’t been real, I have refused to take ownership of it as from me or a part of me. I’ve prayed against it over and over again, I’ve begged and pleaded with the Lord to free me from this painful darkness and yet it persisted. I kept my eyes on Him and continued to ask for freedom, trusting that it won’t always be like this, that hope and freedom are here and that more is coming. I know that I haven’t been betrayed or abandoned, through all of this Jesus has been right beside me and His passionate love for me has never wavered. I haven’t been alone for even one second, even though I’ve felt completely alone I’ve known that He has never left me alone and that this is not for me, this is not what my life will be like. I’ve known that a shift was coming.               

So tonight I came expecting, I struggled to get there, fighting off a cold and exhaustion from a long and trying week at work but I knew that God had something for me to receive tonight. Upon arrival I wanted to leave, and that feeling grew to where I felt like I couldn’t stand it and I knew without a doubt that it was the enemy’s desperation, his last attempt to prevent me from receiving all that I did tonight. This realization made me that much more determined, more committed to staying and receiving all that He had in store for me tonight.               

Tonight I got to see myself the way my mentors have been describing to me. Tonight I got to see myself as a warrior, a leader, strong and brave, leading a strong and mighty army into battle. This description has been terrifying me but tonight it was incredible because He also gave me a peace and an incredibly deep assurance that everyone who had come with me onto this battlefield is someone I chose because I trust them. God assured me that everyone who has joined in this army is someone I can trust. He gave me peace about the discernment He has given me and the things He has shown me over the last few years as we’ve built this tribe around me. As I followed Him into the heart of this battlefield He showed me just how sure the enemy is of his coming defeat. He knows we’re coming, that I have my eye on him and my heart set on his defeat, he knows that we’ve come for his captives; we’ve come united in Jesus to set his captives free.               

As the fire grew within me I saw into my past, but from a whole new perspective, I saw the strategy of the enemy and the power and goodness of God. I saw His hand of protection over me always, and I knew that this was all set in motion before I was born and that I’ve never been alone. As the Pastor spoke of peaceful sleep I was reminded of the years I spent my nights in terror. I remembered the nights I wept before The Lord, crying out the name of Jesus over and over for hours. As a young child I couldn’t see Him there, I begged and pleaded in what I thought was in vain, but throughout this past year Jesus has been showing me exactly where He was. As I stared into the face of darkness at the demon that the devil stationed outside my bedroom doorway Jesus stood in the doorway of my room as my shield, keeping her from entering my room and destroying me. I saw this spirit outside my room for years, I was always afraid for my life because its goal was to destroy me, convince me that I meant nothing to God, that I was completely and utterly alone, that I was unloved, betrayed and abandoned, hopeless.               

What I saw tonight was just how strategic this assignment was, God showed me that my destiny has always been to march on the enemy’s camp and demand that His captives be set free from cutting, suicide, depression and abuse and that through me He would speak into the hearts of His beloved and show them that they are free. I saw the enemy’s determination to destroy me, to crush me to a point where I would never rise up and destroy his hold on God’s children through depression and suffering. I saw that he did not have authority to kill me; it didn’t stop him from trying or keep him from trying to destroy me. He selected a strong and determined warrior to stand at my door every night for years and for years they stood outside my bedroom instilling fear, depression and lies into my heart, all night long they called out to me, shouting lies of my worthlessness, of my smallness and insignificance, threating pain, death, dismemberment and utter destruction, ruin. He sent a chosen warrior but God sent His Son. 

Jesus stood inside my bedroom every night looking into the face of this chosen warrior and spoke the truth, He spoke of the coming destruction, He reminded them that He has already won the war and He spoke truth and love into my room and over me.   —End Part I… Stone

 

Okay, my friends it gets even better. Tune in Wednesday and let this testimony set you free. 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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Line by Line: Do I Divorce An Atheist?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

So Gang. Before we leave the verses from Monday’s study. I want to expand upon them. The questions I’m asking you to ponder address a very REAL scenario in SUMite homes today. I think we need some honest conversation about the topic. 

Let’s get started. 

On Monday we read: To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.—1 Corinthians 7:12-13 

Let’s place this verse into “real life” today. 

Lisa married her husband twelve years ago. She was raised in church and because she didn’t have a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus, she fell away from church and lived in the bad lands of the Prodigal Nation for an extended time. (ahem, this sounds familiar)

She married her husband who wasn’t raised in church during those years. In fact, Lisa’s husband was highly intelligent and regarded all organized religion as ridiculous, a fantasy, and absolutely the worst thing to happen to an educated society. In the early years of their marriage, Lisa didn’t pay too much attention to her husband’s caustic remarks about believers, God, Jesus, and the Bible. But as the years passed, their marriage was difficult.

Two children arrived. They both held down careers and the pressure to pay bills, manage kids and to work more than eight hours a day was overwhelming. Lisa, like most of us, was wooed back to Jesus because of her great struggles. And she secretly started to listen to podcasts, worship music, and read books about faith, never allowing her husband to catch her or find one of her books. And she absolutely hid her Bible carefully as she knew her husband’s growing atheism would bring his wrath of words down upon her.

Lisa continued to grow in her love for Jesus. But also her fear of her husband’s great hatred of religion paralyzed her. She lived in constant fear to be “found out”. She mentioned God to the kids in the car but they never attend church nor would she ever share anything about God in front of her husband.

 

Okay…… I think I’ve described this marriage enough for you to grasp an understanding. So, my friends, although we are instructed that we are not to divorce our unbelieving spouse, scenarios such as this are very real. If you are a wife and are completely terrified to talk about Jesus to your spouse, is this verse applicable? 

And if so, how do we help this young woman to find a balance between Christ’s presence in her life, home and children and her commitment to her husband? 

Now be very careful with your words my SUMite family because there are many of your SUMite sisters who are currently walking this very path. I’ve been heartbroken for so many of you who live in this very place. Confronting a hostile-atheist husband is a terrifying aspect. Don't be quick to judge but quick to love and support. How can we help women/men living in this unique aspect of the unequally yoked? 

Please, please add to this conversation as I believe the Holy Spirit want to bring some practical help, advice and encouragement to believers walking this path. Also, if you are a man/woman in this place, have the courage to add your story here. Share what you HAVE done to encourage another woman on the road behind you. Even comment anonymously if you don’t want to use your name. 

Lord Jesus, today there is someone who needs to know they are not alone walking this very difficult and painful path. Lord, give courage to have them share their story and to ask for prayer from their SUM family. Lord, I ask you to grant upon them a spirit of Joshua and Caleb courage that they will find a way to be able to express the love of Christ in their home with freedom. 

Father, I ask that you bind the spirit of atheism and the hatred that is directed at Your Children. Lord, free husbands, wives to see that the love of Jesus in their home actually brings, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Lord, release a fresh hope for these spouses and let your Holy Spirit fill them. In Jesus name. Amen.

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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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - My Son And The Conference

Hello My Friends, 

Well, last week was quite the adventure. The conference did not disappoint. I learned a lot about fear. And my friends I think I have a lot to say about that four letter word. ahem…. 

My son was able to attend two of the four days. Hey, I will take what I can get. On the first day I was worried that it might be too much and that he’d tuned out. I glanced his direction and he was furiously typing on his phone. At the next break I casually asked, “So who were you chatting to on your phone?” 

“No one.” 

“Well what was with all the typing?” 

“I was taking notes.” 

Gulp. 

He pulls out his phone and there are pages of notes from the past session. 

Can I just get an….. “AMEN”

Who knew. 

Never, ever, never, stop praying for the prodigals, and the unsaved. Because this is another living proof story that God never stops His pursuit of men. 

I think my most favorite part of the conference was the one hour drive home on the first day. My son and I talked the whole way about his faith and about many aspects of God. These are the kind of conversations believing Moms wait for all of their lives. It was divine. 

I’m so thankful. Grateful to our God. Every day, in every way, I will shout to anyone and everyone who listens…… ‘God is good and He is faithful. Even in the dark night of the soul. Even in absolute evil circumstances our God remains good.” 

And today I declare. satan you are a looser. You have no hold on me, nor my family. I will fight bloodied, bruised, but standing fearless with Jesus and legions of angels for my family and for every SUMite and their family. In Jesus name. Amen 

I have so much to share. I could write posts every day for the next four months but I won’t freak you out and overwhelm you. 

But this Friday. God has finally shared our next community miracle project. When God told me what to do, I was at first scared. But NO MORE. I can’t wait to do it. I can’t wait for you to be part of it. And you can be part of every stage if you want. More on Friday. 

Finally, it was my great honor to meet a SUMite at the conference. This is me and Carmen Mata.

Carmen Mata Lynn Donovan

I love you so much my friends. I am praying for a breakthrough for you… And I’m EXPECTING one. Just because our God is THAT good. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Who Is Behind The Wall's of Jericho?

What is the Promised Land for 2014?

My Friends, 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWe are standing on the threshold of entering the Promised Land. Let’s pause a minute to contemplate the implications. The similarities of our ancestors, the Israelites, and the implications of entering the Promised Land in our own lives is remarkable. 

Consider this: The men, women, and children who were about to cross the Jordan River (Joshua), most of them grew up in the wilderness. These children didn’t see the miracles as the Egyptians threw gold and jewelry at them begging them to leave the city as they departed from slavery forever. (Exodus 12) These children were born in the wilderness and they listened and learned from their mothers and fathers in the campground at night or on the path (how about an automobile ride?) about the power of God and His great love that rescued the Family of Abraham from slavery. 

I’m kinda blown away in how I see myself as a mother, continually pointing out, sharing, and encouraging my son and daughter in their faith pursuit in our God. We are similar to the Israelites in that my kids have yet to experience the power and miracles of heaven. My faith, my stories, my love for Christ has been the model that they will lean on when they press into their adult lives. They will rely on my lessons, voice, to give them hope and to propel them into a love relationship with God. 

Am I alone in the Holy Mind-blow here???? 

Well, Anyhoo. Let’s keep going. The Promised Land

I have to pause and ponder; do they have a clue what they will inherit in the Promised Land? Do WE have a clue about our own Promised Land in 2014? Makes a blonde girl's head ache… hmmmmm 

If you remember the Israelites received a glimpse of the  Promised Land back in Joshua’s day. The scouts of 40 years earlier shared the reports of the Land of Milk and Honey (Numbers 13:27). 

I’ve also glimpsed a tiny bit of our Promised Land of 2014. As I was listening to God during the download for this series, I was given a visual of what our Promised Land looked like. More specifically, what was the plunder behind the Walls of Jericho? Did the people of Israel know what they would find behind the walls? Do we know what is behind the walls once they come down? 

Did the Israelites even know what would happen once they began their walk around the walls? Hmmmmmm? Things to wonder??? 

So here is what I saw in my mind’s eye: As a SUMite, I found myself standing at the bottom of the walls. I’m looking up and I see my husband on the wall. He is glaring down at me. Why? Because he is captive and deceived. You see the walls protect a Kingdom. What’s behind the gates: It’s a Kingdom of darkness with a throne of an absolute heartless and evil master. This creature hates his captives. He wounded the inhabitants with arrows of pain, lies, and doubt and took them captive with his deceit. When you give careful attention you can witness the minions running about relentlessly feeding our loved ones with a toxic brew of fear, pain, anger, lies and the cancer of the soul; bitterness and offense. 

I observe further as my husband sits atop the wall throwing insults down at me. His false bravado is stirred up as the enemy provides an endless barrage of lies through his carefully crafted media machine. I can see some of the captives on the wall furiously tapping away on their laptops reading the atheist blogs. They hurl hatred and fear upon those of us below. 

Wow! ( I have an active imagination *sheepish grin) 

But you know what is also behind the walls? Promises. The promises of God. The many promises of God’s favor and provision for us, His children. Promises of abundance (John 10:10) and of a life and hope a future.  I could list at least 100 or more off the top of my head. But alas, I’m already reaching my word count limit today. *grin* 

And you know what also is behind the walls? Our loved ones wait. The release of the captives!!! (Luke 4:18) 

My friends, we are similar in so many ways to the Israelites. We catch glimpses of glory. We experience some of the Milk and Honey but don’t know with certainty what we will find behind our walls of Jericho. So just as our ancestors began to walk the walls by faith, believing what God will fulfull all of His promises. We also choose by faith to believe in the treasures that await us in this life and the next. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worthy to exert ourselves for those trapped in the Kingdom of darkness. 

And I’m beyond excited to see how God is going to move to bring us into the Promised Land. Aren’t you? 

Today, examine your heart. What is your Promised Land? What is the petition of your heart? What have you whispered for, cried out for, what is it that for decades you have waited, believing in His promises? What are you praying into and contending for? Be expectant my friends because God is about to show up! 

It’s time. It’s time. It’s time. 

It’s also scary. God may ask us to do something that appears impossible, preposterous and even embarrassing. There’s no guarantee but there is a God who goes with us and His Promised Land is better that we can conceive in our own feeble thoughts. And THAT’S A PROMISE! 

I’m ready to get on with this walking assignment. Are you?

I adore you my family of SUMites. Let’s walk this out together. Have an amazing day in His Presence. Hugs, Lynn

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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