42 posts categorized "forgiveness"

How Sturdy Is Your Seat?

ChairMy friends, I loved your comments from my post on Monday. Several of you shared you would really like to know more about the Greek meanings of the words I’m researching, so please know that I’m thinking and praying about how to do that best. Right now I think a video would be easiest to explain and bring these treasures to life, so stay posted.

Today, let’s start talking about where we “sit” with God. Let’s take a look at Ephesians. The first chapter of Ephesians is all about our identity, who were are as new creations in Christ Jesus and what we’ve been given as our inheritance in Him. 

Many of you shared in the survey that you wanted to understand more about our identity in Christ as well. Knowing and understanding these truths is very important to the sturdiness of our “seat,” especially where and how we “sit” in our mismatched marriages. In taking these truths into our spirit by studying, praying and believing them, we will operate from a greater place of influence in our homes and marriages simply by living our lives according to these truths. 

Take a look at this list of who YOU are right from Ephesians 1.

  • Blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
  • Chosen before the foundation of the world
  • Holy and blameless before Him
  • Predestined for adoption
  • Blessed in the Beloved
  • Redeemed through His blood
  • Forgiven of all trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (not limited by yours)
  • His will and purposes made known to you with all wisdom and understanding
  • United with Him, things in heaven and things on earth

SUMites, this is what Jesus died to give us, our complete identity in Him. And not only that. He gave us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, as a seal and guarantee of our inheritance.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. — Eph 1:13-14

Christ Jesus has done all this for us so that we can be with Him and He can be with us. The veil separating man from God was both literally and figuratively torn upon His death to make this possible. Yet we still tend to think a type of physical separation remains, but God’s Word says otherwise.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. — Eph 2:19-22

Read these verses carefully. God didn’t just want to save us, He also wants us with Him. And not just in eternity, but in an abiding relationship with Him always. When we understand that we are secure in our value, worth and God’s great love for us, we become more and more Christ-like in our faith, courage, integrity and strength. We begin to reflect the very characteristics of Jesus, and if you read the gospels, He was irresistible! People were drawn to Him. They saw the hope and promise He carried and they wanted it.

My friends, this is exactly why God always starts with us, the believing spouse, in a mismatched marriage. We are a conduit of His love and grace, we are a representation of His character, and we are the source of His delight. And we don’t do any of this. He does. 

So this is where we start in releasing our spouses identity in Jesus, by living in belief and faith that we are God’s children, given the full inheritance in Christ Jesus.

Not just when we go to heaven. Now.

Every spiritual blessing, remember? My friends, as you think and pray about these truths about you, think and pray about them regarding your spouse. 

  • You are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, so now bless your spouse with the same.
  • You were chosen before the foundation of the world, and so was your spouse. Declare this truth over his or her life.
  • You stand holy and blameless before Him, so thank Jesus now that He is doing the same thing for your spouse.
  • You were predestined for adoption and so is your spouse. See him or her from this perspective, as someone God is willing to die for so that he or she can LIVE!
  • You are blessed in the Beloved and God’s heart and intention is for your spouse to be too. Again, declare this truth over him or her. If your spouse is open to hear it, tell him or her they are blessed!
  • You are redeemed through His blood and have the power and authority through this to declare the blood of Christ over your spouse—heart, soul, mind and spirit.
  • You are forgiven of all trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. That same forgiveness is for your spouse too. Live forgiven and forgive so that your spouse can see what that looks like.
  • God’s will and purposes made known to you with all wisdom and understanding. Ask God for this same revelation of your spouse. What is God’s heart for your spouse? What gifts did He place in him or her? You can even ask God to show you how your spouse may already be operating in his or her gifting without even realizing it. I see this in my husband as he becomes more and more aware of the people around him and intentionally talks and spends time with them. I see his gift of engagement and evangelism already operating. And I chuckle as I watch him not only do this but how people are drawn to him!
  • You are united with God, things in heaven and things on earth. Therefore, through your faith (sanctification, 1Cor 7:14 and marriage, Mark 10:8) so is your spouse. Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. Then take your spouse with you to those heavenly realms in love and prayer. Think of them as there with you already. Wow!

Okay, that one just kind of blew my mind. How about you, SUMites? I hope you’re beginning to see how important you are in God’s eyes and in your marriage. Nothing is impossible for Him. And you, my friends, as a co-heir of Jesus and a co-laborer with God, are part of His possibilities.

Love you dearly!
Dineen

Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

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Emotional Healing Prayer

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
—Psalm 34:4

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comToday, let’s look at the fairly simple prayer for emotional healing. I have prayed this sequence of sentences often in the last several months. I have found that after praying, I experience relief when I recall the memory (wound).

Go into an uninterrupted place, a quiet time of prayer.

Relax! (This is a good thing) Smile.

Pray something like this and simply engage your faith (pray aloud if you can): Jesus, I ask you to be with me and walk with me through my healing. Sometimes I speak this sentence a few times and I wait as I sense the change in my heart or the room.

Father, bring Your glory. Rest Your glory upon me and in this room. Again, I may pray this aloud for a few times and allow the Lord to rest upon me.

Holy Spirit, I ask You to lead me into all truth. I give you permission to help me recall what needs healing and to protect me from any lies of the enemy during this time. Holy Spirit I trust you to bring me through my healing in peace and without fear. Heal me completely, wholly, and forever from the wounding we uncover. In Jesus name.

Prayer:

Remember a painful event in your life. After inviting the Trinity in, usually the first one that comes to mind is where the Holy Spirit wants to start to work. It is often the strongest negative emotion.

Identify the emotion you feel. (shame, grief, regret, betrayal, fear, etc.)

If this memory is a result of sin, simply confess it and ask for forgiveness. Tell Jesus you receive His forgiveness. If there is not personal sin attached to this memory, move on.

Jesus, take this emotion ___________ (name it) from me.
Jesus, I ask you to heal this wound in my soul. I believe the blood of Jesus heals this wound.

Jesus, I receive your healing. (I love this part. Linger here for a moment and just perceive what Jesus is doing. Remember how we saw Jesus standing in front of us in our prayer time. This often happens and you will sense His love, His hope for you, His healing, His joy.

Remember the event again and if there are other emotions or this one still lingers, repeat the prayer process, and ask Jesus to reveal any lies you may be believing about this event and then to reveal the truth. You want to recall the emotion without anger, pain, shame grief, pain, etc.

When you are in a place of peace, pray:

Jesus, what do You want to give me in replace of that painful emotion? (Listen. It’s also awesome to journal through this and write down what Jesus impresses upon you.)

Now, you can pray to forgive the person who created this wound. It becomes much easier to forgive from the heart when you have worked through the emotional wounding.

I offer this prayer as a testimony of what I have worked through with Jesus and what I have witnessed in the Freedom Prayer Sessions. Always, ALWAYS, remember you can’t conform Christ to a formula. It’s always about relationship. Earnest prayers from a heart that is surrendered to Him is where we need to pray from.

My friends, over the next few days, work through this. Please, PLEASE, come back and share what you have received in your prayer time. If you have a victory, SHARE IT. Testimony is how the power in the Holy Spirit is passed from one believer to another. (And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. —Revelation 12:11)

If you are still struggling, tell us. We can and will pray. Press in and pray in your quiet time. Sometimes you will be directed to pray this process over and over. The Holy spirit may direct you to a team of pray-ers for your healing. Listen to the Lord and allow Him to lead you into healing.

Jesus is desperate to heal His Bride. There is an explosion about to occur where many who are wounded and lost, will come to Him. They are going to need this healing. He is frantic to get His “Church” healed so we can bring His love and healing to others. So don’t delay. Do the hard work of healing and forgiveness because there is now a mandate upon your life to take Him and His healing to others.

Still to come: Healing prayer for marriage. Rescue back your destiny. Steps to maintain healing. The four spiritual weapons of healing. Healing assignment. Healing passages. The Blood of Jesus. Toxic shame. Anxiety, mental illness and the Church and I hope….. YOUR TESTIMONIES..(Email me or share in the comments.)

UPDATE: After writing this post, the Lord spoke to me in my quiet time on Monday, Lynn, it's time to move on. So, I'm going to wrap up this series. I may get a video together and share it next week. And I still want to share the healing prayer for marriage. But alas, I guess all the other topics will have to go into a book some day.

So starting in March.... I will be writing about what the Lord is teaching me right now....

A Revelation of Love..

I asked for a revelation of love and I can't wait to tell you what God showed me. And then we are going to press into this revelation together. 

Hallelujah. I love you and so does Jesus. Hugs, Lynn

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Reaction Mode

Dear friends, the following is a post I did a few years back. The Holy Spirit has continually reminded me of this post the last week or so, but I wasn't sure if it was a needed subject at the moment. Then on Thursday as I was working on the registration details for the Hope Ignited conference our healing rooms and my church were hosting, I heard the Holy Spirit say over and over again throughout the day, "Don't take offense."

I assumed it was for me, specifically something the Holy Spirit knew I would encounter at some point over the weekend at the conference. Then our worship leader gave a word on this very subject Friday evening. I knew then it was a corporate word. And then Lynn's post yesterday confirmed that! Wow! Don't you just love how the Holy Spirit speaks to us?

God is on the move, my friends, to restore this nation to peace and righteousness. I truly believe we will be astonished in how He does this through His amazing love.

So, I present to you, "Reaction Mode," originally posted in September of 2011. I pray it speaks to your heart and encourages you. I've updated it just a bit for our community needs right now.

 

Reactions Mode

6a00d83451ee9f69e2014e8b804fe8970d-320wiAre you in reaction mode in your marriage?

I remember to this day when I made this revelation about my marriage. I stood in our home office, about to react to something my husband said. I believe at that moment the Holy Spirit stopped me and then gave me a complete picture of the situation. And it wasn’t pretty. If this pattern didn’t stop soon, my marriage would soon crash and burn.

And even more sobering (i.e. convicting)? I was the heart of the problem, because my heart was in a bad shape. Years of resentment toward my husband and unmet expectations had created a barrier between us.

What I call “reaction mode” is this highly destructive and very draining place where you and your spouse are walking in your marriage more like adversaries than partners. Every comment is scrutinized under suspicion and communication has completely broken down.

Though not always true, I find this often starts with women. We stop communicating out of unforgiveness and resentment. Or, like me, we never learned to communicate in a healthy manner.

The saddest part of reaction mode is that it leads to contempt toward one another. And where there is contempt, respect and love no longer exist. They simply can’t coexist. For example, a husband reacts back to his wife harshly, because he’s not receiving his deepest desire, which is to be respected. The wife then retreats or closes herself off, feeling unloved when her deepest desire is to be loved.

Do you see the vicious cycle? That’s the first and most crucial step to breaking reaction mode—seeing this pattern in your marriage. Whether you are male or female, this pattern will not stop until you make the first move. What does this change look like?

  1. Be Careful What You Speak.

You know, there were times that I realized my reactions to my husband bordered on the behavior of a sarcastic teenager. Not a pretty sight but very convicting when recognized. Our words have the power to build or break down. If you’re inclined to speak without thinking first, stop right now and ask God to help control your mouth. This is a biblical principle and He will help you. Trust me on that.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:1

We can also seek the Holy Spirit for the right words to speak as well. If we choose words that are honest and without an agenda to prove we’re right or place blame, we can be instrumental to restoring peace to our marriage.

  1. Dwell on the Positive.

It’s easy to fall into this place where we think our spouse has an ulterior motive to his or her words. Even simple requests can turn into a battleground, because we’ve somehow fallen into the lie that our spouse intends to harm us. This suspicion perpetuates the reaction mode and is its fuel. Suspicion can also be fueled by lies, so the best way to combat this is to counteract with the truth. What does your spouse do well?

Make a list. My husband is great about making sure the garbage goes out every week. I appreciate this even more when he’s out of town and I have to do it. Yuck! He’s also great about going grocery shopping with me, and he’s quick to show his love and affection. Start with small things and your list will grow. Then study it whenever you fall into thinking those negative thoughts about your spouse.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. — Philippians 4:8

A negative thought feeds the enemy and breeds more negativity. This can even evolve into scenarios playing out in your mind of how your spouse could potentially hurt you. Then you wind up hurt and defensive over something that never even happened.

A positive thought feeds the spirit and releases the Holy Spirit to work in your mind for transformation (Romans 12:2). He also works in your heart to help you forgive and allow God’s love to flow more freely to and through you.

Which one do you want to grow “fatter” in your life?

  1. Respect Him Even When You Don’t Want To, Love Her Even When She’s Unlovable.

Our hubbies need to know we will still stand by them when they mess up. And they will mess up, just as we do. We need to extend that hand of grace and acceptance, just as we want it extended to us. I’ve never seen anything quite as destructive to a marriage as contempt. And it is subtle in its presence. This goes right back to number one in how we use our words.

Add to that how you sound. What is your tone? Are you speaking in a way that solicits cooperation or are you condemning and accusing? This was the biggest area that I needed to change, and I know I could not have done it without God’s help. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that our tone and words hurt those we love. Pull out that list you made and go over it again. When it’s hard to show respect to your husband, find the things you can respect and show it to him. Then watch him bloom under your praise.

… and the wife must respect her husband. — Ephesians 5:33b

And loving someone when they are unlovable is one of the most powerful and sacrificial things a person can do. I have watched a woman be astonished by the fact that my church was assisting her out of our own desire to help and we weren’t getting paid by the government to do it. I have been deeply humbled by my husband's love when I was in pain and cranky. Love speaks louder than anything. Anything! Love changes hearts, marriages, families, cities and nations.

God is love so when we love, even when a person hasn’t “earned it,” we display His heart and presence in the most powerful way possible by revealing His very nature. Love (1 John 4).

  1. Keep a “We” Mentality.

Isn’t this really the truth we forget? We enter in to marriage as two “I’s” and suddenly have to figure out what it means to be a “we.” This requires putting our spouse first, this means loving and respecting even when we don’t feel it, this means seeing our marriage truly as a team effort and pulling our weight even when we feel our spouse isn’t. God sees our heart and our efforts. Your actions to honor Him in your marriage are never wasted!

Don’t quit the team. Be the one who stands strong and keeps Christ in the middle—your faith and prayers do that (1 Cor. 7:14). Whatever issues you’re dealing with, remember that you and your spouse are a team. Blame solves nothing. Teamwork always gets the job done.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24

Finally, remember that we can’t make these changes on our own. We need God’s help. Start with prayer and trust that God really can work in you, in your spouse and in your marriage to bring change and healing. It takes time, but when we desire God’s will for our marriage—a partnership built on love and respect—He will give us the desire of our heart (Psalm 37:4).

SUMites, I want to leave you with one final thought here (and this is a new part I'm adding). No matter where we are in our faith journey, God sees us the same way through His love and according to who He created us to be. We are His righteousness through Christ Jesus. And He never changes for He is the God of today, yesterday and tomorrow. He doesn't function within time as we do. He is present in all places—past present and future.

Now this is where it gets really interesting and may blow your mind a bit. Just as He sees us in this way, as who He created us to be, He sees our spouse the same way. He does not define them by their lack of faith but according to the measure of faith He has set aside for them. He sees them as they are intended to be, His children. I believe that is the heart of Eccl. 3:11 too. 

Father God, give us Your eyes, Your perspective of our spouse. Help us see them in the potential and in the light of eternity that You've placed within them so that we can love them according to that image and be part of releasing the truth of Your love in them. Thank You, Lord! Thank You! In the amazing name of Jesus, amen!

Love you so much, SUMites! And God loves you even better. ;-)
Dineen

 

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A Tale of Vindication, Forgiveness and Obedience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a bathroom. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Offended??? Really?? Oh, Come On Already!

I’m so mad the pastor said that to me!

I can’t believe they didn’t invite my daughter to the party.

I’m so hurt that they didn’t ask me to be part of the team.

It’s unconscionable how they have taken advantage of me.

I’m furious that she is always noticed, she is always selected, everything good happens to her. I’m never seen for what I do, what I give, how I’m always left out and unappreciated.

I would like to see that woman drop into a dark hole.

 

Okay, I think you may get the idea where this post is headed……

So I know I told you last week that we would chat about disappointment. However, I happened to stumble upon and then remember I wrote an entire series about disappointment last year. And looking at those posts, they are still filled with great wisdom and power. Thus, I’m not going to write about that subject again today. If you are struggling with a spiritual block with disappointment, click on the posts and take time to read through them and work through the content. Jesus will pour back into your life all the time you spend reading. (When God Disappoints - Chronicles Continuing

OKAY, let’s get to something I think we haven’t covered and it’s really a doozy!!!

Offended???OFFENSE

Can you relate to any of the statements above? Are you offended by someone? Are you angry because someone said or did something that is perceived or truly is unfair, unjust or untrue?

Oh my goodness, Lynn Donovan (I say to myself), yes indeed to all of these. SUMites, I can become offended. And as I’ve wrestled with this issue today, I can think of several instances where I was deeply hurt and offended and these are only a few issues with my neighbors, let alone my family members. Sheesh and Holy Jesus help me!!!!

I’ve been watching a strange program of late about all these people who live alone in the bush of Alaska, far away from other people. And my friends, that is where you would need to move if you never or at least rarely want to be offended.

Offense comes with being human.

Offense is painful. It’s difficult to overcome. It can sever lifelong friendships, separate you from siblings, destroy your relationship with your parents and massacre marriages. For crying out loud, offense can ignite wars.

AND… offense is a Bazooka in the devil’s arsenal.

Offense is what leads many into the realm of indignation and anger that will cool into that bitter castle of cancer— resentment.

How do we deal with this BIG issue? Because it’s not easy.

You know the kind of offense that really gets me? When someone treats my kids unfairly and cruelly. Any of you mamas out there, do you relate?????

Offense coupled with my strong sense of justice has created many an “opportunity” to exercise Godly forgiveness. And forgive we must because unresolved offense will blow up your faith life and likely your relationships as well.

I think there are two things to consider when we begin to pray about offense.

One, we need to think about the person who offended and determine if this is a healthy relationship and one that needs repair or is it one that we need to let go. This comes to my mind specifically with my neighborhood. When we first moved in, I was desperate for friends. I joined a few of the local social evening ladies’ nights. Some of those people offended and I didn’t need to keep them in my friendship circle. And I was at complete peace with that.

However, we can’t unfriend certain people as easily as hitting the unfriend button on Facebook. You can’t unfriend your child’s teacher who has continually mistreated your daughter. Or the baseball coach or the dance teacher, or the professor. Or how about a boss, a senior manager at work, your kids or spouse or mother, or, or, or… There are so many relationships that we must learn to walk through with grace and forgiveness and yet understand where boundaries must lie.

Two, determine appropriate boundaries. Women especially seem to struggle with boundaries as we are nurturers naturally and want people to get along. But when we begin to understand that so many people are wounded. They are living with darkness as a voice and we need to be prayerful about with whom we surround ourselves. And we must establish and then enforce healthy boundaries.

No matter what, in our prayer time it’s imperative to surrender our offense to Jesus. Cry our tears, wail if needed but give over our need to be angry, mad, revengeful and hateful. Those are emotions with harming barbs that will bring sickness to our soul.

So SUMites, is this an area that the enemy is lurking in your life?

You can find freedom from all offense. Friday, I’ll tell you how I handle offense. What say you? Give me your thoughts on this topic. See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

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Resentment Turns Into THIS... And it will hold you captive

Anger1Part I
Part II
Today is: Part III

So the weird anger explosions transpired a few years ago. And I can state fully that I haven’t had a moment of raw anger since then. Hallelujah. That doesn’t mean I don’t get mad or angry at times. Just not to the extent of a few years ago. Jesus is and was my deliverer.

So why is the Holy Spirit pointing me back to anger? Geeze. I would really like to get out of this classroom.

Remember my phone and the two words that I Googled, resentment and indignation? Well, God was pointing out unresolved anger I held that I perceived as unfair treatment.

Ugh!!

The Lord was revealing that I still had some areas of forgiveness to work though. And as difficult as it is to admit to all of you that I have issues to work through, I do. But I’m so glad the Lord is pointing out this area in my heart. Indignation is a door that if opened fully, the enemy will hurdle through to cause more havoc in my life. 

So how do we deal with resentment, indignation and anger?

Anger, especially unresolved anger when it cools hardens slowly in to resentment. Resentment is a weapon in the arsenal of the devil that he deploys through our self-talk. The devil will roll “that tape” in our heads over and over to fester in our soul, mind, heart, will and emotions to feed our resentment to birth: disgust, loathing, etc hoping we will spiral toward …. hatred.

After the resentment erects a number of emotional and spiritual walls the enemy will work hard to add layer upon layer until finally there is a castle constructed of bitterness.

BITTERNESS.

Bitterness is a cancer of the soul. And I’m convinced that bitterness held in the heart of a human can manifest as physical illnesses. (Oy vey, a post for another day.)

To rid ourselves of bitterness, resentment and anger we must start down the road of forgiveness. I wrote about this in our first book, Winning Him Without Words. It’s a journey but it is necessary for our healing and to throw out any blockage of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

I had to start praying, Lord, help me to want to forgive. And this applies to everything in our past, not just our marriages.

Then you begin to ask Jesus to flood your soul with His love, tenderness, compassion, grace and mercy. When this happens He can walk you through honest and real forgiveness.

In my life I find that ongoing forgiveness is my challenge. I don’t struggle too much with a one-time offense and usually don't hang on to resentment with people whom I don’t know very well. I can see their wondedness and it’s easy for me to have empathy. But forgiving those whom we live with day in and day out, who continue to offend or hurt us in the same manner, well that’s another realm of forgiveness.

But it’s absolutely achievable. Jesus said to forgive, seven times seven.

Do you know why He said that?

It’s not to prove our spirituality or to give us an assignment to grow our faith. It’s not that our love and forgiveness will draw others to Christ, however, it often does. No, Jesus says to forgive because when we forgive we receive healing.

Our spiritual and often physical healing comes when we truly forgive.

I see it like this. In the Spiritual realm my resentment and bitterness forge giant chains of steel around my faith life. I can’t breathe well. I’m constricted and greatly uncomfortable, maybe even in pain so I can’t hear my Father’s voice. I’m weighed down with a heavy burden that I can fully comprehend as to why. I feel sluggish spiritually and physically. I suffer for long periods of time because the weight becomes so intense. And yet because the chains grow so seductively, secretly and slow I become accustom to them. Dare I say, familiar and they can comfort me in some weird way.

Anyone???

Honest forgiveness freed me. I spent a lot of time in prayer and surrender. Bending to the scripture and to love of my Lord. I’ve received prayer from others and we need others to pray for us and with us.

I don’t want to make forgiveness appear to simplistic. In my ministry I’ve prayed for people who have been horrifically abused. Terrible, unspeakable sins were perpetrated on many who were innocent, who were children.

You can be free and forgive even the worst person on the planet. This requires some prayer that takes time. And usually you need to pray with someone who knows how to lead you into Freedom through prayer and forgiveness. If you need this kind of help, search out a healing room. Find a trustworthy pastor or friend who is strong in faith to spend time praying with you. If you live in Southern California and would like to come to my house for healing prayer, email me.

Also, I can pray for you in the comments. I’m astounded that the Holy Spirit shows up and results happen. I kid you not. The Spirit moves through this online community in ways I cannot fully comprehend but they are miraculous.

Forgiveness leads to our freedom.

Next up……. Disappointment.

How are you doing? Everyone okay? Can we pray for one another in the comments today? I love all of you so much. So very much. My heart swells as I consider your difficult lives and how in spite of it all, you press on to prize that awaits you. And your faith is strong and shines the light of Christ in this dark world!

Well done my good friends. WELL DONE!

Hugs, Lynn

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Good Grief, Their's More... The Spirit of Anger (2 part-er, must read for anyone dealing with anger)

-Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

AngryOkay, ya… There’s more. 

I’m not sure what classroom I’m currently enrolled within the Kingdom. But I think the sub-title is humility, mixed with a large study of personal revelation, confession and healing. This is a good and can also be extraordinarily challenging learning season for a believer. However, when the instructor is the Holy Spirit and the personal coach is my Jesus and the school is owned by my Papa, I’m going to graduate, Summa cum laude. 

My friends, I am willing to bet there are several of you who are also in this classroom with me, or about to be enrolled or perhaps a few graduates. But, this is what the Lord is teaching me which coincidentally, dovetails with my post about bitterness on Monday.

Recently I was listening to a podcast as the pastor described the three main things he considers to be the greatest hindrances in a Christian’s faith life. These three things are “blocks” to spiritual boldness, to growth, and to walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. These hindrances are significant and binding. They restrict us from the breakthroughs we are seeking and prohibit our journey to step into further areas of faith and experiences with the Lord. They are wicked and highly EFFECTIVE weapons deployed by the demonic realm.

Resentment, disappointment, and fear of man.

Oh Boy. Yep, we are stepping into some stuff here!

So for the next few posts I want to look at these and share what God is teaching me.

I clearly remember the first time I listened to this particular podcast as the pastor mentioned these three enemies of our faith. I was seated on the couch in the family room. It set in motion an inquiry to discern if I am held back because by the "deadly three." I turned off the podcast in mid-stream to Google the exact meaning of resentment. At the time I thought I knew what resentment meant, yet when my Phone reflected this:

Resentment definition

I was hit with each word: bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.

Why is it the Lord is leading me to the word bitter?

Let me interject here. I honestly have prayed through a very long season, to be free from bitterness. I’ve asked forgiveness and have been intentional to give the Lord any bitterness over various life events, situations, people and circumstances. Ya, this process can take a long time. Anyone???

I looked at this definition and thought to myself, yep. Check. I’ve done this. I’m over bitterness. Then I don’t know how I decided to look up the definition of indignation. But this is what the IPhone said:

Indignatin definition

When this definition popped up on the phone I knew I was -toast. The word anger hit me. But at the time, I thought to myself. Yep, I’ve done that too. I’ve repented of anger. However, the Holy Spirit prompted me a bit more. I sensed the Spirit saying to me, Lynn, is their still anger harbored in your heart over what you have perceived as unfair?

Gulp!

Toast!

I tell you T-O-A-S-T!!  Double exclamation point.

I realized I’m still struggling with some amount of anger. So there are two parts to the anger issue. I want to talk about my anger in the past and how I deal with today. Let’s start with the past.

And if you don’t struggle in this area of your life or marriage over anger, would you please pray for me and all of us who do. Thank you.

I want to be vulnerable again here because I believe many who read this will absolutely be delivered from anger. I need to describe the anger I was battling and the process that freed me.

I am NOT an angry person by nature. In fact, I’m one of the happiest, positive, hopeful people I know (not bragging. I just really am because of Jesus) I deal well with challenges and I handle anger about the world and unfairness through the love of God and through the truth of the Word. However, once in a great while a burst of anger would roar out of me that would fry anyone in its path. It was rare when these outbursts would happen but on occasion this strange, angry person emerged and devastation was left in her wake.

I came to the full realization that although I have repented of anger and am mostly a happy person all the time, I had an anger problem once in a while. This revelation crystallized in a singular and utterly disastrous moment.

Some of you remember my son and wife lived with us for a while in 2014. Well to make a long story short, a disagreement went down between us and I was wronged. I cried about this. I went in my room and paced. I prayed. I mourned. I was devastated, hurt and felt betrayed. And I spent most of the day in my room. And I will tell you that it wasn’t Jesus who was in the room with me. It was the enemy of my soul. And after hours of licking my unfair wounds and letting the demonic have a foot hold in my thoughts and emotions, I emerged and proceeded to give a sound tongue lashing to both of them.

This singular outburst of anger nearly cost my son his marriage. Okay, not entirely but my anger didn’t help their marriage.

Okay, there I said it. Again. Sheesh.

I reacted so filled with anger that not only were my feelings hurt but so were theirs. It took months, they separated and finally by the grace of God, they reunited. My anger wasn’t all that contributed to this mess but it sure was the catalyst to a summer of turmoil. By the grace of God and through hours and hours of prayer, they reunited and today they are really doing great. I have a new grand baby and we are all at peace with one another. Amazing. Thank you Jesus!

BUT…. This is what I learned from that experience.....

-----

Okay, this post is already long. So on Monday, I'm going to share a POWERFUL PRAYER TO DEFEAT ANGER IN YOU AND/OR YOUR SPOUSE. I love you so much. These posts are part of our healing and deliverance -For such a time as this. 

I pray you are blessed with joy today and anger is defeated. I pray you are blessed with peace and confusion is silenced. I pray you are filled with righteousness and the devil is defeated in every way today in your life. In Jesus name. AMEN

 

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:30-32

I'm a work in progress. You? Love you, Lynn

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Covers Three Books


Do We Have to Forgive?

3KeysThe week before last I mentioned three keys to walking in the abundant life. This is about walking in more fullness in our faith, intimacy with God and the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been showing me some new insights to one of these in particular and the enemy has been determined to keep me from sharing them, which just affirms how important they are! (I just shake my head at his stupidity at times.) But I will not relent, my SUM family. As I’ve said before, I want all of us to have the life God has planned and purposed for us. 

These three keys are forgiveness, love and thankfulness. There’s a lot in the Bible about all of these and we’ve addressed the importance of forgiveness and love a fair bit in the past. It’s thankfulness that I’m learning is very instrumental to breakthroughs, but we must cover forgiveness and love to get there. These three keys build upon each other and go hand in hand.

As SUMites, I believe we have a deeper sense of what forgiveness means. We live it in profound ways every day. But just to be sure we have a firm foundation in this area, let’s look at a couple Scriptures.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. — Matthew 6:14

Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him. — Luke 17:3

One of the meanings in for the Greek word to forgive (aphiēmi) means to send away. When we entertain the wrong and mull over the harm done to us, we hold onto it and it festers like a disease. I remember my daughter once being so mad at someone that she said, “I’m not going to forgive her. I don’t have to.”

I wanted so much to say, “Yes, you do. God’s Word says so,” but at the moment those words would have sounded condemning. Even though my heart was for my daughter and I understood her feelings, I didn’t want her to walk in any unforgiven state in her life. 

I’ve heard the statement frequently that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the person you are angry with to die from it. When we forgive we relinquish our right to bring justice and we give it to God. He is our justifier, my friends, and He will fight for us (Ex. 14:14). Trust Him to do so. I promise you, His way will reveal the beauty of who He created you to be. Any other way is just death—death to the heart, the spirit and the soul. And even the body if left to fester.

Forgiveness is a choice. Sometimes we can choose not to take offense when we realize the hurt was not truly targeted at us directly, but when the harm is targeted at us, it’s vital to our health, our faith, and our relationships to choose to forgive. God will work in us the moment we make that choice to bring our feelings into alignment and heal our wounded heart.

Let me share an example with you. Years ago I became so frustrated with a close friendship that I was ready to walk away from it. I will tell you that I’m a very loyal person so for me to get to the point tells you that I was carrying some deep hurts and unforgiveness from years of repetitive hurts. 

One Spring morning I sat before God looking for peace to walk away from this relationship. Instead God told me not to. He said, “I want you to pray for her.”

Here I was looking for an easy way out (what I thought was an easy way out) of this situation and instead God gave me an assignment. Grudgingly I obeyed and began praying for her every morning. At first my prayers were pretty basic, “Bless her, Lord.”

Then my prayers became more heartfelt as I began to realize that she never intended to hurt me. She hurt those around her because of her own deep hurts and wounds. I began to pray for those areas for her, for healing and deliverance from strongholds.

My friends, by the end of the summer, not only had I forgiven her for everything I had perceived as hurtful, but my heart was full of love and compassion for her. God completely turned my heart around. I was able to remain friends with this person out of the love God grew in my heart for her with some key differences.

  • My love was now empowered by God’s love.
  • My expectations were now to simply love her as she was, not according who I expected her to be as a friend.
  • I’d released my expectations of her and now sought those needs from God.

Does this sound familiar? This is so foundational to all our relationships, especially to our mismatched marriages. 

  • We love our pre-believers through the love of Jesus.
  • We see our pre-believers as Jesus sees and loves them.
  • We release our pre-believers from unrealistic expectations and seek God for those needs.

Did you catch how forgiveness leads to love? Sometimes forgiveness brings the relationship to a whole new level of growth and closeness. Other times its simply to free ourselves of the unhealthy attachment to the past or a poisonous relationship. Forgiveness is never a pardon of a wrong, and it is never a requirement to stay in a relationship with someone God is clearly leading us away from.

But forgiveness is a commandment that God has put into place for our prosperity and well being. It may take time, but every step of obedience will be rewarded by our faithful God’s favor, love and strength to keep going. 

And His healing! Plus, we are free to walk in our purposes and callings according to spiritual gifts. Unforgivenss blocks all this. God’s love creates a conduit for our inheritance in Jesus Christ to flow freely!

Wow, I guess the Holy Spirit had more in mind to share here than I realized, my friends. On Thursday, we’ll talk about more about love and hopefully thankfulness—that’s the one I can’t wait to get to and share more about. It’s powerful!

I love you, SUMites! Share your hearts in the comments. This is a safe place. Let’s pray for and encourage each other.
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Covers Three Books


Take Six Steps Out Of Disappointment

SUMite Family:

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

I struggled in my prayer time so I made myself write down the many past encounters, blessings, provisions and favor the Lord has poured into my life over the past 20 years. My undeniable encounter, with the power and love of Christ was on October 12, 2012. That moment changed me and everything about my life and faith. I would cling to that truth as the anchor in this dark period. Then I would write down the love notes God sends me. I wrote about some of them here and here

I would then pray.  And I’m still praying today. I walk in the vineyards, walk and pray. I sing worship songs to the King of Kings. Worship is essential to keep us from losing more ground to the enemy. I would pray honest prayers and I would keep practicing what I have always done even if my heart wasn’t fully in it, even in my doubt I continued to practice what I knew was right.

I walked through a process and I’m thankful it only took me 30 days. It is my hope that by sharing what I walked, others will walk through their struggle quickly and /or become unstuck and reach the end of their captivity.

Process to overcome Disappointment in God.

  1. Grieve – your loss, your expectations, your disappointment, your faith, your confusion.
  2. Surrender – Give Him your plans, hopes, expectations, and again your confusion. Ask for understanding even knowing you might never receive it in this life. Forgive God.
  3. Pray – begin to pray again. Gather others around you to pray. Rely on scriptures. Psalm 91 became very powerful to me. I listened to it in a song so I could memorize it. I studied it. Looked at the Greek, Hebrew translations.  I believed!
  4. Listen and wait. – I waited. I’m not patient. But I began to perceive that God wanted me to enter a season of rest. He also wanted my focus and attention in an area of my life for which I'd been asking for healing for years. So I started to understand His intent in this season was to heal ME and just be with ME. My healing was more important to Him than another book.
  5. Choose to believe - I also thanked God and remembered and relied on my past experiences with God. His faithfulness in so many areas. Years and years of faithfulness in my life is what i leaned on in my confusion.
  6. Allow Time – In the rest and waiting I discovered that He never left me. He began speaking to me about four weeks after my disappointment. I haven’t nor do I expect an explanation. But God’s not finished with me and the healing and new dreams I’m receiving are unexpected and amazing.

My friends, tomorrow I am going to share a prayer that I prayed and I continue to pray that defeats the demonic.

Through my experience can it be that God is shouting to you in your dark place? DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. Fight back with everything you have. Put on the full armor of God. Remember and trust in your past history with the Lord. Focus on every good thing Jesus brings to your life. Choose to look up and not at your circumstances. And my friends pray even when you don’t feel like it.

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Summer Study - An Ordinary People Who Have Been With Jesus

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGang, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Covers Three Books


Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - Spring Update

Well my friends, I think it’s time finally, to give you an update on the Donovan Clan. 

If you have been a reader here for longer than a year, you will remember that my son and his family relocated from Las Vegas to California last January. They moved in with us and lived here for a little over a year. Well, except, if you remember my son and his wife separated in June. I was heartbroken and bereft over the pain in all of our lives. We all were. 

This was especially difficult as I am an advocate of marriage and to watch my son’s marriage crumble in my own home, well, it was beyond devastating. 

Time marches on. It was a difficult year. Elise was sick often. I was sick often. Now as I look back I see with clarity that the last six months of the year were steeped in spiritual warfare. I wanted to write so badly, as this book is about to explode out of me. Each time I thought I would sit down to write, bam, another illness put me on the couch for two weeks. And that would usually follow two weeks of care for a very a sick little baby. I was her primary caregiver last fall/winter as her father worked the night shift and slept during the day. That kind of care is all consuming. 

Sheesh! 

That is all I’m gonna say about that except that I’m SO glad it’s over. I’m writing now and so amazed at how Becoming Brave is coming along. Elise is well. I’m well. Jesus is awesome. 

With all this said, I want to share something for which I prayed, yet, somewhere didn’t think was likely to happen. Next week my son is heading to Las Vegas to move his wife back to California. 

A miracle indeed. 

Thank you Jesus. 

IMG_2613[1]My friends, I’m so thrilled. My granddaughter turned two on Tuesday. She is so fun and cute that she wrecks my heart each time she says, “Nana, please.” I’m just wrecked. 

I know there are many reasons that this prayer was answered. I’m glad I decided to forgive and not hold on to offense. 

My son now lives five minutes away. They come for Sunday dinner. We celebrated Elise’s birthday and were all at the beach. Life is good. This is what I was intending all along when this great adventure began over a year ago. 

I realize that there are many remaining issues but I am a praying mama. It is likely that I won’t write much about them and their lives in the future. I feel as though the Lord wants to work in their hearts and I must remain slightly at a distance. Thank you for praying for all of us. 

But it’s my glorious honor to share the answers to prayer and glorify our King. He listens to His children and He is good Father. He is always good. I love you, Lynn

Second Birthday Beach 2015 2

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It's Demonic In Nature

In the past two weeks I keep hearing it. 

2 corIt whispers in the car, while in the shower, especially when I’m driving. It’s a voice that’s anything but tender, loving and kind. It’s the voice of darkness and lies. 

What is going on here? 

It’s been years since this menacing voice of condemnation has pestered me in such relentless fashion. I started to recognize what was happening after I spent an entire day squirming, blushing, paining from the ugly voice. I wonder if this happens to you? 

Let me explain. 

An old, old, embarrassing memory pops into your head and your mind rushes with embarrassment. Thirty minutes later, another memory. This time it’s a recollection of a personal and a specific situation where your actions/word hurt someone very deeply. It’s as if your mind relives the entire scenario with painful details. 

You shake your head and clear that memory and wonder, Where did that come from? Then not long after, another crappy memory of pain, where you were embarrassed, and you wish with everything within you that you could take it back. Do over. Die and be buried? (Okay, that last one is extreme, I know.) 

Anyone??? 

Is it just me? Unlikely. This is the work of a condemning spirit. It’s absolutely demonic in nature. Its purpose is to steal your mind and heart away from the progress you have made in your faith life. It’s only mission is to cause you to worship it. How can you worship a demonic spirit? By reliving painful and embarrassing memories and thus take your mind away from Jesus (idol). It wants to destroy your confidence and peace by causing you to relive sinful moments, (now get this) for which you have already been forgiven. 

Ugh!!!!

Okay, so why is this happening? Especially in the light of our recent Romans study where we learned there is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. I can explain my circumstances and I hope that you can then see how sneaky this ugly snake can be, recognize it, and then depose it to the Abyss. 

I’ve been struggling for months to begin writing my next book. Most of you know this. Finally, and I MEAN, finally all the sickness, family drama and demands on my time ceased. (Can I just say: Nice try devil but …. FAIL). Since God has put barriers around me now to push forward, I have been actually writing well and putting words on the screen with amazing downloads from our Father. 

So the devil can’t stop me anymore by waging an outward assault, so this minion comes in and says I will start bringing up all these old memories that make her squirm and steal her thoughts, to distract her and keep her off task. 

Yep. That’s exactly what happened. Twice. 

The first time this nonsense went on all day because I didn’t catch on early enough. I fought off these painful memories nearly all day. Then once again a week later, same thing. 

However, this is where Papa’s girl finally realizes what is happening and I put an end to it, toot sweet (Is that a fitting phrase?) 

Immediately, I said something like this. And I said it out loud with conviction and full confidence in my Jesus to execute my words: In the name of Jesus, I command you, condemning spirit, to leave me and go directly into the abyss. You can never return and I will never allow you to stir up old sins for which I have been forgiven. I have confesses my part in my past and I have been fully forgiven by my Savior, Jesus. Those past sins are at the bottom of the sea. As far as the east if from the west and I stand fully justified and empowered through the authority, blood and love of Jesus. I declare you have no right to my mind. EVER! In Jesus name. Amen. 

Lord Jesus, thank you for showing me where the enemy comes to steal my life. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit that brings freedom to my mind. Thank you for your love. Thank you for the angels that are taking that enemy snake to the pit, never to return. Amen. Hallelujah. 

SUMite Nation: This week, let’s have no part of negative thinking, condemnation, revisiting of forgiven sins. Let ask the Holy Spirit to fill our minds with compassion, love and the purposes of Heaven. In Jesus name. Amen. 

I love you. Have a great week. I know many of you will have a breakthrough in this area this week because the enemy has been exposed. 

THANK YOU Jesus!!!

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When The Church Hurts You

Hello SUMite Nation, 

I have to chuckle. Over the past few months reading through comments, Facebook posts and emails I have received, all of the “SUMite” puns. Hilarious!  SUMthings about happen. To SUM things up. Is SUMone praying? Can I just say that SUM of you are very witty and hilarious. 

It’s the little nuances such as this that make our home on the web, a family. We are a family and SUM is a place where we are loved and where we love. Thank you SUMites for how you love Jesus and how well you love one another. 

And I guess I feel this post is leading to an entirely different topic than I expected. You see over the past seven days my daughter and I have experienced some weird situations. Conflict over beliefs with other believers. 

Yikes! 

Now don’t panic. I’m not going to cause a debate in our Home on the web here. In fact, I think it’s remarkable the kind of unity that we experience in our SUM House considering all the different steams of faith represented here. And Dineen and I are very careful and intentional to focus on what unites and not on what divides. We focus on only two things.  

Love God…
Love people…. 

But what do we do when we don’t see eye to eye? My daughter and I have been living this out as of late. It’s hard enough to stand in our faith when facing harsh words from our unbelieving spouse. But it’s even more difficult to face conflict with people who are “supposed to be on our side.” 

Do you agree? 

Well, in both cases we must let love be our compass and focus on what we have in common. This works both with our pre-believers and those who have differing ideological views. And right behind love, we must walk the road of forgiveness. 

However, the most difficult to forgive are those who are in the church that wound us. 

Am I right? 

Recently I listened to Ann Graham Lotz share how she overcame pain when she was wounded by her church. She shares how she was part of a church for 15 years, raised her children in this particular church and yet on one Sunday morning the church dismissed her husband from leadership. 

THIS IS WORTH A LISTEN MY FRIENDS.

 

 

Thank you for loving Dineen and I even when we might offend, hurt or fail you. Please know we would never do so with intention. I know many times I would like to respond to the many email, comments and messages that arrive and I simply can’t do it. I might write words such as “I’m Pissed Off” and you choose not to take offense but see how I remain committed to authenticity. I pray more than anything that you see our imperfect hearts are filled with love for you. It’s the love of a perfect Father, His Son, Jesus and the love of the Spirit. That remains our highest purpose when you visit our home on the web. 

The calling in this season of the Kingdom upon the House of SUM, is to love God. Love People. Amen and AMEN!

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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 Combination To The Power Of Heaven

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Unbelief
  2. Unforgiveness
  3. Bitterness 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GULP! 

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

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

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

Guess what? 

They did! 

And so can you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
 

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

I’m in awe of what He is doing. 

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

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

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

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The Ugly Word for 2014

Hi SUMers!  So, ahem, yep..... Authentic post and a challenge for the New Year. Yes, you read that right...The New Year. 

I PRAY you are set on a new path in the next few weeks…. Join me on Mondays and Fridays until Yom Kippur for we are on the edge of our seat, waiting for the King to set things in motion… 

Let’s get started, 

Habakkuk 1 5Many of you participated in our annual week of fasting as we kicked off 2014. If you are new to our community, you are in for a profound experience in January as we fast together and listen to the Lord’s voice. You will be amazed. 

Anyhoo, I know at the beginning of the year many of you, ask God for a word, a single word, for the year during this time of prayer and fasting (Dineen always receives a word for her year).

Well, I will be upfront about this asking for a “word” business. I usually don’t ask. 

My thinking; why limit what God has to say for my life to one word?? However, this past January I kinda asked God during my prayer time for a word. I just wanted to see if I would get one… Is that wrong to share? Sounds funny…. But…. 

I prayed, “God if you have a word for my year ahead, what is it?” 

Well guess what? Yep, indeedy, He answered, “Refinement.” 

Can I just say as I sit here in September….. “Man, what a bummer word!” 

And I will tell you this. Indeed it has been a year full of refinement. And this refinement of my character, thoughts, pre-conceived ideas, judgments, friendships, expectations, and pride…. Actually began last fall…. And it’s been a grueling, LONG, year. 

I experienced life-changing grief, nearly lost one of my closest friends, my son divorced while living in my home, and there were a number of other enormous mountains I faced. I haven’t cried this much in a single year since I can't remember. Sheesh! And what is interesting is that I've discovered that I'm not alone in this year of suffering. Many believers, including most of our SUM community have experienced one of the most difficult years in their faith walk as well. Makes me ponder, What is going on in the spiritual realm? 

I assure you that I will not be asking for a word again at the beginning of the year. I would rather not know. 

You are probably wondering why I’m talking about the New Year in September, right? 

Well next Friday at sundown, September 25, 2014 is Rosh Hashanah. It’s the New Year according to God’s calendar (Jewish New Year). And I’ve been particularly interested to learn that many Jewish people and some evangelicals consider this a time when every person appears before God. 

From Wikipedia: In Jewish liturgy, Rosh Hashanah leads to Yom Kippur, which is described as "the day of judgment" (Yom ha-Din) and "the day of remembrance" (Yom ha-Zikkaron). Some midrashic descriptions depict God as sitting upon a throne, while books containing the deeds of all humanity are opened for review, and each person passes in front of Him for evaluation of his or her deeds

Okay, now I don’t know about all of this because it isn’t in His Word. But I am intrigued to think that God looks upon His children at the beginning of the year and perhaps He decrees new adventures, more depth in our relationship with Him and others, growth, discovering our destiny and ministries. So, I’m praying with passion at this time in my life that Rosh Hashanah 2014 is the close of a year of refinement. I’m praying that every hardship, trial, struggle and the many tears will be redeemed in the year ahead. 

I’ve learned so much from this year of wrestling. I’ve learned to let go of offense. I know, that I know, that I know —God will be my Holy Justice. In valleys of loneliness, He is all that I need. I’ve let go of judgment and comparison. When I’m accused falsely, He will be my fortress. And that no matter how messed up relationships can get; God is in the business of restoration. 

I’ve watched God undo me and humble me, turn me around and then restore relationships that have been badly broken for years and years. He has healed hurts I have born my entire adult life and restored me to many. He has grieved my heart over broken relationships, then commanded me to see restoration and reconciliation and furthermore to pray for people who hurt me or whom I’ve hurt. Gulp! It’s been tough. But, I’m truly thankful for walking this valley. 

I will likely share some of these stories in the few posts ahead as we come closer to the “New Year.” You will be astounded. I am! 

So as the year 5,774 draws to a close, I’m trusting God that His year of refinement is accomplished and that my heart was refined through the fire.

So as we approach Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, I want to share what I believe He is whispering to His children about our future. Stay tuned...

We, the Body of Christ, are living in the best time in the history of the world.  

It's great to be alive!

My friends, are you ready for this year to be over? Do you want a peek at what I hear God telling me is ahead for those who love Him? Stay tuned and remove your shoes for we are about to tread on Holy Ground.

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

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Good Friday Morning My Friends, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My Sweet and Holy Child, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s all okay. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

I adore you. Please adore yourself. 

Signed, Your Papa
Abba, Father 

PS. Jesus says, “Hi.”

 

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Line by Line: Remarriage

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Part III 

Line by line. Precept upon Precept. 

On Monday we looked line by line at 1 Corinthians 7:10-11. We managed to get through three lines. Sheesh. This takes longer that I thought. But I hope the discussion blew your mind and caused you to pray and seek God’s explanation of these verses. 

I will add to our study that there was discussion about the context of these verses and who they specifically addressed. Are they written for believer to believer marriages only? Some commentaries say yes, some no. I will tell you that I don’t know. And I think my comments on this passage on Monday were directed to the many of us who are in a place in our marriages where we are thinking we would be so much better off to divorce our spouse because of our spiritual differences. Then remarry because after all, the grass is greener with a believing spouse (sarcasm intended *grin*). 

We will address this specifically as we work our way through the chapter. And it’s really, really good stuff. So hang in there. And I also want to encourage you to share your thoughts, interpretation in the comments. Our conversations, observations and thoughts in the comments on Monday were outstanding. 

Well done community!

 

Today I want to share a true story of a young woman who literally faced these verses in the face. 

Line by Line: A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. 

This young woman came for counseling at our church many years ago and the counselor came to me seeking my thoughts as she would meet with this young woman in the next week. 

Here is the scenario. This young wife, right around 25 years of age with two young children was a newly born again Christian. She came to Christ at the time her husband was sentenced to more than 25 consecutive years in the state penitentiary. He wasn’t eligible to parole for at least 25 years. The reality hit this young woman that she would be married to a man who was in prison for most of her life and the entire childhood of both of her children. (I don’t remember if He was a believer or not.) 

She came to the counseling staff and wanted a divorce. And in all truthfulness the counselor she was seeing didn’t have it in her to tell this young woman that God is calling her to remain married to her husband or divorce and remain single. The counselor, herself, was struggling to process this passage in 1 Corinthians 7. However, God’s Word is His Word. 

I remember standing in a hallway with the counselor as she described this young woman and what she knew she must say to her but in her heart she wasn’t convinced this is what God would want. The counselor didn’t know how the young mother would be able to remain single and raise her children. “How can I tell her she can’t remarry when she is so young and raising these children. She wants a home and father in her home. I don’t know if I can do it.” 

I looked into this sweet woman’s face, the counselor, and I felt exactly what she was feeling. She just needed something, anything, to help her understand how this young woman could remain single and not remarry for her entire life. 

I took this counselor by the arms and looked into her eyes and spoke directly from my own experience. And I said…… “You know that I have surrendered many of my hopes and dreams for a spouse who was on the same page as me. A spouse who attended church with me and helped me raise my children in faith. Now I know that my struggle pales in comparison but my pain and challenges were deep.” 

“What I learned is that all of my hopes and dreams of what I thought I wanted from my life on planet earth pale in comparison to the vast love of God. When I stand in His Presence and receive my inheritance, love and provision from Him, those unfulfilled hopes and dreams look like a tiny dot in the face of The Great King of the Universe. My unbelieving spouse, her incarcerated husband, are mere men. My hope, my everything, all my expectations, joy, and every fantastic adventure is centered in living fully in the grace and love of God through His Son Jesus Christ.” 

“God IS big enough, strong enough, more than enough to be my husband and fill in the missing places that I expected my earthly spouse to fill. If God will do that for me, He will do it for her. I absolutely believe that and KNOW it to be true for all of His children.” 

As I spoke to this counselor, I watched the love of God flood her soul. The vastness of the Lord and His awe and love changed her heart. I don’t know what advice she finally gave to that young mother but I expect both of them were changed in some measure by the greatness of our Lord.

----- 

So, today I leave you with this story. I also want to tell you that no matter what this young woman chose to do for the rest of her life, God’s grace is sufficient to cover all of her choices.

 

Most of you know that I divorced in my prodigal years. I share that in our second book. That divorce was completely selfish and I ignored God’s Word thinking that I knew what was best for me. But God has forgiven my selfish choices and has blessed me and my current marriage is blessed. We are 22 years and counting. 

I want to make sure that we understand there is no condemnation in Christ. But this study and the command is in God’s Word for very good reason. As I write this, my son from my first marriage is living here. He is an adult but is still dealing with some of the ramifications of my divorce. 

It is my prayer and hope that we all learn from this study- the motives of God and why He calls us to reconciliation of marriage when possible. 

I would sure like to hear from someone who has reconciled and what that brought to your life. And again, I also believe there are some very wicked people whom separation is not only necessary but God is screaming at you to get out and find healing. 

Okay, again family. Be gentle with me in the comments even if you don’t agree. I absolutely learned a lot from the comments on Monday’s study. I love you. 

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Reader Question: Struggling with Shame and Regret

Hi Lynn and Dineen,

I am writing this email because I feel an incredibly heavy burden. Right now I am struggling with a great deal of shame and an amount of regret over my decision to marry an unbeliever last year. It is tough for me to really believe that through this mistake, God will redeem any part of my situation. I love my husband, he is a good man and we have a wonderful little baby boy, but how am I really able to love him like I should when he is an ever present reminder of my disobedience? I know I am in for a long and lonely road and it seems as though every facet of my life will be affected by this.

You see, I struggled with this decision and decided to go through with it. I was incredibly confused and in hindsight I know the holy spirit was convicting me about it. But I had so many people telling me that he was the one that I should marry, and I loved him. We had a baby on the way, it was a long distance relationship of three years, and I thought that perhaps I could be a good witness to him (how many women get stuck in this trap?!?), even though my faith was and is relatively infantile despite having grown up in the church.

I see happy Christian couples everywhere and am burdened by the guilt that I am not like them. I often see warnings about dating and marrying an unequally yoked partner, and get overcome with shame and worry and fear. I do not know how to move forward.

I suppose I have issues with accepting God's love and knowing that He hasn't turned my back on me, although I know that is untrue. Any words of wisdom or advice?

My sweet friend, I so wish I could include a great big hug with this email. Lynn and I actually just talked about this the other day, how our hearts ached for those who carry shame, guilt and regret over their marriage when that is the last thing our Jesus wants for us. That's why He came and died for us, experiencing both physical and spiritual death so that when we read His Word that tells us He understands and loves us even when we fail, we can truly believe it!
 
I know that's hard to believe right now. Trust me, I've been in a similar journey of late, understanding the magnitude of God's love for us. The thing is, God has loved you passionately always—before you were even conceived. And nothing can change that or separate you from that love (Romans 8:38-39). Does Jesus continually remind you of what you did wrong? No, Scripture says there is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). Truly, go read Romans 8 in as many translations as you can. That one chapter alone has some of the best promises and truths from our Father God, including my favorite Romans 8:28, that He is always working things together for our good. Even the bad stuff, even our mistakes and bad choices.
 
My friend, you did not surprise God by marrying your husband, and I'm sure you have told Him already that you are sorry for disobeying Him, that you have repented of disobedience. So receive that forgiveness. If I can be that voice for you, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! And now know that God is still crazy about you! He still has a plan and purpose for you! And part of that plan is to bless you, your marriage and your husband and son. It won't be easy at times, as we still have to deal with the consequences of our bad choices. But God will even work in those to help you. You will find yourself drawing even closer to God if you let Him draw you close to Him.
 
These burdens you are feeling are from the enemy. He wants to keep you powerless especially now in your marriage so he can keep your husband in darkness. Take that power back, my friend (Luke 9:1-2). Tell the enemy to get lost and start claiming the promises in the Bible that are there for all of us. You can move forward in your marriage in the hope and great love that we have in Jesus. He will bring good out of all of this. He not only redeems us, He redeems our lives, every bit of them.
 
Don't compare yourself to others. Trust me, it's deadly and destructive. And what you see on the outside isn't always the truth of what's inside their hearts or inside their homes. There are challenges in every marriage, even marriages with two believers. And in some ways you will be more effective in your marriage because you will be more intentional to bring Jesus into your home with your love and actions, because you are there now for such a time as this (go read the book of Esther and ask God to show you the truth there for you).
 
My friend, basically in these kinds of places we have two choices: We can stay focused on what we did in the past and stay mired in the lies that we can't be forgiven, that we can't serve God, that God won't love us as much or value us as much, that the church won't want us anymore, that we are less than, that we've blown it, etc. All lies. Or we can choose to move forward in the truth of God's love and that He is the God of the impossible. That what we see as impossible, unfixable and unusable is ALWAYS an opportunity for His great love and power to shine and prevail. 
 
Go read Joshua 9 and 10. Joshua stepped into an agreement he wasn't supposed to. He made a covenant with a people God told him not to. But when Joshua was called to keep that agreement, God helped him do it and won the battle for them. Right now, God is more interested in your faithfulness to Him and to the covenant you have made with your husband. He will honor that and bless you for it as well. 
 
You see, for our great God, He is always more concerned in who we are (His children and our relationship with Him) than what we do for Him. That is why our greatest command is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Because He loves us so much, He loved us first. Then we are to love others. It's always all about His love and our relationship with Him. And your mismatched marriage does not change that.
 
My friend, I want to encourage you to walk forward in the truth of God's love and promises. There are so many just waiting for you to claim and pray. Know that God adores you, delights in you and sings over you (Zeph 3:17). He always has and He always, always, always will.
 
Praying for you to walk in hope, love and promise!
Dineen
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Your Breakthrough Is Here - Passover

Hi SUMite Family, 

This week I’m departing from our Joshua and The Walls series. Today I want to share my thoughts and prayer about Passover. And on Friday, I’m sharing a glimpse I had of The Wedding of the Son of God and His Bride. (It’s way cool and perfect for Good Friday. Be sure to stop in then.) 

What is Passover? Passover is a festival of freedom. It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the Seder, which occurs on the first night. 

As believers we know we are not under the Old Testament law. We are living in the age of grace because of the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. And as a person who loves God and ponders His ways and thoughts, I’m thinking that many of the ancient feasts and celebrations that He originated still hold meaning and expectation. 

This year’s Passover holds significance to me personally. You see, since December I have been praying for many of you in this SUMite family. Many of you by name. And I mean ALL of you, even if you have never made any personal contact with me nor left your name in a comment. I have prayed for you. 

And this is why. 

Breakthrough is coming for many of you with THIS Passover. 

At the end of last year many of my brothers and sisters in Christ were in the midst of enduring and trying to just survive tremendous spiritual warfare. Many of you have battled a life that seems to have run over you. Circumstances have left you defeated and bereft of hope. And you have been in this dark pit for months now. Many of you are specifically facing crippling financial stresses. There are many who are wrangling with overwhelming anxiety, dark depression, abusive spouses and heartbreak because of wondering children and a litany of other demonic tortures. 

Well my friends, I’ve been praying for you. I’ve been contending for you. For months. I’ve sacrificed in the quiet of the early morning as I beseeched the God of the universe to silence the enemy and bring freedom to the many of you who are held captive and as prisoners of this life’s evils.

My prayers began in December and as I marched through January I began to hear the Lord tell me they will lift. There is a change, a shift, which is ordained of heaven that will happen at Passover. 

THAT’S TOMORROW! 

I’ve been praying for a breakthrough. A breakthrough for many. I’ve been contending for this shift over the home of _________________________ (insert your name because I’ve prayed it.) My breakthrough, although contended for in private and sacrificed in prayer, over the past months will also bring breakthrough to many others. MANY OTHERS. 

THAT’S how our God’s Kingdom rolls!!!!!! 

The honest prayers of one can bring breakthrough for hundreds. I earnestly believe this with all of my heart. So today my friends, if you need this breakthrough to move into a new season with the Lord, declare it now and out loud. 

Father God, I receive this breakthrough on this day. This is the day that You Passover this earth and free me from the grips of the enemy. Lord, and free others from the terror of the evil one. Today, Lord, I receive my deliverance just as you delivered our ancestors long ago. You freed them from the tyranny of slavery and gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. Today, Lord, I too declare in front of the Kingdom of God my freedom day. 

I will promise to seek you with all of my heart from this day forward. I make a new and lasting covenant to pursue you with a relentless hunger. I will also step out of my bondage and make it my life’s purpose to free others who are on the road behind me. 

Today, I rebuke and break off any stronghold or bondage of the enemy that has kept me from stepping into my rightful inheritance as a child of the Most High God. And I slam the door shut on any lies I have believed that the devil has used to tell me anything that is not truth about myself and my circumstances. 

Lord, My Holy God, I receive my freedom by the holy blood of the Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, Your Son. And I will live all of my days from this day forward, pursuing peace, joy and love. I will choose to love you with my whole heart and spend the rest of my life loving people. 

I declare and decree my deliverance, my future that is abundant, and ask today that you show me now where you have made my path straight that I may get on with bringing Your Kingdom to earth. 

In the most powerful name in all creation and the heavenly realms, Jesus, The Christ. The Passover Lamb of God. AMEN.

 

I have contended for you. I absolutely believe many of you will begin to see hints of the freedom that has just been released upon your life today. My friends, now give thanks to our Papa, Jesus and the Dove for you are been released to receive your full inheritance. In Jesus name. 

I love you. I will always contend for your lives, marriage and children. I will never stop standing in the gap when you are weak and unable. I am your friend and your prayer warrior. Your sister in Christ, Lynn

Psalm 23
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Special Guest Today! Please Welcome Suzie Eller!

My precious friends, today I want to introduce you to Susanne (Suzie) Eller. She's been a great support to the SUM ministry and now we get to share her with you! Suzie's message of forgiveness in her book, The Unburdened Heart is desperately needed today and by so many. I hope you find answers and comfort in her words below. 

Feel free to leave comments and pray for each other. This is a tough topic. And we'll do a random drawing from the comments for a book winner, who will receive a copy of her book.

Love you all dearly and know you are in my heart and prayers!
Hugs!
Dineen

SE13-1060-682x1024Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author. She’s written six books, hundreds of articles, and writes devos with Encouragement for Today that reaches over 500,000 women. Suzie is a radio co-host with Luann Prater at Encouragement Cafe Joy FM. She encourages women through two Facebook communities reaching over 20,000 five days a week. She’s been featured on TV and radio such as Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, MidDay Connection, The Harvest Show, and many others. Most importantly, she is a wife, mom, and “Gaga” to four beautiful grandbabies. Connect with Suzie at www.tsuzanneeller.com

 

Suzie, you’ve been listening to many stories from women who struggle to forgive. How many women struggle with forgiveness in their marriages?
 
Nearly 50% of the women who share their stories on my blog, or in person, say that their biggest struggle to forgive is in their marriage.
 
For many, it’s when a spouse is continually unkind, or says words that diminish her.
 
In this instance, many women bear their soul and are told either to get out, to seek counsel, or to submit.
 
The first leaves a woman who desires to stay and work things out because she loves her husband and wants her marriage to succeed, with a heavier burden. 
 
In the second, seeking counsel is wise advice, as long as it’s counsel that is skilled in helping a couple, with God’s help, find new ground in their marriage. Many times “counsel” can be someone who do not have those skills.
 
The third, to submit, is often shared without proper context. The word “submit” is thrown out without the beautiful framework of instructing husbands to love their wives as “Christ loved the church”. This is why wise counsel is key. Submission is respect, it’s great love, it’s working through the harder spots.
 
So, how do you begin to forgive in this instance?
 
It’s a blend of truth, grace, and confidence.
 
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that abuse is allowed to continue. However, he’s not yours to fix, and that’s where we often spend our energies.
 
What can you do then? You can speak the truth. Truth is shared, perhaps in the setting of a counselor’s office, or perhaps in a moment where it’s not heated, after prayer and with love, and with the intent of working toward a healthier relationship. Truth is coated with grace, knowing that we all fall short. It’s shared with wisdom and without accusation. And in some instances, it’s shared with healthy boundaries, not to punish, but to work toward the healthiest relationship possible. (A great book on boundaries that is both healthy and filled with wisdom is Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud and Townsend.)
 
What about unfaithfulness?
 
A percentage of that 50% wrote in that they struggled to forgive because of unfaithfulness. I shared Carlie’s story, a woman whose husband left her after 29 years of marriage. In this case, the word forgive meant that God moved into the broken and raw places of His daughter. He knew her. He knew her heart. She intentionally walked into a relationship with God during that painful time so that He could fill up her “temple”, residing in Her, healing her, moving in her in those moments when she wanted nothing more than to take revenge, or lash out. In Carlie’s case, her husband went on with his new life, but she also had new life that filled her up in the harder months ahead. She was redefined in so many ways – single mom, single woman. But her role as God’s daughter was made that much more clear and concrete.
 
Unburdened-Heart_GrassSky_smallFor those whose spouse asked for forgiveness and who desired to change, forgiving is key as you rebuild trust. But give yourself permission to be honest with your heavenly father, with the understanding that there is nothing in scripture that condones unfaithfulness. It’s not in God’s plan or His character. If He grieves over the fallen sparrow (Matt. 10:29), then He grieves over your marriage. He is big enough to handle your honesty while leading you to a new level of spiritual intimacy with Him and even tender vulnerability in your relationship with Him as you work through this harder aspect of forgiving. At this moment, it may seem impossible to forgive on your own, but are you willing? That’s the only question that you need to answer. God is a Healer, and my prayer is that your marriage goes to a new place, but also that you sense God’s hand over you as you work through this difficult place, and that one day you look back and see His tender touch over you and your marriage.
 

Read chapter one of Suzie's book.

Listen to Suzie share her journey to forgiveness.

 

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Weekend Devo — Birth of a Stronghold

639294_weed_detail“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” — Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

Sweat beaded on my brow as I worked my way down the flowerbed. The bucket next to me sat nearly full with weeds and dead leaves. To my left, a weed-free bed spanned in elegance. Each bush seemed to sigh, free of the invaders once choking their roots.

To my right, the distance dwindled steadily to the end. Pluck, pluck. Two more imposters joined the bucket with their cohorts. I smiled. My garden would soon be beautiful again.

I reached the end. One final weed. My gloved hands grasped its protruding growth. I froze, took another look, and released my grip.

The tiny plant twinkled in the morning dew, beckoning me with its delicate leaves. I glanced in my bucket for a comparison. Nothing I’d yanked from the soil resembled this beauty. Had a lone seed found its way into my garden? I studied its form again and saw not a sight of offense but one of promised splendor.

What harm could there be in letting it grow?

I left my new visitor alone to flourish among my sweet Japanese Boxwoods and Spirea. Almost every day I inspected the tiny plant, anticipating what unknown bloom would soon burst forth from its exquisite leaves. Surely something so bewitching would promise a flower unlike any I’d seen before.

One day I checked my promised treasure again. My mouth dropped to see the transformation a mere two days had produced. Spiny projections marred the once elegant lines of the green leaves. A thick, gangly stem had replaced the tiny bud I’d thought held a dainty flower. I’d been fooled. I recognized the deceiver for what it was.

A weed.

Like a soldier on a mission, I stood over my garden intruder and made a plan of attack. I wrapped my hands around the base, ignoring the prickle I felt through my gloves, and pulled. Some of the leaves broke off with a jerk, yet the bulk of the weed remained.

More determined than ever, I plunged a spade into the dirt to loosen the soil. Surely that would set this intruder on a path to my bucket. I yanked again. The root held firm despite the few prickly leaves I held. I had to dig deeper.

Again and again I spiked the shovel around the root, giving a tug every so often. The weed loosened but refused to budge. I dug deeper. A gouging hole now marred my garden as well.

Then the nudge of the Holy Spirit brought my hands to a stop. God’s soft voice spoke to my heart.

“This is sin in your life.”

I dropped my shovel. Tears welled in my eyes. The deception fell in God’s light, revealing its darkness. How had its beauty blinded me? Had I recognized this “weed” for what it was, I could have yanked it out sooner. Yet I’d let it grow, lured by its tempting beauty, fooled by the promise of something greater to come.

I’d been an Eve in my own garden.

Head down I prayed for forgiveness. Begged for freedom from this stronghold of sin. God gave me reassurance again of my place in His heart and comforted my spirit.

I glared at the weed, my guilt gone as I gripped the exposed root, praying for God’s help. The sound of the first tear of roots breaking free from the earth spurred me on. I pulled harder.

The imposter released its hold from the soil. A long root dangled from my hand, exposed to sunlight. I tossed the green monster into my bucket, then smoothed dirt and mulch to fill the gaping hole left behind. Peace and satisfaction now replaced the tension of my struggle.

I slipped off my gloves, then wiped my brow. Now my garden was truly free.

Praying and believing, Dineen

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A Mother's Heart. A Savior's Heart

Several weeks ago my friend, Tanya, wrote me and shared a story about her young daughter. And today I want to share it with you. I pray you are blessed through her words and her eyes. 

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Tanya
Tanya Morgan

Tanya: I learned the most valuable lesson from Ella, my six-year-old daughter, today. It was the perfect picture of Christ’s love for us and His forgiveness and what that really looks like. 

 

Ella and I met a friend and her daughter at the book store this afternoon. The girls were in the kid’s section while my friend and I chatted and looked through the rows of various books and Bibles. When the girls came up to us, each wearing a cute sticker on their arm hey stated that they found them on the floor. We both instantly knew they were lying.  

They swore they weren’t and wanted to know if they could keep them. They then ran back to the shelves that held all of the cute stickers and girly stuff. My friend and I asked each of them once more if they were telling the truth; again they said they were, for sure. It was so obvious they were not being honest. 

As we both walked back to where the girls were you can imagine the scene. We’ve all been there. “Oh no, I’m caught!” was written all over their faces. I was at once disappointed and sad but had to suppress a little giggle at the same time, mostly because they were so obvious in their deception and they didn’t think we already knew, but also because I love her so. 

We separated them, each of the mommies talking to their own daughter. The scene was very serious; one of the girls got walked out to the car while the other one was questioned quietly in the store. After we talked to our girls individually we decided they would let the store clerk know what they had done and apologize to her. Again, you can imagine the scene. 

Lips quivering and hands wringing, Ella blurts out first “Your stickers are really pretty…” They finally confessed and apologized. The clerk was very sweet and gracious and said “I forgive you”. I was feeling sort of proud of them after that but of course I didn’t yet let her see the smile on my face and I talked with Ella about never stealing again, etc., etc. 

A few minutes later the tears spilled out and the big cry started and I could see how much shame she was feeling. We again sat down in their chair and I told her that I forgave her and that I was not mad at her any more. I asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus to forgive her for stealing also. She said she did but didn’t want anyone to hear because she was embarrassed about stealing. I led her in a simple prayer to ask Him to forgive her. When she was done she was still crying just as hard. I snapped my fingers and said “Ella, you are forgiven! It is done just that quickly because you asked Jesus”. 

She said “OK." 

As we were driving home she was still crying, full of regret and disappointment. This spoke to me so clearly about my own sin and forgiveness. 

God loves me so and already knows the stuff I try to hide from Him or pretend doesn’t exist. Even though He is sad in my sin or disobedience, He probably suppresses a smile as I come to Him and ask for forgiveness. Immediately, He grants my desire to be clean and whole again; then He lets His smile show freely in an outpouring of love. But I hang on to the sorrow and regret and disappointment and shame. I continue to cry over the same things I have been forgiven. 

As I continued to drive home, overflowing with love for my daughter and smiling widely in the front seat, I was so blessed by my Savior’s love for me and this truth that He shared with me today!

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Thank you Tanya.

Happy Mother's Day, Lynn

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An Open Letter to Celia

My Friend Celia,  

Aletterto
Dearest Celia, Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

God is a mystery and we will never fully understand or know everything about him. Even in heaven, we will continually discover new facets of His love, grace, and character. And I am truly thankful that we don’t have God all figured out.  

If we did, how bland and ordinary life would be. How utterly boring. 

Living life with God is anything but boring. We, the CHOSEN, live an everyday adventure. It’s often scary, many times uncertain; we face seemingly insurmountable odds in our struggles, and fight against demons and every sort of evil. 

But we live. 

We live; fully-alive, 3D, full-color, spectacular, even supernatural lives. 

I am an ordinary woman Celia, who has an ugly past, have hurt many, have felt pain just like you. But just like you I decided one day to seek God with an earnest heart. And I found Him. 

Celia, you will never have answers to all of your questions, this side of heaven. And God is intentional to remain somewhat of a mystery to us mere mortals. That is what Faith is all about. Belief. Not science or religion. 

Faith is more precious than gold and it is the only thing we possess as humans that we can offer to God. It is our love and relationship that we freely give and receive from God. 

When we take that singular step of faith and earnestly believe, God will join us.

  • And slowly, over time, you will discover you can face your past and live in triumph. 
  • You can forgive what you once through impossible to get over. 
  • You will find an authentic joy in your everyday living. 
  • You will see the miraculous. 
  • You will be astounded by His protection. 
  • You will see prayer answered in such an extravagant and unexpected way you will fall to your knees and weep. 
  • You will experience the supernatural. 
  • You will hear God speak to you, words of love, wisdom, direction and affirmation. 
  • Your fears will subside. 
  • Your insecurity fade. 
  • Your confidence rise. 
  • Your countenance change. 

You will be transformed. 

You will encounter the love of God and His presence that surrounds you in such a powerful way that you feel like you just touched heaven. 

O Celia, say goodbye to your doubts, look at the people who love God and be assured. We are His trophies, living proof, that God is real, powerful, full of love and righteousness. 

Today is the day Celia. Today is YOUR day. Decide now and forever, to step into the astonishing, amazing and eternal Kingdom of the Most High God. And live for 

El Shaddai, God Almighty, and his reigning son, Jesus.

Be blessed my sister, Lynn 

Celia, I also want to answer your question, Why do bad things happen to good people, in a future post. I’ve asked a pastor to help me with that one. I hope to share that with you in the near future. Thank you for sharing your heart, your honest thoughts and your life. It’s now up to you my friend. 

Celia, the path toward faith is this. Belief, reading God’s Word, prayer and community. Remain faithful to reading your Daily Bible and praying in your prayer journal. Become a weekly attender in a Bible teaching, Holy Spirit filled church. That is the path I followed and it leads to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The fruit of the Spirit. 

It’s not complicated but it does require commitment and effort but living the abundant, believer’s life is OH SO WORTH IT. 

Okay everyone, what have you experienced with Christ that has affirmed your faith? Now is the time to proclaim what God has done, is doing, in the lives of His children? Leave your praise, your story, your testimony in the comments and let our God receive great praise.

To read all of Celia's questions and our replies, start here: Doubts About God.

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A Letter from One Unequally Yoked to Another

I want to welcome Adriana today. She recently shared a powerful letter on our 1Peter3Living loop. I hope you are inspired and encouraged as I was ~Lynn

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AlettertoAs we step closer to God, the spiritual battle steps up too because the enemy absolutely hates to see us mature as Christians. When you feel deflated and that God is not listening, that's just junk from the enemy. God is listening and welcoming you closer. Rejoice that your moving closer to God has the enemy bothered! 

I've been in my spiritually unequally yoked marriage for 22 years and at times my husband was very difficult and I had close friends asking why I was sticking with it (even got this from his own family members). But I knew that the Lord was doing a work in me and through me was doing a work in my husband as well. 

I love how God always works both sides of an equation. In our unequally yoked marriages, He is maturing us, doing deep steadfast things in us as we walk through the difficulties. In my marriage I have learned and am still learning to depend on God, to look to Him to fulfill (for now) the things I long to be receive from my husband. I have learned to pray more deeply, to trust and believe more deeply. My quiet faithfulness to God benefits my husband even if he is unaware of it. My husband has God's presence in his life just because God is in me and I am with him. He may not yet be surrendering to God but God is at work as I am a light and reflection of God's steadfastness, love, mercy, forgiveness, and even at times correction in his life. I am God's instrument to be used in His way to woo my husband to Himself. And I have seen Him do some amazing things and move in behalf of prayer. 

I know the loneliness you speak of, always doing things solo. I live that too. The thing is to be faithful to God in what he would have YOU do for Him and to trust Him with the working in your husband. Seek to do everything as unto the Lord. When He shows you to love your husband, love your husband for Him. When he shows you to forgive your husband, forgive your husband for Him. When we do things for others for Him and we don't get appreciated for what we have done, we can endure it because our praise and reward is from the Lord, not the person. We can rejoice in that we have pleased our first love. What freedom there is in that! It's difficult at times to live with this attitude (especially with a difficult person) but oh the rewards when we do. 

Love and prayers,

Adriana

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