65 posts categorized "Glimpses of God"

Divine Appointments, Part 2

11134039_s

I’m so glad you came back to hear the rest of this story. And I know Lynn and I will come back with more stories too. It’s the last day of the Open Heavens conference. As I write this I haven’t a clue of what God has in store for us, but I know it will be good, because He is GOOD!

Now back to the ACFW conference and the divine appointments God had planned for me. As I said, I knew there was more to hear from my new friend. I didn’t even ask God to orchestrate another meeting. I knew He would and told Him as much. This was really fun!

The next day I had an appointment with an editor. After my appointment, I took a shortcut down the hallway to get back to the registration area. This hallway can get pretty busy when people are moving between appointments, but this time it was quiet, mostly empty.

Except for one person. Yep. You guessed it. There she stood. I smiled and headed toward her. Again we laughed and hugged. Then I knew what it was I was suppose to know.

So I asked, “You are a deep woman of faith and are on the path ahead of me. What advice would you give to someone like me, coming up behind you?”

Her face grew serious and she began to share such amazing words of truth and faith. Words that confirmed things God had shown me this year and great wisdom for where I was headed. I realized this dear woman had already walked the path I was on right now in greater detail than I could have imagine. I remember standing there feeling so surreal as I grasped more full how well God had planned this.

The piece of her wisdom that stood out the most was not to live the life you think you are supposed to but to live the life God is leading you too. She done it the first way for too many years and had learned the difference.

I asked this dear woman and new friend if she minded if I kept in touch with her. I’d prayed for a long time for mentors in my life, and maybe, just maybe, God had lead me to one. To her. She told me she’d mind if I didn’t.

Our divine appointment had turned into a divine connection. My friends, I’m still in awe of how God does these things. How His timing is so significant and precise for His plans and purposes. I delight in Him so much in these moments as I stand in awe of Him.

And more came through the week. The Holy Spirit led me to sit in front of an older couple. I turned around and asked what their story was. They shared their precious lives with me, then realized they were in the wrong room. But I knew I was meant to hear their stories and God confirmed it again when I “ran” into them again the next day. We shared our hearts to spread God’s love and goodness in our stories and this sweet man had me sign his tie!

And connecting with so many hearts and hearing their stories. One of my last nights there, God brought a woman front and center to me whose husband had walked away from his faith. Such heartache. I was able to share this beautiful SUMite community with her (yes, I bragged about you!) and invited her to come and visit and let us love on her.

So you see, my SUMite family, you were part of my adventures that week. I bring you everywhere I go and boast about you all often as I praise and point to God for doing what He’s done right here in this community.

And now I’m hooked. Everywhere I go I pray for divine appointments. I know so many more are coming, for all of us. Just ask Him.

Then come and share yours. I want to hear your story.

Love you, my precious SUMite family!
SignatureGraphic2

 

 

 

 

Copyright: petarpaunchev / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Divine Appointments, Part 1

11134039_sMy friends, as you read this, Lynn and I are making our way to the Open Heavens Conference at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. This will be our third year going and I’m already praying for diving appointments. (Please pray with us on this and for our protection and safety as we travel. Thank you!)

I prayed for this before the writers conference (American Christian Fiction Writers) I attended a couple weeks ago. And I told God it didn’t matter if they had anything to do with me or writing, I just wanted to see Him in action.

Well, my week was packed with these appointments and it was the most fun I’ve had at one of these conferences to date. And I’ve been going for ten years now! My head is still spinning to think of them all but a few stand out, and today I’m going to share just a few of them.

As head of registration I get to serve a great body of writers and authors, along side a great team of volunteers. I’m the “go-to-girl” for all the complicated questions, etc. The first day I was blessed to pray for a dear woman in distress. Loved watching how God calmed and comforted her as we prayed.

Then a little while later, an older woman humbly asked if she could still have an author ribbon (we have these label ribbons that attach to our name badges). She forgot about her book coming out in December.

“Of course!” I said and went to fetch her one. The sheer delight on her face to receive it warmed my heart beyond measure, as did her hug. Really, truly, I love doing the little things for people.

The next morning, very early and bleary eyed, God reminded me of these two women. He highlighted the woman I’d fetched the ribbon for and said, “She has a story. Listen to her story.” He whispered (probably because I hadn’t had my coffee yet) to me, “Listen to their stories.” I knew He didn’t mean what they were writing but the stories of their heart, their lives.

I told God He’d have to orchestrate that meeting if I was to hear more of her story as there was a good 500 people attending this conference in a large hotel. Later that day I turned around and there she was! Just her. I hugged her and said, “God told me you have a story. What’s your story?”

Her eyes grew wide and moist, and she smiled. She told me that just touched her heart so deeply that God had told me that about her. She then explained that she is a two time cancer survivor and battling heart disease.

Me? I’m standing there stunned, because even though I KNOW God does this stuff, I’m still floored by it.

Time ran out and she had to go. We hugged, each knowing that God had linked us together for a reason, then off she went to her next workshop. But I knew there was more. God whispered to my heart again that there was more for me to hear.

The next day during a break, I ran up to my hotel room to get something. I started to head back out but realized I needed one more thing. Then I headed out the door. Standing at the door across the hall stood this dear woman. I kid you not. We laughed, hugged and marveled at how God kept putting us together. She shared a little more and I shared a little about my daughter’s cancer miracles, but then I had to get back to my post. Even as I walked down the hall, I knew there was more and that God would put us together yet again. He’d already linked out hearts together.

But, He wasn’t done…

Dear Friends, that’s enough for today, but please come back Friday for the rest of this story. There’s more to tell, more to hear, I’m not done… ;-)

And I’m looking forward to what God has planned for Lynn and I at Bethel. I know He won’t disappoint. He’s the best divine appointment of all!

Love you!
SignatureGraphic2

 

 

 

 

Copyright: petarpaunchev / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


God's Preparation: Trials and Challenges

PrayerBlock2Dear Friends, one of the most extraordinary things that God is showing me of late is how interconnected things are and how often we miss it. So here is the first part of an unexpected series—I say unexpected because I'd made notes for what I thought were four different posts and then realized they are very much interconnected and make a whole. I love how God does that!

I remember years ago thinking that as I got older, "things" (i.e. life in general) would get easier, because I would be wiser, more experienced (is that redundant?) and overall have a better grip on life. In some ways that has proved true, but I'm finding that the deeper I seek to walk with God, the challenges have grown. Yes, we have a relentless enemy determined to to keep us from walking in our full destiny (remember, he can't take away our salvation, but he can make us ineffective, if we let him), but we serve and love a God who is even more relentless in His love and purposes and Who WILL NOT FAIL US. He is the one we will focus upon in this series.

Challenges and trials are part of life. I've learned to accept that and realize there is no such thing as a life free of these situations. Not on this side of heaven, anyway. Take hope in this my friends, for one day our Lord Jesus will dry our tears and we will be complete (realized, fully free, perfected to completion) in His presence in the heavenly realms.

In the meantime, the foundational truth that is crucial once again for us to embrace and understand is that God is good and that He brings purpose and redemption in each of us. Not just of who we are but also from our lives—our trials, struggles, pain and even those situations and conditions that seem so impossible to us from our limited understanding and perspective. This is the heart and truth of Romans 8:28 and a truth I believe we MUST revisit and reiterate over and over again because this is where the enemy will hit us hardest and attempt to make us doubt God's goodness.

Let's look at the story of Jesus walking on water:

When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He *came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and *said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened. — Mark 6:45-52 (NASB)

First, I want to point out a telling word in the second line, verse 48. The word “straining” in Greek is basanizō, and means to torture, battered, felt...tormented, pain, straining, torment, tormented.

These men were beyond the point of being afraid. It was somewhere between three and six in the dark morning hours, they most likely couldn’t see a thing because the storm covered the moon, and they were terrified and saw no way out. I find the use of this word, basanizō, very interesting, because it’s not one I would have expected to find in this story. Perhaps God wanted us to understand that no matter how deep our fear and suffering run, He will prevail.

But that’s not the point I want to bring out today. (Hang with me just a little longer. I actually have three points to share with you.) Jesus revealed Himself in such a way as to surpass the the terror of the storm—they thought he was a ghost and were terrified. Right away, their perspectives shifted from the storm to His awe-inspiring and fear rendering presence.

Point #1: God will present Himself stronger, larger and more awe-inspiring than the trial, conflict, or enemy you face.

As Jesus approached the boat, He says to “take courage; It is I, do not be afraid.” He’s telling His disciples (His friends and His children) to put faith in WHO HE IS. Not in what He can do, but to trust Who Jesus is above the storm whirling around them. Otherwise, when the storm rages longer than our first cry for help, we will think that either God hasn’t heard us, that He’s tormenting us, or that He failed. The enemy will do whatever he can to make the waves of these lies fill your boat if you let him.

Point #2: God wants your faith and trust to rest in WHO He is and not in what He can or could do in your circumstances.

And this is the part I find the most interesting and telling, my dear friends. As Jesus approached, the first thing He did was present Himself, His awe-inspiring presence. Then He got into the boat with them. And if you’ll notice, Scripture doesn’t say that Jesus made the storm go away. Only that He made the winds stop.

Did the storm clouds still remain? My gut says at this point, it really didn’t matter. More importantly, Jesus gave the disciples the reassurance of His presence with them. And my friends, we ALWAYS have that reassurance in us in the presence of His Holy Spirit.

Point #3: God will give us His presence, comfort and reassurance first, then will quiet the storm around us so that we can follow His leading to calmer shores.

Just as Jesus came to the disciples to rescue them with His presence, He came for us all in our tormented and storm-ridden states to save and rescue us.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. — 1 Peter 5:6

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. — 1 Peter 5:10

I believe that in everything we walk, suffer, strive and struggle through, God has a plan and a purpose. And if you’ll notice in the Scriptures above, it’s in His timing. Wants to restore, support and strength us so that He can place us on that firm foundation—the foundation of Jesus, which is unshakable, isn’t threatened by storms and can walk on water.

Standing for Jesus!

Dineensig

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Is God Good?

My Friends, 

I don’t even know where to start. So much has happened in the last seven days that I feel like every morning I wake, God has another “Holy Mind-Blow” in store for this ordinary, 5’4”, blonde girl. 

Do you remember back several months ago that I promised breakthrough. Well, boy howdy, I’ve had one. Probably SEVERAL. And likely the biggest thing that has yet to happen to me in the Kingdom is still coming. Woo Hoo!! I will be sharing this new adventure with you, step by step, as I move forward. 

But today, I have a word for all of you who worry about your kids. 

I worry about my kids. I pray, A LOT, for my kids. Today’s story has been more than a decade in the making. 

I’ve written before about my years of praying for my son who lived in Las Vegas. Since 1999 I’ve prayed years and years for God to move him to California that I may lavish God’s love upon him and help him to grow in his faith. And in February he, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter moved here. They have lived with us since then. Well as they have stayed with us, God has revealed the areas in their lives that He is desperate to bring healing. What an astonishing answer to my mama’s prayers. But God’s not done. 

I also have been praying like a mad woman for them to find new jobs with a livable wage, jobs that they will love and have opportunity for growth. 

Now to set the scene, my son had an interview for an awesome job several weeks ago. For more than a week following that interview, I prayed with every fiber of my being, soul, heart and mind for my son to be the candidate that the company wanted. I prayed, scriptures, I prayed in faith. I prayed with conviction, belief and prayed for hours. 

My son didn’t get the job. 

I was saddened, of course, and my son was affected. However, for me, I was baffled and I will admit confused and disappointed with God. “Why, God, didn’t he get this job? Please grant me understanding as I prayed in alignment with your word and as Jesus taught.” 

Well this week the kindness of the Lord and in His tenderness, He explained the reason. 

This week I will be attending a conference in San Diego. And while out walking, God said to me, “Ask your son to go with you.” 

“But God, the likelihood he would say yes and attend is ridiculous. He would never go to a conference like this with his mother. And Lord, what about child-care. Someone needs to watch the little one. And then Lord, on top of that, my son’s wife needs to be on board with all of this because she is affected and will also need to watch the baby when she gets home from work.” 

The list of reasons why this was impossible surged in my head. But I prayed and said, “God I will ask and I trusting you to make all of the details fall into line.” 

I came home from my walk-n-pray. Sat down in the playroom with my son and with my granddaughter on my lap, I simply asked him to go to this conference with me. 

“Sure, Mom, I would like to go.” 

SAY WHAT??????? SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!! 

Every detail fell into line and this Wednesday my son, Brad and I are off to a conference that God has promised will be the beginning of his healing.

As I sat in my office later that morning, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Lynn, this is the reason your son didn’t get that job. He would have been working and unable to attend this conference.” 

God is SO MUCH MORE interested in this young man’s heart, his soul, his healing and the rest of his life. 

I cried. 

Tears of love and thankfulness. 

God has good gifts for His kids. Many, many good gifts. And God is so much more concerned for our heart, our soul our emotional health and our healing than any old job. God has a million of jobs and when the time is right, my son will receive the perfect job. 

I know this because I know the tender love and faithfulness of our Lord. 

What have you been praying for that wasn’t answered how you wanted or expected. Ask the Lord to help you have understanding. Then wait. It may take a while to get the answer to you but I absolutely believe God wants us to understand He is good. He has good for His children and He wants us to have wisdom and understanding. 

Okay, gang, Brad and I are off on Wednesday. I’m expecting miracles, healing and more. Pray for this boy. I will keep you posted. 

I love you. 

And I promise, I still have so much more about Joshua and the Walls, so keep walking with me. The journey is exciting and breakthrough is ahead for all of us. I love you. I really love you, Lynn

Ephesians 1 17
Share Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Who Is Behind The Wall's of Jericho?

What is the Promised Land for 2014?

My Friends, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s time. It’s time. It’s time. 

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

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

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

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


The Gentle and Astonishing Message In The Snow

Lynn here. Today it's my great honor to share a miraculos story. Please jon me for something rare and beautiful as told by one of our own SUMites, Joanne.

-----

Joanne MarshWhat a privilege and honor this is for me today to be able to share with you an extraordinary event in my life. This event was the first step for me to help me realize how God can reveal His intimacy and love. 

When I lost my Golden Retriever who was like a child for me, I was devastated. Not only had I lost my canine child I lost my walking partner. I can't even begin to presume how many miles we covered together. After Jake was gone I just had to get myself back out walking again no matter how hard or how lonely it felt. I recall starting down the sidewalk that led from my front door and suddenly as if guided supernaturally, I spun around and went back to the house to grab the camera off the fridge. I do not recall being led to go back for it. Back outside and finally making progress, I felt a heavy burden weighing me down as I walked alone. As I walked, I continued in constant conversation with God. I asked Him to show me a sign that He had Jake with Him. I trusted He did but I just NEEDED to know. I needed to SEE. The grief was so deep that I needed some HOPE. I needed to see with my eyes that indeed, my boy was with God. 

As I walked I thought I was seeing some shapes in the clouds that possibly might have meant something but I finally gave up knowing I was grasping at anything to find comfort . The remainder of my walk was spent with my head hanging downward in heavy concentration on the road under my feet. "Just let me get home because my body feels like it weighs a ton." 

Joanns paw print snowSuddenly I felt as if someone behind me grabbed my head with their two hands and lifted my face up pointing me to  the left to see THIS IMAGE in the field before me. I gasped as my two hands flew to my mouth and my knees buckled. I was so stunned I didn't know whether to laugh or cry? All I knew was THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE SIGN. My Father led me down specific streets without my awareness and led me to this EXACT SPOT. This image in the snow was for me to see and KNOW. God has my boy! 

This experience is an enormous blessing I will always treasure. Because God prompted me to return for my camera, I became aware that this event was to be shared at every opportunity given. I always pray that when we share our stories where God responding to our prayers that others will find great hope. And then they in turn will begin to seek Him in a personal way. And that they will know He is here with us and also SEE He is here with us!

~Joanne (SUMite)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


God Used $20 To Build My Faith

IStock_000000221558SmallHappy Wednesday, SUMites! It's so good to be back! Special thanks again to Teresa T. for her amazing posts and all she shared with us.

I have a story for you today, one that happened while Lynn and I were at the prophetic conference the end of January. I've been looking forward to telling you about this one, because it was a huge moment in my faith journey.

It was Friday evening and the last speaker was Chuck Pierce. This was the first time I'd heard the man I'd heard much about speak and I was not disappointed. He spoke with great authority and power, using Scripture constantly. But what stood (and still stands out) was the call for an offering at the end of this speech. I can't even remember what the cause was, but I know it was something I wanted to help with and had something to do with children.

I pulled out my wallet and bit my lip. I had brought enough cash for food for the week and had come with the understanding that I could buy any books. Not an easy feat! I estimated quickly what I would need for the last couple days of my trip and pulled out the three one dollar bills. I would do what I could...

But as I listened to Chuck Pierce speak about trusting God and that this was what he believed to be a pivotal time to walk in that trust, I thought about the dollar bills clutched in my hand. We'd heard stories all week about how God had not only provided but even exceeded expectation. Kris Vallotton shared one story of how he gave the last $200 he had to feed his family that week to a couple who needed rent money. Later that day a man walked in his office and put $200 on his desk and explained that God told him to bring it to Kris. Wow!

I knew in my heart, I wanted to experience that kind of faith, but more importantly, I didn't want to look back at this moment and wonder if I had trusted God or myself. I didn't want any regrets. I snatched my wallet back out and exchanged the ones for a twenty, reasoning I could do without a meal or just make do with a snack. Not a problem. I would trust God. When the bucket came around, I dropped that twenty in and enjoyed a sense of peace and confidence that I'd stepped out in faith and Abba would take care of the rest.

The next morning we listened to Che Ahn. He shared amazing stories of how God provided for him, his family and the beginnings of this powerhouse of a church (HRock). He shared one of the books he wrote about breaking the spirit of poverty off of your family and I so wanted to know more. This man even generously offered it as a gift we couldn't afford to buy it.

When we came back from our lunch break I heard that Che Ahn had put many books out as gifts for attendees. I rushed over but the book I wanted wasn't there. A woman at the table said they still had it in audio book on the other table. I told her I couldn't spend the money right now and had only what I needed for meals.

I walked back toward the sanctuary. Before I got inside I felt a hand on my arm. I turned around. The woman I just spoken to smiled at me and pressed money into my hand. She said she felt she was supposed to bless me with this. I looked down and it was a twenty dollar bill!

I burst into tears. Here I held proof of God's provision. But it spoke even louder to my hungry heart of Abba's great love for me. And later that day, I this verse was specifically spoken over and to me:

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:19

My friends, you know what's so amazing in addition to these amazing ways God wants to work in our lives? The meaning behind His Holy Word. Just a week ago I was studying the names of Jesus and started with "Almighty, with a reference to a Scripture in Revelations.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “ who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” — Revelation 1:8

The word "Almighty" comes from two Greek words. The first part (Al-) is "pas" and is the same exact word used in Phil 4:19 for "all."

In other words, all means ALL in the Bible (the list of definitions alone is extensive and all encompassing) and connects to our Almighty, Jesus. That's huge!

So today, my friends, I want you to think about what ALL means for you. Speak to your Abba about your needs and ask Him to help you trust Him at a new level for whatever that need may be—financially, like mine was, or anything else that is burdening you.

As you pray, consider writing it down in a journal and dating it, and write down whatever you feel Abba impresses upon you. He keeps His word and His Word says He will supply ALL our needs according to His riches (love for us), not our limited expectations or humanly defined supply of possibilities.

That is Good News indeed! Love you dearly, my friends!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — Ascribe Unto the Lord

My friends, let's give Teresa special thanks and prayers for her work this past week. She not only wrote those amazing posts for us, but she was also writing in the comments and encouraging so many of us. Thank you, Teresa! You have served the SUMites with such grace and generosity! We are so blessed by you!

Some of us experienced great revelations and more than we expected to hear. Some of us are feeling a little disappointed that we didn't hear more and may even be feeling like we failed. But this is what I firmly believe to be true. What happened during this fast for each and every one of us is EXACTLY what Abba wanted to transpire. He knows what we need best and when we need it. Trust Him to continue to bring more revelations and understandings as the year progresses. This is why journals are so important. So we can go back and be reminded of what Abba said, which will help us stay focused and recognize when our prayers are being answered!

And I want to encourage you all to continue to seek Abba just for His presence. I'm learning first and foremost that He wants us to put our relationship with Him above all else. Not our gifts, not what we do for Him, or even how we seek to serve Him. Not even the dreams and passions He places in us. He wants to give us His heart with no strings attached. So give Him yours without any strings too. Make knowing Him your priority over serving Him.

For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” — Matthew 6:25-34

Seek Him above all else, and the "else" will come! Trust Him for this, my friends. He will not fail you!

Here are two songs that seem the perfect close to our week. The first is for our praise and worship of our King Jesus. He is our everything! Let's give Him all the glory of this week. Fill the comments with praise ans worship to Him! And the second is our statement of faith for 2014. We will not be shaken, amen? Amen!

Love you, my SUMite family so much. Be shiney for Jesus!
Dineensig

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — The Post I Didn’t Expect to Write

PhotoI’d expected a Christmas full of excitement and expectation, but it turned out very different than what I’d expected. My friends, I always hesitate to share this kind of stuff because I only want to be an encouragement to you. But I’m trusting that in obeying His nudge to share this weird journey Abba will encourage you greatly. Because a promise comes at the end of it.

As I said, I’d expected a very different Christmas. For a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into detail (only because they aren’t really necessary to this story) I found myself struggling to find my joy and peace during a season that’s supposed to be full of it. My smiles and laughter felt forced. And I continually cried out to Abba, “What is wrong with me?”

I pushed through, determined to enjoy Christmas as much as possible. And I did find moments of peace and joy in the presence of my family and quiet moments with Jesus. Not the best of Christmases but still good.

Now stay with me because what comes next involves you. Yes, you.

On Thursday my Bible lay open on the ottoman in front of my favorite chair. I thought I was done for the morning, but as I rose to walk away and get on with my day, these words from Joel caught my eye:

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. — Joel 1:14

My thoughts returned to these words throughout the rest of the day. My spiritual gut said it had to do with our community fast and that Abba had more to tell me. So I nudged my parched spirit into a place of prayerful expectation.

Friday morning I read the whole book of Joel. Not a book full of hope and joy, but it is one full of Abba’s heart and desire for His people to return to Him. And His promises.

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. — Joel 2:13

Rend our heart, not our garments... Abba’s agenda has always been about the heart—His heart for us and His desire for our hearts to be His.

I continued to read and came to those amazing verses at the end of chapter two. Joel prophesied the very thing that happened at Pentecost when Abba poured out His Holy Spirit over believers and Peter reminded the assembly of it (Acts 2:1-41).

As I finished my reading, I wrote my thoughts in my journal and ended with a question, “Abba, what is your heart in this? What do you want me to know?

My pen hovered over the page, hoping for an answer. And one came. “I will tell you on your walk.”

So out I went with leash in hand and my wacky pooch at the end of it. I listened to worship music and my still slightly parched spirit hoped the Lord would fill me with His much presence and an answer.

I came around a bend and looked up. And there it was, a sunbow. A bright circle enclosed the sun but on the left side I could see one bright spot that looked like a rocket of blue that had shot to the edge of the circle and exploded into a circle of color—rainbow colors. I hope you can see some of it in the picture above.

And as I looked at it, Abba spoke to my heart something like this: “This is the answer. Promises. That is My heart for this fast. I have promises for the SUMites.”

My friends, tears flooded my eyes and hope bloomed afresh in my spirit. Abba is so good to us. He’s so good and patient with me. Even when I feel like I'm failing Him, He rushes in and shows me His love and goodness—for me and for you.

I have a feeling our upcoming fast will be quite different than years past. I’m expecting it to be everything Abba desires it to be. I’ve already begun seeking Him for my word for 2014 and He rushed in and gave me one so very unexpected.

But alas, that is a story for next time. And I promise it too will be full of His promises.

So grateful for you, my fellow SUMites. We do not walk this journey alone!
Dineensig

 

 

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


How One RAK Inspired Another

My friends, a couple weeks ago I shared this post about my daughter Leslie and her amazing heart of generosity. Specifically her act of kindness in taking a Visa gift card she had received on her birthday and giving it to a homeless person.

What blows me away is how we are inspired by these acts of kindness and find ourselves moving in similar places. I'm finding this is something that I want to make a part of my daily life. It's so much fun! 

And that's Jesus in us, my friends. Read this beautiful story from Heidi and how Jesus honored her heart's desire to help someone. He led her right to this mom...

 

ImageFinally here I am, though I feel my RAK is not near as awesome as some I have read, but I promised an update anyway. As I had mentioned before I don't have access to our funds so I needed to be creative, because I really wanted to give back since God has given sooooo much to me! :-) I need to back up a bit so bare with me.

My Mom had sent me a $100 gift card for my birthday and as you can imagine I was totally excited, being that I never have money of my own, which for woman my age can be very humiliating when out with friends. Then I read the RAK post. I sooo wanted to do that leave money here and there, but I knew I would have to ask my hubby who wouldn't have allowed it.

Then I thought I wonder if I could find a way to cash it—nope that wouldn't work either. Then I thought I'll just give it away, but worried it would hurt my moms feelings. Well finally, after reading about your daughter, Dineen, and how she said " Mom, this gift is for me right? Well this is what I want, it will make me happy," I said to myself "exactally! It will make me happy, and was given to me with the idea it was mine to spend how I wished!"

My first thought was, the freezing temp here that we had, I wanted to buy blankets, search out homeless people who didn't make it into shelters and give them to them. Well finding the homeless turned out be a task in its self, and when I did, I felt I would be in danger getting out of my car alone. Also they all were covered in blankets and jackets. So I drove praying, "God if this is what you want me to do I will, I trust you will keep me safe, but I need to know if this is your idea or mine."

So I kept driving, then Wal-mart popped into my head! Hmmm, I thought, is that what I should do, Father, find someone in need there? So I told myself, I will go to Wal-Mart, and if I find someone that stands out and looks in need, then I will give them my card. If not blankets. Wal-Mart it is!

I walked around with an empty cart pretending to shop, even checked out the blankets to see how many I could get for $100. Finally, walking in the food section, I saw a mom and her two children with about four items in her cart and using a calculator to figure out what else she could afford. I could tell by their clothing it had been quite awhile since they had anything new.

I could hear the children pleading for something they wanted or needed. So that was it. I walked over, stuck my hand out and said, "Here this is for you."

She was embarrassed and said, "Oh no, you don't have to do that!"

I told her, "It was given to me as a birthday present, and I want to do it for you. I saw you working on your calculator. Merry Christmas."

And then Itook off! I was embarrassed too and didn't want her to feel bad by drawing attention to us, or try to give it back. I could hear her say "thank you" as I disappeared. I had planed to place God in my words in speaking with her, but didn't because I could see she was worried people would look at her.

 

Heidi, thank you so much for sharing this precious story with us. I have no doubt that mom knew our great Abba was looking out for her that day and He did it through you.

My friends, our testimonies are inspiring and when we share them with a heart to glorify and praise Jesus, we inspire others. So share your testimonies with that heart and ignore the enemy's attempt to condemn and make you think you're bragging. He would love to keep us quiet so that others won't be inspired to do similar acts of love and kindness.

And I wish you could have seen my daughter's face when I told her how her act of kindness had inspired someone to do something similar. I tell you, I literally saw her spirit expand with in her. So beautfiul and so precious. Heidi gave my daughter a gift too in her desire to help another in like manner.

Wow, wow and wow again! This is the heart of Christmas, my friends. The love of Jesus in action. Not to earn the praises of others but to share the sacrifical love that was born first as a tiny baby and came with the sole purpose to save the world. 

Jesus, our great King, Savior and Friend. The epitomy of love, Who CHOSE to dwell in us. He's in you, my friends. Let that sink in and blow you away! Then let Him shine brightly through you.

Love you so much! Be shiney for Jesus!
Dineensig

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — My Random Act of Kindness (RAK)

788824_dollar_billIt wasn’t an ordinary day for us. It was a landmark day. It was a day that would hold more meaning than I expected.

Our agenda that day was to get Leslie’s yearly MRI done and behind us so we could focus on Thanksgiving. It’s routine now and thankfully down to a yearly check to confirm she is still cancer free. And this was a landmark event—five years since her diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor.

We breathed a sigh of relief when it was done and headed to our next destination—the grocery story. There I bustled with my purse and shopping list, focused on what I needed to do next with my daughter along to help.

As I headed for the shopping carts, I hear a voice ask, “Can you spare some change for food?”

I follow the source and find myself looking down at a young woman sitting next to a young man about her age. They seem as average as anyone I would have passed inside the store, yet there they sat asking for food in front of a building full of it.

My friends, this is where it gets interesting and astonishing—not for them but for me!

I suddenly found myself sitting on the cement step next to them, asking about their situation—not to be nosey but to give a listening heart and ear. This young woman’s eyes grew large and a bit stunned, reflecting exactly what I was feeling inside.

Let me share a little of my inner dialogue with myself. “What are you doing? What in the world made you do that!?”

The Holy Spirit did. And I still laugh as I think about it, because something like this is way out of my comfort zone. But in that moment, it wasn’t. I didn’t even think about it, just did it.

After they shared their story of being in a program to help people get back on their feet, but that the facility didn’t have a much in their “coffers” to help them, I felt led to share with them where we had just come from. I was able to point to my daughter and say, “There stands my walking and talking miracle.”

Having very little cash in my wallet, I offered to buy them a gift card inside the grocery story. Veronica thanked me profusely and came with me. As we walked into the store, she shared how she was a cancer survivor too. Breast cancer.

The power of testimony.

My friends, God’s divine appointments never cease to stun me. In that moment I understood why I was supposed to share about Leslie and how God planned this day to remind all of us about His goodness in the past and see it front and center that day.

I felt like the one blessed more than Veronica as I shared God’s goodness to us and told her that all I was doing was passing it on. God loves us that much and wants us to share His goodness. I continued to pray for Veronica and her friend the rest of the day. And praised Abba for the chance to give. Yes, I had moments of doubt, wondering if I did the right thing, but I recognized the enemy’s attempt to discourage me from doing things like this again.

And I learned that being taken out of our comfort zone doesn’t always mean we will be uncomfortable, but we will most certainly be blessed beyond our expectations.

Keep sharing your RAKs, my friends! Can’t wait to hear more! Love you with the heart of Jesus! Dineensig

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — Dreams, Prophecies and Magi

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “ God with us. — Matthew 1:23

15540148_s

Hello dear friends! I hope you’re enjoying this series about Joseph and Mary. Some of you left comments on Wednesday’s post with some great insights. Go check them out if you can—it’s great stuff! I’ve been looking forward to sharing all week what I felt the Holy Spirit wanted me to take notice of in Matthew 1 and 2.

Five Dreams
Joseph had a total of four dreams. The first when the angel of the Lord told him to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife (1:20). Joseph still could have walked away but it seems his desire to obey God was stronger than his fear of the imposed shame from others he most likely would face (both of them would face). I wonder if they told their parents the truth of what was really happening and if they were believed. Definitely one of those times in the Bible that I wish we knew more.

The second dream warned Joseph to escape to Egypt (2:13). The third dream told him to flee Egypt and go to Israel (2:19). And the fourth dream rerouted him to Galilee (2:22). And even the Magi were warned in a dream to not go back to Herod (2:12). They returned to their own country by another route. (I’m not sure how we wound up with three wise men because it doesn’t say how many in the Bible, but they were from the same country.)

Five Prophecies
A total of five prophecies were fulfilled in just these two chapters of Matthew alone.

  1. Matthew 1:22-23 — “Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear A Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” This was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14.
  2. Matthew 2:6 — ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd MY people Israel.” This was prophesied in Micah 5:2.
  3. Matthew 2:15 — He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:“ Out of Egypt I called MY Son. This was prophesied in Hosea 11:1.
  4. Matthew 2:18 — “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.” This was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:15.
  5. Matthew 2:23 — “…and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets:“He shall be called a Nazarene.” This one doesn’t seem to have a direct mention in the Old Testament. My commentary said it may have been unrecorded or a reference to Isaiah 11:1.

Gifts of the Magi
Finally, I have always found the gifts the Magi brought so fascinating. I believe the gold represented who Jesus was—royalty. Gold is often a major part of the descriptions of heaven and Daniel 10:5 describes a man dressed in linen with a belt of the finest gold, and this man is most likely Christ in Daniel’s vision.

The frankincense represents the incense offered by the priests in the temple and over sacrifices. I believe also that this is two fold: one, of Jesus being the highest priest as in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrew 6:20) and two, that He would be the final sacrifice, the Lamb. And the myrrh seems to me to be a prophetic gift that foretells His death and what’s to come.

So, my friends, those are my observations. In two weeks (December 2) we will talk about Luke 1 and 2. So have fun reading and exploring Abba’s word for more tid bits about Jesus’ birth as we leave Matthew’s perspective from his Jewish heritage and enter Luke’s from his Gentile perspective. Fascinating stuff!

In the meantime, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I am so thankful for each and every one of you! Love you dearly, SUMites!
Dineensig

 Image credit: yupiramos / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Let's Walk in Mary and Joseph's Sandals

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “ God with us. — Matthew 1:23

15540148_sMy friends, can you believe Christmas is just five weeks away?!?! Right now I'm doing a series with my life group at church in preparation of Christmas this year. We're not following a book or script—we're just letting the Holy Spirit walk us through the story of Christ's birth and I'm discovering stunning details in the process. What a great way to walk into this blessed season with hearts focused on and full of the story of our Savior's expected and revelational arrival so long ago.

So, my heart is to share this with you too. It's a great way to set our sights on what really matters in the midst of all the preparations and celebrations, and I believe we will feel more like we've appreciated the truest meaning behind it all, along with valuable time with our loved ones.

Let's start with Matthew 1-2. Set aside some time and read through these two chapters and take notice of the people present and what they are doing. Who seems to be more in the forefront of the unfolding events? What is the turmoil surrounding them? How is God putting people and things into place? How is He communicating with the people involved?

As I read these chapters, I was stuck by how this time of anticipation over two thousand years ago seems so reflective of this time of anticipation that we are living in right now.

For hundreds of years, Jews had anticipated the coming of the Messiah. Their culture, rituals and the Pentateuch all pointed to this impending event. Then comes Mary and Joseph's generation and it actually happens. Take a moment and imagine what they may have felt.

Along with what I can imagine was a fair amount of doubt and wonderment, these two young people stood right in the middle of the biggest revelation of all time. All that they'd heard from their ancestors was now unfolding right in their very own lives.

The Messiah was coming?

Their anticipation was about to become a reality. Maybe not as they had imagined it—who but God would bring the Savior of the world into that same world as an infant first? Have the generations before who'd imagined His coming even contemplated this possibility? Did they assume He would arrive in full form more in a blaze of glory like Elijah left this world?

Now, bring those thoughts full swing to the here and now. This present generation stands in a time of acceleration. More things are being revealed and more signs and wonders are happening than ever before. It is entirely possible that just like Mary, Joseph and those who went before them anticipated the Messiah's coming and then witnessed it, that this generation in similar manner is anticipating the Messiah's return and could wind up witnessing that as well.

Unbelievable? Is it? I say astonishing for sure.

My friends, we stand in anticipation just as Mary and Joseph did. Who knows when Jesus will return—only Abba knows—but I find such striking resemblance right now between us and Mary. Many of us are carrying our hopes and dreams in gestation, waiting for Abba to bring them to term and birth. So let’s walk in Mary and Joseph’s sandals and stand in wonder of what this miraculous birth brought us and praise God for this and the many things He’s birthing in our lives too.

Now, go read the first two chapters of Matthew and take notes. Then come back here and share what stands out most to you. On Saturday, I’ll share some of my own insights as well. I can’t wait to read what you share! I know this will bless all of us too.

Holy Spirit, I ask for a deeper revelation of God’s Word for our community as we seek to draw nearer to Jesus during this time of remembrance and celebration of His birth. Also bring a fresh awareness and appreciation of Christmas to our hearts and inspire us with ways to share this with those around us. We love You so much, Jesus. You are truly the greatest gift we will ever receive. Amen!


Love being on this journey with you, my friends!
Dineensig

 Image credit: yupiramos / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


A Tale of Prosperity

GodisFaithfulMy friends, I have some news to share and I’m so happy I can share it with you, especially since so many of you prayed for me and my family over our financial situation.

But let me start at the beginning of this God-filled story.

At the end of each year I begin praying for words and Scriptures for each of my family members. Then during our week of fasting here at SUM, I set time aside to pray specifically for each one and listen to what He tells me.

So, last January as I prayed for my husband, I heard the word “prosperity.” This is a word that can mean many things but in light of our financial struggles, which was part of my prayers, I felt this related to that. I kept an open mind though, because above all, I am seeking my husband’s spiritual prosperity, and I believe all of this is interrelated.

But even then, I questioned how this would be possible in light of my husband’s continued unbelief. Abba told me, “I bless him through you.”

And He didn’t stop there. He spoke to me about integrity through these Scriptures:

I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. — Psalm 101:2b

As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, — 1Kings 9:4

I knew Abba wanted me to walk in this place of accountability and integrity as well, even though I hadn’t a clue what that would look like. But on that day on January 4, 2013, I prayed this:

Lord, I will walk in my home, in my life with integrity of heart and uprighteness. Let my heart be as Yours, Jesus, and my strength to be upright from You as well, Holy Spirit. In Your Holy Name, Jesus, amen.

Then just three days later, Abba led me to this verse:

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. — Proverbs 11:25

Little did I know how much worse our financial situation would become when we faced the loss of my husband’s job (A blessing since it wasn’t a place of integrity, and Abba opened a new door for him at a small start-up.), a wedding to pay for, and an unexpected ER visit that would bring us nearly to the breaking point. Perfect ground for Abba to come in and do miracles, right?

Well, yes, but not what I expected. I wanted Abba to come in with a big swoop and set everything right. He wanted to do things His own way so that His will would be accomplished as He planned and saw best. I can honestly tell you that though I’ve no doubt things were accomplished, as of today I only have a partial picture, because this story is still playing out.

And there were many days I wondered if I had misunderstood, days where I wondered how I would be able to pay for needed medications, pay bills, or keep food on the table. I’m still in awe as to how He did that, just enough to provide but not undo what our perseverance was accomplishing.

The waiting and the wondering have been the most challenging, as I’m sure you know. Many of us are in this place somewhere in our lives where we are waiting for God’s promise to materialize and save the day. And when conditions get worse, we find it harder to persevere and stand in place, because we wonder if we heard wrong or had we done something to mess things up. I’ve bought into that last lie a lot in the past.

And that’s what it is, a lie. Abba is not fickle with His favor, and from experience, I can truthfully say that sometimes the worst of a situation must be exposed before restoration can begin. Like an infected wound, the puss must be cleansed in order for healing to begin.

Now back to the good news. The start-up my hubby works for has been acquired by a large company and that is good for all concerned. This will enable us to recover slowly and even reach for a particular dream we have in our minds and hearts in about a year or so.

I love that Abba is doing this slowly so that we can continue to grow and be good stewards through all this as He continues to work in my hubby’s heart. I sense this is still a crucial time for growth and preparation for what’s coming down the road.

So, my friends, I hope this encourages you to continue to persevere and keep trusting God. If you feel your promise is delayed, ask Abba why. Above all remember that He does not withhold His good from us and if there’s something we’re asking for and not getting, He’s most likely protecting us or wanting to give us something better.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11

Abba, I pray that You would stir our hearts and our spirits with wisdom to pray for your good gifts and give us the patience, endurance and perseverance we need in the time between our request, our thanks and our receipt of Your good and perfect gifts. Give us supernatural eyes and ears to see and hear Your presence every day. We love and praise You, King Jesus, and give You all the glory. Amen!

Love you all so much, my friends. If you have a prayer that you have been are carrying alone, share it and let’s pray for each other. Where two or three gather in His name...

Dineensig

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — Puppy Love

IMG_2436Let me tell you a story about a dog named Riley.

Except that wasn't his name when we first met him. This wayward pup followed my husband and I one day as we walked the park. When we attempted to get a closer look and see if he had a collar, he dashed away.

My husband and I finished our walk around the park and headed home. As we came closer to our house, we saw this pooch standing right in front of our house. I kid you not.

Our new furry friend still evaded us as we drew closer, hightailing it down the street to what we hoped was his home. The next day my youngest daughter spotted a dog hiding under some bushes in a yard across the street. She finally coaxed him out and brought him home.

Same dog. No collar. No chip. We made signs and hung them all over the neiborhood and park. We posted about him on Facebook. We listed him on our neiborhood site. No one claimed this little guy who seemed so eager just to be loved.

A few days later, I told my daughter, "God has put this dog in our lives for a reason and I'm wondering if it might have something to do with you. Pray and ask God what that's about."

Long story short, Riley—as we have dubbed him—has now come to stay with us for good. He's the most cuddlicious pooch I've had the pleasure to know. And he has the most interesting settling and peaceful effect on my husband. Very interesting...perhaps my assessment of "whom" this dog was for may have been a tad bit off. 

I've no idea what Abba is doing with this little guy, but I'm positive something's going on here. I've seen God do this before with my daughter's dog Shasta and how this pooch saved her life. I watch my husband and Riley interact with great anticipation. God's ways are so much fun!

My friends, I pray that from this day forth through this festive time of the year that Abba would put people, pets, or particulars in your life that will astound, delight you and bring great joy and peace. Let's call them "Rileys." See a "Riley" in your life already?

Keep your eyes open. Look for the "rileys" Abba is placing in your life to speak His love, care and attention to you. Especially right now as we enter a season of busy preparations. I wonder how many of these delights we miss on a daily basis. I'm praying for open eyes and ears and respective hearts to percieve more for each and every one of us. 

I love you, my friends, and truly appreciate each of you. This community is part of my joy and delight each and every day. Thank you, Abba. You give me such sweet blessings!
Dineensig 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — The Presence of God

IStock_000004628405XSmallMy friends, so much happened during our time at Bethel at the Open Heavens conference. I will share some of the highlights starting today and continue next week.

The moment walked into the church you could feel a change in the atmosphere. I don't think I've ever felt it quite so strongly. We followed the signs to registration and got in line. Two or three women were greeting people as we walked in and speaking blessings over each one. Sometimes they would stop someone, because God had given them a specific word to pass on to them—always encouraging and uplifting. This is truly how the body of Christ is intended to operate and it is stunning!

As I stepped up to the table, the woman sitting behind the table looked at me and started to speak. She blinked and seemed to stumble over her words. I leaned forward to ask if she was okay, concerned for her. She reached out and took my hand, and my friends, I am not exaggerating when I say I was speechless. I couldn't move. We just stared at each other. God's presence and power came down and just us there for a good 30 seconds.

Then she began to speak into my life, telling me to be steadfast and immovable. Then she stood and had me put my bag down and stand with my arms to my sides and said she was going to push on my shoulders and that I was to stand firm. I followed her directions and stood firm and still when she pushed.

I know, crazy, right? But what if I told you that the next day during one of our worship sessions, I heard Jesus speak this:

"Dineen, will you stand for Me?"

I think I went to my knees in total submission, saying yes, yes, yes! So powerful and so overwhelming.

My friends, it is absolutely stunning how God sets things in place to prepare us for what's coming and helps us connect the dots. What this dear woman did was prepare me for the words I would hear later and gave me a deeper affirmation and confirmation of what Jesus was asking from me.

Then as we waited that first day to enter the sanctuary for the first session, I got zapped by Lynn's roaring lady, Deborah! Totally surprised by it too, because I didn't feel it at first and then WHAM! I began to shake and could barely catch my breath. God's presence was so strong. It was like a surge of power ran through me like electricity and the after affect I can only describe as feeling a heightened sense of awareness almost as if I were floating. Wow!

Then after the evening session I went up for prayer for healing for my ribs (still had some discomfort from that inflammation started from a cole back in May) from a young man named Tyler, who rocked my world! I will finish that story next week along with our encounter with Mathew and Mark!

Until then, I pray each of you are filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and experience the overwhelming love and power of The Lord God Almighty! There is nothing like His presence!

Hugging you with JOY!
Dineen

My precious friends, pick a time and place where you can be alone and play this song loud. Hear the lyrics and make them the prayer of your heart. When he sings "fill this place" think of that place as you. You are a temple, a holy place intended to house the Spirit of the Living God—the Holy Spirit sent to us by Jesus. I love you, and I am praying for His Presence to fill and overwhelm each and every one of you!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Who Prayed for You?

IStock_000001262149XSmallDear friends, I’ve shared in the past that I didn’t grow up in a Christian home but at about age 4 or 5 I remember taking a bus to Sunday school. It wasn’t until I reached my teen years that I started to seek God for myself but even then I hadn’t a clue what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus.

I think we all have a time or many times in our lives where we can look back and see how we narrowly escaped something. I can look back at my childhood and teen years and see how God protected me from some pretty bad stuff. Over the years I have surmised that someone had to be someone praying for me.

Last week, I found out who.

My mother’s cousin—my second cousin—is a strong believer and has been since he returned from Vietnam. He’s also a musician and cartoonist. He sent me a package last week with a couple of his CD’s and a beautiful letter that left me stunned and in tears. In a good way!

He shared his story about coming to Christ in 1970 and how he began praying for his family on a daily basis. I was 5 at the time—he called me the “baby” of the family.

I never expected to find out who had prayed for me this side of heaven, and I feel like I’ve been given a gift. One I want to share with you.

His prayers released God’s protection and a need for Jesus in my life from a very young age. His prayers released God’s presence to continually work in my life even though didn’t know it. His prayers assisted God’s pursuit of my heart and began a great work that even now, at this very moment is still in action.

In 1970 this dear man began praying for his family. From those prayers were birthed my faith, my place in many ministries including this one and my two daughters who also are believers.

My friends, this is what our prayers do! For our children, our pre-believers, our family members, our friends and even the random person God may point out and tell you to pray for! James 5:16 states that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. What if we started to really believe this and traded our doubts for expectancy? You are releasing the power and presence of God into the lives of others. Believe it!

I want to challenge you to say this to yourself after you pray. As soon as you say “amen,” say, “I am a righteousness person because of the blood of Jesus, and my prayers are powerful and effective. Lord, I’m watching to see what You do next.”

Do it all week and even longer until you notice that you have started to pray with belief instead of doubt. Amen? Amen!

Praying and believing!!!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Blessed to Wash Feet

3179092_sMy friends, many of you have sent me messages of congratulations on winning the Carol Award in the mystery/suspense/thriller category for The Soul Saver at the ACFW Conference this last weekend. Thank you for sharing my joy! To say that this is the realization of a dream is an understatement. I am so blown away at how God did all of this.

The amazing thing is, God did so much more than even this over the week I was there. He met my every need during this week. He affirmed me in every way and showed me like He never has before how much He loves me. I truly have never felt more loved by Abba than I do now. The award is part of this story, but there were so many other "awards" that came from this week. I want to tell you about one of them.

I shared on our Facebook page before my trip that I was in Indianapolis. A fellow SUMite, Jennifer Beckler, reached out to me to ask if we could have coffee while I was there. I looked at my work schedule (I managed the registration desk for the whole week—God's provision to get me there as being on staff took care of many of my expenses) and saw as small window of time Friday evening.

This didn't work for Jennifer as she is not only a homeschooling mom but a working mom too. I contemplated suggesting Monday but thought it might be too stressful to work out with my crazy schedule.

This year's ACFW Keynote was Robin Jones Gunn and on Saturday she told this amazing story of how a reader wrote her the last day of Robin's vacation on Maui and shared how one of Robin's book had brought her to Jesus at age twelve. Ten years later she wanted to share this with Robin and how Jesus had given her so many of the desires of her heart. But one she hesitated to ask Him for since she lived so far away on the island of Maui! Just hours before Robin was to fly home, she and this dear reader met.

My spirit was so stirred. I immediately reached out to Jennifer again to try to make our meeting work. I prayed for God to put the pieces in place to make it work. He would help smooth out the stressful places—why hadn't I trust Him for that to begin with? She messaged me back that Monday worked and we set a time.

Sunday evening after the awards gala, I had a chance to tell Robin Jones Gunn about this beautiful story and how her story had inspired me to try again. And Robin told me something so profound as she congratulated me on my award. She said she found that from a great blessing comes an opportunity to wash feet. I took that to heart as great wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

The next day, Jennifer and I met and she brought her precious teenaged daughter with her. We sat at a table with our coffees. Jennifer’s daughter listened to music while Jennifer and I shared our hearts with each other.

I heard a splash and realized her daughter had spilled her coffee, drenching her leg and the floor below. I jumped up and grabbed handfuls of napkins to help this sweet girl get cleaned up. Her jeans and her shoes were covered.

My hands stilled a moment as I realized—I was wiping down her shoes. Her feet.

My friends, even as I write this I am overwhelmed by God's profound goodness. I confess that at times I’ve still battled with feeling like I’d been overlooked or that God didn’t love me as much as everyone else. Now I truly know differently. He brings such precious wisdom, grace and meaning to our lives if we just stay in intentional awareness of His constant presence. And those tender places—He affirms at just the right time with His love and provision.

And He doesn’t stop there because He knows that the full benefit of the blessing comes when we are given the chance to share it and bless another, to serve another.

As Robin Jones Gunn shared this weekend, God doesn't show up. He's already there. 

And His love is absolutely relentless.

Love you all so very much,
Dineen

Image credit: velkol / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — What did Jesus do?

Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast." — Luke 5:34 (NIV)

My friends, I hope this week has been pivotal to you. I just want to reassure you that even if you didn't feel or see anything "earthshaking" that doesn't mean nothing happened. I believe that much of the outcome of these special times of prayer and fasting culminate and are revealed days, weeks, months and even years later. One day something will show up and you will know that this week is where the seed was planted, the miracle was placed, or the healing began. Just trust Jesus and believe.

Because we are doing the very things He told us to do—fast and pray. Why would He tell us these things and not respond to them? Okay, as Kris Vallotton says, that was a good word! I heard it in my heart as I typed it. Woohoo! Wow, is Our Lord God Almighty amazing or what?!?!

On our forums we have an areas for testimonies now and there is one specifically for sharing about this week. If you feel led to share, please do so! Our testimonies are powerful (Rev. 12:11) and when shared they release the power of the Holy Spirit in others because it increases our faith. Isn't that awesome? That's just how Jesus works. That's why He told the stories He did. He revealed the possibilities in impossible situations. 

Okay, whoa! There's another good word from the Holy Spirit. I personally love the clarity I get when I fast. It's an amazing time of revelation. So go over share your testimony here:

Testimonies from Our Spiritual Spa Week and Rosh Hashanah Fast

As we end our week, reflect on all that God has done this week. Write it down in your journal or Bible so you go back and remind yourself of what God spoke to you this week. And praise and thank Him for His relentless and abundant love. 

It has been my joy and honor to pray for you this week, SUMites! I want you to walk in all that Abba has for you!
Love you so very much,
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Martha's Miracle!

My precious friends, you've seen Martha Bush's name many times in the comment. On Mother's Day, she sent this email to Lynn and I—the story of a miracle! And it's a story to be shared! Wow! 

 

5508294_sI have a testimony of praise on this Mother's Day. I left my home in Orange Friday morning at 4:30 A.M., headed for Georgia to spend Mother's Day with my mother. About an hour into the trip, the following is what happened.

Just before I got into Sulphur, LA on Interstate 10, all of a sudden there was a big boom and I didn't know what had happened, but I knew that my body was moving around in the car, and I knew I did not have control of the car. But, I didn't know what happened.

Somehow, I got back into driving position, and I was traveling straight ahead in the right lane, as if nothing had happened. But, I knew it had. I saw am 18 wheeler pull over to the outside lane, and my first thought was that he had pulled over to help me, so I pulled up behind him—I didn't know what had happened.

Now, here is the miracle. He walked up to the side of my car, and I said, "what has happened?" He said, "I am so sorry, but I dozed off to sleep, and when I woke up, you were there in front of me and I couldn't stop."

Yes, I was hit in the rear by an 18-wheeler, my car is totaled, and I don't have a scratch on me.

I couldn't find my glasses, so I had to ask him to help me look for them. He found them on the floorboard behind the driver's seat. That's when I realized that the driver's seat had been laid back upon impact. Later, I realized that was when I was spinning in my head, not knowing what was happening—the driver's seat was laid down away from the steering wheel, but God picked me up to put my hands back on the steering wheel, and my car kept going down the Interstate as if nothing had happened.

This is 1-10, no other cars were around us at that time.

I give God all the glory. He truly drove that car for me when I was in a laid back position. He sat me back up to the steering wheel of the car, and I was driving down in the right lane as if nothing had happened.

I know that you both believe in miracles and I just had to share this with you—I am a living, walking miracle today. Praise Him with me.

I had to call my Mother and cancel the trip. But, I could only tell her that I had car trouble—she would not be able to stand up to this kind of news. My husband has been an angel himself. Actually he was out of town, and I had to call my neighbors to pick me up. But, Glen started driving home immediately, and I have held nothing back of testifying of how God's hands were on me. He agrees.

To God be the glory!!!
Martha

 

Needless to say, we were so thankful and praising God that she was fine. A couple days later I asked Martha if she'd experienced any soreness or stiffness since. 

She said none! She's had no after affects at all!

I don't know why but that completely brought home the magnitude of God's miracle in this for me. As Martha said, let's praise God with her!

Precious Lord, You are so AWESOME and AMAZING! Thank You for Your love and care for Martha and for us. Thank You for keeping this dear sister in Jesus with us because You have more for her to do here. We ask for your anointing and blessings upon her to do the works that You have prepared for her. In Your saving name, Jesus, we pray all this. Amen!

Have a great week basking in the presence of our Mighty God, my friends! Love you all so much!
Dineen 

 

About Martha Bush: 

Martha-031-Lite-WebMartha's love for teaching led her into areas outside the school system as she began teaching Bible study courses in jails, prisons, and at her local church. She also writes a monthly inspirational post at Created Woman and is a contributing editor for Created Woman Magazine.

In addition, Martha is a contributor to Girlfriends Coffee Hour and a member of the Orange County Christian Writers Guild.

Through her years of teaching, as well as being an avid reader of human behavior and grief counseling from noted Christian psychologists, she recognized how a team effort can help build a foundation in children at an early age that will enable them to cope with the losses in their lives. Modified-Front-CoverShe believes this team, made of up parents, grandparents, educators, and spiritual leaders, can guide a child to healing from losses he or she might experience. They can do this simply by recognizing his pain, listening to his pain and then teaching the child how to apply the principles of God’s Word to his hurting heart. This led her to write Helping Hurting Children: A Journey of Healing.

 


*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


A Step of Faith

IStock_000008478972XSmallMy precious friends, God has put a fire in my heart to speak to you about taking a step of faith. There is something God is calling many of us to do—something unique to our place and time and season—and He’s given you a promise that goes with this. And maybe you’ve prayed and waited for a long time for this promise but nothing is happening.

What did God call you to do first? What was His call to action? Because as we move forward in this faith journey (and we must always be maturing), our faith in action becomes more crucial to our journey forward. In other words, we will have to take a believing step of faith forward to activate the promise we’ve been given.

Let me explain this with the story of Israel crossing the Jordan in Joshua 3. First let’s set the stage with the Israelites and the Red Sea. At this point the Israelites are very “young” in their faith walk with God. They’re just getting the lay of the land, so to speak and yes, pun intended. They witness an entire ocean part before their eyes by the hand of God. This is their point of reference as they approach the Jordan, which is at its fullest at this time of the year, in this season of harvest. The Jordan is overflowing. It’s a time to claim new territory.

Amidst this picture, Joshua relays God’s instructions to the Israelites:

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap. — Joshua 3:11-13

The Jordan is the next step (literally and figuratively) in the Israelites faith journey. This time God is not going to move the waters first. He’s calling the priests and all the Israelites to take a step of faith first—to step into the water before God moves it. God has already proven He is capable of such a feat with the feet (oh, I just couldn’t resist that one!). Now, He wants to see the Israelites grow in their faith and belief in Him—to believe God—and trust Him to do what He said He would do.

So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. — Joshua 3:14-17

The priests were instructed to step first, not to wait for the waters to part. They had to take a step of faith. Any by doing so, the waters moved, just as God said they would. But God did even more with their step of faith:

  1. They crossed on dry ground. God could have left the ground wet, which most likely would have meant the priests feet would have sunk into the mud, especially under the weight of the ark of the covenant. God made a way for the priests that was complete to God’s vision of their purpose and journey. God does this for us as well. When He calls us to a direction, He prepares the way. That doesn’t mean it will be easy but with God, we will not fail.
  2. They stood in the middle, not the edge. The priests not only stood in the middle, they stood firm and in place with the ark of the covenant on their shoulders. This is the promise of God’s presence in their lives and a future with Him. The way had been prepared for them, now they prepared the way for rest of the Israelites. Think of your home as that parted river and God is asking you to stand firm with His presence in and upon you. You bear the promise for your future and the future of all who will pass with you.
  3. Israel crossed on the same dry ground. The entire nation of Israel passed through under the protection of the priests’ presence. This is part of our sanctification of our family through our faith (remember 1 Cor 7:14). We bring our spouse, our children—all those we claim under the umbrella of our home and faith—over the dry ground to the other side. This is how our unbelieving spouses and loved ones are blessed through us and by our prayers for them. As we stand firm in whatever God has called us to do, we bring those we are praying for with us.
  4. They crossed opposite Jericho with Adam a great distance away. I can’t help but wonder if Adam is mentioned as a reminder of where they came from. Where we come from. Not as a threat but to see our past sins as far away and show us how far we have come. God had them cross in the exact place and position for their next challenge and step in the promise. Each step of faith builds upon the last and prepares for the next. Jericho would be there next victory. They didn’t know this but God did.

My friends, I pray I’ve adequately conveyed this amazing truth. Whatever it is that God has told you, given you do to, or shown you, move forward and believe God! Do not hesitate or debate, because until you take a step of faith, the promise remains a mere thought.

If God is calling you to believe Him and trust Him more, do it. Anytime doubt enters your mind, boot it out and affirm the word that God has given you. Claim it as your truth and that it is done! If God is calling you to an action, do it! Even if it scary and uncomfortable, move forward with this action (just like the Priests taking that first step into the raging waters) and the promise given will be activated.

And if God is calling you to simply stand, then stand and know that your promise is on the way. God completes everything He sets in motion but He wants us to be a part of it. He will wait on us to make the first move. This is how we claim and hold new territory in our lives.

So move! Be bold! Be courageous! God never expects us to do these things on our own. He is standing right there with us through the entire journey preparing the way, strengthening us for the weight we are called to carry, entrusting us with the promise of those we bring along the way, and guarding over our path until the completion.

My friends, this message is as much for me as it is for you. In the past my fear of the unknown has kept me planted in comfortable places but at a price. We miss out on the wild adventure of living life with God in the unexpected when we do that. I'm learning to step out in faith more and more, and each time I do, God is right there showing me or doing something new in my life.

God wants this for you too! So take that step of faith, precious one. If you're not sure what this step is, ask Him. God is waiting and ready to show you!

Love you fiercely in Jesus!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — Holy Hummingbirds, Batman!

1218423_14961810My wonderful and precious friends, I wish we could all be in one room worshipping God together. What a sweet incense that would be, rising up to our Lord, wouldn't it? The beautiful part is, one day we will get to do this. Our room will be the throneroom of heaven and we will all be together singing "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!"

God's promises are so good, so rich and so astounding. I love watching Him work. But I confess I had a rough moment last week. You know, one of those days that just seems to know no other way but bad. Communication completely failed, feelings were hurt. I went to my room and got on my knees to pray for my family, specifically for my hubby and daughter to regroup and work things out, for our financial situation which was like riding a roller coaster at the moment (hubby got laid off but Praise God already had another job lined up—one of the benefits working in Silicon Valley), and for more of God because I was desperate for His presence.

Does this make sense? I know you can relate, my friends. So I asked for God to send me a hummingbird. I love these little birds as much as I love sunflowers. The fascitnate me, their intricasy and delicacy. I asked God to send me just one little hummingbird to show me He's there, that He wants to bless me with more of Himself, that He has a plan for us financially too. 

My prayer revealed that I'd bought into a lie again, thinking that God didn't want good things for me, that He withheld His presence and gifts from me. It was a painful process to be sure, but I'm glad to be rid of it and on guard of it coming back. My mind is being renewed!

Two days later I was putting flowers in a flowerbox on the railing and I heard a the hum. My husband was with me and pointed at this tiny beauty flitting up and down, then buzzing in place for a moment before zinging straight up into the air, then dive-bombing back down.

I was so choked up I couldn't talk! I turned away from my husband because one, I couldn't talk (LOL!) and two, how could I explain this amazing hug from God? A beautiful moment that I so wish I could have shared with him. . .

I'm so glad my daughter Leslie walked out on the porch few moments later so I could tell her because I was about to burst! And now I get to share this with you, my friends. When we delight in God, and desire more of Him in our lives, He loves to give us the desires of our heart. He loves to delight us and delight in us.

Lord, this day, this very special day, I ask that you delight each of my SUM sisters (and brothers) in some small way. Show them your presence and love. Let them know how much You adore them and desire only good for them. Reassure them that You are there and You are working for their good and blessing them. Thank you, Lord Jesus. We absolutely adore You! Amen!

Love you all so very much! Let's worship our great God together!
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord Will Provide

IMG_2056
Yep, there it is. My "new" set of wheels.

My dear friends, I've taken you on this car journey with me, first sharing my family's finanical challenges, the need to sell my "beloved" SUV, and then the search for another car. Nothing "magically" appeared but I consider God's provision in this whole scenario as pretty evident and well, just plain cool. My SUV sold in less than 12 hours, giving us much needed funds, and now I have this cute 2003 VW Beetle that reminds me of the little car I drove through high school and college. The pieces just fell into place as we found this little gem online and made a quick sale with an adorable young couple ready to part with it. Even the CarFax said it was a great buy! We kept to our budget and accomplished our goal. Thank you, Lord!

So, all that to say, God provides. Sometimes He simply smooths the path like He did in this case. Other times His hand is more miraculous and astonishing as one story I just had the privilege to share in the new book Lynn and I are working on right now. Yes, consider that a teaser. We have some awesome stories to share in this book.

I bet you have some amazing stories too! Care to share them? What better way to worship God than to share with others His amazing goodness and presence. My MOST favorite thing on this earth is seeing God in action! There is nothing better!

So share those amazing stories right in the comments. Tell of God's amazing provision and presence! Those are the best stories to read and share, my friends. They are the proof that our God loves us, is faithful and loves to astonish us. He's spectacular! And this SUM community is amazing proof of that!

Love you all so much!
Dineen

Now let's worship our amazing LORD together!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Born to Create

IStock_000012723220XSmallI have a bone to pick. Something that has bugged me for years. It's not quite on topic with being spiritually mismatched but then again, this one change in your thinking could change every aspect of your life.

Care to pick that bone with me?

It's about creativity. For as long as I can remember I have loved to color, draw, illustrate, design and write. I've painted pictures and murals, crocheted more afghans and scarves than I can count and made several quilts. And I love to write.

So yes, I'm an artist. I am creative. Guess what? You are too. What's that you say? You can't draw? I've heard that line before: "I can't even draw a straight line." (Yes, pun intended.) Or this one: "I don’t have a creative bone in my body." (That’s the bone we’re picking—yes, another pun. How could I resist?) Or how about this complete and total potential buster: "I'm not a creative person."

But you are. You have to be. Why? Because you are created in God's image (Gen. 1:27). We all are. If we're created in God's image and He’s creative by nature, then we are creative beings. All of us.

Creativity comes in all forms. Not just at the end of a pencil or paintbrush. Not just in putting words together to create stories and move hearts. Creativity comes in the inspiration to arrange flowers in a vase, in the arrangement of furniture in a room, in the pages of a scrapbook, in the notes of a newly composed song, in a flower garden, in a carefully coordinated outfit complete with jewelry, in a scrumptious dinner prepared for your family, in the way you arrange your towels so they fit on the shelf because you don't have a linen closet (yeah, that’s me), in the photographs you take, in the way you pack your child's lunch so they are pleasantly surprised when they open it, in the sudden thought to call a friend and pray with her, in the text you thought up to send to your husband to make him smile, and in numerous other ways and things that I can't even think of but you can.

Are you thinking of some now?

God created us to create. Whatever that looks like for you, do it and if you don't know, I want you stop right now and ask God in what way He designed you to be creative.

Look at this definition I found on Wikipedia:

Creativity is the impetus behind any given act of creation: inventions, compositions, etc. It is a fundamental human compulsion and largely related to notions of what separates human from machine intelligence.

Are you an idea person? Then you're creating new ideas. Are you someone who likes to think outside the box? Then you’re creating new ways. Are you an organized person? Then you’re creating order. Are you a free spirit who loves to be with people and make them laugh? Then you’re creating joy.

I believe our creativity is where we are inspired by God, by His Holy Spirit, and I find that my greatest moments of creativity and inspiration come when I'm intentionally in His presence.

My friends, don't walk through life thinking you’re limited or uncreative. We are created in Christ Jesus and we’re created in God's image. We therefore are creative by nature. Somewhere between child and adulthood this part of us gets squelched down. So find your “artist” and let her loose. 

Ask God to show you what that is in you and how He wants to use it in your life, in your marriage, in your family—to impact those all around you. Think of it as a gift you have to share and find out how to share it.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now. Let's have a little fun with this. In the comments, share what inspires you to create or be creative. You may spark someone who's searching for their creativity or help another to see how they already are creative. Sometimes we simply need someone to point it out in us.

Love you with the passion of Jesus, my friends!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Worship — A Testimony

IStock_000017809995XSmallMy precious friends, I can't believe Christmas is so close! As the day draws closer, I'm trying to keep my heart and mind wrapped around the miracle that God brought so long ago and keep my eyes open for the ones He's doing right now. 

I want to share one with you. My rep at a magazine publishing group that I 've worked with sent me a Merry Christmas message by email, and I almost didn't reply back out of "busyness." I'm so glad I obeyed the nudge to reply back, because it opend a dialogue for a brother in Christ to share his story and offer encouragement to our SUM community. 

My friends, read this and receive the wonderful encouragement that God, our Abba Daddy, wants to you. I know this will speak to at least one woman out there who needs to read this. My friend, God brought you here to read this today for a reason. Believe it and know that your Lord has not missed a moment of your pain or your faithfulness. Whatever He is calling you to do, trust Him for the results. Just take that first step of faith and let Him do the rest.

And thank you to Jeff for serving God so faithfully and being willing to share so openly:

I saw the Q&A you did on FamilyFiction.com and your website www.SprituallyUnequalMarriage.com. As someone that put my wife thru HECK for a number of years till I surrendered to God. My heck was not normal heck—sexual addiction, anger issues, spiritual dysfunction issues. Encourage women that no situation is too tough for God. I was so far gone, yet it was my wife’s love and prayers and tough love that got me to the place I wanted real change to happen. The result is I am in Bible school at night, and we adopted 2 kids from Ukraine in 2010. That is the fruit of a life yielded and a marriage transformed!

God is so good! Is that not amazing? 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. — Ephesians 3:20-21

Our Lord is Able!
Merry Christmas, my dear friends. I love you so very much!
Dineen 

 

Love this music video from Third Day. This song is actually based upon a true story. The song the man heard on the radio was a Third Day song!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4