9 posts categorized "Hell"

Foundations Series: SALVATION

SalvationHello my dear friends. I just love the Scriptures you’re sending in response to my post on Tuesday. Thank you for sharing your treasures with me. I’m so blown away by your stories of how God is moving! I will be writing these precious Scriptures on the beams of our house and holding them close in my heart and prayers as I stand with you. God is so good and so amazing! 

This next foundational truth—salvation—seems pretty obvious, my friends, but I feel like Abba wants us to understand there is more to it than what we think. So much more that we can comprehend actually. And it’s all about Him.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. — Isaiah 55:8-9

Yes, God’s thought are not ours. They are pure, perfect and all encompassing. All-encompassing—that right there blows me away when I contemplate (or attempt to) the depth of God’s heart and thoughts toward us, let alone His relentless and enduring love. How His plans are always for good and how He works things out for our good no matter how complicated they are or how many people are involved. He’s magnificent!

So, here’s what has my heart burning about the foundational truth of salvation, SUMites. We know what this word has meant to our own lives and we hold it like a hidden treasure, pursued by our prayers for our loved ones to know its precious worth as well.

First let’s take a look at another Scriptural truth (I’m a big fan of 2 Peter 3:9) that addresses God’s desire that ALL people would be saved.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. — 1 Timothy 2:1-6

The word saved here in Greek is sōzō and means to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): — heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole. 

1. to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction: A. one (from injury or peril) to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health. B. to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue to save in the technical biblical sense negatively to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment, to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance.

That’s a lot of meaning. Normally I try to bring out just the key parts but this one is so full of meaning that I find to be “all-encompassing” so I’ve included the full definition according to Strong’s.

Now here is what I sensed Abba speaking to my spirit. We wait for the moment of salvation, we pray into it, anticipate it, and at times even despair of it ever happening. Yet God waits for the heart of the one He pursues and as He waits, He builds, prepares, woos, establishes, equips, prepares, celebrates and rejoices. We may not see Him, but that doesn't mean He's not there.

In other words, my friends, salvation is so much more than a moment. And its process begins long before we are ever aware of it. As Scriptures says, it is the Father who draws us to the Son (John 6:44 & 65). This is a mystery we don’t fully understand but know to be true. Abba Father sets into motion His great plan according to His wise timing.

And looking at the full meaning of sōzō, we see something that is much more than a moment. It’s about building. It’s about preparing the ground for the framework, laying down the rebar and materials to make the foundation solid and able to support the rest of the structure—all this before the concrete is even poured. 

Yes, my friends, in our time of waiting and praying, God is working to build the foundation so that when the rest of the structure is built, it will stand with integrity and truth. It’s a process that is done with such care and intentionality.

After the foundation of our house was completed, they discovered an error in the blueprints. If not corrected the foundation under the stairs would not be sound. The process was stalled for a time to figure out how best to correct the foundation to make it right. Two areas of the cement had to be cut out, reinforced and re-poured.

At times we feel this kind of delay in our loved one’s journey to salvation. We question what’s happened so far and doubt. Wonder if we misunderstood. But what if that’s simply a time that God is reinforcing the foundation so that the structure to come will stand strong? What if we shifted our prayers along those lines, asking Abba, “What needs to be covered with prayer as the process continues?” Or to simply ask Jesus, “What are you doing now? What can I be doing to partner with You?”

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. — Philippians 2:12-13

For even after the “moment” we come to the truth of Jesus, the process must continue so that we become more and more like Him. What joy is it to walk in salvation and not reflect the image of the Gift Bearer? What sense is there in the seed of the tree that remains a seed and never reaches its full potential to grow deep roots and tall branches to bring life and shade to the world it inhabits?

My dear friends, salvation is so much more than the solution to the question of heaven or hell. It is life, the very breath of God, intended to fill us, save us, heal us, restore us and love us beyond reason. It is all-encompassing for our every need that is designed to bring wholeness to our past, present and future.

I don’t confess to full comprehend the full ramification of the word “salvation” that is simply nine letters, yet encompasses the entire heart of our Creator. He doesn’t expect us to either, my friends. He simply asks us to believe. Trust. Love.

And this is where I will leave us today, my friends, with the prayer that the all-encompassing truth will firmly solidify in the foundation of our faith and the ones we are contending for. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!

Don’t miss my prayer video tomorrow. Next week, more foundational truths and a reader question I know will speak to your heart for your marriage. 

Love you so very, very much, SUMites!
Dineen 

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Bible Study Interrupt

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

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

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

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

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

But God……

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

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

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

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

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

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

God can move anyone at any time.

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

Pray this with me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 147 11

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Persecution - The Books Of Peter - Will The Church Go Underground?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSo…… Ahem, ya. (long sigh)

I planned on writing about suffering. So this week I experienced persecution, first-hand. Sheesh! Why does that always happen?

Peter shares a few common themes through his two books. Today we are going to look at suffering. Specifically let’s read:

If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. —1 Peter 4:14

Most of the passages within Peter’s books focus on suffering for our faith. Persecution.

Stay tuned as we will discuss suffering and physical healing next. But today, I believe we should focus on the suffering we endure because of our faith.

It’s obvious when reading through the books of Peter that he was a persecuted man. His feelings and his charge to the churches for endurance are evident. I personally believe that persecution is the only suffering that God truly expects us to experience.

For our SUMite Nation, persecution is very real. We endure a rare and difficult persecution because we face ridicule, shaming, hatred and discord within our home. We also endure persecution in the public realm.

For me, I am equipped to handle the words that come at me from the public realm, well at least, most of the time. When an ugly email arrives or people criticize me for my faith, call me "over the top", a zealot, crazy. I’m really okay. Some of these words have been uttered by close friends and even close relatives. Sometimes it hurts. I take those hurts and their lack of understanding to the feet of Jesus. He always centers me in truth and love. Therefore, I can walk forward, certain of my identity and my purpose and forgive their ridicule.

But it’s different when your faith is mocked and you are insulted or shamed by a loved one with whom you live. That happened to me with week. Ugh!!! It’s pain and it’s hard. I cried. You cry. I get it.

But even through the pain I know I’m blessed. I remain alert and of sober mind. As the enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour me. But I RESIST HIM. I STAND FIRM IN FAITH (truth). And I also know that the God of all grace who called me to his eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will restore me, personally and make me strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:8-10 my paraphrase)

My friends, I believe that persecution is only going to ramp up. Today, believers are unable to be honest about their beliefs in the public realm about many issues which are clear in scripture, gay marriage comes to mind, without being called out as haters. I’m not a hater. I have gay friends and I grieve that they haven’t found their identity in Jesus yet. I grieve that this particular subject brings great grief and discord into our marriages, between our children, and between close family members.

This is where persecution “gets real.” We aren’t afforded the peace and protection that other Jesus followers have within an “all-believer” home. We remain on the front lines of the battle every day, every news broadcast, every image of Bruce Jenner, every article where a bakery is shuttered because the owners hold fast to their convictions. These moments are real flash points in our homes.

Truly, we live in confusing times. The challenges to our faith are growing. It’s difficult to walk this path of righteousness. But, we walk with the King! This current tide of public opinion didn’t take Him by surprise. He isn’t up in heaven nervously tapping His fingers, pondering, O, what should we do? He is brilliant, kind, loving, filled with mercy, and unending love. He will walk us through all of this and He stands as our defender and He will bring us through the fire with a supernatural love that overcomes words of hate, misunderstanding, fear and demonic deception.

This one thing I know, 2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials…..

So, my friend, I will cry with you when the words spoken by a loved one cuts through your heart. I will sigh as I watch the path toward the gates of hell grow ever wider. I will pray with never-failing energy, conviction and passion for you, your spouse, your children, our world. I pray and I pray. I trust and I believe. I stand firm and know that I know, in my knower, God is good. He is faithful to rescue, restore, and heal. Our God is able! Peace and love define Him!

And remember, if you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. How amazing is that? 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

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God Spoke. The Angels Sing Over The SUMites!

Isaiah 66 2 Day of AtonementWow Oh Wow… The heavens opened this morning. 

On my walk n pray this morning God just started talking. And talking. And talking…. I was so overwhelmed by all He was sharing that I had to call Dineen while I was on the trail. 

What was He saying? I’m so glad you asked because it was all about you, Sumites. 

I’m going to write out what I heard. 

First I kept hearing over and over, humble and contrite. Humble and contrite. Humble and contrite

Then He explained. 

Lynn, I know you have talked to me a lot about these letters and lists. You have brought the people who wrote them before me. But I want to tell you how I feel about these men and women. 

My heart is moved with joy and great pleasure for these, my children. 

“Why Lord?” 

Because they have given me a sacrifice of great significance. 

“How did we do this, Lord?” 

In your culture today the devil has created a frenzied pace in life. The demands on people’s time and energy are beyond what I ever intended. Culture dictates, a do, do, do mentality and shouts that you are not valuable if not busy and productive every minute of your life. I hate it. 

It is a lie, Lynn. 

But these. These precious children of mine, they have taken time to sit down with me. They talked with me and then handcrafted a letter, a list of their dreams. They made an effort. An effort to stop and think about Me and what we, together might do in this world. Do you know how that thrills my heart? 

As they sat writing out their dreams in their precious and unique handwriting style, they were with me. I was with them. I watched their faces as they wrote the words and formed the sentences. I felt the stirring in their hearts as they dared to bring me into their lives to help them accomplish and see their dreams come to life. 

Lynn, I see this very act of writing these dream lists as I saw the very first sacrifice that was given to me. You know who gave me that precious sacrifice? It was Able. His gift was a gift of love, his first fruits, a willing gift of love. 

These dream lists are so much more to me than words penned on paper; they are a gift of great love. They are a gift from children who love me. They are a message that I have priority. That I am their Lord. That I am loved by them. They are birthed of a humble and contrite heart of which I find great, great pleasure. 

Lynn, today the angels sing! They sing because I have watched this SUMite Nation and I approve. I thrill over all of you. I adore you. I am Your God and Your King. I am your Father who loves you. And Lynn, you know when a Daddy loves His children, do you know what He does? 

“Tell me Papa.” 

He moves heaven and earth to give them the Kingdom.

  

Good grief SUMites. I have a lump in my throat. 

SUMites, God went on to tell me some other amazing things. He told me that He has something for Dineen at the conference. —Can’t wait to see what that is. 

Then God showed me something. I saw a picture of a Bible open and there was a person reading it. I could only see the hands as the right hand reached up to turn the page. Now this next part astonished me. When the page was turned I saw gold shimmering dust, glory dust, float from the page and onto the person who was reading. 

Again God said to me, “See Lynn, when you spend time with me reading from the Bible, My glory comes upon you.” 

Say what? I was immediately impressed how God takes great pleasure when we simply sit down with a “paper” Bible. Literally gold dust fell on the hands and arms of the reader. 

HOW COOL IS THAT? 

Approaching The Most Holy Day in God’s calendar tomorrow, I hear a calling to understand what God sees as humble and contrite. So as we fast tomorrow, look up these scriptures in a paper Bible and let His glory dust upon you. Let His great pleasure flow and give the angels even more reasons to sing over the SUmite Nation. 

I love you all so much. I love our God, His Son, Jesus and the Spirit that empowers us and makes us one. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
 

Isaiah 66:2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. 

 

My friends, God told me that it’s not too late. You can still sit down and handwrite your dream list. You can still mail it to me if you want to but it’s not about getting it to me. This is a sacrifice of love that is between you and our Papa. Make time to dream with Him. You won’t regret it.

*****

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

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An Escape Clause?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

Hello SUMites, 

My friends, I missed you while I was roaming the Rocky Mountains and all over the state of Colorado. What a crazy trip. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long, long time. I hope to share some of the many photos on my Facebook page soon. 

But I’m back in my office and I am refreshed and charged up. Let’s jump right into this study again. We are going to discuss a very interesting verse, its interpretation and implications. 

Are you ready??? 

But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. —1 Corinthians 7:15 

So let’s get our head back into our discussion of this passage. Remember the Apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth in reply to some of their questions. Many members of the Corinthian church were recently idol worshipers and now they are brand-new Christians. They find themselves all of a sudden in a marriage where their faith and their old life collides. And specifically, this is very apparent and difficult in their marriage where their spouse has not come to faith. 

Oh how things change and yet they stay the same even 2,000 years later. 

Many of us in this family of SUM are walking this exact scenario. And many more of us are living with a spouse who proclaims faith but there is little to zero fruit or transformation in their lives. It’s difficult and painful. We become a believer and our world-view shifts. Our spouse’s world view continues to be worldly driven and shaped often through the media. Am I right in this? 

I wonder if we can be honest here with ourselves. Have you ever wished this verse was written like this: But if the believer wants to leave, let it be so……. 

I bet if you are honest there were days when you peaked in your Bible hoping to find a possible escape clause. But can I ask you this: If God included an easy way out. If He allowed us to abandon our unbeliever, wouldn’t you be disappointed in God? Wouldn’t it make God small and powerless? 

Why would you want to worship and serve a God like that? 

You know, for me, every hard thing, every struggle, every maddening challenge in my life has been met with God’s power and love. It’s in these struggles that my faith grew, I saw miracles, powerful answers to prayer and His Presence proved strong in my life and relationships. Yes, our High and Holy calling of marriage and parenting isn’t supposed to be easy. I really believe these ministries of our home are difficult on purpose. 

Think about this: We live for only a breath of time on this planet. But eternity is forever. And I believe with all of my heart, so fully, so boldly, that I stake my life upon it; My husband, Mike, will be saved and he will spend eternity in God’s love and presence because I chose to do the HARD things. I chose to obey God. I choose every day to love this man even when he’s unlovely, to pray for him without ceasing and to live with grace, forgiveness and hope. To live with him as his wife for as long as we both shall live. 

Any you know why? Let’s look at the very next verse. 

How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? —1 Corinthians 7:16 

That’s why! 

Eternity is a very long time. And if you have ever read anything about the horror of hell, it will move you to pray harder. For our spouse, kids and friends. 

Now don’t heap condemnation upon yourself if you struggle with the “want to.” I don’t want to stay married to this man. I don’t want to pray for him. 

I lived in that season for awhile myself…. And there were days I didn’t want to either. But on those days I prayed something like this. 

O Jesus, today I’m so very heartbroken. My dreams of a life I have held in my heart aren’t happening. They may never come true. I hurt. I have pain in my heart. So I give it all to you. Jesus come and hold me. Just hold me. Take away my pain. Make me stronger than I am to walk into my marriage with hope. Grant me Your Presence and ability to see the good and the gifts I have in this relationship. Don’t let me compare but look fully into Your face. Help me to want to love this man and remain strong and hopeful. Let me see where You are working in me and continue to change me. I love you Jesus. Fill me with more love for You and for people, especially my spouse and children. In Your powerful name, Jesus. Amen.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

 

Gang, this concludes our study of this passage in 1 Corinthians. I'm still praying and seeking the Lord about what we should discover together this fall. See you Monday.

I want to add a statement: I absolutely believe that God DOES NOT WANT His children to remain in abusive marriages. And my writing above is specific to marriages where the main discord in the relationship is spiritual disharmony. 

*****

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

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Terrorist Training Camp 2014

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGood Monday morning SUMites! 

Every January it seems to happen. Right after our annual fast my spirit is burning to do some spiritual, butt kicking. And this January is no exception. So, I would like to welcome you once again to the “Spiritual Terrorist Training Camp.” And once again I would like to welcome the FBI who will likely be reading this series because their computers have just detected a blog using the words Terrorist Training Camp. Welcome back guys! Hope you enjoyed last year’s posts! 

In last year’s series we dealt with recognizing spiritual warfare, discovering who are the captives and who are prisoners in the spiritual and how we can recognize our captivity and find freedom. (Find a link to that series in the sidebar) This year I want the SUMites to join me as we explore some different aspects of spiritual warfare. I want us to shine the bright light of heaven upon some very real spirits that wreak havoc in our lives and in our world. I’m praying with fervor and passion that this series leads us to two breakthroughs. 

One, we must first experience a personal breakthrough. When we recognize an enemy spirit and its work in and around us and then combat it with truth, love and the power and authority of Christ, we become free. Thus we can then begin to free others. 

Two, as newly anointed Hope-Restorers, assigned to change this generation, we are contending for our homes, and our cities and collectively our nations. We truly are going to learn to be empowered to bring change at that level. 

Before we step off into some pretty deep research and topics, I want to take a minute to address a few things and answer some needed questions. 

  • Spiritually Unequal Marriage is a marriage blog devoted to providing hope and practical tips to thrive in a spiritually mismatched marriage. Why in the world should we study spiritual warfare?
  1. Research indicates that more than half of believers don’t believe there is a devil, or hell or demons. So, many of you want to really know, how do you know there are demons, hell or a devil?
  2. Can a Christian be possessed? Can a Christian be oppressed? What does that mean anyway?
  3. How does an ordinary 5’4” blond mom stand up against and defeat the legions of evil? Is that even possible? 

Answers 

  1. We, the Spiritually Mismatched, are actually on the front lines of the spiritual battlefield. We stand alone to pray, to speak scripture and declare God’s power and authority in our lives. Often our very own spouse is a gateway that opens the door to evil presence and activity. However, we are so much more powerful. 

As I sit in front of my computer the Holy Spirit is flooding my soul with scripture after scripture that screams of this truth. I will share one right now and more as we work through this series. 

1 Corinthians 7:12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 

 

There is great power and authority contained in an ordinary believer. And this verse brings enormous power into our lives. 

Think about it. Verse 14…… The unbelieving husband has been sanctified. That means made Holy and brought under the umbrella of God’s covering and love because we the wife are sanctified. 

Okay… I just realized this post is ALREADY going long. So, I promise we will get to some more in the days ahead. 

CONVERSATION: 

So today, let’s discuss in the comments the four questions above and your thoughts about how 1 Cor. 7:12-14 play out in our marriage and everyday living. Do you sanctify your home? Do you know what that looks like? If you don’t, how do we bring this passage to reality in our marriage? Do you think demons are real? Have you contended with evil and prevailed? I will be in the comments with you. 

We are stepping off now into a great adventure. When we emerge on the end of this series, you can bet that you will have a knowledge and power that absolutely terrifies the dark realm. So, rise up Hope-Restorers because we have families to fight for, marriages to revive and cities to contend for. I love you so much. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Shades of Grey and a Hound from Hell

So, ahem.. Right…. 

I have a story to tell and I’m about to be very real. It’s a risk to share what I’m about to tell but, I absolutely know there are so many of you who will understand. I know sharing my little escapade will keep you from tripping up like I did, and I pray you will still love me in spite of my failures. 

We are wrapping up our spiritual warfare series. And I know every time we write about warfare, both Dineen and I experience it first-hand. However, I also know we bring into the light the knowledge to defeat the devil and his minions. And that thrills me to the core. 

The story I want to tell is strange and I hope I do a good job in the telling. I also think it’s funny in that during this series God sent a weed to Dineen to help teach her some truths. Well, you know what God sent me? 

Fencspitbull
Nice doggy....


A pitbull.  

Have mercy. 

As I was relaying this story to Dineen last week she chuckled and said, “Well that fits your personality.” 

Humph… 

We both laughed because she is right. Dineen only needed a tiny, little, ornery, weed and me…. Yep a terrifying encounter with the ugliest, scariest brown and gray pitbull. 

Not kidding!!! 

Even worse, now I have to own up and share with you what led up to this happenstance. Through a series of events, too long to lie out here, I came to have in my possession a book that is of a certain title, that may remain Grey. Of which just further cements this story in that I’m about to discuss the gray areas of sin that we find ourselves entangled and the trash that can smell in our lives. This book has been on all the news stories and actually been the obsession of millions of American women in the last several months. 

Please don’t judge me. 

Let’s just say I felt like this book was a grey area for me until I actually started to read it. I didn’t perceive it as something forbidden in my mind. After all, I’m a married woman. I’ve likely read something like this in my prodigal wonderings. And, may I say, I’m not judging anyone because I know there are women reading this right now who have also read this book. 

For me, however, in the first several chapters I knew this was going to head in a contrary direction. The changes in my thought life were evident. I put the book down. Went to bed. 

Many of you know that I rise early to read my Bible, pray and then head out on an hour long walk-n-pray. I walk in an area outside of our town where there are farm animals, wild animals and all sorts of fantastic critters that God sends along my way to delight my morning. After rising the next day and thinking about this trashy book and how it has disrupted my thought life, I headed out on my walk. 

Now I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I’ve been barked at by every kind of dog, recently stared down by a coyote and have almost stepped on a snake…. twice. So now I take no chances and carry with me a four foot PVC pipe and I clip on to my belt a can of dog repellant spray although I hope I never have to use them. 

On this fine morning, I began walking up a steep incline on a dirt road. My breathing intensified at my brisk pace. I’ve walked this road many times without incident. However on this morning, all hell was about to break loose. Literally. 

It’s common that every property in this area has a large dog or dogs. They will run to the fence when I walk by, bark, sniff and then watch me walk on. On this day I looked to my left and there standing behind a fence was this brown –gray pitbull dog. Let me tell you I get nervous about dogs. Mainly dogs that are loose as my poor Peanut has been to the hospital several times from his unfortunate encounters with dogs on the loose. 

Anyhoo, this dog is BEHIND the fence. Thank you Jesus. Whew! 

I walk on. However, this is where things start to get interesting. I’m watching this dog, which has now started to bark in my direction. He remains behind the fence but is becoming excitable. Now the weird part in this entire encounter is that it took only minutes. 

It felt like hours. 

And God choose that moment to start talking to me. What???? 

Yep, I will try to recall exactly our exchange but as you might guess, I was a little stressed. 

Watching the dog, he ran away from the fence that separated him and me and I continued walking up the dirt road. But, I watched the dog run to an adjacent horse paddock and with fascination and sheer dread, I watched this dog skinny under a hole in this enclosure. You couldn’t see this hole and I bet even the dog’s owners didn’t know it was there. 

God spoke to me in that moment of concern, “Lynn, do you see that dog? He found a chink in the armor. He found a tiny little spot under this chain-link fence to wiggle through.” 

All I could muster was, “O Lord.” 

As I was so thankful that the beast hadn’t broken through the first fence to get to me and now he was stuck in this hose enclosure, which by the way the horses were as terrified as I was. Whew! I’m still safe. But in two seconds the scoundrel ran across the enclosure and to my utter astonishment on the opposite side was another tiny hole under the fence. That round, large and now ferociously barking dog managed to skinny himself under that barrier as well. 

 “Oh crap.” 

The dog rounded the corner of the fence and was coming directly at me. There remained one last perimeter fence between me and the mutt. So far the first fence stopped him, but he ran to where he knew there was a break in the horse enclosure then skinnied under and ran to the next barrier, skinnied under that one as well. This dog is now truly working hard to get to me. 

As he approached the last barrier I was a little nervous but because this was the main fence separating the property from the road, I wasn’t yet in full panic in that’s where most dogs out in this area are contained. I do know my heart was pounding likely from the brisk walking as my pace hastened to get past this dog and also from the increase in my blood pressure watching him break through barrier after barrier. 

Now, please don’t be mad but this story is already over 1,100 words. I’ve likely lost a lot of you. If you made it this far, my friends, thank you. But I’ve got at least another 1,000 words to go. So on Friday, come back because the scariest part, the most amazing part and the way God moved in all of this is ABSOLUTELY worth returning for. 

And I will add my heart is pounding now just thinking about it again. 

It’s the gray areas, the trash we chew on, that can often do the most unexpected damage. Boy howdy, do I have a lot to say about all that. And gray areas are also extra difficult to navigate when you are in a spiritual mismatch because something might not be right for you but your spouse has no problem with it. Ahhhhh, now that’s worth talking about. See you Friday my friends. 

Now walk out into your week with your offensive weapon. Do you know what that is and how to use it in everyday living? Looking forward to some great discussion today. Hugs, Lynn 

P.S. Any of you who own pitbulls, none were harmed in the telling of this story. *grin* 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Praying in the Spiritual Realm- A Chronicles Update

Why is it I’m always surprised by the warfare and the extreme challenges to come into my home life when we write about spiritual warfare or when we speak about a specific topic? 

I remember getting into some major brew-ha-has (is that a word?) with my husband when Dineen and I were in the middle of writing our first book. It was awful. Scary. Tearful. And these times truly place my spirit in turmoil and draw me away from that intimate relationship with Jesus. I purposely must fight against these times. 

Well this past week was no different…. I spoke to a MOM’s group on Thursday. My topic, Raising Girls. The talk was a lot about my daughter and it went well in that I had minimal nervousness and the audience appreciated the encouragement I brought. I spoke about parenting. You should also know that Dineen and I are working up an outline for our next book which is about parenting kids to faith in a spiritual mismatch. The double whammy speaking and writing about parenting and the devil was ticked. 

Needless to say on Saturday my daughter and I entered the weirdest time of conflict. This is extremely rare in our relationship. And I will add I’m the one who was wrong, who made a mess of it and nearly caused a terrible rift between myself and my girl. Sheesh. 

So after a day of tears, fears, apologies (mine) and a call from her bother, we worked it out. Thank you Lord. There are some tiny lingering issues we will work through but God is good to protect our truly wonderful mother/daughter relationship. 

I’m sharing this with you because I want you to recognize when you come into the enemy’s line of sight, when you gain and extra target on your back. So what do you do? 

I’ve found so many of us don’t know how to pray for spiritual protection. I counsel many women who don’t know what to say, what to do in prayer to defend themselves, place protection around their kids and their spouse and marriage. So today, I’m going to pray for all of us. 

I often will pray something like this and I will pray it OUT LOUD. And I usually walk around my house with my hand up.

Almighty God who reigns supreme in heaven and in my life. I approach your Throne of Grace with Jesus at my side. Lord, today, I feel the weight and the bruising of the enemy who has asked to tear me apart and to harm my children and marriage. Lord, this very hour I surrender my life, ask forgiveness for my sins and seek Your mighty protection by the blood of my Jesus. 

Lord, right now this very hour, dispatch angels, hundreds of them. Send them to my home. Let them surround my home as a mighty force that is impenetrable. Father, let them stand at every door and window with their swords drawn. Empower them to fight and defeat any evil spirit, work or effects that are around my home around me wherever I go. Lord send angels to walk beside my daughter, my son, and my husband. Protect them because I love you and have favor in your eyes as your child. 

Lord, in the name of Jesus and by His redeeming blood, He who holds the keys to death and hell, I bind the spirit of division, of loneliness, of sadness, of (insert what you are struggling with) from my mind, heart, soul and those of my kids and husband. Lord, I bind the evil that comes at me and by my words through Jesus, I bind it back to the pit of hell, never may it return to this earth to harm me or anyone. In Jesus name. 

Father, give me might Joshua courage to pray with your Holy power against the darkness. Show me where I can be light to my kids and husband and a world that needs healing. Lord, may everything I do bring You mighty glory, honor, praise. Let your Word reign supreme and your will be accomplished in my life. 

Thank you for hearing me plea. Thank you as I know you have a hedge of protection around me. I worship you. I adore you. You are my life, my everything. Thank you for Jesus and lead me now, today in the way of everlasting. 

In the powerful, life-changing name and by the blood of Jesus. AMEN 

Now pray it and live it and let your prayers terrify the enemy…. this very hour. Lynn 

Revelation 1:17-18 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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A Very Different Post

Today’s post is different.

What is living on earth really all about? Can you say that you honestly understand why you are here and what your role in life is? Do you know that there is only ONE thing that is of concern to the human race?

Only one singular thing must be our focus?

I’m about to share an excerpt from the book, A Divine Revelation of Hell. This is a controversial book in that it’s one woman’s telling of her visit to hell. I agree that there is no way to “prove” that her experience was authentic, however, I believe hell is all she describes and even more terrible. I understand that this post will disturb many yet I’m compelled to provide a glimpse of what waits for those who are unsaved.

Page 31 &32 Jesus is walking with Mary Baxter (author)

    I could feel fear all around. Sorrow, cries of pain and an atmoshere of death were everywhere. Jesus and I walked in grief and pity to the next pit. (the pits of fire stretched out for miles, as far as the eye could see.)

    In the next pit was a woman on her knees, as if looking for something. Her skeletal form also was full of holes. Her bones were showing through, and her torn dress was on fire. Her head was bald, and there were only holes where her eyes and nose were suppose to be. A small fire was burning around her feet where she was kneeling, and she clawed the sides of the brimstone pit. The fire clung to her hands and dead flesh kept falling off as she dug.

    Tremendous sobs shook here. "O Lord, she cried, "I want out." As we watched, she finally got to the top of the pit with her feet. I thought she was going to get out when a large demon with great wings that seemed to be broken at the top and hung down his sides ran to her. His color was brownish-black, and he had hair all over his large form. His eyes were set far back into his head, and he was about the size of a large grizzly bear. The demon rushed up to the woman and pushed her very hard backward into the pit and fire. I watched in horror as she fell. I felt so sorry for her.

    Jesus knew my thoughts and said, "My child, judgment has been set. God has spoken. Even when she was a child, I called and called her to repent and to serve Me. When she was sixteen years old, I came to her and said, "I love you. Give your life to Me, and come follow Me, for I have called you for a special purpose." I called all her life, but she would not listen. She said, "Someday I will serve You. I have no time for you now. No time, no tme, I have my life of fun. No time, no time to serve You, Jesus. Tomorrow I will." Tomorrow never came, for she waited too long."

The story goes on the explain this woman's desire for beauty and money became a tool of satan and how even to the end she knew God was pursuing her. But, she always thought she would turn to Jesus some day. She was killed in an automoblile accident.

-----

Cross-of-christ

For far too many years, life was all about me. My need for love, for significance, for validation constantly drove my behavior. My unquenchable need to feel beautiful in the eyes of others and to be important, esteemed in the minds of my work colleagues and my neighbors fueled my thoughts. These deep wants drove my decisions and manipulated my love and kindness for others.

Jesus said: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

When you boil it down, ALL of our needs are met in Jesus. He is our provider, our strength, our love, our pride and our hope in every circumstance. He is our significance in this life.

The only thing that matters in life is Jesus.

Jesus wasn’t offering a suggestion in Luke 9:23. He is calling, pleading with us us to take up our cross. That means get our “self” out of the way. Be totally sold out for Him so that we can help others, our spouse, our children our neighbors, to be saved from an eternity in hell.

Today I convinced He is calling us to surrender self.

Self-exaltation
Self-will
Self-serving
Self-absorption
Self-sufficiency
Self-protection
Self-loathing
Self-promotion
Self-delusion
Self-righteousness
Self-worship
Self-pity

He is calling me. He is calling you so that our lives are a witness to others. We have the answers and we know the truth. And the truth is Jesus and He will set us free from hell and the truth will set our unsaved spouse free, an entire world free.

From an eternity in hell.

What are your thoughts about this post? Did you feel a stir in your soul? God is moving with power. Who in your life needs Jesus? Give their first name in the comments and a prayer for their salvation.

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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