72 posts categorized "Joy"

The Voice of Hope This Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” —Luke 2:8-12 Years of antiquity, long since passed, in a singular moment of time, a Prince was born. Conceived in holiness, brought forth and swaddled in lowliness. His name declared in the heavens with shouts of wonder, from the angels On High. The pride of His Father. His name,... Read more →

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The Triumphant Entry

SUM Nation, Dineen and I have decided to push the series we are writing into next week because the LORD is prompting us to lead our SUM church through a week of reflection on Easter. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me to take this week to reflect on each day the events of the Passion Week and allow us to walk with Jesus through it. The death and resurrection of Christ split time in two. It brought about the salvation of the Gentiles and it forever took the keys of death from satan. The implications of the shed blood are freedom, deliverance, healing and protection. So, walk this week with me as I post a few short scriptures and the events of the week. Ask Jesus to include you into this week. Let the truth of this week and Resurrection Sunday change your life. Also, begin to pray about asking... Read more →

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Getting Ready for Our 2017 Prayer & Fasting

Hello, SUMites! My dear friends, I've missed you. I hope your Christmas was filled with joy and wonder, and that your new year is off to a great start, full of hope and expectation. My time with my family over Christmas and New Years was very sweet and precious. I am so grateful for it as we only get to spend Christmas together every other year now. So thank you, my SUM family, for your prayers and blessings over my time with my daughters and son-in-love. As you can imagine, I miss them greatly. Our Papa God has comforted my melancholy heart every time I’ve run to Him. He’s so good. But I am ready to walk into 2017 with new expectations and new clarity for direction. And I'm "expecting" next week's prayer and fasting will be key to that. I believe many of you are too. I've loved reading... Read more →

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Fourth Week of Advent: Peace (and Christmas!)

Merry Christmas, SUMites! I’m finishing up my Advent series today, because Lynn and I will be taking next week off to have more time with our families. We love you and bless you with all the joy and gladness this season holds, dear friends. Enjoy your family, enjoy your friends and most importantly, ENJOY JESUS! He’s not only our Savior, but our very best friend and partner in this life and the one to come. We are about to enter the fourth and final week of Advent this Sunday, my friends. I’ve included a picture of what my Advent wreath will look like this Sunday as I light all four candles. This last candle represents peace, and as the Word says, Jesus came to bring us peace. Not the peace the world offers, but His peace. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the... Read more →

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Second Week of Advent: JOY!

Hello, SUM Family! We’re moving closer and closer to Christmas, and like you, I want to be intentional in enjoying the details of Christmas. Yesterday morning I went into my prayer room to pray for my own family and our SUM family here. I continue to pray and declare Jeremiah 24:7 over our spouses and am praying the Scriptures written on the beams of this house over you. They are such good words! JOY is also a very good word, my friends. And it’s the theme of the second week of Advent. As I searched for the word JOY in the Bible, I was struck by several verses that spoke of JOY. Then the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see a beautiful flow and connection in these Scriptures. And connection is so instrumental to our relationship with God. As you can see in my picture I’ve lit the second... Read more →

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My Husband Entered My World, part 2

Hello, SUMites! I have to say I’m so excited to share the rest of this story for you. God did some pretty awesome things during the week of the ACFW conference. I was so blessed to hug old friends I hadn’t seen since last year and to make some new friends as well. Since I serve there as head of registration, I come in contact with so many of the attendees, and let me tell you, the Holy Spirit always has a plan for each year. And He never tells me until He puts me in action! This year, He randomly told me to pray for people, usually as they shared a simple concern or health issue. The Holy Spirit would nudge me to pray with them, so I would ask if I could pray for them, right there. Do you know, that not one person declined? And every time,... Read more →

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Friday Prayer: No More Striving!

Lord Jesus, I pray in Your powerful name that the spirit of striving would be broken off every one of us in this SUM family. We declare we are free of all striving, set free by the blood of Jesus, and made and kept free by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Holy Spirit, we give You permission to overwhelm us with Your presence and remind us anytime we begin to strive that we have nothing to prove or gain as we already have everything in our identity and inheritance in Jesus Christ. Thank You, Abba Father, that we belong to You. That we are in Christ and He is in You. In the name of Jesus, amen! Love you so much, SUMites! You're amazing! Dineen Read more →

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Foundations Series: FAITH, HOPE, LOVE

My friends, how are you doing? There’s a lot going on in the world right now that is discouraging and heartbreaking. The more I watch how God is working in our community here; at the healing rooms as we pray Jesus’ truth into hearts, lives and bodies; through the connections and bridges I see Him building and creating between all of us—the more I understand His heart for us to know these foundational truths. Our foundations need to be firmly built in His truth. And, SUMites, perhaps it sounds a bit trite and cliché because it’s been said so many times, but we are not of this world. We live in it, we have a mission and a purpose here, but God’s plans, purposes and HIS PROMISES go way beyond the now and span all of eternity. In other words, He’s got us covered. We can rest in the reassurances... Read more →

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Foundations Series: SALVATION

Hello 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.... Read more →

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The His-story of SUM

My SUM family, I have felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to share how God has worked in very subtle ways to progress this ministry and the SUM family. This part of this story is probably one of my favorite parts because one, it shows how clearly God is in the smallest details and two, how subtly He can work to bring change. When this blog first started, it was just that, a blog. Lynn and I wrote for the growing readership God was drawing here, and we referred to our spouses as unbelievers. As time progressed and readership grew, God began to change our perspective and thus our words. I remember clearly one day writing a post for the blog and sensing the Holy Spirit’s nudge to begin referring to this blog as a community. Though I didn’t understand it at the time, I found it so interesting... Read more →

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We Stand for Jesus

A week ago I shared in my post the things I am standing for. I sensed then Holy Spirit might be leading me to share a story that began in 2013 that had to do with the word and command in the Bible, to “stand.” Jesus presented it to me as a question, but its full meaning wouldn’t become clearer until almost a year later. Will you stand for Me? The question came as I worshiped with over a thousand others at a faith based conference. Will you stand for Me? So unexpected and suddenly there. Often I would hear something and wonder, “Is that me or is that you, Lord?” This time I knew it was Jesus. I went to my knees. Yes, Lord, I will stand for you. That was at the end of 2013 and before I understood that this question was the beginning of what was... Read more →

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Lenten Reflections - Repentance and Restoring Joy

A couple of years ago my siblings and I helped our parents spring-clean their house. They’re both in their eighties and it never ceased to amaze me how much stuff they managed to collect over a long life. The house became very “full”, especially when you’re not inclined to throw things out, as was the case with my parents. They moved into a much smaller place: a two-bedroom apartment within a retirement home complex. Very different to a four bedroom home with big garden and double garage. It wasn’t a spring-clean, rather a major overhaul with lots and lots of stuff discarded, given to charities and grateful others. There were a number of trips made to the waste disposal centre (or tip as we call it down under) as well as two large council pickups. Spring-cleaning and major clean-ups require us to get our hands dirty. We have to get... Read more →

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Conference At Merriman in Garden City, MI

Perhaps for a moment in time, just perhaps, we stood upon holy ground. Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” I bet many of you know these ladies. They like to hang around SUM! Gillian, Teresa, Melissa, Heidi, Joanne Some of the Ohio SUMites: Left to right: Judy, Mindy, Laura, Dawn, Chris This is Beloved, Franie. This conference started in her heart last summer. The Holy Spirit moved. We laughed, cried and we were loved on by our Lord! The skit was hilarious. I was cackling. Well done Merriman! This is the amazing team of leadership that made this day possible. Thank you is inadequate but THANK YOU! More photos are posted on our SUM Facebook page, click here. The best part of... Read more →

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The Power and Blessing of Giving Comfort

My friends, today I want to talk to you about an interesting phenomenon I've observed in my own life and in others. It's a very curious thing and is quite the opposite of our "normal" tendency. And I believe it is one of the weapons of spiritual warfare that Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians: For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, — 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV) We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. — 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NLT) These verses have... Read more →

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Part 4: The End of the Story

Gillian Russell - The Conclusion God had now reassured me of His faithfulness in this journey, but it was already midsummer and still no baby. The due date I had been given was August 28th, so I had expected baby several months earlier, such that it would be clear to everyone by the baby's size that it truly was that same child. Now, with everything He had led me through I still expected baby to come early. I was still sure God would do things how I expected all along-that was what He had asked me to believe and I could see the possibility for so much good this way! And honestly, I just couldn't imagine waiting five more weeks and I felt I shouldn't 'have to after everything. I fought that due date for months but now with a little over a month to go I realized that by... Read more →

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2 Peter 3: God Waits Too

So happy to be with you today, my friends. I love our community. We are family and live daily the truths of Jesus Christ together. Lynn and I love our S.U.M. family so much. You all amaze and bless us everyday in how you love and pray for each other. And for us! Just wow…my heart is so full of pride in you, if I may say that. And I sense what I’m feeling is coming from our Papa God’s heart. He is proud of us, SUMites. We are known by our love. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. — John 13:34-35 As we continue our Summer Bible Study in the books of Peter, I found myself this... Read more →

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Our Authority to "Pass It On"

Dear friends, I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt through the Bible and the Holy Spirit keeps revealing these nuggets of wisdom and knowledge. In fact, I shared this verse on Facebook last week because it keeps showing up: In him [Christ] lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. — Colossians 2:3 NLT I have prayed into this for myself and for you, SUMites. Jesus wants to give us these treasures! We just have to ask for them. So, this latest treasure is one that the Holy Spirit showed me builds on a truth we have talked about in the past, but builds upon it in regard to our authority in Jesus, the authority spoken of in Luke 9:1-2 and Luke 10:17. Our authority given us through our salvation in Jesus. But this nugget is revealing that we have specific authority, which I find fascinating. First let's... Read more →

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Anxiety's Remedy

My Friends, I will confess that I experienced an upside down week. On several occasions I was pulled into anxiety (fear). Can I just tell you I don’t dwell in the land of anxiety often and as I look back on the two incidents that threw me off my game, I’m now mad. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy our peace and joy. And many times in our unequally yoked marriages, he schemes to use our spouse and our children. Sheesh! Does that somehow seem unfair to you as it does to me? Well, today SUMites. Let me share some truths and this next week, we will not live in anxiety but in peace and joy; the atmosphere of heaven. Are you in? Happiness- The root word is happenings. Our circumstances. When our circumstances (happenings) overwhelm us and we feel all alone, isolated, distant from God. The enemy... Read more →

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The Joy Set Before Him

Dear friends, last week I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to do a three day fast for my husband. Now fasting is not easy for me but something about this felt important...pivotal...timely. I've shared in the past how God led me to read the story of Jericho and told me four things: my husband was my Jericho, I was to march around him in prayer, the seventh year would be the most difficult, and at the end of seven years my husband would be spiritually healed. That was fourteen years ago. I have no idea as to the delay for this word, but I have held fast to it, trusting God to do what He said. And last week, He led me to reread this story again. The very next day I read a message that was all about the story of Jericho. The author connected it to Purim... Read more →

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Reflecting Back on 2014 and Moving Forward into 2015

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. — 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV The devotional for December 29th in The Listening Heart brought me back to this verse that I'd highlighted earlier in the year. And a sweet moment of revelation entered in with it. I thought back over this year that started out so difficult that I wondered at times how I would endure and what would I look like on the other side, and the full reality of this truth came full circle. Anything our Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor calls us to co-labor with Him to do, He will surely do it. There can be no doubt there because that begs the question: Why would God call us to a place and not complete what He said He would do? That's not His way, nor His character. Anything He has ever asked... Read more →

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The Hope Of The World

Let’s finish this amazing letter to the church of Philadelphia/Sumites. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. On Friday we discovered Jesus’ heart for all of us who have endured under great pressure and have stood upon our faith and did not deny His name. Today, Let’s look at the last portion of this letter. It’s amazing. Truly. Jesus... Read more →

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Disparaging Disappointment, Part 2

So glad you're back, my friends. The end of this series is so near and dear to my heart, because it's written with a deep love and desire for you to live in the fullness of Jesus and all He has for us. I believe we will see great tremendous breakthroughs individually and as a community in 2015 and I don't want you to miss any of it. I don't want to miss any of it either! Now for the final part of this series. Scroll down to part one if you need to catch up. The links for the previous parts are there as well. As I shared in part one, this journey was so unexpected for me. I had to face some dark places in my heart and mind and allow the Holy Spirit to peel back layers of lies and pain so that He could bring the... Read more →

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Precious Message from a SUMite

Dear friends, our SUM sister, Darby, sent this beautiful and encouraging message this past week. I just love Darby's heart for God and the joy she is finding in her faith walk as she trusts God with her furture and especially for her husband's salvation. She is walking in a place of thriving and freedom! I would like to take a moment to personally thank both of you! I am a SUMite subscriber, website, daily email and Facebook follower. I also have your book Winning Him Without Words. I cannot remember when or how I stumbled upon your site over a year ago, but I DO know it has been the biggest blessing in my marriage. I, like many others, have spent time in the past crying out to our Father, "Why wouldn't you want this wonderful man on your side? Why did you bring us together if not for... Read more →

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The Three Deadly Ds: Disparaging Disbelief

Dear friends, before Thanksgiving I started a series on the Three Deadly Ds: Dubious Doubt, Debilitating Disbelief and Disparaging Disappointment. In Part One of Dubious Doubt we talked about how the enemy comes in and plants seeds of doubt, as he did with Adam and Eve, and in Part Two I shared some examples of breakthroughs that came as a result of pushing doubt aside and re-establishing God's truth firmly in its rightful place. Today, let's talk about Debilitating Disbelief. And that is exactly what the enemy's intention is, to debilitate (weaken, enfeeble, enervate, devitalize, sap, drain, exhaust, weary, fatigue, prostrate; undermine, impair, indispose, incapacitate, cripple, disable, paralyze, immobilize; informal knock out, do in) our faith. Once doubt has come in like a ravaging worm, disbelief moves in to fill those empty places like a fungus or mold. Your mind is riddled with questions and you may even feel tormented... Read more →

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When Is It My Turn?

SUMites, Let’s have a chat. I’m pretty sure that last week’s posts about Janet and Trish’s spouses coming to faith brought about a range of feelings in our SUM Nation. But today I want to speak to those of us who may feel forgotten. For those of you who read these stories and whispered, “God, when? When is it my turn? When will this happen in my life.” So many emotions, feelings and thoughts were made know to me in this past week. True happiness for these women. Feelings of jealously, then followed by guilt because their story seems so far from a reality in our life. Perhaps you are confused and maybe a few of us are really just MAD. Mad at God. Mad at our spouse. Mad at ourselves for being in this predicament. Anybody????? Can I ask you to hear me out for a minute? Firstly, gang,... Read more →

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