58 posts categorized "Obedience"

Submission vs. Obedience by Martha Bush

SUM Nation, 

Several weeks ago I read such a great response in the Facebook Group by Martha Bush, specific to Submission and obedience. I asked her to share her perspective with all of us today since we are camped in the books of Peter. This post is authentic and powerful. Thank you Martha. Hugs, Lynn

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image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSubmission vs. Obedience

Polly’s Story

Travel back to the 1900’s with me to the home of Smith Wigglesworth and his wife, Polly.

Prior to his salvation and fame as a minister, Smith harshly persecuted Polly for her faith, and demanded that she not go to church.  She didn’t obey his command, instead would make his dinner and head for church every Sunday.

One night, Polly came home from church later than usual. Smith scolded, “I am the master of this house, and I’m not going to have you coming home at such a late hour!” 

Polly quietly replied, “I know you are my husband, but Christ is my Master.”

This made Smith so mad that he locked her out of the house.

My Story

Now, I invite you into my home where I faced the “likes” of Smith Wigglesworth.

My husband had always supported my faith until God gave me a new direction - - resign my job as a school teacher.  

After several months of praying, studying God’s Word and counseling with my pastor, I went to my husband to discuss the new direction with him. 

He immediately responded with a firm, “NO!”  

Usually not one to rock the boat, I rocked it this time, and began my journey.  

For the next several years, I faced intense opposition from my husband.

Submission vs. Obedience

1 Peter 3:1:  Wives, be submissive to your husbands.

The question is, “How does submission play into stories like Polly’s, mine, and yours when faced with persecution of our faith, or verbal and emotional abuse within the home?”

I’d like to share a few points I learned on my journey trying to figure this out.

  1. Stronghold: People Pleaser

 

I had been a people pleaser since childhood, and I brought this stronghold into my marriage.  A “go with the flow” personality, I had no identity of my own.

 

My husband is the opposite - a good moral man, but very opinionated who likes to be in control, which explains why he responded with a firm “NO” when I discussed my new direction with him.

 

Normally, I would have done anything to keep peace, but this time was different. I knew I had heard from the Lord and must obey.

Galatians 1:10: Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NIV)

Acts: 5:29: We must obey God rather than men. (HCSB)

  1. People Pleaser to Special Possession

Once the people pleaser stronghold was broken, my self-esteem had to have a makeover. It was time to shed the puppet on a string/doormat mentality.  

Also, got myself a new name tag - - You are a chosen people, His royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)

  1. A man’s enemies will be members of his own household. (Matthew 10:36 NIV)

My home became a battleground establishing who comes first – God or family. My husband said, “Things were great as long as you just went to church, but you had to get fanatical; I want my wife back.”

  1. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Though my husband’s opposition was hurtful, I finally realized it wasn’t him coming against me; it was the devil himself trying to wear me down with harsh words through my husband.  

  1. Arrogant, Sarcastic, Brass Attitude

I came out of the people pleasing pit swinging. I had no problem pointing my finger in my husband’s face and saying: “Let me tell you something, Buddy. You no longer intimidate me; my feelings and opinions count in this marriage.  Stuff it!”

Oh yeah, it felt goooood to be FREE!

But---my mind flashed back to my daddy. It was as though I could hear his gentle, but firm southern voice talking to me.

“Girl, I didn’t raise you to act like this. I’m fixin’ to give you an attitude adjustment. Get your Bible and turn to Galatians 5:13 and read it.”

Dear brothers and sisters,

you have been given freedom:

not freedom to do wrong, but

freedom to love and serve each other.

(TLB)

Conclude

On the next post, I will tell how God adjusted my attitude as it relates to submission vs. obedience. 

A longgggg journey, but time well spent in examining my marriage, seeing where I had missed it from the start. It wasn’t easy, but necessary.

Have you examined your marriage? 

  • Are there strongholds that cause friction?
  • Have you lost your identity?
  • Is your husband exercising a demanding authoritative role as the head of the household?
  • Does he value your feelings and opinions?
  • Does he ask you to sin?
  • Is his sin affecting you and the kids?

Please share what you have discovered in the comments.

Blessings to you.

 

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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A Tale of Vindication, Forgiveness and Obedience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a bathroom. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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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Our Expectations And Answers To Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

As we conclude this study, I have an astonishing story to share with you about how our prayers can remain unanswered or answers are delayed and how what we expect is usually not what the Lord has in mind. Let me take you to a very old passage.

Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

Don’t let the familiarity of this story steal the outrageousness of what happens here. God tells the Israelites to do something seemingly ridiculous. I’m mean absolutely absurd. Can you imagine coming against a city and instead of piling up dirt and stones to scale the walls, instead of practicing warfare and battle tactics, God instructs them to march.

And get this. On day seven march in silence.

Say what?????

In the reality of it all, it is stupid! At least in the eyes of men. Ahhhhh, but that is what is so cool with God. When God moves, you KNOW it’s Him.

And that is exactly the same when it comes to our prayers. We have certain expectations that God should answer our prayer in such and such a way. In all my years of praying and receiving answers from the Lord, RARELY does God answer my prayers in the ways I expect. Typically, His answers are always slow. He rarely answers the way I expect or hope or in my timeline. But, when He does move, it’s always spectacular and in ways that are so much better and bigger than I could even dream up. And I can dream up some pretty big stuff.

God may ask of us to believe and follow up on the belief with actions and faith that feels absurd at times. And in response to our faith, He is likely to answer in absolutely unexpected and miraculous provision. The story of the Walls of Jericho is a historic reference for us living today. 

My friends, prayer is at the core, a conversation between two “in love” hearts. Prayer is devotion and time together. It’s a relationship of consideration, respect, honor, and peace. It’s love and friendship. It’s worship and teaching. It’s a Father and His child whom He gave so much to bring into His life forever.

I pray today that your prayer life is enriched with all the prayer strategies we have covered. I pray you see astonishing answers and that lives are changed because you prayed. I hope you bear witness to supernatural healing and that your spouse falls to his or her knees in surrender. I pray with conviction and belief that you will experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and that your life is forever changed because you pray. In Jesus name.

I love you, my friends. Now go and pray…. And change the world for the cause of Christ! Hugs, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

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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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Part Two: Upgrades

UpgradesSUMites, I promised to share more of what God is showing me for our community right now. I believe this next part will be so encouraging to you and will strengthen your spirit greatly. Let’s go back to Isaiah 60. There are several parts to this chapter that God has in the works for us right now.

I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. — Isaiah 60:17

This verse is about upgrades. As we grow in our faith and intimacy with God, He upgrades us to new levels of understanding (revelation) of what our calling and purposes are. He also takes our spiritual gifts to higher levels of operation to work toward and accomplish those works, which He prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). He establishes (a very important word right now) these purposes, gifts and us in Him to come from Him and—most importantly—to work with Him, because God intends all of it to operate within the boundaries of our intimacy and relationship with Him. And He equips and prepares us to step into each level. 

I know that’s a lot to chew on right now so let me put it into context. Think about the challenges and trials that have taught you to trust God more and to operate more in your gifting. For example, let’s say your gift is exhortation—you are an encourager. Yet recently you have been greatly discouraged by either external circumstances or internal conflict, which could very well be an attack from the enemy. 

Maybe you “wallow” for a day or two but then the Holy Spirit reminds you who you are and that you have skills—big skills created and gifted to you because you are God’s kid. You begin to seek Jesus for comfort and direction by praying, reading your Bible and worshiping, therefore deepening your intimacy in Him, which then results in you being encouraged. 

You’ve now learned how to encourage yourself in the Lord, which then becomes experiential for you. Let me also say there are many ways to encourage yourself in the Lord—think of David who wrote Psalms and Paul and Silas who sang hymns in the darkness of a prison cell.

Then a barely a week later a friend tells you she is struggling in the exact same thing you did and you know exactly how to encourage her through this difficult time, and because you have experienced it first hand, you realize you have authority to pray and wisdom to share in this type of situation. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing this many times to help others. All that is part of what God uses to bring us to each new level of how we are called to function in the body of Christ. 

Right now, God is very much on the move (yes, can’t get away from that song and I believe it’s very relevant and prophetic for right now) and things are happening, my friends. We are being upgraded to new levels according to what we have overcome and in preparation for what is coming next. It’s exciting, but I know that in some ways it’s grown more difficult. 

Some of you have shared that you feel like you’ve come under greater attack. Since the release of our corporate word in January, I came under one of the worst enemy attacks I’ve ever experienced. Many of you praying over the prayer list have shared you are experiencing more warfare than ever in your marriages. I’ve noticed this too in my own marriage over the weekend, but recognized it for what it was—the enemy’s attempt to distract and discourage—and prayed blessings and protection over all my relationships.

I want to let you in on a little secret the enemy likes to keep us blind to. The very place he attacks you repeatedly is the very place of your gifting. If you are gifted to be an intercessor, he will try to make you think your prayers aren’t making a difference, that they don’t matter, until finally you find yourself hardly praying at all. And a prayer-less believer is a powerless believer.

When you see a place in your life that the enemy is hitting you harder than normal, take stock and ask these questions:

  • Is this a place where God has called me to do something specific?
  • Is this attack in the area of my spiritual gift(s)? If it is a direct contradiction to your gift, then the enemy’s trying to keep you from doing what God has set you up to do best.
  • Is this actually an area you often feel weak and want to grow stronger? Then ask God to turn the enemy’s plans around for good. Ask Holy Spirit to show you what you need to do in that area and teach you to think differently about it (Romans 12:2). That’s when God perfects His strength in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)

Most importantly, SUMites, don’t back down as that’s exactly what the enemy wants you to do. He only gets louder when he knows he’s losing ground. And that is what we’re doing, we are taking ground that the enemy has no legal right to in our own life and the life of our spouse and our family who are sanctified by our faith (1 Cor. 7:14). 

There is truth behind the saying it is darkest before the dawn. We are on the verge of so much breakthrough as we surround our lives, families and this community with our prayers. Here’s the exciting part of our unfolding promise of salvation from Jesus:

Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. — Isaiah 60:18b

Look at that, SUMites! Turns out this church without walls is getting walls after all! An upgrade to walls of SALVATION! And here’s the next part of the promise I feel God wants us to know is coming.

Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. — Isaiah 61:7

This promise is about restoration. God restores what the enemy attempts to destroy. Trust Him to do this and to do it in His way and timing. I believe this is in answer to our prayers for peace and prosperity in our marriages—part of what God asked us to do in January as part of His salvation word to us. 

This is what we are heading toward, SUMites. Stay close to God, go deeper with Him. Our hearts to listen and obey His leading are an important part of what’s happening right now. And I will tell you what God spoke to me last week,

Things won’t look the way you expect.

Now that’s the next part of this series, so stay tuned. I’m looking forward to sharing that one with you. Love you so much, SUM family! I’m praying daily for each of you to be strengthened, equipped and encouraged! In the name of Jesus, amen!
~Dineen

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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How Did (and Do) We Honor Our Husbands?

SUM10AnniversarySUM family, are you enjoying this walk down memory lane? It’s amazing to look back over our history and see how God has moved in the big picture of our community. I truly believe part of our continued growth and endurance as a ministry has been our desire to honor our husbands in doing this. 

Lynn and I have never spoken negatively about our husbands here on the blog, in any of our media interviews, or our books. And we have not moved forward in this ministry without our husband’s knowledge of what we are doing. Our heart has always been to respect our husbands out of obedience to God. We strive to be open, honest and respectful to our husbands in everything we write and speak about.

If you listened to Lynn’s video post “SUM Beginnings,” she shared how her husband told her that if just one other couple could be helped, she should start the blog. He has been supportive of her ever since. 

My husband has also been supportive and even texted me our Amazon rankings throughout the day when Winning Him Without Words first released. He’s even told people he works and associates with about our books. A man who claims he’s an atheist promoting Christian books…now if that’s not God working in our husbands, I truly don’t know what is!

And let me interject here, SUMites, that if God is calling you step out in some way to serve and minister, trust Him to bring your spouse’s heart into alignment. Pray for this and listen carefully (Luke 8:18). God is faithful to lead, prepare and equip you and your spouse in what He’s calling you to do.

Now back to the point of this post. Do you remember the first part of this story where I shared that I was concerned about what could happen in the comments? That is probably one of the most astounding parts of this beautiful family of God.

Never have we had to address what is often referred to as “husband bashing.” (We’ll call it “spouse bashing” here since we are blessed to have a small male readership, and Ian’s wonderful wisdom and writing in our ministry as well.) I find this truly amazing when you consider this form of negative speaking about one’s spouse is so prevalent in the world today. And destructive! That which we focus on becomes our truth and reality, because our words are life or death (Prov. 18:21)—life to our marriage or death to it. We have a choice. (That’s definitely a post I will write about at a later time…)

SUMites, you walk this difficult path well. We are not called to be perfect, but to persevere and run the race God has marked out for us. 

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. — Hebrews 12:1-3

Lynn and I are honored to run this race with you. Together we are stronger, and we help each to not only run this race but to run like the conquerors through Jesus that God’s Word says we are. 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. — Romans 8:37

And that we are, my dear friends. I declare this over each of you, that you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus in your life, in your marriage and in this world. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Love you so much, SUMites!
~Dineen

 

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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How Do You "Hear" God...For Your Spouse?

IStock_000005733150MediumMy dear friends, I hope the journaling exercise to "pay attention" to how you hear God has been a blessing and encouragement to you. Your comments have encouraged me greatly! I love how God speaks to us in many ways and specifically to our need and relationship with Him. Let’s review that verse again:

“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” — Luke 8:18 NLT

Today I will share that story I promised you, one that will show another form of how God can speak to us. I've had the joy of training and working in two different healing rooms (Silicon Valley and now Manatee County). In fact, just this past weekend I attended more training and had the joy of facilitating as well. 

And God has used the last several years to teach me so much about healing prayers through teachers and mentors in these places and especially through the Holy Spirit, our greatest Teacher and Mentor of all. Over time, I've learned to recognize better when He's showing me something. I believe He communicates this way with me, because I am an artist and a very visual person.

If you study the book of Acts, you will see many descriptions of the disciples receiving images and even visions of God's leading. Just before his death, Stephen is given a glimpse of Jesus and heaven (Acts 7:55). Ananias heard the Lord instructing him in a vision to go to Saul because God had given Saul a vision of Ananias as part of Saul's conversion from a Pharisee to a believer who would be known as Paul (Acts 9:10-19). And God showed Peter through two visions that he was not to discriminate against Gentiles (Acts 10:3-33).

I love serving people in the healing rooms. We are there to pray with people for their needs, to encourage and edify them as Scripture directs, and we work in teams of three because we are stronger as a three-fold cord.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. — 1 Thess. 5:11 ESV

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. — Ecc. 4:12 NIV

On this particular day, a woman came in for prayer about the purchase of a house. She and her husband had felt clear leading to buy a specific house and had made an offer, but the inspection now showed issues that they would not be able to afford. Confusion had set in.

As our team sought God for leading in how to pray for her, I saw an image of a house in my mind. At first I simply thought it was the natural reaction of the mind to connect an image to thoughts, but as I said, I have learned through experience and practice to pay attention when I get an image, especially in this type of setting. Yet I am always careful to defer to Holy Spirit's leading to share a word of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8). 

Our sister in Christ then joined us in the prayer room and we began to speak truth into her heart to help her refocus on God and His leading for her. I felt Holy Spirit direct me to share the image so I did. 

I described the image of the house in the detail the Holy Spirit had given me. I'm always a bit nervous to do things like this, but again I'm learning to trust Him more than myself. It's not easy. It’s a risk and an act of faith to trust in what God is doing and not what I understand or perceive is happening.

Turned out the image was the house she and her husband wanted to purchase, and sharing with her what God had shown me, along with what the other team members felt Holy Spirit telling them, confirmed and affirmed this dear woman on the God-lead path she was obediently trying to follow. She just needed reassurance that even though complications had cropped up, God was still in the lead and would provide. She left encouraged and felt even closer to God as a result. As we all do when we see, hear, feel and sense God's presence with us—we are drawn closer to Him and hunger for even more.

And I was too, as was the prayer team. These encounters never cease to astound me and draw me closer to God. I pray they never do. The end of this story is wonderful. The couple moved forward in faith and made another offer. They purchased the house for a price that gave them room to make the repairs. God did exactly what He said He would.

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. — Deut. 7:9 NLT

My friends, the amazing thing is I am learning to apply this way of praying to my family. One night Holy Spirit showed me that I didn't believe He would show me what to pray for my family like I do in the healing rooms. I'm learning to first seek and listen before I start praying what I think my husband or daughters need. 

Sometimes our best intentions and love can keep us from hearing what God wants us to know, because we are more focused on the issue at hand instead of the answer God is waiting to give us.

Now as I pray for my husband, I wait for a leading or image to show me where God's working in him. That way I know how to pray and work with God in this transformation process. God wants me to see my husband as already saved and pray and praise accordingly. Just as God instructed Peter in his vision to not make a judgement of a person's place in God's kingdom, I feel God telling us the same thing, my friends. This verse spoke that truth to my heart this week:

Peter told them, "You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. — Acts 10:28

Right now we need to be seeking God for His heart and how He sees our spouses, our loved ones, and pray and declare in agreement. We only have a partial picture with our own perspective. God has the full picture and He knows our spouses (1 Cor. 13:12).

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6

That day of Jesus Christ is now, my friends. The Greek translation for the word "day" means the space between dark and dawn. I believe this is the time between Jesus' coming and return and we are in that time right now! So don't be discouraged! He is faithful to complete what He has told us He will do. SALVATION!

Dear friends, we live in an incredible time of witnessing God move in our spouses' lives and hearts! Be assured He is working. Seek Him, ask Him to show you and trust Him to complete the good work He has started as you join Him accordingly in prayer and trust for your spouse's salvation. Amen? Amen!

*****

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When I See You In Heaven - Chronicles Of The Donovan Clan

It’s today, March 14, 2016. Twenty-four years of married life. As I pondered my husband and our marriage this week, the Holy Spirit revealed something utterly unexpected and peculiar…. a letter. A letter to my husband as I see him in the future.


Mike When I see you in heaven...When I See You In Heaven

Mike, when I see you in heaven, will there be tears in my eyes?

Will I glimpse your face across the expanse of the Great Assembly of worshipers? Will I run to you? Will you run to me? When I see you in heaven, I believe we will both run, full-out, with every bit of intention and intensity, to reach one another.  

When I see you in heaven, will you have tears in your eyes? Will you wrap your arms around me in a fierce embrace? Will you pull away and place your hands on both sides of my face as you draw my eyes unto yours?

When I see you in heaven, will you whisper into my eyes through gulps of love and emotion, a breathless thank you.

At that moment will your heart expand as you fully grasp the impact of the years I prayed for this very moment? Will you utter deep groanings of intense joy knowing that I tarried for you in earnest prayer year after year?

When I see you in heaven, will you look upon my face and gently brush away the drops of joyful tears falling on my cheeks.

When I see you in that moment, I will place my finger over your lips to hush your words of thanks. I will tell you, “It’s our Father’s love that saved us. It’s our Father’s love that walked with me through our many years of married life. It’s our Father’s love that held me in the lonely moments and it’s our Father’s love that stood with you when you felt alone and weary of our quarrels.”

When I see you in heaven, I will join my hand in yours as we turn toward the throne. In that moment, our Father will look down upon us both with profound joy and love upon His face. In that singular moment, a life-time of battling the enemy will be revealed. The days and nights I called out to Jesus to protect you, to keep you from the lies of the enemy and to save you from his evil intentions, they all will flash before you. In that moment we will comprehend God’s purpose which placed me at your side as your life-long partner on earth. Under His full understanding we will comprehend that this tiny, 5 foot 2 blonde, girl was a commanding intercessor for your health and prosperity. In that instant you will bear witness to the relentless combat I engaged for our children.

When I see you in heaven, we will share in the greatest joy- your full salvation. Every harsh word ever spoken will be erased instantly, lost in the glory of our King. We will look upon one another’s face and realize that every hurt and disappointment is forever forgotten and forgiven. Our brokenness is instantly covered by the crimson blood of Jesus our King.

When I see you in heaven, I will lead you by the hand to the steps of the throne. With utter sobs I will look up into the face of my heavenly Father and tell Him, “THANK YOU. You gave me this man and I did not fail my assignment. I walked out many years of hope deferred and I did not stop for one moment and give in, give up or lose hope.”

“Father, I couldn’t have done any of it without your love, grace, mercy, kindness and wisdom and power. I’m utterly undone, Father, the faithful love You poured into my life over and over and over is evidenced today, as I see Mike in heaven.”

When I see you in heaven, I will turn toward the vast expanse of the saints and I will honor, celebrate and declare for all eternity the fathomless love of our Father before them as I grasp your hand. And Mike, when I see you in heaven standing there beside me, you will do the same.

When I see you in heaven, Mike Donovan, my heart will be full and we will have all of eternity to discover, recover and uncover things that were left undone or unfinished on earth. I’m so excited to take your hand and step into our eternal life in Jesus Christ, when I see you in heaven.

Happy Anniversary,

I love you, Lynn

Mike and Lynn 2 Nov 2011

*****

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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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Seek Him Like Never Before!

Worship…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. — Ephesians 4:14-16

My friends, I left my post last week with the promise to tell you some stories of how God is equipping and testing me. My most ardent prayer the last year has been to hear Him clearer and to know His voice better. I am stunned at how He has answered that prayer with specific training at a conference a couple weeks ago and the people He has brought into my life to speak new levels of truth and teaching. Let’s just say that Abba turned my world upside down a bit and knocked a few things into place, like bringing my body, soul and spirit into alignment with the Kingdom. I will share more on that soon as the Holy Spirit leads me.

Last week He gave me very specific words to give to people. He’s done this before but not with this clarity or detail. My heart cry along with wanting to hear Him better was so that I can help people more. On my walk and pray one morning I noticed the same woman walking in our neighborhood that I’ve seen before. God gave me a very clear message to share with her. Turned out she was a very strong woman of faith and that was my test, to step out in faith and do what He was asking me, even if it seemed a little over the top. This particular encounter took me way out of my comfort zone, and I realized afterwards He wanted to see what I would do with what He gave me—how I would steward it.

A few nights later I was at a restaurant with my family (my daughter and husband were visiting). A woman from my church, who God previously gave me a specific word for her husband, walked in with her husband. I'd seen her the week before at church but didn't want to disturb them while they were worshiping. So I left it to God to orchestrate another meeting. And He did! Even my mother-in-law commented on how they have lived there for years and never run into people they know, yet I seem to do this frequently.  

And that is what He is accelerating us into right now—orchestrated encounters with key people we need and who need us in order to move into new ministries and territories. God is releasing more spiritual giftings to us and raising us up to new levels in the ones we have already been walking in.

My friends, this is how He wants to reveal Himself to the world, and right now! Seek Him like never before. Ask Him for His heart and what He wants to show you (Jer. 33:3). And if He allows you to share it here, please do! I have listened and watched as so many of you have been released into new places already these last few weeks—new ministries, new levels of intimacy and peace in your marriages and family and even more clarity in your purpose and calling in Jesus. For our SUM community, the Holy Spirit is showing me how we are being lifted up, one by one, into new places and purposes with power, authority and spiritual giftings to move effectively in these places.

Today I fly to Dallas for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference that I attend each year. I have been blessed to man and coordinate the registration for several years now and especially blessed by the divine appointments God sets up during these events. This time, I’m asking Abba for something very specific this year, and I look forward to sharing that with you as well. 

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. — Hebrews 12:20

What about you, my friends? Where you do sense God is leading you? What has He put on your heart to think about, pray into, and seek Him for? Please share. This is a safe place to share whatever is on your heart. I want to pray with you for this calling, this divine destiny God is revealing to you.

SUMites, I am holding you close in my heart and prayers.
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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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Part 1: The Journey to Complete Abandonment

SUMites, Lynn here. I will be traveling this week. While I'm away, one of our long-time readers and Sister, SUMite Gillian Russell will be sharing a portion of her story. You may remember her and her astonishing story of traveling to meet me and Dineen in Texas. You can find her story about that adventure, here

Thank you Gill for taking time to share your faith with us. Hugs, Lynn

Although I came to my faith for the first time as a twenty year old, somehow God grabbed hold of me very early on in my journey: within a month I was completely sold out on God and I never looked back. While I struggle with many things, trusting God has rarely been an issue for me. (By this I mean for big stuff, trusting God in the little interruptions and frustrations in my day is a completely different story). Maybe it's also that I've always been impulsive, but when God says jump, I jump, (and think and ask questions later!) Honestly, it doesn't matter what it is, all I need is to hear from Him. 

So what does that mean for a mismatched marriage? It has certainly created some odd discussions but there are so many blessings that have flowed into all our lives from this obedience, because after all, God always works only for our best. 

A few years ago, while praying on my way home from a church event I heard these words CLEARLY in my spirit: 

Until your husband sees you, visibly different, (like my best friend saw the change) truly submitting to him, he’s not going to believe.’ That’s what it will take for him to come on board etc, radical humility. ‘Only when you are willing to lay down your will, will he be able to know Me.’ 

Gulp. 

Part 1.JPG Gill
Since then God has been helping me, one little step at a time, to lay down my wants, my desires, my way. In Texas God had taught me that I didn't need to try to run the show because He was in control, and of course He knows what's best. I was reminded of what God had told me about letting go of my will, and it was clear God needed me to stop controlling my husband, trying to get him to live his life how I wanted. 

In fact, God took it a step further by showing me clearly that as long as I was doing this, God would never be able to reach him. Like the prodigal son, my husband had to be able to live free, even free to make mistakes, and that would require my cooperation. This actually made perfect sense, so I trustingly said yes to God. 

A few days later I began to see just what that yes meant.

You see, my husband was invited to a party I did not want him to go to. Besides the fact that it was overnight and shouldn't a husband and father be home with his family, I knew that part of the festivities included strippers (Bachelor party). I knew this situation was not going to be healthy for him or for our marriage...and I wanted to put my wifely foot down, that he was NOT GOING.

Instead I had to lay that urge down, and let him make the decision himself, and look to God to get me through it. So I trusted my heart to God, only to have it broken when he chose to go anyway. I clung to God through the fears and hurt that followed, and offered up the pain I felt to God, together with the cross of Christ to win graces for my husband. Even though I couldn't see any real changes, I had to trust that God was using this to humble my husband, as he saw how his decision affected me.

I had never been so broken, but The Lord stood with me. Truly, I'd never felt so close to my Lord as I did those few days. I had given Him everything I had. 

The night before, after my husband had left for the party, I felt like Jesus alone in the garden of Gethsemane wrestling with the Father's will as my heart wrestled with surrendering this completely to God, for better or worse. Now God had taken my heart, and I had nothing left to give Him. In that place I found myself completely abandoned to His will, whatever it might be, from that moment forward.  There, kneeling by the water in full view of the cars going by, I raised my hands to the heavens in humble surrender. 

Three days later I watched God do a work of redemption in our marriage that only He could do. Afterwards I even shared with my husband a little of how God was responsible for it, because it was only because I was following God's directions that this new breakthrough happened. 

Only God could turn that place of darkness into a new dawn. Truly, the Almighty works ALL things for our good. 

Gill Intl Life
--- Stay Tuned, Part II is next--- Gill

*****

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40 Daniel Fast - For Some

Hello Everyone. 

I’m still lingering in awe of our Lord and all that happened in our fast. I believe we are going to see the results of our fast unfold in our lives and the lives of many others in the months ahead. I can’t wait. Please, please share your breakthrough with me and Dineen this year as we want to honor and thank Jesus for His love and care. 

Today’s post will not be for everyone. 

I know many of you want to continue in an extended period of fasting. I know I am going to continue to fast. I’m going to continue a fasting lifestyle that the Lord placed me on since September. 

And I also want to be open and honest about something that tends to be an area where the SUMites struggle. It’s going to be hard to own this truth but let’s just put it out there. 

Many of us are overweight. I am. I have 30 pounds that are fat pounds. I’ve come to discern that because we are in challenging marriages; many of us turn to food as our comfort and friend. I know this was true of me in the early years of my mismatch. On top of that my husband traveled for work extensively. I was often at home alone for weeks on end. Thus television and snacks became my habits. Sheesh. Can anyone relate? So, I wonder if the Lord is going to help many of us to own this truth and then bring us into freedom? I think so. 

So here is what happened to me. 

One night, I think it was in September, or late summer early fall, the Lord awakened me in the middle of the night. He told me to go on a 40 day Daniel fast. At that time in my life, I was battling in deep Spiritual warfare. You might remember I had cold after cold, sicknesses and all sorts of physical infirmities for months. Additionally, what you likely do not know is that all of my close relationships, except my marriage, came under a tremendous, pressure, pain and refining. My word from the fast last year was: Refinement. Man O man, am I glad that 2014 is over. I remained faithful in my relationships and they are all now stronger and blessed. And I have now overcome sickness and I believe with all my heart that my home is now a perfect health zone. Even strangers who enter the doors will be healed. But, alas, that’s a post for another day. 

Back to the Daniel fast. 

What I’m going to share is what God has asked of me. It does not mean this plan is for you. I’m only sharing what God has asked of me. Please pray about what I share and ask the Lord if this is something for your life. 

God said to me, “Lynn, I want you to go on a 40 day Daniel diet and rid your system of antibiotics.” And in that minute I knew that I would give up all food that contained antibiotics. Okay, so I got out of bed and started thinking about what I heard. 

Now here is the crazy part. 

Later that morning I went to have my oil changed in my car. I dropped the car with the attendant and went inside the small lobby area to wait. Now get this. The television was on and within a few minutes as I sat watching, a segment comes on the air. It’s a story of how antibiotics in our food is causing weight gain and specifically women. I sat astonished. Then the attendant brought my car around and I left. I was only there for 15 minutes and the single portion of the “morning Show” that is on TV is about antibiotics in our food.  I’m freaked out! I couldn’t believe it. (I searched for the video and I think I found what I was watching that morning.) 

To say I was stunned…. is an understatement. 

I couldn’t have asked for a stronger confirmation from the Lord. So, I immediately I stopped eating meat. I also subscribed to several blogs who share recipes and tips to eat healthy and vegetarian. And man, there are some great recipes. I haven’t missed the meat. One afternoon my husband strolled into my office and said, “Okay, I’m hungry. What kind of meatless concoction do you have going today in the crockpot?” We both burst out laughing. It’s been adventure for the both of us. 

So here are the guidelines of my diet which I believe is a Daniel diet that the Lord gave me.

  • Veggies, fruits, gains, lentils and some dairy. I’m a very forgiving person, so I’m not ridged on all of this. I’m not a Pharisee. *grin*
  • Very little sugar. Again, not a Pharisee.
  • 1250 calories a day. Join My Fitness Pal. It’s free. It’s awesome and you can track calories on a computer or use the phone app. (I am firm on this.)
  • Exercise 1 hour a day. Walk, run, whatever is fun for you. Just do something. (And firm on this.)
  • Lots of water.
  • If I do eat meat, which I do occasionally, it is absolutely organic, antibiotic free. I know eating organic is more expensive. If you can’t afford it, veggies are delectable and a diet you can be on for the rest of your life. (Most food I buy today is all organic.)
  • A Daily Probiotic. 

A probiotic was a new thing for me. God sent someone to me the next day and told me about them. I went to the store and picked up a bottle. (Get the refrigerated variety.) 

As we enter this New Year, I feel the Lord calling me to surrender even more of my eating habits to Him. This diet was a place to start. 

We all need a place to start.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

Lord, I commit this last stronghold in my life to you. I want my body to reflect your love and glory. Bring my body into complete a perfect alignment with the Kingdom. I ask that my body be perfectly healthy and whole and that I may bring health and healing to others. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

*****

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The World Needs An Encounter - You Give it To Them!

Matt 12 21Today I want to fill you with possibilities. I want you to know that our God is GREAT and He has an amazing life for each of us. 

God has led me on such a powerful faith journey in the last two years and it only continues to gain momentum and fascination. Often here on the web I share my victories as I want this little spot here in the internet to be an encouragement to you. I also share my defeats and pain. But more often than not, I write about the good things God is doing. I don’t always share the tough lessons that accompany spiritual growth. But those lessons are part of the journey and I want you to know this past year has been filled with more of them than I have let on. 

So I share this bit of information with you so that you know with the gains of the Kingdom that I have experienced, I have also come through very difficult lessons, spiritual warfare, some setbacks, and lots of struggle. However, the stories I’m about to share make it all worth the lessons and time in the classroom of the Kingdom. 

In the last several weeks I’ve been called out by God to become brave. In fact, that’s the title of my next book: Becoming Brave. And I’m diligently seeking the Lord for His Words for this manuscript. 

So today I want to share with you what happens when you dial in the combination of the Kingdom. Remember the three-part combination from Friday’s post? If not, go read it now. 

In the last several weeks God’s voice has intensified in my life. And I want to share with you what I hear and what God asks of me.

Most of you know that nearly every morning I head out to the vineyards and walk-n-pray for about an hour. Crazy and amazing things happen during this intimate time when I’m alone with the Trinity. But this week, several mornings in a row, as I was nearing my car to return home, I noted a young man stretching in the park. He looked to be about 19 or 20 years old. Something about him drew my spirit to him. Well after three days of this, as I entered the park, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said, "Go over to that young man and tell him…….."

I argued with God, “Lord, it’s always weird when I go to speak to a complete stranger.” 

Then I said, “Okay, Lord, I will do it if he looks up at me and says something.” 

So what do you think happened? 

Yep, indeed. The young man greeted me with a smile and said, “Hey. Good morning.” 

My inner voice: Yep God. I knew that was going to happen. 

Me, “Hi. Ahem, well….." I walked over to talk with him. "This may be weird but I’m drawn to your spirit. Are you a believer?” 

“Yes, I am. A devout Catholic.” 

“Well, I want to tell you that God sees you. He has a calling on your life and has plans for you.” And I shared a few others things, detrails, I felt the Spirit was impressing upon me about him. 

He smiles as big as the outdoors. I’m relieved that I’m not going to be feeling awkward when I see him in the future. 

“That’s so amazing. I had someone else speak the same thing over me, my priest," the young man responds.

We went on to have an amazing conversation and I heard God tell me to instruct him to begin to read God’s Word. So I told him that he needed to get God’s Word into him and doors will be opened for his calling. But He must have the Word of God in him so that satan will not snatch it away. So I told him what kind of Bible to buy. He took out his phone and made a note. 

I finally asked his name, “Michael.” I smiled a knowing smile.... (There are a lot of Michaels in my life.)

I said goodby. Hopped in my car and thanked Jesus that He loves that young man so much that He would encourage him into his devine destiny. That was a few days ago.

Today, I was ordering a burger for lunch and the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that the woman helping me at the counter had a good heart. I felt the intense love God has for her. Then the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that this woman was facing some very difficult decision but if she were to pray to God, He would help her through them.

So….. yep……. I didn’t say anything to her. I took my order to my table. And for the next 20 minutes the Holy Spirit urged (nagged) me to tell this woman what I heard. My friends, it’s weird and uncomfortable and I take a risk of complete humiliation but not once has God been wrong nor let me down. 

Finally, as I’m ready to leave, I approach the counter. The restaurant is getting busy. The woman comes over to me. I lean way into speak to her as I don’t want to speak too loudly and make a spectacle of her or myself. 

“I just want to tell you that when I saw you 30 minutes ago, God told me you have a good heart.” She smiles. “And that you are facing some difficult decisions in your life.” I pause and see if she affirms this. 

She does, “Yes, that’s true.” 

“If you pray, God will help you through those.” 

I smile, “You have such a good heart. God adores you.” She smiles, I turn and leave. I think she thinks I'm nuts. Then all of a sudden I hear her shout to me as I’m across the restaurant and half way out the door, “Thank you. THANK YOU!” she shouts louder. I felt the joy in her voice. 

GOOD GRIEF….. 

These encounters make every struggle and difficulty worth it all.. Times ten.

My friends, we the SUMites are leaders in faith. We have walked the painful and difficult path of faith building. It’s time now to step into our Kingdom destiny and bring the hope of the world to…. Well, the world. 

And what is the hope of the world? It’s the Lord God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Keep praying. Be hungry for more. Ask for more and more and do the hard work of sanctification. We are all going to walk in His divine power, love and healing. 

In Jesus name. Amen. 

And his name will be the hope of all the world." —Matthew 12:21

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

This post is so much about God's love for people and it's about obedience. We believers owe an encounter to the world. Because once a person encounters the love of our God of the Universe, His Son and the Spirit, it changes everything.

Hugs, Lynn

*****

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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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Random - Rosh Hashanah

It’s Wednesday and time for another post. Yikes. I haven’t had time to respond to all of the dreams that were posted in the comments on the September 23rd post. Please be patient with me as I want to post a reply comment to every one of them.

So today, I am only leaving you with a few random thoughts to consider. On Friday, I’m expecting our Lord to whisper again as He often does on the Day of Atonement.

Here is my randomness and in no particular order:

  • I do NOT believe in a name it and claim it gospel. What I do believe is God places gifts and dreams in each of us. Satan steals our gifts and dreams and in this season of Rosh Hashanah we are silencing the lies and reclaiming what God has given us. (BTW, no one has complained to me about me teaching a name it and claim it gospel. I just felt like I wanted to be clear regarding the intent on this series. Thanks for listening. *grin*)
  • The letters, cards, list are rolling in. So many, many of us have similar hopes and dreams. And so many are hopes, dreams and prayers that do not benefit us in any way. They are selfless hopes and prayers for other people that we love. SUMites are kinda cool that way.
  • Here’s a photo:
  • Dream List Oct 2014 RH
  • I emailed Bill Johnson yesterday. Jesus it’s all in Your hands now.
  • Scripture verse is from Dineen today:

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told. —Habakkuk 1:5

 

More than anything, I hear the Father’s urgency during this season. He wants us to just spend time with him and to get to know Him more. He wants us to open hearts to allow Him to know us deeply, intimately. His great desire for us is to experience His love, peace and joy. But we must do our part. Part of it is obedience, part of it is silencing the devil and the lies, embracing truth and having even just a tiny bit of faith, a mustard seed amount, and step into the next season and adventure He has planned.

I pray that the entire SUMite community will rise and step into their inheritance, claim the power, love and our identity as His beloved child.

Then we, The SUMites, will represent Him well.

See you Friday.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

I believe in the power of fasting. If at all possible, please plan to fast from sunup to sundown on Saturday. I’m convinced you will hear from God.

And today is the last day to mail me your dream list:

Lynn Donovan
43952 Barletta St.
Temecula, CA 92592

*****

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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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What Does This High Holy Day Mean To Believers Today?

Gang,

The Dream Lists are arriving and I know more are on the way. In my head I saw these lists as I prayed over them and placed them before the Lord. They became shimmering with gold dust as they were anointed with power and the purposes of God.

I am taking these lists with me and Dineen and I will pray over them and then have them with us at the Open Heavens Conference. It is our goal to ask Bill Johnson to lay hands upon them for anointing. How cool is that. We will see if Jesus works that out for us.

But it’s neither me nor Bill who will dust them with glory. It is Jesus. He sees your heart and your yearning to serve His Kingdom. So let’s say that simple yes and let Jesus loose on this world through our hands and hearts. Woo Hoo!!  I can’t wait to see all that comes from this.

Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur 2014 begins in the evening of Friday, October 3
and ends in the evening of Saturday, October 4.

Hebrews 12 28
According to my research this is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar year. This period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is also considered the Days of Awe and a time for reflection and repentance.

What I’m discovering personally are a couple of breakthroughs. One, the breakthrough in my creativity and second, the Lord has placed me on an interesting food diet for the next 40 days. Weird, yes, I know. (I will share more about this development later.)

MOSTLY I have heard undeniably that my new year will bring many new adventures but God has asked me now to get serious about obedience.

Yes, obedience.

I have a couple of things in my life that I’m holding on to that I know God has asked me to remove. They are little things such as eating and drinking habits that to anyone else, they are completely fine and normal. However, in my life, God knows they are holding me back from breakthrough and thus they have become sin and I am in disobedience.

Yikes. Please tell me I’m not alone in this mess.

Well, through this difficult year of brokenness I believe the Lord is showing me His patience but He has also shown me where I haven't taken ground from the enemy because I’m not living in full obedience. I want to obey. And there are days I do obey however, there are days I whisper to myself, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. This isn’t really a sin. It’s not like I’m lying or cheating….. It’s really not a big deal.”

Gang, this message here is mainly for me ------> If we want to hear God’s voice more, move in His Spirit, and see the miracles then we must obey His voice when He speaks.

If we want God to move in our dreams, then we need to be trustworthy to God. If He speaks to us and we know clearly it is Him asking us to do something such as a new step in our faith or removing sin from our lives, or leaping into our impossible dreams, we must be a mature believer who will obey when our King speaks.

The Day of Atonement is a time to take an account of your life. Bring areas of His calling and areas of obedience before the Lord and come into agreement with Him. So, let’s pray this week toward that purpose in our lives. Toward His purposes in our lives.

Ask God this week where you need to be in repentance and where is he calling you to be in obedience. This is what I’m praying for in my life right now. Because after this Saturday, October 3rd, I’m planning to see and be part of the astonishing and impossible workings of God.

How about you?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Also, consider fasting sunrise to sunset on Saturday. Don’t forget to postmark your Dream List to me no later than Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lynn Donovan
43952 Barletta Street
Temecula, CA 92592

The obedient always obey God when He first speaks. —Smith Wigglesworth (1914)

One final note: I’ve struggled for many years with a specific area of obedience and I know how very difficult it is to overcome something that you like but is actually harming you. I have experience in this now and I feel a series forming in my mind to help us escape the hold our habits have upon us. So take heart. If you are wanting to be obedient but just don’t know how, we will be talking about that shortly. And get ready for some warfare because that is where many of us will find our freedom - finally! It’s going to be good!!!! Hugs, Lynn

*****

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

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Our Greatest Promise (Part 2)

8406391_sHappy Friday, my friends! Let’s finish what we started on Wednesday. I left off with an analogy of the Holy Spirit flowing in our lives like blood in our veins and how it’s important to keep the “flow” free of unrighteous impediments. As I said at the end of Wednesday’s post, the Holy Spirit helps us do this.

He is very good at His job of showing us places in our lives and hearts that we need to deal with, of nudging us to do the right thing, and even of reminding us of God’s love and will for our lives. Also known as godly conviction, it is done with the love and heart of God for our good. Not to be confused with condemnation either (Romans 8:1), it is relieving, freeing and healing.

Just about every day, I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything I need to confess or see in myself. I talk to Jesus about it and ask for forgiveness if I need it or for help dealing with or overcoming an issue. Then if there is nothing else, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me and overflow in me, and that my day would bring glory and honor to Jesus.

When the Holy Spirit can move freely in us, our lives are changed and empowered. Abba wants for us to walk in this place of righteousness and empowerment that He sent His Son Jesus to bring us. And it is the Holy Spirit that does this work in us.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. — Philippians 2:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:13

So often we try to fix ourselves when the best thing we can do is sit quietly before God and let Him do these great works in us. We do our part (repentance and obedience) and He does His part (saving and transforming).

And my friends, I’m discovering through this year of intimacy that the key is knowing God better and better:

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. — Colossians 1:9-14

And the motivation behind all this is always, always, always God’s pure and unconditional love. He tells us to confess our sins and be filled with His Holy Spirit not out of harshness or so that we “get it right.” His desire has been, is and always will be to connect our heart to His so that His love can flow into our hearts freely, as blood flows freely in a healthy body, as the Blood of Christ flowed freely to save us.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. — Romans 5:3-5

And when the Holy Spirit flows freely in us, we are doing what Paul called “walking in the Spirit” and we are empowered to do those things that please God, whether they are serving others, or overcoming a sin or idol in our lives, or loving the difficult ones in our lives who Abba has specifically called us to love.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. — Galations 5:16 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. — Ephesians 2:10

Our greatest challenge as believers is also our gateway to freedom and unfailing faith: is to trust and believe. As Peter says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine” (1 Peter 1:7).

Our greatest and most important calling is to know and love Him (Deut. 6:5, Mark 12:30), to be still and know, trust and believe that He is who He says he is (Psalm 46:10), and let Him do the great work in us that He began and is faithful to finish (Phil. 1:6).

And I am finding that it is in the quiet moments when I manage to still my heart, my soul and my spirit before Him, that His loves pours freely, His wisdom comes in priceless gems, and His presence overwhelms me.

My friends, may the Lord bless you and protect you, may the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you, may the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Have an amazing weekend. Love you so much!
Dineen

Copyright: dirkercken / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

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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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Transforming the Mind: Choosing Joy

ThemindMy friends, the Transforming the Mind series is continuing. Abba keeps giving me more and more to learn and share with you. What I love so much about this is that as I teach it I’m learning it as well. Just like what it says in Romans:

You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? — Romans 2:21

So if God calls you to teach, then do it! He will give you what you need to know and pass on. Now, back to our series which began with Feasting on God’s Word, then continued with Claiming and Praying God’s Promises, Giving the Holy Spirit Authority, Pleading the Blood of Jesus, and last week, Thanking and Praising.

The more I learn about transforming our minds (Romans 12:2), the more I see that everything starts in our minds. Everything. Sin, transformation, healing, etc. All of it. And we have more control over it than we realize. I believe this is what James talks about when he describes waves being blown and tossed by the wind. This is an untransformed mind.

Our frame of mind, way of thinking and past experiences influence how we live in, react to (or don’t react to ) and view the world, including those around us. This is what all those self help books are about—having a positive attitude. The reason they often fail is because they rely on an individual’s limited ability to change and the world’s changing standards and definitions as judgement.

But we, the family of God, have a better book—the Bible—to teach us how to see ourselves and our lives through the lens of our Creator, who’s love is constant and unchanging and holds no condemnation for us, His children (Romans 8:1).

And I believe this transformed mind is absolutely vital to thriving in our mismatched marriages. How we perceive things and what we focus on will direct the course of our every day lives. And I have learned that wherever I have a struggle, I must first look inward to first to discover if the root is within me or if I need an attitude adjustment to handle the situation. In other words, I can't change those around me, but I can choose how I will handle situations and conflicts. And sometimes we may need to face that we are the problem. But even then, we have the power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19-20) working in us to bring transformation! That is full of hope and promise! And as we change and are transformed, we influence our pre-believer in ways we don’t even realize.

In today’s post, I want to talk to you about choosing joy. Abba has shown me much about joy in the last few months that I’m just now piecing together. The Old Testament talks about the oil of joy. This is something that He often has me pass on to others, especially when I work in the healing rooms here.

And Scripture also tells us the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10). But recently an interview article, Kay Warren on Depression, Grief and Hope, written by Amy Simpson (Today’s Christian Woman) struck me with a new understanding of what it means to choose joy.

“I realized I had completely misunderstood joy. No wonder I wasn't experiencing it! I was going after the wrong thing. I was going after an emotion. And what God wanted to give me was himself. The definition of joy I'm working with is a settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life. The quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right. And the determined choice to praise God in all things.” — Kay Warren

First let me clarify that joy and happiness are two different things. Joy is based upon the constant presence and love of our Great God and trusting Him with every detail of our lives. Happiness is contingent upon circumstances. We can have joy and choose to be joyful and joy-filled even when our circumstances make us unhappy. The danger we often run into is that when we feel unhappy, we relinquish our joy.

But we don't have to. We can choose joy even in our most challenging times. It's not easy, but I am learning to do this more and more. The new understanding I'm beginning to grasp is that instead of waiting for joy to "show up," like an emotion, we can take action and ask for and choose to accept joy as a gift from Jesus. Scripture even tells us this:

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. — Romans 5:11
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. — 1Thess. 5:16-18
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13
“For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” 

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. — Isaiah 61:8-10

This is our inheritance and ours to choose—to ask and pray for. And did you notice how thankfulness and gratitude are intertwined with joy as well as hope? Think of thankfulness and gratitude as the soil of our minds and joy is the seed to be planted there. What springs forth is hope. So you see, if our minds are cluttered with bitterness, unforgiveness, self-condemnation, lies from the enemy, etc., the joy of the Lord will wither and even die. And then we become hopeless. And for us to lose hope is as death. I firmly believe that is one of the most heartbreaking conditions of all to our Lord Jesus—to see people lose hope.

My friends, I don't have this completely figured out, but I do know that what we focus on and think about has profound effect on our mental, physical and spiritual health. They are all interconnected as God designed them to be.

And He has given us the ability to choose. This is powerful (even to determine our eternal destination—to choose Jesus) and when we use this power of choice out of a desire to honor God and be obedient, we have a mind controlled by the Spirit, which tells us is life and peace. That is a powerful promise from our Abba and again, it's ours to choose.

It takes practice and intentionality, but it is so worth it. The more we do this, the less we are like those waves whipped around by the waves of the world, of our challenges and circumstances, and the stronger we stand in our lives and marriages. We can allow our thoughts, feelings and emotions to control us or we can partner with the Holy Spirit to transform our minds so that those same thoughts, feelings and emotions will fall in line and be reflective of God’s truth working in us.

So I’m asking Jesus for joy. I’m asking He restore the joy of His salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12).

I’m choosing joy.

Love you dearly, my friends!
Dineen

*****

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The Seven Seasons of The Walls

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
Hello SUMite Nation: 

Today I want to share some thoughts as we continue our journey toward the Promised Land. Remember we have been talking about seasons. If we can condense the long years and seasons and see them from heaven’s view. this is what our journey truly looks like. And it’s beautiful. 

Day two is finished and were back at the camp. But you know what is happening here? With each step it’s a revelation of how to do this journey better, more effective, with confidence. We learn to find the joy as we cross the same territory. We sing to our kids along the way and share stories of hope. We tell them of the glory of God. 

On day three, we fall down. We are exhausted, confused and just plain tired. It’s our brother's and sister's turn to come along side of us, pick us up and carry the load. It’s our family, our friends, our neighbors in the tent next door. A stranger. Angels. We don’t have to do this on our own strength. We are carried and loved. Remember the story of friends bringing a man on the mat to Jesus because of their love?

Half way through we are healed because we choose to believe in the voice that spoke. There angels that guide. The strength and truth of Joshua (Jesus) His faithfulness was proven over and again as we traveled years in the wilderness. We become more and more like Jesus. 

Day – season- four.. It’s more of the same. The crowd on the walls have grown insolent. Any release or change or surrender from the kingdom behind the walls is unexpected. More of the same. More or the same. It’s along…. Long journey…. Twenty two years and counting for me. 

But step by step, we get through the season a little faster. It’s not as devastating. We know who to go to for help, encouragement and love.  Just as Joshua leads the Israelites, Jesus leads us. The Father’s love sustains us. We have a promise. We have many, many promises. And we have experienced the faithfulness of our Lord. We know His goodness. 

Day five.. We still don’t know the end of the story. We battle up! We fast, we pray. We gather the intercessors… We fight in the spirit. Spiritual Warfare intensifies. Perhaps the enemy camp sent out sentinels in the night and sabotaged our camp… Infected our children??? We pray and pray…. 

Still nothing. The walls remain…. (But something is happening we just can’t see it yet.) 

Day six… more marching. More learning. Leading others. Singing in the camp. Healing in the camp. Worship in the camp. The Presence in the camp. I wonder, have we been in the Promised Land all along????? 

Day seven… the hardest of all. Not only walking six times around (six seasons) but on this day, this season we must walk seven times around without stopping. We ask God why didn’t this get easier? The mocking from the inhabitants behind the wall increases. The determination in our will increases because we have experience the Presence. Through the six preceding days we have learned to do this walk well. We have calloused in the right places. We are fortified. Sturdied, made strong because of the walking, the pressure, the training. The we have established faith because we know God is preparing all things according to His perfect plan and purposes.

We are in the seven times around. I’m not sure where I am in this but I’ve come this far and will never relent. There are promises behind those walls. There are captives to be liberated and plunder to be regained. Everything that was stolen. And there is a devil to be defeated and cast into the lake of fire. We, the saints, are the chosen to defeat the enemy with our worship.

This is who we are. And you know what waits us now.... The sound of the Shofar... Stay tuned. That glorious moment is a head in our story. I love you my friends. Have a great week. Hugs, Lynn

 

I have so much to tell you about what is developing for our Walmart Prayer Day. It’s going to be so much more than I first glimpsed when God whispered this idea to me. I will have an update for you on Friday. But I need a prayer right now. 

I have called the store twice, paid a personal visit on Saturday trying to get a date booked on their community calendar. Would you pray that on Monday I am able to speak with Isabel and get this date finalized? Thank you for praying. …. And devil… You are not going to stop this so in the name of Jesus, Lord, please open up heaven above this store and let this date booking happen without further delay. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

*****

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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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NOW... That's a GOOD Word!

Hello Everyone. 

Today I’m going to do something a little different. I’ve been reading back through the notes I took at the conference last week. 

Wow!! SO GOOD! 

So, today I’m going to share some of them. I pray with the Holy Spirit power and anointing that these words are taken in through your eyes. Then they penetrate your heart. Then I’m asking the Holy Spirit to make them alive with power and authority and with love, joy and peace in your life. By the time you are finished reading, I’m hoping you’ve experienced an encounter with THE MOST HIGH. In Jesus name. 

--

White Open Door2014 is a year for the open door. There are doors standing open that God’s has made available to His people. Doors of new beginnings, Holy Spirit, Re-start, harvest, and we are to walk in and release the Kingdom of peace and joy.

It is a time of fire- Baptism of fire. The fire of holiness. We are in the beginning of the move of fire.

This year many will experience an increase in Words of Knowledge. God will release the Hope-Ambassadors in waves. It is a year of restoration. Stop and see the one person in front of us.

Only love can make a miracle. 

--

There will be a joining of the generations, young, old and in-between. We need each other’s voices in our lives and to join together for this great harvest. 

--

Bloodlines are being delivered. And promises that were made to your ancestors can be claimed in your generation. Promises that were caught up in corruption will be redeemed.

Our Jehovah Jireh: There will be a transfer of provision.

Women will be welcomed out of a place of suppression.

God is seeking those who wear a spirit of love. The measure of love in your heart, your ministry, is evident in how you love people who are paid to help you. Waitress, service industry, disenfranchised.

--

God doesn’t care about what you don’t have. He only cares about what we have. (He can bring great works and miracles from little when it’s surrendered to Him.)

You are more than your strengths. You are more than your weaknesses. Sometimes God causes us to work in our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9) God wants to use you in your weakness so that people know it’s God using you. 

--

There is a great wave of miracles coming in 2014.

When you read a story in the Bible it’s not just history. It’s meant to be lived. 

--

It’s time to ask for the nations as our inheritance.

(It’s time to ask for the SUMite Nation.)

John 5:19 See what the Father is doing and do likewise.

God is searching for Burning Ones. Zechariah 2:5; Who will bring encounters that bring the harvest. John 5:35

The merging of the generations is key to bring about the harvest and the anointing of power. Unity releases God’s fire.

Anointing comes when you have positioned yourself for it and when you have paid the price. Anointing can happen and it will. But it will stick to a person of character.

BE HUNGRY.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to You. Luke 3

Worship is more than songs. It’s posture and attitude of your heart. It’s recognizing God’s rightful place in your heart.

Thankfulness releases glory. Feel under attack? Start thanking God.

What is the fire of God? LOVE

When seeking God; He hates multitasking.

Half-hearted obedience is really cloaked rebellion.

Psalm 100:3 Troops will volunteer freely. (SUMites???) 

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How do you amplify God’s voice? Intimacy

It’s a sign of immaturity if God has to shout at you.

God has secrets Proverbs 22. God hides secrets for us and from us.

John 16:13 He will guide you into all truth.

Stay like a child.

Don’t think you know what you’re doing.

Always give Him the glory. Then I will use you.

2014 will be a year God’s people understand the AWE of God. 

-- 

Okay that’s plenty for now. I still have a ton of notes from one session that is about family. God’s family. I will write about that soon because…. That’s a good word! 

Lord, let these words fall upon the paths (hearts) that are open. Let them multiply thirty, sixty, a hundred times in their lives and the lives of others. Lord, may these words spoken by men and women who love you, rise up in us and may all that you desire and will be accomplished in this family and community of SUM. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

 

Speakers: James Goll, Chuck Pierce, Sean Boltz, Stacey Campbell, Jereme Nelson, Bobby Conners, Kris Vallatton

*****

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I've Been Corrected By God

Well my friends. This is a difficult post. 

I’ve been corrected by God. And now I must share with you what happened and why. As you know I’ve been on fire about kicking the enemy’s butt. And I have learned a lot about the spirit realm in which we contend and I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned in the last year. However, this morning I spent three hours with God and He clearly corrected me about taking this path. 

Let me explain. Several weeks ago I receive an email from one of the women who attended the Open Heavens conference with me last October. The email was written by Bob Hartley who was a prophetic speaker at the conference. So, this morning (Tuesday, January 28, 2014) I was up before 6:00 a.m. to spend time with my Papa and I was prompted to pick this email up (I have a printed copy in my Bible) and read it again. Every time I read these six pages of text I’m completely wrecked (in a good way) in the spirit. 

Today was no exception. But what I read today, corrected my spirit, and humbled me. I’m going to share a specific part of this email so you can understand the course of action I’m about to take: 

Bob writes: 

• The Lord said to all of us (His children) in a very kind but very firm tone, "Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it! Stop spreading this misery, this evil humidity that you have been spewing out that settles upon the mountains. If you cannot speak out of life, do not speak out of death. Look again from a better view, from My perspective. You are to get above the clouds. To fear Me is to see what I see."

• "It is harming, confusing and wounding My people...it puts My cities and nations under a dark cloud. It is speaking out of your own wounds...or your warfare, or your weariness, or your sense of rejection, or your isolation, or your disappointments, or your despair. I am bringing a healing model and restoring My joy to all those who have suffered pain in this life, and it is beautiful.

• "Let Me tell you how to fight with hope and love." (At this point He laughed and lightened the mood.) "Ask Me this, 'What would it be like if My servants simply focused on hope and love until the very end? What kinds of amazing solutions would I bring into this world?'"

• The Lord said, "Let's fight against this enemy together! I do not want both sweet and bitter waters to proceed from the same source. I do want to go with you! But follow Me with joy, love, hope, and adventure in your hearts. Band together and reveal to all 'The God of the Fifth Scene' and call them into the Hope Reformation...the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." (See James 3:11; Daniel 11:32.) 

Gulp. 

Immediately my spirit was chinked. God said to me, Lynn, “Stop it! I don’t want you or the House of SUM to focus on my enemy. Lynn, what would it be like if my servants simply focused on hope and love until the very end?” 

My friends, I write with tears in my eyes. I want to be the Hope-Restorer that helps my Father bring amazing solutions into our world. I want to be His child that bands together with others in the House of SUM to reveal to all, the God of the Fifth Scene (a scene of God high and lifted up of absolute light, power, love and hope) and to be strong… and to do exploits (astonishing adventures in His Kingdom). 

So my friends, I may disappoint you in that I am not going to write about spiritual warfare and bring any kind of recognition to the very real evil spirits of this world. God affirmed to me that yes, we do battle in these realms but what we need to know is two things. One, we battle FROM victory and not FOR victory. And two, we have already won because we have been equipped will all we need to win against every enemy, in every circumstance, every day. 

God reminded me that when I faced a very real demon who came into my room one night that I won that battle. In spite of the fact that I wasn’t mature in Christ. I barely knew anything about the spirit realm and all I had was my faith and scripture (2 Timothy 1:7) You can read that story here

After my three hours with God this morning where I cried, sang, spoke in tongues, prayed… wept in repentance…. I came home from my walk-n-pray and immediately called Dineen. We talked, marveled, reasoned and laughed as we spoke. We are absolutely certain about this change and that in this House, the House of SUM, we won’t ignore evil but we will teach and focus on what defeats evil every time. The joy, love, hope, and adventure of God. Worship of Him and His powerful Son and the wisdom of His voice, the Holy Spirit. We can and will write forever about these aspects of our Great King and never run out of words that prepare us and grow us and words that adore Him. 

My friends, you are reading this on Friday morning. And as you read this Dineen and I are going into day three of a four day Prophetic conference. We are expecting God to show up and lead us into these exploits. We don’t have a clue about most of what God is doing. We only have a heart full of love and a determined devotion to follow God through whatever door He opens. So, on Monday I hope to have heard God about where we are going next here at SUM. Today I don’t know but I’m excited because I know it will be the best, mind-blowing, heart-filled, adventure yet. 

Will you today do two things for me? Forgive me if you are disappointed. And today, ask God to reveal to you how you are to join this community to become Hope-Restorers and bring God’s joy, hope, love and adventure to our homes, our marriages, our cities, our nations, to the world. Share with me what that looks like for you. I really want to know. 

 

CONVERSATION:

So, what do you think about all this? Did God move your spirit? And what does it look like to you? 

IMG_1502[1]Dineen and I love you so much… SO, SO much. Forever and ever… eternally. In the name of Jesus.

*****

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I Would Sign Up Again - Unequally Yoked

Hello SUMites, 

LynnSUMprofile
Today I have a question for you. How many times have you set down in church and looked around the sanctuary at the couples seated together, husband and wife, and felt defeated, disappointed, and pain? 

I know this place of pain existed in my life for many years. And I really didn’t understand why God was ignoring my prayers and my pleas for the salvation of my husband. And why He didn’t see my pain and longing for a “normal” Christian home. 

That was until about two years ago and I heard a woman share her personal story and as I listened it changed everything. Today, I’m sharing this story with you so that you might understand a little more, about the heart of our Father, and His love for us, the unequally yoked. 

Two years ago I was part of the leadership team for our church’s annual women’s retreat. Prior to the retreat, the leadership team would meet once a week for eight weeks on a Wednesday evening and have Bible study together. Every other week, the team welcomed a guest speaker, an ordinary woman from our congregation. 

Well on this particular night, we welcomed Carol Mahaney. And Carol proceeded to tell her story. And it’s likely the rest of the women in the room were moved a bit by her story, but I was leveled to the ground, in my spirit. 

You see, Carol married her high school sweetheart. He was a believer. She was a believer. They attended church together every Sunday. They tithed, they studied the Bible, they prayed together, they were everything I dreamed and hoped and wanted for my own life. They raised two girls to adulthood as Christians. Carol said she had a wonderful life and she leaned on her husband for everything and she utterly adored him. She said she loved her church family she felt absolutely blessed by God. 

But in 2008, Carol’s husband unexpectedly died. She was devastated. Additionally this was the year that the economy crashed and as Carol had never managed her finances before, she was overwhelmed as her finances were in chaos. Devastated by grief and lost in a maze of paperwork, banking decisions and taxes, she hit bottom and there was no longer a husband to save her. 

Carol looked up and said, “That’s when I met Jesus.” 

I looked at Carol astonished. And I sat in my chair as my head reeled. Carol was 63 years old and she admits in front of all of us that she lived the Christian life with a believing husband for 63 years but at age 63 for the first time she met Jesus. 

What is so compelling about Carol story for me is that she had the life I thought I always wanted. She attended church with her husband, raising her kids in church, tithing, all things Christianeese but she really didn’t meet the King of Kings until she turned 63 years of age. She merely “played” church and her husband’s faith was enough for her…….. 

For 63 years….. 

Instantly, God moved my spirit. He made me realize that I could have lived a Christian life with a very shallow faith thinking I was doing all the right things but never truly “knowing” Christ. 

I know walking this unequally yoked journey is very difficult. I still have very difficult days. I struggle with my husband’s media choices, I still miss him by my side at church, etc. BUT I would choose this journey again over the life Carol had until age 63 because I truly know Jesus. 

I grieved for Carol because for 63 years she “lived” the Christian life or so it seemed. But it wasn’t until the death of her spouse on a personal crisis that brought her into of living vibrant relationship with Jesus. 

My friends, our difficulties are what God has given us to push us, pull us, help us to surrender and to seek Him out for rescue, and then to live in His Presence. As I think about Carol’s life and marriage, it isn’t worth it to have a marriage that is easy if it means that I live most of my life without truly knowing Jesus. 

I would sign up again for this unequally yoked thing, over 63 years of playing “church.” 

Now that is the love of our Father. And I’m convinced we will truly see that our challenging marriage is singularly, a divine assignment with generational ramifications, for not only us but our entire family and more people than we know. 

1 John 3:1  See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

I love you so much my friends. Today, don't doubt God loves you and that He has your life in His hands. Ask Him where you need to surrender and ask Him how to love Him more.

God is good and His ways are always best for His children. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Weekend Worship — Fish and Loaves

NotAloneImage6My friends, here I am again, most likely on the road again as you read this, taking Lynn back to the airport and then heading home. I'm sure my mind, spirit and heart are full and overflowing from the Open Heavens conference, and I look forward to sharing details! But for now I want to share what I'm learning in stunning clarity.

Here's another graphic we've created so if you would kindly repin or share however you feel led. And thank you again for your prayers and support for Lynn and I, our new book, this ministry and especially for each other! The SUMite community is a beautiful representation of how Jesus wanted the church to function for His name and glory.

You know, we talk easily about God's faithfulness and we believe it. But lately, I'm am stunned by it. Yes, I use that word twice in a row (a writing no-no), because there just isn't another word that fits right now.

I'm stunned. (Call the word police. I'm a gonner.)

With the smallest step of faithfulness on our part, God rushes in with His all-out and HUGE faithfulness. I struggle to comprehend it at times, because it is SO generous and so BIG.

He takes our small offerings of obedience, our prayers and even our dreams, and, like the fish and loaves Jesus used to feed the multitudes, He expands and multiplies them. He doesn't do this out of duty either. He does it out of His desire to delight us! To show us who He is in ALL His glory.

So, take a moment and let that sink in. Believe that your obedience is noticed and will be rewarded. Believe that your prayers have shot directly into our Savior's heart and He is moving as your intercessor right now. Believe that Abba is preparing and polishing your dreams so He can hand them back to you like sparkling jewels.

He's that good. He's that vast. He's that able.

I love you, my friends!
Dineen

*****

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God's Not Done with Us

19380103_sOn my trip home from Indianapolis, I sat next to an older couple on the plane. I could tell they'd been together for years in the way they worked together to figure out her pills. I offered my set of eyes, glad to help them choose the right one.

As we settle into our flight, I noticed his hand reach for hers. She rubbed his, then they continued to hold hands and settled into a nap.

My friends, as I sat next to them I was struck at the simplicity and sweet familiarity of their relationship. And I felt the strong affirmation of what we are working and striving toward here at S.U.M.

The long view. The big picture. And are we willing to walk the journey to get there?

I find so often our willingness hinges on whether or not we truly believe the truth of Romans 8:28 and if we are willing to trust God to be THAT GOOD in all areas of our lives.

I know we've talked about sacrifice here many times and I am walking this path right now in my own marriage. But I am discovering that as I let go of and "sacrifice" control of my needs, this releases an abundance of God's blessings like I have not experienced before. I’m learning to stop worrying about my provision and choose to trust God. I have chosen to walk this path as far as God wants me too. And I am astounded by the little things God has set in my path to provide for my needs.

And the people He has set in my path to bring them.

I shared last week that while I was in Indianapolis I had the amazing blessing of spending an hour with a fellow SUMite. I'd asked God before this conference for lots of divine appointments and He didn't disappoint. But this one blessed me so much—to sit with a sister in Jesus and share our hearts. And to discover again how similar our mismatched paths are and though we both are walking through some intense trials, we could rejoice and sit in awe of what God is doing through it all.

This is the sacrifice God calls to. To give our hearts—to Him. To relinquish control of our lives—to Him. To release the salvation of our spouse—to Him. To entrust our children—to Him.

We strain at the perceived enormity of our undertaking. We cry out at times at the seeming unfairness of what Abba asks. We yearn for deeper understanding. And there stands Jesus with His flesh and His blood poured out on our behalf, asking if we will truly taste and see that He. Is. Good.

My friends, we walk in the profound presence of God's kingdom in and around us. What we see with our human eyes and hearts is not the full picture. Will you trust Him with yours? Will you take a step of faith to the edge and ask Abba for all He has for you? Will you choose to stand even in that perceived chaos with the expectation that God will move mountains, oceans, hearts and feet on your behalf no matter how long it may take?

We stand at a pivotal time. God is moving people into places to carry and speak His truth in stunning unity. I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. Every person we meet and every place we go is an opportunity to either receive or share God's kingdom.

Time is short but God is long in His love. Join Him, my precious friends. Ask the Holy Spirit to put a hunger in you for more of Him. Ask for His presence daily and bask in it.

I am overwhelmed and stand in awe of His goodness. He has shown me that He hasn't forgotten me, nor is He through with me. Far from it actually. And I am so thankful because even though His work in me may pinch at times, I KNOW the outcome will be good and I will be more like Jesus on the other side. And I will be closer to Him—the lover of my soul and best friend of all time.

And this is true for you, dear ones. Abba hasn't forgotten you and He is far from through with you. Taste Him deeply and see just how good He truly is.

Love you so very much!
Dineen

Image credit: obencem / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

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Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part Three

NehemiahWall3SUMites, welcome to part three and the conclusion to this series. Again, I am so blown away by what God is speaking to us and by you, this amazing community! You have prayed for each other and given such precious words of encouragement to those in need. That is what the SUMite Nation is about and after all this rebuilding I do believe that is what we are in a way, an online nation. We are completely and totally God’s people here.

If you didn’t read parts ONE and TWO, please take a moment and read those first. That way you get the full picture. I can’t wait to see and hear about what God shows you, my dear friends. Please leave comments and reports, prayer requests and testimonies! Testimonies are faith builders. Even if you think it’s something small that you see God has done in you, your life, or your marriage as a result of these prayers, please share it. They are all gems to behold and share to glorify God. Now on the part three.

“Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, But when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors. — Nehemiah 9:27

(Let me make a special note here that the Hebrew word for compassion here originates from the same word for "womb." Then Nehemiah speaks of deliverers, which has the meaning of salvation and victory. God's delivery is likened to new birth! And that is what I am sensing is coming, a time of new birth and rebirth for so many.)

Oh Lord, we are humbled and overjoyed at Your good intentions and love for us! We love You so much! Your great compassion releases the power of Your hand and brings miracles, signs and wonders. Thank you, Lord Jesus! You paved the way for all of this with Your great compassion. Your death and resurrection brought the greatest miracle of all—SALVATION—and it continues beyond the cross, beyond us and to eternity! It is constant and finished!

Then the two choirs took their stand in the house of God. So did I and half of the officials with me; — Nehemiah 12:40

and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar. — Nehemiah 12:43

Oh Lord, such promises are ahead for us! Thank you, Lord! Thank you! Lord, forgive our unbelief and help us BELIEVE! Then let our joy be heard from afar as we rejoice in how You have brought us and our families to victory! Holy Spirit, help us to sing songs of praises to our King. Fill our children with Your joy and help us show them how to worship You, Abba! Let our voices and praises be a sweet aroma to King Jesus and what He has done for us!

What a glorious day and time to come, my friends! Ask, pray, and believe! God's favor and heart are for us. Now I want to pray for each of you:

Abba, I pray for a fresh anointing over every SUMite. I pray that You will release new gifts, new provision, new strength and prosperity over every single one of them. Lord, reveal and destroy every lie that keeps them from believing how much You love them and that You have given them every good gift. Destroy the lies that tell them they aren't worthy to serve You and replace it with the truth that they are Your precious sons and daughters who You have called specifically to You for such a time as this.

Destroy the lie that tells them their situation is hopeless and won't ever change and replace it with great hope and expectation in Jesus that is sprung from the very heart and purpose and miracle of His life, death and resurrection, because the power that did this now resides in us through Your Holy Spirit. And it is COMPLETE!

Holy Spirit, give each of my dear sisters and brothers in Christ clear discernment and recognition of Your voice. In the name of Jesus Christ, I break off anything over them that would block or hinder them from hearing Your voice. In the name of Jesus, I break the chains of addiction, of distraction, of deception and of fear. Chains are falling off and crumbling to the ground—we declare this in Your mighty and powerful name, King Jesus!

King Jesus, in Your name I pray against any and all plans the enemy has set up against each of them and this SUMite nation. Guard over us with Your warring angels. Surround us as we build and rebuild our lives, our marriages, and our families with our prayers, our faith and our love. I speak new levels of faith and strength and belief into every single one of us! We are Yours and You are ours!

Oh Abba, thank You, thank You, thank You. You are so good, so faithful, so full of love and compassion. We praise You now for all You are doing in our lives. We wait expectantly for You. In Jesus' mighty and holy name, amen!

My precious sisters and brothers in Jesus, I love you with the passion of Christ and consider it one of the greatest privileges and honors of my life to be on this journey with you. If there is something that you are specifically struggling with—to believe in, to let go of, to step out in faith—leave a comment. Let's continue to rally around each other and pray in our strength and power as a community who loves and worships God. If you are uncomfortable sharing on this forum, send an email to me directly at dineen@mismatchedandthriving.com.

And remember this: Each step of obedience brings an increase of faith. Our God's favor is upon us and He is fighting for us! Believe it!

Believing and praying with and for you!
Dineen

*****

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Weekend Worship — It Starts With a Willing Heart

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “ Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep." — John 21:15-17

933344_i_love_youI know I talked about this passage a while back, maybe even a couple years ago, but the depth of this interchange has deepened even more for me recently. Just to review, the first two times that Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, Jesus uses the Greek form agapao, which is a sacrificial love. And each time Peter replies with the Greek form, phileo, which is a brotherly love. The third and final time that Jesus asks this question, He switches to phileo, and again Peter replies with the same form.

I believe Jesus was asking Peter if he was ready to be sold out for Him, to love Jesus before anything else and to step fully into a life of faith and belief, to tend lambs and shepherd sheep. Jesus was speaking of people, of course. He was asking Peter to live his life sharing Jesus and helping others to know who the Great Shepherd really was.

Yet we see Peter hold back. I can only imagine how fear held him. How he may have judged himself a failure and untrustworthy based upon how he denied knowing Jesus three times, as Jesus had predicted.

What I also love about this passage is Jesus' patience and love for Peter. I believe Jesus switched to Peter's use of phileo to meet Peter right where he was. As if to say, "Okay, if that's what you feel you are capable of, let's start right there."

Such grace, such acceptance, such love.

I love Peter's story because it's my own. For a long time my own fear and feelings of insignificance kept me from saying a full yes to living my life for Jesus. I would get close but ultimately I clung to the last tendrils of self perceived control of my life. I was afraid of what Jesus would ask me to do. And afraid of how I would be perceived by those around me.

We know that we are God's children and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). The thing is, it's not just about being related to Jesus but having a relationship with Him. And He is so very trustworthy. He is patient and brings us along on this journey exactly like the master potter that coaxes and gently forms clay on a wheel to take form and purpose. And if you've ever done this, you know how the slightest pressure brings form, yet too much causes the piece to go out of balance and the potter must either attempt to correct the piece quickly or start over.

My friends, don't lose patience with yourself in this process. Jesus will bring you along exactly as He knows is best for you. Take another look at Peter. By the time we delve into the later chapters of Acts, he is moving and walking in the Spirit and by the time he wrote his letters he is completely sold out for Jesus.

Sometimes you may feel like you're doing everything you should yet inside, everything feels wrong. I've found those are the times that Jesus is cleaning the house—our heart. I discovered the hard way it's easier to work with Him by recognizing the issues He's dredging up, acknowledging them, then asking for forgiveness, healing, release, or for Him to change this area of your heart and life.

Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2), so it’s a part of our faith journey to grow and yield, to form and change to be more like our Creator. And when we step fully into this process with trust, we are transformed.

Since my encounter with God at Bethel Church last October, my own faith journey has exploded and I know there is no way possible I could have done any of it on my own. I never even imagined the possibilities of where God would take me when I asked for more. I was tired of feeling like an ineffective Christian and tired of myself. I knew there had to be more to this faith journey, and I wanted more!

And it is an amazing journey full of fun and delight! Yes, there are times that I quake in my boots when God calls me to stop and talk to a complete stranger, which winds up being either a time to encourage, share Jesus, or pray with them. But I always walk away awestruck and so full of God's love, because I am walking in the Spirit.

There is no better place to be, my friends! This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said He came to not only give us life but give it abundantly. This is what He wants for you too. And the absolutely and only requirement is to have a willing heart. Doesn’t matter where you are coming from, because Jesus is more interested in where He wants to take you.

When the Holy Spirit gives you that nudge, just say yes, then do what He asks. That's it. The results and outcome are not up to you. He already has that covered, just like He did for Peter.

Trust Jesus and take a step of faith. As you do this more, you will find that your fear will turn into anticipation as you begin to look for your next divine appointment. You won’t want to miss a single one—that’s my prayer now, “Lord, don’t let me miss a divine appointment.”

My precious SUMites, I want you to fully experience this kind of life and I am asking Jesus to meet each of you right where you are. Share in the comments how Jesus is meeting you and what He’s asking you to do. Now is the time to stand strong in prayer over each other because God is calling us up as a community to be part of His Great Harvest. I don’t want any of you to miss out on a single bit of it!

Love you with the passion of Jesus in my heart! 

Dineen

And now for some worship!

*****

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Weekend Worship — Lay Me Down!

My precious Sumites, I love this song by Chris Tomlin because it's about the surrendered life and the JOY of living like we belong to Jesus. Because we do! We are His and He is ours. This is also what Scripture means when it says, "the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Neh. 8:10.)

When we walk in this place of surrender and obedience, we know freedom, joy and peace. To the world it makes no sense, but we know better, don't we? And oh, my spirit longs to share this with everyone! We want everyone to know our amazing healer and comforter, Jesus. Especially in light of the horrible events this past week.

We have the Holy Spirit and God is calling us to share Him! Have an amazing weekend, my dear sisters and brothers in Jesus. May His presence fill and rest upon you, may His blessings rain down over you and your family and may His strength, courage, love, power and authority reign supreme in your life!

We adore You, Jesus! Amen!

Love you so much, my friends!
Dineen

 

*****

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