5 posts categorized "Open Door"

How Do You "Speak" God?

MouthMy friends, as I listened to a very gifted teacher at my recent healing rooms training I attended teach about our words, I knew right away this applied to our "how do we hear God" series, thus my title "How Do We "Speak" God?" It seems the natural progression, as Scripture says what we hold in our heart is what comes out of our mouths.

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. — Luke 6:45 NLT

God's Word also says we are created in His image, therefore we are creative beings, like our Creator. We just have different ways of expressing that creativity. God's Word shows the power of His words to create, bless and curse. And as image bearers of Christ, we are warned about the power of our very own words to give life or death:

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. — Proverbs 18:21 NIV

The more I walk this path of faith and understand the importance of studying God's Word to put truth into my heart so that it will flow from my mouth, the more aware I have become of the words I think and speak throughout my day. Our thought life is a very powerful entity, one that when full of lies and not controlled, leads to bad decisions and hurtful words. This is the heart of where our words pour out, so we must guard our hearts and minds well.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. — Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Think about that verse for few minutes. I intentionally chose the New Living Translation because of the last part of its wording—determines the course of your life. That also means it can determine the course of our marriages, of our relationships with our children, our friends, our co-workers, etc.

Let me say that again. What we choose to think and speak can determine the course of our marriages, my friends. And let me tell you, that is powerful. I will never forget the day I stood in my husband's home office and realized the words I just spoke had created a negative atmosphere between us. The thought hit me—most likely the Holy Spirit—that if I didn't change my heart and my words, my marriage would fail.

That's when God began opening doors for me to the resources I needed—books like Beloved Unbeliever and a small group for the spiritually mismatched. It started with my recognition of need and God's answer to that prayer. You are a part of the SUM family for the very same reasons. God knows your need, wants you and your marriage to thrive and has answered your prayer with support, resources and encouragement from this amazing "church without walls."

My friends, as God changed my heart, my words began to change. What I spoke to my husband became more about edification and unity. The Holy Spirit worked very hard, I'm sure, to help rein in my tongue that had learned the wrong kind of fruit to bear. And guarding my heart is something I must do constantly for I know who is prowling around with the intent to destroy my family (John 10:10). You know that too.

I once heard a woman speaking to her husband at a grocery store that brought home this truth in such a powerful way. That not only do our words "speak" but also our tone. I am sure the Holy Spirit placed me there that day to see this picture, because I've never forgotten it. With each contempt filled word, this man's head sunk lower and lower.

SUMites, we have the choice each day to use our words to build up or tear down. I have come to the place now where I am constantly looking for ways to build up my husband and our marriage. The amazing thing is this has increased my gratitude for my husband and our marriage dramatically, which has drawn him closer to me and brought more opportunities to share my faith with him. And I am eating the fruit of this in ways I never even thought possible. As a child of multiple divorces, this has changed me profoundly—in a wonderful, God-intended way. Thank You, Jesus!

And this has rippled into every area of my life. My relationships with family, friends and even strangers. This is how we become these open doors for the Kingdom of God to burst through, carrying the love of Jesus. That just blows my mind to a whole new realm. How about you?

My friends, share how you have used your words to bring change to your life, your marriage, your family, etc. Let's encourage and inspire one another right here with our words. SUMites, I've seen you in action and you are GOOD at it!  

I have a special post for Thursday in honor of Easter. I am also flying back to California on Thursday to help my daughter move and help my hubby get our house there ready to be sold (Sniffle. That house was a true gift and blessing from God, as is our new one we are building—more on that soon!)

I intend to continue this speaking series next week to expound upon the power of our words as we speak Scripture and God's promises over our lives and marriages. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help me do justice to that post! That could be an entire book right there. 

I love you, my friends. I believe in you and your hearts for your marriages. I stand with you in prayer for your marriages to be healed, to be restored and to be places of prosperity and thriving. And I am standing with each and every one of you for the SALVATION of your spouse and loved ones. That is my heart for you and the Father's too (2 Peter 3:9)!
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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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Disappointment -Part II

Proverbs 3 5 6Job Loss

Financial ruin

Divorce

Death

Years of sitting in church alone.

Disappointment, fear, anxiety

Rejection, pain, confusion…….. sadness

Whether we know it or not, following an unexpected disappointment, we will find ourselves at an intersection. Before us lies two paths and we choose which one to walk down. Faith or doubt. And In mid-June I was turning down a path that was purposely cultivated by the devil. My confusion turned to distrust and out of my pain I allowed an oppressive spirit access through an open door to my life.

Sigh!

Even my husband noticed I was in a really bad place.

I wrestled with, “Why Lord?” Anyone?

And once I allowed that demonic oppression in, it was hell to kick it back out of my life. (A post for later. I want you to know how to do the same.)

My friends, I will own my failings in this moment. Because what I needed to do is to focus on two “Key Truths” that I know deep within my heart.

  1. My God is good. Always!
  2. I have a lifetime (years and years) of experiencing the faithfulness of God.

It bugs me that I caved to doubt in a moment of confusion. And can I just restate very clearly. My disappointment was not about being published. Not at all. I was struggling with a lie the enemy was telling me. He wanted me to believe that God told me to do something and then He pulled the rug out from under me. The root lie: God is not good nor is His Word reliable. Just to be clear, I’m truly not needing affirmation of a published book. This was much deeper.

Even before all this went down in June, I began to hear the Holy Spirit speak this verse to me. It came in the middle of the night with whispers in my dreams. I would wake with the verse on my lips. This verse arrived in email. It was in the articles I read online. It came through many different venues.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight —Proverbs 3:5-6 (1984 NIV version. This is how I memorized it.)

God knew what was coming. He was preparing me. And because of this verse, it made it so much easier to flee the path of doubt and return to my vibrant faith walk.

But how do we pull ourselves out of the pit? I was truly under demonic oppression. I remember walking around the park and all of a sudden a great wave of sadness settled over me. I knew in the moment exactly what it was, I allowed this demonic spirit access. And even though I didn’t want it near me, I had to fight against it with all that I am.

My friends, to start climbing out of our oppression, we need prayer partners. People who will hold us up. We need community and we need people in our lives who really know us, the good, bad and ugly. We must be in transparent and authentic community. I have several people I reached out to and those women held me before the throne. They dragged my sorry butt with them every day in their intercession. They picked up my broken heart and placed it before Jesus with tears and pleading.

I THANK GOD for the Saints. I don’t often need this kind of prayer support but I’m so grateful God gave me prayer warriors. And you can bet that I have been on the other end interceding for many. I have interceded for so many of you my SUMite friends. I bring your brokenness before our Jesus with tears and pleading. I really do. And I count it a privilege to do so. And I will NEVER stop praying for those who call SUM home.

In addition, we need to have cultivated a strong faith walk over the years in order to persevere through trials. We must remember a lifetime of faithfulness and begin to give thanks, even in the confusion.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-8

Sometimes we won’t receive an explanation, at least right away. But I have experienced 30 days of life full of pigeons instead of The Dove. And can I just say….. That kind of life, well, it sucks.  

On Friday, I will share with you how I battled for my faith and how you can too.

I want to be the voice for your life today and encourage you to take a step out of fear, pain, disappointment then determine yourself to choose to remember and trust the faithfulness of God and reject the lie of doubt.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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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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Reflecting Back on 2014 and Moving Forward into 2015

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He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. — 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV

The devotional for December 29th in The Listening Heart brought me back to this verse that I'd highlighted earlier in the year. And a sweet moment of revelation entered in with it. I thought back over this year that started out so difficult that I wondered at times how I would endure and what would I look like on the other side, and the full reality of this truth came full circle.

Anything our Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor calls us to co-labor with Him to do, He will surely do it. There can be no doubt there because that begs the question: 

Why would God call us to a place and not complete what He said He would do?

That's not His way, nor His character. Anything He has ever asked you to do, pray, think and believe has been for a reason—to benefit you at the very least and to bless others at the very most.

As I thought of 2014 and where I started to where I sit now, all that Abba spoke to my heart in those dark and light moments have come or is coming to pass. He has and is doing what He has said He would do. I merely chose to believe, to step out a little more boldly in faith, even when it didn't make sense. I chose to quit trying to make sense of it and simply trust God.

Every year I ask Abba Father for a word and Scripture for myself, my husband and daughters. My word for 2014 was "chosen" (now also the title of a book He is calling me to write). This year has been all about deeper intimacy with God, shedding lies and more fully embracing my identity in Christ. Many of us have walked in this place and now I dare to say that this isn't merely a year's goal but in full revelation the high calling to all of God's children—to seek God, to pray continuously, to wait upon Him.

It's all about our relationship with Him. Not to Him, but with Him.

And now we are about to enter 2015. I'm praying for those words and Scriptures as I reflect upon the ones from this year and what God has so faithfully done. 

  • For my oldest daughter Rachel and her husband Keith, their word was "faithfulness," to God and to each other. I've prayed this over them all year and watched their marriage continue to flourish and I even had the chance to talk to my son-in-love about worship this Christmas and what it meant to him. I learned even more about this young man's heart for God and again I am so grateful for God's faithfulness to my prayers for the "right man" to be my daughter's husband.
  • For my youngest daughter Leslie, her journey this year has been about humility and restoration, for "all things to be made new." I've watched this young woman who has endured so much step into her life and begin living it in fullness and independence. Astonishing...to think I wondered in the past if this was even possible for her.
  • For my husband...I still don't understand the full ramifications of what God gave me for him this year, but I've prayed faithfully. I believe in my heart, in my soul and deep in my spirit that 2015 will be the year of "turning" for him. The divine connections I've prayed for him are being revealed through the holes punched in his unbelief. I don't see this yet, I don't see the washing of his eyes "in the pool of Siloam" (John 9:7), but I believe he will soon "return seeing" and believing. And I do see God moving and working around him.

My friends, as we prepare for our week of fasting and praying, I encourage you to look again at all God has done for you in 2014. Ask Him to show you. You most likely will be encouraged, affirmed, and/or astonished. Sometimes we miss things.

And begin asking Him for what He has in store for you for 2015. How God communicates this to you may be very different than He does to others, so be sure to remain open to that. It doesn't have to be a specific word or Scripture. It could be an object, an image, or even an impression. Be assured that He will communicate it in a way to you that is specific to your heart and need. Don't compare to others, just receive what He has for you. It will be so much better that way.

Dear one, God has called you to this place for such a time as this. He will surely do what He has promised you. Trust Him even if you don't completely understand it all and wait on Him to move (Psalm 37:7). He will surely do it. 

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. — Psalms 62:1 ESV

We are about to embark on an amazing journey for 2015. I feel it so deeply in my spirit that it permeates my physical being with excitement. I believe 2015 will be a great year for each of us individually and as a community. We will be more united that ever and will see breakthroughs, promotions and salvations as we have never seen them before. God is standing at the door of this community as a whole and knocking with one hand as His other is fully loaded with all His goodness, gifts, grace and so much more, ready to give it to us in abundance. 

Our fast next week will be preparation for 2015—what is to come. So let’s get ready. In the comments share what you are sensing and expecting in your spirit, what you are asking Abba Father for, what you want prayer for. And if you have a story to share about how He moved in you and your loved ones through past fasts, please share that as well. More than ever before, God is calling us to share our testimonies. The enemy wants to shut us up, but from this day forward and into all of 2015, it is our time to be heard! 

My precious friends, I’m so excited and joy-filled to be on this adventure with you and with God. I know He’s about to blow us away with all He has in store for us.

Love you all so much,
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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 Promise For The Unequally Yoked

Matthew 12 21
Good morning my friends: I know this is a crazed time of year. I pray you are getting enough rest and finding the Lord is your strength. 

Let’s pick up on our letter that the Lord has assigned to our community. Revelation 3. Remember we considered the open door that has been swung wide for us which cannot be shut. Now is the last half of verse eight: I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 

This statement alone can bring tears to my eyes. Perhaps you are like me. There were days in my early years of marriage where it seemed as though it would have been easier to deny my faith in front of my husband than to stand and fight the onslaught of arguments and efforts for me to defend Jesus. 

I remember reading this last year and it was as if Jesus, Himself, stood before me. He reached out to touch my face and speak these words to me. I know that you have little strength, (You feel weak and attacked and uncertain and weary) Yet, Lynn, you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 

Most people don’t understand just how difficult it can be to stand for faith in the face of persecution from your own spouse. Now I know the word persecution pales when we consider what is happening to believers in different parts of the globe who are murdered for their faith. But, it is emotional pain and heartbreak when your best friend on earth persecutes you and your Jesus to your face. 

BUT, Jesus bears witness to “our” faithfulness and the next verse came to me as Christ’s reward for standing for Him in the face of the intimidation. 

Verse 9: I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 

When I read this the Holy Spirit compared these Jews to the unbelievers who have stood against us. Now, I don’t think that our pre-believers belong to the synagogue of satan but let’s be clear. You are living in one camp or the other. If you aren’t a believer in Jesus, by default you fall into the enemy’s camp of bondage. The Holy Spirit impressed me by whispering, “Lynn, one day all of the spouses will fall down at their spouse's feet and acknowledge my name, Jesus and how I has loved you.” 

Our unbelieving spouses will “know” the truth. Do I understand when and how this will happen? I don’t. But it appears important to Jesus that we know this will happen. And that our reward for our faithfulness will impact our spouses. 

To further this reward, Jesus states to us: Verse 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. 

Whoa! What a promise. My friends, WHAT A PROMISE! 

On Monday, I will finish up with the amazing promises that are written to this church. Sometimes I feel very privileged and special in the Kingdom because I have walked this unique walk of the unequally yoked. 

See you Monday. Merry Christmas. I’m off to work on Christmas Cards. I hope to get them in the mail before Christmas Eve. I love you my family. I’m praying for your miracle this year. Hugs, Lynn

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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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Jesus Has Opened A Door For Us, The Unequally Yoked!

Hi SUM Nation: 

Revelation 3 7Almost every time I speak and often here on the web, I talk about my Daily Bible. I know I have recommended it to so many of you as a place to start a daily quiet time with the Lord. Well, if your Daily Bible is in sync with mine, you are going to open to a passage today that I believe is a message specific to us. It’s powerful, amazing and filled with promise. (December 12, 2014) 

I remember reading this very passage last year, overwhelmed and teary, as I heard the Lord whisper to me, “Lynn, this is for you.” And for some reason, I peeked ahead in my reading this morning and read tomorrows passage in Revelation and the powerful implications came flooding back to my memory. And I heard the Lord again say, “Lynn this is for you and this year it is for the SUM community faithful.” 

Wow. 

I want to share it with you and explain how the Holy Spirit has intended these words and their power to our lives, the unequally yoked. It’s very specific to us in our unique marriages. 

Ready? 

Revelation 3:7 (Never in a million years would I have thought I would be teaching from the book of Revelation. But here goes.) 

To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. 

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 

I want to walk you through a few things here. 

Recently I had a dream where I was standing before the Lord and He handed me three keys. They were old keys, skeleton keys of bronze. I remember waking up and wondering what are these keys and what are they for? Several weeks later the Holy Spirit took me to a passage in the bible and I knew immediately what theses keys of the Kingdom were. 

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit —Romans 14:17 

This was a specific response to my dream. And ever since then, I’m fascinated about the Keys to the Kingdom and Keys that are mentioned in the Bible. In fact, I wear three skeleton keys on a long chain with some of my outfits lately. 

If you notice in the first verse another key is referenced. 

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. 

So what is the Key of David? And even more fascinating what does this key lock or unlock? 

The only other reference is in Isaiah 22:22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 

My research and study guides indicate that this key represents the entrance to the Kingdom. Now think upon this; we have a list of Christ’s character which is holy and true. That is pure and trustworthy and then we discover Jesus hold the political key, absolute rule. And now this is only my supposition, but can you walk with me here a minute. 

Our Savior, Jesus, who is holy, true and powerful stands before us. My friends He holds the key to something and if you read further along….. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 

I remember feeling overwhelmed at this thought at the sheer power, awe and majesty. And to take this to a Holy mind-blow. Jesus says, “I know your deeds.” Verse 8 

So let me give you the context of what I believe Jesus saw in me and what he sees in the spouses of the unequally yoked. Faithfulness. A relentless praying woman who comes every morning before the throne asking for the salvation of her husband. He sees a spouse who chooses to love even when all of her/his needs are not being met. He sees a man or woman who chooses to forgive over taking offense, even when it’s justified. He sees a wife who chooses grace over anger. A husband who chooses joy instead of frustration. Spouses who are faithful to bring their children to church and to serve the homeless the less fortunate.

Even more than our faithfulness to our spouse, children and people. He sees our growth, our hunger, our faithful obedience. He sees every little deed. 

Faithfulness, my friends

Jesus sees our deeds of faithfulness and it moves his heart. Our love and faith move him to the point where He takes this Key. This powerful Key to the Kingdom and unlocks and opens a door. And what is further astounding is what Jesus does next. Listen in, “See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” Verse 8 

Say what????? 

Do you know what this means my SUM family??? Can you comprehend what is happening in our community? And I believe Jesus has opened more than one door for us, The Faithful. 

I have so much more to say on this and I will share it with you on Monday. 

What I want you to do today is read this passage in your own Bible and ask the Lord, “What door have you opened for me Lord that cannot be shut?” 

This passage gets better and better. Stay tuned because it’s amazing. The Word of God is powerful and it NEVER FAILS…. Believe my friends. This is the season to believe. And let’s find out what this open door is all about.

I love you. I really love you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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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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