What Our Kid's Think - Part II

Survey with WMToday, I want to answer more questions that were asked through our survey: Laurie F. asked:

Q: I would love to know how adult children who grew up in mis-matched homes feel about all of the things we deal with. (Going to church and activities only with mom, not being able to pray/sing/share at home when Dad's around, worrying that Dad is not going to Heaven, etc.) I would also like to know how to answer my daughter's constant questions about those same topics.

The following is an informal Q&A between me and my daughter, Caitie, age 22:

ME: Do you worry about your Dad’s salvation?

Caitie: Yes, I worry. I do understand that my Dad is very stubborn, and he has made his choice. And yes, I’m sad about it. But I have given it over to God.

ME: Do you still pray for his salvation?

Caitie: Yes. I found it interesting that when I attended BIOLA (Christian University) and the subject of parents would come up, it would make others uncomfortable to talk about my parents differing faiths.

ME: That’s interesting. I didn’t know that. Why would it make them uncomfortable?

Caitie: Because most of the students came from two-parent believing homes. (This is true of our church experience.) It was difficult to talk to others about it and my friends would avoid talking about the challenges about being a kid in a mismatched home. However, my close friends and I would talk about it. Mom, every home has challenges. One of my roommates struggled with Father issues and he was a believer.

ME: Many, many people struggle with “Father” issues. I know that I have in the past. The devil works tirelessly to destroy the “Father.” When earthly fathers fail, it destroys our perception of a loving heavenly Father who loves and has only goodness for His kids.

Caitie: That’s true.

ME: Did you ever feel uncomfortable around your Dad about being a believer?

Caitie: No, not about my faith. Again, he was good about not stifling me and my belief. What was uncomfortable was the arguments between the two of you.

ME: Ouch. You know that most of our arguments weren’t actually about faith. It was just the dynamic and our own unhealed wounding from our childhoods, right? We’ve talked about that before.

Caitie: Yes, Mom. I do.

ME: But what is really cool, Caitie, is that your dad and I are still growing. Even after 25 years of marriage we are still finding healing and understanding. And I have prayed that all the mistakes, missteps, and the iniquity of our blood lines, are not passed along to you and your brother. I have faith that your future relationship will be free from some of the things we started with in our marriage.

Caitie: I know mom. Okay, I’ve gotta go study. I love you.

ME: Love you baby girl. Bye

*****

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Q&A From The SUM Survey (What Our Kid's Think)

Survey with WMToday I want to answer another question that came from the SUM survey. Laurie F. asked:

Q: I would love to know how adult children who grew up in mis-matched homes feel about all of the things we deal with. (Going to church and activities only with mom, not being able to pray/sing/share at home when Dad's around, worrying that Dad is not going to Heaven, etc.) I would also like to know how to answer my daughter's constant questions about those same topics.

So, I decided to call my daughter, Caitie, age 22 who now lives in Indiana. I asked her these questions and here is her response. She gave me permission to share.

I asked Caitie: So how do you feel now that you are an adult and can look back upon your childhood, about going to church?

A: Mom, many of my perceptions and answers are specific to our individuality and family dynamic. (She’s a Com major, grin.) Because I have a great relationship with my father, I’ve never felt stifled about faith. I didn’t feel shame and, so I didn’t need to make intentional decisions to hide my faith. I do know and understand that is something that other kids have to walk through. And it must be very challenging.

I did feel a weird pressure to attend church. Dad would only go to church when I went to church. When I didn’t go (once in a while in high school when she was in a play, etc.) I would feel personally responsible to attend. I felt pressure to create some magical family ideal, all of us sitting together as a family, in church. I felt responsible to you, Mom to make you happy.

ME: I said to Caitie, you know that we have discussed this before and I have asked forgiveness for issues or events that made you feel responsible when you weren’t. And I also appreciate your love and heart for doing that for me, even if it was not a perfect situation.

Caitie: When I went away to college, that was when I began to attend church for myself. And I knew it was for me. I loved my church. And I’m still searching for a good one now in my new location.

ME: Caitie, finding church, as an adult, it is also true of families with two believing spouses. Many kids raised in church go because it’s their parents church. They move away and then they attend church for themselves. (Inset note from ME, Lynn. This is one reason we fight, insist, and work diligently to take our children to church. It’s important and it sticks when they are older.)

Caitie: Yes, that’s true.

ME: Caitie, don’t give up on church. The enemy does this to so many people. It’s difficult to find the right church and you must try out several, sometimes many, before you find the right one. And it’s exhausting to keep visiting churches. The devil knows this and will influence you to go to every “wrong” church so that you simply give up and stop attending. DON’T GIVE UP.

Caitie: I won’t.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6

Next week I’ll share more of my daughter’s responses. I hope this encourages all of you who are raising your children in faith.

Next question: Do you worry about your Dad’s salvation?

*****

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Spending Time in the Secret Place

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It’s fast approaching the Christmas season when life can get especially busy. In addition, for we in mismatched marriages can have extra challenges as a result of a desire to intentionally reflect on the reason for the season. Jesus. Whether it’s attending gatherings with the church girls (or blokes), the various services our Church’s hold or even decorating our houses with symbols of our faith, we can all get a little self-conscious of doing things that our partners may not enjoy. And not to mention that we may be away from the house more often which can cause stress.

Often due to our busyness our time spent with the Lord may wane. There are only so many hours in the day, right?

The Secret Place

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 NKJV)

 The Lord loves spending time with us. Often we think due to life’s demands spending time with our partners and family is the best solution, if only to keep the peace. But I’ve come to realize in fact that the best option is to spend time in the secret place.

“All fruitfulness flows from intimacy.” (Heidi Baker)

Check out the second sentence in the verse above: “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” The Message says “… and you will begin to sense his grace.” 

Reward. Grace. Yes, please.

I know this might be hard to read especially if home is a bit of a battlefield at the moment but I’ve learnt (and I’m sure Lynn, Dineen and others would also vouch for it too) that it’s in experiencing that intimacy with Jesus that peace does indeed come in our houses. Sometimes quite miraculously.

But the reward and/or grace shouldn’t be our motivation for spending time with God. Rather intimacy with Him. To know Him better and His deep deep love for us.

Listening to the Word

I mentioned in my comment to Dineen’s post last week that I sensed the Lord was drawing me back to His Word. My Bible study has been a little bit all over the shop in the past few months and I sensed the Lord saying to me to spend quality time in it. In John, specifically.

But before I dived into John I started reading a book on Lectio Divina that is a practice of enhanced listening and receptivity to what the Lord wants you to hear when reading His Word. I don’t want to spend time discussing the practice but more encourage you to read this passage from Hosea. Slowly. And mindfully. And receptively. And meditatively. With open hears as well as eyes.

Firstly, get somewhere quiet. Allow yourself 15 minutes, longer if you can. I appreciate those of you with little kiddies even that small amount of time can be difficult to get but I hope you might be able to grab it somehow.

Settle your heart. Take a few deep breaths so you can slow your mind down.

Ask the Lord to come close.

And read these verses twice over. Ideally, out loud. And slowly. And listen. What words jump out at you? Don’t worry if nothing does. The Lord works differently with all of us.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’;
    you will no longer call me ‘my master.’

I will betroth you to me forever;
    I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
    in love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
    and you will acknowledge the Lord. (Hosea 2:14-16,19-20 NIV)

 

Now read the passage again and allow those words, phrases that grab you to fuel your imagination. Picture yourself with the Lord. Let the words speak even more deeply to you.

Share your thoughts with the Lord and if relevant connect your meditations to what’s happening in your day. Try to take your reflections with you through the day.

I hope you found this useful and I encourage you to continue the exercise with whatever your current Bible reading plan is. Perhaps reduce the number of verses you read a day and spend longer on fewer verses.

Dear loving Father, take us all further into the secret place that we might know your heart so that our lives can bring your glory. In Jesus name. Amen.

Love to read how you found it and what you heard the Lord saying to you. Please share it in the comments below if you are willing.

Grace and peace,

*****

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Advice To Those Who Are Dating An Unbeliever - Please Share Your Thoughts.

Rings SUM logo 10 2017SUMites, did you read some of the comments from last Monday’s post about friendships? Man, o man…. Good stuff. And you know what I loved most about the thread of conversations?

The LOVE. The love, compassion and caring in those words to one another. Thank you. Bless you!!!

So, I want to do this again today:

I often receive emails from men and women who are contemplating a relationship or marriage to an unbelieving partner. Answering these emails is not as easy as you might think.

Firstly, the writer has been in the relationship for a significant period of time. Translation: She is already in love. She feels a commitment and her heart and life is fully engaged with this man.

Secondly: Most who write me were raised in faith and they already know what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14.

Third, they are seeking hope that their marriage will make it.

Let me share with you that I never write back condemningly. I was there once. I married my unbelieving spouse when I knew it was wrong. I knew what the Bible said.

But, I also think that if they could see what marriage and day-to-day living is really like when the “Honey Moon” phase ends and children arrive, they might be surprised.

So, today, would you share, with a loving and compassionate heart, your (prayer or observation) of the struggle you have faced in your mismatched marriage. Would you also share how God met you there and helped you through it or how He is helping you through it now?

Make time to do this in the comments. It may change a life or marriage, even another SUM reader because you share how to walk through the challenge in victory.

I will start:

To my dear Sister in Christ. I know your heart and I also believe that love can overcome much and change the hearts of many. God has changed my heart. I also believed before marriage, that once my fiancé and I were married, it would be less than a year that he would discover Jesus and come to faith. My dearest sister that was more than 25 years ago.

I can’t tell you that you should or shouldn’t marry someone. You must take that question to the Lord, Jesus. But I can tell you that there are two common issues that become quite large and painful that you are likely to walk through in the years of a mismatched union.

Loneliness. You will do many things alone. You will feel alone often because of your different world views. Loneliness in marriage is a difficult path to walk out. It can be done with the love of Christ alive in you. But it is not the ideal of marriage and God wants for His children.

Children: I found that so much of my angst, fear and discord in marriage arrived when we had children. You will face the reality that their salvation and church experience will rest completely upon you. Can you stand up under that full responsibility? This will be a difficult road to navigate in your marriage and with your children who need spiritual guidance.

Today, I bless you to be filled with the love of God and that you seek His face for the destiny He has prepared for you. I believe that God chose a perfect spouse for each person who wants one. I pray you seek His face first and the right person will come to you. In Jesus name. AMEN

SUMites, share your wisdom. Share it kindly and share your life experience with difference to a young heart who needs love and honesty. Love, Lynn

*****

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Love Is A Power

Greatest of These LoveThe greatest of these is love…. 1 Corinthians 13:13

I’m discovering something new about love.

Which is weird because my life’s pursuit is love.

….love of the Father.
….my husband, children and family.
….love of God’s people.

But in the past few weeks the Holy Spirit has revealed something I didn’t understand before now.

LOVE affects everything!

Love, of course, impacts people. It is what triumphs over heartbreak and is our healing. Love is our legacy and our future. But I’m discovering something utterly astonishing about love in this season.

Love is a power.

Love can change anything and everything. (Ya, you might be yawning here because you already know this, right? Tell me something I don’t know, right?)

I’ve discovered how love not only affects my human relationships but also my car, my pets, my city, well just about everything I set to purposely love.

Let me explain. Over the past several months, I began to grumble about my car. It’s more than 10 years old and I would really like to buy another one. But alas, the finances aren’t there. So, the more I grumbled, mainly to myself and my husband, the more problems incurred with my little red car. First, the transmission, then some weird and unexplained popping and clanging on the freeway, tow truck needed. (Ya, that was fun ☹) After a transmission repair and a thousand dollars later, still more problems. Thus, more grumbling.

What is also interesting is that up until a few months ago, I loved my car. After 10 years of driving, it still ROCKED, at least in my mind. It was fast (I may have a lead foot *grin*.) It remained “cool” in my eyes and I loved driving it.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I recognized all the grumbling and stopped. I began to love my car again. I thought it was “cool” once more. I would get in and bless it.

Guess what? I just returned from a road trip to visit my son in Nevada…. Absolutely no problems. It’s perfectly fine now.

Weird..

But wait, there’s more.

My city. I have lived in Temecula for nearly 20 years, but I have never truly thought of this town as mine. My home, my place, my people, my city. While out on a walk n pray God said, “Lynn, love your city. All of it. Not just the people you know.”

Wow, unhuh!

I began to pray during my walk n pray over my city. I would pray with faith, “I love my city. I bless the businesses, the government, the schools, the open spaces. I bless the children and families. I LOVE THIS CITY. It is beautiful in its uniqueness. I love this town. I am thankful to live here and serve this community.”

I prayed with a genuine heart. You know what? Something happens when you pray out loud with love as a power. All of a sudden, I truly DO love my city. I’m so thankful to be placed here and live here. And you know what happened next, God began to bless me with opportunities I’d never had before in my own city.

I will be writing devotions now for our local newspaper.

I am blessed to love on my city now through words of faith and love in our newspaper. Say what?????

My SUMite Sisters and brothers, I ask you. What do you need to love? Whom do you need to love? What are you grumbling against that actually could be changed through the power of love?

Everything changes when the substance of love is applied.

Our faith will be rewarded in eternity. Hope, will be realize when we walk through the gate, eternal. We will no longer need to tarry in faith and hope….. But LOVE. We will live in love forever.

Faith, hope and love in these we abide. But the greatest of these is LOVE!

*****

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The Year of Promises

IMG_0512Hello, SUMites! Wow…what a joy to be with you today…I’m just taking a moment to drink in God’s presence here and being with you again. Lynn asked me to share an update, specifically about my recent anniversary, and I was thrilled to do so. What I didn’t expect was the rest of the story God wanted me to share with you…

September 5th marked Mike’s and my 30th wedding anniversary. That truly blows my mind when I think about it, because the generations of my family are marked with multiple marriages (per person) that resulted in divorces. I give God all the glory, my friends. His love and blessings are the catalyst behind the unity, love and peace I have in my marriage, which are the fruit resulting from partnering with God to cultivate and protect my marriage. We are not only partners with our spouse but also with God for that very reason and outcome.

To celebrate our anniversary, Mike and I planned a vacation to drive to Vermont to see the Autumn colors. Do you remember the dream list Lynn encouraged us to make a while back? I stumbled across mine a last week when I was looking at previous words and promises the Lord had given me. One of the items on my list was to perhaps one day live in a place that displayed the beautiful colors of fall. 

As an artist, this has been a long time dream, as I’ve never lived in an area that displays these vibrant colors in the fall. And I will unabashedly say that the first sightings of these amazing colors brought me to tears. That’s just the artist in me delighting in God’s brilliance!

IMG_0561I believe this trip (which fell into place with great ease) was God’s way of giving me that dream in a way that keeps us where I know we are supposed to be (in Florida), yet to experience this longing of my heart without moving. (We’re considering making this trip every couple years.) Don’t you just love how God can surprise us with answers we never thought of? Or imagined possible?

A Year of Promises
A few weeks ago the Holy Spirit told me to go back through my journal and tab each page that I had written something down that I felt I heard from God. I sensed He wanted me to do this, because I’d begun to feel like I wasn’t hearing God as much. I knew He’d changed things up earlier in the year so I was hearing him differently, but tabbing those pages showed me I was hearing Him more than I realized. I thought that was the point of the lesson.

Yet God always seems to have much more in mind for us in those lessons than we think. An encouraging word showed up in my email a week after my tabbing session that the Holy Spirit used to lead to make a list of the promises on those pages. So I made my list, going through each one. If I hit a page that I wasn’t sure about, I added it anyway.

The best part was seeing my entry from January 1, 2017 in which I wrote “2017 will be a year of promises. Two fold: the revelation of promises already given and new ones.” I’d almost forgotten about that word, my friends. 

I believe this is a corporate directive from God for all of His people right now. Make that list of words and promises. Sew, pray, cultivate and protect them. Declare the truth of His heart in each one and trust Him to bring the harvest as He has designed it. I have no doubt that you will be surprised by the fruit that comes.

Promises Revealed
IMG_0653Like you, my family holds a big place in my heart and the promises God has given me for them. Yet the one I’ve asked God for a promise or word is my oldest daughter. I’ve asked God many times the last two years for a promise or word for her and her husband, yet nothing clearly came. So, I chose to stand on God’s Word, specifically Philippians 4:19, because they have struggled for several years financially and to get their careers off the ground. I’ve prayed it over them and with them, encouraging them to declare this verse together as well in their joint devotional time (I love that they do that!).

It’s a story longer than I have space to write, dear friends, but suffice it to say that my daughter stepped away from a difficult job and chose to trust God for their provision. Within a week of that decision, she was offered a potential full time position as an illustrator for a national cartoon, her husband’s requested raise was approved, and more opportunities are in the works that will launch their careers in astounding ways.

And as I looked at my promise list, I realized I hadn’t put this verse about God’s provision on my list, because I considered to be a direct word from God. That’s when I realized God wanted me to see that even though the promise didn’t come as I expected, in a word or leading directly from Him, it was still a promise from His Word.

IMG_0586What struck my heart further was that it’s the first one fulfilled and revealed. Not what I expected, but very clearly what God wanted me to understand. His Word, the Bible, is His promise to us. All of it. I know we’ve talked about this a lot in the past, but the truth can never be over-spoken. God is faithful to His Word (Jer. 1:12) and to His people.

I see this happening around me in this new territory where God has positioned me (healing rooms and a new school) and in the people I have the pleasure to work and do life with in these places. It’s as beautiful to see as those astounding colors of fall.

So, my friends, next time you read your Bible, read it like a hungry child feasting on food made especially for you and with an expectation to recognize a promise waiting for you to claim. Write it down. Make a list. Hold it close to your heart in prayer, trust and expectation. 

Because God has spoken to my heart about 2018, SUMites. It’s to be a “year of blessings.” I have a feeling there’s more though. With God, there usually is. 

Much love to you, dear friends!
Dineen

*****

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It's Your Turn. Share Your Wisdom

FriendsHi SUM Nation,

I'm traveling this week. I have bunch of sticks in the fire and am scrambling but it's all good. Our God is a good Father. 

I know that our "Church Without Walls" is filled with Godly and spiritually wise people. So I thought that I would invite you to impart your wisdom with one of our readers. 

Do you remember the SUMits Survey that many of you responded to months ago? I asked the question:

What topics cold we write about that we haven't covered for we could cover again to encourage you?

Here is one inquiry. I haven't written about this subject before and it is really a good question. If you have Godly wisdom and experience, please share your encouragement in the comments.

Thanks for helping a girl out! I LOVE you all so much. Hugs, Lynn

Q: One thing that hasn't been covered yet (I don't think) is friendships. I find my SuM keeps me tethered to a very secular friendship group, and I can't really easily build friendships with Christians with my husband because then he's left out of what bonds me and my Christian friends. The area of Christian and non-Christian friendships, with my SuM, is complicated for me and causes me great angst!

*****

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Going To Church Alone

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comToday, I want to chat about another big issue. This is a re-post for our newest family members. (Jan, 2016)

GOING TO CHURCH ALONE.

Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr

This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well.

First, dealing with the whole couple thing. Grrrrrr, again! Our Western society is significantly “couple” focused. Learning to do anything alone takes a ton of courage and prayer. At least it did for me and I’m usually a courageous person. But after remaining a floundering believer at home, there comes a day when your need for community outweighs fear and you timidly cross the threshold of a church.

Once conquering that fear, you then must overcome disappointment as you see other couples together in church. True that. Anyone???

My friends, I want to assure you that if you are currently in this season of walking unequally yoked and attending church alone, it does become easier. 

Think about this. As you consider your life, most of us find that God has been amazingly faithful. Even in our periods of doubt or in my case, spiritual rebellion. God never left me nor did He forsake me. EVER. Even when I ran away from Him. As I slowly returned to my heavenly Father, I realized His faithfulness and it became the strength and my backbone. I made the decision to be faithful and return to church. And I’m so glad I did.

It was within my church community, women’s Bible study, that my healing began. I know I wrote about this our book, Winning Him Without Words. But it’s good to remember that God made us for community. At the core of all we are, we are designed for community, membership, authentic living, to be known and to know others in truth.

Knowing this, church became vital. It was my weekly re-charge. And when children became part of the family, they needed church too. That foundation of training in their early lives will live on in the next generation.

I’ve attended church alone for nearly 25 years. It’s been hard and it’s been glorious. Churches are challenging. You must remember they are filled with broken and needy people who are just like you. Attending church requires us to wear forgiveness like a cloak and to cry out for God to fill us with love, every, single day that we may love people like Him.

But at the end of the day, church is a hint of our future. One day THE CHURCH, will gather in the great assembly, with pure love in our hearts and will join as one people, one voice in worship. I promise we can’t imagine the depth of love we will feel and experience. I can’t wait.

So focus on Jesus and love even the broken and messy at church. And allow others who truly care about your life, to love on you. Be authentic and allow them to serve you.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned through sitting alone in church. One, I’m not the only one. My spiritual mismatched allowed me to see many others who don’t fit in. My heart is drawn to those who are alone, even those who feel alone but ARE sitting with a spouse. And my friends, churches are filled with these kinds of people who pretend their marriage is perfect. It’s simply not true. Every marriage, including your pastor's will struggle, even greatly struggle at some point. It’s just different from yours.

Allow yourself to set aside your loneliness and pain and truly look around you. It’s likely your training here at SUM and through the Word will allow you to speak love and truth into some other misfit who is sitting in the sanctuary. And that my friends, is exactly what delights the heart of God.

BTW: Ultimately we will discover we are all misfits and that is exactly what God intends!!!

Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Sumite Prayer Partners

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Hi prayer family!! Please join me in reading from Luke and praying to our Heavenly Father!

Luke 14:25-27 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must by comparison, hate everyone else – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

Infinite God, these verses are hard for our human minds to comprehend. We understand Jesus as loving savior of all humanity, but yet we call him Lord. Teach us to make him the LORD of our lives and the object of our focus. Propel us into a deeper devotion that is only possible through the work of your spirit. That is what you ask of us, complete and total devotion to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Chrsit! I also ask you to cover our community with the protection of heaven’s angel army. Father, we pray and praise the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

More information on our Sumite Prayer Partnerships can be found by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partnerships

If you are ready to receive a prayer partner then please send me an email using this link: Email Christy Edney In your email, please provide your name and your geographic location. 

If you and your partner are experiencing difficulty or you would like prayer then please email me using this link: Email Christy Edney

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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Could You Walk Around Nude?

Canaries in fig tree SUMDo you read the stories in the Bible about those who died, who gave their lives up, for the cause of Christ? What about modern martyr accounts of believers in the middle east who are being killed for their Christian faith? Do you walk in faith that you could do the same?

I often cry out in prayer, “Lord, I want more of you. Lord, make me so strong in faith that if one day I must choose to die or take the mark of the beast, that I would be willing and able to die for the cause of Christ.”

Perhaps you don’t pray like this. It’s just that for me, I sometimes wonder if I could stand on my faith and die for Jesus. After all, there are believers right now, today, who will stand for Christ and ISIS will kill them.

GULP.

Recently I was reading in the book of Isaiah. I arrived at this passage and I wept:

In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander in chief to capture the Philistine city of Ashdod, the Lord told Isaiah son of Amoz, “Take off the burlap you have been wearing, and remove your sandals.” Isaiah did as he was told and walked around naked and barefoot. Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. —Isaiah 20: 1-3

I wept out loud, “Lord, I couldn’t do this. If you told me to go around nude for three years, I COULDN’T DO IT. If I can’t do this, how in the world could I die for you?”

Geeze, as I type this is sound overly dramatic. Ahem, ya! I’m NOT nuts!

But when you cry out for more of God and tell Him you are a servant that follows hard after Him, you think about these things.

So, while on my walk-n-pray today, I asked God about all this. I prayed, “Lord, I don’t know if I could do i. But I pray that if the situation should ever arrive, I could walk through whatever you have asked of me.”

It was in that moment that I heard the Lord’s kind and gentle voice reply. “Lynn, you walk through your own challenges every day. You willingly submit to your marriage vows, even when it’s difficult. You remain steadfast and committed to praying for your spouse and family. This is immensely important to me.”

“Many, people crumble under way less that what all of you, the SUMites, live out. So many people, carelessly cast away their marriages. You choose to remain steadfast. Your faithfulness is way more important. I know you can’t perceive the end of the story but your prayers for that one man are impacting. Your lifetime of sacrifice fills my heart with a special love for you.”

I felt as though the Lord wants all of us to know that because we haven’t bailed out on a challenging marriage, He is proud. He is helping us. He hears our prayers and somehow in a way, this life-long sacrifice IS the giving of our life for the cause of Christ.

Well done SUMites! Well done!

And for those of you who are walking through divorce, there is absolutely NO CONDEMNATION in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) I spend time with so many of you who have fought with all you have to heal your marriage and yet it didn’t happen. Please know, your faith and your love in very challenging circumstances is a precious gift to our Lord!

Hugging all of you today! Lynn

Next post: I want to share from the archives:

GOING TO CHURCH ALONE.

Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr

This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well…..

*****

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SUM Books 4


One Day Soon

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOne day soon, we will behold:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. —Revelation 20:12

Our original destination will be compared to what we actually achieved in our short time on earth. We are given so much grace. Grace and more grace to change course, to repent and do over. To mend, to heal, to serve, to grow, to laugh, to LOVE.

Will you choose love?

When we do, this is what the book says is for us:

The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. —Revelation 3:5

We are empowered to live our BEST life now. Through the love of Jesus our past is redeemed and then we are invited to rescue the lost dreams we held as children. Let us release our false identities of unworthiness, self-hatred, comparison and all the lies of satan. We were created as a perfect expression of God’s love. And because of that TRUTH, it is possible to walk in wholeness and help others to find their way to freedom as well.

So, what say you?

Thank you for walking with me through this series. I pray that it changed the perspective of our identity and our future, now and forever. Hallelujah..

We praise you Jesus for the redemptive and restorative work of the Cross. For without it we were doomed but because of your finished work, EVERYTHING, EVERYONE ON EARTH can be restored and perfected in Your love! AMEN!

Next post:

Do you read the stories in the Bible about those who gave their lives up for the cause of Christ? What about modern martyr accounts of believers in the middle east who are being killed for their Christian faith? Do you  ever wonder if your faith is strong enough to do the same?

Join me for the next post about martyrs and marriage. Things turn out differently than you might think. I love you, church family without walls. Today I bless you with joy, peace and a strong marriage and vibrant and healthy families. In the name above all names, JESUS! Amen!  Hugs, Lynn

*****

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SUM Books 4


A SINGLE LIFE Can Restore A Family Line

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comLet’s open a book today that can change everything.

The Word. The Bible, our living book of redemption and freedom. Jesus the author a perfecter of our faith.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. —Hebrews 12:2

God then said to me, “Lynn, a single life can reset the destiny that has been corrupted for centuries. One child of mine, who decides that they will no longer live in the falsehoods of the kingdom of darkness but chooses rather to rise up and live in truth. That one person, one small young woman, a man in his fifties, a woman who was raised in horrific abuse, a child who chooses to hope over despair. That one person can break the bondage that has oppressed the generations. She can loose the angelic to fight for her freedom and that of her children. One believer can release thousands of “My perfect reflections of love” to walk in their destiny that was written and decreed over their life since before time began. To walk in their highest and best for this life, their original design.”

“You are that one person. There are many of you who choose to silence the lies and begin the hard work of walking in truth. You are that one person. Receive the truth and you will be free indeed.”

Gang, it feels as though the assignment is overwhelming. How can lil ole me fix generations of wickedness? How can I stand in the gap and change my destiny as well as my children’s and the generations to follow?

I take one intentional step at a time. I, personally, have broken the destructive demonic assignments released upon my family through my ancestor’s participation in Free Masonry. I stood in the gap and repented for their sins and broke the curses that were released upon me and my siblings, my mother. I have done the hard work of learning, reading, praying, and persevering to fight for my freedom and the freedom of others and specifically my family.

I pray relentlessly, my hunger grows every year to experience more of the Kingdom, Holy Spirit fire and gifts and to learn more from Jesus.

It is possible to restore and live out the destinies written in our books. The word that represents this effort to the greatest degree is PERSEVERANCE. It’s determination that leads to our truest self.

SUMites... Believers... Children of the Most High God.... Respond. It's your turn to take back your destiny and those of your family generations.

DECREE: Today the deception and lies stop with me. I repent for all the lies and sin of my ancestors. I ask Jesus to speak healing into my life, my family line, my children, my spouse. Today, restore the path to fulfillment of my destiny and the plans that are written in my book. In Jesus name. AMEN

If you just spoke this decree out loud, then record it in the comments as a sealed and spoken word of truth over your family. I will stand with you for the full restoration of your book and those of your family. And sign it in the comments, your name, In Jesus name. AMEN

HALLELUJAH!!!!

*****

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SUM Books 4


When The Books Are Opened

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comLet’s open the next book, shall we?

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. —Revelation 20:12

There is a day in our linear future where every person whosoever liveth upon the earth, shall pass before the throne. The “Books” shall be opened and judgement shall be determined.

WHOA!!!  I can’t stop saying that… WHOA!!!

Astounding….. I don’t have language to express the fathom of this truth.

“As I looked,

thrones were set in place,

    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.

His clothing was as white as snow;

    the hair of his head was white like wool.

His throne was flaming with fire,

    and its wheels were all ablaze.

A river of fire was flowing,

    coming out from before him.

Thousands upon thousands attended him;

    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

The court was seated,

    and the books were opened. —Daniel 7:9-10

Let this passage leave you awe struck. We will be there. We will have our very own book opened. And in our book, is written our original design, our unique creation, our purposes, our assignments that were ordained and written to be fulfilled in our lifetime on earth, before time began. And in our book, will be the results.

Did we discover the truest thing about our self?…. Did we learn that we are lavishly loved. Did we come to understand that our hair color, our gender, our eye color, our imperfections were imperfectly, perfect? Did we realize our full potential and creativity that were gifted to us from heaven? Did we walk in joyous laughter and live in peace, which is our birthright (Romans 14:17)?

Did we learn to love?

Oh, how I have prayed for each and every one of you that you have all learned to love. God gave us difficult marriages so that we would learn to love like Jesus. I have tarried in the secret place for you, your children, and spouse to come to the place of your truest identity.

You are an empowered and perfect child of God!

THAT is our truth.

So, let’s tackle the why.

Why aren’t we walking in victory, true identity, and our predestined missions and assignments?

Enter stage left: Lucifer

Before time began when our books were written, there was an angel. According to Ezekiel 28:13, a probable reference to Lucifer, we learn that he is an amazing being to behold: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created."

His pride in his beauty and position ultimately lead him and a third of the angelic host to be cast out of heaven and down to earth.

And thus, he’s pissed off. I mean roiling mad.

He’s mad and also fully aware of the destinies that are written in our books.

Thus, the war is at hand. We are in a war for truth. The truest thing about us, the works of our lives assigned and contained within our books. As I walked through the vineyards that morning a few weeks ago, the Lord began to show me how, as people, we are destined to live on earth as it was originally intended by the Lord. And God revealed how the devil immediately went to work assaulting the destinies ordained for our lives.

God said to me that morning, “Lynn, it began years ago. Centuries and centuries, way back in families. A brother became jealous and murdered his brother. A man, an ordinary husband and father, heard a whisper from the demonic realm that perhaps he wasn’t good enough to provide for his family, he turned to stealing and alcohol. A mother leaned into a lie that she was insignificant and unworthy to be loved or respected because she was only a girl. A child grabbed hold of a lie that anger was the answer to his pain. Pride was whispered to every generation. Father after father, mother after mother, the generations began to believe the lies of the enemy and their divine books became corrupted.”

“Abuse entered into the bloodline, alcoholism, occult practices, bloodshed. The wickedness of men blotted out names,  destroyed childhoods, imprisoned generations to addictions of perversion. These wicked practices are passed to the children or gleaned from others with evil in their hearts.”

Oh Jesus, I whisper.

“But in my books, it is written that men would always love and cherish their wives. Their children were their pride and joy and the focus of their heart. Mothers were powerful and tender nurturers of the children and her husband. And together these families raised up the next generation to LIVE fully, alive and in the blessings and beautiful world that I created for them to enjoy.”

Okay, the heaviness of this is taking me over. I need a break.. Time to find Kleenex again.

Oh, My SUMites, let’s pray for the restoration of the books of our families.

See you on the next post…. It’s the BEST one of this series. I Love you, Lynn

A SINGLE LIFE Can Restore A Family Line

*****

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SUM Books 4


SUM Nation Newsletter

Newsletter long 2013Hi Everyone,

The news from here is that we have an extra initiative underway: A new quarterly newsletter.  This is something that Lynn and Dineen used to do and had wanted to revive.  In this season of us gathering round Lynn in the ministry her number of helping hands has grown.  I'll be lending my hands by coordinating the newsletter.

The newsletter will land in your inboxes, and will be a way of saying a friendly hello and keeping you posted about what's new and coming up.  It'll be especially helpful for those times when you're busy and might miss news from the blog.

The first edition is out this coming Monday.  To receive it make sure you're signed up using the form below.

We hope you enjoy this extra way of us staying connected!

Ann 

Subscribe to our Quarterly Newsletter

 

*****

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SUM Books 4


Is this all there is?

ID-100131681
Photo courtesy of Foto76/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was in the office early. First to arrive, every morning. I was the one who turned the lights on (and often the one who turned them off each night). Large triple shot coffee in my hand as I scanned overnight emails and my always too large work-in-progress folder.

Another restructure was in the wings and I knew with a new MD having recently arrived putting the heat on the sales team, of which, I was one of its leaders, we were to come under close scrutiny. Changes were inevitable and I knew my role, the jack-of-all-trades role that it was, would be closely scrutinised.

I wasn’t too concerned. In fact, I was ready for a change. 

But to what?

I’d never aspired to be a CEO, unlike my twin brother, but from early in my corporate career I had expected I would end up in one of the senior roles reporting to the CEO. Yes, I managed it once, in the Virgin business I co-founded but the desire for such an executive role had diminished. However, given the right company and right boss I’m sure I’d happily jump into one. There just wasn’t that burning desire to do it. 

And for the umpteenth time in recent months I find myself staring into an abyss.

My heart yearned for something more. But no longer was it for the big corporate gig.

But for what?

So I started talking to God about it on our daily commutes. My dissatisfaction with my career was troubling me but I soon began to realise it was more than that. I was frustrated with my relationship with God. Surely there was more?

It didn’t take long before I got my answer. It was blunt and too the point.

“But, you don’t know me, Ian.”

No, I didn’t hear it verbally but in my heart.

So I asked Him how I could know Him.

Once again the response was short and very clear.

“Read my Word.”

Those words jumped into my heart. Sure there was a sense of guilt but mostly relief. That was the answer. I was excited to get started.

Of course He was right. How can you love somebody if you don’t really know them? 

“You can believe in God and still miss life with Him. You can know about God and still live as an Orphan.” Allen Arnold

So I dived into the Word. New Year’s Day 2009 I committed to read the Bible everyday. I’m pleased to say that in the years since I started there have only a handful of days when I haven’t read the Word. That’s probably the one and only New Year’s resolution I’ve made and stuck to.

Meeting Jesus in His Word

I relished reading the Word, discovering so many new aspects of God’s character and finally truly getting acquainted with my Savior. I grew up attending a traditional Church of England church and loved how we used the Green Prayer Book each Sunday and sang old hymns. But I really only met God, the Father.

And my first impressions of Him were greatly impacted by my relationship with my dad. This is common. So I was often fearful (not in a reverent way) and felt He was more the disciplinarian.

Yes, I knew of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the trinity was just too much of a mystery for me to spend any time reflecting upon.

It’s only been in these last ten or so years where I’ve come to ‘meet’ and get to know the other two members of the trinity: the Son and the Spirit. My first impressions of Jesus were He was a super hero of sorts. He was more God than human. So He had an advantage over the rest of us because He could always play the God-card.

How wrong was I?

Yes, I’d read the gospels (and most of the rest of the New Testament) many times over the years, had it preached and talked about but still I lived in this deception.

“We need to hear the Gospel everyday because we forget it everyday.” Martin Luther

I love the fact that no matter how many times I’ve read a passage I discover something new each time. That’s why the Word is a supernatural book.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:1-2, 14a NIV)

Jesus is the Word. The Word is living and breathing. It was only in studying Him, His Word, did I begin to discover who Jesus really was. And that He wasn’t a super hero of sorts.

Falling in Love with Jesus

“... but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]” (Philippians 2:7 AMP)

Jesus became completely human. He was fully man. And fully God. But each nature, ie, His humanity and His divinity, remain distinct. All part of the mystery of Jesus.

It’s been in discovering the humanity of Jesus that I’ve discovered His divinity. A contradiction? Maybe. But in realising He completely understands me and even with all my shortcomings loves me like mad. Accordingly, I’ve become more accepting of myself, developed greater confidence in who I am and my anxiety has gradually diminished. As Thomas Merton says: “If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.”

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 NIV)

I’ve always loved this verse but I never really appreciated it’s meaning. Until I spent time meditating on and repeating it day after day after day did it dawn me that we can only experience what we were made to be until we fall madly in love with Him.

As Dallas Willard states we are called to a love affair with our Creator. 

I want the love affair. The whole kit and caboodle. With Jesus.

Grace and peace, dear friends.

*****

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SUM Books 4


The Next Profound Book

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comRemember Friday we revealed the truth that God created us as a perfect reflection of His love. AND He created us, every person on earth, to be His child, to walk in love and to live in His Kingdom. Remember God said to me, “Tell them about the books, Lynn. My people don’t understand the books and therefore they are unaware.”

Let’s open the next book.

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. —Revelation 3:5

This is the Lamb’s Book of Life. Our name was written in this book and it shines with brilliant light as a reflection of our choice to believe in Jesus Christ. It was written before time began and only you can make the choice to have your name blotted out. (Rejection of Jesus Christ.)

We were perfectly made AND we were created to be victorious. Our names are recorded as a resident of the Kingdom of God. … before time began, I remind you.

Good LORD!!!

It is, and always has been, God’s intention that every person is to be included in the Kingdom. Read these next passages and let these truths seep deep into your soul:

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, — Ephesians 1:4-5

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. —2 Timothy 1:9

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. —Romans 8:29

Okay, I’m not going to debate predestination but I know, without a doubt, that God loves people. His intentions toward people are love and if there is some other doctrine that God doesn’t love people nor have the best intentions for us, we are all doomed. It’s a lie!

So where does life go sideways? Why are we not living in these truths? Why are people going to hell? Why is the world filled with hate? Why did we endure abuse as a child? Why are relationships and marriages so dang hard? What in the hell?..... Really, hell is the answer to all the why.

So, next post, let me share what happens to our books and how we have been every gift to fully realign with our destiny that was sealed before time began.

Book of Life is also referenced in:

And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. —Philippians 4:3 (NKJV)

SUMites, I don't know if I included all the references to the Book of Life. If I missed some, please post the scriptures in the comments. Also, what are your thoughts about the Book of Life? Would love your perspective. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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SUM Books 4


Identity Is Written In Your Book

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWhile on my walk-n-pray today (Thursday), trotting down a street in wine country, suddenly a small feather floated out of the sky and into my cupped hands. I whispered, Thank you Daddy! Then I began to ask the Lord, “Father, what is on your heart about this subject, identity. How do I speak to Your people about this extremely sensitive subject?”

God immediately replied, “Tell them about the books, Lynn. My people don’t understand the books and therefore they are unaware.”

WHOA!

THAT IS NOT the answer I expected…. At all.

But, it’s exactly the perfect answer. Following the Lord’s reply, immediately a download from the Holy Spirit about the books initiated. I began to perceive what the books intend for mankind and where and why we strayed away from the truth. So, please allow me to share with you my conversation with the Lord. Much of what I share is found in Scripture and I include theses passages in the posts.

God began to speak to me about who we are. So, today, I want to share what I heard, the truth of who we are, predicated on scripture and then we will visit the reality of how our identity becomes warped or distorted. Okay? Let’s do this!!

Let’s start with the books.

Do you know that before time began, books were written in the heavenly realms? Books of all manner of things, purposes, and people. There is a book(s) written about you, specifically. Let’s take a look at some of these books. Because understanding The Books of the Kingdom will shed great light on the deceptions of the devil and illuminate the truth of our identity.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. —Psalm 139:16

Let’s start with this passage in Psalms. This is David speaking, a prophet, a King, and man after God’s own heart. In this passage it is written that God ordained every single day of life. God wrote down our longevity, our identity, our purpose, our works, our achievements, and His divine destiny in our own book before the dinosaurs. Really!

Let’s linger here for a minute. PLEASE let this truth ROCK your world. God wrote my book and your book before time began.

God spoke to me this morning and He said, “Lynn, all things written in your book are good. Your book contains assignments for My Kingdom. Works that bring you great joy, such as when you write for My Kingdom, you come alive. That is a fulfilment of one of your chapters in your book. I recorded the destinies of every human being in their book. The books are written decrees to be fulfilled which brings great glory, honor and joy to My heart and it brings the same to those who walk in their written destinies.”

WHOA!!!!  Can I just say, WHOA!

GULP…

Then the Lord went on to say, “Lynn, you and every person on earth was wonderfully and beautifully made. Remember that scripture?”

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. —Psalm 139:14

“Yes, Lord, I am very familiar with that passage.”

“Lynn, every person from the beginning of time, throughout history, has been created perfectly.”

Immediately I realized that every human being is a perfect expression of God’s love. God created us uniquely, specifically, intentionally. We aren’t a mistake in any way or any area.

Our eye color wasn’t a mistake. Our height, not a mistake. Our freckles, our bone structure, our skin color, NOT A MISTAKE, our gender, NOT A MISTAKE.

God is perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes. He crafted each of us, 7.5 billion people, as perfect expressions of His boundless, astounding, love.

We are NOT A MISTAKE. We were created in our mother’s womb with the love of a tender Father who only wants good for His beloved child.

Hold please, I need to find Kleenex. I’m weeping and shaking under the power of the Holy Spirit all at the same time. Taking in this reality is wrecking me. This truth is blowing up every false belief system about my life. And there’s more. So much more to this that I am shaking under the power of the revelation as I type.

I need to pause here. I ask you SUMite Nation, take in this reality. Ask the Father about your book, your destinies. Receive the truth that you are NOT a mistake and the reality that you are exactly who God created you to be.

I understand what you will wrangle with…. The WHY questions. If this is true, then why ______ did this happen. Where were you God when ______ this went wrong. WHY?

Oh boy howdy, did God give me an answer. Stay tuned. Pray into these passages. I feel a powerful revelation and freedom dawning.

WE LOVE YOU LORD!  Hugs, Lynn

PS. There is gold dust on my keyboard right now.

Can I just say again…. WHOA!

*****

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SUM Books 4


Sumite Prayer Partners

Prayer Partnerships - SUMHello Sumite nation! I would like to admit that I've been somewhat discouraged lately. The undercurrent of hatred and divisiveness is, at times, too much for this tiny brunette. During these moments of discouragement the Lord is quick to renew my strength if I remember to focus on his presence. I keep a stack of encouraging verses tacked to the wall of my cubicle for moments like these. I thumb through them and land on a bit of encouragement from Joshua 1:9, "This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Or this one from Psalm 42:5-6, "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again - my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you - even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar." And now one from the mouth of Jesus in Mark 4:39 "Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still!" And the wind ceases and there was great calm." Please join me in prayer:

Gracious Father, we lift our weary hearts to you and praise the glory of your name. You are the mighty king, the alpha and omega, the source of all existence. You are far beyond my comprehension, deeper than the depths of the greatest ocean. In these moments of worship, I can feel Jesus say PEACE BE STILL and suddenly everything stops then find myself in the stillness of your presence. You remind us that we are sons and daughters of the Most High, held safely in the palm of your hand. I ask you to renew our strength again today. Set our feet upon the foundation of your written word and encourage our souls in ways that we cannot begin to imagine. Now we look to those who have been affected by the numerous natural disasters. Father, please provide for their every need and send encouragement through the works of your children. Please provide relief and comfort. Mighty God, we pray and declare this things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

More information on our Sumite Prayer Partnerships can be found by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partnerships

If you are ready to receive a prayer partner then please send me an email using this link: Email Christy Edney In your email, please provide your name and your geographic location. 

If you and your partner are experiencing difficulty or you would like prayer then please email me using this link: Email Christy Edney

*****

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SUM Books 4


Every Victory Begins With THIS!

Hi Family,

Who Am I SUMWe are a family. Being a part of something bigger than ourselves is part of our  spiritual DNA. We were created for connection. We were created to belong. To live in intimacy. Learning to love one another and learning to love our Father.

I’ve just returned from the Heaven Come conference. Three days filled with profound, life-altering worship and teaching that will live forever in my soul.

Attending an event for the Christian faith is an interesting experience. I wonder if you are like me in that you have attended many events that make you feel good about yourself and living for Jesus. However, you return home to the same-old-same-ole and quickly lose all the joy or hope that you came home with? Anyone relate?

However, each year that I attend this conference, something profound occurs. And this year I arrived home with such a powerful conviction to speak about identity.

IDENTITY.

Understanding our identity is everything to living in victory. So, I think that in the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit is urging me to lead all of us in learning about our identity.

Why?

Because out of our identity comes healing. Our understanding of our spiritual place in the Kingdom releases us into our destiny. Our identity is the core of our freedom, healing, hope and our future.

As we walk through identity, I also want to directly confront some of the societal issues that attack identity. Gender, sexuality, and more. I know these issues are controversial in the general public but also in the church. But right now, in our homes, we are trying to raise children to step into their God given calling and the enemy is doing everything to destroy them as men and women. Our spouses listens to the talking heads that shout absolute lies about who we are as people. And as SUMites, we are often shamed by our spouse who puts us down for believing in what they deem as a faith for the weak.

BUT let me be the voice of reason and truth. In the last several years, I have lived out of my full identity and I AM FREE. I am brave and I have helped others find their freedom. I have so much freedom and equipping to give the people of God. And I have insight to help you guide your children through love and not condemnation. I have wisdom, I believe, given by our Father to share how to walk in complete truth and faith in these modern days and handle the issues that confront the truths of God’s holy Word.

I also see our SUM community walking out of shame. Becoming free of condemnation and the need to “save” our spouse. Would you like to step out of shame? Would you like to silence the voice of confusion over sexual identity and know how to walk with others through this issues with love and hope?

Do you have a heart for those who are living in deception and fear? Are you living in fear and shame….. Well my dearest friend, GOD HAS HEARD YOUR PRAYERS. Let’s travel these next few weeks ahead and learn what is truth and how we can live and help our kids live in truth without being hateful or cruel.

And I ask all of you, SUMites, even if you ask the question of yourself, "Who am I" and you feel as though you have a firm identity in Christ, I ask you to walk this out because it may be that there are a few lies that remain hidden about who you are and whose you are that our Great God wants to bust wide open. 

God heals all and we are going to emerge from these weeks and guess what? Confusion will be banished. Love will be paramount. Our hearts will be filled with courage because we know the truth and truth will set you free. 

So, I enter this series with trembling and much prayer. It is scary to take a stand in social media for the Word of God but we are at a tipping point. We MUST learn the truth of our identity. We must walk in our true identity first and then we can help others discover their true identity. It’s in confronting the lies that our healing and healing of the world will happen.

Will you pray for me as I stand in the courage I’ve mustered up to share. Pray I am continually anointed by the Holy Spirit and all that I write is truth and wrapped in love.

What say you SUMites? Do you want to walk this difficult but needful path this season?

I love you. This next week is critical to launch into a the new season of God. Pray and seek His face. He has amazing assignments ahead for this new season and He wants us to be fully free and equipped to set in and behold the glory. Hugs, Lynn

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Thank you Dawn

image from billesbach.typepad.comWasn't this past week amazing.

Fasting and pressing into the Father's love. Powerful, precious and transformative.

And what about Dawn. She was amazing as well. Her heart for our Lord shines so bright. Than you Dawn, for leading us into a wonderful season. We love you!

I pray you were all blessed and filled up because the new assignments are now ready to be handed out in the heavenly realm. So get ready, GREAT things are ahead. 

See you all on Monday. I'm at the Heaven Come Conference in LA. I will be ON FIRE when I next write to you.

Bless you SUMite Nation. You are stronger than you realize. Your prayers are absolutely powerful and effective. And all the lies and torment are defeated by the blood of Jesus. Hallelujah!!!

Be blessed, Lynn

Also, on my personal blog, I'm sharing some fascinating insights about Rosh Hashanah. It's really good stuff! Join me for: Rosh Hashanah -Faith Practices and Realities of the Kingdom.

 

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Last Day of Fasting

As we wrap up our fast this year, I want to share a story of fasting that happened to me this year.  It was only a few months ago in fact.  I have not fasted nearly enough in the past year.  I used to be so diligent about it and there was a time when it came easier, but sadly as things improve - I find myself fasting less and even praying less.  I'm not proud of this at all and fully realize that this is how Satan regains a stronghold.

That said, something started really pestering my spirit about needing to spend a day fasting.  And it had to be on the upcoming Wednesday of that week.  By the time Wednesday came around, I had kind of forgotten about it - but no, the minute I woke up - there it was.  I mean there was no getting around it.  My first thought was "Wait - you mean no coffee?"  "No coffee."  So I sighed and my feet were a little heavier than usual hitting the floor.  I  really didn't want to fast and somehow felt , I like I was being given no choice.

So I went to work and at some point that day I received the coolest email from my now dear friend Ann.  I barely knew her at that time and she found me on the SUM website to tell me that she had woken up with me on her heart and she had quite the message from me regarding my marriage and my husband (ex.)  It was a beautiful prophetic message.  It blew me away and I knew then why God had insisted I fast.  It was so I would receive that message with all of my heart knowing it was from Him. Receiving her email on that day left me with no doubt.  So I was giddy that I wasn't crazy in believing I had to fast that day and my sacrifice of morning coffee had no gone to waste.

Then, a little later in the afternoon, I got a phone call from a company wanting to interview me.  My industry kind of works that way where companies "poach" people from other companies.  I would have been in such a quandary about accepting the interview and then later accepting the position if I had not been fasting that day.  I did end up going for an interview and I did end up accepting the offer.  I walked away from my previous job of 4 1/2 years and many friends along with it.  I don't know why I was meant to change jobs, but I know without a doubt it was God's plan.  And I do really like my new company.  But I know I would not have left the other without the knowledge that this is absolutely where God wants me.  And I would not have known that and had such peace about it without having been fasting that day.

So if at any point you really feel nudged to fast, there's probably a reason.  We don't always see all that goes on in the heavenlies when we fast, but know that much is going on.  And sometimes we are blessed enough to see it down here.

It's been a lovely, beautiful week spent with you all.  I would love to hear about any breakthroughs or revelations.

*****

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How is the fast going for everyone?  We're just over halfway through.  I personally haven't had nearly the amount of time I would have liked to spend in quiet prayer.  Time and quiet are nowhere to be found in my life right now.  But I think fasting in itself is a form of prayer (I hope so.)  And I've managed to pray consistently throughout the days. I've had to remind myself that God meets us right where we are.
 

This story has stuck with me all of these years, but I hadn't really thought about it until I was praying about what posts to do for this fast.  One day a few years back, Lily and I were sitting at Starbucks right up against the wall.  Next to me I noticed a really cool mural, but I kept on chatting and drinking my mocha.  But I couldn't stop looking at this little piece of the mural and I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be. It was so distracting that it finally bugged me to the point of getting up and walking to where I could see the whole thing.  It was a series of pictures that made up the whole mural.  And then it all made sense.  And at that exact time, I heard that still small voice say, "This is my perspective compared to yours.  I see the big picture."    Today I ran over there to get photos for this post and it was great to see the mural again.  God has reminded me of this very thing so often throughout the years and I'm always thankful for this illustration from Him.

 
I hope it serves as a reminder to you too that He does see the big picture.  He's painting it and it's going to be beautiful.  Every stroke has been painted with you in mind and not a single thing will be forgotten in His masterpiece.
 
 
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The Waiting Room

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I think it's safe to say that all of us have been placed in a waiting room.  We are all waiting for something - our spouse's salvation, our prodigal children to return, our health to be restored, our marriage to be restored, our financial burdens to cease  - I could probably fill many pages with things we are collectively waiting for.

 
I often think about my own personal "waiting room."  I look around and I think God has set me up pretty well in my time of waiting.  He's blessed me with so much while I wait and wait and wait.  He's used this time to strengthen my spiritual muscles - particularly patience and humility and perseverance.  He's gifted me with relationships that I would have never found outside the waiting room.  He's filed down and rounded many of my rough edges making me a soft place for those in this room with me.  And best of all He's given me a deep, intimate relationship with Him.
 
"Some beautiful things can only be found in the hardest times." Bo Stern
 
This is so true.  I look around and I see so many beautiful things - things that could have only been found in the hard times of the last several years.  Things I wouldn't ever give back to spare my tears and heartache.
 
What does your waiting room look like?  What spiritual muscles are being strengthened while you wait?  What beautiful things have you found that you would not have found outside of your waiting room?
 
I think my time in the waiting room (at least this one) may be coming an end, as marriage restoration appears to be on the horizon and as excited as I am, I have to say - I wouldn't trade a single second of the time I spent waiting for God's perfect timing.

*****

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A Wrong Turn Gone Right

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And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 

Have you ever wondered if God still works ALL things together for our good when we screw up - intentionally or unintentionally.  This is something I struggle with.  It causes me to lose faith when I make a bad decision, take a wrong turn in life, say something I knew I shouldn't have.  It causes me to wonder if God is still  going to work all things for my good.  The short answer that I've found is - yes - He will and He does.

Once a year, my friends and I hold an all-night prayer session.  We always start the first hour with praise and thanksgiving.  One of the things we reflect on is our favorite thing about God - our favorite character trait.  Hands down mine is His ability to redeem anything.  I probably pray the simple prayer, "Jesus, please redeem this," many times a week.  I've learned in any situation, even if it's my fault or disobedience or carelessness, He can redeem it.

 I have so many examples of God redeeming situations, but one of my favorite's that I think of often is when my girls and I were on vacation earlier this summer.  It was just the 3 of us in a foreign Caribbean country.  We were very much out of our element and for this reason, used a taxi everywhere we went.  One day, however, someone had told us of a popular beach about a half mile to a mile away.  Since it was "just around the corner," we decided to walk.  I don't think there are words for how hot and muggy it was.  It was miserable anywhere outside of a beach.  So we take off on our walk - the wrong way - around the wrong corner.  And of course, we don't realize it until we had gone really far and ended up at a dead end in an overgrown field.  Instead of a popular, thriving beach - we were met with tall grass and mosquitoes.  Oops!  Needless to say, I had 2 very unhappy campers on my hands since the walk was my idea in the first place.  As usual, I prayed my prayer for redemption, that somehow, some way God would redeem this sticky (literally) situation.  And did He ever answer that prayer!  Across the field, I could see that it dropped off.  I managed to talk the kids into walking through the tall grass (not a single person in sight - kind of scary) to see what was over the cliff.  After much (more) grumbling, we walked over to the edge of the field and looked down to see a beautiful, secluded beach.  We climbed down rocks and made our way to what became known as our "private" beach.  It was the highlight of our entire vacation.  The kids barely remember the wrong turn, the tall grass, the mosquitoes, their tired legs - but they remember every detail of "our" beach.  This beach had shells unlike any others on the entire island and the seclusion made it so special.  Isn't it just like Our Redeemer to turn my wrong turn into the best part of our trip?  And doesn't He do that so often in our lives?

 

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It's such a reminder to me as I walk this journey God has placed me on that He's working ALL things for good ALL the time - in spite of my mistakes.  

I'd love to hear your stories of redemption.  They are truly my favorite.

   

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Rosh Hashanah Fast 2017

 

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Hello Sumites!

Dawn here.  Welcome to the annual SUM Rosh Hashanah fast.

Many of you may remember last year’s fast.  I am honored and thrilled to be leading it again this year.  It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed.  I can’t wait to share the amazing things that God has been up to in my life and hear the amazing things He’s been up to in yours.  I am excited to spend this week lifting each other up in prayer and encouraging each other as we spend this special time fasting together.

What is Rosh Hashanah?  I’m going to share straight from Google because I don’t want to butcher this.  In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year.  Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. 

I don’t about you, but the “Days of Awe” gets me so excited.   I love that it represents a new year.  I, for one, am all for fresh beginnings.

So for these "days of awe," what awe inspiring things are you praying for this week?

Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the Lord,  and he will give you the desires of your heart.

What desires has God placed in your heart?  The ones that He just won’t let you shake.  That, my friends, is what this week is all about.

Let’s start this fast with gusto – praying and fasting for the promises, the miracles, the desires of our hearts.

Who’s with me?  Remember, you can fast in many ways.  Pray about the best fast for you this week.  I will be fasting from dinner each night and snacking between meals until sundown on Friday.

As a reminder to myself, because I always struggle with this - fasting is not about strong-arming God.  It's about standing in faith against impossible situations.  It's about walking in victory and claiming God's plans and promises for you and your family - no matter how long they take.  It's about breaking strongholds that have kept you captive for way too long.  Let this be your motivation when hunger pangs strike and temptation sets in.

Love you all and again – so excited to share this journey with you.

*****

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