106 posts categorized "Praying God's Word"

The Battlefield of the Mind: Claiming and Praying God’s Promises

ThemindLast week we talked about Feasting on God’s Word. Have you started your own search for the truths and promises that God has for you? I hope you brought them with you today.

Remember, this is a journey about transforming our minds, so I’ll ask you again, what are your thoughts focused on right now? What is sapping your attention on a daily basis? Are you ready to take control of your thoughts and emotions and claim the mind of Christ?

Then let’s start claiming those promises you found. Speak them out loud as prayers and claim them as your truth. The next day, go back and reread what you've written. Do this each day, recording each Scripture in whatever translation brings its truth and meaning to your heart. The amazing thing is that every promise in the Bible (and I think I read somewhere there are about 6,000 of them) are ours.

Here’s an example of one I have claimed and am praying over myself frequently and is easy to just speak out loud as it is:

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? —Psalm 27:1 (NASB)

Here’s another favorite that I take and turn into a prayer specifically for me:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. —Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord, I commit to trusting you with all my heart and will not depend upon my own understanding. I will seek Your will in everything I do, because I know that You will show me the way and lead me on the right path—the path of Your plan and purpose for my life.

And how about this one for our pre-believers:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. — 2 Peter 3:9

Lord, thank You that You keep your promises according to Your perfect timing. Thank You for Your patience with me and with my spouse. I know You want him/her to come to repentance and and that You will pursue my pre-believer relentlessly with Your love and Your promise of salvation.

Every single one of God’s promises is yours and mine. Not just a few. Not just the ones you think apply. And don’t believe this is only true for those who already seem to have the faith to move mountains. God knew we would need to build our faith daily upon the truths of His promises and not upon how we woke up feeling that day. His promises are intended for all of us, because we are made stronger through them in the midst of our weakness. (2 Cor 12:9) Then and only then can we become strong through Jesus so we can do all things (Phil 4:13), including moving mountains.

So begin collecting the promises that are speaking to you right now and claim and pray them over you, your spouse, your children and over those situations and circumstances that have you tied in knots. When things shift and change, look for new ones. You will discover news ones almost every time you read the Bible. Just ask the Holy Spirit to show you what specific promise that He wants you to see that day. Over time (in even as little as week!) you will begin to find that those issues are starting to look smaller and smaller in the light of God’s truth—His promises. This is how our minds are transformed as it says in Romans 12:2.

God’s Word stands forever and His promises never fail. He never fails. I am learning to believe this not only with my heart but my mind as well, even when I can’t see it, can’t even feel it. It’s a daily walk of taking God’s Word and then believing it by faith (Hebrews 4:2).

And the more I walk in this season, the more I am convinced our battles start more often in our minds than we realize. And God’s Word and promises are the answers to breakthroughs and realizing we are already victorious.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place (including our minds!). — 2 Cor. 2:14

Proverbs 3:5-6 is God’s promise to lead us. Second Corinthians 2:14 is the promise that His leading is in triumph. Ours is the choice to believe it.

Believing with you!
Dineen

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The Battlefield of the Mind: Feasting on God’s Word

ThemindWhat are you thinking right now? What are you worried about? What has your heart and mind twisted in knots on a daily basis?

Do you know you have control over this? That you are not at the mercy of your thoughts and emotions?

I didn't understand this for a long time. Only recently have I come to more ably see just how much I judged my faith (and myself) by my emotions. It’s an ongoing process that I want to share with you, my friends, so we can grow together in this area—one I believe is crucial to every area of our lives and especially in our mismatched marriages. Because as we are transformed, you better believe your prebeliever is going to notice!

And what I thought would be one post has now become multiple parts. So welcome to this series about the battlefield of our minds and how we can truly have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). I’m excited to share this with you and especially excited to hear back from you about your own journey in this area.

Let’s start with faith. Faith is based upon truth—the promises found in the Word of God—whether seen or unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Our minds can take these very promises and, through the lens of the world, our past hurts and the enemy's lies, turn them into mere shadows of the truth, void of the power they are intended to have in our lives.

My friends, of all the territories God calls us to claim in our lives of faith, I believe our minds are the most crucial territory of all that we must be constantly tending and feeding. The last three months have taught me this very well.

So how do we stand and hold our place in victory over this battlefield of our minds?

I know you’ve heard this one before: read and study the Bible. A big part of how God transforms us is through His Word (Romans 12:2). You don't have to be in seminary or even in a Bible study at your church (although this can be a very helpful part, don’t be dependent upon this one way of studying God’s Word). Just make time each day to sit down and read it. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God's promises and when one speaks to you, write it down in a journal. Ask God to help you understand what it means for you and record that as well.

You can follow a reading plan, follow God's leading as to where He wants you to read, or start with a devotional and read the Scriptures before and after the main verse. Just be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's nudges as you read. If you find yourself deeply touched by a verse, stop and let it sink in. Let the God speak to you through His words on the page.

Even if you've barely read a paragraph that day, you have received gold! It's not about how much you read, but about how much you listen and take in. Don't rush. Just relax and enjoy it. Even if nothing in particular stands out, you've fed your spirit and your soul with God's truth. Remember, it’s not about how we feel, it’s about believing, it’s about faith.

One resource I've found to be very helpful is Charles Stanley's InTouch Ministries website. I have the app on my iPad and use it daily to read the devotionals and especially if I want a list of Scriptures specific to an area, like fear or purpose. (God’s Promises on InTouch Minsitries

If you have a Bible app on your phone or an iPad, do a word search and write down the Scriptures that apply and give you comfort and peace. You can even do this online at BibleGateway.com with multiple translations.

The next part of this series will be about claiming and praying these promises over our lives and I’ll even share some examples, so have at least one or two ready that you have found so you can practice. Until then, my friends, feast on God’s Word daily. It’s the most important meal of your day!

Love you dearly!
Dineen

Image credit: carlacastagno / 123RF Stock Photo

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Don't Know What to Pray?

PrayerOver the years I've learned that our mismatched situations come in all shapes and sizes. When I'm asked what mismatched means I explain that it can be as clear as one spouse believes in God and the other doesn't, as gray as differing faiths or degrees of faith (i.e. a believer married to a Muslim or one spouse growing in faith but the other isn’t) or as painful as one spouse walking completely away from God. Even this description is a broad attempt to capture its meaning. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Let’s leave that stuff to God and trust Him to make sense of it (Prov. 3:5).

Today I want to share from what I know to be true in my marriage. From my perspective, my hubby is like Fort Knox in letting anything about believing in God penetrate his fortress of atheism. I've been asked if something happened in the past to turn him away and many other questions that I can only shake my head to. I simply don't know what cranks my guy's head and heart in this direction.

But God does.

Yes, praying for him has been a challenge, because what do I pray against or for, besides the obvious, "Lord, show him You're real. Soften his heart. Don't let him miss seeing you today in his day."

Those are all great prayers (I don't think there's really a bad prayer when our heart is for our loved one to simply know Jesus, right?), but after a while, I kind felt like I wasn't having any impact at all. Now I know that just because I don't feel it or see it, that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.

But on this particular day I needed some new directions, you know? So I ask Abba, how do I pray for this guy? I'm baffled.

Guess what? God has some really cool ideas. Imagine that! As I prayed that morning, Abba inspired me to pray for divine connections. Not with people but in his work. You see, my guy is very techy—he's a computer programmer and analyst—and he's very creative. He wrangles various computer languages to do some pretty technical and amazing stuff, much like an artist manipulates paint to create the overall illusion of parts that create a bigger image.

An artist can look at creation, and in her attempt to paint its essence, can begin to see the smallest parts and how they perfectly connect to create the whole and how that whole points to God. In that same sense, I'm praying for my hubby to see how the code and technology he is using to create a full picture reflect the perfection and synchronicity of God in our lives. My husband is surrounded by technology every day—this is the world he moves and works in so I'm basically asking God to come in and be present in a way my guy can relate to.

Sometimes it can be really challenging to keep praying for our prebelievers and even for our children, especially the challenging ones. God created each of us uniquely so it just seems to make sense that our prayers can be similar yet unique to the person. And ultimately, Abba knows what we need and what our prebelievers need before we even ask, right? (Matt. 6:8)

We don't have to have the perfect words or method to pray for those we love, because really and truly, it’s all about love—God’s for us and our prebeliever, ours for God and our prebeliever and the mysterious way God’s love transforms ours into this beautiful thing we know we could have never done on our own. But when we can understand the direction Abba is moving in that person's life and join Him there with our prayers, then we can become a part of an amazing and beautiful journey as we watch the pieces fit together and create a brand new picture.

And even in those times that we don’t know what to pray for, we never pray alone. (Romans 8:26) and “the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:27)

Jesus is pleading for us, dear friends!
Love you dearly!
Dineen

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Weekend Worship — Prisoners of Hope

831982_hopeHappy weekend, my friends! First, I want to thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement and prayer on my Wednesday post. I am so thankful for this community that supports and encourages each other. It all points to God and His amazing presence here. You give Him great glory.

I don’t want to make this post about my daughter’s situation but will just say that we know it’s supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and is very treatable and not uncommon. If I may, I ask only for your prayers that she press into her faith in a deeper way and that she be delivered of all fear. As her mama, I want to see my girl walk into the fullness of the life Jesus has for her. I bet you can relate to that. If I can pray for in like manner for one of your kiddos, leave a comment. That would bless me to pray for you.

Yesterday I stumbled (i.e. God led and I followed and read) on a verse that just ministered to my heart right now in a big way.

Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. — Zechariah 9:12 (NLT)

The NIV refers to those Zechariah is speaking to as “prisoners of hope,” but I love the New Living translation of this verse because of the clarity it gives the repayment of our troubles. Zechariah is speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem who had returned from their captivity in Babylon.

What touched my heart about this?

  • God sees us in our trials and troubles
  • God offers us safety
  • God promises to restore what we’ve lost in double portion

Wow, now that’s the kind of hope that exceeds anything the world can offer us. And I’m standing on this promise. I’ve prayed it over myself and my family, and I am praying it for our SUM community too. I believe Abba not only will but wants to do this for us. That is His great big Daddy-heart for every one of us.

My friend, if you’re struggling to believe this, that’s okay. I do at times as well. God doesn’t expect us to believe perfectly. He wants us to believe He is perfect and can do all things. He is our greatest promise and hope.

Lord, forgive our unbelief and help us believe You and Your promises. Let our lives bring You great glory. In Jesus’ Holy Name, amen.

Have an amazing weekend full of God’s rest and love.
Love you dearly,
Dineen

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Weekend Worship — Prisoners of Hope

831982_hopeHappy weekend, my friends! First, I want to thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement and prayer on my Wednesday post. I am so thankful for this community that supports and encourages each other. It all points to God and His amazing presence here. You give Him great glory.

I don’t want to make this post about my daughter’s situation but will just say that we know it’s supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and is very treatable and not uncommon. If I may, I ask only for your prayers that she press into her faith in a deeper way and that she be delivered of all fear. As her mama, I want to see my girl walk into the fullness of the life Jesus has for her. I bet you can relate to that. If I can pray for in like manner for one of your kiddos, leave a comment. That would bless me to pray for you.

Yesterday I stumbled (i.e. God led and I followed and read) on a verse that just ministered to my heart right now in a big way.

Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. — Zechariah 9:12 (NLT)

The NIV refers to those Zechariah is speaking to as “prisoners of hope,” but I love the New Living translation of this verse because of the clarity it gives the repayment of our troubles. Zechariah is speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem who had returned from their captivity in Babylon.

What touched my heart about this?

  • God sees us in our trials and troubles
  • God offers us safety
  • God promises to restore what we’ve lost in double portion

Wow, now that’s the kind of hope that exceeds anything the world can offer us. And I’m standing on this promise. I’ve prayed it over myself and my family, and I am praying it for our SUM community too. I believe Abba not only will but wants to do this for us. That is His great big Daddy-heart for every one of us.

My friend, if you’re struggling to believe this, that’s okay. I do at times as well. God doesn’t expect us to believe perfectly. He wants us to believe He is perfect and can do all things. He is our greatest promise and hope.

Lord, forgive our unbelief and help us believe You and Your promises. Let our lives bring You great glory. In Jesus’ Holy Name, amen.

Have an amazing weekend full of God’s rest and love.
Love you dearly,
Dineen

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Weekend Worship — We are Surrounded!

SunbowwithPlaneHello my beautiful friends! I'm so glad I'll be back full swing next week. I've missed you all so much.

I've dipped into the comments frequently just to keep connected to you all and discovered many of us have been hit with more spiritual warfare these last few weeks. This has pushed me to dig deeper into God's Word, and I’ve filled my journal with pages and pages of these truths and promises. and I believe this kind of increase in warfare is indicative to a coming breakthrough, so don't be discouraged! A holy expectation fuels my prayers, and I pray that for you too.

But I want to share something Abba showed me last week. I was on my prayer walk with my wacky dog River, and talking to Abba about all that was on my heart. I was a bit weary that day, to be honest. I've never had to war and pray in the spiritual realm to this degree, my friends.

As I walk I love to look up in the sky and as I did this, I noticed another sunbow! A sunbow is like a rainbow but it completely circles the sun like a bright ring. Sometimes you'll see colors too. Abba seems to love to send me sunbows, so I received it with a smile and affirmation that He was hearing me.

But He didn't stop there. As I looked up, I noticed an airplane, small and black flying toward the sunbow (I created this picture to show you what I saw). As I watched Abba spoke to my heart that the bright sun in the middle is Him and I'm there with Him, and the ring of light is Him surrounding me. We shine brightly together.

See that little black speck to the right of the sun? That’s an airplane, in case you can’t tell. LOL! Now this airplane looks big and daunting on its own, but so tiny next to this bright ball of light. Really, itty bitty. From my perspective I watched the plane fly by the sun, not too close either. Abba told me that was the enemy, so small and insignificant in comparison to Him and I together. In fact, the enemy can't even get close or he'll burn up.

My friends, this so comforted my heart and spoke to my soul. When I've hit just a hint of discouragement since that day, I hear Abba say, "Remember the plane."

I do and I am restrengthened. It's a beautiful picture and one I want to share with you. Our powerful Daddy is with us wherever we are and surrounding us, always. The enemy will try to appear much larger and threatening, but remember the plane. Compared to Abba, he's tiny and insignificant.

Here are some of the Scriptures that hold even more meaning for me in light of this beautiful picture. I speak them out loud and pray them back to Abba. I pray they strengthen and encourage you too!

I love you, my SUM family. So very much. See you next week!
Dineen

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. — 1 John 4:4
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. — Luke 10:19
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. — Psalms 16:8

(I searched this song on YouTube and found this one full of Scriptures with the song. The mind blow was seeing many of the same Scriptures I have been writing in my journal! Plus new ones to write down too. Oh, my dear friends, God is so GOOOOOD! Hop over to YouTube and watch it there if it won't let you here. Hugs!)

Image credit: mscornelius / 123RF Stock Photo

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On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Good Friday morning SUMites Nation: 

TLPMy friends, it looks like the enemy has stolen much from the family of the SUMites. The post on Monday moved my heart and I rose up with a righteous anger in prayer for all of you. I’m declaring through the love of Jesus that marriages, addiction, childhood, abuse, financial distress, homes, and more are completely restored and redeemed, seven –fold. In Jesus name amen. (And Lord, take the enemy to the pit and spank him please). 

Today I want to share a new way to pray. I may have shared this in the past, so if this is a repeat, I’m sorry. But my heart is moved to help this SUMite family discover the true power we have in our prayer life and how God desperately wants us to pray. 

I pray to Remind Him of his promises and to compel Him to action. It may seem strange that we would need to compel God to action. But what I’m finding is by reminding God of his promises and repeating the Word back to Him actually accomplishes many things. For one, it’s placing the powerful, living, Word of God into our hearts. It also creates intimacy between us and our Lord. If you don’t believe me, I want you to give it a try this next few weeks. 

Let’s work with the passage of Scripture that has more power than you think. This is a passage we all know very well and yet I believe we’ve missed so much of its truth, power and the intimacy it brings. 

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the evil one.’

If you remember from Monday’s post, I shared with you that there is no cancer in heaven. So I have begun to pray The Lord’s Prayer like this: 

Our father in heaven, holy is your name. Lord let me bring your Kingdom to earth. Lord in heaven there is no cancer. So I’m believing there is no cancer here on earth in the realms where I pray. I Know Your Kingdom reigns in my house. I know Your Spirit reigns in my heart. So, when I pray for healing of people with cancer, I’m calling down your Kingdom into this earth. In the powerful name of Your Holy, Son, Jesus. AMEN! 

So, right now I ask you what is happening in your life that is not of the kingdom? I want you to begin to pray the Lord’s Prayer back to God. And tell Him, that in His Kingdom, there is (financial provision, no abuse, addictions, separations, ending of marriages, children who are victimized…. To name a few). Pray your specific prayer over and over in a personal dialog with our King. In Jesus name. 

I want you to write your prayer out NOW in the comments. I will pray alongside of you. It is redemption time and we are the prayer warriors who are joining with our Lord to take back ground from an ugly and evil enemy. In the name of our Redeemer, Jesus. Amen. 

I love you my friends, Lynn 

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Weekend Worship — The Glory Within

My friends, I told you Wednesday that I had something amazing to share with you. I’ve been reading all the books of the prophets since last year and last week, landed in the book of Zechariah. As I read Zechariah 2, my spirit began to blaze and come to live. And verse 5 completely did me in. Take a look:

Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him:
“Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’”

As I read this, it was as if Abba whispered in my ear that we, the SUMites, are like Jerusalem in that we are a city without walls. And we are growing! And Abba’s promise is that He will be a wall of fire around us and our glory within!

My friends, I’ve been praying this for all of us since then. “Lord, be that wall of fire around us and our glory within!” Pray with me, SUMites, that we would be a blazing light in the world and shine for all to see. I believe Abba is going to be calling upon us to share our fire, our hearts, and His great love for all. This blaze was started right in our homes and now He is calling us to carry the torch into our churches and communities.

I don’t know what this will look like and I’m sure it will be different for each of us. As I shared in my post last week, we are being called and this is part of what Abba is revealing at this time. If you feel the Holy Spirit stirring a piece of this message in you, share it in the comments. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Be on fire for Him!
Dineensig

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Spread the Love!

21093836_sMy friends, I'm on a love journey. 

When I was a little girl and a teenager, I believed love was the greatest force of all. That love conquered all. Though I can look back and see that this was Abba working in my life in so many ways, I didn't know Him and defined love according to human capabilities and standards, which wound up represented and defined by the flawed human beings around me.

Thus, my definition of love was flawed. Still hope-filled but destined to disappoint. As my faith has grown I've learned that Jesus is our greatest hope, but my understanding of love had a long way to go. 

I shared with you before our week of fasting and praying that Abba had told me this would a "year of intimacy." Well, let me just say, He wastes no time. Quite honestly I'm stunned at what He shown and revealed to me already. Had no idea He'd work so fast!

So, I'm on a love journey again. I've re-embraced my young belief that love was the answer to all things and now understand that IS Jesus. As it says in 1 John 4 that God IS love, Love is our greatest answer, our greatest healer, our greatest defender, our greatest everything.

And the amazing part is that I'm hearing this from so many people all over the place. In fact, I went to an evening worship service last Sunday evening at another church and the pastor's message was all about God's love for us, that He's absolutely crazy about us. This man is on a love journey with Jesus too. 

My friends, this is Abba's heart right now. For all of us (yes, even you sitting there thinking this doesn't inlcude you. It does, trust me.) He is spreading His message of love through so many right now and asking us to share His love with others. He is LOVE and wants to be known for His love. 

Right now I want you to imagine Jesus standing in front of you. Now take every bit of condemnation, thoughts of unworthiness, beliefs of insignificance—whatever trips you up in truly believing you are loved completely by Jesus—and offer it to Him right now. Keep handing this stuff over to Him if you have to. When you're done, ask Him this:

"Jesus, what do you have in exchange for me?" Be still and wait for an answer. He will speak to you—your heart, your mind, an image, a thought—in whatever way He knows you will hear Him. Don't hurry or rush off. You don't want to miss anything, do you?

Then read these words and really receive them. This is God's Word. His truth about you. 

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." — John 15:9

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." — John 15:11

"You did not choose me, but I chose you..." — John 15:16

SUMites, do this as often as you need to with a desire to fully embrace and understand how loved you are. I don't think we'll fully embrace it this side of heaven, but Abba sure wants us to understand a whole more than we do.

During your next quiet time, sit with Jesus. Ask Him these questions, one at a time, and wait for His answers. You may see an image or be reminded of a Scripture. Or you may be flooded with a string of words or feelings.

1. What do you think of me?

2. What do you like most about me?

3. What do you want most for me?

Then what? Tell somebody else that Jesus loves them just like He loves you! Share with them how He has shown His great love for you, and tell them Jesus wants to do the very same thing for them. Spead the love, my friends!

Spread THE Love!

Dineensig

 

 

 

Here are some more goodies I want to share with you:

698517_dancingMy post, "God's Faithfulness to a Mother's Prayers," is up over at Choose NOW Ministries. This is a story of my oldest daughter's journey of faith that culminated in a beautiful picture last May. It's the story of God's faithfulness to my prayers for my girls. I pray it encourages and blesses you!

 

Leo&LeslieI have another post over at The Koala Bear Writer that just makes me chuckle. Are you a fan of the show The Big Bang Theory? You're probably wondering how that show could possibly inspire me to write a post about being spiritually mismatched. Hop over and read my post, "The Spiritual Disconnect," and have a read and maybe a laugh. You'll even get to watch a small clip of this hilarious show!

 

LogoAnd one final goody to share. Lynn and I will be on Joy in the Morning with Naomi Cantrell at 889JoyFM.com Thursday morning between 7 am and 8 am Eastern time. We had a blast chatting with Naomi and shared some stories from our book, Not Alone. 

 

Image credit: belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo

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A Fast Finish

6a00d83451ee9f69e2019b03b60213970c-320wi

Untitled3And now we come to the last day of our SUMite community fast for 2014. For whatever degree you were able to participate, congratulations. I hope that this has been a good experience for you.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: — 2 Timothy 4:7

But we have an even greater finish to celebrate. We believers are living in the glorious knowledge that Christ redeemed us.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. — John 19:30

It is finished!

Your sins are gone.

God’s indignation at our sins – past, present, and future – has been satisfied. We believers are reconciled with Him.

God tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom, exposing the Holy Place. Everyone may come into God’s presence freely. It’s an open house. All are invited.

You’re free! You’re free! The victory is won.

Woo! Hoo! Jesus paid it all. There is no more work for us to do.

Let’s celebrate. (Now, where is that chocolate that I got for Christmas?)

Conversation

In the comments below, summarize your experience with this fast or share a closing comment. Are you willing to share an insight? Is there a special meal that you are hungry for?

Prayer

Abba, Father, we praise You for sending Your Son. Help us completely trust that He did finish the job for us. Help us get our minds and hearts around that. Let us accept the gift. Let us live in the freedom You provided for us. We thank You for making Yourself accessible to us. We can come to You at any time and with any petition.  Thank You for the special time this week during our community fast and pray. We remain humbly in Your presence. Amen.

Communion

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. — Luke 22:19-20

{Dineen} Many of you were led to take communion during this fast. I know I was. Even before we started the fast, I woke one night and Abba said we were to close our week of fasting with communion. So to read your comments confirmed how Abba is working in all of us not just individually, but also as a community. A family. And His promises always seem to include family and the generations (children) to come. Did you notice that?

So to close our fast, at dusk set before you a small piece of bread and a little bit of grape juice. Let our prayers be united and be a fragrant and beautiful offering of love and gratitude for what our King Jesus has done this week in all of us—even if you aren't sure at this point, keep watching in the days to come for more revelations and realizations.

Lord Jesus, we break this bread together to remember that You gave your body for us so that we can constantly be in communion with You. You dwell in us now, because Your desire always was and always is to be with us. (Take the bread.)

And now, we take this cup that represents the new covenant, Your precious blood shed for us so that we are new creations, made new. Cover us with Your saving and healing blood, Lord Jesus, and keep our hearts pure and dedicated to You. (Take the juice.)

Lord Jesus, all praise and glory belong to You! We are holding onto You and Your great promises for us. We are stepping out in greater faith for 2014 and BELIEVING You for all things. In Your Mighty Name, Jesus, amen!

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

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A Tale of Prosperity

GodisFaithfulMy friends, I have some news to share and I’m so happy I can share it with you, especially since so many of you prayed for me and my family over our financial situation.

But let me start at the beginning of this God-filled story.

At the end of each year I begin praying for words and Scriptures for each of my family members. Then during our week of fasting here at SUM, I set time aside to pray specifically for each one and listen to what He tells me.

So, last January as I prayed for my husband, I heard the word “prosperity.” This is a word that can mean many things but in light of our financial struggles, which was part of my prayers, I felt this related to that. I kept an open mind though, because above all, I am seeking my husband’s spiritual prosperity, and I believe all of this is interrelated.

But even then, I questioned how this would be possible in light of my husband’s continued unbelief. Abba told me, “I bless him through you.”

And He didn’t stop there. He spoke to me about integrity through these Scriptures:

I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. — Psalm 101:2b

As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, — 1Kings 9:4

I knew Abba wanted me to walk in this place of accountability and integrity as well, even though I hadn’t a clue what that would look like. But on that day on January 4, 2013, I prayed this:

Lord, I will walk in my home, in my life with integrity of heart and uprighteness. Let my heart be as Yours, Jesus, and my strength to be upright from You as well, Holy Spirit. In Your Holy Name, Jesus, amen.

Then just three days later, Abba led me to this verse:

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. — Proverbs 11:25

Little did I know how much worse our financial situation would become when we faced the loss of my husband’s job (A blessing since it wasn’t a place of integrity, and Abba opened a new door for him at a small start-up.), a wedding to pay for, and an unexpected ER visit that would bring us nearly to the breaking point. Perfect ground for Abba to come in and do miracles, right?

Well, yes, but not what I expected. I wanted Abba to come in with a big swoop and set everything right. He wanted to do things His own way so that His will would be accomplished as He planned and saw best. I can honestly tell you that though I’ve no doubt things were accomplished, as of today I only have a partial picture, because this story is still playing out.

And there were many days I wondered if I had misunderstood, days where I wondered how I would be able to pay for needed medications, pay bills, or keep food on the table. I’m still in awe as to how He did that, just enough to provide but not undo what our perseverance was accomplishing.

The waiting and the wondering have been the most challenging, as I’m sure you know. Many of us are in this place somewhere in our lives where we are waiting for God’s promise to materialize and save the day. And when conditions get worse, we find it harder to persevere and stand in place, because we wonder if we heard wrong or had we done something to mess things up. I’ve bought into that last lie a lot in the past.

And that’s what it is, a lie. Abba is not fickle with His favor, and from experience, I can truthfully say that sometimes the worst of a situation must be exposed before restoration can begin. Like an infected wound, the puss must be cleansed in order for healing to begin.

Now back to the good news. The start-up my hubby works for has been acquired by a large company and that is good for all concerned. This will enable us to recover slowly and even reach for a particular dream we have in our minds and hearts in about a year or so.

I love that Abba is doing this slowly so that we can continue to grow and be good stewards through all this as He continues to work in my hubby’s heart. I sense this is still a crucial time for growth and preparation for what’s coming down the road.

So, my friends, I hope this encourages you to continue to persevere and keep trusting God. If you feel your promise is delayed, ask Abba why. Above all remember that He does not withhold His good from us and if there’s something we’re asking for and not getting, He’s most likely protecting us or wanting to give us something better.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11

Abba, I pray that You would stir our hearts and our spirits with wisdom to pray for your good gifts and give us the patience, endurance and perseverance we need in the time between our request, our thanks and our receipt of Your good and perfect gifts. Give us supernatural eyes and ears to see and hear Your presence every day. We love and praise You, King Jesus, and give You all the glory. Amen!

Love you all so much, my friends. If you have a prayer that you have been are carrying alone, share it and let’s pray for each other. Where two or three gather in His name...

Dineensig

*****

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Who Prayed for You?

IStock_000001262149XSmallDear friends, I’ve shared in the past that I didn’t grow up in a Christian home but at about age 4 or 5 I remember taking a bus to Sunday school. It wasn’t until I reached my teen years that I started to seek God for myself but even then I hadn’t a clue what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus.

I think we all have a time or many times in our lives where we can look back and see how we narrowly escaped something. I can look back at my childhood and teen years and see how God protected me from some pretty bad stuff. Over the years I have surmised that someone had to be someone praying for me.

Last week, I found out who.

My mother’s cousin—my second cousin—is a strong believer and has been since he returned from Vietnam. He’s also a musician and cartoonist. He sent me a package last week with a couple of his CD’s and a beautiful letter that left me stunned and in tears. In a good way!

He shared his story about coming to Christ in 1970 and how he began praying for his family on a daily basis. I was 5 at the time—he called me the “baby” of the family.

I never expected to find out who had prayed for me this side of heaven, and I feel like I’ve been given a gift. One I want to share with you.

His prayers released God’s protection and a need for Jesus in my life from a very young age. His prayers released God’s presence to continually work in my life even though didn’t know it. His prayers assisted God’s pursuit of my heart and began a great work that even now, at this very moment is still in action.

In 1970 this dear man began praying for his family. From those prayers were birthed my faith, my place in many ministries including this one and my two daughters who also are believers.

My friends, this is what our prayers do! For our children, our pre-believers, our family members, our friends and even the random person God may point out and tell you to pray for! James 5:16 states that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. What if we started to really believe this and traded our doubts for expectancy? You are releasing the power and presence of God into the lives of others. Believe it!

I want to challenge you to say this to yourself after you pray. As soon as you say “amen,” say, “I am a righteousness person because of the blood of Jesus, and my prayers are powerful and effective. Lord, I’m watching to see what You do next.”

Do it all week and even longer until you notice that you have started to pray with belief instead of doubt. Amen? Amen!

Praying and believing!!!
Dineen

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Change Your Atmosphere

HandHoldingCrossMy friends, I’ve been on a journey to understand the mystery of the kingdom of God. Would you like to take a trip with me?

It starts with John proclaiming Jesus’ coming, that the kingdom of God was “at hand,” which translates from the Greek to mean near, approaching, to come near.

Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’ — Mark 1:14-15 (NASB)

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” — Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)

Then Jesus came and preached the same thing:

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” — Matthew 4:17 (NASB)

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” — Matthew 4:17 (NIV)

The enemy took away our identity as children of God in the Garden of Eden. Jesus came and reconnected us so that we could be God’s children once again through Him. Total shocker for the enemy so he had to change his game plan. If he couldn’t in truth keep us separated from Abba, he would make us believe we are separated from God’s kingdom by making us think we are just biding our time here on earth until we die and we step into our inheritance in Jesus (power and authority) in heaven.

I love this next one, because Jesus is literally standing among these men who have claimed to be experts about the Torah and are now asking when the kingdom would come. Jesus’ reply is classic “read between the lines” in response. He’s saying, “I’m right here. I’m the kingdom.”

Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” — Luke 17:20-21 (NIV)

There’s even more meaning here as well. The older NIV translation actually says “because the kingdom of God is inside you.” And if you look up the Greek translation of the word “midst,” it means within, among, inside.

Now look at these:

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:27 (NIV)

This is nothing new, right? We understand that Christ is in us. But what I’m beginning to grasp more fully is that if Christ is the Kingdom of God and Christ is in us, we carry the Kingdom of God in our midst—within us! There is no separation.

Abba spoke these words to me during worship Sunday: “You are established in Me.”

My friends, we are established in Jesus, the kingdom of God and the heavenly realms. That is powerful! Believe this and you will no longer feel ineffective in your faith walk. Ask the Holy Spirit to transform your mind with this truth (Romans 12:2)

Now I’ve frequently heard the verse that says faith like a mustard seed can move mountains. Did you know Jesus also compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed as well? Take a look:

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” — Luke 13:18-19 (NIV)

Just as our faith is meant to grow stronger, so is the kingdom of God. As we grow in faith and share our faith with others, we are helping to expand and grow the kingdom of God that is within us, because Christ is in us.

That means we are atmosphere and game changers, my friends. Wherever we are and wherever we go, we carry the Kingdom of God with us. And as we ask Jesus to increase in us, we are also expanding the kingdom as well and becoming more and more influential in the atmosphere around us—our homes, our families, our friends, etc.

Make sense? Let’s go just a little bit further. Look at this piece of Scripture:

And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. — Ephesians 2:6

So as I’ve taken this journey, the Lord’s prayer has totally changed in its meaning for me. If we are in Christ and Christ and His kingdom are in us and we are seated in the heavenly realms with Him, then when we pray this prayer I believe we are literally praying open the heavens in whatever situation we are praying about.

Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. — Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)

I am now praying this prayer over my family, situations, over myself and over many of you, my friends. For my husband, I pray that God’s will for his life as He ordained it in heaven will be released and present here on earth now. I pray this for my daughters too.

Over situations I pray God’s will be done exactly as He has planned it in heaven. The light bulb is going on in and over my head, and I think I’m getting it. So much of what we pray and how we pray it comes from what we truly believe inside, my friends. Ask the Holy Spirit for revelation from God’s Word and for Him to transform your mind and what you believe. Then watch how your atmosphere changes as you are transformed!

Praying for radical transformation for all of us, SUMites!
Dineen

(p.s. This week I'm at the American Christain Fiction Writers Conference in Indianapolis. Forgive me if I'm slow to reply to comments and emails. Love and treasure you all! Hugs!)

*****

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Rosh Hashana - Sanctified

  • א׳ בְּתִּשְׁרֵי תשע״ד

Today is the first of Tishrei 5774. 

SUM Prayer and Fasting
That is today's date on the Jewish calendar. It is also the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashana. 

I don’t know about you but I’m fascinated by the Jewish culture ancient and current. And for some reason Rosh Hashana, The New Year, has a draw on my soul and pulls me into learning more about my Jewish heritage. And I am of Jewish heritage. Jesus, my family redeemer, was born into the line of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph. And by the way, Jesus is your family redeemer too! 

So as I ponder our Papa, the Lord of All, I wonder how He views this New Year. I like to ponder about God. I recall that the Jewish people believe this is a time of accounting of mankind. That people pass before the Lord and He takes an account of their life over the past year and He also sets in order certain things for the coming year. Now I don’t know much about that but it’s still fascinating to consider. God is God of the Jews and the Gentiles and I wonder, does he make an account of our lives once a year? 

Fascinating. 

On my walk n pray yesterday, I asked God about this holiday and the fasting we are doing as a community and He said to me, “Lynn, for you and this community, I desire for you to become Sanctified. You are to become sanctified for two reasons. One, you are the harvesters and you are the seed planters. I give seed and you plant it into the hearts of many. And two, you have great favor and I want to give you gifts of bread. You are my sons and daughters and I want to live in the details of your life and delight you.” 

Whoa! My friends. 

So today, let’s take this journey with our God and discover what it means to become sanctified and have the favor of God. And the favor of God is precious as God loves everyone the same but He favors those who are sanctified. 

And why does God want us to be sanctified? To receive His favor and to bring our families into this realm of sanctification. 

So who is Jehovah-Qadesh? The Lord your sanctifier Lev. 20:8 

In Hebrew, the word for sanctified is qadesh, and many scholars submit that it originates from another word that means "to cut." When you combine the word qadesh with the divine name Jehovah, it opens our eyes to yet another aspect of His nature. Jehovah-qadesh, or "the Lord who sanctifies you," speaks of God's divine influence upon His people. It speaks of the manner in which He takes those who are His and purifies and sanctifies them, or separates them, from the world they were once a part of. 

God calls us to be different than those of the world. After all, if we as followers of Christ aren’t different, why would anyone want to follow Christ? People hunger for the powerful Christ of the Bible. And those of us with God’s favor, bring Him into the world. 

That is the seed planting. 

But my friends, the bread... It's is a glorious gift from a Father who loves us. And eating of the bread, what is that? Well it's living every day in the favor of God and this is what it looks like in an average day of my life. My story may seem silly but God just loves to spned time with me, delight me and He shows up every day in so many ways and He blows my mind. Here is an example. 

As you know I walk n pray every morning out in the wine country near my home. On rare occasions I am confronted, even charged, by domestic dogs that scare the crap out of me *ahem.* Anyhoo, there is a certain place these dogs like to linger to chase squirrels and it’s a hidden area around a bend in the road. They are rarely there but the last time I enjoyed one of these confrontations *sarcasm* was on an early Sunday morning. So last Sunday, as I’m walking and I start around this bend in the road, my anxiety rises a bit because I don’t know what or how many barking dogs might be ahead. So I pray, “Dad, I would really like it if there weren't any dogs ahead. Can you send angels to makes sure they aren’t there. And then Dad, could you just send someone who is also on a walk down the road toward me, so I know there aren’t any dogs ahead?” 

I kid you NOT. As soon as the words crossed my lips, I see an older couple walking a tiny dog coming down the road in front of me. I knew immediately that the road ahead was safe as these people weren’t rattled and the little dog was walking right beside them with his tiny feet shuffling along the road. 

God favors those who choose to believe Him. He favors those who believe His word and follow hard after Him. He favors those who pray and who love people. God favors those who love Him more than themselves. And God favors those who live in a spiritually mismatched home. 

This next year is going to be the most amazing, supernatural, and life-changing year for this community yet. Release yourself into the tender, loving arms of our Daddy and become sanctified. Because God, our Father who is always good greatly desires to give His children good things. He desires to be part of our everyday, our ordinary and make our life extraordinary.

Matthew 7:11b how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Today, look up the following passages and pray them back to God. Ask Him to fully sanctify you , your marriage, your family and ask Him if there is anything in your heart that is not sanctified and that needs to go so God can pour more into your life.

John 17:13-19

1 Corinthians 7:14

So, today as you fast. Ask for God's favor. Ask for more of Him. Ask for an increase of His Holy spirit. Ask for wisdom and revelation. Ask for a fresh anointing of the Spirit. Ask for His Holy Fire of Sanctification.

Let me know today if you are fasting. Leave your name in the comments and one thing you are asking of God in this new year. I will pray with you.

We are walking today on Holy ground. Remove your shoes, fast, pray and watch the breakthroughs come. In King Jesus name. Amen.

Hugs, Lynn

*****

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A Sacrifice for Freedom

6036911_sMy friends, I have to tell you that God is doing more than I expected in this week so far. (Tamara, thank you again for suggesting we do a week like this.)

In less than twenty-four hours God put the word JOY in front of me almost a dozen times. (Yes, I counted.) In two devos, the first name of a woman who requested to be friends on Facebook, the wrapper on a candy cane from last Christmas that my daughter found in the cookie jar, several Scriptures emailed to me from various places, as I ready my Bible...

I think you see what I mean. Abba wants us to be joy-filled!

And yesterday, as I prayed for Him to tell me what He wanted us to have for today, so many things went through my mind as I prayed for our community. What did we need most? First Abba reminded me of the truths in 1 John 4. Read that chapter and note specifically this verse:

We love because he first loved us. — 1 John 4:19

We are believers because God loved us first (and let that supernatural love be your “spa soak” today). He loves our pre-believers exactly the same way too. We can trust God for their salvation, and He is in pursuit of our spouses just like He pursued us.

As I stood under the shade of a tree praying for our community, God spoke this to my heart:

“Tell them to give Me their husbands.”

(For our male readers, insert wives as I believe this is for you too.)

Sumites, my heart constricted and tears sprang to my eyes, and even as I type this I am so moved by this. Because it’s not just about the obvious part—salvation. It’s about God’s heart for us to be free. Free from the worry, free from a burden we are not intended to carry, and free to love in our mismatched places without fear because we choose to trust God.

So today we are going to do two things. It may seem a little out there but this is what God showed me. Get a piece of bread and some grape juice, because communion will be part of this.

Find a quiet time and place, even a closet if you need to. Take your bread and juice with you. If you’re able, get on your knees and tell God that you release your spouse completely into His hands. That you want to trust Abba with your spouse’s future completely as well as your own, and if needed, ask Jesus for forgiveness if you sense you have made an idol of your spouse and/or his or her salvation. This is about you finding freedom and not about praying for your spouse’s salvation.

Try to visualize yourself literally placing your spouse on Abba’s altar and leave him or her there. Stay in this place as long as you need and end with taking an intimate communion with Jesus. As the Holy Spirit releases you, take note of the level of freedom you now sense in your heart. And peace.

Here’s the second part. Last week I found my trust in Abba waning a bit in one area, because my family and I walking through a very difficult time and even though I know this is more about my husband than me, I’m struggling at times. God sent me this verse last week:

But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, "You are my God!" ~ Psalm 31:14, NLT

I prayed that verse out loud and continued to pray it anytime I felt my joy slipping or worry and fear creeping in. That was it, and I am newly convinced again at the power of God’s Word when spoken out loud over ourselves. My trust grew again as did my joy.

So pray this verse over yourself anytime you feel your focus slipping away from Abba and onto whatever conflict you are facing. You will feel your trust grow and strengthen.

I am trusting You, Lord, because You are my God!

I want to encourage you to write down your impressions and experiences in your journal this week. I know you will want to go back and read them time and again.

My precious friends, I am standing in the gap this week praying for breakthroughs, encounters with Jesus and for the Holy Spirit to increase in us. Don't forget that tomorrow we are fasting from sunrise to sundown. I have a feeling you will hear God very specifically during this time, especially after this time of prayer and communion with Jesus. 

Love you like crazy, my sisters and brothers in Jesus!
Dineen

Image credit: jillbattaglia / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

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A Feast of Joy

File000638778040My friends, today begins our “Spiritual Spa Week.” Today, I want you to look at a line of Scripture that absolutely undid me last week. I was struggling to feel centered in God and feel His love and this is what broke that off of me:

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. — Luke 10:21

Jesus was full of joy! And we are meant to be too. Remember, that’s not the same as happiness, which is based on happenings. Joy comes from the Lord and is in no way dependent upon our circumstances. The joy of the Lord is also our strength too, remember?

Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10

So today's focus is simple but more profound than we realize. This place of joy is not something we can do on our own, we can't manufacture it, and it is readily available to us from Abba when we ask for it. Here is the basis of our prayer today to ask for that:

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” — Psalm 51:12.

God literally woke me one morning with this power-packed verse on my lips, and I couldn’t have even told you where it came from. I had to do a Google search for it. And now it is the prayer I go to when I sense my joy is waning. And Abba supplies, without fail. So pray this today, SUMites. Joy comes from God just as our salvation does too. So fitting that Psalm 51:12 verse clearly refers to salvation as His. And I truly sense this joy is crucial to our spiritual health and to this time we are in right now. 

Let's pray:

Lord, restore the joy of Your salvation to me and fill me with more of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, amen!

Just pray this prayer throughout the day, the rest of the week and anytime you fill your joy waning. Don't "work" at it. Just pray and ask. And you will be filled with His joy, my friends!

Praying for our SUMite Nation to be filled with so much of His JOY that the world can't help but notice and want what we have.
Love you all so much! 
Dineen

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Weekend Worship — It's the little things...

My precious friends, I have held so many of you up in prayer these last two weeks. And I will tell you the enemy has been hard at work at my door too. Even to trying to cloud my mind and make it difficult for me to pray. 

I want to share a verse that has been invaluable for me this week:

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. —Romans 8:6

I pray this Scripture over myself when I find I'm struggling with my thoughts in any way. Because our actions are the fruit of our thoughts and I want to bear great fruit for Abba! 

So I pray something like this:

Holy Spirit, set my mind and thoughts, my emotions and my feelings all on You, so that I walk in the fullnes of the life You've designed for me and know Your peace. Remove any thought that is not in alignment with You, Jesus, and guard me from temptations.

The key to this, my friends, in not just to pray but to believe as well. I'm learning to truly look at my heart when I pray for something I know is in God's will for me and ask myself if I truly believe He will answer my prayer. 

Lately I've found myself praying this too: Help my unbelief, Lord. Help me believe.

God is so faithful. He never lets go and never stops pursuing us. He knows what we need and often sends it even before we ask. Like an encouraging word from a friend, an Amazon gift card sent from another caring friend who "somehow knew" I needed something, and cup of hot cocoa homemade by my daughter who thought I needed a something "sweet" in my day.

Yep, those are some of the little things God showed up in my week to bolster this weary girl. I love You, Jesus. You are my best friend and comforter.

SUMites, we have some really great stuff coming next week so be sure to stop by. You don't want to miss any of it.

Love you and praying for you, my precious friends. So honored to be a part of this amazing journey with you!
Dineen 

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Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part Three

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Believing and praying with and for you!
Dineen

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Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part Two

NehemiahWall2My friends, thank you for taking this journey with me through the book of Nehemiah and praying through these valuable Scriptures that God wants us to see and understand. I wish I could completely explain what I sense from God's heart for us, the SUMites. The way this community has grown and come together is no accident. God has been intentionally moving here to bring us forward in His plan for the Great Harvest.

I want to clarify about the walls in this series, because a couple people have asked for clarification and that's important. I so appreciate their willingness to ask as it helps me see if I've not explained something as well as I'd hoped. There so much going on and around us, I can barely keep up let alone get it down to words!

In the book of Nehemiah, the walls were for protection, to bring unity and restore the purpose and place of the Israelites as God's people. The walls were to establish boundaries and for protection. Good walls! God wants us to be ready and strong, my friends. Lynn and I have both written in recent weeks how we have sense that God is going to use us in crucial ways to bring many to Christ. As the SUMites we have a unique skill set and God is going to use it, but we have to be ready first. We have to repair, rebuild and "shore up" those broken and weak places in our faith, our beliefs and our marriages.

I kind of think of it as something like this. The enemy has hit us hard, especially recently. There are cracks and breaks in our faith walls and our armor. We can't just toss a prayer here and there and hope it fills the gaps as if we were just tossing handfuls of cement at a broken wall, hoping they would land where they needed to and create a new structure. God wants us to be intentional as we stand strong and firm, and rebuild and repair. Then we are strong in Him and protected as He calls us to where He wants us to serve. It's hard to serve Him confidently when we are vulnerable to the enemies attacks, and one way I have found that enemy works is to bring such chaos into our lives that we even our prayer lives begin to feel chaotic and ineffective. THAT is what we are re-establishing! 

So let's continue shoring up our walls, SUMites! If you haven't read part one yet, scroll down and then come back and read part two. 

then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows. — Nehemiah 4:13
When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Nehemiah 4:15-16
Lord, thank you for frustrating the plans of the enemy. Show us the exposed places in our marriages, in our lives and in our hearts. Holy Spirit, help us don our armor—belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sword of the spirit, helmet of salvation, and establish our feet in the Truth. Lord, we will stand firm in You. Restore and establish the territory of our marriages and family. And we boldly ask for the new territories you have waiting for us.
At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” — Nehemiah 4:20
For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “ They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. — Nehemiah 6:9
Abba, thank You that the enemy's attempts to make us fearful and discouraged will fail. Strengthen our hands, our hearts and our spirits for the work to be done. Thank You for fighting for us! We claim every victory now and praise You for each and every one.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10
Great joy, great strength! Pour out Your Spirit over us for this is the time of the Lord's victory. King Jesus, You are our joy! Such powerful and amazing joy! All praise and glory go to You!
The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. — Nehemiah 8:17
Abba, we declare and claim our time of rejoicing, because You are good and faithful. All that You have promised and said You will do, we believe, Lord, we believe! Your are good, faithful and true to all Your promises.
While they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. — Nehemiah 9:3
Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! — Nehemiah 9:5
Your name be praised, Lord! Forever and ever. For You are holy and glorious and worthy of all our praise and blessings. We bless You, Lord! This is our great honor and blessing—to love and worship You!
“You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst, And You told them to enter in order to possess The land which You swore to give them." — Nehemiah 9:15
Lord, You are faithful and You keep Your promises. Thank You for Your provision for us, thank You for taking care of us. You see our needs, every one of them. You are righteous and so faithful. We are overwhelmed by Your passion for us! Overwhelming passion, a holy and righteous anger for us, Your children. We are not forgotten! You see us, everyone of us! We step forward in trust and faith into the places You have promised us. Abba, continue to grow a hunger in us for You. Help us to understand where You are asking us to go and help us to be faithful and obedient.

My friends, I hope you are seeing the promises here. Yes, we are in a battle but God is fighting for us! He is giving us such joy for strength. He intends for us to rejoice in our victory because He has ordained that we will succeed wherever He is calling us. And we will be fully equipped as we intentionally do our part to pray and stand firm.

I will stop here and finish this on Monday (be sure to come back tomorrow for weekend worship though!). Oh my friends, God’s mercies are new each morning and His promises are forever and for us!

Lord, we claim every promise You are giving us! Thank you for your great faithfulness. We love you!

I love you all so much, my dear friends! So very, very much! And I am praying and rooting for you! Let's share our prayers and hearts in the comments.
Dineen

*****

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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. 

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Praying God's Word

My friends, today I want to make you aware of a couple of great resources. Kathi Lipp is one of my favorite people and a treasured friend. She is as real and authentic in person as she is in her books. And her books encourage, delight and are amazing tools for us to use. 

 

Praying-Gods-Word-for-Your-Life1Praying God’s Word for Your Life gives women the direction and Scripture they need to bring purpose and power to their prayers. The simple strategies Kathi Lipp shares will create in women the habit of praying with renewed boldness, consistency, and expectation. And Kathi’s warm, approachable style will make praying Scripture accessible to new believers and lifelong Christians alike.

 (Kathi gave me a book to give away so be sure to leave a comment if you want to be entered in the drawing.)

 

The other book I want to share with you is Praying God's Word for Your Husband. There's even a chapter in there about praying for your husband when he doesn't believe, which I had the privilege to write for Kathi. But besides that, this book will give you lost of ideas of ways to pray for your husband. 

 

Praying-gods-word-for-your-husband-smallWomen often offer up polite prayers to God without any real hope of seeing change in their marriage, their husbands, or themselves. Kathi Lipp directs women to Scripture and shows wives how to pray God's Word boldly and in full confidence of seeing God-sized results. Praying God's Word for Your Husband shows readers how to stop feeling helpless and start making a difference in their husbands' lives through bold, expectant prayer, whether they are new believers or have been walking with God for years.

(This book is on sale for Kindle for $1.99 right now. Great deal for a great book!)

 

My friends, I pray these books are good resources for you and will inspire you not only in how to pray  but to keep praying for yourself and your husband. Praying God's Word is powerful and is our sword, remember?

I will catch you again on Saturday for the Weekend Worship. If you've come across some awesome worship songs lately, send the link to me (dineen@mismatchedandthriving.com) . I'm always looking for great new worship songs or even old ones that speak right to the heart of what God is doing right here in our community.  

Have an amazing week drenched in God's Word, dear ones. Love you all so much!
Dineen

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935759_512368882145065_1841852146_nKathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the of The Husband Project: 21 Days to Loving Your Man—on Purpose and with a Plan, The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter, and The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted and The “What’s for Dinner?” Solution. She is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and dozens of other radio programs. Church leaders and women’s ministry directors rely on Kathi to help women move from living out of obligation to enjoying godly passion. She speaks to thousands of women across the US and Canada every year. Kathi and her husband, Roger, are the parents of four young adults and live in San Jose, California. Find out more about Kathi at www.kathilipp.com

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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. 

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Weekend Worship — Overwhelmed by God

Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servants house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O Lord God. What more can David still say to You concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know Your servant. O Lord, for Your servants sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things. O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. — 1 Chonicles 17:16-20

I love this part of David's story. He wanted to build a house of cedar for the ark of the covenant, to create a permanant home for the presence of God. But God totally turns it around and basically says He will establish David's kingdom through his family line and even speaks of His plans for David's descendants. God promises David He will never take His presence away from David and his family lineage.

Then David goes before the Lord and says, "Who am I, Oh Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?"

As I read this I felt myself overwhelmed by God's goodness. Imagine how David felt in this moment? He desired to honor God in the best way he could think of and God takes his offering and turns it completely around and multiplies it back to David. Our Lord is that GOOD!

Wow. Now think of our offering of ourselves. We become the temple of God's Holy Spirit, not a home of cedar but a home of the heart. And God takes our humble offering and multiplies it over and over again. We are blessed to be this "temple" to His Holy Spirit in ways we will not completely understand until we are made complete in Christ and stand in His presence.

I am overwhelmed by God's grace, generosity and goodness. We can't outgive God. His delight in us exceeds perception and understanding. His faithfulness endures forever!

Oh Lord, who are we that You would give us Your very Spirit to live and dwell in us? We are Your children, Your chosen and loved ones whom You bless over and over again with Your very goodness. Thank You, Lord, for bringing us this far. Thank You, Lord, for regarding us and loving us in such high degree. Thank You, Lord, for Your greatness and all that You do in and through us. Abba, there is no one like You! We adore you, Jesus! Amen!

Love you, my friends, so very very much. We belong to the Most High God and we are His delight! 
Dineen 

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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. 

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We are Equipped!

IStock_000019658016XSmallAs we walk in our faith, God continually puts a call on our hearts to be more like Jesus. It's a mystery we will walk through our entire time here and is part of God's Kingdom come here on Earth and is part of God's great plan.

The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I've been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board. This is my life work:helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God's way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. — Ephesians 3:6-8 (The Message)

I'm using The Message paraphrase here because I think it makes this passage in Ephesians more understandable. First, Paul makes it clear that we all stand on the same ground before God. We are all offered the same promises in Christ. Jesus came to die for all of us and it's up to us to accept His gift. I think our SUM community here understands this probably better than most.

But it's the second part of this that I want to point out. Paul shares how taken by surprise he was that he would receive such a gift. He's referring to his past as a Pharisee and his brutal persecution of Christians. We see this happen even today when the least likely in our eyes become powerful tools for God.

The beautiful part (at least to me) is God's loving care in all the details. Paul says the same, that God equipped him to do what he clearly knew he could not. He even emphasizes this in saying it had nothing to do with his natural abilities.

Think about it. Here is a man who once stood in complete authority in the Temple who could have easily relied on his knowledge to move forward in his new standing with Jesus, yet he saw it as way over his head.

We feel that way a lot in our mismatched marriages, don't we? We feel like we're ill-equipped and in way over our head. That would be true if we were completely on our own. But we're not. Just as God equipped Paul down to the smallest details to share the mystery of Christ with Jews and Gentiles alike, God does the same for us.

My friends, this goes way beyond our words! God's Holy Spirit lives and dwells in us. We are equipped to the gills! Perhaps our greatest challenge isn't knowing when to act, speak, or do but in trusting this truth—trusting that God is there equipping us constantly for every situation we encounter or are called to.

Scripture backs this up too:

Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." — Matthew 28:20 (The Message)

We don't have to ask God to be with us. He already is so let's use that prayer power to ask for what we need. Ask God for something He can do, not something He's already done.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. — Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

God's grace doesn't stop at the moment we accept Christ. God's grace is active and working. We tend to think we receive it when we are saved and then it's done, but God's grace is powerful and continues to work in and around us to transform us from the inside out. And that "out" is what those near to us see as we are transformed day by day to walk in the confidence, competence and gifts that come from God.

My friends, we spent a lot of time in our spiritual warfare series on our identity in Christ because this is truly our foundation.

As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. — Luke 6:47-49

Now I believe God wants to build upon our foundation the truths that are part of our inheritance in Christ so that we can walk forward in the promises and victories that are ours.

Any time you feel ill equipped or ineffective, I want you to pray this prayer over yourself and repeat it, out loud whenever possible, to affirm who you are and that Jesus has equipped you:

For I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do. — Ephesians 2:10

The Greek meaning of that word for “works” also means action, behavior, deeds, doing, effectual, labor, result and task. In other words, God created (in the Bible a word that is used exclusively of God and the energy He exerts) us and He planned significant actions that we would do effectively and with results (fruit).

Now repeat this to yourself, and out loud!

God intends for me to be effective and see results in my life.

When we are “walking in the Spirit”—following and seeking God in every part of our lives—we will be effective daughters and sons of the Most High God and see results in our life.

The choice starts with us, my friends. If we want this kind of life, we have to go after it, ask for it and believe it’s possible. God pursues us. We can choose to pursue Him.

Are you with me?

Lord Jesus, You came that we may know the Father as You do and to walk as co-heirs with You. Help us to truly believe this truth and to believe that wherever You are calling us to step out in faith, You have already prepared every detail so that we can walk effectively in this place and produce results (fruit) either in ourselves or to impact the lives of others. Thank you, Lord Jesus for this precious promise and gift! In Your powerful and mighty name, amen!

Praying & believing with you, my precious friends!

Dineen

*****

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Weekend Worship — Praying On Our Armor

We're reaching the end of our spiritual warfare series, my friends, and I can't think of a better way to punctuate all we've learned than praying on our armor of God. Join me in prayer and then let's praise God for His outlandish and extravagant love for us.

Ephesians 6:10-18
Lord, we are strong in You and Your mighty power. We put on our full armor of God, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. Remind us daily that our struggle isn’t against our spouse, our children, our family, our friends, our jobs, our situations, our neighbors, the strangers we meet or even our government. The battle is truly against the rulers, authorities and powers of evil present in this world and in heaven, against satan and his demons working to steal, kill and destroy us.

So today and everyday from now on I put on my full armor of God and stand my ground against the enemy’s schemes against me and my family.

I buckle on the belt of truth, which is Christ dwelling in me because He accepted, adopted, blessed, chose, forgave, loves and redeemed me (Ephesians 1). This is the truth of who I am in Jesus and the foundation of my authority and power in Him. (Luke 9:1-2)

I put my breastplate of righteousness in place over my heart because your Word says to guard my heart above all else for it determines the course of my life. (Prov. 4:23) Lord, I pray that the eyes of my heart be enlightened so that I will know the hope that You have called me to, the riches of my inheritance in Jesus, and the amazing power for us who believe—the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in Heaven as our intercessor forever. (Ephesians 1:18-21)

I stand with my feet firmly placed in the gospel of peace because your word is lamp to my feet and light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

I take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, because He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) The enemy cannot prevail for I am already the victor in this battle. (Romans 8:37-38)

I don my helmet of salvation because the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

I lift sword of the Spirit, which is your Word that I will use faithfully to pray against the enemy and to faithfully live my life in accordance to for we live on every word that comes from Your mouth, Oh Lord. (Deut. 8:3/Matt. 4:4)

Lord, teach and help me to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. And keep me alert to pray for all my sisters and brothers in Jesus. In your mighty, powerful and holy name we pray, amen!

I love you so very much, my precious and beautiful friends. You bless me, inspire me and show me everyday the wonder of God in our lives and what it means to be unified in the Spirit.

Hugging you so very tight with the love of Jesus in my heart,
Dineen

*****

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Who’s Your Daddy?

IStock_000018122105XSmallOkay, I’m totally ripping off Lynn and some tacky song thing, right? But it’s what popped into my head and those are usually my best lines. (wink)

With that said, I’m going to share a few tidbits of my past that, well, I really didn’t plan or want to but God’s giving me the nudge to be even more authentic with you. And I blame Lynn. LOL!

Just like Lynn shared about her “daddy” issues, I’ve had the same challenge as well. My mother and birth father divorced when I was two. I did see my birth father periodically, but it wasn’t an easy situation because he was mentally ill (later diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic).

I don’t remember a whole lot, but I know my mother had it rough keeping food on our table and remarried when I was around four or five, mostly for security. Didn’t work out for very long (it was clear to Mom and I both he wasn’t too keen on having a kid around).

The man I called “Dad” up until two and half years ago when he passed away from cancer was actually my step-dad. He and my mother married when I was eleven. I’m so grateful for this man. Though his own father walked out on him when he was a young boy, he did a good job filling the gap of father in my life, especially without having a good role model. It wasn’t easy for him though. He was always dad, and I was always his daughter, and my girls’ Papa. No "steps" about it.

Whew! Done with the backstory. And please don’t think I share this for attention or pity. I admit in my past I had times of sharing this for that reason but not anymore. I share it because it’s important to the rest of this story.

Fast forward to 2002. I’m at a Women of Faith conference, having a blast with my two best friends from church. We’re singing and worshiping and bam! It’s like my life zips right in front of my eyes. All the rejection I’d experienced as a child and teenager flashed across my mind's eye like a depressing movie from the ‘70s (Am I the only one who hates movies from that time period? So depressing. Blech!)

Anyway, it’s not the past I thought would have “scrolled” through the dank dungeon of my past—you know, all the school yard junk and issues with school and not fitting in, etc.) Nope, it was to do with the three men who’d played the roll of father in my life.

Needless to say it wasn’t pleasant. Thank goodness it happened fast! As it reached the end, Jesus (my first encounter with Him, though I was saved and had recommitted my life to Him almost 10 years prior) spoke to my heart these words:

“I will never reject you.”

Like the story I shared of what happened to me at Bethel, this ripped something out of me that God didn’t want festering there anymore. But more importantly, He knew I needed to hear this/know this/believe this because otherwise I would never be able to trust Him.

My friend, this was the beginning of God working things in my life so that I could one, learn to trust Him, and two, begin to grasp how deeply I am loved by Him. I’m still grasping it.

I know many of you out there reading this have similar stories. That’s the sad part, so many of us do. When we have a broken image of our father here on earth, it’s hard to grasp that our heavenly Father is nothing at all like an earthly father.

I will even go as far as to say this (and feel free to correct me if you think I’m too far “out there): We know the enemy of our soul targets marriage in huge ways, namely because it is something God designed to reflect our relationship with Him. What if the enemy is doing the same thing with our relationships with our fathers? With our children’s relationship with their father?

We see a growing trend in our culture today of absentee fathers. Of men struggling to stay in the church, to be in the church, to be the spiritual leaders of our families. I believe the enemy is attacking this area too because this father image is something else God uses in the Bible to reflect our relationship with Him.

Think about it? The biggest symbols used in the Bible—marriage and fatherhood—that show God’s love for us are the two areas most at risk. And the recovery from this takes time, as Lynn and I have shared. God has had to work in us to undo the lies and replace it with His love and His truth.

So this is what we want you to know, more than anything, right now, right here. God loves you. He made you. He can’t make things He doesn’t love and He doesn’t do shoddy work either. Nor does His love rest upon our performance because if it did then we wouldn’t need grace and Jesus suffered and died on a cross for no reason at all.

Know in your heart of hearts that you were fashioned by His hand out of a love that is all encompassing, unimaginably perfect and so incredibly powerful and passionate that we won’t fully understand it until we are with Him in Heaven. Nor can we be separated from it.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
God wants you to grasp this now. Right now. Because until we do, we will use everything and anything to fill this gap to find fulfillment. Our husband, our children, our friendships, our work, the opinions of others—I know this because I’ve lived it.

Our Lord and Savior wants us to walk in freedom and victory (It is for freedom that He came to set us free. Gal. 5:1). Not when all our problems are solved. Not when our prebelievers finally accept Jesus into their heart. And certainly not when we think we’ve got it all together.

He wants this for us right now, right in the middle of all our imperfections and all our trials and challenges. And we can do that with Him through His love.

My prayers started with asking God to heal me and make me whole. I prayed to understand His grace better. I prayed for Him to help me love Him more, to free me from my fears, and to make me a bold and confident person, because I was so tired of my insecurities. I want more of God than anything else in my life. Not an easy prayer but I promise you it is one He will honor and love to hear come from your heart.

So my friends, I will leave this too long post right here with what I hope will encourage you to pursue God like never before. It starts with prayer and if you’re not sure what to pray for first, ask the Holy Spirit to show you. Pray and then believe He’s doing this in you. It won’t be something you can do on your own, make a plan to conquer, or figure out the missing key and, viola!, it’s fixed. (Trust me, I tried!)

No, the healing, deliverance, and change will come when you least expect it because it will be totally and completely God doing it. Rest in Him. Trust Him. Let Him do it.

And He will love you all the way to freedom and beyond. Because really and truly, He is our Father, our Abba, our Daddy.

Praying and believing for you!
Dineen

*****

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. 

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Over 100 Emails and 8 Countries!!!

6a00d83451ee9f69e2014e8a1f06d0970d-320wiMy friends, the responses to re-sign have been amazing—over one hundred emails and 74 requests for the certificates and wristbands! Women from Canada, Croatia, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Jamaica, England and all over the U.S. have written and so many have said that God had been moving them in this direction too! God is moving BIG, my friends, BIG!  I believe we are seeing just the beginning of something major as God moves to bring revival across the world and also in our marriages. AMAZING!!!

Our "I re-sign!" wristbands are still in the works. I will send them out as soon as they show up on my doorstep! I'd hoped they'd arrive sooner but a check in with the company shows they're taking longer than expected. So hang tight and stand firm in your decision to re-sign.

Below is one of the email replies I received from Stacey Daley who has so graciously and willingly agreed to share her testimony. Please take note of how Stacey followed God's leading and the promptings of the Holy Spirit to help her speak in truth and with courage:

It seems over the past 4 years I have been taking tip-toe steps with a hop periodically. I had never boldly claimed my love for Christ to Brian. He only saw the outward changes and watched as I transformed and took note of how much time I was reading the Bible. After 4 years he became accustomed to it.

Well, about 6 months ago I sold out for Christ to my husband. It was one of those moments I took a dose of Holy Courage and with Holy Boldness shared from my heart what I believe and why. And then I ran to the bedroom, hit the floor on my knees and praised God for giving me the courage to speak the truth and as the tears poured out I asked God to use the truth to his glory. I was convinced that Brian would be so put off by my confidence in Christ that it would send him running in the opposite direction. But, again, I didn't preach... I made a statement of faith and left it at that. What I didn't share with you is that when I read your message about resigning... I had just had a spat with my husband...

Our spats typically go like this: He says or does something hurtful and I become silent. We don't fight, we just avoid each other. I realized that I had allowed the enemy to wedge his way in and cause my focus to drift from praying for Brian to complaining about his insensitivity (silent complaining, but complaining non-the-less). As long as I was complaining and not living joyfully the enemy was doing a victory dance.

God called me out on it. He used your message to open my eyes. I sat down and typed an apology letter to Brian. Knowing him, he probably didn't even realize that I was giving him the silent treatment, but I felt led to apologize. And again, I shared deeply, feeling led by the Spirit... Here is an excerpt,

"that instead of being frustrated with your emotions this week I should have been praying for you like I normally do, but I was distracted by my pity-party attitude. I don’t want the enemy to sneak in and destroy the union between us. I want our union to be blessed. I want to be the godly wife that God calls me to be. I want to learn more, to increase my knowledge of the Word and to apply it to my life… our life. I want to protect our marriage by placing guard rails on our path… our journey through life together, so that no man, or woman will come between us intending our union harm." I told him that I wanted to recommit to him, not only in sickness and health, but even through bad moods and frustrations that may or may not be directed at me. "I will honor you as my husband, and lift you up in prayer asking God to fill you with knowledge and wisdom...."

Then I went on to tell him the things that I pray for him. I know the Holy Spirit was directing my words as they were said in love... "I pray that God will give you peace and security knowing that you are accepted and not rejected by Him. That He will free you from self-consciousness that can imprison your soul. That He will show you who you really are, that you are in the image of Christ. That you will hear the words, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you; the glory of the Lord is your strength.”

I closed with, "I pray that together we will learn to walk in the Spirit, in order that we might bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That God will unite our bond of friendship, commitment, generosity and understanding...and that He would eliminate our immaturity, hostility or feelings of inadequacy. That He will help us to take advantage of alone time to nurture and renew our marriage and remind ourselves of the reasons we were married in the first place. I pray that our love for each other will grow stronger every day…. And that nothing will come into our hearts and habits that would threaten our marriage in any way. I pray that we will search for answers together and that we will learn to trust God and have the faith that will move mountains. I pray that God will open the eyes of our hearts so that we may understand."

So that was a few days ago, and he has not responded with words. He will read, reread, chew on it for a couple of days or weeks and one day it will come up. But in the mean time the Holy Spirit is working in his heart and soul. The seeds you have been planting all along have been watered by God. With the knowledge I have gained from your posts, and praying the prayers from "Power of a Praying Wife," God has truly blessed me by nurturing the seeds that were planted deep in the soil of my soul.

I can only hope that some day I can touch the hearts of women who are hurting as you have touched my heart. To answer your question; I would be honored if you would like to use any part of my story. It's the least I can do...

Thank you again, from the depths of my soul for using your Spiritual gifts and touching so many lives.

Your Sister in Christ,
Stacey Daley

Thank you, Stacey, for sharing your heart and how God led you through this time to not just show your faith but to speak it. When God leads us to such a place, He is right there not only working in and through us, but also in our spouse as well. Believe it!

My precious friends, I pray this encourages you! Lynn and I pray for you all constantly and love you all so dearly!
Praying & believing!
Dineen 

*****

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. 

Both books