22 posts categorized "Sanctification"

Defending Our Mind

21139604_sSUMites, we’ve just come out of our week of prayer & fasting. I must say I am blown away at how powerful this year’s fast seemed to be in our community. Abba is really taking us to new levels and places this year, my friends. 

Don’t be surprised if things continue to be revealed, shift and unfold over the next several weeks. We’ve set the stage for 2017 in a powerful way and God does not disappoint.

Over the week, God revealed some truths in Scripture and connected some dots for me. One I’d like to share with you today, because it’s a new prayer strategy for me. And in light of some of the things God showed me this week and Lynn’s upcoming series on emotional healing, I believe it is timely.

We’ve studied this verse before. In fact, Lynn has a video about it over there in the sidebar. 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Cor. 10:5

Standing on the truth of 1 Cor. 7:14 (chapter eight in our prayer book) and combining it with Jer. 24:7, this is how the Holy Spirit led me to pray it for my husband (and children):

Lord Jesus, I stand before you in my authority as the believing wife who sanctifies her husband through her faith and repent for Mike for his unbelief, doubt and choice of atheism. And in my authority I demolish these arguments of unbelief, doubt and atheism that have set themselves up against the knowledge of God and I take captive every thought bombarding or residing in him that perpetuates or agrees with these lies and make them obedient to the truth of Jesus Christ. And I declare he is a holy man of God, has received a heart that knows God, is now therefore a son of God and will return to God wholeheartedly. In the saving name of Jesus, amen!

For me:

In the name of Jesus Christ, I destroy every argument and every pretension raised against the knowledge of God that resides in my heart, my mind and/or in my life in any way and declare them gone and done. Demolished! And I take captive every thought, doubt, or insecurity and make it obedient to the truth of Jesus. I am a child of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, welcomed before the throne of grace and anointed by God to proclaim and speak truth. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!

Anytime we remove an untruth (lie), it is important to replace it with truth. And based upon what I experienced last week and am sensing the Holy Spirit saying now, God has set something into motion and that which He has placed in us during our time of prayer and fasting will become powerful tools over the weeks and months ahead. Thus we must defend and protect those truths and not allow the enemy to take them away (make us forget) or muddle the truths with his lies (confusion, doubting if you truly heard God, etc.). 

On Friday I will share a bit more of what God revealed to me over the week as He connects more of the dots for me. And boy, do I need a lot more dots connected. LOL!

Love you, SUMites! Share in the comments whatever the Holy Spirit lays on your heart.
Dineen

 

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SUMite Fast 2017: Day Three, Anointing Oil

Isa10-27
This verse has been pinned to my prayer board for weeks.

My friends, we are already on day three of our prayer and fasting. Please share what God is showing and/or telling you. Your testimony may be the very piece another SUMite needs to help her or him connect the dots of what God is revealing. I’m finding myself in that place again where God is connecting dots again and revealing answers to prayers. I’m so very encouraged especially for my children and hope to share more soon on what’s happening. 

Plus, our first night of fasting from television turned out to be such a precious time for my hubby and I. We played games and didn’t miss watching it at all. I am amazed by that, my friends. I know the Holy Spirit gave me grace for that. Plus I had time to spend in His presence later in the evening too. So so good…

And I will say I’m finally seeing breakthrough in a place I’ve been praying over for more than two years now. This and answers to prayers I received on Sunday are like cool, fresh water to my thirsty spirit. Boy howdie, my spirit was thirstier than I realized. How about you?

My friends, let’s continue to press in and contend for what God is giving us this week. Even if you aren’t seeing anything shift yet, don’t despair and don’t compare. Every breakthrough and promise from God is unique and comes in His packaging, not our expectations. Remember chapters two and three…pray, believe…

Read chapters seven through nine in Winning Them With Prayer. Lynn’s prayer using 1 Cor. 7:14 is so powerful! Our power-passage! This is our place of authority and brings power to our prayers. Remember that your prayers for your spouse sanctify them, which according to the Greek translation of that word means that God has laid a claim upon them to be set apart for Him. That is what your prayers do for spouse and loved ones, SUMites!

And now I want to leave you with a verse that has become HUGE in my life. Several weeks ago one of our directors at the healing rooms I work at gave me this verse with the instructions, “God wants you to meditate on it.”

It’s a powerful verse, my friends. That same day God told me what He wanted me to know regarding it and just yesterday, He confirmed it in a very unexpected way. Now I would like you to meditate upon it, SUMites.

It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. — Isaiah 10:27

I love you, SUMites! I pray your week is filled with new revelations and promises from the Lord. I pray your fasting becomes joyful and a delight as you press closer to God. I pray that this week sets the stage for an entire year of breakthroughs for you, your family and this entire community. 

And Lord, I pray that very SUMite would be freshly anointed in Your holy oil. In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, amen!

Love and hugs!
Dineen

 

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Reaction Mode

Dear friends, the following is a post I did a few years back. The Holy Spirit has continually reminded me of this post the last week or so, but I wasn't sure if it was a needed subject at the moment. Then on Thursday as I was working on the registration details for the Hope Ignited conference our healing rooms and my church were hosting, I heard the Holy Spirit say over and over again throughout the day, "Don't take offense."

I assumed it was for me, specifically something the Holy Spirit knew I would encounter at some point over the weekend at the conference. Then our worship leader gave a word on this very subject Friday evening. I knew then it was a corporate word. And then Lynn's post yesterday confirmed that! Wow! Don't you just love how the Holy Spirit speaks to us?

God is on the move, my friends, to restore this nation to peace and righteousness. I truly believe we will be astonished in how He does this through His amazing love.

So, I present to you, "Reaction Mode," originally posted in September of 2011. I pray it speaks to your heart and encourages you. I've updated it just a bit for our community needs right now.

 

Reactions Mode

6a00d83451ee9f69e2014e8b804fe8970d-320wiAre you in reaction mode in your marriage?

I remember to this day when I made this revelation about my marriage. I stood in our home office, about to react to something my husband said. I believe at that moment the Holy Spirit stopped me and then gave me a complete picture of the situation. And it wasn’t pretty. If this pattern didn’t stop soon, my marriage would soon crash and burn.

And even more sobering (i.e. convicting)? I was the heart of the problem, because my heart was in a bad shape. Years of resentment toward my husband and unmet expectations had created a barrier between us.

What I call “reaction mode” is this highly destructive and very draining place where you and your spouse are walking in your marriage more like adversaries than partners. Every comment is scrutinized under suspicion and communication has completely broken down.

Though not always true, I find this often starts with women. We stop communicating out of unforgiveness and resentment. Or, like me, we never learned to communicate in a healthy manner.

The saddest part of reaction mode is that it leads to contempt toward one another. And where there is contempt, respect and love no longer exist. They simply can’t coexist. For example, a husband reacts back to his wife harshly, because he’s not receiving his deepest desire, which is to be respected. The wife then retreats or closes herself off, feeling unloved when her deepest desire is to be loved.

Do you see the vicious cycle? That’s the first and most crucial step to breaking reaction mode—seeing this pattern in your marriage. Whether you are male or female, this pattern will not stop until you make the first move. What does this change look like?

  1. Be Careful What You Speak.

You know, there were times that I realized my reactions to my husband bordered on the behavior of a sarcastic teenager. Not a pretty sight but very convicting when recognized. Our words have the power to build or break down. If you’re inclined to speak without thinking first, stop right now and ask God to help control your mouth. This is a biblical principle and He will help you. Trust me on that.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:1

We can also seek the Holy Spirit for the right words to speak as well. If we choose words that are honest and without an agenda to prove we’re right or place blame, we can be instrumental to restoring peace to our marriage.

  1. Dwell on the Positive.

It’s easy to fall into this place where we think our spouse has an ulterior motive to his or her words. Even simple requests can turn into a battleground, because we’ve somehow fallen into the lie that our spouse intends to harm us. This suspicion perpetuates the reaction mode and is its fuel. Suspicion can also be fueled by lies, so the best way to combat this is to counteract with the truth. What does your spouse do well?

Make a list. My husband is great about making sure the garbage goes out every week. I appreciate this even more when he’s out of town and I have to do it. Yuck! He’s also great about going grocery shopping with me, and he’s quick to show his love and affection. Start with small things and your list will grow. Then study it whenever you fall into thinking those negative thoughts about your spouse.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. — Philippians 4:8

A negative thought feeds the enemy and breeds more negativity. This can even evolve into scenarios playing out in your mind of how your spouse could potentially hurt you. Then you wind up hurt and defensive over something that never even happened.

A positive thought feeds the spirit and releases the Holy Spirit to work in your mind for transformation (Romans 12:2). He also works in your heart to help you forgive and allow God’s love to flow more freely to and through you.

Which one do you want to grow “fatter” in your life?

  1. Respect Him Even When You Don’t Want To, Love Her Even When She’s Unlovable.

Our hubbies need to know we will still stand by them when they mess up. And they will mess up, just as we do. We need to extend that hand of grace and acceptance, just as we want it extended to us. I’ve never seen anything quite as destructive to a marriage as contempt. And it is subtle in its presence. This goes right back to number one in how we use our words.

Add to that how you sound. What is your tone? Are you speaking in a way that solicits cooperation or are you condemning and accusing? This was the biggest area that I needed to change, and I know I could not have done it without God’s help. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that our tone and words hurt those we love. Pull out that list you made and go over it again. When it’s hard to show respect to your husband, find the things you can respect and show it to him. Then watch him bloom under your praise.

… and the wife must respect her husband. — Ephesians 5:33b

And loving someone when they are unlovable is one of the most powerful and sacrificial things a person can do. I have watched a woman be astonished by the fact that my church was assisting her out of our own desire to help and we weren’t getting paid by the government to do it. I have been deeply humbled by my husband's love when I was in pain and cranky. Love speaks louder than anything. Anything! Love changes hearts, marriages, families, cities and nations.

God is love so when we love, even when a person hasn’t “earned it,” we display His heart and presence in the most powerful way possible by revealing His very nature. Love (1 John 4).

  1. Keep a “We” Mentality.

Isn’t this really the truth we forget? We enter in to marriage as two “I’s” and suddenly have to figure out what it means to be a “we.” This requires putting our spouse first, this means loving and respecting even when we don’t feel it, this means seeing our marriage truly as a team effort and pulling our weight even when we feel our spouse isn’t. God sees our heart and our efforts. Your actions to honor Him in your marriage are never wasted!

Don’t quit the team. Be the one who stands strong and keeps Christ in the middle—your faith and prayers do that (1 Cor. 7:14). Whatever issues you’re dealing with, remember that you and your spouse are a team. Blame solves nothing. Teamwork always gets the job done.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. —Genesis 2:24

Finally, remember that we can’t make these changes on our own. We need God’s help. Start with prayer and trust that God really can work in you, in your spouse and in your marriage to bring change and healing. It takes time, but when we desire God’s will for our marriage—a partnership built on love and respect—He will give us the desire of our heart (Psalm 37:4).

SUMites, I want to leave you with one final thought here (and this is a new part I'm adding). No matter where we are in our faith journey, God sees us the same way through His love and according to who He created us to be. We are His righteousness through Christ Jesus. And He never changes for He is the God of today, yesterday and tomorrow. He doesn't function within time as we do. He is present in all places—past present and future.

Now this is where it gets really interesting and may blow your mind a bit. Just as He sees us in this way, as who He created us to be, He sees our spouse the same way. He does not define them by their lack of faith but according to the measure of faith He has set aside for them. He sees them as they are intended to be, His children. I believe that is the heart of Eccl. 3:11 too. 

Father God, give us Your eyes, Your perspective of our spouse. Help us see them in the potential and in the light of eternity that You've placed within them so that we can love them according to that image and be part of releasing the truth of Your love in them. Thank You, Lord! Thank You! In the amazing name of Jesus, amen!

Love you so much, SUMites! And God loves you even better. ;-)
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. -click or tap the photo-

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A Holy Spirit Moment

CrossMy friends, I have a fascinating story to tell you today. I shared in the past that God is changing things up a bit in how He speaks to me. Let me tell you this is both a bit frustrating and very exciting, but I absolutely love this adventure with Him. And I love His unexpected ways.

Well, He did something very unexpected just recently and right in my own kitchen. A few weeks ago I was standing at the counter, spreading refried beans on corn chips to make nachos. Yuuum!

Hubby was still in his office working. I sang along with worship music as I worked. Let me just say I am so glad I held a butter knife instead of a sharp blade. 

The Holy Spirit showed up big time. I was so overcome by His presence that I had to drop the corn chip and knife on the counter. I couldn’t do anything else except stand there and soak Him in! 

My friends, I’ve had encounters with God’s presence in my quiet time and at church. But this was so unexpected, sudden and overwhelming. It was like the Holy Spirit wanted me to understand that His showing up wasn’t dependent upon my efforts to make it happen. That is something Abba continues to work out in me and let go of as it’s a form of striving. 

So there I stood, hands out and tears running down my cheeks as I worshiped. God’s presence usually brings me to tears, because His love is so overwhelming. I knew hubby was in the house somewhere, which normally would have caused concern about what he might see and interpret, but as the thought crossed my mind I simply pushed it away. I didn’t care. I could do nothing but stand there and worship.

And then it happened. My husband walked in. Yet I remained in my worshipful state and noticed he just walked on by. Didn’t say a word.

Once the moment passed and I opened my eyes, Mike came back into the kitchen. He looked at me with concern, and asked, “Are you okay?”

As I wiped away my tears, I said, “Yes, I’m great actually. Just having a God moment.”

“Okay…He’s not being mean to you, is He?”

“No, sweetie. He’s just loving on me.”

Then he nodded and walked away. My friends, this is actually the second time my husband has expressed that concern, and it’s given me insight to understand that the God he was taught about at the private Christian school he attended as a teenager was not the loving and true God we know and love. And that breaks my heart.

Yet I rejoice in this encounter and what I learned! God is so good. I’m so excited to share this with you, because I believe it will give you insight and possibly even breakthrough in your prayers for your spouse.

  1. I experienced the presence of God without “working” for it.
  2. God’s presence and love truly do cast out fear! My concern about my husband walking in on my worshipful moment drifted away without a care and didn’t return. Thank You, Lord!
  3. My husband was able to again witness God’s love and presence working in and around me, even if he doesn’t fully understand it yet.
  4. Most importantly, I now have more insight in how to pray for my sweet hubby, and that is huge! My hubby has such a tender heart. Now I understand what his choice of atheism was truly about. It’s not so much about unbelief but a way for him to cope with the disconnect. 

SUMites, I wonder how many of our spouses are truly operating from that place of disconnect. As God showed me this, my heart swelled with even more love and understanding for my husband. And heartache too, because I can almost see with my spiritual eyes that moment he chose this path.  

So, my friends, I am praying against this tarnished mindset of Who God is that’s causing him to reject the image of a cruel god instead of knowing the One True and Loving God Almighty. I am praying for his spiritual eyes to be opened to the truth of Who God really is and to encounter the love of God all around him. That includes me too, that God’s love would pour through me even more. 

I believe God is working in amazing ways in our loved ones that we can’t even perceive yet. He’s revealing the pieces to us as well. I know that can be confusing and frustrating, but I’m learning to look at these pieces and simply ask God to show me how to connect them. And He does! 

And He will do this for you too. So my friends, I pray for greater wisdom to flood our entire SUM community. I pray that our own spiritual ears and eyes would be opened more and that we would have greater discernment to hear and see what the Holy Spirit is telling us right now. Because it’s really, really good stuff.

And Lord Jesus, we praise and worship with all our love. We give You and our hearts and lives freely as we walk this path of faith. Help us live each day in greater awareness and expectation of You. We love You so much! In the name of Jesus, amen!

I love you, SUMites! You are amazing!
Dineen

*****

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Part Two: Upgrades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things won’t look the way you expect.

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

*****

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Breakthrough after years of.......

Part III today... Part I (click here) Part II (click here)

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Mom & Kaylee crop
Granddaughter reunion in January

But, my friends, wait as I grab tissue to dab at the tears, there is STILL MORE.

Yesterday, when my mother called to check up on my health progress, at the end of our phone call, I said, “Mom, thank you for always praying for me and my healing. But Mom, how can I pray for you?”

And this is almost the best part of the story.

She said, “You know I wasn’t going to mention it to you but since you asked, I think I’m having some kind of a spiritual breakthrough.”

“What? Oh Do tell me more. I want to hear everything.”

“Well, for some reason I am teary. I don’t know really what is happening but I’m so teary and weepy.”

OH HOLY GOD BE PRAISED!!!

“Oh Mom, I’m so glad you told me about this. I’ve been praying for you to have a breakthrough in this area for years. Mom, it’s okay to cry. It’s healthy to cry. It’s healing to cry over your pain. Mom, you know that Jesus cries. It’ right and good to cry.”

“Well, yes I know that Jesus cries.”

“Mom, do you know that on that day many years ago when you said to yourself that you would never cry again, did you know that when you said those words you made a word vow, a curse against yourself? Mom, when that happened a demon attached to it and even in later years when you wanted to cry, even needed to cry, you were unable.”

“But Mom, praise be to our Jesus because He has set you free and yes, mom, you are having a spiritual breakthrough! Mom, if you need to have a long-bawling-cry your heart out- cry, then do it. Don’t stop it up because Jesus is right there to hold you through the tears.”

“I’m afraid that if I start, I won’t stop.”

“Don’t stop this mom. Let Jesus heal you all the way. And you will be healed when you let it all go.”

“I love you so much Mom. It has been my profound privilege to be a witness to how Jesus has loved you all of your life. Through such great tragedies and heart wrenching loss, He has danced with you and loved you every day of your life. He saw you as a small child, determined to get to Sunday school to be with Him, so determined you walked alone. He has watched you train up three children in the Lord. He has stood with you as you taught Sunday school to little children four and five years old for years and years. And mom, you are still teaching those little ones today, which just inspires me.”

“Mom, Jesus would not let you leave this earthly life, without giving you these profound, healing encounters because He loves you, He sees you. He knows you honored Him and believed without wavering even when everything appeared hopeless….. But you cried out, “I believe in Jesus.”

My mother then interrupted me to share one last story. And I share it with you now because the truth behind it is weighty for all of us...... 

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Part IV on Monday my friends.

I wonder if any of you have found yourself in a place where something you swore would or would never happen again in your life and become a barrier to you. If you have, please leave me a comment, that I may pray for you. Or email me, link for my private email is in the sidebar. 

I love you my friends. I am watching the Lord move with power and freedom in many of our lives. Email me your stories. I want to celebrate with you.

Have a blessed weekend. And remember to set your clocks forward on Saturday night in America. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Lenten Reflections - Repentance and Restoring Joy


ID-10036003A couple of years ago my siblings and I helped our parents spring-clean their house. They’re both in their eighties and it never ceased to amaze me how much stuff they managed to collect over a long life. The house became very “full”, especially when you’re not inclined to throw things out, as was the case with my parents.

They moved into a much smaller place: a two-bedroom apartment within a retirement home complex. Very different to a four bedroom home with big garden and double garage.

It wasn’t a spring-clean, rather a major overhaul with lots and lots of stuff discarded, given to charities and grateful others. There were a number of trips made to the waste disposal centre (or tip as we call it down under) as well as two large council pickups.

Spring-cleaning and major clean-ups require us to get our hands dirty. We have to get into the mess that has accumulated over the years. I’ve spent time in this season of Lent reflecting on repentance. Lent involves a spiritual clean-up or a re-tuning, and so I’ve found I’ve had to go into my mess. The one that’s in my heart.

I’m surprisingly okay with sifting through the mess. Certainly I wouldn’t suggest I’m enjoying it. It’s a process, not a one-time activity. Well, not in my case anyway. Long ingrained thought patterns can take a while to change.

Best of all, I’m in the muck with someone. And there’s no one else I want to be there with.

Jesus.

“We are not left alone in our repentance. Jesus Christ lives to make intercession for us.” (Matthew B Redmond – He Reads Truth)

David’s Experience

I think one of the reasons we all identify with David is he reveals the state of his heart to us. The Psalms are like an autobiography of David’s heart journey. We see his highs, his very low lows and everything in between. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve been working through Timothy and Kathy Keller’s devotional on the Psalms. They often spread a psalm over two to three days and it highlights how so many of David’s psalms start with him being in a bad way and then moving to outright praise and adoration. That’s a good lesson for us in itself: keep our eyes fixed on Jesus irrespective of our circumstances.

“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.  

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.

I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah” (Ps 32: 3-7 NASB)

David suffered immensely as a result of keeping his sin from God. Once he’d asked for forgiveness, he was surrounded with “songs of deliverance”. He was able to experience peace.

Psalm 51, though, is his classic prayer of contrition, the scales having fallen from his eyes as a result of Nathan’s intervention. I expect many of us are very familiar with this psalm having heard it and perhaps spoken it many times in our lives.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.” (Ps 51: 10-12 NASB)

I typically meditate on verse 10 above, however, this week verse 12 took on new meaning:

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation”

Yes, I want more joy. Yes, I want my joy to be restored.

“God’s goal in repentance isn’t to beat you to death but to bring you to life.” (Steven Furtick)

Killing off sin opens the door to JOY! Removes the blinkers from our eyes so we can see Jesus in all His glory.

It surprised us how many wonderful items we discovered with mum as we cleared through the stuff dad and her had accumulated.

It’s like panning for gold. We have to sift through the sand to discover the nuggets of gold.

Hallelujah!

Dear Jesus, thank you for loving each and everyone of us, we SUMites and our spouses. We love you, we worship you. Holy Spirit reveal to us what is getting in the way of enjoying God in all His glory. That which our Lord Jesus is interceding for us this very hour. Thank you. We praise you, we adore you. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Note: photo courtesy of Bill Longshaw/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Conference At Merriman in Garden City, MI

Perhaps for a moment in time, just perhaps, we stood upon holy ground.

 

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

 

I bet many of you know these ladies. They like to hang around SUM! 

SUMite Pillars
Gillian, Teresa, Melissa, Heidi, Joanne

 

Ohio Sumites
Some of the Ohio SUMites: Left to right: Judy, Mindy, Laura, Dawn, Chris

 

Fran Green
This is Beloved, Franie. This conference started in her heart last summer.

 

Lynn Donovan
The Holy Spirit moved. We laughed, cried and we were loved on by our Lord!


Skit
The skit was hilarious. I was cackling. Well done Merriman!
Conference Team
This is the amazing team of leadership that made this day possible. Thank you is inadequate but THANK YOU!

More photos are posted on our SUM Facebook page, click here.

 

The best part of the day is: WE PRAYED. I wish I had a photo to show you what happened at the end of our day. Can anyone who attended share what happened in your heart as you stepped out?

I'm overwhelmed at how the Lord moved on Saturday. Dineen was unable to make it due to her shoulder. So on Thursday I knew that I would speak the entire day. My friends, I can't perform. But I prayed and prayed that our Papa God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit would walk among us and I believe we honored our Lord and He showed up with love and power! I believe lives were touched and I'm teary reading the email messages such as the one at the bottom of this post.

If you were unable to attend, don't feel left out. You are loved and we talked about our amazing community on the web. And now let's pray that Jesus arranges another conference in your area. It would be my humble privilege to meet you, to pray with you and to love on you with our Daddy's love.

Breakfast in the gym
Love these ladies. They were on the front row!!

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From Jen:

Lynn,

I do not even know where to begin to thank you. 

I attended your workshop this past Saturday and I am moved beyond words.

When my pastor’s wife invited a small group of us to attend this together I admit I was a little apprehensive.  Not knowing whom she invited I assumed it was only sent to me (or a couple of people) and the other couple of people were nowhere close to my unequal marriage, (so I thought).  I immediately went online and bought your book and WOW!  By the end of just the intros of the both of you, I was in tears, so moved and so motivated. I thought I was the only one in this position, I was alone, I thought nobody understood my marriage, my life, I even questioned my position in my faith and how I possibly could continue to follow Jesus with an unbelieving husband, a daughter 20 years old whom has walked away from Christ and a 13-year-old daughter loving Christ, how could I keep going?

I read the first half of the book in one day and then started over so I could take notes, pages and pages of notes. Ready to register for this workshop, (alone because I figured nobody else in my bible study, church or small group of friends would ever be in the same position I am), the pastor’s wife emailed me again asking if I wanted to go and let me know there were a few others interested. I attended our bible study the next week to tell these women everything I had read and learned up to that point (which was 66% as I am an e book user 😊) and was floored to discover five out of ten women there that night were somewhat in the same position.  Then in our plans for carpooling across the border I find out there was eleven of us going from our church...eleven!!!! Seriously???? I am not alone!!!! So as soon as I got home from the workshop I went directly to your website and signed up, pinned my location and when I looked at all the other pin locations around the world, my heart swelled to see and feel the common love from all over the world.

You were not even five minutes into speaking and I was in tears.  I have come out of this past week with a new light, a renewed hope and joy that is just spilling out of my heart. I went to church this morning and together we found five women sitting alone and we all filled half a row, held hands, hugged, sang to the high heavens and supported and loved on one another like never before. One woman even had an argument with her husband before church today because he did not want to attend anymore and guess who had some loving words of advice for her?  ME!! Little old me! I walk into church today and out of church today with a new song in my heart, a skip in my step and a feeling like I belonged, and better yet, God wanted me there, He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!

So from the bottom of my heart thank you! Thank you for leading me closer to God, thank you for opening my eyes to the women near to me in the same unique position, thank you for introducing me to the thousands of women near and far that feel my pain, my joy, my love and have my back!

Forever indebted and much love, Jen

*****

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Archive Post: The Sanctified Unbeliever

My friends, today's post is from September 20, 2011 and addresses a very powerful verse for the spiritually mismatched—sanctification. This is part of our authority in Christ and a topic that needs frequent revisiting. It is a truth that is full of hope for all SUMites. Our faith plays a powerful roll in God's relentless and loving pursuit of our pre-believers. Hugging you tight, dear friends! Have an amazing weekend. ~Dineen

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The Sanctified Unbeliever

6a00d83451ee9f69e2015391bd313e970b-250wiFor the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. — 1Corinthians 7:14

This Scripture came up in my Bible study this week. A dear friend at my table said something about it that sparked my investigation mode. There’s a precious meaning to this verse that holds such encouragement for us regarding our unbelieving spouses. Hang in there with me, I think you’ll really like this.

My exploration of this verse first took me to find out what exactly “sanctified” meant in each use in this verse. The Greek word used in both places is hagiazo, which means to make holy, consecrate. Next, I went to my Bible commentary and found this wonderful explanation of what sanctified means in this context:  

“The word 'sanctified' does not refer to moral purity—Paul is certainly not teaching that the unbelieving partner is made morally pure through a believing spouse. What the word emphasizes is a relationship to God, a claim of God on the person and family to be set apart for Him. The tense of the verb stresses that the unbeliever who is in a Christian family has already become and continues to be a part of a family unit upon which God has His claim and which He will use for his service.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Abridged Edition)

The commentary goes on to even reference our children as being covered much like the children of the Israelites were included in God’s covenant with them. Jesus also makes reference to this in Acts 2:38-39 when He says salvation is a promise not just for us but for our children and “for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

This makes me wonder two things:

1. God made a covenant with the Israelites, which covered their children and each generation after. God also sees marriage as a covenant, without qualification. Does this mean we can take our marriage as a covenant with our spouse as also a “covering” for our unbelieving spouse? Could this be what Paul means when he says our unbelieving spouse is also sanctified through us, the believing spouse? I believe it does.

2. If the point above is true, this makes our marriages uniquely different from a marriage of two unbelievers. I kind of see us as that middle place between a non-Christian marriage where neither partner is a believer and a Christian marriage. Something to think about. We have an edge. If what the commentary says is true, then our unbelieving spouses have been set apart by God.

Which then brings me to this conclusion: Our place in our marriage is not just about what we pray, what we do, or what we think. It’s also about who we are. As children of God, born into the family of God through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, our very presence protects our spouses. Our faith acts like an umbrella over our family. God lays claim not only to us but to our unbelieving spouse as well.

No, that doesn’t mean they are saved by association but it does mean God has a special interest in our marriage and the salvation of our spouse that goes beyond the norm. There’s a covenant involved and we know how God feels about covenants.

So, my dear friends, we can commit our marriages into God’s hands with the full confidence that He’s laid claim to both you and your spouse. He is smack dab in the middle working. On those days that you wonder and doubt, remember this commitment and profess God’s truth—you belong to Him and through you, God claims your spouse too.

Praying and believing, 
Dineen

*****

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Your Mismatched Marriage Isn’t a “But” (part 1)

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d16111a0970c-320wiMy friends, I want to touch on an area that I feel the Holy Spirit has placed on my heart. I sense there are some of you out there who are reading this spiritual warfare series and seeing your marriages (regardless of how you got there) as blocks to all that God has for you. As a “but.”

Instead, I want to encourage you to think of your marriage not as a “But God…”

We’ve talked about sanctification before so I encourage you to go read this post on that subject and study and seek God for more truth and understanding of 1 Cor 7:14. That is a powerful foundational truth to understanding the influence your faith has on your marriage, your pre-believer and your children.

But today I want to talk about our places in these marriages, the truths that protect us and how this relates to spiritual warfare. First, we need to understand that our pre-believers choices and criticisms against our faith do not change these truths:

  • God is good, is good to you, and is working for your good—always (Rom 8:28). (You could say your pre-believer is the beneficiary!) 
  • God’s love for us is unchanged and unaffected by your pre-believers choices or criticisms (Rom 8:38-39).
  • God’s plans for you stand regardless of the choices and decisions of your pre-believer (Jer 33:11).
  • Just as God loves and desires to bless and delight in you, He also holds this same love and desire for your pre-believer (2 Peter 3:9 & 15).

This may seem simplistic in some ways, but I find this truth as powerful as the truth of God’s love for us. God is unchanged, unaffected and unmoved by our pre-believers lack of faith. Period. God will always pursue our pre-believers in His relentless love for all to repent and know Jesus, but this does not stop His plans, purposes and blessings for us. 

Salvation is an individual choice. In other words, our salvation and standing as a child of God with all the benefits, inheritance and blessings is in no way dependent upon any other person except for Jesus. And He already did the work. It’s done.

So, let’s talk spiritual warfare in our marriages. Yes, we may face more warfare because we are on the front lines contending for our pre-believer’s salvation, but we also are way more aware of this warfare than a lot of believing couples, SUMites. We know the enemy’s plan is to destroy marriages. We are on guard and praying against his tactics. We have skills!

Let’s start with an awesome Scripture Lynn quoted last week from Colossians and look at some others from this powerful book about our standing with God and the enemy.

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. — Col. 1:11-14 (ESV)

Our reality is that we have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of Jesus. Paul continues to expound upon this truth in verse 22 with a word of caution:

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it. — Col. 1:22-23 (NLT)

Paul is admonishing us to believe and stand in the truth of our salvation, which again is true regardless of what the world says about our faith, what our pre-believers think of our faith, or even what we may mistakenly believe about ourselves. Jesus has made us holy and blameless before Him without a single fault.

My friends, I'm going to stop here for now, but come back Thursday, because I have more to share with you on the spiritual warfare side of this. 

Quiet Time Study: (Take these questions to the Lord in your quiet time. Then listen.)

  • Sit down with God and ask Him how or where you have limited Him working in you or your marriage because you believed the enemy's lie that mismatched marriage disqualified you. SUMites, we serve a gentle God who adores us. He will not condemn you. He will lovingly reveal truth to you, so don't be afraid of this.

Community Questions (answer in the comments):

  • If you are comfortable sharing, what lie has the enemy led you believe regarding God's plans and purposes for you?
  • How has the Holy Spirit helped you overcome this lie or any other lie that once held you back from walking in your callings and purposes in God (divine destiny)?

I love you, my friends. I'm excite to share the rest of these truths with you and I pray they revolutionize your thinking in some way that frees you to walk in the fullness of your faith. In the name of Jesus, amen!
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Parenting Supernaturally

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHow is our parenting supernatural?

We find the answer in a powerful passage of God’s Word…. And this paragraph was written specifically for all of us who are married to unbelievers.

For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God. — 1 Corinthians 7:14

Our love relationship with God and the promises of His Word are how are children are affected for the Kingdom.

In REAL LIFE: This plays out in my life in my prayers. If you read through my disappointment series, you will remember how much warfare surrounded my family on a single day. I became so mad at the demonic and the harm the enemy was inflicting, that I began to pray something like this:

Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I declare that my family and me are off limits. My children and my spouse are sanctified and a part of God’s plans according to my Lord’s purposes in 1 Corinthians 7. I cover myself and my children with the blood of Jesus and ask for the forgiveness of our sins and for the love and redemption of God’s mercy in our lives.

My children and my spouse are covered by God and are included in his plans for me and my family. I stand as a spiritual authority over my family through the power and love given to me by Jesus and through the promise of sanctification. Nothing can touch them. No weapon formed against them will prosper. I say that God has plans for us to prosper us and not to harm us. It is God’s will to give us a hope and a future.

I will stand against the enemy and speak love into their lives. I will live with faith and conviction and I WILL NOT RELENT IN PRAYING FOR THEM EVERY DAY. Devil you cannot have them. They belong to Jesus. It is in my Savior’s powerful name and by His authority that I bring my children before the mercy seat and declare them sanctified, holy, and covered by the plans of God. This day Jesus do everything possible to reveal yourself to my spouse and children. It is my heart’s cry that they come to full salvation through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. AMEN

 

When we grasp this truth of sanctification and pray in faith through the Holy Spirit for our children, we need not live in fear for their salvation or for their lives. It’s not a guarantee for their salvation but we do not need to fear because Jesus will do absolutely everything to bring them into the Kingdom of God.

Of this I have zero doubt. AMEN.

Q: What does it mean to you to know you have the spiritual authority to pray with power and watch God supernaturally move for your children?

Q: Share with me an example of how your faith impacted one or more of your kids? I want to celebrate with you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Books of Peter: Secure in the Face of Opposition (part 2)

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d11ef502970c-320wiDear friends, on Wednesday we talked about how it was Peter’s intent to encourage his readers to be of one mind as believers, to place loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ above disagreements and insults. 

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say,

“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.” 

Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. — 1 Peter 3:8-13

I also proposed that this is our model to follow with all those we encounter, whether they believe as we do or not, and that what we have learned in our mismatched places is exactly what the world needs right now. Launching from the truths I listed on Wednesday of what we have learned and are learning in our mismatched marriages, we can:

  • seek unity with those we encounter everyday, not to adjust our beliefs but show freedom of choice as God has given us and therefore show others they too have the freedom to choose Jesus, and not feel forced.
  • love others unconditionally with tenderness and humility so they catch a glimpse of Jesus’ heart for and acceptance of them just as they are. They don’t have to clean up their act first to earn salvation.
  • use our words to bring encouragement and love to those who need it and as we do this and earn their trust, we can speak the truth of Jesus into their lives in that same love.
  • practice hospitality so that others may see what a home filled with the peace of Christ looks and feels like.
  • stand before our God and lift up the ones we know need Him and ask the Lord to bring His presence and help.
  • be alert to opportunities to help others with whatever resources we have. God always seems to provide exactly what is needed for the present situation. Remember the fish and loaves. Look at what you do have and how you can use it help. God will multiply it.
  • be a blessing everywhere you go. At the grocery store, on the phone with the insurance company representative (that’s a challenging one for me!), at your child’s school, at church, shopping at the mall, at the restaurants you frequent. Even at the park or playground. Smiles and kind greetings open doors of opportunity for us to show Jesus. Most likely it won’t happen the very first time, but the more we do it, the more those divine appointments will present themselves and we’ll be ready. 

My friends, I am so moved to seek Abba for this place of security. I want to live what I picture in my mind. That when I am faced with opposition to my belief in Jesus and His Word, I can share the truth in love without feeling threatened or defensive, so that the other person will feel unthreatened and even shocked by what they see. As they see Jesus in me.

There is one final part to this, my friends, that I feel compelled to share. This place of security must be grounded in humility. As Peter says, “a humble mind.” The Greek translation uses only one word for this phrase, philophrōn, and it means to act kindly from a mind-set of personal affection.

For if pride enters in any way, then we become that clanging cymbal, because pride crowds out love. 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. — 1 Cor. 13:1

It is a fine line that we walk, my friends, but we have a great big God who equips and guides His kids well. The beauty of this has become my simplest prayer of simply living authentic faith. As we reach the end of our study of Peter, let’s pray it together.

Lord, help us be the people You created to be so that by just being who we are and secure in Whose we are, we show our pre-believers, our children and the world Your Son Jesus. In His saving name we pray, amen.

We live it. He does it. This is the kingdom of God on Earth.

Standing with you, my friends!
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God's Dream For Your Life Is Bigger Than You Can Imagine!!

SUMite Nation:

Many of you participated in our Dream With God experience during Rosh Hashanah, 2014. If you didn’t, don’t click out. Because God is up to some crazy, neat stuff and our entire community is part of this.

I thought my “Dream List” was crazy, BIG and filled with impossibilities but this past week, I was praying with a few friends and Christi said to me, “You aren’t praying big enough.” Now SUMites, I’ve been praying:

2 million souls
2 million books
2 million dollars

This seems impossible to me.

But I was so taken back by Christi’s declaration that I spent two days and asked God, “What would you want, Lord? What do you dream? What should I be dreaming?”

Friends, take heed, when you ask God questions like this……. I went a laid down in the afternoon on Friday and over the next two hours God began to down load a vision that is so far beyond my mind that I couldn’t think of it myself. I began to see schools…. Ministry schools, supernatural training of teachers, leaders and every believer who wants more of God. I saw houses of prayer in our valley spring up that will worship God 24/7 and people from all over came to receive prayer, healing and deliverance.

God said, “Two million souls is way too small. Lynn, dream and contend for ONE BILLION SOULS.” The harvest is rich but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest and train those to bring the broken, the demonized, the sick the proud, the poor into My House.” Pray for the resources. $10 million to start.

(By this point I’m in spiritual shock and awe.)

Then I heard a name or a type of another school that God was wanting. I keep hearing “Gregorian.” I don’t know what that means so when I woke, I Googled the word. There are many meanings such as our Gregorian calendar and it’s a name of a rock band. But what I saw that grabbed my attention was there was a Pope named Pope Gregory… He was a good Pope who was born 540 years after Christ. Now get this. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.

I about fell off my chair. The second school that God wants is a school of music… A WORSHIP SCHOOL. For students and for teachers. Duh!!! Worship is at the core of my heart. I’m happiest when in worship. Sometimes I’m soooo blonde! Sheesh!

Gang, I’ve been humbly contending to just get my next book approved by the Publishing Committee. (Which I still contending) But I’ve been dreaming way too small. I serve the God of the Universe of all time and eternity. And He can do this.

Do I have a clue how? NO. But I believe right now He is connecting me with people who have connections who will share His vision for the future of His Kingdom. I can’t wait to see how this all comes together.

On Friday, the Lord told me to write this down. It is my vision for my future and I’m to share it, read it often, keep it at the forefront of my prayers and thoughts. So here it is. I will post further in detail in a new website I’m going to launch soon.

Okay, so NOW I say to each of you my SUMite brothers and sisters. Did you dream with me last fall? If you did, have you checked your lists lately and thanked God for His faithful fulfilments? At this time also renew your prayers for those dreams yet to come to pass.

Right now, I believe the Lord is calling all of us to once again write down our dreams, our vision, for our purposes to bring His Kingdom to earth. So, right now make it plain. Go into your quiet time. Ask God again to dream with you. No, to give you His dreams!

Matthew 9 36 38Write it down. Share what pops into your mind right now in the comments and make a public declaration of what and where God is leading you. We are walking in an anointed time and I ABSOLUTELY believe our community was born for such a time as this.

I love you so much. I can’t wait to read what the Lord is placing on your heart. Let’s dream BIGGER SUMite nation. There are a billions souls waiting to experience the love of Jesus, His healing, freedom and the abundant life. End of days are upon us. Let’s bust out the truth and bring it to our world who needs to experience perfect love.

See you in the comments. Share any and all that the Holy Spirit is impressing upon you. Nothing is too weird, too big, too great or outlandish. Love you, Lynn

Here is the link to the original post: Dream Big.

PS. My Biggest dream: My husband and family meet and fall in love with Jesus, The King of Kings!

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The Power We Have To Sanctify Our Spouse

SUMites. 

Matthew 18 19In the last week, through scripture, other books I’m reading, and email, I’ve been continually drawn to OUR power passage. 1 Corinthians 7:12-14. (See it below.)

I am coming into new revelation that this passage is even more powerful than we think. When combined with the passage from Matthew 18:19, which is also being hammered home in me, I’m in a place of powerful belief and prayer. 

So, I think I want to revisit this passage and re-inspire you with what the Lord tells us when we are in a mixed – mixed up *grin*- marriage. I know that we have a ton of new readers who perhaps haven’t found our writings on this passage. So while I’m busy working away on my next book, please let me share again from Winning Him Without Words: 

I’ve lived many seasons unequally yoked and only now am I reaping the rewards of the hard work of forgiveness. I am able to teach my children about Christ, to love my husband unconditionally, and to dwell daily in the presence of my Savior. But, because I have traveled through the difficult seasons where many of you are at right now, I have a heart for your pain and I understand the real struggles you face. I have lived where you are living, and I wasted too many years stuck on the path. More than anything, I don’t want one more woman wasting years imprisoned in a bad season. It is God’s desire for us to discover that marriage is fun, fulfilling, rewarding, and godly. 

Godly, you may wonder. How can a believer and an unbeliever have a godly marriage?

For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God (1 Cor. 7:12-14, THE MESSAGE). 

Let this passage bring you comfort and security. You are a follower of Jesus and it’s by your faith he will bring about his good and perfect will in your home. Can I get an amen? AMEN! 

I was reading something recently from Smith Wigglesworth. This man astonishes me at his antics within the power and love of God. He paid a visit to a woman whose husband was an unbeliever and who had left her. Smith said the following to her: The situation is yours. The Word of God says that you have power to sanctify your husband. Dare to believe the Word of God. …. The situations is yours. Get down before God and claim him for the Lord. Get into the glory just as you have got in today, and the Spirit of God prays through you, you will find that God will grant all the desires of your heart. 

My friends, I don’t fully understand how our faith sanctifies our spouse, but I’m willing to learn. I’m willing to believe. 

PS. Wigglesworth saw the woman a month later. She told him how her husband had come home that night and she prayed through the night right through to victory then laid hands upon him. He cried out for mercy. The Lord saved him and baptized him in the Holy Spirit. The power of God is beyond all our conception….. 

Such a great story. Makes me smile to imagine my husband crying out for mercy… So let’s stand together today upon God’s promise of Matthew 18:19 and pray together for our spouses full, Holy Spirit, deliverance, salvation. In Jesus name. 

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A Promise For The Unequally Yoked

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi SUM Nation: 

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

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

Wow. 

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

Ready? 

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

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

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

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

I want to walk you through a few things here. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faithfulness, my friends

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

Say what????? 

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

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

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

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

I love you. I really love you.

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Line by Line: What About The Kids

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I want to follow up on 1 Corinthians 7:14 as I see it applying to our children. I can’t think of anything better to share than my thoughts from our book, Not Alone. 

Not Alone

There is one verse in particular which gives me the greatest comfort as a mother. What is utterly fantastic about this passage is that it is written specifically for those of us who live in a spiritually mismatched home. I’m humbled and thankful to realize God knew thousands of years ago there would be marriages such as ours. What relief and freedom this truth brings to my heart. Read it with me from the Message translation: 

For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God. –1 Corinthians 7:12-14 MSG 

I’m learning that when we, the believer, love Jesus and walk in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we impact our environments. And in fact, we are bringing God’s will and purposes into our lives and those of our children. The living presence of God within us becomes so powerful that Paul tells us in Corinthians that through the believing spouse, she will sanctify every other member in the home. The living presence of God is so contagious, so powerful that it creates an umbrella of safety over anyone that comes into that environment. 

My friends, we as believers are uniquely positioned to release the purposes, the love and very power of God into our children. They are then included in His plans for their lives. They are sanctified—set apart as holy unto the Lord. They belong to the Lord. When we grasp this truth, praying with belief and through the Holy Spirit for our kids, we need not live in fear for their future salvation. Our love, our example, our Jesus is always enough. I believe this promise for my children’s future and eternity. 

I will again state that our faith doesn’t guarantee their salvation but it sure helps me to step out of constant fear. 

My friends, I’m heading out of town next week. It’s going to be a fun trip. Find me as I share my adventures on Twitter and Facebook

I will return to write on September 5th. We still have two more verses to cover and they are fantastic. After we conclude this study, I feel God stirring my heart to write another series on finding freedom from our life-long personal sins. Good, so good. Stay tuned. Never a dull moment around here. 

I love you my SUMite family.

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Line by Line: Sanctification of the Unbelieving Spouse

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SUMites, we have arrived. This is a tad long but you MUST read the story at the end. 

We have arrived in our line by line study of one of the MOST powerful verses in the Bible. It’s profound and specific. Specific as it is filled with God’s power, promise and is written intentionally for us who are unequally yoked. 

Let’s read it together. 

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. —1 Corinthians 7:14

 

My friends…. WHAT????? Can we truly wrap our heads and hearts around the power and implication of the truths behind this verse?

 

I’ve read several commentaries on this verse and they agree that this verse is not a guarantee of our spouse’s salvation, as each person much choose Christ for his or herself. However, our faith brings God’s favor, power and holiness into our home. And our faith brings with it a covering or ability to “set-apart as holy” our spouse and children. 

Whoa!!!! 

Sometimes this verse is a mind –blow. The promise and truth brings me great comfort. As the believing spouse, I know that my faith and my prayers are affecting, changing and making holy our home. My faith and prayers can and DO change the environment. I literally have watched this happen in my home. 

I have watched God change my husband over time. Through my relentless prayers and petitions I know God is moved and He takes great interest in my husband’s life. I mean really, I pray all the time for this guy. I have brought this man, to whom I’m married, into the throne rooms so many times that the angels are sick of seeing him there. *grin* 

I literally envision standing before the great throne, my Papa, extending His scepter toward me as I stand there with my husband at my side, holding his hand. I ask the Lord to surround him with His love. I ask for God’s favor upon his professional life, upon him as a man, favor for him financially as he is the provider of our home. And as his wife, God’s favor comes to me through my husband’s employment. I ask relentlessly for his salvation and for God to reveal Himself in a way my husband can experience him. 

Now get this: My prayers change the atmosphere of our home. 

My husband was once utterly hostile about my faith. We fought often about faith, Jesus and God. My husband’s words hurt in the early years and I would seldom say anything about my faith for fear of another fight. But my friends, God has changed me and over the years, drastically changed my husband’s heart from hostility to acceptance and support of my faith. Through this verse God promises to make our home, my husband and my children holy, sanctified, set apart unto the Lord thereby including my children in God’s plans on earth. 

I want to share an astonishing story that is reflective of God’s sanctification. This is what happened in our home just last Thursday. 

Last week my husband, who works in the High-tech industry was reassigned to a new project. (It’s nice to know that my husband’s employer finds him a valuable asset to the company.) My husband started his new assignment right away. He returned home on Thursday from his first week on site and as I spoke with him that night I could tell he was a bit uptight about all the work that he faced. 

Friday morning, I went on my walk-n-pray and during my prayer time as I spoke to God about Mike, I could sense there was perhaps some fear in my husband about the new assignment. He was under pressure as the assignment was enormous and the problems vast and the work load, incredibly large. But this time during my prayer, I felt God was telling me to go home, place my hands on the man, and pray for him. 

Gulp. 

Yep, I’m still not that outrageously brave to lay hands on my unbeliever, in my home, and pray for him. Out loud. I squeaked to God; Okay God, I will pray for him but you will need to make his heart open to this idea. 

Yikes. What did I just agree to? 

I went home. Still sweaty. Still hot. Walked into my husband’s home office where he was frantically working. I smiled tentatively. 

“Sweetie, I need to tell you that on my walk-n-pray, I sensed you have fear about this new project.” 

Mike looks right at me. Yep, I had his full attention now. He stared at me. 

I pushed forward quickly, “God said that I’m supposed to pray for you.” 

He responds, “Humph.” I hesitate… Because as you all know, these can be fighting words. Double yikes. 

“I just want to pray quickly and I will then get out of your office so you can get back to work.” 

“Okay, but I’m really busy so this can’t take long.” 

On that sentence of permission, I walked over to my husband, laid my hands on both of his shoulders, looked him in the eyes with love, and then …… 

Bam…. I let loose a prayer of power and the voice of the Holy Spirit upon my husband. I prayed to break fear and that this new assignment would prosper and more. In fact, the Holy Spirit was so strong upon me, that I can’t remember what else I said because the Holy Spirit inspired my words. 

“In Jesus name. Amen.” 

And the prayer was over. 

I went to the kitchen. He turned back to his computer. 

I leaned on the kitchen counter and nearly cried. You know why?????? For as long as I can remember, years and years, I’ve wanted to lay my hands on my husband and pray over him, face-to-face. 

And today it happened. It happened because I bring my man to the throne room every day. And it was today that heaven moved on earth, in my home, and I was given a gift to pray with this pre-believer in a way I’ve wanted to pray for most of our marriage. 

It was a profound and blessed moment in time. 

The cool thing is my husband can’t deny that my prayers make a difference in his work life. I’ve prayed over specifics regarding his assignments and they happen because I ask my Daddy for His favor. They happen because I am the believing spouse and my prayers move God’s heart. And I’m believing that over time, my husband’s salvation will happen. I simply believe. I trust. I pray. 

God loves us so much that He literally makes our family holy, sanctified. When you think this through it can change everything. I am so certain about this verse that I can’t help but ask myself;  What chance does a mere unbeliever stand in the light and truth of an all-powerful God??? 

SUMites, I’m not minimizing the unique challenges we face and the great difficulty in our marriages. Yet I think we underestimate God’s abilities and our faith. More than anything pray this week and ask God to make 1 Corinthians 7:14 real in your heart, life and home.

What are your thoughts on this passage? 

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Wired for Salvation

8406391_sMy friends, as I neared the end of the Transforming the Mind series, Abba downloaded a new one about salvation. Honestly, I never expected to write about this subject, but obviously He wants us to understand more about what His salvation is, because it truly is His and comes from Him alone (Psalm 51:12).

Did you know we are wired for salvation? That is Abba’s heart for us and why He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. All of us.

And if we look at the Bible as a whole (the sum of all its parts) the message is consistent throughout that God’s intent was always to have a relationship with His creation, specifically us.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. — Ecclesiastes 3:11

A few years ago, Abba gave me this verse to pray over my husband. As I reflect back, I think it was as much for my benefit as for his, because the truth of this Scripture has stuck with me ever since.

There is a promise there of God’s goodness and intent toward His creation.

God places eternity in every human heart. We were created to be in relationship with God and with Him in eternity. Me. You. And our pre-believers.

How do we get saved?
We don’t actually. This question implies that we have control or power over this process. But Paul clearly states that salvation is a gift:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9

Our only action is to repent and receive it. So if we understand this truth within the parameters of our own lives, let’s apply this to the pre-believers in our lives.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. — John 6:44   And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father. — John 6:65

I will never forget the day the truth in these Scriptures hit me. My whole world shifted. Suddenly I understood that my husband’s salvation didn’t rest upon my shoulders. That misconception only added the burden of getting it right, which inevitably lead to feeling like a failure as each day passed without seeing a change in my husband.

It wasn’t my yoke to carry.

This was the beginning of my freedom to love my pre-believer just as he was and to grow in my faith as I learned how to thrive in my marriage while I trusted (and still do) God to work out my husband’s salvation according to His beautiful timing. The irony here is as we make this transition, our lives become the greater testimony to our pre-believers of Who Jesus is than our words. Our actions hold the higher truth.

What’s our role as intercessor/influencer?
Does that mean we can sit back and do nothing? By no means, no! Our faith plays an integral part in this process. God seems to prefer to partner with His children to accomplish His purposes. Not because He has to, but because He chooses to.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. — 2 Corinthians 5 18-19

Our faith and prayers sanctify our pre-believers and our children—all who we claim by our faith and prayers.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. — 1 Corinthians 7:14

(For more on sanctification, read this.)

And as we intercede with our prayers for all the pre-believers in our lives, we are given the promise that Jesus intercedes for them and SAVES those who come to God through Him. Just as Jesus contended for each of us to know Him, He intercedes and contends for our pre-believers.

Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. — Hebrews 7:22-26

And He lives forever to intercede! Our King Jesus works tirelessly to intercede with the Father on the behalf of our pre-believers. We do not walk this mismatched journey alone in any way. As we embrace these truths—which I am desperate for you to, my dear friends—we are able to thrive in our faith and in God’s love in the middle of whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Praying that God's promises come alive for you like never before!
Dineen

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Terrorist Training Camp 2014

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comGood Monday morning SUMites! 

Every January it seems to happen. Right after our annual fast my spirit is burning to do some spiritual, butt kicking. And this January is no exception. So, I would like to welcome you once again to the “Spiritual Terrorist Training Camp.” And once again I would like to welcome the FBI who will likely be reading this series because their computers have just detected a blog using the words Terrorist Training Camp. Welcome back guys! Hope you enjoyed last year’s posts! 

In last year’s series we dealt with recognizing spiritual warfare, discovering who are the captives and who are prisoners in the spiritual and how we can recognize our captivity and find freedom. (Find a link to that series in the sidebar) This year I want the SUMites to join me as we explore some different aspects of spiritual warfare. I want us to shine the bright light of heaven upon some very real spirits that wreak havoc in our lives and in our world. I’m praying with fervor and passion that this series leads us to two breakthroughs. 

One, we must first experience a personal breakthrough. When we recognize an enemy spirit and its work in and around us and then combat it with truth, love and the power and authority of Christ, we become free. Thus we can then begin to free others. 

Two, as newly anointed Hope-Restorers, assigned to change this generation, we are contending for our homes, and our cities and collectively our nations. We truly are going to learn to be empowered to bring change at that level. 

Before we step off into some pretty deep research and topics, I want to take a minute to address a few things and answer some needed questions. 

  • Spiritually Unequal Marriage is a marriage blog devoted to providing hope and practical tips to thrive in a spiritually mismatched marriage. Why in the world should we study spiritual warfare?
  1. Research indicates that more than half of believers don’t believe there is a devil, or hell or demons. So, many of you want to really know, how do you know there are demons, hell or a devil?
  2. Can a Christian be possessed? Can a Christian be oppressed? What does that mean anyway?
  3. How does an ordinary 5’4” blond mom stand up against and defeat the legions of evil? Is that even possible? 

Answers 

  1. We, the Spiritually Mismatched, are actually on the front lines of the spiritual battlefield. We stand alone to pray, to speak scripture and declare God’s power and authority in our lives. Often our very own spouse is a gateway that opens the door to evil presence and activity. However, we are so much more powerful. 

As I sit in front of my computer the Holy Spirit is flooding my soul with scripture after scripture that screams of this truth. I will share one right now and more as we work through this series. 

1 Corinthians 7:12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 

 

There is great power and authority contained in an ordinary believer. And this verse brings enormous power into our lives. 

Think about it. Verse 14…… The unbelieving husband has been sanctified. That means made Holy and brought under the umbrella of God’s covering and love because we the wife are sanctified. 

Okay… I just realized this post is ALREADY going long. So, I promise we will get to some more in the days ahead. 

CONVERSATION: 

So today, let’s discuss in the comments the four questions above and your thoughts about how 1 Cor. 7:12-14 play out in our marriage and everyday living. Do you sanctify your home? Do you know what that looks like? If you don’t, how do we bring this passage to reality in our marriage? Do you think demons are real? Have you contended with evil and prevailed? I will be in the comments with you. 

We are stepping off now into a great adventure. When we emerge on the end of this series, you can bet that you will have a knowledge and power that absolutely terrifies the dark realm. So, rise up Hope-Restorers because we have families to fight for, marriages to revive and cities to contend for. I love you so much. Lynn

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Are You Being Called?

BetterTogetherMy friends, I want to tell you a story.

Right after I recommitted my life to Christ, I found a wonderful church that welcomed me and my two young daughters. I was so grateful for this place to grow in my faith, to learn more about Jesus and to see my daughters also nurtured in these areas appropriate to their age. But I felt a definite lack of connection due to my mismatched state. So I went to my pastor for guidance. His words have stayed with me ever since.

“If you don’t see what you need here, then start it.”

And that’s exactly what I did. I started a women’s ministry and connected with other women who wanted to grow in their faith. And amazingly but not surprisingly, one of the women who joined our little group turned out to be spiritually mismatched like me.

Many times in 2013 I sensed Abba was raising this amazing community up for a reason and that the Great Harvest is part of this. Many of you shared that you sensed the same things.

As 2014 has started I'm beginning to see more pieces put into place, and I think many of you are too. I want to share something I read in the last chapter of James Goll's book, Lifestyle of a Prophet, which I just finished:

"The is and will be a great move of the Holy Spirit among women. Many women will be released into the fivefold ministry and they will be used in worldwide revival and reformation, which is upon us. Ultimately, the issue will not primarily be doctrinal. It will be one of necessity due to the volume of need for laborers for the harvest. The coming period could easily be termed "The Era of Women Preachers."

When I read this I knew we were and are part of this, my friends—a "knowing" that came from the Holy Spirit and made my body tremble in the light of its truth. So much of what I'd seen, heard and sensed seemed to fall into place like pieces of a puzzle.

But the puzzle is far from finished. We, the SUMites, stand in a wonderful place of opportunity. I believe Abba is calling us to be the voices in our churches, to help our pastors, elders, deacons and our church family to see the growing need for so many like us who stand spiritually alone. We must help our church families see that to be strong in Christ, we must rally around each other and partner with God to fill the gaps.

In leading a life group in my home church, I’ve learned that we come in all shapes and situations—married, divorced, widowed, single. The enemy wants to make us think we are alone and can't find a place in church. Abba says we are stronger together, and if we don't see a place for ourselves in our church, then make one!

All that He has poured into you is not just yours alone. He intends that you share it with others who are on the same journey as you are. Help those still trapped in the enemy's lies to find the truth.

  • To replace the lie that their marriage isn't blessed with the truth that their faith sanctifies their prebelievers (1 Cor. 7:14) and that Abba truly does bless us and those we love right where we are.
  • To reject the lie that it is up to us alone to teach our children about Christ and lead them to faith. One, we partner with the Creator of the Universe and He has already invested His Son in our children (when we accept Christ, that investment pays out not only to Jesus but to us as well!). And two, as part of a community, we are supported, encouraged and mentored to help us raise godly children.

NotAloneCoverLook at this wonderful testimony from Martha (we loved it so much we included it in our book, Not Alone:

"My girls always loved church. I believe that was because of their Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, mission trips, church socials, etc. They all made such a huge impact on my girls. In fact, Heather, my youngest daughter, wrote a paper in college about the most influential person in her life, and it was her youth pastor. Imagine that—it wasn’t me (smile). All that to say, please encourage young mothers to make the effort to take their children to church, even when their husbands don’t go. I wanted so many times to give up, especially when the kids were small. But the influence of the kind of people I mentioned above is forever planted in a child’s heart. I love the song with the words, “Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed.” Though my kids and yours didn’t have a dad who influenced them spiritually, you and I were not alone; God sent us some help. That’s why I would scream from the rooftops to young mothers, “Get over yourself and go!”

What have I found to be true in stepping out in faith to start such a group?

  • Just as I am privileged to join with others and pray for them, I am prayed for too. I am understood and supported in ways unique to my situation, yet shared by those in my group. I "get" them and they "get" me.
  • My group helps fill that prayer partnership that I don't have (yet) with my prebeliever. I can't pray with my husband about our financial situation or the challenges with our children. But I can with my group and know that even between meetings they are praying for my needs just as I am praying for theirs.
  • As wives and mothers, we do not have to stand alone in contending for our prebelievers and our children. We have friends to stand with us, and we are stronger because we are standing for Jesus, together.

As I said, I believe we have the opportunity to make a shift in our churches that will not only bring more awareness there as we make our voices heard, but will also shift our environments from the lies of "doing it on our own" to the truths of God's love and strength rallied around us in community—communities right in our own churches that allow us to share and encourage and support just as we are encouraged and supported. This is Abba's heart for us and for the church.

If your church doesn't offer a small or life group for those who walk alone in faith, pray about starting one, especially if this is something you've wanted to see happen. Abba may be calling you to be the one, to be an Esther in your church to bring life and hope to those walking in similar places.

NewSUMSmallGroupsButtonTake what you are learning and gaining here into your church. If you don't see a group for you, pray and ask Abba if He intends you to start one. If so, know that He will equip you and we want to help you too. Lynn and I set up resources and small groups pages to help you get started. Abba has also gifted us with a wonderful helper, Sue Conklin, who has offered her years of experience and administrative gifting to help too (go to the small groups page to contact her).

If not a small group, consider mentoring a new wife or young mom. This is the model we see in Titus 2 and is part of God's plan to strengthen His church. Or partner with one or two others and commit to pray and encourage each other specifically for your marriage and parenting.

My dear friends, this is not just about our desire to live effective and empowered lives for Jesus. It’s also about how we can help build a firmer foundation for the generations to come. I want that for my daughters and especially my grandchildren to come. I want to leave a legacy that will continue to grow in the generations to come.

And please know that Lynn and I started exactly in these places of need, searching for a place in our churches. We were and are just two ordinary women who sought Jesus for our needs and He turned it into to much more. Abba doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

Are you being called?

If you are feeling a nudge to start something in your church, or you’re not sure or maybe you’re afraid, leave a comment. I want to pray for you. This is my heart’s desire for you, my friends, and for this ministry to reach more of those in need.

Be shiney for Jesus!
Dineensig

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

Covers Three Books


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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

Covers Three Books