88 posts categorized "#SUM Nation"

God is Watching Over This House!

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My daughter Leslie is visiting and helped us write Scriptures!

Hello SUMites! Today I wanted to share with you how amazing it was Saturday to write those beautiful Scriptures on the beams, doorposts and stairs. There are now over 30 Scriptures written all over this home. As we wrote, we prayed, blessed the house and even prayed over the workers who will see them as the drywall goes up. My spirit jumps for joy just thinking about the possibilities of what can happen, because God is faithful and watches over His Word.

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” — Jeremiah 1:12

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BFF Heather came and helped too!

I think of all those beautiful promises from God's Word that you sent and see God watching over them to perform what He has said He will do. Oh, my friends, that reaches deep into my soul and spirit and sends such excitement through me. Such great hope and expectation! I pray this encourages you and fills you with great hope. God is watching over this house, and He is watching over this SUMite home right here, our "church without walls."

Thank you again for sharing your hearts and promises and allowing me to be a part of God's heart for you. I have these Scriptures compiled now in a list with yours and your hubby's names so I can pray them over you. I am praying over our entire community, for our loved ones and for you, SUMites, to be strengthened, renewed, restored and energized for whatever God is doing in and around you. That you would be filled with great hope, peace and reassurance as you rest in the truth that He is faithful and so very good. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Love you!
Dineen

 

*****

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Foundations Series: A Monument for the SUMites

HouseHello SUM family! I hope your 4th of July celebration was full of fireworks, yummy food and family fun. My house was packed with close to thirty people (including my daughter Leslie who’s here for a visit!), which equated to me making a lot of hamburgers! The aroma of grilled burgers and hotdogs still lingers in the air here. How about you? 

Last week I laid the foundation (yes, pun intended) for this Foundations Series. And left you with a bit of a cliff hanger, didn’t I? Blame the fiction writer in me. It’s in my genes. Giggling just a bit here.

So, as I shared last week, my husband and I are building a house here. There is a God story behind this that is truly amazing and is part of this foundation theme. You see, roughly 26 years ago we moved away from Sarasota and family to find a better place for our growing family. At the early buddings of our careers, we couldn’t afford to buy a house. Though we loved being near our families, we didn’t see much of a future here. We moved away and lived in many places, including Switzerland for a short time.

Fast forward to the end of 2010. We (me, hubby and our girls) drove to Florida from California to spend Christmas with family. One day as I sat with my mother and my youngest daughter, we prayed a prayer that God answered so fast it made my head spin, yet would take four years to fully manifest.

I wanted to move back to Florida. My husband adamantly did not. Yet that day my mother, daughter and I prayed for God to soften my husband’s heart about moving back. Three days later hubby and I left the kids with the grandparents to run an errand and have a few minutes alone. Mike’s unusual silence told me something was on his mind. 

Suddenly he asked, “How would you feel about moving back to Florida?” 

I was so stunned I couldn’t speak a coherent word for about three minutes! Little did I know that the next four years would be filled with some tough times for us financially and would just about make me lose hope in that dream becoming a reality. Then everything “suddenly” fell into place.

So we’ve come full circle. From unable to buy a house here near our families to now building a home big enough to host family get togethers and holiday celebrations. This is part of my Jubilee year promise God gave me. (Lev 25:8-13)

In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors. — Lev 25:13

And also why I wanted that picture of our feet on the foundation of our house. Kind of silly, kind of fun, yet packed with meaning in light of the 26 years it took to return “home.” And there is so much more coming, my friends.

As we started this house process, God was showing me eagles in the Bible. I was praying that verse in Psalm 103 about renewing our youth like the eagles. Best aging remedy I know! One day we drove to our future neighborhood to see our empty lot, and there in the middle stood a bald eagle. I kid you not. 

God spoke to my heart that day a sweet confirmation that this was from His hand, His blessing and that I was to delight in it. He is so very good. So very generous.

And we are blessed to bless others, right? That was my inspiration behind a decision to share His generosity with this beautiful SUM family. 

We’re talking about foundational truths right now and salvation is one of them. More coming on that one, as I shared. But I wanted to create a monument to this, my friends. To God’s goodness and His salvation promise to us.

I just read about Jacob and and his Uncle Laban. Their story culminates in Genesis 31 with a pile of stones called Galeed, which means “witness pile” in Hebrew. I love monuments like these in the Bible, because they mark a moment of significance. Which is what I wanted to do with our new home, this community and our SALVATION word this year.

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Millers, Donovans and ENTIRE SUM NATION!

 

I printed out a copy of our 2016 SUM Word (see the sidebar if you haven’t read it) and wrote Lynn’s and my names on it along with our hubbies names too. And I wrote “The entire SUM Nation” with it. Then I tucked this along with a glass “stone” with Romans 8:28 engraved on the surface into a baggy.

This prophetic package is now part of the foundation of our house—our home. It is right at the corner of the entry to the house. 

IMG_4823The "promise package" is now a permanent part of the foundation, right at the entry to the house, under a "cornerstone."

 

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. — Ephesians 2:20

Wow! That’s giving me Holy Spirit chill bumps! And you know what’s even more amazing about this story? My husband is the one who put it into the foundation for me. Is God astonishing or what?

Now there is one more part of this story that’s incomplete. As I was praying and worshiping last night, God showed me He wants to fill the walls of this house with Scriptures. 

From you. 

Has God given you a Scripture and promise for your spouse? Email it to me so I can write them on the beams of this “monument” house built on the foundational promise of SALVATION God has given us, set in the corner to represent Jesus as the cornerstone. I’ve already enlisted a team to help me do this too!

In late August we are scheduled to close and move into our house. But even as the walls are going up and the rest of the house is being completed, I will be walking the rooms of this house, praying the prayers you have sent me for your spouse. I don’t fully understand the meaning behind all this, but I know He is bringing us together in a powerful way and has even shown me this in a dream. What God has planned for us is glorious, my friends! Together, we are His house!

Love you so much!
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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Fear Vs. God!!! WE WIN... RIGHT NOW!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comThis past few weeks have been fantastically interesting.

Brexit – American politics – mass shootings – Stock Market crash – Zika Virus – Alligators at Disney World – Canada in turmoil – Israel – finances – kidnapping –

…..and these are just the headlines from the past couple of weeks!

Can I just say…….. Sheesh! Enough already!

FEAR has permeated just about all aspects of life.

----- My friends, I intended to write about fear and our identity but today I want to address our fears about our world. I’m so sorry to those of you who want more teaching on identity. Please forgive me as I will have to write about that very large concept in the future. Today is my last post until August 1st. I’m taking a writing break during July. I will be doing some travel and catching up on a few projects in my office during the month. The time will fly. Dineen is at the helm and she is amazing. I know she is working on some things for the month of July already.

OKAY – Back to this fear thing.

FEAR IS A SPIRIT. It is a demonic force that is highly effective to destroy mankind. What is satan’s mission? In John 10:10 – to kill, steal and destroy.

Think about it. We live in a world where fear is everywhere. The enemy uses fear to stir up our emotions. Fear is at the heart of politics, it is prominent in religious organizations, in government, schools and fear is the primary tool in a political campaign. Fear is rampant on television. The enemy shouts fear 24/7 from ALL media sources.

Now sit back because I want to tell you the truth about fear.

Fear is a lie.

I want to debunk some of the great fears our world is currently facing. I’m sharing a side of the issues that I believe are truthful and are Kingdom inspired.

Let’s take Biexit. Currently the nation is swimming in turmoil. We have many of our own readership who live in Great Britton and are caught in this ugly and frightful tide.

After some prayer, this is what Jesus has placed upon my heart about this fantastic country.

The United Kingdom has been a proud country for many, many centuries. It has endured great wars and struggles and yet the people there, my people, have been resilient and powerful. They have been independent and sovereign and quite successful for millennia. They may have departed from a political and economic coalition today and the nation may struggle as they work to regain their sovereign state, but they are a strong people and will regain their country. They have no need to fear. Could there be challenges. Might the children be denied a similar retirement as their fathers? Perhaps but perhaps not. It may look different from today but this nation is mine. Now,….. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

My dear, dear sisters and brothers, SUMites across the pond. We are praying for you. Jesus sees you and He will not abandon you. Keep praying.

Okay, how about the fears we have in America over the advancement of sexual sin in our country? Let me share a conversation between my daughter, Caitie who is 21 and attend a Christian college.

Me, “Caitie, I just feel enormously burdened about the direction of our country. So many of our Christian values are under attack and thwarted in the political and legal realms.”

Caitie in her blunt and surprisingly mature wisdom replies, “Mom! You are not going to save the world. Jesus will save the world. And think about this mom, none of this (meaning the legislative changes to marriage, and the pending legislation in California to discredit Christian colleges)….. Mom, none of these things happening in our culture is new to God.”

“Look at the Roman culture, mom. This kind of sexual sin has been around since the dawn of mankind. God knows what He is doing and we don’t need to be afraid.”

“You are so right, Caitie. We must continue to pray.”

SUMites, WE DON’T NEED TO BE AFRAID. How do I know? Because God is awakening the church. If you are a reader here, YOU have been called into this awakening. Things are happening in churches everywhere. God’s people are rising up to be the salt and light that the world needs. We will move in signs and wonders and even though the world grows darker and more lost, we can REST fully in the assurance that God’s Sovereign hand is upon His children. It may get rocky. But we can walk through it. Heck, we live in persecution most every day in our own homes. We the SUMites need to go out and teach the church how to endure and love those who persecute us.

SUMites, what if things get so bad that I die in some crazed war or famine or fire??? My friends, I’m not threatened by heaven. I know where I’m going so I’m determined to stand for truth.

SUMites. Let me tell you what I believe God is doing.

A Great Awakening

1857 was the beginning of the Third Great Awakening, which began in New York City following a stock market crash. Do you know how this awakening came to life? POCKETS OF PRAY-ERS. Men and women who met in homes, at the workplace on lunch hours and after hours. God’s people began to pray and it released a powerful revival. (Read more about the Great Awakenings)

Today, this is the call to the World wide church, our assignment is to gather and pray for our countries, our world and for the church to rise into power. It is a for such a time as this for Jesus Christ to take the world back through love, signs, wonders and miracles.

I meet every other Friday with women in my home. We pray. We prayed this past Friday for our county, for our world and for the advancement of the Kingdom. It was powerful and angels were sent on assignment. You can do the same thing. And today, we have the internet. God is alive and well on the net. So today, take heart. Be of GREAT courage and pray. Our world is heading for one of the largest, most amazing awakening-revivals ever to hit planet earth. It's the BEST time to be alive!!!!

Today, pray. Pray in the comments and let’s “AMEN” one another. Let’s loose heaven (Matt 18:18) and send angels on assignment. Let’s bind the devils and cripple their attempts to scare us (Matt 18:18). Let’s rise and be men and women who are: The Armies of the Living God.

Hallelujah!!! I love you. See you in the comments and again in August. BIG hugs, Lynn

*****

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Part Four: The Promised Provision

IMG_0009My friends, are you ready for more of God’s amazing truth and love? Are you ready to have your thinking transformed a bit today? Let’s go back to the book of Jeremiah and take another look at King Zedekiah’s story.

Let’s look at the first five verses of Jeremiah 34, because this is where things get really interesting.

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all the armies from the kingdoms he ruled, and he fought against Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. At that time this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. You will not escape his grasp but will be captured and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face. Then you will be exiled to Babylon.

 “‘But listen to this promise from the LORD, O Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the LORD says: You will not be killed in war but will die peacefully. People will burn incense in your memory, just as they did for your ancestors, the kings who preceded you. They will mourn for you, crying, “Alas, our master is dead!” This I have decreed, says the LORD.” — Jeremiah 34:1-5

I just recently listened to a faith message that presented a concept I hadn’t considered about God’s character and plans of us. Then God showed me the truth of it here in this passage in Jeremiah 34.

In every difficulty we face, there is a God-given promise. 

If you think about it, if you think about God’s nature and promises like Romans 8:28 that God works for our good in ALL things, then it makes perfect sense. That alone is the promise in a nutshell. Especially believers in Jesus who are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. God will not and cannot deny Himself.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. — 2 Timothy 2:13

God gave Jeremiah a message for King Zedekiah of what was going to happen, that Nebuchadneezzar would take the city of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and there would be no escape. Yet God has made a provision for Zedekiah—a promise. Jeremiah even says, “Listen to this promise form the Lord…”

In Jeremiah 38:17-20, King Zedekiah questions Jeremiah again, and again Jeremiah repeats God’s promise. Which if you look back to what Jeremiah said in chapter 34, showed God’s intention to honor Zedekiah’s obedience with a legacy of honor and praise. Sadly, Zedekiah admits his afraid to surrender and fears King Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath more than he trusts God to keep His promise. In chapter 39 we read of his failed attempt to escape with resulted in him watching his sons be slaughtered before his enemy gouged out his eyes. 

Not pleasant, I know, but my dear SUMites, here’s the other part of this amazing thing God is showing me. That promise in our challenge is the key to our breakthrough and our victory, and we walk as conquerors. And the more we do it, the more afraid of us the enemy is! 

This is what it means to fight from victory, not for victory. A promise for every thing we face is already in place for us to find and claim. We are already victorious, already declared conquerors. Now it’s up to us to live like it.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. — Romans 8:37

Not just partial victory, my friends. Overwhelming victory. God won the battle for us when He put our promise in place. Ask Abba what promise He has put into place for the circumstances you are struggling with. Has He already given you a Scripture or two, like He has given me for my daughter Leslie? Has He spoken a word of reassurance to you in the dark of night that you’re afraid to hope for?

My friends, this beautiful SUM family is a huge testimony of God’s faithfulness. He will not fail you. And trust me, I know how hard it can be to look for God in a situation so difficult that all we can see is the mountain of our pain, yet not a glimpse of what God is doing in the midst of it. But I know—have learned—from those very situations that He’s most definitely there. Just not how we expect Him to be. It may not make sense…yet, but it will. 

And I’m discovering that those are the most astonishing moments of God’s undeniable presence manifesting all around us. He’s always been there. I just needed to quit looking for what I expected and see Him.

I love you, my friends. Know that God is giving you the power and the desire to do whatever it is He’s asking you (Phil. 2:13) and He absolutely adores you.

Father God, bless Your SUM Nation with every spiritual blessing You have already set aside for each of us. Fill us, Holy Spirit, with wisdom and revelation to know the direction to go no matter what the circumstances around us look like or are telling us to do. We want only Your voice, Lord Jesus, our Great Shepherd, who gave everything for us to live the abundant life You’ve set before us. Fill us with great courage to take the next step, and the next and the next. Your will be done, Lord, on earth, right now as You have already declared it in Heaven. And to You, Lord, be all the glory. We love You! In the name of Jesus, we pray, amen!

Love you, SUMites!
~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

*****

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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Part One: We are the SUMites

IMG_5100SUMites, today I want to remind you who you are. Holy Spirit has impressed this upon me right now in conjunction with our SALVATION word for this year. And if I sound like a broken record about that word, understand that the Lord has told me I am to continually hold this before you and remind you of it from time to time. He’s even given me specific things to do that I am waiting for Him to tell me when to share them.

But today He wants you to remember WHO you are. Who He says you are. Who He has created you to be in this time as a SUMite. 

Last April Holy Spirit had me sitting in the book of Isaiah, specifically Isaiah 60. At the end of this chapter I underlined the words and wrote “SUM” next to them. I knew that’s what God was creating us to be as community.

Today He brought me back to this verse and pointed out more that I didn’t understand last year. That’s because He is so much more brilliant than I am and has much better timing. LOL!

The smallest family will become a thousand people,and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen. — Isaiah 60:22

SUMites, I want to break this down because this will be just the first part of a series I feel—yes, very much feel—Holy Spirit is building to equip, train and prepare us for the full revelation of our salvation word. We are an army in training, so let’s get ready.

First, this is who we are as a community and what God has done and is doing in and through us.

The smallest family will become a thousand people…

We started with just a handful of “readers,” which then grew to be a community, then a family, as I shared that progression during last month’s celebration. Today that family includes over 2,000 people. God exceeded His quota, my friends. I find that incredibly fantastic and beyond what we could have asked or even imagined (Eph. 3:20).

and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation…

We hold an additional name along with SUMites—SUM Nation. A name that just seemed to fit was actually God’s plan for us. Isn’t that astonishing?

At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen.

That He did! And He is still doing it. Making us a mighty nation of women and men who have persevered in our faith and are praying, believing and standing for the salvation of our spouses. 

I believe this promise is now coming from heaven to earth. I see the progression so clearly and am excited to share that with you. In January, God gave us a corporate word—SALVATION—and specific ways to pray over our spouses and family. 

Do you remember earlier in the year when I wrote about paying attention to how we hear God and asked you to keep a journal of how and what God is speaking to you? Many of you shared you began to hear God more. And Lynn and I did the online web training last month too. What I realize now, my friends, is that was also part of God’s training and preparation for what’s coming. Isn’t that cool?

Last month we had an overwhelming response to the post about the one minute prayer, which we now have many praying for each other’s spouse and a team of intercessors who have answered God’s call to pray over the entire list. He’s united us into a mighty army of prayer warriors, my friends, and we will soon have a prayer book to prove it! 

And He’s not done. There is so much more, SUMites. I wish I could pour it into one post but it’s just too much. His promises have been put into position, and we are an important part of the realization of those promises for it is God’s nature to partner with His creation to bring into place His glorious plans.

God is not only in the process of training us, He is upgrading us. Taking us up to the next level. That is the next part of what God is showing me in Isaiah 60 and what I will share on Thursday, along with more encouragement for you regarding the increase in spiritual warfare many of us are experiencing.

I’ve started praying for testimonies to start coming in, and some have, mainly of how God has begun to move in marriages and loved ones. My friends, these are so encouraging! Please share in the comments anything God is doing in your life right now. Ask God to show you what He’s up too. The very thing you share, no matter how small, may be the confirmation another SUMite needs right now.

Lord Jesus, You have gifted us with eyes to see and ears to hear. Bless us all with more insight and wisdom to see where You are working and hear Your leading so we may join with You in this  wonder and miracle of the Great Harvest. In the mighty and saving name of Jesus, amen!

God bless you, SUMites, with great joy and wonder in Him today!
Love you!
Dineen

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Fear Of Man - It's our Freedom Day!

Hello my Friends,

Wow, it feels as though a long time has passed since I shared with you what the Lord is teaching me. I have a doozy of a lesson today. But before we jump in, thank you for celebrating our 10-year anniversary with us. I read every comment that arrived and was teary with joy at your expressions of love. These are treasures that are now part of my crown that I can’t wait to throw at the feet of Jesus. Forgive me for not responding, I’m living in a season of a million details. Can anyone relate???

But truly!!! Thank you.

Okay, let’s roll on.

I thought this topic of the fear of man was going to be fairly straight forward. It’s not. I’ve been embroiled in thoughts about this for weeks. So it’s likely going to take some time to wade through it all. Be patient.

So does this happen to you?

You are contemplating a decision in your life such as taking a bolder step of faith in public. Or speaking up about a situation in your life, marriage, career or social positions. Do you have to think through what may be all the possible responses and what people around you might think about you if you were to make changes or speak up?

Yep, me too.

This is the fear of man.

Whoa! Hold on you say. What I’m driving at is when you know that you know in your knower, God has spoken to you about a certain course of action, correction, direction and you then must contemplate, suppose and mull over every single person’s response before you decide if you are going to move, that is the fear of man.

I truly believe that fear is demonic in nature. Fear controls, manipulates and destroys what God intends to prosper, bless and set free. Often the devil uses others to create fear in order that we never come to live in our divine purpose and calling.

I could likely talk about this topic of fear for days on end. Almost every person I pray for has some kind of bondage to fear that blocks or diminishes God’s will in their life. What is so amazing for me is when I pray with them for their freedom, there are those whom I literally can see their eyes dilate as fear leaves. And in a few, I have watched as even the shape of their face will change as they are set free from fear and step into the love of Christ with greater confidence.

Awesomeness!!!

SUMites, many of us live in fear. And if all I do for the rest of my life is to bring freedom from fear through Christ Jesus to this community, I will have lived out one of my primary purposes on earth.

So in the next few weeks, I want to put some tools in your spiritual tool belt to deal with the spirit of fear. I am hearing the Holy spirit speak to us: Your time is at hand. Step out of fear and live in my promises.

How does that feel to everyone?

Cool!

Okay, we have a lot of work to do and a short time to do it as I will be taking the month of July off. In August we will launch into our annual Summer Bible Study series. But for June…. WE ARE TAKING DOWN FEAR. Woo Hoo!!

Start with this verse:

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. —Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)

My friends, memorize this. But mostly…. Just believe it.

I have an assignment for you over the weekend. In your quiet time ask the Holy Spirit, “What do I fear? Does this fear sit outside the truth of the Word of God?”

Okay, if you are bold or ready, please share your answers with me in the comments. Firstly, taking fear out of the dark immediately lessens its power. Second, I can pray over this and perhaps will have some scriptures to offer you as well that will help you to become free. Thirdly, you are likely not alone. You will find another who can walk through this journey with you.

Funny thing. This post came out way different and unexpected to what I originally thought. Somehow I think the Holy Spirit will drive this series with power, purpose and GREAT FREEDOM. Hallelujah!!

TODAY IS YOUR FREEDOM DAY. I love you, SUMite Nation. Let’s get free and take the love of Christ to the world with power and purpose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

Galatians 5 1

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Reach for the Stars

ReachfortheStarsMy friends, we’ve already started to receive prayers from many of you for our new book, Praying for Your Unsaved Spouse. I’m hoping there are many more of you out there praying, considering and even writing your prayer story.

But if you’ve decided that’s just not something you can do, I want to tell you a little story. About a year or so after I rededicated my life to Jesus, my church started a Stephen Ministry and put a call out for participants. It was a two year commitment—a year of training and a year of service within the church. 

When I read it, I thought how wonderful that will be for our church membership, but I didn’t even consider signing up. I had two young children and a husband who didn’t share my faith at all. Didn’t seem like a good fit for me. How could I do something like that?

That same week, my pastor called me into his office to chat. He asked me if I’d considered signing up for the Stephen Ministry training. I told him honestly, no. He looked me straight in the face and asked, “Please pray about it.”

My friends, I was surprised that my pastor, who knew my situation and knew me, would think I’d be a good candidate for this. But I was very willing to pray about it. And that’s what I did the very next morning. 

I love the saying that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He calls. Jesus told the disciples not to worry about what to say but to trust that the Holy Spirit would give them the exact words they would need (Matt. 10:19, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:11).

That morning I sat in my favorite chair with my Bible in my lap, I began to pray about what my pastor had asked me. And before I could even finish my prayer, I heard God clearly say, “Well, what did you think I had in mind for you?”

You see, sometimes we disqualify ourselves for things because we haven’t done them before. Or we make assumptions that disqualify us that are completely contrary to God’s truth—and His plan—for us. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:10

My friends, if you think you are not qualified or capable of contributing to this project, please let me encourage you to seek God and ask Him. Let Him be the one to tell you what you are capable of. I have a feeling you will be very much surprised and delighted. And if you want some biblical inspiration of just how specific God can do this, read about Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 31. The only difference between them and you is that you already have the Holy Spirit living in you.

And I have a feeling there are prayers you haven’t thought about that have become near and dear to your heart. They don’t have to be about just salvation. How about prayers for your spouse to have favor at work or to be the best parent he or she can be with God’s help? We’ve seen God move in amazing ways through our spouses. What prayers have impacted your life as a SUMite? What prayers have impacted your marriage?

SUMites, I believe you have something to pray and say. Even if it’s something new that God inspires you with, share it! You’ll inspire more SUMites along this path than you will ever know. Like I say, God is not wasteful. He will take whatever you offer up to Him and multiply it beyond your wildest imagination (Eph 3:20)

I never imagined myself as a Stephen Minister, but God had planned it all along. And you know what’s even more amazing? All that training was part of God’s plan to bring me here too, to be a part of this beautiful SUM ministry. He’s the best equipper I know!

And I want to let you in on a little secret. As I was praying for this book and for our SUM family, Holy Spirit showed me there will be a sequel to this book—one filled with the salvation stories of our spouses! Can you imagine that, SUMites? Wow, God is on the move!

Holy Spirit, fill every SUMite praying this prayer with words and inspiration to be shared with those coming up behind us. I pray they be filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge and with all kinds of words to express their heart and prayers. In the mighty and most able name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUM family!
Dineen

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The Big Reveal

SUMCoverDuo
Hello SUMites!

I bet you're looking at these two covers and wondering what is going on. Well, this is our big surprise. I put my graphic designer skills to work and created two covers for a book that we are going to publish—a book filled with prayers for the salvation of our spouses.

Guess who's going to write it?

YOU!

Yes, you heard us right. As the covers show, this will be a collection of prayers written by this community (Lynn and I too!) and we will publish it just like any other book. You will be able to download it from Amazon for Kindle or order a print copy. 

AND you get to vote on which cover you want. But there's a requirement for this vote. You have to submit a prayer for the book! If there's a story behind the prayer, be sure to include that too. Like how God led you to that verse and how you turned it into a prayer for your spouse. Or how something inspired you to pray that prayer. 

Now don't let that scare you off, my friends. If you have written down prayers for or journaled prayers for your spouse, dig those out and get them ready to go. Here are the submission requirements:

  • 500 - 1000 words in a Word document. 
  • Include 2 to 3 sentences at the end that will tell readers your name and who you are. You're the author, after all!
  • Re-read and edit your submission to check for typos and missing punctuation, then email them to me. Lynn and will review all submissions and help you with any final edits to make your submission shine!
  • Sign a release giving us permission to use your submission. You'll receive one of these by email with a request to return the form by postal mail. We'll need this in order to include your prayer.

Dear friends, I hope you're as excited about this as we are. Our goal is to compile the book and have it completed by the end of the summer. Imagine holding a book in your hands with something in it that you wrote. So pray for Holy Spirit inspiration and trust Him to give you words. And have fun!

All right, SUMites, let your writer flags fly, make a record of your heart-felt prayers, share your words and inspire others.

We are the SUMites and we have something to pray!

Woohoo! 
Love you!
Dineen

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The NEW Soul Saver is Out!

SoulSaverCover-small
SUMites, I'm excited to tell you The Soul Saver is available again for Kindle on Amazon. If you've recently joined our family, you may not know that I started this story in 2008 just before my youngest daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was finally published in 2012 and won the Carol Award in 2013. This story wound up being quite prophetic to what would unfold in my life and my family in 2008. You can read that story here.

But what I love most about this book is that I wrote it for our community, and it's dedicated to you, SUMites. I’m amazed by the letters I’ve received from readers sharing how profoundly this story has affected their lives and marriages. One reader even said The Soul Saver saved her marriage. That's God, my friends! He birthed this story in my heart and has spoken to so many broken hearts through it. 

I can’t think of a better way to serve God’s kingdom, my friends, than to impact lives for Jesus, who empowers us to do so through the Holy Spirit who dwells in and fills us. I ask for that daily. And as our beautiful community gives testimony, God works in all ways anywhere. 

This new version has some new goodies at the end, including an epilogue I think you're really going to like, and...it could be the launching point for a sequel. Plus you'll notice on the new cover that this is book one in the Prophetic Arts Series. Book two is done and about to go to my editor. So yes, it's looking like two different series will be branching out from this one book. God has done a lot of talking to me about this in just the past few days, and I am very excited to be on this adventure with Him.

So Lexie, Hugh and Nate's stories will hopefully continue—so many have asked me for that. And I have a suspicion Hugh's journey toward salvation will be symbolic of what God is doing in our own spouses, my friends. I can't wait to see that unfold. I'll keep you posted on that book. Maybe that story will be dedicated to all our spouses who have walked the same journey to faith as Hugh, 'cuz I'm thinking this next story may be his turning point. Now how cool would that be?

Dream big with God, my friends. It's a blast. And thank you for letting me share this story with you. 
Love you!
~Dineen

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And the Adventures Continue!

SUM10Anniversary
Hello SUM Nation!

We’ve had a blast this month walking down memory lane, doing a LIVE Webcast, announcing our ordinations and celebrating YOU! Did you enjoy the stories? Lynn and I have had some crazy adventures together, and we have taken you with us in our hearts every time.

WHWW&NotAloneWe’ve written two books together—Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone—Bible studies you, the SUMites, asked us for. Which then led to invitations to speak at conferences, to be on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Dr. Dobson and INSIGHT on The Miracle Channel. Lynn even did an interview on the 700 Club! She’s the big adventurer in this duo, that’s for sure. 

Lynn and I have talked a lot about our adventures this month and laughed—a lot! She has said I was the one who gave her the gift of saying “yes,” when she said “let’s go!” Honestly, I believe I’m the one who was blessed more. She keeps me from getting too comfortable, you know? We all need someone like that in our lives.

And the adventures continue, SUMites! We are a family. A church without walls. The SUM Nation. God has brought us all together these last ten years for a reason, for such a time as this, and that time continues. His plans are still unfolding for us, my friends.

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, and Lynn and I have decided to take next week off. We have some planning and catching up to do. My hubby is off Monday so I’m looking forward to some beach time with him! But be sure to catch Ian’s post on Wednesday. And Lynn and I will be back June 6th.

With a surprise…

What kind of surprise, you ask? Well, we’ve been up to something—been planning the next adventure. And this one includes you, SUMites. A surprise that we think you’re going to love being part of. So be sure to stop in June 6th for all the details.

Until then, have an amazing Memorial Day weekend with your family. Enjoy next week with friends and family in whatever adventures you happen to be on. 

We love you, SUM family, with all our hearts. We love being a part of your lives as we continue to walk this great adventure with God together.

BIG hugs!
Dineen & Lynn

P.S. I (Dineen) will have a small post up this Saturday with a little announcement that I hope you’ll enjoy. XOXO

 

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A Past and Present Story

Hello, SUM family. I'm with Lynn in wondering how this month has gone by so fast! Here I thought I'd run out of stories only to find I needed to pick and choose the best ones, because there are so many. And I will say they are truly God's stories—the evidence of His love and presence. We all have His-stories to tell, my friends. They are our testimonies.

My story today has it’s roots in the past and is blossoming in unexpected ways today today. I never expected to be ordained. In a way that truth is still settling into my heart and mind, because it's not something I ever felt worthy to aspire to. But we know our worth is determined by what Jesus did and not what we do. I find I must remind myself of that daily. I trust God daily to free me from that performance mentality.

But you know what I love most about this. I was ordained by this ministry—our SUM ministry. I never imagined such a thing possible ten years ago. Or even five years ago! It's just “right" that it comes from this beautiful place. You know what I mean? There simply aren't words to express the joy that brings me.

And there is a humorous side to this story, SUMites. I wondered what my hubby would think of this so I explained I was going to be ordained and then asked him, "How do you feel about being married to a pastor?"

He laughed. In a good way. You know what's so funny about this story? Only a week or so before this, he and I were talking about the churches I've been visiting with a my best friend who just moved here in January. I've been helping her find a church home. The thing is, I'm still in this church search myself now that we've settled in Florida year round. I love the church I've been attending, but it's a big church and I'm not sure that's where God wants me to stay.

Do you know what my hubby said to me?

"You should start your own church."

And he was serious! SUMites, I'm just stunned at how God works in our circumstances. That is the last thing I ever expected my husband to say. 

I shared this story with my friend and what she said stopped me in my tracks. "How crazy will it be when you're both pastors of a church."

SUMites, I don't aspire to pastor a church, and I still don't. I feel like I'm already doing that right here, which still blows my mind. But that statement fueled the tiny seed simmering in my heart to one day serve God with my husband, to be united in that calling, whatever it looks like. I know you understand that dream too, because it's a hope we all hold close in our hearts.

You see, the story gets a little more interesting here. I asked God a few months ago what spiritual gift(s) he'd given my husband, and He opened my eyes to see it was evangelism. God also showed me how Mike is already operating in that gift, which is absolutely mind boggling. 

Why? When I met my husband, he was one of the shyest people I'd ever met. He didn't like crowds and kept to himself. Even in the early years of our marriage, if we went to an event, he mostly stayed with people he knew. 

Now I watch up him go up to complete strangers on the beach, in a restaurant, or a store and strike up conversations all the time. Complete strangers! And he seems totally at ease about it. I watch, and I'm in awe of how God works in our spouses even when they don't know or want it. Even when we don't know or can't see it. He does, my friends. He truly does.

SUMites, God has planted and is watering this seed in my heart—a dream of possibility. A dream I realize I'd put in the impossibility column early on, even ten years ago, and now God has moved it not just to the "all things are possible with Him" column, but to the "DREAM BIG" column as well. God has done a great work in me too on that one!

How about you, my precious SUMites? What dream is God seeding in your heart? What hope have you held close, yet been too afraid to share with your Great Big God? Share in the comments—I'd love to pray with you for this dream or for God to seed a dream in your heart.

On Friday's post, Lynn shared Karen's one minute prayer idea and 78 of you left comments with your hubby's name. Seventy-eight! Many of you replied to other SUMites that you would pray for her spouse and have partnered up. I've compiled a complete list and will continue to update it. If you'd like a copy, email me

IMG_5046
My Bible at Jeremiah 24:7. I have a hand written version of the list too. Started the list by hand and Holy Spirit impressed upon me to keep doing it. So now I have both!
 

SUMites, I am standing on the word and Scripture God gave me for our community in January, and I am placing this list in my Bible at Jeremiah 24. I declare this over our spouses nearly every day and I believe like I have never believed before that God is and going to do this.

He is faithful and He will do what He says! Amen? Amen!

Love you so much, my SUM family!
~Dineen

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God Joined Our Celebration! Let Me Explain!

Greetings SUMite Nation:

Well we are in the last week of our 10-year, month-long celebration. Can you believe it went by that fast? I’m in my office on a Sunday afternoon. I feel the Lord’s Presence and it is peaceful. I pray all of you are filled with His peace, love and joy as you read this.

My affection for our Papa God has been the highlight of all that I write, speak and share with others over the past 10 years. I love the Lord with all that I know how. But what remains utterly amazing STILL, is to be adored by Him in return.

And He continues to overwhelm and surprise me in ways I can’t even dream up.

So…. This is what He did.

The Lord knew that Dineen and I have been planning this 10-year celebration for several months. We began talking about it months ago. And wouldn’t you know, God decided to participate.

So unbeknownst to me, in March a local ministry with which I serve on the Board of Directors, well they, ahem, officially ordained me into ministry.

I’m a reverend. A for-real pastor.

Say What????

Who knew?

When they presented my ordination certificate to me I literally bawled, look for Kleenex in the purse frantically, kind of bawling. Tears of joy.

It was as if the Lord said to me, “Lynn, I have walked the long road with you. I have stood by as you faithfully served people who arrived at your website fearful, broken and lost who were seeking My love. You served and gave your time, your money and you gave your heart. You have loved my people and helped many, many who needed a voice of hope and a word of encouragement. You have faithfully served My Kingdom and my children. I want you to receive the recognition that you deserve as you reach this 10-year milestone.”

Gulp!

Hold on a moment. Where’s my Kleenex box around here, sheesh.

I’m undone. I’m utterly undone by this kind of love. I’ve been undone all month as I read through the comments and feel your love for this place, this weird church without walls, this place where we are real with one another. Where we cry over brokenness and we pray down heaven over our children. Where we pound the carpet pacing and praying in unceasing spiritual warfare for our home and spouse's soul. Where we live and love and walk toward heaven. I’m undone by the love of God in your faces, your voices and your lives.

I’m undone. In every amazing good way.

Sumites, I’m just an ordinary, broken, yet redeemed, 5 foot 4 blonde woman who is loved by Papa, God! Oh how His love redeems everything I thought was missing in my marriage, my home, my life. It was all a lie, that perfect picture of love and marriage in my head. It was a lie.

The truth is, I have EVERYTHING IN HIM. My Papa God, His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit!

And SO DO YOU!

Thank you for walking this journey with me and Dineen. You are our forever friends. Truly

Also, this month our ministry ordained, Dineen Miller. God’s kinda cool that way!

Live for the Kingdom my friends. Live with expectation. Live with love and with purpose. It’s a blast living the believer’s life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hallelujah AMEN!

Lynn Ordination 2016
Here I am with the certificate that is on the wall in my prayer room.

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Can A Single Minute Bring Our Spouse To Christ?

SUMITE NATION:

In February Karen Le from Ohio, emailed me with a fantastic suggestion. And so today I want to share it with you. As we celebrate our 10-year anniversary, I want to challenge you to a 30-day, One Minute Prayer. Here is what Karen wrote:

Several years ago a Christian leader urged churchgoers to choose one person whose salvation they could pray for through the season of lent at 1:00 PM, every day, for One Minute. 

ONE PERSON FOR ONE MINUTE AT 1:00 PM.

Wherever they were, those participating, prayed at 1 pm. It wasn't long into the daily prayers that those being prayed for were repenting and being saved. Hallelujah!

I'm wondering if, as a group of SUMites, we could do this?

I'm excited to see all that would be possible if we came together as a group and prayed daily at 1:00 pm. Thoughts, Fondly, Karen from Ohio.

Karen BRILLIANT! I've saved your email specifically for our May celebration. 

Okay SUMITES... UNITE!!!!

Begin today. Here are the rules. Every day at 1:00 PM, no matter where you are, be intentional to pray for someone by name and for their salvation. Rule #2, You can't pray for your own spouse. Pray for another SUMite's spouse, even it you don't know their spouse's name. Rule #3 - pray for one minute.

We will pray daily from May 20th through June 20th. 

Leave your name and that of your spouse, or anyone you want prayers for salvation in the comments. Let's make this 10-year anniversary soar to heaven and be participants in the Great Harvest!

 

Karen LeHello All. My name is Karen. I am happily married to Vinh and we will celebrate 19 years in June! We have two beautiful teenagers that I homeschool. Homeschooling was God's calling on my life - a desire I just couldn't deny. I have enjoyed every single moment of this journey.  My days are spent in extracurriculars with my children, gardening with my husband, time at the gym or a walk in the neighborhood and always a good cup of coffee.  I try to be mindful of God's presence in each day, whether it be a sunset, wild flowers, or a kind gesture from a stranger - He is always there.  I am grateful I can have peace in His promise to never leave me or forsake me and that if I trust Him, He will make my path and the path of my family clear. 

 

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Celebrating 10 Years: Waiting for Lynn and Dineen to Grow Up

“Mama, you are the Christian in your marriage, but you are not showing respect to Daddy,” my two daughters said to me,” as they detailed times, places and events that covered several years. 

And with that, my two grown daughters, Crystal and Heather, shoved a book in my hands, called Love and Respect, and said, “You need to read this, and get your act together!”

In that moment, I started having hot flashes (not from menopause, but anger) and I silently whispered, “Girls, I brought you into this world, I am a-fixing to take you out!” After their monologue of disciplining their Christ-like mother, I picked up my halo, walked out of the room and pouted with them for two months. 

During my two months of pouting, I walked my neighborhood crying and sometimes yelling, scaring the dogs and leaving people gazing at me in bewilderment. My heart became like a water pitcher pouring out years and years of complaints stored up inside of me about raising two girls in church without my husband, along with other things “HE” had done. When I had coughed up everything I could remember about him, I then poured out how angry I now was with “Daddy’s precious little girls” for confronting me about not respecting him, of all things.

“God, my husband doesn’t deserve respect for putting me through all of this.  Don’t you agree?”

Instead of agreeing with me (does He ever?) He gently nudged me to go to the internet and see what I could find out about living with an unbeliever.  Say what?  Never in all my years of reading books on marriage had I ever read anything on that subject. But, somehow, I found a site advertising a book called Winning Him Without Words, so I decided to order it.

My first night’s impression with “the book:” Not bad.  Pretty interesting.  Finally, I came to Chapter 4 - The Essentials of Love: Hope, Joy, Peace and Trust (Oh, Yeah, and Respect)

Oh, my goodness!  Now, I have some author, what’s her name, Dineen Miller, telling me to have respect for my unbelieving husband.  What does she know?  She is probably married to a Christian.  Oops, no!  It says right here she is married to an Atheist! And her co-author, Lynn, is married to one, too.    

My heart slowly began to melt as I kept reading through the night.  It was as if these two authors were seeing into my heart something that nobody else had ever seen.  They understood what it was like being married to a nonbeliever, but were also providing ten keys to thrive in the midst of this type of situation.

By morning, I fell on my knees and repented of not living up to 1 Peter 3 in the midst of an unequally yoked marriage.  I also knew I was to start a group at my church in Orange, Texas for women “like me,” which is now in its 5th year.

 “Where had these two women, Lynn and Dineen, been all my married life?  Why had I not heard of them before,” I wondered on that first night of meeting them on the pages of their book. Well, duh!  They were just babies when I got married; I had to wait years for them to grow up to teach an older woman like me how to live with this man I married!” 

Meanwhile, on their website, I started meeting women from around the globe (and Ian, too) as Lynn and Dineen pulled us all together as a community to walk through the maze of a spiritually mismatched marriage according to God’s Word. Wait! Wait! We can’t leave out what The Chronicles of the Donovan Clan has taught us, too.

In fact, everything that I have learned from this ministry has so impacted my life that I have decided to keep my husband around a few more years, and “Oh Yeah, Respect Him, too.”

As I think back to that night in 2011 when I had my first encounter with Lynn and Dineen on the pages of Winning Him Without Words, it reminds me of something Sister Mock, my childhood Sunday School teacher of long ago used to do.  When things got to going really good in a church service, she would stand up, whip out her handkerchief, wave it in the air, and shout:  Whooooooopeeee!  Glory Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!”

Knowing Sister Mock like I did, I know she is on her feet in heaven right now, ready for us to join her in a shout-out.  Are you ready, Sumites?  If so, get your hankie out, and start waving it. 

All together now------ 

“Happy 10th Anniversary, Lynn and Dineen!!

Whooooooopeeee!  Glory Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!”

 

About Martha Bush: 

Martha-031-Lite-WebMartha's love for teaching led her into areas outside the school system as she began teaching Bible study courses in jails, prisons, and at her local church. She also writes a monthly inspirational post at Created Woman and is a contributing editor for Created Woman Magazine.

In addition, Martha is a contributor to Girlfriends Coffee Hour and a member of the Orange County Christian Writers Guild.

Through her years of teaching, as well as being an avid reader of human behavior and grief counseling from noted Christian psychologists, she recognized how a team effort can help build a foundation in children at an early age that will enable them to cope with the losses in their lives. Modified-Front-CoverShe believes this team, made of up parents, grandparents, educators, and spiritual leaders, can guide a child to healing from losses he or she might experience. They can do this simply by recognizing his pain, listening to his pain and then teaching the child how to apply the principles of God’s Word to his hurting heart. This led her to write Helping Hurting Children: A Journey of Healing.

 

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Who Knew? We Aren't A Fly-By-Night Ministry!

Yep, after 10 years we can say... Woo Hoo We aren't going anywhere. 

The Hand of Jesus Christ has been upon this humble ministry from the beginning.

So today IT OFFICIAL! We are a real 501c3 Religious Corporation. After 10 years we have filed all the paper work and we can issue tax deductible receipts for donations.

In our 10 year history we haven't asked for donation to support this ministry. Some of you have given even without our asking. THANK YOU!

Dineen and I have paid out of pocket for all of it. This year the internet portion and the corporate expenses are $2,500. 

If you have grown in your faith, found hope for your life and marriage and consider yourself part of our family, pray about pouring into our family on the web. Every penny is used to pay the expenses to keep us online. 

Click on this donate button and give. I will mail a tax receipt to you in January from Three Keys Ministries our umbrella Religious Corporation. 

 

Visit our Non-Profit website:
Three Keys Ministries

Now let me pray a prayer of blessing over you.

So as you give, I speak over you a blessing that comes with power and with fire. That the Lord Jesus will multiply your finances. I speak over you favor in your workplace, your church and your home. I speak that great provision will be poured out upon you and you will have more than enough for your home, your church and this church without walls.

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts that you love us, love this family and are part of the Kingdom of God! Hugs, Lynn & Dineen

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

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I Finally Found "It" by Christy Edney

Christy Edney
Christy Edney and family!

My faith journey began as a little girl visiting my maternal grandmother's church with a small congregation, all over fifty-five years old. This small church did not welcome young children and I'll never forget the way they looked at my brother and I as we tried to behave during service. I now know that my mother ran from organized religion as a result of her childhood experiences with that congregation and her own mother. As I grew older I spent summer breaks with my father's parents. They insisted that all of the grandchildren come to their church every time we were in town. Their church was also very small but the congregation welcomed all ages. The thing I remember most about that congregation is their kindness and the sense of peace I found in that small building.

Fast forward many years, I met my husband when I was nineteen, married by twenty-one, and became a mom by twenty-two. The moment my son was born I knew that I wanted to raise him differently than I'd been raised and that meant finding a church home.  I asked my husband for permission to find a church and take our son with me. He agreed but promised that he would never come along or participate. That conversation was almost thirteen years ago.

I visited only one church before finding the one that God meant for us.  During those early days I would sit in the chair, look at the "happy" couples and cry. One morning, after crying through every worship song, a lady in front of me turned around and handed me a stone with the word Hope printed on it. She smiled with such kindness that I knew I was still home. One other Sunday during those early years, an acquaintance sat next to me and said "that chair next to you may seem empty but it's not. The Holy Spirit is always here." That bit of encouragement gave me strength to walk through those doors again and again.

I will admit, those early years were very hard. I tried plugging into the community through volunteering but out of respect for my husband, I limited my time spent in church activities. In an effort to find community I would look through the church website for a small group or class that could help me navigate my journey as a spiritually mismatched wife but I never found that. I continued to go every Sunday but I sought community and a Biblical education on my own. I did that through daily reading in the Bible, tons of Bible studies and Christian music. Then in 2011, after I had read just about every book I could find on the subject, the Spirit led me to Winning Him Without Words. Through that book and the word of God, I learned that if I was willing then God would use me to positively impact every area of my marriage and home. I also found the community that I had so desperately needed. It's true that I've never seen either Lynn or Dineen in person but through technology, they have become my friends and mentors over the last five years. I may not respond to every blog post but I read every one and I lift up each prayer request. This community has become my church without walls and I know that it was a vital part of God’s plan for my life.  Lynn and Dineen, thank you for your honesty, kindness and service to our community. Both of you will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Christy Edney is a follower of Jesus, wife of thirteen years and mother of two children (12 and 7). She serves her congregation as a Small Group leader and Stephen’s Minister. She is passionate about raising her children with an authentic Christ-like example, showing the love of Christ to all and teaching his Word.

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The His-story of SUM

SUM10AnniversaryMy SUM family, I have felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to share how God has worked in very subtle ways to progress this ministry and the SUM family. This part of this story is probably one of my favorite parts because one, it shows how clearly God is in the smallest details and two, how subtly He can work to bring change.

When this blog first started, it was just that, a blog. Lynn and I wrote for the growing readership God was drawing here, and we referred to our spouses as unbelievers

As time progressed and readership grew, God began to change our perspective and thus our words. I remember clearly one day writing a post for the blog and sensing the Holy Spirit’s nudge to begin referring to this blog as a community. Though I didn’t understand it at the time, I found it so interesting and faithfully obeyed.

Then God lifted up our dear friend Rosheeda to lead our yearly fast in January, and it was during one of those times she dubbed us the SUMites. From this also evolved the term SUM Nation.

And yet, God wasn’t finished. Holy Spirit nudged again and I found myself using the term “pre-believers.” It was a statement of faith and trust in God to do the very things His Word says.

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. — 2 Peter 3:9

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him… — 2 Peter 3:15

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” — Acts 16:31

And yet again, God wasn’t finished. He’s evolved this community to become a family—the SUM family. We have become a “church without walls,” my SUM family.

And now I find myself hesitating to use the word “pre-believer” since God declared our corporate word for 2016 to be SALVATION (read that post here). Dare I say that God has another shift coming to our nomenclature? I believe He does, and I am standing in prayer and faith for this shift because I’ve no doubt it will be a big one. How does believer sound to you? I’m right there with you…

My friends, this ministry started with the desire to share with others what God had taught us. God is the one who brought this beautiful progression of faith and unity to what it is today. 

And you, SUMites, have gone from being readers and spectators to full participants and members who pray and encourage each other, including Lynn and I, right in the comments! Many of you have even forged friendships outside of this ministry. Again, how amazing is all that?!?!

I find it astoundingly beautiful. Unexplainable except for the only possible explanation. 

God—Abba Father, Son Jesus and Holy Spirit—is love. 

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. — 1 John 4:12

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. — 1 John 4:16-17

26495595_sSUM family, that is what makes us so unique. Our desire is to trust in God’s love so that our love grows more perfect—love for our spouse, love for our children, love for each other, love for the world. We know it’s not easy, yet we make this choice every day.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.. — Galatians 5:6 ESV

So, my dear friends, never forget that when we aspire to love our spouses through and with the love of Jesus (agape) we are walking in faith. And may I say, SUMite Nation, we do it well.

I love you, SUM family, and pray the joy and peace of Jesus fills your hearts today and every day, to sustain and empower you for whatever our Abba Father is calling your heart to do. In the name of Jesus, amen!
~Dineen

*****

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Celebration Victory - Pam Anderson

SUM10Anniversary

In joining in the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the SUM blog, I would like to share with you my experience of how I became part of this amazing SUM family.

It was January 2013 when I found the website.  I was struggling in my marriage due to a spiritual issue I had been dealing with for some time.  I was carrying a very heavy burden.  Satan was attacking me 24/7.  I needed help.  I needed wisdom.  I needed God to show me what to do.

Then one day, Lynn wrote a blog post.  Honestly, I don’t remember what it was about, but I remember her saying that she felt God prompting her to offer that if anyone needed to email her privately, and ask for prayer, to please do so; and she provided the link to email her.

I knew this was meant for me.  I emailed her, asking for prayer.  I shared with her what the issue was. I was in such pain and so desperate—it apparently came through in my words. I was amazed at her response.  She was an angel sent from God. She said that she could feel my burden, that she could tell I was feeling so oppressed, and this was not of God. She told me that God was leading her to pray with me, and asked when she could call me so she could pray over me.

I was so taken back by this response.  Really?  This woman was going to take time out of her busy schedule, her ministry, her family—to pray for me?  We set up a time over the next few days, and just as she promised, she called.

Honestly, I was a little embarrassed, feeling as though I “shouldn’t” be so transparent, that if I was a good Christian, I should be able to pray for myself. (Get thee behind me satan!)  But God told me to trust her, that she was the answer to prayer I was asking for.  (Wow!) She prayed a powerful prayer for me, to be released from Satan’s shackles, to be released from his stronghold and be set free and walk in the victory that was waiting for me.

And that was the beginning of victory for me.  Not overnight, but over time.  Along with the prayers and wisdom from the other SUMites through the blog and the 1Peter31 Yahoo group, and other believers, I received the encouragement I needed to finally take God at His word.  I began moving from a shackle-bound life, to a life of victory, the life God intended for me.

And now, in 2016, God has blessed me with so much knowledge of Him.  I asked for it, and He’s was faithful to answer. He’s shown me how I’ve been limiting Him through fear.  And now, I see through satan’s lies, and it pains me to see Believers living in condemnation and shackles.  I’m thankful God has used this group to help show me that all things are truly possible with God—through prayer.  To stop believing lies and believe and accept this truth: God is pleased with me, He’s crazy about me, and loves me more than I could possibly wrap my head around.

I pray that every human being living on this earth will seek to find the limitless life that is possible with God, through His Son Jesus Christ—for if we seek, we will find!

Thank you Lynn, Dineen and SUMites!  May God bless each of you, and your marriages, with His favor and overflowing abundance! -Pam 

Pam HeadshotI worked in the healthcare industry for 25 years and walked away from an executive position to support my husband in his writing career and pursue our dreams together.  A step of faith that has taken me, and my marriage, in directions I could never have thought, asked, dreamed or imagined (Eph. 3:20).  I am humbled and in awe of God’s faithfulness.

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The Second Time We Met in Person

Imported Photos 00033Welcome back, SUMites, to our 10 Year Celebration and a walk down memory lane. In my last post I mentioned that it would be nearly three years before Lynn and I would meet in person, and the circumstances leading up to that started with you.

But let me go back a little farther in time before this second meeting. In the fall of 2008 my daughter Leslie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Things happened fast those first few weeks with surgery dates, recovery and radiation treatments. 

During this time, Lynn was part of my support team and so was this blog and community. I found writing to be so helpful, and amazingly, it was during this time that I wrote The Soul Saver. God put that book on my heart and it was birthed out of my own life, marriage and the SUM ministry. I wanted to write that book for our community, and the front page bears a dedication to you, SUMites. I’m so thankful that was God’s plan all along too.

Not long after I finished that book, you started asking us for a Bible study about being spiritually mismatched. We listened, prayed and, boy-howdy, did God move. 

I remember being on the phone with Lynn, working out our chapters. By this time I’d written several fiction books and had an agent working on selling The Soul Saver. I’d never written a book with someone else and only dreamed of writing nonfiction at this point.

My friends, God again put all things into place. Lynn laid the foundation of the ten keys and we shared from our hearts what we felt most passionate about to write for the book. I’m still floored at how God basically placed half of that book on each of our hearts—different halves to make up the whole! 

IMG_0688
Our editor and dear friend, Kim Bangs

The chapter subjects came together seamlessly, and we put a book proposal together. Then came the waiting. And hoping. We knew God had given us that book, but the industry just didn’t seem quite ready. Until God connected Lynn with Kim Bangs, an editor at Regal Books.

Little did we know then that Kim would champion our book, we’d receive a contract, and by the grace of God, we wrote Winning Him Without Words in about four months.

Keep in mind that Lynn and I still lived hundreds of miles apart and had only met that one time. Yet we wrote a book together without any hitches! God was all over that, my friends. His Holy Spirit kept us unified and inspired us with the words.

Then in August 2010 the invitation came from our publisher to meet the team and join their marketing meeting at the offices in Ventura, CA. I flew into Ontario Airpot and guess who picked me up?

Yep, Lynn. I remember walking to her car with my suitcase, wondering how it would feel to finally spend time with her. We had a two hour car ride to the publisher’s offices, and then I would be staying with Lynn at her house overnight. Would it be weird? Awkward? I know a bunch of you out there are nodding your heads with the same questions, right?

Guess what? We didn’t stop talking the entire trip to the meeting and afterwards on the ride to her house. We didn’t stop talking at her house, or the next day when she took me back to the airport. God sure knew how to put two very different women together in a fit that’s just about as perfect as you can on this earth.

My friends, I declare today that I’ve no doubt Lynn’s and my friendship was ordained and I humbly believe it is anointed, too. For this ministry and for each other. The enemy has tried to come against us and break our unity, but we have stood together through it, and God has protected us. He’s also grown us in that friendship too, in ways that just make my heart burst. She and I say frequently that we would not want to walk this journey of the spiritually mismatched and ministry without each other. 

And that’s the heart of this community—to walk together in faith and to honor God with our lives and marriages. As Lynn shared in her video on Friday, the secret to an abundant life and a thriving marriage is about love:

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this:‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the L ord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. ’ The second is equally important:‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’ No other commandment is greater than these. — Mark 12:29-31

And SUM Nation, I have to say we do this so very well here in our church without walls. God is in the SUM house! 

Love you!
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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Virtual LIVE Class with Lynn & Dineen

We are offering a LIVE class where Dineen and I (Lynn) will share how to hear the voice of God. Listen in as we discuss what this class is about and how to participate:

It's going to be awesome.

This Class is now closed. Watch for classes in the future. Hugs, Lynn & Dineen.

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10 Year Anniversary

10 Year Anniversary

SUMite Nation:

Wow, can you believe we have become a nations of God’s people? We march together to bring the love of Jesus to a world that is dark and desperate.

AND, today we are going to celebrate.

Look at this photo:

May 2006

In my Daily Bible, on May 1, 2006, I wrote down in the top margin the date that it all began, Spiritually Unequal Marriage blog.

My friends, 10 YEARS!!!!!

Who knew.

The following is what I wrote on that very first day:

This website is dedicated to our Lord and to men and women who live every day in a spiritually mismatched marriage.

It is my prayer that this forum will be the place where Christians can find support, encouragement, and practical resources to thrive in their unequal marriage.

I pray that when you visit this site you will be inspired and offer your own insights into God’s design for a healthy marriage in the midst of different viewpoints.

How I hope we have lived up to this mandate over many months and months, a decade of writing.

Goodness! First, I guess we aren’t just another fly-by-night blog, here today, gone tomorrow. We actually grew into an amazing ministry… And more important than that, a family.

Throughout the month of May, Dineen and I are celebrating. We are going to share some stories about how we met. We will be posting testimonies from all of you. We want you to share how you found us and what being part of the community has meant to you and provided to your faith, marriage and life. (If you want to share your story, click here to read our guidelines and then email your submission to me here: email me Lynn.)

We are working on a LIVE online class to chat together about how to hear the voice of God better. Also a live Q&A, if I can figure this all out. Watch for more info later in the week.

We want to give away some books and share the love.

Humbly, Dineen and I are so very thankful to be worthy of your time. We are grateful for the Lord’s hand upon this ministry and upon the people who visit here. So many emails and letters have arrived over the years that keep us writing. Because through the love of Jesus and by loving one another, marriages have been saved. Men and women are walking in greater faith and victories. Children are walking in faith and courage in the Lord.

We know there is always more work to be done, but for today, THANK YOU for allowing us to celebrate this milestone in our lives. We love you so much SUM family, Lynn & Dineen

Lynn & Dineen
See this photo? We have a story about this moment... Stay tuned!

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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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How Do We Become Free Of Offense?

SUM Nation:

This post is going to challenge you. However, working through the steps I discuss will, indeed, free you from the ugly snare of the enemy’s weapon of —offense.

Surrendering the offense is the first step. Well, perhaps recognizing that you feel offended is where you begin. Recognize it and name it. Then say, “I’m determined to give this offense to the Lord.” Then pray, pray and pray and surrender the need to respond.


Sometimes let goIt IS appropriate to respond in relationships when boundaries are crossed or broken. However, there are many times where we need to just….. let…. it…… go. Learning to discern those instances I believe comes from praying Ephesians 1:17 over our minds and heart. I have prayed this passage so many times, I’ve lost count. And I frequently pray this verse over others.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. —Ephesians 1:1 NIV

Praying for wisdom and revelation to know God’s thoughts and will in the matter is very powerful…. And extraordinarily helpful and healing.

I understand that it’s easier said than done. But with the Lord’s help, through our prayer time, we can learn to see above the situations and the people and truly let offense just roll off our backs.

Over time through prayer and forgiveness we will find we come to a place where we forgive and let go of offenses. I don’t even fully understand how this happens. It completely, doesn’t make sense especially in our culture to forgive and to release an offense. Our culture will encourage you to hate that person. Seek their demise through gossip behind their backs. To cause pain through escalating the offense and making it even more personal.

In my life as I’ve practiced recognizing and surrendering offense, I’ve discovered that forgiveness and release of the offense and offender comes more easily and quickly. And part of our freedom it to release offense as quickly as possible.

Now here is the final step. Are you ready?

Bless them.

From your heart speak into your prayers a blessing. “I bless ____________ with joy and peace and everything they need. In Jesus name. AMEN

Gulp!

Here is an example.

I pray with people through my church. And often people come in for prayer because they are really struggling in life with all kinds of emotional issues. Recently a man came in for prayer and through some prayer time and questions, we arrived at his divorce. He had been divorced for many years and assured us he had worked through forgiveness of his ex-wife. And he had.

However, he had never taken that extra step to actually release her from all the past pain, by blessing her to receive everything the Lord had for her.

So, in that moment he began to pray, out loud, and blessed his ex-wife. He blessed her with joy, happiness, contentment and everything good that the Lord has for her.

THAT was his freedom moment. His face changed. He experienced a lightness in his spirit and joy rose up from within. He was finally free.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. — Galatians 5:1 NIV

This passage says it all.

Practice releasing offense as quickly as you can. Surrender it to the Lord. Something supernatural begins to occur that empowers your heart to truly forgive and even bless.

Wow, the miracles and workings of the Kingdom of God… It simply blows my mind up at times.

SUMites, we are often the target of offense. Our own family members can speak persecution and offensive comments to us about our faith. There are times to respond and times to let go. Pray Ephesians 1:17 so that when those moments arise, you will be filled with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will know what to do and what to say, if anything.

Thus you will walk in peace. And peace, joy and righteousness is your inheritance as a child of the One True God and His son, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.

I love you. We have some BIG surprises coming next week and throughout the month of May. I intend to discuss the fear of man challenge later this summer. Stay tuned… Much, much more coming here to the House of SUM!

It’s a blast living the believer’s life! 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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