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14 entries from May 2018

The Demonic and Secrets

SecretsSUMites,

Today I feel the Lord is leading me to write about Secrets.

Yes, secrecy is something so many of us tangle with in our lives. But the longer I live, the more I've come to realize that secrets are actually weapons of the devil.

Let me share something that occurred in our family a few years ago.

In 2008 my husband was told by his boss that he would be let go in January of 2009. Like millions of Americans we became unemployed in that horrific economic downturn. My husband, at the time in the late months of 2008, was convinced he would find work quickly and thus he asked me to keep our financial situation from our daughter, Caitie.

I agreed to his request because it was his life, his employment situation and Mike didn’t want our daughter to worry unnecessarily.

Keeping a secret, or let’s be real here, lying doesn’t sit well in my spirit. I’m not good at deception and lies and I have great difficulty keeping a secret about my life. I do however, guard quite closely, confidences. When I’m asked to pray for someone or someone comes to me for Godly counsel, their confidences will be taken to the grave.

I don’t like to lie about my life but out of submission and respect for Mike, I didn’t tell our daughter about our situation.

That was until months passed and Mike remained unemployed. So in the summer, I finally sat Cait down and let her know about our situation because we had to make some tough choices about money and some expenses that concerned her.

She was mad. No, more like hurt.

And I understand how she would feel. She felt as though she wasn’t trusted nor mature enough to walk this out with her mom and dad. She was. In fact, a few months later, she spent her own money to buy new school clothes.

What is really difficult is that she is still disappointed in us both today and will remind us of this fact that keeping secrets was a “bad idea.”

ACH! I hate lies. I hate secrecy and deception.

Almost every secret in a family turns into a disaster. People hide their secrets and their shame from others and this turns out to be a GIANT open door to the demonic to come in and occupy the slimy, black, darkness of secret, hidden ground in our heart.

Now hear me, I’m not saying that you should blab every detail of your difficulties to every one on the plant. But, secrets lose their power when they are shared. So, find your safe person and share. Ask them to pray with you because when you expose a secret to the light of God, the power it holds against you MUST die. Ask the Lord about this and let Him confirm this truth.

Take an inventory of the secrets you are keeping. So many of them need lancing and the puss of deceit drained out to heal your soul. Are they secrets from your childhood? Are they secrets passed to you from your parents? Secrets in your marriage? Secrets in your finances? Secrets in your habits?

I’m not bringing this issue forward to bring condemnation upon you (or me). We must choose to rid ourselves of the deceptions that a secret keeps you safe. It’s usually quite the opposite. A secret actually binds you up in more deception, distrust, loneliness and defeat.

Ask me for healing prayer to expose them to the love of Jesus. Tell yourself, I will remove one of these secrets from my life beginning today because I choose not to be a victim any longer. I choose to be an overcomer.

Choose to live openly, freely and to love yourself like Jesus loves you. That will free you from every kind of deception of the devil. Plus honest living is A LOT LESS STRESSFUL!

To read more about healing prayer, visit, Three Keys Ministries. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


#fingerprintrevelations

Hey SUMnation! Tiffany here.

Some of you have heard me talk about this unique journey that the Lord has me on right now with my job. I shared this on the SUM sisters in Christ group on Facebook but wanted to reach out and share here as some of you (especially the men) may have questions about what I do as a job and how God is gifting me for ministry. I wanted to give you a quick snap shot into where I spend 40 hours a week and when my heart is prepped right and my mind focusing on the Lord I am given insight that can only come from the Holy Spirit.

 

FPWelcome to my fingerprinting station (picture left). There are two other girls that I work with in my office and we each have our own computer/desk and our own fingerprint station. For the most part my day is split between this view and the view of my desk and computer. This machine has become my "buddy" over the last year. We spend a lot of time together. Maybe I should name it. ::grin:: I have to say I have done a lot of contemplating and talking with the Lord here. In thinking of Moses and the burning bush...if I had the ability to take my shoes off here...I would. This is holy ground. Before I begin to sound sacrilegious I will continue the tour and you will see why I feel this way.

FP2Step on up to the machine! I tried to capture this as best as possible but just imagine this view from your own eyes (picture right).When I fingerprint people we are up close and personal so to speak. The customer stands in front of the fingerprinting machine called Livescan and I stand to the left of the machine. I use gloves during the time of fingerprinting someone but I essentially am holding hands with each person I print. I wish I could tell you how or when this started but my first conscious recollection was feeling a tingling sensation in my hands when fingerprinting someone when I first started doing this job over 2 years ago. I didn't understand at the time. There wasn't any actual guiding from the Holy Spirit at that point just a realization that this feeling in my hands was different than I'd ever experienced before. Eventually I had caught on that it wasn't with everyone I printed and so in the secret of my mind I would pray for those people.

FP1
Placing hand on the Livescan brings a digital print onto the screen

I began to be amazed at how much a stranger would open up to someone like me - a fingerprinter who spends maybe 10 or 15 minutes with you. The crazy thing is they had no idea that I was willing to pray for them and yet the Holy Spirit would open up this close space and meet us there. Where 2 or more are gathered together in Jesus' name - He is there. In doing this job (please let me know if this is not biblically sound) I am beginning to feel as though the where 2 or more are gathered together in His name doesn't have to mean consciously. I mean look at our community. Some of our spouses are willing to allow us to gather together in Jesus name - when our spouses let us pray over them and with them. But, for those of you who have to be more secretive about your prayer life because of hostile spouses - when you intercede on their behalf and they are in the room...my friends...Jesus still shows up whether they know it or not! As I have grown and matured (though only a small amount) in my job I have begun to view this as a ministry. When people open up it could be as simple as they need fingerprinted because they just got a new job that requires a background check. It can also be as complicated and broken as a man getting fingerprinted for a step-parent adoption. He married the love of his life who happened to be a sex abuse victim in her teens from her step-father (close to home or what??). Cancer and chemo. Military veteran who was having a second surgery on his shoulder. Widows. Gender-identity confused individuals. A man with a tattoo behind his ear with the number 666 and cartoonish devil horns and tail. Sex offenders who have been convicted of some really atrocious things. I could go on and on...and that is just from either conversation that was opened up or earthly (physical) observation/knowledge.

I have seen some really amazing things during this fascinating season of work but I have to be completely honest with you. I am sure you can relate when ministering to others that it can be really exhausting. You know that God has called you to help and has brought people into your life that you are supposed to pour into and be a light and example to...to train up and disciple...to intercede for - even for just a moment in time. It is so hard to be vulnerable because it opens up your heart to rejoice and mourn with those around you (Romans 12:15). In the past having issues with depression and anxiety I often times get overwhelmed and it is almost like a defense mechanism goes off inside of me and it says - back away, you aren't equipped to handle this. I get in slumps where I think if I avoid God than He won't ask me to do it anymore. I know this is ugly and wrong. I am the only one (that I know of...it's not like I talk to fingerprinters other than my co-workers) equipped to THIS calling. I have to press in and keep fighting. I have to keep leaning in to the Father who has gifted me for such a time as this and such a WAY as this. I have to stand in the gap for those who come my way because I may be the ONLY one who will.

I've gone a little longer than anticipated and so I want to stop here but next time I will continue on with this #fingerprintrevelations story. So much more to share as God allows. I want to talk about the amazing post and work from Libby recently.

In the comments, can you share some tips that help you overcome the heavy burden of ministering to others? Any Bible verse(s) that keep you going? Also, how has God positioned you in your own specific, unique, and powerful way to minister to those around you everyday?

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

--Isaiah 43:19

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Memorial Day

Today in the US we are commemorating the brave men and women who serve in our American Armed Forces. Mike and I are close friends with a General of the US Airforce Reserves and his wife. I remember a few years ago that Mike and I, along with his family and his mom, sat in the kitchen of his home as he arrived home after a tour over seas. He stepped into the door, still wearing his fatigues, and after traveling a brutal 22 hours to get home, with a smile beaming across his face.

He was exhausted but filled with such joy to finally be home with his family. The stories he began to share with us were accounts of lives and situations I can not fully comprehend. Children who begged for a cookie on the roadside and when given one, acted as though it was a gift of great price. The General felt bigger than Santa Clause at that moment.

I am forever changed to consider what this man has given up that I may live a life of prosperity. I'm also fully aware of what his wife, one of my closest friends, has sacrificed along with their children as this man was away serving our nation. I'm undone.

Thank you is inadequate. But I am so very thankful for every man and woman who serves our country. I honor you today.

My friends, the US and many nations of the western world are divided and we face some of the most ugly of the human condition. However, God remains soverign and there are many more good people than that of the enemy. 

How do I know.

Yesterday at a high school championship baseball game, the announcer said that the National Anthem would not be sung. Well, the people in the stands all stood up and sang it anyway.

Take a listen. (I hope this video is still here in the morning when the email blast goes out.) There is GREAT hope for mankind because we can choose to be kind. To love and to live in sacrifice. 

Thank you and may God bless America!

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


SUMites Summit on the Summit by Libby

When I was paying for the SUM community, Holy Spirit started downloading words and pictures into my soul for us! So, in prayer, I grabbed my pen and sketch pad and let Holy Spirit flow through me. This is the first time I have ever done this, and let me tell you, it was awesome and I want more!!! I really hope that the photo at the end of this post expresses it properly (best viewed on laptop/pc). I pray that God will bless you through it and reveal to you in your heart what He wants you to know :) 

I believe He is calling together an army from across the nations to join forces together against evil. In the spiritual realm we are together and we are kicking up noise! An uproar against satan and his wicked plans. The angels can hear us and they rejoice! The demons can hear us and they flee! Other believers can hear us and they join us! 

Holy Spirit led me to this scripture for the SUMITE ARMY:

"Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath — those who rejoice in my triumph. Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war. They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens — the Lord and the weapons of his wrath — to destroy the whole country." Isaiah 13:2-5

Then, knowing I am a word nerd, He led me to contemplate "Sumite" and how similar it is to "Summit". I got super excited! Look at the dictionary definition of Summit and how it ties in with this scripture! 

1 - The highest point of a hill or mountain. (God is calling the Sumites to the Summit of the mountains/hills)

1.1 - The highest attainable level of achievement. (God is the highest of the highest. We are victors through him)

2 - A meeting between leaders (we are being called to converge at the Sumite Summit on the summit!!!) 

Holy Spirit then blew me away and as I prayed, it was as though He downloaded these prophetic words to me for all the Sumites:

The Sumite army is rising up! This army has been amassed from across the world, and now it is time to join together and wage war! Listen to the sound of the horn calling you! Move forward inch by inch to take back the land that the enemy has stolen! It is our land - it rightfully belongs to us through Christ - and it is time to march forward and reclaim it. We belong to God, He has called us by name, we are His chosen army. Rise up to take back land and free the captives of the enemy (our unsaved loved ones) who will then join the army and be mighty soldiers for God. Who better to make a powerful and effective fighter than one who has been held as a prisoner of war?! 

The battle is the Lord's. He goes before us and fights for us. He sends angelic armies to join forces with us. Trust Him. We fight from a position of victory! He has already overcome the enemy. Wave His banner high over you, blow the shofar, sing praises, dance and worship! The ground will shake and tremble. Mountains will crumble. Chains will be broken. Prison cells will be unlocked. We will spill the enemy's blood. Angelic armies are joining forces with us and fighting for us. Be fierce and forceful in battle, your strength comes from the Lord God Almighty and he has given us every provision we need to win. We are victors, we are overcomers, we are more than conquerors. 

Our battle plan and strategy are given through His word. Remember, put on the full armour - this is essential - and keep your shield of faith high and declare hedges of protection around your families and your households. Use your weapon - the sword of the Spirit, His anointed word, which is sharper than a double-edged sword, the most powerful weapon which no enemy can withstand. Follow Jesus' example when He was attacked and tempted by the devil - He declared the Holy Word and did not enter into negotiation. Know your enemy. Know his deceitful tricks and strategy - knowledge is power. What are your weakest points? Where is he likely to press? Is there anything that could compromise your hedge of protection?  Pray for discernment and wisdom and God will answer you and deliver you. 

We have the organization needed in our ranks: generals, officers, watchmen, gatekeepers and foot soldiers. If you are battle wounded and weary and can't be on the front line right now that is okay. But, pray for the army and you can regain your strength so that you can join the fight on the front lines. The way to stop becoming battle weary is to rest in His love and peace. Worship Him. Draw close to Him. Speak to each other in hymns and prayers. If anyone falls down, then the rest of the army should surround them and encourage them. When the generals and leaders are fatigued, foot soldiers should carry them. When a comrade is injured, tend to them. This battle is real - the Sumites are already experiencing the attacks of the enemy and some are wounded in battle. BUT, the enemy may be able to superficially wound us, but he cannot beat us or kill us and he knows it. We are each sealed by Holy Spirit and stamped through and through as God's child. Do not be afraid. Do not tremble before the enemy. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing. He has given us everything we need. Use it and put the enemy back in his place! 

The enemy is trembling, he knows his time is nearly up and he will now amass all his forces in every last ditch attempt to defeat us. But, we shall not be defeated! Stand guard. Stand firm. Press on. Know we are victors through Christ. Prepare for victory and celebration. God's glory will be sung throughout the land and our victorious cries will resound in heaven!!!

Libby xxx

Libby Finan SUM Army May 2018

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Just How Far Reaching Is Scripture?

SUMites,

On Friday I visited a small group of SUMites in Orange, Texas through Facebook Live. Martha Bush invited me to share with the ladies who meet there to encourage one another. Because I'm in this learning season about the depths of scripture, I shared my thoughts on two powerful scriptures that have great impact in our lives.

1 Corinthians 7:14 & John 20:23. Take a listen and then ponder with the Lord the depth of meaning and possibility this could have upon your life. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And ladies in Orange, thank you for allowing me to share!!  I love all of you so much. Hugs, Lynn

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Privacy Policy

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Thank you so much for being a part of what Jesus is doing in the world and on the World Wide Web. Lynn Donovan

Privacy Policy May 15, 2018 

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THREE KEYS MINISTRIES is a 501 (c) 3 ministry founded by author and speaker Lynn Donovan in 2016, an organization created to educate and to spread the good news about Jesus. Book publishing, speaking and Healing Prayer Ministries.

SPIRITUALLY UNEQUAL MARRIAGE is an online Ministry to encourage the unequally yoked in marriage to thrive in love through faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

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WINNING HIM WITHOUT WORDS is a book written by Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller to encourage the unequally yoked in marriage to thrive in love through faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

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*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Wisdom, Wonder, A Few Balloons, and Mustangs

Hello SUMite Nation!

Caitie Lynn Corn Lake May 14 2018
Me and Caitie, Corn Lake, May 14, 2018

Colorado was awesome. I cherished the time with my mom and daughter on Mother’s Day and my birthday. Below are a few photos. I also want to share a beautiful word that came from my daughter while we sat on the lake edge with fishing polls in hand.

Because God is so good, I would love Him and serve Him even if I didn’t receive anything in return. —Caitie Donovan

SUMites, have hope for your children! Everything you do to pour faith and Jesus into their lives may come up before you while you sit on a lake shore and a child your bore shares from her heart and faith, something profound and moving. I nearly wept when Caitie said this because I haven’t entertained a posture such as this prior to now.

*****

Patty Tower & Baby May 2018Also, I want to say Congratulation to Patty Tower on the birth of Keenan Gabriel who arrived on May 14 which is my birthday. I feel like an Aunt already. Thank you, Patty, for the amazing ministry you provide on our SUM Facebook Page. I pray you are recuperating and healing quickly. 

*****

I don’t share often at Spiritually Unequal Marriage, the amazing ways that God speaks to me through Mylar balloons. But today, I want to share some of those photos and stories. I’m overwhelmed at the lengths the Lord will go to say, I LOVE YOU, to His Daughters and Sons. I pray you are encouraged to understand and search out the exhibits of the Lord discern how He is speaking love into your life.

On May 8th I was scheduled to leave California to travel to Grand Junction, Colorado. So, the day prior, I was expectant that the Lord might just send me a birthday wish through a Mylar balloon. For those of you who don’t know, I often receive Mylar balloons while on my walk-n-prays in the vineyards of Temecula. Balloons will arrive in many different aspects but mostly while I’m on my walks.

Happy Birthday May 7 2018While on the phone to my son and granddaughters, I was walking my usual trail and I spotted something shimmering ahead. I said to my son, “Brad, I think I see a Mylar balloon ahead.”

“Ya, Mom, what’s with all these balloons?”

“God speaks to my heart and sends His love and affection to me this way.”

As I walk nearer to retrieve the balloon I say, “I bet it says, ‘Happy Birthday’ on it because I’m leaving in the morning and He (God) wants to wish me a Happy Birthday.”

I pick it up. Yep, what does it say? Well look for yourself. (see photo)

Can I just insert a word here: AMAZING!

However, a few days later, the near impossible took place. My mom, Caitie and I decided to spend the day searching for Wild Mustangs. In the mountains about three hours drive from my mom’s home, wild horses roam free. If you are nuts enough to travail the dirt roads you might catch a glimpse of these allusive but regal beauties. (Caitie and I love horses. We were determined.)

We head out with bottles of water, some vague directions, and a ton of hope that we might catch a glimpse of the ponies.

After traversing miles of dirt roads, in a wilderness of BLM land with not a single home or any man-made structure except for the road, we finally stopped in defeat in a ravine to take a little break. Ahem, “that” kind of break. While stopped in the middle of the dried-up ravine, I spot something shinny and red up on the hill in front of the car.

I bounded up the slope and as I approached, I just knew it would be a heart-shaped Mylar balloon waiting for me OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE!!

Take a look.

Found May 12 2018 Little Book Wild Mustangs
See the cougar print just below it?

Hilside May 12 2018 Wild Mustang May 12 2018 Red Heart Shaped Balloon Wild Mustangs
All in all, over the past four weeks I received four of these heavenly communiques. The birthday balloon has balloons upon the balloon.

SAY WHAT???

God is so good that I would love Him even if I never received anything in return.

Have a great weekend my friends. Go on a treasure hunt with the Lord and uncover the love notes that surround you. 

Wild mustangs 1
The Paint horse on left is protecting her foal as we approached.
image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-17/f61d9e7c-b02f-43c6-97a0-924055b459e1.png
Beautiful and free
Mustangs 3
Regal animals, loved by God... and us!


Thank you for sharing life with me. I love you so much. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Asking for an Egg

Hi everyone, Ann here   

Recently, Lynn shared a wonderful video about how she asked God for an egg and literally got an egg!  
This story made me smile broadly. After all, if we ask for an egg God does not give us a scorpion (Luke 11:12). But it got me wondering what it means, exactly, to ‘ask for an egg’?  

EggAn egg holds life, a scorpion brings death, and if we ask for life we do not get death. That is a profound truth, but what about the times God seems silent? As I pondered this, some aspects of my past came back to me, times when an ‘egg’ was asked for. They showed me God was there all along.

To begin with, there was my mum, who prayed for me throughout my childhood. Every morning, I would rise to see her on her knees in the living room, wrapped in a robe. Sometimes I’d hear the muffled sound of prayer. But did I take notice? Nope. As a teenager, my reaction was something along the lines of whatever. 

My twenties passed without incident. I got married and had two beautiful boys. And then came Christmas Day 2010. Here's the scene:

On that day, the family gather in my brother’s tiny house in the South of England. A break in the chatter comes and Mum, who has watched me ignore God for years, jumps up and rummages for her gift. She hands me a small package and wraps me in a bone-crushing hug.

I peel back the paper to see a book on my lap: ‘Journey into God’s heart’ by Jennifer Rees-Larcombe. “Thanks, Mum,” I smile.

On the plane home, I yawn and reach into my bag. “Meh, I’ll give this a go”, I think, cracking open the book. It looks so harmless but this, it turns out, is no normal book. Ten hours later, still travelling, I have just read a life story like no other. I won’t spoil it, I’ll just say the book showed me God speaks to people.

Now comes a part I’d forgotten:

After reading that book, I snuck to the bathroom, sat down, and said this:

“God. If you’re there, can you speak to me?”

I was met with complete silence, but for the first time in my life I’d asked for an egg.

Two years passed, during which time I did not think much about God, and then came 13 April 2013. That day found me on my knees reading the Saturday morning newspaper in a fluffy robe. The scene is freakily like my mum years back, except I’m not praying. It’s like every other Saturday, except the article I’m reading happens to be about Christians, death, and life. And right there, in that moment, I hear Him:

You’ll never be the same again.

Wha- wha- what????????  I sit up with a start, and at that point know something in my life is going to change. 

I was still far from God and it is fascinating to me that even in that moment I didn’t recognize Him. I chalked it up to the universe. “The universe tells me something is going to change.”  But something did change, alright. Boy, how things changed: By December that year I found myself in a full-on, all-in-for-God space.

I still have no idea why it took two years to hear His voice.

Towards the end of that year, I started my first prayer journal. The first prayer I wrote was this:

“God, I notice that other Christians are fervent. I’m fervent for my three lovelies (my family), but I’m not fervent for you. Can you make me so?”

This time I did not have to wait years, I did not even have to wait a day. Since writing those words I have never been able to get God out of my head again.

To me, all this is what it means to ask for an egg and not receive a scorpion. Whether the answer comes instantly or decades later, it seems God answers in ways that hold Life (an egg) and negate death. None of it looks like what we expect, though -- It’s all a bit of a surprise package. Just like an egg!

So now I’m interested to hear more thoughts on the topic of asking. What adventures, delays, instant responses, or lessons have you had?   

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Devotion: by Lori Lyn Skipper

Ladies, our husbands need encouragement.

I was having a conversation with my best friend recently about our spouses. We both had questions and concerns. So, we did the best thing we could do, we prayed.

As we were praying, I began to thank God for creating men and women differently. I thanked Him for making men physically stronger than women, for making men the head of the households, the protectors, the providers, and the disciplinarian. Then I began to thank Him for creating women to be submissive to their husbands, for making us weaker physically, and for making us stronger in other areas than men are.

If our husbands are making decisions that we are not in agreement with, we need to be praying for them, not nagging them. We need to encourage them and let them know how much we appreciate all that they do for our marriage and homes. We are told in Ephesians 5:33 (AMP), "However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].” Nowhere in this verse does it say that we are to respect him only when he deserves or earns it.

If we will begin to recognize our husbands' strengths and not only point out their weaknesses, they will begin to feel better about themselves. When they feel better about themselves, we reap the benefits. This is an area that I must daily pray about for myself. My husband and I are different in areas of our lives and this can be a good thing or a trying matter. I do not want to mistreat my husband with my words, so I must pray for God to change me and help me to be an encouragement to him and not a hindrance. If we just point out the areas that we do not agree with, they will become defeated and stop doing anything to help us, so we need to praise them and encourage them in every area of their lives. As we pray and ask the Lord to change us and we allow those changes to happen, our husbands will begin to respond to the changes in us and they too will change.

Proverbs 31:10-12; Revelation 1:6 (KJV); Proverbs 21:1; Ephesians 5:33 (AMP)

 

Lori
Lori Lyn Skipper
Hi, Lori Lyn Skipper here! I'm happy to say I am 51 years young, married to my husband John. We have three grown children between the two of us. I have two boys and he has a daughter as well as a granddaughter.  My husband and I have been married two years this upcoming June. I live in Sunny Florida. I moved here in 2012. I often say I'm an IL girl living in a Fl world. I came to meet Jesus in mid-2016 but did not accept Him as my Lord and Savior until January 1997. Let me tell you, He's had His work cut out since I said yes to His call. I often envision God shaking His head at my antics, you know, how we do with our own children. I kind of resemble Paul, "the chief of sinners". Well, I used to be, now I'm no longer a sinner, I'm a saint saved by grace that sometimes still sins. A couple of my passions are to see people healed, delivered and set free by the power of Holy Spirit and the body walking in their gifts and calling of the Lord. Getting to be a part of that is so fun and such a blessing. Well, I'm going to end there and pick up where I left off some other time. 

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Spiritual Leadership For The Unequally Yoked

Love ring bibleLeadership of the family is absolutely challenging when married to an unbeliever.

Years ago, my husband was far away from God. It was obvious that he would not be leading our family in daily devotions nor praying with us. My reality at the time was on the receiving end of his hostility toward all things of faith. He was adamant that he wouldn’t attend church. I think in that season every emotion on the spectrum would bombard my thoughts. Taking them captive to Christ saved me from unending confusion and fear.

In the early years of marriage, as a young wife, I Christian leader on the radio say: If your husband has abdicated or refused to step into the role as the spiritual leader of your home then God expects, you, as the wife to take that place in the family.

FREEDOM!!!

I was freed to become the leader for the salvation and eternal life of my children. I would teach them about Christ and I would pray at meals. It was me that readied them for church, took them to Sunday school, youth group. I was solely responsible for growing in my faith and for praying for my families struggles, fears and concerns. All. By. My. Little. Self.

It’s not fair, you cry.

Indeed. But if you aren’t praying for your kids, who is. If you aren’t spending time in the Word, how can you make Godly decision for yourself, guide your children or influence your husband toward morality and goodness?

Gang, if we arrived in an unequally yoked marriage, God KNEW we could do it and do it well. So, hang up the phone on despair and the victim mindset. Leave fairness and laziness at the door. YOU CAN DO THIS. How do I know. Because I did it and I’m not easily convinced but by the Grace of God, I am so glad I pushed through the pain and loneliness.

The reward that came to me through intimacy, powerful faith and identity was worth the struggle. I would do it again to be where I am now with the Lord.

Today receive this if you are unequally yoked: I DECLARE YOU ARE STRONG, WISE AND BACKED UP BY ALL OF HEAVEN TO BE VICTORIOUS IN YOUR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY. YOU CAN LEAD THIS FAMILY IN FAITH AND DO IT WELL.

In Jesus name. I love you. I will be traveling for the next 10 days. I will likely post a guest post or a few devotions. Be back on May 18. Be good to yourself. Allow Jesus to heal your heart and speak peace, love, joy, hope into your family. I adore you. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Inside God's Cedar Chest

Cedar-chest-600

By Martha Bush

It was 4:30 A.M., April 22, 2017. My mother’s nurse tapped me on my leg while I was grabbing a short nap on the sofa down the hall from my mother’s room where she lay at the point of death.

I sat up quickly at the feel of the nurse’s soft gentle touch and immediately said, “She is gone, isn’t she?” “Yes,” the nurse nodded.

As the dawn of day lurched forward with a beautiful array of sunshine despite death all around me, funeral arrangements had to be made and relatives and friends had to be called.

A few days after the funeral, we left Georgia headed back to our home in Texas to clear my mind before I took on the task of returning to Georgia in a month to empty out my mother’s home, so I could sell it.

However, two weeks later, we received a phone call – my husband’s sister had passed away in the same small town where I had laid my mother to rest. And so it was, we rushed back for the same process to take place all over again.

It was then I felt like screaming, “Stop this train! I want off! Two deaths within two weeks; this is too much to handle!”

But, there was no time for grieving the loss of our loved ones. We now had two houses to empty and sell plus decisions had to be made on what items we would haul back to Texas to keep for our home.

As the sorting got under way, we quickly decided that among the pieces of furniture that we definitely would be keeping were two beautiful antique cedar chests that each of them had. As we peaked inside each one, a story began to unfold right before our eyes as we observed each piece of its contents.

  • their personal Bibles that had been marked and underlined on almost every page
  • Grandma and Grandpa’s Bibles
  • diaries of family history from previous generations
  • artwork from their grandchildren and great grandchildren
  • letters from family
  • picture albums upon picture albums (no pictures on computers for these ladies, 91 and 93 years young)
  • hand-crafted afghans, quilts, and beautiful works of embroidery
  • special pieces of jewelry designated for family members

I could go on and on listing things, but by now you are probably getting the picture that they had secured their most treasured possessions inside their cedar chest for safe keeping to be handed down to the next generation.

It got me to thinking, “if God had a cedar chest, what would be inside?”

And then, it suddenly dawned on me what was inside. Take a look!

For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. (Deuteronomy 7:6 NLT)

Doesn’t that just blow your mind that the creator of the universe hand-picked us to be in His special treasure? Of all the things He has created and could have chosen, He picked us, mankind, to place inside His own cedar chest, if you please.

And yet, we sometimes don’t see ourselves as a special treasure to God.

  • Often times, we have faced so much rejection, as well as verbal, emotional, and physical abuse that it has ripped away our self-esteem, and we no longer know who we are, or believe we are special
  • Still again, the wages of our own sin hangs on us like filthy rags because we have not accepted His forgiveness. Oh yes, self-condemnation is a big one that keeps us from recognizing ourselves as a special treasure.
  • We are also prone to allow the business of the day and the storms of life that come at us from all different directions to beat us down, leaving us torn apart by the storm’s raging winds.

I believe it grieves the heart of God when we don’t see ourselves as He sees us. After all, He bought the whole world to obtain His special treasure, and He wants us to see ourselves as He sees us.

I am convinced that “How we live our lives as God’s special treasure is what we hand down to the next generation. It becomes a powerful testimony of how we used our gifts and strengths God gave us to further the Kingdom of God.”

******  

Okay, Sumite Friends: It is DECLARATION DAY!

Using my family’s cedar chest as a symbol of God’s cedar chest, what would we find inside of it that makes you special to God. Tell us about your gifts and strengths God has given you.

This is not bragging on yourself; it is declaring who you know you are in Christ, and how He has uniquely designed you that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:9)

In the comments, share God’s special treasure (YOU) that will be passed on to your next generation as a part of your legacy.

I can’t wait to learn more about the special treasure you are.

Martha

 Cedar-chest-600

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Are You Ready To Be Arrested Because You Pray?

Hello SUMites,

I’m going to interrupt my posts on Leadership because I can no longer remain silent. I must bring to light before our community what is occurring right now in the California State Legislature.

Currently there is a bill that has passed the California State Assembly, AB2943 and is headed for the Senate. Legal analysists are calling the Bill an effort to limit free speech and the free exercise of religion. It’s the most blatant chilling of free speech in America in my lifetime and is very likely to passed by the veto-proof majority and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Regardless of where you fall in your beliefs about homosexuality and gender identity, this bill, if passed will make it illegal for me to council or pray with a woman who is struggling with her sexual identity. In addition, it would become illegal for me to recommend to her the Bible as a book to read about her truth and identity.

Let me share from a real example how this bill would play out in my life and ministry.

Let’s say a young girl is molested by her step-father for a number of years. She finally arrives in Junior High School and is around the age of 12 or 13. Of course, she is utterly fearful of men and shuns the thought of ever loving a man or being involved with a man because of her unhealed trauma. She listens to the culture, social media, the “required” teaching about the normalization of homosexuality in the California public schools and nothing about purity, wholeness or the love of God.

She decides she is gay as a result of her trauma. Her best friend however, attends church and she invites this young woman to go. Something happens, and she learns about Jesus. However, her indoctrination into the gay lifestyle is at war within. She is looking to her new church to help her find her way to truth, purity and a life well lived.

This is where I come in. I often pray for people who are struggling with all manner of identity confusion. And they FIND FREEDOM IN TRUTH of who they are in Christ, Jesus. If this bill passes, I can no longer pray with this young woman to help her discover her true identity. I can’t even ask her to read passages in the Bible if they conflict with her decided identity.

I’m so disturbed in my spirit over this reality that I lack words to express my horror, grief and the shock over the utter evil that lies ahead for our nation. Because gang, if it goes down here, it’s on the way to New York, Florida, Michigan, and every other state in America.

I have been flowing this issue for months. I will share this from an article I read today by Steve Warren CBN:

According to the California Family Council, some legal experts have concluded the bill targets the ability of religious non-profits, churches and pastors from teaching and practicing their faith regarding sexual orientation and gender.

The bill would also ban books from being sold in California that tells people to trust in the power of Jesus Christ and His gospel to help them change their same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

"California AB 2943 makes it unlawful for any person to sell books, counseling services or anything else that helps someone overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion," said ADF Attorney, Matt Sharp. "As a result, it could be a violation if a pastor encourages a congregant to visit the church bookstore to purchase books that help people address sexual issues, perhaps including the Bible itself, which teaches about the importance of sexual purity within the confines of marriage between a man and woman."

SUMites, the greatest attack of the enemy on the human race is to confuse our identity. WE MUST pray. Pray for defeat of evil. Pray that the enemy must stand down and pray for the young who are so very lost without a Father in heaven and a friend, Jesus, who heals.

Read the ADF legal analysis of the bill. If you live in California, contact your Representative, NOW.

I cannot remain silent. My healing Prayer sessions bring people into freedom and release them from false identities. They become free to live in love, peace and hope and every good thing that God has for humankind.

Thank you for hearing my heart. Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Spiritual Leadership When Unequally Yoked       

BibleNation of SUM Warriors,

To follow up on my post from Monday, there some discussion about the perspective I shared. It’s interesting to me that a few readers were uncomfortable with my perspective on the old English, King James Version of 1 Peter 3.

I get it!

Of course, I’m not a theologian. I’m only an ordinary wife and believer who is on this faith journey along with the rest of you. And I only pointed out my perspective because sometimes the Lord is the one who is longing to bring greater understanding to scripture. I will add one more comment about the King James rendering. For centuries the church in general accepted this particular rendering which included the word conversation. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that new translations came into the public readership and were widely received, that the rendering of conversation changed to behavior. King James was written in 1,611. NIV, 1973. So, how did believers from 1,611 to early 1,900’s deal with 1 Peter 3? Were they silent or did they present themselves as the living Word to their unbelieving husbands and talk with them about faith? Or in fact, did they do both? One day in heaven I plan to ask them. *grin*

However, I won’t ignore the fact that we can easily present the translation of the word “conversation” from the Greek which the King James was derived. The Word in the Greek is: anastrophé:

This is closely translated to: Behavior, manner of life.

And as I looked at other passages in the Word, time and again, the word behavior was translated, conversation, manner of life, conduct. But they were intertwined. Here is an example from Ephesians:

Ephesians 4:22 N-AFS
GRK: τὴν προτέραν ἀναστροφὴν τὸν παλαιὸν
NAS: to your former manner of life, you lay aside
KJV: the former conversation the old
INT: the former conduct the old

When you consider the Greek meaning, it comes together for me as how our entire life is presented to others. It’s our behavior, our conduct, our conversation…. Our manner of life. It’s our whole-self. Our true identity.

What I love is that the Word remains the same within these translations. We must present ourselves as a wife, a woman worthy of the High calling of God. Let our spouse behold this kind of life, conduct, perhaps even humble conversations. This is the Gospel lived out in the home of the unequally yoked.

In all my years of living in an unequally yoked marriage this is what I know. We are the Word of God being lived out in front of our pre-believer. It’s our year-upon-year, leaning into the truth, living with growing faith. It's not perfection. NO, it's living authentically. Our spouse discovers we are serious about our faith and they, even grudgingly, watch as our life, values, conduct changes before their eyes. Sometimes they quietly admire our adjustments. Sometimes they don’t like our lifestyle changes because they are fighting with lying voice that share their mind and are offended in their deception.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A man can ignore a nagging wife, but he can't ignore the truth of a transformed life!

As a woman with more than 26 years of marriage, I will state clearly and with confidence for your life and marriage. It’ does become easier. Even as I’m typing this I hear my husband in his office, praise music is playing in the kitchen. Gang, earlier in our marriage, praise music playing anywhere was the beginning of a fight.

Last week I was facing some difficult issues and in passing I asked my husband to pray for me as I headed out to a meeting that had me uncomfortable. Upon arriving home, he said to me, “I prayed for you.”

Yes, indeed! That happened!

And it was real. He truly prayed. I hope it was to Jesus. I’m not sure but I was deeply touched that he prayed for lil’ ole me. And the meeting went fantastic.

SUMites, get a grip on Hope. Take hold of with all your might Perseverance and grab Faith and never let go. I will be the voice to assure you, it’s all worth it. There is hope and while we wait, we are invited into the most astonishing adventures with our Papa God, Jesus and the entire realm of His Kingdom! Hallelujah!

If you agree, say it in the comments. I stand on faith. I grab Hope. I invite in perseverance and I accept the invitation to every adventure the Lord offers. In Jesus name. AMEN Signed:______

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


The Father's Heart

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Photo courtesy of Fairfax County website

Ian here. As I walked one of our dogs this morning I asked the Lord what was on His heart for this community. He responded almost immediately with: “My heart.” I enquired further and He wanted us to know how much He loves us and how much His heart is for us. My sense is that there are some of us (perhaps only one) who is struggling a little at the moment to know, not just in their head, but in their heart, how much our Father loves them.

False Narratives

I’ve shared a number of times how for much of the early years of my marriage I believed that it wouldn’t be blessed nor could I have a ministry because I was unequally yoked. In meeting Dineen in 2012 I came to realize this to be a false narrative.

For much of my Christian life I feared God. Not in the reverent way that the Bible talks about fearing God but in a frightened sense. This was all due to my impression of a father. I grew up fearful of my dad and as he was my role model of a father I presumed similarly of God, our Father. As a consequence, I didn’t really want to draw close to God.

“The single most important thing about us is our idea of God and its associated images.” – Dallas Willard

Both of my beliefs had significant impacts on my life.

And they were both false.

God is Christlike

It has only been through coming to know Jesus that I discovered the “fear” factor wasn’t true. God stepped into the world as a man but as Colossians 1:15 assures us, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” and Jesus himself confirms it when he tells Philip: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) 

It’s in the wonderful discovery of getting to know Jesus that I’ve come to know the Father and His characteristics. And the Father certainly doesn’t want us to be scared of Him so we don’t want to draw close to Him. 

A Loving Father

If you still require any convincing have a look at this magnificent verse in the parable of the Prodigal Son:

“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20 MSG)

Take a moment or two to mediate on this verse. Put yourself in the son’s shoes. See your Father in the distance, then come charging at you with open arms. On reaching you He embraces you and swings you in the air like your dad or mom may have done when you were a kid. And then he kisses you! 

How do you feel? 

This is how God, the Father, loves us. This is His heart for us. His heart pounds for us. For you and I.

Cherish this moment. With Him. And enjoy Him. And being loved, embraced, kissed, fought for … by Him. 24 by 7.

Grace and peace, dear friends.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.