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13 entries from June 2018

Unequally Yoked - 2 Corinthians 6:14

Today, I welcome my friend, Lori to Let's Talk Live. We talk about living in an unequally yoked marriage. Take a listen. 

 

For more video teaching click on the navigation bar, Video Teaching. Some fantastic content is recorded there.

I've been praying for more than a month about our annual Summer Bible study series. And the Lord is actually leading me to a study of Matthew 18. I want to have a community conversation about how as a church we walk through conflict, how the Lord is changing the assignment of the church in this current season, and finally I want to chat about how we create a culture of honor here at SUM.

Stay tuned. These messages are powerful, from the heart of God and I believe that the SUM Community is commissioned to bring forth unity through honor and unity. We are on the leading edge of this current move of God and what we are about to learn is extraordinarily important. 

SUMites, we march on. We are important and have all we need for life and Godliness through Christ, Jesus. AMEN

See you next week. Lynn

PS. Next FB live will be July 11th. Hugs.

*****

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 Power to Accomplish

God wants to draw us closer to Him. He delights in using unusual and strange means to speak to us, drawing us away from the mundane routine of our lives to pursue Him. Since most of us are prone to living our lives independent of Him, He uses something unusual to catch our attention and draw us to Himself. He speaks in a cryptic fashion so that we have to seek Him for understanding. Many times He will use a vision, dream, impression, or some other phenomenon to get our attention. When we are captured by the phenomenon and begin investigating, God then speaks to us and brings us into His presence. -- Steve Thompson (You May All Prophesy! p. 52)

Hey SUM family, Tiffany again!

Over the years I have always been amazed at the God-sized things that people have done in ministry and missions. I have been overwhelmed by the time, talent, and treasure of the Church and yet I never believed that I would be able to do something as great as....fill in the blank.

5 years or so I came across a quote (for the life of me I can't remember the source) about how God doesn't set us aside as in cast us out but set us apart as believers for a greater purpose and calling. Sure, sure, I would think. I hear you, but that isn't a word for me. I am truly nothing special or unique. In looking back I have believed this lie for many years before that quote hit my eyes. Up until more recently I have been crippled by this line of thinking. What could God possibly want to do with me? I disqualified myself.

It wasn't until this last year when God really got my attention through my 40 hour a week job (one that I didn't even WANT in the first place) that I was FORCED to see how uniquely and wonderfully made I was for such a time as this. Honestly, it started with a hunger and deep desire for something more. It really is that simple. God WANTS to draw us closer to Himself. When we come hungry, begging for His presence...when we are feeding on His word and devoting time to know Him...He is so pleased!

Check this out:

Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was buringing with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up." When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." (Exodus 3:1-4 NAS).

Let me be the voice to say, don't get familiar with the mundane. Jesus didn't come for that type of life. He came to give us abundance. How amazing that we are seeing miraculous things going on in our midst! We are living in some pretty amazing times. I wonder if maybe God has been allowing such hardship and trial and suffering in our lives lately (even if lasting for a few years) to create a deeper desperation for Him. When we get too familiar with comfort, we end up getting lazy. We don't tend to fan the flame as diligently...as least I don't.

I am not sure what is coming but I get this impression of expecting...as if pregnant...expecting and waiting with anticipation for delivery. A birthing of something new, something special, something unique, something for such a time as this.

1530070820845_26738696-1529963978484I came across this verse this morning and I was absolutely blown away by the word accomplish as this is my word for the year. How blessed we are to have such talents and giftings unique to our own situation and lives. I think of the beautiful drawings/paintings, visions, dreams, renderings, hobbies etc that have been revealed in our community. 

If you are gifted to paint, by all means paint! If you are gifted to write, by all means write! If you are gifted to render images/collages, by all means do so! If you are gifted to write music or sing, by all means do so! I think it no coincidence that we are seeing so many works of art showing up and God using our talents and gifts in such a way. People are leaving the church buildings and I think we will be able to reach more and more by new ways of communication through the artistic!

Share in the comments some things that God is prompting you to do. After all, only YOU can fulfill this because it is God's purpose for your life. Lets lift each other up and spur each other on to ACCOMPLISH the callings on our lives. I'll go first: write a book called Vicarious to Victorious: stepping into the destiny that God had in mind for you; write a 30 day devotional on #FingerprintRevelations; pickup with Connecting Verses - where music and scripture collide.

*****

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.


What Will It Take To Increase YOUR Faith?

Hey SUMites, Tiffany here!

I asked Lynn if I could do an additional post this month because I wanted to share a really cool story with you. I pray it activates and strengthens your faith to use your God given authority like it has me.

12 In my spare time, I love to upcycle things. Especially using license plates and 100+ year old barn wood from my grandpa's family farm. This year I really  ramped up my exposure going from doing the typical 2 -3 shows a year to 9-10 this year. On Friday afternoon, June 8th, the back power hatch when out in our suburban. It refused to open! I had to open the half window and reach through to try and get my groceries. We have a pickup truck but I can't use it for shows because we don't have a topper and I take a LOT of stuff whenever I go. I was a little worried because I was going to load the stuff up that night so that way I could just leave in the morning. My grandparents always come from Kansas City and help me with the shows. This time it was only my grandma and I.

During dinner, I told him that the hatch is broken and I was worried about it. I wanted to load the car that night so we could just leave in the morning. He said that he would take a look. Turns out the part for the hatch is a self-sustaining piece. There was no backup switch, lever, etc. to use in case of malfunction. He was frustrated as he had to figure something out and he was losing daylight. If I could brag on my husband for a second, Jason is kind of like MacGyver. He can see things and put things together in such a way that I am always mind blown. I know a lot of it is the Holy Spirit guiding and directing him because he truly is gifted in this way...oh the day he realizes this!

After a few hours of work he concocted a mechanism that would allow me to open the hatch if it refused to open when I 14 needed it to the next day. He gave a clear warning that NOTHING is to touch or lean against this lever. If it gets accidentally bumped, it could open the hatch, even if we are driving on the road. It was too late to load up the car that night so it would have to wait until morning. That morning, I made a point to hit the floor with my knees and pray. I refused to begin my day without His presence and making myself right before Him - mending our relationship. Praise God I did!


Turning out of my neighborhood onto the first main street (see below for a screenshot of Google Maps), I accelerated a little to quickly to get out the way of the oncoming traffic. This caused the stuff in the back to shift, a bump of the lever, and an opening of the hatch...as I am driving down the street! I quickly pulled to the side of the road, and my grandma and I got out of the car and scrambled to pick up the debris spread across the 4 lanes of the road. A white truck immediately pulled to the side of the road behind us and a man sent by God helped us move things to the side of the road. Another car stopped in the far left lane right behind some grid and a heavy tote and both men brought it to the side of the road. Trying to hold it together I thought, I don't even want to go anymore! Let's go home. I was overwhelmed...BUT God! He quickly swept the fear away and I was able to see with spiritual eyes the hand of God and the dispatch of angels. Grandma and I loaded the car back up as a cop car pulled up behind us down the street...making sure we were safe as we finished up. Getting in the car, I replayed that scary incident back in my mind. How is it that absolutely NOTHING got broken? How is it that there was NO traffic behind me as my car spewed out projectiles across all 4 lanes of traffic? How is it that I saw a car run over my plastic table but there was absolutely no damage to it? How is it that this cop who pulled up shortly after didn't cite me a ticket for my rigged hatch? How except for God? How except for angels on assignment?

120 + L

Beginning to cry, I held grandma's hand, gently shaking from adrenaline. Yes God did something so miraculous in that moment but now it was time to work. I prayed praised God for all that He had done. I then specifically called upon my angels and dispatched them to protect our vehicle. I said, "don't let that door open. Close the door like what was done for Daniel with the lions mouths. Keep that door closed until it is time. Don't let anything move or shift in the vehicle. Put a hedge of protection around our vehicle and get us there safely. You know what? They did! The rest of the 13.7 miles to our destination everything was smooth sailing. On our way home, same thing. With each second as I carefully drove, my faith increased as I saw with spiritual eyes the power of prayer.

  13Taken just after we arrived at the craft show at Chandler Acres Church.

Share in the comments a moment that angels were dispatched on assignment for you. This is not to praise the angels but to praise the One who created them - having you in mind when He sent them for your benefit and care.

*****

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.


Life Is Too Short to Live Any Way but Happy! By Lori Lyn Skipper

Welcome back to the adventures of Lori Lyn Skipper. My son, Brad, and I made it just fine after his dad left us because we had God on our side. Yes, there were definite struggles, but I had such a peace about me, Philippians 4:7 NLT: Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

The Lord called me to the ministry in 1998. I preached my first sermon in March 1999.  I eventually moved to Benton, IL by the leading of the Lord where I continued serving in the ministry. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, lupus, arthritis, and chronic degenerative disc disease.  In 2005, I almost died from these and other afflictions, such as Barrett’s esophagus and bleeding internally, but God! 

I know that by Jesus’ stripes I am healed because the Word of God tells me so in Isaiah 53:5. I have since been healed of many afflictions and diseases. There are some that I am still working on catching my healing, but it is well with my soul. I believe these are in direct relationship to the life I lived before Christ. Yes, I believe He will completely restore me, but I also believe I am suffering the consequences of my actions and need to walk some things out. I actually appreciate the miracles I’ve experienced more because of what I have to walk out.

 

Brian Lori Adult
Brian & Lori Reacquaint 2009

Not only did the Lord restore my soul but He restored my relationship with Brian in March 2009. I had sent letters numerous times to Brian via his grandmother’s address and never heard from him. In mid-2008, I located him via Myspace, prayed and sent him a message. About three weeks later, I received a response from him, he said he reread all of the letters I had sent him, but he was not ready for a relationship with me. 

Finally, in Feb of 2009 he said he was ready to meet for the first time since 1993. My family had a surprise birthday party for my mom on March 8, 2009. Brian came to become reacquainted with me and the rest of my family. Since that time, Brian and I have worked on developing a relationship. He now lives in Portland, OR but we stay in touch. The best part of all of this, he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior living in Missouri. He is currently not on fire for the Lord, but I believe he will be again one day, as well as my youngest son Brad will be also. In Jesus name!

                                  

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-06-17/c7a2b45b-2c1b-48b0-9f40-4a58cb1a6a5c.png
Brad & Lori - During Brad's service in the Marines

Fast forward to December 2015, I was not looking for a husband, but I met mine. John was not looking for a wife, but he found one. From the day we met, the Lord spoke to me that my husband was going to be an integral part in me fulfilling the dreams and calling the Lord has put on my life. My husband is a pre-believer, but I thank God every day for him. He is very supportive of me. He also encourages me in the new adventures I am on with the Lord. We have our struggles due to his life style, but I have learned when to speak up and when to let it go. I have learned to lay down boundaries and will not accept any disrespect towards me. When it has happened, I have been quick to nip it in the bud. I daily thank my husband for his support, encouragement, for his hard work to provide for our family, for his love for me and my sons, for doing dishes, taking out the garbage, whatever it may be. I thank him and let him know how much I appreciate him. It’s vital to our marriages to show love, honor, and respect.

Life is too short to live any way but happy. I have come to the place where I know who I am in Christ Jesus and I won’t accept anything less than His best for my life. I know in Whom I serve, and I don’t forget for one day Who He is or what He has done for me. 

I close with Lamentations 3:58 NKJV: “O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.” Amen!

 

Lynn Donovan: Thank you Lori for your heart of love for our community and for your courage to share your story. Your life brings great honor to our Father. Well done good and faithful servant.  SUMites, give a shout out to Lori in the comments for sharing her heart with us. 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.


Our Bottom Drawer

Hi friends, Ann here!

In preparation for today’s post I’d been asking God what to write. I had a head full of ideas but in the early hours of this morning those went completely out the window as I woke with a pounding heart and a picture of a cavernous wooden bottom drawer!  Drawer As I lay trying to make sense of it, words from the Holy Spirit landed in my head:

SUMites, as you fill your bottom drawer you’re providing for those who have been named ‘clear and bright’, and you are evangelizing through a microphone.

This, it seemed, was to be today’s post: A bottom drawer, provision, and a microphone, what fun! I’ll describe where it took me, and I hope this word encourages you today.

The Bottom Drawer

In times past, hopeful young women used to collect special things in a ‘bottom drawer’ to bring to their marriage. It included beautiful linen, tea-cups, and other treasures that would be both pretty and useful for their home.

As I write, I’m looking straight at two tea cups that sit on my piano, bottom-drawer items: One belonged to my great-grandma, Lucy, and the other to her mother, Elizabeth. I know for sure that Lucy’s was part of a set gifted to her by church when she turned 18. 

Setting up a bottom drawer was an act of imagination and anticipation. There was an element of the great unknown. Who would the husband be? What would her home be like?

SUMites, I relate to this as I carry a whole bellyful of hope for my family these days! While we wait, we can fill our own spiritual bottom drawer and do it with a whole lot of hope and imagination; yet, there’s a leap of faith, and perhaps a little anxiety there. I well remember as a teenager, thinking ‘what if I don’t get married?!’ In the same way, thoughts creep in: What if the three people I love most in the world never say yes to God? It can floor me, that thought.

But NO. The fact we have this word from the Holy Spirit says to me don't go there. It’s as if He says, ‘Go ahead and fill your bottom drawer, SUMites!’ These are bottom drawers to be brought not only to our physical homes, but also our eternity with Jesus Christ (Rev 19:6-9), bottom drawers that will eventually provide for those who are going to be ‘Clear’ and ‘Bright’ – Does He mean our families? I’ll gladly receive that as a promise.

CupsBut what are the special things we’re collecting? As I chew on that, it seems that they’re items that support rest, beautify the home, and help us feed our family and invite others in. They’re things that will be passed down to generations -- enjoyed in the immediate family, but also beyond.

As I think of all the comments I’ve read on this blog over the years, I picture each SUMite’s bottom drawer being filled with the prayers they’ve prayed and the promises they’ve believed. I see family records they’ve kept, and acts of church giving that have been so tough to pull off.  Most of all, I visualize each, and every, choice to love – often against the odds or against popular opinion.

Whatever they look like, these drawers of ours are full of things that are carefully curated, ready, and just waiting. 

But wait, what about the last words, As you fill that drawer you are evangelizing through a microphone? As someone who finds it hard to speak up against opinions, can I say how much that surprises me and shocks me into a different way of seeing things? See, I’m surrounded by friends and colleagues who are verbal in their opposition to Jesus. In that environment, I tend to be the quietist one on the block. I often feel, ‘I don’t even have the words...’ 

“O my Lord, I am not eloquent..” (Exodus 4:10)

But, quiet as I am, this word now says something different: Every time I invest in my, and my family’s, future I'm out and loud. Others will hear it as clear and bright as day and will catch the light. After all, it's the loudest sound in the room.

“Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” (Acts 10:4)

SUMites, what are your thoughts? How does this word speak to you? Let’s chat - I can’t wait to hear your insights.

*****

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 Dichotomy of A Life, by Lori Lyn Skipper - Part II

Brad son Lori Lyn Skipper June 2018Welcome back! As a quick reminder, I moved to Springfield, IL in 1990. It was there that I met my son Brad’s dad.

The birth of Brad was so very different than when I gave birth to Brian. I was instantly protective of him. On June 26, 1996 my life took a major turn. Without going into every detail, I was hit by a train that day while driving my S10 pickup truck. I broke my neck in 2 places as well as my tailbone. I had multiple bruises, bit my tongue almost off and had a concussion. God in His great mercy spared my life.

A week after the wreck, while at home, I had a flashback and had a stroke; (the doctor said it was my body trying to protect itself because my brain perceived danger). I was paralyzed on the right side of my body and could hardly talk for several days. My sons’ dad refused to take care of me or our son.  The tables had turned, it was I that was raising our son alone, my youngest son was being neglected and I was the one being abused. I was living out Galatians 6:7-8: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

For all of those years, I had sown to the flesh and I was reaping corruption.

I eventually found my way back to church in November of 1996 where I met Jesus. He became the lover of my soul in January 1997. I would love to stop here and tell you, the day I became a born-again believer my life got 100% better and it became a bed of roses, but I would be lying to you. Life became more of a struggle for a season because here I was, a new Christian, my son gave his life to Christ in June 1997 and his dad was still an unbeliever.

The day I surrendered to Christ, my personal life changed 100%, no more drinking, no more drugs, no more pornography. I was no longer the person Brad’s dad knew me to be and that brought about its own problems. He did not want to hear about my new-found faith, nor did he want to attend church with us. He was happy with his life and wanted no part of mine. I became lonely and depressed. I felt torn between being with the man I loved and going back to my ‘former’ self or pressing on with the Lord I loved.

Brads dad reached the decision to move back to Springfield, IL without Brad & I. Brad was seven-years-old at the time and is now 27 years old. He and his dad still have a strained relationship due to his dads neglect while he was a young child.

Our children do suffer when one or both of their parents’ neglect, ignore or abuse them or the other parent. Again, it is up to us to protect our children. It may look different for each person, but we MUST protect our children.  I know this is resonating with several of you out there. Please know that you are not alone. Hear me “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!” God understands, He knows your pain, your struggle. He is walking through it with you.

As I write this, Father gave me this Scripture for one (or more) of you reading this right now;

Ezekiel 16:4-14. Verses 4-8 “As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born. “And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God.

Hear the Word of the Lord, He has entered into a covenant with you and now is the time of love!

Stay tuned to hear about the miracles God has performed in my life! Until next time, love & blessings, Lori.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHi, 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 married in June 2016. I moved to sunny Florida in 2012. I often say I’m an Illinois girl living in a Florida world. I came to meet Jesus in mid-1996 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.

Lori Skipper Hosting

*****

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.


I Was A Drunk. What You Don't Know!

Hi All! Lori Skipper here.  

I’m not sharing the following for accolades for myself but to show the greatness of our God. When I say I am like Paul, “the chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15), I am being very serious. I want to show you how God really does choose the foolish and weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty (1 Corinthians 1:27). I am a part of the SUM Sisters in Christ Facebook group and participate in conversations that I would like to delve a litter deeper. So, while Lynn is away, I’m stepping in for a few posts.

I’ve lived through a lot in my past, thusly, I’ve gained wisdom through the school of hard knocks. It took me many years of running away from faith before I finally surrendered to Christ. OK, put on your seat-belts, keep both hands and feet in the ride until it comes to a complete stop, things are about to get bumpy…

I began drinking at a very young age, age of four or five, every weekend. When I was nine years old, my mom kicked my brother and I out. We moved in with my dad and stepmom. I began using drugs in the 5th grade. It started out with speed and by the time I was 18, I was using marijuana and cocaine.  I was drinking pretty regularly by the age of 14, stealing it from my dad’s liquor cabinet and keger.  By the time I was 18 years old I was a full-fledged alcoholic and by the time I was 19 years old, I was a drug dealer.   

I was abused physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually as a young child and never experienced the love of a parent as a child.

Brian son or Lori Lynn SkipperI had a son, Brian, at the age of 20 and unfortunately even his young life wasn’t enough to change me.  I gave full custody of Brian to his dad because I knew Brian would be better off with him because of my life style.

I know what I just shared is hard to swallow. I can hear the thoughts of judgement running through your brain right now, “How could she give up her son? What kind of woman would give up her child?” The kind of woman that was so lost in her sin that she couldn’t find her way out.

Well, I was the kind that was seeking and looking for love and acceptance in every fashion but the love of God.

You see, I did not grow up in a Christian environment. Sure, I was dropped off at Sunday School and went to Christian camps as a child. I even went to Mass every Saturday night from the time I was 13 until I was 18 with my best friends. But I did not know God or even remember hearing about His Son Jesus. I was a living example of 2 Corinthians 4:4 Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

I was blinded, I was lost. I still saw Brian on a regular basis for a couple of years until 1993. It was at that point when his dad no longer allowed me to see him anymore. The weird part of that was, when I made the move to Springfield, IL in 1990, I actually quit drinking and using drugs. But, it was too late for his dad, he no longer had any trust left regarding me or my stability. I couldn’t really blame him, up to that point, I was a drunk, a cheat and a lousy mother. Reaping what I had sown all those years.

I want to stop here and share with you ladies and men that are dealing with a spouse that is neglecting your children, or perhaps abusing your children, I have been there. I was the one who neglected my son. I was the one who abused my son, not physically, but emotionally. I was the one who abandoned my son. I, unfortunately, can relate with your spouse. I know the pain and emptiness they are carrying around inside of themselves. I know deep inside, they do NOT want to behave the way they are with your children or even you. They are lost, they are blinded. They are looking for love and acceptance everywhere but in God. They are seeking to fill the void inside of themselves with video games, pornography, alcohol, work, drugs, (put the bondage in this space), etc.

They need Jesus.

Just because I can relate or understand does not mean I am making excuses for them. It’s quite the opposite, I beg you to protect your children. Just as Brian’s dad protected him from me, protect your children. You DO NOT need to submit yourself or your children to abuse. You alone can protect your children. Yes, pray for Gods protection! But, you are their mother, you are their dad. God entrusted those dear ones in your care. They are His gift to you. Take care of them, protect them. You may not need to go to the extremes my son’s dad did and prevent your spouse from seeing them but seek Godly counsel and wisdom on what action steps you need to take.

Stay tuned; to be continued Monday.

Lori Lyn Skipper 

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.  

*****

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 Royal Wedding

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By Martha Bush

On May 19, 2018, the world tuned in to watch on television as Meghan Markle arrived at Windsor Castle. All eyes were upon her as she walked down the aisle in St. George's Chapel to say, “I do” to Prince Harry.

Meghan was referred to as a commoner because she was not born into a royal family bloodline. Yet, on that day, Queen Elizabeth gave the bride and groom the ultimate wedding gift - brand new royal titles! From that day forward, Harry and Meghan would be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

It was a fairytale wedding - one that all little girls dream about. It took me back to my childhood when I played pretend games with my girlfriends. We often pictured ourselves in a faraway land where we would meet our prince charming and ride away in a carriage drawn by white horses just like Meghan. Oh, the imagination of a child!  

Just for fun, take a stroll with me back into one of my fantasy lands once again.

Suppose you were standing outside the palace gates of a king. As you stood there, your attire looked something like this:

  • You were clothed in filthy rags of self-pity, anger and resentment.
  • It was plain to see that you always tried to borrow from others the kind of love you desperately needed.
  • You rummaged through garbage pails looking for your identity.
  • The life of a pauper was your lifestyle - you felt no worth at all.

As you stood outside the place gates in your filthy drab inside and out, you heard the king beckoning someone to come to him to be his bride. You look around to see who he is calling, but there is no one else standing at the gate at this time.

Then you hear him issue the call again. You look up to the window where he stands. Your eyes meet his gaze, and you say to him: “Are you talking to me? You can’t mean me-why I’m just a pauper. I’m not good enough for you. And my appearance, well, I am not the prettiest woman in the world. I wouldn’t be a very good helpmate either, because I am just so dumb like one of my teachers in school once told me. No, I can’t marry you; I’m just too unworthy to be your bride.”

Without another word spoken from the king, he stretched forth his hands beckoning you to come into his arms. This time, you caught a look of love on his face that you had never ever seen on another. It penetrated into the very depths of your heart, and you at last realized that, “Yes, he wants me!”

You accepted his proposal, and you were quickly ushered into the palace to say, “I do” to the king. He placed a crown on your head, and instantly, you were given a brand new title – Bride of the King.

Oh, my dear friends, this is no fairy tale, it is for real.  It is a story about YOU and ME, and how quickly we transitioned from our pauper state into a place of royalty when we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior.  

I will never forget the night I said, “I do,” to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

My pastor had finished his sermon, and he extended the invitation to accept Jesus by saying: “There are three people here tonight who need Jesus.”

Before the words were barely out of his mouth, two people raised their hands. Then there was a deadly silence that swept over the congregation that seemed to last for all eternity.

“Somebody needs to speak up. Where is that third person,” I wondered, as I clung to the pew in front of me.

Then ever so gently, I could hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me: “The third person is you, Martha.”

No more rebelling and running for me, and I instantly said, “I do,” as the congregation and all heaven looked on.

And in that moment, my Lord (my husband) bestowed upon me, not one, but many brand new royal titles!

  • Beautiful (Song of Solomon 1:15)
  • Beloved (Deuteronomy 33:12)
  • Chosen (Colossians 3:12)
  • Favored (Psalm 84:11)
  • Valued (Matthew 6:26)
  • Victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

What about you?

Do you remember the day you said, “I do” to the King of Kings? I would love to read about your wedding story and the titles He has bestowed upon you in the comments. (Love names, if you please.)

Sometimes, we need to go back and reminisce the beauty and splendor of that day.

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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.


Kathi Lipp Guest on Let's TALK LIVE

SUMite Nation,

Tomorrow, June 13th, on our SUM Facebook page at 12:00 (noon) Pacific, my wonderful friend, Kathi Lipp will be our guest on Let's TALK LIVE. 

We are going to chat about one of her new projects, Get Yourself Organized. It will be a blast. Plan to tune in and participate in the comments. I will be giving away two copies of Kathi's books, The Husband Project & The Marriage Project. And a free copy of her Get Yourself Organized. So lucky SUMites who comment during the live broadcast will be winners. 

Plan to tune in LIVE and enjoy our conversation and get yourself organized this summer. 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.


Suicide Is Defeated - Read This!

SwordSUMites,

Last week, news feeds displayed faces of two celebrities who committed suicide. When there is a celebrity suicide, such as Robin Williams, the national suicide rates jump 10 %. Well not this time! Upon reading the headlines and then a Facebook friend sharing about his experience, see below, I was compelled by Jesus to share a story with you.

Several years ago, the Lord had me in an advanced classroom where I learned many of the secret weapons the demonic realm employs against us. And one of the things I learned is how the voice of suicide is perpetuated into a person’s life, so much so, that they take their own life.

I am compelled to share this because when someone reads it, they will be immediately set free. It may be challenging to process but ask the Lord to reveal the truth in what I share.

During this season of study, I read a ton of books about our authority, identity, and the workings of demons. I came to a place where I realized that the demon of death and the demon of suicide gains influence and a voice into our conscious in certain circumstances and misaligned beliefs.

In my study, a question was proposed: Have you ever felt, while you were driving, like you just want to run your car into a wall?

Let me be clear. This question spews forth directly from a voice of a demon. It is unholy, filled with hatred and motivated to destroy. Our heavenly Father would NEVER speak such a thing into your mind. At the time my daughter was in high school and really battling on many of fronts in her life. One day while we were driving somewhere, I asked her this question.

She paused before answering but quietly, “Ya, I have.”

“Caitie, this is a voice of a demon.”

Let me explain why she or others who think a thought like this become vulnerable to the devil’s whispers. I asked her another question, “Have you ever in some point of fear or frustration said to yourself, ‘It would just be easier if I died.’”

When a person gives consideration to the voice of the enemy, even once, they are vulnerable to oppression because they have come into agreement with the devil’s primary mission:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a)

A person opens a door, through legal rights, for a demon to speak to them. When someone rejects the truth of God; life, love, hope, etc. and embraces a lie of the demonic, they unknowingly subject themselves to oppression and/or torment. In this particular case, torment of ongoing thoughts of death, suicide, and escape through dark means.

When I shared this with Caitie, immediately the voice stopped. In fact, years have passed but recently I asked her again the same question, “No mom. I’ve never heard it again.”

AWARENESS ….. I’m convinced awareness is 75% of our spiritual warfare. The remainder; repentance. And finally, embracing the truth of who we are and Whose we are.

If you have thoughts along these lines. Pray: Father, in the name of Jesus, I repent for coming into agreement with the enemy that death is an answer to my life’s problems. I ask for forgiveness and I receive your forgiveness, covered in the blood of Jesus. Lord, from this day forward I belive what you say about me. That you have life abundant and a hope and future for me. I renounce any influence and silent any voice that is counter to Your truths. In the powerful name of Jesus. AMEN

If you want all of heaven to join you in this battle, you can say AMEN in the comments. There is NO judgement in this House of SUM. There is no condemnation in this House of SUM. There is only love, acceptance and FREEDOM. HALLELUJAH!! We stand with you for you full freedom! I love you, brave SUMites. Our victory is hard fought, but our awareness is at hand and we will be free indeed. 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.


Declaration Friday

Declaration Friday

Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask for grace for today. I receive Your grace for today. Thank you for your fuel from heaven. Amen.

 

Father, I declare that my family will become mighty children of God. They will be free, in Jesus name. They will not miss their destiny. They will become a living testimony of the saving power of Jesus Christ. I stand in faith. AMEN

 

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

 

*****

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.


Turning Up Each Day

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Image courtesy of Dreamstop.com

One of the key points I make to people who ask me for some advice on writing is the importance of turning up each day. Don’t wait for inspiration to come before you start writing, it only comes when you start. It’s surprisingly magical and wonderful what words, phrases, character traits, etc etc you never expected to write suddenly appear on the page in front of you.

The same applies to our spiritual walks.

Pentecost Sunday

This is a subject that’s been on my heart and mind for a couple of weeks. It started after Pentecost Sunday (50 days after Easter Sunday) and we had a special time in church, one I even experienced watching online. My Pastor decided to have a second Pentecost Sunday the following weekend and once again, the Spirit turned up in a special way.

If we look back at the first Pentecost Sunday in Acts 2 we find the disciples and an extended group of 120 or so who obediently adhered to one of Jesus’ last statements to them not to depart from Jerusalem and to wait for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).

They had positioned themselves to receive the Holy Spirit.

And sure enough just as Jesus said, the Holy Spirit landed. And how He landed:

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2: 2-4) 

Jesus’ Example

We’re all familiar with how Jesus lived a life of contemplation and action. He spent the early hours of his day meeting with the Father. This prepared him for the day. And then he headed out on his day with the intention of fulfilling the will of the Father.

It’s such a wonderful example of us in how to walk through our days. Yes, Jesus didn’t have a spouse nor children to care for but he was entirely focused on doing the will of the Father.

I believe this is how the Father wants us to live too.

But we gotta turn up each day and position ourselves to hear everything He has for us. And He will turn up as we’re told in James 4:8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” He wants us to choose Him. Every day.

But it doesn’t have to be first thing because mornings are often hectic times for families. It might simply be waiting in the school pickup line at the end of school, it might be over the stove cooking dinner or over the washing machine as one does the laundry. He will draw near when (not if) we draw near to Him. Wherever, whenever.

I’m trying to be more intentional in positioning myself to receive. And little by little I see a little bit of magic happen. Just like when I turn up to the PC and write.

Why not try it.

Blessings, my 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.


You CAN Raise Your Kids to Faith as Adults - Read This!

IMG_0749SUMites,

Recently on our Facebook page, Patty posted a question: What topics would you like to see covered in future posts. Today I want to tackle a topic and perhaps will take on a few more in the month of June.

There were a ton of inquiries about raising children to faith. Gang, Dineen and I raised our kids to faith and if we can do it, so can you. And we wrote a GREAT book with powerful training, instruction and it’s filled with scriptures, truths, and hope. Here is a story from Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home.

(Lynn) My daughter was bullied in High school. It went on for several months and she was a wreck and so was I. But I am a praying mama and when mamas pray, heaven listens. I’m convinced that the astonishing outcome of this terrible situation was because of the prayers I prayed. Here is what I prayed from pages 128 & 129:

Lord, My Holy God,

This very moment I’m asking for your Presence to surround Caitie. Lord, go with her into the halls of her high school. Father, in the name of Jesus I take authority from the enemy who is speaking lies into my daughter’s heart and mind. I renounce any lies that my daughter believes such as she is insignificant. I bind the enemy who has told her that she is ugly, stupid, or a fool. O Holy Spirit, rush with this car and remove thoughts of insecurity or fear. Lord, I bind this boy at her school who out of his own fears and insecurity pours words of harm into my daughter. Lord, I surround him and through your power he is unable to speak any evil into my daughter or to other students about my daughter. Move in his life to reveal your love for him this day.

Powerful Lord, my Father, Abba, now I hold up my daughter, Caitie, and in place of the lies, I now ask you to affirm her. Place your truth in her. Let others, including this boy, only say things that are truthful and uplifting about her and to her. When this young man hears her name, change his thoughts toward her to be good and not evil. When her name is spoken, prompt him to affirm and build up her character. Lord, you speak through her friends to break the lies and pour into my girl your truth. Father speak gently into my girl and remind her that she is beautiful. She is a daughter of the King. She is confident in her identity. She is a believer in truth and justice. Affirm her worth and let her see herself as you view her.

Affirm, protect, love on her with passion and reveal yourself to her daily. I pray this in the name of Jesus and by His authority and power. Amen.

Buy the book to hear what happened to the bully and my daughter. PS. When you buy the book, all the funds go to our ministry. It’s true!!!!

My daughter will be 23 years old on June 17th. She is in the middle of her Master’s Program at Perdue University. She graduated a year ago from a Christian college that she chose to attend. I didn’t pick it. She did.

I asked her a few weeks ago while we sat on the lake shore, fishing, “Caitie, now that you have had a college experience at a large, secular, University, and you can compare the two, how do you feel about your Christian college experience? Was it right for you?”

“Yes, mom. I’m so glad I had that experience and I will always have my faith. It’s very important to me.”

And remember while we were there is was my daughter who said to me and her grandmother, “God is so good that I would love Him even if I never received anything in return.”

SUMite moms, it’s not easy. It’s all up to you and you must do all the work. But my dear friends, it’s worth every minute, every frustration, every battle, and every prayer you mutter. It’s worth a life for the Kingdom and it’s not any life. These are the babies God gave you and He knew you had everything you need to raise your children to faith, even in a spiritually mismatched home.

Get the book. Read the book. And know that I am your prayer warrior right behind you because we will not lose one of these who have been assigned to us. In Jesus name. AMEN

Hugging you moms as the battle rages hot! Swing your blade, armor up, and tell the devil, “YOU CAN’T HAVE MY KIDS!”

Love, Lynn

Raising Godly Kids

Most recent review from Amazon (PS. whoever wrote this, THANK YOU!)

Honestly, I thank the Lord for this book! It takes a heartfelt approach to come alongside women struggling to hold on to their faith in the face of many fears. The scripture references are direct and given as tools to recall during dark moments to help build your faith. The exercises at the end of the chapters create a space to take knowledge from the head and apply it to the heart. The written prayers are so intimate, you can tell that these women have labored in God's presence for the reader. Appendices are informative and useful to use. Most importantly, these women are Godly women and understand that spiritually widowed women must continue to honor their husbands and in each chapter they provide encouragement on how to do that. Their writing style is honest and personal. Reading this book reminds me of God's love for me and I definitely recommend it to anyone that find themselves on this path of their journey...you aren't alone 😊!

Next topic: How to keep hope alive even after years pass.

*****

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.