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14 entries from October 2018

God Can Change A Man's Heart!

Nicki Hathorn 10 2018

by Niki Hathorn

Hello SUMite friends!

I have some wonderful news today.

When I met my husband in our early twenties, we were both believers but not even close to walking with Jesus. Fast forward to my early thirties, we were married, and I was pregnant with our first child. It was at that time when Jesus finally got hold of me.

I found a church to attend, started reading my Bible, I became involved in community with some wonderful ladies, and really began to grow. My husband would participate once in a while - when convenient for him, but I wasn't seeing much change in his life. In fact, debauchery and anger seemed to take over any joy that he had. It's been a long and difficult road.

In August, I went to bed on a Sunday night and fell asleep telling Jesus that I didn't think I could stay much longer. The constant tension and lack of peace in my home had become too much and I felt that my prayers weren't being answered. The next morning, I found out I was pregnant (total surprise) with our third child. I thought my husband would be upset about this wrench in our plans, but he was excited - which even surprised himself.

A few days went by and I started to see a lot of his anger and anxiety melt away. A few weeks later, our friends (who have a band) were releasing their first album and putting on a concert at a performing arts center. He suggested that we get tickets and make a date night of it! But on that day, he also attended a friend's birthday party at a brewery, so he showed up to the concert pretty drunk. I was a little concerned that somehow his anger would rear its ugly head that night but guess what! He praised, he worshiped, he sang, he wept, he had joyful fellowship with the wonderful Christian's in our lives. The dark and the light collided, and the light won that night.

As I drove him home that night, he fell asleep and that's when the strange behavior began. His limbs started randomly flying around. One time, he sat up and punched the windshield. After getting home and going to bed, his arms were still thrashing around - one time accidentally hitting me in the face. He would randomly start yelling profanities as if he were angry at someone. Then he started getting out of bed and stomping around our home, yelling and cursing. I have NEVER seen anything like this from him and he drinks OFTEN.

He woke up the next morning with unexplained burns on his arm. It did not occur to me until the next morning (as I was pretty freaked out when this was happening) that what I was seeing was demonic. I think the enemy showed up at the concert that night thinking he was winning, but instead he realized how much he is losing his hold on my husband. My husband has zero recollection of any of this.

Now here's the best part. Fast forward two weeks and our church's missionaries from Nigeria came to speak at our church. They told us that they have already planted 16 churches in their people's kingdom, but until they can be educated, they will never rise up out of oppression. The first step to educating their children, is to build a school in this specific town where they can get certified by the government so that the children can then move on to college (which is free) in order to become teachers and doctors and come back to their villages to educate more and the cycle continues so that they can rise above the oppression and poverty.

They need $10k for the land to build the school and $20k for the building We left church that day and in the car on the way home, my husband said he was going to give them the money they need for the land.

SAAAAYYYY WHATTTTT??????

Here is this man who I have seen in bondage for so very long and prayed for with so many tears... He's breaking free, he's feeling the Spirit, he's giving to the Kingdom without restraint. I just can't even.

This God of ours is BIG and so much better than I could ever comprehend. My faith has turned a new corner and I cannot wait to see what the Lord Jesus does with my family. Thank you for reading if you are still here! And I sure hope that this is an encouragement to you! Please rejoice with me today :) Lynn and Dineen, I have and have read your books and they have been SUCH an encouragement to me. Thank you for this ministry!

Niki, SUMite Nation

My husband and I grew up about 20 minutes from each other in Alabama, but didn't meet until we both moved to Tampa, Florida after college. We have been married for almost 8 years and have a girl, a boy, and a surprise baby on the way! We are currently living in Apollo Beach, Florida where he built us a house.

*****

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.


Unbeliever, Kids and Halloween

Originally posted: October 30, 2014, But remains Powerfully Relevant for HALLOWEEN.

Greetings, Halloween 2014

I have some thoughts about Halloween.

Halloween was always one of the highlights of my year as a child. I mean really. Come on. Free candy…. It’s a day to pretend you are someone else, costumes, parties, bobbing for apples, being scared (but not really). I know that there is disagreement about how believers should handle this day. I’m not going to judge. You need to follow the Holy Spirit as He directs your heart for your family. 

But today I want to share a prayer God has placed heavily on my spirit and with power. Because after the kids are home sorting their candy, after the paint is washed from their faces and the jack-o-lanterns have long burned out, there is a reality. 

There is a very real enemy of God and His people. And on this night in particular as the midnight hour approaches, there is a furor of activity in the demonic realm. Witchcraft peaks and the purposes of evil are spoken over towns, cities, entire regions. 

But…… 

We are the SUMITE NATION. We are the light of God shining brightly into our realm of the Kingdom. Our light is so powerful and anointed that the curses spoken in the darkness cannot land in our home or community. I absolutely believe that because we are all strategically placed around the globe in different cities, we are those who will break the intended purposes of evil with the glory of our powerful Jesus that shines from our spirit. 

Enjoy the antics, face painting and the mounds of candy, Snickers is my personal favorite. Grace your husband with the freedom to take the kids out for trick-o-treat. But also, let’s stand together, as a united SUMite Nation of believers. We are the light that has been strategically placed into our communities around the globe. Let’s pray together and let’s pray with power. Hugs, Lynn 

Holy and all-powerful Lord, Jesus who holds the keys, and Holy Spirit who directs my words, I know that there is a very real enemy of your people and Kingdom. Lord, I also know that you are our Victorious King who sends your mighty angel armies at our request to stand for our homes and communities. 

Lord, Jesus, we are now standing with a powerful light that extends up from our spirit into the spiritual realm. We are speaking/praying against evil, witchcraft, and occult intentions that are spoken to destroy our peaceful and love-filled homes. We declare this work of evil is powerless and falls to the ground. Lord, we stand as your Royal Priests and decree that our faith and love is more powerful than all the devices of the evil one. No weapon formed against us will prosper. Curses spoken in the darkness are immobilized. They are cast back against those who speak them. Lord, release your Holy spirit with great power as we pray and shelter our valley, our city, our nation from the intentions of this night. 

And following this nigh, we will rise up into a season of joyous Thanksgiving. We will be the ordinary fathers, wives, husbands, mothers, who have a love that the enemy CAN NOT DEFEAT. You reign. You are glorified. You are Holy and darkness cannot stand in Your marvelous light. 

In the powerful name above all names, Jesus. Amen

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Have a safe week and make this fun for your kids and not scary. 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.


My Identity in Christ

by Lori Skipper

Psalm 139 NLT

Too often, we as believers, do not realize our value or our worth. We forget that God is with us ALL the time. We feel we were a mistake. Psalm 139 breaks down our value and our worth for us. This powerful Scripture also reinforces that we are not nor were we a mistake; regardless of what others may have said to or about us. The One that matters the most has told us we are NOT a mistake.

When we sin or make a mistake, we spend so much wasted time beating ourselves up and trying to make up for the wrong we’ve done. But, Psalm 139 verse 1, 4, 5, 16 & 17 assures us that our Father already KNEW what we were going to say or what we were going to do, before we said or did it! I’m certainly not making excuses, we need to repent of our sin, but let’s quit abusing ourselves over the sin, shall we?

Verse 1: O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

Verse 4: You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.

Verse 5: You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Verse 16: You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Verse 17: How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

I love verse 5!! Not only is He with us but He goes before us and follow’s us. What?!? We cannot escape Him or His presence. When we don’t feel His presence, we need to encourage ourselves in verse 5 as well as verses 7-11. Oh yea! And He places HIS hand of blessing on our heads. We already have His blessing on us! I could shout about now!!

Let’s talk about something else for a second. We often despise the way we look. But, we see in verses 13-15 that He is the One that made us. When we look at ourselves in the mirror or look at newborns, we will say “Oh, you look like your mom or your dad. You have your mom’s eyes, etc.” Or here is a big one “You are ugly. Look at those wrinkles. You are disgusting looking.” We start cursing what God created. When we’re saying those things, we are aligning ourselves up with the enemy of our souls. When the truth of the matter is: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.” Yes, sometimes we change the way God created our outer appearance, BUT we are still wonderfully made, created in HIS image!! (Genesis 1:27).

We are not all created to look, do or behave the same way. Before we start critiquing ourselves or judging ourselves by another, why don’t we first ask Father if we look or do or behave exactly how HE wants us to. Remember, He is looking at the heart while we and man look at the outside. (1 Samuel 16:7). One day, we will have a new glorious body but until that day, why don’t we learn how to be comfortable in the skin we currently wear? If He directs us to do something different, then we will be obedient to follow His leading, and not follow the leading of ourselves, others or the enemy.

I close with verses 23-24. But let me encourage you, when you pray verse 23, allow Him to point out the good in your heart as well, not just the bad or the offensive.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Lori Skipper

9/26/18

*****

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.


Deliverance After YEARS Of Torment! Hallelujah!

Hello SUM Family, Tiffany Here!

The last couple of months I have been sharing a bit about what I have learned from reading a book called From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris. I was assigned to read this book in class and I am so glad that I read it! This book has been truly amazing. To read the previous two posts I've written in this "mini-series" click on the links below.

This Is Just The Pits!

Do You Want Evidence Or The Truth?

In September I began to take steps to transition into a new church. As you read this, I have now been at this new church for 3 weeks. Each and every week has been so powerful and effective. Today I want to share with you a recent experience unlike anything I've ever had. It happened a little over a week ago on October 14, 2018. The following is what I posted the next day on Facebook (sharing here as well since a lot of you may not have Facebook or seen it because we aren't "friends"):

 Worship at Hub is amazing. God is there. Holy Spirit presence is thick and tangible. We were singing a song I had never heard before. The lyrics were powerful and the words that floored me at the time were talking about laying my whole life down before Jesus our Savior. I was already worshipping on my knees but I couldn't help but crouch face down before God. I felt so heavy and overloaded. I was just crying and crying before God. My words spoken in tears and sobs. All of a sudden it was like God said, "get up." Not in an angry way but an empowering way...if that makes sense. I sat up and it was like I saw myself in the place of the woman caught in adultry that was brought before Jesus. The crowd, stones in hand set to stone her. Jesus calmly and matter of factly said, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." Slowly, one by one the people left. Once everyone was gone, I pictured Jesus Freedom foreverlift up my chin so I would look him in the eyes. Crouched on the ground seeing His eyes intent on mine. Looking into my soul. Just like He did with the woman that day, He said, "who condemns you?" Looking around I reply, "No one Sir." In that instant...I felt all the weight of condemnation lifted. It was like I had an hour long deep tissue massage. Every fiber of my  being, relaxed and stress free. I realized later after worship and after the service...reflecting on what happened in that moment. Those people standing and surrounding me so quick to condemn and judge...were different versions of ME. How often I have shot myself down, I have stoned myself for a mis-spoken word, a harsh tone, a forgotten task, a wrong thought...I have been stoning myself for years and as God clearly told me to get up - it was giving me my life back. It was His GRACE UPON GRACE. His mercy. His true love. He doesn't keep record of wrongs...and neither should I. NO LONGER DO I. This morning, as life went on as usual...I reacted in ways I am tyring to change (short with my daughter when she cries about everything she wears - meltown after meltdown this morning and my shortness with her, attitude from tired children, etc) but the major difference was this. No one condemns me...not even myself. I made a mistake, asked for forgivenenss and moved on. The first instance my flesh tried to condemn me I heard the words "no one Sir." Loud and clear and it reminded me of the freedom that I was given. Once and for all. I will never go back. Once that transaction was finished Jesus said, "Go and sin no more." Can you image the freedom, the joy, the apreciation she felt with that moment? I can...because I do.

 You may have to click on the picture to better see but I found the moment in worship where this exchange happened. Today I stand free from years of mental torment. As I think about this moment it still brings tears to my eyes because every moment since then has been a blessing. Please know that it doesn't mean that I am perfect or care free. I still have some struggles that God is working on in me. Holy Spirit is still pruning and I've got a lot of work to do. However, I am no longer hopeless.

I've gone a little long this time so let me wrap up with this:

I have been blessed to be a blessing. So today, I bless you with joy unspeakable; freedom from weight (even YEARS worth) of torment - mental, emotional, spiritual, physical; victory beyond belief; confidence in your Daddy; hope to weather the storm; faith, life, salvation for your spouse and loved ones; light in the darkness; advancement in the Kingdom where you feel backslidden; fire shut up in your bones; fight and fierceness; and love beyond compare.

Below is the song that brought me to the feet of Jesus and ushered me into freedom.

See you in the comments. I would love to pray over you for your own deliverance.

*****

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.


Fill Your Kitchen With Love

IMG_1236Now for something completely different.

You know, I have discovered a secret to a happy marriage. Well at least it applies to the Donovan Clan.

Feed the man.

I’ve learned to cook. I didn’t know much more than spaghetti when we married. But I find cooking is one of the creative expressions I enjoy, a gift from God. So today, I’m delighting in the beauty and abundance of Autumn. I want to share what’s going on in the kitchen.

From my Pomegranate tree out back:

  Pom 2018

IMG_1238

IMG_1239

Roasted Veggies with pomegranate: A Pioneer Woman Recipe Served with Salmon with a mustard and brown sugar glaze.

Roasted Fall Veggies
I forgot the poms in this pic... Oopie. Grin. But it turned out great!

Yum and eee.  I was pulling the seeds out of the shell, when all of a sudden a spider was crawling across the cutting board. Eeeeek! 

Love you SUMite Nation! Hugs, Lynn

Fill your home with the smells of home cooking. Find your creative side in the kitchen. Enjoy some of these simple but wonderful treasures of living the abundant life.

*****

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.


Witches Gather THIS Saturday

Please listen to this short video. Then PRAY!

 

*****

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.


Sexual and Our Soul

MarriageMonday’s article elicited quite a response. I received some amazing emails. And my dear friends, God is in the business of healing.

Today, I want to share what I have learned about the spiritual realm and sex. I’m going to discus only a small portion of my knowledge in this area as our sexuality, sexual practices and beliefs regarding sex have a vast affect on our lives. But today, I want to talk about the union of sex in the spiritual realm.

And as you read this post, PLEASE, DO NOT go into condemnation. This post is your spiritual warfare and your freedom. Once you have awareness, your victory is at hand!!!  Hallelujah!

-----

I wonder if you have taken note of the explicit warnings about sex in the Bible?

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. — Ephesians 5:3

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. —Galatians 5: 19-20

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. —Hebrews 13:4

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men. — 1 Corinthians 6:9

Why do you suppose that God is giving humankind such a punctuated message?

Other sinful practices may pollute the mind or create bitterness in the soul, (unforgiveness). But sexual sin involves a union to another of the body, the mind, AND the spirit.

Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” — 1 Corinthians 6:16

THIS VERSE IS LEGIT!

Let me explain how this works. A man or woman joins in a relationship and they engage in sex, usually intercourse. In this union there is a literal joining of the body, the mind, the emotions and in the spiritual realm, an exchange takes place. A portion of yourself in the spirit is shared with your partner. You give a part of your soul, your emotions, your heart and thoughts over to this person. I’ve come to understand this as a soul-tie. It’s only a name that I use in deliverance prayer. These ties are often Godly and intended to bond a husband and wife together in a special intimacy, a union only shared by two people.

A side note: This union is a reflection of the intimacy that God seeks with His children. It’s the intimacy of complete vulnerability and openness, no secrets and complete transparency. It is holy, sacred and very specially held in the Father’s heart.

You can have Godly ties with your children, friends, and even people within our community. I have ties with so many of you. It is a love bond that flows from my heart and is tied directly into your heart. That is why I’m very vulnerable and hurt when someone in our community is critical or condemning. Thankfully, that rarely happens. That’s because you have a Godly bond with my heart as well.

Isn’t that so cool?

Anyhoo, things go wonky within in a sexual relationship where intimacy, love and commitment aren’t paramount. The sexual tie becomes a bond of ungodliness, dark emotions, and strongholds. And these ungodly soul-ties can become a tool of the devil. Demonic forces will latch themselves onto an unhealthy, ungodly soul-tie to perpetuate an obsession with your partner. They will twist your thoughts about this person and leave you unavailable to seek healthy relationships. That is their goal. They want people to be hung up in a bond to someone even years, decades old, who treats them poorly or who has abandoned them all together. These ties can bind for years because in the spirit realm it clearly states that two shall become one. And if not broken, they grow in deception.

Additionally, within these ungodly sexual ties the demonic with begin to twist sexuality, sexual identity, sexual limits and introduce sexual practices that lead further into debauchery. It’s a wicked circle of shame, dangerous health practices, and it will devastate your life and faith. The eventual goal is to lead a person into perversion. Then the demonic will shame the person with by words like You are sick. Do you realize what you did with your body? You are worthless. No one will ever love a slut like you. Then the cycle will start all over again. The goal is to lead a person through so much shame and the lies of no escape that eventually they become hopeless and suicide becomes the way out.

THESE ARE LIES FROM THE PIT OF HELL!

I'm privileged to pray with many and watch Jesus free them from past sexual issues. And by the way, I’m one of the many. I’ve had to walk this road of reclaiming my sex life, my purity and dealing with past shame. You aren’t alone.

Breaking free from sole-ties is possible. Pray and ask God to break your emotional and all ungodly soul ties with past partners. Sanctify your sexuality and sex life. Talk to your spouse if you are engaged in sex that makes you uncomfortable. It is healthy to set proper boundaries in the bedroom with your spouse. MOSTLY, pray and ask Jesus to bless your sex life with your spouse.

If you need more information about Healing Prayer, visit Three Keys Ministries/Healing Prayer. I'm booked well into November so be patient. It's worth the wait! :)

Thank you for hearing me. Take what I’ve shared to Jesus and ask Him about it all. Ask Him to lead you through healing and purity. Love you, Lynn

Thoughts?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

*****

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.


When the Crowd Roars

By Ann Hutchison

“Away with Him!” roar the crowd. I open my curtains and peek out. In the crowd I see people I know: Atheists, agnostics, those who’ve left their faith, and some of other faiths.

I stand and watch for a while. My eyes scan them, person by person. Some of these people are my friends. Finally, I go back to the calm of my living room and sit on the couch. I pour myself another tea, and say: “Jesus, help me again: Show me You're real?”  Cling tenaciously  2

Sometimes, I word it differently: “God, can I check again that I'm on the right path?”  

His response always comes in some way or other:

It is Jesus.

Jesus.

Jesus.

Jesus.

Once, I had a night I'll never forget: It was a few years ago, and I'd been reading a book about another faith. I didn't know what I believed. That night, God interrupted my sleep with crystal-clear words. His voice made me sit up: Cling tenaciously to the risen Jesus Christ, your Savior. “Ok,” I whispered back; and from then on I went with Jesus. 

Like many SUMites, I’m surrounded by strong-minded people of differing beliefs. Even if they are placid, their disinterest can be strong. The whole thing requires discernment: I examine their reasons, but the most useful thing I do is go back to my couch, have another cuppa, and ask God.

There is a fabulous analogy to all this, in an unlikely character of the Bible: Pontius Pilate. He might be a surprising one to compare ourselves against, but he had a real encounter. It’s an encounter like ours, in that Jesus was right there, real as anything, and yet those who had not had the encounter were exerting incredible pressure on Pilate to reject Him. Like the SUMites, Pilate's spouse was not by his side. Her conclusions were reached in a different time and place. Standing alone, then, he had a big call to make: yes or no.

I love Pilate’s process. Over and over he asks “Are you the King of the Jews?” and each time Jesus urges him on non-forcefully: "Are you speaking for yourself about this?" 

Later, Pilate brings up a valid point: “The crowd is accusing you of so many things” (Mark 15:4). It bothers him, so he goes back to the crowd: “Why are you accusing Him? What evil has He done? Help me understand!” (Matt 27:23). The crowd can only give an ill-informed answer. 

In culmination, Pilate asks the most important question a person can ever ask: “What is truth?” (John 18:38)

This story holds a gem that has helped me discern the crowd in my own life. It’s this: The crowd never once bothers to ask Jesus what is true. Instead, they only accuse, reject, and make a lot of clamor. Clamor is boisterous and grabs our attention, but it can be folly:

The woman Folly is loud;
    she is seductive and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house;
    she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
calling to those who pass by,
    who are going straight on their way, (Proverbs 9:13-14, NKJV)

Like many SUMites, I sometimes face clamor in my social life. But now I ask: "Has this person asked God if He is real?" And "Have they asked God what is true?" Because if they haven’t, they've missed a crucial step. Believers have often had a different experience altogether. When the crowd roars, then, I will always go back inside and ask God. I guess I'm learning to speak for myself, regardless of the crowd's roar. 

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'we will not walk in it'." (Jeremiah 6:16, NIV)

Do you have a loud crowd in your life? If so, I'd love to hear how God has shown you He is real. Perhaps we can encourage each other with our stories.

Nice chatting!

Ann

*****

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.


An Open Marriage

Genesis 2 24 Man and WifeA couple of days ago an interesting article popped up in one of my online feeds.

“Couple Takes A Year Off From Marriage”

Ya, I had to do it.

So, I popped over for a read. After 17 years of marriage, the article begins…. Basically, this woman is board. She asks her husband to agree to a year-long open marriage. He agrees and they establish a few hard and fast rules. M-F they live separate lives, her in an apartment. They reunite for the weekend. They practice safe sex and don’t date mutual friends and finally, no  serious relationships. BTW, they both broke all the rules.

A year later she returns home. Of course, the marriage is OVER. He dated a friend and was in a serious relationship. And his wife, well she was more confused about everything than before.

So, I decided to ask Mike’s opinion about all of this because his views often differ from my own.  

Lynn: Mike, what do you think about this woman’s experiment (I just explained)? I mean, when you were in college you could have chosen never to marry. You could have chosen an open arrangement before you and I met.

Mike: I love having a companion. I like to live life with you. (Awe) I like sharing my hopes, disappointments and having a companion that knows me and loves me. (Dang, I feel all melty in my heart. Grin)

Lynn: So, What do you think about this woman and her experiment?

Mike: She’s completely selfish. I wouldn’t give her the time of day.

(Wow, now remember this is a very liberal man who doesn’t live with a Christian world view.) Interesting!

Mike: I married for many reasons. Companionship, security and to raise children. I believe children raised with two committed parents is the best for them to thrive. You know I believe this so much that I have had conversations with family members about it.

Lynn: Ya, I do remember. Neat.

Mike: This woman will grow older and after her looks are gone she will be a bitter, lonely, cat woman. (Okay, I threw in the cat part, grin) She only wanted an open marriage for the financial security, not the love of the man. She wanted a “just-in-case” scenario if she failed, got sick, lost her job.

Lynn: I love you Mike Donovan

So, gang thoughts?

And on Friday, I will share what is going on in the spiritual realm in open marriages. I pray a lot of deliverance for believers who were swingers before Christ. Stay tuned. See you in the comments. Let’s ROCK this world with TRUTH.

TRUTH = JESUS CHRIST!

*****

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.


Marriage Thoughts

Ya, so, I've struggled for a couple of hours tying to decide what to write about.....  (BIG sigh)

My writer is broken today. So, below is the video from Ask Me Anything from Wednesday's Facebook Live. The Questions: 

  • How do you handle husband's objection to church
  • Maintaining Hope
  • What seeps from the Television 

Put in your earphones and listen while cleaning or cooking dinner. :)  

 

My friends, when I was a young wife and mother, Dr. Dobson's daily radio programs were life-blood to my sanity and hope. I love Dr. Dobson and pray for him continually. Below are some links to great articles on marriage. I love you all. 

Women Have Needs That Men Do Not Comprehend

Men and Women Have Different Needs

The Ways Men Need Their Wives

Stay tuned for details about our SUMMIT!! And if you have decided that you can't attend, don't listen to that voice from the pit of hell. Tell our Papa God about your need and let Him astonish you in His provision. 

In His Grace, 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.


"Sit Still, Rahab; We Are Coming to Rescue You!"

By Martha Bush

Background

Libby-finan-drawing
Libby Finan Drawing

A former pastor of mine, the late David Berkheimer, made the following statement in his sermon: I believe with all my heart the greatest trials of life are the obedient things God calls us to do.” He pointed out that the trials we face are often in the path God is leading us. A prime illustration of this is in the life of Abraham, the father of our faith. 

Abraham was seventy-five when he left the comforts of his homeland to obey God and, indeed, walked straight into trials and difficulty. The trials were the kind of things that would, perhaps, challenge his thinking. “Did I really hear Your voice leading me this way, Lord?" (Genesis 12-16)

1990's

I agree with Pastor Berkheimer’s statement that the greatest trials of life are often the obedient things God calls us to do because it happened to me, as I walked down the path God was leading me in 1990. Details of the difficulties I faced are not important, so I will just say that persecution, being misunderstood, rejection, and financial losses became the norm. Believe me, my thinking was challenged! “Did I really hear Your voice leading me this way, Lord?”

Rahab’s Rescue (Joshua 2)

One day as I was bemoaning my situation to the Lord, the story of Rahab, the harlot, became so real to me. It wasn’t the familiar facts associated with Rahab that captured my attention, such as her hiding the spies Joshua had sent into Jericho to spy out the land, or the lie she told the king’s men who came to her house looking for the spies.

It was the conversation she had with the spies about her personal rescue when the Israelites would invade Jericho.

She reminded them she had shown them kindness by hiding them, and then asked,  “Are you going to save me and my family when the walls of Jericho begin to fall since3 I showed you kindness?”

The spies promised her they would, but they added a stipulation concerning her rescue. If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death. (Joshua 2:19 NLT)

In other words: ““Sit Still, Rahab; We Are Coming to Rescue You!”

And so it was. The walls of Jericho came tumbling down while Rahab sat in the window with the scarlet thread flowing to indicate which building she was in, waiting for her rescue. Fear could have caused her to run, but she believed the men of God would do as they had promised.

Now, that is faith and trust in action.

My Personal Rescue

My mental picture of Rahab sitting in that window, with the red thread flowing, penetrated my very soul. It became my focus to sit still and wait for God to rescue me from the difficulties I was experiencing as I walked down the path He had lead me.

One day, it suddenly hit me! God had been rescuing me throughout the journey.

He rescued me from:

  • intimidation
  • a people pleaser to pleasing Him
  • my old identity to a new identity in Christ.
  • a “pew warmer” into ministry.

In 2011, another rescue took place when I met Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller on the pages of Winning Him Without Words.

  • the loneliness of being in a spiritually unequally yoked marriage to learning how to thrive in it.

In short: God rescued me from myself.

As an added blessing God gave me, I met a young woman by the name of Libby Finan from Birmingham, England; yes, Libby, one of our own Sumite Sisters.

I was drawn to Libby’s inward beauty, as well as her artistic ability. One day as we chatted, Libby asked me, “Martha, what is your favorite Bible verse?”

So, I told her about the image I had of Rahab sitting still, waving the red thread out the window, waiting for Joshua to rescue her. I briefly told her of my own personal rescue by the hand of the Lord.

She immediately said, “I am going to draw that for you.” And so it was--soon the picture on this blog arrived in the mail. I rushed to Hobby Lobby to have it framed. It now hangs in the foyer of my home.

I chuckled to myself. When I was going through the most difficult season of my life, an eleven-year-old girl was growing up across the ocean from me. Little did I know that one day she would draw the picture that was the source of my healing in the 90’s and would now be a part of my continued spiritual and emotional healing.

Concluding Points:

  • Sometimes, we don’t realize what we need rescuing from. We may think it’s from struggles in our marriage, finances, rebellious children, etc. God is concerned about all those things. But, I believe He is more concerned about rescuing us from bondages that keep us from being all He created us to be. To do that, He sometimes leads us down paths that are difficult in order to free us for Him.
  • We are never alone when we walk the path of obedience God calls us to walk. I want to highlight Lynn Donovan, Dineen Miller, and Libby Finan for being a part of my life and rescue. I pray God’s richest blessings upon them.

*******

See you in the comments with your rescue story. 

*****

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.


SUMite SUMMIT

SUMite Summite 2019Hello Gang,

I've been on the road since last Tuesday. I will finally arrive home tomorrow. I have been at Open Heavens and I hope to be returning with fresh fervor and many stories of God's goodness.

Today, I want to let you know that I've nearly secured a place for a spring SUMite Summit. So, save the date, April 5-6th. I would like to have a reception at my house on Friday evening. A Meet-n-Greet for all SUMites. Then on Saturday I have a room reserved for us at a local Christian school. So we can host a crowd. 

It is my intention to bless each of you. Lay hands upon you and pray for your marriage, healing and to release you into a greater intimacy and giftings of the Kingdom. 

Who wants more of that? All that I have I want to pass along to you. Expect to be changed. Encouraged. To grow in your faith and to see God move in your life. I truly believe God has orchestrated this moment in time.

Start to pray about how you can get here and ask Jesus for provision. And in a few weeks when I have all the details firmed up, I will open registration, provide you with airport and hotel information and more.

It's finally going to happen we will meet at the SUMMIT and open the heavens!

Hallelujah. YES JESUS. Provide a way and we will rock this world for the cause of Christ Jesus. AMEN

Stay tuned...... 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.


Prince of Peace - Jesus

Redeeming Prince of Peace

A word, harshly spoken.

The altering of what once was.

The pain of loss collies with the demand of unwanted change. Regret knocks upon the heart. Remorse follows close on the heals as the hope of restoration dims with the silence of unanswered pleas to be heard, be forgiven.

Beloved, I am here. I am your comfort in the pain. Bring the rejection before me. Place upon the alter, injustice and robbery of your peace. I gently collect your tears, each a glimmer of a rend heart. I am present to walk with you as you face your fears.

My Beloved, you were never intended to defeat this dragon named offence and its blackguard, bitterness. I stand in the gap of your gaping wound to shelter your innocence and bear the blows of grief in your pain.

I am Jesus.

My intentions toward you are eternally kindness, goodness and love. I am your eternal friend. Forever, trustworthy and true, loyal to stand at your side, your pain, I defeat. I am your hope. I am restoration and redemption. I am the light directing your brave steps forward and I am the love that soothes your broken spirit.

My grace heals your wounding and by my command, regret and remorse are banished to the pit. I am ever present. A door that opens to welcome you to new paths leading to wonder, wholeness, healing, and fulfillment.

Release your wounded emotions into My restorative hands. I bind up the broken hearted and you will live joyful. Lasting peace is my decree. My peace surpasses all understanding and peace shall fill your days and rule the nights.

I am Jesus.

Prince of Peace

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:7

*****

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.


Learning to Receive Love

Photo-1478562672393-2412e5b9d634
Photo credit: Austin Neill

Hi everyone, Ian from Sydney here. 

For most of my SUM married life I thought I was okay doing the Christian life on my own. I’m an introvert by nature and enjoy my own company and for a number of years struggled with being in crowded situations. I still do and will usually choose to sit on the end of rows in any theatre or auditorium. This is purely a relief mechanism so that I know I can ‘get out’ quickly if I need to.

As we’ve talked about many times over the years, it’s often easier for us Christians to maintain peace in our households by not engaging too much in church activities and such like. I’ve actually been very blessed by my wife who has always actively encouraged me to attend church: she knows it’s good for me. However, I resisted for years getting involved in other activities. I typically engaged in things that could be done at home (eg, virtual prayer team) and things I could do on my own, ie, reading/studying/quiet time.

Don’t get me wrong; I particularly enjoy one-on-one conversation and rarely struggle chatting with people. I work on the principle that ‘everyone likes to talk about himself or herself’ and so very easily slip into asking people questions about their life. I can easily spend a decent amount of time with someone and know a reasonable amount about them and they’ll be none the wiser about me. I mostly go away feeling pretty content.

Fell in Love

A few years ago something changed. I feel in love. With Jesus. I’m not exactly sure of the date and time but it occurred around the time I was invited to join one of our prayer teams that involved meeting fortnightly. In addition, we were asked to attend another weekly prayer session that met for one hour each Wednesday night with an expanded group of between 15-20 people.

It was an honour to be asked to join this group. Its leader was the Prayer Pastor for my church and she has a wonderful relationship with the Lord. The group had been together for a number of years and there was this unity and connection that I soon came to desire. Not just with each other but with the Lord.

Unlearning

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m an avid learner. Everyday I seek to learn. But interestingly as I mature I realise the importance of “unlearning.” There are so many habits we develop that can only be changed by incorporating new ones and unlearning the existing ones. As I was thrust into these two groups I was learning habits of prayer and worship but at the same time having to let go or unlearn others that I had held onto for so many years.

The Power of Community

Part of this process of unlearning I’ve found requires a willingness to receive. A willingness to open up and allow others to love me, to teach me, be willing to sit at their feet and learn. This can involve moments of tremendous vulnerability. And learning to trust.

I’ve discovered that in my habits of relationship of learning lots about the other I have inadvertently ‘closed’ myself off from others. I wasn’t allowing them to love me. Yes, I expect this behaviour started in my teens and has simply continued. Habits are like that. Am I afraid of revealing myself? Sure. I must be. But it’s also brought me much frustration regarding my friendships. It takes two to tango doesn’t it? 

We were made for community. God is communal in His very nature- three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And we are formed in His image. Therefore, for us to achieve all we are to as humans we require some form of community.

So we can only mature in our relationship with the Lord in a communal context. Yes, it’s critical we develop sound disciples of solitude, silence and prayer in the secret place but we also need community. For many of us we've discovered the wonders of being members of this community and some special friendships have developed as a result.

“Grace is a community you enter.” (Bill Thrall and Bruce McNichol)

Grace is a concept that I’m only now really beginning to understand. I’ve probably limited it to the notion that it is “unmerited favour” but now I’m coming to realise it is all around us. It is what God is. Grace is always available. We’ve just got to enter into it.

Loving community is a place where grace resides. Jesus is in the centre of it.

Humility and Grace

This is another concept I’ve probably misunderstood. “Humility is trusting God and others with me. Humility is not only how you enter this community, it is how you live in it everyday.” (Thrall and McNichol)

When we trust, we open the door for grace to walk in. This activates the Lord’s power to work in our life. To change our habits, to rid us of sin, to love more generously and compassionately, and so on. I’ve witnessed this in my own life these past few weeks as I shared one of my struggles with my wife and a good friend. Almost immediately as a result of both of their non-judgmental acceptance and love, the struggle has lost much of its power.

I’d love it if others were able to share instances of when you’ve seen “grace walk in” and change elements of your life.

*****

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.