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13 entries from April 2019

We Raise a Hallelujah!

There has been much to celebrate in SUMite land in recent weeks. The SUMite Gathering at the beginning of April and our dear Lynn’s Mike coming to know Jesus as his Lord and Saviour being two BIG highlights.

My family received some wonderful news this morning. John, my brother, some of you may recall, has been going through treatment for lymphoma since November. Today, he received news that he is in FULL REMISSION! Hallelujah. Praise the Lord! We’re naturally excited but I’m especially pleased for my mom and dad who found the whole experience very stressful.

Like Lynn’s Mike who has stepped into a completely different ‘life’, John has also. Prior to his diagnosis he had lived a ‘quiet’ life as a Christian, so quiet that his wife and children weren’t really aware of his faith. However, in this ‘dark valley’ he discovered not just the ‘rod and staff’ of his shepherd but the Lord who led him beside still waters and to lie down in long grass. John happily told everyone who came in contact with him, whether it be the nurse administering his chemo, to the stranger who wished him well, that he simply trusted in the goodness of God.

John’s transformation has really been quite remarkable. And then my dad who I’ve never known to pray before was nightly praying with mom for healing for his eldest son.

I don’t have any real message today other than to express my heartfelt praise to our God. Who is always good, even when the news might not be. And to encourage you all to keep praying not so much for answers but to know Him better. Because when we know Him better we come to experience the Lord as our shepherd of whom we ‘shall not want’.

And to all of you who prayed for John and my family. A heartfelt thanks from us all. I wish I could hug you all. 

I’ve discovered this song recently that I keep playing and it has such a strong message about our God, who loves us so much that He simply can’t be stopped!

I hope it may uplift your spirit. Jesus tells us we are His friends and so He takes us behind the scenes of what is going on (John 15:15-17) - this is what prayer is about - praying the Father's business be done! 

Be blessed dear SUMite friends.

 

 

 


Two Things: Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

Hello SUMites,

Couple of things:

Marching Around Jericho Blog postI’ve decided to take the month of May off from all the ministries in which I serve with the exception of book writing and publishing. I am diligently preparing my manuscript, Marching Around Jericho, and must dedicate my time to writing. This book is the warfare map for every Freedom Fighter of the Kingdom to battle for the salvation and baptism of souls, especially an unsaved spouse. I feel the urgency of the Holy Spirit to finish this manuscript swiftly, as I believe this path that I traveled over the past seven years, can be emulated. Let’s waste no more time.

The SUM leadership team has graciously volunteered to step up and cover the blog postings and management of the many arms of this ministry. WAHOO. We have amazing people in our community. And TEAM Leadership, THANK YOU!

In addition to writing, Dineen and I have launched a publishing company, Three Keys Publishing. And as of yesterday, we signed our first author! Congratulations Shayla Ortiz (Praying Through Singleness- tentative title). So, Dineen and I will be working like mad, helping her to prepare her book and reading for her launch date. We are so excited for this endeavor and I’m psyched to be working with my dear friend, Dineen, once more. She is a talented artist and so full of love. And I adore Shayla and her ministry.

With the closing of all the Christian Book-chain stores and the availability of online publishing and more, we believe that Dineen and I have a place at the table of indie-publishing. Praise you Jesus!

Also, my daughter Caitie, will graduate with her M.A. in Communication focused in Interpersonal Communication with a minor in Research Methodology from Purdue University. WOW! She's looking for work in LA. Hallelujah! We will be traveling this month and have a ton of company coming as well.

To all of you, who throughout the years, read the blog posts and the book about the raising of my daughter, THANK YOU! Thank you for praying for her. We will be attending her graduation in two weeks. I’m so thankful for every word you whispered for her, Mike, and my son!!!!

I will be back in June. Likely fired up and ready to bring more of the Kingdom to our community.

Thank you for walking with me on this crazy, upside-down journey! You are my brothers and sisters. I love you with a full heart.

Be Blessed, Lynn


“After the Party”: A Poem Inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son – By Charumathi R Rao. (SUMite) 

Charu, sent this post following the Prodigal son series. Want to share it with the SUM Nation. Hugs, Lynn

Charu BIO: I live in the metro DC area. Originally from India - relocated here for my job. Have lived in the US for about 12 yrs now. Been married for 15 years this August, No kids. I have a full time job that keeps me busy. But heart is in writing, reading and teaching the Bible, and speaking about Jesus to anyone and everyone He brings my way :) I LOVE Jesus. And my life's goal and daily prayer is to point people to Jesus as long as I live - as He would so grant and enable. My husband is now saved too and got baptized over a year ago. -Charu

After the Party

He threw a party for me, to welcome me back!

After I’d gone and lost all his wealth,

I’d broken his heart, shamed his fame,

Yet here he is, calling my name.

I am worn and weary, dirty and weak,

Was hoping to quietly fall at his feet;

Pleading my faults in submission meek,

Yet I saw him, come running to greet.

My brother is angry and so are his friends,

The servants - they wonder if Dad’s lost his head!

A party?  – they said, for this one? who strayed?

A party He said – for I’d prayed and prayed.

After the party, I’ve shed many tears,

Counting the losses and the wasted years,

I battle the guilt, the fear and the shame,

Yet, once again, I hear him calling my name.

After the party, when others didn’t believe,

And when I was too afraid, to step out and live;

I see his eyes, and remember how it felt

To be back in his arms, safe and alive…!

As the years, have gone by, I no longer mope,

I’ve slowly, but surely, come to know well

That my father has a plan – a future and a hope!

As I securely, in his care and presence dwell.

I know above all, that I am my father’s child,

And that ‘He’, my lot and my portion provides.

Though trials may come, and temptations wild,

I’ll rest in peace, as his love, forever abides…!

Notes:

This is a poem inspired by one of Jesus’s well-known parables. Known as the parable of “The Prodigal Son”, this story is recorded in the Bible in the gospel of Luke chapter 15 from verses 11-32. This story revolves around a father who has two sons. The younger son demands a share of his inheritance from the father and goes away to a distant land while the older son continues to stay and work with his father. The younger son – the prodigal, wastes all his inheritance away in the distant land and gets to a point where he has nothing left and no one to help him. At his lowest point, he ends up tending pigs in the distant land and not having to eat even what the pigs have. Upon reflection, he realizes that even the servants in his father’s house were treated better than he was now, and coming to his senses, decides to go back and plead for his father to take him in – at least as a servant. He had no expectations about reclaiming his position as a son and only hoped for a servant’s place. While he was on his way back, his father sees him from a far distance and comes out running to greet him and restores him as his son. The father throws a party to celebrate this son’s return and would not look at him as anything less than his son – his dearly loved son. The story goes on to show the father dealing with the anger the older brother expresses at the father’s generous treatment of his ‘prodigal sibling’ and with the father encouraging the older son to love his prodigal brother (I recommend reading the Bible verses to have a better understanding of the parable and therefore this poem).

While the parable ends with the big party the father threw to celebrate his son’s return and his exchange with the older brother, I have often pondered what impact all this had on the prodigal son since his return and how it shaped his life going forward. This poem is partly an imagination of the son’s struggles with himself and his life ‘after the party’ and partly inspired by my own journey back to Christ after some years of living a prodigal life and the struggles I’ve faced since in my thought life and what I have learned about Our Father’s heart. You see – it doesn’t mean we have arrived, when we first come to Christ or come back to Him after going away. In fact, our journey just begins when we come to Christ i.e. when we truly, sincerely accept Him as the Lord of our life. We still must deal with the consequences of our choices during our prodigal years. This can be a hard load to bear – alone. Even after we are back in our Father’s care, even after we have been restored with blessings in our physical or material life, we may continue to struggle with our thought life – at times not being able to fully process the forgiveness and restoration He offers. Yet with Him, all things are possible. And, it is in that process of restoration, that true healing occurs, as He slowly chips away all that is ugly and unnecessary in us. He works in us and on us, until all that is left is what ‘He’ originally intended us to be – beautiful, cherished and dearly loved – His children bearing His image. Yes, He works in us and on us until we can let Him work through us to love His other children in this world.

Within the safety of our Father’s arms, we can continue to face all our struggles courageously and rest in peace knowing that we are loved by our Father. In His arms, there is peace, safety, provision, comfort, love and joy.

This poem is dedicated to each of you who face similar struggles – in your own journey with Him. This is dedicated to ‘you’, dear reader, no matter where you are on this journey, even if you haven’t taken the first step yet.

You have a Father who loves you more than you may ever understand. He longs to hold you in His arms.

Be assured that you will be “truly safe” when in His arms. Blessings…!


MORE From The Summit...

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here! 

During the leader's meeting on the Friday morning before the conference I said I would share a spoken word piece during the offering time. I didn't have anything prepared at the time of volunteering. In fact I just heard the words come out of my mouth. You know those moments when you realize after the fact that you were pushed into things by the Holy Spirit? Maybe it's just me. It happens quite often. *grin*

The rest of the day seemed to fast forward pretty quickly. Filled with fellowship, food and fun. I was exhausted after the meet and greet at Lynn's house - in a good way - and went to bed shortly after everyone left. Saturday morning I wake up and realize that I didn't take time to prepare a spoken word! Out of desperation I laid flat on my back with my arms outstretched (my body in the shape of a cross) and said, "Holy Spirit, I need You to give me a spoken word for today. I want those who hear it to feel your deep love. I want them to know that they can have a close relationship with You. Give me something."

In that moment of asking Him, I could feel the atmosphere change in the room. It was like He was waiting for the invitation to share what was in the deep recesses of His heart. The following is the spoken word. I have posted it on Facebook so it may be a repeat for some. In my humble opinion, Holy Spirit really delivered!

More, Tiffany Carter, 4/6/19

 

Remember when I first revealed myself to you?

The relief you felt?

Just wait there’s more.

 

Remember when you heard me speak life into your bones?

The comfort you felt?

Just wait there’s more.

 

Remember when you received my loving embrace?

The warmth you felt?

Just wait there’s more.

 

Remember when you needed Me and cried out for help?

The deliverance you felt?

Just wait there’s more.

 

Remember when you sought me for clarity?

The answers you felt?

Just wait there’s more.

 

More. Love that is unendable. River w SUM logo

More. Passion that is unshakable.

More. Desire that is unquenchable.

More. Joy that is uncontainable.

More. Intimacy that is unthinkable.

More. Wisdom that is unmatchable.

More. Peace that is uncontrollable.

More. Power that is undeniable.

More. Faith that is unbeatable.

MORE.

 

Remember when you stepped into your destiny and calling?

The freedom you felt?

My beloved child…

Just wait.

There’s MORE.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (TPT) - Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.  Now we offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!

Do you want more? I know that I sure do!

Let's talk in the comments. In these weeks since the conference, what are some things that God has been showing you? How has He shown up in your life personally? In reference to Libby's visions, how have you been feeling the residual affects of the river flowing from the conference? I love you all.


Strange Easter? Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

Mike Lynn Easter 2019Dear SUMites,

I pray your Easter was amazing. And no matter if you sat next to your spouse or not, it mattered a great deal to our Lord that you were present in His House. It touched His heart that you rose to be ready and dressed the kids. It mattered greatly to His heart that you joined the billions around the earth to honor the resurrection and to acclaim what became ours through a new blood covenant.

Friends, I will tell you that my Easter was strange. I attended my church on Saturday evening and was overcome by the presentation and the holiness of Jesus and what He gave to me. And then on Sunday morning, I attended my old church with Mike. It was weird and different and good.

The message at my old church was perfect for Mike. It was designed for people who aren’t churched. Those who don’t know what they don’t even know. And it was weird again to have a discussion with Mike about the service and what he liked, what I liked and what was different.

You see, we are still unequally yoked??? No, I don’t want to say that. Because for the first time sitting in church, I didn’t feel a weird tension. I wasn’t wondering if the message would finally breakthrough. I didn’t speculate if the prayer would be offensive. I actually was at peace. I didn’t care that he may not like the message. These kinds of thoughts used to ruin my church experience in years past when he would attend church with me.

So, we aren’t unequally yoked but we aren’t going to be a couple that instantly travels and preaches the gospel together to the masses. It’s not who Mike is. He will never be “that” kind of Christian. And I’m am so absolutely okay with all of it. I’m okay that Mike is quiet about his faith and doesn’t want to tell a bunch of people and have to explain it all to them.

He is a believer in Jesus Christ. It’s his faith and not mine to control or manipulate.

I think so much of our marriage and unequally yoked journey together wasn’t even about Mike. It was about me. I needed to let go of preconceived ideals and expectations that were never going to be “us.” Mike isn’t one who will grab my hands and say, “Let’s pray about it.” He doesn’t operate that way.

However, I have learned to grab his hand and just start praying. It doesn’t matter if he is ready or not. I keep it short and just speak directly to Jesus. It’s a beautiful model of everyday prayer that he is catching. And he doesn’t even know it. Oh, and by the way, I’ve been dropping faith habits into our relationship for nearly five years now. Slowly a faith statement here. A quick prayer there. A blessing over the dogs. I’ll share a conversation about a miracle while driving to Costco.

These are the everyday moments of a believing wife who lives with Jesus. Our spouses cannot help but be affected by the love we carry.

SUMite brothers and sisters, just be persistent and be patient. Keep learning, remain hungry for more of God and never cease to pray. These are the habits that change a heart and change a world!

So, my friends, may I ask you to extent patience toward me as I now sort out this new but perhaps, not so different, faith walk. I may ramble a bit in my writings. I may PREACH, just because I can’t help myself. I will praise Jesus. And I will love God, my family, and love you OUT LOUD!

Now, what is awesome it this: MY VICTORY AND TESTIMONY IS NOW YOUR VICTORY AND TESTIMONY. In your prayer time, place a demand upon your faith and talk to the Lord about the salvation of your spouse. It’s okay to say to the Lord, “You did this for Lynn and for others recently. I’m contending for the same for my family. Teach me what I need to know to move my faith forward and allow my spouse to catch it. In Jesus name. AMEN”

SUMITES, make your statement of faith today. In the comments, leave your prayer for the Lord: DO IT AGAIN LORD FOR___________________. See you in the comments.

Be blessed, Lynn


Early on a Sunday Morning .... Everything Changed!

Early on a Sunday Morning II
(Luke 24) On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 

He is not here; he has risen! 


Good Friday

John 12: 24-25 Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal. ~The Message

In this passage Jesus is speaking to his disciples and He is speaking to us. He uses a wheat seed as Crosses an example to foretell His death by crucifixion which we remember today, Good Friday. Jesus explains how a solitary seed, which is useless and lifeless, will spring forth in new life once buried in the ground. It, in turn, will produce a great number of seeds.

Christ’s teaching reaches deeper as He calls us to consider what we are holding onto in this life. He asks us to consider what we treasure. Is it something which destroys the soul? Finally, He calls us to love recklessly. He calls us to let go of the world and hold on to life - real life - lived for Jesus.

Jesus died and rose again that we may live, forever, real and eternal. On this day when we reflect on Good Friday and the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus hanging on a cross, let us also remember…

SUNDAY IS COMING!

 

Family Activity:

You will need:

1 small flowerpot for each participant

1 package of radish seeds

Potting soil Prepare each pot by filling ¾ full of potting soil.

Pass out three seeds for each pot. Follow the planting and watering directions on the package of seeds. Seeds are abundant in most stores this time of year. Radish seeds germinate quickly.

Select a family member to read: John 12:24-25

Follow with: Just as this radish seed is dead. Jesus was once dead. He was buried in the earth just like this dead seed. But, after three days he came back to life. It’s kind of like these dead seeds. They will burst from the soil in a short time with new life.

Read the resurrection story: Matthew 28:1-6

God bless you and I pray this Easter will fill you with a profound sense of Christ's vast love! Be Blessed, Lynn


How Amazing

Ann here! Lynfield lion

Lynn’s news last week was so amazing and today I just feel like speaking from the heart and sharing a little more about last week’s summit.

Our summit intersected with a long-awaited baptism. What an almighty ROAR this was, one that we will now carry into our future.  

Our summit was called ‘Hear the Roar’, and our logo for the event was a lion. Well, the 'God winks' began when we arrived at Lynfield School and saw that its logo was a lion. We had fun taking photos of the lions adorning the school’s walls (here are a couple) and I still just keep coming across that word 'ROAR'.  

The whole

Shortly before the event I developed a strong sense that this event was about the ‘whole’ of the SUM community. Alongside this, something crazy happened: Lynfield lion 2

Before I arrived at Lynn’s house, God gave me a picture of a swathe of bright red, fluffy fabric. I didn’t know what that was about but it became clear: SUMite Libby had recorded a video for us, which we watched together in Lynn’s home. Having carried this event in her heart, Libby spoke about the SUM whole. When I saw her video, my jaw dropped: She was wearing the bright red fluffiness I’d seen a couple of days earlier!  Believing, then, that her video contained significant words, I'll be revisiting it (here) She also posted about the summit before it happened back in 2018 (here). I think her words speak of the season we are now in.

Lynn’s Mike was at home for the event, and chatted to several of us. On the Friday Lynn needed help with the technology so he was the one who put Libby’s video on. As he did so I thought, “We are actually in ministry with our spouses, we just struggle to see it. Their doubt has been important for the whole.”

God’s goodness everywhere

At the event, I sat down in the front row and my eyes rested on a classroom whiteboard just in front of me. There, written on it, was a scripture that I had recently emailed to Martha. “Martha,” I thought. “You’re part of the whole.”

I then met two SUMites who told me extraordinary stories. One had received a promise that her husband would turn to God; it's now happened. The second had got divorced and then received a promise that her marriage would be restored. She held to it; it happened. In both cases it became clear they were to be at the summit: one had a vision about the summit a year earlier, the other received a free flight to the event. I’m sure their stories were meant to be brought to that day; I won't be forgetting them in a hurry.

Could it possibly get any better?! Lynn testimony

In the day's final session I had thought Lynn was going to speak on 2020 but that was not exactly what she had for us. I couldn’t believe my ears when, in the last fifteen minutes, she started to tell us a baptism
had been booked. Having been through so much, my initial reaction was “Oh it won't happen!”  But NO!  NO. God promised, it happened. And so, in this amazing, life-filled moment, the Father's Name was glorified.

“Father, glorify your Name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” John 12:28 (NKJV).

In the passage, when that voice came from heaven during Holy Week, some heard it as a thundering roar. I'd say that's what we've heard this week.

Home

Once home, over a cuppa I told my husband about the event. There was a peace in that conversation. We laughed at the fact that the whole point of the event was that spouses 'don't believe' and then one goes and gets baptized. It was the most light-hearted we've been about it.

SUMites, do you catch the sound of the roar? What else are you sensing or seeing happening?  There's more I could tell about shifts in my own home, and perhaps I’ll do so in my next post.

Here’s what I hear from God now, in relation to this ROAR:

There are many birth days ahead!

I believe we have days ahead where promises will be birthed in great numbers. I seem to hear that it will be ‘amazing’, and ‘many’. Lynn's testimony fires up my hope and so I'm buckling up for the ride!


The War Is Over - Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

My dear SUMite Family,

To write the title of this post, brings tears. I've waited since I began this blog in 2006 to write this very post. 

So with intentional honor to our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit, today let me share my news, officially. Please hear me first, THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. This moment was a lifetime of love of God for my husband. And I’m trying to remain low-key about it all. I’m allowing my husband to walk into this new season and let him take his time and find his own way forward in faith. And I’m still really processing.

But for me, my I give all honor and glory to our Lord. He has been faithful.

On March 14, 2019, on our 27th wedding anniversary, my husband, Mike, was baptized and made his confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

In the last seven years I have learned how to battle effectively for this moment. And I am working on how and when to share it all with you. There is much to learn, however, you can walk this path also. But for today, allow me to fully focus on giving high praise to our Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

I love you Father. Jesus you are my everything. Holy Spirit I’m lost in your love. AMEN

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I’m at another conference so I won’t be posting again until Good Friday. Thank you for walking this journey with me. I couldn't have done it with out all of you!

I love you, Lynn


A Journey into the Wild West of Prayer and Obedience

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By Martha Bush

God spoke to Abraham and said:   “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation and bless you.  I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing.  I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3 MESG)

In that day, going into Canaan, the place God was leading Abraham, was like going into Indian territory in the Old Wild West. There was no law; it was the survival of the fittest. It was not a land filled with good crops, a lot of it was barren wilderness. Nevertheless, God told Abraham “if you go that way, I will bless you and make you a blessing.”

Abraham decided to go the path God directed him and, indeed, he walked right into trials and difficulty. One of Abraham’s biggest challenges was “DELAY.” The promised son that he and Sarah had been promised didn’t appear to be coming. So, they decided to use Hagar, Sarah’s servant, to give them a son. Actually, what they were doing was trying to make it easier on themselves.

The bottom line was: they failed to trust "God's Perfect Time" for their son, Isaac, to be born, which was when Abraham was 100 years old. God’s promises are always fulfilled.

A former pastor of mine, the late David Berkheimer, made the following statement in one of his sermons: “I believe with all my heart that the greatest trials of life are the obedient things God calls us to do.” He pointed out that it is difficult to show that the trials we sometimes face are often in the path God is leading us. 

I personally have to agree with Pastor Berkheimer’s statement. One of the most difficult trials of my life came as a result of walking down the path God was leading me. It definitely took me into barren land - a place I had never been before. There were days that I felt as though He was leading me among giants, before walled cities, as well as a Red Sea in front of me with no way of crossing it. And yes, there were times I felt as though I was being attacked by the native Indians, gunslingers, gamblers, outlaws, gangs, and gunfighters – just like the days recorded in the history of the Wild West.

It would have been nice had God laid out every little detail for this journey from the start, but then that would not have been a walk of faith, would it? Though difficult, I would do it all over again, even with delays, and the trauma of the Wild West adventure into the unknown. It was there I met God and learned to trust Him in a way I never had before.

****** 

Perhaps our own fiery Sumite leader, Lynn Donovan, might have felt she was walking among giants and before walled cities on her walk and pray mornings through the vineyards of Temecula, California these past 27 years while waiting for God to fulfill His promise to her.  She might have even felt as though she was being attacked by the native Indians, gunslingers, gamblers, outlaws, gangs, and gunfighters – just like the days recorded in the history of the Wild West.  

But, she pressed on toward that promise, with God sending her mylar balloon along the way, as if to renew His covenant with her. And at "God's Perfect Time" the salvation and baptism of her beloved husband took place. When else but a few days before the Hear the Roar Summit to be announced worldwide.  You got to hand it to God---when He shows off, He shows off big time.

On a side note, I just have to believe we will begin to see a trickle down effect of salvation testimonies that has begun at the top with our fiery leader, Lynn.

To God be the Glory for what He has done. He is, indeed, among us.

Can I get an Amen on that??

 

 

 

 


The Summit

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After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.

10 And they were shouting with a GREAT ROAR:

“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
    and from the Lamb!”

 

The Next SUMMIT. Perhaps in Florida, New Zealand, England, Canada? Jesus, we will go where you send. Thank you Lord for this amazing experience together under your love and grace. AMEN


Our Father IS the Father in Luke 15

Lessons From Prodigal SonJesus tells the story to His followers of the Prodigal son in the book of Luke 15. And there is so much more going on in this story than we comprehend. I hope you have enjoyed the posts about this passage over the past few weeks.

But today, we are going to look at the Father in Luke 15. I’m so excited.

There are so many things I love about this story. I often share on radio and television my personal story about my prodigal years and how I met and married my unbelieving spouse during that season. So, when I recount my return to the Father and how I see this story in Luke as my own, I become positively  emotional.

Each time I share my prodigal story, I envision my story playing out in my mind. I literally see my five-foot-two, blonde self, running as fast as possible toward my Father, God. His arms are OPEN WIDE and the smile on His face…… Well it breaks me into tears every time. His face is filled with such joy and love that I am instantly delivered from all doubt, fear and oppression. And I know, that I know, that I know, in my knower, I will see my heavenly Father one day when I cross over into the heavenly Kingdom and His arms await. Just like I envision! Halleujah!

Let’s take a look at the lessons from Luke 15 about the true nature of our Father:

  • God is generous. In verse 11 God not only gives the share of His estate to the younger son who demanded it but at the same time He gave the older son his portion as well. Wow, I don’t know how to process this fully. I know the lesson here is that there is a vast amount of inheritance and it’s made available to God’s kids, and available now.
  • God embraces the wayward son and kisses him. Our Father God is not angry with us when we fail, run, are mad at Him, or even defy Him. He is always hopeful, full of love, and accepting and forgiving of our past, no matter how horrible we think our past was or horrible we think we are.
  • God doesn’t hold a grudge. I will mention here that it only took the younger son to leave his deception and turn back to God and ask His forgiveness. One sentence prayer. DONE!
  • Our Father God, looks past the smell, the dirt and grime. I you remember the son was galivanting in the pig pins. God sees us in our worst moment and loves us and wants us so badly.
  • God wants us back so badly that he will send circumstances into our lives to lead us home. Take a look at verse 14. A great famine swept over the land and the son began to starve. Just ponder the numerous times God reached out to your through circumstances which trust to you to rock bottom? We often miss the outreached hand of God. Yes, indeed, how many times does God sends us a life raft, but we are waiting for a helicopter???
  • Sonship is restored. The GREATEST gift is a restored, reclaimed identity. With a hug and a kiss, the son is home. He is robed as a royal son. A ring that bears restored authority, power and privilege is once again upon his finger.
  • Finally, let’s par-tay! A giant party awaits for each of us the day we cross over. But what is even more beautiful, the day or our baptism, all of heaven sang. The day or our pre-believer’s baptism, all of heaven will celebrate!

My friends, our God is good. All the time in every way. And He has so much to give us.

Confusion about his goodness rest in the deceptions of lucifer. The Great Deceiver is responsible for the pain, trauma, hurts and confusion in life. Hear me now… learn about our enemy because we blame God for so much that is perpetrated by satan.

Jesus is the perfect reflection of the Father. He demonstrates God’s love and goodness through this story in Luke 15. It’s our truth! Period. The end.

Okay, share the goodness of God in the comments today. What other lessons are in this story and how has God turned your ashes into beauty?

See you in the comments. Lynn


God takes our little to produce an abundance

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Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was reading the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 the other day and was challenged to reflect on it from the eyes of the boy who had the five loaves and two fish. If you wish to read along I used the version in John 6.

I don’t think I’ve really even considered it from his perspective and with the SUMite Gathering this weekend I thought there were some wonderful insights to encourage all of you who will be attending. And especially for those of you who might be nervous or a little apprehensive as is very normal before such an event.

Jesus asked the boy for his loaves and fish. Conceivably the boy could have refused the request. But he didn’t as I suspect Jesus, like he was with every child he met, was kind and considerate in making his request.

The boy as an act of love for both Jesus and all the other people hands over his goodies. He shares what is his to participate in Jesus’ mission: to feed the masses of people.

This boy’s ‘little’ gift produced over-abundance as Jesus got a hold of it and we all know what happens – twelve baskets of leftovers. Amazing.

Parable for our Lives

I was struck by how the boy’s action is a practical demonstration of what Jesus calls us to do. The strongest command in all of the gospels is simply to love.

Let’s go now to the night of the Last Supper in John 13. Jesus is sharing his last meal with the disciples in the Upper Room on the night of Maundy Thursday. A few hours later he would be arrested. Jesus starts the night by washing his friends’ feet and encourages them to do likewise in demonstrating one’s love for others by performing such menial tasks. Soon after, Judas leaves having been ‘found out’ by Jesus as to what he was about to do. Immediately thereafter Jesus states once again that he is leaving and shares with his much loved and very confused friends these words:

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13: 34-35 NRSV)

Now back to our boy. Like Jesus, his act of handing over the loaves and fish was an act of love. For Jesus and the community. And Jesus used them to fulfil his mission to feed the community.

God’s in the Multiplication Business

Love is an action. Jesus commands us to love. Very little else, in fact. To love Him and others. If we continue to abide with Him we will come to understand His mission. I suspect the boy knew what Jesus wanted to do with the loaves and fish. It would have been very normal for Jesus to tell the boy when he asked for them: “Would you help me feed all these people by giving me your loaves and fish?”

This weekend some of the SUMite community will come together in one place. Yayyy! What a blessing and an answer to so many of us who’ve prayed about it for a long time. There won’t be 5,000 but a group of people where Jesus will be amongst you fulfilling his mission. Be like the boy and simply respond to Jesus with love for Him, the Sumites who are present, those of us who can’t be there (I’m one of them) and our spouses. 

And believe that your gift (you!) will reap an abundance that will be felt around the globe in all of our homes. Expect the unexpected and step into 'our' community full of faith and boldness.

Blessings for a wonderful couple of days together, may the Lord’s presence be thick and may His Kingdom come over Southern Cali this weekend.

Grace and peace.