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12 entries from June 2019

The Christian “ITCH”

Welcome Patty Tower our SUM Facebook Page Admin. She brings a great perspective to our online community. 

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Hand lotionSUMites. I have to say…some of the praises and posts on our Facebook group on giving thanks has been breaking down walls. Can any of you feel it? I know I do!

“God is on the move, on the move, halleluuuu-jah! God is on the move, on the move todaaayyy (insert me singing Newsboys here. If you don’t know this song, look it up!)”

Thank you for your testimonies, encouragement, prayers and vulnerability. I appreciate this group more than words can say, and I’m being corny, but I am truly honored you have allowed me to be a part of your life, praying for your families.

Last time I wrote, I spoke of being self-righteous, and using Bible knowledge to win over our friends, family, and dun dun dun…even our spouses.

I’m coining this term “the Christian ITCH,” because heck, who knows, if I have it you all may have it too. It really is like a rash. It starts out small, and the more your scratch and itch, the rash becomes bigger. Next thing you know, you have this unsightly red mark on your skin and you may even use makeup foundation to cover it up.

This “itch” relates to my overly, self-intellectual, righteousness to basically OVER-SHARE Bible facts to win over my husband (when in most cases, it really isn’t necessary).

This “Christian Itch” is something that is sort of a mirror to my overly self-righteous self. It’s similar in my need to over share. The only difference is, it doesn’t affect people around me, but it may possibly affect my relationship with Jesus.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE this group and I love my sisters in Christ. However, I am guilty of “itching” this sin.

It’s the overwhelming desire to vent. To dump all of our feelings in one place, rather than taking it up with the Father. We want some sort of affirmation and justification from our fellow sisters rather than taking it up with Christ.

Phew. I’ve said it and trust me. I’ve been guilty of this millions of times and the Holy Spirit is currently in the process of nipping it in the bud.

Proverbs 29:11 says:

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds back.”

Proverbs 18:2 also says:

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”

Venting or expressing our emotions aka. The “Christian Itch”, is using social media or Christian sisters as our dumping grounds. Venting ultimately implies God is not powerful enough to take care of us or take care of our situations. Like an itch, once we start venting, it spreads and spirals out of control.

The moments where I have vomited all of my emotions: anger, rage, sadness, insecurity…I feel this whisper say to me, “Patty, now that you’ve said all that, what did you really accomplish?”

Gulp.

Most of the time…it’s absolutely nothing.

This is a prime opportunity, where I need to pray and have a conversation with my Father to evaluate, to seek his face in my circumstances. Perhaps go to Psalms and say “Father, cover me. Show me a perspective where I’m not seeing.”

I’ve allowed my emotions to consume me when God’s word says, “cast all your worries onto me.”

What I’ve realized is my venting only provides temporary comfort. Just like your makeup foundation, it only covers it temporarily. Venting doesn’t address the REAL ISSUE of what’s going on inside. Rather than allowing this itch to get bigger, I need to allow God to heal, so that the itch can be gone…for good.

As women, we have been accustomed to “talking through” our circumstances, but we need to discern on what “talking through” really means. Are you actually wanting some constructive feedback? Or was your goal to lash out everything you’ve been feeling (online of offline)?

God is omniscient. It means He is all seeing, all knowing, wise, and well-informed of what’s going on. It’s up to me, to allow myself to view my life from His PERSPECTIVE. Is there something else going on? What am I not seeing? Is there a part of my heart that needs healing?

Am I blocking myself from receiving God’s blessing? Am I allowing the enemy to control my thoughts?

This Christian Itch…it’s really this turmoil inside. Guess what. God is so the opposite of turmoil. He is the God of Peace.

With that said, dear sisters, may our God through Jesus Christ, give you all the peace that surpasses understanding. May He give you wisdom with your words…even with your words as you type it out on a Facebook post. I desire for you all to have peace in your hearts and I know for fact, God does too.

God bless you all! Love you. ~Patty

*****

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.


Jehovah Perazim - The Lord Who Breaks Through

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!

I don't know about you but I have really been yearning for breakthrough! It gets me fired up thinking about the breakthrough needed in my life as well as others. I am really struggling to completely detach from my old self. I am not saying that I am not growing, maturing or bearing fruit. Please hear my heart. I am talking about the hard reality that the more I press into God, the more I realize I am in rough shape and need Jesus. Can anybody relate?

I recently came across this scripture that has been really stirring in my heart:

Dam breaking

 

So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging  flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). -- 2 Samuel 5:20

 

Some context: David is now king. He captures Jerusalem from the Jebusites and makes it his home. The Philistines find out this news and come to capture him. David goes into a stronghold and the Philistines spread out across the valley of Rephaim. It is really interesting to note that the valley of Rephaim means "the house of the giants."

David could have been afraid. Sure, he had a run in with them before (remember Goliath, their once great warrior?); however, this time they were after him!

I love the conversation that happens just one verse before:

So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” (5:19)

Isn't there something so "magical" about the promises of God being fulfilled in front of your eyes? The New Living Translation sums up the child-like faith that I believe that David had - the Lord did it!

There are some things that I have been praying into for some time now - outside of salvation and surrender for Jason - full and forever breakthrough from the spirits of poverty and self-preservation in my life. There are many layers that have been broken but I still have a ways to go. It's been tough, especially with me as the toughest critic. These giants have taken camp in the valley of my heart and mind.

The Lord keeps impressing on my mind the idea of breakthrough and I praise Him for this recent revelation in this passage of scripture! Tiffany, I am your Daddy but I am also Jehovah Perazim. I am Your God who breaks through. Do you trust me? Do you believe it? Will you stand in faith - even when you can't see what is on the horizon?

I want to close with the song I heard for the first time today. It is so raw and honest. I can relate so well and I'm sure you can too.

Verse 1:

If I’m honest, I don’t know what to do
With this battle that I’m going through
And how to trust you.

Every part of me, wants to figure out my own plan
Wants to take things in my own two hands
God help me to understand

CHORUS

You are enough, You are enough for me, for me
Take my doubts, drown them in the sea
Cause you’re more than enough for me

VERSE 2

Every part of me, wants to figure out my own plan
Wants to take things in my own two hands
God help me to understand

BRIDGE

Even if I lost everything, you would still be enough for me.
Even if I lost everything, oh
Even if I lost everything, you would still be enough for me.
Even if I lost everything, oh

Can you feel the breakthrough coming or has your hope been lost? Admittedly sometimes I am teetering on the fence between the two. Sometimes life is tough. But GOD! He is so so good.

Let's pray:

Jehovah Perazim, You are our God who breaks through. You come forth against our enemies like a raging flood. There is nothing that can thwart the plans You have for us. When we are weary may we always remember that You go before us. You give us victory. When we are weary like Moses, bring others to surround us and hold us up. We can't do this alone. Thank You for this amazing community. We can all relate to the true struggle not against flesh and blood but against the forces of darkness. Thank You for always saying to us, like David, "I will certainly hand them over to you." We love you and praise you for the great big shout - You did it! We trust you. You are enough. In Jesus' name, amen.

See you in the comments! How can I intercede for you today?

*****

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.


Hold on Because Your LIFE Depends On It

Hello SUM Family, Tiffany here!

I shared with you at the conference that God has been speaking to me about cedars. Legacy pendantI saw a vision of a tree that was my family

legacy. The deep roots were the word of God so deeply hidden beneath the soil. I wanted to share with you something that I have been working on. These are words that He has been saying about me. (To keep it from getting too long I will only expound on a few)  Let's call today, "Motivation Monday." May these words be a motivation for you to believe what God says about you.

Cedars of Lebanon, Tiffany Carter, 5/31/19

Champion - (1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 Corinthians 9:24; Romans 8:37; Deuteronomy 20:4; Isaiah 6:8)

Elevator - one that lifts or raises someone/something up; exhorter - one who incites by argument, or advice; strongly urges; exultor - one who is extremely joyful; leaps for joy; rejoices); exalter - to elevate by praise; raise high; to enhance the activity of; intensify. (Deuteronomy 18:18; Proverbs 14:34; Psalm 68:3; Proverbs 27:17; Hebrews 3:13)

Deeply rooted - existing for a long time and very difficult to change; firmly established; deeply implanted. (Psalm 1:3; Colossians 2:6-7; John 15:5; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Daniel 2:22; Isaiah 45:3)

Ancient - (Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 1:4-5)

Righteousness - (Psalm 92:12-13; Proverbs 21:21; Psalm 112:6-8; Matthew 6:33; Hosea 10:12)

Stalwart Matriarch - woman that rules or dominates her family, group or state who is marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind or spirit. (Psalm 68:11; Proverbs 22:6; James 5:16; Psalm 102:18; Psalm 103:17; Proverbs 14:1)

Overarching Protector - (Matthew 6:10; Ezekiel 22:30; Proverbs 11:11; Jeremiah 29:7)

Freedom - (Psalm 18:48; Ezekiel 3:12; Psalm 119:45; Romans 6:14)

Legacy - something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past; carried over from an earlier time. (Psalm 145:4; Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Joshua 24:14-15; Proverbs 13:22; Psalm 78:2-4; Exodus 20:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:5-7; 2 Timothy 2:2)

Emanate Love - (1 Peter 4:8; 1 Corinthians 16:14; Colossians 3:14; Ephesians 5:2; Matthew 22:37-39; Hebrews 10:24-25; Proverbs 17:17; Proverbs 20:6-7; 1 John 4:11; 1 John 3:16-18)

Bethel - house of God. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:1-2; Psalm 119:37; Romans 8:5-7)

Anointed - to smear or rub with oil or an oily substance; to apply oil to as part of a religious ceremony; to choose by or as if by divine election. (Isaiah 22:22; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20-21; 1 John 2:27; John 15:16; Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 44:3)

Non-conforming - (2 Corinthians 3:12; Romans 12:1-2; John 17:14-16; Revelation 12:11; Luke 6:27-36)

Ornamental - one who lends grace or beauty; adorned - to enliven. (1 Peter 3:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Proverbs 31:30; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Genesis 1:27; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Samuel 16:7)

New - (Hebrews 12:24; Galatians 3:26-27; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 43:18-19; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17; 1 Peter 1:3; Mark 2:22).

Storms, temptations and trials will come and try to divert your eyes. The deceiver will come and try to cause you to doubt if not forget these life fulfilling promises.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lordyour God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

--Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Do whatever is necessary to remember and cling to these promises. I love making jewelry (see photo above) so this is a good tangible way for me to see His word on a regular basis.

How great of a Daddy we have that He would speak something so special and unique to you individually. Let's talk in the comments: What are some ways that you remember His promises in your own life? What helps you to keep your eyes on the prize set before you?

 

*****

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 Story is His Story: History in the Making

Portugese man o war  SUMWhat does the SUM ministry and the blue-bottle jellyfish have in common?

What a strange question, but it’s one that God gave me back in 2016 while our community was fasting. For those who are new here, we fast each year together and it’s not unheard of to hear a word or two for us all during those times.

Indeed, there I was during that fast, hungry and horizontal, when suddenly a picture of a blue-bottle jellyfish swooshed across my mind -- Flash. It was gone as quickly as it came but I promptly knew it was about the SUMites.   

When something like that happens it’s an invitation to explore, so I went to Google, typed ‘blue bottle jellyfish’ and began to read. The lines progressed and, as they did, I began to link this extraordinary creature with our beloved ministry here. Some three years later I’d like to share it, it makes me smile.

First, the jellyfish itself:

Electric blue, it might look like one organism but is, in fact, a colony. It comprises numerous individuals called zooids that hang together. They need each other, and so they journey as one. In this state they have absolute power in their territory. Their tentacles are long, deep, and especially venomous. With one brush the prey is paralyzed. Predators stay away from this ‘terror of the seas’.

Interesting, but how does it link to the SUMites?

Well, journeying together like this jellyfish, we’re venomous and terrifying to the enemy. Through our situations, spiritual weaponry is a necessity and we become prayer warriors of the strongest kind. It’s what we learn. The way the jellyfish moves, though, is entirely restful. It’s through the momentum of tides and winds with propulsion coming from outside. In the same way, we here move forward through God’s strength alone.

SUM family, I love the analogy of us interconnected as this strong unit, and I might share now a little of my personal experience as an observer and beneficiary of this ministry:

I first came here in 2014, "a half-baked Christian", "crumpled", who "can’t do any of the things that Christians do." I posted these comments and received encouragement back. "You can do it, Ann, keep going!" Well, five years on I’m relieved to report I’m fully uncrumpled and there's nothing half-baked going on here. To be serious, though, the change in my mindset is marked. I’m charging on in faith.

That’s me. But what I like even more is this ministry’s wider story. It speaks to me of God’s intentionality, and it’s a story I believe many of us will be telling: It's a testimony of a whole community and what happened next.

Back in 2006, we saw one woman (Lynn), then two (Lynn and Dineen), and more, choose obedience, with tangible outcomes. Obedience shone through every one of their posts. Like Abraham taking Isaac to Mt Moriah in Genesis 22:2-8, they modeled the deepest sacrifice: “Put your spouse on the altar, risk that they won’t like you anymore, and choose to say yes to Me”. The rest of us have been doing the same. Amidst frequent anguished wails, we've been growing the fruit of the Spirit. What happens when multiple people obey God to this degree and for this long? What does obedience do? It makes the demons stumble. 

Alongside Lynn and Dineen, there is a 13-year story of a community of believers becoming fearsome. It’s a colony that God has built, and a place where the fruit of the Spirit has ripened. From where I sit, there is a visible change in many I have come to know here. It's a story that shouts, ‘COME OVER HERE, TURN IN AND SEE!’ It’s not the salvation of spouses that grabs me the most, though of course we’ve had that! The most noticeable thing, for me, is what’s happened to the SUMites themselves.

We’ve gone from "How are we going to live practically and well in this situation" to "Let’s bring walls CRASHING down!" and, most importantly, "Let’s love God with all of our heart, our soul and our mind". A new book is upon us, and a new season. I'm excited.

Strong and deep as that electric-blue jellyfish, we have a lot to say next and a mutual story to tell. SUMites, I’d be keen to hear your comments. And for now, may we be the most fearsome terror of the seas together!

In friendship,

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.


Marriage Prayers of Influence

From an excerpt of my new book:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. — Ephesians 1:17

It’s time for a paradigm shift.

Release the old marriage and step into a new relationship.

It’s daily, that I grow ever more concerned and aware of the great power our word wield in the spiritual realm. As sons and daughters of God, our voice, is our greatest weapon of offense. But our words also can release havoc into our lives. Most of the time we are unaware that we are the saboteurs of our own happiness and marriages.

Label or category: From the original Greek kategoria, “accusation, prediction, noun from kagegorein “to speak against, to accuse,” assert, predicate,” from kata, “down to.”

We have categorized the very family we love with accusations of unbelief, insignificance, and out of arrogance or ignorance, our labels speak “down to” the very person God is asking us to elevate and love.

Ouch!

When we categorize a person, Muslim, unbeliever, looser, etc., unbeknownst to us, in the spiritual, we asserted an accusation against them. Upon doing so, we unknowingly lose all influence in their life because a wall of accusation is constructed.

Wow!

We can’t consider them properly. We are unable to see them through the eyes of Christ because we haven’t honored them for who they are currently.

Let’s catch our words and ask the Lord, “God, who is this person? How do you see them?” And when we choose to let go and reject any residue of religion, societal protocols, family history, and cultural constructs, the walls crumble and we see the truest part of the human in front of us. And when we catch a glimpse of what God beholds and adores. This intentionality changes our heart and our prayers. It opens up influence.

Make a conscious choice to reject the lies of judgement, labels, accusation.

Father, in the name of my Savior, Jesus, I repent from all judgement, labeling and misconstrued opinions that are birthed of the demonic realm. Please forgive me for any and all words spoken that create a wall between my husband (others) and myself. Wash these sins with the blood of Jesus and remove them from my permanent record. 

Father, open my eyes, physical and spiritual, allow me view my husband and others and see what you see within. I want to understand and honor them properly. Show me their innocence and reveal their pain, the deceptions that bind them, and allow me to perceive how I can love them into Your wholeness. In Jesus name, amen.

This is when we begin to have influence because all judgement is gone. Preconceived ideas or categories are replaced and this human before us is fully available and views in the eyes of perfect love.

Hallelujah!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18

 

*****

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.


What is Your Life's Impact?

By Ann Hutchison Soil  SUM

“Come to my prayer group!” a lady sidled up to me one day at church, eyeing me closely. It was early in my faith and I had questions. I’d been attending for weeks but still couldn’t help wondering if Christians were nuts to believe. Hers was an invite I decided to accept: She was a lawyer, had a gentle manner, and I figured if anyone was likely to NOT be nuts, it would be her.

So, I duly turned up one evening at a suburban house and rang the doorbell. She and a friend welcomed me in. The friend was a doctor. “Fantastic, another sensible one!” I thought.

I know now that it matters not whether we’re butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, but at that point it helped that these ‘sensible’ women were Christian.

Sensible? Well … um … I got the shock of my life that evening. Unbeknownst to me, these women’s careers were only a disguise: Their real identities were Daughters of God and they knew it. They were a pair of gems. They were also something else: SUMites. Both were pioneering faith in their marriages.

That night, I got to see two warriors up close. They didn’t do anything toooo crazy, but there was a range of high-action stories that involved the Kingdom of Heaven being ‘at hand’. I was barely ready to hear it, it challenged me. But, they surrounded me and prayed their hearts out for me.

Later, I had a spinning mind as I lay in bed thinking about these two. I was contemplating how radical they seemed when I felt God whisper a word:

“Their lives warm the soil.”

“Warm the soil?” I wondered. "Yes", He seemed to say. “They warm the soil of the hearts around them”.

What a thought. It led me straight to the parable of the sower:

“A farmer went out to sow seeds for a harvest. As he scattered his seed, some of it fell on the hard pathway and was quickly trampled down and unable to grow and became nothing but bird seed. Some fell on the gravel, and though it sprouted it couldn’t take root; it withered for lack of moisture. Other seed fell where there was nothing but weeds. It too was unable to grow to full maturity, for it was choked out by the weeds. Yet some of the seed fell into good, fertile soil, and it grew and flourished until it produced more than a hundredfold harvest, a bumper crop.” Luke 8:4-8 (TPT)

That parable tells us that hearts (the soil) often don’t receive the gospel (the seed), or they might abort it after some time. Other hearts receive the gospel and grow good things. But what’s the significance of warmth? Well, I looked it up: When soil is warm, plants grow quicker and receive more water and nutrients. Yes, a human heart has to be ready, but if it’s warm it’s going to be even better -- accelerated. 

Like these two ladies, could it be that our own lives warm our spouse’s heart for its best possible bumper crop? I’m picturing it: I’ve made choices to love but also to persevere with faith; I’ve fought to attend church but I’ve listened to his feelings. When viewed in its entirety, will it warm his heart? ‘Warm’ might not mean my husband feels happy and comfy; rather, it might mean that his heart is being made as ready to carry the gospel as it can possibly be.

Last weekend I gave my testimony at an event. My husband wasn’t thrilled about me leaving him that Saturday, and I felt wobbly. At the same time, I did it because sometimes you have to share. It was yet another tough choice. Uggh.

At the end, a lady came to me. Emotional, she spoke of a couple she knew. It took years for the husband to accept Christ but when he did he told his wife "It was because of the way you lived your life."

There are many testimonies of people whose lives have warmed the soil of their spouse, just like the two sensible-yet-radical women I met years ago, as well as the one I heard of last Saturday. Today, then, I speak this promise here, because I do believe it: SUM family, OUR lives warm the soil.

Can you see it in your own life, or can you see that it will happen in due course? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

*****

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 Influence of a Christian Wife - This is good!

Profile for TypepadGood Day SUMites!

Hope you are off to a brilliant summer.

This morning in my Daily Bible reading I came across the following passage and God began to talk. Want to know what He said? It’s really good.

1Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. 2 The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. 3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord. ─ 1 Kings 11:1-3

The Lord spoke immediately upon reading these verses, “Lynn, the wisest man in the world, the wisest of all humanity that has ever lived, was drawn away from Me by the influence of his evil wives. How much greater is the influence of a Godly wife on an unbelieving spouse.”

“You (wives of unbelievers) underestimate the influence you carry. You allow the lies of the deceiver to hold sway over the truth that Christian wives are utterly equipped and able to influence their husbands into faith in Jesus Christ. This is truth. Live it!”

Whoa.

Thoughts?

My thoughts: KEEP TALKING GOD! YOU ARE AMAZING AND WE LOVE YOU!

*****

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.


"Don't Let the Fowls Eat Your Inheritance!"

VultureBy Martha Bush

What a title for a post; “Don’t let the Fowls Eat Your Inheritance!” Please stay with me while I make my case, and perhaps you will be energized to take heed to those words in your own life.

Let me begin by sharing a quote I recently heard a woman say in a discussion group.

    “I have always struggled with low self-worth. Just about the time I begin to lift my head, someone comes along to remind me that all my self-doubt is true! I've been a Christian for over 20 years, and I am ashamed of the way I feel about myself. I just can't seem to make that leap to “because HE says I'm worthy, I AM!!”

How well I understood what this woman was saying. I played that same scenario out in my mind for years until I came face-to-face with myself one cold, rainy night alone in my bedroom.

It happened like this:

I gazed into the mirror on the wall and uttered the words: “I don’t like you.” As I continued to stare at the mirror, I admitted for the first time in my life, “I have no idea who I am.”

“Self-Esteem, or Self-Worth,” as it is sometimes called, can be defined as how you feel about yourself, the opinion you have of yourself, or how much value you place on yourself.  To put it mildly, mine was at an all-time-low that night, and I was at my breaking point.  But something clicked inside of me, and I knew that if I were to be a mother to my two little girls, I’d better find my way out of this maze.

And thus, over the next few months, I traveled back down a muddy road that I had traveled for years. As I retraced my tracks along that road, I viewed people I had allowed to mold and shape me into their image. 

I even discovered that I had been a victim of my own low-key personality.  Being a “don’t rock the boat kind of person,” I had avoided conflict at all extremes. In doing so, I became a yo-yo on a string, bobbling up and down, trying to please everyone around me just to keep a little peace and harmony. 

As my journey continued, the muddy road I had traveled for so many years suddenly became a clear path. I could feel the mud being loosened from my life, and I took possession of my inheritance Jesus had given me on The Cross.

What was that inheritance? MY INDENTITY IN CHRIST - - the worth that He says I am by His ultimate sacrifice. It was on The Cross that He bought the whole world just to get a piece of the treasure - -you and I. Obviously, He considered every single person on earth worth dying for.

My dear Sumite friends, let’s face it­–in many of our homes, there is a constant flow of critical remarks directed toward us because of our faith. You know, it is one thing to hear critical, derogatory remarks from a friend, a neighbor, or another relative, but when there is an onslaught from the person you have vowed to “love and to cherish till death do us part, it can get pretty tough.

It is in those times that we need an anchor, and that anchor is our Identity in Christ, and who He says we are!

How can we walk out our Identity in Christ and make it a reality in our life? Sometimes, we just have to drive away the fowls that are trying to eat up the inheritance God gave us just like Abraham had to do.

To refresh your memory, God made a covenant with Abraham that He would give him a son, and sealed it with a blood covenant. At that time, of course, it was the blood of animals.

As the blood covenant lay on the ground, the fowls came down upon the carcases, and Abram drove them away. (Genesis 15:11)

The moral of the story is:

Don’t let the fowls of a poor self-esteem eat your inheritance.

Drive them away and become all God says you are in Him,

not what someone says you are.

After all, He considered you worth dying for.

 ***** 

What about you?  Is there some type of fowl trying to eat your Identity in Christ?  It may not be coming from your spouse, it could have been from a teacher or friend of long ago.  If so, let's talk about it, and let's pray about it together and drive it away. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*****

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.


Chronicles of the Donovan Clan. Clan Update

Royal Crown SUM LogoHello SUMite Nation:

Wow, I missed all of you so much while I was away frantically writing. But guess what? I’ve finished the basic manuscript, Marching Around Jericho, Praying Your Unsaved Spouse Into the Kingdom. Hallelujah.

This is a radical book. It will stretch you and challenge every demon of complacency, doubt and religiosity. This book will place you on your march around the walls of your unsaved spouse’s heart. I’m convinced this is my best work ever. Thank you, Jesus.!!! I promise you this, read it and exercise every tool I share with you and at the end of the journey, your life and marriage will be different, better, changed and holy. God did it for me. He wants to do the same in your life.

God is just that good!!!   AMEN!

So, an update. While I was away, Mike was laid off from his company of 25 years. Ouch. How many of you have been readers here for a long, long time and remember when we went through a layoff 10 years ago in 2009? I wrote extensively about the amazing lessons I gained from that season. I’ll be straight forth here. I felt fearful most of that year during his job search.

Today, I absolutely feel no fear for our future.

Let me ask you this, what is the opposite of fear?

Faith?

Peace?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ─ 1 John 4:18

The opposite of fear is LOVE. When we KNOW fully that we are loved by God, fear is defeated and cannot speak to us.

What are you fearing today? In the last several days I’ve been consistently praying two prayers.

Father, I’m asking for a greater revelation of your love.

Father, I’m asking for a greater revelation of grace and how to walk in the pace of grace.

WOWEEEEEE! I received a revelation of God’s love two days ago that blew my mind.

SUMites, if you are fearing anything, Ask the Lord for a greater revelation of His Love. Ask out loud. Ask frequently and believe He will reveal. Don’t’ stop asking until revelation arrives.

It’s powerful.

Today, I’m surrounded by the love of God even in the midst of uncertainty. I know who my Father is and He is rich!  Hallelujah.

Since Mike’s layoff at the end of May, the Lord has impressed upon me; 20 days or June 20th. Join me for the ride and let’s watch our Great King in action. I can’t wait to share with you how God works all this out. Stay tuned.

Another update. I still have hours and hours, weeks and weeks of extensive editing and accumulating the supporting pages of the book. So, I plan to remain here at SUM but perhaps write a little less.

THANK YOU to the team of SUMites who stepped up and covered for me while I was writing.

So, today in the comments, I will stand with you in faith.

Ask God for what is on your heart. I will echo each request with you and let’s watch the Lord in action in your life too.

I’ll see you in the comments my dear SUMites friends. You are loved. You are more powerful than you know. You are gifted and talented and highly favored.

March on Warriors!!  WE WIN!!!

Be blessed, 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.


Something MUST Die

Something must dieHello SUM nation! Lori Lyn Skipper here.

While praying this morning and pondering on the prayer requests in the Ladies SUM group, I sensed the Lord say, “Something needs to die.” That's not what I was expecting Him to say, after all, that doesn't sound very fun or spiritual, does it? He had my attention and my ears perked up. Let's dig a little deeper into what He is saying.

In my minds eye, the Lord brought me back to the year 2000, when the church I was attending in the small town of Fairfield, IL hosted a funeral service. This was not your normal funeral service. It was not a funeral in the natural, it was a spiritual funeral. The congregation was charged with seeking Holy Spirit to find that one (or more) issues in our life that needed to be put to death.

Almost immediately I knew my one thing, anger. On the outside I was a happy person but say something I didn't like and you'd see a whole different side of me. I grew up in an atmosphere of anger, therefore, it became a part of who I was.

On the day of the funeral, we each wrote out a death certificate with our thing (things) on the certificate, including the date. We then signed our certificate telling Father we wanted that thing to die. We presented our death certificate to Father at the altar symbolizing its death. Praise God I've never had to deal with anger again, not! Of course, anger has tried to raise its ugly head again. I then must remind myself and the enemy that anger died and was buried, and I am not allowing it to be resurrected!

It's a choice I need to make, time after time, I must choose to not allow it to attach itself to me again.  

Let's look at some of the things we may need to have a funeral service for:

  • Anger (that leads to sin)
  • Rage
  • Fear
  • Doubt
  • Condemnation
  • Unworthiness
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Complacency
  • Laziness
  • Sickness
  • ?

Once you have that one thing that you are ready to let go of; write out a death certificate for it, don’t forget to sign and date it. This is very important as you will need to remember the date and place this service took place when it comes back up. This way you will be able to remind yourself and the enemy where and when it took place. You will then want to put something in a small box representing your thing (it can be a piece of paper with the word/words on it, a token, etc.), ask the Father in prayer and physically reach your hands up and hand him the box (casket). Be sure to bury, burn or throw the box away. You do not want to hang onto the box! No temptation to open it up and let it be resurrected. Then put the death certificate in a safe place as reminder to you, it is finished!

2 Corinthians 5:17 NAS: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (Italics by me).

If you feel comfortable, please add the thing that died and was buried. I’d love to be able to rejoice with you and lift you up in prayer!

 

*****

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.


Jesus Invites us to Live a New Way

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Image courtesy of anankkml via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hello friends, Ian from cold and wintry Sydney here.

For a few months now I’ve been reflecting on the first words Jesus spoke to the Galileans on His return from the 40 days in the wilderness. This is what He said:

“’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” – Mark 1:15 (NIV)

Like me you’ve probably read that verse many times and then moved on. But I’ve lingered over it for a while now and every few days it pops back into the forefront of my mind.

Besides it’s simplicity of four straightforward statements, it’s interesting when you think of the words as an invitation. In fact, it’s something I discovered a little while ago that rather than looking at Jesus’ commands as that, commands, read them like an invitation.

Why?

Because I think that’s what He’s doing – inviting us to experience something new. To experience the life He designed for us.

Let’s quickly unpack the four statements.

The Time has Come

The Israelites had been waiting, what 400 years, for the prophecy of the Messiah to be fulfilled. Well, Jesus is here announcing that He is in fact the fulfillment.

The Kingdom of God has Come Near

The Kingdom has arrived. Because He’s arrived. A Kingdom can only be such when there’s a King. And He’s the King. The King is Here and that automatically means His Kingdom is too.

Repent.

Our understanding of this word is significant. For much of my Christian life I’ve connected repentance with the act of confession and receiving forgiveness.  But it means far more than that. The MSG version of the same verse gives us a clue. It says simply, “Change your life”. Repentance involves turning one’s life around, so in the context of sin, completely removing it from one’s life in a lot of cases involves us doing things differently in order to resist the temptation. The story of The Prodigal Son is a wonderful example of repentance. The younger son, on coming to his senses, turns his life around by leaving it and returning home to his father being fully prepared to become one of his father’s servants. As we all know, the Father in his mercy restored him fully.

Believe the Good News

Simply believe it. Choose to believe that Jesus is who He says He is.

The Disciples Understood

Immediately after Jesus makes this invitation, He’s strolling along the beach on the Sea of Galilee and notices two brothers, Simon and Andrew, fishing. He greets them by inviting them to “Come follow me”. A little further along two more brothers are also fishing. He invites James and John to do the same, “Come follow me.”

All four responded positively to the invitation, dropped their nets and turned their lives upside down by choosing to follow the King.

What’s the Invitation to?

He doesn’t invite the four to a party. Well, not yet. He invites them to live a different life. The life He designed for them when He created them. A life that is only accessible by believing the Good News, that is, believing He is the Messiah, the King and the one who will restore their relationship with God.

The early disciples weren’t called Christians, rather the followers of the Way. And that’s what Christianity is – a way. It’s both a journey and a path in which we follow. It’s always in motion; we’re always on the path. And the best thing is we don’t walk that path alone, we walk it with Jesus. That’s why the Way can only be found by first finding Jesus. By letting go of our own lives and letting Him take over. We’re called, no invited, to follow the Way of the one who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

Sometimes we think we can have His Way and our way or that His Way will give us everything we want. But that’s the thing about stepping onto his path, we don’t know what is ahead, and that’s why we gotta keep our eyes on our leader, our shepherd, who allows us to know and hear His voice, and to trust His Way is best and obey accordingly.

Daily Invitation

It’s exciting knowing that Jesus invites us with the same words of Mark 1:15 everyday. We get to choose to follow Him or go our own way.

If you’ve struggled recently in your walk with Jesus, know with every fibre of your being, that He is with you speaking those words of invitation to you. Say yes, today and accept His hand even if tentatively. And again tomorrow. Because His Way is the best way because it’s the way and the life that He wants and has always wanted you to have.

Would you mind if I finish with a prayer for us all?

Heavenly Father, thank you that you love us so much that you gave Jesus to us. To be born, to live in obscurity for most of his earthly years, to then step out into His role as King, only to then suffer and die at the Cross three years later. Thank you that death didn’t beat Him, in fact, Jesus defeated death by being resurrected from the dead.

Thank you, Jesus, that you established the Way; the Way to intimacy with the Father. Thank you that you left us the Holy Spirit as a guide to the Way.

Holy Spirit, we ask that we would respond positively to your daily prompts to say “YES” to you, to you leading us on the Way. Forgive us that we can be so fickle and forget or be distracted by our lives. Draw us back, dearest Holy Spirit, as we know that the Way of Jesus is the only way for us.

Amen.

 

Grace and peace, dear SUMite 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.


Love DEFEATS Knowledge

PATTY tOWER 2018By Patty tower  

We are over a month post conference and boy…not only is God doing a work in me, but doing a work in my husband! Hallelujah and amen.

I’m excited that God is opening doors of spiritual discussions between my husband I, and I’m thrilled to see where these discussions will lead. God will pave a way for my husband’s salvation, yes, but like many other women in this community realize…it comes at a price. The price of truly getting to know myself through the Savior first.

Sometimes, I have to be careful about what I ask. When I prayed, “God give me your heart and show me your ways.” You had better believe He will show you…and sometimes, it stings.

Recently, it occurred to me during in a conversation with my close sisters in Christ, that I may be too “self-righteous,” too “passionate,” and I may come on “too strong” when I talk about Jesus. The Bible encourages us to walk in holiness and righteousness, but was I really being self-righteousness? Was my righteousness the way to go?

Some thesaurus synonyms of self-righteous includes: holier-than-thou, self-satisfied, smug, priggish, pious, moralizing, preachy, superior, and hypocritical. It’s basically the opposite of humility. It’s the opposite of Jesus and what He came to earth to fight against. Those characteristics screamed of everything the religious “Pharisees” stood for in my head.

I didn’t know this about myself until now. I was having a hard time balancing my passion and spreading the gospel in a loving way.  God wasn’t telling me to stop spreading the gospel, but in my pursuit to tell others of my Bible knowledge, I was pushing them away from Jesus ,rather than drawing them in.

Bible knowledge is great, but what good is knowledge if you’re not representing the true love of Christ?

I felt like I failed Him. I failed God and others by not reflecting the love of Christ.

I dug deep and asked my Father, Why am I like this? Where is it coming from?

God answered. The root of it was simple. I had this inner desire to be heard. Growing up in my household, I was rarely heard. The type of relationship I had with my parents was more like a dictatorship. “Do as you’re told…or else.”

I remember memories of me begging them to “hear me out.” I was constantly trying to “convince,” them why they ought to trust me with friendships at school or joining school sports. My opinions or what I had to say were not valued. It was “my way or the highway,” or “because I said so.” I intellectually fought them because I felt like it was the only way that would lead me to freedom outside of my home.

My family prided themselves on being right. And I honestly, I don’t care if you’re right or wrong…I just want to feel loved. To feel protected, honored, valuable...to be heard. Isn’t that why we all love Jesus? Because he provides all those things other people may not be able to?

I was intellectually convincing people why the Bible was the source of truth. When God’s only commandment to me is 1) Love God first. 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. I had to put myself in my neighbor’s shoes and ask, “Would I want to know more about Jesus hearing what I heard from myself?” The answer was no, probably not.

God forgives and He honors our mistakes. But really, I felt like one of those people standing with a sign at a public venue that says, “Believe in Jesus or you will go to hell!” You know what I mean.

In all thankfulness, I have people in my life who can hold me accountable. In God’s perfect timing, He also starts to open more spiritual discussions with my husband. If it weren’t for sisters in Christ, I probably would have vomited Bible knowledge to people who didn’t even care! They just need Jesus!

Jeremiah 9:23 says “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom…”

My most important question to Jesus was, “Other than prayer, how do I go about spreading your gospel now?” I’ve been confirmed in this season it is time my husband hears about the Lord. I’ve been “winning” him through my actions and now it’s through my voice.

The answer was simple. Testify.

Testify what God has done in your life.

Testify the goodness of God.

Testify how he healed you.

Testify the miracles you have witnessed because of Him.

Testify. Luke 8:39 says:

“’Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming through the whole city how much Jesus has done for him.”

I love you all and I’m thankful for a community like you who understands the growing pains of being more Christ-like. Thank you all for your words of wisdom and prayer.

I will see you in the comments!

*****

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.