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12 entries from December 2019

Community Fast & Ear Ringing Webinar

Prayer and Fasting 2019Okay, It’s almost time! Our annual SUM Community fast will be the first full week of January. We will fast sunrise, Monday, January 6th through sunset January 10th. If at all possible, please plan to fast from all solid food for five days.

We are following the example of Jesus as He fasted. And I’m especially drawn to this exchange between Jesus and His disciples:

After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer. —Mark 9:28-19

There are times we MUST fast and pray. If you are facing an ongoing sin issue, this is your fast. Are you wrangling with apathy in your faith life? This is your fast.

Unsaved spouse. Yes, this is your fast.

Do you want more from your faith than powerless Christianity? THIS IS YOUR FAST.

Start today and ask the Lord to help you fast a full five days. Prepare your family. Let them know. Make plans to feed them so you can spend little time in the kitchen.

Place a fasting candle in your house so when you see the flame and when the hunger pangs hits, these remembrances drive you to prayer.

I will be sharing so much beginning with this fast. We will discover the depths and the power of communion. This fast will launch us into our Community March Around Jericho. And part of that training I want to begin on Wednesday, January 8th.

I will be offering a private webinar on Wednesday, January 8th at 1 pm PST. I want to address an issue that recently happened to me. This issue affects millions of people and pray and fasting can illuminate it from your life.

Ear Ringing.

If you want to learn more, register today. It’s open to the first 100 registrants. I’ll be sharing how chronic ear ringing is often rooted in the demonic. I’ll provide freedom tools and we will pray to remove it from our lives.

This teaching is similar to the training I will offer with the launch of Marching Around Jericho.

BATTLE WARIORS. Our victory is at hand. Jesus is on the move and we are His chosen to bring His love and healing to a lost and broken world. But we must be healed and whole first.

So, we will fast. We will learn. We will march and we will win.

I’ll share more about the fast on Friday. Hugs, Lynn

 

Ear Ringing Webinar - Registration is required.
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jan 8, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Facebook Webinar
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

*****

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.


Merry Christmas

SUMites,

Enjoy your Christmas with your family. I pray you are overwhelmed by the love of our Savior. Tune into Him this season and watch how He changes your life.

We will be on break until after Christmas... Then get ready for 2020. It's going to be a BIG year ahead and I have so much to share with you. I'll post more after Christmas.

Walk in love, Warriors! I love all of you from the depth of my heart. 

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Barn 2019

*****

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.


Your Everyday- A Sign and Wonder

Mary Joseph Jesus nativity 2019Today let’s consider our young Mary again. As we join the story, we find her in Bethlehem.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:7-11

This ordinary girl finds herself in with the sheep as she struggles through her labor. She isn’t assisted by the angels through delivery, nor while she rode nine-months-pregnant on the back of a donkey. She merely went about life when she left Elizabeth as any other woman of her day. She washed clothes, made the bread, sewed new garments, and prepared meals.

She merely did the next right thing. The ordinary life.

But in this amazing passage her ordinary became a sign and a wonder to millions. And it first began with the shepherds. You see, Mary gave birth to Jesus. And when He arrived, naturally she sought to cover her naked baby to warm the child. Just an ordinary, normal, mothering moment.

The next right step.

She tore strips of cloth either from her garment or something nearby and wrapped the baby boy in swaddling clothes.

The next right step.

And this ordinary thing, this next right step, it became a sign and a wonder that continues to echo throughout millennia.

The angels announced to the shepherds in the fields (and to all of us who read the Word):

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. — Luke 2:11

Her ordinary became a sign and a wonder.

My dear, dear SUMites, what ordinary thing that you have done, that you’ve touched, or ordinary prayer might become a sign and a wonder? A wonder to a lost spouse? What might be a miraculous sign to a friend, a neighbor, another believer? What ordinary thing, what next right step might be the very thing that changes a city, or a nation, or generations of lives in the future?

You, my dear friend ARE A SIGN AND A WONDER. Never let anyone tell you differently. Making dinner, sweeping the floor, praying for the sick, sharing a word that transforms one other person might possibly redirect the trajectory of a person, then a family, then generations or perhaps our entire world.

It boggles the mind.

Read the story of the birth of Jesus this year. Read it to your kids. And ask the Lord to reveal how your ordinary is extraordinary.

I love you.

Merry Christmas!

Walk in love, Warriors! 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.


Advent - A Season for Delighting

ID-100584545
Image courtesy of jeswin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear SUMite friends, it’s Ian from sunny Sydney here. I love that Lynn’s previous post involved Mary as I too seek to dig a little deeper on one aspect of her story.

Let’s quickly look at the scene once again. I’d encourage you to read it in its entirety, Luke 1:26-38. And as you read it, picture yourself in the scene. Stand alongside Mary, our teenage girl. Innocent and naïve. But one who is a committed believer in God. She has read all the stories of Abraham, Moses, the other Joseph and the like. These heroes of the faith are very dear to her. She knows God uses ordinary people to do great things.

All of a sudden and out of nowhere, Gabriel arrives. Picture this mighty esteemed angel. I do wonder what he looks like. Is he a giant with wings like the magnificent artwork of yesteryear or does he come in the appearance of a man? Interestingly, the first impression we have of Mary in response to his appearance is that “she is perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” No mention of her being terrified by his sudden appearing nor of any imposing presence but his words that she is the “favored one! The Lord is with you.”

Bearer of Good News

Gabriel informs Mary that she too will join the heroes of the Old Testament and be used by God for a great purpose. Luke in sharing this story contrasts Mary’s response to Gabriel’s words with those of Zechariah of a few verses earlier. Mary’s response is simply one of wonder and seeking to understand. Zechariah sought immediate proof to believe. He didn’t, so he was struck dumb.

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?” she asks innocently. Gabriel explains the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit and that she will carry for nine months the Son of God. Further, he validated his statement by providing the testimony of her cousin, Elizabeth, also being pregnant, as Lynn shared with us on Monday.

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

This statement has been significant for me this year simply in acknowledging that all God sees is possibility. Let that sink in. We kinda put things into two buckets, don’t we? The possible bucket and the impossible one. Not God. There is only one bucket – possibility. I love that. Remember that when you get disheartened about your spouse ever coming to know Jesus.

Interestingly, one commentary I read recently mentioned how Gabriel, effectively waits for a response from Mary. Will she respond positively to God’s favor or not? In effect, this commentator indicates that Mary had a choice. Like we all do when God enters. We can choose to say yes, or reject Him.

Let’s face it, Mary as a teenage girl carrying a baby that is not her fiancé’s was set for a very difficult pregnancy. She would likely be rejected by Joseph and her family. But, as we know she responds affirmatively: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

What courage, what obedience. She chose to abandon her own will and to follow that of the Lord. I wish I had this young girl’s faith.

The Magnificat

Lynn shared with us how Mary went off to see her cousin, Elizabeth. Oh, and how we could spend lots of time reviewing that scene. But I want to conclude this post by reflecting on a favourite verse of many of us

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 AMP)

Too often we hope that in believing God He will give us our desires. But this verse clearly shows there is a condition. And a significant one. God wants us to delight in Him.

This is what Mary did as expressed in the “Song of Mary” or “The Magnificat” as it has become known in the Biblical lectionary. Read it aloud for yourself: Luke 1:46-55. It is Mary’s hymn of praise. I suspect she sang this song many times during her pregnancy and through the years she mothered her son, Jesus.

This Christmas, let’s be intentional in simply praising our God. Sing those Christmas hymns with a little more gusto and passion. Because He is good, faithful and loves each one of us (including our unsaved spouses) like crazy. This is why we celebrate Christmas – God in loving us so much gave His son to be born to a young teenage girl, so that we could fall in love with Him and live a life to His glory.

Wishing all my SUMite family a most blessed Christmas. Be safe, be merry and delight in our most awesome God.

*****

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.


She's A Lot Like Me

Luke 2 11 Christmas 2019The Birth of Jesus.

SUMites, you know, I’ve read the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke 1&2 so many times, I nearly have it memorized in King James. But what I find is that when a story in the Word becomes overly familiar, we breeze past it and we lose some of the miraculous that it contains.

And if you aren’t aware, one of the coolest things about scripture is there are layers of meaning. Revelation comes from deeper places within the words and the LORD loves to reveal more and more as we mature. That’s the wonder of the Word of God. We can read it for 85 years and continue to be captivated by increasing understanding.

Say what??? It’s amazing.

So, will you go with me into this beautiful story about a teenaged girl named Mary. I want to share two things about Mary that I learned just this year. Perhaps you already received these gifts, but for me, what I uncovered is new and it changes me.

I want to start with the story of Mary when the angel appeared to her.

Luke 1:27 “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Ya, wouldn’t you be surprised?

I’ll tell you this, I often ask the Lord to reveal an angel in the physical so that I’m able to behold its presence with my natural eyes. I believe THIS WILL HAPPEN before I die. So, when it does, you can bet, you’ll be the first people I tell.

This particular Christmas I’m actually fascinated with the fact that the angel tells Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth, is six months pregnant despite her infertility and old age. Why did the angel include this information with his pronouncement???

Any idea?

Mary was an ordinary woman. She could have been you… Or me. She was a young girl who was given a responsibility that boggles the mind. But, think about this. Although or should I say, EVEN THOUGH an angel appeared to her and told her what was about to happen, she still wrangled with it all. In the moment with the angel present, it was easy to believe. But after the angel left, she struggled with questions and perhaps doubt.

How do I know this? Well first it’s human nature. God can appear and yet we doubt. Just take a read through the Old Testament.

As believers in the era of Grace, we experience the same thing. We pray. We ask God to give us an answer. And miraculously, we receive a whisper to our heart or a prophetic word, or a straight up answer in the Bible, yet we doubt.

God did you really tell me……..

God can you give me a sign……

It’s okay. No condemnation. God knows our human nature so very well.

Indeed, God knew that even our beloved Mary would need a confirmation. Did you know that?

Well, that is why the angel tells Mary that Elizabeth is pregnant.

Because the iPhone wasn’t around, Mary immediately leaves Galilee and travels three to five days walking to Jerusalem to “CONFIRM” what the angel said. Because if indeed, Elizabeth was pregnant, that means that Mary is pregnant and will deliver the Deliverer.

WHOA!

Mary needed some reassurance. It boggles my mind that she needed the angel’s words confirmed to her. Oh, humanity of little faith!!

Oh, but let this truth sink in. How many promises are you waiting upon? How many prophetic words have you received? How many whispers from the Lord are yet to be fulfilled? Perhaps it’s normal to process through doubt. Perhaps it’s okay to once-in-a-while ask the Lord for a confirmation.

When we are entering into new levels of faith and greater works for the Kingdom, I believe God loves to confirm His words. I also believe that once He does, He’s expecting to see our maturity and wait it out in faith.

But for today, in this special Christmas season, I feel as though the Lord is inviting us to ask. He is giving us grace to ask about long-held promises and ask for a confirmation. He is allowing us this special “Mary” gift nestled within the birth of Jesus story to seek Him and allow us to receive His truth, His promises and even confirmations.

I truly believe this is a divine moment for us. A special door has been opened just for us that we might ask for confirmation. But when we ask, choose to believe and hold on to His confirmation like a bulldog. Don’t let His Word be tossed to-and-fro. Stand upon His promise. Quote it back to Him. And write down how He confirms His word because if He says He will do something.

He will!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:11

On Friday, I have another ordinary moment that is rich! Stay tuned. Stay warm. Walk in love, Warrior! 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.


God's Voice: The Faintest Whisper

Hi friends, Ann here! Still small voice

Two Christmases ago, I was sitting alone in a spacious old church in Edinburgh enjoying a family service. I'd been visiting that city on a solo trip and it was a treat to go to a new church. I chose one to visit and as I took my seat it warmed my heart to be surrounded by a hall full of believers, though I knew none of them.

As the singing began, I got the faintest thought that there might be someone there whose spouse did not yet believe – Someone there whom, maybe, I could help. I brushed it off but as the singing continued the thought came back. I brushed it aside again and carried on singing.

Another song passed, and the tiny thought came back, now niggling me. Eventually I turned to the lady next to me and asked: “Is there someone here whose spouse doesn’t believe?” I mean there are usually plenty in churches, so there would be. I just wondered if it was someone she could point out.

Her eyes scanned the hall, going left, going right. Nope, couldn’t see anyone. She looked behind, but still couldn’t see anyone. Her brow was furrowed by this point, “I’m sure there are, I just can’t think …” And then she looked in front of her: “OH, yes –”, and pointed to the lady right in front of me, on the floor alongside her husband, watching the kids in the nativity play. “Yes, there she is with her husband. He’s very good, he comes to church with her but doesn't believe.”    

“Is it hard for her?” I asked.

“It is.” She said.

I watched this beautiful couple during that service, thinking “I feel I would know how to encourage you, if we ever chatted.”

Then another thought came: “I should tell her she’s not a second-class Christian.” It really was a fleeting thought, one that could have been my own, certainly no thunderbolt. But equally, perhaps it was the Holy Spirit. So I did it. I walked over to her straight after the service, crouched down by her seat, and told her that I just wanted to encourage her. I didn’t mention the spiritually mismatched part. I just told her that what she was doing for her family by carrying her faith strongly was making such an impact, that it was a difficult faith road she walked, and that God is pleased with her. 

Hearing God in our day-to-day is hardly ever a thunderbolt, and it is the still small voice. Nevertheless, as I walked out of the church that day I felt I wanted to know: “Was that really you speaking to me, Lord, or am I on a wild walk of the imagination here?!”

What happened next was more educative for me than I might have thought. 

Two days later I was sitting on a bus travelling through a completely different part of Edinburgh from that church. The bus stopped at a red light, and I absentmindedly watched the crowds pass on the pavement.  In my daydreaming state, however, I was suddenly startled to see none other than that lady’s husband standing on the pavement! I did the most enormous double take. What was interesting about the scene was that everyone around him was in grey or beige, but this guy, he looked so colorful – I think he was wearing a crisp yellow and the brightest blue. He stood out from the crowd.

It seemed God was saying to me there, "Yes, you did hear my voice that day."

The reason it was educative was it confirmed to me that I should probably take note of these gentle whispers more than I do. It also showed me that if I ask God for help in figuring out whether I'm hearing Him He will come through for me.

So that's my story. What are your experiences or thoughts about hearing the still small voice even when it seems faint? I look forward to chatting 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.


When God gives us a Promise

Hi friends, Ann here.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of Elizabeth (Luke chapter 1). Blessed is she who has believedM Her story gets told each Christmas, but this year I'm noticing a curious detail: Her promise had a plot twist. Her baby had a surprise name. And it was this surprise that made her friends and neighbours marvel.

“When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” (Luke 1:57-63, NIV).

Elizabeth’s promise was different to what she, or anyone, guessed: The conventional name would have been Zechariah. Instead, the name was John, and he was a wild man who wandered the desert eating locusts and honey.

So far so good.

Now for us, and our promises. I wonder how many of you are believing a promise from God? If so, I imagine it relates to your spouse or, perhaps, children getting to know Jesus? That is certainly the case for me. It might be a promise we've taken from scripture, or it may even be a promise that we've heard the Holy Spirit speak to us.

If you do have a promise you're believing, I wonder if, like me, you have preconceived ideas about what it will look like? For example, my own imagination takes me on adventures. I've imagined my husband suddenly deciding he’s super interested in God. Or, perhaps he will wake to see an angel at the bottom of his bed (I say that laughing). Or, it'll be some dramatic encounter with the Holy Spirit.

Well, I'm realizing I need to think again. God is the storyteller of our lives, and He is fabulously creative. Whatever I’ve imagined won’t be what it looks like. There’s a precedent to this: The greatly anticipated messiah came, but he did so as a baby, then a carpenter in Nazareth, then an itinerant wanderer. Was that expected?

With that in mind, now I have a story to tell: Recently, I heard God say: “Ann, be prepared for your promise to not look how you expect.” 

It was curious to me that something strange happened in my home the very same week: My oldest son, Travis, woke in the middle of the night to feel an earthquake. In the morning, he got up and looked online to see what magnitude it had been. To his surprise he discovered there was no earthquake that night. 

This might have been considered chance, but we had a similar experience when I converted. Several years ago just before my own conversion, Bryce woke in the night with the same thing. He was asleep in a hotel when an ‘earthquake’ shook him awake. He turned on the TV expecting to see a news report and there was no earthquake. Shortly after that my conversion happened and it certainly caused a shaking in our home. It knocked me to my knees, shook everything that could be shaken and left only the important things in my own heart: Faith, hope, and love. 

So, friends, watch this space -- Something could be upon my home again. Elizabeth’s name means ‘God has promised’ and like her I believe that Life is coming. I'm just quietly prepared for the unexpected.

How about you -- What promise(s) are you carrying right now? I enjoy hearing 'promise' stories, so share away in the comments.

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.


SUM Ladies

Ladies,

Did you know we have an amazing PRIVATE FB group? This group is designed to offer support, prayer, and encouragement and to allow for more personal conversation.

If you would like to join the group, please click here and ask to join. The admins will bring you in. Please introduce yourself and ask for prayer. Click on the icon. Hugs, Lynn 

Facebook_logos_PNG19759

*****

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.


MIND BLOW - I Freaked OUT!! Ask Mike!

Canaries in fig tree SUMGang,

I opened up the PayPal account yesterday. I literally, LITERALLY, did a double take. The number sitting there was so unbelievable that I couldn’t take it in.

I thought PayPal made a mistake. TRULY. Ask Mike. I freaked out. I cried.

I had to add up the donations with a calculator because I thought something was wrong. IT WAS CORRECT.

I’m freaked out. I didn’t know that all of you loved this home on the web that much.

TRULY… I didn’t know. And the notes that came with the donations….. You’re making me cry AGAIN!!!!

How do I say thank you?? How do I do that? I lack language.

I am utterly humbled and thankful. SUM lives on for another year!!!!

THANK YOU….. THANK YOU….. THANK YOU…..

I’ll be working on individual thank you emails soon. And I’ll be getting the Christmas cards in the mail with a small thank you gift.

I adore you. My dear SUMite Warriors. THE BEST IS YET TO COME. Miracles are ahead in 2020. The Lord Jesus is moving us to greater levels of power and authority, love and grace.

I can’t wait to share more with you… And in a week, I have a story about Mary and the Christmas story you haven’t heard yet. January is crammed full of teaching, activations and Kingdom advancements.

Thank you for giving me your time, your love…. Mostly your heart. I’m eternally thankful. And our Father has heard your name from my lips. Love and 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.


Advent - An Invitation to Go Deeper

3-advent-wreath-rejoice-gaudete
Photo courtesy of LiturgyTools.net

The Christmas season comes around every year and for many of us it’s kind of the same-old-same-old. Yes, the specialness of the season are the traditions of it and doing the same things every year.  We put up the same tree and decorations, listen to the same Christmas music, have the same family mealtimes, attend the various end of year gatherings and church services and so on.

The busyness of it and the stress of battling through all the shopping crowds, the cooking of all the food and keeping the house clean can serve to distract us. We consciously decide to stay positive and not allow the stress to affect us or the awkward family moments we often experience.

And before we know it, it’s over for another year. We collapse on our lounges having eaten too much and exhausted from the intensity of our family gatherings. For an introvert like myself I’m hankering to get back into my cave to recharge.

Waiting

Advent can simply be another tradition. We light the candles at the appropriate times, pick up an Advent-dedicated devotional and even perhaps follow the alternate lectionaries of Bible readings. Like any ‘practice’ we can simply go through the motions. I know I’m regularly guilty of doing exactly that.

I especially love Advent. However, I need to be very intentional to ensure it’s simply not another tradition that I ‘do’ because it makes me feel good. I don’t want to simply go through the motions.

Advent is a season of waiting. Waiting for an “arrival” (which is what the word, Advent means) of the Messiah. Waiting generally is uncomfortable, isn’t it? It’s uncomfortable because it means we’re not in control. I was only sitting on a plane today thinking we were about to take off when we’re advised that three passengers hadn’t checked in. Arggh. I just want to get home. So we wait. Fifteen minutes pass (which feels like an hour) and two of the three sheepishly head down the aisle sensing the boring eyes of every passenger they pass. We wait some more. Until finally a decision is made to go without the remaining one. I wonder how many of us spared a thought for the passenger left behind or in our hearts were simply glad to be on our way?

The Israelites were used to waiting. What 400 years before the arrival of Jesus? We SUMites are used to waiting too, aren’t’ we? Waiting for the many prayed prayers for the salvation of our dearly loved spouses to be answered. We should be experts at it, shouldn’t we?

Hopeful Expectation

We can choose to walk through Advent with hopeful expectation. Maybe Christmas will be difficult for whatever reason which makes us apprehensive. But we can keep our minds and hearts on the good news of Jesus. He is the liberator, the lover of our souls and we can choose to use these days to intentionally go deeper with Him.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[it.” (John 1:4-5 NIV)

Jesus is the light. And as these verses tell us He shines in the darkness. May I encourage you to take a few moments today or tomorrow or the next day to identify the places in your life where you might be struggling to find God. Where are the places of darkness? These can be scary places because we worry that Jesus won’t show up. So here’s what we’ll do:

  1. Once you’ve identified a dark place, invite Jesus into it. Picture Him walking into the room, holding your hand. Every time you sense darkness, invite Jesus to come into. Our friend, Martha, actually spends each morning siting in the dark communing with God awaiting the light of the morning sunrise. It’s a wonderful practice to mirror this exercise.
  2. Be assured that He is with you. Be assured that He hears all of our prayers, all those prayers we’ve prayed for the salvation of our spouses and loved ones. Encourage yourself with the words of Psalm 56:8 –

“You keep track of all my sorrows.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

You have recorded each one in your book.”

Spending moments of stillness where it’s just you and God are particularly special in this season. I’ve recently started using an App that Ransomed Heart have released. It’s simply called “One Minute Pause”. Go check it out – it’s free. Here’s the link to the Apple version but there is also an Android one, just search for it in the Android app store: - https://apps.apple.com/app/id1471913620

Come, let us adore Him, Jesus that is, this season. Let’s be intentional with hope in our hearts. Blessing, dear friends. I’ll be checking in midway during the month with a second post on Advent.

Perhaps in the meantime let’s share with each other what we’re hoping for this Christmas. I’m hoping for complete healing for my brother, John, who is walking through a stem cell transplant to keep lymphoma at bay. Unfortunately, he will be spending Christmas in a hospital isolation ward.

*****

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.


GIVING TUESDAY

Giving hearts

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. – Luke 6:38


All of you who give even $5. I bless you in the name of Jesus.

If you donation more than $25 expect a Christmas Card photo and a letter from the Donovan Clan

Marching Around Jericho Cover 3DAnd if you donate more than $125. I’ll send you a copy of Marching Around Jericho in January, prior to release.


I adore you. Lynn
Be blessed this day!

 

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*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday

Giving_tuesday-2019-550Hello SUM Nation,

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!  Plan to give tomorrow to support the ongoing SUM ministries. Today, let's just celebrate the goodness of Jesus.

So, let me ask you a few questions and let's meet up in the comments.

  1. How many years ago did you find SUM?
  2. What has been the most impactful truth you learned here at SUM?
  3. How has your faith grown since you joined arms with others here?
  4. What are you praying for right now?
  5. How are you dreaming with God for your future?

My answers:

  1. Sum began in May 2006 when I attended the Mount Herman Christian writer's conference as a somewhat hopeful but completely overwhelmed new writer. I sat with a group of women at a table who were talking about blogging. WHAAAAAT? I didn't even know what blogging was, but I could hear the Lord say- You're going to do this... And here we are nearly 14 years later. Dineen was friends with one of those ladies from the conference. She made our introduction. Thanks Camy Tang! Interestingly, in April of 2020 I will be the non-fiction instructor for the Mount Hermon Conference. A full-circle moment 14 years later. Jesus is so good!
  2. Impactful truths? There are SO MANY.. And I learned so much from all of you. Most impactful two truths: God is always good. I am His child.
  3. I see my faith journey growing from a somewhat "Country Club" type of faith. To a SOLD-OUT, JESUS FREAK, ON FIRE, DEMON BEATING, WARRIOR..... Something like that..... grin..
  4. What am I praying for right now? I had a weird health scare a week ago. So, divine health, healing and restoration. And blessing and increase over our finances. I'm praying to defeat the poverty spirit in my family line.... Once and for all!  Hallelujah!
  5. Dreaming with God... Oh gang.... Don't get me started. I LOVE to dream with God. And lately, I'm dreaming of a world where goodness defeats evil. Men are Men. Women are women. Where honor and dignity are our highest standards. Where we love, give, cry, hold, celebrate and embrace ourselves, one another, the animals, and the world in which we live. I dream that we behold something beautiful every day around us and in us and I dream that Jesus is the pursuit of human.

Is that reaching too far? Hmmmmmm, I don't think so because I know the one who spoke it all into being.... 

I love you. Pray about what you can give tomorrow. And I'll join you in the comments today. I can't wait to read your answers. I adore you. March on Warriors!!  WE WIN! 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.