129 posts categorized "Books"

Reach for the Stars

ReachfortheStarsMy friends, we’ve already started to receive prayers from many of you for our new book, Praying for Your Unsaved Spouse. I’m hoping there are many more of you out there praying, considering and even writing your prayer story.

But if you’ve decided that’s just not something you can do, I want to tell you a little story. About a year or so after I rededicated my life to Jesus, my church started a Stephen Ministry and put a call out for participants. It was a two year commitment—a year of training and a year of service within the church. 

When I read it, I thought how wonderful that will be for our church membership, but I didn’t even consider signing up. I had two young children and a husband who didn’t share my faith at all. Didn’t seem like a good fit for me. How could I do something like that?

That same week, my pastor called me into his office to chat. He asked me if I’d considered signing up for the Stephen Ministry training. I told him honestly, no. He looked me straight in the face and asked, “Please pray about it.”

My friends, I was surprised that my pastor, who knew my situation and knew me, would think I’d be a good candidate for this. But I was very willing to pray about it. And that’s what I did the very next morning. 

I love the saying that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He calls. Jesus told the disciples not to worry about what to say but to trust that the Holy Spirit would give them the exact words they would need (Matt. 10:19, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:11).

That morning I sat in my favorite chair with my Bible in my lap, I began to pray about what my pastor had asked me. And before I could even finish my prayer, I heard God clearly say, “Well, what did you think I had in mind for you?”

You see, sometimes we disqualify ourselves for things because we haven’t done them before. Or we make assumptions that disqualify us that are completely contrary to God’s truth—and His plan—for us. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:10

My friends, if you think you are not qualified or capable of contributing to this project, please let me encourage you to seek God and ask Him. Let Him be the one to tell you what you are capable of. I have a feeling you will be very much surprised and delighted. And if you want some biblical inspiration of just how specific God can do this, read about Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 31. The only difference between them and you is that you already have the Holy Spirit living in you.

And I have a feeling there are prayers you haven’t thought about that have become near and dear to your heart. They don’t have to be about just salvation. How about prayers for your spouse to have favor at work or to be the best parent he or she can be with God’s help? We’ve seen God move in amazing ways through our spouses. What prayers have impacted your life as a SUMite? What prayers have impacted your marriage?

SUMites, I believe you have something to pray and say. Even if it’s something new that God inspires you with, share it! You’ll inspire more SUMites along this path than you will ever know. Like I say, God is not wasteful. He will take whatever you offer up to Him and multiply it beyond your wildest imagination (Eph 3:20)

I never imagined myself as a Stephen Minister, but God had planned it all along. And you know what’s even more amazing? All that training was part of God’s plan to bring me here too, to be a part of this beautiful SUM ministry. He’s the best equipper I know!

And I want to let you in on a little secret. As I was praying for this book and for our SUM family, Holy Spirit showed me there will be a sequel to this book—one filled with the salvation stories of our spouses! Can you imagine that, SUMites? Wow, God is on the move!

Holy Spirit, fill every SUMite praying this prayer with words and inspiration to be shared with those coming up behind us. I pray they be filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge and with all kinds of words to express their heart and prayers. In the mighty and most able name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUM family!
Dineen


The Big Reveal

SUMCoverDuo
Hello SUMites!

I bet you're looking at these two covers and wondering what is going on. Well, this is our big surprise. I put my graphic designer skills to work and created two covers for a book that we are going to publish—a book filled with prayers for the salvation of our spouses.

Guess who's going to write it?

YOU!

Yes, you heard us right. As the covers show, this will be a collection of prayers written by this community (Lynn and I too!) and we will publish it just like any other book. You will be able to download it from Amazon for Kindle or order a print copy. 

AND you get to vote on which cover you want. But there's a requirement for this vote. You have to submit a prayer for the book! If there's a story behind the prayer, be sure to include that too. Like how God led you to that verse and how you turned it into a prayer for your spouse. Or how something inspired you to pray that prayer. 

Now don't let that scare you off, my friends. If you have written down prayers for or journaled prayers for your spouse, dig those out and get them ready to go. Here are the submission requirements:

  • 500 - 1000 words in a Word document. 
  • Include 2 to 3 sentences at the end that will tell readers your name and who you are. You're the author, after all!
  • Re-read and edit your submission to check for typos and missing punctuation, then email them to me. Lynn and will review all submissions and help you with any final edits to make your submission shine!
  • Sign a release giving us permission to use your submission. You'll receive one of these by email with a request to return the form by postal mail. We'll need this in order to include your prayer.

Dear friends, I hope you're as excited about this as we are. Our goal is to compile the book and have it completed by the end of the summer. Imagine holding a book in your hands with something in it that you wrote. So pray for Holy Spirit inspiration and trust Him to give you words. And have fun!

All right, SUMites, let your writer flags fly, make a record of your heart-felt prayers, share your words and inspire others.

We are the SUMites and we have something to pray!

Woohoo! 
Love you!
Dineen


The NEW Soul Saver is Out!

SoulSaverCover-small
SUMites, I'm excited to tell you The Soul Saver is available again for Kindle on Amazon. If you've recently joined our family, you may not know that I started this story in 2008 just before my youngest daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was finally published in 2012 and won the Carol Award in 2013. This story wound up being quite prophetic to what would unfold in my life and my family in 2008. You can read that story here.

But what I love most about this book is that I wrote it for our community, and it's dedicated to you, SUMites. I’m amazed by the letters I’ve received from readers sharing how profoundly this story has affected their lives and marriages. One reader even said The Soul Saver saved her marriage. That's God, my friends! He birthed this story in my heart and has spoken to so many broken hearts through it. 

I can’t think of a better way to serve God’s kingdom, my friends, than to impact lives for Jesus, who empowers us to do so through the Holy Spirit who dwells in and fills us. I ask for that daily. And as our beautiful community gives testimony, God works in all ways anywhere. 

This new version has some new goodies at the end, including an epilogue I think you're really going to like, and...it could be the launching point for a sequel. Plus you'll notice on the new cover that this is book one in the Prophetic Arts Series. Book two is done and about to go to my editor. So yes, it's looking like two different series will be branching out from this one book. God has done a lot of talking to me about this in just the past few days, and I am very excited to be on this adventure with Him.

So Lexie, Hugh and Nate's stories will hopefully continue—so many have asked me for that. And I have a suspicion Hugh's journey toward salvation will be symbolic of what God is doing in our own spouses, my friends. I can't wait to see that unfold. I'll keep you posted on that book. Maybe that story will be dedicated to all our spouses who have walked the same journey to faith as Hugh, 'cuz I'm thinking this next story may be his turning point. Now how cool would that be?

Dream big with God, my friends. It's a blast. And thank you for letting me share this story with you. 
Love you!
~Dineen


And the Adventures Continue!

SUM10Anniversary
Hello SUM Nation!

We’ve had a blast this month walking down memory lane, doing a LIVE Webcast, announcing our ordinations and celebrating YOU! Did you enjoy the stories? Lynn and I have had some crazy adventures together, and we have taken you with us in our hearts every time.

WHWW&NotAloneWe’ve written two books together—Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone—Bible studies you, the SUMites, asked us for. Which then led to invitations to speak at conferences, to be on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Dr. Dobson and INSIGHT on The Miracle Channel. Lynn even did an interview on the 700 Club! She’s the big adventurer in this duo, that’s for sure. 

Lynn and I have talked a lot about our adventures this month and laughed—a lot! She has said I was the one who gave her the gift of saying “yes,” when she said “let’s go!” Honestly, I believe I’m the one who was blessed more. She keeps me from getting too comfortable, you know? We all need someone like that in our lives.

And the adventures continue, SUMites! We are a family. A church without walls. The SUM Nation. God has brought us all together these last ten years for a reason, for such a time as this, and that time continues. His plans are still unfolding for us, my friends.

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, and Lynn and I have decided to take next week off. We have some planning and catching up to do. My hubby is off Monday so I’m looking forward to some beach time with him! But be sure to catch Ian’s post on Wednesday. And Lynn and I will be back June 6th.

With a surprise…

What kind of surprise, you ask? Well, we’ve been up to something—been planning the next adventure. And this one includes you, SUMites. A surprise that we think you’re going to love being part of. So be sure to stop in June 6th for all the details.

Until then, have an amazing Memorial Day weekend with your family. Enjoy next week with friends and family in whatever adventures you happen to be on. 

We love you, SUM family, with all our hearts. We love being a part of your lives as we continue to walk this great adventure with God together.

BIG hugs!
Dineen & Lynn

P.S. I (Dineen) will have a small post up this Saturday with a little announcement that I hope you’ll enjoy. XOXO

 


For Every Mom Who Is Praying For A Prodigal

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comAMAZING stories were shared on Monday! SUMites, it is a privilege to be among you. Your love for Jesus and your family coupled with your wisdom, is truly a gift to me, Dineen and our entire family here on the web. 

Today I want to wrap up chapter four. I remain very passionate about the subject of raising our kids to faith and share many successful ideas in this chapter. If you listened in to any of the radio interviews I did this week, you heard me share some of them.

But today, my heart bleeds for all the mamas who are crying for their lost children. Those who have turned away from God. The adult children that cause our hearts to sting and our eyes to leak.

So this post is for those of you who are praying for prodigal adults. An excerpt from Not Alone, the Appendix 1: Rebellion and the Prodigal Adult:

Dry Bones

I shared in my story at the beginning of this book that I was a good kid. But I later spent a string of years as a prodigal, far from the God I had been taught to know. So I can tell you that even good kids choose to turn away from their faith. But I’m convinced that my return to God was brought about for two reasons.

One, the Lord of the universe, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit relentlessly pursued me with a powerful, redemptive love.

Two, my mother prayed and never gave up hope. She was my soft landing spot, even when I had screwed up my life and the lives of others. She always listened to me. She loved me even when I refused to follow her gentle words of wisdom. She was always an example to me of living faith and joy. In the darkest points of my prodigal wanderings, my mother always, always loved me. She affirmed me in a way that bridged the gap between her pain and my arrogance.

I called my mother to ask her for the first time what she had prayed during the years of my Nebuchadnezzar insanity (see Dan. 4). Before she told me, she reminded me that she had tried to help me see that I would regret the decisions I was making. She also acknowledged that she had felt hopeless as I politely listened to her but ignored her advice.

Ouch!

However, she added that she had never felt as if God had abandoned me or that He had ignored her pleas on my behalf. Mom told me, “I prayed with fervor for your protection from evil people and from evil spirits. I begged God to help you make some intelligent decisions, and mostly I prayed, ‘Lord, don’t let go of her.’ ”

My friend, God will bring to bear His great power and love in the lives of those for whom we pray. He is a God of redemption—He wants to redeem our lost kids and also our unbelieving spouses. We are called to trust with unwavering faith that God will save our lost loved ones.

Believe God with such conviction that you become completely certain there is no other alternative except for God to fulfill His promises. Our God moves heaven and earth to meet expectations and prayers such as these. Then watch and wait for the miracles. God gives life to dry bones:

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.” So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’ ” (Ezek. 37:9-14, NLT, emphasis added).

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We need only BELIEVE & PRAY!

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You are Not Alone in the Dark

Arlene PellicaneGuest Post by Arlene Pellicane Giveaway: 
31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom 

I was attending Dave Ramsay’s Financial Peace University when a not-so-peaceful thing happened.  On my way out of the restroom, I read a sign posted, “If you’re not using the lights, please turn them off.”  I thought I was alone so I flipped the switch.  Before the door shut behind me, I heard a shrill, fear-filled scream from inside the bathroom.  It sounded like a young girl. 

I hurried back in and turned on the light.  “I’m so sorry,” I said to the apparently occupied stall.  “I didn’t know you were in here.”  I thought about that little girl’s scream for a while.  The feeling of her fear lingered with me.  

She was terrified by the darkness and the uncertainty of being in the bathroom in the blackness. 

Are there things about motherhood that scare you stiff?  Toddler tantrums, potty training, boyfriends, girlfriends, and paying for college come to mind.  There are a lot of things for a mom to be afraid of.  You can worry about the distant future or about what will happen in the next minutes.  You can agonize about school assignments, questionable friendships, and stranger danger.

We’re afraid of what might happen in the future.  Many scenarios we fear as mothers are not really motivated by any clear or present danger.  We manufacture them in our own minds, like the time I pictured my children being abducted when they took a short walk around the block. 

Fear can muddle your thinking, keep you from using your gifts, and cheat you out of peace.  God knows we all struggle with fear.  Maybe that’s why the Bible tells us more than three hundred times not to fear.  In fact, “Fear not” is the most frequently repeated command in the Bible.     

Happy Mom coverWe can fear the inevitable disappointments in family life.  Your son might not make the basketball team.  Your husband could be laid off.  Your daughter’s BFF may find another BFF.  My friend author Karol Ladd told me about her friend who has five children, four of which are boys.  When she recognized life wasn’t going to be perfect and go according to plan all the time, she started saying to herself, “Oh well.”  That became her little go-to phrase.  Instead of succumbing to fear or frustration, she came to terms with her daily reality.  She trained herself to be flexible and to respond with “Oh well” instead of “Oh no!” 

I love what Karol told me,

We’ve got to recognize that life isn’t perfect.  People aren’t perfect.  I think a healthy, happy mom has to take that picture of perfection off the wall and throw it away.  Yes, we want to strive for excellence and do things well, but life is not going to be about having every duck in a row.  We need to be okay with that.  Often we want things perfect because we want safety and control.  We can make our plans but the final results are up to God.  A happy mom is one who has her eyes on a perfect God.  She trusts Him and relaxes.

Take heart my friend.  Look up to your perfect God.  Then trust Him…and relax.  Everything is going to be okay.  You’re not in the alone in the dark.  He is with you!   

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GIVEAWAY INFO:  We are giving away a copy of Arlene’s new book, 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom. 

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom and 31 Days to a Happy Husband.  She is also the co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World (with Gary Chapman).  She has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah. 

Arlene lives in the San Diego area with her husband James and their three children.  

To learn more and for free family resources such as a monthly Happy Home podcast, visit www.ArlenePellicane.com   


Did God See That Coming?

Listen In!!

 image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comToday's message is straight from my heart for every SUMite. 

Truth.... Perspective.... Courage.... No Fear.... Power.... AND Declaration Prayer at the End. Join me and be inspired and encouraged. I LOVE YOU.... LYNN

 

 

 

 If you can't see this video in the news feed, click here.

 

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It's even MORE on Sale

Only $1.99 

(Read the excerpt below written by a 21 year old who was raised in a spiritually mismatched home.)

SUMite Nation, our book, Not Alone, which we're using for this new series Equipping Our Kids in a Contrary Culture is on sale for even less. It looks like the ebook for Kindle, Nook and iBook have lowered the price down to a buck, ninety nine. $1.99. 

That's as low as it's gonna go.

Read along with us through our series this month.

It's a great deal!

Excerpt from Not Alone

Page 74: The Payoff (Lynn)

My good friend Shelly has been married for 24 years. Her son, Rickey, recently shared with me a few words about growing up in a spiritually mismatched home. Rickey is 21 years old. He says,

I have to say that the most impacting thing that influenced my faith had to be my mother never giving me the “option” to go to church. It was mandatory. I didn’t want to go, because I would look at my father staying home on a Sunday watching television or whatever else he happened to be doing, and some days that’s all I wanted. However, because I was forced into that sanctuary every Sunday, I began to grow a love and desire for it. It became a necessity for me. I built relationships with the youth leaders and all the youth around me as well. Pretty soon, I was begging to go to church every opportunity I had. If there was an event at church, I made sure I was there. 

 

Rickey is living proof that Mamas can and do impact a child's eternity. 

Thank you Jesus. Give us boldness to speak love, mercy, grace and truth with compassion and passion into our children. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note Alone Cover Art

Dineen and I would be so thankful if you would share on your social media. THANK YOU! (click buttons below.)


Parenting Supernaturally

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHow is our parenting supernatural?

We find the answer in a powerful passage of God’s Word…. And this paragraph was written specifically for all of us who are married to unbelievers.

For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God. — 1 Corinthians 7:14

Our love relationship with God and the promises of His Word are how are children are affected for the Kingdom.

In REAL LIFE: This plays out in my life in my prayers. If you read through my disappointment series, you will remember how much warfare surrounded my family on a single day. I became so mad at the demonic and the harm the enemy was inflicting, that I began to pray something like this:

Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I declare that my family and me are off limits. My children and my spouse are sanctified and a part of God’s plans according to my Lord’s purposes in 1 Corinthians 7. I cover myself and my children with the blood of Jesus and ask for the forgiveness of our sins and for the love and redemption of God’s mercy in our lives.

My children and my spouse are covered by God and are included in his plans for me and my family. I stand as a spiritual authority over my family through the power and love given to me by Jesus and through the promise of sanctification. Nothing can touch them. No weapon formed against them will prosper. I say that God has plans for us to prosper us and not to harm us. It is God’s will to give us a hope and a future.

I will stand against the enemy and speak love into their lives. I will live with faith and conviction and I WILL NOT RELENT IN PRAYING FOR THEM EVERY DAY. Devil you cannot have them. They belong to Jesus. It is in my Savior’s powerful name and by His authority that I bring my children before the mercy seat and declare them sanctified, holy, and covered by the plans of God. This day Jesus do everything possible to reveal yourself to my spouse and children. It is my heart’s cry that they come to full salvation through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. AMEN

 

When we grasp this truth of sanctification and pray in faith through the Holy Spirit for our children, we need not live in fear for their salvation or for their lives. It’s not a guarantee for their salvation but we do not need to fear because Jesus will do absolutely everything to bring them into the Kingdom of God.

Of this I have zero doubt. AMEN.

Q: What does it mean to you to know you have the spiritual authority to pray with power and watch God supernaturally move for your children?

Q: Share with me an example of how your faith impacted one or more of your kids? I want to celebrate with you.

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How To Be The MOST Powerful Voice In Your Kid's Lives

Back To School: Equipping Kids in a contrary culture (Lynn) image from dineen.typepad.com 

Every, single, day our children are bombarded with voices. Social media and television shout continual messages of entitlement, moral ambiguity, hate, lust and fear, to name only a few.

Sheesh! With so much chatter coming at our kids we can fear our voice might be drowned out by voices sent from the darkness. And there are moments in our own home where our children receive conflicting messages from Dad about moral choices, (television, video games, and cultural issues).

I know as a young mom I experienced moments of doubt and fear and this upsetting question would flash into my mind: Will my kids go to heaven?

How do we help our kids find and follow Jesus in today’s culture? How do we as believing parents help our children listen to the right voices?

I have a very simple answer: The most powerful thing we can do to help our children love Jesus is to love Jesus ourselves.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. —Mark 12:30

My daughter, Caitie, turned 20 years old this summer. Finally, the crazy teen years are behind us. Woo Hoo!! *grin* She is walking into adulthood. My daughter was raised all of her life in a spiritually mismatched home. But inspire of the disconnect about faith between her parents, she is walking into a faith-life that is her own. She and I have talked a lot about things she is still trying to sort out about God and she has discovered that living by faith is challenging on a college campus. But she knows the truth.

So much of her foundation in her faith came because she knew that I loved Jesus. She watched me reading my Bible in the early morning hours. She went to church with me every Sunday. I talked to her about the amazing things happening with me and Jesus in our everyday lives.

My love for God was THE most important “voice” in her life.

Mom and Dad, the BEST thing you can ever do to raise your children to faith, is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. This kind of love is ultimately irresistible.

And one more thing happens in your family dynamic when you love God in such a manner. It’s supernatural and I will tell you more about that on Friday. For now, this week, I have a challenge for you mom and dad:

This week make a commitment to pray daily for each of your children BY NAME. Bring them before the Mercy Seat of God and petition for them. Their fears, concerns, their hopes, dreams. Intercede this week and then let’s watch the Lord answer our prayers. I hope to share some heavenly impact in my children’s lives on Friday. I’m praying for them by name.

Lord, help me to be filled with grace, overflowing with compassion and kindness. Shape everything I do with forgiveness and hope. Let me love my children, guide them faithfully and remember always that they are Yours, In the name of Jesus. AMEN.

One more thing, share with me and with other parents in the comments, what scripture verses bring you comfort and encouragement in your parenting? Hugs, Lynn

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Not Alone Book Banner 2015


FREE RESOURCE

SUMite Leaders:

All of us are leaders by the way. But for all of you who the Holy Spirit has been nagging to start a small group in your area, this is for you. Fall is around the corner and churches are starting to put their fall Bible studies and small groups together. Perhaps you are to step out a lead one.

Leading a small group in this area that you know well, is one of the most rewarding experiences in your faith walk. 

So pray about starting a small group. Read the booklet in the sidebar. Pray... Pray again. Recruit a friend to lead with you. And use the many resources that are here to help.

Note Alone Cover Art Book coverStudy Winning Him Without Words for marriages and follow that up with Not Alone, a parenting book that will truly help your children find Jesus even in a Spiritually Mismatched home.

Here is a new resource that is adapted from Winning Him by a small group in California. My friends, we can do this unique marriage thing and do it well. Then we can help others to thrive and live in the love and power of the Kingdom.

Hugs, Lynn & Dineen

PRAYER CARDS - New Resource.


Keys To The Kingdom - Part I

SUMites:

I have a thing about keys.

Last week I believe the Lord poured out revelation upon me regarding keys and their significance in the Kingdom. I also believe that the revelation was not only specific to myself but also to others.

Way back in 2009 I penciled together an idea for a book. That book was centered on 10 keys. Winning Him Without Words, was the result and the keys became profound in my life and by default, in a lot of other lives who have read the book and will read the book. Then last year I had a dream. I rarely remember my dreams but on this particular night I dreamt that Jesus handed me three keys. I could clearly see bronze skeleton keys. It was obvious to me they were tarnished and ancient. I knew somehow they were large and weighty.

That’s all I remember about the dream. I called Dineen and told her about it and that I didn’t know the purpose of the keys. It’s one of those things that you hold in your heart, just as Mary held special thoughts about Jesus in her heart. Months passed. The picture in my mind remained of these three keys. Then one day I read a passage in Romans. This passage has nothing to do with keys or at least that’s what I thought. However, the minute I read it, I just knew. These were the keys Jesus placed in my hands.

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. —Romans 14:17

The three keys are Righteousness, Peace and Joy.

Do you know what the keys unlock?

Well, it was months later after a season of prayer asking the Lord to reveal their meaning that I came to know these specific characteristics; peace, joy, righteousness, are attributes of heaven. The atmosphere of heaven! Now, I don’t fully understand the profound significance of all this. I believe I’m still uncovering how to use the keys and learning what they unlock specifically and such. But, I am living more and more in this kind of atmosphere here on earth.

Finally, in my new book I write about the combination lock which I also shared in a post here in November. And guess what? Yes, the new book is about keys!

Yep, locks, lockers, keys, unlocking and locking are prominent in my growing faith. Finally this past week, I was out in the vineyards on my walk-n-pray and that was when the Holy Spirit downloaded the revelation. I called Dineen and practically wore her out with my excitement over this revelation. But what I forgot is the reason this revelation finally came about was because of a lock I found back in January. I shared a photo of it on Facebook that day and I shared the photo again in the SUM comments on Monday. Here it is for you to see.

Master unlocked

Last week as I walked along the vineyard road, the Lord revealed the meaning of the clues. And what I failed to remember was Dineen and several others found locks around the same time that I found mine. (Side note: I found this lock sitting on the fence post, unlocked. Notice it’s old and also notice the word: Master. Joanne pointed out that little bit of intrigue to me. I hadn’t noticed it said, Master. Hmmmm) Okay, onward.

At the center of Becoming Brave is the passage Matthew 16:18-19

Jesus said: …”Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

MY FRIENDS!!!!! The implications of how all this comes together, simply freaks me out.

I came home supercharged with faith. Now let me tell you about the passage I read that morning before my walk. I’ve read the Bible through since 1999 and I haven’t remembered reading this specific passage until that morning. This passage blows my mind and was the final piece of the revelation.

Read Joshua 10:1-14 and we will pick up this story on Friday. It’s a mind-blow. And this story is for us. I will explain.

This week I want you to pray over these particular passages of scripture, Matthew 16:18-19 and Joshua 10:1-14. I’m praying along with you because I believe these passages are for us, believers right now, today. The implications are staggering and so exciting.

Leave your thoughts in the comments. See you there. Hugs, Lynn

Signature Lynn SUM


Let Them Cry by Joanne Kraft

Joanne Kraft is offering a snippet into her newest book today. Joanne and I have been friends for a long time. Our lives have been interestingly and divinely intertwined. She is a good friend who loves God. I was able to read her book and endorse it. Today, she shares some of her parenting wisdom. Thanks Joanne. Love you girl. Hugs, Lynn

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image from joannekraft.comMy teenage son walked down the stairs with a frown on his face. College classes have gotten the best of him.

My pep talk with him yesterday apparently wasn’t as good as I thought it was and my future as a motivational speaker went down in flames.

When I brought my first child home from the hospital their cries were immediately met with a soothing rub and my full attention until the whimpers quieted. From baby tears to teenage sulking, I want to make my child happy. I’ve exhausted myself trying to make this happen. 

Here’s what I’ve finally realized– I can’t make any of my kids happy. 

            Here’s the clue you may be doing something wrong—when you exhaust yourself doing it. 

Years ago, when my mom watched me try to stop tears from my four children, she gave me my first golden bit of wisdom, “Let them cry. I promise they will be okay.”

When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus had died, Jesus didn’t come that very day but waited two more days before heading back to them in Judea. When he arrived he discovered the funeral had already taken place, Lazarus had been dead four days now, and there were two very heartbroken sisters in deep mourning who had been crying for days.

Not only were Mary and Martha in tears but it’s in this passage of scripture where we find the shortest sentence in the Bible—Jesus wept. Two words packed with incredible meaning. Even our Savior shed tears. Even He felt sad. 

Let Them Cry 

Let them hurt. Is there anything more contrary to mothering than allowing a child to cry or hurt? Still, it’s much needed for their development. Come alongside and give them a hug.  Sympathize and validate their hurt, “Yes, I know you’re sad.” Or, “It’s okay to be sad. Sometimes mommy is sad, too.” And if a child is older, maybe you can empathize, “I understand how hard this is for you.” Or, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’ve been there, too.” Follow up with a personal story of your own about a past hurt or grievance.

Let them heal. Give them a little time. Don’t let their hurt sabotage your life or manipulate joy in your home. Scripture reminds us there’s “A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Give them needed space but look for signs of healing; interest in friends, playing again, laughter, an appetite, and conversation.

Let them lean. When a child is young they lean on mom and dad for everything. As they grow older we need to let go so they can lean on God. I can’t expect my adult child to have BIG FAITH if they have little experience in leaning on a BIG GOD. If I answer their every whim and whimper, I become God in their eyes. Do you want to grow their faith? Let them lean on the only ONE who can meet and exceed their expectations. (Psalm 62:5)

As a mom, I’m not a magic joy-fairy called to sprinkle pixie-dust over my child’s every moment. I have to remind myself that my daughters and sons must feel pain while in my keep. God grows us through pain. How else will they know how to navigate life’s storms as adults?

image from i1298.photobucket.comAs a mom, I’m not a magic fairy called to spread joyful pixie-dust over my child’s every moment. I have to remind myself, my daughters and sons must feel pain while in my keep. God grows us through pain. How else will they know how to navigate life’s storms as adults?

Let your child cry today. Let them hurt and let them heal, but make sure through it all to let them lean on God. Like I said earlier, scripture reminds us there’s “A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Maybe, today it’s time to let them cry. I promise they’ll be okay.

Joanne Kraft is a mom of four and the author of Just Too Busy—Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical and her recent book The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids. She’s been a guest on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and CBN. Her articles have appeared in ParentLife, Today’s Christian Woman, In Touch, Thriving Family, P31 Woman and more. Joanne and her husband, Paul, recently moved their family from California to Tennessee and happily traded soy milk and arugula for sweet tea and biscuits. 

 

Website http://joannekraft.com/


Reader Question

Hey ladies, 

You mentioned in your book together about how you handle media choices. Could you share some advice? Music, tv, entertainers (comedians), too much screen time overall? Also praying that pornography is not an current or future issue. 

Thanks! 
Jen

Jen’s question is such a good one, my friends, and she graciously gave me permission to answer it here on our blog.

What Choices?
My friends, as we walk in closer intimacy with Jesus, we become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Don’t be surprised if you are finding yourself unable to read, watch and listen to things you used to. 

For example, I used to love to read thrillers and watch shows like Criminal Minds. I can’t anymore—haven’t been able to for a while. In fact, just the other night, my hubby and I were watching one of our shows together (we have a handful we both can agree upon) on Hulu, which still has commercials, and an ad came on for the show “The Following” (yes, the one starring Kevin Bacon). 

I didn’t even think about my reaction, my friends. My hands flew up and covered my face and I blurted out something like, “Oh, I can’t watch that. Nope, can’t watch that.” I think I kept saying it too so I couldn’t hear the dialogue either. I’ve no idea what my hubby thought as I couldn’t see his reaction, but he did let me know when it was over. Whew! (And what a bummer that I can’t watch Kevin Bacon!)

Now if something disturbs you, it’s going to disturb your children. And saying it’s just me or it’s not a big deal is hedging away from the truth that it does make a HUGE difference as to what we allow ourselves to watch, take in and assimilate. We have more wisdom and experience than our children so it’s crucial we stand in the gap for them too. Our minds and hearts are precious to God and need to be protected as this is also where our battles begin.

This is one area that I will even go as far as to say, stand your ground no matter what. Stand for yourself and stand for your children. I know these are the times that can really create havoc in our marriages, but ultimately we are influencing our pre-believer as well. Trust God to work that out and don’t be surprised if, over time, you find your spouse’s choices influenced by yours as well. As we protect our children’s viewing choices, we can influence our spouse’s as well with love and grace. (My friends, please share what you have experienced in this area as I think it would help us all.)

Let’s look at a great Bible verse that speaks to this topic of what we put into our minds:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. — Phil. 4:8 NLT

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious––the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. — Phil. 4:8 The Message

Once the imagery goes into our minds it’s hard to get it out. I’ve had ask the Holy Spirit to actually remove images in my mind that came from books I read and movies I watched as a teenager and young adult. He’s very good at that and you can even ask Him for positive imagery to replace it.  

Now how and where do we draw the line? I believe some of this is obvious but some isn’t as what may be okay for one person isn’t for another. For example, I’m very sensitive to things to do with the mind (evil) and sexuality. My husband is very sensitive to violence. We work together to makes choices that we both can enjoy while being sensitive to the other person.

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” — 1 Cor. 10:23-24 ESV

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “ All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” — 1 Cor. 6:12 ESV 

NotAlone3DThis goes for music and books as well. In chapter five (Peaceful Kids) of our book Not Alone, I share how my family and I handled the Harry Potter books when they entered the scene. My husband wanted to read the first one to my oldest daughter who was around 12 at the time, but I was very concerned and expressed those feelings. We agreed we’d all read the book at the same time. This gave me an opportunity to discuss different aspects of it with her and reinforce the truth of good and evil. This option wound up working very well for our family.

And what I love especially in what Paul says is that he will not be dominated by anything. This is profound wisdom, my friends. For that is one thing we must be on guard for, that nothing would dominate in our minds and hearts to becoming an idol in place of Jesus. That which we fixate on we give control to.

How Much?
Again, I think the same principles apply as above. What works and is appropriate for you and your family? I do tend to think less is better as we can more than likely “think upon” better things. But content needs to be considered as well. There are many documentaries available today that when chosen wisely, can offer a wise use of time. Another example, my husband and I took our time watching a series about the Roosevelts and found it very enjoyable. We learned more about our country’s history and enjoyed doing this together.

I’m also a big believer in redirection. Let me explain. I find much more success in suggesting an alternative option than arguing against the current one. Too much TV watching? Suggest that you and hubby go for a walk, or suggest a game to play with the kids, indoor or out. These are great ways to stay together as a family instead of defaulting to everyone going their own way. We can be creative in how we handle these situations with the leading of the Holy Spirit, my friends. Don’t limit yourself or the Holy Spirit to give you and your loved ones another way to go. 

About the “P” Word
Jen is wise to pray against the presence and influence of pornography. Very wise indeed. My friends, follow those nudges from the Holy Spirit. He may be showing you something to pray for or against that could happen tomorrow or two years down the road. Remember, the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective (James 5:16), so follow those leadings and pray. Don't be afraid or fearful, just pray and trust Him. The more you do these things the more you will recognize your Shepherd’s voice and grow more and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. It just takes practice. 

Thank you, Jen, for sending in your question. My friends, I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well. I’m sure many of you have some great ideas and words of inspiration for this important topic. I’m so thankful for this loving and supportive community! You all are amazing!

Love you!
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I'm Pissed Off!!!

Can I say that on a Christian blog?

Well, at least it's a righteous anger.....

Read with me and then share with me your thoughts. Hugs, Lynn

Believing Wife – Agnostic Husband (names have been omitted for privacy) 

IMG_2524[1]Earlier in the week, Dineen and I received an email from a reader who was seeking some perspective about her husband. When Dineen and I read it, almost simultaneously on different sides of America, the same thing happened. We both were filled with emotion. Heartbreak for our sweet SUMite and also a righteous anger. Here is a portion of her email and then a portion of my reply: 

My husband, a life-long believer, has become agnostic/atheist  after reading about evolution and every book & lectures from a (well-known agnostic author), and has also become very politically liberal in his worldview.  He has been sharing with our pre-teen (still believes) and teen (says she doesn't anymore and that God isn’t real) his reasons. 

My husband says he has vastly researched, is very sure he has the truth, and will never go back to Christianity and that it is important that our kids know his view point and "the truth" because he doesn't want them to have false hope, guilt, etc, and because while the bible does have some good things to say, it is not true and Christianity (along with other religions) can be dangerous.  This is a huge change in our almost 2 decade old relationship. 

I am trying to "not fear anything frightening" but this has been very difficult on me and our marriage.  I am extremely concerned for my children as they hear these things, and for myself, and of course for my husband….. Sister Sumite 

First of all my heart breaks for you (name omitted). I am so sorry you're in this place. But I'm so glad that you reached out to me and Dineen. And I will also tell you that Dineen received this email at the same time I did. I spoke with Dineen this morning and the same thing happened to her, she rose up in a righteous anger about your situation. 

So I want to share my thoughts about your husband leaving Christianity and choosing to be agnostic. As clear as I could hear it from the Lord himself, I heard this: This man, this atheist author, may write his little atheist books but they will not be around past 50 years from now. And he may be deceiving people through his writing; however, these silly little books propagated by the demonic realm will come to nothing. And most of them will never be read after 20 years from now. 

But My Holy Word has been around for not only several centuries but two millennia. Great armies have come against My Word but they cannot stop it from reaching into people's lives and bringing my love, hope, and freedom. 

(My friend), when you put this into perspective I hope the truth of God's word rises up before you and becomes very powerful. Your husband has not treated you fairly either as a wife and mother. For him to lay down rules that everyone in the family must follow, according to his belief system, I find that absolutely reprehensible. Marriage is a partnership not a dictatorship. You and your children deserve, and should be enabled and empowered to practice and speak about your faith in your own home. I have very strong convictions about this so please read my words and pray about them. I'm praying for you to have courage to go to your husband and bring some balance back into your relationship with regard to faith matters. 

And now Sweet Sister, I want to share my thoughts about your teenage daughter. And I ask that you would read through this and take these thoughts to the Lord in prayer and ask him about what I'm going to share. When I read the sentence that your daughter, your 15-year-old daughter, has now lost her faith because of her father, I was deeply grieved in my spirit. Because teenage girls, especially a girl your daughter’s age, face some of the most difficult challenges to their identity during the teenage years. They are under a barrage from every direction that challenges their hope, their identity, and their self-worth and many other things that have lasting, lifelong, effects on their lives. And what I see your husband has done to your daughter through his doubt in God, he has stolen her hope. And right now more than ever a 15-year-old girl needs to have hope. She needs to know there is a higher power that has got her back, that will never leave her nor forsake her, that loves her for who she is and not what she looks like. I'm deeply grieved that the hope of the living God has been stolen from your daughter by her own father. Please forgive me if this seems harsh, but this is really how I felt deep in my heart. And I know this is exactly how Jesus feels right now about your daughter. And he feels the same way about you. 

My friend, let Dineen and I be the voice from Jesus that you need to hear today. God is absolutely real. I have experienced him personally and so has Dineen. He loves us. He will take care of us. And he is our hope. Every. Single. Day. My friend I ask that you might go speak to a pastor to have someone help to shore up your faith and learn to walk in this situation with courage and to stand your ground on what you know is true. Also, if your husband pushes these books by this author at you again, you can simply say I've made up my mind. I don't need to read these it doesn't make me less of a person, if I don't have an open mind to every book that you shove at me. Personally, for me, I told my husband that I don't need to explore any other faiths, religions, or books. I know in my heart that the living word of God is the absolute truth. And millions upon millions of people throughout centuries and centuries have discovered the same thing. The Bible is the blueprint for living a happy and joy filled life. 

I promise you, in 50 years, no one will be reading this atheist’s books. But in 50 years from now, millions will be reading the Bible. Love you much, Lynn and Dineen 

I wrote more to her about praying for her and I hope and pray my words encouraged her. I hope and pray now that these words reach deeply into anyone else that is walking in a journey similar.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Guest With Arlene Pelicane

I'm a guest with Arlene Pelicane today on her podcast. 

Happy-wife-rendered2Arlene: Are you and your husband on the same page spiritually?  My dear friend, author Lynn Donovan shares her story of what it’s like to be married to an unbeliever.  You are going to love her spunk and honesty.

How has she found love, peace, and happiness in a marriage that is spiritually mismatched?  Find hope for your hurtingmarriage today.

Find more help for your marriage in Lynn’s book, co-authored with Dineen Miller,Winning Him Without Words. Lynn’s story is also featured in my book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife.

Lynn Donovan on Becoming a Happy Wife


New Series For July

Hi SUMite Family. 

Lynn Donovan here. Question: Can you believe half of 2014 is over??? We are jumping into the last half of the year and I still have so much I want to accomplish and even more I’m waiting for many, many prayers to be answered.

So as we jump into July Dineen and I were thinking that we will take the first week of July off. So many of us are traveling, attending BBQ’s and just darn busy. We will pick up again on Monday, July 7th. I would like to take a quick study of the book, The Five Love Languages (in our sidebar). 

Five-love-languages

So SUMites, what is your love language? What is your spouse’s love language? Share on Facebook or in the comments. Can you guess mine? Dineen’s? What is the love language of Jesus? Hmmmm. Things to ponder. We will tackle this next week. For now. Have a great week off and thank you for loving God and people. Hugs, Lynn

 

 


The Day the Devil Came to Steal My Life

Today it's my supreme pleasure to introduce you to Lisa Bujanda. She along with her husband, Gil, are the pastors of my church here in Temecula. I adore Lisa and count it a true blessing to have her as a sister in Christ. She has been walking in the gifts of the spirit since she had a miraculous encounter with love. So today, I pray her true and personal story will inspire you. 

I love you Lisa and Gil. May your story bring great honor and glory to Jesus. Hugs, Lynn

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LisabujandaIt was the week of my 23rd birthday. I was at death’s door with a Heart & Lung disease. Doctors had given me no hope and no cure. 

On October 3rd of 1983, I sat in the doctors office with my fiancé Gil as the doctors words echoed in our ears. “You have six months to a year to live.” 

I was barely a young adult. His words were devastating. What, my life was ending? How does a 20-year-old deal with that kind of news? It brought me to my knees and I cried out to God for help. At that moment my young life flashed before my eyes and I realized I wouldn’t have a future. No career, no kids. I wouldn’t see my children grow up, graduate, get married and have kids of their own. My hopes and dreams were smashed. 

The doctors only advice was to get on the Heart-Lung transplant list. He said it could buy me some time. At that time the surgery was very experimental. Only ten Heart-Lung surgeries with my specific diagnosis had been done in the entire world. As I awaited a call to go to Stanford University to be evaluated and put on the active list, we began to do fund-raising. We did numerous TV spots and newspaper articles. This propelled me into a deep depression. It’s nothing like watching yourself on the evening news and hearing the doctor said she has no more time left. 

We hit rock bottom; but we continued to cry out to God for help. We gave God permission to mess with our theology and teach us His truth. Our prayer was -just speak to us.  

God answered our prayer and began to teach us about who He is. He began to reveal His goodness. He is a good God and He reminded us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever- Hebrews 13:8 

He taught us that He still heals today and for us to trust Him. Our loving Father gave us many promises to stand on and believe. On Easter Sunday we decided to trust Him fully for healing. And instead of instantly getting better I got worse. The promise was tested. I began to deteriorate to the point of being bed ridden and on oxygen 24/7. I had severe chest pain and could barely move because of the lack of oxygen. 

The doctor came to our house that week and told Gil to get everything ready that I would be dead by the end of the week. But Gil received a word from God that night. It was Psalm 40: 1-3. “I waited patiently from the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire: he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” 

A few days after the doctors visit I said my good byes to my husband Gil. I knew it was time. I felt all the energy drain from my body and felt like I was drifting in a tunnel. I was in complete peace and then I heard the Father God say. “No it's not your time.” Instantly all the energy came back into my body. 

God is good all the time!! 

Please don’t blame God for the things that the enemy brings. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus comes to bring life and life more abundantly. 

If something is stealing, killing or destroying your life; it is the enemy not God.

Our prayer should be Father let Your Kingdom come and let Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. God does not bring sickness and disease that’s the enemy’s doing. 

Jesus brought me new life that day and I will never be the same. He gave me a second chance at life. He can give you a second chance and restore seven-fold what the enemy has stolen in your life. Trust Him! 

My favorite verse: Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” 

You can read more about my story in my book "Destined for Life" by Lisa A Bujanda on Amazon.com

Lisa A. Bujanda
Revive Hope

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Revive-Hope/609571489084298

 


Audio Books For Busy Wives and Moms

Hi Everyone: 

I have one more story to share about our book, Not Alone, before we launch into our next series. On Monday we are going to have a discussion about contending with the Orphan Spirit. And my friends, I can almost guarantee we have all faced this demon in some way or another. This is a must read! 

But today, as Dineen and I end our week sharing our hearts about parenting, I’m moved to share the words of our friend, Steve Smith. 

IMG_1289[1]
Steve represents Oasis Audio. Oasis Audio published our books in audio and they were released about two weeks ago. Steve went way beyond inconvenience to allow Dineen and I to record the books in our own voices. The audio team worked with a couple of ordinary moms and put together audio books so that some mom out there, who is driving to work and doesn’t have time to read, can hear a word of encouragement from the Lord. 

Steve writes: 

Lynn and Dineen,

I have to tell you, I do popular big-selling inspirational books because they make money and keep our employees in jobs. When Elaine at Gospel Light showed me you titles, I thought about my mom, who fifty years ago was abandoned by my dad. My sister was five. I was two. She was fortunate enough to be a college educated woman and eventually climbed her way to the top of the corporate world, but our lives weren't easy and she did her best to be both mother and father to us. We were not aware of God in our lives until I was in junior high and my mom enrolled me in a Lutheran school because she didn't want me exposed to a public jr. high. When I saw NOT ALONE, I thought of my mom and how this book would have been very helpful to her. 

And then I looked at my own years as a youth pastor and the struggles single moms were enduring. You thanked me for serving the kingdom. I can't accept that noble honor. I made the choice because I wanted to serve women like my mom. But I think Jesus is very happy that you two wrote these books, and I am honored to publish the audio. I don't care if they aren't NY Times bestsellers. I want them to reach and help the people who need them.

 

IMG_1277[1]I about wept when I read this a few months back. I think of the years I spent working full time, driving children to school, feeling exhausted, and struggling with the demands and fears we face when raising children. Wow… 

So, today, Dineen and I humbly unveil the audio recordings of, Not Alone AND Winning Him Without Words. Please think about someone, who is a single mom who needs a word from the Lord to inspire her to stick in there and kept living her faith out in front of little eyes. A woman who needs to know she can come through the loneliness and pain of a spiritually mismatched marriage. Then if you are able, share this audio book with her. Let her know it exists and that all of us here exist to love one another and pray for each other. Buy her a CD if the Lord moves you to help her. Perhaps this woman is you? 

Thank you my friends. THANK YOU STEVE. Please know that Dineen and I continue to pray for you, your ministry and your mom. Thank you for opening another door with our message of hope and Jesus  and the value of a mother to her children. 

Hugs, Lynn & Dineen 

And, now for one more question….. Are you ready for some football strike….. Some warfare? I will make a bold promise. You are going to pray differently for yourself, your family and your marriage after we get started in the new series on Monday. And I promise… We start Monday. 

If you want to read some great posts about spiritual warfare that we wrote last January, visit the sidebar of the blog or click here: Spiritual Warfare: Terrorist Training Boot Camp

Note Alone Cover Art
Not Alone - Audio Book
WinningHim
Winning Him Without Words - Audio Book




Hope For You, Mom!

Today I want to share a story with you that deeply touched me and Dineen. Below is a note I received from a young woman who is married and yet to have children. Her name is Stone. Dineen and I have come to know her and her story over the last several months as Stone lives near me here in California. Her story is horrific and also covered with redemption and love. She has faced great pain and fear and yet is finding hope. She is growing to be a Hope-Restorer. 

Let me set the stage. The note below was written to me shortly after Stone watched the 700 Club Interactive Broadcast where I talked about our new book, Not Alone. I shared the hope we have as believing mothers even in the midst of unfavorable circumstances (unbelieving father). Our hope is that we CAN raise our children well and raise them to faith in this challenging society and unconventional homes. 

She writes:

Wow Lynn!

You hit it out of the park!

That was amazing and so encouraging!

In my teens I decided that I would not have children because I did not believe that with the things I had experienced growing up that I could be a good parent and I feared bringing a child into such a fallen world. I often felt overwhelmed at the thought of having children someday because they would also have free will and would be able to choose for themselves what to believe. At that point I did not trust God enough with even the idea of having children someday. 

Now that I am married and at a place where I know Him better and we are discussing having children someday, those fears want to come in and take over again. But your chat today was so encouraging. 

I now know Him in a powerful way and I am encouraged by your words that when the time comes I can trust in Him and look for those teachable moments where I will be able to pour into their hearts and spirits, trusting in Him to work in their hearts. 

Thank you for sharing your heart and your story with us today. ~Stone 

I’m sharing Stone’s words because I believe there are so many young women who also fear raising children. There are mothers, right now, READING THIS POST, who are afraid they can’t do it. They can’t bring up kids with character and faith. 

That is a lie from the enemy my friends. 

Dineen and I have been talking a lot the last few weeks about our hope for mothers. And we feel like our book release in October was a bit swallowed up by the crazy of the holidays. So, we think we need to encourage every mother near and far with the truth: Ordinary moms who love Christ can and do raise good kids of faith. 

We are convinced that our book is filled with Holy Spirit inspired words, practical tips, parenting treasures and HOPE. We believe that the work, tears we shed, and life-experience we poured into the pages is anointed by our Lord and we want every mom to step into her high and holy calling. 

With that said, can you please help us to get the word out to moms? I’m not even sure what I’m asking other than God created this book to encourage. Just read this letter, titled Beloved Mother, which is an excerpt from the book. 

So, may Dineen and I humbly ask you to consider three things? One, if you’re a mom, please buy the book for yourself. Then pass it along to someone. Or start a small group and help other moms. 

Two, buy a copy for a mom who needs a word of encouragement. 

Three, share on social media. Help us get the word out. There are moms who need words that say, "You are enough and with God, you can raise Godly kids."

I promise we are not trying to just sell books. Dineen and I truly don’t make money on these and anything we do get is poured back into this ministry plus 10 fold. 

We are asking you, our family, who may need this word for yourself and know others who need promises that they can parent with God’s help to get your hands on a copy and share hope…. 

Why? Because we are the Hope-Restorers. And Dineen and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

 

Note Alone Cover ArtNot Alone: This is a parenting book, but it’s much more. It’s a love letter to all mothers—a message that changes our homes, our kids, and our lives. It’s about the Father’s love that impacts those around us and changes ordinary moms into women of extraordinary grace, beauty, and wisdom. 

We are ordinary moms who give Jesus to the generations.

 

Today, will you share with us how you have encouraged a mom or how you have been encouraged by someone who poured wisdom or love into you as a mother? Hugs, Lynn


Prepare to Be Made Whole!

Vanessa has been part of our SUMite community for a long time. She has read our most recent book and shared with us her thoughts. Thank you Vanessa. We adore you and are praying for the full salvation of your home. 

***Prepare to Be Made Whole!  Life and Healing Jumps Off These Pages from Two Moms Who are Proof That We Were NEVER alone!!!!***  

Vanessa_profile_pic
My name is Vanessa and I am mother to a sweet 7-year-old girl and a wonderful 18-month-old boy and am proud wife to a man who will do whatever it takes for us. I love teaching my children to know God and to make Him known with our Classical Conversations homeschool group, helping others improve their health, and traveling. I am passionate about enjoying Jesus, who has made the broken pieces of my life whole. I love seeing the big picture and how all our lives connect to make The Whole Deel. ~Vanessa Tang, Cincinnati, Ohio

If you, or someone you know, is living a spiritually mismatched life with their spouse, read this!!!!  Especially if you have been the primary spiritual parent in the family and have young kids, like I do, you will read and re-read this book!  If there is someone in your family in this situation and you want to know how to pray for them or how their hearts are daily before the throne of Abba Father, read this book.  Even if you are the parent of an adult prodigal son or daughter or are divorced and want to know how to press on, read this book.  

 

***You Have a Place in The Church*** 

In the very first chapter, I cried healing tears!  For so long I felt that churches stopped seeing me as a leader in the church because of the different spiritual spectrums in my home.  I felt lost for several years not knowing how to serve in the church.  But both Lynn and Dineen's testimonies made it clear to me that I DO have a place in the church.  I am NOT ALONE.  I have much to offer the brokenhearted around me.  God is not finished with me yet.  Not only does He have a plan for me, as Jeremiah 29:11 states - my spouse and my children "ARE INCLUDED in the spiritual purposes of God!" (1 Cor. 7:12-14)  This book showed me clearly how I believed this lie for too long and re-opened my eyes on the vast amount of opportunity there is for me to serve others. 

***Do Not Worry for Your Kids!****

There was never a dull moment in the book where I felt bored.  I could not put this book down!  After the first chapter empowered me, the next one reminded me *why* there is no need to worry for my children!  God loves them more than we do!  He IS the Perfect Parent we long for our children to have.  He will be by their side always.  He WILL reveal himself to both us and our children - together. 

*The Authors Genuinely Care About You**

Lynn will take you into real life road-blocks most every mismatched parenting marriage will encounter.  Dineen really hit home to me how the buck doesn't stop at praying for our children.  We can pray 9 generations down into our descendents and speak blessings over them! 

And if you are wondering how the authors so easily seem like they mean it when they shout "I love you" to you, the reader - it is because they do!  These authors are not distant.  They will pray for you.  They have become some of my closest friends in praying for my family.  They truly have a heart for each of us. 

***Buy a Hard Copy!  E-Book is not enough.***

I would highly recommend buying the actual book.  The Kindle or e-book versions make it difficult to really answer the questions at the end of each chapter.  

***You will want to do your homework immediately - It is that Good!***

If you are like me, you may detest "homework."  I was sad I only had the Kindle version and now happily await my hard copy to go back and answer the questions so that I can lead a study in my own home. 

***Whether you already pray for your kids or it is difficult to know how, use this book!*** 

Have you ever felt like me and in a roadblock that you forgot how to pray for your kids?  Do you ever feel so tired just surviving that you don't know how to pray?  You will LOVE the "Prayer" section at the end of each chapter.  Lynn and Dineen have literally reached right into heaven to claim over your children, your husband, and your home.   What peace and healing and change came over my house because of their prayer that was so easily transferred from my lips. 

***A Book You can Feel Comfortable Reading Next to your Spouse***

This is not a book you will be embarrassed to leave on your nightstand or ashamed of your husband to know you are reading.  One of the most critical parts of the book is the advice given in the "Respecting Dad" portions after the prayer of the book. 

I will have this book close by me for years.  It gave me new resolve to BE the example for my household.  My kids are 7 and 1 years old.  I feel the courage to now roll up my sleeves and live my life with the tips from this book and joy to open my Bible every morning.  Whereas before, there were days I felt so alone on being the only source of spiritual teaching. Often I found it overwhelming just to go into the Word on these days.  Now, I feel incredibly charged up that God will make each day known to me.  I am not enough.  But He is.  

And He is all I need - and my friends in this book!   It is like they are crouching over my shoulder, giving me a hug I could lean into, and then patting me on the back, pointing my way to the finish line - all the while cheering for me that I can do it and I was NEVER alone!

Visit Vanessa at The Whole Deel.


Another Adventure

Good Monday Morning SUMites! 

Today is a fun and crazy day! Dineen and I will actually be in a recording studio in Los Angeles today and tomorrow. We will be narrating both of our books, Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone, creating an audio book. 

Say WHAT??? 

Who would ever guess us two wacky and ordinary gals would be doing such a thing. Who knew? 

No one is more surprised than the two of us. And how this came about was such a wonder. I remember receiving an email from our Editor, Kim Bangs, the Best Editor in the world, she wrote: 

More Awesome news!  In the mail today we received three audio contracts from Oasis Audio for the creation of audio books from some Regal titles.

TWO of those titles are yours! Both Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone!

Whoooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooo!

Happy, praising Jesus dance…

Kim 

Since then and after our heads stopped spinning, we have been working with the owner of the audio company, Steve. This guy is a hoot. He has been extraordinarily generous with us, gracious, and we are going to have a blast working with him. 

But, you know what the best part of this story is? Steve’s personal story about his mom, Louise. Steve was raised by a hardworking, single mother who was relentless to provide for Steve and his sister and she was an amazing woman of faith. 

Let me explain that Steve works with stars. He happened to mention to me that they just completed a narration of the New Testament with James Earl Jones narrating.

Gulp! 

He likely could make a ton more money spending his efforts on other famous authors, but the economy of the Kingdom is so different than the world. Steve’s heart is for moms just like his mother, Louise. He is investing in the Kingdom to provide this resource to those who are visually impaired or mother's who need to listen on their way to work. He is investing in this community and resources for moms and wives just like his mother, us the SUMites. 

Wow Just WOW! 

For Dineen and I, we are praying our voices hold out because we will both be in booths recording all day Monday and Tuesday. What a sweet gift from the Lord. And what a neat thing to be allowed to narrate our own books. I can’t wait till you hear me read from page 45 of Not Alone:

Sheesh!
God has a strange sense of humor.

I am quirky and I love it that Regal Books allows me to write and now speak in my wacky voice. 

My friends, thank you for traveling this crazy, mixed up, and astonishing journey with us. We are all in this together and everything we do, (including you, me and Dineen), is for the Kingdom of our Great God. 

Watch for photos on our Facebook page. Hugs, Lynn & Dineen 

Oasis Audio

Oh and you can preorder your audio copies now at book retailers.

Not Alone

Winning Him Without Words.

Both books


The Aftermath

IMG_2433My friends, today I will finish my Bethel story but I want you to know that this adventure is far from over. Our journey with God is an ongoing adventure that unfolds on a daily basis. I’m stunned at times to go back and read in my journal what I’ve written down and then forgotten! I’m so glad I can go back and be reminded of these things because sometimes those little moments wind up being key to understanding what a big one means.

As I will share today. I had a small moment before the conference where I found a dime and penny on the ground during one of my walks. God has me picking up pennies a lot this last year as part of my growing faith and trust in Him to provide for us during these financially trying times. I’ve shared much of that with you in the past. (I have an update on that to share with you soon too!)

That day when I picked up not just a penny but a dime too, Abba whispered to me, “I will increase in you tenfold.” When I got home I placed that dime and penny in front of my keyboard as a constant reminder of what God had spoken to me.

So, on this particular day now after the conference I was walking around the park yet again. Each time I circle the spot where I found the dime and penny, I am reminded again of what God spoke to me that day. I believe the things that happened at Bethel are all part of that.

That morning I had spoken to Lynn on the phone about my hubby. She’d been praying for him and felt that God showed her that when he does come to Jesus, it will be very emotional for him. She even said he’d cry for a week! My guy doesn’t like to show it, but I know he’s a deep feeler when it comes to his emotions. I think he tends to guard himself in this area too.

Back to my walk and pray that morning. I began to pray for my husband and about what Lynn has shared with me. Then, wham! A slew of emotions that I can only describe as not my own brought me to tears. Intense grief and a series of emotional flashes of all the things my husband had missed and would one day mourn that he had.

Key events like our daughters accepting Jesus, baptisms, reading the Bible to them and more cerebral, our ongoing faith walks and growth. Dealing with our youngest daughter’s cancer and how God worked so miraculously even in the small things. Then it stopped as quick as it hit. My friends, I kid you not. This was not my grief. I don’t even know if I could have believed such a thing possible had I not experienced it myself!

As I continue to walk (and sniffle), I prayed over my husband for all of this. First in my heart and mind and then out loud. Thankfully there weren’t many people around at the moment or I might have gone back to being silent for what happened next. And what I spoke—prophesied—had to be spoken out loud.

I believe the Holy Spirit had risen up in me and was fueling my passion and my prayer, and He was giving me the words, because they stopped me in my tracks. I had to literally stop and consider what had just been spoken aloud over my husband.

Why? Because it was what I had been praying for him for years. Not in these words, not in this declaration, not how I would have said it. No, this was the Holy Spirit speaking the truth through me for my husband, out loud and for all the heavenlies and the spiritual realm to take notice.

My arm shot into the air and this poured out: “The Lord God Almighty will call forth Mike Miller to be a son of God, and he will serve the Lord all the days of his life.”

Whoa! Amen! Yes, Lord, yes! I believe it! I’ve shared in the past that when my hubby comes to Jesus, I want him ALL in. And I know that is the desire of Abba’s heart too.

My friends, I want to tell you that God is opening doors that I’m stunned to stand in front of—doors for this ministry, doors for my family and doors for me. Like the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:15, who stood in the doorway, ready to receive what Elisha had to give her—a prophetic word about a son.

I’ve heard this Scripture referred to a lot lately, because God is using it to show so many that we need to be standing in that doorway, ready to receive what He wants to give us. I’m already seeing many of you walking in places you haven’t before and using your spiritual gifts. And it seems the more we share here the more that escalates.

Because these gifts are meant to be shared. They are not for us. We carry them to serve others. (Read James 4:2-3) And when we function in this way, as Abba intends us to, we are extending His kingdom and preparing others to do likewise. Abba is showing me how I need to take what I’m learning (and I still have so much to learn!) and not only share it here but also with my daughters too.

So, my dear friends, I want to encourage you to continue to seek God for what He has uniquely gifted you to do. Ask Him to place specific people and things in your path to help you grow in your gifts and your faith. I did that a while back and within a day I had an email from a church I was familiar with for a course about prophetic activation that launched me into a whole new realm of function and understanding.

If you can’t find what you need at your church, check out other reputable churches that offer courses like these for all to come, not just their own membership.

Look for and research books. There are some really great books out there by Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, Kris Vallotton, Dan McCollam and James W. Goll (I highly recommend The Lifestyle of a Prophet for everyone because it is truly about our relationship with God). Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you and protect your heart from any deception, and do your research. Above all, read your Bible. That must always come first because if you don’t know the truth, you won’t be able to recognize the lies out there.

As I prayed and asked Abba how to end this post, He said to tell you this, “Seek me above all else, even above these gifts.”

My friends, if we don’t make our relationship with Him first—always—we run the risk of making an idol out of the very things we are asking Him for. Cultivate your relationship with Abba first so as to build character and to learn to hear Him better and better. Because without Him, all of this meaningless.

If you have questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am happy to share all that I know and am learning. And know that I am constantly praying over this community, for Abba to release all He has for us and equip us as He has planned from the beginning. I rejoice and shout praises to the heavens when I see one of you begin to walk in trust and new ways with our Precious Lord. It’s truly a beautiful thing to witness!

Love each of you so very much! 
Dineensig