233 posts categorized "Devotion"

Marriage Devotion - Patty Tower

Forgiving My Spouse


Patty TowerForgiveness is not just an act we do for someone else, it is more so an act we do for ourselves. Unforgiveness harbors resentment, bitterness, anger, and negativity. When we harbor these emotions, the act of portraying love faints away. Is that what I want for my marriage?

I thought about what forgiving my husband looks like and it’s not me saying to him, “I forgive you.” It means to internally release all my negative emotions regarding the small battles to God.

Maybe in my mind, he’s talking to me in a demeaning tone. And instead of me snapping back, I address it. Whether he wants to fix it or argue about it, I simply…move on. If he replies back, “I wasn’t trying to talk down to you,” and instead of debating, “yes you were.” I respond, “Oh ok.” And move on.

It’s deciding in my heart to forgive him for that quick small moment and pray to God to soften his heart. Forgiveness is in the quick small moments of our everyday.  

Reflection: Think of a common small moment where you can forgive. What was in the moment that made you feel a negative emotion? Ask God to show you how to forgive or whether to address an issue. If it’s forgiveness, write it down and pray God will continue to give you a heart of humility, grace, and mercy towards your husband/wife.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32 

“As he hung on the cross – And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” – Luke 23:24 

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:13


Marriage Devotion - Patty Tower

My spouse is worthy of praise & honor

PATTY tOWER 2018I read an article about a woman in church talking to a couple members about her husband, and everything she spoke out of her mouth regarding her husband was negative. The members began to think negatively about her husband and the character of the man she married. When in reality, she married a good man, but she chose to only focus on the negative.

I reflected on my own actions and thought, “What if my husband spoke to others about me the way I spoke of him? What kind of Christian would I be?” I made a commitment to speak of my husband in a positive light in front of others. And if I ever had an issue with him, I decided I needed to talk to him respectfully about my issues or to seek counsel and wisdom.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8 

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” – Matthew 15:18

Reflection: Think of the last negative thing you said about your spouse and write them here. Ask God for forgiveness and ask him to help you speak about your spouse in a positive light. Pray you will see what God sees. Ask God to remind you that your partner was made in His image and likeness and that he crafted him with godly qualities.


The Enemy Cannot Handle This!

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here!

Sunday, September 29th is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. We've talked about this Jewish holiday over the years. In fact, the first time I'd ever been made aware of it's significance was because of a blog post from either Lynn or Dineen. For those who are not familiar or are new to this holiday, a simple "Rosh Hashanah" search on this site will provide you with a wealth of information. Feel free to check out the archives!

My prayer for us today is that we will each take away something fresh and new. Holy Spirit, reveal to us the heartbeat of God. Amen!

Rosh Hashanah isn't actually a biblical holiday but a traditional Jewish holiday. The term "Rosh Hashanah" means "head of the year" and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. This is a two-day celebration that proceeds Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

In the beginning of this month, the Lord really pressed upon me to watch Patty Tower's talk that was given at the SUMite Summit this last April. I decided to go back and watch it again. (I will provide a link below so you can revisit that as well. It is absolutely worth a re-watch!)

As I sat down to think about Rosh Hashanah and what I would include in this post, I went back to my notes from Patty's message. There is so much good in this message but I want to point out one theme:

  • Joshua 6 - God gives specific instructions about the destruction and taking of the city of Jericho. In verse 20 we see the result of following God's plan and not their own: "So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."
  • Patty called us to march around our house 7 times and shout, declare, pray and praise things into existence. It was in the great shout that the walls fell flat down.

Rosh Hashanah isn't in the Bible; however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, is. Let's take a look.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ” - Leviticus 23:23-25

The Hebrew word, Teruah, in Leviticus for blowing trumpets is the same word used in Joshua 6 where they shouted with a great shout. The first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, is a day of blowing trumpets or shouting.

Notice what else it says in Leviticus about this day - you shall have a sabbath-rest. Yom Teruah happens to fall on a Sunday. The day we, as children of God, call our sabbath!

So, why is this important for us? If we are not Jewish, what is the point of celebrating this time of year?

We've already seen in our community some amazing things worth celebrating. Many professions of faith and baptisms with our spouses, children or others we love. Libby gave us a beautiful word about the SUMite community with her picture of the mountain. The SUMite Summit where some gathered in California being at the top and from that trickle, the waters of our faith continued to pool together to create a river at the bottom.

I truly believe something was activated in the heavenlies and we have set off a chain reaction. The enemy has been stirred to anger and we have seen much push back from illness, discord with our spouses and children, financial struggles, backsliding, strongholds etc.

However, I truly believe that God is calling His children deeper. I believe that He is stirring in us a hunger and thirst that can no longer be quenched by fear, pain or opposition tactics from the enemy.  I believe that NOW is the time for us to press in all the more into the God of Miracles. NOW is the time to storm the gates of Heaven for our spouses, children, our complete freedom and healing. I believe that NOW is the time for us to suit up and prepare for battle.

There is a shifting going on right now. As we are in this transition period, it is up to US if we are going to take God at His word - for our destinies, purposes, signs, miracles and wonders. We cannot afford to give up or give in. The future of generations to come hangs in the balance. It sounds intense but don't worry! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Patty's talk at the SUMite Summit: https://www.facebook.com/SpirituallyUnequalMarriage/videos/387269661859875/

There is so much more I could say but I've gone on a little long.

As we approach this Jewish New Year, what are the things you are coming to the Throne of Grace for? What do you hope to see in this new season? Shout

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! -- Psalm 47:1 (Shout here is the root word of teruah ::grin::)

We are going to shake the heavens and the earth with our shouts! In the comments, give a mighty shout to the Lord. Thank Him for the victory you've been praying and waiting for! Decree and declare that these prayers are answered in Jesus' mighty name! Now it is up to you to take Him at His word. Trust. Believe. Wait and see. God is so good. And He is worthy of the wait. Hugs!

 

 


Come Away With Me

Come Away With Me, Tiffany Carter, 4/18/2019

Come away with Me
My darling, My bride.
Revealed in the chamber
The secrets I hide.

I long for your presence Hosea
I'll wait here all day.
My love please don't tarry
There's so much to say.

I give you My heart
You hold the key.
All you must do
Is linger with Me.

No need to worry
I'm protecting your heart.
I'm faithful to you
I vow to never depart.

So come now, I'm waiting
Believe Me, it's true.
The treasures of Heaven
Are poured out for you.

The Lord is beckoning us to draw near to Him. I don't know about you but in this season I am in need of some refreshing! Will you answer His invitation?

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. - Isaiah 45:3

I love you dear SUM family!


Delay Is Defeated

This past week the Lord surprised me. He began to show me how many promises, hopes, and dreams have been delayed. He began to speak to me about delay. 

I asked the Lord about delay and He said to me that many in the SUM community are in this place along with me. During my prayer time, our Father's spoke to me about this current season. I know someone is out there who needs this word. Blessings and love, LynnSpirituallyUnequalMarriage

Delay Must Depart

Beloved child, you have tarried in the waiting. Quietly trusting, believing for the promises and answers to your petitions and prayers. When met by delay, you’ve remained steadfast, never wavering from the truths I have proclaimed.

I’ve turned My ear toward you when you arrived before the Mercy Seat, beseeching the answers to your confusion and fears, longing for understanding of the deferrals. In your pain, as you walked the steady path of obedience without reward, grand preparations were underway, tutoring your soul for the greatest treasure. Unbeknownst, you gained profound wisdom of heaven and a deepening knowledge of My Presence.

Verily I say unto you, age after age, a number of My children purpose to seek out this rare gift, Wisdom of the Divine. But in their haste, they seek their own ends and thusly have forfeited this Pearl of Great Price. Forerunners surrendered their promises under the daunting pressures of delay, even as the answer is poised ready, upon the threshold of their heart.

Oh, but alas, my child, you have lingered. Your convictions and faith never wavered. You did not doubt nor relent in your patient petitions. You sought My Presence above all else. Learning My language. Pursing My holy fire. Dancing in worship. Singing praise. Surrendering all. Your obedience has unlocked the door. Wisdom and the knowledge of God, rushes in.

The long season of delay is closing. The blockage is yours to remove. Ask Wisdom the questions to open the gates for you surely, you possess the keys to glory. Invite the knowledge of the Divine to guide your steps. Speak to delay – “DEPART! The will of My Father is my will.”

Now My child, go forth! The season before you will accelerate. Prepare to move quickly. Pray without ceasing. Now behold as the promises come forth, day upon day, freedom upon freedom, healing, health, deliverance, peace, love, joy and salvations. You are a child of the Divine. Your time in the waiting has granted unto you, dominion.

I am in you. You are in Me.

Decree this day the delays are broken, engage the angelic. Then stand and behold as the darkness cracks, light breaks upon the horizon. The change you seek will come rushing in as a flood.

Delay is swallowed up in victory and shall be no more. Hallelujah!

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. — Habakkuk 2:3


Prince of Peace - Jesus

Redeeming Prince of Peace

A word, harshly spoken.

The altering of what once was.

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

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

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

I am Jesus.

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

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

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

I am Jesus.

Prince of Peace

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


You Have All You Need

Galaxy SUMFrom my prayer time. February 3, 2018.

Lynn: I’m here. I’m listening. Speak to me…..

Father: I love you with an everlasting love.

Lynn: Papa, when did you create me? My Spirit?

Father: Before time began. We created the stars and marveled at their beauty. Fathomed the universe and beheld the forming of oceans and the waves lap upon the land as it rose up out of the water.

Lynn: Dad, why does it have to be so hard and ugly on earth?

Father: It doesn’t have to be that way. You can always change it.

Lynn: But why don’t we?

Father: Fear, helplessness, selfishness, pride, laziness. (He pauses) The wickedness of satan.

My child, yet, you do not perceive all the goodness that surrounds you. Goodness is everywhere, in pockets of unrecognized love that is passed, person to person, good deed to good deed. Goodness is beheld in my love, manifesting in endless rounds of beauty in nature, hope in the human heart, provision and creativity.

The sons of perdition work through deception to infiltrate goodness and plant seeds of hopelessness, confusion, sorrow and despair.

But as a child of Mine, you are fully equipped to destroy the works of the enemy. Lynn step outside on this dazzling morning. What do you see?

Lynn: The brilliant depths of the sunrise sky, evergreen trees with bristle cones of perfection and anointed with a divine aroma. I hear the birds, O Papa, they are singing worship in an unrehearsed symphony.

Father: Ah yes, My beloved daughter, every dawning of the day, I listen as they pour their hearts out and fill the air with sound. It is the same when you pray. Melodies of love pierce My heart. Life is all about, thriving, singing, creating. The natural world is a reflection of beauty and hope of the Kingdom, eternal.

My daughter, now consider the human mind. Its capacity remains woefully untapped by most. It remains a mystery to science, complex, brilliant, creative, powerful. And the human body is a creation of vast and varying systems complete in detail and function. Ah My child, the spirit! The Spirit of God that dwells in the body. The spirit, my child, is where all things converge, intellect, wisdom, revelation, peace, divine health, power, authority…. Dominion.

I have already given you all you need for life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3). It’s in the Spirit. For your words are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). When you turn your pursuits away from the deceiver then focus fully upon My love, My nature, My purposes and plan, Upon Me, your spirit becomes fully alive. Within unfolds the wisdom of My power. It realigns your DNA to holiness and creates the Kingdom of God within. From within flows outwardly, rivers of living water that changes destruction, heals the ugly and redirects the difficult issues of life. (John 7:37-38)

This is the truth, seek ye the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. Pursue Me and perceive. You SHALL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

My child, take Me with you wherever you go today, and I shall reveal My glory in the ordinary and in the divine. All my love, your Father.

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 2 Timothy 1:9


The Pressure of This Sifting Brings a Shifting

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comDuring my prayer time, I often hear the Lord speak. This is what I’m hearing in this season. Be Blessed, Lynn

-----

Who among My people will incline an ear? Who is listening to the wisdom of the Spirit?

The pressure of this sifting, the building of the forces of strife, bear down. The character of My people, forged in the flames of contention and opposition as hell rages against them, roaring, reaching a crescendo.

Tears. The many, captured by angelic hosts. They are sealed, each one, in the store rooms of heaven. Labeled with tender care and meaning; loss, infirmity, poverty, addiction, death. Testimonies upon the shelves. Each an assignment of hell determined with an assail of weeping and destruction of My children.

The tears of the Bride sealed, recorded and waiting, each for the redemption and restoration that looms and quickly draws nigh. Each demand the recompense of the Ancient One.

This shall surely happen! The shout from heaven reverberates across the eons.

Perceive the fires which accomplish the burning away of the dross throughout the month of August. This month of refining, then turns the page to the season of surrender as September marches to its close. Many perceived losses and concluded assignments draw down to finality and closure.

Do you not perceive it, My child? Are you unaware that My hand is moving to release you into the new?

October bursts forth with decree, ALL THINGS NEW! The Kingdom of God releases the angelic multitude, wings of determined flight and missions, certain. Millions of heavenly scrolls arrive with new year assignments. The arrival is accompanied with provision for completion. Works of healing, salvation of the nations, teachings, preachings, creative blueprints of discovery. Each an intimate design to release My love, joy, peace in increasing measure.

My child, open your spirit. Take an account of the details in your current season that are drawing down to culmination. Much of what you grip in stronghold and fear of loss, is determined to hinder. Let go, for My purpose must be fulfilled in your life and the lives of others.

There is pain, sorrow, not by My hand, but by my enemy. Yet, through My compassion I will close the pain in September.

Yea, however!

The trumpet blast of Rosh Hashana decrees the end! The birth of new life, new anointings, exceptional possibilities and increase into Yom Kippur and beyond. Remain steadfast. Your awareness now, is the key named, Overcomer. It unlocks the treasuries of heaven. Behold the tears of yesterday are redeemed in new adventure and assignments and the enemy will repay, times seven, all that was lost and taken.

Prayer, faith, and conviction are your courage to press through.

I delight to give you the Kingdom. Thouest art being prepared in this season for the weighty glory to rest upon you with increased measure.

Hallelujah. AMEN!

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. —Psalm 30:5b


Devotion by: Christine Smith

SUMite Christine Smith

Over the years I believe God has occasionally given me what I call an “image” that I then attempt to draw. I haven’t had one for years until this morning during my quiet pray time with Him. I decided to intentionally wait on Him instead of doing all the talking.

 I saw myself sitting in a rowboat, oars silently resting in the still waters, facing away toward an endless horizon of nothingness. This is me and my spiritually unequally yoked marriage. 

Then a second image came. 

I wasn’t alone after all! 

Jesus was right there with me all along!

That’s us ladies!  We’re not alone in this walk no matter how lonely it feels at times. He knows and He is with us. 

Blessings,

Christine

P.S. I’ve never been in a rowboat in my entire life!


Devotion: by Lori Lyn Skipper

Ladies, our husbands need encouragement.

I was having a conversation with my best friend recently about our spouses. We both had questions and concerns. So, we did the best thing we could do, we prayed.

As we were praying, I began to thank God for creating men and women differently. I thanked Him for making men physically stronger than women, for making men the head of the households, the protectors, the providers, and the disciplinarian. Then I began to thank Him for creating women to be submissive to their husbands, for making us weaker physically, and for making us stronger in other areas than men are.

If our husbands are making decisions that we are not in agreement with, we need to be praying for them, not nagging them. We need to encourage them and let them know how much we appreciate all that they do for our marriage and homes. We are told in Ephesians 5:33 (AMP), "However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].” Nowhere in this verse does it say that we are to respect him only when he deserves or earns it.

If we will begin to recognize our husbands' strengths and not only point out their weaknesses, they will begin to feel better about themselves. When they feel better about themselves, we reap the benefits. This is an area that I must daily pray about for myself. My husband and I are different in areas of our lives and this can be a good thing or a trying matter. I do not want to mistreat my husband with my words, so I must pray for God to change me and help me to be an encouragement to him and not a hindrance. If we just point out the areas that we do not agree with, they will become defeated and stop doing anything to help us, so we need to praise them and encourage them in every area of their lives. As we pray and ask the Lord to change us and we allow those changes to happen, our husbands will begin to respond to the changes in us and they too will change.

Proverbs 31:10-12; Revelation 1:6 (KJV); Proverbs 21:1; Ephesians 5:33 (AMP)

 

Lori
Lori Lyn Skipper
Hi, Lori Lyn Skipper here! I'm happy to say I am 51 years young, married to my husband John. We have three grown children between the two of us. I have two boys and he has a daughter as well as a granddaughter.  My husband and I have been married two years this upcoming June. I live in Sunny Florida. I moved here in 2012. I often say I'm an IL girl living in a Fl world. I came to meet Jesus in mid-2016 but did not accept Him as my Lord and Savior until January 1997. Let me tell you, He's had His work cut out since I said yes to His call. I often envision God shaking His head at my antics, you know, how we do with our own children. I kind of resemble Paul, "the chief of sinners". Well, I used to be, now I'm no longer a sinner, I'm a saint saved by grace that sometimes still sins. A couple of my passions are to see people healed, delivered and set free by the power of Holy Spirit and the body walking in their gifts and calling of the Lord. Getting to be a part of that is so fun and such a blessing. Well, I'm going to end there and pick up where I left off some other time. 

 

 


Our Father's Love For The Lost

There are many of My children who have languished in this end-time season, locked in the enemy’s prisoner of war camp. The barbed wire of disillusionment and abandonment, gouge and leave bleeding scars. Through this extended, grueling season of illness, persecution has devastated their very soul. They are prisoners of war, left abandoned on the plains of battle. Whispers of finality through betrayal, hopelessness, apathy and fear are the lies that fortify their restraints.

These are My Beloved Children who love Me and once believed in My truths and Kingdom. But the blows of darkness birthed perceived falsehoods that I was unaware of their sufferings. They turned toward the lies that I allowed the brokenness or cared little when tears drowned their faith.

From My Throne; My voice thunders in peeling crack of raw emotions and booming love.

It is NOT SO!

My love and power are always enough to liberate every soul.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. —Psalm 56:8

I have wept with you as I collected every tear as a token that restitution is due. I have stored each droplet that cries out for vindication of all that the enemy of life has stolen.

Today, My children who are beset by bitterness and strife, determine your heart to trust Me again. Pray. Speak to me again, for I never left you alone. People may have failed you, left you devastated, lost in rejection, but I stand for you. I am your hope, redemption, your healing, life and I have every answer to your questions. I AM your place of refuge.

Delay not another moment. Release your heart to Me. I’m a moment away. Your faith and My love are your healing script. Pray without ceasing and never give up.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. —Revelation 21:4


I Credit You

Last week during my prayer time, the following words tumbled quickly from my pen. Immediately I sensed the LORD speaking these words for our community. Be encouraged! Our God sees EVERYTHING.... And He credits you! Hugs, Lynn

*****
Revelation 3 12I credit you with righteousness!

I credit you with faithfulness.

You have persevered under circumstances and oppression that would break many others. Yet, you have remained steadfast. The ground has shaken beneath your feet on many occasion. However, firm are your feet, as you have clung to the Cross.

Lies, accusation, swells of fear collided all around you. But your faith in Me remained untarnished, unbroken, and unwavering.

Then the fire! The blows of doubt, whispers of shame, confusion, failure licked in wicked tongues about your faith. I HEARD YOUR PRAYERS. I saw your tears and the breaking of your heart.

NO MORE!

My decree is spoken. My WORD given. The enemy is in retreat. The devil defeated.

You are credited with the gold of righteousness. You are welcomes in My Courts. You are a Pillar in my Kingdom. My Son. My daughter, you are the armies of the Living God.

Arise into the joy, purposes, and the position of your inheritance.

I credit you, Victorious!


A DEVOTION for our SUMite Nation

Psalm 37 3 4
Good Morning Papa God,

Contentment.

I humbly ask for contentment. – to be happy, satisfied and grateful for who I am, where I am and what I own. Contentment with my accomplishments and peace over my failings, faults and perceived lack.

I give You, LORD, permission to re-write my thoughts, hopes and dreams. Write into my life, daily awareness of Your Presence. Stir my heart moment-by-moment to ponder your goodness and notice the beauty which surrounds me on all sides. Turn my eyes and ears from the lies of the enemy’s camp that I am entitled to more. That I am missing out and left out and that God loves others more than me.

In the garden of Your Presence, I have everything.

My heart is renewed. My soul filled afresh. I’m washed in the blood and cleansed by the water of Your Word. You are my contentment, Father. Jesus You are every perfect relationship. Spirit, You lead me by the still waters and there I will THRIVE. I love you.

*****

My friends, I feel as though I want to ask for prayer requests today. And I want you to pray for others in the comments. I am traveling a lot this week but I promise to read them and pray for you. Have an amazing week. I love you. Lynn


In A World Of Chaos, We NEED This!

Jesus sky watermarkShalom… Shalom… Shalom

I hear the LORD shouting over us, Shalom!

I AM Shalom.

I AM the Shalom, peace.
I AM the Shalom, harmony.
I AM the Shalom, prosperity.
I AM the Shalom, welfare.
I AM the Shalom, tranquility.
I AM the hello in the morning and the Shalom of the evening.

It is out of perfect Shalom that your strength is born, your might is evidenced, and the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, displayed. The perfect Shalom of God is an impenetrable wall that thwarts anxiety, defeats depression and Shalom stands against chaos, deception, division and powerlessness.

Shalom cancels assignments of the enemy and throws down every lofty pretense that comes against the knowledge and standard of God!

Speak Shalom over your life today. Test me in this.

I AM YOUR SHALOM!


I Am A Bummer Lamb

John 10 4  and 5
Every year as I read my way through my daily Bible, I arrive in the book of John and read the passage about Jesus, The Good Shepherd. Each time I read John 10 my heart and mind goes to a story I once heard about sheep. It overwhelms my heart every year.

Today I want to share it with you.

John 10:4b-5 He goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.

John 10:9-11 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:14-16 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

I remember the story of how every once in a while a ewe gives birth to a lamb and for some reason rejects the baby. It could be because the mother is old and just too tired to deal with the baby or perhaps she doesn’t have enough milk for twin lambs and she rejects one.

Sheep herders call those lambs, bummer lambs.

Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die. (Okay, get out the Kleenex. I’ll wait.)

So this is the amazing part of the story which fills my heart. The shepherd takes the lamb into his home. Feeds it one-on-one with a bottle and keeps it warm. He will wrap it up and hold it close so that the lamb is on his chest next to his heart. the lamb hears the shepherd’s heartbeat.

When the lamb is strong the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. The little lambs now can stay with the heard and they thrive.

Now this is the part of the story that gets me every time. When the shepherd goes out to check on his herd, the most amazing thing happens. He will call out to his sheep, “Sheep, sheep, sheep.” Do you know what happens?

The FIRST to run to him are the bummer lambs because they know him. They know his voice. (Waaaaa, where’s the Kleenex.)

It’s not that they are more loved — it’s just that they believe it.

My SUMites, I am a bummer lamb and so are you.

We are NOT orphans. We are not rejected, lost and unloved.  Jesus loves his bummer lambs.

Let’s actually dare to believe it.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

This story about the bummer lamb is adapted from Sheila Walsh. Thanks Sheila and Ann Voskamp!


Line by Line: God's Thoughts on Guilt and Shame

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Good Friday Morning My Friends, 

I want to add to our summer study something that is not specific to our line by line study but something I feel as though the Lord is desperate to tell His children. 

I was talking with Dineen on Tuesday and sharing with her a discussion I had with a very close friend of mine who was tormented by shame and guilt because of past decisions in her life. I hung up the phone with Dineen after sharing the story and all of sudden The Voice of God was speaking so loudly to me in that bathroom where I was getting ready that I know I’m to share His thoughts about this subject today. 

From the conversation with Dineen we were made acutely aware of how unworthy so many of God’s children feel. How beat up, emotionally and spiritually, because of the many mistakes we have made in our lives. How we live with such deep shame over words we have spoken. We carry enormous gilt over the tremendous errors in our judgment that have brought pain into our children’s lives and into our own. 

We feel like this all the time. And on dark days the enemy snakes in and tells us all day long that we are a failure. We are stupid for making that decision. He tells us to say to ourselves, Oh, how I wish I wouldn’t Isiah 4 9have said that. I would give my life to make a different decision. I have suffered so greatly because I chose to do this instead of doing that. 

If we could see this shame and guilt upon us in the spiritual realm, it would look like enormous chains upon us, dragging behind us, sapping our energy and our love. Can anyone relate? 

So right now I want you to hear what I heard from the Father. Receive this as your truth and step into His words of freedom right now. 

 

My Sweet and Holy Child, 

Do you not understand that I know how very difficult it is to live on earth? Are you not aware that I am fully and completely sensitive of how hard it is to live there? I know the pain you face. I didn’t send you to earth as your Father, blindly-unaware of every tiny detail that you would face. 

I know it’s hard to live there. I knew that before I sent you. And I knew that you would make mistakes. You would make big mistakes. You would make choices that would affect your life adversely for the rest of your earthly life. I knew that would happen. I knew your choices would cause you pain. And choices that your parents made would cause you hurt and struggle. I knew the decisions you made would hurt your children too. 

I am fully aware my child that your words have hurt others deeply. So deeply that they have forever separated you from a loved one. And I know that words spoken to you in carelessness have been giant swords that pierced your heart and left you broken. 

I know this life is hard. It is hard from the beginning and there will be struggles until you die. But I know all about every one of your struggles, your guilt, your shame and your difficulties. And it’s all okay. 

I knew when you arrived of the planet you would struggle. And I knew you would make poor choices at times. And it’s the same for every person on earth. 

You all make bad choices at times. It’s not like you are the only person who hurt someone with a choice you made. Everyone does it. Everyone makes tremendous blunders and messes up their life and the life of others. 

It’s all okay. 

You are not worse than anyone else because they ALL MAKE mistakes. Big mistakes. 

What I want from you is simple. Admit you made them. Ask for forgiveness. I WILL FORGIVE YOU IMMEDIATELY. Make right what you can. Then FORGIVE YOURSELF. 

I expected you to make these giant mistakes because life is hard on planet earth. So live in this truth. The lie you have believed is that no one else screws up this badly. It’s a lie. Everyone messes up their life and the life of others. 

But I am your Papa of Grace. It will all work out in the end. For I use all things for the good of those who love Me. You’ll see. Give yourself grace. Grace is forgiveness and kindness and love. But grace is also empowerment to do better the next time. And you will do better the next time. 

So let go of this shame and guilt. I will not condemn you because my Son stood before me with your name on His lips. He died for you and He speaks to Me often on your behalf. I love you. My Son loves you and the Holy Spirit is with you to help you do better next time. 

The best thing you can do is to follow hard after the teaching in my Holy Word, talk with me all the time, bring your life before me and let Me direct your path. I will never leave you nor forsake you my child. You can learn to walk through this very difficult life with grace, love, joy and peace. That is what I want for you for the rest of your life. 

I adore you. Please adore yourself. 

Signed, Your Papa
Abba, Father 

PS. Jesus says, “Hi.”

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Weekend Worship—Flawed for Jesus

UniquelyFlawedLast week I posted this on my Facebook page:

Total light bulb moment: "No flaw is sinful or shameful — it’s the way God wired you! ... Those flaws are part of your custom design, and God planned them for his purpose and glory." — Rick Warren This former perfectionist says, wow! I am uniquely flawed for God's glory. Not that I can live with.

(Read the full devotional, “Even Your Flaws Can Bring Glory to God.")

First let me clarify that flaws are those things or place in our live where we have imperfections and weaknesses. I’m not talking about sins. One of my flaws is my soft voice. Even in school it was an issue. Tried to talk louder but just couldn’t. Yet Abba chose me to be a speaker of all things! In my flaw, He is glorified. People who listen to me hear Him, not me.

Some days I feel like I’ve really licked this perfectionist thing but then other days, well, let’s just say the battle can wage pretty hot. I am a work in progress, for sure, and so very grateful that Abba doesn’t relent. Jesus came to set us free and He wants us to walk in that freedom—freedom from sin, addictions and our hang ups.

But this really challenged my thinking. Freed a part of me I didn’t realize was still in the cage of perfectionism. It’s the lie of, “I won’t be complete (useful, successful) in my faith until I’m free of my flaws, my hang ups.”

But Abba’s Words says this:

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; — Col. 2:8-10

The world will tell us all about our flaws. Jesus says we are complete in Him. The world will tell us we have to earn our reward. Jesus says He is our great reward and our salvation—a gift we can never earn but need only receive. The world will tell us that we must strive to overcome these places in our lives, but Jesus says, “I have overcome the world for you.”

My friends, these are our truths. This light bulb moment has created a paradigm shift in my thinking. Instead of seeing my flaws as deficits to overcome, I’m asking Jesus how He wants to be glorified in them. Which, astonishingly, has led me to ask the same thing about my husband. “Lord, show me how you want to be glorified in his flaws. Let me see him from your perspective.”

Take a moment and think about a flaw (not a sin) you wish you didn’t have. In your next quiet time, sit with Jesus and ask Him how He can be glorified by it. Ask a friend you trust who is a believer how they see this flaw in you. Maybe even ask them what they consider to be their flaws.

And what if we discover our flaw is meant to be our strength?

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. — 2 Cor. 12:9

Be complete (empowered, strengthen, emboldened, fulfilled) in Jesus!
Dineensig


Weekend Worship — Ascribe Unto the Lord

My friends, let's give Teresa special thanks and prayers for her work this past week. She not only wrote those amazing posts for us, but she was also writing in the comments and encouraging so many of us. Thank you, Teresa! You have served the SUMites with such grace and generosity! We are so blessed by you!

Some of us experienced great revelations and more than we expected to hear. Some of us are feeling a little disappointed that we didn't hear more and may even be feeling like we failed. But this is what I firmly believe to be true. What happened during this fast for each and every one of us is EXACTLY what Abba wanted to transpire. He knows what we need best and when we need it. Trust Him to continue to bring more revelations and understandings as the year progresses. This is why journals are so important. So we can go back and be reminded of what Abba said, which will help us stay focused and recognize when our prayers are being answered!

And I want to encourage you all to continue to seek Abba just for His presence. I'm learning first and foremost that He wants us to put our relationship with Him above all else. Not our gifts, not what we do for Him, or even how we seek to serve Him. Not even the dreams and passions He places in us. He wants to give us His heart with no strings attached. So give Him yours without any strings too. Make knowing Him your priority over serving Him.

For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” — Matthew 6:25-34

Seek Him above all else, and the "else" will come! Trust Him for this, my friends. He will not fail you!

Here are two songs that seem the perfect close to our week. The first is for our praise and worship of our King Jesus. He is our everything! Let's give Him all the glory of this week. Fill the comments with praise ans worship to Him! And the second is our statement of faith for 2014. We will not be shaken, amen? Amen!

Love you, my SUMite family so much. Be shiney for Jesus!
Dineensig


A Fresh Anointing For ALL Mothers By Lynn Donovan

 

On September 26th I opened my Bible and found a note scribbled in the margin. It said:

2006: Today I was asked to be part of the writing team for Laced With Grace. 

As I read this note in my Bible, my heart soared. Seven years ago Iris Nelson found my tiny blog, Spiritually Unequal Marriage and we began an amazing friendship. We began to write, simply from our hearts about our Lord and His hand in our lives. I can’t thank Iris enough for asking me to be part of this Award winning team of writers. I left Laced With Grace a while back as our ministry grew. But my heart will always be part of this home on the web.

So today, Iris has allowed me to come back as a throw back post to September 2006 and share with you a devotion for Moms. This message is from the Holy Spirit for every mom whether they are walking the difficult path of being the spiritual leader of their homes or not.

Join me now and be filled with the truth of How God sees you. I love you the family of Laced With Grace.

Fire…
by: Lynn Donovan
I am filled with fire my friends. And this fire that burns in my stomach also is burning in yours. How do I know this?

Because you sacrifice!

Read the entire post and be filled with a fresh anointing of God's Holy Fire at Laced With Grace.

 

Also, leave a comment over there and be entered to receive a copy of Not Alone Trusting God To Help You Raise Godly Kids In A Spiritually Mismatched Home. 

Train Up A Child and


God's Not Done with Us

19380103_sOn my trip home from Indianapolis, I sat next to an older couple on the plane. I could tell they'd been together for years in the way they worked together to figure out her pills. I offered my set of eyes, glad to help them choose the right one.

As we settle into our flight, I noticed his hand reach for hers. She rubbed his, then they continued to hold hands and settled into a nap.

My friends, as I sat next to them I was struck at the simplicity and sweet familiarity of their relationship. And I felt the strong affirmation of what we are working and striving toward here at S.U.M.

The long view. The big picture. And are we willing to walk the journey to get there?

I find so often our willingness hinges on whether or not we truly believe the truth of Romans 8:28 and if we are willing to trust God to be THAT GOOD in all areas of our lives.

I know we've talked about sacrifice here many times and I am walking this path right now in my own marriage. But I am discovering that as I let go of and "sacrifice" control of my needs, this releases an abundance of God's blessings like I have not experienced before. I’m learning to stop worrying about my provision and choose to trust God. I have chosen to walk this path as far as God wants me too. And I am astounded by the little things God has set in my path to provide for my needs.

And the people He has set in my path to bring them.

I shared last week that while I was in Indianapolis I had the amazing blessing of spending an hour with a fellow SUMite. I'd asked God before this conference for lots of divine appointments and He didn't disappoint. But this one blessed me so much—to sit with a sister in Jesus and share our hearts. And to discover again how similar our mismatched paths are and though we both are walking through some intense trials, we could rejoice and sit in awe of what God is doing through it all.

This is the sacrifice God calls to. To give our hearts—to Him. To relinquish control of our lives—to Him. To release the salvation of our spouse—to Him. To entrust our children—to Him.

We strain at the perceived enormity of our undertaking. We cry out at times at the seeming unfairness of what Abba asks. We yearn for deeper understanding. And there stands Jesus with His flesh and His blood poured out on our behalf, asking if we will truly taste and see that He. Is. Good.

My friends, we walk in the profound presence of God's kingdom in and around us. What we see with our human eyes and hearts is not the full picture. Will you trust Him with yours? Will you take a step of faith to the edge and ask Abba for all He has for you? Will you choose to stand even in that perceived chaos with the expectation that God will move mountains, oceans, hearts and feet on your behalf no matter how long it may take?

We stand at a pivotal time. God is moving people into places to carry and speak His truth in stunning unity. I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. Every person we meet and every place we go is an opportunity to either receive or share God's kingdom.

Time is short but God is long in His love. Join Him, my precious friends. Ask the Holy Spirit to put a hunger in you for more of Him. Ask for His presence daily and bask in it.

I am overwhelmed and stand in awe of His goodness. He has shown me that He hasn't forgotten me, nor is He through with me. Far from it actually. And I am so thankful because even though His work in me may pinch at times, I KNOW the outcome will be good and I will be more like Jesus on the other side. And I will be closer to Him—the lover of my soul and best friend of all time.

And this is true for you, dear ones. Abba hasn't forgotten you and He is far from through with you. Taste Him deeply and see just how good He truly is.

Love you so very much!
Dineen

Image credit: obencem / 123RF Stock Photo


Weekend Worship — God Won't Let Us Go!

My friends, how has your week been? Have you faced some "giants" this week? I know I have and I'm feeling a little battle weary, but gave me such joy through it this week. I love how our God does this, right in the middle of our circumstances. 

I want to share a little verse I stumbled upon this week and find HUGE meaning in it. 

"What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." — Matthew 10:27

Jesus spoke this to the Twelve as part of what He instructed them to go out and do. In this I see two key truths. One, remember what we know to be true. God spoke this to my heart this week when I cried out to Him in a dark moment, "What do you know to be true." It came not as question but as a statement. This is our strength, to take the truth and speak it out. It brings God's light into the darkness. 

In this moment, I literally spoke out loud—God is good, God is in control, God is an equipper and God is a redeemer (Romans 8:28). The darkness lifted and my peace was restored.

And two, that's what I'm doing right now. I'm proclaiming the truth from the rooftops of the internet, namely our blog. We can share God's truth more easily now than ever before. We live in amazing times!

So, my friend, remember what you know to be true and go shout it from the rooftops! God won't ever let us go!

Love and treasure each of you so very much!
Dineen 


Weekend Worship — Lay Me Down!

My precious Sumites, I love this song by Chris Tomlin because it's about the surrendered life and the JOY of living like we belong to Jesus. Because we do! We are His and He is ours. This is also what Scripture means when it says, "the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Neh. 8:10.)

When we walk in this place of surrender and obedience, we know freedom, joy and peace. To the world it makes no sense, but we know better, don't we? And oh, my spirit longs to share this with everyone! We want everyone to know our amazing healer and comforter, Jesus. Especially in light of the horrible events this past week.

We have the Holy Spirit and God is calling us to share Him! Have an amazing weekend, my dear sisters and brothers in Jesus. May His presence fill and rest upon you, may His blessings rain down over you and your family and may His strength, courage, love, power and authority reign supreme in your life!

We adore You, Jesus! Amen!

Love you so much, my friends!
Dineen

 


Weekend Worship — I Surrender!

My precious friends, I'm still pondering the meaning of surrendering our lives to Jesus. I've always been struck by how Jesus stood before His accusors and said nothing to defend Himself. That speaks to me of a holy dignity that rises above the opinions of men and sits squarely and humbly with God. 

The Bible tells us to be holy. I beginning to think surrendering is part of being holy—a place where nothing matters at much as our Lord and Savior. Nothing compares to Him either. And we literally can't outgive God! The more we give ourselves to Him, the more He gives Himself to us! It's an amazing and beautiful exchange.

  • We let go of our self-righteousness and receive the righteousness of Jesus.
  • We give Him our man made dignity and step into royalty as co-heirs with Jesus.
  • We hand over our self and world-made identities and receive our true identity in Jesus as children of God who are accepted, adopted, blessed, chosen, cherished, forgiven, loved, lavished and redeemed.

God's economy is so much better than what the world has to offer. Don't let the enemy tell you diffently either, because he will try to convince you that you're making a huge sacrifice when in reality you're letting go of lies and walking in truth.

The TRUTH—Jesus, who is our way, our TRUTH, and our life. So keep Him belted firmly around your waist, my friends. Yep, that word—TRUTH—in John 14:6 is the same Greek word in Ephesians 6. Jesus is our belt of truth and the piece of our armor that keeps the rest in place.

Now let's worship Him together, sing our hearts out to Him in surrender and tell our Lord and Savior that we want more and more of Him. 

Love you dearly!
Dineen 

 


Weekend Devo — God Loved Us First!

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My friends, we have a wonderful week of devotions planned for next week. Rosheeda has prayfully written something for each day so that we can walk through the week with hope, faith and love planted squarely in our Jesus, and celbrate the greatest gift of this life and the next (yep, it's the gift that truly keeps on giving...). 

What I am learning (and hearing from all over the place) is that until we know who we are and whose we are, we are limping along in faith. This is where our true power, strength and freedom sits, my friends. Take it from someone who has limped along for so many years and is now beginning to understand how deeply we are loved.

One new revelation came to me just this week (from that step of faith I made!). In Mattthew 22:34-40 Jesus answers the Pharisees that the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. That was the old covenant. 

In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus said He came to fulfill the law. And He did by coming and dying for us. And 1 John 4 (and please read through this amazing chapter) is all about the truth and that God loved us first. This is the new covenant.

Now, let's connect the dots. Under the law they were commanded to love God. In the fullment of the Law (Jesus' death) we are loved by God first. When we embrace this love and begin to understand that we no longer have to perform and work to love God, His identity is released into us. Then we can't help but love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is profound, my friends, and yet so beautifully simple in it's truth.

This is the greatest truth I've been embracing since last fall and the process has been astounding, beautiful and so liberating. I want this and am praying for this for every single one of you.

God loves you. No ifs, ands, or buts. Jesus came for you. You don't have to do a thing to embrace that kind of love except to say yes and then to believe you are totally loved—that God can't love you anymore or any less than He already does. And nothing you do now will make you any less righteous in His eyes than the day you accepted Jesus.

Walk in this truth, my precisous sisters and brothers in Jesus. We are loved.

Loving and praying for you with the heart of Jesus!
Dineen 

 


Weekend Worship — Moving Forward

This weekend I'm at Lynn's—we're working on the conference coming in April. We are so excited about this event! God keeps showing us more and more of what He wants to accomplish and reveal at this conference. We are so blown away!

My friends, God sure seems to have us on a fasttrack to our Promise Land right now. Many of us are hearing the same things and feeling God's nudge to move forward because He has a whole lot more for us to see and embrace. Remember, the Israelites still had many challenges to face in their Promise Land but the promise of a land of their own did come and they were a key part to claiming each new territory.

We've had a lot to absorb this week so I'm keeping today simple with just a song to worship God together. He makes all things new, my friends! ALL THINGS! Keep taking those steps of faith and you will see Him do it!

Love you dearly!
Dineen