65 posts categorized "Easter"

SUMite Easter Service

SUM Easter Service 2020Hello SUM Nation,

Lynn Donovan here. I wanted to let you know that our Facebook Team and I will be steaming a LIVE service on Easter Sunday. Amanda Pace, Gladys Arias, Libby Finan, Ann Hutchison and Lynn Donovan

April 12, 2020

3 PM Eastern - Noon PM Pacific USA

On the SUM main FB Page ----> SUM FB

And also on the SUM Sisters Group ----> SUM SISTERS (Request Membership)

We will worship together and then the five of us will share short messages and then I will wrap up the service. I want to share what our Good Father is doing in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak. And also tell you what God is revealing to me about what is to unfold in the months that follow our Stay-at-home weeks.

It's bigger than you think!!! Also, we will take communion so have your elements ready. A piece of bread and a grape will work. Any bread and juice. I'm going to explain something about communion that most people don't know. 

Also, have you listened to all the videos and worked through the Field Guides I created on MarchingAroundJericho.com?   Please hop over there and listen in. And if you have, consider supporting the ministry and purchase the next series of videos and Field guides. It all goes to support the ministry. 

Here is what you will learn about in the next series. And I'll tell you the Holy Spirit video is a demonstration of God's power. AND PS. God told me to demonstrate and God showed up. I'm still freaked out and it all happened to me.

  • The Power of Forgiveness
  • Spiritual Authority In Christ Jesus
  • Spiritual Power and Partnering With the Holy Spirit
  • The Power of Our Voice
  • Speaking in Tongues

All the video titles can be viewed here: Marching Around Jericho/ Equipping Warriors

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Let the Fragrance of Worship Fill My House

Hi friends, Ann here! Perfume

During this time of incubation in my home, I've been reflecting on what I'm to focus my energy on. I sense it's this simple thing: Lock my eyes onto Jesus. As far as I can, I need to fix my eyes firmly on Him and steadily hold that gaze. This week, with that in mind, I’ve been marinating in small verses from the Gospels.

Today I thought I would share one little Gospel moment: The time when Jesus visited His special friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

The reason that I was drawn to this passage is that Good Friday is in a week’s time, and I noticed that the last thing Jesus did before embarking on that dramatic last week in Jerusalem was pay a visit to His friends. Maybe He just needed some camaraderie. 

“Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. They prepared a supper for Him there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pint of very costly ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.” John 12:1-3

This event followed the resurrection of Lazarus. Having a grateful heart fit to burst, Mary could do nothing else but show her love for Jesus, for ALL He had done.

SUMites, let that be us!

The ointment she broke was a heartfelt act of worship. Worship doesn’t have to involve music, it’s just absolute adoration. It's casting our crowns of glory at His feet, like Mary did with her hair. When we worship Jesus, the fragrance can fill a house.

SUMites, let the fragrance of our worship fill our homes during this time!

To Jesus those girls – Mary and Martha – had many titles. They were His close friends, His collective bride, His daughters, Princesses of the Kingdom of Heaven, Priests (Revelation 1:6), and more. How many titles do we hold in His eyes, and in His name?

Then there's Judas, who stands by sneering, nitpicking Mary for her devotion. We know what his end is to be. Nitpicking another person for their hunger is easy to do, but Jesus says this:

“Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” (v. 7-8).

The poor are a-plenty out there – And today that word 'poor' makes me think of those who don’t know God today in this hard situation. It’s hard to reach those poor at this present moment while we're house-bound. What we do have is an opportunity for time with Him, to focus on His presence within us, in our home, and we can break open the very best of what we own, especially for Him.

SUMites, may you find treasures this coming week as we commemorate His death, burial, and resurrection!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Supernatural Happenings

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Photo supplied courtesy of imagery majestic and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hi! Ian here. Lent began last Wednesday with Ash Wednesday. I’m observing this season once again as I enjoy being intentional about seeking more of God and Lent and Advent seem to help me do that. Yes, I ‘give up’ something (sugar and Instagram this year) as it helps me focus on the wilderness element of the season; Lent, of course, mirroring the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.

But this isn’t a post about Lent rather a sense I’ve had in the past week about stirrings within me that I thought I’d share. Recently, I’ve read a couple of short passages on the supernatural happenings of God. Abraham and Sarah only birthed Isaac through supernatural intervention. Mary and Joseph birthed Jesus only through supernatural intervention. Paul and Barnabas’ ministry work that took the Gospel to the Gentiles is attributed to supernatural means (Acts 14: 27)

And here in SUMite land we read in Ann’s previous post of some of our tribe’s spouses experiencing a revelation of God in being saved. Hallelujah! Yes, salvation requires a supernatural happening as it is not something that will occur in the natural.

How Does This Happen?

If we look at the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Joseph, Paul and Barnabas, what can we glean?

Deep intimacy with God

They all had their wilderness experiences. God uses these times to clear everything else away so we can be with Him. He wants us to let go of control so He's in charge. Interestingly, in Mary’s experience it was after she was impregnated supernaturally as we really didn’t know about her prior to her angelic encounter.  Similarly, Paul’s wilderness time was after his miraculous Damascus experience. God had to deal with his years of being a Christian terrorist before unleashing him on the Gentile world.

As frustrating and painful being in the wilderness can be, step into it. It’s a clear tactic of God’s to draw people closer to Him, so He can equip them for something more. Such seasons can involve unemployment, illness, relocation, sabbaticals and more.

Remember God wants deep intimacy with each one of us. It’s why He made us. For Himself.

This is why I love Lent because I get excited about being with God. Like one of our kids gets excited when Dad or Mom arrives home from work. Remember those days?

What do I do?

1. Soak in His Word – look at Psalm 1:

“Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.” (v2-3 MSG)

I love that idea of the Word thrilling me? I want it to thrill me everyday. The Word is alive with supernatural wonder desiring to reveal Himself to us. Reflect on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness and how He batted back the temptations Satan put before Him: He used the Word. Don’t just rely on wonderful devotionals where it’s someone else’s interpretation that fills most of the page; read God’s word in the Bible. If you’re not sure where to start, start with the Gospel of John and/or the Psalms. I’ve been reading the Psalms repeatedly for the last three or four years; I just can’t get enough of them.

2. Spend time Adoring God

Talking about the Word thrilling you, there's a lady who helps us bring the Word alive. I’ve mentioned Sara Hagerty’s before. She's been on this “Adoration” journey for over five years now. She provides a monthly one-verse a day adoration prompt. It’s how I’ve started my day for the last five years.

Sara says: “Adoration is finding a pulse behind that Word and then saying that Word back to Him, in our own dialect … it all starts with a simple conversation, a friendship that ends in our destiny: falling in love with God.”

Try it for a few days, a month. Sit and speak the daily verse back to God. Thank Him, praise Him, adore Him using the words in the verse. 

3. Spend time Listening to God

My hunch is that the modern church lacks listening skills. In some ways it goes hand-in-hand with a lack of Bible awareness, we ‘listen’ to the Word when we read it. I discovered recently that the word, obedience, comes from a Latin word which means: “to listen attentively”. My logical brain tells me that if we lack listening skills, we’re lacking in obedience. And what does Jesus tell us is the way we demonstrate our love for Him?

“If you love Me, keep My commands” (John 14:15)

Jesus tells us that the sheep know His voice. But it takes time to learn to discern His voice and that’s why knowing and meditating on the Word is so important.

May I encourage you to use some of the time you wait, perhaps it’s in the school pickup line, at the grocery store, in the medical clinic, etc just to be quiet and invite God into this moment and say hi! And ask him a question or two. He may not answer immediately, especially in the beginning, but over time you’ll be surprised to find how many times He does give you an answer.

Let me stop there.

Believe the supernatural will happen. Think how often Lynn finds balloons on her prayer walks.:) Keep being intentional connecting with God. He wants it more than anything. Believe that deep in your heart. He made each one of us so we would fall in love with Him. I'm praying that we all will develop greater intimacy with the Lord and that He is indeed birthing something in each of us and our spouses that only He can bring to life!

Anyone else observing Lent this year? If yes, what are you doing to be intentional in drawing closer to the Lord? Please share in the comments.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Strange Easter? Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

Mike Lynn Easter 2019Dear SUMites,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Good Friday

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

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

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

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

SUNDAY IS COMING!

 

Family Activity:

You will need:

1 small flowerpot for each participant

1 package of radish seeds

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

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

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

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

Read the resurrection story: Matthew 28:1-6

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Glorious Company

Easter 2012On this Monday morning following Easter, I feel as though I want to share a passage that is continually running in my soul right now. It’s the passage that Easter is leading me to comprehend. It is the message from the Holy Spirit to the church in this season.

THIS is our inheritance and expectation as a daughter or son…. Or Bride of the King of Kings.

It’s a complete, full circle, from where we started this journey with the Father asking the Israelite slaves, Will you marry me.

BEHOLD! Our destiny, BRIDE OF THE MOST HIGH GOD.

The Glorious Company

18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. —Hebrews 12:18-24

Hallelujah! AMEN!

SUMites, tell me about your Easter this year. Did your spouse attend church. Did you feel the love of Jesus. Did you pray and give Him thanks. Do you say, YES! I adore you, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Will You Marry Me?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUNDAY:

GLORY!!!!

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). —John 20:15-16

SUMites, it’s Easter morning. Hallelujah. I pray your find yourself in worship and that by a miracle of hope your spouse is seated next to you.

My friends, do you find it interesting that Mary did not recognize Jesus in the garden? She spent two years, literally, traveling with Him everywhere. She KNEW Jesus intimately. Why didn’t she know Him in this moment at the open tomb?

It was only upon hearing His voice calling her by name, that the resurrected Christ became apparent unto her.

He was changed. Different. Powerful. Regal. Authoritative. He was transformed.

But His voice of love called her name and she ran to Him.

Beloved on this day that we remember Jesus in His transformed, glorified state, let us determine to become transformed into His likeness. Because He is once again asking His Beloved:

WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

    the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

    and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

    and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” —Revelation 19: 6-9

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


FOR THIS He Died

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSaturday:

Dead.

In the Grave.

THIS is what He died for:

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. — John 15:16

He died to give us freedom, just like the Israelites and the people of earth in every generation since then. He died for His bride.

Will you marry me?

 

 

What scripture passage did Jesus die for in your life? Tell me in the comments? I want to give glory to God!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


THREE WORDS ... And Everything Changes

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

FRIDAY of the Passion Week: On this day Jesus finds himself swept away to the courts of humankind. A mockery. Completely abandoned by every friend. Betrayed by a demoniac fueled man who regretted his terrible disloyalty of an innocent man. And sentenced: GUILTY by a false court of accusation.

Spat upon. Ridiculed. Tortured.

Every lash was taken without Jesus speaking a word. Why? His surrender was the superpower to our healing. By His stripes we were healed. A lash taken upon His skin bears the name… Cancer. Another blow across his back ripped the flesh from his ribs… Depression. Again…  Fibromyalgia. Again…  Poverty. Another blow… Heart disease. A lash that sends blood spattering on the people around Him, blindness, infirmity, sickness, mental illness and every malady know to mankind.

It turns my stomach to visualize this beating, yet in the same moment, I have experienced significant and ongoing healing because of this moment in time.

Hanging on the Tree. A spectacle, cackled at and scorned by the demonic hordes, Jesus with the sting of vinegar upon his lips, said three of the most powerful words uttered in behalf of all mankind, “IT IS FINISHED.”

Will you marry me? I paid the highest price for your love.

My question to myself and to you SUMite family, Do you believe this?

Read John, chapter 17 today and allow the words of Christ to change you.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Marriage Supper of The Lamb

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSumite Family,

It’s the strangest thing. This week leading to Easter, the Lord is showing me how the entirety of the Word of God is pointing to THIS marriage. So, for the next few days, may I share with you how I perceive our place as participants, walking in the middle of this proposal?

Each day this week the Lord has been pointing to the invitation He has made since the begging of time. I think I want to pick up His proposal as it was given long ago. Although I believe it began with Adam and Eve, let’s peer into the next GREAT ASKING.

The Israelites find themselves at the foot of Mount Sinai three months from their deliverance from Pharaoh. (Which means King – kingdom of darkness) They are camped and the Lord beacons the people to purify themselves. (Purity, another area of preparation for marriage but I don’t have time to get into that now.) The people came and stood at the foot of the mountain (Exodus 19:17)

AND….. The LORD came down. Whoa!

In Chapter 20 of Exodus, the Lord offers to former slaves, mind you, his marriage covenant.

He came into our world and basically said, “Will you marry me?” So this is how I imagine the Lord’s covenant proposal:

Darling of my heart, have no other gods but love only me. (vs. 3) Don’t go looking for anything on this earth in which to pledge your affections.

Will you marry me?

Don’t choose other lovers, (idols), television, over eating, drinking, comparison, achievement, social media. Don’t linger in deception’s arms, nor lean into the love of Mammon (money and possessions). Cleave unto Me only. I will care for you. (vs. 4)

Will you marry me?

Chose holiness and purity and escape the treachery of sin and iniquity that will pollute not only you but our children up to four generations. Choose me and relish in mercy to a thousand generations. (vs. 5)

Will you marry me?

Darling bride, honor Me by honoring My name that I give to you to bear. Do not swear by My name and always defend the name you bare. It is a name greater than any other name. (vs 7) (Phil 2:8)

Will you marry me?

Be intentional to spend time with me, at least one day a week, to rest in intimacy, to keep our covenant vibrant and holy. (vs 8-11)

Will you marry me?

Give honor to your earthly parents and I will honor them but I will honor you even more. You will live a long life with prosperity in the home I am providing you. (vs 12)

Will you marry me?

Darling, my bride, choose mercy and reject murder of another’s character and life, choose fidelity and never turn to another. My Bride, let your name be whispered on the lips of others that you are a bride of honesty, integrity and when you speak, your truth is as strong as iron. Desire only me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (vs 13-17) (Ps 37:4)

Will you marry me?

_____

SUMites, today is Thursday of the Passion Week. In the Gospels on this day, Jesus lifted the Bread and the Cup, at what is remembered as the Last Supper. But I propose to you today to consider, was this once again the Trinity asking with all they have to offer, lifeblood of God.

Will you marry me?

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Marriage Redemption In Real Life This Easter

I received this from Sumite, Becky Walker. It is testimony for all of us. Blessing this week. Love, Lynn

-----

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comFor anyone who does not know me or what God has been doing, I want to remind everyone of God's promise to me. I wrote the following in a post around Thanksgiving: 

Years ago, before my husband left (3 years ago), the Lord promised me that my husband would return, not a slave to sin, but a brother in Christ (Philemon 1:15-16). He also promised me that He would give my husband an undivided heart and place His Holy Spirit in him, remove his stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26). I have clung to these promises and claimed these promises, even in the face of opposition, because of the faith He gives me.

On January 19th, exactly a week after the end of our corporate fast, my husband, who had been separated from me for over three years, Charlie, contacted me to ask if we could have dinner as a family. It was totally unexpected since just hours earlier, he had picked up the kids like normal for the weekend. When I read the text, I was amazed and excited. I knew that God had been working but this was just the beginning, and only later would I find out just how much God has been doing behind-the-scenes.

We all had a very nice dinner at a restaurant that used to be one of our favorites and that night he contacted me some more to talk about wanting to go to counseling. What started off as one simple text and request evolved into us going out to dinner as a family about once a week and in a few short weeks, he had moved home. I sought the Lord intensely about this rapid change and the Lord kept reminding me of His promise and that it was unfolding before my very eyes.

Charlie spoke with the married adult pastor at my church, Pastor Berry. When I asked the pastor the following weekend to pray for me to have wisdom regarding my decision about such swift reconciliation, he told me "I've met with Charlie and I could tell that he has a repentant heart."

I actually had asked him to pray that I would not have the fruit of the Spirit if I'm not doing God's will because I know I can't do anything without Him. I didn't want to be deceived by the amount of joy, peace, and love I had that was overflowing onto Charlie and the kids. The pastor told me more than I even expected to hear. I was reminded that the enemy does not give peace, joy, and love; it could only be from the Lord. The Lord has also given me so much love for his son that was conceived through the other relationship. He is 19 months old and his name is Mattis.

I have been witnessing the fruit of the Spirit from Charlie as well and upon meeting our new marriage mentors. I discovered that he said he has accepted Christ as his Savior.

He has since joined a discipleship group, we are going to participate in a 10-week marriage mentoring program, and we are both looking for a bible study group to join together. I know that the Lord is still working, and he's not done yet. When the Lord blessed Job with double the amount he had before, it took time for those children to be born and for the livestock to be amassed but the Lord did it in all in His timing and that is what I am trusting him to do, not only for Charlie and his personal relationship with Jesus but with my family as well.

I am clinging to that promise as well.

We are currently waiting for the divorce to be final so that we can remarry and file for joint custody of his son. The enemy is constantly trying to make me doubt what God has done and is doing, but the Lord has taught me the spiritual disciplines I need to combat the enemy's lies and the spiritual armor I need to stay protected. I am overwhelmed by everything God has done and continues to do. Charlie and I both agree that everything that has happened is worth it because our marriage will be stronger than ever with our foundation in Jesus, and we now have a family of 5. 

I am eternally grateful for everything and I pray that our testimony encourages someone. Do not ever give up on God's promises in your life.

If you have earnestly sought the Lord about His will for your life and He continues to promise you something, no matter how seemingly impossible it is, cling to those promises. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign, in control, and His ways are beyond comprehension. Who are we to doubt His power and His will? My prayer is that all believers would be filled with peace and joy as we trust in Him and that joy would overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. The enemy will always try to control us but if you are a child of God, you are free from that slavery and you never have to return to your old master again. Jesus gives us peace that surpasses all understanding and joy abundantly;

He is always the One we should turn to. 

With love, Becky

Read Becky's previous post: God's Promise For Marriage

Biography:

My name is Becky Walker. I live in Greensboro, North Carolina. I am a stay-at-home mother of three children; my 8-year-old, Charlie Walker, V and my 6-year-old, Lily, and my soon-to-be stepson, Mattis, who is 19 months old. I teach English to children in China through VIPKID and I’ve never enjoyed a job more. I live in a house that’s owned by our church, another blessing from God. I love spending time with my family and singing praises to God.

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


Centrality Of Easter

Tomb and crossEaster, the death and resurrection of Christ, is an event that altered the fabric of humanity.

Easter is the centrality of love.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. —John 13:35

As I consider the love in the heart of Christ that He willingly offered Himself to be beaten brutally for me and nailed on a tree. I’m moved with emotion and purpose to love others, to forgive freely, to speak life and not death, to include, to be the hands, feet, and voice of my Father. Christ paid a very high price.

The profound implication of Easter is far greater than most believers set aside time to reconcile. Powerful and life-changing gifts were bestowed upon our generation through the covenant that Jesus sealed for us on the Cross. We are honor bound as benefactors of the spilled blood of Christ, knowing who we are and whose we are, to love well.

What does love look like?

Love is longsuffering.
Love is kind.
Love is humble.
Love is forgiveness.
Love is vulnerability.
Love always places connection with another as the highest goal.
Love is brave communication.
Love removes condemnation and releases honesty.
Love is the wellspring that flows from our heart.
Love is laying down my need to always be right.
Love is giving away my heart with the risk of betrayal.
Love heals, love restores, love triumphs and love is our foundation.
Love is everything good from the Father’s heart.
Love restores a single life and love redeems nations.

This Easter, let us lock arms together because we have something our spouse, our neighborhood, our country and this world is desperate to experience. We are the Beloved of Christ, His ambassadors of love, beginning within, then outward to our family, our communities and to the ends of the earth.

I pray you are deeply touched by the love of Christ this Easter. Lynn Donovan

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 & vs. 13 New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Easter is the greatest love story ever told. And our SUMite Nation is founded upon the love and grace of Christ Jesus.

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


Via Dolorosa, Walk With Jesus

Via Dolorosa SUMVia Dolorosa, The Way of Suffering:

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” —John 17:13-19

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”— John 16:33

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


He Has Risen.... Just As He Said

Easter 2012_1280

 

 Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

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


The LIGHT

Can you imagine the pain in the disciple’s hearts? I can’t help but place myself in Peter’s shoes. Two days ago, I pledged to Christ that I would die for Him. And yesterday I betrayed, lied, and abandoned the author of my Life.

I feel a pit in my stomach. Not only because of Peter but the times I did the same thing. Where I failed to stand up for truth. When I could have mentioned the Healer to my neighbor but was ashamed that I would look stupid. Agh!!!

Surely, I’m not the only one.

Today: At the request of the Jewish leadership, Pilate grants a guard and sets a seal on the tomb of Jesus. 

 

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


Friday Darkness

BcrownthornIt's dark and all seems lost.  

BUT....  

Today's Events:

  • First trial, before Annas [nightime hours]; Annas is looking for an accusation, biding time till Sanhedrin is gathered at High Priestly villa
  • Second [and primary] trial before Sanhedrin, Jesus is condemned, misused
  • Third trial, immediately at dawn [meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a third time; Jesus looks upon him]; the condemnation repeated, then Jesus taken to Romans
  • Fourth trial before Pilate [till "beginning at Galilee"]
  • Fifth trial before Herod [looks for miracle]
  • 6th trial before Pilate
  • Jesus is scourged; the city cries, "Crucify Him or we will tell Rome!"
  • Jesus is finally turned over to be crucified
  • Jesus mocked (Roman soldiers); crown of thorns
  • Judas hangs himself
  • Jesus bears His cross to gate on north of city and is crucified around 9 am
  • Jesus' Seven Sayings from the Cross
  • "Father, forgive them..."
  • "Today...with me in paradise"
  • "Woman, behold thy son..." [darkness: noon – 3 pm]
  • "My God, My God..."
  • "I thirst"
  • "It is finished"
  • "Into Thy hands..."
  • The Death of the God-Man
  • About 3 pm; veil torn, rocks rent; some graves opened and people rise [to mortality] and go into the city
  • Jesus' side pierced
  • Passover lambs slain in temple
  • Jesus buried by sundown

 It's Friday but, Sunday's a commin'!

 

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


Thursday Betrayal

Thursday Events:

Peter and John sent to make preparation for Passover meal
After sunset, eats meal with the twelve; washes disciples; Judas departs
Lord's Supper instituted
To Garden of Gethsemane; Jesus' agony
Betrayal by Judas; arrest by Sanhedrin
To house of High Priest as Sanhedrin is convened; Peter betrays Jesus

BETRAYAL

Betrayal…. Thursday is a bitter darkness. I don’t know about you, but for me, I can forgive easily …. except when I’ve been betrayed.

Anyone???

There is something that breaks in the core of our being when we give trust to someone who didn’t keep our life, our secrets, and our heart safe.

I find that Jesus is calling me on this Thursday, before we move toward Easter, to let go of betrayal. Enter into this place with me. It can feel like hell to surrender the hurt that is so deep that it feels like it will pull you under, never to escape.

Imagine with me, Jesus taking that pain, betrayal, into the tomb and into the pit where He leaves it chained forever. And then see Jesus giving you joy, hope and peace as a golden shining crown upon your head. It’s in this moment is where the crucifixion and resurrection become authentic and powerful!!

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


Lenten Reflections: Holy Week - Hope in His Divinity and Humanness

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Aren’t you loving Lynn’s Holy Week reflections? I feel a little like an interloper with my post this week but as I sought the Lord on what to post I kept coming back to: HOPE.

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25)

Death is not the end. The story is not over on Good Friday. Jesus defeats death and is resurrected on Easter Sunday and in so doing gives us the opportunity to have relationship with the Father. Not just now but forever.

We have an eternal hope.

Desire for Connection

I’d never really considered the significant number of intimate moments that occur during this week that is often called “Passion Week”. I was drawn to them by a couple of posts I read. Let’s look at some of them:

1. Jesus washed the disciples feet (John 13:5) – what a moment this must have been. “Surely the room was filled with a holy silence as pure and sweet as Mary’s perfume.”1

Yes, the One who created these twelve men now performs an act usually performed by a slave. Of course there are strong spiritual messages here about being cleansed to be made righteous and the importance of service but for a moment reflect on the intimacy of the scene.

2. Sharing the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-30) – I love participating in communion. There’s something intimate in the ceremony. Picture yourself in the group of twelve as Jesus breaks the bread and passes you a piece and then the cup having wiped it clean before he pours some of the [real] wine in your mouth. He looks into your eyes as He says ever so tenderly: “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for the remission of sins.”

More silence. And contemplation.

3. The Garden (Matthew 26:36-38) – three accompanied Him: Peter, James and John. All three have only moments declared they would not leave Jesus (as did the other eight), no matter what happens. Jesus is troubled. No wonder. It’s almost time. He asks them to be with Him in His troubled state.

“My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” (v38)

He desired and needed companionship. To know His best mates were close. I expect it gave Him strength and some degree of comfort.

4. Addressing Mary at the Tomb (John 20:11-16) – Mary returns to the tomb for a second time. She is beside herself as Jesus is gone!

After an initial interaction with a man whom she presumed to be the gardener, she’s increasingly angry thinking this man had taken Him. He sees her anguish:

“’Mary!’” (v16)

What a moment. It’s like a soothing salve that calms her heart and dries her tears all with the one word: her name.

“She turned toward Him, ‘Rabboni!’”

The scales fell from her eyes, clarity came to her mind. It was Him. Her Jesus.

Hope

As we journey these last few days of Lent reflect on the hope we have in having an eternal relationship with Jesus and the opportunity for a tender, intimate walk with Him right now.

I hope you can take a little time out to simply sit in His Presence. Close the door on your world for a few minutes if that’s all you can get and linger with Him. Sit down in the tall grass beside the still waters with the lover of your soul.

Enjoy His tenderness, His soothing voice and the peace that passes all understanding.

Happy Easter, dear friends and thank you for walking through Lent with me.

Grace and peace,

Notes: 1. “The Women of Easter,” Liz Curtis Higgs, Waterbrook Publishing, 2017, p100

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


Tuesday's Journey

Jesus cloudsTuesday's Events:
Leaves Bethany
Finds the fig tree withered; teaches on faith
Possesses the temple and its precincts; confounds and pronounces woes upon His enemies
Leaves city; Olivet Discourse on way back to Bethany
Judas bargains with Sanhedrin to betray Jesus
Spends the night in Bethany

On this day Jesus pours out so much teaching. Read Matthew 25 & 26. The story of the 10 talents always gives me comfort. God gives us responsibilities for His Kingdom according to our gifting and ability. He never intended for us to perform at a superior level beyond what we are capable. But only asked us to be diligent with what we have. What a relief.

Today I want to leave this passage with you: 

"But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." - Jesus

Oh how true this is. Years of living has proven this over and again. I pray often, teach me to be humble and LORD, I humble myself. 

 

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


Busy Monday In The Temple

Jesus Woman touches hemIt’s Monday in the Old City. Jerusalem is all a buzz that Jesus, the healer, is at the Temple. Reading through the events of Passion Week Monday, this verse, jumped out at me:

Following Jesus’ rebuke to the religious leaders where He said, “It is written, ‘My House shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a “den of thieves.’”

Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. -Matthew 21:13-14

Jesus healed them!!!! Amen and AMEN!!!

On Monday Jesus:

Leaves Bethany
Curses the fig tree on the way into the city
Weeps over Jerusalem
Cleanses the temple for the second time in His ministry
Late in day, looks into the Temple, then leaves the city
Spends the night in Bethany

I wonder if we might consider an event that occurred earlier in Matthew.

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

I wonder sometimes, I just wonder, if we need to be bold enough to put a demand on the healing power that is ours through Jesus? Or perhaps not just bold…. But desperate enough to lean into our faith and pray saying, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”

Persistence and faith, when married together ARE the touch to the hem of His garment. Pray with belief. Pray every day expecting. Pray and ask for your healing, breakthrough, and your increased portion of the Kingdom.

I’m not naive to say that healing always happens. But, I won’t stop asking just because I’m unable to explain every why or why not. I choose to believe because I have born witness to the miraculous. And if you are waiting for your turn to bear witness, then pray and ask, placing a demand on your faith and move heaven to seek your healing and breakthrough…. It’s the season for both…

It’s Easter!

It may be Monday, but Sunday’s commin!

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


The Triumphant Entry

SUM Nation,

Triumphant EntryDineen and I have decided to push the series we are writing into next week because the LORD is prompting us to lead our SUM church through a week of reflection on Easter.

The Holy Spirit impressed upon me to take this week to reflect on each day the events of the Passion Week and allow us to walk with Jesus through it. The death and resurrection of Christ split time in two. It brought about the salvation of the Gentiles and it forever took the keys of death from satan. The implications of the shed blood are freedom, deliverance, healing and protection.

So, walk this week with me as I post a few short scriptures and the events of the week. Ask Jesus to include you into this week. Let the truth of this week and Resurrection Sunday change your life.

Also, begin to pray about asking your spouse to attend church with you. Don’t pressure, pray, ask and be okay with whatever reply comes.

Today is Palm Sunday. It’s the Triumphal Entry into the city of Jerusalem. These are the events of the day. Pull out your Bible and read the account in one of the four Gospels. I love Matthew’s rendition.

Today’s events:

  • Jesus' triumphant entrance into Jerusalem
  • Spends the night in Bethany

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”—Matthew 21:9

AMEN! 

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


Lenten Reflections: Week 5 - Slow down

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Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lynn and Dineen are supplying such wonderful teaching and inspiration that I sensed the Lord simply wanted to encourage us today. 

We can get caught up striving during Lent. Have you felt that pull? To be working harder at getting something more out of this season as we approach Holy Week and Easter. To feel closer to the Lord, to be different. Yes? I hear little whispers suggesting there should be something more.

 

Heart Preparation

Giving up things and applying greater focus to spiritual disciplines is a good thing.

“Disciplines are not the answer; they only lead us to the Answer.” (Richard Foster)

They’re helping open our heart, a spring clean if you will, so that we can experience more of Him.

Meditation

Today may I suggest you spend less time focusing on the process of Lent, the giving up and doing stuff, but rather simply contemplate Jesus.

I’ve always loved this verse from Zephaniah:

“The Lord your God is with you,

    the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

    but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph 3:17 NIV)

Allow yourself a few moments to be delighted in. Yes, you are His beloved! And our God delights in you and rejoices in you with singing.

Picture that in your mind: Jesus and an angelic choir singing over you.

Let go of all that is going on, the madness of your day, the kiddies raging around the house desperate for something, that work deadline that is edging ever closer, or whatever.

Simply sit or lie or gaze – and allow your Lord to cherish you.

Grace and peace, dear friends.

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


The ACTS 2 Church

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMite Nation, did read Acts 2????

My friends, I'm compelled to share with you that my soul is sensing an urgency. We, the church, are in a divine and holy season. An unprecedented season of acceleration. I’m seeing this in my faith walk and in the faith walk of Dineen and others. Many of you, the SUMites, are experiencing this as well.

God is granting gifts to His people. (The pouring out of His Spirit) This acceleration is advancing the Kingdom in powerful ways. Hopes and dreams we have carried for years are now moving forward. Things that took years to bring to reality are now happening in months. This acceleration is also evident in the church. Gifts of the Spirit are being imparted and people are experiencing God’s love, spirit and gifting is powerful ways they never dreamed possible.

This is also a season of Holy Breakthrough. I’ve seen areas of faith change. I’ve witnessed and have participated in deliverances, healings, spiritual growth at a tremendous rate.

God is moving and as I read through Acts 2 again…… All I can say is…… IT’S HAPPENING.

So, jump in the “River” with me because it’s fantastic.

Onward….

On Monday I shared about sitting in church and realizing that God has been responding to my cry for a revelation of love for weeks. Sometimes, I’m just so blonde. (I hope that makes someone reading this feel better when you miss things too. *grin*)

Anyhoo, why in the world would God respond to my cry for revelation with a passage in Acts? Well on Sunday, while sitting in church, God went on to speak to me, “Lynn, don’t you get it? I’m giving you (all my people) something that I haven’t never given another generation. I’m giving them everything in this passage. It’s profound. It’s all you have been crying out for. You are seeing things, experiencing things of the Kingdom that Saints of past centuries could only wonder about.”

***** Can I just tell you, even typing this gives me a “fear of the Lord” and tremendous excitement and anticipation all rolled up together. I feel this excitement in the middle of my stomach. I hope you have a stomach full of this as well.

Let’s look at Acts 2:
In the last days, God says,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your young men will see visions,

your old men will dream dreams.

Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and they will prophesy.

I will show wonders in the heavens above

and signs on the earth below,

blood and fire and billows of smoke.

The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

And everyone who calls

on the name of the Lord will be saved.

I will be straight-forth with you. Up until Sunday, I didn’t think we were truly in the “Last Days.” I know that may be weird but I’m an optimist and I see so much hope in our world, even though there is tremendous darkness and evil. However, after hearing directly from the Lord, I’m now a believer *grin*.

So on Sunday, God spoke to my heart in reply to my cry for a revelation of love. He said, “Lynn, I’m pouring out My Spirit on all flesh.” People of prior centuries have read this and wondered what this could possibly mean. Well, I’m of the belief that we are NOW seeing this passage come to pass within our lifetime, before our very eyes.

IN OUR LIVES!!!!

What are the implication of this truth in our lives. What does this look like right now in 2017? AND most importantly, how do we get in on this fulfillment of this passage????  

Woo Hoo!!! I can’t wait to answer these questions. So, on Tuesday, let’s chat more about it. For today, cry out in your prayer time. I’ve decided to fast the week of April 2 until Easter because I discovered how utterly powerful and how clearly, we hear God after a five day fast. Consider joining me. How hungry are you???? Pursue God hard and He answers you with love and revelation!!!  And that’s a promise!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled. - Matthew 5:6

I love you Papa God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. I love you Saints of old and I love you Saints of today. I love you Heavenly Hosts and the Great cloud of Witnesses!!!  So much awaits and is for us…. Lord I want it all. In Jesus name. AMEN

Love you SUMites. What are your thoughts about this passage? Share with me in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

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Lenten Reflections Wk 3: the Secret Place

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Photo courtesy of James Barker/Free DigitalPhotos.net

We’re all familiar with the often-repeated comment that Jesus didn’t give the disciples a lesson on anything but how to pray. And this lesson came in amongst His great message: the Sermon on the Mount –

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”(Matthew 6:5-6 NIV)

This gave us the notion of the secret place. The place we go to meet with Jesus. For many of us we have a regular habit of going into a room (I do, my study) but this isn’t always possible for some people for whatever reason. Its essence involves getting alone with Jesus wherever that might be, in your car, on a mountain, sitting by a stream, etc.

Being Intentional about Intimacy

In our modern lives it’s very easy to be always on the go taking God with us. We all have our own versions of this depending on what particular season we’re experiencing in life. God wants to be involved in all we do and so bringing Him along as you go through your day is important. The essence of godliness is being aware of God at all times and actively engaging Him in whatever we’re doing.

“If we want to fully walk out the callings the Lord places on our lives, we must spend time with Him, cultivating intimacy in the secret place.”1

Jesus loves being with us and He so wants us to want to spend time with Him. It’s like any relationship we have quality time together leads to intimacy. Sharing our hearts draws us together. There is no shortcut to developing intimacy.

“Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ … The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” (Exodus 33:7,11 NIV)

It’s easy when reading Exodus 33 to skip over the second half of verse 11. It’s a chapter about Moses and the Glory of the Lord. It’s a BIG chapter, exciting to read, as we get a little insight into the intimacy the Lord shared with Moses. But I’ve always been fascinated by this brief mention of Moses right hand man: Joshua.

I think most of us love the book of Joshua. How Joshua succeeded his mentor, Moses, and led the Israelites into their Promised Land. Often when we think about our Promised Land we think about something physical whether it’s a place or a new career or new season of some sort. But I believe it reflects us stepping into a new season of intimacy with the Lord.

And how did Joshua achieve it?

He didn’t leave the tent. He lingered in the Presence of God.

“What’s more, when we spend time in the secret place, our passion and hunger for Jesus grow.”2

Joshua discovered that for himself when he was an apprentice. And the Lord rewarded him by giving him the responsibility of leading his people into the Promised Land.

Progress or … not?

Over the weekend I was thinking about the first two weeks of Lent and questioned what had changed. Sure, I’ve not eaten chocolate (well, most days) and not looked at FB and Instagram. But it’s a lot more than giving up something. Isn’t it?

These past few days my life unexpectedly slowed down. So I’ve spent more time in my secret place, being more intentional about sitting in His presence. And I’ve loved it. And I don’t want to leave it.

How about you? Have you had a recent opportunity to spend quality time in your secret place with Jesus?

BTW, where is your secret place? Be great to encourage each other by sharing where (or how) we go to our secret place.

Let me pray for us:

Jesus, we love you, we worship you. Thank you that you so desire intimacy with us. Help us to realize that the desire in our hearts is the same: to have intimacy with you. Because you put it there in the beginning. When you made us. Please show us, even if it means interrupting our lives, how to spend time with you in the secret place. In Your loving name we pray. Amen.

Notes: 1. Daily Insights to Birthing the Miraculous: 100 Devotions for Reflection and Prayer, Heidi Baker. Charisma House 2016 p32. 2 ibid.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Why Bother to Observe Lent?

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Photo sourced from St Clare of Assisi Catholic Church

I was intrigued to read a post Christianity Today published last week based on some research conducted by Lifeway Research. It revealed 24% of Americans observe Lent, the greater majority Catholics. Interestingly, 82% of Catholics who regularly attend Church are likely to observe it while only 30% of Protestants who regularly attend church will.

The stats didn’t surprise me. I’d love to see comparable ones for Australia as I expect they’d been even lower. I’m the only person in my circle that observes it and it’s not mentioned in my church community.

So why bother with it?

I only adopted the practice in recent years having lacked understanding of what it was about. I grew up believing it was something Catholics observed and as I wasn’t Catholic it didn’t apply to me.

As I’ve come to better understand the practice I now eagerly look forward to it. Before I explain why let’s start with a recap of the basics.

What is Lent?

Lent derives its structure and themes from Christ’s forty days’ in the wilderness, where He fasted and prayed and faced Satan’s temptations. As most of us know this period occurred before His public ministry began. It commences with Ash Wednesday, which this year happens to be a Wednesday, March 1st. It’s typically six weeks in duration (some denominations calculate it differently) and ends with Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

I particularly love Ann Voskamp’s description in a post that I read a few years ago. Ann’s chatting to her brother on the phone answering his question:

“Okay … Lent. It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice.”

So it’s the letting go of our stuff, whatever that may be, so we can seek God with greater intensity.

“’And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart …’” (Joel 2:12)

“The purpose of Lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to ‘soften’ our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden ‘ thirst and hunger’ for communion with God.”1

This is my desire: to experience that communion with God.

Longing for God

We observe Lent so we would become more aware of our longing for God in order to see Him with all of our hearts. We adopt certain disciplines, eg, fasting, to help us see more clearly the patterns of sin and/or distraction that have weakened our passion for Him or created some distance from God.

Season of Hope

As we journey through the six weeks and draw closer to Holy Week and the Jesus at the Cross and His subsequent resurrection we can sometimes feel burdened by these Lenten disciplines. But the journey is full of such hope as we are reminded of God’s great and everlasting love for us. “In the shadow of Christ’s cross and impending resurrection we are assured that there is forgiveness and cleansing for all who turn to Him.”2 Our relationship with the Father has been restored.

Hallelujah!

What am I doing for Lent?

I usually do a few things and this year I’ll be doing:

  1. Giving up: chocolate, FB and Instagram. And fast one day each week.
  2. Bible study: He/She Reads Truth Lenten study on Isaiah. Very excited about this one.
  3. Reading: Walk in Her Sandals  and Liz Curtis Higgs The Women of Easter.

“He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

John the Baptist spoke those words acknowledging that it was time for people to focus on Jesus rather than himself. He had played his part and fulfilled the prophecy. It was now time for Jesus. I’ve found it’s a great verse to head into Lent with. Letting go of ourselves to allow more room for Jesus.

I’ll be posting each week over the next few weeks reflecting on some of the Lenten disciplines as well as my journey. I hope you’ll join me. 

I read lots of different things and I expect will come across many good items on Lent so I will endeavour to share some of these to add to our understanding and open our eyes to more of Jesus. Ruth Haley Barton is a favourite of mine and I just read her introductory post on the season. I encourage you to give it a read you have a few spare moments.

What are your thoughts on Lent and do you have any plans for this season?

Notes: 1. Great Lent, Alexander Schmemann, Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1974. Page 31. 2. Lent: A Season of Returning, Ruth Haley Barton, Transforming Center, 2013, Ash Wednesday.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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