77 posts categorized "Glimpses of God"

A Tale of Prosperity

GodisFaithfulMy friends, I have some news to share and I’m so happy I can share it with you, especially since so many of you prayed for me and my family over our financial situation.

But let me start at the beginning of this God-filled story.

At the end of each year I begin praying for words and Scriptures for each of my family members. Then during our week of fasting here at SUM, I set time aside to pray specifically for each one and listen to what He tells me.

So, last January as I prayed for my husband, I heard the word “prosperity.” This is a word that can mean many things but in light of our financial struggles, which was part of my prayers, I felt this related to that. I kept an open mind though, because above all, I am seeking my husband’s spiritual prosperity, and I believe all of this is interrelated.

But even then, I questioned how this would be possible in light of my husband’s continued unbelief. Abba told me, “I bless him through you.”

And He didn’t stop there. He spoke to me about integrity through these Scriptures:

I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. — Psalm 101:2b

As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws, — 1Kings 9:4

I knew Abba wanted me to walk in this place of accountability and integrity as well, even though I hadn’t a clue what that would look like. But on that day on January 4, 2013, I prayed this:

Lord, I will walk in my home, in my life with integrity of heart and uprighteness. Let my heart be as Yours, Jesus, and my strength to be upright from You as well, Holy Spirit. In Your Holy Name, Jesus, amen.

Then just three days later, Abba led me to this verse:

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. — Proverbs 11:25

Little did I know how much worse our financial situation would become when we faced the loss of my husband’s job (A blessing since it wasn’t a place of integrity, and Abba opened a new door for him at a small start-up.), a wedding to pay for, and an unexpected ER visit that would bring us nearly to the breaking point. Perfect ground for Abba to come in and do miracles, right?

Well, yes, but not what I expected. I wanted Abba to come in with a big swoop and set everything right. He wanted to do things His own way so that His will would be accomplished as He planned and saw best. I can honestly tell you that though I’ve no doubt things were accomplished, as of today I only have a partial picture, because this story is still playing out.

And there were many days I wondered if I had misunderstood, days where I wondered how I would be able to pay for needed medications, pay bills, or keep food on the table. I’m still in awe as to how He did that, just enough to provide but not undo what our perseverance was accomplishing.

The waiting and the wondering have been the most challenging, as I’m sure you know. Many of us are in this place somewhere in our lives where we are waiting for God’s promise to materialize and save the day. And when conditions get worse, we find it harder to persevere and stand in place, because we wonder if we heard wrong or had we done something to mess things up. I’ve bought into that last lie a lot in the past.

And that’s what it is, a lie. Abba is not fickle with His favor, and from experience, I can truthfully say that sometimes the worst of a situation must be exposed before restoration can begin. Like an infected wound, the puss must be cleansed in order for healing to begin.

Now back to the good news. The start-up my hubby works for has been acquired by a large company and that is good for all concerned. This will enable us to recover slowly and even reach for a particular dream we have in our minds and hearts in about a year or so.

I love that Abba is doing this slowly so that we can continue to grow and be good stewards through all this as He continues to work in my hubby’s heart. I sense this is still a crucial time for growth and preparation for what’s coming down the road.

So, my friends, I hope this encourages you to continue to persevere and keep trusting God. If you feel your promise is delayed, ask Abba why. Above all remember that He does not withhold His good from us and if there’s something we’re asking for and not getting, He’s most likely protecting us or wanting to give us something better.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:9-11

Abba, I pray that You would stir our hearts and our spirits with wisdom to pray for your good gifts and give us the patience, endurance and perseverance we need in the time between our request, our thanks and our receipt of Your good and perfect gifts. Give us supernatural eyes and ears to see and hear Your presence every day. We love and praise You, King Jesus, and give You all the glory. Amen!

Love you all so much, my friends. If you have a prayer that you have been are carrying alone, share it and let’s pray for each other. Where two or three gather in His name...

Dineensig


Weekend Worship — Puppy Love

IMG_2436Let me tell you a story about a dog named Riley.

Except that wasn't his name when we first met him. This wayward pup followed my husband and I one day as we walked the park. When we attempted to get a closer look and see if he had a collar, he dashed away.

My husband and I finished our walk around the park and headed home. As we came closer to our house, we saw this pooch standing right in front of our house. I kid you not.

Our new furry friend still evaded us as we drew closer, hightailing it down the street to what we hoped was his home. The next day my youngest daughter spotted a dog hiding under some bushes in a yard across the street. She finally coaxed him out and brought him home.

Same dog. No collar. No chip. We made signs and hung them all over the neiborhood and park. We posted about him on Facebook. We listed him on our neiborhood site. No one claimed this little guy who seemed so eager just to be loved.

A few days later, I told my daughter, "God has put this dog in our lives for a reason and I'm wondering if it might have something to do with you. Pray and ask God what that's about."

Long story short, Riley—as we have dubbed him—has now come to stay with us for good. He's the most cuddlicious pooch I've had the pleasure to know. And he has the most interesting settling and peaceful effect on my husband. Very interesting...perhaps my assessment of "whom" this dog was for may have been a tad bit off. 

I've no idea what Abba is doing with this little guy, but I'm positive something's going on here. I've seen God do this before with my daughter's dog Shasta and how this pooch saved her life. I watch my husband and Riley interact with great anticipation. God's ways are so much fun!

My friends, I pray that from this day forth through this festive time of the year that Abba would put people, pets, or particulars in your life that will astound, delight you and bring great joy and peace. Let's call them "Rileys." See a "Riley" in your life already?

Keep your eyes open. Look for the "rileys" Abba is placing in your life to speak His love, care and attention to you. Especially right now as we enter a season of busy preparations. I wonder how many of these delights we miss on a daily basis. I'm praying for open eyes and ears and respective hearts to percieve more for each and every one of us. 

I love you, my friends, and truly appreciate each of you. This community is part of my joy and delight each and every day. Thank you, Abba. You give me such sweet blessings!
Dineensig 

 


Weekend Worship — The Presence of God

IStock_000004628405XSmallMy friends, so much happened during our time at Bethel at the Open Heavens conference. I will share some of the highlights starting today and continue next week.

The moment walked into the church you could feel a change in the atmosphere. I don't think I've ever felt it quite so strongly. We followed the signs to registration and got in line. Two or three women were greeting people as we walked in and speaking blessings over each one. Sometimes they would stop someone, because God had given them a specific word to pass on to them—always encouraging and uplifting. This is truly how the body of Christ is intended to operate and it is stunning!

As I stepped up to the table, the woman sitting behind the table looked at me and started to speak. She blinked and seemed to stumble over her words. I leaned forward to ask if she was okay, concerned for her. She reached out and took my hand, and my friends, I am not exaggerating when I say I was speechless. I couldn't move. We just stared at each other. God's presence and power came down and just us there for a good 30 seconds.

Then she began to speak into my life, telling me to be steadfast and immovable. Then she stood and had me put my bag down and stand with my arms to my sides and said she was going to push on my shoulders and that I was to stand firm. I followed her directions and stood firm and still when she pushed.

I know, crazy, right? But what if I told you that the next day during one of our worship sessions, I heard Jesus speak this:

"Dineen, will you stand for Me?"

I think I went to my knees in total submission, saying yes, yes, yes! So powerful and so overwhelming.

My friends, it is absolutely stunning how God sets things in place to prepare us for what's coming and helps us connect the dots. What this dear woman did was prepare me for the words I would hear later and gave me a deeper affirmation and confirmation of what Jesus was asking from me.

Then as we waited that first day to enter the sanctuary for the first session, I got zapped by Lynn's roaring lady, Deborah! Totally surprised by it too, because I didn't feel it at first and then WHAM! I began to shake and could barely catch my breath. God's presence was so strong. It was like a surge of power ran through me like electricity and the after affect I can only describe as feeling a heightened sense of awareness almost as if I were floating. Wow!

Then after the evening session I went up for prayer for healing for my ribs (still had some discomfort from that inflammation started from a cole back in May) from a young man named Tyler, who rocked my world! I will finish that story next week along with our encounter with Mathew and Mark!

Until then, I pray each of you are filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and experience the overwhelming love and power of The Lord God Almighty! There is nothing like His presence!

Hugging you with JOY!
Dineen

My precious friends, pick a time and place where you can be alone and play this song loud. Hear the lyrics and make them the prayer of your heart. When he sings "fill this place" think of that place as you. You are a temple, a holy place intended to house the Spirit of the Living God—the Holy Spirit sent to us by Jesus. I love you, and I am praying for His Presence to fill and overwhelm each and every one of you!


Who Prayed for You?

IStock_000001262149XSmallDear friends, I’ve shared in the past that I didn’t grow up in a Christian home but at about age 4 or 5 I remember taking a bus to Sunday school. It wasn’t until I reached my teen years that I started to seek God for myself but even then I hadn’t a clue what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus.

I think we all have a time or many times in our lives where we can look back and see how we narrowly escaped something. I can look back at my childhood and teen years and see how God protected me from some pretty bad stuff. Over the years I have surmised that someone had to be someone praying for me.

Last week, I found out who.

My mother’s cousin—my second cousin—is a strong believer and has been since he returned from Vietnam. He’s also a musician and cartoonist. He sent me a package last week with a couple of his CD’s and a beautiful letter that left me stunned and in tears. In a good way!

He shared his story about coming to Christ in 1970 and how he began praying for his family on a daily basis. I was 5 at the time—he called me the “baby” of the family.

I never expected to find out who had prayed for me this side of heaven, and I feel like I’ve been given a gift. One I want to share with you.

His prayers released God’s protection and a need for Jesus in my life from a very young age. His prayers released God’s presence to continually work in my life even though didn’t know it. His prayers assisted God’s pursuit of my heart and began a great work that even now, at this very moment is still in action.

In 1970 this dear man began praying for his family. From those prayers were birthed my faith, my place in many ministries including this one and my two daughters who also are believers.

My friends, this is what our prayers do! For our children, our pre-believers, our family members, our friends and even the random person God may point out and tell you to pray for! James 5:16 states that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. What if we started to really believe this and traded our doubts for expectancy? You are releasing the power and presence of God into the lives of others. Believe it!

I want to challenge you to say this to yourself after you pray. As soon as you say “amen,” say, “I am a righteousness person because of the blood of Jesus, and my prayers are powerful and effective. Lord, I’m watching to see what You do next.”

Do it all week and even longer until you notice that you have started to pray with belief instead of doubt. Amen? Amen!

Praying and believing!!!
Dineen


Blessed to Wash Feet

3179092_sMy friends, many of you have sent me messages of congratulations on winning the Carol Award in the mystery/suspense/thriller category for The Soul Saver at the ACFW Conference this last weekend. Thank you for sharing my joy! To say that this is the realization of a dream is an understatement. I am so blown away at how God did all of this.

The amazing thing is, God did so much more than even this over the week I was there. He met my every need during this week. He affirmed me in every way and showed me like He never has before how much He loves me. I truly have never felt more loved by Abba than I do now. The award is part of this story, but there were so many other "awards" that came from this week. I want to tell you about one of them.

I shared on our Facebook page before my trip that I was in Indianapolis. A fellow SUMite, Jennifer Beckler, reached out to me to ask if we could have coffee while I was there. I looked at my work schedule (I managed the registration desk for the whole week—God's provision to get me there as being on staff took care of many of my expenses) and saw as small window of time Friday evening.

This didn't work for Jennifer as she is not only a homeschooling mom but a working mom too. I contemplated suggesting Monday but thought it might be too stressful to work out with my crazy schedule.

This year's ACFW Keynote was Robin Jones Gunn and on Saturday she told this amazing story of how a reader wrote her the last day of Robin's vacation on Maui and shared how one of Robin's book had brought her to Jesus at age twelve. Ten years later she wanted to share this with Robin and how Jesus had given her so many of the desires of her heart. But one she hesitated to ask Him for since she lived so far away on the island of Maui! Just hours before Robin was to fly home, she and this dear reader met.

My spirit was so stirred. I immediately reached out to Jennifer again to try to make our meeting work. I prayed for God to put the pieces in place to make it work. He would help smooth out the stressful places—why hadn't I trust Him for that to begin with? She messaged me back that Monday worked and we set a time.

Sunday evening after the awards gala, I had a chance to tell Robin Jones Gunn about this beautiful story and how her story had inspired me to try again. And Robin told me something so profound as she congratulated me on my award. She said she found that from a great blessing comes an opportunity to wash feet. I took that to heart as great wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

The next day, Jennifer and I met and she brought her precious teenaged daughter with her. We sat at a table with our coffees. Jennifer’s daughter listened to music while Jennifer and I shared our hearts with each other.

I heard a splash and realized her daughter had spilled her coffee, drenching her leg and the floor below. I jumped up and grabbed handfuls of napkins to help this sweet girl get cleaned up. Her jeans and her shoes were covered.

My hands stilled a moment as I realized—I was wiping down her shoes. Her feet.

My friends, even as I write this I am overwhelmed by God's profound goodness. I confess that at times I’ve still battled with feeling like I’d been overlooked or that God didn’t love me as much as everyone else. Now I truly know differently. He brings such precious wisdom, grace and meaning to our lives if we just stay in intentional awareness of His constant presence. And those tender places—He affirms at just the right time with His love and provision.

And He doesn’t stop there because He knows that the full benefit of the blessing comes when we are given the chance to share it and bless another, to serve another.

As Robin Jones Gunn shared this weekend, God doesn't show up. He's already there. 

And His love is absolutely relentless.

Love you all so very much,
Dineen

Image credit: velkol / 123RF Stock Photo

Weekend Worship — What did Jesus do?

Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast." — Luke 5:34 (NIV)

My friends, I hope this week has been pivotal to you. I just want to reassure you that even if you didn't feel or see anything "earthshaking" that doesn't mean nothing happened. I believe that much of the outcome of these special times of prayer and fasting culminate and are revealed days, weeks, months and even years later. One day something will show up and you will know that this week is where the seed was planted, the miracle was placed, or the healing began. Just trust Jesus and believe.

Because we are doing the very things He told us to do—fast and pray. Why would He tell us these things and not respond to them? Okay, as Kris Vallotton says, that was a good word! I heard it in my heart as I typed it. Woohoo! Wow, is Our Lord God Almighty amazing or what?!?!

On our forums we have an areas for testimonies now and there is one specifically for sharing about this week. If you feel led to share, please do so! Our testimonies are powerful (Rev. 12:11) and when shared they release the power of the Holy Spirit in others because it increases our faith. Isn't that awesome? That's just how Jesus works. That's why He told the stories He did. He revealed the possibilities in impossible situations. 

Okay, whoa! There's another good word from the Holy Spirit. I personally love the clarity I get when I fast. It's an amazing time of revelation. So go over share your testimony here:

Testimonies from Our Spiritual Spa Week and Rosh Hashanah Fast

As we end our week, reflect on all that God has done this week. Write it down in your journal or Bible so you go back and remind yourself of what God spoke to you this week. And praise and thank Him for His relentless and abundant love. 

It has been my joy and honor to pray for you this week, SUMites! I want you to walk in all that Abba has for you!
Love you so very much,
Dineen 


Martha's Miracle!

My precious friends, you've seen Martha Bush's name many times in the comment. On Mother's Day, she sent this email to Lynn and I—the story of a miracle! And it's a story to be shared! Wow! 

 

5508294_sI have a testimony of praise on this Mother's Day. I left my home in Orange Friday morning at 4:30 A.M., headed for Georgia to spend Mother's Day with my mother. About an hour into the trip, the following is what happened.

Just before I got into Sulphur, LA on Interstate 10, all of a sudden there was a big boom and I didn't know what had happened, but I knew that my body was moving around in the car, and I knew I did not have control of the car. But, I didn't know what happened.

Somehow, I got back into driving position, and I was traveling straight ahead in the right lane, as if nothing had happened. But, I knew it had. I saw am 18 wheeler pull over to the outside lane, and my first thought was that he had pulled over to help me, so I pulled up behind him—I didn't know what had happened.

Now, here is the miracle. He walked up to the side of my car, and I said, "what has happened?" He said, "I am so sorry, but I dozed off to sleep, and when I woke up, you were there in front of me and I couldn't stop."

Yes, I was hit in the rear by an 18-wheeler, my car is totaled, and I don't have a scratch on me.

I couldn't find my glasses, so I had to ask him to help me look for them. He found them on the floorboard behind the driver's seat. That's when I realized that the driver's seat had been laid back upon impact. Later, I realized that was when I was spinning in my head, not knowing what was happening—the driver's seat was laid down away from the steering wheel, but God picked me up to put my hands back on the steering wheel, and my car kept going down the Interstate as if nothing had happened.

This is 1-10, no other cars were around us at that time.

I give God all the glory. He truly drove that car for me when I was in a laid back position. He sat me back up to the steering wheel of the car, and I was driving down in the right lane as if nothing had happened.

I know that you both believe in miracles and I just had to share this with you—I am a living, walking miracle today. Praise Him with me.

I had to call my Mother and cancel the trip. But, I could only tell her that I had car trouble—she would not be able to stand up to this kind of news. My husband has been an angel himself. Actually he was out of town, and I had to call my neighbors to pick me up. But, Glen started driving home immediately, and I have held nothing back of testifying of how God's hands were on me. He agrees.

To God be the glory!!!
Martha

 

Needless to say, we were so thankful and praising God that she was fine. A couple days later I asked Martha if she'd experienced any soreness or stiffness since. 

She said none! She's had no after affects at all!

I don't know why but that completely brought home the magnitude of God's miracle in this for me. As Martha said, let's praise God with her!

Precious Lord, You are so AWESOME and AMAZING! Thank You for Your love and care for Martha and for us. Thank You for keeping this dear sister in Jesus with us because You have more for her to do here. We ask for your anointing and blessings upon her to do the works that You have prepared for her. In Your saving name, Jesus, we pray all this. Amen!

Have a great week basking in the presence of our Mighty God, my friends! Love you all so much!
Dineen 

 

About Martha Bush: 

Martha-031-Lite-WebMartha's love for teaching led her into areas outside the school system as she began teaching Bible study courses in jails, prisons, and at her local church. She also writes a monthly inspirational post at Created Woman and is a contributing editor for Created Woman Magazine.

In addition, Martha is a contributor to Girlfriends Coffee Hour and a member of the Orange County Christian Writers Guild.

Through her years of teaching, as well as being an avid reader of human behavior and grief counseling from noted Christian psychologists, she recognized how a team effort can help build a foundation in children at an early age that will enable them to cope with the losses in their lives. Modified-Front-CoverShe believes this team, made of up parents, grandparents, educators, and spiritual leaders, can guide a child to healing from losses he or she might experience. They can do this simply by recognizing his pain, listening to his pain and then teaching the child how to apply the principles of God’s Word to his hurting heart. This led her to write Helping Hurting Children: A Journey of Healing.

 



A Step of Faith

IStock_000008478972XSmallMy precious friends, God has put a fire in my heart to speak to you about taking a step of faith. There is something God is calling many of us to do—something unique to our place and time and season—and He’s given you a promise that goes with this. And maybe you’ve prayed and waited for a long time for this promise but nothing is happening.

What did God call you to do first? What was His call to action? Because as we move forward in this faith journey (and we must always be maturing), our faith in action becomes more crucial to our journey forward. In other words, we will have to take a believing step of faith forward to activate the promise we’ve been given.

Let me explain this with the story of Israel crossing the Jordan in Joshua 3. First let’s set the stage with the Israelites and the Red Sea. At this point the Israelites are very “young” in their faith walk with God. They’re just getting the lay of the land, so to speak and yes, pun intended. They witness an entire ocean part before their eyes by the hand of God. This is their point of reference as they approach the Jordan, which is at its fullest at this time of the year, in this season of harvest. The Jordan is overflowing. It’s a time to claim new territory.

Amidst this picture, Joshua relays God’s instructions to the Israelites:

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap. — Joshua 3:11-13

The Jordan is the next step (literally and figuratively) in the Israelites faith journey. This time God is not going to move the waters first. He’s calling the priests and all the Israelites to take a step of faith first—to step into the water before God moves it. God has already proven He is capable of such a feat with the feet (oh, I just couldn’t resist that one!). Now, He wants to see the Israelites grow in their faith and belief in Him—to believe God—and trust Him to do what He said He would do.

So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. — Joshua 3:14-17

The priests were instructed to step first, not to wait for the waters to part. They had to take a step of faith. Any by doing so, the waters moved, just as God said they would. But God did even more with their step of faith:

  1. They crossed on dry ground. God could have left the ground wet, which most likely would have meant the priests feet would have sunk into the mud, especially under the weight of the ark of the covenant. God made a way for the priests that was complete to God’s vision of their purpose and journey. God does this for us as well. When He calls us to a direction, He prepares the way. That doesn’t mean it will be easy but with God, we will not fail.
  2. They stood in the middle, not the edge. The priests not only stood in the middle, they stood firm and in place with the ark of the covenant on their shoulders. This is the promise of God’s presence in their lives and a future with Him. The way had been prepared for them, now they prepared the way for rest of the Israelites. Think of your home as that parted river and God is asking you to stand firm with His presence in and upon you. You bear the promise for your future and the future of all who will pass with you.
  3. Israel crossed on the same dry ground. The entire nation of Israel passed through under the protection of the priests’ presence. This is part of our sanctification of our family through our faith (remember 1 Cor 7:14). We bring our spouse, our children—all those we claim under the umbrella of our home and faith—over the dry ground to the other side. This is how our unbelieving spouses and loved ones are blessed through us and by our prayers for them. As we stand firm in whatever God has called us to do, we bring those we are praying for with us.
  4. They crossed opposite Jericho with Adam a great distance away. I can’t help but wonder if Adam is mentioned as a reminder of where they came from. Where we come from. Not as a threat but to see our past sins as far away and show us how far we have come. God had them cross in the exact place and position for their next challenge and step in the promise. Each step of faith builds upon the last and prepares for the next. Jericho would be there next victory. They didn’t know this but God did.

My friends, I pray I’ve adequately conveyed this amazing truth. Whatever it is that God has told you, given you do to, or shown you, move forward and believe God! Do not hesitate or debate, because until you take a step of faith, the promise remains a mere thought.

If God is calling you to believe Him and trust Him more, do it. Anytime doubt enters your mind, boot it out and affirm the word that God has given you. Claim it as your truth and that it is done! If God is calling you to an action, do it! Even if it scary and uncomfortable, move forward with this action (just like the Priests taking that first step into the raging waters) and the promise given will be activated.

And if God is calling you to simply stand, then stand and know that your promise is on the way. God completes everything He sets in motion but He wants us to be a part of it. He will wait on us to make the first move. This is how we claim and hold new territory in our lives.

So move! Be bold! Be courageous! God never expects us to do these things on our own. He is standing right there with us through the entire journey preparing the way, strengthening us for the weight we are called to carry, entrusting us with the promise of those we bring along the way, and guarding over our path until the completion.

My friends, this message is as much for me as it is for you. In the past my fear of the unknown has kept me planted in comfortable places but at a price. We miss out on the wild adventure of living life with God in the unexpected when we do that. I'm learning to step out in faith more and more, and each time I do, God is right there showing me or doing something new in my life.

God wants this for you too! So take that step of faith, precious one. If you're not sure what this step is, ask Him. God is waiting and ready to show you!

Love you fiercely in Jesus!
Dineen


Weekend Worship — Holy Hummingbirds, Batman!

1218423_14961810My wonderful and precious friends, I wish we could all be in one room worshipping God together. What a sweet incense that would be, rising up to our Lord, wouldn't it? The beautiful part is, one day we will get to do this. Our room will be the throneroom of heaven and we will all be together singing "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!"

God's promises are so good, so rich and so astounding. I love watching Him work. But I confess I had a rough moment last week. You know, one of those days that just seems to know no other way but bad. Communication completely failed, feelings were hurt. I went to my room and got on my knees to pray for my family, specifically for my hubby and daughter to regroup and work things out, for our financial situation which was like riding a roller coaster at the moment (hubby got laid off but Praise God already had another job lined up—one of the benefits working in Silicon Valley), and for more of God because I was desperate for His presence.

Does this make sense? I know you can relate, my friends. So I asked for God to send me a hummingbird. I love these little birds as much as I love sunflowers. The fascitnate me, their intricasy and delicacy. I asked God to send me just one little hummingbird to show me He's there, that He wants to bless me with more of Himself, that He has a plan for us financially too. 

My prayer revealed that I'd bought into a lie again, thinking that God didn't want good things for me, that He withheld His presence and gifts from me. It was a painful process to be sure, but I'm glad to be rid of it and on guard of it coming back. My mind is being renewed!

Two days later I was putting flowers in a flowerbox on the railing and I heard a the hum. My husband was with me and pointed at this tiny beauty flitting up and down, then buzzing in place for a moment before zinging straight up into the air, then dive-bombing back down.

I was so choked up I couldn't talk! I turned away from my husband because one, I couldn't talk (LOL!) and two, how could I explain this amazing hug from God? A beautiful moment that I so wish I could have shared with him. . .

I'm so glad my daughter Leslie walked out on the porch few moments later so I could tell her because I was about to burst! And now I get to share this with you, my friends. When we delight in God, and desire more of Him in our lives, He loves to give us the desires of our heart. He loves to delight us and delight in us.

Lord, this day, this very special day, I ask that you delight each of my SUM sisters (and brothers) in some small way. Show them your presence and love. Let them know how much You adore them and desire only good for them. Reassure them that You are there and You are working for their good and blessing them. Thank you, Lord Jesus. We absolutely adore You! Amen!

Love you all so very much! Let's worship our great God together!
Dineen 


Weekend Worship — Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord Will Provide

IMG_2056
Yep, there it is. My "new" set of wheels.

My dear friends, I've taken you on this car journey with me, first sharing my family's finanical challenges, the need to sell my "beloved" SUV, and then the search for another car. Nothing "magically" appeared but I consider God's provision in this whole scenario as pretty evident and well, just plain cool. My SUV sold in less than 12 hours, giving us much needed funds, and now I have this cute 2003 VW Beetle that reminds me of the little car I drove through high school and college. The pieces just fell into place as we found this little gem online and made a quick sale with an adorable young couple ready to part with it. Even the CarFax said it was a great buy! We kept to our budget and accomplished our goal. Thank you, Lord!

So, all that to say, God provides. Sometimes He simply smooths the path like He did in this case. Other times His hand is more miraculous and astonishing as one story I just had the privilege to share in the new book Lynn and I are working on right now. Yes, consider that a teaser. We have some awesome stories to share in this book.

I bet you have some amazing stories too! Care to share them? What better way to worship God than to share with others His amazing goodness and presence. My MOST favorite thing on this earth is seeing God in action! There is nothing better!

So share those amazing stories right in the comments. Tell of God's amazing provision and presence! Those are the best stories to read and share, my friends. They are the proof that our God loves us, is faithful and loves to astonish us. He's spectacular! And this SUM community is amazing proof of that!

Love you all so much!
Dineen

Now let's worship our amazing LORD together!


Born to Create

IStock_000012723220XSmallI have a bone to pick. Something that has bugged me for years. It's not quite on topic with being spiritually mismatched but then again, this one change in your thinking could change every aspect of your life.

Care to pick that bone with me?

It's about creativity. For as long as I can remember I have loved to color, draw, illustrate, design and write. I've painted pictures and murals, crocheted more afghans and scarves than I can count and made several quilts. And I love to write.

So yes, I'm an artist. I am creative. Guess what? You are too. What's that you say? You can't draw? I've heard that line before: "I can't even draw a straight line." (Yes, pun intended.) Or this one: "I don’t have a creative bone in my body." (That’s the bone we’re picking—yes, another pun. How could I resist?) Or how about this complete and total potential buster: "I'm not a creative person."

But you are. You have to be. Why? Because you are created in God's image (Gen. 1:27). We all are. If we're created in God's image and He’s creative by nature, then we are creative beings. All of us.

Creativity comes in all forms. Not just at the end of a pencil or paintbrush. Not just in putting words together to create stories and move hearts. Creativity comes in the inspiration to arrange flowers in a vase, in the arrangement of furniture in a room, in the pages of a scrapbook, in the notes of a newly composed song, in a flower garden, in a carefully coordinated outfit complete with jewelry, in a scrumptious dinner prepared for your family, in the way you arrange your towels so they fit on the shelf because you don't have a linen closet (yeah, that’s me), in the photographs you take, in the way you pack your child's lunch so they are pleasantly surprised when they open it, in the sudden thought to call a friend and pray with her, in the text you thought up to send to your husband to make him smile, and in numerous other ways and things that I can't even think of but you can.

Are you thinking of some now?

God created us to create. Whatever that looks like for you, do it and if you don't know, I want you stop right now and ask God in what way He designed you to be creative.

Look at this definition I found on Wikipedia:

Creativity is the impetus behind any given act of creation: inventions, compositions, etc. It is a fundamental human compulsion and largely related to notions of what separates human from machine intelligence.

Are you an idea person? Then you're creating new ideas. Are you someone who likes to think outside the box? Then you’re creating new ways. Are you an organized person? Then you’re creating order. Are you a free spirit who loves to be with people and make them laugh? Then you’re creating joy.

I believe our creativity is where we are inspired by God, by His Holy Spirit, and I find that my greatest moments of creativity and inspiration come when I'm intentionally in His presence.

My friends, don't walk through life thinking you’re limited or uncreative. We are created in Christ Jesus and we’re created in God's image. We therefore are creative by nature. Somewhere between child and adulthood this part of us gets squelched down. So find your “artist” and let her loose. 

Ask God to show you what that is in you and how He wants to use it in your life, in your marriage, in your family—to impact those all around you. Think of it as a gift you have to share and find out how to share it.

Okay, I'm getting off my soapbox now. Let's have a little fun with this. In the comments, share what inspires you to create or be creative. You may spark someone who's searching for their creativity or help another to see how they already are creative. Sometimes we simply need someone to point it out in us.

Love you with the passion of Jesus, my friends!
Dineen


Weekend Worship — A Testimony

IStock_000017809995XSmallMy precious friends, I can't believe Christmas is so close! As the day draws closer, I'm trying to keep my heart and mind wrapped around the miracle that God brought so long ago and keep my eyes open for the ones He's doing right now. 

I want to share one with you. My rep at a magazine publishing group that I 've worked with sent me a Merry Christmas message by email, and I almost didn't reply back out of "busyness." I'm so glad I obeyed the nudge to reply back, because it opend a dialogue for a brother in Christ to share his story and offer encouragement to our SUM community. 

My friends, read this and receive the wonderful encouragement that God, our Abba Daddy, wants to you. I know this will speak to at least one woman out there who needs to read this. My friend, God brought you here to read this today for a reason. Believe it and know that your Lord has not missed a moment of your pain or your faithfulness. Whatever He is calling you to do, trust Him for the results. Just take that first step of faith and let Him do the rest.

And thank you to Jeff for serving God so faithfully and being willing to share so openly:

I saw the Q&A you did on FamilyFiction.com and your website www.SprituallyUnequalMarriage.com. As someone that put my wife thru HECK for a number of years till I surrendered to God. My heck was not normal heck—sexual addiction, anger issues, spiritual dysfunction issues. Encourage women that no situation is too tough for God. I was so far gone, yet it was my wife’s love and prayers and tough love that got me to the place I wanted real change to happen. The result is I am in Bible school at night, and we adopted 2 kids from Ukraine in 2010. That is the fruit of a life yielded and a marriage transformed!

God is so good! Is that not amazing? 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. — Ephesians 3:20-21

Our Lord is Able!
Merry Christmas, my dear friends. I love you so very much!
Dineen 

 

Love this music video from Third Day. This song is actually based upon a true story. The song the man heard on the radio was a Third Day song!


Weekend Worship — Let Your Love Loose!

HandHoldingCrossLike Lynn said in yesterday's post, love has the power to conquer all. As I read that a fuller impact of what it means really hit home. This is something I've known since a child. Not sure how other than God just wired me that way, but I never fully understood what kind of love can do that until I began walking with Jesus and studying the Bible.

The mind blowing part of this is the beauty in the way it works. It's part of the beautiful mystery of who God is and how He works. His love funnels down to us through His Son, Jesus, so when we invite Christ into our hearts, that love now dwells in us. 

I mean, think about it. First John 4:7-21 is one of the most powerful pieces of Scripture, my humble opinion. It says repeatedly that God is love. If Jesus is living in us, that means this powerful love, this agape love that's so strong and sacrificial that it drove Jesus to the cross to save us, lives in us as well. This is what I believe, again in my humble opinion, is meant by what Paul says in Ephesians 1:18-21 where he speaks of the very power that raised Jesus from the dead.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (emphasis mine)

That's the most powerful kind of love I can even being to comprehend! The kind of love that brings the dead back to life! A dead heart, a dead marriage...

This is the miraculous part of walking with Jesus and this is the power that lives in us—to love with a miraculous and supernatural love that defies the world, that defeats the enemy of our souls and shines like the brightest beacon in the darkest places.

So, my precious friends, let your love loose! Let that love that God has placed in you free. Ask Him to bring it on and let love flow through you to everyone in your home and everyone you meet. Do this and watch your world change and when  you change your world, you will impact those around you. 

Through God's love living in us, we have the power to change our lives, our marriages and the world. So let your love loose!

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. — 1 Cor. 16:13-14

Loving with you and loving YOU!

Dineen 

Now let's WORSHIP!


Weekend Worship — Keep Going!

IMG_1854A few weeks ago as I was out walking and praying, AND having one of those days that I was truly struggling with some decisions and issues in my life, I came across this garbage can on the side of the path. I read the message (which wasn't there a couple days earlier when I walked last) and smiled. 

I'd just been praying about something that I wasn't sure how to move forward on and then I read this wonderful hand painted message in gold.

"Keep going."

I have no doubts that God put it upon this person's heart to write this message and I'm one of those it was intended for.

Sometimes that's what God asks us to do when we're walking through the more difficult challenges of life. And we can trust His message to keep going because even though we don't know how it's all going to work out or what we'll face on the other side, He does. And He's always working for our good. Always.

Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but that's our promise in Romans 8:28. It's a truth that will change your entire life and outlook if you let it permeate your mind and heart and everything you think you know about God.

I love you, my friends, and I pray God's goodness is extremely real and present for you this weekend. Here's another song for you!

Worshiping with you!
Dineen


Pray With Power, Real Power

I’m writing to you on a Sunday afternoon. The rain has been gentle outside. The birds at my feeder are engaged in boisterous tweets as they tussle for the seeds. My exhausted daughter is having a nap and I can hear the crowd noise coming from the family room where my crazed husband watches and tracks his Fantasy Football score. And my friends, I’m privileged to spend some precious time with you. 

Walking with the Holy Spirit this past week has been full of firsts and fascination. I’m discovering that you must protect the Holy Spirit. And in the not-far-off future I will be writing to tell you about this and why we must protect the spirit. But today I want to share another experience from the conference at Bethel. 

As I look back over our conference experiences and process all that happened, I’m especially moved by the other attendees that God placed around us. Not only did we encounter wisdom, teaching and His presence from the speakers and worship but God placed unique individuals around us that spoke enormous truth and healing into us. God KNEW what we needed and sent each one at the right moment. Wait until I tell you about the woman who prayed for us in the women’s restroom. I kid you not. It was crazy but awesome.


Maria
Maria
Today I want to tell you about Maria. 

On the last day of the conference, I “happened” to sit right next to Maria. I think we only spoke for perhaps 15 minutes but our brief exchanged changed everything about how I pray. And now I want you to know what I learned. 

Maria lives in San Diego which is only an hour away from where I reside. So funny to meet her in Redding. We introduced ourselves to one another and I can’t remember the exact progression of the conversation but we didn’t waist anytime and the next thing I knew she was sharing with me her ministry. She serves at the ROCK (church) in San Diego and is part of the church ministry that helps former porn stars escape that trade and find Jesus.   

Can I just say: AWESOME! 

Well she started to tell me how there is a lot of demon possession in those who are emerging from adult films. She then began to tell me about her conversion experience and how she was placed on the fast track to learn to pray against the devils and evil. Whoa! 

She had me at hello. 

Anyway, what follows is the cliff note version as I try to rack my brain to remember the details. 

She said, “Look up Luke 9:1-2.” 

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 

Okay now get this. She told me that Jesus has given His disciples (that would be us) power and authority to cast out ALL demons and to cure diseases. 

Good grief I’ve read this verse a million times but on this day…… For the first time, I ACTUALLY BELIEVED IT and believed this verse applied to me personally. I believed I had authority and power over satan and his realms. 

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Maria's Husband, Rick

Maria went on to give me an example of how this works in her life. “I was standing in line at the pharmacy recently. And there were two women at the counter talking to the girl who was waiting on them. They began to get loud and scream at the poor girl. The tech behind the counter was getting more and more flustered.” 

“It was at that moment that I heard God say to me, “ ‘Take authority over this.’” So I began to pray: Right now I take authority over the spirits of anger and evil that are present in these two women and in the name of Jesus, I command them to leave.” As I watched, these two just picked up and headed out the pharmacy door.” 

“When I reached the counter, I told the clerk that I had been praying for her. She said to me with relief in her voice, “Thank you so much, I needed it.” 

I’m sure my mouth hit the floor as she recounted this story. She also went on to tell a similar story about an encounter in her ministry where a woman was swearing and cussing and creating all kinds of havoc. She prayed, took authority over the spirits and then commanded them to leave in Jesus name. Immediately the woman’s demeanor changed and she settled down. 

My friends, MY FRIENDS, this is what Luke 9:1-2 is all about. Notice that we are to preach the Kingdom of God. It’s our purpose and privilege to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. To cast out the demons and bring healing. ALL of this is for us. But is for us to give away. Never forget that. 

Okay, so on the car ride back to the airport after the conference, I was sitting in the passenger seat and I wanted to pray. So I began to pray out loud and loudly with authority over my home, my husband, my daughter. I prayed authority over Dineen and her home, girls and Mike. I prayed authority over Heidi’s house, husband and children. Man, I felt the Holy Spirit descend upon me and I started shaking and fresh fire lit me up until I broke out in a sweat. God birthed in me some kind of power to pray like this. And I saw results immediately when I came home. (More on that later.) 

I also follow up these prayers asking for the Holy Spirit to then fill the person or situation for which I’m praying. I ask God to fill them with love, truth, compassion, empathy, etc. I follow the Spirit’s prompting. So not only is there a casting out of evil but a filling up of God’s Spirit. Whoa! 

I have prayed like this over many situations I’ve encountered since the conference. It’s life changing. And this is what we are supposed to be doing for the Kingdom. I pray daily now over my husband and children. I pray for strangers. I have prayed for some of you over the phone and in private. 

Luke 9:1-2 has changed my life forever. I have so much more to say about this but I’m wondering if you would be interested in hearing how I now pray? I could record how I pray and post it on YouTube for Friday. Would that be helpful? Would you listen to it? Not sure if I need to do this or not. You let me know. 

Today, on this beautiful fall day, it is peaceful. But I know that tomorrow I will confront the face of evil somewhere but I AM NOT AFRAID. I choose love! And love decimates fear every… single…. time…. 

Choose love my friends, God’s love. Pray with the power and authority that has already been given to you. 

On Friday, I will talk about how my view of Spiritual Warfare has changed as well. Let me know about recording a prayer. I love you. I REALLY LOVE YOU. Lynn


The Culmination

Greetings Everyone,

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comAs you read this post today, Dineen and I along with one of my great friends, Heidi, who happens to live right behind my house are on our way to a Heaven's Open Conference in Redding, CA.

Dineen and I feel like this is the culmination of our entire series this summer, about bringing the Kingdom of God to earth. We are beyond excited. 

Did you know that Dineen and I have known each other for more than six years now and not once have we been in worship together. Wow. Well that all changes today. We will gather with a few thousand people tonight to worship and learn more about our Lord.

We are expecting our Lord to arrive with power and to change us. And that's just a little of what we are expecting from the next three days. The conference begins Wednesday evening, continues all day Thursday and Friday. We fly home on Saturday. 

So you can EXPECT some pretty fired up posts in the next few weeks as Dineen and I will be in the presence of our Father. We are especially listening for His direction for all you. So, EXPECT BIG things in your life in the next few months.

Many of you have traveled with me before. And I love that. So, if you are interested, I hope to be sharing photos and Tweets through out the conference as I can. (I hope cameras are allowed)

Please join us as we learn: Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven... 

Click on the following links to walk with us and we will see you on Monday with what we hope to share, a life-transforming experience for Lynn, Dineen and Heidi.

Lynn Donovan, Twitter

Lynn Donovan, Facebook

SUM, Twitter

Dineen Miller, Twitter

Dineen Miller, Facebook

It would mean the world to us if you would pray for us in the comments. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to anoint us, our community and this ministry to reach a world who is desperate for a Savior. 

BIG, excited, and love-filled hugs, Lynn


Twenty-Five Years and a Slip of the Tongue?

IStock_000016816249XSmallLast week was my 25th wedding anniversary. A pretty big deal on my side of the family. I'm the first to be marriad that long. My husband, however, comes from a family of long marriages. I mean yeeeeeaaaaaars. His parents just celebrated their 48 years in April. Amazing...

I confess, it boggles my mind and I give God all the credit. I give my hubby some too. LOL! He's a wonderfully patient man, thank goodness. 

What I really love is looking back and seeing how far God has brought my marriage from that heartbreaking day when my guy first told me he'd chosen to be an athesit to now, which brings me to funny little story.

My husband and I have discussions on occasion about how I believe God works in our lives. You and I can talk like best friends and sisters about "God-incidences" and blessings and totally understand that these things really happen. My guy just can't wrap his brain around that and calls it all coincidence.

One phrase I've used that gets his head shaking or his eyes rolling is "Godsend." Nope, just doesn't work for him. But I still say it, because, well, it's true! LOL!

This past weekend we had a chance to stay with friends in San Francisco. On Sunday we went for a walk through the city and wound up in Ghirardelli Square. All these wonderful vendors had their wares out. One in particular caught my eye. This designer (Christian Gardelle) makes these gorgeous pieces out of copper (if you go the website, the earrings we bought are in the top left corner).

As  my husband goes to pay, he comments on the man's use of SquareUp, which gives merchants the ease of using all types of credit cards for one low fee and no paperwork from the companies). My sweet hubby then makes this statement:

"That's a real Godsend for you, isn't it?"

I'm so glad I was standing behind him and out of eyesight, because I know my mouth dropped open big enough to fit the man's entire display case! My turn to shake my head and giggle.

And that's all I did. I didn't say a word, didn't even point it out. I honestly do not think he even realized he said it. But it sure told me one thing.

He's been listening and watching me live my faith. For 17 or our 25 years of marriage. My husband said he was looking forward to the next 25 years. 

Oh, me too! Me too! What a Godsend that will be. Hee hee...

Praying & believing,
Dineen 


God, I Need to Hear From You

IStock_000014889792XSmallEver have one of those weeks where you end in a completely different place than where you started? That’s what happened to me last week and this was the prayer of my heart.

God, I need to hear from You.

I needed direction, guidance and affirmation. You name it, I needed. Life had taken a 180 and bit me in the face. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, what direction to go, or even what decisions needed to be made. I needed to hear from God very clearly and I asked Him very directly.

God, I need to hear from You.

Sunday morning I read from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. The reading for September 2nd spoke of how we “scurry around, trying to accomplish things through our own strength and ability.” And in that process we miss living our lives in collaboration with God.

I don’t have that problem but then again I do. I try to live my life in collaboration with God so much so that I’m scurrying around so busily that I sometimes miss what He’s doing! I forget that He’s the whole reason I write, speak and serve others. I forget to talk with God first before I start doing.

And part of this reading was 2 Cor 12:9-10, a verse that God brings to my attention frequently.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

There was my guidance. I went to church later that morning and guess what our pastor spoke about? Yep, same issue. That we get so caught up in what we’re doing that we forget what we’re really about. We forget that the first and most important piece of work we are to do, is pray.

Pray.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. — Col 4:2

There was my direction. I returned home from church, jumped into doing some work that’s hounding me to get done, took a break and read the Forty Days of Prayer email from Max Lucado. In it he said,

“The flagship assignment of the church is prayer. Feed the hungry? Counsel the confused? Teach the lost? Absolutely. But first, we pray. The primary activity of a local church is intercession and worship.”

And there was my affirmation.

I prayed in the midst of the chaos that hit me and my family last week and God spoke. He used a devotional that pointed to Scripture, my pastor and a message in an email. God’s answers usually come in threes like that for me. It wasn’t the clear message telling me what to do that I’d hoped for. Instead, God gave me a reminder that I needed much more.

That in the chaos of life that makes us feel confused and weak, He is strong. That in whatever I do, I need to remember to pray first, that there lies my first and most important work of the day. That I am not required to be perfect and get things right before I can have God’s grace. His grace is there before I even begin and mine to find strength and direction from.

I prayed for an answer and God gave me Himself.

I don’t know if I’m making sense. It’s all part of that waiting and trusting thing again. My directions are clear for now.

Pray. Wait. Trust.

And while I’m doing all that, can I boast at how incredibly weak I am?

Lord Jesus, may your power rest on us weaklings as we wait on You.

Praying & believing,
Dineen


One More Story...

ColorfulEyeMy friends, I don’t think I ever shared in detail about how things played out with my daughter’s cancer. Maybe it needed to be now so that I can share in context of how God comes, shows up and works in ways that are blatantly astonishing or the opposite, so subtle that we don’t realize until after the fact.

For those who don’t know the story, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on October 1, 2008. Two weeks later she would have her first surgery to relieve the pressure on her brain and take a biopsy. They also wanted to insert a port in her chest for her chemotherapy.

What God did: He used Leslie to touch the heart of our hospital social worker very deeply. She told us seeing how Leslie handled it all made her rethink her own faith. Leslie also surprised the staff in that she was able to go home a day earlier than expected. (The order for the port fell through. Some kind of miscommunication.)

Next stage. The biopsy report said it was Grade 4 cancer. That’s the most aggressive rating and a very hard thing to hear for your child. They wanted to plan an out patient surgery to insert her port, but again there was confusion and the order fell through the cracks. Two weeks later she would undergo full brain surgery to remove the tumor. They would insert the port at the same time if they were able to do the surgery and not keep her under too long.

We were also warned that the area they were going in (the back of her head) could cause issues with her eyes. Specifically, she may not be able to lift her eyes anymore. Not a big deal, not in light of saving her life. We could handle that.

What God did: When they woke Leslie the next day, the first thing they checked was her eyes. She could immediately look up without any issue. The doctors also told us they were able to remove (actually suck it out) the entire tumor. Originally they were not sure if they would have to do it in pieces so as not to remove too much of her brain tissue. The tumor wasn’t attached. They didn’t have to remove any of her brain tissue. I just recently learned that isn’t normal. Tumors attach.

And yet again, no port. She was already under too long and they didn’t want to risk it. That would have to be scheduled yet another time. I was frustrated of course, because she had gone through so much already. Now to face another procedure? But we would deal with it.

What God did: The report came back. The doctors were surprised. The results showed it was a Grade 3 cancer. Not 4. They even sent it to another hospital in St. Louis to recheck it. Leslie would only need radiation, no chemo.

That is when the light came on my friends. What I took as complications was the hand of God protecting my daughter. Had they put the port in, they would have had to just remove it. There are even more stories that happened during my daughter’s recovery, like our nurse practitioner looking at one of Leslie’s later MRIs and saying in total surprise that there was absolutely no more inflammation, which again, was not the norm.

The big picture of what God did is still coming to light. He came in and brought healing to Leslie. His healing. His way. His timing.

Sometimes what God is doing isn’t obvious in the midst of our trials and challenges. Sometimes we are too wrapped up in what’s going on to see it, or sometimes we can’t see what God has done or is doing until later on because that's how God wants it.

And it has nothing to do with how “good” a Christian we are. Look at Paul, look at Peter. One man was the severest of skeptics, the other believed himself to have “arrived” yet realized through his own failure that he still had more to learn about faith in Christ. Paul became the voice of Jesus to the Gentiles and Peter became the Church.

All God asks of us is to be willing, just to surrender our heart, our flesh, our soul—all to Him and then He says, “Watch what I do.”

Let’s watch what He does.

Praying & believing,
Dineen


A Holy Anointing by Janet S.

To follow is a guest post by Janet. She has written here for us before but today is a specail treat. She shares her personal story of worship and I KNOW it will touch you. Read all the way through and then watch the 15 second video at the end. I PROMISE you will be changed. Hugs, Lynn

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Janet's white feather aug 2012
One of many feathers God sends to Janet
There is no one size fits all standard when it comes to an intimate time of praise, prayer and worship with God. I know because I’ve tried everyone’s formulas.  The result?  I felt like a failure.  What worked for them just wasn’t working for me.  Praise and worship music was the easy element.  Morning time with God?  Not only am I not a morning person, but neither is our wee tot who enjoys sleeping in our bed and asking for midnight snacks.  Disciplined, concrete pattern reading of the bible from Psalms, Proverbs and gospels?  I tried, exhausting myself to no avail.  Sadly it became a regimented routine transitioning into discouragement.  Specific prayer patterns?  The focus became assuring I mastered them, leaving no detail forgotten, instead of heartfelt conversations with God.  While these work for some, I personally felt like a blue spruce planted on a tropical island. 

Yet this insatiable desire for more - continued to manifest and convict me.  I just knew there had to be more.  But I had no idea where or how to find it.  I was left to seek help from God while being honest with myself.  I had to accept the realization that God, the creator of not only the universe but me, created me already knowing I thrive after the hours of noon.  Freedom in peace of that knowledge empowered me to take the next step.  I released myself from the “morning time with God guilt”, and I began to carve out daily afternoon time with God.  I purchased the Daily Chronological Bible.  Reading, which seemed like an insurmountable goal, was thrilling and intriguing as I read the bible in a story form.

Most interesting was the transformation of my prayer time.  My prayers moved from “me focused” to “Him focused”.  Prayers reminding Him who wronged me and how I needed this or that, dialogue asking for His blessings on my plans became conversations asking for His anointing and courage to move forward with His will and plans. 

During a recent phone call with Lynn we explored worship, prayer and the divine power released when we pray asking for anointing.  I esteem anointing to be a sacred topic—a powerfully holy one, filled with awe and mystery.  The supernatural possibilities of it challenge my human mind, and I still have much to experience and learn.

Let’s journey this together as the joined Body of Christ, open to what He chooses to reveal to us uniquely and individually, through prayer and by learning from one another. 

Gracious Father, we are so humbled by Your love that You entrust each one of us with one of the greatest mysteries—direct access and power of Your Holy Spirit, which is present, alive and moving within each of us.  It is an honor we choose to not take lightly.  Remove stumbling blocks and falsehoods in our paths, experiences and traditions that limit our yielding.  Awaken our spiritual senses blessing us with wisdom and discernment as together we journey to better understand and know You and Your power unleashed. By the blood of Jesus, all for Your glory and honor, Amen.

We see beginning in Genesis and up through the life of Jesus, oil was used in the Old Testament to anoint.   “Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.” Genesis 28:18 NIV   Read Exodus 30:22- 33 NIV.  In these scriptures the Lord reveals a divine recipe of anointing oil to Moses, and He had Moses anoint places, items and people— Aaron and his sons.  “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Mark 6:13 NIV

During the baptism and after death of Jesus the bible continues to speak of oil to anoint, but also begins to include a different and powerful anointing through, by and of the Holy Spirit.  “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” Acts 10:38 NIV  “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14 NIV “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” 1 John 2:20 NIV  “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,” 2 Corinthians 1:21 NIV

I am convicted to believe His Word shows us physical oil is indeed an element for anointing, used for all time in accordance to His Word and will, but so is unseen oil of the Holy Spirit poured within us straight from His throne.  In each of these scriptures we see a common theme of anointing being mandated before God’s will is purposed and carried out.  Let me stress before God’s will is purposed and carried out.  Anointing is the consecrating, making holy and set apart for His purposes and glory.  For me personally this is convicting.  This isn’t about me telling God my plans and asking for His blessing upon them.  This is me asking for His anointing as I move forward in His will.

Regularly I pray for God’s Holy Spirit to be unleashed and pour down anointing our home, town, church, congregation, family and more.  There is no rhyme or reason to these petitions other than I pray as I am led based on circumstances, need and conviction.  I pray for the anointing of our Pastor whose spiritual gift is to preach to His children each week, for His glory.  I pray for the anointing of our community requesting divine healing, for His glory, because in a short span of time we have experienced tremendous and heartbreaking loss after loss.  I pray for the anointing of my husband’s friendships and work that God will move in them and in him, for His glory.  I pray for anointing of my friends and myself.  In these prayers I am asking God to be the forefront and focus, that His will is accomplished on earth.

When I pray these I believe with full confidence God is at work hearing and answering my prayers.  He never fails to amaze me with answers—divine, supernatural, unexplainable answers.  As Lynn and I ended our conversation she prayed over me asking the Holy Spirit to anoint my writing.  I, the self-doubter and fearer of both success and failure, later prayed again asking for an extra measure of anointing upon my hands as I piece together the writing. 

Hours later I endured another occurrence of what I call “gold glitter” upon my hands.  This is not the first time, nor the only place it physically appears on me.  Each time I am taken aback and startled.  This time though, it was only on my hands.  Specifically the prayer request of anointing both Lynn and I asked God for, for His glory, not mine. (see video below)

Supernatural activity and answers can be found throughout the bible—talking donkeys, burning bush, a rod and snake, and so much more.  We are called to not seek, idolize or worship miraculous signs and wonders.  But we are called to believe with full confidence expecting His answer.  In God’s perfect and holy timing we see many examples in the bible where anointing occurred revealing His power, sovereignty and glory. 

Everything can be set apart, made holy, for His glory, including our day-to-day tasks, and His will and purpose for us.  We just need to pray asking for the anointing, and be an open, willing participant.  We participate by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and to conform us to the likeness of Christ.  And we seal it by stepping out in belief and faith that the anointing has empowered us to do His will—be it writing, preaching, serving or any other gift, for His glory, not ours.

Have you prayed for anointing?  How can we pray for you to be anointed?  Has God answered your prayers in a supernatural way?

Janet.

--My friends, Lynn here. Now behold the glory of God as below is the video of Janet's hands after her prayer time. Thank you Janet for your faithfulness and your love for our Lord. You bring Him great honor today. Lynn

 

 


More Than Just Waiting, Part 2

IStock_000004628405XSmallYesterday I left you with the question, what is the key to this? In other words, what is the key to worshiping God even as we wait?

Back up to verse Isaiah 40:26: “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:”

What if that lift of our eyes is a constant state of awareness—constantly looking for God in our everyday lives? What if we looked for God’s hand and provision each day for the prayers we sent up just that morning. What if we waited expectantly for God to just show up in some way each and every day?

This is the abundant life, my friends! (John 10:10)

And this is where it takes a mental shift that I do so hope I’m explaining well enough. This is a place of worship because we have chosen to live our lives focused on God. God doesn’t revolve around us. We revolve around God in reverent waiting, birthed from a growing trust in Him to take care of us, a belief that our prayers will be answered, and the expectancy that God will do even more than we ask because we long for His presence more than anything else in our lives. This goes so beyond material provision—it affects every aspect of our lives.

It’s about wanting Jesus—God’s presence in our lives—more than anything else. Absolutely. Anything. Else.

I will share something that happened just this weekend. I’ve been praying about this aspect of worship in our waiting, about wanting more of God and less of me, and I did something I don’t do easily. I asked God to delight me.

It’s not easy for me because I struggle to ask for anything from anyone, not out of pride but out of fear. Yet I dared to ask God. As I drove in my car Saturday, I noticed a man cross the other side of the road to the center median. Now this is an 8-lane road. I’m in a center lane, just barely aware that he’s there.

Traffic slows a bit. The next thing I know, this man drops to his knees in the median and raises his arms in the air, all the way up. I can only stare in shock.

And then I start to cry. I don’t know why. I only know that I have just watched something profound. I could have easily just seen it as some oddball doing something strange, and believe me, I considered that. But I keep coming back to my reaction. I had no way of knowing what this was about but something deep inside me reacted to this man’s display.

I don’t know what happened that day. I do believe it was significant. I want to believe that God chose that moment to delight me, because nothing brings me to tears faster than when I watch someone worship God or give their hearts to God. I bawl like a baby.

With joy. With gratitude that God loves us that much. With worship that I too can experience that delight.

God is just waiting to show us things we can’t even begin to understand.

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” —Jeremiah 33:3

This verse is a part of my prayers now. And I’m asking God for another thing close to my heart—to allow me to hear Him sing over me (Zep 3:17).

I will leave you with this quote from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd. The more you focus on My presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life. Glorify me through your pleasure in Me. Thus you proclaim my presence to the watching world.” (August 13th, Mathew 1:23; John 10:10-11)

And a prayerful Scripture:

1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
—Psalm 25:1-5

Praying & believing,
Dineen


Weekend Devo — We Are Not Alone!

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On Wednesday I was on the Moms Together Facebook Page (special thanks to Suzie Eller for having me) and the most common comment I saw as the women there shared their hearts about being mismatched was their relief to find out they're not alone.

As I shared in our book, that was life changing for me, to discover that other women were walking the same path I was. There is just something uplifting and encouraging about finding others who are on the same journey and understand our challenges.

What I love most is God's heart in all this. He knew our need for community and support and put this ministry into motion for all of us to find encouragement and strength—to find God in the midst of our marriages and reject the enemy's lie that we are alone and God has abandoned us.

I love our SUM Community so much because here is where we get to see God in action in each other’s lives. I love how we pray for each other and cheer one another on. I love how our hearts are united in our desires to know God better, to understand His will for our lives and our marriages, and to see our pre-believers come to Jesus. Not for our benefit but for theirs—to know the amazing, loving and merciful God we know. 

Lynn and I consider this faith walk an adventure of a lifetime. We are so glad to be on the journey with you, dear friends. Let's celebrate this amazing community of believers as God's testimony to His deep love and care for our needs.

We are most certainly NOT alone.

Praying & believing,
Dineen


LIft Up Your Face

In case you haven't figured this out yet, I'm a huge Third Day fan. I find their music so worship-filled and inspiring. And when I listen to music like that, I begin to hear God's voice. Seems to just work that way for me. For Lynn, it's her prayer walks. For me it's music.

Another song from the same album (Move) as the one I shared over the weekend is "Lift Up Your Face." I fell in love with this song first because it spoke to my heart about God's pursuit of us but then it became more. It spoke to me of God's pursuit of our prebelievers.

Lift up your face.

Lift up your face.

Salvation is calling.

Salvation is calling.

We've talked a lot about keeping our focus on Jesus, that our true hope lies in Him, not in our circumstances and not in our spouse's decision to accept Jesus or not.

As I listened to it again this weekend, I heard God speak even more clearly than what I had been sensing. He said,

"Tell them I'm calling."

God wants us to know He’s calling to our prebelievers with HIS salvation! We need only lift our face to Him and trust He's doing it. Listen to the words of this song, my friends. Can you hear Him calling?

Lifting up my face,
Dineen 
(I have to share that I prayed and asked God to confirm to me that I'd heard Him correctly. As I got in my car two days later and maneuvered rush hour traffic, this song came on the radio and flooded me with God's reassurance. He is so faithful!)


Glimpses of God

I thought I would share a clip from my recent speaking event. In this clip I tell the story that I shared in our book about God sending my husband a Mylar Balloon. 

 

 

My friends, Dineen and I will be traveling again for a few weeks. I will be in Colorado so I'm giving a shout out to all of you in the Mile High State. 

While I'm out, we have ask Janet to share a few thoughts. Janet has written guest posts for us before. I'm sure you will be blessed by her words. 

Dineen and I will also be checking in from time-to-time to be part of the conversation. We love all of you so much. God has been whispering about all the great things He has for us. So stay tuned because we are going to explore the blessings of the unequally yoked.

Have a fantastic week ahead. I'm praying with fervor for you, your marriage and the salvation of your entire family. Love, Lynn


Taking a Walk with Nehemiah, Part 1

IStock_000001537091XSmallIf you're doing a read your Bible in a year plan, chances are you're reading in Nehemiah right now. I've been reading this story of rebuilding Jerusalem's wall with a new fascination. It's as if God is whispering in my ear as I read, asking, "Are you committed to building your marriage like Nehemiah fought to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem?"

Yes, very convicting, yet so comforting in the sense that God loves us that much that He takes the time to show us what we need to do or to prepare us for what's coming. And most importantly that whatever God calls us to, He equips us as well.

That is where I'm at right now—discerning what God is calling me to do in my marriage right now. What many of us are being called to do in our marriages.

Let's take a walk through Nehemiah 1-4.

If you look at the first three chapters, you get an understanding of who Nehemiah was and the calling God put into his life. He was a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, who seemed sensitive to Nehemiah's grief, which in and of itself is unusual because cupbearers where not supposed to show emotion like this. Even the queen is mentioned as being present.

Nehemiah is grieving over the wall of Jerusalem standing in such a state of destruction. An earlier attempt had been made to repair the walls but opposition stopped the efforts and the wall was never finished. The people were defenseless against their enemies and biblical history shows the Jews always had enemies.

The king grants Nehemiah's request to go and over see the wall and get things moving. I believe God was working not just in Nehemiah, but in this king and queen as well to soften their hearts toward the Israelite's cause. Nehemiah not only goes with the king's permission but with a two letters: one to the governors of TransEurphrates requesting safe passage and the other a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, to request the timber needed to rebuild the wall.

God not only called Nehemiah to go and rebuild this wall, God also equipped Nehemiah with the King's favor and materials needed (vs. 8). God called and equipped this man just as he calls and equips us in our mismatched marriages.

Let's jump to chapter four. Verse six says the men built the wall to half its height, “for the people worked with all their heart." I can just see these men totally committed to fulfill this calling. But what about when the opposition came?

There was some serious opposition to the city AND the Israelites’ restoration. Just like we face the enemy's opposition to keep working and stay committed to our mismatched marriages.

These men plotted against Nehemiah, who prayed and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat (4:9).

The voices of opposition chimed in first (4:10). People in Judah pointed out how impossible the task was. The voice of discouragement came to create doubt in the hearts of these men. I imagine their doubts sounded something like this:

Was their task really worth the fight?

Was it really what God wanted?

If this was what God wanted, why were they facing so much opposition? Shouldn't it go smoother than this?

Sound familiar? What doubts are the enemy, your friends, or perhaps even your family speaking into your life right now about your marriage?

Come back Friday for part two of Nehemiah's story. We'll finish our walk with this determined man and see how God fought for him.

Praying and believing,
Dineen