54 posts categorized "God Encounter"

Conference At Merriman in Garden City, MI

Perhaps for a moment in time, just perhaps, we stood upon holy ground.

 

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

 

I bet many of you know these ladies. They like to hang around SUM! 

SUMite Pillars
Gillian, Teresa, Melissa, Heidi, Joanne

 

Ohio Sumites
Some of the Ohio SUMites: Left to right: Judy, Mindy, Laura, Dawn, Chris

 

Fran Green
This is Beloved, Franie. This conference started in her heart last summer.

 

Lynn Donovan
The Holy Spirit moved. We laughed, cried and we were loved on by our Lord!


Skit
The skit was hilarious. I was cackling. Well done Merriman!
Conference Team
This is the amazing team of leadership that made this day possible. Thank you is inadequate but THANK YOU!

More photos are posted on our SUM Facebook page, click here.

 

The best part of the day is: WE PRAYED. I wish I had a photo to show you what happened at the end of our day. Can anyone who attended share what happened in your heart as you stepped out?

I'm overwhelmed at how the Lord moved on Saturday. Dineen was unable to make it due to her shoulder. So on Thursday I knew that I would speak the entire day. My friends, I can't perform. But I prayed and prayed that our Papa God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit would walk among us and I believe we honored our Lord and He showed up with love and power! I believe lives were touched and I'm teary reading the email messages such as the one at the bottom of this post.

If you were unable to attend, don't feel left out. You are loved and we talked about our amazing community on the web. And now let's pray that Jesus arranges another conference in your area. It would be my humble privilege to meet you, to pray with you and to love on you with our Daddy's love.

Breakfast in the gym
Love these ladies. They were on the front row!!

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From Jen:

Lynn,

I do not even know where to begin to thank you. 

I attended your workshop this past Saturday and I am moved beyond words.

When my pastor’s wife invited a small group of us to attend this together I admit I was a little apprehensive.  Not knowing whom she invited I assumed it was only sent to me (or a couple of people) and the other couple of people were nowhere close to my unequal marriage, (so I thought).  I immediately went online and bought your book and WOW!  By the end of just the intros of the both of you, I was in tears, so moved and so motivated. I thought I was the only one in this position, I was alone, I thought nobody understood my marriage, my life, I even questioned my position in my faith and how I possibly could continue to follow Jesus with an unbelieving husband, a daughter 20 years old whom has walked away from Christ and a 13-year-old daughter loving Christ, how could I keep going?

I read the first half of the book in one day and then started over so I could take notes, pages and pages of notes. Ready to register for this workshop, (alone because I figured nobody else in my bible study, church or small group of friends would ever be in the same position I am), the pastor’s wife emailed me again asking if I wanted to go and let me know there were a few others interested. I attended our bible study the next week to tell these women everything I had read and learned up to that point (which was 66% as I am an e book user 😊) and was floored to discover five out of ten women there that night were somewhat in the same position.  Then in our plans for carpooling across the border I find out there was eleven of us going from our church...eleven!!!! Seriously???? I am not alone!!!! So as soon as I got home from the workshop I went directly to your website and signed up, pinned my location and when I looked at all the other pin locations around the world, my heart swelled to see and feel the common love from all over the world.

You were not even five minutes into speaking and I was in tears.  I have come out of this past week with a new light, a renewed hope and joy that is just spilling out of my heart. I went to church this morning and together we found five women sitting alone and we all filled half a row, held hands, hugged, sang to the high heavens and supported and loved on one another like never before. One woman even had an argument with her husband before church today because he did not want to attend anymore and guess who had some loving words of advice for her?  ME!! Little old me! I walk into church today and out of church today with a new song in my heart, a skip in my step and a feeling like I belonged, and better yet, God wanted me there, He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!

So from the bottom of my heart thank you! Thank you for leading me closer to God, thank you for opening my eyes to the women near to me in the same unique position, thank you for introducing me to the thousands of women near and far that feel my pain, my joy, my love and have my back!

Forever indebted and much love, Jen


God Shows Up

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image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

It’s the final day of our community fast. SUM family, what an experience.

For me personally, at the beginning of the week, I was feeling far away from God. I had lost my will to pray and even reading His Word felt as a chore. I was stinging from family pain over the holidays and because of that, holding some unforgiveness in my heart. Yikes!

I knew I needed surrender and renewal. The Holy Spirit did not disappoint. Yesterday was my breakthrough.

Yesterday Southern California, where I live, received a much needed dousing of rain. Rain has fallen steady for over 24 hours. Thank you Jesus for answered prayer.

On Thursday morning, I rose before dawn, as usual. However, pain in my knee caused me to turn around and head back to bed. When I woke a few hours later, pain-free- the sun was brilliant in the sky and the Lord beckoned me to join Him around the fire pit in the backyard. So I wrapped up in a coat, a blanket, took my coffee and my Bible.

Golden finchesThere the Holy Spirit met me. With the fire lit, I began to hear droplets gently fall around me from the branches which glistened with rainwater. The sunshine was warm upon my face. I smiled upward and then suddenly birds arrived and were everywhere in the trees. Tiny golden (yellow) finches. Their tweeting and twittering sounded as worship as they searched for breakfast.

It was glory!

I was loved on for an hour as I read my Bible, listened to the birds and the fire crackle while the sun kissed me. An hour with the Lord passed swiftly as we sat by the fire. And as I rose to head inside and start my day, the sky immediately clouded over and large rain drops began falling once again. Rain is expected all day today.

But, for an hour this morning, the Lord parted the clouds and met me there. Restoration, love, tenderness, gentleness.

His love is gently sweet that way.

I fall more in love with our Lord as the years march on. Regardless of my struggles, the challenges I face or the warfare, I AM LOVED by the Lord of the Universe. And that truth changes everything!

SO ARE YOU!

Today on this last day of the fast, let our Papa God, Jesus our Bride Groom Prince and the Holy Spirit love on you. I feel as though the Lord wants to speak personally to you. And He gave me an unexpected passage, Hosea 2: 14-21. I went to look it up and nearly wept.

So, here it is for you. (I have personalized it in the parentheses.)

My Beloved,

But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert (quiet places) and speak tenderly to her there.

I will return her vineyards (destiny) to her and transform the Valley of Trouble (struggles) into a gateway of hope (provision, joy, peace and goodness, Rom 14:17).

She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt (captivity of satan).

When that day comes,” says the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’ (I long to hear this from your lips, says the Lord.)

O Israel (Beloved), I will wipe the many names of Baal (false gods, fear loneliness, lack, anxiety, depression, separation, disappointment and pain) from your lips, and you will never mention them again.

On that day I will make a covenant (promise) with all the wild animals and the birds of the sky (loved this today) and the animals that scurry along the ground so they will not harm you. (perfect peace)

I will remove all weapons of war from the land (homes, marriages, children), all swords and bows, so you can live unafraid in peace and safety. (fearless and free)

I will make you my wife (for men: Prince in the Kingdom) forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion.

I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord. (forever)

“In that day, I will answer,” says the Lord. “I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds. And the sky will answer the earth with rain. (AMEN)

Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries of the grain, the grapevines, and the olive trees. And they in turn will answer, ‘Jezreel’—‘God plants!’ (God favors, protects, increases, give s in abundance)

At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites (believers) and raise them for myself. I will show love to those I called ‘Not loved.’ And to those I called ‘Not my people,’ (unsaved)

I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’ (Image bearers of Christ Jesus!)

And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’” (Yes, Lord, AMEN)

Community, what is the Lord speaking to you today? What has this fast meant to you? How did God meet you? I also encourage you to press through for prayers that remain unanswered. For our God loves us and it is His will to answer. Allow Him the time to set “all-things” in motion.

See you in the comments. I’m praying for you today. Love, Lynn


My Unexpected Christmas

933344_i_love_youHappy (almost) New Year, my dear friends! I feel like I've been on a long trip and haven't seen my family in a long time. And now I've come back home. I've missed you! My shoulder surgery went well, and I've started physical therapy. This whole process has been much more difficult and painful than I anticipated, which has made working at my desk and typing next to impossible. But day by day I'm healing and am able to do more. Please be patient with me as I ease back into writing here and please know how much your prayers and words have helped encourage and sustain me.

What I want to share with you today is about what God did in all this process. The day before my surgery I sat in my quiet time, sad and a bit fearful. Not about my surgery but about Christmas. I was struggling with being apart from my daughters for the first time at Christmas and trying to figure out how to handle it all without diminishing my husband's Christmas by making him think I couldn't enjoy the holiday with just him. I hope that makes sense. 

As I sat there praying, God whispered to my heart, "Give Me Christmas, Dineen."

I realized in that moment that I was still trying to "salvage" Christmas, to cling to what I knew and make it work in spite of the distance between us and our girls, my surgery and recovery, and my daughter's heart issues. I didn't know what God had in mind or what Christmas would look like in His hands, but I said yes. "Take it, Lord. It's all Yours."

After the surgery I was surprised by how little I could do and thankful we'd managed to get our shopping done before hand. I could do little more than sit on the couch with my right shoulder strapped to my Iceman (a icing system). I was so grateful to have my husband's selfless attention to take care of me as well as my mother and mother-in-law who helped as well. Not exactly easy to do for this girl who's so used to taking care of everyone else and herself.

And God worked in and through it all. Smoothed my mama-worries over my girls having a good Christmas—they worked our their own plans to be together and did the same traditions we always did together. We were able to FaceTime (love technology!) on Christmas Eve and open our gifts together.

I was able to be present at the infamous cake baking day the women in my husband's family do each year, even though they didn't let me do much (probably a good thing!). And Christmas with my husband's family was warm and fun. 

It was not at all the Christmas I expected—one I attempted to hold together myself and lived in fear of it falling apart. Instead it was full of love, care and a deeper closeness to my husband that never expected would happen in such circumstances.

My friends, I am the first to admit I like the safe route. I like to know the outcome ahead of time, because it gives me a sense of security. I have a feeling many of you can relate to that as well. 

But God doesn't work that way, does He? He wants to be our security and place of safety so that we rely and trust in Him instead of ourselves, our own abilities and our circumstances. I do find it challenging to live in that place with Him, but I am learning—though quite painfully at times (hee hee)—to let go and trust God.

Here's a verse that I've been pondering this Christmas season and holding close to my heart and limited abilities at the moment.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. — 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)

SUMites, that last part of the verse brings me great reassurance that even when we think we fall short or we haven't quite got things right, our attempts are not in vain. Every single prayer, act of service, word of encouragement, etc. is significant. We may not see the results but they are there none-the-less. God knows. God sees. That's what counts. He knows our hearts no matter what the outcome—or lack of one—may appear to be. He has the full picture and puts the pieces together as only He can.

God called me to let go of what I knew so He could so something new in me. My greatest lesson this Christmas was that it didn't have to be perfect or according to my expectations to be a great Christmas. How about you? What did God show you during this most precious time of the year? I love you, my SUM family. I'm so glad to be back here and look forward to your comments.
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Reminders That Our God Is A God Of Miracles - This is One!

Sometimes we need reminded.

Sometimes we cry out, “God, help me overcome my unbelief.”

It’s moments like I’m about to describe which will fill you with fresh hope and faith in the divine!

I want to introduce you to Keira & Kylea. (Photo below) They are seven and eleven years old. These sisters are something special and fun. These two were part of our group of friends who came from Monument, CO. Their parents gave me permission to share their story.

First let me tell you about Keira. This little girl loves to worship and dance in the isles. (So does her sister) It’s a joy to watch her in motion. Last week before the afternoon session, Eric Johnson, saw Keira who was sitting in front of me and he stopped to introduce himself. This is the gist of conversation as best as my blonde brain remembers.

Keira looking at Eric striding quickly to the front to introduce the worship says loudly, “Hi.”

Eric stops abruptly and gets on her level and asks, “What’s your name?”

“Keira.”

“How old are you?

“I’m seven.”

“Are you having fun at Open Heavens?”

Keira replies straight out “yes” and then goes on to say, “I could have gone to Disneyland but me and my sister wanted to come here instead.”

Eric smiles broadly, “Wow, I don’t know if I would have skipped Disneyland if I was your age.” I’m watching all of this and smiling so big, enthralled in the conversation.

Eric then asks, “What’s your favorite part?”

Without hesitation she announces, “WORSHIP.” He shakes her hand then goes to the front and introduces Keira to the entire church and shares the story I just told you. Neat!

BUT….. This isn’t the best part. You see, the Lord looked down upon these two little people, who hold a GIANT faith, and He did something extraordinary.

Keira and Kylea both wear glasses. Their vision is extremely poor and their prescription for correction is strong, especially Kylea's. On the last night of the conference, unknown to any of us adults, the girls were worshiping up front. Keira was asking the Lord for healing of her eyesight. She walked through the prayer line three different times after the service hoping for healing but at the end of the evening, she wasn't healed. And of course she was sad to the point of tears.

And all this is taking place kinda late by now. As usual, we are closing the place down because so much has happened and we don’t want to leave. And although it’s now late our GOD IS NEVER TOO LATE. The conference organizer sees Keira crying and gets on her level and says, “There is no sadness here, Keira, Let’s pray.” Keira begins to ask God for healing.

Deborah interrupts. “Keira, let’s use the authority that you have as God’s girl. Tell your eyes to be healed in Jesus name.” She is literally teaching her to pray in Holy Spirit power, faith and authority.

After a minute Deborah asks her to check her eyes. Nothing.

She tells Keira to pray again the same prayer. She prays again.

THIS TIME…. She looks at the large sign at the front of the building through her glasses. It’s blurry. She removes her glasses and she can see the words CLEARLY. She is healed and her sister who is standing right there is also instantaneously healed.

Now they are really bawling. We all are crying tears of enormous JOY because these two little girls were healed right in front of all of us. Hallelujah thank you Jesus.

I had the privilege to hug them and pray with them. Kylea, drew a picture of me down to the details of my glasses and my key necklaces. Kylea Thank you

These two small girls with gigantic faith are destined to be a voice to their generation. They are the youth that will lead the church in the years to come. They will walk in miracles, signs and wonders. Oh what a glorious future for the Church of Jesus Christ!

The stories of miracles and healings in the group of people I know personally, who attended the conference, are too numerous to write them all here. But every single person that attended experienced the profound and supernatural love of our living God. Hallelujah!

***** 

I believe in miracles. I’ve received healing and I believe in prayer. God LOVES to answer prayer even when they are spoken with a mustard seed of faith. Press in. Read His Word. Pray and never stop because we are overcomers as children of The Most High God. Sealed by the blood of our Redeemer – Prince Jesus and empowered to do good works by the Holy Spirit.

We have every reason to live in bold expectancy! Pray BIG! Live large and bring heaven to earth!

20151010_000251This is the conference organizer, Deborah looking down at Keira who had just run into her Father's arms. (Such a beautiful representation for us all!)

Kylea
Kylea, Scott and friends

Kylea and Keira
This photo was taken when the girls arrived home on Sunday..... Note that something is missing from their eyes..... glasses & tears!

WE LOVE YOU JESUS!!

UPDATE: Today, October 15, 2015 Kylea, whose vision was deteriorating quickly was tested by her eye doctor: 20/25 vision!!!!  Hallelujah AMEN. Our God be glorified!


What Happens When You Hunger For More Of God - Lynn's Story

This is an unlikely story.

This is a story of a God who loves one ordinary woman with such capacity and faithfulness that He would move His hand in astounding circumstances to touch her life and respond to the cry of her heart.

This is my story.

An ordinary blonde, sometimes whacky and somehow hopeful, found herself sitting in church holding her open Bible upon her lap. Her heart cry, “Lord, I believe your Word. Where are the miracles that I have read about all of my life?”

He heard me.

And a journey was set into motion.

God sent me to find the answer to my question in Grand Junction, Colorado. Yep, weird I know.

I was visiting my mother who moved there several years prior. In fact, my entire family was there that week in July of 2012. Sunday morning we had plans to travel to a Hot Springs resort and spend a few days swimming and lounging by the large pools. That morning dawned and in a very spontaneous moment I said to my mom, “Mom, let’s go to your church before we get on the road.” Everyone was still sleeping and it was evident we weren’t going to get out of town early.

Mom and I arrived at church. The worship rocked and then the pastor introduced a guest speaker, June Felhouer. June soon began to share stories of modern day miracles the kind I have read about all of my life. I was undone. I sat utterly stunned at the stories of broken legs mended, cancer healed, ears opened and more. I introduced myself to June after service and chatted briefly.

We continued on our vacation however, my heart, spirit and mind was now intrigued. Is it true that REAL miracles are happening at a church in America? An unlikely church, Bethel of Redding, CA. Arriving home I began to ask my friends who work in the Christian industry about this place of miracles. My editor said to me, “Lynn, if you ever get a chance to visit Bethel, you should do it.”

So without hesitation, I called my partner in all my God adventures, Dineen and said, “We should visit this place and see what it’s all about.” Now even more amazing, Dineen agrees. We were nuts but I was so hungry for more of God that I would have traveled far and wide.

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Dineen, Heidi and Lynn, 2012

Not knowing anything about anything, I booked us for the next available conference, Open Heavens. Little did I know that conference would forever alter the lives of two ordinary women. Dineen and I were forever changed by our experience with God at that conference.

I’ve written many of my stories of encounters with God and Jesus in that environment. Here is a link to my story of the vision I had of Jesus. The Vastness of Our God. 

Today I’m home from my fourth visit to Open Heavens. And as I look back at the extraordinary circumstances that God went through to respond to my hunger, I’m undone. And this moment of humble thanksgiving was magnified when at the beginning of the conference the Holy Spirit whispered to me something very sweet.

Looking at this photo that we had just snapped of my group of friends, the Lord whispered, “This is your legacy, Lynn. These are the children that have come to find more of me because of you.”

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You see, the next year in 2013, Dineen and I attended again. We invited Sue Louch (tall blonde in back) who was also desperate for God. She had battled cancer, shingles and fear for years. She was so desperate for God’s touch, she took this crazy journey with us. And she was fully healed! Praise Jesus.

From there Sue began inviting people. I invited more. We made friends in previous years in the line waiting to get into the building. (Some of the best things happen in line.)

Next year for the 2016 Open Heavens Conference, we are praying there are at least 40 of us gathering together to seek the face and voice of God. Forty more of our family who will receive healing from fear, anxiety. Forty in 2016 that will be healed physically and emotionally.

The legacy grows and I weep in humble praise. It’s all about our Jesus.

But as I type, I’m overwhelmed with love that my Savior would go to such great lengths to send me to Grand Junction to take me to Northern California and to bring the healing and anointing I received to this group of people.

But not only these in the photo. He graced me with so much of His love that I have poured it out here and upon hundreds of SUMites. I pray that because you have cried out for more of God, you have received a touch of love and encouragement from me and from Dineen. Two crazy women who took a chance on a outrageous journey to discover that modern day miracles are real and available for every one of us as children of God.

In the three days of the conference this year, I watched God heal hearts. I prayed for many of those. I watched as little girls danced and their eyes were healed. I saw people’s lives restored from the years of the devil’s oppression.

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Lynn, Paula, Barbara, Ruthie, while we were in line

I listened as the Lord spoke through the guest speaker to people in the audience. He called out my friend, Barbara. I met Barbara and her sister, Paula on Friday morning. God woke me at ten-til-five, that would be am. He said to me, “You can sleep when you get home. GET UP!” I crawled from bed, slurped coffee, dressed and headed over to the church to wait in line before dawn. Barbara, Paula and Ruthie stepped in line behind me and it was a divine moment in time those three hours together. Later in the evening before the entire church God spoke to Barbara about her life and encouraged her. It has changed her and her sister’s lives forever. Oh, thank you God that you woke me. I would have missed

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Ruthie in line with me at O' dark thirty!

that beautiful time with my forever sisters.

Profound and life-changing encounters happened to the people but many, many happened to those whom I knew personally.  

I will share one of those amazing stories on Friday.

Today, I want you to let me pray for your journey. Leave your prayer request in the comments.

My dear, sweet brother or sister in Christ. You are valuable. You are adored. The Lord DOES see you. He is standing before you right now with arms open, urging, pleading,

“Come to me and allow me to heal you. Allow me to set you free from the doubts, the lies of the devil and to show you a love that is unfathomable. Let me touch your face with gentleness and relieve your worry and pain. Let me speak words of kindness into your circumstances. Let me dance with you in the kitchen and kiss your children at night with you. Let me carry you when you are weak. Let me sing over you with gladness and bless you with every gift from on High. Let me love you well, my child.”

“My arms are wide open. I’m calling you to a crazy journey. The Grand Adventure of a lifetime that will heal, bless and change everything. Step into my arms of love and allow me to hold you like a protected and loved child. I adore you and will never forsake you.” 

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SUMite, Jim Edwards and me

 

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Me and Sue Louch


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Do you want to join us on this fantastic and life-changing journey? It's a journey of HOPE. It's worth every sacrifice, every penny you spend, the time away from your family and job. I PROMISE that you will find it the best thing you ever did this side of heaven. Let me know and I will email you next July when registration begins. Hugs, Lynn


Take Six Steps Out Of Disappointment

SUMite Family:

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

I struggled in my prayer time so I made myself write down the many past encounters, blessings, provisions and favor the Lord has poured into my life over the past 20 years. My undeniable encounter, with the power and love of Christ was on October 12, 2012. That moment changed me and everything about my life and faith. I would cling to that truth as the anchor in this dark period. Then I would write down the love notes God sends me. I wrote about some of them here and here

I would then pray.  And I’m still praying today. I walk in the vineyards, walk and pray. I sing worship songs to the King of Kings. Worship is essential to keep us from losing more ground to the enemy. I would pray honest prayers and I would keep practicing what I have always done even if my heart wasn’t fully in it, even in my doubt I continued to practice what I knew was right.

I walked through a process and I’m thankful it only took me 30 days. It is my hope that by sharing what I walked, others will walk through their struggle quickly and /or become unstuck and reach the end of their captivity.

Process to overcome Disappointment in God.

  1. Grieve – your loss, your expectations, your disappointment, your faith, your confusion.
  2. Surrender – Give Him your plans, hopes, expectations, and again your confusion. Ask for understanding even knowing you might never receive it in this life. Forgive God.
  3. Pray – begin to pray again. Gather others around you to pray. Rely on scriptures. Psalm 91 became very powerful to me. I listened to it in a song so I could memorize it. I studied it. Looked at the Greek, Hebrew translations.  I believed!
  4. Listen and wait. – I waited. I’m not patient. But I began to perceive that God wanted me to enter a season of rest. He also wanted my focus and attention in an area of my life for which I'd been asking for healing for years. So I started to understand His intent in this season was to heal ME and just be with ME. My healing was more important to Him than another book.
  5. Choose to believe - I also thanked God and remembered and relied on my past experiences with God. His faithfulness in so many areas. Years and years of faithfulness in my life is what i leaned on in my confusion.
  6. Allow Time – In the rest and waiting I discovered that He never left me. He began speaking to me about four weeks after my disappointment. I haven’t nor do I expect an explanation. But God’s not finished with me and the healing and new dreams I’m receiving are unexpected and amazing.

My friends, tomorrow I am going to share a prayer that I prayed and I continue to pray that defeats the demonic.

Through my experience can it be that God is shouting to you in your dark place? DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. Fight back with everything you have. Put on the full armor of God. Remember and trust in your past history with the Lord. Focus on every good thing Jesus brings to your life. Choose to look up and not at your circumstances. And my friends pray even when you don’t feel like it.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


The Struggle to Believe

Heb11-1My friends, the Holy Spirit has me in several places in the Bible right now. Colossians, Genesis, 1 Corinthians along with dips into James and the Psalms. In short, my head is spinning a bit, trying to put the pieces together of whatever Lord Jesus is trying to teach me. And I say try, because I’m not sure I’m getting it quite yet.  

However, I will try to share what I feel He is impressing upon me in one area. It’s a challenging one so bear with me. This piece of Scripture unfortunately has often been misused in teaching that “works” save us, so I want to be clear here that this is not what I believe, nor do I believe this is what the Bible teaches us. James was teaching a group of Jewish Christians whose background was Judaism—the Law, that by keeping the law perfectly (actions) they would be saved. 

 James wanted them to understand they didn’t need to apply this same belief system to salvation in Jesus Christ. Their actions, good works, desire to help others, etc. were the fruit that came from salvation in Christ and completed their faith. And he references Abraham to make his point: 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”— and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. — James 2:21-24 

First let me clarify that “justified” does not mean saved. The Greek word, dikaioō means to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent: free, justify(ier), be righteous. 

Therefore, our “works” do not save us but are the proof of our salvation and faith being alive and active. Our actions justify our salvation. I think most of us understand this, but as someone who has struggled with performance so much in the past (and still do at times), I want to be clear.

The part of this scriptural truth I want to try and focus on today is the completing part. James is saying that Abraham’s faith was completed by his works. What I find so interesting in this part of what James is saying is that it wasn’t the specific act of offering Isaac, his promised son on the altar (Gen. 22)—the son from whom God said he would bring Abraham more descendants than the stars or grains of sand on the beach but that Abraham believed God. 

Let me say it again. He believed God. That is what made his faith complete and his action of obeying God was that proof. He believed God and trusted Him.

Right now, I’m struggling to be in that place. I think many of us are, because we are still in this place of waiting in the delivery room. But I’m also intrigued by this. I’ve sought God for understanding and this is what He told me.

This is the great disconnect. My children ask but continue to doubt. I want to them to ask and believe. I want you to ask and believe, Dineen.

Don’t ask, then wait to believe when you see evidence. Ask and believe together. Ask and then move forward in belief and trust.

Dear friends, I share this as I feel Abba is speaking to me and my heart. I see how I have waited to believe when I saw evidence. It’s a place we can wind up in when we ask for things we know is in alignment with God’s heart over and over again (like the salvation of our spouse), yet see no evidence of an answer or change. I’m right there with you, however…

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. — Hebrews 11:1 ESV

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. — Hebrews 11:1 NLT 

So, I am inspired to continue to ask, because in this “lesson” Abba has me in, I’m seeing my impatience for something to happen opens a door for the enemy to shoot his lie that my prayers haven’t mattered, so why keep trying? Sound familiar? 

I find myself inspired by Noah who it’s estimated spent over a hundred years building the ark. I don’t know about you, but after about ten or 20 years I think I might have revisited the original convo with God and at least asked, “Did I hear you right?” 

And trust me, I have had to go back and ask Abba about several words He’s given me about my husband, my future, my girls—those things I hold closest to my heart and agonize over.

Yes, agonize. As I can only imagine Abraham did with Isaac. And I do believe “the altar” is the place to put those things we hold most dear to the point of trusting in ourselves more than God. Or anything we want more than we want God, even the salvation of a loved one. 

But the altar is not the place of death. It is the place of ultimate trust and the beginning of revelation and provision, as God defines and determines is needed. It is the place of changed perceptions and unexpected answers. It is the place where dying dreams can be reshaped or reborn. 

I have no clear solution to solve that great disconnect other that what God has told me to do. Believe and trust. And this is where I stopped my post on Monday, to simmer, pray and consider. Tuesday morning I was greeted with a devotional starting with Hebrews 11:1 and a message about raising my expectations of God. I shook my head and laughed.

Tuesday was also my day to work at the healing rooms, so I dared to pray specifically for someone we have prayed for many times for healing and deliverance from deep depression. I’ve been desperate to see this person freed. My prayer was, “Lord, I want this person healed. If today is his day of healing, bring him to the healing rooms.” 

Later that morning at the end our worship and prayer time, he walked in the door. God had big plans for him, my friends. This man was delivered of lies and darkness that have bound him for years.

I am stunned, not just for this person but for myself. God not only answered our prayers for this person, but He answered mine as well—my cry to step out in faith just a little bit more boldly and to believe God—before I saw any evidence. 

Dear friends, my faith has been strengthened through this to boldly ask for more. I know there will be times of discouragement, but I’d like to think I’ll remember to keep contending and keep pressing in. God never gives up. And neither will I. 

Holding you up with love and prayers before our Great King!
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God's Dream For Your Life Is Bigger Than You Can Imagine!!

SUMite Nation:

Many of you participated in our Dream With God experience during Rosh Hashanah, 2014. If you didn’t, don’t click out. Because God is up to some crazy, neat stuff and our entire community is part of this.

I thought my “Dream List” was crazy, BIG and filled with impossibilities but this past week, I was praying with a few friends and Christi said to me, “You aren’t praying big enough.” Now SUMites, I’ve been praying:

2 million souls
2 million books
2 million dollars

This seems impossible to me.

But I was so taken back by Christi’s declaration that I spent two days and asked God, “What would you want, Lord? What do you dream? What should I be dreaming?”

Friends, take heed, when you ask God questions like this……. I went a laid down in the afternoon on Friday and over the next two hours God began to down load a vision that is so far beyond my mind that I couldn’t think of it myself. I began to see schools…. Ministry schools, supernatural training of teachers, leaders and every believer who wants more of God. I saw houses of prayer in our valley spring up that will worship God 24/7 and people from all over came to receive prayer, healing and deliverance.

God said, “Two million souls is way too small. Lynn, dream and contend for ONE BILLION SOULS.” The harvest is rich but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest and train those to bring the broken, the demonized, the sick the proud, the poor into My House.” Pray for the resources. $10 million to start.

(By this point I’m in spiritual shock and awe.)

Then I heard a name or a type of another school that God was wanting. I keep hearing “Gregorian.” I don’t know what that means so when I woke, I Googled the word. There are many meanings such as our Gregorian calendar and it’s a name of a rock band. But what I saw that grabbed my attention was there was a Pope named Pope Gregory… He was a good Pope who was born 540 years after Christ. Now get this. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.

I about fell off my chair. The second school that God wants is a school of music… A WORSHIP SCHOOL. For students and for teachers. Duh!!! Worship is at the core of my heart. I’m happiest when in worship. Sometimes I’m soooo blonde! Sheesh!

Gang, I’ve been humbly contending to just get my next book approved by the Publishing Committee. (Which I still contending) But I’ve been dreaming way too small. I serve the God of the Universe of all time and eternity. And He can do this.

Do I have a clue how? NO. But I believe right now He is connecting me with people who have connections who will share His vision for the future of His Kingdom. I can’t wait to see how this all comes together.

On Friday, the Lord told me to write this down. It is my vision for my future and I’m to share it, read it often, keep it at the forefront of my prayers and thoughts. So here it is. I will post further in detail in a new website I’m going to launch soon.

Okay, so NOW I say to each of you my SUMite brothers and sisters. Did you dream with me last fall? If you did, have you checked your lists lately and thanked God for His faithful fulfilments? At this time also renew your prayers for those dreams yet to come to pass.

Right now, I believe the Lord is calling all of us to once again write down our dreams, our vision, for our purposes to bring His Kingdom to earth. So, right now make it plain. Go into your quiet time. Ask God again to dream with you. No, to give you His dreams!

Matthew 9 36 38Write it down. Share what pops into your mind right now in the comments and make a public declaration of what and where God is leading you. We are walking in an anointed time and I ABSOLUTELY believe our community was born for such a time as this.

I love you so much. I can’t wait to read what the Lord is placing on your heart. Let’s dream BIGGER SUMite nation. There are a billions souls waiting to experience the love of Jesus, His healing, freedom and the abundant life. End of days are upon us. Let’s bust out the truth and bring it to our world who needs to experience perfect love.

See you in the comments. Share any and all that the Holy Spirit is impressing upon you. Nothing is too weird, too big, too great or outlandish. Love you, Lynn

Here is the link to the original post: Dream Big.

PS. My Biggest dream: My husband and family meet and fall in love with Jesus, The King of Kings!


Our Authority to "Pass It On"

Heb10-25Dear friends, I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt through the Bible and the Holy Spirit keeps revealing these nuggets of wisdom and knowledge. In fact, I shared this verse on Facebook last week because it keeps showing up:

In him [Christ] lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. — Colossians 2:3 NLT

I have prayed into this for myself and for you, SUMites. Jesus wants to give us these treasures! We just have to ask for them.

So, this latest treasure is one that the Holy Spirit showed me builds on a truth we have talked about in the past, but builds upon it in regard to our authority in Jesus, the authority spoken of in Luke 9:1-2 and Luke 10:17. Our authority given us through our salvation in Jesus. 

But this nugget is revealing that we have specific authority, which I find fascinating. First let's start with 2 Corinthians 1:4:

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. — 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

I've always loved this verse, because it reflects God's heart for us individually and corporately. He is our comforter and we are to pass the comfort on to others. He intends it to work that way. That is why we encounter others who are going through the same trials and difficulties we have gone through. Sometimes even as we are going through them. Abba wants to comfort us so we can comfort others, and encourage each other. This is the body of Christ working in love and unity.

But did you know that the very places that you have overcome give you special authority? Take a look at 2 Corinthians 4:17:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV 

That word "weight" in the original Greek is baros and it means weight, burden, authority.

What does that mean? It means that the sicknesses and trials that you have overcome are now places of authority in which you can pray for others. You are essentially passing a blessing you have received to another person. It doesn't take it away from you at all or lessen its affect or presence. You are sharing it with another, which honors God because you are being obedient to His Word. And God always increases His blessings in these times.

Guess what else? It's a form of worship. An "eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison"! 

 That which we overcome gives us authority to pray for the same breakthrough for others and in combination with the glory of Jesus, it becomes an act of worship and praise.

My friends, I believe we are called to boldly pray and believe for others the very same things we have received. Remember the story of healing I shared a while back about praying for a friend's thyroid to be healed because my thyroid had been healed. And she in turn was healed! I simply passed on the blessing I'd received and was doubly blessed to see God do this in another person. See the increase?

And don't be surprised if Jesus sets you up with divine appointments to encounter people who need your prayers. It is a beautiful set-up, my friends. One that will bless you even more profoundly than the first. It's absolute nonsense to the world, but it's exactly what God will use to make Himself known (1 Cor. 1:27-30). 

My friends, I thought this post was done when I wrote the above paragraph but this morning I had an experience that so profound shows how this works. In my last post, Waiting in the Delivery Room, Holly shared an amazing encounter she had with God. I asked her to pray for me to have an encounter like that too. And she did! 

I DECLARE that you will have an encounter with the God of all creation that will be even greater and more profound than that which I testify to!! Holy Spirit please fall on Dineen with power and fill her to overflowing with Your liquid love and supernatural peace! Get her good Lord so that she is forever changed by the love of her Father!!! You are a good good Father and worthy of our praise!!! In Jesus name....AMEN!!!!!!

That prayer was answered today in a most unexpected way. I was walking around the nearby park, listening to worship music, praying and praising God. I needed this terribly too, my friends, because I’d let in some “stinkin’ thinkin’” recently. God revealed to me that my heart wasn’t thankful. 

So, I chose to walk in my authority over my heart and feelings and turn that frown upside down, to use a cliche. Halfway into my second lap, I felt something…different. I looked up at the magnificent sky and it was like the presence of God fell on me!

And guess what happened next? You won’t believe it… I burst out in laughter. Big laughter. Belly laughter. Holy laughter… And I couldn’t stop. Right in the middle of the park. My friends, I kid you not. 

Holy laughter is something I’ve been asking Abba for for a while. And today was my day. I continued to laugh the rest of my walk around the park—in sudden bursts that doubled me over! I haven’t a clue what other people there thought, and, honestly, I don’t care. 

Today, my Papa God made me laugh! And I believe that was in part a result of Holly passing on her blessing to me (thank you so much, Holly!), which came in an unexpected (and foolish to the world perhaps?) way, and I believe this was also Abba’s way of honoring my decision to be obedient to rejoice in Him, to choose joy, and to walk in that attitude. No more stinkin’ thinkin’! 

And now, my dear friends, I pray for you to experience holy laughter. 

Lord Jesus, You came to set us free and to know Your peace and joy. I ask for holy laughter for our SUMite family. You know best when and how to bring it, Holy Spirit. Do what You do best! In the JOYFUL name of Jesus, amen!

Laughing with you, my friends, and rejoicing in Him!
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Spirit of Self-hatred - Annihilated.... Hallelujah!

There are many reasons why Dineen and I serve in ministry. There are times when it’s tough as people are broken, sick, oppressed and lost. We, the mismatched are truly on the front lines in our own homes, warring for our families. 

Ministry can be tough but it’s for moments like Tiffany’s that I get up every morning. It’s for victories like this that I pray with relentless power and love over our SUM family. It’s for lives that are touched by the love of Jesus that I remain always thankful to serve in any way, the Kingdom of God. Dineen and I continue to pray for your breakthrough. Love and hugs, Lynn 

Tiffany: 

LYNN! I HAVE TO SHARE WITH YOU AND MY FELLOW SUMITES!! 

I received the email for this post in my inbox on Monday at 1:07am (Post Title: It’s Demonic In Nature). I am just now seeing the email and have JUST read your post. 

I have been struggling the past few years with self-condemnation and self-loathing. I mean bad, to the point where I would be constantly telling myself (sometimes even audibly) and describing to my husband that I HATED myself. That I absolutely hated myself. Not allowing freedom from things already forgiven! Not forgiving myself. Not giving Jesus full reign over my life. Quenching the Spirit, etc. I would constantly be crying out to God for help and opportunity yet blinding myself to His work in my life. 

Monday morning I woke up it was probably 5 am and instantly I got on the ground faced down, bowed before the Father. Now this is NOT something natural to me. There I was in the presence of my Creator. In those intimate moments, I just felt something so unique...I have felt God's grace and mercy and been overwhelmed by His love before but this, this was different. 

I have been delivered from all my insecurity and self-loathing, hatred and condemnation. 

I knew it was a miracle because like I said before this was totally unnatural of me. I had no idea until this moment that God is doing a mighty work in all of us and how amazing to see His deliverance for all of us. It's been almost 2.5 days since my encounter "on the road to Damascus" and I have never felt happier and at peace. 

It's like Jesus spoke over me, "It is FINISHED!" 

I have started putting on makeup again and doing my hair and taking time to pamper myself because I finally believe I am worth it...a child of the One True King! I hope I have done a decent job at explaining this because I feel I have no words to truly describe this miraculous work in me. 

How amazing that even in our online community where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, mighty things happen...more than we can ask or imagine. 

Than you Tiffany for this testimony of God’s love in your life. My friends, press in to the love of our Lord for your miracle. Get on your face if you need to in complete obedience and allow the Lord of the Universe immerse you in His fathomless love. 

Pray in the comments. Let’s pray for one another. I want to post miracle after miracle here where the SUM Nation BELIEVES in a God who can do anything. 

I love you my family. I truly love you, Lynn

Luke 4 18


What Gods Love Looks Like

SUMite Family, 

Taste and see psalm 34 8I have to share that the word “family” has taken on an entirely larger implication in my life this past week. So, to say that you are my family, please know that I’m overwhelmed with authentic love and hope for you. Let me explain. 

I’m working on a new writing project and praise Jesus, the downloads are now flowing. It’s been astonishing. I’ve waited nearly a year for this past week and the few weeks that are ahead to hear the voice of God and His heart for the assignment He’s given to me. And this week in particular, I’m writing about the love of God. 

The love of a Father. 

Well, I don’t know how in the world you can encapsulate the love of God into a single chapter. However, I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to write this out because God will figure it out for me and then, I can’t wait to read it myself!!!! *grin* Really! 

So as I’m trying to figure out what specific attributes to share and asking myself, How do I explain the love of God, the Lord decided that I need to experience His love through profound experiences all week. I am so full of the love of our Father today that when I arrived at church, I hugged everyone I could get my hands on. The Father’s love poured off of me onto people. I just couldn’t help it. And wouldn’t you know it; almost all of the worship were songs about the love of God. I just can hardly stand up under the relentless expressions of my Daddy’s love this day. 

Today I feel I am to share what I’m experiencing and learning. I pray you are wrecked by our Daddy’s love this week too. 

Last week as I prepared to write on this topic my prayer and conversation with God turned into cries to experience His love. I cried out, “Father, I want a baptism of love. I want to be overwhelmed by your love. I want to experience a love so grand, so profound that I see (things, people) as you see them.” 

Let me share some insights of my week. They are not in any particular order:

  • I’m no longer an orphan. I’m a daughter of the King.
  • I don’t need to strive for His love. I need only to rest and receive His love.
  • I am His happy thought.
  • I am His smile.
  • I’m the one He waits for in the morning when I wake because He’s missed me while I was sleeping.
  • His love is abundant living.
  • He has good gifts for His children. That means me…. and you!
  • He is fun.
  • He is hilarious.
  • He is protective.
  • Because of the love of God my finances look different. My health is different. My relationships are different. My perspective, hope, and future are different.
  • I’m released into my creative calling. I thrive living in what I was created to do since before time began.
  • I have a destiny.
  • My value, my identity, dignity and dreams are restored.
  • I am His treasure.
  • I hear His voice.
  • I know God will bless what I’m doing instead of asking God to bless what I’m doing.
  • I’m His favorite. (So are you.)
  • I have a family. 

Do you know what it means to others and unbelievers when I truly understand that I am loved by our Father?

  • People are safe with a daughter of God.
  • I view other sons and daughters as someone with whom I used to compete and now I see them as someone I can complete.
  • I look for the gold in people and their holy destiny thus I stop treating them based on their history.
  • I celebrate sons and daughters instead of tolerate them.
  • We are lovers, warriors and ambassadors.
  • We are moving from a church (organization) to a family. 

God is love. —1 John 4:16

God is good. —Psalm 136:1 

My friends, when we truly believe these scriptures guess what happens. We see God differently. When we see God differently we then see ourselves differently. When we see ourselves differently we then see others differently. 

My family, my dear adored family, I know that our Papa’s love can touch every deep fear in our heart and leave us forever change, healed and restored. We need only to cry out and ask to see ourselves as our Father sees us. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good. —Psalm 34:8  I’ve come to believe this is one of the most powerful scripture verses in the entire Bible. Oh what a different life we can live when we step out of unbelief and truly know that we know in our knower that God is love, God is good and God has good things for His kids. 

Thoughts? 

I pray that when you read this phrase today: I love you, that you somehow hear the Father whispering the words directly to your heart. 

And finally, imagine what our pre-believers might experience if we begin to see ourselves as God sees us. A Holy mind-blow!!!!!!!!!! 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

Thanks Lief Hetland. You inspired the many affirmations of this post.


Breakthrough - Disappointment- Thanksgiving and More On Our Final Day Of Fasting

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Hello Sumite Family – Church Without Walls. 

Can you believe it’s already the last day of our fast? Reading through the comments has been amazing. I have prayed for all of you. This has been an amazingly sweet time with our Lord. And as I spoke to Dineen yesterday about this fast, we marveled at all God has done, the tenderness He has displayed and the answers to our petitions. 

Dineen and I paused a moment and we turned our conversation to prayer: Jesus, we sure hope Rosheeda Lee is watching our community from heaven. What she started here years ago, this annual fast, has had lasting impact on us as individuals. Lord, we know that the prayers and declarations spoken during this tender time will bring about great glory for Your name and bring many into Your Kingdom. Lord, Jesus please hug Rosheeda for us. We love and miss her. Amen. 

I know many of us are praying for breakthrough. And I have to share my breakthrough with you. It was quite unexpected. Before I do, however, I want to speak to those of you who haven’t had your breakthrough and those who feel disappointment. Perhaps, like me, breakthrough came in an area your weren’t praying about. For me personally, I received an answer for prayer that I started praying two and half years ago. So, don’t be disappointed. Instead, ask God to show you where He was working in your life this past week. 

On Thursday morning I was sitting in my backyard next to a gentle and warm fire, sipping coffee from my Broncos mug and reading my Bible and praying. All was right with the world. When all of a sudden my husband texts me and asks me if I sold some stock. 

Text Back: No, What is going on? Did someone hack our account? 

I go into full-on panic mode as this is the little bit of money I have saved for my daughter’s college education. The funds are small and only cover another semester so we can’t afford to lose a dime. After they are exhausted I have three more semesters to pay for and I haven’t a clue where the money is going to come from. 

I began praying about our lack of finances for college back when she started school in 2013. I prayed and still pray asking for provision. I trust. I look at my small account. I panic. I pray again. I trust. I mostly lean into trusting God because after all, He arranged her education. 

Well after my panic over my husband’s text, I call my husband and he reminds me that our new “finance” guy is moving things around. However, he wasn’t supposed to touch this account. So, my husband gets off the phone to contact our guy to find out what’s going on. And in THAT SPECIFIC MOMENT the Lord spoke. 

“Lynn, you have asked me to help you provide for college. So I sent you this guy.” 

Now get this. This man works with my husband. He’s absolutely brilliant. The kind of brilliant where he tests out on the IQ Test- Mensa. He works as one of the company leaders in computer technology. On top of that he’s also a Certified Public Accountant. He handles investments for about 10 people, we are one of them. And ON TOP OF THAT…. 

Now get this: He’s an ordained pastor. 

Now when God sends a guy to help you out, He doesn’t fool around. Brilliant, Computer Genius, CPA…. AND A PASTOR…. I think our college funds are in good hands and it’s all okay that he is moving funds about. 

THANK YOU DADDY!!! An answer to prayers from 2 ½ years ago. A Breakthrough. I’ve had another significant event this week but I will share that with you later. 

My friends, our Lord is good. He is lavish. He is a blast and I love Him so much. Hang on to your faith. Persist in prayer. He will work things out for your good and His glory. And don’t give the enemy an inch. I know that ugly snake tries hard to get us to blame God for stuff he is doing to kill, steal and destroy in our lives and family. 

So on our final day, LET’S GIVE THANKS. Let’s thank the Lord for what He has done this week. Share any insights you received this week. Tell me about your time with the Lord. Share answers to prayer and let’s give the Lord thanks. And can you share one other thing. Write along with your comment: Sumite since ___________. Include the month or year or even yesterday if that's when you started reading here.

When we pray, we must believe and then thank Jesus for the work that is in progress. 

This has been an amazing week. I love all of you so much. I have stormed heavens gates for you. I have fought the demonic for you. I have declared and spoken God’s Word, love and hope into your lives. (Even if I didn’t have time to type my prayers out in response to your comments.) 

I can’t wait to praise our Lord with you today. I love you with a full and expectant heart, Lynn, a Sumite since May, 2006.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

PS. yesterday in the comments Teri said this: Today I am asking for a real place to live, a home. To no longer live in my car. 

The minute I read this I knew that I wanted to send her money. If any of you want to do the same, click on the donate button in the sidebar. Thank you. 

Phil 1 4 to 6


The Destruction of the Demonic Warrior

It’s Thanksgiving this week. And I know all of us are very busy. And I’ve been very ill again. However, James 5 was in my daily Bible this week so I went for healing prayer. And I know my full healing is now decreed. AMEN! 

This week I have family in town and will likely be crazed entertaining but loving every minute of time I have with my mom who is visiting from Colorado. My daughter will be here and her friends, my son and my granddaughter. It’s going to be a great turkey day! 

Dineen and I are going to take the week off from posting. So today and Wednesday, I want to share with you an email that arrived on Thursday evening from a young woman whom I’ve prayed for, love on, and encouraged through the many months/years of her healing process. I asked her permission to share her testimony. I know there is someone in our Sum family who needs to hear this word. 

Luke 10 19From my friend: Stone.
Temecula, CA
Worship In The Valley: A worship event in Temecula, CA on November 20th

I’ve been in a season of isolation, pain, depression and hopelessness, and yet I’ve known this whole time that it hasn’t been real, I have refused to take ownership of it as from me or a part of me. I’ve prayed against it over and over again, I’ve begged and pleaded with the Lord to free me from this painful darkness and yet it persisted. I kept my eyes on Him and continued to ask for freedom, trusting that it won’t always be like this, that hope and freedom are here and that more is coming. I know that I haven’t been betrayed or abandoned, through all of this Jesus has been right beside me and His passionate love for me has never wavered. I haven’t been alone for even one second, even though I’ve felt completely alone I’ve known that He has never left me alone and that this is not for me, this is not what my life will be like. I’ve known that a shift was coming.               

So tonight I came expecting, I struggled to get there, fighting off a cold and exhaustion from a long and trying week at work but I knew that God had something for me to receive tonight. Upon arrival I wanted to leave, and that feeling grew to where I felt like I couldn’t stand it and I knew without a doubt that it was the enemy’s desperation, his last attempt to prevent me from receiving all that I did tonight. This realization made me that much more determined, more committed to staying and receiving all that He had in store for me tonight.               

Tonight I got to see myself the way my mentors have been describing to me. Tonight I got to see myself as a warrior, a leader, strong and brave, leading a strong and mighty army into battle. This description has been terrifying me but tonight it was incredible because He also gave me a peace and an incredibly deep assurance that everyone who had come with me onto this battlefield is someone I chose because I trust them. God assured me that everyone who has joined in this army is someone I can trust. He gave me peace about the discernment He has given me and the things He has shown me over the last few years as we’ve built this tribe around me. As I followed Him into the heart of this battlefield He showed me just how sure the enemy is of his coming defeat. He knows we’re coming, that I have my eye on him and my heart set on his defeat, he knows that we’ve come for his captives; we’ve come united in Jesus to set his captives free.               

As the fire grew within me I saw into my past, but from a whole new perspective, I saw the strategy of the enemy and the power and goodness of God. I saw His hand of protection over me always, and I knew that this was all set in motion before I was born and that I’ve never been alone. As the Pastor spoke of peaceful sleep I was reminded of the years I spent my nights in terror. I remembered the nights I wept before The Lord, crying out the name of Jesus over and over for hours. As a young child I couldn’t see Him there, I begged and pleaded in what I thought was in vain, but throughout this past year Jesus has been showing me exactly where He was. As I stared into the face of darkness at the demon that the devil stationed outside my bedroom doorway Jesus stood in the doorway of my room as my shield, keeping her from entering my room and destroying me. I saw this spirit outside my room for years, I was always afraid for my life because its goal was to destroy me, convince me that I meant nothing to God, that I was completely and utterly alone, that I was unloved, betrayed and abandoned, hopeless.               

What I saw tonight was just how strategic this assignment was, God showed me that my destiny has always been to march on the enemy’s camp and demand that His captives be set free from cutting, suicide, depression and abuse and that through me He would speak into the hearts of His beloved and show them that they are free. I saw the enemy’s determination to destroy me, to crush me to a point where I would never rise up and destroy his hold on God’s children through depression and suffering. I saw that he did not have authority to kill me; it didn’t stop him from trying or keep him from trying to destroy me. He selected a strong and determined warrior to stand at my door every night for years and for years they stood outside my bedroom instilling fear, depression and lies into my heart, all night long they called out to me, shouting lies of my worthlessness, of my smallness and insignificance, threating pain, death, dismemberment and utter destruction, ruin. He sent a chosen warrior but God sent His Son. 

Jesus stood inside my bedroom every night looking into the face of this chosen warrior and spoke the truth, He spoke of the coming destruction, He reminded them that He has already won the war and He spoke truth and love into my room and over me.   —End Part I… Stone

 

Okay, my friends it gets even better. Tune in Wednesday and let this testimony set you free. Hugs, Lynn


The Unexpected Divine Appointments

11134039_sDear friends, as I walked and prayed Tuesday morning, I asked Abba for the words to share with you what I experienced at Bethel. I really wasn’t sure if I had anything definitive as God kept this visit very personal, which makes sense for this year of intimacy He’s called me to.

But as I walked the memories and words began to flow (thank You, Abba, You are so good), like a kaleidoscope of images and colors that stood unique but together created the complete story of God’s intentions.

Where to start? At the beginning of the journey. I was a bit anxious about making this trip on my own (I love road trips when hubby is in charge) and my car had been acting up a little. (I should share with you that I call my little VW Bug by the name of Gracie as she is a gift from God and never lets me down. Why did I doubt?)

I had five hours of road ahead of me each way (thankfully Lynn road with me from Sacramento to Redding on the way up) and knew I would wind up stopping frequently for breaks out of necessity. I kid you not, both up to Redding and on my way home on Saturday every place I stopped had Christian music playing. In California?!?!?

As I walked into each place, I noticed it right away! And smiled…God uses music frequently to minister to my heart. I was never alone. My Gracie carried both me and Him on this trip.

At Bethel the first evening I noticed a woman near us. Not sure why but she just stood out to me so I took notice. The next day we were introduced by a mutual friend. That seemed significant too, so I ask Abba if there was a reason, did I need to know something. I heard the name “Amanda” over and over again. Wasn’t sure why, maybe that name meant something to her. I asked Abba who this Amanda was. He said “her sister.”

Well…I wasn’t sure what to do with that, but I have seen God do this enough times to trust Him to put it into motion. I wouldn’t track this dear woman down. If I was supposed to share what I heard, I’d leave it to Him to bring her to me at the right time (just like my new friend at the ACFW conference).

The next day I was sitting on a bench and there she stood. I waved her over and asked her if the name Amanda meant anything to her. She said no, but then shared how someone else had told her she looked like someone they met in Montreal, almost identical. What stunned me is what she shared next. She’s been searching for her twin sister. They were separated and given up for adoption when they were very young.

I gave her my business card and asked her to email me when this all falls into place as I had no doubts God was hearing her heart and leading her to her sister. When that story unfolds, I will sharing it with you, my friends. God is so amazing, so good!

On the last day, Friday, I found this verse waiting for me in my inbox:

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. — Psalm 37:7

Later that afternoon, I wound up in the prayer room. It’s a small octagon shaped building that stands part from the rest of the campus and has the most stunning view of the surrounding hills and mountains, including Mount Shasta.

Immediately I felt the peace of Jesus in that room. About a dozen or so people were there either sitting by the fountain or in chairs or on the floor by the windows. I wanted to stay in this place forever. Remembering the Scripture I received that morning, I rested by the fountain for a while.

And then it happened. Words, words, and more words. It was like my creativity had suddenly been unleashed. I couldn’t stop writing in my journal. Page after page. I wasn’t sure what it all meant though.

Not until I finished. I realized I had written the ending of the book I’m going to be working on. It was not at all what I expected, but it was very much the heart of God—tender, powerful, full of love and purpose.

God had told me He had something at Bethel this time. He told Lynn too. What He gave me was His heart. So unexpected, so gentle, so quiet.

So, my friends, God was my divine appointment this trip. What’s so amazing is that He longs for us to meet with Him each day. He has so much for us. For you.

Which brings me to the end of this story. My final “divine appointment” was with you, dear SUMites. This is the prayer God lead me to pray for our community as I sat outside and looked over the hillside.

BethelBased on Psalm 67:

Lord, be gracious to Your SUMites and bless us and make Your face shine upon us so that Your ways may be known in our homes, that your salvation will rest upon our pre-believers.

Let all those in our home praise You, God; that our pre-belivers would praise You. Let us, your SUMites, be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge righteously and govern our hearts and homes.

Let us, Your SUMites, praise You, O God, let every single one of us praise You and bring You glory. Then our homes shall yield increase. God shall bless us and our loved ones. God shall bless us, and all those in our home shall fear Him.

In Your mighty name, Jesus, amen!

Rest in His promises, SUMites!

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Divine Appointments, Part 2

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I’m so glad you came back to hear the rest of this story. And I know Lynn and I will come back with more stories too. It’s the last day of the Open Heavens conference. As I write this I haven’t a clue of what God has in store for us, but I know it will be good, because He is GOOD!

Now back to the ACFW conference and the divine appointments God had planned for me. As I said, I knew there was more to hear from my new friend. I didn’t even ask God to orchestrate another meeting. I knew He would and told Him as much. This was really fun!

The next day I had an appointment with an editor. After my appointment, I took a shortcut down the hallway to get back to the registration area. This hallway can get pretty busy when people are moving between appointments, but this time it was quiet, mostly empty.

Except for one person. Yep. You guessed it. There she stood. I smiled and headed toward her. Again we laughed and hugged. Then I knew what it was I was suppose to know.

So I asked, “You are a deep woman of faith and are on the path ahead of me. What advice would you give to someone like me, coming up behind you?”

Her face grew serious and she began to share such amazing words of truth and faith. Words that confirmed things God had shown me this year and great wisdom for where I was headed. I realized this dear woman had already walked the path I was on right now in greater detail than I could have imagine. I remember standing there feeling so surreal as I grasped more full how well God had planned this.

The piece of her wisdom that stood out the most was not to live the life you think you are supposed to but to live the life God is leading you too. She done it the first way for too many years and had learned the difference.

I asked this dear woman and new friend if she minded if I kept in touch with her. I’d prayed for a long time for mentors in my life, and maybe, just maybe, God had lead me to one. To her. She told me she’d mind if I didn’t.

Our divine appointment had turned into a divine connection. My friends, I’m still in awe of how God does these things. How His timing is so significant and precise for His plans and purposes. I delight in Him so much in these moments as I stand in awe of Him.

And more came through the week. The Holy Spirit led me to sit in front of an older couple. I turned around and asked what their story was. They shared their precious lives with me, then realized they were in the wrong room. But I knew I was meant to hear their stories and God confirmed it again when I “ran” into them again the next day. We shared our hearts to spread God’s love and goodness in our stories and this sweet man had me sign his tie!

And connecting with so many hearts and hearing their stories. One of my last nights there, God brought a woman front and center to me whose husband had walked away from his faith. Such heartache. I was able to share this beautiful SUMite community with her (yes, I bragged about you!) and invited her to come and visit and let us love on her.

So you see, my SUMite family, you were part of my adventures that week. I bring you everywhere I go and boast about you all often as I praise and point to God for doing what He’s done right here in this community.

And now I’m hooked. Everywhere I go I pray for divine appointments. I know so many more are coming, for all of us. Just ask Him.

Then come and share yours. I want to hear your story.

Love you, my precious SUMite family!
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Divine Appointments, Part 1

11134039_sMy friends, as you read this, Lynn and I are making our way to the Open Heavens Conference at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. This will be our third year going and I’m already praying for diving appointments. (Please pray with us on this and for our protection and safety as we travel. Thank you!)

I prayed for this before the writers conference (American Christian Fiction Writers) I attended a couple weeks ago. And I told God it didn’t matter if they had anything to do with me or writing, I just wanted to see Him in action.

Well, my week was packed with these appointments and it was the most fun I’ve had at one of these conferences to date. And I’ve been going for ten years now! My head is still spinning to think of them all but a few stand out, and today I’m going to share just a few of them.

As head of registration I get to serve a great body of writers and authors, along side a great team of volunteers. I’m the “go-to-girl” for all the complicated questions, etc. The first day I was blessed to pray for a dear woman in distress. Loved watching how God calmed and comforted her as we prayed.

Then a little while later, an older woman humbly asked if she could still have an author ribbon (we have these label ribbons that attach to our name badges). She forgot about her book coming out in December.

“Of course!” I said and went to fetch her one. The sheer delight on her face to receive it warmed my heart beyond measure, as did her hug. Really, truly, I love doing the little things for people.

The next morning, very early and bleary eyed, God reminded me of these two women. He highlighted the woman I’d fetched the ribbon for and said, “She has a story. Listen to her story.” He whispered (probably because I hadn’t had my coffee yet) to me, “Listen to their stories.” I knew He didn’t mean what they were writing but the stories of their heart, their lives.

I told God He’d have to orchestrate that meeting if I was to hear more of her story as there was a good 500 people attending this conference in a large hotel. Later that day I turned around and there she was! Just her. I hugged her and said, “God told me you have a story. What’s your story?”

Her eyes grew wide and moist, and she smiled. She told me that just touched her heart so deeply that God had told me that about her. She then explained that she is a two time cancer survivor and battling heart disease.

Me? I’m standing there stunned, because even though I KNOW God does this stuff, I’m still floored by it.

Time ran out and she had to go. We hugged, each knowing that God had linked us together for a reason, then off she went to her next workshop. But I knew there was more. God whispered to my heart again that there was more for me to hear.

The next day during a break, I ran up to my hotel room to get something. I started to head back out but realized I needed one more thing. Then I headed out the door. Standing at the door across the hall stood this dear woman. I kid you not. We laughed, hugged and marveled at how God kept putting us together. She shared a little more and I shared a little about my daughter’s cancer miracles, but then I had to get back to my post. Even as I walked down the hall, I knew there was more and that God would put us together yet again. He’d already linked out hearts together.

But, He wasn’t done…

Dear Friends, that’s enough for today, but please come back Friday for the rest of this story. There’s more to tell, more to hear, I’m not done… ;-)

And I’m looking forward to what God has planned for Lynn and I at Bethel. I know He won’t disappoint. He’s the best divine appointment of all!

Love you!
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Copyright: petarpaunchev / 123RF Stock Photo


Day of Atonement

Isaiah 66 2 Day of AtonementSUMites this is a day of fasting. Sunrise to sunset.

Humble and contrite. Humble and contrite. Humble and Contrite.

What does this mean to you today?

Psalm 51:17  My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Isaiah 66:2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

There are a multitue of scripture verses on humility, Visit here.

May the Lord blesS you and keep you my friends. Great is our God and great are His mercies, grace and promises. 

Lord, let us be your people who respresent you well. In the name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen

 

 There is someone who needs to hear this song today. May it change your life. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


This is Your Divine Destiny. Don't Give It To The devil!

The Ugly Word for 2014                                  Part I
The Key to Powerful Prayer                            Part II
Dream Big!                                                      Part III

Lynn here! I have some crazy but good stuff to share. Here we go!

I believed a lie about my creativity.

On my dream list for this fall I have penned a sacred dream that is precious to my heart. And over the last nine months the devil has done everything to destroy that dream. I became so overwhelmed by the lies of the enemy and spiritual warfare that I handed over my authority over this dream to the lie and it was taken from me.

It pains me to even type these words. Most of the time I believe and live in God’s truth and have been living there for a long time. So to realize that I allowed the devil to steal truth from me, and even worse I believed the lie over what God had to say specifically about this dream, has grieved me greatly.

I’m going to share with you this very private story in the hopes that you find your freedom through it as I did. And with a greater hope that you don’t waste as much time nor experience the heart ache, confusion and pain that I experienced.

My dream came to me on a Sunday morning in early spring of this year. I was at church and we had just finished worship. I sat down, took out my Bible and notebook listening intently to the pastor share his message. And suddenly (remind me to share with you later about … “And suddenlies.”)

And suddenly, a download straight from heaven hit my brain. My pen started whirring across my notebook. Words were flowing, chapters were forming. I drew arrows to connect ideas. I heard God tell me to include such and such in the appendix. He said He wanted a box where He spoke directly to the reader. Chapter content emerged and suddenly…..

…… a book was born.

But this book wasn’t like any other book that I’ve read or written. Oh Wow, Lord…. Just wow!

Today I’m compelled to share this story because the devil almost stole from me, my divine destiny. It wasn’t my brain that came up with the chapters and the appendix, nor the chapter outlines, it was truly God. And to top things off, one day while sitting in church back in May, a guest speaker began to speak. He stopped in the introduction and looked right at me I had only met him for a moment before church. I told him I was preparing to start a new writing project. He said:

 

Tctv050414 Abner lynn's word

 

What you just listened to is very personal to me. And as I just listened to it again, I broke down and wept. The grace of God is so overwhelming at times. His favor upon our lives is enormous. How could we be anything other than thankful and full of faith?

Listening to this again just shames me that I listened to the lie about the calling on my life.

BUT NO MORE.

SUMites, my sisters and brothers, what lie has the enemy told you. Where has he taken your creativity? Please, please let me now be the voice of Jesus and tell you to take back your dreams. Take your creativity and use it for His Kingdom. Help your children learn to use their gifts for His glory by watching you use yours. Let your creativity lead your husband and children to faith. Let the world see the greatness in you and they will bend their knee to the King of Kings.

You have more in you than you think. You are stronger than you know. You have angels standing beside you, waiting to fly into motion at your mere whisper of command. God has prepared you for a profound, life-fulfilling calling to impact the world.

It only takes a small yes. A Yes when he asks. An ounce of faith. The faith of a mustard seed and you will step into this new adventure that awaits you.

I’m convinced that we believers are living on the leading edge of the MOST profound time of God’s history….. EVER. I think we are poised to see God show His signs, and miracles.

I know this because I have already witnessed Jesus heal people through prayer and the laying on of hands. I have felt His healing power flow from my hands.(What??? This just still blows my mind) All of us can and will see miracles and more. It starts with one brave step. One small yes. This is our moment to take back what the enemy has stolen and use our God given gifts for the Kingdom.

Upon this day, Rosh Hashanah, Jesus we ask for Your great favor upon our lives. Show us where fear and unbelief has allowed the enemy authority over our lives. Show us how to close those doors to fear and unbelief and the devil. Teach us to say to you firmly with a supernatural faith, YES. I want my gifts of creativity back. I want to be used by you to impact people. I want to love so big, so lavish that I see every person who I meet as you see them. I want to never be offended by anyone again. I want to love You with all that I have and love people.

Lord, lead me and teach me to step into my divine calling and ministry THIS YEAR. I ask for you to place an unquenchable hunger in my heart, mind and soul to know You more. I want the More… More of you. More of you. More of You. I ask for Your gifts. Gifts of wisdom and revelation (Eph 1:17) Gifts of love, joy, peace…. (Gal 5:22). Lord, I want to see You move on this planet this next year in a way humans have never seen before. May all that I do bring honor, glory and love to Your heart. In Jesus powerful and redeeming name. Amen.

I love you my brothers and sisters, so very much. It’s a divine privilege to walk with you into the months ahead and rejoice as we see and participate in what God has planned for our hearts, our homes and the world.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
 

Never forget: You are God’s Workmanship! How amazing is that?

Matthew 17 20


Unity Through Worship

12920277_sMy friends, I have so loved reading your comments on this worship series. You have shared your hearts and prayers. I have found myself inspired many times by what you share, have even prayed your words! And I know other have too.

We started this series with discussing Worship is More Than a Song, then moved into talking about Intimacy Through Worship and Living a Lifestyle of Worship. Today we will talk about unity through worship.

First, I want to share my first taste of corporate worship…

Anticipation buzzed in the air and the low rumble of voices. The stadium was packed. Thousands of believers stood ready and waiting to hear Third Day. Though I’d attended concerts before, this was my first Christian concert. Third Day came out, the music started, and soon, to my utter amazement, I stood, arms up like many there, not just singing to songs but worshiping God. Ten thousand strong. We didn't know each other, but we knew God.

I'll never forget that moment years ago. I felt like I had a glimpse of what Heaven would be like and I think I have sought after and hungered for more of it ever since. There is something powerful in corporate worship, about standing with our brothers and sisters in Christ and lifting our voices in song and praise. Just like Scripture says when two or more gather together, our prayers are heard, I believe when voices are raised together in true worship, we invite the presence of God to come as a community unified in love for God and each other and the desire to bring Him glory.

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” — Matthew 18:19-20 NLT

When we worship, He is there among us! Do you believe it?

Are you willing to trust Him with your heart so He can show you His?

This is the place I sense God calling us, His children, to grow the most right now as He is moving, shifting and about to turn things around (click to read about this in my Word of Encouragement post). It's about His children coming together in unified purpose—His purpose—to release the power of God over ourselves, the nations and the world. It is about experiencing a foretaste of Heaven and witnessing the body of Christ in presence and action.

Whether spoken prayers or sung words, this is His promise and our joy to experience His presence, to call out to our God and proclaim our Savior, to honor Him and bring Him great glory. The Creator of the Universe is blessed and pleased when His creation—His children—acknowledge Him.

The exchange is intimate, yet corporate. We stand in the shadow of Heaven to come, yet in the full inheritance of our identity as His children. It is stunning. It is powerful. It is a gift.

Saturday’s post and list talked about humility. Worship is that time to humble ourselves before God to worship in truth and spirit so that we may know Him better and join Him in His purposes.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. — 1 Peter 5:6

I remember as a new believer standing in church or Bible study waiting for the music to be done so we could move on to the better stuff. Now I go to church excited, anticipating this opportunity to worship God with my church family and it is never long enough (as I shared we're in the baby stages of becoming a worshipping church).

My friends, my relationship with God and my kingdom perspective greatly expanded when I began worshiping, truly worshiping, God. I told you in the series I wrote about transforming the mind that God told me once that I would find Him in worship.

It is the truth. We find Him in astounding ways individually and, in a corporate setting, we find the power of His Presence and it is a game changer!

Again, I think I could go on and on here. Share in the comments what you have experienced in corporate worship. I know this kind of worship can be a challenge to find at times—I experience this myself, thus why I love the chance to go to faith conferences or Christian concerts. Or visit another church on occasion.

And be sure to come back Saturday for the conclusion of this series. This is one you won’t want to miss: Spiritual Warfare Through Worship. I will share a story of how I fought the enemy off with worship.

In the meantime, my SUM family, I am praying for our Great God to meet you in worship and show you His glory!
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Walmart Prayer Day

I'm undone. I'm humbled.

The entire team was filled with God's grace and favor. We prayed. We loved. We handed out all of your gifts.

The feedback already is amazing. Men leaving the store said, "Thank you so much for doing this." AND "I will pay this forward."

Message I received an hour later through Facebook: I just received this message from Montserrat, a Temecula resident, about our Walmart Day. I'm undone. She wrote: Were you outside Walmart giving hugs and gift cards? I saw a post on a Temecula group of someone who received one. She Loved the gift card, but the comment that got my attention was when she said she hadn't had a hug in 7 months.

People were so receptive for the most part. Overwhelmed. Some were hesitant. They expected there to be a catch but most just received. And we gave.

We gave the love of Jesus away today.

SUMite family. THANK YOU. You touched heaven today. Okay more later but for now, here are the photos. TURN ON THE SOUND. (share the video and perhaps the world will change because our community believes in LOVE!)

Walmart Prayer Day from Spiritually Unequal Marriage on Vimeo.

I love you so much. Lynn

 

 

Heidi and Lynn
Lynn Donovan and Heidi Holmes (SUMites) Heidi drove from Nevada to pray for people

The Gentle and Astonishing Message In The Snow

Lynn here. Today it's my great honor to share a miraculos story. Please jon me for something rare and beautiful as told by one of our own SUMites, Joanne.

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Joanne MarshWhat a privilege and honor this is for me today to be able to share with you an extraordinary event in my life. This event was the first step for me to help me realize how God can reveal His intimacy and love. 

When I lost my Golden Retriever who was like a child for me, I was devastated. Not only had I lost my canine child I lost my walking partner. I can't even begin to presume how many miles we covered together. After Jake was gone I just had to get myself back out walking again no matter how hard or how lonely it felt. I recall starting down the sidewalk that led from my front door and suddenly as if guided supernaturally, I spun around and went back to the house to grab the camera off the fridge. I do not recall being led to go back for it. Back outside and finally making progress, I felt a heavy burden weighing me down as I walked alone. As I walked, I continued in constant conversation with God. I asked Him to show me a sign that He had Jake with Him. I trusted He did but I just NEEDED to know. I needed to SEE. The grief was so deep that I needed some HOPE. I needed to see with my eyes that indeed, my boy was with God. 

As I walked I thought I was seeing some shapes in the clouds that possibly might have meant something but I finally gave up knowing I was grasping at anything to find comfort . The remainder of my walk was spent with my head hanging downward in heavy concentration on the road under my feet. "Just let me get home because my body feels like it weighs a ton." 

Joanns paw print snowSuddenly I felt as if someone behind me grabbed my head with their two hands and lifted my face up pointing me to  the left to see THIS IMAGE in the field before me. I gasped as my two hands flew to my mouth and my knees buckled. I was so stunned I didn't know whether to laugh or cry? All I knew was THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE SIGN. My Father led me down specific streets without my awareness and led me to this EXACT SPOT. This image in the snow was for me to see and KNOW. God has my boy! 

This experience is an enormous blessing I will always treasure. Because God prompted me to return for my camera, I became aware that this event was to be shared at every opportunity given. I always pray that when we share our stories where God responding to our prayers that others will find great hope. And then they in turn will begin to seek Him in a personal way. And that they will know He is here with us and also SEE He is here with us!

~Joanne (SUMite)


Why We Have Trouble Seeing God's Glory

Why We Have Trouble Seeing God's Glory... By Lynette Duquette (SUMite) 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSome of us in the SUM community were talking about God's word for us in 2014. What specific word is going to be used to propel us this year? I believe mine, through various circumstances, is glory...God's glory, and in these last days there is a hunger for God's glory. The visible, tangible type of glory that is overwhelming. The Hebrew word for glory is kabod. The root word means 'heavy'. I know there have been times during worship that God's glory was so 'heavy' I could hardly move. God's glory is also defined as His riches, power, justice, and majesty. How often do we cry out “show me Your glory”? 

 I said that God gave me the word glory for the year so I started looking up scriptures referencing God's glory. I looked up sermons online about it. Bill Johnson has one posted on You Tube, so I sat down and watched it. As I watched, some of the things he said really gave me a serious gut check. Why? Recently, I obtained a third job doing activities in a nursing home. I love the job, I get to pray for those elderly folks who may be ending their journey on this earth soon. But, I am so busy now! Honestly, my time with the Lord has suffered. 

Two of the quotes that really stuck with me from Bill's sermon is 'Busyness is the enemy of God's glory.' and 'Constant introspection cause us to not see the glory, because we are so focused on ourselves.' 

Luke 10:38-42 says- Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. ESV 

Romans 12:22 says- Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV 

I often wonder what Martha would have seen or experienced had she not been so very busy. Would she have seen a healing? A sinner forgiven? In the eyes of the world, busyness is seen as a place of pride. “Look how much I accomplish!” In the eyes of God though, how much of what we try to accomplish is for the Lord, or for the world? What can we truly accomplish without His presence? Busyness does not mean fruitfulness. It also doesn't just mean all the good we think we are doing, it can mean focusing on the not so good. “I did this wrong, I sinned this way, I'm not good enough.” The lies of the enemy and God's glory cannot exist together. I cannot tell you many times my mind has been busy with those types of thoughts! 

Surprisingly, this is also seen as pride. Any type of self-focus can be considered pride. I looked up the definition of pride, and one of the definitions was a group of lions. This scripture then came to me- 

1Peter 5:8- Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

Wow! The devil lost his place in heaven and being in the presence of God's glory, because of pride! After reading this, do you recognize where God's glory has been hidden from you? Are you unable to see it? What can you change about your busyness to make sure His glory shows up in your life? 

Love to my fellow Sumites,
Lynette

 

I am a mom, wife of an unbeliever, and I came to Christ shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. I enjoy photography, reading and writing. I love to be outdoors and anything having to do with nature and animals. I currently work at a nursing home with dementia patients. My journey was set afire again after meeting Lynn and Dineen in Texas a couple years ago, and I have an insatiable hunger after God! God has been opening new doors and closing others. I never imagine how this this faith journey could be so hard yet so amazing at the same time! 


A Testimony of Kindness

My friends, you are going to love this story. Our very own Lynette Duquette shares her recent encounter and divine appointment to help someone. Read and be inspired! God is so good and loves it when we partner with Him to do things like this!

Me1My Story of Generosity
by Lynette Duquette

I wasn't alone for this, but it had a profound impact on me. Last night I was at my CR step study. We had just finished up and I was sharing that I was still struggling with what happened at my last church. I am having a hard time trusting any spiritual male authority in my life right now. As we were finsihing up, we heard pounding on the door, and being in a bad past of town, we all were a bit scared. We all answered the door together. There stood Jane. She was wearing only pants, a sweater, and a hat. She had sores all over her face and hands. She asked if we had any canned goods, she was hungry, cold and tired as she had been walking for hours. She had to walk about 3 miles to get back to wear she could stay with a friend, but she said her feet were hurting. She looked for a bed in the shelter, but none were available. She was weeping and it broke my heart. We took her downstairs and gave her food, a coat, a scarf and another hat. She couldn't stop saying how grateful she was and how kind we were, we didn't have to do so much. She was saying that people usually didn't show her care and concern the way we did, that she didn't deserve it. I looked her in the eye and said, "Jane, this is how much Jesus loves you."

We ended up giving her a ride to the next city over. My friend drove and I followed, just to be safe as this other city has some bad area too, and that is where Jane was headed. My friend got to talk to the Lord about her, and she is a believer, but circumstances in her life had caused her to question God and His love for her. We dropped her off and both headed home.

I have been unsure of many things lately. Not my faith or God, but not trusting myself to hear Him correctly. As we were driving Jane home, I heard God say "Trust Me, you are right where you need to be." I'm thinking today...God needs me to be here, in this area, at this time." Honestly, I am more in awe by what happened last night than Jane is.

Is that not amazing! Wow, we just never know when opportunities like this will knock on our door and find us out and about in our day. 

6a00d83451ee9f69e201910481a300970c-200wiAnd one final note. If you haven't had a chance to listen to our interviews on Dr. Dobson's Family Talk, the broadcasts are being re-aired and can be accessed and listened to here HERE. Part two is broadcasting today.

Have an amazing weekend, my friends. Come back tomorrow for another story. I'm so looking forward to sharing what Abba did in this divine appointment!

Merry Christmas!
Dineensig


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