99 posts categorized "Holiday"

Tablecloth Of Thanks 2015

I started a Thanksgiving family tradition a few years ago quite by accident. This tradition has become my absolute favorite. I'm sharing it today, as I do every year, so that our new readers can begin this tradition in their home. This is also a Family Faith Tradition I share in our book, Not Alone.

Enjoy.....Lynn

I'ts Never Too Late!

It’s never too late to start a new tradition in your home, especially one which brings honor to the Lord. I have a story to share and a photo. I also want to give you a chance to share some of your holiday traditions or giggles.

Join in today and share a Thanksgiving holiday tradition from your home or share a funny holiday hiccup.

I will share with you that like many newly married young women, I didn’t realize the turkey was stuffed with bagged giblets. Yep, I cook the turkey with the plastic bag and the giblets still inside. We ate it anyway.

Also, three years ago, I set the oven on fire when I moved the giant bird around. I freaked out. My husband came running. The house was crazy, people were yelling, crying and freaking… Perhaps it was only me doing the yelling, crying and freaking. My calm man put the flames out and to this day, I don’t know how he did it because we didn’t own a fire extinguisher.

The next morning I rose before dawn and went shopping at The Home Depot. NO NOT FOR CHRISTMAS… For a fire extinguisher. And now, every year BEFORE I bake the turkey, I check to make sure the extinguisher is charged and ready.

Sheesh!

Today, I'm sharing one of my most favorite family traditions. Here is a post I wrote years ago for the Internet Cafe. Hope you start a family tradition this year. It's NEVER too late to have a Tablecloth of Thanks.

Tablecloth of Thanks 

Many of you know that I am married to an unbeliever. This past May we celebrated 15 years of marriage. Our unequally yoked marriage has had its challenges to say the least. Over the years, however, our ingenious God has maneuvered us through many touchy issues. 

Our disparity becomes more apparent during the holidays. Giving thanks to our Lord in November is a treasured time for me. I name my blessings one-by-one in prayer, thanking God for His lavish abundance poured into our lives. 

Like most wives living in an unequally yoked marriage, I long for my spouse to understand there is a God. To know He is intricately involved in our lives and everything we have is provision of our creator. I have also learned that forcing God upon my husband is a surefire way to push him away. I am careful to respect my husband and simply trust Jesus to reach him in his perfect timing. 

In spite of my husband’s unbelief, I discovered a unique way to draw him into the celebration of thanks, besides through his stomach. He loves turkey. 

Four years ago, I threw a new, pristine-white tablecloth across our dinning room table two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I purchased several colored pens and placed them on top. A new tradition was born, a Tablecloth of Thanks. It began with my daughter. I told her, “I WANT you to write on this tablecloth.” She looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, wondering if her mother had lost her mind. 

“Really,” my smiled reassured. “Write down what you are most thankful for this year. Then write the year, 2004, near your name.” 

She grinned and began to write using several different colors. I joined in and wrote my thanks directly on the beautiful tablecloth. 

Later that evening my husband noticed the scribbles on the tablecloth. I watched as he walked over to read our words. I walked to his side and took his hand. I subtly asked him if he would also write down his thanks. He smiled and said maybe later. 

Finally on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, my husband picked up a pen and wrote; I am thankful for my wonderful family, great friends, and a very happy life. 

Wow! Was he giving thanks to our Lord? I am not sure. However, every year since he has continued to write a thankful list. Last year’s entry reads; I am thankful for all of my blessings…family, friends, and the dogs. 

Imported Photos 00001What? Did he use the word blessings? Small steps such as these lead to the Savior. I can’t wait to read his thankful list this year. 

The Thankful Tablecloth is one of my most prized possessions. Everyone who visits our home during the Thanksgiving holiday contributes to this permanent memorial of thanks. It is a visible praise to the King displayed in our unequally yoked home each November. 

One of my favorite thanks is this: 

2006
I am thankful
to be able to sit
on the couch and have
my people pet me.
Peanut 

Hmmmm, I wonder how the dog grew fingers and learned to write???? 

Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

 

Lord God, I will name my blessings one-by-one….. Jesus… eternal life…. clean water to drink…..capacity to love…..empowerment to forgive….. just for a start….. 

It is never too late to start a new tradition. If you want to start your Tablecloth of Thanks, I have a few helpful hints.

  1. Place a sheet of butcher paper under your tablecloth. (I have a permanent smiley face on my dinning room table from the year 2005)
  2. Use colorfast fabric pens.
  3. Store your tablecloth in an airtight Ziploc bag. 

Thank you my friends for sharing this Holiday treasure with me. I wish you were with me today and could share your thankful heart on the Tablecloth of Thanks.

(My friends, if you could, share this post on Facebook and Twitter. It's truly a wonderful tradition and I want so much for families to have an opportunity to share faith in this way. Thanks, Lynn  - click on the buttons below to share. Hugs)

Also, if you have started a tablecloth already in your home, PLEASE, take a photo and share it in the comments. I would love to see them. Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Promise of Jubilee

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMites:

5775

Jewish Holiday Calendar - Hebrew Year 5775. All Jewish holidays begin the evening before the date specified. In Hebrew calendar a "day" begins and ends at sunset, rather than at midnight. 

Two weeks from today is Rosh Hashanah. Monday, September 14, 2015 represents the New Year according to the Jewish calendar. This season, September into October has been a significant season of change in my life in years past. And this year I’m expecting “BIG”, Super-Ginormous things in the Kingdom of God.

In the next several posts I want to share some of my thoughts about the season ahead. I’m convinced that we, Christ followers, stand upon the precipice of the supernatural, restoration, redemptions and fulfillment of persona promises from God that are destined for His children. Last year I shared my thoughts about this significant time of year. It is worth reading so that you understand where I’m coming from today. (Click here)

I think we need to cover some historical ground in order to understand what is happening in the Spiritual realm. Why do we want to understand what is happening in the realm of the Lord? Because our earthly lives are deeply affected by the decrees, dispensations and purposes of God. When we walk in understanding of God’s purposes we grow in our faith. Also, we aren’t taken off guard by the unexpected and we can thrive when the world is in turmoil. I truly believe this! AMEN   

2014 has been the year of the Shmita.

2015 is the year of Jubilee.

I brief description of these follows as taken from Wikipedia:

The Jubilee (Hebrew yovel יובל) year is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years), and according to Biblical regulations had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel; there is some debate whether it was the 49th year (the last year of seven sabbatical cycles, referred to as the Sabbath's Sabbath), or whether it was the following (50th) year. Jubilee deals largely with land, property, and property rights. According to Leviticus, slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.

Leviticus 25:8-13New International Version (NIV)

The Year of Jubilee

Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.

Why in the world am I sharing a history lesson with you? Because these years aren’t just about history. God’s timeline remains vital, true and important to all mankind.

My friends, we the believers who are alive right now will bear witness to a Jubilee year. As we end this season of rest and for many it was also a season of tremendous spiritual warfare, we are about to embark on a profound moment in time. We will behold the great promise and reward because we pressed through the torment, the warfare, and the persecution of our faith.

Hallelujah! And AMEN!

And I’ve been experiencing glimpses of what is to come. I’m sharing my personal story over at lynndonovan.org. But I want to tell you what I believe the Lord is preparing to give and reveal to all of you.

But, alas….. Already this post is way too long.

Friday, holds the promises. And it’s not too late to pray for your share of the Jubilee. I will lay it all out on Friday and then we are going to walk into this year of restoration together and bring others with us.

What say ye? Are you in?

Also, who will fast with me on September 14? If you want in on this, let me know in the comments too!

I love you SUMites. We are living in perhaps the Best time to live on earth since Jesus! Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


July 4th: Renewing Our Hope and Trust in God

4thJulyDear SUM family, Lynn and I hope and pray the series on the Books of Peter has encouraged and strengthened you. We enjoyed sharing this journey with you, and Lynn and I both feel so honored to be a part of this community and to be praying for you. Your requests Monday have moved our hearts so deeply, and we know they have moved our King Jesus' heart too. He died for us, He lives for us, He cries with us, He heals us. We believe this in the Name of Mighty Jesus, and as His Word stands,

But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them. — Isaiah 52:6 NLT

My friends, this is the truth we stand on and right now as many of are grappling with the recent supreme court ruling. Lynn and I want you to know that we are too. We have felt our own grief along with a heavy grief that we can only describe as coming from the spiritual realm. We are processing this with hearts and minds turned to Abba for wisdom and guidance, and we are determined to stand on the truth and in the great love and hope of Jesus above all.

He is faithful, my friends. As I walked and prayed on Monday, the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart that the Lord is releasing hope for His children right now. And as I looked up into the sky, I heard His still soft voice say,

"I reign supreme."

Things are shifting and changing, yes, but Our God is the same as always. 

So as we celebrate Independence Day in America, my friends, let's renew our hope and trust in God. He reigns supreme and nothing changes that. I know it's challenging right now, as many of us are walking in places of disappointment and defeat. Next week, Lynn and I have some very encouraging words to share with you, things the Holy Spirit has impressed upon us to share to encourage, uplift and strengthen you so we can persevere and run this race well together as God's family.

Lynn and I are taking the rest of the week off, but we'll still be hanging out in the comments. As of next week, I will be switching my posting days to Tuesday and Thursday and Lynn will continue to post on Monday and Friday. We feel this will better serve our community. We hope you think so too.

And just a heads up. We have something very special planned for August. Our Lord is so good. He is working to put things into place to equip you, my friends. Lynn and I are excited to share this study that we believe will help you to equip your children in navigating the waters of this changing world and stand for God's truth. Right in their schools. We will be using our book Not Alone as reference to do this.

Lots happening, SUMites. Lynn and I truly believe our SUM family is here for such a time as this. Have an amazing holiday, hug your hubby and kiddos tight and tell them how thankful you for them. Perhaps the face of freedom is shifting in this country, but our freedom in Christ is the same as ever, my friends.

We love you, SUMites! See you on Monday!
Dineen and Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


For You Mom!! Happy Mother's Day

For every mom. I love you! Hugs, Lynn

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Update and A Mother's Day Challenge

Hello SUMite Nation: (Challenge is below the update - read on!)

Well, you may have noticed if you are a regular subscriber that we changed our email provider to Mail Chimp. And do my great disappointment, Mail Chimp was unable to create our emails with photos and paragraph breaks. Grrrrr

So as of today, we are with Feedblitz our old service. How does this affect you? It doesn’t unless you subscribed or unsubscribed within the last three days. So, if you are a new subscriber, please subscribe again using the “Never Miss A Post” button in the sidebar -----. Thank you.

Also, a few of you have made donations toward these expenses. Your heart for this ministry and support mean the world to Dineen and I. I will be sending out an email thank you later this week. God bless you! THANK YOU!

As for other changes, in the next week or so we will be uploading our redesign to make SUM mobile friendly. Be patient if things still are wonky. We are working on it. Send me an email if you notice something that isn’t working in a week if it persists.

Funny that so many things happened in the last two weeks that required my “Tech hat.” I prayed God would give me the brain power to do all this myself. Guess what?

HE DID!

Other News:

Please, please visit my video CHALLENGE on MyKLOVE radio app. I have a unique Mother’s Day challenge that’s another opportunity to share your faith with your kids! In fact, I’m going to do this for my grown children. So, look up the app on the store and download it.

I still shake my head in wonder at the gates the Lord opens for Dineen and I. The “MyKLOVE contributor” privilege utterly moves my heart to unending thanks to my Father. My friends, the Lord has many gates for us to walk through and we need only take the keys from His hands.

Tomorrow watch for a post from Dineen about her own mother and on Friday, tune in for something hilarious! I love you so much. In my prayers the past two days, I have been storming the heavens in petitions for you and your families. I love you, Lynn

Not Alone2 copy

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Great Gifts Of The Unequally Yoked

Hello SUM Nation: 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comI just wonder…… 

Can you perhaps come to understand the unique and special blessings of the unequally yoked? 

I bet someone just read this and rolled their eyes? Anybody??? 

As a woman who has walked this journey now for more than two decades, I truly understand how very difficult it can be. I have lived through the pain, rejection, fear and confusion. I know that some days it can take everything we have to hold on to hope. Yet as a veteran, I have come to realize the unique and beautiful blessings of this journey of faith. 

If you scroll through the comments from Friday’s post, you too will understand. The intercessors who prayed for this community are amazing. (Thank you Teresa, Merlene and Joanne). 

Family here on the web, you have been brought before the King of Kings by many of us here. We love you and we truly care about your life, family and your faith. Jesus stood with all of us as we brought you individually along with your pre-believer spouse, your children, family members and friends before the Mercy Seat. God listened as we petitioned for you and your loved ones. 

We SUMites have learned to pray. We have gained great faith as well. And our hope in Jesus soars above so many others who are of faith. During this season of miracles, take a minute to reflect on what gifts and goodness have been born out of your difficult marriage. 

I know that I would not have the kind of faith nor the amazing experiences I have with God if I had married a believing spouse. I just know. In fact, it is likely that most of my life I could have leaned on my believing spouse for faith and missed the hard work, perseverance and prayer that are required to move in the gifts of the Spirit that God has honored me with today. 

As I have reflected on this community and the love we have, a story that deeply touched my heart came forward and flooded my soul. So, I want to share it with you again today.

 

This is worth the time to read. 

November, 2013: (Lynn) Today I have a question for you. How many times have you set down in church and looked around the sanctuary at the couples seated together, husband and wife, and felt defeated, disappointed, and pain? 

I know this place of pain existed in my life for many years. And I really didn’t understand why God was ignoring my prayers and my pleas for the salvation of my husband. And why He didn’t see my pain and longing for a “normal” Christian home. 

That was until about two years ago and I heard a woman share her personal story and as I listened it changed everything. Today, I’m sharing this story with you so that you might understand a little more, about the heart of our Father, and His love for us, the unequally yoked. 

Two years ago I was part of the leadership team for our church’s annual women’s retreat. Prior to the retreat, the leadership team would meet once a week for eight weeks on a Wednesday evening and have Bible study together. Every other week, the team welcomed a guest speaker, an ordinary woman from our congregation. 

Well on this particular night, we welcomed Carol Mahaney. And Carol proceeded to tell her story. And it’s likely the rest of the women in the room were moved a bit by her story, but I was leveled to the ground, in my spirit. 

You see, Carol married her high school sweetheart. He was a believer. She was a believer. They attended church together every Sunday. They tithed, they studied the Bible, they prayed together, they were everything I dreamed and hoped and wanted for my own life. They raised two girls to adulthood as Christians. Carol said she had a wonderful life and she leaned on her husband for everything and she utterly adored him. She said she loved her church family she felt absolutely blessed by God. 

But in 2008, Carol’s husband unexpectedly died. She was devastated. Additionally this was the year that the economy crashed and as Carol had never managed her finances before, she was overwhelmed as her finances were in chaos. Devastated by grief and lost in a maze of paperwork, banking decisions and taxes, she hit bottom and there was no longer a husband to save her. 

Carol looked up and said, “That’s when I met Jesus.” 

I looked at Carol astonished. And I sat in my chair as my head reeled. Carol was 63 years old and she admits in front of all of us that she lived the Christian life with a believing husband for 63 years but at age 63 for the first time she met Jesus. 

What is so compelling about Carol story for me is that she had the life I thought I always wanted. She attended church with her husband, raising her kids in church, tithing, all things Christianeese but she really didn’t meet the King of Kings until she turned 63 years of age. She merely “played” church and her husband’s faith was enough for her…….. 

For 63 years….. 

Instantly, God moved my spirit. He made me realize that I could have lived a Christian life with a very shallow faith thinking I was doing all the right things but never truly “knowing” Christ. 

I know walking this unequally yoked journey is very difficult. I still have very difficult days. I struggle with my husband’s media choices, I still miss him by my side at church, etc. BUT I would choose this journey again over the life Carol had until age 63 because I truly know Jesus. 

I grieved for Carol because for 63 years she “lived” the Christian life or so it seemed. But it wasn’t until the death of her spouse and a personal crisis that brought her into of living vibrant relationship with Jesus. 

My friends, our difficulties are what God has given us to push us, pull us, help us to surrender and to seek Him out for rescue, and then to live in His Presence. As I think about Carol’s life and marriage, it isn’t worth it to have a marriage that is easy if it means that I live most of my life without truly knowing Jesus. 

I would sign up again for this unequally yoked thing, over 63 years of playing “church.” 

I’m convinced we will truly see that our challenging marriage is singularly, a divine assignment with generational ramifications, for us and our entire family and more people than we realize. 

1 John 3:1  See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 

I love you so much my friends. Today, don't doubt God loves you and that He has your life in His hands. Ask Him where you need to surrender and ask Him how to love Him more. 

God is good and His ways are always best for His children. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


A Season Of Miracles. A Great and Unexpected Story!

Hello SUMite Nation, 

My friends, it’s the season of miracles. And I have a story for you. 

Luke 2 11

Most of you know that I have been really ill. I have prayed a lot about these weird and frequent illnesses that have plagued myself and my family since August. Remember my daughter had the flu, then pneumonia and then a cold. Little Elise has been ill. My entire house was ill over thanksgiving including my poor mother who came for a visit. She saw the doctor today as well. Bronchitis…  Sheesh and good grief!!!! 

This assignment from the enemy to keep me from ministry and writing ends today. And I have received some amazing prayer support in the last couple of weeks (thank you). I’m praying from this day forward that I will never be ill again. 

And today just to affirm this prayer, God surprised me with something I’d never have expected in a million years. He’s kinda cool that way! 

I have been dealing with an eye infection and it’s been pretty bad. After a couple of weeks it still hasn’t cleared, so it’s off to the doctor’s office again this morning. My regular physician is booked so I see a new doctor. 

He greets me with a smile and a handshake. I start to tell him about this crazy thing going on in my eye. And somehow in that conversation I say, “I’ve been praying for my healing but this ornery thing is persisting. I thought a doctor should have another look at it.” 

“Oh, what church to you attend? He asks and then we launch into the most amazing conversation about faith. He asks about my writing and I tell him about my pre-believer and our book Winning Him Without Words

He tells me that it was the same for him and his wife. She came to faith and he remained and unbeliever. But because she prayed for him, he came to faith. Amen. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah! 

As we finish up our visit and he looks at my eye, then types a prescription into the computer. Then he says, “I want to pray for you now.” 

“Oh yes, Doctor, please do.” 

Dr. Casten stands, walks over to me, places his hand on my shoulder and prays with Holy Spirit power for my physical healing. Then you know what he does? 

He prays for my husband, by name, asking for his salvation! 

Hallelujah and amen! Yes, Lord Jesus. AMEN 

It’s a season for miracles. Never in a million years would I have expected my physician to pray for my healing and also for the salvation of my man. BUT I serve such a fantastic God. He delights me in fantastic and unexpected ways. 

Every day is an adventure with the King! 

And now I feel fantastic. It’s almost like I can feel the curse of sickness has broken and I’m fired up to pray like never before. 

In this season of miracles, Lord Jesus, I’m asking for every single person who leaves a name and names of unsaved loved ones in the comments, I’m asking for not only their complete salvation but that also they receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit which ignites a fire and passion in their heart. 

In the powerful and mighty name above all names. Jesus of Nazareth! AMEN! 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

SUMites I will write more about the spirit of confusion and more about our season of miracles in the days ahead. The posts may be sporadic and unscheduled but my heart is filled with love for you and a great passion to help many find healing and deliverance. AND I’m especially moved to pray for our pre-believers and all of our family who need Jesus. So just travel along with me. It’s a blast living the believer’s life! 

I love you so much. SO MUCH. Have an amazing day in His Presence. 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Spirit Of Confusion

Hello SUMites: 

Thank you for your grace as Dineen and I have been absent from our home here on the web in the last few days. Dineen is moving this week to Florida. I checked in with her today and she expects to land near San Antonio this evening. I have been fighting an ornery cold that has persisted for two weeks. And everyone in our house has come down with this beast. I’m feeling a bit better today. Thank you for your prayers. 

Thank you for praying and loving one another in our absence. Some of you, like Joanne and a few others, consistently step in and cover for us in the comments and on Facebook. THAT is what the body of Christ looks like in action. Neat. 

My friends, December is here. Say what? We are now entering into a very busy time of year. We are also in a special season. It’s this time of year that more people are open to the love and truth of Jesus Christ. So while Dineen is traveling and settling into her new place, I will try to write to cover two subjects close to my heart. On Mondays and Fridays I’m going to share my thoughts about some spiritual challenges that keep us from growing in our faith and also affect our marriage. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, time permitting, I want to talk about how the Christmas season is a season to share our faith with our spouse and our kids. 

How does that sound? Please be patient with me if I don’t hit the posting timeline perfectly. It’s a busy month and already I have commitments to attend a ton of events. And more than anything, as I tackle the series on the spiritual realms, I must, must, hear from the Lord. I only want to share what I’m hearing from the Father. 

Okay? 

Okay.. 

Let’s get started. 

2 timothy 1 7 photoThe Spirit of Confusion 

As we delve into this study, I want to wrap my arms of love around you and tell you that you are here and part of this community because of divine destiny. You have been chosen by the very voice of God to be part of the discussion in the weeks ahead. Your name was spoken and one of two things is destined to be yours. One; freedom from oppression and two; the knowledge and anointing to help others to become free. 

Hallelujah! 

In this house there is NO judgment. If you see yourself in some of the scenarios or conditions I describe in this series, there is NO CONDEMNATION. Consider yourself touched by the Lord that He has decreed your freedom day. I will not judge. I will be absolutely open to your honest questions and your request for prayer if you find you need freedom from a certain demonic influence. 

Agreed? 

Agreed. 

With all of that stated as our ground rules, let me ask you a few questions.

Do you struggle to read the Bible? When you read the Word is it confusing to you and you grow frustrated and give up quickly? Does it seem to you that often your world is swirling around you? I mean by that, do you feel like everyone else “gets” what’s going on and you never do? Is your home chaotic? Is your job a constant upheaval and uncertainty? Do you feel like you are confused often? And does this confusion lead to fear? 

I know that many of us could answer yes to some of these questions during different seasons in our lives. But I want to speak to those of our House to seem to be continually in a swirling storm of confusion which leads to fear. I’m especially drawn to those who try to read God’s Word and it is always confusing thus that’s why you never read it. 

If anyone can answer yes to most of these questions, I want to let Jesus bring some clarity to your life today. I’ve come to realize that many times when you sit down to read the Bible and its confusing and you just can’t comprehend what its saying; you are likely dealing with a spirit of confusion. It’s a demonic spirit whose relentless assignment is to keep your life in a continual upheaval. Its mission is to leave you frustrated, uncertain and to muddle your thoughts. 

How many of you feel better already just knowing it’s not your brain. It’s not because you are stupid. Your confusion isn’t a permanent disability either.  

(I hear angels shouting right now over you: FREEDOM). Your freedom is here. 

In order to find freedom from this demonic influence and all others, we need to chat about how the demonic realm can bare influence in our lives. Can it have influence when we are Christians? Are we defenseless against a demonic power? How do we gain our freedom, specifically? 

Well I have the answers to these questions and more. And I have first-hand experience in dealing with the demonic and with deliverance. It’s strange but not scary. In fact, by the time we finish this series, you won’t be afraid of these petty evil spirits, you will be equipped and empowered to remove them from power. Hallelujah and amen. 

It’s imperative we understand fully the spiritual realms. If we are unaware of the devils schemes, we can’t pray against them. AND we must be equipped because we are the sole believer who must war for our spouse and children. I know you can war for your family and win. I know this because I have lived it. I have many stories to share that I pray will be more ammunition in your arsenal to defeat the devil and bring freedom and victory to your home. 

For today, I want to leave those who believe they are contending with a spirit of confusion a few words of love and freedom. One, purchase a Bible in a translation that is easy to understand, The New Living Bible, is a great choice. Stay out of the Old King James until you get the basics down. And two, believe this truth: You are destined to live a life of calm and live in wisdom not confusion. You are a child of God. Your birthright is righteousness, peace and joy. You are entitled as part of your Holy inheritance to walk in wisdom. 

THAT IS THE TRUTH. 

So beginning today, let these scriptures become your life’s cry: 

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. —Ephesians 1:17 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. —James 1:5 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. —2 Corinthians 10:5 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. —2 Timothy 1:7 

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD. —Isaiah 11:2 

My friends, do any of you need prayer is this area? Leave me a comment. Have any of you struggled with this spirit and found freedom, share how? Do any of you have more scripture verses that bring freedom from confusion, share them in the comments. 

Powerful Lord Jesus. You have given your followers, all of us, the power and authority to cast out evil spirits. (Luke 9:1&2) Lord, teach us. Equip us further and let us do Your work here on earth and bring freedom, wisdom, love and life to those around us who are suffering in the dark. In Your powerful name, Jesus. Amen. 

Watch this video and learn more about Luke 9:1&2.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Random - Rosh Hashanah

It’s Wednesday and time for another post. Yikes. I haven’t had time to respond to all of the dreams that were posted in the comments on the September 23rd post. Please be patient with me as I want to post a reply comment to every one of them.

So today, I am only leaving you with a few random thoughts to consider. On Friday, I’m expecting our Lord to whisper again as He often does on the Day of Atonement.

Here is my randomness and in no particular order:

  • I do NOT believe in a name it and claim it gospel. What I do believe is God places gifts and dreams in each of us. Satan steals our gifts and dreams and in this season of Rosh Hashanah we are silencing the lies and reclaiming what God has given us. (BTW, no one has complained to me about me teaching a name it and claim it gospel. I just felt like I wanted to be clear regarding the intent on this series. Thanks for listening. *grin*)
  • The letters, cards, list are rolling in. So many, many of us have similar hopes and dreams. And so many are hopes, dreams and prayers that do not benefit us in any way. They are selfless hopes and prayers for other people that we love. SUMites are kinda cool that way.
  • Here’s a photo:
  • Dream List Oct 2014 RH
  • I emailed Bill Johnson yesterday. Jesus it’s all in Your hands now.
  • Scripture verse is from Dineen today:

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told. —Habakkuk 1:5

 

More than anything, I hear the Father’s urgency during this season. He wants us to just spend time with him and to get to know Him more. He wants us to open hearts to allow Him to know us deeply, intimately. His great desire for us is to experience His love, peace and joy. But we must do our part. Part of it is obedience, part of it is silencing the devil and the lies, embracing truth and having even just a tiny bit of faith, a mustard seed amount, and step into the next season and adventure He has planned.

I pray that the entire SUMite community will rise and step into their inheritance, claim the power, love and our identity as His beloved child.

Then we, The SUMites, will represent Him well.

See you Friday.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

I believe in the power of fasting. If at all possible, please plan to fast from sunup to sundown on Saturday. I’m convinced you will hear from God.

And today is the last day to mail me your dream list:

Lynn Donovan
43952 Barletta St.
Temecula, CA 92592

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


What Does This High Holy Day Mean To Believers Today?

Gang,

The Dream Lists are arriving and I know more are on the way. In my head I saw these lists as I prayed over them and placed them before the Lord. They became shimmering with gold dust as they were anointed with power and the purposes of God.

I am taking these lists with me and Dineen and I will pray over them and then have them with us at the Open Heavens Conference. It is our goal to ask Bill Johnson to lay hands upon them for anointing. How cool is that. We will see if Jesus works that out for us.

But it’s neither me nor Bill who will dust them with glory. It is Jesus. He sees your heart and your yearning to serve His Kingdom. So let’s say that simple yes and let Jesus loose on this world through our hands and hearts. Woo Hoo!!  I can’t wait to see all that comes from this.

Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur 2014 begins in the evening of Friday, October 3
and ends in the evening of Saturday, October 4.

Hebrews 12 28
According to my research this is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar year. This period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is also considered the Days of Awe and a time for reflection and repentance.

What I’m discovering personally are a couple of breakthroughs. One, the breakthrough in my creativity and second, the Lord has placed me on an interesting food diet for the next 40 days. Weird, yes, I know. (I will share more about this development later.)

MOSTLY I have heard undeniably that my new year will bring many new adventures but God has asked me now to get serious about obedience.

Yes, obedience.

I have a couple of things in my life that I’m holding on to that I know God has asked me to remove. They are little things such as eating and drinking habits that to anyone else, they are completely fine and normal. However, in my life, God knows they are holding me back from breakthrough and thus they have become sin and I am in disobedience.

Yikes. Please tell me I’m not alone in this mess.

Well, through this difficult year of brokenness I believe the Lord is showing me His patience but He has also shown me where I haven't taken ground from the enemy because I’m not living in full obedience. I want to obey. And there are days I do obey however, there are days I whisper to myself, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. This isn’t really a sin. It’s not like I’m lying or cheating….. It’s really not a big deal.”

Gang, this message here is mainly for me ------> If we want to hear God’s voice more, move in His Spirit, and see the miracles then we must obey His voice when He speaks.

If we want God to move in our dreams, then we need to be trustworthy to God. If He speaks to us and we know clearly it is Him asking us to do something such as a new step in our faith or removing sin from our lives, or leaping into our impossible dreams, we must be a mature believer who will obey when our King speaks.

The Day of Atonement is a time to take an account of your life. Bring areas of His calling and areas of obedience before the Lord and come into agreement with Him. So, let’s pray this week toward that purpose in our lives. Toward His purposes in our lives.

Ask God this week where you need to be in repentance and where is he calling you to be in obedience. This is what I’m praying for in my life right now. Because after this Saturday, October 3rd, I’m planning to see and be part of the astonishing and impossible workings of God.

How about you?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Also, consider fasting sunrise to sunset on Saturday. Don’t forget to postmark your Dream List to me no later than Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lynn Donovan
43952 Barletta Street
Temecula, CA 92592

The obedient always obey God when He first speaks. —Smith Wigglesworth (1914)

One final note: I’ve struggled for many years with a specific area of obedience and I know how very difficult it is to overcome something that you like but is actually harming you. I have experience in this now and I feel a series forming in my mind to help us escape the hold our habits have upon us. So take heart. If you are wanting to be obedient but just don’t know how, we will be talking about that shortly. And get ready for some warfare because that is where many of us will find our freedom - finally! It’s going to be good!!!! Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Dream BIG! Don't Miss This Chance To Dream With God

Rosh Hashanah 2014 begins in the evening of Wednesday, 
S
eptember 24 and ends in the evening of Friday, September 26.

Do You Dream?

I know we all dream when we sleep. However, it is rare that I remember my dreams. I know that God speaks, even today, through our dream life. And many of you have an active night life *grin*. (Acts 2:17)

For many believers, because they are so busy during the day, they rarely sit quietly before God and listen, so it’s only at night, when we are still that we are positioned to hear the still small voice of God. (1 Kings 19:11)

But for me I can’t seem to recall my dreams very often. So what is really cool about that is that God wakes me up on occasion. Today as we move into the “New Year” I want to share what I heard God whisper to me a few months ago. And as I sat quietly before the Lord this morning, it was as though I heard Him shouting now that what I heard is not only for just me but also for you.

So a few months back, I woke from a sound sleep in the middle of the night. It was dark in the bedroom and for some reason I became completely awake and opened my eyes. It felt as though the Holy Spirit was standing over me for hours, waiting for my eyes to open and it was at that precise moment, that I heard, “You are My craftsmanship.”

Whoa!!!

I laid in bed staring at the dark celling, pondering this message. Craftsmanship? Craftsmanship? What does that mean? Is that in the Bible? Why are you telling me this Lord?

The next morning the Lord directed me to a specific verse. And wouldn’t you know, it’s in EPHESIANS CHAPTER TWO. I can’t tell you right now how profound that is to me. I have a post planned for next week about this very chapter.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (KJV) —Ephesians 2:10 

I’ve looked at the definition in the Greek and various translations and the word, workmanship, is defined. As a poem (poiēma —isn’t that cool), A work, a craft, Art, trade. 

We are God’s art, His Poem, His work, His craft. We are created for good works as the verse continues. My friends, each and every one of us was created…….

To create. 

We were born to create. To be creative, to dream up crazy, wild, imaginative stuff and create something beautiful, something useful, powerful, lovely, fun, transformative. We were born for THIS purpose. What I’ve come to know is that the great deceiver has stolen that truth from God’s children. The devil has lied to so many through a parent or teacher who said we couldn’t make anything worthy. Or that to be creative you must sing, dance or paint. 

Creativity is everywhere and I promise you this, you have been given a gift to create. It may be with drafting, with math and money, the ability to gather an effective team, teaching, decorating your house, parenting well. You may be able to sing, write or paint. These are all part of God’s great works that He created for us to do here on earth before the world began. 

So today as we pass before the Lord on this, The first day of His New Year, let’s dream. 

Let’s Dream Big.


Dream ChallengeI want you to take out a piece of paper. On the Top write Rosh Hashana 2014-2015 Dream List: 

Then start writing out every dream you have for your life. Nothing is off limits. Dream Big. Write down even the dreams you’ve dared not share with anyone. This year we are going to dream with our Papa and allow Him to stir many of these dreams into life in the next 12 months. 

Do you want to see if our God moves upon our dreams? Then get your paper and start writing. So far, I have 23 dreams written down. I will share a few with you to give you a taste that I dream BIG with God.

 

  • Experience “The More” of God. I want more and more….
  • Signs and wonders, gold dust and glory clouds and Your name honored among the nations
  • Publish my next book – You Make Me Brave
  • Second book -  Loneliness in Marriage
  • Bring my body into full submission
  • A cabin in the mountains
  • Holy spirit encounter for my children
  • See angels
  • A great marriage for my daughter in the future
  • Great marriage for my son in the future
  • Financial ability to pay for college
  • Understanding of the three keys I’ve received
  • To dream more
  • To laugh more
  • To love everyone
  • To never be offended again, by anyone.
  • Lay hands on more people and watch Jesus heal them
  • And mostly…. The complete and Holy Spirit baptism and salvation of my husband, Mike 

Okay, was this enough to get you started? Today or tomorrow, go to your secret place (your quiet place) with God and say: 

“Lord, I’m ready to dream. Show me what we might do this year. I cast off all doubt and I demand the silence of voice of the enemy that is trying to keep me from dreaming Your dreams. I choose to believe in You and Your Word that says I have good works for my life that You prepared before the world began.” 

Let’s create my friends. Many of you are supposed to write, to sing, to unite the church, to speak to nations, to draw. You are destined to raise children who will soar for the Kingdom, to plant and harvest, sow, reap. You are meant for greatness. Do you hear me? YOU ARE MEANT FOR GREATNESS! Let’s step out of fear or our comfort. Silence the lies and become the child, the blessed and creative child, of the Most High God. 

In Jesus name. 

Okay, get started. Leave me at least five of your dreams in the comments and I will pray in agreement over them. And my friends, I feel as though God wants me to hold your list in my hands in the next several weeks, to take them with me to the Open Heavens Conference and receive anointing. So write out a second list, (must be in your handwriting. I don’t know why but I sense it must be penned by you), mail it to me. I will pray with passion over it and take it with me in October and then send it back to you later in the month. 

What do you think? 

Okay, five of your dreams in the comments. See you there. Oh and pray for one other person and their dreams today. Leave them a comment and say, I prayed for you. 

Can I just say, THIS IS THE BEST FAMILY ON THE WEB. I love you SUMites. You are amazing and I am so excited to see where our dreams take us in the next few months. Love and hugs forever, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Lynn Donovan
43952 Barletta St.
Temecula, CA 92592

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Ugly Word for 2014

Hi SUMers!  So, ahem, yep..... Authentic post and a challenge for the New Year. Yes, you read that right...The New Year. 

I PRAY you are set on a new path in the next few weeks…. Join me on Mondays and Fridays until Yom Kippur for we are on the edge of our seat, waiting for the King to set things in motion… 

Let’s get started, 

Habakkuk 1 5Many of you participated in our annual week of fasting as we kicked off 2014. If you are new to our community, you are in for a profound experience in January as we fast together and listen to the Lord’s voice. You will be amazed. 

Anyhoo, I know at the beginning of the year many of you, ask God for a word, a single word, for the year during this time of prayer and fasting (Dineen always receives a word for her year).

Well, I will be upfront about this asking for a “word” business. I usually don’t ask. 

My thinking; why limit what God has to say for my life to one word?? However, this past January I kinda asked God during my prayer time for a word. I just wanted to see if I would get one… Is that wrong to share? Sounds funny…. But…. 

I prayed, “God if you have a word for my year ahead, what is it?” 

Well guess what? Yep, indeedy, He answered, “Refinement.” 

Can I just say as I sit here in September….. “Man, what a bummer word!” 

And I will tell you this. Indeed it has been a year full of refinement. And this refinement of my character, thoughts, pre-conceived ideas, judgments, friendships, expectations, and pride…. Actually began last fall…. And it’s been a grueling, LONG, year. 

I experienced life-changing grief, nearly lost one of my closest friends, my son divorced while living in my home, and there were a number of other enormous mountains I faced. I haven’t cried this much in a single year since I can't remember. Sheesh! And what is interesting is that I've discovered that I'm not alone in this year of suffering. Many believers, including most of our SUM community have experienced one of the most difficult years in their faith walk as well. Makes me ponder, What is going on in the spiritual realm? 

I assure you that I will not be asking for a word again at the beginning of the year. I would rather not know. 

You are probably wondering why I’m talking about the New Year in September, right? 

Well next Friday at sundown, September 25, 2014 is Rosh Hashanah. It’s the New Year according to God’s calendar (Jewish New Year). And I’ve been particularly interested to learn that many Jewish people and some evangelicals consider this a time when every person appears before God. 

From Wikipedia: In Jewish liturgy, Rosh Hashanah leads to Yom Kippur, which is described as "the day of judgment" (Yom ha-Din) and "the day of remembrance" (Yom ha-Zikkaron). Some midrashic descriptions depict God as sitting upon a throne, while books containing the deeds of all humanity are opened for review, and each person passes in front of Him for evaluation of his or her deeds

Okay, now I don’t know about all of this because it isn’t in His Word. But I am intrigued to think that God looks upon His children at the beginning of the year and perhaps He decrees new adventures, more depth in our relationship with Him and others, growth, discovering our destiny and ministries. So, I’m praying with passion at this time in my life that Rosh Hashanah 2014 is the close of a year of refinement. I’m praying that every hardship, trial, struggle and the many tears will be redeemed in the year ahead. 

I’ve learned so much from this year of wrestling. I’ve learned to let go of offense. I know, that I know, that I know —God will be my Holy Justice. In valleys of loneliness, He is all that I need. I’ve let go of judgment and comparison. When I’m accused falsely, He will be my fortress. And that no matter how messed up relationships can get; God is in the business of restoration. 

I’ve watched God undo me and humble me, turn me around and then restore relationships that have been badly broken for years and years. He has healed hurts I have born my entire adult life and restored me to many. He has grieved my heart over broken relationships, then commanded me to see restoration and reconciliation and furthermore to pray for people who hurt me or whom I’ve hurt. Gulp! It’s been tough. But, I’m truly thankful for walking this valley. 

I will likely share some of these stories in the few posts ahead as we come closer to the “New Year.” You will be astounded. I am! 

So as the year 5,774 draws to a close, I’m trusting God that His year of refinement is accomplished and that my heart was refined through the fire.

So as we approach Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, I want to share what I believe He is whispering to His children about our future. Stay tuned...

We, the Body of Christ, are living in the best time in the history of the world.  

It's great to be alive!

My friends, are you ready for this year to be over? Do you want a peek at what I hear God telling me is ahead for those who love Him? Stay tuned and remove your shoes for we are about to tread on Holy Ground.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Your Breakthrough Is Here - Passover

Hi SUMite Family, 

This week I’m departing from our Joshua and The Walls series. Today I want to share my thoughts and prayer about Passover. And on Friday, I’m sharing a glimpse I had of The Wedding of the Son of God and His Bride. (It’s way cool and perfect for Good Friday. Be sure to stop in then.) 

What is Passover? Passover is a festival of freedom. It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the Seder, which occurs on the first night. 

As believers we know we are not under the Old Testament law. We are living in the age of grace because of the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. And as a person who loves God and ponders His ways and thoughts, I’m thinking that many of the ancient feasts and celebrations that He originated still hold meaning and expectation. 

This year’s Passover holds significance to me personally. You see, since December I have been praying for many of you in this SUMite family. Many of you by name. And I mean ALL of you, even if you have never made any personal contact with me nor left your name in a comment. I have prayed for you. 

And this is why. 

Breakthrough is coming for many of you with THIS Passover. 

At the end of last year many of my brothers and sisters in Christ were in the midst of enduring and trying to just survive tremendous spiritual warfare. Many of you have battled a life that seems to have run over you. Circumstances have left you defeated and bereft of hope. And you have been in this dark pit for months now. Many of you are specifically facing crippling financial stresses. There are many who are wrangling with overwhelming anxiety, dark depression, abusive spouses and heartbreak because of wondering children and a litany of other demonic tortures. 

Well my friends, I’ve been praying for you. I’ve been contending for you. For months. I’ve sacrificed in the quiet of the early morning as I beseeched the God of the universe to silence the enemy and bring freedom to the many of you who are held captive and as prisoners of this life’s evils.

My prayers began in December and as I marched through January I began to hear the Lord tell me they will lift. There is a change, a shift, which is ordained of heaven that will happen at Passover. 

THAT’S TOMORROW! 

I’ve been praying for a breakthrough. A breakthrough for many. I’ve been contending for this shift over the home of _________________________ (insert your name because I’ve prayed it.) My breakthrough, although contended for in private and sacrificed in prayer, over the past months will also bring breakthrough to many others. MANY OTHERS. 

THAT’S how our God’s Kingdom rolls!!!!!! 

The honest prayers of one can bring breakthrough for hundreds. I earnestly believe this with all of my heart. So today my friends, if you need this breakthrough to move into a new season with the Lord, declare it now and out loud. 

Father God, I receive this breakthrough on this day. This is the day that You Passover this earth and free me from the grips of the enemy. Lord, and free others from the terror of the evil one. Today, Lord, I receive my deliverance just as you delivered our ancestors long ago. You freed them from the tyranny of slavery and gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. Today, Lord, I too declare in front of the Kingdom of God my freedom day. 

I will promise to seek you with all of my heart from this day forward. I make a new and lasting covenant to pursue you with a relentless hunger. I will also step out of my bondage and make it my life’s purpose to free others who are on the road behind me. 

Today, I rebuke and break off any stronghold or bondage of the enemy that has kept me from stepping into my rightful inheritance as a child of the Most High God. And I slam the door shut on any lies I have believed that the devil has used to tell me anything that is not truth about myself and my circumstances. 

Lord, My Holy God, I receive my freedom by the holy blood of the Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, Your Son. And I will live all of my days from this day forward, pursuing peace, joy and love. I will choose to love you with my whole heart and spend the rest of my life loving people. 

I declare and decree my deliverance, my future that is abundant, and ask today that you show me now where you have made my path straight that I may get on with bringing Your Kingdom to earth. 

In the most powerful name in all creation and the heavenly realms, Jesus, The Christ. The Passover Lamb of God. AMEN.

 

I have contended for you. I absolutely believe many of you will begin to see hints of the freedom that has just been released upon your life today. My friends, now give thanks to our Papa, Jesus and the Dove for you are been released to receive your full inheritance. In Jesus name. 

I love you. I will always contend for your lives, marriage and children. I will never stop standing in the gap when you are weak and unable. I am your friend and your prayer warrior. Your sister in Christ, Lynn

Psalm 23
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MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Best Valentine

He speaks to us:

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love to be made whole and holy by his love.... Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living. ~Ephesians 1

 

What does it feel like to know that God has been thinking of you for a very, very long time?

Heart Tree By Ohmega1982, published on 31 January 2014

By Ohmega1982, published on 31 January 2014

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Merry Christmas SUMites! Video Message

 

We love and adore you. Have a blessed and Holy Christmas. Love Lynn & Dineen.

Check back on Friday as we have some exciting updates about what 2014 will bring here at SUM. I'm so pumped up for everything that God will do in our lives in the new year. Until then, Merry Christmas from me {Lynn} and Dineen. 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


There Was Once A Man Who Didn't Believe..

There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

Snow_church One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.

"That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.

When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.

The geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn, but they still didn't catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human.

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.Geese winter

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn - and one by one the other geese followed it to safety!

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind:

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, and perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized!

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.

Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:

Mangercross "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"

~Author Unknown

 

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


How One RAK Inspired Another

My friends, a couple weeks ago I shared this post about my daughter Leslie and her amazing heart of generosity. Specifically her act of kindness in taking a Visa gift card she had received on her birthday and giving it to a homeless person.

What blows me away is how we are inspired by these acts of kindness and find ourselves moving in similar places. I'm finding this is something that I want to make a part of my daily life. It's so much fun! 

And that's Jesus in us, my friends. Read this beautiful story from Heidi and how Jesus honored her heart's desire to help someone. He led her right to this mom...

 

ImageFinally here I am, though I feel my RAK is not near as awesome as some I have read, but I promised an update anyway. As I had mentioned before I don't have access to our funds so I needed to be creative, because I really wanted to give back since God has given sooooo much to me! :-) I need to back up a bit so bare with me.

My Mom had sent me a $100 gift card for my birthday and as you can imagine I was totally excited, being that I never have money of my own, which for woman my age can be very humiliating when out with friends. Then I read the RAK post. I sooo wanted to do that leave money here and there, but I knew I would have to ask my hubby who wouldn't have allowed it.

Then I thought I wonder if I could find a way to cash it—nope that wouldn't work either. Then I thought I'll just give it away, but worried it would hurt my moms feelings. Well finally, after reading about your daughter, Dineen, and how she said " Mom, this gift is for me right? Well this is what I want, it will make me happy," I said to myself "exactally! It will make me happy, and was given to me with the idea it was mine to spend how I wished!"

My first thought was, the freezing temp here that we had, I wanted to buy blankets, search out homeless people who didn't make it into shelters and give them to them. Well finding the homeless turned out be a task in its self, and when I did, I felt I would be in danger getting out of my car alone. Also they all were covered in blankets and jackets. So I drove praying, "God if this is what you want me to do I will, I trust you will keep me safe, but I need to know if this is your idea or mine."

So I kept driving, then Wal-mart popped into my head! Hmmm, I thought, is that what I should do, Father, find someone in need there? So I told myself, I will go to Wal-Mart, and if I find someone that stands out and looks in need, then I will give them my card. If not blankets. Wal-Mart it is!

I walked around with an empty cart pretending to shop, even checked out the blankets to see how many I could get for $100. Finally, walking in the food section, I saw a mom and her two children with about four items in her cart and using a calculator to figure out what else she could afford. I could tell by their clothing it had been quite awhile since they had anything new.

I could hear the children pleading for something they wanted or needed. So that was it. I walked over, stuck my hand out and said, "Here this is for you."

She was embarrassed and said, "Oh no, you don't have to do that!"

I told her, "It was given to me as a birthday present, and I want to do it for you. I saw you working on your calculator. Merry Christmas."

And then Itook off! I was embarrassed too and didn't want her to feel bad by drawing attention to us, or try to give it back. I could hear her say "thank you" as I disappeared. I had planed to place God in my words in speaking with her, but didn't because I could see she was worried people would look at her.

 

Heidi, thank you so much for sharing this precious story with us. I have no doubt that mom knew our great Abba was looking out for her that day and He did it through you.

My friends, our testimonies are inspiring and when we share them with a heart to glorify and praise Jesus, we inspire others. So share your testimonies with that heart and ignore the enemy's attempt to condemn and make you think you're bragging. He would love to keep us quiet so that others won't be inspired to do similar acts of love and kindness.

And I wish you could have seen my daughter's face when I told her how her act of kindness had inspired someone to do something similar. I tell you, I literally saw her spirit expand with in her. So beautfiul and so precious. Heidi gave my daughter a gift too in her desire to help another in like manner.

Wow, wow and wow again! This is the heart of Christmas, my friends. The love of Jesus in action. Not to earn the praises of others but to share the sacrifical love that was born first as a tiny baby and came with the sole purpose to save the world. 

Jesus, our great King, Savior and Friend. The epitomy of love, Who CHOSE to dwell in us. He's in you, my friends. Let that sink in and blow you away! Then let Him shine brightly through you.

Love you so much! Be shiney for Jesus!
Dineensig

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


A “wild goose chase” with God is never futile!

A “wild goose chase” with God is never futile!   

I want to share a great story with you that began last year. Sometimes when we let the Holy Spirit lead us, we feel like HE is taking us on a wild goose chase but know this, God knows exactly what HE is doing... Our job is to simply LISTEN, OBEY (immediately) and TRUST!!!

Last year a Christian man entered our church one Sunday morning with a young weathered man named Joe that he had picked up while hitchhiking. The Christian man shared the love of Christ with Joe during the drive and when they got to their destination city, the Christian asked Joe if we wanted to go to a church to hear more about this love of God. Surprisingly to the Christian, Joe accepted and this was the morning I met my new friend. My heart really went out to this young man for some reason. I took his phone number and kept in touch with him.

God gave me an opportunity to take him grocery shopping and to buy him lunch and this lead to Joe sharing all about his childhood. Much too long to get into here but suffice to say that he no longer had any contact with his dad and his mom’s current partner didn’t want to have anything to do with Joe. I came to learn that he had really been in survival mode since he was about 15 years old. Today, Joe is still a boy on the run but I have always kept in touch with him via Facebook. A few months ago the Lord put it on my heart to go see him and take him to a testimonial supper in the town where he was currently residing. I had seen this Christian speaker only a few weeks prior in my own hometown. I really thought this story would touch Joe. In addition, since it was a supper conference, I felt he would definitely accept my invitation, even if it was just for a free meal.  When I called him to see if he wanted to go he said “Sure, can I bring my girlfriend?” So of course, I was excited that I would be bringing not only one person but two people that needed to hear about the love of Jesus. As I was driving to the town (about 90 minute drive), I was praying for Joe and the Lord told me to also pray for his girlfriend, so I did.

We had a nice evening and the girlfriend, Isa, was very touched by the testimony.  She shared with me that she had almost died in a car accident a few years prior. The boy that was driving died immediately on impact. She went through intense therapy to get back on her feet.  I was in complete “awe” how God had put this young lady on my path that night. I bought her the book that the speaker wrote and I left them in the hands of a Christian couple I had met a few weeks earlier at the same event in my hometown. This couple were so full of LOVE and “yes” they lived in the same town as Joe and Isa...How cool is that!!  God really arranges everything doesn’t He?

I was to give my testimony at my church a few weeks later and asked this Christian couple if they would be willing to come and to bring Joe and Isa along with them.  The couple gladly accepted however unfortunately, Joe and Isa backed down at the last minute.  Interestingly enough, however, Isa had shared with me that she had a brother named Steve that lived in a foster home and gave me the name of the town. I just so happened to have a young man named Carl that I have been mentoring spiritually for the last five years and he also lives in a foster home in the same town. Well sure enough, when I called Carl and asked him if there was a Steve living in his home he said “yes”... another God-incident.

A friend of mine had already made plans to bring Carl to my testimonial breakfast so I asked Carl to invite Steve to come along with him. Not only did Steve come but he accepted Christ that day!!! PRAISE GOD!

This past Sunday I saw Steve at my former church (this is where I met Carl).  I went there since a man was giving his testimony and I really wanted to hear his story. Afterwards, I took Steve out for lunch and he shared with me that since he gave his life to Christ last month he has stopped drinking. He had been drinking since he was 15 (today he is 28). I told him it was the grace of God that had given him the strength to quit.

Lisa200x200The more I learn to trust God; HE never ceases to amaze me.  I just feel so blessed today to be an instrument in HIS hands.  I have  another “wild goose hunt” story I’d like to share with you at some point if you are interested (just let me know in the comments below) but for now be blessed as God wants to take YOU on the ride of your life too … all you need to do is hang on tight (to HIM), TRUST and SMILE.

Lisa D'eschambault 

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Ho Ho Ho... But I'm Not Happy. I'm Stressed Out!

Hi My SUMite Friends, 

Well if you’re anything like me, you’re in the middle of the busiest part of this Christmas season. It’s this time a year that most of us feel overwhelmed by all of our added responsibilities, such as buying gifts, wrapping gifts, shipping gifts, decorating, etc. etc. 

And for me specifically, I feel emotionally, spiritually, physically worn out. 

But this last week I discovered real power of one of the fruits of the spirit, self-control. And this is how it played out for me. Most of you know that last Wednesday, I flew to Virginia Beach to be interviewed on the 700 Club Interactive program. Prior to leaving, I met with my local critique group on Tuesday which was fun, but it turned into a late evening. I woke early the next morning to fight traffic to get to the airport in San Diego. I then boarded a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, where weather delays kept me from making my connecting flight to Virginia Beach. Therefore, I arrived finally at my destination at 11:30 PM. I think I finally went to sleep at 1 AM East Coast time. 

Jet wingI was up early to prepare for the morning interview. It was a blast. I’m completely humbled that I was allowed to share with a broad audience the hope we have as believers in Christ for our marriages and our families. Following the interview I had a quick lunch with some of the staff from CBN and then it was off to the airport for a cross-country return flight. 

I arrived in Atlanta, and wouldn’t you know it, I again had a flight delay due to mechanical issues. It’s at this point, when you’re sitting on the floor in a very busy airport waiting for a flight that the fatigue of the last two days sets in. Exhaustion overtakes and patience with people and circumstances is often stretched to the breaking point. Can anyone relate? 

It’s often at these times when my normal, cheerful, self can become short in patients with other people. But for some reason this time it was different for me. I kept hearing the word over and over in my head, self-restraint. 

Self-restraint. 

Hmmmmm, I think the Holy Spirit was speaking softly over me that entire evening. Finally, after a five hour delay, I finally boarded the plane for a five hour flight home. I retrieved my car and then it was a one hour drive on the freeway to finally arrive at home about midnight. 

What is interesting to me is that normally when I arrive home utterly exhausted, such as I was this evening I adopt an attitude that it’s okay just to let my control over my emotions go. And I don’t reign in my attitude of exhaustion and my short temper when I walk in the door. It’s as if I’ve given myself permission to be mean and ugly with my spouse, just because I’m home. 

Throughout this long trip home, while at the airport, while sitting in the seat on the flight home, I managed to maintain a smile and reign in my frustration and tiredness, determined not to take out my emotions on another person. So when I finally arrived home, I looked at the door from the garage into the house and before I entered it, I said to myself, “Self-restraint.” 

I was determined to walk into the house wearing maturity and self-restraint and to have a pleasant yet tired conversation with my husband. And I guess this self-restraint attitude was born out of my experience of returning home a few months ago exhausted from traveling. And I walked in the door, unrestrained, fight ensued, and the one who was truly hurt and even more frustrated, was me.

I walked in, I smiled. I unpacked and then kissed him on the lips. I crawled into bed. No fight. Just love....

All was right with the world.

"Thank you Holy Spirit." 

So in this season of perpetual joy *grin* perhaps I could share with you two little words that the Holy Spirit likes to speak: Self Restraint. Sometimes just whispering them to yourself will keep you from lighting your house on fire.

James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

On another note: I just want to thank everyone for your prayers for me as I traveled last week. I felt them. I also felt as though God allowed me to shine a light upon the thousands of us who are spiritually mismatched. There’s a growing awareness in the body of Christ, as well as pastors, and in the general church that there are many women and men who are living in a mismatched marriage. 

And what I really love the most is that they are discovering that we, the SUMites, have so much to offer the church, our families, our husbands and our communities. I stand amazed at the love of God for those of us who walk in this crazy, wacky, mixed up journey of the spiritually mismatched. I love you have an amazing day. Love and hugs, Lynn

(If you missed the boradcast, there is a link in the sidebar now.)

Photo Credit By artur84, published on 16 April 2013
Stock Photo - image ID: 100159152

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Psalm 100 - Happy Thanksgiving

Hello My Friends,

Well, I'm bummed. Dineen and I had recorded a Thanksgiving video earlier in the month for today. However, the sound didn't come through. Anyhoo, we want to say, "Happy Thanksgiving."

Since the video was a fail, let's turn that around and let our praises open the gates of heaven over our homes for this week. 

We as believers have such a great opportunity to bring our love for God to the table on Thursday. Start praying now that God will open the door to allow you to pray over dinner, to share sweet moments of love with your family and to allow you some quite time with Jesus early on Thanksgiving morning. I've found early Thanksgiving Day, sitting with my coffee and Bible before a fire, writing my blessings into my prayer journal, make for a very special time and set the atmosphere for the rest of the day.

And let's bring honor to our Lord and change the atmosphere here today. Let's write two or three things you are thankful for this year in the comments. Let's celebrate the faithfulness of God in our lives. Hugs, Lynn

Dineen and Lynn would like to take a minute to thank the SUMites who have given a financial donation to our ministry this past year.Every dollar donated is us is strickly for ministry. Web hosting, design, maintenance runs in the thousands of dollars every year. In addition, donations cover free resources that we use when we speak at retreats and a host of other stuff. So thank you:

Vera, Jody, Christine, Pam, Elizabeth, Alaina, Cynthia, Teresa. 

We would also like to thank all of you who donated to Rosheeda's flowers. And finally, thank you to the many of you who are part of our ministry team this year:

Teresa, Lynette, Sue, Adrianna, Joanne, Martha Rosheeda (posthumously)

Mostly, thank you to each of you who has prayed for a SUMite. Who has left a word in the comments to encourage, others or Dineen and me. Thank you for your love for your spouse, your children and our Lord, His son Jesus and the Spirit.

We love you and truly give thanks that we are traveling this road toward heaven with you. Hugs, Lynn

Turkey Eat Pizza 2

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Let's Walk in Mary and Joseph's Sandals

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “ God with us. — Matthew 1:23

15540148_sMy friends, can you believe Christmas is just five weeks away?!?! Right now I'm doing a series with my life group at church in preparation of Christmas this year. We're not following a book or script—we're just letting the Holy Spirit walk us through the story of Christ's birth and I'm discovering stunning details in the process. What a great way to walk into this blessed season with hearts focused on and full of the story of our Savior's expected and revelational arrival so long ago.

So, my heart is to share this with you too. It's a great way to set our sights on what really matters in the midst of all the preparations and celebrations, and I believe we will feel more like we've appreciated the truest meaning behind it all, along with valuable time with our loved ones.

Let's start with Matthew 1-2. Set aside some time and read through these two chapters and take notice of the people present and what they are doing. Who seems to be more in the forefront of the unfolding events? What is the turmoil surrounding them? How is God putting people and things into place? How is He communicating with the people involved?

As I read these chapters, I was stuck by how this time of anticipation over two thousand years ago seems so reflective of this time of anticipation that we are living in right now.

For hundreds of years, Jews had anticipated the coming of the Messiah. Their culture, rituals and the Pentateuch all pointed to this impending event. Then comes Mary and Joseph's generation and it actually happens. Take a moment and imagine what they may have felt.

Along with what I can imagine was a fair amount of doubt and wonderment, these two young people stood right in the middle of the biggest revelation of all time. All that they'd heard from their ancestors was now unfolding right in their very own lives.

The Messiah was coming?

Their anticipation was about to become a reality. Maybe not as they had imagined it—who but God would bring the Savior of the world into that same world as an infant first? Have the generations before who'd imagined His coming even contemplated this possibility? Did they assume He would arrive in full form more in a blaze of glory like Elijah left this world?

Now, bring those thoughts full swing to the here and now. This present generation stands in a time of acceleration. More things are being revealed and more signs and wonders are happening than ever before. It is entirely possible that just like Mary, Joseph and those who went before them anticipated the Messiah's coming and then witnessed it, that this generation in similar manner is anticipating the Messiah's return and could wind up witnessing that as well.

Unbelievable? Is it? I say astonishing for sure.

My friends, we stand in anticipation just as Mary and Joseph did. Who knows when Jesus will return—only Abba knows—but I find such striking resemblance right now between us and Mary. Many of us are carrying our hopes and dreams in gestation, waiting for Abba to bring them to term and birth. So let’s walk in Mary and Joseph’s sandals and stand in wonder of what this miraculous birth brought us and praise God for this and the many things He’s birthing in our lives too.

Now, go read the first two chapters of Matthew and take notes. Then come back here and share what stands out most to you. On Saturday, I’ll share some of my own insights as well. I can’t wait to read what you share! I know this will bless all of us too.

Holy Spirit, I ask for a deeper revelation of God’s Word for our community as we seek to draw nearer to Jesus during this time of remembrance and celebration of His birth. Also bring a fresh awareness and appreciation of Christmas to our hearts and inspire us with ways to share this with those around us. We love You so much, Jesus. You are truly the greatest gift we will ever receive. Amen!


Love being on this journey with you, my friends!
Dineensig

 Image credit: yupiramos / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Tablecloth Of Thanks 2013

I started a Thanksgiving family tradition a few years ago quite by accident. This tradition has become my absolute favorite. I'm sharing it today, as I do every year, so that our new readers can begin this tradition in their home. This is also a Family Faith Tradition I share in our new book, Not Alone.

Enjoy.....A Tablecloth of Thanks

It’s never too late to start a new tradition in your home, especially one which brings honor to the Lord. I have a story to share and a photo. I also want to give you a chance to share some of your holiday traditions or giggles.

Join in today and share a Thanksgiving holiday tradition from your home or share a funny holiday hiccup.

I will share with you that like many newly married young women, I didn’t realize the turkey was stuffed with bagged giblets. Yep, I cook the turkey with the plastic bag and the giblets still inside. We ate it anyway.

Also, three years ago, I set the oven on fire when I moved the giant bird around. I freaked out. My husband came running. The house was crazy, people were yelling, crying and freaking… Perhaps it was only me doing the yelling, crying and freaking. My calm man put the flames out and to this day, I don’t know how he did it because we didn’t own a fire extinguisher.

The next morning I rose before dawn and went shopping at The Home Depot. NO NOT FOR CHRISTMAS… For a fire extinguisher. And now, every year BEFORE I bake the turkey, I check to make sure the extinguisher is charged and ready.

Sheesh!

Today, I'm sharing one of my most favorite family traditions. Here is a post I wrote five years ago for the Internet Cafe. Hope you start a family tradition this year. It's NEVER too late to have a Tablecloth of Thanks.

Tablecloth of Thanks 

Many of you know that I am married to an unbeliever. This past May we celebrated 15 years of marriage. Our unequally yoked marriage has had its challenges to say the least. Over the years, however, our ingenious God has maneuvered us through many touchy issues. 

Our disparity becomes more apparent during the holidays. Giving thanks to our Lord in November is a treasured time for me. I name my blessings one-by-one in prayer, thanking God for His lavish abundance poured into our lives. 

Like most wives living in an unequally yoked marriage, I long for my spouse to understand there is a God. To know He is intricately involved in our lives and everything we have is provision of our creator. I have also learned that forcing God upon my husband is a surefire way to push him away. I am careful to respect my husband and simply trust Jesus to reach him in his perfect timing. 

In spite of my husband’s unbelief, I discovered a unique way to draw him into the celebration of thanks, besides through his stomach. He loves turkey. 

Four years ago, I threw a new, pristine-white tablecloth across our dinning room table two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I purchased several colored pens and placed them on top. A new tradition was born, a Tablecloth of Thanks. It began with my daughter. I told her, “I WANT you to write on this tablecloth.” She looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, wondering if her mother had lost her mind. 

“Really,” my smiled reassured. “Write down what you are most thankful for this year. Then write the year, 2004, near your name.” 

She grinned and began to write using several different colors. I joined in and wrote my thanks directly on the beautiful tablecloth. 

Later that evening my husband noticed the scribbles on the tablecloth. I watched as he walked over to read our words. I walked to his side and took his hand. I subtly asked him if he would also write down his thanks. He smiled and said maybe later. 

Finally on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, my husband picked up a pen and wrote; I am thankful for my wonderful family, great friends, and a very happy life. 

Wow! Was he giving thanks to our Lord? I am not sure. However, every year since he has continued to write a thankful list. Last year’s entry reads; I am thankful for all of my blessings…family, friends, and the dogs. 

Imported Photos 00001What? Did he use the word blessings? Small steps such as these lead to the Savior. I can’t wait to read his thankful list this year. 

The Thankful Tablecloth is one of my most prized possessions. Everyone who visits our home during the Thanksgiving holiday contributes to this permanent memorial of thanks. It is a visible praise to the King displayed in our unequally yoked home each November. 

One of my favorite thanks is this: 

2006
I am thankful
to be able to sit
on the couch and have
my people pet me.
Peanut 

Hmmmm, I wonder how the dog grew fingers and learned to write???? 

Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

 

Lord God, I will name my blessings one-by-one….. Jesus… eternal life…. clean water to drink…..capacity to love…..empowerment to forgive….. just for a start….. 

It is never too late to start a new tradition. If you want to start your Tablecloth of Thanks, I have a few helpful hints.

  1. Place a sheet of butcher paper under your tablecloth. (I have a permanent smiley face on my dinning room table from the year 2005)
  2. Use colorfast fabric pens.
  3. Store your tablecloth in an airtight Ziploc bag. 

Thank you my friends for sharing this Holiday treasure with me. I wish you were with me today and could share your thankful heart on the Tablecloth of Thanks.

(My friends, if you could, share this post on Facebook and Twitter. It's truly a wonderful tradition and I want so much for families to have an opportunity to share faith in this way. Thanks, Lynn  - click on the buttons below to share. Hugs)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


SUMite Nation! A Lot Is Happening!

Good Monday Everyone, 

There are a lot of things happening in our SUMite Nation over the next couple of weeks. 

On Wednesday, we will be ready to launch our new Ministry website. And we will be asking you to partner with us to welcome in the newbies. We, the mismatched, who have been walking this road for some time, can wrap our love and cyber arms around those who find our home in the next few days. We can pray and encourage and let God’s people know that we have hope. We have hope for the supernatural. We have hope for the salvation of our spouse. We have hope knowing our children will be centered in the will of God. And we KNOW that living in the Presence…. Changes EVERYTHING! 

Watch for that announcement here on Wednesday. 

On Thursday please tune in and find a radio station that carries Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk broadcasts. On Thursday AND Friday Dineen and I will be guests with Dr. Dobson and his son, Ryan Dobson. We had an absolutely divine and anointed time with these two men. And our broadcast discussions are filled with some of our zany and God-sized personal stories about God’s faithfulness, love, and how we live and thrive in our marriages. And what turned out to be just fantastic is that Dr. Dobson was so excited about our new book, we spent an hour talking about that. So, you will hear some stories we share in the book. And I also remember Dineen discussing a sticky subject of a controlling spouse. 

We are humbled that God opened this door and especially for me personally. I will share more about my story and Dr. Dobson on Thursday. It’s gooooood!!! I promise. 

Also start thinking about making a commitment to our week of prayer and fasting that will begin the Tuesday following Labor Day. Tamara, one of our long time SUM family members suggested we spend a week on focused prayer for ourselves. This will be a time to dwell in God’s Presence and to search His Word and pray for our personal relationship and strength for our marriage and parenting. Dineen and I thought, What a good idea! 

So, watch for posts to this purpose the first week of September. And by the way, Rosh Hashanah is Thursday of that week. Plan to fast on that day. I will be sharing some insight to how this Jewish High Holy Day is something for us as modern day believers to consider. It’s cool!!!   

If you could, would you share our button below on your Facebook wall or on Pinterest. No pressure but you might very well help a struggling wife or husband who is thinking they are all alone in this unequally yoked journey. We want them to find hope, community, and love. 

Have an amazing week walking in the Powerful Presence. I love you, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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