533 posts categorized "Hope"

Do You Want The Evidence Or The Truth?

Hey SUM Family,

Tiffany here:

ev·i·dence -  

a : an outward sign : indication

b : something that furnishes proof : testimony; specifically : something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter
(Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

Last post (This Is Just The Pits!) we began to take a look at the life of Joseph. We discovered that there are ten tests we must face in order to fulfill our God-given purpose (I highly suggest you read From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris for more on this topic). I want us to really dive into the deep end of the pool as we learn more about the pit test.

First, let's continue on in the story of Joseph. At this point he was ambushed by his brothers and thrown into the pit. Changing scenes, we see what happens with his family next:

So [Joseph's brothers] took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "We  have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" And he recognized it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces" (Genesis 37:31-33).

F.E.A.RJoseph's brothers did not flat out lie and say that Joseph was killed. Jacob came to that conclusion because of their leading question, "Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" This is what we would call fabricated (false) evidence.   Remember evidence is an indication or something that furnishes proof. This evidence in Jacob's mind was proof that his favorite son was dead - to him it was the truth.

For over 20 years, imagine Jacob as he says in v. 35, "For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning." Imagine a father so heartbroken that he was not able to be consoled. I don't know for certain but I can imagine countless nights of crying himself to sleep, restlessness, no appetite, deep depression...unable to move on. Not only that but his other sons could have easily freed him from all of it...over 20 years of seeing and living with their father. What callous and prideful hearts!

What about you? What fabricated evidence has been stacked up against you? Your marriage? Your parenting? Your identity in Christ? What lies of the pit have kept you trapped for far too long? 

We live in a sin-hardened world, and we will be tempted by fabricated evidence just as Jacob was. And like Jacob, we will suffer unnecessary grief if we allow the lies of the pit to determine what we believe.

This is very important. If you want to get out of the pit, you must learn to discern the lies of the enemy. Because when you are in the pit, you are especially vulnerable. When you are in the pit, circumstances usually don't look very favorable - and that is exactly when Satan will manipulate those circumstances in order  to deceive you. He will hold up those circumstances before you as evidence that you should believe him rather than have faith in God. But fabricated evidence is not the truth. Joseph's brothers held up a bloody coat as evidence, and that evidence looked pretty convincing. But it was fabricated evidence. It was not the truth. If you want to overcome the lies of the pit, you must learn to focus on what God has said. When you are in the pit, you must remember that nothing is too hard for God, no matter what evidence the enemy might produce...

Yet even worse than his fabricated evidence is Satan's biggest lie: "You've messed up too badly. It's too late for you. You've messed up too badly to ever fulfill God's destiny for your life." Do you realize that the Bible is a book entirely about restoration? The Bible is filled with stories of people who messed up so badly that it seemed even God couldn't do anything about it - and yet He restored every one of them. He wants you to know that nothing is impossible for Him. As long as you have breath, it is never too late to call out to God. It doesn't matter what pit you are in. If you call out to God, He can fix it. And that is the real purpose of the pit. (pp. 38-39, From Dream to Destiny, Robert Morris)

Next time I want to finish up with the hope we have - the light at the end of the tunnel - in times of experiencing the pit test. But for now, let's meet in the comments. Let me speak truth into you and pray with you as we debunk the lies of the pit. Lean into this reality that fabricated evidence, no matter how convincing or real it appears, is NOT the truth. I promise you that this assurance will transform your life and catapult you out of the pit.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

-- Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT)


A Very Special Rescue

Somewhere over the rainbow  SUMHi friends 

How’s the fasting going? This one's ambitious for me – soup only for dinner has made me starry-eyed! But I'm enjoying the afternoons where I can just sit.

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's clips. Amazingly, there is a part two to that story, which I've been excited to share. I'll start with this scripture, which I believe is for us today:

“In that day, there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; ... And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea.” Isaiah 11:11 (NKJV) 

Now to the story:

Remember back in June the twelve Thai boys and their coach in the cave? People across the world, regardless of race, extended their compassion. It was a testimony of love.

When the boys were found, my tears flowed for these little children who needed to be tucked up in a warm bed by their mums and dads. I was compelled to pray, and I saw that others were too.

A week in, the Holy Spirit seemed to whisper something to me about these boys: I seemed to hear the words baptized and memorialized, and then, Adding up to twelve. I couldn’t help but quietly believe that all twelve children would be saved.

As we know, the rescue looked impossible. There was dwindling oxygen and rising flood waters. Then, suddenly, we heard “The rescue is ON!” Hours ticked by, then the news came: The first boy is out!  Half an hour later, the second boy!  Then, the third boy!  And then the fourth! 

Overnight, more would come out. Five!  Six! A seventh! More of a wait. Then: Eight! Nine! Ten! Alive alive alive!

Finally, the eleventh, the twelfth. All alive, adding up to twelve. Then came the coach, who had got them on this adventure, and endured it with them.

Just as the last rescue was completed, workers in the cave came racing out – A pump had failed and water had risen suddenly. Thinking Moses and the red sea, my ears pricked up - Coincidence, or miracle?

Later, I learned that the rescuers had first traced the boys’ path within the cave by seeing hand prints on the walls.  Something in my memory jogged and I remembered I'd had a dream about hand prints! Racing to my journal, I found that dream: It was of Lynn finding hand prints, the prints showing who had been where. There was a sense that they were like individualized fingerprints, except hand prints. The date of the dream, 23 June, was the very day the boys entered the cave. Underneath, I had written this:

“Lord, help me lead my boys to you, please give me the words. It needs a miracle. Be with me like you were with Moses.”

Wow. It sounded prophetic. Of course, it was a prayer about my own boys, but could it be these Thai boys symbolized something? See, that night, I had also dreamt of a person who was so stuck in unbelief they could not even be in the same room as Christians, so great was the distance of separation. Further, that very same night I had dreamt of people talking about their favorite recipes, foreign recipes. Well, blow me down, in the media, the boys were seen listing their favorite recipes! Just like yesterday's story, it seemed so unusual. What did it mean? Here's an initial thought:

Like these hand prints, God knows exactly how people got stuck where they are, and how to get them out. These people who are separated from Him are starving, and they may be thinking other food besides the Bread of Life is going to satisfy them. No matter, God will get them out. Indeed, He will set His hand again, and again to recover those who are left, whatever their area of difficulty (Isaiah 11:11). After all, they’re precious children, and they're loved. 

SUMites, I hope this encourages you, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. What else do you see in this story? 

Lord, help the SUMites lead our precious ones to you, please give us the words. It needs a miracle. Be with us like you were with Moses. May their story be a memorial and may many be baptized. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Take a Look

Hi everyone!  Somewhere over the rainbow  SUM

It's day two of the fast, and I hope you’re doing well. If one day you don’t manage what you set out to, don’t worry -- we just pick ourselves up and carry on.

One thing that I believe God adores about the SUMites is our HOPE. Like Abraham, who had a son at age 100, we have been given something unbelievable to hope for: The turning of hearts among those who would be the least likely. Holding on to this hope is pretty difficult, but if we choose it we are partnering in God’s move:

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.” Romans 4:18 (NIV)

What is hope?

One possibility is that it's the actual picture of the victory, which we then choose to believe. It is, perhaps, the ‘different spirit’ held by Joshua and Caleb, who were sent to spy out the promised land. Instead of focusing on the scary giants, they saw the milk and the honey in the new land (Numbers 14:7-12). In their mind’s eye, the milk and honey were “flowing” – meaning, it was vivid, lively, and active to them. It was the vibrant future they would step towards.

It takes a different spirit to choose hope.

"But My servant, Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it." Numbers 14:24 (NKJV)

Like Caleb and Joshua, we can see the milk and honey when looking at our situation, never mind the giants. However, like anything, we need God’s help to do this. Today I feel He wants to gift us that help. I hear Him say today, “Tell your hearts to dream again!”

Here’s a word I’ve been holding for the SUM community, I pray that it will reignite hope for us all.

A few weeks ago (17th of August), I woke to hear the Holy Spirit say “Look!” And then this:

“LOOK among the nations and watch –

Be utterly astounded!

For I will work a work in your days

Which you would not believe if it were told you.” 

Habakkuk 1:5 (NKJV)

This is hope. LOOK. Some things look powerless, difficult, but no -- LOOK.

On that morning, this word -- ‘LOOK’ -- was followed by a vision (like a video clip playing in my head): It was of a bunch of miners in white hard hats, cheering. This was very random, but it was as if God was saying, "Go on, look at this picture".

I had no idea what to make of the vision, but later that day it occurred to me to google ‘miners’. This took me straight to a YouTube clip of a group of miners in white hard hats cheering! My mouth dropped open, and I laughed as I saw it – God is fun. But then, in all seriousness, I realized this clip was of the 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped and then rescued in 2011 – which, of course was no laughing matter at the time.

Why on earth did God point me to this?  The answer, I believe, is that He wants us to LOOK and visualize what Rescue will look like; because what is coming to us is a rescue of eye-catching and communal proportions.

"For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe if it were told you." Habakkuk 1:5 (NKJV)

I’m going to let the clip speak for itself to you – well, there were two. Here they are below. See what imagery they bring to you as you think about the rescue that God carries out and promises:

 

This, to me, is milk and honey. It's a lively picture, it's our vibrant future. It's what I’m going to choose to focus on.

Perhaps we can share in the comments what these clips say to us, what we notice in them, and what we will do with this hope.

Be encouraged, friends – I am! – and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Ann


This Is Just The Pits!

Josephs-Coat-of-Many-Colours Josephs-Coat-of-Many-ColoursHello Sum family!

Tiffany here:

It is very easy to see the heaviness and struggle going on in the world. Just in our own community there is a weight of illness, backsliding (in ourselves or our spouses), addictions, anger, depression, anxiety, spiritual attacks to our identity, self-worth, motivation, and will to keep going in the faith. There is bitterness and envy, there is confusion and doubt - toward others and even God Himself. It's like we have lost sight of who we REALLY are (we'll talk more about this later).

Before I continue, I want to preface that I don't believe that our SUM community is in this bad of shape. I don't believe that we are all struggling at all times. I do however, see a trend of these things happening in the ranks...and it seems to be increasing. I myself have been struggling a lot lately. I feel as though I have opened the door to anger and fits of rage again and it is running rampant and tearing apart my family as I unleash it's fury over my husband and children. I know I am not a monster and YET...that is what the evidence has been showing me lately (tune in next time to learn more about evidence - it's life changing!).

This is where the grace of God comes in. Where the Spirit of the Lord is - there is what? FREEDOM!

In these next couple of posts, I want to share some things that I have been learning recently in God's classroom and I pray that as we work through these things together, we will gain ground in our faith and also in victory over struggles.

I have been reading From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris (you can find the book here). In this book he walks us through the life of Joseph and explains that there are ten different tests that we must go through in order to fulfill the purposes that God has on your life. Reading this book has been so insightful. I have been able to look at the life of Joseph in such a different way. The test I want to touch on is the Pit Test (chapter 2). Let's check in on Joseph:

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, "Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ' Some wild beast has devoured him.' We shall see what will become of his dreams!" But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, "Let us not kill him." And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him" - that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father. So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it (Gen. 37:17-24).

 As we just saw, his brothers conspired to kill him. In verses 4 and 8 of Genesis 37 we find out that his brothers all hate Joseph because he was Jacob's favorite. It made matters worse when Joseph so shamelessly shared the dreams that he had of being bowed down to by his brothers and his parents. Morris goes into more detail throughout the previous chapter (chapter 1) of his book but essentially Joseph's pride is what mainly caused this rift in his family. Out of his pride he helped fuel the events that led him to this pit moment.

So what about us? What is the pit test? How do we end up in the pit?

Like it or not, all of us will go through some times when we feel as if things are just the pits. We may not be sure just how we got into that pit - and even less sure as to how to get ourselves out. But one thing is certain - we won't move ahead into our destiny unless we get out of that pit...Jesus knew we would have trouble because He know we would be living in a world contaminated by the effects of sin. As a consequence of sin, this world is full of  trouble - and pits are just one form of it. Pits are simply a by-product of a fallen world. (From Dream to Destiny, p.29, 31)

Next time I want to talk about the mind blowing truth I gleaned from this book about our time in the pit and how Satan schemes to keep us there. Until then, I can't wait to see you in the comments. What kind of pit are you in right now? How can we pray for you as a family to raise you up out of it?

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinth. 15:57

 


By Our Love

World Wide Prayer Day LogoSUMite Nation,

I just declared that TODAY IS: World-Wide Prayer Day for the SUMites!

I’m asking each of you that abide here in our humble, Church Without Walls, please leave a prayer of blessing for our community, spouses, and the Team. 

Pray against all attacks of the devil, to divide our house. Pray and bind the serpent of offense, lies, hopelessness, fear and every other bondage that the Holy Spirit brings to mind.

Release blessings upon one another and share a prayer request in the comments. Release the love of God over the House of SUM and all those who dwell within. (Pray for me today as well for wisdom and for prayer strategies for our community.)

WE ARE THE SUMITE NATION. WE ARE PRAYER WARRIORS. LET’S RELEASE THE SPIRIT OF LOVE AND BIND THE SPIRIT OF FEAR.

I adore you. Please know that I will be praying all day over you and over the comments and prayer requests. Hugs, Lynn

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. — John 13:34-35


The New Kingdom Era

SUMites,

Lord's PrayerIt’s July 1st. Half of 2018 remains, and we are merely beginning to step into the miracles and the Presence of God that Kingdom era offers. Today, I want to share with you my thoughts about what is happening in the Kingdom of God in this season. Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to our SUM leadership team last week.

Before I share, I also want to let you know that I’m being led by Jesus to teach about Kingdom honor and dignity. I witness a great deal of wounding in the church because of accusation against another brother or sister in Christ. I’m convinced that there is great error on occasions when a believer sins. And the restoration process is what I believe, harsh, unforgiving ….. it feels like punishment. As children of the Kingdom, we must learn to handle disagreement with our church family in a new way. In a way that is truly restorative, healthy, and with honor and LOVE.

Following the July 4th weekend, I will be writing about what Godly conflict should look and feel like, based on the Matthew 18 model. I also want to teach about the differing areas of leadership and how we understand our strengths, callings, and anointings and how we are designed to fit in in our church, our region and the SUM family.  

If UNITY is the call of our Father in this season, we need to re-learn Godly conflict resolution. We must learn to see others through lenses of love and not fear or suspicion. It’s mandatory that we release judgement and condemnation and search out the areas where we agree, coalesce and center upon loving one another.

So, what say ye???  Ready for a powerful Word? The Lord is speaking and again, I believe He is calling the SUM Nation to this paradigm change first. We are on the leading edge of bringing the fullness of the Kingdom to earth. Hallelujah.

Okay, here is my perspective regarding our current season of the Body of Christ:

May I share what I’ve been sensing from the Kingdom. We are bearing witness to what I believe is the closing of the era of the church of man. Where mankind led people to the Lord through a relationship with church and people of a congregation. It has been a beautiful era of people loving and helping others find Jesus and grow up in faith. As with anything where people are flawed, the church is flawed and much of our denominational separation which grew out of that era was never the intent of our good Father.

So, I perceive that about two years ago the Lord began to move the people of God into what I believe is the era of the Kingdom.  We are bearing witness to the miraculous. I know that I have. Within the last few years an entire new experience has opened up to the hungry people of God. We, as a Body, are moving away from the religious rules into the prompting/guidance of the Holy Spirit. Many within our SUM Community are experiencing a shift in the gifts of the Spirit, speaking in tongues, and visions, etc. Can I just say WOW and PRAISE JESUS!!

This doesn’t mean that the church is dead or insignificant. No, we are going to see a unity in the steams of faith. We will see divisions grow softer. We will witness church done in ways we haven’t seen before. Just take a look at our SUM church, we are a church without walls. We can expect the church to be different, but also it will be powerful. No longer powerless in our faith but filled with the miraculous and more. I till you I can’t wait for this move of God. I count it the greatest work and privilege that I will participate in my entire life, to walk in this season of the Kingdom.

Thoughts SUMites??  Want in on this??? Join me. I’ll share more beginning July 9th. See you on Facebook and Instagram. Hugs, Lynn


Life Is Too Short to Live Any Way but Happy! By Lori Lyn Skipper

Welcome back to the adventures of Lori Lyn Skipper. My son, Brad, and I made it just fine after his dad left us because we had God on our side. Yes, there were definite struggles, but I had such a peace about me, Philippians 4:7 NLT: Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

The Lord called me to the ministry in 1998. I preached my first sermon in March 1999.  I eventually moved to Benton, IL by the leading of the Lord where I continued serving in the ministry. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, lupus, arthritis, and chronic degenerative disc disease.  In 2005, I almost died from these and other afflictions, such as Barrett’s esophagus and bleeding internally, but God! 

I know that by Jesus’ stripes I am healed because the Word of God tells me so in Isaiah 53:5. I have since been healed of many afflictions and diseases. There are some that I am still working on catching my healing, but it is well with my soul. I believe these are in direct relationship to the life I lived before Christ. Yes, I believe He will completely restore me, but I also believe I am suffering the consequences of my actions and need to walk some things out. I actually appreciate the miracles I’ve experienced more because of what I have to walk out.

 

Brian Lori Adult
Brian & Lori Reacquaint 2009

Not only did the Lord restore my soul but He restored my relationship with Brian in March 2009. I had sent letters numerous times to Brian via his grandmother’s address and never heard from him. In mid-2008, I located him via Myspace, prayed and sent him a message. About three weeks later, I received a response from him, he said he reread all of the letters I had sent him, but he was not ready for a relationship with me. 

Finally, in Feb of 2009 he said he was ready to meet for the first time since 1993. My family had a surprise birthday party for my mom on March 8, 2009. Brian came to become reacquainted with me and the rest of my family. Since that time, Brian and I have worked on developing a relationship. He now lives in Portland, OR but we stay in touch. The best part of all of this, he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior living in Missouri. He is currently not on fire for the Lord, but I believe he will be again one day, as well as my youngest son Brad will be also. In Jesus name!

                                  

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-06-17/c7a2b45b-2c1b-48b0-9f40-4a58cb1a6a5c.png
Brad & Lori - During Brad's service in the Marines

Fast forward to December 2015, I was not looking for a husband, but I met mine. John was not looking for a wife, but he found one. From the day we met, the Lord spoke to me that my husband was going to be an integral part in me fulfilling the dreams and calling the Lord has put on my life. My husband is a pre-believer, but I thank God every day for him. He is very supportive of me. He also encourages me in the new adventures I am on with the Lord. We have our struggles due to his life style, but I have learned when to speak up and when to let it go. I have learned to lay down boundaries and will not accept any disrespect towards me. When it has happened, I have been quick to nip it in the bud. I daily thank my husband for his support, encouragement, for his hard work to provide for our family, for his love for me and my sons, for doing dishes, taking out the garbage, whatever it may be. I thank him and let him know how much I appreciate him. It’s vital to our marriages to show love, honor, and respect.

Life is too short to live any way but happy. I have come to the place where I know who I am in Christ Jesus and I won’t accept anything less than His best for my life. I know in Whom I serve, and I don’t forget for one day Who He is or what He has done for me. 

I close with Lamentations 3:58 NKJV: “O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; You have redeemed my life.” Amen!

 

Lynn Donovan: Thank you Lori for your heart of love for our community and for your courage to share your story. Your life brings great honor to our Father. Well done good and faithful servant.  SUMites, give a shout out to Lori in the comments for sharing her heart with us. Hugs. Lynn


Our Bottom Drawer

Hi friends, Ann here!

In preparation for today’s post I’d been asking God what to write. I had a head full of ideas but in the early hours of this morning those went completely out the window as I woke with a pounding heart and a picture of a cavernous wooden bottom drawer!  Drawer As I lay trying to make sense of it, words from the Holy Spirit landed in my head:

SUMites, as you fill your bottom drawer you’re providing for those who have been named ‘clear and bright’, and you are evangelizing through a microphone.

This, it seemed, was to be today’s post: A bottom drawer, provision, and a microphone, what fun! I’ll describe where it took me, and I hope this word encourages you today.

The Bottom Drawer

In times past, hopeful young women used to collect special things in a ‘bottom drawer’ to bring to their marriage. It included beautiful linen, tea-cups, and other treasures that would be both pretty and useful for their home.

As I write, I’m looking straight at two tea cups that sit on my piano, bottom-drawer items: One belonged to my great-grandma, Lucy, and the other to her mother, Elizabeth. I know for sure that Lucy’s was part of a set gifted to her by church when she turned 18. 

Setting up a bottom drawer was an act of imagination and anticipation. There was an element of the great unknown. Who would the husband be? What would her home be like?

SUMites, I relate to this as I carry a whole bellyful of hope for my family these days! While we wait, we can fill our own spiritual bottom drawer and do it with a whole lot of hope and imagination; yet, there’s a leap of faith, and perhaps a little anxiety there. I well remember as a teenager, thinking ‘what if I don’t get married?!’ In the same way, thoughts creep in: What if the three people I love most in the world never say yes to God? It can floor me, that thought.

But NO. The fact we have this word from the Holy Spirit says to me don't go there. It’s as if He says, ‘Go ahead and fill your bottom drawer, SUMites!’ These are bottom drawers to be brought not only to our physical homes, but also our eternity with Jesus Christ (Rev 19:6-9), bottom drawers that will eventually provide for those who are going to be ‘Clear’ and ‘Bright’ – Does He mean our families? I’ll gladly receive that as a promise.

CupsBut what are the special things we’re collecting? As I chew on that, it seems that they’re items that support rest, beautify the home, and help us feed our family and invite others in. They’re things that will be passed down to generations -- enjoyed in the immediate family, but also beyond.

As I think of all the comments I’ve read on this blog over the years, I picture each SUMite’s bottom drawer being filled with the prayers they’ve prayed and the promises they’ve believed. I see family records they’ve kept, and acts of church giving that have been so tough to pull off.  Most of all, I visualize each, and every, choice to love – often against the odds or against popular opinion.

Whatever they look like, these drawers of ours are full of things that are carefully curated, ready, and just waiting. 

But wait, what about the last words, As you fill that drawer you are evangelizing through a microphone? As someone who finds it hard to speak up against opinions, can I say how much that surprises me and shocks me into a different way of seeing things? See, I’m surrounded by friends and colleagues who are verbal in their opposition to Jesus. In that environment, I tend to be the quietist one on the block. I often feel, ‘I don’t even have the words...’ 

“O my Lord, I am not eloquent..” (Exodus 4:10)

But, quiet as I am, this word now says something different: Every time I invest in my, and my family’s, future I'm out and loud. Others will hear it as clear and bright as day and will catch the light. After all, it's the loudest sound in the room.

“Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.” (Acts 10:4)

SUMites, what are your thoughts? How does this word speak to you? Let’s chat - I can’t wait to hear your insights.


The Dichotomy of A Life, by Lori Lyn Skipper - Part II

Brad son Lori Lyn Skipper June 2018Welcome back! As a quick reminder, I moved to Springfield, IL in 1990. It was there that I met my son Brad’s dad.

The birth of Brad was so very different than when I gave birth to Brian. I was instantly protective of him. On June 26, 1996 my life took a major turn. Without going into every detail, I was hit by a train that day while driving my S10 pickup truck. I broke my neck in 2 places as well as my tailbone. I had multiple bruises, bit my tongue almost off and had a concussion. God in His great mercy spared my life.

A week after the wreck, while at home, I had a flashback and had a stroke; (the doctor said it was my body trying to protect itself because my brain perceived danger). I was paralyzed on the right side of my body and could hardly talk for several days. My sons’ dad refused to take care of me or our son.  The tables had turned, it was I that was raising our son alone, my youngest son was being neglected and I was the one being abused. I was living out Galatians 6:7-8: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

For all of those years, I had sown to the flesh and I was reaping corruption.

I eventually found my way back to church in November of 1996 where I met Jesus. He became the lover of my soul in January 1997. I would love to stop here and tell you, the day I became a born-again believer my life got 100% better and it became a bed of roses, but I would be lying to you. Life became more of a struggle for a season because here I was, a new Christian, my son gave his life to Christ in June 1997 and his dad was still an unbeliever.

The day I surrendered to Christ, my personal life changed 100%, no more drinking, no more drugs, no more pornography. I was no longer the person Brad’s dad knew me to be and that brought about its own problems. He did not want to hear about my new-found faith, nor did he want to attend church with us. He was happy with his life and wanted no part of mine. I became lonely and depressed. I felt torn between being with the man I loved and going back to my ‘former’ self or pressing on with the Lord I loved.

Brads dad reached the decision to move back to Springfield, IL without Brad & I. Brad was seven-years-old at the time and is now 27 years old. He and his dad still have a strained relationship due to his dads neglect while he was a young child.

Our children do suffer when one or both of their parents’ neglect, ignore or abuse them or the other parent. Again, it is up to us to protect our children. It may look different for each person, but we MUST protect our children.  I know this is resonating with several of you out there. Please know that you are not alone. Hear me “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!” God understands, He knows your pain, your struggle. He is walking through it with you.

As I write this, Father gave me this Scripture for one (or more) of you reading this right now;

Ezekiel 16:4-14. Verses 4-8 “As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born. “And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God.

Hear the Word of the Lord, He has entered into a covenant with you and now is the time of love!

Stay tuned to hear about the miracles God has performed in my life! Until next time, love & blessings, Lori.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHi, Lori Lyn Skipper here! I’m happy to say I am 51 years young, married to my husband John. We have three grown children between the two of us. I have two boys and he has a daughter as well as a granddaughter. My husband and I married in June 2016. I moved to sunny Florida in 2012. I often say I’m an Illinois girl living in a Florida world. I came to meet Jesus in mid-1996 but did not accept Him as my Lord and Savior until January 1997. Let me tell you, He’s had His work cut out since I said yes to His call. I often envision God shaking His head at my antics. You know, how we do with our own children? I kind of resemble Paul, “the chief of sinners”. Well, I used to be, now I’m no longer a sinner, I’m a saint saved by grace that sometimes still sins. A couple of my passions are to see people healed, delivered, and set free by the power of Holy Spirit and the body walking in their gifts and calling of the Lord. Getting to be a part of that is so fun and such a blessing.

Lori Skipper Hosting


Memorial Day

Today in the US we are commemorating the brave men and women who serve in our American Armed Forces. Mike and I are close friends with a General of the US Airforce Reserves and his wife. I remember a few years ago that Mike and I, along with his family and his mom, sat in the kitchen of his home as he arrived home after a tour over seas. He stepped into the door, still wearing his fatigues, and after traveling a brutal 22 hours to get home, with a smile beaming across his face.

He was exhausted but filled with such joy to finally be home with his family. The stories he began to share with us were accounts of lives and situations I can not fully comprehend. Children who begged for a cookie on the roadside and when given one, acted as though it was a gift of great price. The General felt bigger than Santa Clause at that moment.

I am forever changed to consider what this man has given up that I may live a life of prosperity. I'm also fully aware of what his wife, one of my closest friends, has sacrificed along with their children as this man was away serving our nation. I'm undone.

Thank you is inadequate. But I am so very thankful for every man and woman who serves our country. I honor you today.

My friends, the US and many nations of the western world are divided and we face some of the most ugly of the human condition. However, God remains soverign and there are many more good people than that of the enemy. 

How do I know.

Yesterday at a high school championship baseball game, the announcer said that the National Anthem would not be sung. Well, the people in the stands all stood up and sang it anyway.

Take a listen. (I hope this video is still here in the morning when the email blast goes out.) There is GREAT hope for mankind because we can choose to be kind. To love and to live in sacrifice. 

Thank you and may God bless America!

 


I Can't Believe That JUST Happened!

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!

I have a confession. These last couple months have been really hard! I have struggled with things that I haven't for a while – at least a year. Things I IMG_2558thought were long gone have resurfaced. Things that I just gained victory from – snatching up my money, time, effort, thoughts. I have to admit that it is mainly my fault. I let my guard down. I got prideful...remember what it says about this in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “If you think you are standing firm, be
 careful that you don't fall!” This is what happens when we take our eyes off of Jesus. Just like Peter stepping out onto the water and looking at the waves crashing around him – I was sinking. I lost my first love.

Funny how things can develop so quickly! Just last August I began my journey on the fast track to wisdom, spiritual blessing and gifts, a platform to
use my writing and speaking abilities to reach fellow believers. I found favor in the eyes of the Lord. I know I still do...I know that He is looking at me saying, “Get up, dust yourself off, you are still victorious. You are still redeemed. You are still loved.” However, I can't help but wonder – deep down – what happened? How could I forfeit such a beautiful love relationship because I got winded, lazy, entitled? How could I allow myself to so easily get caught up in the wind and the waves and take my eyes off of Jesus?

Maybe you didn't let your guard down. Maybe you are closer to the Lord than ever. Maybe you've been more faithful and strong. Regardless of our personal lives there has been much opposition in the spirit realm. I am seeing your struggles through conversation and prayer requests. I am seeing the things that you once struggled with have come back with a vengeance. I am seeing the things that spouses once struggled with have come back too. Oh how many times I want to plead on your behalf when I hear words like, “He has gotten bad again...”

What is going on right now that the battle is raging? I can't say for sure (please those gifted in the prophetic – dreams, visions, etc – weigh in here) but I believe that we have begun to hunger for MORE.

I believe that we have begun to stand up for our beliefs and our value and dignity.

I believe that we are beginning to truly seek out what God means when He talks about our identity IN Him.

I believe that things that once were struggles are no more.

I believe that we are seeing breakthrough, healing, community, fellowship...LOVE.

Friends, Lynn has said it before and I totally agree. We are living in some pretty amazing times! We are being prepared for whatever God has on the precipice and Satan and the forces of darkness DON'T LIKE IT!

Forgive me for my small child movie reference (we have so many at our house!) but have you seen the movie Cars 3? At the end of the movie, a girl race car (Cruz Ramirez) steps in for Lightning McQueen to finish the big race. She is really good and quickly pulls up on the ranks. She gets to 3rd place and the defending champion, Jackson Storm, pulls back to her position and begins talking down to her, “You don't belong here. You will never be a racer.” She begins to slow down. She begins to lose ground.

Lightning McQueen tells her something that is really profound, “Listen to me! You got into HIS head. Don't you understand? He would have never have done that if you didn't scare him. You are a racer. Use that.”

I want to echo his words. Don't you understand? You would not be under fire if YOU didn't scare the enemy! If you were not making your Heavenly Daddy PROUD...there wouldn't be any stress, anxiety, return of past temptation and sin. There wouldn't be opposition from spouses. There wouldn't be any struggle. When Cruz Ramirez heard this, her demeanor completely changed. I pray you hear this – straight down to the core of your being – and allow it to change yours. You have power and authority given by Jesus Christ HIMSELF. When you pray (even when you can't see results in the physical) you make a difference. When you seek the Lord, you are pleasing the Father in Heaven. When things get tough, continue to cling to the Only One who can make a difference and bring deliverance, healing, provision.

Today I started reading this book called “The Presence: Experiencing More of God” by Alec Rowlands. Let me tell you that I haven't even finished the first chapter and I am blown away. I wanted to share a little bit with you. I pray it encourages and fires you up like it has done to me.

“There's nothing safe about pursuing and being near to God, if by safe you mean being left as you are, to follow your own agenda and depend solely on your own wisdom and resources for living...The Christian life is not a game or a quiet pastime. But if you are willing to be used by him for the extension of his Kingdom here on earth, then drawing near to him is the only way to live life fully. The only things at risk are things not worth living for. And living in the daily pursuit of God's presence is the best way I know to get to the quality of life and unmatched sense of adventure with God that we desire. It is the Christian life lived the way God intended...The reason Jesus came was to open the door to this kind of intimacy with God for all humanity. It is part of the inheritance of our salvation. After Jesus ascended to the Father, he sent us the Holy Spirit expressly to facilitate our intimacy with God – in revelation, in worship, in prayer. God invites us to seek his presence. He welcomes our pursuit of him. He rewards it. And his presence will be revealed in limitless ways as he makes himself known. But there is risk. Proximity to God involves not just having a good feeling. We have to be willing to be wholly consumed by his love and to have our lives rearranged by his grace.” (pp.3-4)

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33

The question for us all – myself included – is this:

Am I willing to be FULLY CONSUMED by his love? Even to the point that He WILL rearrange our lives by His grace?

Are you hungry for abundantly more (Ephesians 3:20-21)? I know I am.

Despite all of the hardship, trouble, backsliding, temptation, sin that has come upon you...you ARE still redeemed. You ARE still loved. You ARE still victorious. You ARE still filled with authority straight from Jesus Christ.

Bring your burdens and we will bring them before the Lord together. Respond in the comments, YES and I would love to pray over you. 

In His Marvelous Grace,

Tiffany


Marriage Redemption In Real Life This Easter

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

-----

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am clinging to that promise as well.

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

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

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

He is always the One we should turn to. 

With love, Becky

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

Biography:

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


The Lord Saw - The Lord Compensated

By Martha Bush Honor

Praise and Worship was over, the offering had been taken, announcements had been made - time for my pastor to begin his sermon.

As he walked toward the pulpit, I readied myself to listen to his sermon by positioning my Bible and notepad on my lap. Yes, I am antique - I still carry my big Bible to church. Ipads and smart phones do not allow for the sweet sound of pages turning on an open Bible, plus seeing all the notes written on the pages from years past as the pastor speaks.

All of a sudden, from the pulpit, I heard the pastor say, "There's a lady I want to honor this morning for the ministry she has led the past several years. She doesn't know I am going to do this, but Martha Bush, stand up!"                                          

Obviously, I was taken back as I stood up trying to hold onto all the stuff I had placed on my lap, almost dropping all of it on the floor. Okay, okay! For surprises like these, small pieces of technology would have served me better.

From there, he began to explain what the SUM ministry is all about and issued the invitation for those interested to contact me. Once again he reiterated, "Martha Bush, we honor you today for leading this ministry."

The following week as I reflected on the recognition of the SUM Ministry, my heart was touched. I knew there was a BIGGER PICTURE going on with its recognition and the honor the pastor had given to me for leading it.

And so, I sat down and wrote my SUM group the following email.

*** 

Ladies:

The word, "HONOR" that Pastor used in introducing me has taken on a special meaning. First of all, I was not the only one being honored - I was standing up before the church for all of you. I was just the one for whom the blessing of honor flowed through. I was your representative.

One of my favorite Bible stories that has touched me time and time again is the story of Leah, Jacob, and Rachael. Leah was not Jacob's preferred wife; it was Rachael he loved. Leah went through turmoil living in the same house as the forgotten, invisible wife in an unloving marriage with Jacob and Rachael.

But, my favorite scripture in this story is found in Genesis 29:31: And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb, but Rachael was barren.

The key words in that verse are "The Lord Saw." What did the Lord see?

  • He saw Leah was hated.
  • He saw she was not accepted.
  • He saw she was not affirmed.
  • He saw she was not appreciated for the beautiful woman she was.
  • He saw she had been an invisible woman to Jacob and her father, Laban.

The question is "What did the Lord do when He saw all the things Leah went through?"

The unloved Leah, the forgotten one, the loser's prize, the one totally rejected was compensated with Motherhood.

Certainly, we don't experience the kind of behavior from our spouse as Leah did. At least, we don't live in the same house with his other wife. (Can you imagine that?)

But, think about those words "The Lord Saw," as they pertain to hurts you have experienced in your own marriage, and fill in the blanks.

  • The Lord Saw _______________
  • The Lord Saw _______________
  • The Lord Saw _______________ 

Yes, we all have had our share of problems in some form, as we have walked the path of the "spiritual mismatch" in our home, and perhaps have cried many tears as we prayed. But, on this Sunday, I believe the Lord gave us a wink and said, "I saw the things you have gone through." 

As a result, just as He compensated Leah with motherhood for her troubles, I believe He compensated us with HONOR. That honor was exhibited in at least two ways.

  1. He compensated us with HONOR for the role we have had to play as the spiritual leader of our homes. We've been positioned on the front line of duty, if you please.
  2. He compensated us with HONOR before men - our pastor and church body. No longer are we the forgotten, invisible ones. We are now recognized as an important role of service to the Body of Christ.

And so, I say to you, "Ladies, receive the HONOR that the Lord has given to all of us through our pastor.

***

And now, to all of you reading this blog on the world-wide web, receive this compensation of honor from the Lord for yourself. After all, Lynn and Dineen stood up and represented ALL of us before the world years ago.  

Perhaps, there are other ways you feel honored in your marriage than the two I have mentioned.  How about sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Be blessed.  

 


Our Father's Love For The Lost

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

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

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

It is NOT SO!

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

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

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

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

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

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


The GREAT Power of Our Warfare

Jesus Names of SUMOkay, the last weapon we will cover is the name of Jesus.

His name can launch a war, seal the fate of nations, change the destiny of a thousand generations. His name can cast out legions of devils and free captives from the darkest depression. His name heals the blind and destroys cancer. His name can bring freedom, deliverance, new destinies and fortunes.

For an entire season of my life, I would mumble around whispering the name of Jesus. Over and over, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. His name spoken aloud changes my heart and my home. Can I share something with you that is a peek into my life? Well, ahem, even today when I wake in the night and make a trip to the bathroom, without being aware, the name of Jesus still slips from my lips. “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, you are my King. Jesus, I adore you. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

Oh, that we would all have the name of Jesus continually tumbling from our lips.

Everything changed for me when I came to wrap my mind, heart and spirit around three passages of scripture and how Jesus is at the core.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. —Ephesians 2: 6-7

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:27

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:3

SUMite Nation, come to the truth and grips with these passages. Let them dwell in you and you in them. We are seated with Christ in heaven. Christ is IN US, the hope of glory. We are hidden in Christ in God.

Who could ever touch us if these are true?

 

Jesus, Prince of Peace
Jesus, Prince of Peace

So I have a simple question for you, are these your truths? If you don’t know for sure, that’s okay. But I ask you to start speaking them frequently and regularly over your life and faith. Ask Jesus to reveal to you what these passages imply and how to draw from them to defeat your challenges, circumstances, struggles and your fears.

 

The weapons of our warfare: The Word of God, Worship, Blood of Jesus, The name of Jesus. And our offensive weapon is our Sword. And to write about the Sword, well that my friends, would take about ten years.

I hope this series encouraged you, equipped you, challenged you and took your further on your journey with Christ. I love you. Lynn

 

Post Script: I wrote this series a month ago and I find it so wonderful that it concludes just a few weeks prior to Easter. The next few weeks I'll be writing thoughts about Easter, Passover and our Beloved, Jesus. :) I would love to read your thoughts about our beloved Jesus. Talk to me in the comments by dearest brothers and sisters. I adore you.


Mike's Best Advice To A Believing Wife

Finn Grace Hebrews 11 1Hello SUMite Nation! Lynn here.

I’m writing this post on a very warm and sunny Super Bowl Sunday. I’m apologizing to all of you who are freezing your keister off in the icebox of February. And for those of you battling this ferocious flu, I speak to that bug in your body and command it in the name of Jesus; BE GONE. STAND DOWN! BODY BE HEALED!

Anyhoo, I ask for your grace as I describe the warm weather, exceptionally warm (I’m frustrated- What happened to winter around here?) weather in Southern California. Yesterday Mike and I sat on our front porch swing together with our puppies, Grace and Finney. In these strangely warm months of winter, we often sit out there together and take in the neighborhood. Yesterday we watch an entire swarm of bees take residence in our neighbor’s trees. (She was made aware).

While rocking and also yelling at Grace to get out of the dirt, I popped a question to Mike. “Mike, what advice would you give younger women who are married to unbelieving men?”

I prefaced the question with the understanding that Mike and I have now been married 25 years. We are in the most beautiful season of our married life. It is peaceful between us. The friction and pain that once existed is over and we are truly enjoying what I feel we both fought so hard to finally obtain; peace, security, love and a friendship that is … You complete my sentences…. kind of friendship.

It’s weird to type those words but we finally have arrived and are living a beautiful married life. With this new season, my mind tends to forget what it’s like to live in the season of struggle where many of you are residing today. So, that is why I often find my heart wanting to write and share more about what is happening in my faith that continues to grow exponentially. So be patient with me if I tend to write more about faith in the future. I’ve actually learned that the more I grow in Christ the less conflict I experience with other relationships. NOW That IS a powerful truth to grasp!

So, back to the question. Mike replied with three words. I reached for my phone to record what he said, and he continued, “Patience, understanding and love.”

Ya, pretty much sounds like Jesus talking! Perhaps this guy has gleaned a few things after all.

“What does that mean?” I ventured, holding the phone closer to capture his words.

“What I mean by patience is that you can’t change someone or expect them to do something they are not ready to do, like church. You have to have patience and realize that perhaps it will change or maybe it won’t. But you need patience and don’t FORCE the change because it will only alienate your husband.”

“Mike, I think you also said something about a man’s discovery of God and how his wife could better serve in his journey.”

“Yes, a wife can support his discovery and encourage his discovery, but a wife can’t make it happen. It’s not her responsibility.”

“What does understanding look like in this kind of marriage?”

Mike, “Understanding is coming to grips with his current faith or lack of faith. Also, be intentional to understand who he is and what is important to him. Understand where he’s coming from so that you don’t fight over your differences in faith.”

“And love?”

“Love your husband. As a believing wife, you demonstrate God’s love by how you love your husband.”

This response means the world to me!

Me, “Do you really believe what you just told me or are you just saying that, so I have something to write about?” (grin)

He laughs out loud and chuckles, “No, I really believe what I told you. This is what I have learned from our struggles and all that you wrote about in Winning Him Without Words. It’s true.”

Wow, I guess I never knew he really read the book.

My dearest SUMites, let our ordinary marriages become a testimony to the power of the love of God in an ordinary woman. You WILL overcome. Your marriage can THRIVE. Your kids will walk in faith. Keep on praying. Remain steadfast in belief. Study and learn about warfare and the promises of God. Know your identity as a Child of God. Love, love, love, love, love…. Forgive, forgive, forgive, grace, grace, grace. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Be Blessed, Lynn


Defeat Discouragement and SUMite Nation New Writers

SUMite Nation,

DiscouragementDon’t give into discouragement. The month advances and perhaps you fasted, perhaps not. But God is moved by our prayers. For me personally this past week has been tough. I’ve battled discouragement, confusion and even frustration as the answers I’m seeking, have yet to come to light. In my discouragement I felt my spirit drain of its hope and despair was standing by just waiting to pounce.

I gathered myself and went on a prayer march on Sunday morning. Along the route the Lord spoke, “You are a Daughter of the King. Rise up and remember. You have fabulous promises. My Word is a hammer that shatters despair and disappointment (Jeremiah 23:29). Press in. The devil is scheming and plotting, and blocking your breakthrough and dreams. Decree the promises over your life. Speak that which is not as though it is (Romans 4:17).”

Wow, did I ever need that pep talk! So do you. Believe and do not listen to the lies of the enemy. GREAT things await those of us who believe!

Gang, I also want to share some exciting additions to the SUM writing family. I will continue to write on Mondays and Fridays. I’ll also offer an occasional guest post in some of my slots.

Many of you reached out to offer your help since Dineen moved along. And I’m thrilled that there are so many aspiring writers out there and most of them went through my online writing seminar. So along with my voice and our long-time contributor, Ian Acheson, please welcome Ann Hutchison, who is also our Newsletter coordinator and writer. Christy Edney who coordinates our Prayer Partner ministry and the Facebook Group along with Taylor Talmage. This month Tiffany Carter joins us. She will write once a month and Martha Bush, who recently wrote some great articles on submission. Martha will contribute random posts as time permits. Finally, we also have a new voice that will be writing and sharing short inspiration on our SUM Facebook page, Patty Tower, who starts in February.

To read more about the team members, click on the Meet The Team link in the menu. Also, if you have a story to share, please visit the Contributors page for post guidelines and submissions. I am always looking for SUM family to share their triumphs and hopes who have been part of our community in the comments, etc.

I love all of you. I’m NOT giving up on the dreams the Lord has placed in my heart. Don’t you give up either. Perseverance, persistence and rejecting the lies of the enemy is the pathway to victory!

HALLELUJAH!!!


The Voice of Hope This Christmas

Luke 2 11 Manger at NightAnd there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” —Luke 2:8-12

Years of antiquity, long since passed, in a singular moment of time, a Prince was born. Conceived in holiness, brought forth and swaddled in lowliness. His name declared in the heavens with shouts of wonder, from the angels On High. The pride of His Father.

His name, Emmanuel – God with us.

This humble child, a gift to the multitudes whom toil in bitterness and strife. The years of His youth, His stature increased as love and wisdom grew gaining favor with God and mankind. His voice, a ministry of kindness, mercy, repentance and forgiveness, releasing the people to hope once again, to believe and witness the power of a good Father.

Raised as an example to follow. His message was clear:

Peace silences confusion and fear.

Truth frees minds from anxiety, depression, addiction, and trauma.

Joy restores dreams and creativity.

Righteous conquers illness.

Forgiveness heals the heart, mind, and soul.

Love defeats hate.

This babe born and placed in a trough of animals, grown, then hung on a tree. Cursed of our sins, now forgiven, are you and me. The power of heaven lights the sky. Flashes of victory and out of death He rises. The world now redeemed. Time split in two. Miracles and healing declared for the earth.

In centuries long past, He was born the lowliest of Kings. Now raised to life, He reigns unmatched, to restore our dreams, heal hearts, establish health and defeat darkness. He is:

The King of Kings
Lion of Judah
Bright and Morning Star

Prince of Peace
Emmanuel

He is Jesus.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28

 

Jesus, you are my hope and my future. Thank you for your humble beginnings and your victory at the cross. I ask you to come into my heart and rule in my life. I ask you to forgive my failures and offenses and I choose to forgive others. Today, I receive the gift of eternal life. I am a new creation and receive salvation through the Holy Spirit. In Your name, Jesus. AMEN


The God of Hope

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Photo courtesy of 9comeback/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hope. In Lynn’s last couple of posts she has shared what the Lord has been saying to her about hope. As I meditated with the Lord on what to write about He gave me a similar instruction: HOPE.

I’ve previously shared on my three-strikes rule: if I read/hear a topic 3 times in a very short space of time I realise the Lord is wanting me to pay particular attention. This happened last week and the topic was, you guessed it, Hope.

These are crazy times indeed. Both at the global level: Nth Korea, Harvey, Trump, Charlottesville, Middle East, terrorism, etc and at the individual level: depression, suicide, divorce, job loss, and so on. Yes, these are crazy times.

But.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NKJV) 

We have a God of hope.

This verse starts with urgency: Now. Yes, we can allow our circumstances to derail our hope and in no way do I want to sound like I’m underestimating the impact of anyone’s trying individual circumstances. Some of us are doing it really tough and I cry out to Jesus for His presence and supernatural peace to invade all of our lives in a new and vibrant way.

But. Now.

I was having breakfast this last Saturday and Fiona came in to say an ambulance was next door and things weren’t looking good. Fi had some errands to run and I was agitated by what was going on next door. I could see our friends hovering at their front door as the paramedics were doing their thing. I didn’t want to intrude as I might just be getting in the way.

But I knew there was one thing I could do and Now. Go to our God of hope and pray. He knew what was going on with our friend’s mum who’d collapsed. So I interceded for her for the next however long. After about an hour the ambulance left and I was filled with peace even though I was uncertain of the status of her life. He was in charge. He knew. 

Turn to Him. Now.

Often in difficult times we try to resolve the issue ourselves, panic, run around trying to be helpful. You get the picture. But we have a God of hope who knows all things.

Pray over your situation using the promises of God. God loves hearing us repeat His Words.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed these verses in the last ten years or so. They really are my go to verses when anxiety grabs a hold and/or my circumstances have gone pear shaped.

Something miraculous happens when we pray His promises, we get filled with hope and our faith grows. That’s why the Bible is a supernatural book. Our words have power. Perhaps our circumstances may not change immediately but our perspective will.

Dearest Father, we love you, we worship you. Thank you that you are the God of hope. We come to you now as our God declaring that no weapon formed against us and our families will prosper. For you are our God. You will strengthen us, You will help us and you will uphold us with Your righteous right Hand. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Oh, our neighbour’s mom is okay. She is still in hospital for a few more days but is recuperating well. Hallelujah.

Blessings dear SUMite friends.


God Of The Impossible

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHOPE Part II

Last week I wrote about HOPE. It's a weird thing when God takes you through a season of change. I discovered quickly that the enemy will pounce on every insecurity, past wounding and bring every difficulty in your life to the forefront in an effort to torment. In the past week, I've walked this out. Don't think I'm not immune to the devil’s attacks. But my years of walking in faith has helped me to quickly rebound so I don't stay in the stinkin’ pit for weeks. 

Anyone want to climb out of the stinkin’ pit today? Well, this is what the Lord told me yesterday and within an hour of praying this prayer, I WAS BACK!!!!! So, everything I have learned, I pass to you today. Because I am an arm of love, supported by my Jesus, reaching into the pit and I WILL PULL YOU UP!  Well, Jesus will, but I'm there with you *grin*.

Lord, align my desires with Yours.

Today, align my thoughts with Yours. Align my work to Yours. Align my heart to Your heart. Seal my life to depend upon Your life.

Align my energies and efforts to what You are doing on this earth in this season. Align the love in my soul to Your love. Align my heart to love others.

Align my eyes to see what You see, to perceive as You perceive. Align my dreams to be birthed from Your dreams about me and for me.

Align my wisdom to Divine Wisdom and to reject the voice of worldly enticements. Align my pursuit of You to be holiness, kindness, compassion, truth and righteousness.

Align myself to be a leader to others and that I would lead in humility and love. That others would then align their love to Your Presence.

Align my worship to Your heart, to bring You honor and glory. Align my words to be words that become a well-spring of hope to myself and others.

Align my mind to Your mind that I think only what You think about me.

Align my every minute of every day to offer You thanksgiving for the richest blessings of provision, protection and grace.

In Jesus name. AMEN

*I want to thank Ann Hutchison for this inspiration. She left a comment on my personal blog that was my arm of support to lift me up. Gang, we all need one another. THAT IS WHAT FAMILY IS FOR!!

SUMite Texas Update: I also want to let you know that I spoke to Martha (Debbie) and Dorothy from Texas. Their homes were spared. Hallelujah. Martha was just let back into her home on Monday. Their church is a complete mess and there is cleanup happening all over the place. Thank you Lord for your protection but we pray for those who are experiencing enormous loss. We pray comfort, peace and Lord send them every natural provision they need, times seven. In Jesus name.

I believe in God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are our hope. See you Friday with a powerful message of HOPE in the God of the impossible. Love you, Lynn

 

 

Register for the Glorious Bride Women's Event (So Cal. area)

In Pursuit of His Presence, August 28, 2017

The Practices of Vibrant Faith, September 4, 2017


This WORD of Hope Is Powerful

Hope On Stone SUMSomeone needs this WORD today.

While in my prayer time I asked the Lord, “What do I need to write today for all of us (The SUMites)?”

At first, I didn’t hear anything but as I rose to leave the Lord began to speak over me…. And He said this is for all of us.

I know how difficult it is.

I know the challenges of your life. I see the struggles in your home, with your spouse. I know that you are alone fighting for decency and for Godliness for yourself and your children. In the night hours, I am sitting next to you as the tears drop from your eyes. I am holding your hand, my child.

I recognize the blows come in words that tear at your very soul. The disappointment that works to tell you it’s not worth the effort. And whispers of lies that are convincing you to stop fighting, to admit defeat. I see your torment.

But today, I want you to know deep in your soul, how I’ve been by your side every minute. You have a great hope. Your hope isn’t just a wish or a thought that perhaps something will change. Your hope is alive and filled with truth that something will be better tomorrow.

HOPE in the Kingdom is a substance and powerful. It is a word that when wielded in faith decimates the strongholds of argument. It silences the defeat of unchanged lives and heart. Hope is the greatest gift given to my children on earth.

When you lift words of prayer, with hope, this is the activation of your faith. I’ve blessed you with life and new beginnings. As believers, every morning that you rise is a choice to step into a new life, new hope, and redemption of past lies, sins and failures.

This is real hope. You have promises that hold power. Truth that brings steadfastness and love that changes everything.

I know you feel weary. Bring your battle scares to me in the morning or evening and I WILL HEAL THEM. In their place are medals of honor. They seal up the wounds and release power.

You are an overcomer. Let me remind you of this truth. You overcome the arrows of the enemy and you release light and truth. Your marriage is the one thing the enemy wants to destroy more than anything else. So, when you rise and fight, serve and pray for your family, GREAT IS YOUR REWARD. Every day you continue to hope releases a power to support. Angels are set on assignment to walk with you.

Walk it out. Pray the torment stops this hour. Demand it stop speaking lies to you, your spouse, and children. Pray the Holy Spirit into your home and the hearts of those you love.

And hear me now…. I AM THERE WITH YOU. I will not let you fail. The fire rages about you but what you are gaining in knowledge and experience is everything.

When you are doubting or feeling defeated, open My Word. Read the promises from Matthew aloud to yourself. Tell your soul, as David told his soul, these are my promises and I want every one of them, for myself and my family. In Jesus name.

Hope is your life. It is the substance that will carry you home and into the gates of the Kingdom. You will enter in with great celebration and adorned with badges of honor because you chose hope in the dark and you saw it come alive in the passing of the years.

I adore you. And I leave you this promise to stand upon today: I will never leave you nor forsake you.

The Lord, God , Almighty

I pray this word has encouraged someone who was wavering. Stand strong and know you are not alone. I’m with you. The angels are around you. The Holy Spirit is whispering truths to you. Jesus created every opportunity for you and God, Almighty is your strength, power, and wisdom. Hugging you tight today, Lynn

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. —Psalm 103:1-5

If you need prayer today, leave a request in the comments. I will be in my office on Thursday and Friday to pray for you. Lynn


Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - God Never Relents

SUMite Nation!

Gang, can I just tell you…. I MISSED YOU. I finally am home. It’s great to travel and I have some stories to share but it’s awesome to be back at home.

I am refreshed now and feel as though God has cranked up my passion to a brand-new level for our community. Since returning, my heart is filled with the thoughts of you. I’ve been praying like a mad woman for marriages, for your hearts for you to rise up in hope and to see how Jesus is working all around you. I have prayed to defeat depression, fear and weariness. I’ve been praying for restoration, redemption and to cancel all the lies of the enemy in the homes and spouses of the SUMites… And I’ve only been home for a week!

Right now I’m in a serious season of intercession. Take comfort and hope and know that God sees you. He loves you and I’m interceding for you along with Jesus through the Spirit.

Today, I want to share a story with all of you who feel that God has disappeared or doesn’t see you. He does.

Most of you know that Mike and I traveled to Europe to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The only way I could convince Mike to travel overseas was to add a cruise to the equation. He agreed. So, we cruised on the biggest boat I’ve ever seen. Our room was on deck 15 and wow, what a view. 3,000 guest and 2,000 crew. THAT’S a crowd.

Mike is a traditional sort of guy, so nightly we would eat dinner in the formal dining room. The first night we were seated with a young couple. But they had been separated from their family and joined them for the remainder of the cruise at their table, thus we sat alone.

But…. On night three we walked in for diner and there sat two new couples. And this is where the story becomes a God thing.

You see, the women we met have been friends for more than 40 years. The two couples are great friends. And within minutes we were chatting and laughing and having a great time. And with me around, I can’t help it but conversations always move to areas of faith. I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself.

Wouldn’t you know it, out of all the thousands of people on our ship, we were now seated with a Nazarene pastor, his wife and their best friends. After a few nights of talking, Wes, the pastor looks over at Mike and asks, “Mike can I ask a personal question?”

“Yes, sure.”

“What is it that keeps you from accepting your wife’s faith?”

I sat motionless staring at Mike. He responded honestly and with great respect for me and the pastor. And his answer was not what I expected and yet it was. 

“I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I just struggle with organized religion.”

My mouth hung open as I took in this conversation. Mike went on to explain a bit more. Pretty much what you might expect. The evil that has been perpetrated by religion, etc.

I love Wes’ rely, “What your saying isn’t anything that I haven’t thought as well. But it is also true that when people organize, pool their resources, their manpower, they bring so much good to the world. Bringing the Gospel to those who would never hear it and helping people in multiple ways.”

Gang, can I just say, Wes was born to be a pastor. His love shined from his eyes. His concern for Mike was genuine and you could just see him loving Mike without judgement. Man, when I grow up I want to be like Pastor Wes.

A funny thing about these God-incidents. One evening I didn’t attend dinner because I was still full from lunch (eating is the main sport on a cruise – sheesh, I gained five pounds) an Anglican Priest was seated at our table along with the Nazarene pastor, his wife, their best friends and Mike. HILARIOUS!!  Mike is surrounded on all side, all the time, by believers.

Don’t think for a second that God isn’t working in your life and marriage. He is. He ALWAYS is at work to bring men unto His heart through His kindness.

Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep growing in your faith. Our God is all powerful, faithful and He is moving in our lives.

I love you. Have a great week. Lynn

 

25th Wedding Anniversary Cruise
Mike, Lynn (Photo bomb), Sam, (front row) Mary, Wes, Elizabeth

 

 

 


You Are Loved: Why Do We Wait and Hope?

Remember to share what you're learning in the comments. What is your believing statement? Share your heart, your doodles and your coloring pages! Hugs! ~Dineen

TWEETABLE TRUTH: 

“God’s Word will transform you. Reed it, believe it, and trust Him to do it—because He watches over His Word to fulfill it (Jer. 1:12).” pg. 37 #youarelovedcoloringbiblestudy  goo.gl/qG9HBT

You Are Loved Coloring Book Study Schedule

Aug 23: Bonus Coloring Page Download

Aug 25: (Share pages!)
Video: Is God Good?
Decorate, Delight & Discover!: How Much Does God Love Us? (pages 49-53)

Aug 28: (Share pages!)
Video: How Much Does God Love Us?
Wrap up!

Romans8BookCover

Order from The SUM Shop or Amazon


The Rooms in God's House

Hello, dear friends! So good to be back with you this week! I couldn't wait to share this beautiful revelation from John 14. God's Word is so very present and for us now. I pray this insight brings that home to your hearts in an astounding way. 

The words I am referencing:

Rooms: monē — a staying, abode, mansion, abiding, dwelling, metaphor of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers
(comes from menō — to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): — abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own, live, not to depart.

House: oikia — a house, an inhabited edifice, a dwelling

Way: hodos — way, journey, metaphorically a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding.

And I hope this prayer blessed you and your marriage as you wait in expectancy for God to fill the "room" of our spouse's heart with the love of Jesus. Amen!

Love you!
Dineen


Knowing God's Voice

These are the Greek words from John 10 that I'm speaking about:

Know: ginōskō; a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed): — allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know(-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.

Nameonoma; from a presumed derivative of the base of ginōskō; a “name” (literally or figuratively) (authority, character): — called, (+ sur-)name(-d).

Truly: amēn; of Hebrew origin; properly, firm, i.e. (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially, surely (often as interjection, so be it): — amen, verily.
(The word "amen" is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related -- in fact, almost identical -- to the Hebrew word for "believe" (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly", an expression of absolute trust and confidence. -- HMM)

Thanks for listening, my friends!
Dineen