78 posts categorized "Identity in Christ"

The Enemy Cannot Handle This!

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here!

Sunday, September 29th is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. We've talked about this Jewish holiday over the years. In fact, the first time I'd ever been made aware of it's significance was because of a blog post from either Lynn or Dineen. For those who are not familiar or are new to this holiday, a simple "Rosh Hashanah" search on this site will provide you with a wealth of information. Feel free to check out the archives!

My prayer for us today is that we will each take away something fresh and new. Holy Spirit, reveal to us the heartbeat of God. Amen!

Rosh Hashanah isn't actually a biblical holiday but a traditional Jewish holiday. The term "Rosh Hashanah" means "head of the year" and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. This is a two-day celebration that proceeds Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

In the beginning of this month, the Lord really pressed upon me to watch Patty Tower's talk that was given at the SUMite Summit this last April. I decided to go back and watch it again. (I will provide a link below so you can revisit that as well. It is absolutely worth a re-watch!)

As I sat down to think about Rosh Hashanah and what I would include in this post, I went back to my notes from Patty's message. There is so much good in this message but I want to point out one theme:

  • Joshua 6 - God gives specific instructions about the destruction and taking of the city of Jericho. In verse 20 we see the result of following God's plan and not their own: "So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."
  • Patty called us to march around our house 7 times and shout, declare, pray and praise things into existence. It was in the great shout that the walls fell flat down.

Rosh Hashanah isn't in the Bible; however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, is. Let's take a look.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ” - Leviticus 23:23-25

The Hebrew word, Teruah, in Leviticus for blowing trumpets is the same word used in Joshua 6 where they shouted with a great shout. The first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, is a day of blowing trumpets or shouting.

Notice what else it says in Leviticus about this day - you shall have a sabbath-rest. Yom Teruah happens to fall on a Sunday. The day we, as children of God, call our sabbath!

So, why is this important for us? If we are not Jewish, what is the point of celebrating this time of year?

We've already seen in our community some amazing things worth celebrating. Many professions of faith and baptisms with our spouses, children or others we love. Libby gave us a beautiful word about the SUMite community with her picture of the mountain. The SUMite Summit where some gathered in California being at the top and from that trickle, the waters of our faith continued to pool together to create a river at the bottom.

I truly believe something was activated in the heavenlies and we have set off a chain reaction. The enemy has been stirred to anger and we have seen much push back from illness, discord with our spouses and children, financial struggles, backsliding, strongholds etc.

However, I truly believe that God is calling His children deeper. I believe that He is stirring in us a hunger and thirst that can no longer be quenched by fear, pain or opposition tactics from the enemy.  I believe that NOW is the time for us to press in all the more into the God of Miracles. NOW is the time to storm the gates of Heaven for our spouses, children, our complete freedom and healing. I believe that NOW is the time for us to suit up and prepare for battle.

There is a shifting going on right now. As we are in this transition period, it is up to US if we are going to take God at His word - for our destinies, purposes, signs, miracles and wonders. We cannot afford to give up or give in. The future of generations to come hangs in the balance. It sounds intense but don't worry! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Patty's talk at the SUMite Summit: https://www.facebook.com/SpirituallyUnequalMarriage/videos/387269661859875/

There is so much more I could say but I've gone on a little long.

As we approach this Jewish New Year, what are the things you are coming to the Throne of Grace for? What do you hope to see in this new season? Shout

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! -- Psalm 47:1 (Shout here is the root word of teruah ::grin::)

We are going to shake the heavens and the earth with our shouts! In the comments, give a mighty shout to the Lord. Thank Him for the victory you've been praying and waiting for! Decree and declare that these prayers are answered in Jesus' mighty name! Now it is up to you to take Him at His word. Trust. Believe. Wait and see. God is so good. And He is worthy of the wait. Hugs!

 

 


But God! I'm Too Broken!

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!

As many of you know, I have been on a journey into worship flagging.

On February 9, 2019, I received my flags in the mail. I may have been a little excited. ::grin::

Feb 9 Eek Flag ArrivalPsalm 47:7 (NKJV) says, "For God is the King of all the earth. Sing praises with understanding." On February 20, 2019, I decided to write scripture verses on my flags as a reminder of why I dance. Using this same principle, it is my goal to always dance with understanding.

Feb 20 flag with scriptureA couple of months ago, I went to a worship and prayer night at my church. I grabbed my flags to begin to worship the Lord and I noticed something odd about how they were laying in the bag. Once they were out of the bag and I began to unwrap them, I noticed that the rods were snapped in half. I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. I was devastated. In that moment, I asked God, "Why?!" (Isn't it interesting how quick we are to blame God for our misfortunes?)

It was in the stillness of the room, as Holy Spirit settled upon us in worship, that I heard very clearly, "Broken is still beautiful. Broken is still usable."

I tried using the flags but it just wasn't working so I figured it was word meant for someone else in the room and mentioned it to the group.

Fast forward weeks later, I had been trying to use flags that were available for worship at church. Things just weren't flowing the way they did with my own flags. I couldn't seem to adjust to how these small and inflexible flags moved. I eventually decided this was a season of no flagging. I couldn't afford to fix them or buy new ones. All the while I had people mentioning how they missed seeing me flag. The "you were made to worship" quotes were another sting in my already broken heart.

A couple of days ago while lying in bed, Holy Spirit spoke to me again, "Broken is still beautiful. Broken is still usable." I missed flagging. It helps me to focus in on the heartbeat of God. I thought, "Yes Lord, I know. You've told me." It was then that I had received messaged from two different people about flagging. One was looking to sell her flags. Another had sent me a worship flag video. I could feel Holy Spirit wooing me. "Let's dance."

I got out of bed. The rest of the house was silent and sleeping. I couldn't resist Him any longer. It was in the darkness of my living room that I took out my flags and I began to worship. With broken flags and a broken spirit I moved, I spun, I jumped, I bent and I twirled. Oh what a joy to see the shadows of my flags moving in a beautiful rhythm. Holy Spirit and I dancing and interceding together once again.

You see, the problem was not with my flags. The problem was not in the word I received from God. The problem was with my expectation. With every adjustment in life there is a period where you have to do just that - adjust. In every new season we step into, we have to realize that we cannot do things the same way we did in the previous season. The old has gone, the new has come.

God never told me to stop flagging. This was a distraction from the enemy. During those months when I did not flag, I felt heartbroken. The first issue was that I had made my flags my identity. The broken flags helped me to realize this. The second issue is that I had put a commentary on the word that God had spoken over my flagging. I assumed they were broken and therefore, I had to either replace them or quit all together. But God! Broken is still beautiful. Broken is STILL USABLE.

One thing I should mention, God told me I am not to fix my flags. This is to serve as a reminder that I am broken. I am beautiful. I am valuable. I am usable.

Let's talk in the comments. I wonder, have any of you ever heard a word from the Lord but put your own spin on it? I pray I am not alone. How did you navigate back to the word God gave you? Do any of you feel too broken to be usable? Let's pray together. I want to pour into you today.


Esther - Destroy Christian Faith - On Repeat

EstherOpen your Bible to chapter three of Esther.

Before we get started on Haman, I want to revisit the word, EDICT. This is a governmental word and a word of great power when spoken by royalty over a Kingdom. It’s power and significance landed squarely upon my spirit one night when driving down a California freeway toward home following an evening church service.

As I’m driving, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me and this is what I heard: “Set and edict over…..” Immediately, I began to speak out loud in my car with a voice of authority. I spoke as a daughter of the King and in the authority of Jesus Christ, who gave me authority over all the power of the enemy in Luke 10:19. For the next twenty minutes I let loose a barrage of “edicts” over my family, my city, the churches in the valley and over the witchcraft that was floating in the air.

Example: “In the name of Jesus, as a daughter of the King, in authority I set an edict over the churches in our valley that every assignment of the enemy is now defeated, thwarted, and rendered powerless. All assignments of evil and witchcraft must fall to the ground powerless.” I took another deep breath and then launched directly into another edict.

“I set an edict over my family that the mandates and promised written in the books of my husband, children and grandchildren before time began, shall come to pass and they shall fulfill their potential and purpose for the Kingdom of God. In Jesus name.”

“I set an edict over our state legislature that the demonic spirits of lawlessness and rebellion shall be quelled. Honest men and women of integrity and who fear God shall rise up and step into places of governing and authority and the purposes of God shall be rendered from our legislature and all assignments of evil shall be defeated. In Jesus name.”

Okay, for twenty minutes, I let go of powerful edicts that came tumbling out of me through revelation of the Holy Spirit. It was the first time I was ever directed by God to release edicts into our land, family, legislature, ministry and more. THIS EXPERIENCE WAS AWESOME. I knew my words were spoken out of authority and I’m bearing witness that these words are moved upon by the angelic. I often issue edicts in my prayer time now as I follow the Holy Spirit.

The book of Esther is a teaching about the power of edicts. When a son or daughter of God KNOWS who they are and whose they are, then begins to walk fully in their authority and royal position, God backs up our words that are spoken in harmony with His will.

Whoa!!!  Could it be that we are more powerful than we understand? Just like Esther? Oh, the possibility…… Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm???

Chapter THREE:

Ya, this chapter is on repeat throughout human history.

Destroy the Jews. Destroy the believers. Wipe out God’s people. I see Haman as a pawn of evil, just like Hitler, same with King Herod who killed the babies hoping to destroy Jesus, the Romans persecuting Christians i.e., the lions in the Colosseum. Did you know the Romans used to place Christians on poles, light them on fire and use them as street lights in Roman cities. Sorry to be graphic, but let’s be real. Satan is more determined to destroy us that we are determined to do whatever it takes to follow Jesus. Ahem, okay not all of us…….  😊

If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.” — Esther 3:9

It remains the same today, powerful people are corrupted with the lure of wealth. And did you notice that Haman is pushing his agenda and asking for a decree? An edict? Fascinating.

So, with a little more alcohol --->(satanic spirit of deception, deceit and distortion), the edict was written and delivered throughout the Kingdom. The City of Susa was bewildered.

I know exactly how this feels. Let me ask you this. Were you bewildered in America the day the Supreme Court issued an edict that redefined marriage? --->A Biblical construct that has been in place for more than two thousand years, created for our benefit and its design is to prosper humanity through marriage and family.

I sat in utter astonishment and bewilderment that day. I cried…. Then pain…. Then remorse and fear. Oh, how I know how you felt City of Susa.

The couriers went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.  — Esther 3:15

BUT……. God is on the THRONE… And there is ALWAYS A SAVIOR…. Stay tuned……..

Gang, this story continues on repeat. Our Christian identity is under siege in every nation. We must pray. We must set an edict in the spiritual realm. We must become on fire, sold out, people of faith who march the Kingdom of God forward.

Today, I want you to practice. Set an edict over your life via your faith proclamation in the comments. Let’s watch God move over words of faith spoken by His children. I will echo your decrees and statements of faith. See you in the comments Kingdom Warriors!! 

March on Warriors… WE WIN!!  Hugs, Lynn 


Could This Be The Answer You've Been Waiting For?

Hey SUM family, Tiffany here!

I have worked for my employer for a little over three years now. I do the same thing all day everyday. Monday through Friday, eight hours a day. I see the same computer screen as I fingerprint the numerous people who come into my office. The other day Holy Spirit alerted me to listen and pay attention to people's reactions to seeing their fingerprints on the computer screen, many of them for the first time:

Wow, that is so cool!

I have never seen this before!

Sorry, I am just amazed by this!

Look at that!

Can you believe that we all have different finger prints? No two prints are the same!?

Was I looking at the same machine? It is cool to see the detail, I guess.....

There are some of us who have forgotten how to be in love with and romanced by our King. Groom help bride up sillouetteWe have been on this journey for a long time.  Our eyes have adjusted to the normalcy of life. We've braced for life's storms for too long that we've gone into self-preservation mode. We have forgotten what is like to have childlike faith. This isn't a rebuke but a call to see things from God's perspective. Be refreshed! Be renewed! Be invigorated again!

I felt a strong impression from our Daddy God to lavish you with love today. If anything today resonates with you, my challenge is for you to take it and meditate on it. Don't allow the familiar to blur your vision of God's great love relationship with you. Don't doubt that you aren't good enough to receive it. Don't think, "He must be talking to someone else..."  This word is for you...yes YOU!

I have loved you, [insert your name here], with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I will make you, [insert your name here], my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord. (Hosea 2:19-20)

My thoughts of you are countless for you are very precious to Me. (Psalm 139:17)

You can give me all of your worries and cares. They are not meant to be carried by you. I love you so much! (1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22)

I am for you. You are my beloved and I am yours. (Song of Solomon 6:3)

I will give you everything that you need. You mean that much to me. (Romans 8:31)

There is nothing that can separate you from My love. (Romans 8:38-39)

I will rescue you. I will protect you. You can trust me. When you call on Me I am there. (Psalm 91)

One of my favorite things to do is watch over you as you sleep. (Psalm 3:5)

I will show you my goodness in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

I will never forsake you. I will never cast you off. (Psalm 94:14)

You are my masterpiece. My workmanship. I am so proud of you! (Ephesians 2:10)

You are my special treasure. You are so valuable to me! (Exodus 19:5, 1 Peter 2:9)

There is so much more that I could share. Every word in the Bible is dripping with His sweet love for you.

Beloved, stop striving. Stop trying to meet unattainable expectations of yourself...they're not from Him. Daddy God is so pleased with you. He delights in you so much that He breaks out in song over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I want to wrap up with this song. This is one to sit and soak in the love of your Daddy.

Let's share in the comments - sometimes life gives us a hard beating! What are some things that you do in order to remember the love God has for you? What are some things we can share with one another to fan the flames of our heart and fill us with hope? What keeps you standing firm and grounded in your relationship with Daddy God, Jesus and Holy Spirit?


Milestone Made Possible Because Of You

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany Here!

I have some wonderful news to share!

Today I graduated year one of ministry school. This was the first half of a two year program that will lead to ordination.

I was very surprised to receive "The Heart of David Award" along with my certificate of completion. What an honor and joy!

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The words "thank you" are not enough to express the gratitude I have for you,  my beloved family without walls. Your love, encouragement, and support  has tremendously helped carry me to this beautiful moment. Thank you to everyone who has given time, prayer, finances, Scripture and hugs. My accomplishment is your accomplishment.

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. -- 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. -- Ecclesiastes 4:12

You all have helped me accomplish my dreams. In the comments, share something that God has laid upon your heart to accomplish. I want to pray over you and bless you today.


A Table Set For Victory

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here.

I pray that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love gathering with family, eating fantastic food and reflecting  on all of the favor, mercy, and goodness of Daddy that has happened for the year.

As I was thinking last week about what Holy Spirit wanted me to share, I fingerprinted a man with a business logo on his sweatshirt that said "Stillwater." This prompted me to look up "still water" in the Bible. The main passage that came to mind was in Psalm 23:

 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

TABLE BEFORE ENEMIES*Photo credit: Loving Grace Ministries

Reading this familiar passage again I was shocked to see verse 5, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies..." I had completely forgotten that this verse was in this Psalm.

That is when Holy Spirit brought to my mind the song Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by Elyssa Smith from UPPERROOM. Forgive me if I've shared this song before. I love it so much. My favorite verses in this song say, "my weapons are praise and thanksgiving, this is how I fight my battles"

I have been seeing Psalm 23 all over the place since I first saw this man's sweatshirt. I know that of the Psalms, this one is so common and well known even in the secular world; however, this particular passage has not been on my radar for quite some time. Each and every time I am seeing a reference to Psalm 23 there is a different verse that is being highlighted. I think I need to dwell here for a while! I was inspired so much so that I committed this passage to memory. This is a first for me to memorize an entire passage. Woot!

I think with all of the apparent darkness and chaos going on in our community (illness, death, financial struggle, marriage breakdown, depression, chronic pain, etc) and in the world today I want us to meditate on this phrase, "I am beginning to see the darkness around me is just the shadow of Your wings." *Note: this is not my phrase, this gets me every time I listen to this song...SO SO GOOD.*

God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding. (Psalm 47)

Please know that our Daddy is surrounding you with His love, presence, favor, mercy, and grace. I know we all know this but may we truly rejoice and sing praises with understanding! Understand your are highly favored. Understand you are loved. Understand you are cherished. Understand in your weakness He is strong. Understand that even in the toughest time of your life He is in control. Understand you are seated with Christ Jesus. Understand you have authority. Understand you are the victor. Understand it. Is. Finished!

Let us lift our voices in one accord today:

I don't know about you the Lord uses songs to get me through the darkest days. Share in the comments some songs that see you through tough times. Your suggestions could be healing salve and oil of joy to another. I love you SUM family.


My Husband Changed After I Said This

From our archives, articles which remain relevant for the spiritually mismatched marriage.

This post is part III in this series. Click on Part I and Part II to read the precursors to this article. This was originally posted on April 20, 2012.

*****

Unequally Yoked and the Atheist Blogs  

A few months ago I was emailing back and forth to a friend of mine whose husband is a reader of atheist blogs. She was in such pain and in a quandary as to how to cope. Now I don’t pretend to have all the answers for each individual situation. I can only share what has worked in my life and marriage. 

Let me say that I love this young mom and wife. She is in the midst of fiery battles daily and is yet living for Jesus under tremendous persecution from her own spouse. And to add to the dynamics of her situation is how she is hard-wired, she hates confrontation. Many of us would go to great lengths to avoid confronting anyone let alone our spouse who holds a great deal of power to hurt us. 

I shared with my friend that there comes a time when we must say to our spouse that we are partners in marriage. That what our spouse believes does not diminish what we hold true. It’s appropriate to call them out and ask for our due respect as a spouse and a partner in the relationship. We must stand up and tell them that the words they speak against our faith are disrespectful and truly not what builds a marriage relationship. I know I advised her to tell her husband that she expected him to refrain from speaking about her faith and promise him that she would do the same about his atheist beliefs. 

Okay, that’s one take. For me, my moment of truth came unexpectedly. It was many years ago and I remember it clearly still today. 

My husband was angry. He was so riled up about my growing faith that he was constantly throwing arguments up for me to discount or contradict. He told me that I was foolish and that my faith embarrassed him. He was absolutely mystified that I, an intelligent woman, would ever even consider believing in a god. 

He was adamant and determined to “prove” to me God did not exist. 

At this point in our marriage, we had been down all these roads. You know, the paths of trying to defend my faith from a science point of view. Defending the truth of the Bible. Discussing intelligent design. Debates about the fossil record. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Etc. etc. etc. 

My friends, I’ve had every conceivable conversation so if you feel like you are all alone in this, I know exactly how you feel. 

Okay, after years and years of debate, conflicts and arguments with each of us trying to convince the other of the error in their thinking, I finally gave up. 

Whew! What a relief. 

What follows is the simple conversation that seemed to finally help my husband accept my faith. Here we go. 

Me: Honey, why does it matter so much to you that I believe in God? My faith doesn’t make me stupid.

Him: I does too matter. (He states in great anger and frustration I might add.)

Me: But why? Why does it matter?

Him: Because you are living a lie.

Me: But how do you KNOW that I am wrong? You don’t know for sure. And let’s say that at the end of it all, we die and nothing happens. No heaven. No hell. We just cease to exist like you presume.

What I know is that I lived a life that was morally strong. I lived a life filled with joy. I have many friends who I love and who love me. I have given of myself to this world to make it a better place. 

Honey, my faith makes me happy. 

Him: (silence) 

Now there is likely more to this conversation but I just don’t remember what happened after that. However, the dynamics in our marriage relationship changed upon that conversation. 

Honey, my faith makes me happy……. 

The key to this kind of conversation is waiting until they are truly ready to hear it. He was ready that day. 

Pray that the Lord will give you several things to equip you to walk this journey. 

  • First, that He and YOU seal your mind, heart and soul in the truth of your identity. Know who you are in Christ. 
  • Second, pray for courage, Joshua courage to step up to the task of confronting immature behavior and words toward your faith. 
  • Three, pray for discernment and wisdom and for an opening to have a conversation with your spouse. God loves to honor those prayers. 

Identity
Courage
and an open door. 

And this very day, I also give you dominion over your delete key. Decide today that you will not allow your husband to be used by the enemy to create doubt. Reject the fiery darts of the enemy. Live in joy. As Beth Moore says, “JOY, is our birthright in Christ.” 

Live victoriously and let the enemy quake with fear and the atheist blogs go wild, because we are children of the Most High God and NO ONE CAN TOUCH THAT. 

Be blessed, Lynn

If God had picture


My Identity in Christ

by Lori Skipper

Psalm 139 NLT

Too often, we as believers, do not realize our value or our worth. We forget that God is with us ALL the time. We feel we were a mistake. Psalm 139 breaks down our value and our worth for us. This powerful Scripture also reinforces that we are not nor were we a mistake; regardless of what others may have said to or about us. The One that matters the most has told us we are NOT a mistake.

When we sin or make a mistake, we spend so much wasted time beating ourselves up and trying to make up for the wrong we’ve done. But, Psalm 139 verse 1, 4, 5, 16 & 17 assures us that our Father already KNEW what we were going to say or what we were going to do, before we said or did it! I’m certainly not making excuses, we need to repent of our sin, but let’s quit abusing ourselves over the sin, shall we?

Verse 1: O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

Verse 4: You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.

Verse 5: You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Verse 16: You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Verse 17: How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

I love verse 5!! Not only is He with us but He goes before us and follow’s us. What?!? We cannot escape Him or His presence. When we don’t feel His presence, we need to encourage ourselves in verse 5 as well as verses 7-11. Oh yea! And He places HIS hand of blessing on our heads. We already have His blessing on us! I could shout about now!!

Let’s talk about something else for a second. We often despise the way we look. But, we see in verses 13-15 that He is the One that made us. When we look at ourselves in the mirror or look at newborns, we will say “Oh, you look like your mom or your dad. You have your mom’s eyes, etc.” Or here is a big one “You are ugly. Look at those wrinkles. You are disgusting looking.” We start cursing what God created. When we’re saying those things, we are aligning ourselves up with the enemy of our souls. When the truth of the matter is: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.” Yes, sometimes we change the way God created our outer appearance, BUT we are still wonderfully made, created in HIS image!! (Genesis 1:27).

We are not all created to look, do or behave the same way. Before we start critiquing ourselves or judging ourselves by another, why don’t we first ask Father if we look or do or behave exactly how HE wants us to. Remember, He is looking at the heart while we and man look at the outside. (1 Samuel 16:7). One day, we will have a new glorious body but until that day, why don’t we learn how to be comfortable in the skin we currently wear? If He directs us to do something different, then we will be obedient to follow His leading, and not follow the leading of ourselves, others or the enemy.

I close with verses 23-24. But let me encourage you, when you pray verse 23, allow Him to point out the good in your heart as well, not just the bad or the offensive.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Lori Skipper

9/26/18


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)


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

 


Dance On The Mat

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comDance On The Mat

Who are you looking at?

I am… Because of Who He is….

When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” —Mark 2:1-5

This is one of my favorite passages. I could write for days just about this man’s friends. How their faith and action brought about his healing. But, alas, again today the Lord stepped into my prayer time and said, “Lynn, you haven’t perceived the fullness of what is really going on here.”

Man, why does this keep happening to me?

In this scene….. Wait, can we stop a minute. I have a suspicion that we read the Bible over and over and hear this story repeated and retold so many times, that it becomes too familiar. But today, God wants us to know something about this story.

It really happened. The people in this portion of scripture are real people, many whom we will meet one day in glory. Oh, I have so many questions to ask them. I want to hear their rendition of this moment and feel their emotions and know their heart. Don’t ever let the power of scripture be diminished to a story.

It really happened. AND, it will happen again. This is my decree.

When we look around in this scene in Capernaum, we visualize a small house. All homes were all small in first century Israel. I imagine people sitting on the floor, crammed together, jostling for knee space. More people leaning in through the windows. Men standing in the corner, and those crowding through the door. I see kids sitting on laps of mom’s or their older siblings, listening to Jesus speak words that have them motionless and captivated by hope.

Then suddenly, dust and noise bounce down around those lucky enough to be seated. Jesus looks up. The crowd looks up as well, piece by piece, the thatched roof is torn away with bare hands. Grunts of struggle, a brief shout to hoist something up and then it thuds on the roof.

It’s a spectacle.

All eyes are riveted, as this mat is revealed and slowly begins a decent. The crowd stares, the room remains silent, yet for the grunts and efforts of those on the roof lowering this long and wrapped up form gently to the ground. The kids scramble out of the way, less they are covered as the thick, blanket/matting, as it unfurls.

Ninety-five sets of eyes (my guess) are engrossed upon the man upon the blanket. His legs are misshapen, overtly skinny, his infirmity is obvious. He is paralyzed. They look at him see a cripple.

They see before them his only identity, a paralytic. 

But Jesus.

Jesus looks upon him and sees a Son.

A beloved, Son of God.

His view is not of this world but of the reality of heaven. Jesus looks into the spiritual realm of his future where this broken and sinful man is perfected, whole, running, standing, forgiven and reinstated into his birthright.

Because of Jesus, our truest identity is also realized. We are sons and daughters. Through Jesus, we are offered forgiveness, healing, deliverance and an inheritance on earth and one day in heaven, our future home. We are presented with freedom, just like this paralyzed man, to step up and out of the mat that's wrapped us up for years. The Godforsaken blanket of bondage, broken identity, illness, fear, depression, and hopelessness. A stinky mat that’s been wrapped about us for decades through deception, sinful and willful choices and sometimes at the hands of others.

Jesus decrees the truth. “Your sins are forgiven.”

Ours sins, past, present and future are forgiven Period. The End! Sometimes we just need the voice of Christ to make it true in our life. And His voice is amplified, often through the Word or others who already walk in freedom.

Of course, the skeptics and haters will always be close on hand to condemn every act of goodness. It's the same today. Things haven’t changed in over 2,000 years. *frown*

Jesus, one-ups the haters this time however, and commands the lad to pick up his mat and go home. The man leaps up. Likely stunned, he rolls up the mat and is quick to obey, then departs the house.

Healed and whole.

In a singular moment his Sonship was rescued back from the demonic and when the lad walked out the door with his mat, well, he took with him a new authority.

You see, just like this man, his healing and your healing (spiritually, emotionally, physically) is NOW your power. You carry the testimony and the authority to free others from what once held you down. Did you know that is a Kingdom reality? I sat in my prayer room and marveled as these words flooded my soul.

The Lord continued. The man, once paralyzed, was told to go home. Why? Because revealing to those who knew his sinful ways, his failures, and his paralysis, he now bears witness to his family his experience, joy, testimony, and authority. His miracle releases the true Kingdom into the lives where he resides, providing them the courage to come before the Healer and Deliverer to seek their own forgiveness, healing, deliverance, and new life.

The man, leapt up, took his mat in full view of all in the room. He was changed in the twinkling of an eye from the doomed to a Son. Oh, let us all become a Son or Daughter who shines in full view of the world and let our life and testimony become our power and authority to amaze all those who are watching.

The days of powerless Christianity MUST end. We are Sons and Daughters. Let’s show the world what Jesus really looks like. Our faith can change the hearts of our friends, family and perhaps millions!

Halleluiah. Make a decree in the comments. I declare my healing and true identity and will walk in it this hour, to the honor of the name of Jesus Christ.

See you in the comments, my friends. Live large and let the world see you dance a victory upon your old, tired and dirty mat. I adore you. Lynn


Redeemed Clothed In White

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comRedeemed Clothed In White

I am, Because of Who He is….

Because of Jesus, I have a family. We, have a family.

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.”

Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” — Mark 3:31-35 (NLT)

Wow, Jesus!

Do you know what He did? He looked the faces of those seated in a circle around Him and said, “Here are my brothers. These around me, these men, are My mother. These women, my brothers.”

I have been quietly bothered by this passage for years.

To me, maybe because I’m a mom, I felt as though Jesus in this story cared more about his followers than His own mother. After all, Mary, arrived wanting to see her first-born son and brought all of Jesus’ family because they were worried. They loved Him and heard so much about Him that they traveled by foot to find Him and see to the truth of the many varying and disturbing reports. (Which I don’t think Mary believed.)

But, BEHOLD!

This morning the Holy Spirit stepped into my prayer room and said, “Lynn, this isn’t what is happening here.”

Wholly Guacamole, Batman! Can I say that on a Christian blog? *grin*

Jesus is teaching those surrounding Him, a Kingdom principle.

While reading this passage today, I felt as though I joined the disciples upon the floor, criss-cross apple sauce, and became part of the scene. I could “feel” the sense of awe in the room. I could see the twinkling in the eyes of Jesus as His gaze lifted then simply left the room as He stared off into the distance. You could perceive that He was peering into another realm and locking eyes with the Father. His words became more than sound. There was awareness, revelation, which filled the room and rested upon those listening with power and fire. The movement of something undefinable but wholly real and discernible.

Jesus was engaged in another realm and He was viewing those around Him in the truest reality, not what we read in the Word. Well, yes what we read, there were those waiting at the door and people on the floor but what Jesus was beholding was an eternal reality.

Jesus is seeing in the Spirit Realm. He is viewing years into the future where we are ALL -brothers and sisters. He is beholding the truest thing about that moment.

The truest thing about us.

We, who are living on this earth, seated at His feet, are brothers and sisters. Furthermore, Jesus is also our brother. Now get this, even His earthly mother will become His sister and Bride. Ya, let that blow up your mind.

You’re welcome.

Everything about Jesus and His life on earth points toward the Father, our Father. And Jesus in this moment of time is perceiving Kingdom reality and truth. In this singular moment He is also revealing a deception and a disguised mindset. Our earthly view isn’t our truth.

Jesus is glancing about that room and love is emanating forth from His being because He has glimpsed the future where these who surround Him are glorified and standing in their rightful place as His brother, His sister. He already views them, perfected. Clothed in righteousness, a cherished family member for whom He would willingly die to protect, and a son or daughter of Abba, Father.

I wonder….. I just wonder. What would happen if we could understand this reality right now. How would we view others? Our spouse? Can we perceive that our spouse is also a son or daughter but living in the prodigal nation? Lost, separated from truth and reality, held in demonic deception and fear.

Would we love them differently? Would we answer the door and welcome them without judgement or condemnation? Without trying to control, manipulate or change them. Can we glimpse the future and see them redeemed, clothed in glory? Wouldn’t we instantly forgive everything in the past?

Would our approach spin faith differently in his or her eyes today?

I want to ponder this further and ask Jesus to help me see my husband redeemed and clothed in white. I wonder, will you do the same?

Love you, Lynn


The Power to Accomplish

God wants to draw us closer to Him. He delights in using unusual and strange means to speak to us, drawing us away from the mundane routine of our lives to pursue Him. Since most of us are prone to living our lives independent of Him, He uses something unusual to catch our attention and draw us to Himself. He speaks in a cryptic fashion so that we have to seek Him for understanding. Many times He will use a vision, dream, impression, or some other phenomenon to get our attention. When we are captured by the phenomenon and begin investigating, God then speaks to us and brings us into His presence. -- Steve Thompson (You May All Prophesy! p. 52)

Hey SUM family, Tiffany again!

Over the years I have always been amazed at the God-sized things that people have done in ministry and missions. I have been overwhelmed by the time, talent, and treasure of the Church and yet I never believed that I would be able to do something as great as....fill in the blank.

5 years or so I came across a quote (for the life of me I can't remember the source) about how God doesn't set us aside as in cast us out but set us apart as believers for a greater purpose and calling. Sure, sure, I would think. I hear you, but that isn't a word for me. I am truly nothing special or unique. In looking back I have believed this lie for many years before that quote hit my eyes. Up until more recently I have been crippled by this line of thinking. What could God possibly want to do with me? I disqualified myself.

It wasn't until this last year when God really got my attention through my 40 hour a week job (one that I didn't even WANT in the first place) that I was FORCED to see how uniquely and wonderfully made I was for such a time as this. Honestly, it started with a hunger and deep desire for something more. It really is that simple. God WANTS to draw us closer to Himself. When we come hungry, begging for His presence...when we are feeding on His word and devoting time to know Him...He is so pleased!

Check this out:

Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was buringing with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up." When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." (Exodus 3:1-4 NAS).

Let me be the voice to say, don't get familiar with the mundane. Jesus didn't come for that type of life. He came to give us abundance. How amazing that we are seeing miraculous things going on in our midst! We are living in some pretty amazing times. I wonder if maybe God has been allowing such hardship and trial and suffering in our lives lately (even if lasting for a few years) to create a deeper desperation for Him. When we get too familiar with comfort, we end up getting lazy. We don't tend to fan the flame as diligently...as least I don't.

I am not sure what is coming but I get this impression of expecting...as if pregnant...expecting and waiting with anticipation for delivery. A birthing of something new, something special, something unique, something for such a time as this.

1530070820845_26738696-1529963978484I came across this verse this morning and I was absolutely blown away by the word accomplish as this is my word for the year. How blessed we are to have such talents and giftings unique to our own situation and lives. I think of the beautiful drawings/paintings, visions, dreams, renderings, hobbies etc that have been revealed in our community. 

If you are gifted to paint, by all means paint! If you are gifted to write, by all means write! If you are gifted to render images/collages, by all means do so! If you are gifted to write music or sing, by all means do so! I think it no coincidence that we are seeing so many works of art showing up and God using our talents and gifts in such a way. People are leaving the church buildings and I think we will be able to reach more and more by new ways of communication through the artistic!

Share in the comments some things that God is prompting you to do. After all, only YOU can fulfill this because it is God's purpose for your life. Lets lift each other up and spur each other on to ACCOMPLISH the callings on our lives. I'll go first: write a book called Vicarious to Victorious: stepping into the destiny that God had in mind for you; write a 30 day devotional on #FingerprintRevelations; pickup with Connecting Verses - where music and scripture collide.


#fingerprintrevelations

Hey SUMnation! Tiffany here.

Some of you have heard me talk about this unique journey that the Lord has me on right now with my job. I shared this on the SUM sisters in Christ group on Facebook but wanted to reach out and share here as some of you (especially the men) may have questions about what I do as a job and how God is gifting me for ministry. I wanted to give you a quick snap shot into where I spend 40 hours a week and when my heart is prepped right and my mind focusing on the Lord I am given insight that can only come from the Holy Spirit.

 

FPWelcome to my fingerprinting station (picture left). There are two other girls that I work with in my office and we each have our own computer/desk and our own fingerprint station. For the most part my day is split between this view and the view of my desk and computer. This machine has become my "buddy" over the last year. We spend a lot of time together. Maybe I should name it. ::grin:: I have to say I have done a lot of contemplating and talking with the Lord here. In thinking of Moses and the burning bush...if I had the ability to take my shoes off here...I would. This is holy ground. Before I begin to sound sacrilegious I will continue the tour and you will see why I feel this way.

FP2Step on up to the machine! I tried to capture this as best as possible but just imagine this view from your own eyes (picture right).When I fingerprint people we are up close and personal so to speak. The customer stands in front of the fingerprinting machine called Livescan and I stand to the left of the machine. I use gloves during the time of fingerprinting someone but I essentially am holding hands with each person I print. I wish I could tell you how or when this started but my first conscious recollection was feeling a tingling sensation in my hands when fingerprinting someone when I first started doing this job over 2 years ago. I didn't understand at the time. There wasn't any actual guiding from the Holy Spirit at that point just a realization that this feeling in my hands was different than I'd ever experienced before. Eventually I had caught on that it wasn't with everyone I printed and so in the secret of my mind I would pray for those people.

FP1
Placing hand on the Livescan brings a digital print onto the screen

I began to be amazed at how much a stranger would open up to someone like me - a fingerprinter who spends maybe 10 or 15 minutes with you. The crazy thing is they had no idea that I was willing to pray for them and yet the Holy Spirit would open up this close space and meet us there. Where 2 or more are gathered together in Jesus' name - He is there. In doing this job (please let me know if this is not biblically sound) I am beginning to feel as though the where 2 or more are gathered together in His name doesn't have to mean consciously. I mean look at our community. Some of our spouses are willing to allow us to gather together in Jesus name - when our spouses let us pray over them and with them. But, for those of you who have to be more secretive about your prayer life because of hostile spouses - when you intercede on their behalf and they are in the room...my friends...Jesus still shows up whether they know it or not! As I have grown and matured (though only a small amount) in my job I have begun to view this as a ministry. When people open up it could be as simple as they need fingerprinted because they just got a new job that requires a background check. It can also be as complicated and broken as a man getting fingerprinted for a step-parent adoption. He married the love of his life who happened to be a sex abuse victim in her teens from her step-father (close to home or what??). Cancer and chemo. Military veteran who was having a second surgery on his shoulder. Widows. Gender-identity confused individuals. A man with a tattoo behind his ear with the number 666 and cartoonish devil horns and tail. Sex offenders who have been convicted of some really atrocious things. I could go on and on...and that is just from either conversation that was opened up or earthly (physical) observation/knowledge.

I have seen some really amazing things during this fascinating season of work but I have to be completely honest with you. I am sure you can relate when ministering to others that it can be really exhausting. You know that God has called you to help and has brought people into your life that you are supposed to pour into and be a light and example to...to train up and disciple...to intercede for - even for just a moment in time. It is so hard to be vulnerable because it opens up your heart to rejoice and mourn with those around you (Romans 12:15). In the past having issues with depression and anxiety I often times get overwhelmed and it is almost like a defense mechanism goes off inside of me and it says - back away, you aren't equipped to handle this. I get in slumps where I think if I avoid God than He won't ask me to do it anymore. I know this is ugly and wrong. I am the only one (that I know of...it's not like I talk to fingerprinters other than my co-workers) equipped to THIS calling. I have to press in and keep fighting. I have to keep leaning in to the Father who has gifted me for such a time as this and such a WAY as this. I have to stand in the gap for those who come my way because I may be the ONLY one who will.

I've gone a little longer than anticipated and so I want to stop here but next time I will continue on with this #fingerprintrevelations story. So much more to share as God allows. I want to talk about the amazing post and work from Libby recently.

In the comments, can you share some tips that help you overcome the heavy burden of ministering to others? Any Bible verse(s) that keep you going? Also, how has God positioned you in your own specific, unique, and powerful way to minister to those around you everyday?

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

--Isaiah 43:19


Inside God's Cedar Chest

Cedar-chest-600

By Martha Bush

It was 4:30 A.M., April 22, 2017. My mother’s nurse tapped me on my leg while I was grabbing a short nap on the sofa down the hall from my mother’s room where she lay at the point of death.

I sat up quickly at the feel of the nurse’s soft gentle touch and immediately said, “She is gone, isn’t she?” “Yes,” the nurse nodded.

As the dawn of day lurched forward with a beautiful array of sunshine despite death all around me, funeral arrangements had to be made and relatives and friends had to be called.

A few days after the funeral, we left Georgia headed back to our home in Texas to clear my mind before I took on the task of returning to Georgia in a month to empty out my mother’s home, so I could sell it.

However, two weeks later, we received a phone call – my husband’s sister had passed away in the same small town where I had laid my mother to rest. And so it was, we rushed back for the same process to take place all over again.

It was then I felt like screaming, “Stop this train! I want off! Two deaths within two weeks; this is too much to handle!”

But, there was no time for grieving the loss of our loved ones. We now had two houses to empty and sell plus decisions had to be made on what items we would haul back to Texas to keep for our home.

As the sorting got under way, we quickly decided that among the pieces of furniture that we definitely would be keeping were two beautiful antique cedar chests that each of them had. As we peaked inside each one, a story began to unfold right before our eyes as we observed each piece of its contents.

  • their personal Bibles that had been marked and underlined on almost every page
  • Grandma and Grandpa’s Bibles
  • diaries of family history from previous generations
  • artwork from their grandchildren and great grandchildren
  • letters from family
  • picture albums upon picture albums (no pictures on computers for these ladies, 91 and 93 years young)
  • hand-crafted afghans, quilts, and beautiful works of embroidery
  • special pieces of jewelry designated for family members

I could go on and on listing things, but by now you are probably getting the picture that they had secured their most treasured possessions inside their cedar chest for safe keeping to be handed down to the next generation.

It got me to thinking, “if God had a cedar chest, what would be inside?”

And then, it suddenly dawned on me what was inside. Take a look!

For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. (Deuteronomy 7:6 NLT)

Doesn’t that just blow your mind that the creator of the universe hand-picked us to be in His special treasure? Of all the things He has created and could have chosen, He picked us, mankind, to place inside His own cedar chest, if you please.

And yet, we sometimes don’t see ourselves as a special treasure to God.

  • Often times, we have faced so much rejection, as well as verbal, emotional, and physical abuse that it has ripped away our self-esteem, and we no longer know who we are, or believe we are special
  • Still again, the wages of our own sin hangs on us like filthy rags because we have not accepted His forgiveness. Oh yes, self-condemnation is a big one that keeps us from recognizing ourselves as a special treasure.
  • We are also prone to allow the business of the day and the storms of life that come at us from all different directions to beat us down, leaving us torn apart by the storm’s raging winds.

I believe it grieves the heart of God when we don’t see ourselves as He sees us. After all, He bought the whole world to obtain His special treasure, and He wants us to see ourselves as He sees us.

I am convinced that “How we live our lives as God’s special treasure is what we hand down to the next generation. It becomes a powerful testimony of how we used our gifts and strengths God gave us to further the Kingdom of God.”

******  

Okay, Sumite Friends: It is DECLARATION DAY!

Using my family’s cedar chest as a symbol of God’s cedar chest, what would we find inside of it that makes you special to God. Tell us about your gifts and strengths God has given you.

This is not bragging on yourself; it is declaring who you know you are in Christ, and how He has uniquely designed you that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:9)

In the comments, share God’s special treasure (YOU) that will be passed on to your next generation as a part of your legacy.

I can’t wait to learn more about the special treasure you are.

Martha

 Cedar-chest-600


The Orphan Spirit and Identity Crisis

Hey there SUM family, Tiffany here! 

In the first post on this new writing journey for the SUM community I talked about the feeling of being a throw-away kid. This operated in my life in many ways. I was plagued by thoughts such as -

I will never be able to do enough.  Pete Scazzero

I am not good enough.

I am just trying to get your attention.

I cannot measure up to your standards.

What more do you want/expect from me?

I can't handle these demands.

I don't deserve it / you.

I honestly haven't realized – until last week during a healing prayer session with Lynn - that these thoughts that have plagued me for years are not only from the enemy but HAVE A NAME. The Orphan Spirit operates in such feelings as abandonment, loneliness, alienation, and rejection. Ouch! Looking back on my life, this has been the major theme! I am so used to a life like this that it almost seems unnatural to operate in freedom from this. (Isn't that truly the enemy's tactic..to turn things upside down and make it seem like “normal?”) The more I look into this topic, the freer I feel. It is almost as if the scales are falling from my eyes! I am not an expert by any means but I intend on digging deeper...I see this as a chapter in Vicarious to Victorious as the Lord leads me to write this book.

Or · phan: a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents; one deprived of some protection or advantage.

I have to say that this journey of freedom has been hard. I have realized that I have to truly fight for victory and the more I gain momentum, the more I have to be on guard. I don't say this to scare anyone. The journey is long but the triumph is so much stronger than anything I have to endure. I read Romans 8 this morning in my quiet time. This is a familiar passage to me and probably for many of you. What really jumped out to me was verse 18,

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Wow, just wow. Today this familiar verse hit me like a ton of bricks. The sufferings that I am presently dealing with – the baggage and destructive mess left by the Orphan Spirit – has taken a toll on my life. My parenting. My marriage. My friendships. Everything!

I have been living with an identity crisis YEARS after trauma from father figures. The Orphan Spirit has left me deprived of protection and advantage. My identity for the longest time has been in productivity, performance, approval. These things have always been fleeting. Even if it seemed as though I was getting what I thought I wanted, said approval, I still couldn't accept it. If I could describe the labels that I allowed the Orphan Spirit to place on my life they would include such things as: worthless, unwanted, unworthy, unloved, ineffective, desperate, needy, clingy, an object not a person.

BUT God!

He has given me a new identity!

Let's look at Galatians 4:4-7:

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

This does not sound like the labels I had placed upon myself at all! Thank you God, You give us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57)!

In digging deeper into God's word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to renew my mind and transform me (Romans 12:1-2) I am seeing more and more that I have the ability to see my TRUE identity. My identity isn't really in crisis at all. In fact God is using the trauma of my past to help me look forward with more confidence than before. I am not who I once was. Instead of those old labels I can rest assured that my identity looks more like: victory, confidence, powerful, effective, fierce, redeemed, helpful, compassionate, empathetic, gracious, artistic and creative, unique, valuable.

Joseph Mattera wrote for Charisma News, “The only way to break this orphan spirit is for people to be filled with a sense of the Father's love for them in Christ, which then enables them to become mature sons who serve God out of knowledge of His undeserved grace instead of trying to earn the Father's love through performance.” (You can read through the entire article by clicking HERE)

I want to close this with a chance to meditate on the newer song from Passion feat. Kristian Stanfill and Melodie Malone – God You're So Good.

As you listen focus on these words:

I am blessed

I am called

I am healed

I am whole

I am saved in Jesus’ name

 

Highly favored

anointed

Filled with Your power

For the glory of Jesus’ name

 

And should this life

Bring suffering

Lord, I will remember

What Calvary

has bought for me

Both now and forever

 

To be continued...

I'll see you in the comments dear ones!

 

In His Marvelous Grace,

Tiffany


When Survival Is The ONLY Option...

Psalm 61.2-3First, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share my heart with you all. I am so blessed and even more grateful for the door that God has opened for me!

The Holy Spirit has  given me many spiritual gifts but there is one that I cherish the most. He has given me the gift of vulnerability. For some of you, vulnerability does not come easy. It may seem scary, impossible and maybe even unnecessary. I used to think it was a curse growing up because in those most delicate places of our heart people can so easily wound.

However, it is also in those most delicate places that Jesus can (and desperately desires to) transform, heal and redeem. Let me assure you that Jesus is so worthy of those intimate places! In these next few posts, I am going to tell you all about myself. I am going to be very vulnerable with you. I am going to talk about some deep wounds that have pierced my heart and soul. Some of you will closely relate to my story, some of you may know someone with a story like mine.

I have to admit that this first post has been hard for me to write. I have so much to say and yet there has been this fog over my mind. Where do I start? How much of me do I share up front? I have allowed fear and pride to keep me from using the gift that I cherish so much.

Even in these moments when you feel like you just cannot find the words to say or how to go about sharing your heart – PRESS IN. I challenge you to be vulnerable with me. I implore you all to allow the Holy Spirit to speak tenderly to your heart. Allow Him to access the deepest recesses of your heart and mind. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17). Let’s take this freedom journey together!

I attended a women’s conference this past Saturday. One of the speakers, Jennifer, began to share her story and I found myself really relating to what she was saying. In her life, she had given herself a label “the throw-away kid.” She lived in survival mode because of dysfunction and chaos in her household as a child and this led to a self-destructive mode. This label began to taint her view of herself and the world around her.

As I sat listening to her testimony I thought, “Did she somehow see a movie playing of my life?” I grew up an only child. It was just my mother and I for the longest time. My father was out of the picture before he knew my mom was pregnant. I was probably around 10 or 11 when my mom met Joseph. My mom was currently in a relationship with a man who was physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive to my mom. I won’t go into details, as it would be too lengthy, but at the time Joseph was like the “knight in shining armor.” We moved in with him and things were good for a while. It wasn’t until my mom got pregnant with my sister that things started to go downhill. I am going to talk more about myself in the next post.

I want to touch back on the idea of survival mode. Merriam-Webster defines survive as, “to remain alive or in existence.” I have been there. I can assure you that looking back on my life, I was there for most of it. Survival mode is protection of self – doing ANYTHING possible in order to continue to exist. I want to speak to all of you right now who are in survival mode. The depressed. The anxious. The fearful. The downtrodden. The throw-away kids.

Please hear me. God SEES YOU. He has walked with you your entire life. Through all the suffering and pain. He wants to meet you there. He wants to see you through it. The abundant life that Jesus came to give is INDEED FOR YOU. Hang in there with me. I have so much to share with you! In these next posts I am going to walk you through my life of suffering and healing. It is through the suffering, depression, and loneliness that I found freedom and redemption.

Sweet Jesus, thank You for this SUM community. I praise You God that you brought me here…in this community there is comfort, encouragement, wisdom, and love. May we all feel your presence and joy as we work through our own sorrow, disappointments, and discouragement. Lead us through this darkness into Your wonderful light. Amen.

I look forward to getting to know you my beautiful SUMite family. I will be writing every 4th Wednesday of the month so I'll continue to share my journey in February. I'll see you there!

Can you relate to being the throw-away kid? Maybe you feel like the throw-away kid that became the throw-away Christian. Leave your name in the comments and I want to pray for and with you.

In His Marvelous Grace,

Tiffany


One Day Soon

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOne day soon, we will behold:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. —Revelation 20:12

Our original destination will be compared to what we actually achieved in our short time on earth. We are given so much grace. Grace and more grace to change course, to repent and do over. To mend, to heal, to serve, to grow, to laugh, to LOVE.

Will you choose love?

When we do, this is what the book says is for us:

The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. —Revelation 3:5

We are empowered to live our BEST life now. Through the love of Jesus our past is redeemed and then we are invited to rescue the lost dreams we held as children. Let us release our false identities of unworthiness, self-hatred, comparison and all the lies of satan. We were created as a perfect expression of God’s love. And because of that TRUTH, it is possible to walk in wholeness and help others to find their way to freedom as well.

So, what say you?

Thank you for walking with me through this series. I pray that it changed the perspective of our identity and our future, now and forever. Hallelujah..

We praise you Jesus for the redemptive and restorative work of the Cross. For without it we were doomed but because of your finished work, EVERYTHING, EVERYONE ON EARTH can be restored and perfected in Your love! AMEN!

Next post:

Do you read the stories in the Bible about those who gave their lives up for the cause of Christ? What about modern martyr accounts of believers in the middle east who are being killed for their Christian faith? Do you  ever wonder if your faith is strong enough to do the same?

Join me for the next post about martyrs and marriage. Things turn out differently than you might think. I love you, church family without walls. Today I bless you with joy, peace and a strong marriage and vibrant and healthy families. In the name above all names, JESUS! Amen!  Hugs, Lynn


A SINGLE LIFE Can Restore A Family Line

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comLet’s open a book today that can change everything.

The Word. The Bible, our living book of redemption and freedom. Jesus the author a perfecter of our faith.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. —Hebrews 12:2

God then said to me, “Lynn, a single life can reset the destiny that has been corrupted for centuries. One child of mine, who decides that they will no longer live in the falsehoods of the kingdom of darkness but chooses rather to rise up and live in truth. That one person, one small young woman, a man in his fifties, a woman who was raised in horrific abuse, a child who chooses to hope over despair. That one person can break the bondage that has oppressed the generations. She can loose the angelic to fight for her freedom and that of her children. One believer can release thousands of “My perfect reflections of love” to walk in their destiny that was written and decreed over their life since before time began. To walk in their highest and best for this life, their original design.”

“You are that one person. There are many of you who choose to silence the lies and begin the hard work of walking in truth. You are that one person. Receive the truth and you will be free indeed.”

Gang, it feels as though the assignment is overwhelming. How can lil ole me fix generations of wickedness? How can I stand in the gap and change my destiny as well as my children’s and the generations to follow?

I take one intentional step at a time. I, personally, have broken the destructive demonic assignments released upon my family through my ancestor’s participation in Free Masonry. I stood in the gap and repented for their sins and broke the curses that were released upon me and my siblings, my mother. I have done the hard work of learning, reading, praying, and persevering to fight for my freedom and the freedom of others and specifically my family.

I pray relentlessly, my hunger grows every year to experience more of the Kingdom, Holy Spirit fire and gifts and to learn more from Jesus.

It is possible to restore and live out the destinies written in our books. The word that represents this effort to the greatest degree is PERSEVERANCE. It’s determination that leads to our truest self.

SUMites... Believers... Children of the Most High God.... Respond. It's your turn to take back your destiny and those of your family generations.

DECREE: Today the deception and lies stop with me. I repent for all the lies and sin of my ancestors. I ask Jesus to speak healing into my life, my family line, my children, my spouse. Today, restore the path to fulfillment of my destiny and the plans that are written in my book. In Jesus name. AMEN

If you just spoke this decree out loud, then record it in the comments as a sealed and spoken word of truth over your family. I will stand with you for the full restoration of your book and those of your family. And sign it in the comments, your name, In Jesus name. AMEN

HALLELUJAH!!!!


When The Books Are Opened

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comLet’s open the next book, shall we?

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. —Revelation 20:12

There is a day in our linear future where every person whosoever liveth upon the earth, shall pass before the throne. The “Books” shall be opened and judgement shall be determined.

WHOA!!!  I can’t stop saying that… WHOA!!!

Astounding….. I don’t have language to express the fathom of this truth.

“As I looked,

thrones were set in place,

    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.

His clothing was as white as snow;

    the hair of his head was white like wool.

His throne was flaming with fire,

    and its wheels were all ablaze.

A river of fire was flowing,

    coming out from before him.

Thousands upon thousands attended him;

    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

The court was seated,

    and the books were opened. —Daniel 7:9-10

Let this passage leave you awe struck. We will be there. We will have our very own book opened. And in our book, is written our original design, our unique creation, our purposes, our assignments that were ordained and written to be fulfilled in our lifetime on earth, before time began. And in our book, will be the results.

Did we discover the truest thing about our self?…. Did we learn that we are lavishly loved. Did we come to understand that our hair color, our gender, our eye color, our imperfections were imperfectly, perfect? Did we realize our full potential and creativity that were gifted to us from heaven? Did we walk in joyous laughter and live in peace, which is our birthright (Romans 14:17)?

Did we learn to love?

Oh, how I have prayed for each and every one of you that you have all learned to love. God gave us difficult marriages so that we would learn to love like Jesus. I have tarried in the secret place for you, your children, and spouse to come to the place of your truest identity.

You are an empowered and perfect child of God!

THAT is our truth.

So, let’s tackle the why.

Why aren’t we walking in victory, true identity, and our predestined missions and assignments?

Enter stage left: Lucifer

Before time began when our books were written, there was an angel. According to Ezekiel 28:13, a probable reference to Lucifer, we learn that he is an amazing being to behold: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created."

His pride in his beauty and position ultimately lead him and a third of the angelic host to be cast out of heaven and down to earth.

And thus, he’s pissed off. I mean roiling mad.

He’s mad and also fully aware of the destinies that are written in our books.

Thus, the war is at hand. We are in a war for truth. The truest thing about us, the works of our lives assigned and contained within our books. As I walked through the vineyards that morning a few weeks ago, the Lord began to show me how, as people, we are destined to live on earth as it was originally intended by the Lord. And God revealed how the devil immediately went to work assaulting the destinies ordained for our lives.

God said to me that morning, “Lynn, it began years ago. Centuries and centuries, way back in families. A brother became jealous and murdered his brother. A man, an ordinary husband and father, heard a whisper from the demonic realm that perhaps he wasn’t good enough to provide for his family, he turned to stealing and alcohol. A mother leaned into a lie that she was insignificant and unworthy to be loved or respected because she was only a girl. A child grabbed hold of a lie that anger was the answer to his pain. Pride was whispered to every generation. Father after father, mother after mother, the generations began to believe the lies of the enemy and their divine books became corrupted.”

“Abuse entered into the bloodline, alcoholism, occult practices, bloodshed. The wickedness of men blotted out names,  destroyed childhoods, imprisoned generations to addictions of perversion. These wicked practices are passed to the children or gleaned from others with evil in their hearts.”

Oh Jesus, I whisper.

“But in my books, it is written that men would always love and cherish their wives. Their children were their pride and joy and the focus of their heart. Mothers were powerful and tender nurturers of the children and her husband. And together these families raised up the next generation to LIVE fully, alive and in the blessings and beautiful world that I created for them to enjoy.”

Okay, the heaviness of this is taking me over. I need a break.. Time to find Kleenex again.

Oh, My SUMites, let’s pray for the restoration of the books of our families.

See you on the next post…. It’s the BEST one of this series. I Love you, Lynn

A SINGLE LIFE Can Restore A Family Line


Is this all there is?

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Photo courtesy of Foto76/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was in the office early. First to arrive, every morning. I was the one who turned the lights on (and often the one who turned them off each night). Large triple shot coffee in my hand as I scanned overnight emails and my always too large work-in-progress folder.

Another restructure was in the wings and I knew with a new MD having recently arrived putting the heat on the sales team, of which, I was one of its leaders, we were to come under close scrutiny. Changes were inevitable and I knew my role, the jack-of-all-trades role that it was, would be closely scrutinised.

I wasn’t too concerned. In fact, I was ready for a change. 

But to what?

I’d never aspired to be a CEO, unlike my twin brother, but from early in my corporate career I had expected I would end up in one of the senior roles reporting to the CEO. Yes, I managed it once, in the Virgin business I co-founded but the desire for such an executive role had diminished. However, given the right company and right boss I’m sure I’d happily jump into one. There just wasn’t that burning desire to do it. 

And for the umpteenth time in recent months I find myself staring into an abyss.

My heart yearned for something more. But no longer was it for the big corporate gig.

But for what?

So I started talking to God about it on our daily commutes. My dissatisfaction with my career was troubling me but I soon began to realise it was more than that. I was frustrated with my relationship with God. Surely there was more?

It didn’t take long before I got my answer. It was blunt and too the point.

“But, you don’t know me, Ian.”

No, I didn’t hear it verbally but in my heart.

So I asked Him how I could know Him.

Once again the response was short and very clear.

“Read my Word.”

Those words jumped into my heart. Sure there was a sense of guilt but mostly relief. That was the answer. I was excited to get started.

Of course He was right. How can you love somebody if you don’t really know them? 

“You can believe in God and still miss life with Him. You can know about God and still live as an Orphan.” Allen Arnold

So I dived into the Word. New Year’s Day 2009 I committed to read the Bible everyday. I’m pleased to say that in the years since I started there have only a handful of days when I haven’t read the Word. That’s probably the one and only New Year’s resolution I’ve made and stuck to.

Meeting Jesus in His Word

I relished reading the Word, discovering so many new aspects of God’s character and finally truly getting acquainted with my Savior. I grew up attending a traditional Church of England church and loved how we used the Green Prayer Book each Sunday and sang old hymns. But I really only met God, the Father.

And my first impressions of Him were greatly impacted by my relationship with my dad. This is common. So I was often fearful (not in a reverent way) and felt He was more the disciplinarian.

Yes, I knew of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the trinity was just too much of a mystery for me to spend any time reflecting upon.

It’s only been in these last ten or so years where I’ve come to ‘meet’ and get to know the other two members of the trinity: the Son and the Spirit. My first impressions of Jesus were He was a super hero of sorts. He was more God than human. So He had an advantage over the rest of us because He could always play the God-card.

How wrong was I?

Yes, I’d read the gospels (and most of the rest of the New Testament) many times over the years, had it preached and talked about but still I lived in this deception.

“We need to hear the Gospel everyday because we forget it everyday.” Martin Luther

I love the fact that no matter how many times I’ve read a passage I discover something new each time. That’s why the Word is a supernatural book.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:1-2, 14a NIV)

Jesus is the Word. The Word is living and breathing. It was only in studying Him, His Word, did I begin to discover who Jesus really was. And that He wasn’t a super hero of sorts.

Falling in Love with Jesus

“... but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]” (Philippians 2:7 AMP)

Jesus became completely human. He was fully man. And fully God. But each nature, ie, His humanity and His divinity, remain distinct. All part of the mystery of Jesus.

It’s been in discovering the humanity of Jesus that I’ve discovered His divinity. A contradiction? Maybe. But in realising He completely understands me and even with all my shortcomings loves me like mad. Accordingly, I’ve become more accepting of myself, developed greater confidence in who I am and my anxiety has gradually diminished. As Thomas Merton says: “If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.”

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 NIV)

I’ve always loved this verse but I never really appreciated it’s meaning. Until I spent time meditating on and repeating it day after day after day did it dawn me that we can only experience what we were made to be until we fall madly in love with Him.

As Dallas Willard states we are called to a love affair with our Creator. 

I want the love affair. The whole kit and caboodle. With Jesus.

Grace and peace, dear friends.


The Next Profound Book

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comRemember Friday we revealed the truth that God created us as a perfect reflection of His love. AND He created us, every person on earth, to be His child, to walk in love and to live in His Kingdom. Remember God said to me, “Tell them about the books, Lynn. My people don’t understand the books and therefore they are unaware.”

Let’s open the next book.

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. —Revelation 3:5

This is the Lamb’s Book of Life. Our name was written in this book and it shines with brilliant light as a reflection of our choice to believe in Jesus Christ. It was written before time began and only you can make the choice to have your name blotted out. (Rejection of Jesus Christ.)

We were perfectly made AND we were created to be victorious. Our names are recorded as a resident of the Kingdom of God. … before time began, I remind you.

Good LORD!!!

It is, and always has been, God’s intention that every person is to be included in the Kingdom. Read these next passages and let these truths seep deep into your soul:

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, — Ephesians 1:4-5

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. —2 Timothy 1:9

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. —Romans 8:29

Okay, I’m not going to debate predestination but I know, without a doubt, that God loves people. His intentions toward people are love and if there is some other doctrine that God doesn’t love people nor have the best intentions for us, we are all doomed. It’s a lie!

So where does life go sideways? Why are we not living in these truths? Why are people going to hell? Why is the world filled with hate? Why did we endure abuse as a child? Why are relationships and marriages so dang hard? What in the hell?..... Really, hell is the answer to all the why.

So, next post, let me share what happens to our books and how we have been every gift to fully realign with our destiny that was sealed before time began.

Book of Life is also referenced in:

And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. —Philippians 4:3 (NKJV)

SUMites, I don't know if I included all the references to the Book of Life. If I missed some, please post the scriptures in the comments. Also, what are your thoughts about the Book of Life? Would love your perspective. Hugs, Lynn


Identity Is Written In Your Book

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWhile on my walk-n-pray today (Thursday), trotting down a street in wine country, suddenly a small feather floated out of the sky and into my cupped hands. I whispered, Thank you Daddy! Then I began to ask the Lord, “Father, what is on your heart about this subject, identity. How do I speak to Your people about this extremely sensitive subject?”

God immediately replied, “Tell them about the books, Lynn. My people don’t understand the books and therefore they are unaware.”

WHOA!

THAT IS NOT the answer I expected…. At all.

But, it’s exactly the perfect answer. Following the Lord’s reply, immediately a download from the Holy Spirit about the books initiated. I began to perceive what the books intend for mankind and where and why we strayed away from the truth. So, please allow me to share with you my conversation with the Lord. Much of what I share is found in Scripture and I include theses passages in the posts.

God began to speak to me about who we are. So, today, I want to share what I heard, the truth of who we are, predicated on scripture and then we will visit the reality of how our identity becomes warped or distorted. Okay? Let’s do this!!

Let’s start with the books.

Do you know that before time began, books were written in the heavenly realms? Books of all manner of things, purposes, and people. There is a book(s) written about you, specifically. Let’s take a look at some of these books. Because understanding The Books of the Kingdom will shed great light on the deceptions of the devil and illuminate the truth of our identity.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. —Psalm 139:16

Let’s start with this passage in Psalms. This is David speaking, a prophet, a King, and man after God’s own heart. In this passage it is written that God ordained every single day of life. God wrote down our longevity, our identity, our purpose, our works, our achievements, and His divine destiny in our own book before the dinosaurs. Really!

Let’s linger here for a minute. PLEASE let this truth ROCK your world. God wrote my book and your book before time began.

God spoke to me this morning and He said, “Lynn, all things written in your book are good. Your book contains assignments for My Kingdom. Works that bring you great joy, such as when you write for My Kingdom, you come alive. That is a fulfilment of one of your chapters in your book. I recorded the destinies of every human being in their book. The books are written decrees to be fulfilled which brings great glory, honor and joy to My heart and it brings the same to those who walk in their written destinies.”

WHOA!!!!  Can I just say, WHOA!

GULP…

Then the Lord went on to say, “Lynn, you and every person on earth was wonderfully and beautifully made. Remember that scripture?”

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. —Psalm 139:14

“Yes, Lord, I am very familiar with that passage.”

“Lynn, every person from the beginning of time, throughout history, has been created perfectly.”

Immediately I realized that every human being is a perfect expression of God’s love. God created us uniquely, specifically, intentionally. We aren’t a mistake in any way or any area.

Our eye color wasn’t a mistake. Our height, not a mistake. Our freckles, our bone structure, our skin color, NOT A MISTAKE, our gender, NOT A MISTAKE.

God is perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes. He crafted each of us, 7.5 billion people, as perfect expressions of His boundless, astounding, love.

We are NOT A MISTAKE. We were created in our mother’s womb with the love of a tender Father who only wants good for His beloved child.

Hold please, I need to find Kleenex. I’m weeping and shaking under the power of the Holy Spirit all at the same time. Taking in this reality is wrecking me. This truth is blowing up every false belief system about my life. And there’s more. So much more to this that I am shaking under the power of the revelation as I type.

I need to pause here. I ask you SUMite Nation, take in this reality. Ask the Father about your book, your destinies. Receive the truth that you are NOT a mistake and the reality that you are exactly who God created you to be.

I understand what you will wrangle with…. The WHY questions. If this is true, then why ______ did this happen. Where were you God when ______ this went wrong. WHY?

Oh boy howdy, did God give me an answer. Stay tuned. Pray into these passages. I feel a powerful revelation and freedom dawning.

WE LOVE YOU LORD!  Hugs, Lynn

PS. There is gold dust on my keyboard right now.

Can I just say again…. WHOA!


Every Victory Begins With THIS!

Hi Family,

Who Am I SUMWe are a family. Being a part of something bigger than ourselves is part of our  spiritual DNA. We were created for connection. We were created to belong. To live in intimacy. Learning to love one another and learning to love our Father.

I’ve just returned from the Heaven Come conference. Three days filled with profound, life-altering worship and teaching that will live forever in my soul.

Attending an event for the Christian faith is an interesting experience. I wonder if you are like me in that you have attended many events that make you feel good about yourself and living for Jesus. However, you return home to the same-old-same-ole and quickly lose all the joy or hope that you came home with? Anyone relate?

However, each year that I attend this conference, something profound occurs. And this year I arrived home with such a powerful conviction to speak about identity.

IDENTITY.

Understanding our identity is everything to living in victory. So, I think that in the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit is urging me to lead all of us in learning about our identity.

Why?

Because out of our identity comes healing. Our understanding of our spiritual place in the Kingdom releases us into our destiny. Our identity is the core of our freedom, healing, hope and our future.

As we walk through identity, I also want to directly confront some of the societal issues that attack identity. Gender, sexuality, and more. I know these issues are controversial in the general public but also in the church. But right now, in our homes, we are trying to raise children to step into their God given calling and the enemy is doing everything to destroy them as men and women. Our spouses listens to the talking heads that shout absolute lies about who we are as people. And as SUMites, we are often shamed by our spouse who puts us down for believing in what they deem as a faith for the weak.

BUT let me be the voice of reason and truth. In the last several years, I have lived out of my full identity and I AM FREE. I am brave and I have helped others find their freedom. I have so much freedom and equipping to give the people of God. And I have insight to help you guide your children through love and not condemnation. I have wisdom, I believe, given by our Father to share how to walk in complete truth and faith in these modern days and handle the issues that confront the truths of God’s holy Word.

I also see our SUM community walking out of shame. Becoming free of condemnation and the need to “save” our spouse. Would you like to step out of shame? Would you like to silence the voice of confusion over sexual identity and know how to walk with others through this issues with love and hope?

Do you have a heart for those who are living in deception and fear? Are you living in fear and shame….. Well my dearest friend, GOD HAS HEARD YOUR PRAYERS. Let’s travel these next few weeks ahead and learn what is truth and how we can live and help our kids live in truth without being hateful or cruel.

And I ask all of you, SUMites, even if you ask the question of yourself, "Who am I" and you feel as though you have a firm identity in Christ, I ask you to walk this out because it may be that there are a few lies that remain hidden about who you are and whose you are that our Great God wants to bust wide open. 

God heals all and we are going to emerge from these weeks and guess what? Confusion will be banished. Love will be paramount. Our hearts will be filled with courage because we know the truth and truth will set you free. 

So, I enter this series with trembling and much prayer. It is scary to take a stand in social media for the Word of God but we are at a tipping point. We MUST learn the truth of our identity. We must walk in our true identity first and then we can help others discover their true identity. It’s in confronting the lies that our healing and healing of the world will happen.

Will you pray for me as I stand in the courage I’ve mustered up to share. Pray I am continually anointed by the Holy Spirit and all that I write is truth and wrapped in love.

What say you SUMites? Do you want to walk this difficult but needful path this season?

I love you. This next week is critical to launch into a the new season of God. Pray and seek His face. He has amazing assignments ahead for this new season and He wants us to be fully free and equipped to set in and behold the glory. Hugs, Lynn


How Sturdy Is Your Seat?

ChairMy friends, I loved your comments from my post on Monday. Several of you shared you would really like to know more about the Greek meanings of the words I’m researching, so please know that I’m thinking and praying about how to do that best. Right now I think a video would be easiest to explain and bring these treasures to life, so stay posted.

Today, let’s start talking about where we “sit” with God. Let’s take a look at Ephesians. The first chapter of Ephesians is all about our identity, who were are as new creations in Christ Jesus and what we’ve been given as our inheritance in Him. 

Many of you shared in the survey that you wanted to understand more about our identity in Christ as well. Knowing and understanding these truths is very important to the sturdiness of our “seat,” especially where and how we “sit” in our mismatched marriages. In taking these truths into our spirit by studying, praying and believing them, we will operate from a greater place of influence in our homes and marriages simply by living our lives according to these truths. 

Take a look at this list of who YOU are right from Ephesians 1.

  • Blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
  • Chosen before the foundation of the world
  • Holy and blameless before Him
  • Predestined for adoption
  • Blessed in the Beloved
  • Redeemed through His blood
  • Forgiven of all trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (not limited by yours)
  • His will and purposes made known to you with all wisdom and understanding
  • United with Him, things in heaven and things on earth

SUMites, this is what Jesus died to give us, our complete identity in Him. And not only that. He gave us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, as a seal and guarantee of our inheritance.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. — Eph 1:13-14

Christ Jesus has done all this for us so that we can be with Him and He can be with us. The veil separating man from God was both literally and figuratively torn upon His death to make this possible. Yet we still tend to think a type of physical separation remains, but God’s Word says otherwise.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. — Eph 2:19-22

Read these verses carefully. God didn’t just want to save us, He also wants us with Him. And not just in eternity, but in an abiding relationship with Him always. When we understand that we are secure in our value, worth and God’s great love for us, we become more and more Christ-like in our faith, courage, integrity and strength. We begin to reflect the very characteristics of Jesus, and if you read the gospels, He was irresistible! People were drawn to Him. They saw the hope and promise He carried and they wanted it.

My friends, this is exactly why God always starts with us, the believing spouse, in a mismatched marriage. We are a conduit of His love and grace, we are a representation of His character, and we are the source of His delight. And we don’t do any of this. He does. 

So this is where we start in releasing our spouses identity in Jesus, by living in belief and faith that we are God’s children, given the full inheritance in Christ Jesus.

Not just when we go to heaven. Now.

Every spiritual blessing, remember? My friends, as you think and pray about these truths about you, think and pray about them regarding your spouse. 

  • You are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, so now bless your spouse with the same.
  • You were chosen before the foundation of the world, and so was your spouse. Declare this truth over his or her life.
  • You stand holy and blameless before Him, so thank Jesus now that He is doing the same thing for your spouse.
  • You were predestined for adoption and so is your spouse. See him or her from this perspective, as someone God is willing to die for so that he or she can LIVE!
  • You are blessed in the Beloved and God’s heart and intention is for your spouse to be too. Again, declare this truth over him or her. If your spouse is open to hear it, tell him or her they are blessed!
  • You are redeemed through His blood and have the power and authority through this to declare the blood of Christ over your spouse—heart, soul, mind and spirit.
  • You are forgiven of all trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. That same forgiveness is for your spouse too. Live forgiven and forgive so that your spouse can see what that looks like.
  • God’s will and purposes made known to you with all wisdom and understanding. Ask God for this same revelation of your spouse. What is God’s heart for your spouse? What gifts did He place in him or her? You can even ask God to show you how your spouse may already be operating in his or her gifting without even realizing it. I see this in my husband as he becomes more and more aware of the people around him and intentionally talks and spends time with them. I see his gift of engagement and evangelism already operating. And I chuckle as I watch him not only do this but how people are drawn to him!
  • You are united with God, things in heaven and things on earth. Therefore, through your faith (sanctification, 1Cor 7:14 and marriage, Mark 10:8) so is your spouse. Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. Then take your spouse with you to those heavenly realms in love and prayer. Think of them as there with you already. Wow!

Okay, that one just kind of blew my mind. How about you, SUMites? I hope you’re beginning to see how important you are in God’s eyes and in your marriage. Nothing is impossible for Him. And you, my friends, as a co-heir of Jesus and a co-laborer with God, are part of His possibilities.

Love you dearly!
Dineen

Copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo