552 posts categorized "Jesus"

He Is My Everything

EASTER IMAGE

  Hello beautiful SUMite family! Amanda here! I am so happy to get back to connecting with all of you! Ann and Ian have shared some beautiful insights this week. I am so honored to share this platform with them.

Today I would like to share with you all a bit about who Jesus is to me. But before we dive in, I have to tell you all about something that has been going on with me over the last few months. Since January I had been experiencing a bit of writers' block. I would get an idea, begin to jot down some notes, but then lose traction. Sometimes I couldn't find the right words, sometimes I would just go completely blank! If I could show you the journal where I usually write my blog ideas, you would find many half-written potential posts, or even just a few sentences before the idea just slipped away from me! I actually have a note on the bottom of one page that says, "I need to write, but I can't think!" It was getting really frustrating! But as soon as Ann asked us to write about who Jesus is to us, it was like a lightbulb came on in my head! I opened my notebook and immediately began to write. This time the words flowed freely out of me! It was as if the Holy Spirit had been waiting for this one. I think I needed this reminder more than I realized! I pray it touches some of you as much as it has me!

Who is Jesus to me? Over the course of my life Jesus has been many things for me.

When my heart has ached with the loneliness of this SUMite life. When the seat next to me on Sunday feels as though it will always be empty, and my husband's bible gathers dust. He comes in and fills the empty spaces with his love, and I no longer feel so alone. Jesus is my spiritual husband.

When the challenges of parenting (especially in a SUMite home) feel like they will overwhelm me. When fear and anxiety over the futures of my children start to swirl in my head. He swoops in and reminds me that they were his first. He loves them more than I can comprehend. He holds them in his arms. I do not have to carry that weight because he carries it for me. Jesus is my hope.

When a relationship (of any kind) ends, and I am left wading through the waters of rejection, self-loathing, and doubt. He reminds me in his word that I am not broken or worthless. I was bought with a price! I am cherished and loved by him. He will never leave me. Jesus is my friend!

When my health is under attack, when waves of sickness fly at me and my family like arrows. When I am overcome with fear and despair, exhaustion and even doubt. He runs in and declares that by His stripes I am healed! Jesus is my physician!

He pursues me, forgives me, waits for me, and loves me.

The risen Jesus - my sweet and precious Jesus- He is my everything!

I hoped you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it my dear friends! Jesus feels so near and real this week! In the coming holy days, I hope that you grow closer to him, open your heart and let him in to all the places you are lonely, sick, or hurting. He is just waiting. Waiting on you to let him in!

I would love to hear from you in the comments! What are some of the ways Jesus has shown up in your lives? I look forward to hearing from you all!


Ask ME the Hard Questions

1 med Res Enforcer Front CoverHello SUM Nation. Lynn Donovan here.

Next week I'll offer the first of two LIVE video training sessions that expand on the teaching in Spiritual Enforcer. This will include an open Q&A at the end. April 10th at 11 am PACIFIC, I'll cover WHY we must have our stance established and what happens in the spiritual realm when we aren't firmly planted. 

Also, I'll delve into the demonic realm and why we need to know our enemy. But also, how vital it is to be in lockstep with Jesus and Holy Spirit. 

So, if you haven't read the book yet, pick it up and plow through the first couple of sections. You can buy the eBook, paperback or audio book here. 

If you gave during our annual giving in November, you have received an email with the Zoom invitation. If you want to attend purchase a pass; click here. 

Write down your questions. Admittingly, I don't know everything, but I've gained an enormous amount of effective strategies that truly make a difference in our faith battles. 

THIS is worth your time. THIS is worth every effort. THIS training is the real deal.

Jesus needs us, His Church, to discover our power and authority and to bring the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I can't wait to share as I've already gained more info since the writing of this book.

Love you all. Be expectant, filled with hope and walk in joy. Love and blessings, Lynn


So What Happens Now?

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Photo courtesy of Adrian Cogua at Pexels.com

Hi everyone, Ian from Sydney here. How was your Easter? We hope it was full of goodness and happiness, especially with the wonderful message of the Resurrection. Jesus is Risen!

Easter has passed for another year. What happens now? Did the message of the Resurrection change anything in our lives? Is anything different in our hearts and/or lives since Maunday Thursday, less than a week ago?

Maybe? Maybe not?

Why not take a few moments simply to reflect on what’s going on in your heart now. Check in with yourself to see how you are? Perhaps jot a few notes in your journal or phone.

Peace is Available

I love the scene in John 20, the night of Jesus’ resurrection. The disciples are locked in the Upper Room terrified the Jewish leaders are going to break down the door and haul them away. They’re confused. Word is out Jesus is alive. But where is He?

Let’s read it together1:

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them …”

Let’s stop there. Did you catch it? Jesus appears out of nowhere. The door is still locked. If he’s risen from the dead, surely, he’d have to use the door to enter? Wouldn’t he? Then the being standing in front of them must be a ghost?

Let’s read on … 

“and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

They’re frightened because they’re unsure who or what is standing in front of them. Jesus comforts them with “Peace be with you!” To further convince the disciples he isn't a ghost, Jesus showed them his wounds that were healed but scars were still evident.

That seemed to do the trick. The disciples were convinced. Interestingly, in another Gospel (Luke 24:41-43), Jesus asks the disciples for something to eat. Which is quite funny when you think about it, but another way of demonstrating he’s not a ghost. Never say, Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humour.

The disciples are now convinced their friend and leader is here in the flesh. What a mixed set of emotions they must be experiencing. I expect relief is one of them which would bring such a comfort at this scary time.

Breath of God.

I imagine there’s a lot of good banter going on as this group is reunited, but Jesus isn’t finished with making this night even more special for his tribe.

Let’s see what he says next:

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus offers them peace and then breathes on the group. Wow! Can you picture what a moment this is for everyone present. The breath of God is life! Remember, Adam was formed from the dust and given life by God breathing life in him.

Closed Doors

What doors have you closed in your heart and mind? Invite Jesus into them, if you're able.  And picture him saying those wonderful words, “Peace be with you.” Not just once, but twice.

And then picture Jesus, the lover of your soul, breathing into you. Breathing new life, new love, new strength, new hope, and new joy.

Receive it. All of it. Breathe in His peace. And breathe out the stress, the worry, the fear, the whatever, that has locked you up.

Now step out boldly. Spirit is with you. Spirit is never leaving for. Your heart no longer needs to be locked up.

Jesus is Risen! Holy Spirit is alive in us!

Grace and peace, dear SUMites and enjoy the peace and release.

Note 1: The Bible passage referred to is taken from John 20: 19-23 (NIV)


Who Is This Man?

Jesus Easter 2024Who is this man? (Luke 8:25)

Yeshua, the son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16)

My brothers and sisters, while in prayer, I have sat on hundreds of beaches with the Lord, and with a hurting or a hungry person who seeks and receives His love, wisdom, and healing. I’ve watched as our Savior holds the hands of a man or woman and releases them from insignificance, rejection, and false identities.

I’ve been in the room when our Savior entered. His presence is overwhelming and so intense, that I tremble. His love, goodness, and power are transformative, so much so, that He realign my thoughts, my disappointments, and sets me back on my feet, steadied on the narrow path.

His voice is tender, patient with us, and when he and the father converse, they share a familiar chuckle as they smile at our progress in our faith walk.

I’ve also experienced the sheer power of Jesus. I have viewed him in his glorified state. The devil appears next to him as a flea, whom the Lord flicks with a finger and he vanishes in fear. Jesus is strong, the ultimate power and ruler overall!

Jesus is my only protector. His blood heals, realigns my DNA, forgives, and blots out the failures of my life. He delivers me from evil.

Jesus is available. He leads us into greater encounters of truth, hope, and overwhelms me with his fathomless love.

My friends, on this, Easter, Sunday, along with millions who live on earth combined with the great cloud of witnesses, who have gone before us, we collectively proclaim our belief and faith in our King!

We declare before all of heaven and earth, that we are in love with an invisible man. We believe in heaven and an afterlife. We know in our hearts that Jesus came in the flesh, died, and arose on the third day. He is seated at the right hand of God.

He is the son of God.
He is the savior of the world.
He came to set the world right and reveal the kingdom of God on earth.
He is our Lord and lead us to our father, Yahweh.

Nothing is too hard for him. There is no sickness, mental struggle, or disease, he cannot heal. No one is too far away that he cannot reach. No devil or evil spirit can defeat him. Never will he leave or forsake you or me.

This is the Jesus we know. This is the Christ we love. This is the king, who we serve now, and for all eternity. 

I’m so thankful for the cross, the whipping post, and His glorious resurrection. I’m thankful with all of my heart Jesus willingly died for me and for you.

Who is this man? Yashua, the son of the living God. He is everything we will need or desire. And finally, and most importantly,

HE is risen!!!!

Just as he said!

Mark 16: 1-7 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”


Thank You for the Blood

Dear SUMites Jesus 2

Today, Friday, the church commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

Today let's say to Jesus, 'Thank you for the blood.'

I wonder if, today, we could each take five minutes to get onto our knees to thank Jesus out loud for what he did for us on the cross? That is, take five minute to not move from your quiet spot, focus on what he did, and articulate our thanks to him. That would be a precious act.

I am going to go and do that now, the minute I press 'publish'.

Well, SUMites, I wish you a beautiful long weekend, and Lynn will be sharing on Sunday.

Ann


"He is My Constant Companion"

My friends Jesus window

Yesterday, we shared in the comments about what life is like with the risen Jesus.

Two of you said, "He is my constant companion." That's how I would describe it too. In a strange way.

I am curious about the fact that I have only ever dreamt of Jesus twice in my life, and in only one of those dreams was he a person. I dream a lot, and given the amount I think about him, you'd think I'd dream about him more than this.

But it's as if he's too ... Heavenly ... to see. Perhaps a dream about him is a once in a lifetime kinda thing.

In the dream, I didn't recognise him. He was a man with shaggy hair, sitting and listening to me, nodding his head like a nice friend.

My family were far away, over by some rocks on a beach, and I was talking to him about them, pointing over at them, stressed, like 'Rescue them!' He simply nodded empathically. But what he was focused on was a set of two bowls in his hand. They were serving bowls. 

I woke up, and thought to myself, 'That was Jesus!'

Just like the two disciples on the Road to Emmaeus, I didn't see him at first:

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaeus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained so that they did not know him (Luke 24:16, NKJV).

These two disciples chattered away to Jesus about what was on their mind. He was a nice companion. Then, they turned aside into a home:

Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight (v. 31).

See what I mean - elusive! He vanished!

And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" (v. 32).

That's the thing. My heart burns when it comes to him. After the dream, my heart burned. Heart burn

What was he saying through that dream to me? He was saying: "Yes, I know you're stressed about your family, I hear you, but I'm not worried. So trust me. What I'm most interested in is the food you're going to serve to others through all this."

The late evangelist, Nabeel Qureshi, had a special dream of Jesus as he battled terminal cancer in his thirties. It was the same kind of thing: A quirky dream, a friendly encounter, and a message that helped him in a difficult time. You might enjoy the video in which he describes that dream, here.

So what are my reflections? He is a friend to us. He does reveal himself to us. But he also allows himself to stay hidden, or to suddenly vanish out of our grasp. He does listen, and he does speak in our lives, but he lets us get hungry for him. An encounter with him is pretty special, and he is our constant companion.

Phew, that's my turn over. And now I can't wait to read something from Ian about Jesus tomorrow.

Love you all.

Ann


A Week of JESUS

Hello my friends, Ann here. Jesus

I have missed you! But I did so enjoy the beautiful, thoughtful posts that Jeanne shared with us over the last three weeks. 

And now to a new theme:

This week the church across the world commemorates the crucifixion and the resurrection of JESUS. Here at SUM, we always do the same.

Often at Easter time, we as a community take a trek through the story of Jesus's last week in Jerusalem. But this year I want to do something a little different: Each of us writers is going to write a post about the RISEN JESUS, and what he means to us.

Who is he?

How have we each encountered him?

What imagery does scripture show us about him?

He is the sword that sits between us and our spouse. He is the truth that we debate with our spouse. He is the lover of our soul who our spouse often feels they compete with.

He is the person whom other religions deny. Yet he is the only religious leader who ever died for their followers.

JESUS.

I don't know if it's like this for you, but for me he is elusive; though I know him. He is mysterious to me. I ask myself questions like, "What do you look like?" Or, "Why can't you just come and sit down on the couch next to me?" Or, "Why don't you appear to me in the flesh so that I can find you more real than I do now?" Ann and Jesus

I feel like I have to pursue him, even though I know that he pursues me.

And I love the fact that the Old Testament points to him, miraculously, over and over, in the most genius ways.

What does he look like?

.. One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last." (Revelation 1:13-17, NKJV)

Ah, that's what He looks like. Man I wish I could have seen this image for myself.

Well, tomorrow I'm going to carry on and share some personal reflections on times I perceive that I've encountered the risen Jesus.

And you? What does it look like having the risen Jesus in your life?

Back tomorrow, dear SUMites.

Ann


Power and Authority in Christ

1 med Res Enforcer Front CoverMy friends, within the first section of Spiritual Enforcer, I also teach about walking in greater power and authority. I outline our authority as believers and also address in great degree why we fail to see that authority come into reality. I cover open doors that exist in the spiritual and closing the doors.

Also, I speak to partnering with the Holy Spirit who is the force or power for us as believers. I didn't flesh this concept out fully but will cover more of this in the video teaching in the future. But know this, real power is at our hands and within our commands. And we can learn to partner with the Holy Spirit to exert real power into our lives and circumstances. 

When we held our SUM get together at my house in September, the Holy Spirit told me to provide a demonstration of power. And with great prayer and belief, I did. Then I asked others in the room to give it a try and they did. It's all about belief. And then the Holy Spirit moves. There is so much more to share about the power and authority we have as believers. I hope you are finding the first section of the book encouraging. And if you are, please tell me about it in the comments. I would love your feedback. 

The next section I explain and expand regarding the demonic realm. I'll address this topic further in my next post.

Share with me what you are learning. Ask me questions in the comments so I can address them in the live teaching.

I love you. You are stronger than you believe and all of heaven is cheering you on. So am I. Hugs, Lynn


Foundational Pillar - Holy Spirit

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SUM Nation, 

Lynn here. We are on a roll now. Let's establish our foundation in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is absolutely vital to know and understand as we enter into a theater of war. Listen in and join the conversation here in the comments or on Facebook.

Download PDF Field Guide → Intimacy with the Holy Spirit


Foundational Pillar - Jesus - Join the Conversation

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SUM Nation, Lynn here on this glorious Wednesday.

Did you process that LARGE question of God’s goodness? Whew. Took me a long while to walk through that one.

Now let’s consider what intimacy with Jesus is all about.

Download PDF Field Guide → Intimacy with Jesus

Leave your thoughts in the comments and join the conversation happening on Facebook.


LET'S GO!!!!

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February is going to be amazing. So many of you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I get it!!!  So, let do something about it.

I want you to know we can have real victory. I know this because the teaching I'm going to share here on the blog and in the book, Spiritual Enforcer, I have lived out. 

I AM CONVINCED that the warfare I learned made the difference in my husband's decision to become baptized. Also, our relationship benefited tremendously. Additionally, other relationships improved and so did numerous difficult circumstances. 

Spiritual Enforcer picks off where Marching Around Jericho ends. The tools, strategies and prayers I share are built upon a strong foundation. This foundation MUST be established to walk out the principles I teach in EnforcerIf you haven't read Marching Around Jericho, please get a copy and read it first. Also, I will be sharing some of the video training I offer as a support to the book.

I will cover some of these basics next week and ask for your input as well. Start this journey NOW.

Leave in the comments your favorite verse that gives you hope, releases victory into your life, or is a power verse to defeat evil. I will collect these and make them available at the end of our study. 

PLEASE take time to leave a verse. It may be the very WORD that helps someone else who is on this journey but right behind you. Love you. See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn


I Dare You to Make This Commitment....

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Hi SUMite Nation,

Lynn Donovan here. Guess what????

I’ve taken over the blog for the month of February!!  Wahoo! Ann has the month off and it’s my turn to lead us for a bit. And I’m feeling a bit feisty. So, hang on to your hat …—

So, I have a few questions for our “Church without Walls.”

One: Who is sick and tired of being sick and tired? 

Two: Who of you would like to see the truths of the Bible come alive in your life? 

Three: Would you be willing to walk with me through a month of learning to war  with supernatural power and authority? 

Four: Who would like to learn to fight the demonic? AND WIN???

If this is you, well get ready because February is Enforcement month here are SUM!!!  And you can bet the devils are already quaking in fear. They don’t want you to know what I know. They don’t want you to discover who you REALLY are and what you contain.

Devils afraid

So here is the real question that requires an answer. And I ask you to answer it publicly, so the demons know you are serious.

ARE YOU READY TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BECOME A DEMON SLAYER?

Answer in the comments with a resounding, “I’m IN! In Jesus name.”

Get ready to advance the Kingdom of God and bring God’s purposes into your life and those of your family.

I love you. I stand with you. I am for you and Jesus adores you. February is going to be wild. But I promise you this. If you truly step into this with all you have, you will never be the same. Hugs, Lynn


Sumite Community Fast

SUM Fast 2024Hello SUMites,

In preparation for our fast that begins on Monday, January 8th at sunrise, I want to offer a few points to help make your fast successful. 

First, figure out what kind of fast you will be partaking. This year, I'm praying for a healthy lifestyle of eating. I'm going to participate in a Daniel fast. I began this fast on January 1st. I'm fasting at least 21 days, longer if I can. 

Remember you can fast many different ways, such as fasting from social media, fasting from television, but the kind of fasting in the Bible is a food fast. Best advice is to ask the Lord what He wants this fast to look like in your life.

Remember, stay hydrated. Generally, most people don't drink enough water in a day. I purchased a large jug last year. I drink the entire half gallon a day. 

Helpful tip: Light a candle. Place the candle in your kitchen or someplace where you see it often. It is a light to remind you to pray. Try this. It really helps. I burn a candle in my living room and when I see it, I pray a blessings prayer. I'll share more about those in my book that is coming out soon.

Determine to seek God. 

Fasting is commanding our desires into submission and allowing our spirit to engage with our Father, Jesus, and Spirit. 

Fasting brings clarity. 

Finally, bring your cell phone into submission. DO NOT take it into your daily prayer time. Just sit with God and listen. He won't compete with the phone. I mean it.

Ann and I will be leading the fast with a prayer prompt each morning. I will be focusing on spiritual warfare, as that is what my new book is about. And real warfare is intense. Fasting draws you closer to God and His wisdom and protection. Which we certainly need if we are going to battle the demonic for ourselves and family members.

Okay, any questions? Leave me a comment.

Are you participating? Please leave your name, where you are from and any prayer requests. I WILL pray over all of them during our fast.

I love you, my dearest, brothers and sister. I hold you deeply within my heart. 

I declare VICTORY for our community. VICTORY. It's finally time to experience God's victories in our lives. I can't wait to hear how God is moving in your life in 2024.

Love and hugs, Lynn Donovan


Leafing Through His Story

By Ann Hutchison Tree

My house is peaceful and quiet; everyone's still asleep. It's 6:30am, and I'm wrapped in a fluffy robe.

Time with Him. Ahhh.

I know us SUMites love our time with God, and many of us get up early to have it.

Well, I mentioned in my last post that today I would share how I connect with the story of the birth of Jesus. So here goes. But to tell the story I need to backtrack:

A few years ago, a colleague who had left his faith told me the Gospels were 'inconsistent with each other'. He suggested that because of those inconsistencies the Bible was not inerrant. I was reasonably new to my faith at the time, and I didn't particularly mind him telling me that. I thought "If he's right, then I should take notice." My primary concern was truth, and I didn't mind where that took me. So I investigated.

Were the Gospels inconsistent? I pulled them to me: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and I read them, event by event, side by side, from start to finish.

I didn't find them to be problematic. Instead, what I found was that they each provided a different piece of a puzzle. In any given story about Jesus, there are one, two, three or even four descriptions of the event (e.g., his crucifixion), and different things are highlighted in each Gospel.

The same is true with the birth of Jesus. We have different Gospel accounts that describe his birth, and we can pull them together like detectives to reconstruct a scene, a testimony, a story.

I love doing that with the Gospels: Pulling all the pieces together to reconstruct a particular story. Have you ever tried that? It's fun! 

A few years ago, then, I reconstructed the nativity story using the Gospels to determine the order in which things happened. Every December since then I have read the story in this particular order. I sit by my sparkling Christmas tree on an early December morning, morning after morning, and I read the story ... Sipping tea, and thinking about how amazing it was that God came to earth.

Fully human; fully God.

As I read, I do this:

  • I highlight in the scriptures any phrases that tell me who Jesus was, or what he was about.
  • I notice the things that were spoken about him by people like Simon, or Anna the prophetess in the temple.
  • I ask myself why we are told about his lineage twice, and why those two lineages are different. I wonder what it is God wants us to know.
  • I think about John the Baptist and what his purpose was.

And so on, and so on. It is such a rich story, I will never get bored of reading it.

So now, my friends, here's my order of reading the nativity story, and perhaps you might like to follow along with this reading plan sometime?

Luke 1:5-80: The story of Elizabeth, Zacharias, and Mary

John 1:1-14: The story of the Word becoming flesh, and John the Baptist

Matthew 1:1-25: The story of Mary and Joseph

Luke 2:1-40: The birth of Jesus

Matthew 2:1-23: A short time afterwards, the wise men, Herod's attack and the family's flight to Egypt

Well, ENJOY the nativity story!

What does it mean to you? What are you longing for this Christmas?

I'd love to hear your heart.

Ann


A Delightful Routine

Hello SUMites Lift our eyes

There's one key to my survival in a SUM, and it's this: Focus on Jesus.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3, ESV)

You know, when I first took on the task of writing for this blog back in 2017, I asked Lynn, 'What is the key purpose we're trying to achieve?' Her answer: Focus their eyes on Jesus.

What a great answer.

For that reason, there are two points in our year where we deliberately stop and do that:

  1. In March/April, we look at Jesus' death in the Gospels and walk through that story carefully.
  2. In December, we look at Jesus' birth in the Gospels and do the same.

We do that at these times of year because the rest of the church is doing it, and it's a collective effort. It's been part of the church's routine for centuries, ever since the early church was established, and ever since they put in place a liturgy for bringing the different parts of scripture to their congregations. It's an amazing thing to think of the body of Christ collectively marinating in those stories, at those times of year.

We could spend December continuing to talk about the ins and outs of spiritually mismatched life, like we do for most of the year -- honestly, that topic never gets old LOL -- But I like the idea instead of pausing, breathing, and lifting our eyes elsewhere twice a year... Deliberately, and as a group. 

Where does my help come from? Not from earth below, but from Him -- Jesus. He is my love.

So when I next write I'm going to share my own personal approach to how I connect with the birth of Jesus at this time of year.

In the meantime, how about you? Do you have any routines for how you go about connecting with the nativity story? I'd love to hear them, so let's share in the comments!

Love to you all

Ann

p.s. Sorry if I've been slow to reply to comments/messages -- I've been on a beautiful multi-day hike with my family and just got back last night. Am catching up now :-)


Advent - A Season of Hope!

As some of you may recall I’ve been observing the season of Advent now for many years. Hi, it’s Ian from warming up Sydney.

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Photo courtesy of Lil Artsy and Pixels.com

Advent means “arrival”. Interestingly, the arrival, Jesus as a babe, occurs on the last morning of Advent, ie, Christmas morning. And then of course, the season encourages us also to reflect on the Second Coming of Christ.

How do we Wait?

We know waiting, don’t we SUMites? Besides the everyday matters on which we wait, we also wait for our partners to discover Jesus. To experience their own ‘advent’ of sorts. And we wait. For some of us, it’s been a long time.

“Every good arrival is preceded by a waiting, a suspension, a liminal moment.”1

We place our hope in that good arrival. It’s fascinating that the Gospel of Luke starts with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. I especially love this story in Luke 1: 5-25. I’d encourage you to read it, if you haven’t recently.

Elizabeth is barren. I suspect as Zechariah was a priest, they were an esteemed couple in society. Being unable to have children would have been noticed and I imagine brought much shame upon them.

But Gabriel appears to Zechariah telling him Elizabeth will conceive and give birth to a son, whom they will name John. Gabriel’s instructions are so specific, aren’t they? The Advent story starts in darkness, in the barrenness, but God entered and healed their pain and shame.2

Darkness often gets a bad rap but remember miracles happen in the dark all the time. All of us were conceived in the dark.

Holy Anticipation

Advent reflects the hope of having a relationship with an outrageous God who comes in person, as a babe, dies after a short life, is resurrected, and walked amongst us for 40 days, before ascending to heaven. But, in leaving us, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit and in so doing, gave us the power to co-create our futures here on earth with Him. But there’s more: we have a greater future when Jesus reigns forever more.

It's an exciting story, isn’t it? And one that fills me with great anticipation for the present, these four weeks of Advent and beyond.

What are you hoping for?

Advent coincides with the end of a year and often the beginning of a new year comes with hope for something new. We may be in our own season of darkness or a season of transition, waiting for the light to be revealed and a step into a fresh new something.

May we encourage you to reflect on this over the next days. Is there something you particularly long for God to do in your life? If yes, may we encourage you to bring that to Him. May we invite you to sit picturing Jesus with you. See the light and love brightly emanating from within Him in your direction. And simply open your heart to the lover of your soul. Sit some more and let Jesus hug you and bathe you in His inexhaustible love.

Happy Advent, dear SUMites. Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and New Year. See you in 2024.

Notes: 1. Advent Meditations – Practicing the Way. practicingtheway.org 2. Ibid.


You Are Not Crazy!

1 john 4 18 smallSometimes we just need to know we aren’t crazy.

Hi, Lynn Donovan here.

Today, I want to share encouragement with you. This is for all of you who are walking the unequally yoked road. Those who are following behind me, headed toward the victorious life. All of you who have pain. The many who are facing uncertainty about their marriage and doubts about your faith life.

I’m here for you. You are not alone. And you are not crazy.

I’ll be the voice that assures you that your faith is the most valuable commodity in the world. God truly loves you. And He is listening. I will tell you that every prayer you utter is important. I will affirm that each choice you make to stand down fear and live in faith is powerful.

I will be the voice to say: RISE UP. Walk in the authority of Jesus and command evil from your home. I can lead you to know the Holy Spirit is for you and merely awaiting your invitation for Him to enter your heart, home, marriage, and circumstances. He IS the very power that raised Christ from the dead and now lives in you.

I will reaffirm that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. It is powerful and can heal, redeem, restore and create. Jesus SAVES and He is returning for His Bride and WE WILL BE READY.

You are enough, even when life hurts and circumstances are frightening. You are a victor when hurtful words are slung toward your heart. You can become a man or woman of God even in the midst of unbelief that surrounds you.

Do not doubt. Do not partner with fear. Always trust and believe. Speak the Word with faith and become a demon sniper.

Every promise in the Bible is real and God wants us to step away from the lies and walk in our promises, which are all…… Yes and AMEN!

Hallelujah.

Leave your name in the comments and I will bless you. Leaving your name is a declaration to the evil realm that clearly defines….

Who you are and

Whose you are.

I adore you. Stay strong in the Lord and let’s bring His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name. AMEN

Love and blessings, Lynn

Leave your name and the scripture verse that is important to you today. Hugs.


Do you Un-love Yourself? I did.

Hello my dear SUMites brothers and sisters,

Galatians 5 1 Freedom Inner Healing

Lynn Donovan, with you today. I’m feeling extra empathy and compassion for all of us who have walked this road of the unequally yoked.

In a prayer session this week, I was praying with a friend, and uncovered an area of unhealed pain that needed the love of Jesus….. and needed my love.

You see, Jesus took me back to when I was newly married, within the first three years, to the moment reality came crashing in that my husband and I were at odds about this major part of my person, Jesus. I remember that moment clearly. I experienced devastation when that understanding hit me. And frankly, the reality that my husband didn’t care, or seem to care, that I was in pain the devastation increased. Ugh!

It’s difficult to be transparent about this, as it’s a deeply personal moment. However, I’ve always chosen to be real with you because we learn together how to overcome pain?

Now here is the best part.

In my prayer time, I discovered that this was the moment where I became disappointed with myself. I realized that my fairytale wasn’t going to unfold as expected. This moment was the beginning of a lie that devil began to tell me that I was a disappointment to myself.

This is the moment when I began to unlove myself.

Ugh! I didn’t even know this pain and reality was inside. It was absolutely revelation from Jesus. Jesus then arrived to love on this young girl. And through this experience, He loved on me. I forgave myself for this disappointment. For the rebellion against God and not following His written Word. I forgave myself and acknowledged the difficulties this young woman faced and the deceit she lived in at the time.

I blessed her. And Jesus blessed me.

My love of self, found healing. And this morning when I woke, I’ve been surrounded by a simple peace. I feel whole unto myself. And I realized how much I truly love my husband, Mike.

SUMite, sit down with Jesus. (NO DISTRACTIONS). Ask Him if there was a place where disappointment and unlove entered in. Ask Him to reveal any roots to this pain and forgive yourself. Forgive others if needed. Love yourself. Bless yourself.

We are so hard on ourselves over our past mistakes. One of the great things I did in this prayer session was to forgive my young self for the choices she made. As my entire life has felt the consequences of her decisions. (And I realize it’s myself I’m speaking of, but that girl….. and the woman I am today, are very different people. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.)

This process is inner healing. It is beautiful. It is necessary and it is FREEDOM.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

If you need inner healing, make a Healing Prayer Appointment with me. I am tender and full of compassion. Jesus will meet you where you are, and He will set you free also.

With great love and compassion, I greet you this day. Love, Lynn Donovan

Healing Prayer with Lynn Donovan


Dealing with Disappointment

Ian from sunny Sydney here. Spring is here, Down Under and the flowers are beginning to blossom as the temperature increases.

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Photo courtesy of Mikhail Nilov and Pexels.com

We’re a little sad in our house at present. Fiona and I were off on a holiday last week, but I injured my back, and it didn’t make sense for us to travel. Besides the pain of the travel, I would have been limited in what I could do as my back slowly heals. This isn’t a new thing for me – as I’ve gotten older, these episodes occur every couple of years. Unfortunately, this time was particularly inopportune.

BTW, my back is slowly improving, and I have some plans in place to hopefully minimise future episodes.

Stuff Happens

We’re often disappointed, aren’t we? Things aren’t turning out the way they should be or how we hoped they would? We probably all can think of something in recent times where we’ve been disappointed. It might have been something small, or something bigger like a holiday being cancelled. Or there are the perennial ones that seem always to be in the back (or perhaps forefront of our minds) like our spouse still seemingly no closer to joining us in loving God, or one of our kids making decisions we don’t approve of, or our jobs not working out the way we want them to.

What about our dearest friendships? The intimacy we once shared has disappeared. Why, we don’t know. There’s an open wound in our heart that brings us to tears most weeks.

Why God why? It wasn’t meant to be like this!

We want our situation resolved now. We get disappointed when it doesn’t. Our hope fades. How many times have you wondered whether your spouse will ever come to the Lord? Me, too many to count!

It’s Okay to be Sad!

Too often in Christian circles we minimise disappointment and sadness. We all do it. We’re always wanting to help others in their sadness, confusion, or grief. We want to help them be happy and restore their hope. But many of us feel uncomfortable when someone we love is sad or disappointed. It’s a yucky feeling and experience, isn’t it?

But it’s okay to be sad. Remember, Jesus was sad a few times, one when he received news about John the Baptist being beheaded and when Lazarus was dead. We’re told he even wept when he arrived at Lazarus tomb. He, the creator of the universe, experienced every emotion we do. Really truly!

As Kate Bowler says, “You are okay to feel what you feel. We need freedom to acknowledge the brutality of life without minimising or pretending or justifying.”1

Lament

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been reading the Psalms continually for a few years now. I can’t get enough of them. They’ve been pivotal in my gaining a better understanding of God’s goodness, wonder and mystery. Lament psalms feature the most of any ‘category’ of the 150 psalms. Why? Because it reflects the human condition. Life doesn’t turn out the way we want, bad things happen, and there’s much we don’t understand. So, the writers of the lament psalms give us a means for expressing our feelings to God, knowing that He listens and is always offering us His love, protection and kindness.

One of the aspects of the lament psalms I love is they’re at times brutally honest. Here’s a sample:

“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:1-2)

These are the words Jesus cried on the Cross:

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest. (Psalm 22:1-2)

Bowler writes, “But all the good things that can come from prayer – trust, acceptance, connection, occasional miracles – are there waiting for us. But first comes radical honesty. The more genuine our prayers, the more freedom there is to acknowledge the reality of all a life with God can be.”2

A Blessing for When you’re Disappointed.

I thought I’d finish with an abbreviated version of a Blessing Kate Bowler wrote about disappointment:

Blessed are you, dear one, when you are disappointed, when you have prayed and hoped and wished, and still your cry for help does unanswered. Blessed are you in the grip of the radical honesty that says, God, what are You doing? Why don’t Your answer? … Blessed are you, when you have lifted it all up to God and now must sit among the broken things and pray a one-word prayer of need. Help. Save. Come.

Blessed are you still there before God amid the unanswered prayers. For you are not alone. No. There is One who has come to feel what you feel, to suffer what you have borne. And this Jesus comes right to the heart of your pain. That’s the place he knows best. And desires to transform with the blazing light of healing love. That’s the only thing that makes the difference.

Blessed are you, sweet child. Daring to ask, God, help me trust You, even if You never tell me why. Then settling yourself into the reality that God’s hands are the safest place to be. And you pray again. Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. Hide me in the shadow of You wings.”3

 

If you’re struggling with a particular disappointment right now, please share it with us in the comments if you feel comfortable doing so and we can pray over you. Grab a hold of the Word and draw close to Him. Let His Word minister to you. Remember He has never left you and is always working in the background. Just as He is with all our spouses.

Grace and peace, dear friends.

Notes: 1 & 2, Kate Bowler and Jessica Ritchie, Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection (Penguin Random House, New York, 2022) 135

Notes 3. Ibid, 136


Summer Bible Study - Book of Ephesians- Chapter One

Letter to ephesiansBook of Ephesians

Lynn Donovan here. SUM Nation the book of Ephesians is one of my all-time favorite books of the Bible. That’s because this is a letter to the church that has overcome. This group of believers lived in the middle of a morally bankrupt society that is filled with idol worship and every kind of debauchery. However, they found Jesus. AND they have learned how to live and thrive in difficult surroundings.

Sound familiar?

What I find fascinating is this church is powerful and faith-filled body of believers, however just a mere 30 years later, the Apostle John writes to the Ephesians and reminds them of the many miraculous things they have done and how they have persevered. Yet, he calls them out in verse 4: Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

This is the call of the Ephesians letters: Never relent, persevere and LOVE. Love God. Love people in an ever-increasing capacity of the heart.

Open your Bible to Ephesians, chapter one. I’m teaching from the NKJV. We know that the Apostle Paul is writing to the believers in Ephesus and offers these believers some astonishing reminders of what belongs to them.

Read from verse one through verse twelve. This greeting and introduction is filled with promises of completeness. What IS ALREADY accomplished for our benefit through the atonement. THIS IS OUR HEAVENLY BANK ACCOUNT. Let’s take a look:

  • Every spiritual blessing
  • Chosen, before time began to be holy, blameless and in His (Christ’s) love.
  • Adopted because it pleased our Father. (If we can wrap our head around this, we will never give into the fear of man, manipulation or deception. We KNOW who we are and whose we are.)
  • Redemption from sin, transgression and iniquity. (I could write books about this stuff. What we are redeemed from is so massive and horrendous, that most believers don’t fully understand our greatest gift is redemption.)
  • Riches of grace abounding toward us in wisdom and prudence. (Does anyone want to give an explanation of these amazing attributes in the comments? I would love to read your take.)
  • Obtained and inheritance in accordance with His will and all of this to the glory of God in Christ Jesus.

These are amazing. If you dwell upon each and research their possibilities and ask God to reveal their reality in your life today, it will blow your mind. Let me give you an example.

We have every spiritual blessing. What does this mean. It means that everything in the spiritual Kingdom of God that we need or desire is already ours. It is our great privilege to learn to apprehend these spiritual blessings. Many of these blessings look like the gifts of the spirit (Galatians 5). Spiritual blessings also is angelic support and influence in the heavenly places because we are seated with Christ. It’s everything we need and more. 

Blessing aren't just spiritual. It is God's great pleasure to give us the Kingdom. Blessings in the here and now. Health, family, finances, community, weather, etc.

What does this mean practically? I don’t need to beg God for a morsel of His goodness, kindness and provision. I can believe He has provided me with all that I need to accomplish my work here on earth and thrive. I pray in support of these purposes. For example: Lord, this book I’ve been writing is creating great demonic attack, so I call upon your protection that is mine as your child. Also, Father, I need downloads of the words to write and time and the energy to write them down. I thank you that you hear my prayers as I am seated in the heavenly realms with Christ. And now I wait expectantly for your provision of words, protection and everything I need to thrive in my home and relationships as we write together. In Jesus name. AMEN

I could spend weeks unpacking all of these blessings. But alas, we must move on to the BEST PART of the entire chapter.

Paul’s prayer for the overcoming church, beginning in verse fifteen.

I’m going to pray this passage how I prayed it for months and months a number of years ago when I was in the middle of my search for my true identity and to really KNOW God. This is how I prayed this scripture:

Father, God of my Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Father of glory! I ask that you give to me the Spirit of Wisdom (read more about this spirit in Proverbs, beginning in chapter one.) that I may be wise on earth in my work, my worship, my relationship with You and others and in everything I do and say. I also ask for the Spirit of Revelation that I may really know you in a deep and abiding and powerful intimacy. Father, open my eyes to understanding and enlighten me to the amazing truth that you have a calling on my life. Reveal my calling(s) and teach me to walk in them now. Father may Your calling fill me with great hope and contentment. I also ask for understanding of the riches of glory because I have an inheritance here on earth and also in heaven. Reveal this to me.

Father, what is the exceeding greatness of power that is granted to me as a believer? Reveal this working of your mighty power in my life. This same astonishing power is made available to me which is the power that raised Christ from the dead. Teach me how to partner with Your power. And show me how to engage this power with Christ over and far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come! Hallelujah! I will defeat the Kingdom of darkness for the cause of Christ Jesus!

And I declare Jesus Christ is over all things and all things are under the power and dominion of His church AMEN and AMEN!

SUMITE, if you don’t know what to pray, pray this prayer. Open your Bible to Ephesians one and just pray the words aloud straight from the pages.

As our world darkens, I see all of us SUMites who have walked this long road of challenges to our families and faith, as Kingdom leaders who walk in all these promises of Ephesians. We, who have persevered in long crushings of worldly desires to arrive in a life of power and connection in Christ. We are those who will bring healing to many. Who will share God’s wisdom and perseverance to show the people who are deceived the truth that shall set them free.

And that truth is a person. He is Jesus.

Can I get an amen in the comments. I bless you today to perceive the spiritual blessings that are all around you and that you feel deep in your person the abiding and transforming love of our Lord and our God. Amen

I adore you, Lynn


“Do you enjoy spending time with Jesus?”

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Photo provided courtesy of Lisa Folios at Pexels.com

Hi Ian from Down Under here. It’s getting colder here in Sydney. But our winters are typically pretty mild and often quite dry as well which makes them very pleasant so long as there’s a heater not too far away if the temperature suddenly drops.

I read the above question the other day. It’s a great question as it makes you think all sorts of things, doesn’t it? Things such as:

- When did I last time with Jesus?

- Have I ever spent time with Jesus?

- You mean, in church, right?

- I’m not sure how to spend time with Jesus.

- How do you answer such a question?

Friendship

I expect this question would be easier to answer when we think about spending time with our spouse, our children, and our friends. Whether the answer is an affirmative or not.

“I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)

Friendship with Jesus is something I’ve been reflecting on a for a little while now. Interestingly, it’s become quite topical in the current book business as a n umber of authors have or will soon release books on the subject.

Jesus wants us to be friends. He designed us for friendship with Him. He calls us friends as evidenced by the verse above. How do we be friends with Jesus? I thought it would be interesting to explore this subject over the next few weeks.

Desire

We are creatures of habit. Annie Dillard, a favourite author of many writers, is known for saying, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” For many of us how we spend our days is built around what is important to us, or what we have determined is our purpose in life. Career, family, and relationships tend to fill most of our days and these typically reflect what is important to us.

For many men friendships aren’t something we prioritise. And even if we do, we might find people we are seeking to be friends with don’t prioritise it so it’s all a bit lopsided. The beauty of Jesus is that He places it as a priority. Isn’t that exciting?

If answering the question that prompted this post was difficult perhaps one reason for it is because we haven’t prioritised friendship (or relationship) with Him. Jesus isn’t going to bully us into a friendship with Him. If we don’t see it as being important, and don’t prioritise it, then Jesus is unlikely to force our hand.

Jesus wants to be wanted.

Knowing vs knowing!

Huh? Knowledge of God is important. Studying the Word, even going to Bible College, and listening to speakers, podcasts, reading books, etc, etc are important and good things to do.

We chose our spouses because we first got to know about them. We found we liked them because of what we learnt. We wanted to know them more and more. And through marriage and living together over the years we have become intimately acquainted with them.

Knowing about God is important. It helps us to say yes to Him. Romans 10: 17 confirms it, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

God desires us to know Him intimately, to have an experiential relationship with Him, not just a head-based knowledge. As James Bryan Smith says about God, “Jesus is as real to me as the chair I am sitting on.”

And I believe the first step in having an intimate friendship with God is to want it. To truly desire it. It’s something that gets us out of bed in the morning. God gets excited when we desire what He wants. Friendship.

We’d love to know any thoughts you might have on the question that prompted this post and/or any tips you might have for developing a close friendship with God. Please share away in the comments below.

Note: The question that is the title to this post was prompted by Faith Eury Cho's book, "Experiencing Friendship with God"


Are You This Person?

Hi SUM Nation. Lynn Donovan here.

I want you to meet my friend.

Debbie DelNero

This is Debbie DelNero. I met her at my new church about a year ago. I was still fairly new to the congregation. She came up to me and introduced herself. Then she said something remarkable.

"I lead a small group of SUMites and we are currently studying your book, Winning Him Without Words."

I hugged her.

In her remarkable words was something that moved my heart deeply. You see, there aren't many of us. Those of us who are walking or have walked the unequally yoked path. The spiritually mismatched are often forgotten in a church body. No one truly understands the deep struggle of living in a marriage where you want to honor God and your marriage vows, even to an unbeliever. 

And even more unlikely will you find a woman who decides to seek out others and then gather them together to study and encourage them to grow in faith and hope for their unbelieving spouses.

Debbie, is brave. We all are brave but she did something that is even less common. She started and continues to lead a small group of SUMites. My heart fills with love for all of us walking out our faith in a spiritual mismatch. But my heart swells with the deepest of gratitude for her selfless efforts. 

She loves God. She loves people.

AND my heart and the heart of Jesus swells for every woman who has led a small group of SUMites. And for those who will in the future.

Also, My heart swells with deep gratitude for the SUMITE Team who writes online and those who contribute to social mead. You serve selflessly and for no reason other than to help someone and see the name of Jesus glorified. 

This month of May marks the 17th anniversary of this ministry. I am thankful for all of you. Those I never met. The many who served another SUMites, in some way, without acknowledgement. I'm thankful that the love of Jesus shines from your eyes.

I'm so thankful and I ask the Lord Jesus to bless each of you in a tremendous and REMARKABLE manner. 

I love you. Lynn


Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

TreeHello all! Amanda here, I hope you had a great weekend and a wonderful Mothers Day! I have another "WOW God!" story to share with all of you (the picture is a little hint). So lets jump right in!

I have to start by saying the spiritual journey God is taking me on as a mother is nothing short of amazing. I have hard time finding the words to describe it sometimes (which, if you know me, is unusual haha!). I feel it is all at once joyful and solemn, fun and difficult, peaceful and chaotic! I am sure that is how most mothers view raising their children. I am so VERY aware that God chose me to steward these little warriors that sometimes it takes my breath way! And the event I am about to share with you was one of those breath-taking moments.

Almost every night since December we have read one chapter of the bible. It started with Luke as a way to celebrate the birth an life of Jesus nearing Christmas and we just kept going! We are in the book of Acts now and they love it! The three of us (my son, my daughter, and I) snuggle up on my daughters bed and start reading, stopping for questions and discussion along the way. It does tend to make for later bed times, but we love it! Our faith walks and connection to each other has grown deeper because of it.

On this particular night, after we had read our chapter, my daughter was looking particularly thoughtful. I could tell she was rolling something around in her mind. She has a very big imagination and she is very curious kid, so you never know what she might say! Anyway, she looked at me with the widest eyes and said "Mommy, do you ever think about how Jesus is like the stem (trunk) of a tree, reaching all the way to the top; how the disciples are the branches, and the rest of us are the leaves?". After I picked my jaw up off the floor in surprise at the wisdom my seven year old was spouting I said, "Wow June! That is very cool!'. Then she went on saying, "Yeah! And God is like the roots of the tree, and the ground is that 'thing' that separates us from God!". Again, jaw dropped haha!

Possibly the COOLEST thing about this whole conversation was the moment we all turned and looked at the tree I had painted on her bedroom wall EIGHT years ago, when I was pregnant with her, and counted the main branches coming off the trunk. Want to take a guess how want there are? Twelve...TWELVE! With a 13th that reaches the ceiling! When I painted this tree I was not attempting for it to symbolize anything! I was just planning on making a forest-themed nursery but stopped after one tree! haha! How interesting is it that it has suddenly become a symbol of something so powerful?! The three of us sat in silence for a few moments staring at the tree in awe. My son fell back on the bed giggling and saying his mind was blown, haha!

For me, this felt like a reminder, like the kindest wink and smile from Him, that He truly is in everything we do. We may not even be aware of the true significance of something we are doing at this moment, but years down the road we may see it for what it truly is! We could be lighting fires and fanning flames with no clue to what we are doing! I was simply painting my baby girls nursery, big and pregnant and so excited to meet her. I had no idea that in my joy, I was planting something so important! Now we look at that tree differently. My daughter sees our Father in her room now, and every time she looks at it she feels safer. 

God never stops amazing!

I have to wrap this up but, but I want to end by suggesting you go read John 15:1-8...Really the whole chapter, I feel, is relevant to this! I pray that our story blesses you all as it has us! God is in every detail of our lives, and He sees you beloved one!



Lynn Donovan Here with a Few Things

Hi SUM Nation,

Lynn Donovan here. Hope you had an amazing Easter. Mike asked me if he could attend church with me on Saturday. He said he would like to attend as long as it wasn't the early service. GRIN     WAHOO!!

My friends, I sat in service and was astounded by the pastor's message. For the first time that I can remember on an Easter Sunday, the full message of what happened to Jesus from the Last Supper to the Resurrection was told. This is significant for several reasons. One, the Resurrection story is FILLED, I MEAN COMPLETELY FILLED UP WITH SUPERNATURAL OCCURANCES. The death to life thing comes to mind. But, because so many visitors attend on an Easter Sunday, most pastors like to introduce Jesus as the compassionate, healing and life-changing Savior. AND He IS all of that.

But what makes the resurrection story compelling is the telling of how, in the middle of the day, Jerusalem went dark. Because when he died, darkness filled the land. Utter, bitter darkness devoid of all hope. Then the most important place in the Temple the Veil, that separated God from humanity, supernaturally ripped in two, top to bottom.

AND my friends, rocks split apart. The land was rocked by an earthquake and then DEAD PEOPLE arose from the cemetery and went into town and visited with people. 

It is a fantastic story. The audience went wild. Our church experienced 26 baptisms on Friday night at the Good Friday service. I happened to prophetically paint that night. The painting is below. Please notice the beam of light shining upon the head of Jesus. I did NOT paint that and the sunlight was coming in from the opposite direction. I can't explain how a perfect the beam of light is on the Christ. It's a supernatural thing.

GOD IS DOING SOMETHING IN OUR LIFETIME. It's bigger than we know or can expect. Hold on to your hat. Claim your family for the Kingdom of God. Pray and ask for greater faith and belief because we are heading into something the world hasn't seen in over 2,000 years.

Hallelujah!!  

So, what say you? Want to be part of it? Pray the prayer and then say AMEN in the comments. I'll join your faith and let's bring His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. 

Hugs, and blessings, Lynn

Father, in the name of Jesus, DO NOT pass me by. I want to experience everything that your death and resurrection have provided to me and my family. I will not sit back in fear. I have the Holy Spirit and the Wisdom of Heaven to guide and protect me. I want to see the miraculous. I want to pray and watch you heal people. I will be a disciple that casts out demons and brings freedom to many. I stand upon your truth, your word and the power of the Atonement. In Your Mighty name, Jesus. AMEN

The Son April 9 2023


And So We Reach Friday: Thank You for the Blood

Friday, the day of all days! Footsteps

Matthew 26:47-27:66, Mark 14:43-15:46, Luke 22:47-23:56, John 18:2-19:37

There’s a song I heard this week for the first time called ‘Thank you Jesus for the Blood’. Well, as we come together on this little place in the web, that’s what I want to say to Jesus today

Thank you for the blood.

There was a moment from the last supper that struck me for the first time yesterday. It was the part when Jesus handed out the bread and the wine and said “I have so longed to do this –“ I could feel his emotion, as if he was saying, “Please, take this – It’s so special to me what I’m about to do for you.”

I call my young-adult sons my babies sometimes. They don’t mind, I’m silly. I call up the stairs to them sometimes: “My babies!” But in all seriousness with this last supper moment I can feel Jesus’ heart in the same way: We’re his babies. And of course he would do this for us because that’s who we are to him -- His children.

On this Passover night, beginning in the Gethsemane garden, Jesus carried out the greatest act of parental love ever seen.

He physically fell over in that garden and sweated blood, so great was his distress.

He was betrayed by those he loved, his very children. Jesus painting by Lynn

He was spat at in the face.

Blindfolded.

Slapped.

Mocked. Parodied.

Alone.

Ganged-up on.

Falsely testified against.

"We want Barabbas!!" Shout the crowd. "Release the murderer, Barabbas!!! Crucify Jesus, he is worse than that man!!

Scourged. Over and over and over.

Stripped naked.

Punctured with the crown of thorns.

Beaten on the head with a stick.

And then nailed …

Thirsty to the point of torment.

Hung in excruciating pain.

Blasphemed against.

“But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Said Jesus; as if to say, "all is going according to plan."

THEN, THEN, THEN:

As he gave up his spirit in power the sheer awe of the moment showed itself. It was a moment like no other the world has ever seen. An earthquake hit, rocks were split, pitch-black darkness descended on the daytime and the veil in the temple tore violently from top to bottom.

Those watching began to tremble. What have we done? “Truly this was the Son of God”.

Quiet awe. Fear.

And centuries later, here in my little back-garden shed where I’m writing from, I know that because of those events I now have eternal life. What's more, that eternal life has already begun. I can be with him even now.

Mind. Blowing.