71 posts categorized "Obedience"

Supernatural Happenings

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Photo supplied courtesy of imagery majestic and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hi! Ian here. Lent began last Wednesday with Ash Wednesday. I’m observing this season once again as I enjoy being intentional about seeking more of God and Lent and Advent seem to help me do that. Yes, I ‘give up’ something (sugar and Instagram this year) as it helps me focus on the wilderness element of the season; Lent, of course, mirroring the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.

But this isn’t a post about Lent rather a sense I’ve had in the past week about stirrings within me that I thought I’d share. Recently, I’ve read a couple of short passages on the supernatural happenings of God. Abraham and Sarah only birthed Isaac through supernatural intervention. Mary and Joseph birthed Jesus only through supernatural intervention. Paul and Barnabas’ ministry work that took the Gospel to the Gentiles is attributed to supernatural means (Acts 14: 27)

And here in SUMite land we read in Ann’s previous post of some of our tribe’s spouses experiencing a revelation of God in being saved. Hallelujah! Yes, salvation requires a supernatural happening as it is not something that will occur in the natural.

How Does This Happen?

If we look at the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Joseph, Paul and Barnabas, what can we glean?

Deep intimacy with God

They all had their wilderness experiences. God uses these times to clear everything else away so we can be with Him. He wants us to let go of control so He's in charge. Interestingly, in Mary’s experience it was after she was impregnated supernaturally as we really didn’t know about her prior to her angelic encounter.  Similarly, Paul’s wilderness time was after his miraculous Damascus experience. God had to deal with his years of being a Christian terrorist before unleashing him on the Gentile world.

As frustrating and painful being in the wilderness can be, step into it. It’s a clear tactic of God’s to draw people closer to Him, so He can equip them for something more. Such seasons can involve unemployment, illness, relocation, sabbaticals and more.

Remember God wants deep intimacy with each one of us. It’s why He made us. For Himself.

This is why I love Lent because I get excited about being with God. Like one of our kids gets excited when Dad or Mom arrives home from work. Remember those days?

What do I do?

1. Soak in His Word – look at Psalm 1:

“Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.” (v2-3 MSG)

I love that idea of the Word thrilling me? I want it to thrill me everyday. The Word is alive with supernatural wonder desiring to reveal Himself to us. Reflect on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness and how He batted back the temptations Satan put before Him: He used the Word. Don’t just rely on wonderful devotionals where it’s someone else’s interpretation that fills most of the page; read God’s word in the Bible. If you’re not sure where to start, start with the Gospel of John and/or the Psalms. I’ve been reading the Psalms repeatedly for the last three or four years; I just can’t get enough of them.

2. Spend time Adoring God

Talking about the Word thrilling you, there's a lady who helps us bring the Word alive. I’ve mentioned Sara Hagerty’s before. She's been on this “Adoration” journey for over five years now. She provides a monthly one-verse a day adoration prompt. It’s how I’ve started my day for the last five years.

Sara says: “Adoration is finding a pulse behind that Word and then saying that Word back to Him, in our own dialect … it all starts with a simple conversation, a friendship that ends in our destiny: falling in love with God.”

Try it for a few days, a month. Sit and speak the daily verse back to God. Thank Him, praise Him, adore Him using the words in the verse. 

3. Spend time Listening to God

My hunch is that the modern church lacks listening skills. In some ways it goes hand-in-hand with a lack of Bible awareness, we ‘listen’ to the Word when we read it. I discovered recently that the word, obedience, comes from a Latin word which means: “to listen attentively”. My logical brain tells me that if we lack listening skills, we’re lacking in obedience. And what does Jesus tell us is the way we demonstrate our love for Him?

“If you love Me, keep My commands” (John 14:15)

Jesus tells us that the sheep know His voice. But it takes time to learn to discern His voice and that’s why knowing and meditating on the Word is so important.

May I encourage you to use some of the time you wait, perhaps it’s in the school pickup line, at the grocery store, in the medical clinic, etc just to be quiet and invite God into this moment and say hi! And ask him a question or two. He may not answer immediately, especially in the beginning, but over time you’ll be surprised to find how many times He does give you an answer.

Let me stop there.

Believe the supernatural will happen. Think how often Lynn finds balloons on her prayer walks.:) Keep being intentional connecting with God. He wants it more than anything. Believe that deep in your heart. He made each one of us so we would fall in love with Him. I'm praying that we all will develop greater intimacy with the Lord and that He is indeed birthing something in each of us and our spouses that only He can bring to life!

Anyone else observing Lent this year? If yes, what are you doing to be intentional in drawing closer to the Lord? Please share in the comments.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Your Everyday- A Sign and Wonder

Mary Joseph Jesus nativity 2019Today let’s consider our young Mary again. As we join the story, we find her in Bethlehem.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:7-11

This ordinary girl finds herself in with the sheep as she struggles through her labor. She isn’t assisted by the angels through delivery, nor while she rode nine-months-pregnant on the back of a donkey. She merely went about life when she left Elizabeth as any other woman of her day. She washed clothes, made the bread, sewed new garments, and prepared meals.

She merely did the next right thing. The ordinary life.

But in this amazing passage her ordinary became a sign and a wonder to millions. And it first began with the shepherds. You see, Mary gave birth to Jesus. And when He arrived, naturally she sought to cover her naked baby to warm the child. Just an ordinary, normal, mothering moment.

The next right step.

She tore strips of cloth either from her garment or something nearby and wrapped the baby boy in swaddling clothes.

The next right step.

And this ordinary thing, this next right step, it became a sign and a wonder that continues to echo throughout millennia.

The angels announced to the shepherds in the fields (and to all of us who read the Word):

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. — Luke 2:11

Her ordinary became a sign and a wonder.

My dear, dear SUMites, what ordinary thing that you have done, that you’ve touched, or ordinary prayer might become a sign and a wonder? A wonder to a lost spouse? What might be a miraculous sign to a friend, a neighbor, another believer? What ordinary thing, what next right step might be the very thing that changes a city, or a nation, or generations of lives in the future?

You, my dear friend ARE A SIGN AND A WONDER. Never let anyone tell you differently. Making dinner, sweeping the floor, praying for the sick, sharing a word that transforms one other person might possibly redirect the trajectory of a person, then a family, then generations or perhaps our entire world.

It boggles the mind.

Read the story of the birth of Jesus this year. Read it to your kids. And ask the Lord to reveal how your ordinary is extraordinary.

I love you.

Merry Christmas!

Walk in love, Warriors! Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Divine Moments

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Image courtesy of BlueSuedeBallroom.com

Hello, dear SUMite friends. Ian from sunny Sydney here. I returned this morning from a whirlwind trip to San Antonio to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) annual conference. This is now my fourth conference and the reason I keep returning is that each time I go I experience a significant God-moment, writing and non-writing.

My first experience of this was at the 2012 event where I met our dear friend Dineen Miller who introduced me to SUM. I’ve written about our meeting a few times but in a nutshell prior to this conference I doubted I could ever have a ministry role outside my small little world as a result of being a SUM. Dineen both at the conference and, later through her contribution to SUM, clearly demonstrated otherwise and it dawned on me that I’d allowed myself to be deceived by the enemy.

Clearing Obstacles

I had felt the Lord’s nudge to attend this year’s event. It surprised me because it’s a fiction event and my energies this year have been focused around a non-fiction project. Surely, there was a disconnect. But the nudges kept on coming.

But there were some clear obstacles, the biggest being a financial one. We simply didn’t have the money for flights, conference and hotel accommodation. I kept saying to God, well, if you want me to go then you’ll need to clear this obstacle.

Six weeks before the event, mid-August, I received a completely unexpected financial gift from my parents. They were unaware of my desire to attend the conference. I was amazed. The Lord said to me, ‘well, that’s no longer an obstacle’.

I left chatting to Fiona about it for a week or so until she asked me what I’d like to do with the gift. And so I told her. She was kind enough to let me attend and when booking flights I was able to use frequent flyer points to get me across the Pacific meaning I didn't have to spend as much as first thought.

I’m continually amazed at God’s goodness.

Expectant Heart

I boarded my flight last Wednesday still unsure of why I was attending. I had set up some meetings but there was no guarantee they would provide anything of any great value. However, my heart was expectant both because of my three previous experiences but also because of how God had made it possible for me to attend.

It didn’t take long for things to start bubbling. The first worship session included the mention of a verse from Revelation that had been important to me during the first half of the year. Aha … is this it, Lord?

Even though I was able to share the significance of this verse to the two people who mentioned it and had a lovely moment with both, it soon became apparent it was simply a minor precursor to what the Lord had in store.

Feedback

The second day proceeded uneventfully until an afternoon appointment I had set up week’s prior. It was with a man whose counsel I admire and on discussing my non-fiction project with him, it wasn’t long before I realised this was the ‘gotcha moment’ and the reason for my attendance. The feedback wasn’t exactly what I would have liked to receive but it was exactly what I needed to hear. Two subsequent meetings with agents confirmed the same.

I felt pretty flat and a little discouraged by the time night came about. I thought my project was headed in the right direction but it was clear it wasn’t.

Worship clears the cobwebs of discouragement

The conference always has a late night worship session where writers can sit and write as they listen to worship. I didn’t want to write. I wanted to worship. I needed to because it’s something that always lifts my spirits. And the worship band at ACFW is one of the best I’ve sat under.

The enemy hates worship. I reckon it’s like a persistent jackhammer banging away at their heads. They have to flee – remember Paul and Silas in the jail set to be executed the next day? What did they do? They “were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25) What happened next? An earthquake happened, cell doors opened, chains fell off, freeing the two heroes.

Ephesians 5:18-19 is even more clear: “Be filled with the Holy Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to the Lord with all your heart.” The Holy Spirit is the one who changes the atmosphere and being filled with the Spirit through singing and praying weakens the enemy’s power.

The discouragement I had soon lifted even though I was unsure of the next steps in my project. I woke the next morning feeling refreshed and energized. The morning’s worship was tremendous even more so as the Lord’s presence was thick as He touched a number of people in a very gentle healing way.

The Dance of Dependence

God never lays out the blueprint of the future, does He? It’s always one step at a time so we continue to trust in Him to lead us. We have to depend on Him. I was reminded of how a dad dances with a young daughter. She places her feet on his and as He steps, her feet automatically follow. It’s a wonderful picture for how we can follow His lead don’t you think?

When was a recent time you followed one of the Lord’s nudges out of obedience even though you were unsure of what was to occur? Be great for us to encourage each other in the comments below.

Blessings, my SUMite friends.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The 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!

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


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.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


You Are Making New Wine

Hey there SUM family, Tiffany here!

We are on the verge of a major breakthrough. I believe that this is both  individual and corporate for our SUM community and our families. Already we have seen a few wondrous accounts of spouses getting baptized into the faith! Hallelujah! Strongholds are breaking in our lives as well as our spouses. We are seeing addictions begin to cease. Affections returning in marriages. What a great time to be alive!

I wanted to share something that God is stirring in my heart. During the fast and even recently, I am hearing the phrase "new wine." I am barely scratching the surface of where Holy Spirit is trying to take me but I wanted to share my heart because I feel it is important. When breakthrough is upon us, there is always a push back from the forces of darkness. Freedom, identity, purpose, birthright. These are all things that scare the enemy. Satan and his minions know that when we step into the calling and purpose that God has ordained for us and we walk in our authority they are in big trouble! Is it any wonder that there are flair ups and illness, death and financial strain?

Back to new wine. Let's take a look at what Jesus had to say:

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of
the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:14-17)

Side note: it is interesting that Holy Spirit brought me to this scripture during the community fast. John's disciples originally asked Jesus a question about fasting.

When thinking about the process of making wine in ancient Israel it always begins with a pressing and crushing of the grapes. Grapes did not last very long when harvested in the heat New wine flagand climate of the season. The farmers would instantly turn the grapes into wine and store them in the wineskins to preserve them for longer periods of time. It was actually the process of crushing the grapes that started the fermentation process. During fermentation, carbon dioxide is released so new wineskins were needed for their elasticity to allow for expansion as the gas was released.

In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit came and filled the apostles in the Upper Room during Pentacost. A crowd gathered as they heard a noise and realized that they could understand men speaking in their own native tongues. The people in the crowd were amazed and perplexed. There were also some who accused the apostles of being drunk on "new wine (NKJV)." Paul urges in Ephesians 5:18 to not be drunk on wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit.

What does this have to do with what Jesus said in Matthew 9? For us as believers today, being filled with the Holy Spirit we need to realize that He is the one who leads us into all truth - He speaks what He hears from the Father through Jesus (John 16:13). He is the new wine inside of us. We are the wineskin (vessel). Just like the fermentation process as carbon dioxide is released in the wine making process, Holy Spirit releases things in us. He is always releasing, always leading. His job is to stir in us a call to become more like Jesus. He gives us guidance and direction. As the expansion happens to a wineskin, so does the pressure in our lives.

Being the wineskin, we are the ones who decide whether or not we will allow for this movement of Holy Spirit. Will we choose to listen? Will we be flexible as He calls us into the uncomfortable? We will refuse to allow the fermentation (preservation) process?

I am being drawn into a new level of worship. One that is completely uncomfortable and will really challenge me to worship the Lord with my WHOLE body. Take a look at the video below. I would love to explain my hearts desire further, maybe for another time. This is my inspiration into the new and exciting journey of flagging.

Let's talk in the comments. I would love to hear: What are some things that Holy Spirit is challenging you to do? What areas are you being drawn into the uncomfortable - for your preservation and God's glory? 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Grant Me Justice Against My Adversary!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMites,

The prayers on Friday moved hearts and touched heaven. THANK YOU!

I felt your words shift something in the spirit. And Behold, the words of revelation are flowing today as I write. In fact, I sense the Lord, Jesus, speaking.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”— Luke 18: 1-8

My friends, this passage is power-packed. I could share multiple lessons from it but today I sense the Lord speaking to me about justice, desire and the changing of the season.

JUSTICE!

At my core of my existence, I am a justice driven person. I was always the kid who cried, “That’s not fair,” when my siblings receive a teaspoon more than me of Kool-Aid in their cups at lunch. I hate injustice and oppressive treatment of all things. You may not sit in this particular area of conviction however, I believe our Father is a just God. And His justice often looks quite different from ours.

For example, recently I prayed with a woman whose husband had an affair. Since his failure, he completely turned from his poor choices and behavior. In fact, he is an on-fire believer, pursing God with a full heart and seeking full restoration of his marriage. Additionally, He was quite willing to do whatever needed to make things right with his wife.

In the prayer session, it became obvious that she was angry and unforgiving. She resisted to put in the work necessary to redeem her marriage. In fact, she mentioned that the very thing she had prayed about for many years was her husband’s faith life. And now that he was walking in this fulfillment, she still wanted out. She wanted revenge, justice, and was unwilling to push past the pain.

I understand. Betrayal is a soul wound that stabs at our very core. And she is within Biblical mandates and could leave her marriage. However, is that what God really wants? Is another broken home, marriage, and children the highest and best for a daughter of God?

As I prayed with her the presence of God arose and after an hour of prayer, I shared with her what I knew to be true.

“God’s justice in your life is to actually see you thriving in your marriage. This is the fulness of God’s justice. It defeats the very work of the devil who wants your marriage destruction. But what satan deemed to put asunder, God will redeem and you will live in joy, peace and fulfilment with your husband.”

We all sat quietly and just let those words of truth settle upon us. It was amazing!

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The world shouts, “Run for the hills!. You deserve better!” And my friends, you know I stand for marriage. However, there are times when separation and even divorce is the only option. I would stand with you 100% in agreement when the Lord says, “ENOUGH!”

The point of this story: We Must pray and not give up. We must listen because perhaps God is showing us His justice but in our limited view we can’t perceive it because it doesn’t make sense.

Finally, there are times when God, Himself, is bringing things to a close. And I often see this happen in the month of September. Take an account of your life. Are there relationships, jobs, positions, areas where you once felt safe but are no longer available? There are changes that God ordains because we need them. But we often fight, kick, and scream about what we are loosing not fully understanding that God is releasing His perfect judgement.

Here is the promise. September will close out seasons, relationships, or move us or uproot us from comfort or stagnant living…

BECAUSE… The promise of October awaits.

I have perceived this pattern for years. Upon Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, God releases new assignments, relationships, new locations and more. Miracles, hope, new assignments and greater gifts.

So, as we close out August and move into September, what is closing. Begin to seek the Father for the new assignments of October.

I’ll share more on Friday. Then I will take break over the Labor Day weekend.

Love you my family on the web. Oh, what a reunion we will have one day in glory! I can’t wait! Love, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Seasons in Life

Images-5Hello, Ian from Sydney here.

“Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.” (Luke 5: 3-6 ESV)

The disciples were experienced fishermen. They knew the lake of Gennesaret intimately having fished it for years. We’re told they fished all night and caught nothing. And this relative newcomer whom they knew to NOT be a fisherman tells them to cast their nets out again. What would he know?  

A Love Affair

Jesus did and said things differently. He came with a message of love. A message that focused on the heart, the core of our humanness. When challenged by a Pharisee to identify what was most important, Jesus responded with two commands: “Love the Lord you God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-39 ESV abr).

He’s called us into a love affair.

I find it easy to forget this. Especially with the busyness of life there are so many distractions to these two commands. As we all know being in relationships a love affair takes work. Lots of it. From both parties. We very easily get comfortable and settle into a way of life where perhaps the sizzle has diminished and we’re mostly satisfied with how our relationship is motoring along.

I find the same applies to our relationship with Jesus.

And then a bump in the road occurs which adds further distraction. Children come along and demand our attention. Lots of it. Sickness in the family, elderly parents needing caring, job transfers interstate or overseas, etc, etc. And all impact our love affair with our partner. And with our Lord.

Spiritual discernment

Usually when the bumps in the road occur our routines change. Spending that quality time together with your partner suddenly becomes harder. Time passes, perhaps lots of it, and you realise you haven’t had a date night for ages. Similarly, with the Lord. You know He’s always there but you’ve been so busy lately (doing good things) you just haven’t had any time to spend with him. You get to church and in the drive home commit to yourself to spend more time with the Lord in the next week. But, the next week comes and still nothing happens.

A couple of times in the last few weeks I’ve noticed something different in the story of the “burning bush.” Moses had been in the wilderness for forty years. He was going through the motions in life being a good faithful shepherd of his father-in-law’s flock. One day, he was leading the flock and “came to Horeb, the mountain of God.And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn asideto see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”” (Exodus 3: 2-4 ESV)

Moses could have ignored the unusual sight. No doubt it was a little frightening and many of us may have simply fled. But we’re told Moses chose to “turn aside.” God provided the burning bush so Moses could choose to enquire.

Only yesterday, I had an opportunity to spend time with two members of my prayer team. I rarely get to see them face to face as we mostly interact via email. There was a burning bush moment. But I chose to leave as I was tired and wanted to get home. All I had to do was simply enquire. It would have taken fifteen minutes of my time. Here was an opportunity for me to encourage and be encouraged. I knew immediately as I drove away I missed an opportunity.

Often we get caught up in the processes of living the Christian life: prayer times, Bible reading, meeting together, etc, rather than reflecting on how these are purely simply opportunities to allow the Lord to do His work. If we quickly read the required Bible reading for the day before rushing out and don’t spend any time reflecting on it, then we haven’t “turned aside”. We’ve simply gone through the motions. Read less verses and simply allow the Lord to open our eyes to what He might be saying to us.

Burning Bushes in every season

Irrespective of what season we’re in, God is there. He knows that we’re in a season of child-rearing, for example, and how time and energy consuming it is. But choose to believe there are moments when you can “turn aside” to look and He’ll be there. Because He loves us. He isn’t a lover that fails us. He is good all the time.

Sometimes the bush will be far more significant like Moses and the disciples experienced. They chose to “turn aside” and what they received was incredible. Moses heard his name called; the disciples caught a record haul of fish. This was the beginning of a whole new life for them. May we all respond similarly when the Lord opens a door for us.

Have any of you experienced a moment recently when you simply responded to a nudge from the Holy Spirit by turning aside to it and experienced something special?

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Church - My Hardest Act

Hi everyone, Ann here!

My husband and I have been 'spiritually different' for almost five years now, and it’s become easier for us both. However, there is one thing that continues to floor me and I thought I’d share it with you today. 

It’s this:  Backpack pic

The act of giving my husband a kiss goodbye on a Sunday morning, getting in the car, and turning on the ignition to go to… church. 

Hubby and I are like peas and carrots, we’re a packaged pair, and this whole walking out the door on a Sunday feels somehow wrong. Or is it?

Each Sunday morning I drive through the quiet city, and the minute I turn on worship music it sends an oomph to my heart. At that moment the disconnect between that music and the breakfast clatter I've just left feels stark.

I reach the church car-park and walk towards the hall. The sound of singing wafts out. It occurs to me every single week how weird he would find that.

And then I walk in.

“Do I need to be doing this?” I ask myself quite often. “Will I look back and regret having left him for so many Sundays?” 

Last week I asked those questions again, just as I was getting out the car at the supermarket. A phrase came to mind: Lean not on your own understanding (From Proverbs 3:5-6). I paused, took a breath, and changed tack:

“God, I need to acknowledge you in this. Help me?”

Seconds later, I walked into the supermarket and right there in the entrance was someone from church. He said, “Great to see you, Ann, see you on Sunday!” Um.. Ok.

This journey of whether to go to church is one that has evolved over five years. Initially, 'church’ was a couple of Christian acquaintances on Facebook who helped me with my questions and thoughts. Bryce called them my ‘Christian cronies’, he didn’t mind. More importantly, I spent hours with God on my couch, scripture on my lap, with endless cups of tea. It was a time of learning.

However, the Holy Spirit began to urge me to go and be physically present with the Church where it gathered. It was a gentle but growing conviction.

“Mm?” I responded. “Yes, I suppose I am a wanderer, with a backpack on my back. Perhaps I do need to settle.” One thing led to another and I found myself visiting a church that met in a converted carpark building. It was a bit unpolished round the edges, and I liked it. Sitting at the back, I thought I’d be unnoticed. Yeah right. Not when God is in charge. Suddenly, the pastor says into the mic:

“I feel there’s someone here who has a backpack on their back and God is saying to them, now you can unpack. Make yourself at home!”

Hilarious! So I did. I tried to join small groups and such things. And it was at this point that Bryce expressed how profoundly he disagreed.

He never stopped me from going, nor did he question my faith; it was purely about how he felt about churches. I became extremely uncomfortable pursuing something he fundamentally disagreed with. Over the months, then, I repeatedly stopped going.

Ultimately, I could stop no longer, though. Why? Because God made it clear that He wanted me at that little church on a Sunday morning. The pull was unavoidable.

So church it is, and we've had to learn to cope. I’ve begun to get inklings about why God wants me there. There are specific people for whom I'm there. One of them is a fellow SUMite. We wave at each other across the room. If it's just for that wave, it’s worth it.

As I've grown attached to these people, I've started to invest in them, whether it’s speaking hope to someone at coffee time, passing a scripture to them, or being someone's prayer warrior. I never conceptualized that this was what church was about.

Finally, perhaps this one weekly act of walking out to worship God conveys something of importance to my family. Even though it feels oh, so risky.

So that’s me. Do you relate to this story at all?  If so, where have you got to with it? Or, if you've been through this season, what wisdom can you share?

Thanks for listening.

Ann

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The 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.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


#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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Submission vs. Obedience - - Part 3 By: Martha Bush

Submission vs. Obedience - - Part 1
Submission vs. Obedience - - Part 2

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comIntroduction by Martha Bush

I want to thank Lynn for giving me the opportunity to tell my story of the most difficult season  I faced in my marriage when submission vs. obedience came into play, as I obeyed the Lord’s direction for my life, and the opposition I faced from my husband in doing so.  (Part 1, Part 2)

These posts weren’t meant to degrade my husband. Looking back, this season was more about breaking strongholds and burning out impurities in my life that had kept me from putting God first.

I want to conclude with two questions that I struggled with the most.

Question #1: Am I Hearing Your Voice, Lord?

Trusting my heart to know if it was the Lord’s voice was entirely new to me. Perhaps it was because, since childhood, I had never allowed myself to think and feel for myself, nor had I ever made my own decisions.

Scriptures assured me God’s voice was within me.

  • Jeremiah 31:31-33: I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.
  • Deuteronomy 30:11-14: The word is very near unto you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.

What I was hearing on my heart was being confirmed by scriptures, sermons, prophetic words, and even in dreams.

My thoughts were still on my husband. Many days, I cried out in agony: “What about my husband, Lord?”

In Luke 14:25-34, Jesus is encouraging his followers to think about what it means to follow Him. To do this, they would have to forsake everything – including family – in order to make this type of commitment to Jesus.

Question #2: How Can I Balance 1 Peter 3 to Honor and Reverence My Husband With Harsh Words?

Take a look at the synonyms for harsh:

  • Brusque, hard, unfeeling, unkind, brutal, stern, acrimonious, bad-tempered, rough, discordant, dissonant, unharmonious

My answer to my question came after I made a “public fool” of myself.

When my husband retired, our two daughters and I gave him a surprise party in the small town in Georgia where we grew up. I prepared a beautiful speech in his honor.

As I stood before the crowd to give my speech, suddenly harsh words started ringing in my ears that began the day I approached him to discuss my new direction from the Lord.

An attitude rose up inside me, and I couldn’t give the honor speech I had written. Instead, I laughed my way through a rambling, meaningless speech.

Fast forward one year – my two daughters approached me.

“You had an opportunity to honor our daddy on the most important event of his life; instead you chose to disrespect him.”

“But, you don’t understand what goes on behind closed doors,” I protested.

Their cutting words were: “Mama, you are the Christian in this marriage; you should know better.”

I almost took them out of the world I had brought them into; instead, I stomped off and pouted with them for three months.

Google to the rescue---Marriage Mission International listed a book called Winning Him Without Words, which I ordered.

Two women from California who had never laid eyes on me started meddling in my business on page 67:  Know the Essentials of Love: Hope, Joy, Peace and Trust (Oh, Yeah, and Respect)

At last, I humbled myself before the Lord and asked His forgiveness.

He then began to teach me principles that changed my life.

  • Honor: Obey the Lord; honor those in authority over us, which includes our husbands.
  • Boundaries: Submission is never meant to allow someone to overstep another’s boundaries. Marriage needs two ingredients to grow and thrive – freedom and responsibility.
  • Harsh Words: I cannot control how another person speaks or acts, but I can control how I respond to it.

Note: There is an immense difference between being persecuted for the Lord than being physically or emotionally abused by a tyrant, or subjected to other traumatizing situations.  Godly wisdom is need in these situations.

The Finality of My Story

A prophecy I received about my husband:

  • Your husband is going to hate the things he has said and done, but he is going to love the gospel and want the truth. When I finish My quick work in him, I’m going to establish him for the very last work.

My church was flooded during hurricane Harvey, resulting in small groups needing to meet elsewhere. Would you believe my SUM group meets in our home? Though he thinks it’s a regular women’s Bible study, nonetheless, he opens our home for the Lord’s work. He retreats to the bedroom to watch the car races during the meeting, and afterwards joins us ladies for a meal.

As for Smith Wigglesworth whom I mentioned in Part 1 – After his conversion, many were saved, healed, and even raised from the dead through his ministry.

I’d like to think that when our husbands and wives get to the Pearly Gates, Smith will be there to greet them.

“Welcome! I have been waiting for you. I am in heaven today because Polly made Christ her Master, and prayed for me just like your spouse did!”

And all my SUMite sisters and brothers said:

“Praise the Lord. Bring it on!”

References

  1. Honors Reward: John Bevere
  2. Boundaries in Marriage: Henry Cloud, John Townsend
  3. The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: LeslieVernick
  4. Verbally Abusive Relationship – How to Recognize it and How to Respond: Patricia Evans.
  5. Beloved Unbeliever: Jo Berry

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


This Really Happened Under My Roof

IMG_3821Meet Finn.

His mama was found wandering about Los Angeles and birthed a litter right around Christmas day. We adopted this little buddy from a Chiwawa pet rescue. We also adopted his sister, Gracie, nearly two years ago.

Finn, I’ve come to decide, is a special needs doggie. Something happened to him before our ownership that has left him with permanent pain in his back-hind quarters. He often yips and yelps and scurries along the floor like someone is chasing him because of the moments of pain he experiences. We have taken this poor mutt to the Vet several times, x-rays and exams to figure out what is causing this pain.

Nothing.

We can’t figure it out and he continues to be in pain. This causes the little pooch to be very fearful. He’s also obsessively devoted to my husband Mike. Follows him everywhere.

It breaks my heart to look upon the pup and his suffering. So much so, that I often will sit next to him and gently pet his back and pray over him saying, “I love you Finney. I bless you with peace, in Jesus name. I bless you to be healed, in Jesus name. I bless you to be free from fear, in Jesus name. I bless you with peace in Jesus name.”

I seriously have seen progress and his pain appears to be less than last year. But alas, there are good days for this little doggie and not so good days.

I suppose you are wondering why I’m sharing this story. Well, recently I was in the kitchen and I heard the dog yelp as he jumped up on the couch next to my husband. The yelping bothers Mike as well. To my astonishment, Mike pet the dog and said to him, “I bless you with peace in Jesus name.”

I stared.

Mike smiled back.

My instinct checked in and I said, “You need to bless him again because it’s persistence that is the key to heaven.”

SERIOUSLY. This was happening under our roof.

Mike, “I bless you with peace in Jesus name,” as he looked at Finn.

Gang,….. In Jesus name.

This man spoke it. The name to which every knee will bow….. He spoke it. (Romans 14:11)

I grinned at him. And Mike grinned back.

We went on with our day and I believe that all of my 25 years of praying, living out my faith, loving and forgiving is producing the results of every promise in the Word for me as a child of God.

The LORD recently has caused me to realize that it’s been my pain, discouragement, disappointment and unmet expectations that have been the springboard into the most amazing faith adventure.

ALL OF IT has led me into the brilliant experiences of this verse:

Christ in me, the hope of glory. —Colossians 1:27

This promise is for all of us.

Everything worthy in God’s realm is won by hard work, persistence and pounding on the doors of heaven. Every single thing. This faith walk is not for the faint of heart, nor those who will give up easily. But when you put in the years, the hard work of healing, prayer and faithfully living of God’s Word, you will see the glory.

How do I know? Never in a million years would I have thought my husband would bless anyone or anything and never ever, ever in the name of Jesus Christ.

It’s the season of miracles. Press toward the goal my friends. (Philippians 3:14) It’s worth the price.

I love you my SUMite family. I bless you today with the peace of heaven. In Jesus name. AMEN

Stay tuned as the first week of January will be our prep-week for our annual community fast. We will fast together, with new insights that I have learned about fasting, the week of January 8-12, 2018.

I’m listening to the LORD for our promises for the year. It’s going to be the best year ever.

Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Submission vs. Obedience by Martha Bush

SUM Nation, 

Several weeks ago I read such a great response in the Facebook Group by Martha Bush, specific to Submission and obedience. I asked her to share her perspective with all of us today since we are camped in the books of Peter. This post is authentic and powerful. Thank you Martha. Hugs, Lynn

*****

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSubmission vs. Obedience

Polly’s Story

Travel back to the 1900’s with me to the home of Smith Wigglesworth and his wife, Polly.

Prior to his salvation and fame as a minister, Smith harshly persecuted Polly for her faith, and demanded that she not go to church.  She didn’t obey his command, instead would make his dinner and head for church every Sunday.

One night, Polly came home from church later than usual. Smith scolded, “I am the master of this house, and I’m not going to have you coming home at such a late hour!” 

Polly quietly replied, “I know you are my husband, but Christ is my Master.”

This made Smith so mad that he locked her out of the house.

My Story

Now, I invite you into my home where I faced the “likes” of Smith Wigglesworth.

My husband had always supported my faith until God gave me a new direction - - resign my job as a school teacher.  

After several months of praying, studying God’s Word and counseling with my pastor, I went to my husband to discuss the new direction with him. 

He immediately responded with a firm, “NO!”  

Usually not one to rock the boat, I rocked it this time, and began my journey.  

For the next several years, I faced intense opposition from my husband.

Submission vs. Obedience

1 Peter 3:1:  Wives, be submissive to your husbands.

The question is, “How does submission play into stories like Polly’s, mine, and yours when faced with persecution of our faith, or verbal and emotional abuse within the home?”

I’d like to share a few points I learned on my journey trying to figure this out.

  1. Stronghold: People Pleaser

 

I had been a people pleaser since childhood, and I brought this stronghold into my marriage.  A “go with the flow” personality, I had no identity of my own.

 

My husband is the opposite - a good moral man, but very opinionated who likes to be in control, which explains why he responded with a firm “NO” when I discussed my new direction with him.

 

Normally, I would have done anything to keep peace, but this time was different. I knew I had heard from the Lord and must obey.

Galatians 1:10: Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NIV)

Acts: 5:29: We must obey God rather than men. (HCSB)

  1. People Pleaser to Special Possession

Once the people pleaser stronghold was broken, my self-esteem had to have a makeover. It was time to shed the puppet on a string/doormat mentality.  

Also, got myself a new name tag - - You are a chosen people, His royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)

  1. A man’s enemies will be members of his own household. (Matthew 10:36 NIV)

My home became a battleground establishing who comes first – God or family. My husband said, “Things were great as long as you just went to church, but you had to get fanatical; I want my wife back.”

  1. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Though my husband’s opposition was hurtful, I finally realized it wasn’t him coming against me; it was the devil himself trying to wear me down with harsh words through my husband.  

  1. Arrogant, Sarcastic, Brass Attitude

I came out of the people pleasing pit swinging. I had no problem pointing my finger in my husband’s face and saying: “Let me tell you something, Buddy. You no longer intimidate me; my feelings and opinions count in this marriage.  Stuff it!”

Oh yeah, it felt goooood to be FREE!

But---my mind flashed back to my daddy. It was as though I could hear his gentle, but firm southern voice talking to me.

“Girl, I didn’t raise you to act like this. I’m fixin’ to give you an attitude adjustment. Get your Bible and turn to Galatians 5:13 and read it.”

Dear brothers and sisters,

you have been given freedom:

not freedom to do wrong, but

freedom to love and serve each other.

(TLB)

Conclude

On the next post, I will tell how God adjusted my attitude as it relates to submission vs. obedience. 

A longgggg journey, but time well spent in examining my marriage, seeing where I had missed it from the start. It wasn’t easy, but necessary.

Have you examined your marriage? 

  • Are there strongholds that cause friction?
  • Have you lost your identity?
  • Is your husband exercising a demanding authoritative role as the head of the household?
  • Does he value your feelings and opinions?
  • Does he ask you to sin?
  • Is his sin affecting you and the kids?

Please share what you have discovered in the comments.

Blessings to you.

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


A Tale of Vindication, Forgiveness and Obedience

Micah6-8Hello, SUMites! I left you hanging a bit on Monday with the rest of this house story and a specific Word from our Father's heart. So let's dig right in...

Early in the summer we went to check on our house and see the current progress. As we walked through unfinished doorways, we noticed the tubs had been installed. However, I was certain one of them was supposed to be a walk-in-shower. Yet when I questioned this, the building supervisor insisted this bathroom always had a tub per the design. 

When I pointed out we paid for shower doors, he told they would be added to the tub. That, in fact, they had them once in the model, which I checked and saw no evidence of this. Yet I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

My friends, I wasn't happy at all about this, because I don't like tubs. And something in all this didn't sit right with me. But out of respect for my husband's desire for peace in this issue and the apparent wall I'd hit, I let it go. And my reasoning kicked in to say, "It's just a bathroom."

But in my heart, I secretly asked God for vindication in this situation. I knew I was right. However, I also recognized that I had to let go of that need to be proven right. So I gave it to Him. Unbeknownst to me, God began moving to bring the right person and circumstances into place to reveal the truth…

Now fast forward to about two weeks ago. With the tiling now completed, it was time for shower glass to be installed. Except that bathroom with the tub? Yep, no glass doors. So I asked the new building assistant manager appointed to our house about it. He said they don't usually put doors on tubs, but he would look into it.

My friends, an anger flared up in me that burned hot as the reality that we'd been lied to began to come into clarity. And I was frustrated. I knew we'd be refunded anything we'd paid for in error, but that need in me to be proven right flared up again. I had to keep giving it to God, even when it woke me up in the middle of the night.

The next day, the assistant manager called us to say we were right, we were supposed to get a walk-in-shower. Just not in the bathroom I originally thought. Okay, well, I was mostly right, I thought. Giggle...

Then the question became, did we still want this at the risk of it delaying our closing? Our house had already taken twice as long as promised because of errors on the builders part. My friends, again, I warred in myself about this just being a bathroom, but I wanted what was promised to us. Mostly I wanted this house to be what God had planned for us. The assistant manager said he would see what he could do it get it done on time without affecting our closing date.

So, I confess here that this was where I gloated just a bit. Only to my sweet hubby who affirmed that I'd been right. Yet part of me still wasn't settled about it all. I know this sounds crazy, but it still seemed incomplete. And we still weren't sure if our closing would be delayed, which could cause problems with the whole move. We have to be out of our rental house by the end of this month.

Over the next few hours I began to process the full picture of what God was doing with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course. First, I was finally vindicated and proven right. As I praised God for working all this out for us, He reminded me of how I had prayed for this very thing months ago. 

For a bathroom. 

I know—sounds crazy, doesn't’ it? But God had a deeper plan and purpose here. As the complete picture came into view, I realized how the former building supervisor (yes, he was moved to a another subdivision) had outright lied to us. I've never been lied to like that before, SUMites. Not that I'm aware of. And it cut me deeply. 

I am quick to see the best in people and trust them. I felt a deep betrayal by this person and found myself several times going to my computer to craft a letter to make it known to our realtor and our sales rep. But God stopped me and called me to forgive. So I prayerfully asked for His help to do so and began to pray for this person too, to become a man of integrity as God was calling him to be.

The next morning, the assistant manager called again to apologize and say he'd read the plan wrong, that the bathroom I originally thought (and had asked about months earlier) was actually the one that was supposed to have a full shower. He also said they were committed to making it right and completing it on time for our closing. 

I was stunned, my friends, as I realized that was the part that had felt unfinished in my spirit. I had prayed specifically about this one bathroom. But where I thought God was done, He wasn't. He made sure it was the specific bathroom I had prayed for. Down to the detail. And I'm very aware that this part fell into place after I'd chosen to forgive and pray for this person.

SUMites, I am still stunned at the "completeness" of God's vindication. He's impressed upon me not to settle for almost done when it comes to His plans and purposes. That He is a God who completes what He says and promises all the way.

And a beautiful bonus blessing came from all this. We were so grateful for this assistant manager’s help, attention and commitment to detail—and his integrity and honesty—that we wrote a letter to the division president commending him. And now this man, who I know God clearly placed to help us, has been promoted to building supervisor! God is so amazing. I love that another person was blessed in this crazy ordeal.

And yet there is more. God always has a deeper plan and purpose in all He does. As I reviewed all that had happened, He impressed upon me that this story of a bathroom is actually one about vindication, forgiveness and obedience. One I thought would simply live in the archives of my memory, but God had a plan for it all along, to be shared. 

Abba impressed upon me a message from His heart for all of us right now, as we stand on the precipice of what He's about to do and reveal in our lives, our marriages and this community. This is what I hear God telling us right now:

The past must be forgiven—the lies, the betrayals. Know that I have seen each one for I am a God of justice. But I am also a God of forgiveness—Your Good Father, Your Savior Jesus. With the Holy Spirit, we are One in Our great love for you and your family.

For the full revelation of what I have for you, let the hurts of the past go and choose to forgive. Even let go of your regrets. What I hold for you is so much better. I promise.

Let Me be your defender and justice giver. You will see in Me a greater love in this process than you can even imagine. I make all things good. I make all things right. Trust Me. Trust me with your heart.

And someone reading this—possibly several—need to hear this from your Papa God:

I have already forgiven you, my child. Now it’s time to forgive yourself.

My friends, here's the truth I've learned in this. Our enemy is not the person who hurts us—its satan. When we don't forgive those who hurt us, we empower the enemy in our life. And we empower him in the life of the one who hurt us. 

Now here's the revelation that brought me to tears and to my knees. When we forgive, we are acting like Jesus. When we forgive, death is defeated. The enemy is literally defeated. Forgiveness is one of our greatest weapons against the enemy. This stunning truth was exhibited on the cross. Forgiveness renders the enemy utterly defeated. And there is an exchange of power in this, SUMites. When we forgive, we release the power of God just like the death of Christ released the Holy Spirit. In our lives AND in the lives of those we forgive.

SUMites, if you feel led, make a declaration in the comments that from this day forth you choose to forgive and that any ground the enemy had in your life is now restored to you. In the mighty name of Jesus, so be it! AMEN!

I love you, my friends! I’m standing and praying with you always!
Dineen

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Our Expectations And Answers To Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

As we conclude this study, I have an astonishing story to share with you about how our prayers can remain unanswered or answers are delayed and how what we expect is usually not what the Lord has in mind. Let me take you to a very old passage.

Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

Don’t let the familiarity of this story steal the outrageousness of what happens here. God tells the Israelites to do something seemingly ridiculous. I’m mean absolutely absurd. Can you imagine coming against a city and instead of piling up dirt and stones to scale the walls, instead of practicing warfare and battle tactics, God instructs them to march.

And get this. On day seven march in silence.

Say what?????

In the reality of it all, it is stupid! At least in the eyes of men. Ahhhhh, but that is what is so cool with God. When God moves, you KNOW it’s Him.

And that is exactly the same when it comes to our prayers. We have certain expectations that God should answer our prayer in such and such a way. In all my years of praying and receiving answers from the Lord, RARELY does God answer my prayers in the ways I expect. Typically, His answers are always slow. He rarely answers the way I expect or hope or in my timeline. But, when He does move, it’s always spectacular and in ways that are so much better and bigger than I could even dream up. And I can dream up some pretty big stuff.

God may ask of us to believe and follow up on the belief with actions and faith that feels absurd at times. And in response to our faith, He is likely to answer in absolutely unexpected and miraculous provision. The story of the Walls of Jericho is a historic reference for us living today. 

My friends, prayer is at the core, a conversation between two “in love” hearts. Prayer is devotion and time together. It’s a relationship of consideration, respect, honor, and peace. It’s love and friendship. It’s worship and teaching. It’s a Father and His child whom He gave so much to bring into His life forever.

I pray today that your prayer life is enriched with all the prayer strategies we have covered. I pray you see astonishing answers and that lives are changed because you prayed. I hope you bear witness to supernatural healing and that your spouse falls to his or her knees in surrender. I pray with conviction and belief that you will experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and that your life is forever changed because you pray. In Jesus name.

I love you, my friends. Now go and pray…. And change the world for the cause of Christ! Hugs, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Part Two: Upgrades

UpgradesSUMites, I promised to share more of what God is showing me for our community right now. I believe this next part will be so encouraging to you and will strengthen your spirit greatly. Let’s go back to Isaiah 60. There are several parts to this chapter that God has in the works for us right now.

I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. — Isaiah 60:17

This verse is about upgrades. As we grow in our faith and intimacy with God, He upgrades us to new levels of understanding (revelation) of what our calling and purposes are. He also takes our spiritual gifts to higher levels of operation to work toward and accomplish those works, which He prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). He establishes (a very important word right now) these purposes, gifts and us in Him to come from Him and—most importantly—to work with Him, because God intends all of it to operate within the boundaries of our intimacy and relationship with Him. And He equips and prepares us to step into each level. 

I know that’s a lot to chew on right now so let me put it into context. Think about the challenges and trials that have taught you to trust God more and to operate more in your gifting. For example, let’s say your gift is exhortation—you are an encourager. Yet recently you have been greatly discouraged by either external circumstances or internal conflict, which could very well be an attack from the enemy. 

Maybe you “wallow” for a day or two but then the Holy Spirit reminds you who you are and that you have skills—big skills created and gifted to you because you are God’s kid. You begin to seek Jesus for comfort and direction by praying, reading your Bible and worshiping, therefore deepening your intimacy in Him, which then results in you being encouraged. 

You’ve now learned how to encourage yourself in the Lord, which then becomes experiential for you. Let me also say there are many ways to encourage yourself in the Lord—think of David who wrote Psalms and Paul and Silas who sang hymns in the darkness of a prison cell.

Then a barely a week later a friend tells you she is struggling in the exact same thing you did and you know exactly how to encourage her through this difficult time, and because you have experienced it first hand, you realize you have authority to pray and wisdom to share in this type of situation. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing this many times to help others. All that is part of what God uses to bring us to each new level of how we are called to function in the body of Christ. 

Right now, God is very much on the move (yes, can’t get away from that song and I believe it’s very relevant and prophetic for right now) and things are happening, my friends. We are being upgraded to new levels according to what we have overcome and in preparation for what is coming next. It’s exciting, but I know that in some ways it’s grown more difficult. 

Some of you have shared that you feel like you’ve come under greater attack. Since the release of our corporate word in January, I came under one of the worst enemy attacks I’ve ever experienced. Many of you praying over the prayer list have shared you are experiencing more warfare than ever in your marriages. I’ve noticed this too in my own marriage over the weekend, but recognized it for what it was—the enemy’s attempt to distract and discourage—and prayed blessings and protection over all my relationships.

I want to let you in on a little secret the enemy likes to keep us blind to. The very place he attacks you repeatedly is the very place of your gifting. If you are gifted to be an intercessor, he will try to make you think your prayers aren’t making a difference, that they don’t matter, until finally you find yourself hardly praying at all. And a prayer-less believer is a powerless believer.

When you see a place in your life that the enemy is hitting you harder than normal, take stock and ask these questions:

  • Is this a place where God has called me to do something specific?
  • Is this attack in the area of my spiritual gift(s)? If it is a direct contradiction to your gift, then the enemy’s trying to keep you from doing what God has set you up to do best.
  • Is this actually an area you often feel weak and want to grow stronger? Then ask God to turn the enemy’s plans around for good. Ask Holy Spirit to show you what you need to do in that area and teach you to think differently about it (Romans 12:2). That’s when God perfects His strength in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)

Most importantly, SUMites, don’t back down as that’s exactly what the enemy wants you to do. He only gets louder when he knows he’s losing ground. And that is what we’re doing, we are taking ground that the enemy has no legal right to in our own life and the life of our spouse and our family who are sanctified by our faith (1 Cor. 7:14). 

There is truth behind the saying it is darkest before the dawn. We are on the verge of so much breakthrough as we surround our lives, families and this community with our prayers. Here’s the exciting part of our unfolding promise of salvation from Jesus:

Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. — Isaiah 60:18b

Look at that, SUMites! Turns out this church without walls is getting walls after all! An upgrade to walls of SALVATION! And here’s the next part of the promise I feel God wants us to know is coming.

Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. — Isaiah 61:7

This promise is about restoration. God restores what the enemy attempts to destroy. Trust Him to do this and to do it in His way and timing. I believe this is in answer to our prayers for peace and prosperity in our marriages—part of what God asked us to do in January as part of His salvation word to us. 

This is what we are heading toward, SUMites. Stay close to God, go deeper with Him. Our hearts to listen and obey His leading are an important part of what’s happening right now. And I will tell you what God spoke to me last week,

Things won’t look the way you expect.

Now that’s the next part of this series, so stay tuned. I’m looking forward to sharing that one with you. Love you so much, SUM family! I’m praying daily for each of you to be strengthened, equipped and encouraged! In the name of Jesus, amen!
~Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


How Did (and Do) We Honor Our Husbands?

SUM10AnniversarySUM family, are you enjoying this walk down memory lane? It’s amazing to look back over our history and see how God has moved in the big picture of our community. I truly believe part of our continued growth and endurance as a ministry has been our desire to honor our husbands in doing this. 

Lynn and I have never spoken negatively about our husbands here on the blog, in any of our media interviews, or our books. And we have not moved forward in this ministry without our husband’s knowledge of what we are doing. Our heart has always been to respect our husbands out of obedience to God. We strive to be open, honest and respectful to our husbands in everything we write and speak about.

If you listened to Lynn’s video post “SUM Beginnings,” she shared how her husband told her that if just one other couple could be helped, she should start the blog. He has been supportive of her ever since. 

My husband has also been supportive and even texted me our Amazon rankings throughout the day when Winning Him Without Words first released. He’s even told people he works and associates with about our books. A man who claims he’s an atheist promoting Christian books…now if that’s not God working in our husbands, I truly don’t know what is!

And let me interject here, SUMites, that if God is calling you step out in some way to serve and minister, trust Him to bring your spouse’s heart into alignment. Pray for this and listen carefully (Luke 8:18). God is faithful to lead, prepare and equip you and your spouse in what He’s calling you to do.

Now back to the point of this post. Do you remember the first part of this story where I shared that I was concerned about what could happen in the comments? That is probably one of the most astounding parts of this beautiful family of God.

Never have we had to address what is often referred to as “husband bashing.” (We’ll call it “spouse bashing” here since we are blessed to have a small male readership, and Ian’s wonderful wisdom and writing in our ministry as well.) I find this truly amazing when you consider this form of negative speaking about one’s spouse is so prevalent in the world today. And destructive! That which we focus on becomes our truth and reality, because our words are life or death (Prov. 18:21)—life to our marriage or death to it. We have a choice. (That’s definitely a post I will write about at a later time…)

SUMites, you walk this difficult path well. We are not called to be perfect, but to persevere and run the race God has marked out for us. 

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. — Hebrews 12:1-3

Lynn and I are honored to run this race with you. Together we are stronger, and we help each to not only run this race but to run like the conquerors through Jesus that God’s Word says we are. 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. — Romans 8:37

And that we are, my dear friends. I declare this over each of you, that you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus in your life, in your marriage and in this world. In the name of Jesus, amen!

Love you so much, SUMites!
~Dineen

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


How Do You "Hear" God...For Your Spouse?

IStock_000005733150MediumMy dear friends, I hope the journaling exercise to "pay attention" to how you hear God has been a blessing and encouragement to you. Your comments have encouraged me greatly! I love how God speaks to us in many ways and specifically to our need and relationship with Him. Let’s review that verse again:

“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” — Luke 8:18 NLT

Today I will share that story I promised you, one that will show another form of how God can speak to us. I've had the joy of training and working in two different healing rooms (Silicon Valley and now Manatee County). In fact, just this past weekend I attended more training and had the joy of facilitating as well. 

And God has used the last several years to teach me so much about healing prayers through teachers and mentors in these places and especially through the Holy Spirit, our greatest Teacher and Mentor of all. Over time, I've learned to recognize better when He's showing me something. I believe He communicates this way with me, because I am an artist and a very visual person.

If you study the book of Acts, you will see many descriptions of the disciples receiving images and even visions of God's leading. Just before his death, Stephen is given a glimpse of Jesus and heaven (Acts 7:55). Ananias heard the Lord instructing him in a vision to go to Saul because God had given Saul a vision of Ananias as part of Saul's conversion from a Pharisee to a believer who would be known as Paul (Acts 9:10-19). And God showed Peter through two visions that he was not to discriminate against Gentiles (Acts 10:3-33).

I love serving people in the healing rooms. We are there to pray with people for their needs, to encourage and edify them as Scripture directs, and we work in teams of three because we are stronger as a three-fold cord.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. — 1 Thess. 5:11 ESV

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

On this particular day, a woman came in for prayer about the purchase of a house. She and her husband had felt clear leading to buy a specific house and had made an offer, but the inspection now showed issues that they would not be able to afford. Confusion had set in.

As our team sought God for leading in how to pray for her, I saw an image of a house in my mind. At first I simply thought it was the natural reaction of the mind to connect an image to thoughts, but as I said, I have learned through experience and practice to pay attention when I get an image, especially in this type of setting. Yet I am always careful to defer to Holy Spirit's leading to share a word of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8). 

Our sister in Christ then joined us in the prayer room and we began to speak truth into her heart to help her refocus on God and His leading for her. I felt Holy Spirit direct me to share the image so I did. 

I described the image of the house in the detail the Holy Spirit had given me. I'm always a bit nervous to do things like this, but again I'm learning to trust Him more than myself. It's not easy. It’s a risk and an act of faith to trust in what God is doing and not what I understand or perceive is happening.

Turned out the image was the house she and her husband wanted to purchase, and sharing with her what God had shown me, along with what the other team members felt Holy Spirit telling them, confirmed and affirmed this dear woman on the God-lead path she was obediently trying to follow. She just needed reassurance that even though complications had cropped up, God was still in the lead and would provide. She left encouraged and felt even closer to God as a result. As we all do when we see, hear, feel and sense God's presence with us—we are drawn closer to Him and hunger for even more.

And I was too, as was the prayer team. These encounters never cease to astound me and draw me closer to God. I pray they never do. The end of this story is wonderful. The couple moved forward in faith and made another offer. They purchased the house for a price that gave them room to make the repairs. God did exactly what He said He would.

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. — Deut. 7:9 NLT

My friends, the amazing thing is I am learning to apply this way of praying to my family. One night Holy Spirit showed me that I didn't believe He would show me what to pray for my family like I do in the healing rooms. I'm learning to first seek and listen before I start praying what I think my husband or daughters need. 

Sometimes our best intentions and love can keep us from hearing what God wants us to know, because we are more focused on the issue at hand instead of the answer God is waiting to give us.

Now as I pray for my husband, I wait for a leading or image to show me where God's working in him. That way I know how to pray and work with God in this transformation process. God wants me to see my husband as already saved and pray and praise accordingly. Just as God instructed Peter in his vision to not make a judgement of a person's place in God's kingdom, I feel God telling us the same thing, my friends. This verse spoke that truth to my heart this week:

Peter told them, "You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. — Acts 10:28

Right now we need to be seeking God for His heart and how He sees our spouses, our loved ones, and pray and declare in agreement. We only have a partial picture with our own perspective. God has the full picture and He knows our spouses (1 Cor. 13:12).

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6

That day of Jesus Christ is now, my friends. The Greek translation for the word "day" means the space between dark and dawn. I believe this is the time between Jesus' coming and return and we are in that time right now! So don't be discouraged! He is faithful to complete what He has told us He will do. SALVATION!

Dear friends, we live in an incredible time of witnessing God move in our spouses' lives and hearts! Be assured He is working. Seek Him, ask Him to show you and trust Him to complete the good work He has started as you join Him accordingly in prayer and trust for your spouse's salvation. Amen? Amen!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


When I See You In Heaven - Chronicles Of The Donovan Clan

It’s today, March 14, 2016. Twenty-four years of married life. As I pondered my husband and our marriage this week, the Holy Spirit revealed something utterly unexpected and peculiar…. a letter. A letter to my husband as I see him in the future.


Mike When I see you in heaven...When I See You In Heaven

Mike, when I see you in heaven, will there be tears in my eyes?

Will I glimpse your face across the expanse of the Great Assembly of worshipers? Will I run to you? Will you run to me? When I see you in heaven, I believe we will both run, full-out, with every bit of intention and intensity, to reach one another.  

When I see you in heaven, will you have tears in your eyes? Will you wrap your arms around me in a fierce embrace? Will you pull away and place your hands on both sides of my face as you draw my eyes unto yours?

When I see you in heaven, will you whisper into my eyes through gulps of love and emotion, a breathless thank you.

At that moment will your heart expand as you fully grasp the impact of the years I prayed for this very moment? Will you utter deep groanings of intense joy knowing that I tarried for you in earnest prayer year after year?

When I see you in heaven, will you look upon my face and gently brush away the drops of joyful tears falling on my cheeks.

When I see you in that moment, I will place my finger over your lips to hush your words of thanks. I will tell you, “It’s our Father’s love that saved us. It’s our Father’s love that walked with me through our many years of married life. It’s our Father’s love that held me in the lonely moments and it’s our Father’s love that stood with you when you felt alone and weary of our quarrels.”

When I see you in heaven, I will join my hand in yours as we turn toward the throne. In that moment, our Father will look down upon us both with profound joy and love upon His face. In that singular moment, a life-time of battling the enemy will be revealed. The days and nights I called out to Jesus to protect you, to keep you from the lies of the enemy and to save you from his evil intentions, they all will flash before you. In that moment we will comprehend God’s purpose which placed me at your side as your life-long partner on earth. Under His full understanding we will comprehend that this tiny, 5 foot 2 blonde, girl was a commanding intercessor for your health and prosperity. In that instant you will bear witness to the relentless combat I engaged for our children.

When I see you in heaven, we will share in the greatest joy- your full salvation. Every harsh word ever spoken will be erased instantly, lost in the glory of our King. We will look upon one another’s face and realize that every hurt and disappointment is forever forgotten and forgiven. Our brokenness is instantly covered by the crimson blood of Jesus our King.

When I see you in heaven, I will lead you by the hand to the steps of the throne. With utter sobs I will look up into the face of my heavenly Father and tell Him, “THANK YOU. You gave me this man and I did not fail my assignment. I walked out many years of hope deferred and I did not stop for one moment and give in, give up or lose hope.”

“Father, I couldn’t have done any of it without your love, grace, mercy, kindness and wisdom and power. I’m utterly undone, Father, the faithful love You poured into my life over and over and over is evidenced today, as I see Mike in heaven.”

When I see you in heaven, I will turn toward the vast expanse of the saints and I will honor, celebrate and declare for all eternity the fathomless love of our Father before them as I grasp your hand. And Mike, when I see you in heaven standing there beside me, you will do the same.

When I see you in heaven, Mike Donovan, my heart will be full and we will have all of eternity to discover, recover and uncover things that were left undone or unfinished on earth. I’m so excited to take your hand and step into our eternal life in Jesus Christ, when I see you in heaven.

Happy Anniversary,

I love you, Lynn

Mike and Lynn 2 Nov 2011

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Seek Him Like Never Before!

Worship…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. — Ephesians 4:14-16

My friends, I left my post last week with the promise to tell you some stories of how God is equipping and testing me. My most ardent prayer the last year has been to hear Him clearer and to know His voice better. I am stunned at how He has answered that prayer with specific training at a conference a couple weeks ago and the people He has brought into my life to speak new levels of truth and teaching. Let’s just say that Abba turned my world upside down a bit and knocked a few things into place, like bringing my body, soul and spirit into alignment with the Kingdom. I will share more on that soon as the Holy Spirit leads me.

Last week He gave me very specific words to give to people. He’s done this before but not with this clarity or detail. My heart cry along with wanting to hear Him better was so that I can help people more. On my walk and pray one morning I noticed the same woman walking in our neighborhood that I’ve seen before. God gave me a very clear message to share with her. Turned out she was a very strong woman of faith and that was my test, to step out in faith and do what He was asking me, even if it seemed a little over the top. This particular encounter took me way out of my comfort zone, and I realized afterwards He wanted to see what I would do with what He gave me—how I would steward it.

A few nights later I was at a restaurant with my family (my daughter and husband were visiting). A woman from my church, who God previously gave me a specific word for her husband, walked in with her husband. I'd seen her the week before at church but didn't want to disturb them while they were worshiping. So I left it to God to orchestrate another meeting. And He did! Even my mother-in-law commented on how they have lived there for years and never run into people they know, yet I seem to do this frequently.  

And that is what He is accelerating us into right now—orchestrated encounters with key people we need and who need us in order to move into new ministries and territories. God is releasing more spiritual giftings to us and raising us up to new levels in the ones we have already been walking in.

My friends, this is how He wants to reveal Himself to the world, and right now! Seek Him like never before. Ask Him for His heart and what He wants to show you (Jer. 33:3). And if He allows you to share it here, please do! I have listened and watched as so many of you have been released into new places already these last few weeks—new ministries, new levels of intimacy and peace in your marriages and family and even more clarity in your purpose and calling in Jesus. For our SUM community, the Holy Spirit is showing me how we are being lifted up, one by one, into new places and purposes with power, authority and spiritual giftings to move effectively in these places.

Today I fly to Dallas for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference that I attend each year. I have been blessed to man and coordinate the registration for several years now and especially blessed by the divine appointments God sets up during these events. This time, I’m asking Abba for something very specific this year, and I look forward to sharing that with you as well. 

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. — Hebrews 12:20

What about you, my friends? Where you do sense God is leading you? What has He put on your heart to think about, pray into, and seek Him for? Please share. This is a safe place to share whatever is on your heart. I want to pray with you for this calling, this divine destiny God is revealing to you.

SUMites, I am holding you close in my heart and prayers.
SignatureGraphic2

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Part 1: The Journey to Complete Abandonment

SUMites, Lynn here. I will be traveling this week. While I'm away, one of our long-time readers and Sister, SUMite Gillian Russell will be sharing a portion of her story. You may remember her and her astonishing story of traveling to meet me and Dineen in Texas. You can find her story about that adventure, here

Thank you Gill for taking time to share your faith with us. Hugs, Lynn

Although I came to my faith for the first time as a twenty year old, somehow God grabbed hold of me very early on in my journey: within a month I was completely sold out on God and I never looked back. While I struggle with many things, trusting God has rarely been an issue for me. (By this I mean for big stuff, trusting God in the little interruptions and frustrations in my day is a completely different story). Maybe it's also that I've always been impulsive, but when God says jump, I jump, (and think and ask questions later!) Honestly, it doesn't matter what it is, all I need is to hear from Him. 

So what does that mean for a mismatched marriage? It has certainly created some odd discussions but there are so many blessings that have flowed into all our lives from this obedience, because after all, God always works only for our best. 

A few years ago, while praying on my way home from a church event I heard these words CLEARLY in my spirit: 

Until your husband sees you, visibly different, (like my best friend saw the change) truly submitting to him, he’s not going to believe.’ That’s what it will take for him to come on board etc, radical humility. ‘Only when you are willing to lay down your will, will he be able to know Me.’ 

Gulp. 

Part 1.JPG Gill
Since then God has been helping me, one little step at a time, to lay down my wants, my desires, my way. In Texas God had taught me that I didn't need to try to run the show because He was in control, and of course He knows what's best. I was reminded of what God had told me about letting go of my will, and it was clear God needed me to stop controlling my husband, trying to get him to live his life how I wanted. 

In fact, God took it a step further by showing me clearly that as long as I was doing this, God would never be able to reach him. Like the prodigal son, my husband had to be able to live free, even free to make mistakes, and that would require my cooperation. This actually made perfect sense, so I trustingly said yes to God. 

A few days later I began to see just what that yes meant.

You see, my husband was invited to a party I did not want him to go to. Besides the fact that it was overnight and shouldn't a husband and father be home with his family, I knew that part of the festivities included strippers (Bachelor party). I knew this situation was not going to be healthy for him or for our marriage...and I wanted to put my wifely foot down, that he was NOT GOING.

Instead I had to lay that urge down, and let him make the decision himself, and look to God to get me through it. So I trusted my heart to God, only to have it broken when he chose to go anyway. I clung to God through the fears and hurt that followed, and offered up the pain I felt to God, together with the cross of Christ to win graces for my husband. Even though I couldn't see any real changes, I had to trust that God was using this to humble my husband, as he saw how his decision affected me.

I had never been so broken, but The Lord stood with me. Truly, I'd never felt so close to my Lord as I did those few days. I had given Him everything I had. 

The night before, after my husband had left for the party, I felt like Jesus alone in the garden of Gethsemane wrestling with the Father's will as my heart wrestled with surrendering this completely to God, for better or worse. Now God had taken my heart, and I had nothing left to give Him. In that place I found myself completely abandoned to His will, whatever it might be, from that moment forward.  There, kneeling by the water in full view of the cars going by, I raised my hands to the heavens in humble surrender. 

Three days later I watched God do a work of redemption in our marriage that only He could do. Afterwards I even shared with my husband a little of how God was responsible for it, because it was only because I was following God's directions that this new breakthrough happened. 

Only God could turn that place of darkness into a new dawn. Truly, the Almighty works ALL things for our good. 

Gill Intl Life
--- Stay Tuned, Part II is next--- Gill

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


40 Daniel Fast - For Some

Hello Everyone. 

I’m still lingering in awe of our Lord and all that happened in our fast. I believe we are going to see the results of our fast unfold in our lives and the lives of many others in the months ahead. I can’t wait. Please, please share your breakthrough with me and Dineen this year as we want to honor and thank Jesus for His love and care. 

Today’s post will not be for everyone. 

I know many of you want to continue in an extended period of fasting. I know I am going to continue to fast. I’m going to continue a fasting lifestyle that the Lord placed me on since September. 

And I also want to be open and honest about something that tends to be an area where the SUMites struggle. It’s going to be hard to own this truth but let’s just put it out there. 

Many of us are overweight. I am. I have 30 pounds that are fat pounds. I’ve come to discern that because we are in challenging marriages; many of us turn to food as our comfort and friend. I know this was true of me in the early years of my mismatch. On top of that my husband traveled for work extensively. I was often at home alone for weeks on end. Thus television and snacks became my habits. Sheesh. Can anyone relate? So, I wonder if the Lord is going to help many of us to own this truth and then bring us into freedom? I think so. 

So here is what happened to me. 

One night, I think it was in September, or late summer early fall, the Lord awakened me in the middle of the night. He told me to go on a 40 day Daniel fast. At that time in my life, I was battling in deep Spiritual warfare. You might remember I had cold after cold, sicknesses and all sorts of physical infirmities for months. Additionally, what you likely do not know is that all of my close relationships, except my marriage, came under a tremendous, pressure, pain and refining. My word from the fast last year was: Refinement. Man O man, am I glad that 2014 is over. I remained faithful in my relationships and they are all now stronger and blessed. And I have now overcome sickness and I believe with all my heart that my home is now a perfect health zone. Even strangers who enter the doors will be healed. But, alas, that’s a post for another day. 

Back to the Daniel fast. 

What I’m going to share is what God has asked of me. It does not mean this plan is for you. I’m only sharing what God has asked of me. Please pray about what I share and ask the Lord if this is something for your life. 

God said to me, “Lynn, I want you to go on a 40 day Daniel diet and rid your system of antibiotics.” And in that minute I knew that I would give up all food that contained antibiotics. Okay, so I got out of bed and started thinking about what I heard. 

Now here is the crazy part. 

Later that morning I went to have my oil changed in my car. I dropped the car with the attendant and went inside the small lobby area to wait. Now get this. The television was on and within a few minutes as I sat watching, a segment comes on the air. It’s a story of how antibiotics in our food is causing weight gain and specifically women. I sat astonished. Then the attendant brought my car around and I left. I was only there for 15 minutes and the single portion of the “morning Show” that is on TV is about antibiotics in our food.  I’m freaked out! I couldn’t believe it. (I searched for the video and I think I found what I was watching that morning.) 

To say I was stunned…. is an understatement. 

I couldn’t have asked for a stronger confirmation from the Lord. So, I immediately I stopped eating meat. I also subscribed to several blogs who share recipes and tips to eat healthy and vegetarian. And man, there are some great recipes. I haven’t missed the meat. One afternoon my husband strolled into my office and said, “Okay, I’m hungry. What kind of meatless concoction do you have going today in the crockpot?” We both burst out laughing. It’s been adventure for the both of us. 

So here are the guidelines of my diet which I believe is a Daniel diet that the Lord gave me.

  • Veggies, fruits, gains, lentils and some dairy. I’m a very forgiving person, so I’m not ridged on all of this. I’m not a Pharisee. *grin*
  • Very little sugar. Again, not a Pharisee.
  • 1250 calories a day. Join My Fitness Pal. It’s free. It’s awesome and you can track calories on a computer or use the phone app. (I am firm on this.)
  • Exercise 1 hour a day. Walk, run, whatever is fun for you. Just do something. (And firm on this.)
  • Lots of water.
  • If I do eat meat, which I do occasionally, it is absolutely organic, antibiotic free. I know eating organic is more expensive. If you can’t afford it, veggies are delectable and a diet you can be on for the rest of your life. (Most food I buy today is all organic.)
  • A Daily Probiotic. 

A probiotic was a new thing for me. God sent someone to me the next day and told me about them. I went to the store and picked up a bottle. (Get the refrigerated variety.) 

As we enter this New Year, I feel the Lord calling me to surrender even more of my eating habits to Him. This diet was a place to start. 

We all need a place to start.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

Lord, I commit this last stronghold in my life to you. I want my body to reflect your love and glory. Bring my body into complete a perfect alignment with the Kingdom. I ask that my body be perfectly healthy and whole and that I may bring health and healing to others. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The World Needs An Encounter - You Give it To Them!

Matt 12 21Today I want to fill you with possibilities. I want you to know that our God is GREAT and He has an amazing life for each of us. 

God has led me on such a powerful faith journey in the last two years and it only continues to gain momentum and fascination. Often here on the web I share my victories as I want this little spot here in the internet to be an encouragement to you. I also share my defeats and pain. But more often than not, I write about the good things God is doing. I don’t always share the tough lessons that accompany spiritual growth. But those lessons are part of the journey and I want you to know this past year has been filled with more of them than I have let on. 

So I share this bit of information with you so that you know with the gains of the Kingdom that I have experienced, I have also come through very difficult lessons, spiritual warfare, some setbacks, and lots of struggle. However, the stories I’m about to share make it all worth the lessons and time in the classroom of the Kingdom. 

In the last several weeks I’ve been called out by God to become brave. In fact, that’s the title of my next book: Becoming Brave. And I’m diligently seeking the Lord for His Words for this manuscript. 

So today I want to share with you what happens when you dial in the combination of the Kingdom. Remember the three-part combination from Friday’s post? If not, go read it now. 

In the last several weeks God’s voice has intensified in my life. And I want to share with you what I hear and what God asks of me.

Most of you know that nearly every morning I head out to the vineyards and walk-n-pray for about an hour. Crazy and amazing things happen during this intimate time when I’m alone with the Trinity. But this week, several mornings in a row, as I was nearing my car to return home, I noted a young man stretching in the park. He looked to be about 19 or 20 years old. Something about him drew my spirit to him. Well after three days of this, as I entered the park, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said, "Go over to that young man and tell him…….."

I argued with God, “Lord, it’s always weird when I go to speak to a complete stranger.” 

Then I said, “Okay, Lord, I will do it if he looks up at me and says something.” 

So what do you think happened? 

Yep, indeed. The young man greeted me with a smile and said, “Hey. Good morning.” 

My inner voice: Yep God. I knew that was going to happen. 

Me, “Hi. Ahem, well….." I walked over to talk with him. "This may be weird but I’m drawn to your spirit. Are you a believer?” 

“Yes, I am. A devout Catholic.” 

“Well, I want to tell you that God sees you. He has a calling on your life and has plans for you.” And I shared a few others things, detrails, I felt the Spirit was impressing upon me about him. 

He smiles as big as the outdoors. I’m relieved that I’m not going to be feeling awkward when I see him in the future. 

“That’s so amazing. I had someone else speak the same thing over me, my priest," the young man responds.

We went on to have an amazing conversation and I heard God tell me to instruct him to begin to read God’s Word. So I told him that he needed to get God’s Word into him and doors will be opened for his calling. But He must have the Word of God in him so that satan will not snatch it away. So I told him what kind of Bible to buy. He took out his phone and made a note. 

I finally asked his name, “Michael.” I smiled a knowing smile.... (There are a lot of Michaels in my life.)

I said goodby. Hopped in my car and thanked Jesus that He loves that young man so much that He would encourage him into his devine destiny. That was a few days ago.

Today, I was ordering a burger for lunch and the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that the woman helping me at the counter had a good heart. I felt the intense love God has for her. Then the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that this woman was facing some very difficult decision but if she were to pray to God, He would help her through them.

So….. yep……. I didn’t say anything to her. I took my order to my table. And for the next 20 minutes the Holy Spirit urged (nagged) me to tell this woman what I heard. My friends, it’s weird and uncomfortable and I take a risk of complete humiliation but not once has God been wrong nor let me down. 

Finally, as I’m ready to leave, I approach the counter. The restaurant is getting busy. The woman comes over to me. I lean way into speak to her as I don’t want to speak too loudly and make a spectacle of her or myself. 

“I just want to tell you that when I saw you 30 minutes ago, God told me you have a good heart.” She smiles. “And that you are facing some difficult decisions in your life.” I pause and see if she affirms this. 

She does, “Yes, that’s true.” 

“If you pray, God will help you through those.” 

I smile, “You have such a good heart. God adores you.” She smiles, I turn and leave. I think she thinks I'm nuts. Then all of a sudden I hear her shout to me as I’m across the restaurant and half way out the door, “Thank you. THANK YOU!” she shouts louder. I felt the joy in her voice. 

GOOD GRIEF….. 

These encounters make every struggle and difficulty worth it all.. Times ten.

My friends, we the SUMites are leaders in faith. We have walked the painful and difficult path of faith building. It’s time now to step into our Kingdom destiny and bring the hope of the world to…. Well, the world. 

And what is the hope of the world? It’s the Lord God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Keep praying. Be hungry for more. Ask for more and more and do the hard work of sanctification. We are all going to walk in His divine power, love and healing. 

In Jesus name. Amen. 

And his name will be the hope of all the world." —Matthew 12:21

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

This post is so much about God's love for people and it's about obedience. We believers owe an encounter to the world. Because once a person encounters the love of our God of the Universe, His Son and the Spirit, it changes everything.

Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


God Spoke. The Angels Sing Over The SUMites!

Isaiah 66 2 Day of AtonementWow Oh Wow… The heavens opened this morning. 

On my walk n pray this morning God just started talking. And talking. And talking…. I was so overwhelmed by all He was sharing that I had to call Dineen while I was on the trail. 

What was He saying? I’m so glad you asked because it was all about you, Sumites. 

I’m going to write out what I heard. 

First I kept hearing over and over, humble and contrite. Humble and contrite. Humble and contrite

Then He explained. 

Lynn, I know you have talked to me a lot about these letters and lists. You have brought the people who wrote them before me. But I want to tell you how I feel about these men and women. 

My heart is moved with joy and great pleasure for these, my children. 

“Why Lord?” 

Because they have given me a sacrifice of great significance. 

“How did we do this, Lord?” 

In your culture today the devil has created a frenzied pace in life. The demands on people’s time and energy are beyond what I ever intended. Culture dictates, a do, do, do mentality and shouts that you are not valuable if not busy and productive every minute of your life. I hate it. 

It is a lie, Lynn. 

But these. These precious children of mine, they have taken time to sit down with me. They talked with me and then handcrafted a letter, a list of their dreams. They made an effort. An effort to stop and think about Me and what we, together might do in this world. Do you know how that thrills my heart? 

As they sat writing out their dreams in their precious and unique handwriting style, they were with me. I was with them. I watched their faces as they wrote the words and formed the sentences. I felt the stirring in their hearts as they dared to bring me into their lives to help them accomplish and see their dreams come to life. 

Lynn, I see this very act of writing these dream lists as I saw the very first sacrifice that was given to me. You know who gave me that precious sacrifice? It was Able. His gift was a gift of love, his first fruits, a willing gift of love. 

These dream lists are so much more to me than words penned on paper; they are a gift of great love. They are a gift from children who love me. They are a message that I have priority. That I am their Lord. That I am loved by them. They are birthed of a humble and contrite heart of which I find great, great pleasure. 

Lynn, today the angels sing! They sing because I have watched this SUMite Nation and I approve. I thrill over all of you. I adore you. I am Your God and Your King. I am your Father who loves you. And Lynn, you know when a Daddy loves His children, do you know what He does? 

“Tell me Papa.” 

He moves heaven and earth to give them the Kingdom.

  

Good grief SUMites. I have a lump in my throat. 

SUMites, God went on to tell me some other amazing things. He told me that He has something for Dineen at the conference. —Can’t wait to see what that is. 

Then God showed me something. I saw a picture of a Bible open and there was a person reading it. I could only see the hands as the right hand reached up to turn the page. Now this next part astonished me. When the page was turned I saw gold shimmering dust, glory dust, float from the page and onto the person who was reading. 

Again God said to me, “See Lynn, when you spend time with me reading from the Bible, My glory comes upon you.” 

Say what? I was immediately impressed how God takes great pleasure when we simply sit down with a “paper” Bible. Literally gold dust fell on the hands and arms of the reader. 

HOW COOL IS THAT? 

Approaching The Most Holy Day in God’s calendar tomorrow, I hear a calling to understand what God sees as humble and contrite. So as we fast tomorrow, look up these scriptures in a paper Bible and let His glory dust upon you. Let His great pleasure flow and give the angels even more reasons to sing over the SUmite Nation. 

I love you all so much. I love our God, His Son, Jesus and the Spirit that empowers us and makes us one. 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
 

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

 

My friends, God told me that it’s not too late. You can still sit down and handwrite your dream list. You can still mail it to me if you want to but it’s not about getting it to me. This is a sacrifice of love that is between you and our Papa. Make time to dream with Him. You won’t regret it.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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