71 posts categorized "Obedience"

Random - Rosh Hashanah

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

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

Here is my randomness and in no particular order:

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

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

 

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

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

Then we, The SUMites, will represent Him well.

See you Friday.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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

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

Lynn Donovan
43952 Barletta St.
Temecula, CA 92592

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


What Does This High Holy Day Mean To Believers Today?

Gang,

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

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

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

Day of Atonement

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

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

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

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

Yes, obedience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How about you?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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

Lynn Donovan
43952 Barletta Street
Temecula, CA 92592

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

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Our Greatest Promise (Part 2)

8406391_sHappy Friday, my friends! Let’s finish what we started on Wednesday. I left off with an analogy of the Holy Spirit flowing in our lives like blood in our veins and how it’s important to keep the “flow” free of unrighteous impediments. As I said at the end of Wednesday’s post, the Holy Spirit helps us do this.

He is very good at His job of showing us places in our lives and hearts that we need to deal with, of nudging us to do the right thing, and even of reminding us of God’s love and will for our lives. Also known as godly conviction, it is done with the love and heart of God for our good. Not to be confused with condemnation either (Romans 8:1), it is relieving, freeing and healing.

Just about every day, I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything I need to confess or see in myself. I talk to Jesus about it and ask for forgiveness if I need it or for help dealing with or overcoming an issue. Then if there is nothing else, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me and overflow in me, and that my day would bring glory and honor to Jesus.

When the Holy Spirit can move freely in us, our lives are changed and empowered. Abba wants for us to walk in this place of righteousness and empowerment that He sent His Son Jesus to bring us. And it is the Holy Spirit that does this work in us.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. — Philippians 2:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:13

So often we try to fix ourselves when the best thing we can do is sit quietly before God and let Him do these great works in us. We do our part (repentance and obedience) and He does His part (saving and transforming).

And my friends, I’m discovering through this year of intimacy that the key is knowing God better and better:

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. — Colossians 1:9-14

And the motivation behind all this is always, always, always God’s pure and unconditional love. He tells us to confess our sins and be filled with His Holy Spirit not out of harshness or so that we “get it right.” His desire has been, is and always will be to connect our heart to His so that His love can flow into our hearts freely, as blood flows freely in a healthy body, as the Blood of Christ flowed freely to save us.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. — Romans 5:3-5

And when the Holy Spirit flows freely in us, we are doing what Paul called “walking in the Spirit” and we are empowered to do those things that please God, whether they are serving others, or overcoming a sin or idol in our lives, or loving the difficult ones in our lives who Abba has specifically called us to love.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. — Galations 5:16 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. — Ephesians 2:10

Our greatest challenge as believers is also our gateway to freedom and unfailing faith: is to trust and believe. As Peter says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine” (1 Peter 1:7).

Our greatest and most important calling is to know and love Him (Deut. 6:5, Mark 12:30), to be still and know, trust and believe that He is who He says he is (Psalm 46:10), and let Him do the great work in us that He began and is faithful to finish (Phil. 1:6).

And I am finding that it is in the quiet moments when I manage to still my heart, my soul and my spirit before Him, that His loves pours freely, His wisdom comes in priceless gems, and His presence overwhelms me.

My friends, may the Lord bless you and protect you, may the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you, may the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Have an amazing weekend. Love you so much!
Dineen

Copyright: dirkercken / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Transforming the Mind: Choosing Joy

ThemindMy friends, the Transforming the Mind series is continuing. Abba keeps giving me more and more to learn and share with you. What I love so much about this is that as I teach it I’m learning it as well. Just like what it says in Romans:

You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? — Romans 2:21

So if God calls you to teach, then do it! He will give you what you need to know and pass on. Now, back to our series which began with Feasting on God’s Word, then continued with Claiming and Praying God’s Promises, Giving the Holy Spirit Authority, Pleading the Blood of Jesus, and last week, Thanking and Praising.

The more I learn about transforming our minds (Romans 12:2), the more I see that everything starts in our minds. Everything. Sin, transformation, healing, etc. All of it. And we have more control over it than we realize. I believe this is what James talks about when he describes waves being blown and tossed by the wind. This is an untransformed mind.

Our frame of mind, way of thinking and past experiences influence how we live in, react to (or don’t react to ) and view the world, including those around us. This is what all those self help books are about—having a positive attitude. The reason they often fail is because they rely on an individual’s limited ability to change and the world’s changing standards and definitions as judgement.

But we, the family of God, have a better book—the Bible—to teach us how to see ourselves and our lives through the lens of our Creator, who’s love is constant and unchanging and holds no condemnation for us, His children (Romans 8:1).

And I believe this transformed mind is absolutely vital to thriving in our mismatched marriages. How we perceive things and what we focus on will direct the course of our every day lives. And I have learned that wherever I have a struggle, I must first look inward to first to discover if the root is within me or if I need an attitude adjustment to handle the situation. In other words, I can't change those around me, but I can choose how I will handle situations and conflicts. And sometimes we may need to face that we are the problem. But even then, we have the power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19-20) working in us to bring transformation! That is full of hope and promise! And as we change and are transformed, we influence our pre-believer in ways we don’t even realize.

In today’s post, I want to talk to you about choosing joy. Abba has shown me much about joy in the last few months that I’m just now piecing together. The Old Testament talks about the oil of joy. This is something that He often has me pass on to others, especially when I work in the healing rooms here.

And Scripture also tells us the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10). But recently an interview article, Kay Warren on Depression, Grief and Hope, written by Amy Simpson (Today’s Christian Woman) struck me with a new understanding of what it means to choose joy.

“I realized I had completely misunderstood joy. No wonder I wasn't experiencing it! I was going after the wrong thing. I was going after an emotion. And what God wanted to give me was himself. The definition of joy I'm working with is a settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life. The quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right. And the determined choice to praise God in all things.” — Kay Warren

First let me clarify that joy and happiness are two different things. Joy is based upon the constant presence and love of our Great God and trusting Him with every detail of our lives. Happiness is contingent upon circumstances. We can have joy and choose to be joyful and joy-filled even when our circumstances make us unhappy. The danger we often run into is that when we feel unhappy, we relinquish our joy.

But we don't have to. We can choose joy even in our most challenging times. It's not easy, but I am learning to do this more and more. The new understanding I'm beginning to grasp is that instead of waiting for joy to "show up," like an emotion, we can take action and ask for and choose to accept joy as a gift from Jesus. Scripture even tells us this:

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. — Romans 5:11
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. — 1Thess. 5:16-18
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13
“For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” 

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. — Isaiah 61:8-10

This is our inheritance and ours to choose—to ask and pray for. And did you notice how thankfulness and gratitude are intertwined with joy as well as hope? Think of thankfulness and gratitude as the soil of our minds and joy is the seed to be planted there. What springs forth is hope. So you see, if our minds are cluttered with bitterness, unforgiveness, self-condemnation, lies from the enemy, etc., the joy of the Lord will wither and even die. And then we become hopeless. And for us to lose hope is as death. I firmly believe that is one of the most heartbreaking conditions of all to our Lord Jesus—to see people lose hope.

My friends, I don't have this completely figured out, but I do know that what we focus on and think about has profound effect on our mental, physical and spiritual health. They are all interconnected as God designed them to be.

And He has given us the ability to choose. This is powerful (even to determine our eternal destination—to choose Jesus) and when we use this power of choice out of a desire to honor God and be obedient, we have a mind controlled by the Spirit, which tells us is life and peace. That is a powerful promise from our Abba and again, it's ours to choose.

It takes practice and intentionality, but it is so worth it. The more we do this, the less we are like those waves whipped around by the waves of the world, of our challenges and circumstances, and the stronger we stand in our lives and marriages. We can allow our thoughts, feelings and emotions to control us or we can partner with the Holy Spirit to transform our minds so that those same thoughts, feelings and emotions will fall in line and be reflective of God’s truth working in us.

So I’m asking Jesus for joy. I’m asking He restore the joy of His salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12).

I’m choosing joy.

Love you dearly, my friends!
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.


The Seven Seasons of The Walls

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
Hello SUMite Nation: 

Today I want to share some thoughts as we continue our journey toward the Promised Land. Remember we have been talking about seasons. If we can condense the long years and seasons and see them from heaven’s view. this is what our journey truly looks like. And it’s beautiful. 

Day two is finished and were back at the camp. But you know what is happening here? With each step it’s a revelation of how to do this journey better, more effective, with confidence. We learn to find the joy as we cross the same territory. We sing to our kids along the way and share stories of hope. We tell them of the glory of God. 

On day three, we fall down. We are exhausted, confused and just plain tired. It’s our brother's and sister's turn to come along side of us, pick us up and carry the load. It’s our family, our friends, our neighbors in the tent next door. A stranger. Angels. We don’t have to do this on our own strength. We are carried and loved. Remember the story of friends bringing a man on the mat to Jesus because of their love?

Half way through we are healed because we choose to believe in the voice that spoke. There angels that guide. The strength and truth of Joshua (Jesus) His faithfulness was proven over and again as we traveled years in the wilderness. We become more and more like Jesus. 

Day – season- four.. It’s more of the same. The crowd on the walls have grown insolent. Any release or change or surrender from the kingdom behind the walls is unexpected. More of the same. More or the same. It’s along…. Long journey…. Twenty two years and counting for me. 

But step by step, we get through the season a little faster. It’s not as devastating. We know who to go to for help, encouragement and love.  Just as Joshua leads the Israelites, Jesus leads us. The Father’s love sustains us. We have a promise. We have many, many promises. And we have experienced the faithfulness of our Lord. We know His goodness. 

Day five.. We still don’t know the end of the story. We battle up! We fast, we pray. We gather the intercessors… We fight in the spirit. Spiritual Warfare intensifies. Perhaps the enemy camp sent out sentinels in the night and sabotaged our camp… Infected our children??? We pray and pray…. 

Still nothing. The walls remain…. (But something is happening we just can’t see it yet.) 

Day six… more marching. More learning. Leading others. Singing in the camp. Healing in the camp. Worship in the camp. The Presence in the camp. I wonder, have we been in the Promised Land all along????? 

Day seven… the hardest of all. Not only walking six times around (six seasons) but on this day, this season we must walk seven times around without stopping. We ask God why didn’t this get easier? The mocking from the inhabitants behind the wall increases. The determination in our will increases because we have experience the Presence. Through the six preceding days we have learned to do this walk well. We have calloused in the right places. We are fortified. Sturdied, made strong because of the walking, the pressure, the training. The we have established faith because we know God is preparing all things according to His perfect plan and purposes.

We are in the seven times around. I’m not sure where I am in this but I’ve come this far and will never relent. There are promises behind those walls. There are captives to be liberated and plunder to be regained. Everything that was stolen. And there is a devil to be defeated and cast into the lake of fire. We, the saints, are the chosen to defeat the enemy with our worship.

This is who we are. And you know what waits us now.... The sound of the Shofar... Stay tuned. That glorious moment is a head in our story. I love you my friends. Have a great week. Hugs, Lynn

 

I have so much to tell you about what is developing for our Walmart Prayer Day. It’s going to be so much more than I first glimpsed when God whispered this idea to me. I will have an update for you on Friday. But I need a prayer right now. 

I have called the store twice, paid a personal visit on Saturday trying to get a date booked on their community calendar. Would you pray that on Monday I am able to speak with Isabel and get this date finalized? Thank you for praying. …. And devil… You are not going to stop this so in the name of Jesus, Lord, please open up heaven above this store and let this date booking happen without further delay. In Jesus 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.


NOW... That's a GOOD Word!

Hello Everyone. 

Today I’m going to do something a little different. I’ve been reading back through the notes I took at the conference last week. 

Wow!! SO GOOD! 

So, today I’m going to share some of them. I pray with the Holy Spirit power and anointing that these words are taken in through your eyes. Then they penetrate your heart. Then I’m asking the Holy Spirit to make them alive with power and authority and with love, joy and peace in your life. By the time you are finished reading, I’m hoping you’ve experienced an encounter with THE MOST HIGH. In Jesus name. 

--

White Open Door2014 is a year for the open door. There are doors standing open that God’s has made available to His people. Doors of new beginnings, Holy Spirit, Re-start, harvest, and we are to walk in and release the Kingdom of peace and joy.

It is a time of fire- Baptism of fire. The fire of holiness. We are in the beginning of the move of fire.

This year many will experience an increase in Words of Knowledge. God will release the Hope-Ambassadors in waves. It is a year of restoration. Stop and see the one person in front of us.

Only love can make a miracle. 

--

There will be a joining of the generations, young, old and in-between. We need each other’s voices in our lives and to join together for this great harvest. 

--

Bloodlines are being delivered. And promises that were made to your ancestors can be claimed in your generation. Promises that were caught up in corruption will be redeemed.

Our Jehovah Jireh: There will be a transfer of provision.

Women will be welcomed out of a place of suppression.

God is seeking those who wear a spirit of love. The measure of love in your heart, your ministry, is evident in how you love people who are paid to help you. Waitress, service industry, disenfranchised.

--

God doesn’t care about what you don’t have. He only cares about what we have. (He can bring great works and miracles from little when it’s surrendered to Him.)

You are more than your strengths. You are more than your weaknesses. Sometimes God causes us to work in our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9) God wants to use you in your weakness so that people know it’s God using you. 

--

There is a great wave of miracles coming in 2014.

When you read a story in the Bible it’s not just history. It’s meant to be lived. 

--

It’s time to ask for the nations as our inheritance.

(It’s time to ask for the SUMite Nation.)

John 5:19 See what the Father is doing and do likewise.

God is searching for Burning Ones. Zechariah 2:5; Who will bring encounters that bring the harvest. John 5:35

The merging of the generations is key to bring about the harvest and the anointing of power. Unity releases God’s fire.

Anointing comes when you have positioned yourself for it and when you have paid the price. Anointing can happen and it will. But it will stick to a person of character.

BE HUNGRY.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to You. Luke 3

Worship is more than songs. It’s posture and attitude of your heart. It’s recognizing God’s rightful place in your heart.

Thankfulness releases glory. Feel under attack? Start thanking God.

What is the fire of God? LOVE

When seeking God; He hates multitasking.

Half-hearted obedience is really cloaked rebellion.

Psalm 100:3 Troops will volunteer freely. (SUMites???) 

--

How do you amplify God’s voice? Intimacy

It’s a sign of immaturity if God has to shout at you.

God has secrets Proverbs 22. God hides secrets for us and from us.

John 16:13 He will guide you into all truth.

Stay like a child.

Don’t think you know what you’re doing.

Always give Him the glory. Then I will use you.

2014 will be a year God’s people understand the AWE of God. 

-- 

Okay that’s plenty for now. I still have a ton of notes from one session that is about family. God’s family. I will write about that soon because…. That’s a good word! 

Lord, let these words fall upon the paths (hearts) that are open. Let them multiply thirty, sixty, a hundred times in their lives and the lives of others. Lord, may these words spoken by men and women who love you, rise up in us and may all that you desire and will be accomplished in this family and community of SUM. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

 

Speakers: James Goll, Chuck Pierce, Sean Boltz, Stacey Campbell, Jereme Nelson, Bobby Conners, Kris Vallatton

*****

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.


I've Been Corrected By God

Well my friends. This is a difficult post. 

I’ve been corrected by God. And now I must share with you what happened and why. As you know I’ve been on fire about kicking the enemy’s butt. And I have learned a lot about the spirit realm in which we contend and I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned in the last year. However, this morning I spent three hours with God and He clearly corrected me about taking this path. 

Let me explain. Several weeks ago I receive an email from one of the women who attended the Open Heavens conference with me last October. The email was written by Bob Hartley who was a prophetic speaker at the conference. So, this morning (Tuesday, January 28, 2014) I was up before 6:00 a.m. to spend time with my Papa and I was prompted to pick this email up (I have a printed copy in my Bible) and read it again. Every time I read these six pages of text I’m completely wrecked (in a good way) in the spirit. 

Today was no exception. But what I read today, corrected my spirit, and humbled me. I’m going to share a specific part of this email so you can understand the course of action I’m about to take: 

Bob writes: 

• The Lord said to all of us (His children) in a very kind but very firm tone, "Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it! Stop spreading this misery, this evil humidity that you have been spewing out that settles upon the mountains. If you cannot speak out of life, do not speak out of death. Look again from a better view, from My perspective. You are to get above the clouds. To fear Me is to see what I see."

• "It is harming, confusing and wounding My people...it puts My cities and nations under a dark cloud. It is speaking out of your own wounds...or your warfare, or your weariness, or your sense of rejection, or your isolation, or your disappointments, or your despair. I am bringing a healing model and restoring My joy to all those who have suffered pain in this life, and it is beautiful.

• "Let Me tell you how to fight with hope and love." (At this point He laughed and lightened the mood.) "Ask Me this, 'What would it be like if My servants simply focused on hope and love until the very end? What kinds of amazing solutions would I bring into this world?'"

• The Lord said, "Let's fight against this enemy together! I do not want both sweet and bitter waters to proceed from the same source. I do want to go with you! But follow Me with joy, love, hope, and adventure in your hearts. Band together and reveal to all 'The God of the Fifth Scene' and call them into the Hope Reformation...the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." (See James 3:11; Daniel 11:32.) 

Gulp. 

Immediately my spirit was chinked. God said to me, Lynn, “Stop it! I don’t want you or the House of SUM to focus on my enemy. Lynn, what would it be like if my servants simply focused on hope and love until the very end?” 

My friends, I write with tears in my eyes. I want to be the Hope-Restorer that helps my Father bring amazing solutions into our world. I want to be His child that bands together with others in the House of SUM to reveal to all, the God of the Fifth Scene (a scene of God high and lifted up of absolute light, power, love and hope) and to be strong… and to do exploits (astonishing adventures in His Kingdom). 

So my friends, I may disappoint you in that I am not going to write about spiritual warfare and bring any kind of recognition to the very real evil spirits of this world. God affirmed to me that yes, we do battle in these realms but what we need to know is two things. One, we battle FROM victory and not FOR victory. And two, we have already won because we have been equipped will all we need to win against every enemy, in every circumstance, every day. 

God reminded me that when I faced a very real demon who came into my room one night that I won that battle. In spite of the fact that I wasn’t mature in Christ. I barely knew anything about the spirit realm and all I had was my faith and scripture (2 Timothy 1:7) You can read that story here

After my three hours with God this morning where I cried, sang, spoke in tongues, prayed… wept in repentance…. I came home from my walk-n-pray and immediately called Dineen. We talked, marveled, reasoned and laughed as we spoke. We are absolutely certain about this change and that in this House, the House of SUM, we won’t ignore evil but we will teach and focus on what defeats evil every time. The joy, love, hope, and adventure of God. Worship of Him and His powerful Son and the wisdom of His voice, the Holy Spirit. We can and will write forever about these aspects of our Great King and never run out of words that prepare us and grow us and words that adore Him. 

My friends, you are reading this on Friday morning. And as you read this Dineen and I are going into day three of a four day Prophetic conference. We are expecting God to show up and lead us into these exploits. We don’t have a clue about most of what God is doing. We only have a heart full of love and a determined devotion to follow God through whatever door He opens. So, on Monday I hope to have heard God about where we are going next here at SUM. Today I don’t know but I’m excited because I know it will be the best, mind-blowing, heart-filled, adventure yet. 

Will you today do two things for me? Forgive me if you are disappointed. And today, ask God to reveal to you how you are to join this community to become Hope-Restorers and bring God’s joy, hope, love and adventure to our homes, our marriages, our cities, our nations, to the world. Share with me what that looks like for you. I really want to know. 

 

CONVERSATION:

So, what do you think about all this? Did God move your spirit? And what does it look like to you? 

IMG_1502[1]Dineen and I love you so much… SO, SO much. Forever and ever… eternally. In the name of Jesus.

*****

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.


I Would Sign Up Again - Unequally Yoked

Hello SUMites, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For 63 years….. 

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

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

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

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

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

Now that is the love of our Father. And I’m convinced we will truly see that our challenging marriage is singularly, a divine assignment with generational ramifications, for not only us but our entire family and more people than we know. 

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

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

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Weekend Worship — Fish and Loaves

NotAloneImage6My friends, here I am again, most likely on the road again as you read this, taking Lynn back to the airport and then heading home. I'm sure my mind, spirit and heart are full and overflowing from the Open Heavens conference, and I look forward to sharing details! But for now I want to share what I'm learning in stunning clarity.

Here's another graphic we've created so if you would kindly repin or share however you feel led. And thank you again for your prayers and support for Lynn and I, our new book, this ministry and especially for each other! The SUMite community is a beautiful representation of how Jesus wanted the church to function for His name and glory.

You know, we talk easily about God's faithfulness and we believe it. But lately, I'm am stunned by it. Yes, I use that word twice in a row (a writing no-no), because there just isn't another word that fits right now.

I'm stunned. (Call the word police. I'm a gonner.)

With the smallest step of faithfulness on our part, God rushes in with His all-out and HUGE faithfulness. I struggle to comprehend it at times, because it is SO generous and so BIG.

He takes our small offerings of obedience, our prayers and even our dreams, and, like the fish and loaves Jesus used to feed the multitudes, He expands and multiplies them. He doesn't do this out of duty either. He does it out of His desire to delight us! To show us who He is in ALL His glory.

So, take a moment and let that sink in. Believe that your obedience is noticed and will be rewarded. Believe that your prayers have shot directly into our Savior's heart and He is moving as your intercessor right now. Believe that Abba is preparing and polishing your dreams so He can hand them back to you like sparkling jewels.

He's that good. He's that vast. He's that able.

I love you, my friends!
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.


God's Not Done with Us

19380103_sOn my trip home from Indianapolis, I sat next to an older couple on the plane. I could tell they'd been together for years in the way they worked together to figure out her pills. I offered my set of eyes, glad to help them choose the right one.

As we settle into our flight, I noticed his hand reach for hers. She rubbed his, then they continued to hold hands and settled into a nap.

My friends, as I sat next to them I was struck at the simplicity and sweet familiarity of their relationship. And I felt the strong affirmation of what we are working and striving toward here at S.U.M.

The long view. The big picture. And are we willing to walk the journey to get there?

I find so often our willingness hinges on whether or not we truly believe the truth of Romans 8:28 and if we are willing to trust God to be THAT GOOD in all areas of our lives.

I know we've talked about sacrifice here many times and I am walking this path right now in my own marriage. But I am discovering that as I let go of and "sacrifice" control of my needs, this releases an abundance of God's blessings like I have not experienced before. I’m learning to stop worrying about my provision and choose to trust God. I have chosen to walk this path as far as God wants me too. And I am astounded by the little things God has set in my path to provide for my needs.

And the people He has set in my path to bring them.

I shared last week that while I was in Indianapolis I had the amazing blessing of spending an hour with a fellow SUMite. I'd asked God before this conference for lots of divine appointments and He didn't disappoint. But this one blessed me so much—to sit with a sister in Jesus and share our hearts. And to discover again how similar our mismatched paths are and though we both are walking through some intense trials, we could rejoice and sit in awe of what God is doing through it all.

This is the sacrifice God calls to. To give our hearts—to Him. To relinquish control of our lives—to Him. To release the salvation of our spouse—to Him. To entrust our children—to Him.

We strain at the perceived enormity of our undertaking. We cry out at times at the seeming unfairness of what Abba asks. We yearn for deeper understanding. And there stands Jesus with His flesh and His blood poured out on our behalf, asking if we will truly taste and see that He. Is. Good.

My friends, we walk in the profound presence of God's kingdom in and around us. What we see with our human eyes and hearts is not the full picture. Will you trust Him with yours? Will you take a step of faith to the edge and ask Abba for all He has for you? Will you choose to stand even in that perceived chaos with the expectation that God will move mountains, oceans, hearts and feet on your behalf no matter how long it may take?

We stand at a pivotal time. God is moving people into places to carry and speak His truth in stunning unity. I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. Every person we meet and every place we go is an opportunity to either receive or share God's kingdom.

Time is short but God is long in His love. Join Him, my precious friends. Ask the Holy Spirit to put a hunger in you for more of Him. Ask for His presence daily and bask in it.

I am overwhelmed and stand in awe of His goodness. He has shown me that He hasn't forgotten me, nor is He through with me. Far from it actually. And I am so thankful because even though His work in me may pinch at times, I KNOW the outcome will be good and I will be more like Jesus on the other side. And I will be closer to Him—the lover of my soul and best friend of all time.

And this is true for you, dear ones. Abba hasn't forgotten you and He is far from through with you. Taste Him deeply and see just how good He truly is.

Love you so very much!
Dineen

Image credit: obencem / 123RF Stock Photo

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part Three

NehemiahWall3SUMites, welcome to part three and the conclusion to this series. Again, I am so blown away by what God is speaking to us and by you, this amazing community! You have prayed for each other and given such precious words of encouragement to those in need. That is what the SUMite Nation is about and after all this rebuilding I do believe that is what we are in a way, an online nation. We are completely and totally God’s people here.

If you didn’t read parts ONE and TWO, please take a moment and read those first. That way you get the full picture. I can’t wait to see and hear about what God shows you, my dear friends. Please leave comments and reports, prayer requests and testimonies! Testimonies are faith builders. Even if you think it’s something small that you see God has done in you, your life, or your marriage as a result of these prayers, please share it. They are all gems to behold and share to glorify God. Now on the part three.

“Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, But when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors. — Nehemiah 9:27

(Let me make a special note here that the Hebrew word for compassion here originates from the same word for "womb." Then Nehemiah speaks of deliverers, which has the meaning of salvation and victory. God's delivery is likened to new birth! And that is what I am sensing is coming, a time of new birth and rebirth for so many.)

Oh Lord, we are humbled and overjoyed at Your good intentions and love for us! We love You so much! Your great compassion releases the power of Your hand and brings miracles, signs and wonders. Thank you, Lord Jesus! You paved the way for all of this with Your great compassion. Your death and resurrection brought the greatest miracle of all—SALVATION—and it continues beyond the cross, beyond us and to eternity! It is constant and finished!

Then the two choirs took their stand in the house of God. So did I and half of the officials with me; — Nehemiah 12:40

and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar. — Nehemiah 12:43

Oh Lord, such promises are ahead for us! Thank you, Lord! Thank you! Lord, forgive our unbelief and help us BELIEVE! Then let our joy be heard from afar as we rejoice in how You have brought us and our families to victory! Holy Spirit, help us to sing songs of praises to our King. Fill our children with Your joy and help us show them how to worship You, Abba! Let our voices and praises be a sweet aroma to King Jesus and what He has done for us!

What a glorious day and time to come, my friends! Ask, pray, and believe! God's favor and heart are for us. Now I want to pray for each of you:

Abba, I pray for a fresh anointing over every SUMite. I pray that You will release new gifts, new provision, new strength and prosperity over every single one of them. Lord, reveal and destroy every lie that keeps them from believing how much You love them and that You have given them every good gift. Destroy the lies that tell them they aren't worthy to serve You and replace it with the truth that they are Your precious sons and daughters who You have called specifically to You for such a time as this.

Destroy the lie that tells them their situation is hopeless and won't ever change and replace it with great hope and expectation in Jesus that is sprung from the very heart and purpose and miracle of His life, death and resurrection, because the power that did this now resides in us through Your Holy Spirit. And it is COMPLETE!

Holy Spirit, give each of my dear sisters and brothers in Christ clear discernment and recognition of Your voice. In the name of Jesus Christ, I break off anything over them that would block or hinder them from hearing Your voice. In the name of Jesus, I break the chains of addiction, of distraction, of deception and of fear. Chains are falling off and crumbling to the ground—we declare this in Your mighty and powerful name, King Jesus!

King Jesus, in Your name I pray against any and all plans the enemy has set up against each of them and this SUMite nation. Guard over us with Your warring angels. Surround us as we build and rebuild our lives, our marriages, and our families with our prayers, our faith and our love. I speak new levels of faith and strength and belief into every single one of us! We are Yours and You are ours!

Oh Abba, thank You, thank You, thank You. You are so good, so faithful, so full of love and compassion. We praise You now for all You are doing in our lives. We wait expectantly for You. In Jesus' mighty and holy name, amen!

My precious sisters and brothers in Jesus, I love you with the passion of Christ and consider it one of the greatest privileges and honors of my life to be on this journey with you. If there is something that you are specifically struggling with—to believe in, to let go of, to step out in faith—leave a comment. Let's continue to rally around each other and pray in our strength and power as a community who loves and worships God. If you are uncomfortable sharing on this forum, send an email to me directly at dineen@mismatchedandthriving.com.

And remember this: Each step of obedience brings an increase of faith. Our God's favor is upon us and He is fighting for us! Believe it!

Believing and praying with and for you!
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.


Weekend Worship — It Starts With a Willing Heart

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “ Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep." — John 21:15-17

933344_i_love_youI know I talked about this passage a while back, maybe even a couple years ago, but the depth of this interchange has deepened even more for me recently. Just to review, the first two times that Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, Jesus uses the Greek form agapao, which is a sacrificial love. And each time Peter replies with the Greek form, phileo, which is a brotherly love. The third and final time that Jesus asks this question, He switches to phileo, and again Peter replies with the same form.

I believe Jesus was asking Peter if he was ready to be sold out for Him, to love Jesus before anything else and to step fully into a life of faith and belief, to tend lambs and shepherd sheep. Jesus was speaking of people, of course. He was asking Peter to live his life sharing Jesus and helping others to know who the Great Shepherd really was.

Yet we see Peter hold back. I can only imagine how fear held him. How he may have judged himself a failure and untrustworthy based upon how he denied knowing Jesus three times, as Jesus had predicted.

What I also love about this passage is Jesus' patience and love for Peter. I believe Jesus switched to Peter's use of phileo to meet Peter right where he was. As if to say, "Okay, if that's what you feel you are capable of, let's start right there."

Such grace, such acceptance, such love.

I love Peter's story because it's my own. For a long time my own fear and feelings of insignificance kept me from saying a full yes to living my life for Jesus. I would get close but ultimately I clung to the last tendrils of self perceived control of my life. I was afraid of what Jesus would ask me to do. And afraid of how I would be perceived by those around me.

We know that we are God's children and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). The thing is, it's not just about being related to Jesus but having a relationship with Him. And He is so very trustworthy. He is patient and brings us along on this journey exactly like the master potter that coaxes and gently forms clay on a wheel to take form and purpose. And if you've ever done this, you know how the slightest pressure brings form, yet too much causes the piece to go out of balance and the potter must either attempt to correct the piece quickly or start over.

My friends, don't lose patience with yourself in this process. Jesus will bring you along exactly as He knows is best for you. Take another look at Peter. By the time we delve into the later chapters of Acts, he is moving and walking in the Spirit and by the time he wrote his letters he is completely sold out for Jesus.

Sometimes you may feel like you're doing everything you should yet inside, everything feels wrong. I've found those are the times that Jesus is cleaning the house—our heart. I discovered the hard way it's easier to work with Him by recognizing the issues He's dredging up, acknowledging them, then asking for forgiveness, healing, release, or for Him to change this area of your heart and life.

Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2), so it’s a part of our faith journey to grow and yield, to form and change to be more like our Creator. And when we step fully into this process with trust, we are transformed.

Since my encounter with God at Bethel Church last October, my own faith journey has exploded and I know there is no way possible I could have done any of it on my own. I never even imagined the possibilities of where God would take me when I asked for more. I was tired of feeling like an ineffective Christian and tired of myself. I knew there had to be more to this faith journey, and I wanted more!

And it is an amazing journey full of fun and delight! Yes, there are times that I quake in my boots when God calls me to stop and talk to a complete stranger, which winds up being either a time to encourage, share Jesus, or pray with them. But I always walk away awestruck and so full of God's love, because I am walking in the Spirit.

There is no better place to be, my friends! This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said He came to not only give us life but give it abundantly. This is what He wants for you too. And the absolutely and only requirement is to have a willing heart. Doesn’t matter where you are coming from, because Jesus is more interested in where He wants to take you.

When the Holy Spirit gives you that nudge, just say yes, then do what He asks. That's it. The results and outcome are not up to you. He already has that covered, just like He did for Peter.

Trust Jesus and take a step of faith. As you do this more, you will find that your fear will turn into anticipation as you begin to look for your next divine appointment. You won’t want to miss a single one—that’s my prayer now, “Lord, don’t let me miss a divine appointment.”

My precious SUMites, I want you to fully experience this kind of life and I am asking Jesus to meet each of you right where you are. Share in the comments how Jesus is meeting you and what He’s asking you to do. Now is the time to stand strong in prayer over each other because God is calling us up as a community to be part of His Great Harvest. I don’t want any of you to miss out on a single bit of it!

Love you with the passion of Jesus in my heart! 

Dineen

And now for some 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.


Weekend Worship — Lay Me Down!

My precious Sumites, I love this song by Chris Tomlin because it's about the surrendered life and the JOY of living like we belong to Jesus. Because we do! We are His and He is ours. This is also what Scripture means when it says, "the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Neh. 8:10.)

When we walk in this place of surrender and obedience, we know freedom, joy and peace. To the world it makes no sense, but we know better, don't we? And oh, my spirit longs to share this with everyone! We want everyone to know our amazing healer and comforter, Jesus. Especially in light of the horrible events this past week.

We have the Holy Spirit and God is calling us to share Him! Have an amazing weekend, my dear sisters and brothers in Jesus. May His presence fill and rest upon you, may His blessings rain down over you and your family and may His strength, courage, love, power and authority reign supreme in your life!

We adore You, Jesus! Amen!

Love you so much, my friends!
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.


A Step of Faith

IStock_000008478972XSmallMy precious friends, God has put a fire in my heart to speak to you about taking a step of faith. There is something God is calling many of us to do—something unique to our place and time and season—and He’s given you a promise that goes with this. And maybe you’ve prayed and waited for a long time for this promise but nothing is happening.

What did God call you to do first? What was His call to action? Because as we move forward in this faith journey (and we must always be maturing), our faith in action becomes more crucial to our journey forward. In other words, we will have to take a believing step of faith forward to activate the promise we’ve been given.

Let me explain this with the story of Israel crossing the Jordan in Joshua 3. First let’s set the stage with the Israelites and the Red Sea. At this point the Israelites are very “young” in their faith walk with God. They’re just getting the lay of the land, so to speak and yes, pun intended. They witness an entire ocean part before their eyes by the hand of God. This is their point of reference as they approach the Jordan, which is at its fullest at this time of the year, in this season of harvest. The Jordan is overflowing. It’s a time to claim new territory.

Amidst this picture, Joshua relays God’s instructions to the Israelites:

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap. — Joshua 3:11-13

The Jordan is the next step (literally and figuratively) in the Israelites faith journey. This time God is not going to move the waters first. He’s calling the priests and all the Israelites to take a step of faith first—to step into the water before God moves it. God has already proven He is capable of such a feat with the feet (oh, I just couldn’t resist that one!). Now, He wants to see the Israelites grow in their faith and belief in Him—to believe God—and trust Him to do what He said He would do.

So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. — Joshua 3:14-17

The priests were instructed to step first, not to wait for the waters to part. They had to take a step of faith. Any by doing so, the waters moved, just as God said they would. But God did even more with their step of faith:

  1. They crossed on dry ground. God could have left the ground wet, which most likely would have meant the priests feet would have sunk into the mud, especially under the weight of the ark of the covenant. God made a way for the priests that was complete to God’s vision of their purpose and journey. God does this for us as well. When He calls us to a direction, He prepares the way. That doesn’t mean it will be easy but with God, we will not fail.
  2. They stood in the middle, not the edge. The priests not only stood in the middle, they stood firm and in place with the ark of the covenant on their shoulders. This is the promise of God’s presence in their lives and a future with Him. The way had been prepared for them, now they prepared the way for rest of the Israelites. Think of your home as that parted river and God is asking you to stand firm with His presence in and upon you. You bear the promise for your future and the future of all who will pass with you.
  3. Israel crossed on the same dry ground. The entire nation of Israel passed through under the protection of the priests’ presence. This is part of our sanctification of our family through our faith (remember 1 Cor 7:14). We bring our spouse, our children—all those we claim under the umbrella of our home and faith—over the dry ground to the other side. This is how our unbelieving spouses and loved ones are blessed through us and by our prayers for them. As we stand firm in whatever God has called us to do, we bring those we are praying for with us.
  4. They crossed opposite Jericho with Adam a great distance away. I can’t help but wonder if Adam is mentioned as a reminder of where they came from. Where we come from. Not as a threat but to see our past sins as far away and show us how far we have come. God had them cross in the exact place and position for their next challenge and step in the promise. Each step of faith builds upon the last and prepares for the next. Jericho would be there next victory. They didn’t know this but God did.

My friends, I pray I’ve adequately conveyed this amazing truth. Whatever it is that God has told you, given you do to, or shown you, move forward and believe God! Do not hesitate or debate, because until you take a step of faith, the promise remains a mere thought.

If God is calling you to believe Him and trust Him more, do it. Anytime doubt enters your mind, boot it out and affirm the word that God has given you. Claim it as your truth and that it is done! If God is calling you to an action, do it! Even if it scary and uncomfortable, move forward with this action (just like the Priests taking that first step into the raging waters) and the promise given will be activated.

And if God is calling you to simply stand, then stand and know that your promise is on the way. God completes everything He sets in motion but He wants us to be a part of it. He will wait on us to make the first move. This is how we claim and hold new territory in our lives.

So move! Be bold! Be courageous! God never expects us to do these things on our own. He is standing right there with us through the entire journey preparing the way, strengthening us for the weight we are called to carry, entrusting us with the promise of those we bring along the way, and guarding over our path until the completion.

My friends, this message is as much for me as it is for you. In the past my fear of the unknown has kept me planted in comfortable places but at a price. We miss out on the wild adventure of living life with God in the unexpected when we do that. I'm learning to step out in faith more and more, and each time I do, God is right there showing me or doing something new in my life.

God wants this for you too! So take that step of faith, precious one. If you're not sure what this step is, ask Him. God is waiting and ready to show you!

Love you fiercely in Jesus!
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.


Weary of the Battle?

I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle—victorious.
— Vince Lombardi

6a00d83451ee9f69e2017ee7581a53970d-320wiMy friends, today I want to speak to those of you who are in the thick of battle and are tired. I've received several emails to this effect and I'm carrying each of you close to my heart right now, like a friend cheering you on from the sidelines.

You're tired—tired of the battle, the fight—tired of praying and seeing nothing change. Are you in this place, my precious friend?

What if I told you the battle is always fiercest right before the end? What if I told you your victory is just around that last corner that you can't quite see yet?

Would you keep fighting? Would you keep praying? Would you stand firm?

This weekend I took a walk with my husband and at one point, I broke into a light jog to cross a wide street. I don't normally jog but I've always wanted to, imagining how free I'd feel. Past attempts have left me too winded or with a hurt foot or knee, but I've been walking much more than I have in the past and as I reached the other side of the street, I didn't want to stop. I wanted to keep going because I caught a glimpse of what I'd imagined. My husband, who was born athletic, joined me and encouraged me to keep going. He pointed out a stop sign at the end of the street and told me to make that my goal.

So I did. I kept my eye on that red sign. My knees started to protest so I adjusted my stance. My hips began to “whine” ever so slightly and reminded me that the word on that sign was stop. I kept pushing through the burn because I wanted the victory. I knew if I stopped before that marker I would wonder if I could have made it had I pushed just a little farther, hung on just a little longer.

I prayed for strength. Just a few more steps and I was there! Victory was mine! I don't know if this means I’m now a jogger but in this one moment, I was. Even though my body felt tired, I felt strengthened in my heart and spirit.

We've talked about many of the enemy's tactics, but there's one that hardest to see at times. He's a master plotter and knows when all else fails, he still has one area that he can attack.

That, my friends, is at the end of the battle when the fight is fiercest and our prayers take more strength than we think we have. Evil makes its assault when we are on the verge of a breakthrough or on the precipice of taking new territory.

The enemy turns up the heat just enough to make us think we are losing when we are about to have our victory. When you reach that point when you think you can't win, that's the enemy whispering defeat into your heart. When you think your spouse, your loved one, your life, even your very self is a lost cause, that is the enemy's panicked attempt to make you back off because he's about to lose.

Sometimes I imagine Jesus and the heavenly realms cheering us to that finish line only to watch us stop a mere few feet away, because we think we've lost. We buy into what we see and not what we know to be true.

Our victories come in moments that reveal a change not only in the person or situation we are praying over but also in ourselves. We too are changed as we step into new freedom and territory, stronger that just a few steps before and closer to God. Each and every step is a victory!

But it's not easy. The question is, will we struggle, fight, stand and persevere through those last few steps when the enemy is bent on convincing us to give up?

Victory never looks like what we expect and seems to always exceed our expectations when it does come. Sometimes it arrives through times of staying put right where we are or in the moments when God says let go so He can take complete control. What we may perceive to be failure may simply be the final set-up for a breakthrough.

My friends, please understand I am not tell you what to do. I'm telling you to do what God has told you to do. What did He speak to your heart when the battle began? What are the promises He gave you along the way? What is He telling you right now?

As I wrote this post, God put it upon my heart to share a battle I’m in right now. It may seem trivial, but even the smallest battles have a purpose, a desired result to add to the big picture of God’s Kingdom.

For the last year or so our financial picture has become more and more difficult. In January when I prayed for my husband, God gave me the word, “Prosperity.” I confess I struggled with it, wondering how God could prosper us when my husband is still walking his own path. Before I could even speak this doubt to God, He spoke so clearly, “I bless him through you.”

This week we will have to sell my car—my 2010 Honda CRV. I waited at least fifteen years to own one of these. I love my car, but it’s just a car. The enemy, however, wants to make me resentful, which I could easily indulge in because I’m bearing the brunt of the situation at the moment, and he’s trying to make me doubt what I heard from God. But I wrote it in my journal. I reread it anytime the enemy tries his tactics, because I KNOW what my God said and I BELIEVE HIM!

I know it seems strange that selling my car would be part of God’s plan of prosperity for us, but I trust God and I know Him well enough by now to understand two things: One, I know whatever happens with this will be part of what brings my husband to faith. Every part of our lives can be opportunities to have Kingdom impact on a life and my guy’s soul is more important than a car.

And two, my limited thinking of what all this means only succeeds in putting God in a box. Just because selling my car seems counter to what God has spoken doesn’t mean it is. Remember, His ways are not ours. He sees the big picture, I don’t. Therefore I trust God for the outcome, because I know it will be better than what I would have if I held onto that car.

Whatever God calls us to do, we are guaranteed the victory. Wherever God leads us, we will succeed, overcome, or accomplish whatever that is. Our victory is guaranteed because we are in Christ and we belong to God. That is what we can hold onto and will never have to let go of or give up. The enemy can’t take it away from us either.

Trust God. Believe Him. This is our greatest form of worship.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. — 1 John 5:4

Praying for earthshaking, life-changing faith for each of you!
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.


Day One of a Fasting Community

Fasting banner 2011

I Surrender My Will, Oh Lord

Psalms 119:5  Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes! 

So much in such a short verse. I read it and was so stunned at how directly it spoke to my heart and what I believe is the Father's heart for us ultimately in this journey. 

In my mind, I translate it this way: I want the way that I live my life to reflect true obedience to Your Word.

That really is the prayer of my heart, for myself and for you. 

This surrender is the first step in being prepared for what lies ahead. Begin today to give up your will for the greater will of the One who loves you endlessly. It will open your heart to accept what He wants to reveal to you. 

 

Oh Abba,

How we worship You. We adore You, Holy One. We love You. Oh Father, please forgive us for neglecting You. Please forgive us for not keeping Your statutes. Give us a heart this day, this week, this year and beyond to dwell in and experience real intimacy - true intimacy with You. You are holy. We need You. We love You. We seek Your face, Lord. Not only Your hand, but Your face more than anything. 

You say in Your Word that if we love You, we will keep Your commands. Lord, teach us to love You. Teach us to keep Your commands so that our lives are a reflection of the Psalm that cries out that our ways might be established to keep Your statutes. 

Reveal to us the places where we have become our own god. Reveal to us the areas in our hearts, mind, and lives that we have kept from You because of fear, doubt, pride or shame. Free us of the sin that so easily entangles us and move us to a place of such deep surrender  that we want You far more than our own way. 

Oh Father, let the way that we live our lives reflect true obedience to Your Word. 

We ask it all and we will seek it diligently. We will wait expectantly on You to reveal the hidden things. We are Yours to do with as You will. 

All in Christ's Holy Name.
Amen.

Ro

(Please share with us how you fast is going and what the Lord is revealing to you, Hugs, Rosheeda, Lynn and Dineen.)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


I Cried For You, Sunridge

So, this is a difficult post for me to write. However, I’m following the Lord’s lead as there must be one other person, in addition to me, who needs this word. 

My home church where I have served and worshiped for 12 years is teetering on the precipice of a split. And I am grieved deeply in my spirit over this. The thoughts of people whom I love possibly now hating another person in our church stabs my heart in searing pain. 

Grief has sat heavily on me now for several days as I have prayed and ponder over the people of God. So this morning as I left for an early walk in the frosty wilderness, I was contemplating our church. I was carrying the heartbreak on my soul. 

Geese in DecemberI began walking and noticed the geese feeding in the field. Such beauty. And as I turned to head down a different road, that is when all of it hit me. The full spectrum of grief I’ve been carrying over this split came upon me with such a force that I started to bawl. I full on cried, out loud, while walking by the horse pasture. Big heaving sobs complete with snot bubbles and tears dropping from my cheeks. 

As I cried, I prayed, “O Lord, I am so sorry. I am so sorry this is happening to your people. I am so sorry.” 

I walked a little further, gathering myself down to sniffles and nose wipes and it was at that point, in that moment, I thought of Paul and how he grieved over the people of Israel. And I said to God the same thing Paul said and in that moment and I was genuinely sincere, “Lord, I would die to save the unity of these people.” 

And out of the blue I heard God immediately respond, “Lynn, My Son already died to save their unity.” 

Full on bawling again. 

“O, Lord, I am so sorry. Jesus died for our unity.” At this point, it’s complete blubbering. 

Through my tears God said to me, “Unity in my people is vastly important. It is in this corporate environment that my power is amplified. Miracles, healings, restoration happens. Remember the scripture, where two or more are gather, there I am also? Well, it’s in the united hearts and souls which brings my Kingdom power to earth and hinders the devil. That is why the enemy works so hard to destroy believers who unite to serve Me. 

Then I felt the Lord calm my spirit and speak directly to me again, “Lynn, you keep your eyes on me. You are to stay so intensely focused on me that you can’t be distracted by the dialogs and discontent happening around you.” And God went on, “Lynn, don’t you ever lose perspective that any ministry given to an individual to lead, including a church, has been given by Me. 

“You must hold your own ministry very loosely. There will come a day, possibly even as early as tomorrow that I will demand the surrender of your ministry. This ministry that you started is not your empire. This ministry is and always has been Mine. There will be a day when a younger woman will come along and she will take the reins and you must step away. You may lose the leadership of your ministry through deception or it could even be stolen from you. But, you are not to fight but to depart with all the dignity and honor of which I have bestowed to you.” 

“Lynn, and if you never serve Me again in any public manner, then you MUST KNOW that I AM all you need.” 

“I Am the Great I Am. I will always take care of you.” 

I finished my walk today with understanding and yet still with a broken heart.

However, I am firm in my commitment to hold this ministry in which the Lord allows me to serve with a very lose grip.

And one thing I know that is for certain. Dineen and I WILL ALWAYS BE all about what we are “FOR” in this ministry and not what we are against. And what is it that we are “for” you ask? The two things that matter the most to God. 

We love God.
We love People. 

Thank you for allowing Dineen and I to serve you. We love you more than mere humble words can say. And for those of you who live with unbelieving husbands or wives, a church split is devastating to their salvation. It affirms every lie they been told about church, faith and God. So armor up my friends because the enemy is prowling and the wounded and bleeding are falling everywhere. 

But, we serve THE GREAT I AM. 

So enemy, you are hereby put on notice.......   Expect some serious butt kickin’. 

We are going to step into the realms of the Spiritual battles in January. I hope you plan to be part of it because we are literally going to terrorize the devil. Love you so much, Lynn

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*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Redefining My Marriage

1228973_love_1Many of you know Lynn and I were at the Open Heavens conference at Bethel Church in Redding, CA last week. She and I are still processing much of it and God is still moving and doing things to confirm and move us in this faith journey.

Let me tell you, it’s deep stuff and one part I fee led to share with you today. So bare with me. This post might sting a little. But it’s like that antiseptic on a wound that stings at first but as it helps, the underlying pain goes away and the wound begins to heal.

Are you ready for some shaking up and then some healing?

I’ve shared in our book (chapter 4) God showed me (at a traffic light no less!) that I shouldn’t treat my husband any differently than if he were a believer.

Well, this past week I was convicted of this same principle in my marriage. Here’s my confession. I have treated my marriage as “less than.” I have treated my marriage as if it were defined by our spiritual mismatch. I have seen my marriage as a “yes, but.”

Does that resonate with you?

God is telling me to stop this. He wants me to see my marriage like I would if we were a believing couple. It doesn’t make sense but it does. Just go with me here.

Jesus treated every person and situation He met the same. He didn’t stop and take inventory of where the person or situation stood because He didn’t have to. His truth is universal REGARDLESS of whether a person or situation falls under his authority. Jesus acted according to what He knew to be true (what the Father told Him) and it was often after this that the person or situation then came under His authority.

God made His point that day at the traffic light about treating Mike no differently in his state of unbelief than I would if he were a believer. Now God is telling me to do this very same thing with my marriage.

This is what God showed me. When I see my marriage only through the definition of being spiritually mismatched, I limit God. It’s not my spouse’s unbelief that has limited God’s presence and power in my marriage, it’s my own fear of how my husband might react or what he might think of me, and my doubts.

If you’re like me when I first heard that, it took me a day to process it. It’s a shift in my thinking and perceptions but one I fully intend to obey. I’ve already confessed this to my sweet hubby who promptly smiled and said, “Right! We’re just different.”

Oh, how I love that guy. Is that not a measure of grace right there?

Now here comes your part. If this resonates with you, if you feel God’s tug to do the same (this is not just for me, my friends, and you’ll see why in just a few lines down), then I want you to pray the prayer below and make a new commitment to your marriage. If you need more time to think and process, that’s fine too.

Are you ready?

Re-signedcertficate
If you prayed this prayer, mentally sign your name. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step! Email me at dineen@dineenmiller.com with your name and address so I can mail you a copy of the certificate that you can sign and tuck into your Bible or put in a frame. Lynn and I also ordered some nifty wristbands with the words “I re-sign!” I’ll send you one of those as well.

I will also pray for each one of you by name (include your hubby’s name!) to step into this new way of seeing your marriage, and for God to show you your next step. Lynn has more in store for you later in the week too.

Lynn and I re-signed! How about you?

Praying & believing, 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.


What Should I Do?

1009935_question_con_3Or not do? That’s the flip side of this question. But I’m betting you’re wondering why I’m asking that question. Care to take a walk with me?

The longer we walk with God the more aware we become of the unseen. We no longer accept what’s on the surface out of an understanding that there is more going on than what’s visible or from a place of dissatisfaction because what that surface level has to offer just isn’t enough.

We’re changed by Jesus to want more of God and to be more like Jesus. That is the eternity that God sets in our hearts and is spoken about in Ecclesiastes 3:11.

This eternity is set in all of us. We may run from it but God uses it to bring us to a place of discontent and dissatisfaction so strong at times that we finally see there is nothing big or good enough to fill that place except God.

That’s is how God worked in my life to bring me to Him and now I’m seeing it in my husband. And not so much as seeing but sensing something is unsettled and not right in my husband’s life. He may not sense it but I do.

And that brings me back to the question I’m asking God: What should I do? I want to help my guy, but I also do not want to get in God’s way. I know many of the “he says, she says” books say that men are fixers, but you know what, as wives and mothers, we do the same stuff. We want to get in there and fix things so that our loved ones don’t have to struggle. We even pray for God to “fix it” at times. A lot of times, I dare say.

Thus the flip side of this “what should I do?” question, which is looming right behind it: What should I not do?

Forgive me if I’m dancing you in circles but this is my brain of late. I’m trying to make sense of whatever is going on and figure out what I’m supposed to do, or not do. Pray, yes, I know that’s part of it all, but discerning where my place is in the situation is just as important, I believe.

I want to bring happiness, contentment and peace into my husband’s life. But not at the expense of what God may be doing to secure his eternal lifeline.

This is part of our walk in a mismatched marriage. We need to see conflict and challenges in terms of what God is trying to accomplish in our unbeliever’s life. It’s not an easy place to be especially if our own lives are greatly affected, which I dare say again, they WILL be.

It can be a scary place to be at times. Trust me, I know. I’m living it live and real at the moment. But God is asking me to put that fear in His hands and place my need for security with Him. He’s also asking me to come along side my husband and ask, “what can I do to help you?”

Literally. I’ve placed that question before my husband. I don't think he quite understands why I’m concerned, but my goal is to simply keep the question before him as well as in my heart.

Then, prayerfully, entrust the rest to God.

Praying and believing,
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.


Shades of Grey and a Hound from Hell

So, ahem.. Right…. 

I have a story to tell and I’m about to be very real. It’s a risk to share what I’m about to tell but, I absolutely know there are so many of you who will understand. I know sharing my little escapade will keep you from tripping up like I did, and I pray you will still love me in spite of my failures. 

We are wrapping up our spiritual warfare series. And I know every time we write about warfare, both Dineen and I experience it first-hand. However, I also know we bring into the light the knowledge to defeat the devil and his minions. And that thrills me to the core. 

The story I want to tell is strange and I hope I do a good job in the telling. I also think it’s funny in that during this series God sent a weed to Dineen to help teach her some truths. Well, you know what God sent me? 

Fencspitbull
Nice doggy....


A pitbull.  

Have mercy. 

As I was relaying this story to Dineen last week she chuckled and said, “Well that fits your personality.” 

Humph… 

We both laughed because she is right. Dineen only needed a tiny, little, ornery, weed and me…. Yep a terrifying encounter with the ugliest, scariest brown and gray pitbull. 

Not kidding!!! 

Even worse, now I have to own up and share with you what led up to this happenstance. Through a series of events, too long to lie out here, I came to have in my possession a book that is of a certain title, that may remain Grey. Of which just further cements this story in that I’m about to discuss the gray areas of sin that we find ourselves entangled and the trash that can smell in our lives. This book has been on all the news stories and actually been the obsession of millions of American women in the last several months. 

Please don’t judge me. 

Let’s just say I felt like this book was a grey area for me until I actually started to read it. I didn’t perceive it as something forbidden in my mind. After all, I’m a married woman. I’ve likely read something like this in my prodigal wonderings. And, may I say, I’m not judging anyone because I know there are women reading this right now who have also read this book. 

For me, however, in the first several chapters I knew this was going to head in a contrary direction. The changes in my thought life were evident. I put the book down. Went to bed. 

Many of you know that I rise early to read my Bible, pray and then head out on an hour long walk-n-pray. I walk in an area outside of our town where there are farm animals, wild animals and all sorts of fantastic critters that God sends along my way to delight my morning. After rising the next day and thinking about this trashy book and how it has disrupted my thought life, I headed out on my walk. 

Now I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. I’ve been barked at by every kind of dog, recently stared down by a coyote and have almost stepped on a snake…. twice. So now I take no chances and carry with me a four foot PVC pipe and I clip on to my belt a can of dog repellant spray although I hope I never have to use them. 

On this fine morning, I began walking up a steep incline on a dirt road. My breathing intensified at my brisk pace. I’ve walked this road many times without incident. However on this morning, all hell was about to break loose. Literally. 

It’s common that every property in this area has a large dog or dogs. They will run to the fence when I walk by, bark, sniff and then watch me walk on. On this day I looked to my left and there standing behind a fence was this brown –gray pitbull dog. Let me tell you I get nervous about dogs. Mainly dogs that are loose as my poor Peanut has been to the hospital several times from his unfortunate encounters with dogs on the loose. 

Anyhoo, this dog is BEHIND the fence. Thank you Jesus. Whew! 

I walk on. However, this is where things start to get interesting. I’m watching this dog, which has now started to bark in my direction. He remains behind the fence but is becoming excitable. Now the weird part in this entire encounter is that it took only minutes. 

It felt like hours. 

And God choose that moment to start talking to me. What???? 

Yep, I will try to recall exactly our exchange but as you might guess, I was a little stressed. 

Watching the dog, he ran away from the fence that separated him and me and I continued walking up the dirt road. But, I watched the dog run to an adjacent horse paddock and with fascination and sheer dread, I watched this dog skinny under a hole in this enclosure. You couldn’t see this hole and I bet even the dog’s owners didn’t know it was there. 

God spoke to me in that moment of concern, “Lynn, do you see that dog? He found a chink in the armor. He found a tiny little spot under this chain-link fence to wiggle through.” 

All I could muster was, “O Lord.” 

As I was so thankful that the beast hadn’t broken through the first fence to get to me and now he was stuck in this hose enclosure, which by the way the horses were as terrified as I was. Whew! I’m still safe. But in two seconds the scoundrel ran across the enclosure and to my utter astonishment on the opposite side was another tiny hole under the fence. That round, large and now ferociously barking dog managed to skinny himself under that barrier as well. 

 “Oh crap.” 

The dog rounded the corner of the fence and was coming directly at me. There remained one last perimeter fence between me and the mutt. So far the first fence stopped him, but he ran to where he knew there was a break in the horse enclosure then skinnied under and ran to the next barrier, skinnied under that one as well. This dog is now truly working hard to get to me. 

As he approached the last barrier I was a little nervous but because this was the main fence separating the property from the road, I wasn’t yet in full panic in that’s where most dogs out in this area are contained. I do know my heart was pounding likely from the brisk walking as my pace hastened to get past this dog and also from the increase in my blood pressure watching him break through barrier after barrier. 

Now, please don’t be mad but this story is already over 1,100 words. I’ve likely lost a lot of you. If you made it this far, my friends, thank you. But I’ve got at least another 1,000 words to go. So on Friday, come back because the scariest part, the most amazing part and the way God moved in all of this is ABSOLUTELY worth returning for. 

And I will add my heart is pounding now just thinking about it again. 

It’s the gray areas, the trash we chew on, that can often do the most unexpected damage. Boy howdy, do I have a lot to say about all that. And gray areas are also extra difficult to navigate when you are in a spiritual mismatch because something might not be right for you but your spouse has no problem with it. Ahhhhh, now that’s worth talking about. See you Friday my friends. 

Now walk out into your week with your offensive weapon. Do you know what that is and how to use it in everyday living? Looking forward to some great discussion today. Hugs, Lynn 

P.S. Any of you who own pitbulls, none were harmed in the telling of this story. *grin* 

*****

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 Next Generation: Building a Titus 2 Legacy

MentorThis past weekend my church held a “Meet the Author” event. I confess I was concerned about it being a bit too much “about me” but instead it turned into a very special opportunity for me to share about our ministry here at S.U.M.

These dear women at my church, who I am privileged to call friends, are now praying for us here, and there are some pretty fierce prayer warriors in this group!

During the Q&A time, I noticed one table in particular because there sat a group of young women ranging in age from late teens to early twenties. I think they’d migrated together to avoid us “older” ladies.

As I looked at them, it was as if God spoke to my heart, “This is a moment not to be missed.”

At the risk of sounding even older than I am (I’m not old, really...) I did as God lead me and spoke to these precious and young hearts because one, I wanted to try to save them from the heartache of a mismatched marriage. And two, God has been clear with me to teach His Word.

God's Word says not to be yoked with unbelievers. We all know that here at S.U.M., but at the age of these young women, I didn’t know this.

I shared with them that God didn’t put this in His Word to dictate to us. He’s not out to strike them with lightning if they date an unbeliever. He put this precept in the Bible to guide and protect us. Just like we as parents want to protect our children from pain, so does God.

There is a generation of single women coming up behind us that need to know what it means to be spiritually mismatched. They need to know what God’s Word has to say about it. They need to understand that to tempt such a path is to “play” with potential pain and unhappiness that God doesn’t desire for their lives.

Many of you have expressed concerns over this younger generation. I think God is moving not only to bring awareness to this ministry to help those of us in mismatched marriages, but also to help our daughters and sisters, our sons and brothers to understand God has a plan for them. For their future.

One young woman came up to me afterwards and shared her heart with me. I see this fear in these young women (as I saw it in my oldest daughter) that they will never find someone to love them. We need to let them know that’s not true. I was able to give her the reassurance that God had a man in mind for her (and I do believe this because I’ve seen how God worked this out in my daughter’s life) and that she needed to trust God and wait for His timing.

How do we help young women (and men) to entrust their hearts to God? Many of us stand in a place to be mentors. We even have biblical reference to this in Titus 2:3-5, a model of mentorship between the older to the younger.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. — Titus 2:3-5

On the surface, this Scripture selection can seem a bit, well, old-fashioned, but based upon what we know about Paul, what his goals were (to spread the Gospel) and customs of the time, we can apply this model today and appreciate its wisdom.

Learning from the Past
As I studied these Scriptures I thought of the mentors I’ve been blessed with over the years—precious women who have shared their wisdom and knowledge with me and fed into my life with their own faith and experiences. I treasure those times sitting with our Bibles open and cups of coffee as we shared from our hearts and studied God’s Word.

Lending into the Present
As I learned from my mentors, I’ve been able to apply these lessons to my own growth and faith journey and apply the wisdom and knowledge they shared to my own life. Then as I’ve grown in age and faith, God has used me to do the same in the lives of other women and especially my own daughters. What a blessing and reward to see a younger woman bloom and grow in her faith because God used us in such a crucial way to help another grow closer to Him.

Launching into the Future
Even though my daughters are grown, I still play the role of mentor in their lives. And in this model they too will play the role of mentors to other women as they grow in their own faith and to their own daughters down the road. This is a precious legacy we carry from those who came before us to model in our own lives and to share with those to come after us.

Think about those who have mentored you and write three of their names in the spaces on the left. Then think and pray about three other women (include your daughters!) you can mentor and write their names in the spaces on the right. This is what I call The Titus 2 Legacy.

Titus2Graphic

If you feel you are in need of a mentor, start praying for one. If you are feeling led to be a mentor, pray about that too. Maybe you see yourself in both positions, which is the best place to be! I can think of no better way to live out the truth and cement it in our own lives than to share it with others.

Praying and believing,
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 Place of Influence (Part 2): What does that look like?

IStock_000015200654XSmallLast week I wrote about our place of influence in our marriage. How do we get there and what does it look like? Let’s start where I ended last week.

1. Pray for wisdom and guidance. It starts right here. Without God’s wisdom and guidance, none of this is possible. It’s like groping in the dark for a light switch. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). First and foremost, we need to be cultivating a relationship with God. If you do just this one thing, the rest of the steps below will fall into place.

2. Pray for change in you. As I shared last week, we are often the heart of our families. That means we are also a catalyst for change. Ask God to help you be the wife and mother HE (not your husband or family) needs you to be. This means you’re asking God to use you to be this person of influence and change in the lives of your husband and children. This means asking God to help you see your husband as a blessing, not a burden. We are not martyrs in our own homes, but we can be missionaries.

3. Pray for your husband. This is most likely your highest calling. Pray for his protection, for his mind and heart to know and accept Jesus, and pray for him as the leader of your family. He may not be the spiritual leader of your family right now, but he is still the leader of you and your family in general. Allow him to lead! This is where you will find your greatest calling and challenge as a wife—to stand by your husband, to affirm him as a man, as a husband, as a father. In doing this we serve him and we serve God. The amazing thing is, when we take this place, we discover what God truly means by, “and the two will become one.” This is a beautiful place of partnership where we work together as a team, as a “we” and not two “I”s working against each other. Our greatest gift to our husband is to help him reach his God-given potential, even in the midst of his unbelief or lagging faith. Remember, God is working there too.

4. Pray for your children. This is your legacy. This is your influence on future generations. This is your mark on eternity. As I said before, we often set the tone and pattern in our family. Nothing has been more rewarding than to see my oldest daughter choose a relationship with a godly man and desire to have a marriage based upon God’s design. Even in their engagement I see these two taking their God-given and ordained places in their relationship. It is truly a thing of beauty. All the years that I’ve poured into my marriage and into my family are bearing fruit in her. That is so humbling and so rewarding. I’ve already received some of my treasure in the here and now.

5. Pray for and encourage other women in mismatched marriages. Lynn and I are walking and talking testimonies to this. If you look at 2 Cor. 1:3-7, you’ll see that God never intends for us to keep what we know about and learn from Him to ourselves. Those areas of victory will be used to help others. That right there is another blessing we can receive in this lifetime. I can think of no better way to serve God than to share His hope—to share Him—with others so that they too can know love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in their lives and their marriages. This is the example we have in Titus 2 as well.

6. Be still and know God is God. Quit trying to fix your husband, your kids, your life...youself. If you look at the Lord’s prayer, the end affirms that God’s kingdom, power and glory are forever. Pray these prayers and then trust that God is already in action. He probably was even before you said a word. The hardest part is waiting on God’s timing. I waited 16 years for my husband to accept my faith, to accept this is who I am and I’m not going to change. It’s a small step forward and worth the wait. Ten years ago I was impatient and anxious for my husband to know Jesus NOW! Today I am content and thankful that he now accepts my faith, understands this is who I am, and chooses to love me and walk the road of marriage together.

My friends, I write these things from my heart and from my experience. And with this comes the full understanding that we cannot do this, fill this place of influence without constantly seeking God for strength, wisdom and courage. Do not let your husband’s unbelief and the lies of the enemy tell you that you can’t be this kind of wife to your husband. You can and God will give you everything you need to do so.

Just trust Him. Trust Him to equip you. The most amazing part of this journey, for me, is finding myself and my life in Christ. This is the part that’s hard to put in words other than to say that there is nothing more peaceful and empowering than walking in obedience to God. Had I clung to what I wanted instead of allowing God to be the one in control, I would not have the marriage I have now. I wouldn’t have the life of joy I’m experiencing now! This is what Jesus meant when he said we must lose our life to get it back and that his burden is light. Though our lives will always have conflicts, challenges and trials, His way is the best way to live a life of joy and peace in the midst of it all.

In walking this path as a mismatched wife I have found purpose, joy and amazing faith. This is God’s doing, not mine. And we have so much more waiting for us in heaven. That’s when we will see the full picture of what our place of influence truly accomplished for God.

Amen?

Lynn shared that we’ll be giving away two copies of the Resolution for Women. I feel led to buy one for myself, sign it and put it in a card for my husband as a Valentine’s Day present. To be honest, the idea scares me—what will my husband think of it? How will he react? I’m choosing to step out in courage and follow what I believe to be God asking me to testify openly to my husband what my place in our marriage means to me. I’m praying for God’s courage and for my husband’s heart to receive my gift.

Is God calling you to have courage and take a step of faith in your marriage?

Praying and believing,
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.


And the Walls Came A-Tumbling Down

IStock_000003877105XSmallLynn’s post yesterday talked about the walls we erect that keep our guys on the outside. I want to share with you how this translated into my life.

I walked into my marriage with the expectations I’d leaned from the pages of romance novels and movies. I’d bought into the fairytale. Everything was fine in the beginning but then the reality began to settle in.

My husband wasn’t perfect. He didn’t do the things I thought he should. He didn’t get that he had a role to play in the script I’d written in my mind and heart. He didn’t even know his lines!

How dare he let me down like that? How dare he not do the things around the house that seemed so obvious to me? How dare he not pull his weight in the relationship?

So what else could I do? I jumped in and did it. After all, these are things that have to be done and done right. You know the saying, if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself. So I did!

I did everything. I had to. No one else would. I took care of the kids, the house—everything. And I worked so hard to get things just right and either he didn’t notice or the kids just undid it all so that I had to do all over again.

Life wasn’t fair. Why didn’t he get that if he would just do things the way I wanted and was there when I needed him, life would be so much easier.

Let’s fast forward to a little ways into my marriage. We’d moved to Switzerland because of a work opportunity for my husband. Things started out great, then went from bad to worse. The weight of the world on my shoulders effectively doubled.

I walked into my new church one day and was approached by a soft-spoken woman. She handed me a piece of paper about a group called 1Peter3, a group for women married to unbelievers. I joined immediately and we studied the book Beloved Unbeliever together.

God began to open my eyes through this and another Bible study, Experiencing God. Not to see my husband’s faults and lack, but to see my own. I began to see how much I pressure I had put upon my marriage and my husband through my expectations. I backed off, reassessed, and started to painfully change the way I talked to my husband. I became aware of my words. My marriage began to improve greatly as God taught me to respect my husband.

Still, there was this pattern that seemed to show up. Things would go great for a while and then go down the drain again. Why? Why did this keep coming back? Why did we keep getting stuck in this place? I’d done pretty well in communicating my needs and helping to understand what I was saying without being condemning, so why did the same issues keep cropping up?

One day I was walking into my kitchen. Maybe I was praying, I don’t clearly remember. What I do remember was a very clear and sudden thought.

“It’s not him who has to change, it’s me. It’s not his perceptions that need adjustment, it’s mine.”

Like a light bulb bursting with light, this truth exploded in my head and did a number on my heart. I realized I had let go of my expectations of what I wanted and had replaced them with negative expectations. The kind where you expect your spouse to do what he’s always done, to disappoint you the way he always done, to let you down the way he’s always done.

I’d placed these negative expectations on my husband, ones he could actually meet, but never gave him a chance to do anything else. The problem was, each one added a brick to that wall around me, the one I thought would keep me from feeling the hurt of being let down. And my poor guy kept bouncing into it, feeling as if he could never do anything right.

It’s a vicious cycle. It destroys marriages. It destroys people.

I had to tear down the bricks and it would take a while. First, I had to break this habit of negative expectations that I’d developed and see in my husband the potential God had created in him. Until I did, my husband would never become the man God had fashioned him to be. And two, I had to rebuild trust in our marriage. I had to show my husband I believed in him, that I truly supported him, and trusted him. Respected him.

My desire to change my husband shifted to a desire to change me. I wanted to change. I needed to change. I was desperate for freedom! I prayed for God to change me, to change my heart, to change my thinking, and to help me love my husband the way Jesus loves him.

God took my pain and desire and used it to tear down the walls I had built around my emotions. He freed me from lies and bad habits and showed me how to affirm, appreciate and out-love my husband.

Friends, this is not easy to share with you. I have no shame admitting my path because I know God has forgiven and redeemed me and my past. But to write this out brings me tears. It’s not been an easy journey. It’s been painful but so worth it!

God is gracious, kind and faithful. I shared in our Weekend Devo what my husband did for me last week. That is not how it’s always been. It has taken work and time to reach this place of where I can love him without expectation and the more I do—the more I love my husband through Jesus—the more our marriage has healed and thrived.

For so many years I wanted my guy to fit a mold that I had created for the perfect husband. To finally release him from that and to just love and appreciate the man he is, and then to out-love him as we’ve been doing here, brought something from his mouth I thought I would never hear. He actually referred to a task that needed to be done in our home as a “job for him, a husband’s job.” Something I never would have imagined I’d hear him say.

I still stumble at times and God is quick to show me and pick me up so I can apologize to my husband. The results of this journey are still coming in. I’ve changed dramatically and my husband has responded in so many unexpected ways. Now he’s starting to out-love me. That was never my motivation for out-loving him. I wanted only to be obedient to God for the sake of my husband’s future salvation, to show him Jesus.

The world will tell you that your perfect mate will meet your every need. God will tell you that He is all that you need and will show that He’s already met your every need in His Son Jesus. When we live in this truth, we are free to love Jesus and everyone He puts in our path. We truly love because He first loved us.

God sees your desires and efforts, your pain and struggles in your marriage. He wants to show you a better way. Ask him. He’s just waiting for you to make the first move.

Praying and believing,
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.


Spouse-Based or God-Based?

IStock_000010120543XSmallWhat is the difference between a spouse-based marriage and a God-based marriage?

This is the question my Sunday school leader asked our group this past weekend. We’re currently doing Gary Thomas’ video series, Sacred Marriage, which goes with his book by the same title. It’s a great course, and I have loved hearing different perspectives on marriage and how God works in our marriages and uses them to refine us.

The answer to this question also fits into our “Out-Love Your Spouse” challenge. So here it is:

A spouse-based marriage is performance based. In other words, I’ll do something nice for him if he does something for me. Or, why should I do that for her? She never does anything for me? And how about this one: He was grumpy last night. No way am I going to be nice to him today.

Basically, as long as our spouse is performing to our standards, and meeting our needs, we will love them, help them, and be a good spouse in return. As soon as they stop meeting that standard, we withdraw our affection, love and help.

In a God-based marriage we love our spouse because that is what Jesus has asked us to do—love one another. We love our spouse whether they are grumpy or happy. We help our spouse without the expectation of getting something in return. We serve our spouse as an act of serving God.

See the difference? I know this challenge to “out-love” our spouse isn’t an easy one, especially if you’re in a difficult marriage. Especially if you’re in a situation where there is hostility and rebuff. But I want to encourage you to persevere, because I am confident of two things:

1. When we love our spouse from the motivation that we are serving God—being obedient to God—God sees our efforts. Our spouse may not, but God sees. And He is faithful!

2. In some way, our spouse will be affected on some level. They may not respond right away. They may not respond in a way that you’d expect. But when we are loving our spouse from the motivation to serve God—in essence, if we are loving our spouse from a place of loving Jesus—we become a conduit for the love of Christ to reach our spouse. That’s powerful!

Look at Hebrews 10:23-24:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

My friends, we heard what Shelley shared with Lynn in the video about what her pastor told her. Our calling to love and serve begins right in our own homes. God wants us to start there before He can bring us out into the mission fields of our workplace, our neighborhood, or even our friends and extended family.

Don’t give up. God calls us to love even the most unlovable. Even if that defines our spouse at the moment. And if we’re totally honest here, we aren’t always very lovable either, are we?

Last week, I did small things for my hubby, like sitting on the couch with him instead of the chair I usually sit on. I looked for little things that would make his life a little easier and his home a haven to return to. God put this on my heart as away to comfort my stressed out guy. One night, this poor guy thanked me for making dinner—twice in one meal. I didn’t ask for that appreciation. I only sought to do what God was showing me to do.

And finally, let me say that just because our spouse isn’t a believer (yet) doesn't mean we can’t have a God-centered marriage. You are the conduit to bring God into your marriage. Keep the faith and remember that through that very same faith, your spouse partakes in your sanctification (read “Sanctified Unbeliever” here) and God’s covering.

Praying and believing,
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.


The Power of a Three-Stranded Cord in an Unequal Marriage

The Power of a Three-Stranded Cord in an Unequal Marriage

. . . a three-stranded cord is not easily broken.   (Ecclesiastes 4:12, CJB)

Cordring In the verses prior to this, Solomon is speaking of how two are better than one because if one falls the other can help them up.  They can keep one another warm when it is cold and they can defend one another against an attacker.  Then in the last part of verse twelve, he changes things up a bit and speaks of three instead of two. 

This verse is often spoken of in regards to marriage.  It describes how a successful and strong marriage is one in which there are three participants, a husband, a wife and God.  I’ve also seen it illustrated as a triangle in which the bottom corners represent the husband and wife operating in a horizontal (physical) relationship and God being the top point operating with both husband and wife in a vertical (spiritual) relationship.  Regardless of the picture drawn, it makes sense.  Anything we bring the Lord into will become stronger as He has strength far beyond anything we can ever begin to fathom.

The illustration of the three-stranded cord though makes even more sense when you speak to a rope maker.  They will tell you that this is the strongest cord you can make because all three strands are touching each other.  If you add more strands, the rope becomes thicker but not necessarily stronger because not all the strands are touching at the same time. 

If one or even two of the strands becomes frayed or broken, the cord will remain intact as long as the third strand does not break.  This gives time for the other strands to be mended.  God works in this way in our marriages.  During those hard times when both spouses are at a breaking point, God holds the marriage together until He heals the other two.  And the good news is that God is a strand that can’t be broken.

So then why has an illustration regarding marriage that makes so much sense and should give so much hope, only saddened me in the past?  The answer lies in the fact that I am in an unequally yoked marriage.  My beloved does not share my faith, does not believe in the God that I so love and believes if there truly is a God, He doesn’t really care about us.  So in my mind the three-stranded cord can’t happen as one of the strands does not “touch” or acknowledge the one unbreakable strand.

However, God in all His wisdom whispered a secret to me recently, a secret that caused that beautiful flower of Hope to once again blossom in my heart.  He said, “Angela, my beloved, what makes you think that just because one strand does not acknowledge Me that I suddenly no longer exist?  Since when does the unbelief of one person negate the Truth of my Existence and keep Me from working in their lives?”  At that moment I realized, that even if my husband does not bring the Lord into our marriage, that does not mean that I can’t and it does not negate the presence of the Lord in our marriage. 

Regardless what my husband chooses to believe, I can still commit to follow the Lord and to plead on behalf of my marriage and my husband at the Throne of Heaven.  I can commit to love my husband unconditionally and to pray for him – his health, his success, his life (physical, emotional and spiritual).  I can commit to respond to him in kindness and forgiveness even if he does not always respond to me in the same way.  And if (when) I fail, I can go to him humbly and ask for his forgiveness.  My commitment to the Lord and my marriage brings God, that third unbreakable strand, into our marriage cord whether or not my husband himself acknowledges it, because by doing so I am sharing God’s love and strength with my husband.

And as 1 Peter 3:1-2 says, by doing this who knows but our husbands may actually acknowledge for themselves the Lord and be won over to Him by how we have treated them – by the love, respect and submission we show to them and which strengthens our marriage.

I will be honest, in the end our spouse may still choose to walk away and break what God has joined.  Our Creator has given us all free will, and our spouse may choose to exercise it by walking away from our marriage.   However, by bringing God into our marriage through obedience and submission, we will make that break harder for them to accomplish.  The strands of a cord not only touch one another, but are also entwined and woven amongst one another.  Our spouse’s strand must be broken and disentangled in multiple places before they can truly and completely get free of the cord they have been woven into. 

Angela smith Asking the Lord into our marriage will only strengthen, not weaken it.  It will only strengthen, not weaken us.  In the end we will know that we have been obedient to the Lord and can leave the rest to Him, the One who created us and knows us best.  Regardless of our spouse’s choices and the final outcome of their faith or our marriage, we will be strengthened by that unbreakable strand and we will have given our beloved spouse a glimpse of what that can look like in their own lives.  What better gift can we bestow upon the one we have committed to love for the rest of our lives?

~Angela Smith

 

Thank you Angela. You have inspired me. Hugs, Lynn

Dineen and I also want to give a "SHOUT OUT" to our blogging friends who are profiling our book today at their place. Many are offering a free copy as a giveaway. If you keep entering, you are bound to win one eventually because there are many to give away.

A BIG THANK YOU to:

Noreen - Life Blessings

Angie - The Knightly News

Debbie - Debbie's Homeschool Corner

Angela - Thankful Heart

Bonnie Paulson - Bonniepaulson.com

Mary Lu Tyndale - Cross & Cutlass

Jeanette - Making This House Our Home

Patty - Adding Zest to Your Nest

*****

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.