I Asked God Some Questions ...

Hi friends, Ann here!Close to God

We're spending time talking over on Facebook about intimacy with God, so I thought I would follow suit in today's post. Many years ago, I observed another Christian's intimacy with God, and it was so eye-catching that it kick-started my own relationship with Him. Here’s what happened:

I was at my parents’ table in Reading, England. I live in New Zealand, so only visit once a year. On this visit I noticed that in their home ‘everything felt nice’. Even the coffee had that little ‘something special’.

Are you suspecting something? Yep, my parents were both growing in their connection with Jesus. As a non-Jesus-lover, I didn’t recognize the atmosphere for what it was, but I did notice my Dad seemed to spend a lot of time in his study. The door was closed for one or two hours, then he’d emerge for a late breakfast, cheerful.

Huh?!!

One morning at the table, I said to him: “What do you spend your time on?”

He cast me a secret smile: “Well, Ann, the only thing that matters to me these days is my relationship with God.”

Huh?!! I pulled a face but eyed him up quietly. Never heard such a thing.

Well, um, as you can tell, these days I’m a closed-door kinda girl myself with that same secret smile; it's the kind of smile that says ‘God is exciting!’ It’s funny how these things are catching. Couch

Yes, a while after asking my Dad that question, my heart got stirred and I began to do business with God on the couch in my living room. I am a couch potato, so can do time on the couch very easily, and this is where my relationship with God has happened. That couch is so meaningful to me now it’s like a family treasure. It's in the TV room, which I now term 'the prayer room' (much to the laughter of my family) and I retreat to it throughout the day -- Especially when life as a Mum gets intense.

Those years ago, on that very couch, I began to ask God some direct questions. The first one was ‘Um God, Do You Exist?’ Blow me down, He answered over a period of weeks with some extraordinary occurrences. Oh. Next question: ‘What is True?’ At this point, I bought a special notebook and started to record these questions, documenting my blossoming relationship with Him. One notebook led to another, and these days I have a pile of them. The questions seemed to open up closeness. Journals

After asking ‘What is true?’ God started to show me it was Jesus who was the Way, and there was no other. It was so compelling that all I could say was ‘Ok, this is true – I’m in.’

Then came a time I prayed a dangerous prayer, without realizing it was dangerous. By dangerous, I mean it was the kind of prayer that brings the Kingdom of Heaven near because it is completely in line with His will and you end up never the same again. Dangerous, but exciting. The prayer I prayed was this:

Align my desires with yours Lord.

I've heard of others praying something like this (e.g., Let me really know you, Lord), and I've heard them say 'Sometimes I wish I hadn't prayed that prayer because it’s not been easy.’ That's a little of how I feel about that prayer though I would never, ever want it to be different. See, after praying that prayer, I could never get God out of my head again, and then I noticed how far from Him our culture is. That was the difficult part. My head and my heart became filled to the point that I felt constantly aware of Him. It felt like He had become as real to me as the person in front of me. Real.

Align my desires with yours, God.

Align my desires with yours.

This request, simple as it was, helped me draw closer to Him. 

I've been helped vastly in years past by others on this blog -- Not only the writers but also those in the comments who've shared how they get close to God; so I hope you enjoyed this one little piece of my own story. But now I'd love to hear your stories: How much do you ask God questions, and what other things do you do to draw close to Him?

*****

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.


An Encounter With God's Love Broke the Chains of Performance Anxiety

Hey there SUM Family! Tiffany Here!

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. - James 5:16

I come before you today to confess something with you. I have been struggling with the fear of man. This has been a reoccurring struggle. This fear causes me to distance myself from those in the family of Christ. I place so much expectation on myself that I don't want to let anyone down. I don't want to fail them. I don't want to cause anyone to stumble or struggle. I don't want to be honest with others because then they may think less of me.

I often shrink back from our amazing community because as a writer for the blog I have been deceived to believe that it is not okay for anyone here to see me struggle. I have believed the lie for several months now that in order to teach, share, etc I cannot have any faults. Who would take what I have to say seriously if they only knew...

I've talked with Lynn a few times and I know now that it is better to be honest with the struggle. I've looked back at my life and I've felt that XYZ is grounds of disqualification for ministry, my marriage, parenting, healing and restoration, etc. Does anyone hear me on this one? I'm sure I'm not alone.

So first I want to apologize for distancing myself from you all. I've been absent in commenting on the blogs as well as in the SUMite Sister group on Facebook. I am not angry with anyone. I am still here! I am still marching (though the last few months have felt like an army belly crawl underneath barbed wire).

Secondly I want to share with you a freedom encounter that I had on Sunday at my church.

We started worship and my mind was really struggling to get focused on the Lord.  One Thing Remains by Bethel Music started to play and as the worship team began to sing, I was struck by the lyrics

And Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me

Holy Spirit caught my attention. We continued to sing and I really began to press in.

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid
'Cause this one thing remains
This one thing remains

The atmosphere changed and I felt an overwhelming outpouring of the love of God. Daddy's lapA Heavenly Daddy who had scooped up his frightened daughter. (*Enjoy this painting from an artist named Lisa Caldwell. I rescued this painting from going to the thrift store when my previous church closed down.)

Like I mentioned earlier, I have been so afraid to let everyone down. The reality was I felt I was letting Him down. Little did I know that the anxiety and performance struggles I had were deeply rooted in a tainted reality.

"I am letting my Father down. I'm not doing enough. I'm not doing it right. He MUST be disappointed in my behavior...in me."

I'm sure that you know what I'm talking about when I say that when Love steps in, we can't help but be affected and changed. There is nothing like the love of God. With billions of people on the planet, in those intimate moments with Him, it feels as though you are the ONLY one that matters to Him. His devotion, His attention, His focus, His heart, His embrace is only on you.

It settled in my mind that Jesus' death on the cross and victorious resurrection is proof enough that He loved me. If I wasn't worth it to Him, He wouldn't have suffered and died for me.

Do you KNOW that is the same for you? Friend, you are worth the lashes, the crown of thorns, the scoffing, the spitting, the hatred, the jeering that He endured. His blood was shed for YOU! You are so special. It's truly amazing.

In the process of reading Lynn's new book Marching Around Jericho, I am seeing the importance of holding on to my identity in Christ. It truly is the difference between victory and defeat. When Satan and his minions distract me and I forget who I really am, my standards are lowered. I leave my place in heaven where I am meant to be seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). I fight in the flesh and not the Spirit. I fail to put my armor on. In my own strength, I can be beat up and dragged around by the enemy. I give away my authority.

Maybe you're in that place too. Maybe you've gotten into a rut. Maybe you are struggling. Maybe you are about ready to call it quits.

I can tell you that His love is right here for you. His embrace is assured. All you have to do is lean back.

Let's meet in the comments. Can I pray with you? I would love to encourage you today.

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


What Does Intimacy with God Look Like?

SUMite Nation,

Lynn here. I'm leading a study of Marching Around Jericho beginning today! Join the PRIVATE Facebbook Group and accelerate your study.

To pray with power and authority you MUST stand upon the two pillars of Intimacy and Identity. This week we are talking about intimacy. What would it be like to all day long ask Jesus questions and He answers you back? How would it change your life if you knew that you knew that you knew in your knower that your good Father in heaven had your back?

Join now and purchase your book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Audible or any book retailer. 

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14

This scripture is ours. This promise is NOW. Let's learn from Jesus and see His glorious Word come to life! Hugs, Lynn

MAJ FB Group Cover

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


THIS IS FOR THE MEN In Our Community

WarriorI sense a profound stirring in the atmosphere – the angelic whispers in expectation, preparation. The compelling knowing of God is turning the page in this moment of history. His voice, deep with pride and powerful determination:

It is time for the men to arise!

My sons of My Kingdom, your destiny awaits. I will delay no longer, that which I now establish and return to you, your honor. I will recognize your wisdom, quiet strength, integrity, and righteousness.

Far too long, the men of earth have been assaulted, stifled with heavy burdens. They carry tremendous responsibility as they shoulder profound responsibility; family, workplace demands, the fulfillment of their commitments, small and large. My Sons face shamming in the public square and are minimized because of the wicked. They pray in the midnight hour, a solemn tear escapes. They beseech and bring Me their worries, placed before the Mercy Seat; their marriage, their beloved children and pleading for wisdom and relief from the debts and financial perils they face.

Silently and yet with stubborn constitution, My Sons determine themselves to stand up straight and carry the lives of those they love upon his chest, within his heart.

To My Sons, I behold your fortitude, your courage. The battle deepens with greater intensity and the provocative surrounding, is palpable. But I AM moving, and I AM on the move. I AM restoring eroded positions and long forgotten destines. I AM returning the stolen peace to your heart and supplying warriors from the heavens to shore up your finances, strengthen your marriage, and fortify your homeland.

Determination is My scepter. It is raised to extinguish the word curses spinning across the airwaves that have shackled My Beloved in anxiety and inaction. Today I release this great company of the masculine to dream again. I bestow their freedom to laugh with delight, play in enthusiasm, love with passion and reflect My glory.

Arise Kingdom Sons! The time grows short. Gather the families, walk in My truths. Bring in the lost and forsaken. Forgive freely and love with all your might.

Great is your assignment.

GREAT is your reward in this hour.

I bless you, My sons. Well Done. Well done!

*****

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 Will Ask One Question When You Arrive In Heaven

Chapter Fifteen
The Power of Love
Excerpt:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
MATTHEW 22:37-39

I’m of the belief that upon arriving at heaven’s gate, Jesus will look into our eyes and ask a single question, “Did you learn to love?”

Jesus commands us to love God and love people. God is easy. People, not so much.

I’ll be vulnerable here. There are many people that I meet who love easily. They always choose to notice the best in others. It’s not that easy for me. Walking into adulthood, I carried with me beliefs that no one was reliable or trustworthy and that I was utterly on my own. No one had my back. Including God.

Of course, these were lies, but I lived them out as truth for many years. Unwinding these false beliefs required years of God relentlessly loving me until over time, my heart finally cracked open. His love filled me to the point that I could love with authenticity and learn to trust people. Releasing my fears of abandonment and distrust felt as though I removed a giant backpack from my shoulders. And once gone, I became free to dream with God. I was freed up to imagine the impossible and discover gifts and abilities I didn’t know already possessed. And loving people became easier.

My dear warrior, our entire journey upon this planet is a quest to learn to love. Love is an easy word; however, it’s been hijacked, perverted, and applied to numerous ideologies. Our assignment for this life is to love people from the source, our heavenly Father. We can’t fail to get this one right.

Every day we make a thousand choices. With each choice, we walk down one of two paths, love or fear. Oh, let us choose bravely and walk in love.

As I write this book, I’m older now and have walked with Jesus for over 50 years. I’ve reflected on decades of life choices and the consequences of choosing fear over love. From my vantage point, the choice of love is always the best course with a better result than living in a false sense of security that fear perpetuates.

Choosing love is a risk. We risk our heart. We risk pain and rejection. However, living wholeheartedly far and away exceeds the risk.

In every decision where I chose to love over bowing to fear, contributed to my refining process. When I risked loving but I was met by disappointment and pain because love wasn’t returned, Jesus arrived with gold from heaven and filled the cracks of my broken heart. If you could picture my heart today, it is whole, but a closer view reflects tiny golden-white-light lines where the pieces of my brokenness were gathered together. All the heart-pieces rescued back from childhood pain, a divorce, an unexpected move, the loss of what I desired from my marriage.

Our heart is made whole by Christ’s love, redemption, and healing. Our hearts become a beautiful recreation of his design. A recreated heart overflows with empathy, compassion, and depth of understanding as well as a wealth of patience. This is the heart of God.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
EZEKIEL 36:26

Warrior, love heals all trauma. One touch of the Savior’s love and a difficult upbringing, abuse, disappointment, fears, and all failures of the past are redeemed. The Redeemer seals love and peace over our pain which silences the lies of the devil. He is our blessing. He is our peace. He is love.

Everything the enemy has used to hurt and destroy you, God will redeem. And in the Kingdom of God, the evil meant to kill you will become the very thing that God will use within you to rescue and bring healing to others. Your pain becomes your superpower. Your woundedness becomes your peace. Your destruction is the birthplace of a love that the demons cannot touch.

Love redeems our past, establishes our present, is our future and our children’s legacy.

Choose love and live strong.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:13

Love Chapter

*****

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.


My Isaiah 58 Fast

By Martha Bush Fasting

And so, the SUMite Community has gotten off to a great start in 2020. First we had the fast, then Lynn’s book, Marching Around Jericho, was launched. Many have reported receiving revelations during the fast, as well as Lynn’s book, which I wrote about on Monday.

Today, I want to share with you a personal story about a fast I experienced years ago that I called at the time, My Isaiah 58 Fast.

My story goes like this:

My husband’s sister was receiving treatment for cancer. Being a divorcee, she was living alone in a mobile home. We knew of her illness and stayed in touch with her, but living hundreds of miles away, we did not know the severity of her plight until my husband received a telephone call from her ex-husband.

“You and your siblings need to do something to help your sister,” he stated up front. “Not only is she severely sick, her mobile home is falling apart, and she cannot afford to have it fixed, nor can she pay her monthly bills. My wife and I are buying groceries for her, but we cannot afford to give her all she needs.”

Without hesitating, the next day my husband boarded a plane from our home in Orange, Texas for Atlanta, Georgia, to see his sister. However, something that had just happened in our immediate family left me apprenhensive about his going.

The company he worked for had just gone bankrupt a few days before he received the phone call. Here we were: no job with no job opportunities in sight, his sister is sick and needs financial help. Being the money conscious person I am, just the thought of him buying an airplane ticket was shaking me up, not to mention all the expenses he obviously would incur once he got there.

After I dropped him off at the airport, I went home and had a little talk with the Lord just as I used to do with my daddy when I was trying to present my case of something I reallllllly wanted Him to understand. (pitiful eyes, whiney voice, sniffling nose)

Our conversation when something like this:

Me: “Lord, I know my sister-in-law needs help, but Glen is out of a job, and we are now living on our meager savings. Besides that, it’s about time for our girls to start to college, and we have no idea when he will get another job.”

God: “Young lady,” He said, (just like my daddy always started off when he was about to put me in my place) “If you know what is best for you, you had better keep your mouth shut, no matter how much he spends. You have an unsaved husband who is not thinking about money right now; he is thinking about how he can help his sick sister.”

Me: Always the insistent one when it comes to quenching MY money, I kept pleading my case. “But, Lord, why was he the one his ex-brother-in-law called? His sister has other brothers and sisters; we can’t afford it right now.”

God: “You heard what I said, young lady. Zip it! Now, go read my Word in Isaiah 58. Perhaps that will give you the bigger picture.” (Just like my daddy—I won’t tell you again. Go do what I told you to do.)

Isaiah 58:6-9 (Messenger)

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is:

  • Sharing your food with the hungry
  • Inviting the homeless poor into your homes
  • Putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
  • Being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer.

You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, “Here I am.”

******

Say what? Did Isaiah say “Be available to your own families?”

I fell to my knees and asked the Lord to forgive me. My non-Christian husband was living out a Godly principle, when in my own heart, I wasn’t.

When my husband returned home after three weeks with his sister, he wrote a letter to each of his brothers and sisters, along with the receipts of his expenses. And yes, each of them gave what they could afford to give toward the bill, and we paid the remainder.

But, shortly thereafter, my husband received a call from a large company with a job offer that became his career, which enabled him to replace many times over the expenses incurred in that period of time. BTW, his salary also put our girls through college.

I have to believe that God blessed and gave my non-Christian husband favor for his giving heart to his sister in her time of need.

Me? I learned a lesson from The Isaiah Fast 58 and that is: This type of fast should last all year.

 

 NOTE:

I later learned that this fast is commonly called God’s Chosen Fast. Google presents extended research on it from many commentaries.

In the comments, what revelations have you gotten through a time of fasting?

 

*****

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.


There is Power in My Voice (Oh, Yeah!)

Entering-jericho

By Martha Bush

Today, I’d like to share with you my story of entering Jericho.

After years of testing in The Wilderness, there came a time when I knew that I had crossed over The Jordan River and was about to enter The Promised Land. I made a pit stop and did three things the Israelites were instructed to do before entering Jericho. (Joshua 4)

  • Build monuments as a memorial of God’s faithfulness: My monuments are journals that tell stories of trials that turned into triumph, stories of healing and deliverance, and stories of what I learned about who I am and whose I am in Christ.
  • Circumcision: Daily circumcision of my heart became vital to keep me moving forward.
  • The Blood Sacrifice: Communion became a daily routine in my quite time.

 I then entered the city of Jericho. Time passed, and I wasn’t possessing the land God had said was mine-no promises nor prophetic words were being fulfilled. Nothing, nothing, nothing was happening. I was there, but not possessing.

One day, I heard a sermon which said that the Israelites still had to fight for their inheritance in The Promised Land because there were still inhabitants on the land, and they were not going to give up easy. In other words, my Promised Land was not going to be handed over to me on a silver platter.

I think this is where I was missing it when I arrived in Jericho. Yes, I knew that God does have an appointed time for the manifestation of His promises to be fulfilled, but I was sitting on my can can just waiting for God to drop the promises in my lap and not doing anything as my part of the covenant.

But, I questioned myself as to “how” to do that, as well as my ability to do so.

And then it happened--Marching Around Jericho arrived in my mailbox. As I scanned through it, my eyes fell on a paragraph that stopped me dead in my tracks. Lynn said,  “Satan is determined to silence humanity. Do you know why? Our voice is powerful. He knows when a child of God discovers who they are and whose they are, then connects their identity with their voice, his defeat is certain.”

Lightning flashed and Holy Ghost goose bumps ran all over my body. I quickly emailed Lynn.

Dear Lynn:

 Please don’t be upset with me, but I looked ahead in your book.

I knew that I was in a new battle plan for the manifestation of my husband’s salvation, and the strategy needed to change in order to give birth, but what that strategy was, I didn’t know.

You see, for over twenty years God took me through a hard testing time to re-establish my identity in Him that had been lost in childhood. In fact, I had a prophecy during the midst of it that said: “I have brought you through a hard testing; I didn’t intend to make it easy for you; it was to give you backbone.” I wanted to say, “Gee thanks, Lord, couldn’t you give me backbone without such a severe testing?”

But, nonetheless, I knew that it was through all of this that my identity in Christ and who I am in Him was being re-established. I had no idea prior to this testing who I was. I was what everybody else wanted me to be—people pleaser was the name of the game I had played.

So, this morning, as I was glancing through a chapter in your book, I caught the strategy plan for what I needed for this season of my journey.

Connect my identity with my voice

to defeat the strongholds of the enemy

Obviously, through years of Bible study, I knew Jesus had given me the authority to use His name to demolish strongholds, but sometimes, you just need a rhema word that speaks life into what you already know in order to activate it. You did that for me with the above sentence.

I had been so caught up in establishing my identity in Christ, learning how to respond to certain circumstances, setting up boundaries for what I would accept and would not accept, which was very necessary in that phrase of the battle. But, recently, I knew that it was time for a new battle plan.

Through this chapter, God spoke to me convincing me, not only what the new battle strategy was, but that my voice is powerful. I believe that people who have had an identity problem, can come out of it and know who they are in Christ, but yet they might still struggle regaining the power of their voice that had been pushed down by others over the years.

Lynn’s Reply:

 Oh, Martha. I’m teary. Your voice was stolen and today the Lord rescued back your voice and has set a crown upon your head. You will pray with power and the strongholds and principalities will bow to the name of Jesus Christ.

And so it was, God moved quickly to show me strongholds in my husband that are keeping his salvation from being manifested, as well as the role I am to play as my part of the covenant with Him.

And now, I look like a maniac driving down the highway and walking in the neighborhood shouting,

  • “In the name of Jesus, I bind Spirit of Jealousy, and I loose the Love of God (1 Corinthians13; Ephesians 5:2)
  • “In the name of Jesus, I bind Spirit of Pride, and I loose a Humble and Contrite Spirit (Proverbs 16:19; Romans 1:4)
  • “In the name of Jesus, I bind Spirit of Heaviness and I loose Comforter, Garment of Praise, Oil of Joy.” (John 15:26; Isaiah 61:3)

Obviously, God hasn’t told me the exact day my husband’s salvation will be manifested, but I do believe I heard Him whisper to me: “Martha, go buy a cow, put him in your backyard and fatten it up for the celebration. My prodigal son is on his way home."

There is Power in My Voice and Power in Your Voice, Too! (Oh, Yeah!)

Thanks, Lynn, for connecting the dots, and for Libby’s encouragement to use my voice.

 

 

 

 

*****

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.


To Cherish ...

Hi friends, Ann here! Cherish

The other day I noticed something new about marriage in scripture. It was like a big flashing light going off in my mind, so I thought I'd share. See what you think of this:

In the Bible there are a few key scriptures about marriage, as we know. But what I noticed this week is that in two of those scriptures (one from the Old Testament and one from the New), it says that your treatment of your spouse determines whether your prayers will be heard.

What a thought!

Here are the scriptures in question, and I've highlighted the parts about prayer:

1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV):

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”

And

Malachi 2:12-15 (NKJV):

“May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, being awake and aware, yet who brings an offering to the Lord of Hosts.

And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.” 

**

All of this got me thinking: I often have to guard my heart to stay good to my husband in relation to our faith difference. The spiritually mismatched nature of our marriage raises particular challenges that other couples might not have. I have to make sure I don't hold negative attitudes about certain things. I also have to guard my mouth to make sure when I talk about him my words are good words. The bar is high and I'm a total work-in-progress. 

The Old Testament passage in Malachi might have been addressing the letter of the law, perhaps physical infidelity; but we go beyond that in the spirit of the law, mirroring God's character and trying to be faithful in wider things, like our words. 

This thought takes me meandering back to a moment in 1999, when Bryce and I were getting married. In our heady twenties it was all fun fun fun. But, when we booked in a minister to officiate at our wedding he told us it was his code to give us marriage counselling and we agreed. There was not much that was sensible about the two of us so it was all we could do to stop ourselves losing it in giggles at various points -- Especially when the session turned to the topic of sex. It was all so serious -- Did we really have to be talking about this?! 

But, here's the golden question this minister asked us: “What does it mean to CHERISH someone? Your vows include the word cherish. What does that look like?” This man in his sixties knew what he was talking about. 

Fast-forward twenty years and here we are living with a faith difference that - if we aren't careful to cherish - could fracture us. Yikes, it's not exactly small stuff. What does it look like now for us to cherish each other?

Here's what my favorite old dictionary says about Cherish: "To protect and treat with affection: to nurture, nurse; to entertain in the mind." 

Honestly, I can think of many points where I have not been the shining star at cherishing Bryce. But what I’d like to do is treat him as my most treasured one. This is my heart, so I say 'Help me, God!' My marriage is entwined with the Kingdom. It’s part of that thing I want to seek first. And as I cherish him, then when I march in prayer around my 'Jericho' could it be that those walls of unbelief have a greater chance of falling? The above scriptures suggest perhaps so.

Do you have any thoughts on the concept of cherishing our spouse? We'll chat in the comments!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Now ON AUDIO

Are you too busy to sit down and read a book? Do you have a commute time? What about listening while you do the dishes, poke around on FB?

I'm so happy to announce that the audio versions of the book are now available. 

SUM Nation, I'm deeply touched to receive the emails that are arriving and how MAJ is moving you into deeper faith with power and intimacy. MARCH ON!!  WE WIN!  Hugs, Lynn

Audio links are at the bottom.

Jericho3DSTART YOUR MARCH TODAY: DOWNLOAD THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS:

Marching Around Jericho - Preview

Continue your Warrior March today. Available at:

Barnes and Noble Signed Author Copy

 

Audiobook is available at:

Audible

 

Itunes

*****

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.


Soul Care

ID-100433934
Image courtesy of Yongkiet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hello, my dear friends. Seems ages since we’ve ‘met’. I trust 2020 has started well for you all and your hearts are in good places.

My family’s had a tough start to the year. Besides the constant trauma on the TV each night as the bushfires raged through the land Down Under (we have been gratefully spared from having it too close) which cast fear and foreboding over people’s spirits, we and dear friends have had own personal traumas. Like our nation, we are recovering and walking, a little bruised and battered, into the future with hope in our hearts.

Maybe you’re in a similar place. Or maybe you’re just feeling a bit frazzled with all that’s going on: juggling being wife, mom, friend, daughter, employee or boss. It’s at these times when it’s important we take care of our souls.

The Easy Yoke

I’ve reflected, meditated and prayed over Matthew 11:28-30 repeatedly these past weeks. These words of Jesus have sustained me continually refilling me with hope and refreshment. Let’s have a look at them. If you don’t mind, I’m going to provide it in three versions because they each bring something extra. I’ll start with the more traditional one that most of us perhaps are most familiar with:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message)

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me.I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and restin me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” (The Passion Translation)

Rest and refreshment? Anyone? Yes, we all shout out in unison. But let’s not confuse this to mean life will all of a sudden be fun and games. Our circumstances may still be tough and uncompromising, but the Lord enables us to rise above the angst and pain by filling us with His peace, hope and joy.

There is so much more I could share on these three verses, as it’s a wonderful statement of Jesus’s nature (meek, gentle and lowly of heart) and He suggests we learn to be similar by “joining our life” with His. But today I just wanted to encourage us practically in how we can ‘take his easy yoke’ upon ourselves.

Invite Jesus In

Whatever you’re doing: washing the dishes, preparing school lunches, attending a meeting, having coffee with a friend, etc, etc …  may I encourage you to add these two small steps:

1. Simply invite Jesus into the situation: ”Jesus, I invite you into this …” and he’s there. Remember, he’ll never leave you. All of a sudden you’ve become aware of His presence even though you may not feel anything different. Yes, nothing may change but there'l. be situations where you'll get little nudges from Him.

Remember the story of the two disciples who walked to Emmaus with resurrected Jesus sharing the best Bible study ever that was all about Him? They didn’t recognize Him, even though He was with them for seven miles. All they had to do was ask who He was? Like Moses and the burning bush, we need to always ‘turn’ towards Jesus. Be intentional about seeking His presence.

2. While you’re doing whatever you’re doing, turn your mind towards Him. Try it, you’ll find it takes some practice so you don’t suddenly ignore your friend who’s revealing their heart to you.

It’s something I’ve been doing for a while now and it’s wonderfully freeing. I’m constantly asking God, “where are you in this?”, “what’s this about, Lord?” “give me your heart in this moment”, etc etc. I think this is what ‘learning the unforced rhythms of grace’ might sort of look like.

What’s also important is to do practical things to help yourself. Remember following Jesus is a physical act as well as a spiritual (one of the heart) act. Eat healthily, get outside and experience some natural beauty of God's creation, exercise at least moderately, try to get extra sleep, and regularly have date night (just the two of you) with your partner. And involve Jesus in each of them. 

May I encourage you to spend some time these next few days simply meditating on the verses from Matthew above. Look at other versions and talk to Jesus about His easy yoke. Ask for it. Ask Him to show you how to learn His ways in order to be refreshed and rested. 

Here's to a year of refreshment and rest.

Blessings, my friends

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Jericho -- Coming Soon!

Hi friends, Ann here! Coming soon  SUM

Like many of us, I’ve been watching the launch of Lynn’s new book, Marching around Jericho, with interest and am looking forward to cracking open its fresh pages.

Today, I thought I would tell you some of what I’ve seen from the side-lines. I want to attest to this book, as I've come to believe it’s a water-shed book for us, meaning it can mark a change or turning point. I believe it can change a season, and I say that because I’ve had some moments of hearing God about it. One of the things I have heard Him say is this:

A book has the power to change a season.

That's a big statement, and one I'm curious about. But there's more. Two years ago, before the book was even conceived in Lynn's mind, I think God told me about this book as if to say He is in it. It was February 2018, and I woke one morning with these words:

Coming Soon – Lynn Donovan!

These words seemed to be almost my imagination but, nevertheless, I wrote them in my journal with a date beside them. I wrote, “I think maybe this morning I heard Lynn Donovan, coming soon! Maybe?"

What did it mean, I then wondered. Her husband -- Becoming Christian? As per usual, that thought sent me bouncing up and down mentally. I have quite the imagination so I thought, hey, let's believe it. Coming soon - yes.

Well blow me down, 2019 rolled round and he did. He got baptized. But is that what these words were for? I'm sure they were in part, but as soon as Mike got baptized Lynn felt God pulling her to write a book about the seven-year journey that led to that baptism. Year by year, there would be seven sections to the book. It was as if God handed her the structure on a plate and all she had to do was pick up a pen. The book was to be called Marching around Jericho.

Watching from the sidelines, then, I knew she was starting on it. As time passed, she produced a cover design, and then eventually she put an automatic footer on her emails with a photo of said cover. I’ve pasted it here – Lynn Donovan - coming soon

As you can see, on the cover were the words Lynn Donovan, Coming Soon! So, every time I got an email from her over the last few months those big words have popped out at me -- Coming soon! It seemed to me that God had given me a heads-up about the book. Why? Perhaps so I could write this blog post.

At the end of the book Lynn describes how the walls of Jericho finally fell before her eyes. I won’t spoil it for you. From an early draft I read, it’s a good scene and the best ending. Lynn has shared a little of the timing -- dates and so on -- and by my reckoning those final events occurred exactly a year after I saw the words Lynn Donovan, Coming Soon.

So now we have this book. I can’t wait to work with it, and I want to say a huge 'well done' to Lynn on behalf of us all. Those who've followed this blog for a while have cheered her on from the sidelines and we’ll continue to do so.

Here's my prayer, then:

May this book be a blessing, and may it bring change to the lives of those who wait for their spouses to believe in Jesus.

Jericho might seem walled up so that no-one can come in or go out, but we see things differently.

Those walls are fragile and the fiery faith of a believing spouse who walks in partnership with Jesus brings power to the impossible.

Amen!

Perhaps, like me, you'd like to share a prayer or some other thoughts about the book below. We'll chat in the comments.

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


What Readers Are Saying About The Warrior March!

I can testify that this is the most amazing book!!!

Full of wisdom, hope, miraclesSmall 3D MAJ, Gods redemptive power of love and healing. I wept, I laughed, I hungered and thirsted for more as I turned the pages. You will rejoice with Lynn at her triumphs and faithfulness, marvel at her amazing relationship with the Lord and know that this is for all of us as she encourages and champions us forward every step of the way!!!!

It isn’t just a read through but a do through activation and empowerment to seek all that we are entitled to as children of God. Jesus lived as a man, suffered and died so we could have all and more. Lynn’s brilliant sharing of her journey is going to change lives up to a thousand generations🙏🏽♥️😭🙌🏽🥳🤗🩸💦👆🏽🎈🙏🏽

Visit Marchingaroundjericho.com for more information and read the first two chapters!

 

*****

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.


Marching Around Jericho - Available

SUMite Nation,

Small 3D MAJIt's time to set off on our own March Around Jericho. You can purchase your copy from book sellers all over. It's ready as a paperback and eBook at Amazon and also for sale and Barnes & Nobel. 

The audio book should be available at Audible, Amazon and iTunes. I checked with them yesterday and it's supposed to be live. If it isn't, it will be made available later in the week. 

This book is a general guide into lessons that will absolutely change your faith. This is a general guide but for details and additional support visit, MarchingAroundJericho.com. Take a look at the Equipping Warriors Tab. There are support papers and videos that will truly flesh out the concepts. Not all the video work is completed yet but will be coming online in the next month.

I receive an email from a new SUMite who is currently reading the book. This is what she said:

Just keeping you in the loop. Your book is so powerful. The prayers are so good. Every time satan comes in with a lie I take my thoughts captive to Christ. I stand more now on 1 Corinthians 7:14. --V.

Order your copy NOW! SUMite Sisters will be working through the book in the FB Group. I will have additional teaching and videos that I will add.

Dineen and I will be live next week to talk about our own journey and how God redirected both of us -at the same time- into our divine destinies and purposes. That will be next Wednesday.

This small purchase will absolutely astonish you. I share stories of miracles, healings, changing the atmosphere in Wal-Mart, and how I prayed differently for my husband's salvation.

It's now your turn and I can't wait to March along with you into the Promised Land.

Visit MarchingAroundJericho.com to order your book now. I love you. March on Warrior! We WIN! 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.


OH BUT THE REWARDS Book Launch TOMORROW

Small 3D MAJAh, but the rewards of your labors as you walk through the lessons... The very voice of God.

Prayers of healing for yourself and for others.

The salvation of souls for your family.

This is the Kingdom life. These are the promises of God in His holy Word.

Open your heart and mind to new possibilities.

Walk where I walked- You will taste and see that the LORD is good.

~Lynn Donovan, Author, Marching Around Jericho

*****

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.


Marching Around Jericho Isn't For..... January 28th

Small 3D MAJThis journey isn't for those who are comfortable in their faith life. It isn't for anyone who is satisfied with country club Christianity or the status quo.

This journey will challenge long-held religiosity and lies that keep us in bondage and sin patterns.

This journey is for the truly desperate who are willing to pay the high cost to walk in true intimacy with the King and follow hard after Jesus.

to be continued.....

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


You Will Also.... Launch January 28th

Small 3D MAJThis Warrior March will also:

  • Teach you to pray with confidence, power and authority and command the angelic to move upon your words.
  • You will learn to love.
  • Fight from victory for your victory.
  • And fulfill the words of Jesus Christ.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. -Matthew 10:8

And these are a mere taste of what awaits.

Stay tuned.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


You Will Take A Journey - Launch in less than 7 days - January 28

Small 3D MAJOn this journey you will:

  • Challenge the religious spirit.
  • Form new faith practices.
  • Reveal the Holy Spirit and His purpose for your life.
  • Align your thoughts to the thoughts of Christ.
  • Create a depth of intimacy with the LORD that will leave you filled with hope, wonder and peace.
  • Understand and experience Jesus who is always with you so you have nothing to fear.
  • Become a powerful Kingdom Warrior that rescues yourself and others from the demonic.
  • You will destroy demons with fire.

to be continued......

*****

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.


7 Years of Transformitive Lessons Began - MAJ Launch January 28

Small 3D MAJ7 years of lessons in faith began that day. The lessons moved me from powerless faith in the miraculous.

After 7 years of training I arrived at the end-game!

The show down with the devil for the eternity of one man's soul.

What you will learn: to be continued tomorrow.

*****

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 Showed Up - Launch January 28th

Small 3D MAJGod answered the cry of my heart.

He showed up on October 12, 2012.

What happened from that single encounter?

Stay tuned...….

*****

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.


20 Years - Launch January 28th

Small 3D MAJ
SUM Nation,

For 20 years I prayed......

Finally, I cried out in frustration.....

God I believe, so where are the miracles?

to be continued.....

*****

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.


Answers To Questions About the Book - Launch January 28

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comAnswers to Questions

I received a number of questions about Marching Around Jericho. Here is some more information.

Marching Around Jericho will be available in paperback, eBook, and audio. You will be able to buy a copy from most booksellers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other smaller retailers. The ebook is available to preorder today but paperback will likely be available later next week.

The audio book is outstanding and I love the narrator. It will be available in about 10 days from Audible, Amazon and on iTunes.

I recommend purchasing the paperback as there is a journaling process to this journey. And you will need to go back and read some of your journal entries and the prayers included.

You can order through marchingaroundjericho.com. There are several options available today and every option will be available on January 28th. This website is a treasure of other tools and modules of learning that will assist you on the journey. The learning modules are not fully complete because I’ve been really ill for two weeks. But I’ll add them as I finish them up. They are excellent. And if you want to personalize your journey and have me to coach you and to pray with you through it, you can sign up for spiritual development. This is superfast-track your journey around Jericho.

This book is vastly different from my previous books. It will challenge you. And it’s meant to challenge you. If you have been praying for more than five years and there isn’t progress, something needs to change. This book will point you toward that change. And it will require you to push yourself past religiosity and powerless Christianity.

But the reward!!!!!!!! It’s all glory. It’s our Pearl of Great Price.

I’ll share more in the next few weeks. March on Warrior!! WE WIN! 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.


It's Your Turn - Launch Date January 28, 2020

Marching Around Jericho Cover 3DEXCERPT:

Welcome, Warrior!

If you are praying for the salvation of your unsaved spouse, it is my honor to provide you with a roadmap for your march toward the Promised Land.

Marching Around Jericho is a spiritual guide. As you read through the pages, powerful and transformative instruction and equipping takes place. We follow Jesus as he leads us around the walls, imparting kingdom truths with each passing, finally arriving at the gates of the walled-off city, our spouse’s unbelieving heart. After the circles in prayer are complete, we arrive fully prepared to command the walls to crumble and be removed, making a way for our spouse to step from the rubble of lies and captivity, into faith and freedom!

This is a journey of hope and one of significant challenges. But the spoils of this war become your pearl of great price, worthy of your efforts, each prayer you whisper, and every tear shed. The prize is love.

How do I know? I’ve marched around my Jericho for the past seven years. I’ve traversed the seemingly insurmountable mountains in our marriage, the valleys of doom and gloom, spiritual exhaustion, and faced storms that nearly toppled our bonds of holy matrimony. Yet by the grace of God, I’ve gained spiritual strength, a powerful prayer life, faith that moves said mountains, and authority in Christ. I’ve participated in miracles, healings, and uncovered truth wrapped in love. I have looked into the eyes of perfect love and experienced our triune God, intimately, through the ordinary and the divine.

In spite of the enemy’s assignment to kill, steal, and destroy all that I hold near and dear, I now thrive in my marriage and am living the abundant life (John 10:10).

We, the unequally yoked in marriage, are the chosen to demonstrate faith in Christ. We’ve been given a unique platform to reveal Christ’s love to family members who otherwise may never see Jesus. Our unsaved spouse contemplates our victories as we model the Father’s unending patience, grace, and mercy. How do I know? I’ve lived these truths out in my married life while waiting for the salvation of my husband.

Now it’s your turn.

*****

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 Five - 2020 Fast

Prayer and Fasting 2019SUMite Nation,

Can you believe another annual fast is nearly finished? Last year so much happened following the fast. I'm praying that this year is the same for me and for you.

I'll assure you that your prayers never fall on deaf ears. Rest in the faithfulness of our Father in heaven and rest in the name of Jesus, the Christ.

How did your fast go? What did the LORD reveal to you? Share your experience in the comments. 

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. -Matthew 17:19-21

Well done SUMites! WELL DONE! 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.


SUM Fast Day 4 - Promises and Memories

Ann here!

We have reached day 4 of the fast. It’s Thursday afternoon here in New Zealand and, remarkably, I’m still going foodless. I'm pinching myself as this is officially the longest I’ve managed to go without food. I'm praying that I can inch across the finish line tomorrow. Fasting photo 2020

I will say that past fasts have resulted in many times where I've just needed to stop. If that's you just treat the next day as a fresh start and carry on as you are led. It's certainly an adventure.

Now to us: I have my communion cup and cracker at the ready, and in taking communion I'd like to share a thought about God’s faithfulness.

Recently, I searched for ‘Abraham’ in the Bible. I look at his life sometimes because he’s the ultimate promise-carrier. I relate in some ways to his process; maybe you do too.

It was fascinating to me to discover that across both the Old and New Testaments God repeatedly makes the statement ‘Because of the covenant I made with Abraham’. Centuries pass and still this covenant is raised at unexpected points within scripture. The lesson: God has a very, very long memory, and He is faithful.

Abraham’s promise came in stages. It was like unwrapping layers of a pass-the-parcel game, except every layer was a treat that was specifically made for Abraham. First he was told only a little -- "I will make you a great nation;" (Genesis 12:1-3). A few years later he was told a bit more, and so on. The story unfolded and became more specific, culminating in the ridiculous: Elderly Sarah conceiving a baby.

In the midst of that 25-year process, we see a curious anecdote: A king and priest called Melchizadek appears with bread and wine (Genesis 14:18), and Abraham is captivated enough by this encounter to give Melchizadek one tenth of all he owns. As a rich man, this would have been an astounding amount. I find myself raising my eyebrows, wondering why. Perhaps it was simply that Abraham heard God say "I want you to do this".  

Straight after that radical act, Abraham heard God accurately and clearly, a blessing for his obedience: “Abraham, the heir will come from your own body” (Genesis 15:4). It's an impossible promise, as always. As for Melchizadek, that is a part of the plot that only God could have thought up. Melchizedek foreshadows Jesus (our King and Priest) offering communion. 

Here are the words that Melchizadek spoke to Abraham. Perhaps as we take communion today we can receive this same blessing:

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God most High who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” (Genesis 14:19-20, NKJV).

Friends, we are blessed, and God will deliver our enemies into our hand. Our promises will come, and hopefully will be talked about after we’ve passed from this earth, especially if we leave a record of them. As an encouragement, we only have to look as far as Israel where many of Abraham's descendants live.

On the topic of promises, Lynn mentioned asking for a word for 2020. Like her, I always ask but usually don’t hear anything clearly. However, this time I did hear an unmistakable word. On 1 January I heard God whisper to me: ‘Lydia’. Later that morning I looked up Lydia in Acts 16. She was an early convert in Philippi. These words are about her: “And when she and her household were baptized…”  (Acts 16:15) What a wonderful word to start the year off and, as you can imagine, I was encouraged. So, yes please, Lord, I’ll take it. Who knows what that means for 2020 specifically, but I will digest the life of Lydia this year and meditate on it.

How about you -- What promises are you believing? Did you receive a word for 2020, and/or what are you hoping for this coming year?

It's been nice sharing this journey with you this week. Lynn will be back for our final post tomorrow.

Ann

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


SUM Fast Day 3: He Gathers and Covers Us

Hi friends, Ann here. Fasting photo 2020

It is day three of our fast and we're halfway through! How is it going with you? I began the fast while on holiday with friends so ate with them on Monday evening, but apart from that I've been food-free. I’m trying to go without food until Friday, my approach being to 'just give it a go'. We'll see!

As for us all, I can’t wait to hear about your experiences. Those experiences in the comments are often my favorite part of the January fast. It is always an adventure hearing about the ups and downs of fasting and the wonderful things that follow.

Now to communion today:

I would say us SUMites identify strongly as people of covenant. We’re intentional about our connection with our spouse and with God, and the whole concept of covenant drives us deeply. Our faith difference necessitates it.

This covenant mindset helps us sympathize with Jesus’ covenant that He carried so deeply. In His case, He carried a deep commitment to His future church. In giving us His body and blood, He offered an unbreakable promise to us -- A covenant of salvation and protection.

Yesterday, in thinking about 'covenant', God seemed to point me to the passage where Jesus famously looked at Jerusalem like a mother hen:

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' " (Matthew 23:37-39, NIV).

It took a while for me to link this to covenant and communion, but now I’ve sat with it I see Jesus anticipating two core aspects of His covenant: Gathering and covering.

My beloved children, how I long to gather you!

My beloved children, how I long to cover you!

In communion He gathers us to partake, and He offers His blood as a covering of protection. We have every opportunity to reject it. But we receive it, say ‘yes’ and shout in our hearts, like the people who welcomed Him with palm leaves on Palm Sunday.

This particular fast, one of my personal learnings has been just how fiercely protective God is of me. When He says He covers me, He really does mean that His wings and eyes are on my family. It also means He will do what it takes to make sure our spiritual lives are healthy and our souls are saved. He does that because I've invited Him in and said 'Your will be done in my family'. Because of the ways in which He has been speaking to me about covering, at this point I can say I've reached complete peace about my family's salvation: Bryce my husband, Travis my 15 year old, and Miles my little one at 13.

So, in reflecting on all this, I take my cup right now – as this post goes live - and am thinking of you all. I eat His Body and drink His Blood and I say this:

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!

(Luke 19:38, NKJV).

Let's enjoy our communion today and thank God for His gathering of us and His covering.

Now over to you: How is your fast going and what you are learning?

*****

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.