119 posts categorized "Praying God's Word"

Want To Know How To Pray For Real Results?

A few weeks ago I experienced a breakthrough in my faith walk. Breakthroughs are amazing but I find in my life they usually follow a difficult season. This was true once again for me. However, the result of persevering in faith through the challenges is astonishing. So my friends, if you are in the darkest part of your valley, press in to the Father, because the breakthrough is SO worth it.

This particular breakthrough increased my belief in the prayers that I utter for others. I began to really see powerful and immediate things change when I prayed for people.

Say what?

Being filled with a fresh anointing of faith and exuberance, I posted something to my Facebook wall about breakthrough and how I was walking in a fresh anointing of Holy Spirit fire. At the end of this post I asked a simply three-word question:

Who want’s prayer?

Within minutes, prayer requests began to appear. After a few hours there were 66 requests for prayer.

I learned something from these requests. Many of God’s children are beleaguered with relentless assaults from the demonic. Terrible health issues, children with addictions, financial worries and the list went on and on. These aren’t minor things but really challenging assaults.

Reading through them I was grieved. And then I got mad. Mad, at the enemy because his relentless nit picking keeps believers tied up in their own swirling world of problems, so much so that we can’t come up for air to see the concerns and needs of our neighbors, church, community and especially our country.

Additionally, I realized that many believers truly don’t know how to pray effectively. It’s not their fault it’s just sometimes believers need to battle the demonic oppression directly and many churches don’t teach their congregants how to do this well. In fact, several wrote me to say they didn’t know how to pray and thanked me for the example I shared with them.

I believe effective prayer consists of several attributes. And on August 10th, I will be teaching a LIVE class on how to pray effectively using the Word of God and through our identity as an image bearer of Christ.

To sign up, complete the following enrollment form: Praying the Word of God with Lynn Donovan

Two LIVE classes will be offered on the 10th. 12:30 pm and 5:00 pm PACIFIC. You can attend either or both. Content will be similar but often there will be variances because I follow the Holy Spirit leading.

By the way, I prayed online for all 66 requests and I KNOW God moved upon many.

So GLAD to be back among my SUMite family. I have SO much to share with you this month. Matthew 24, Daniel 9 and Revelation have come alive for me. It’s not scary stuff and SUMites, you are more than ready for all that these books contain. Anyone interested??? Stay tuned.

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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.


Friday Prayer: Wisdom and the Light of God

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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.


Friday Prayer: God's Heart for Our Loved Ones and His Church

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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.


Friday Prayer: Salvation Prayer & Declaration

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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.


Friday Prayer: The Armor of God

Hey there, SUMites! Here's one of those surprises! On Fridays I will post a prayer through the month of July. God's impressed upon me to share these prayers to help encourage and bless you. So here goes...are you ready? (Turn up your volume if needed. I forgot how allergy season here in Florida makes me lose my voice a bit.)

Praying on Your Armor

Lord, I am putting on the Armor of God. (Eph 6:10-17)

My belt of truth for Jesus is my way, my truth and my life. (John 14:16)

My breastplate of righteousness for I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor 5:21)

My shield of faith for the righteous shall live by faith. (Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38)

My sword of the Spirit—the very Word and promises of God which are my shield and protection. (Psalm 91:4)

My feet fitted in the Gospel of Peace for Jesus is my firm foundation. (Luke 6:48-49)

And my helmut of Salvation for I am covered and live in freedom under the sacrificial blood of Jesus. (Heb 10:19, Eph 1:7, Eph 2:13, Rev 1:5)

SUMites, share your favorite armor Scriptures in the comments. And pray this over your children too. Make it like a game and you will implant the truth of God's protection, their identity in Jesus, and truths about their inheritance too!
Love 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.


Reach for the Stars

ReachfortheStarsMy friends, we’ve already started to receive prayers from many of you for our new book, Praying for Your Unsaved Spouse. I’m hoping there are many more of you out there praying, considering and even writing your prayer story.

But if you’ve decided that’s just not something you can do, I want to tell you a little story. About a year or so after I rededicated my life to Jesus, my church started a Stephen Ministry and put a call out for participants. It was a two year commitment—a year of training and a year of service within the church. 

When I read it, I thought how wonderful that will be for our church membership, but I didn’t even consider signing up. I had two young children and a husband who didn’t share my faith at all. Didn’t seem like a good fit for me. How could I do something like that?

That same week, my pastor called me into his office to chat. He asked me if I’d considered signing up for the Stephen Ministry training. I told him honestly, no. He looked me straight in the face and asked, “Please pray about it.”

My friends, I was surprised that my pastor, who knew my situation and knew me, would think I’d be a good candidate for this. But I was very willing to pray about it. And that’s what I did the very next morning. 

I love the saying that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He calls. Jesus told the disciples not to worry about what to say but to trust that the Holy Spirit would give them the exact words they would need (Matt. 10:19, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:11).

That morning I sat in my favorite chair with my Bible in my lap, I began to pray about what my pastor had asked me. And before I could even finish my prayer, I heard God clearly say, “Well, what did you think I had in mind for you?”

You see, sometimes we disqualify ourselves for things because we haven’t done them before. Or we make assumptions that disqualify us that are completely contrary to God’s truth—and His plan—for us. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:10

My friends, if you think you are not qualified or capable of contributing to this project, please let me encourage you to seek God and ask Him. Let Him be the one to tell you what you are capable of. I have a feeling you will be very much surprised and delighted. And if you want some biblical inspiration of just how specific God can do this, read about Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 31. The only difference between them and you is that you already have the Holy Spirit living in you.

And I have a feeling there are prayers you haven’t thought about that have become near and dear to your heart. They don’t have to be about just salvation. How about prayers for your spouse to have favor at work or to be the best parent he or she can be with God’s help? We’ve seen God move in amazing ways through our spouses. What prayers have impacted your life as a SUMite? What prayers have impacted your marriage?

SUMites, I believe you have something to pray and say. Even if it’s something new that God inspires you with, share it! You’ll inspire more SUMites along this path than you will ever know. Like I say, God is not wasteful. He will take whatever you offer up to Him and multiply it beyond your wildest imagination (Eph 3:20)

I never imagined myself as a Stephen Minister, but God had planned it all along. And you know what’s even more amazing? All that training was part of God’s plan to bring me here too, to be a part of this beautiful SUM ministry. He’s the best equipper I know!

And I want to let you in on a little secret. As I was praying for this book and for our SUM family, Holy Spirit showed me there will be a sequel to this book—one filled with the salvation stories of our spouses! Can you imagine that, SUMites? Wow, God is on the move!

Holy Spirit, fill every SUMite praying this prayer with words and inspiration to be shared with those coming up behind us. I pray they be filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge and with all kinds of words to express their heart and prayers. In the mighty and most able name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUM family!
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 Big Reveal

SUMCoverDuo
Hello SUMites!

I bet you're looking at these two covers and wondering what is going on. Well, this is our big surprise. I put my graphic designer skills to work and created two covers for a book that we are going to publish—a book filled with prayers for the salvation of our spouses.

Guess who's going to write it?

YOU!

Yes, you heard us right. As the covers show, this will be a collection of prayers written by this community (Lynn and I too!) and we will publish it just like any other book. You will be able to download it from Amazon for Kindle or order a print copy. 

AND you get to vote on which cover you want. But there's a requirement for this vote. You have to submit a prayer for the book! If there's a story behind the prayer, be sure to include that too. Like how God led you to that verse and how you turned it into a prayer for your spouse. Or how something inspired you to pray that prayer. 

Now don't let that scare you off, my friends. If you have written down prayers for or journaled prayers for your spouse, dig those out and get them ready to go. Here are the submission requirements:

  • 500 - 1000 words in a Word document. 
  • Include 2 to 3 sentences at the end that will tell readers your name and who you are. You're the author, after all!
  • Re-read and edit your submission to check for typos and missing punctuation, then email them to me. Lynn and will review all submissions and help you with any final edits to make your submission shine!
  • Sign a release giving us permission to use your submission. You'll receive one of these by email with a request to return the form by postal mail. We'll need this in order to include your prayer.

Dear friends, I hope you're as excited about this as we are. Our goal is to compile the book and have it completed by the end of the summer. Imagine holding a book in your hands with something in it that you wrote. So pray for Holy Spirit inspiration and trust Him to give you words. And have fun!

All right, SUMites, let your writer flags fly, make a record of your heart-felt prayers, share your words and inspire others.

We are the SUMites and we have something to pray!

Woohoo! 
Love 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.


A Past and Present Story

Hello, SUM family. I'm with Lynn in wondering how this month has gone by so fast! Here I thought I'd run out of stories only to find I needed to pick and choose the best ones, because there are so many. And I will say they are truly God's stories—the evidence of His love and presence. We all have His-stories to tell, my friends. They are our testimonies.

My story today has it’s roots in the past and is blossoming in unexpected ways today today. I never expected to be ordained. In a way that truth is still settling into my heart and mind, because it's not something I ever felt worthy to aspire to. But we know our worth is determined by what Jesus did and not what we do. I find I must remind myself of that daily. I trust God daily to free me from that performance mentality.

But you know what I love most about this. I was ordained by this ministry—our SUM ministry. I never imagined such a thing possible ten years ago. Or even five years ago! It's just “right" that it comes from this beautiful place. You know what I mean? There simply aren't words to express the joy that brings me.

And there is a humorous side to this story, SUMites. I wondered what my hubby would think of this so I explained I was going to be ordained and then asked him, "How do you feel about being married to a pastor?"

He laughed. In a good way. You know what's so funny about this story? Only a week or so before this, he and I were talking about the churches I've been visiting with a my best friend who just moved here in January. I've been helping her find a church home. The thing is, I'm still in this church search myself now that we've settled in Florida year round. I love the church I've been attending, but it's a big church and I'm not sure that's where God wants me to stay.

Do you know what my hubby said to me?

"You should start your own church."

And he was serious! SUMites, I'm just stunned at how God works in our circumstances. That is the last thing I ever expected my husband to say. 

I shared this story with my friend and what she said stopped me in my tracks. "How crazy will it be when you're both pastors of a church."

SUMites, I don't aspire to pastor a church, and I still don't. I feel like I'm already doing that right here, which still blows my mind. But that statement fueled the tiny seed simmering in my heart to one day serve God with my husband, to be united in that calling, whatever it looks like. I know you understand that dream too, because it's a hope we all hold close in our hearts.

You see, the story gets a little more interesting here. I asked God a few months ago what spiritual gift(s) he'd given my husband, and He opened my eyes to see it was evangelism. God also showed me how Mike is already operating in that gift, which is absolutely mind boggling. 

Why? When I met my husband, he was one of the shyest people I'd ever met. He didn't like crowds and kept to himself. Even in the early years of our marriage, if we went to an event, he mostly stayed with people he knew. 

Now I watch up him go up to complete strangers on the beach, in a restaurant, or a store and strike up conversations all the time. Complete strangers! And he seems totally at ease about it. I watch, and I'm in awe of how God works in our spouses even when they don't know or want it. Even when we don't know or can't see it. He does, my friends. He truly does.

SUMites, God has planted and is watering this seed in my heart—a dream of possibility. A dream I realize I'd put in the impossibility column early on, even ten years ago, and now God has moved it not just to the "all things are possible with Him" column, but to the "DREAM BIG" column as well. God has done a great work in me too on that one!

How about you, my precious SUMites? What dream is God seeding in your heart? What hope have you held close, yet been too afraid to share with your Great Big God? Share in the comments—I'd love to pray with you for this dream or for God to seed a dream in your heart.

On Friday's post, Lynn shared Karen's one minute prayer idea and 78 of you left comments with your hubby's name. Seventy-eight! Many of you replied to other SUMites that you would pray for her spouse and have partnered up. I've compiled a complete list and will continue to update it. If you'd like a copy, email me

IMG_5046
My Bible at Jeremiah 24:7. I have a hand written version of the list too. Started the list by hand and Holy Spirit impressed upon me to keep doing it. So now I have both!
 

SUMites, I am standing on the word and Scripture God gave me for our community in January, and I am placing this list in my Bible at Jeremiah 24. I declare this over our spouses nearly every day and I believe like I have never believed before that God is and going to do this.

He is faithful and He will do what He says! Amen? Amen!

Love you so much, my SUM family!
~Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


How Did (and Do) We Honor Our Husbands?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you so much, SUMites!
~Dineen

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

19197771_sOn Tuesday I wrote about God’s promises and asked you to choose one promise you are standing for right now, write it on an idea card and as a prophetic act, stand on it and speak this promise over yourself, your family, or whatever the situation this promise is for.

I want to back up just a bit and be sure that our community understands just how powerful it is the speak God’s Word back to Him, to speak what came from the supernatural into the natural realm (Heb. 11:3). If if you read the Psalms, you’ll notice King David was a master at this.

Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. — Psalm 27:13

In the early years of my Christian faith, I didn’t understand this. I always read my Bible, studied Scriptures and memorized verses here and there, but it wasn’t until much later that I was taught the power of speaking God’s Word out loud, speaking it back to Him. Scripture even tells us this.

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the LORD’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” —Isaiah 55:10-13 NLT

As I’ve learned to do this more and more, I’ve seen God’s Word produce the fruit He promised. I believe we give Abba great pleasure when we trust His Word and speak it back to Him. And there are many ways you can do this, my friends.

  1. Simply read His Word out loud. As powerful as playing Christian music in your home can be to change the atmosphere, reading God’s Word out loud in your home is even more so. I know this isn’t always possible with our mismatched situations, but take advantage of the times you can. I did this quite frequently over my children’s rooms as they were growing up and I speak God’s Word over my marriage bed and room. Bless and protect!
  2. Make it a prayer. Take the Words and speak them as prayer to God with your name or a loved one’s name in it. One piece of Scripture that I used quite a bit in recent years is from Psalm 91. Here’s an example:

    “Because Dineen loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges My name. She will call on me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble, I will deliver her and honor her. With long life I will satisfy her and show her my salvation.” — Psalm 91:14-16 NLT

    I even did this with the entire Psalm and still personalize it as prayer of protection. This spoke to my heart and gave me comfort. And the more I heard it, the more I believed it.
    So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. — Romans 10:17 NKJV
  3. Speak it back to the Source. When we read a verse and speak it back to God as a statement of truth, again our faith is strengthened and so is our trust. And as I shared on Tuesday about God’s faithfulness, He returns that trust with His faithfulness to His Word and to us.

During a difficult time I spoke back 1 Peter 5:6-7 and 10 to God almost every day.

Vs. 6-7: Lord, I humble myself under Your mighty power, and I know that at the right time, You will me up in honor. So I give you all my worries and cares, because I know You care about me.

Vs. 10: Lord, in Your kindness You called me to share in Your eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. So after I have suffered a little while, You will restore, support and strengthen me, and You will place me on a firm foundation.

Why did I do this? Look at verses eight and nine:

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. — 1 Peter 5:8-9

The enemy was hitting me hard at the time and this was one of many verses God led me too. Then one day while in church during worship, I heard God clearly say, “I am lifting you up today.”

God spoke back His Word to me as I had been speaking it to Him. And He did exactly what He said, my friends. I find myself wanting to do this very type of scriptural prayer more and more, because I love to hear our Great God speak it back. He’s so faithful!

SUM family, I know many of us are feeling down trodden. I am battling new discouragement over my health—I was finally feeling almost back to normal from my shoulder ordeal and now my body is having some kind of allergic reaction that is making life very unpleasant. In the last four months I wasn’t as diligent due to the pain I was in and the enemy took full advantage. Just as 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, but that doesn’t change God’s faithfulness. I am committed to praying these Scriptures and more over myself and my family. And over you, my friends. I often pray over your comments with Scriptures.

Why? Because…

“I trust You, Oh Lord, for You are my God (Psalm 31:14)! And I KNOW Your are working all this out for our good (Romans 8:28)!

Amen? Amen!

Love 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.


God Keeps His Promises

1Cor1-9My friends, I want to take our theme of standing for Jesus and move to standing on His promises. What does that mean? How do we identify a promise in the Bible? How do we pray and stand upon them, especially when what we see happening in our lives or those we love or in the world around us doesn't agree?

I love God’s promises. I firmly believe and declare regular that they are my shield and protection as it says in Psalm 91. When daughter Leslie was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, I stood on every promise He gave me through that and He was faithful to His Word. God has proven His faithfulness to me mainly through my daughters and my marriage.

But I will also be honest and authentic in saying I feel like this area of my faith has been tested more in the last two years than I ever imagined they could be. Right now I can also honestly say I’m beginning to understand Job and even identify with the poor dude. My family and I are getting slammed in ways I didn’t see coming—my daughter’s and my health, a marriage in our extended family is threatened, and some other unforeseen challenges have emerged. Yet in other ways, God’s blessings have poured out in abundance and remain sure.

I remember walking and praying one day as my mind contemplated God’s miracles, specifically how we see and perceive them as opposed to our spouses. I tend to try to look at things from my husband’s perspective as well in order to understand him better—I’m still trying to figure the guy out!

And in this reflective moment I could honestly see how someone could “reason” away the evidence of God. But quicker than I could finish the thought, God stopped me in my tracks and said, “No, Dineen, everything is birthed in the supernatural first. Never forget that.”

Then He led me to Hebrews 11… 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. — Hebrews 11:1-3

I was quite familiar with verse one, but it was verse three that He wanted me to see that day to bring His point all the way home to my heart. 

Everything starts with the word of God. 

With His Words.

With His promises.

And He’s reminded me of this for the last several days as I contemplate the chaos that seems to be swirling around my immediate and extended family. 

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled. — Romans 15:4

And that’s the key, to read the Bible and ask Holy Spirit to reveal the promises we need for that moment, that day, that situation, or whatever need and challenge we are facing. Or even just the reassurance of His presence, love and protection. Because He knows we need hope and encouragement constantly to walk in faith and STAND on His promises. 

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises… — 2 Peter 1:3-5

Yes, God has given us everything we need, because He gave Himself to us through Jesus. And His Word is full of those great and precious promises. But there is a role we play in this divine exchange, my friends. It’s in that very last line of the Scriptures above, a line that captured my attention just yesterday as I sat with my Bible on my lap, searching for a much needed Word of promise, hope and encouragement.

He reminded me through Peter’s words to make very effort to respond to those promises I searched for so hungrily. There in lies our side of this divine exchange, to receive His Word as truth and stand in belief and agreement with it.

When God says He will never leave or forsake us, He will never leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:6). So when we feel like God is distant, we can claim His promise that He will never abandon us and declare this truth to make the enemy and his lies flee.

When God says He is for us, not against us (Rom. 8:31), then we can trust we have the Creator of the Universe backing us up (Isa. 58:8). All those “things” that seem to be coming against us will actually be turned around and used for our good (Rom. 8:28). 

When we wonder how we can love like Jesus and be His light in the world, we can trust that He had already told us we are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14) and also trust that He is giving us the power and the desire to be that light and do the things that please Him (Phil. 2:13).

And when we run into doubt, we can stand on His very Word that says He is faithful to do what He says, because we have entered into partnership with His Son, Jesus (I Cor. 1:9).

My precious SUM family, I want you to take one promise from the Bible—one you already know and want to stand for, or ask the Holy Spirit to show you one you need right now—and write it on an index card or piece of paper. Then as a prophetic statement, I want you to stand on it and speak that promise out loud over yourself, your family, and/or whoever or whatever it is for. Do this every day for a week, a month, or however long it takes to become your truth. 

Then when your promise is birthed from the supernatural into this earthly realm, come and give your testimony. For we are the SUMites and we stand in faith as uniquely as any church or faith based community as I have ever encountered. And I am so grateful for you, my SUM family. I am standing with you just as I know you are standing with me.

I love you so very much,
Dineen


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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.


What's the Lord talking to you about?

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Photo courtesy of markuso/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Lent is over. Easter has come and gone. I had mixed emotions last week after Easter Sunday. Part of me sighed as I enjoyed the cessation from fasting and commitment to serious devotional reading and meditation. But there was also a big part of me that didn’t want it to end because something happened during those six weeks.

A yearning.

I loved my days of courting. Oops, what an old-fashioned word. Yes, I’m showing my age. Remember those days when you’re first getting to know someone of the opposite sex and everything is exciting? And I’m not talking about the physical stuff. Your heart beating a little (or a lot) faster when you caught a glimpse of the one who’s captured all your thinking time these past few days/weeks. Remember those days?

These past six weeks reminded me a little of courting. Only the person who’d captured my imagination was Jesus. Well, not just Him but also the Father and the Holy Spirit.

And just like our old courting days I don’t want this to stop. I want more of Him. Of each of them.

What changed?

Strangely, it was discipline. A greater intentionality to spend quality time with the Lord. In quiet. Listening to God. (remember Dineen’s excellent posts on hearing from God?) Praying more focused and specific prayers and speaking Scripture over myself. I really can’t stress how much praying and speaking God’s Word has enhanced my dialogue with the Lord.

When I felt a nudge from the Spirit I acted. It may have been to pray for someone or to do something. Little steps of obedience matter.

The conversation has resumed

It’s funny how we build up these seasons of celebration: Easter and Advent. When everything we acknowledge, celebrate and worship in those seasons we probably should do everyday.

We all know we needed that first Easter to take place all those years ago so we could have fellowship with God. The conversation that He longed to have with us had ceased until Jesus appeared, lived, died and was resurrected. Now we can continue that conversation.

As I was preparing some material for a men’s group I meet with, I was struck by the question, “What is He talking to me about?”

Ummm …?

Soon after a friend, also in the group, suggested I lead the group to reflect on Philippians 3:10. Bill specifically sent through the Amplified version (the extended mix version). Read it through slowly.

“And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did];”

And then I had the answer to that question.

God wants me to want to know Him more than anything else. Anything. My health, my vocation, the salvation of my wife. Anything.

Then check out what Jesus prays the night before His death. He’s praying this for us.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23 NIV)

We may be one with Jesus … and the Father … and the Holy Spirit.

And because Jesus died and rose from the dead we can experience this oneness.

“Oneness with God is the goal of our existence.” – John Eldredge.

That’s what I want!

What’s the Lord been speaking to you about recently? What’s stirring in your heart at the moment that you think the Lord might have initiated? We’d love to read some of your thoughts 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.


Releasing the Word

Jer24-7My friends, I have felt Abba's nudge to declare our word from Him for 2016 over us again. I am praying this over our community and our pre-believers just about every day. Join me in faithful prayer.

 

Lord, thank you for giving our pre-believers hearts that recognize You as the Lord. We declare that they will be Your people and You will be their God, for they shall return and turn to You with their whole heart. In the Mighty name of Jesus, amen!

 

To read the full word He gave me, click hereLove 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.


Seek and Listen

Jer33-3SUMites, as we prepare for our fast next week, I would like you to begin asking God for specific words and/or impressions from Him for yourself and for your family. I do this each year and God either gives me specific words or impression for me and each of my family members just about every year. I've already begun doing this and will be sharing what God is speaking to my heart about you and His heart for our SUM community for 2016. I am so excited to tell you more next week.

If this is a struggle for you, don’t stress over it. Just sit in a quiet place, pray Jeremiah 33:3 and if you “hear” a word, see a word in your mind, get an impression or feeling, write it down. I find at times what I first receive may seem unclear or confusing but as I continue to press in and pray, Holy Spirit unfolds its meaning. 

I love you, my SUM family. It is my honor and privilege to be in prayer for you too as you seek God's heart.
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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.


From the Archives: Claiming and Praying God's Promises

On Saturdays we continue to post from our archives. Last year starting in April I did a series about the transformed mind. I'm feeling led to rerun that series over the next few weesk, my friends, and I pray it gives you more encouragement and inspiration to let the Holy Spirit transform you with the Word of God and His truths! Amen! Love you! ~Dineen

The Transformed Mind: Claiming and Praying God's Promises

ThemindWhat are you thinking right now? What are you worried about? What has your heart and mind twisted in knots on a daily basis?

Do you know you have control over this? That you are not at the mercy of your thoughts and emotions?

I didn't understand this for a long time. Only recently have I come to more ably see just how much I judged my faith (and myself) by my emotions. It’s an ongoing process that I want to share with you, my friends, so we can grow together in this area—one I believe is crucial to every area of our lives and especially in our mismatched marriages. Because as we are transformed, you better believe your prebeliever is going to notice!

And what I thought would be one post has now become multiple parts. So welcome to this series about the battlefield of our minds and how we can truly have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). I’m excited to share this with you and especially excited to hear back from you about your own journey in this area.

Let’s start with faith. Faith is based upon truth—the promises found in the Word of God—whether seen or unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Our minds can take these very promises and, through the lens of the world, our past hurts and the enemy's lies, turn them into mere shadows of the truth, void of the power they are intended to have in our lives.

My friends, of all the territories God calls us to claim in our lives of faith, I believe our minds are the most crucial territory of all that we must be constantly tending and feeding. The last three months have taught me this very well.

So how do we stand and hold our place in victory over this battlefield of our minds?

I know you’ve heard this one before: read and study the Bible. A big part of how God transforms us is through His Word (Romans 12:2). You don't have to be in seminary or even in a Bible study at your church (although this can be a very helpful part, don’t be dependent upon this one way of studying God’s Word). Just make time each day to sit down and read it. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God's promises and when one speaks to you, write it down in a journal. Ask God to help you understand what it means for you and record that as well.

You can follow a reading plan, follow God's leading as to where He wants you to read, or start with a devotional and read the Scriptures before and after the main verse. Just be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's nudges as you read. If you find yourself deeply touched by a verse, stop and let it sink in. Let the God speak to you through His words on the page.

Even if you've barely read a paragraph that day, you have received gold! It's not about how much you read, but about how much you listen and take in. Don't rush. Just relax and enjoy it. Even if nothing in particular stands out, you've fed your spirit and your soul with God's truth. Remember, it’s not about how we feel, it’s about believing, it’s about faith.

One resource I've found to be very helpful is Charles Stanley's InTouch Ministries website. I have the app on my iPad and use it daily to read the devotionals and especially if I want a list of Scriptures specific to an area, like fear or purpose. (God’s Promises on InTouch Minsitries

If you have a Bible app on your phone or an iPad, do a word search and write down the Scriptures that apply and give you comfort and peace. You can even do this online at BibleGateway.com with multiple translations.

The next part of this series will be about claiming and praying these promises over our lives and I’ll even share some examples, so have at least one or two ready that you have found so you can practice. Until then, my friends, feast on God’s Word daily. It’s the most important meal of your day!

Love you dearly!
Dineen

Image credit: carlacastagno / 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.


Under the Umbrella of Our Amor and Identity

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d15b17ab970c-320wiMy friends, forgive me if my last post confused you but I promise that as I wrap this up it will all make sense. As the Holy Spirit has revealed more and more of the importance and power God’s Word plays in our lives, I am undone by it. And my prayer is that by the end of this series, you will be too. 

The Full Armor of God is representative of our identity of Christ. We’ve covered the belt (truth), the breastplate (righteousness) and the shield (faith). Let’s move on to the rest.

Our feet are to be “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:16). This too is built upon all the other pieces of our armor and identity. We are grounded to stand (Paul repeats this word many times in Eph. 6:10-17) in truth, righteousness and faith.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” — Matt. 7:24-25

The Greek word for fall, piptō, has enough meanings to make an entire post of its own here. It covers the literal meaning of to physically fall down but also encompasses our salvation (judgement), to be overcome by terror or under attack by evil, to worship and more. This word covers literally and figuratively all ways we could “fall.”

Yet these verses tell us we won’t fall if our foundation is built upon Jesus’ words. He is Truth. He IS the Word—we’ll come back to this shortly, so hang with with me a little longer. And His peace guards our heart and our minds (Phil. 4:7). 

Our helmut of salvation is the covering of our mind. Salvation came through the sacrificial blood of Jesus, so therefore our helmut is that blood covering, cleansing and identification as a Christian. It is through His salvation that we receive His righteousness and become the righteousness of God. See how these truths continue to come full circle? 

But wait…it gets even better. The sword of the Spirit is the only only piece of armor that Paul clearly defines (Eph. 6:17). And he tells us to pray in the Spirit, which many believe has to do with praying in tongues, but I also believe it means we are to pray the Word—speak it out loud in our prayers, back to God. It is His living and breathing Word of God. And hearing it builds our faith.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. — Romans 10:17

John 1:1-14 also defines Jesus as the Word and that the Word became flesh.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14

by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; — 2 Cor. 6:7

If the sword of Spirit is the Word of God and Jesus is that Word, then as we stand on the Word, speak and pray the Word, believe the Word and share the Word, we are living, breathing and being as Jesus. He is in us and we are in Him (1 John 4:13). He is not only our Truth, our Righteousness, our Faith and our Salvation, He has also given us His Spirit. We are inseparable. 

The full armor of God defends and protects us, because it is who we are and reflects Whose we are. This truth comes full circle and keeps going: The Armor of God is our identity which is our armor.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. — Psalm 91:4

My friends, I am convinced the first and most important battle we will ever fight against the enemy will be to make time to read God’s Word, because he knows that when we do, we learn who we really are and are set free from his lies. The truth, THE Truth, sets us free (Gal. 5:1). It is our greatest weapon against him. And when we learn the truth, we stay free.

SUMites, the Word of God is the answer to everything we need. It’s not just words on a page. It’s truth. It’s Jesus. It’s the key to being everything we have been created to be and to do. The Word of God will save you, heal you, release you, anoint you, empower you and love you. It will reveal who you are and who you are meant to be—your purpose and calling, divine destiny. 

How is all that possible? Because it’s alive and powerful.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. — Hebrews 4:12

The Bible is not just a book. It is a dialogue with the God who created you. This is part of the mystery of God, of how His Holy Spirit in us creates the bond and connection to the Father’s heart to know Him, to love Him, to hear Him. All through Jesus, the Word become flesh, the Truth.

Quiet Time Study:

My friends, my prayer right now is that this truth I’ve shared with you today will spark a hunger for God’s Word like never before. If you don’t have a time each day to sit and read your Bible, ask God right now to help you make that time. Tell Him you want to go deeper with Him in His Word. I promise you, He will rush in and answer this prayer if you are willing to do what He asks or shows you. 

Community Question:

Share a moment the Holy Spirit spoke to you directly through God’s Word.

As I said, I believe this is our greatest battle, to make daily time with God reading His Word, but once you “win” this one, SUMites, you will be empowered to win the rest. And as your identity becomes clearer, your armor is stronger. Pretty amazing, huh? On Thursday I will share how I pray my armor on with these truths. There’s a benefit to doing this that I don’t think we don’t realize…

Lord, my prayer today is for every SUMite who reads this to have a greater hunger for Your Word. That You would move time into alignment and opposition out of the way for each one of them to spend time reading their Bible every day. Lord Jesus, You are the Word and You are our Truth and our reality. Meet them on the pages of their Bible and show each one of them a specific truth this week that is from Your heart to theirs. In the name of Jesus, I pray, amen! 

Love you, SUMites!
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P.S. Check out this awesome worship song about who we are!

*****

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 Rapture? And The Devil Must Repay.... So good!

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
Don't forget our community fast this Monday, September 14. Rosh Hashanah

SUMite Family:

We are indeed, living in an interesting season. I’ve spoken with my mom at length over the past few months about all of the end time scenarios that are being propagated in the Christian realm. These discussions are always fascinating and they are signs that make you wonder. *grin*

I will share with you some quick thoughts as we approach the end of the Shmita, Elul 29, for those who are following closely. We, all of humanity, may bear witness to some financial disturbances, the stock market, oil prices, and financial turmoil worldwide. We will witness the eclipses and the blood moons in the next three weeks. Yet, I’m convinced in my spirit that this is not quite the end. It may be the beginning of the end and the Lord is possibly positioning events, people and situations for His Last Day. (Now, if we are all raptured next week, you can find me in heaven and tell me I was wrong. *double grin*)

My heart is burdened to help us step out of fear. I’m convinced God is now creating one of the biggest moves of the Holy Spirit to ever be witnessed on earth. So, why in the world would He put an end to all that He has meticulously put into order and placement before the actual revival commences? It just doesn’t make sense. And I think we get all stirred up into fear and false expectation that removes us from love, generosity and the pursuit of intimacy with Christ.

I do believe there will be some turbulence but I also believe in this Jubilee, God will reassign wealth and protect His children. I am convinced and I have witnessed the holy Church rising into new areas of faith, spiritual growth and Kingdom advancement. So this is what I want us to take away today.

It’s going to all be okay!

We are not going to die today.

We have a hope and a future and God want’s our focus on love, holiness and the furthering of His Kingdom purposes.

I also want us to begin to pray into the promise of this Jubilee. Several years ago I wrote a post about the enemy and our rights to repayment from what was stolen. I’m going to repost some of that here because the Lord quickened my spirit that this Jubilee holds a short window to demand repayment from the dark Kingdom. You can read the entire article here:  I Am Taking The devil To Court!

Excerpt: There are so many areas in our lives that satan and his minions have caused us pain. He has literally stolen our family, our health, our homes and more.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~John 10:10 NIV

Today let's shine the light of God in this area and reclaim territory that has been lost, even lost for years and years. We are going to seek and receive the justice of our King.

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:6

I ask you, SUMites, “What has the devil stolen from you?  

God’s heavenly courts are open for us to petition and demand justice. I’m petitioning my Righteous Father to restore to me the years stolen and the pain of loss. I’m asking God to demand restitution for the years stolen from my family and marriage. In Jesus name.

So today, what has the enemy stolen from you? Approach the throne of grace. Begin to petition God about this promise in His holy and powerful Word. Begin to believe you will be made whole, times seven, for what the devil has stolen, killed or destroyed in your life.

Man, I’m certain that the enemy is mad about this post today. I’m asking you to leave me a word in the comments about what you are now declaring restored, sevenfold. I will pray with you.

This moment, this day, this hour the court of the Most High is in session and it’s our day as our loving Father extends His scepter and welcomes us to the mercy seat to make our requests known. And then we only need to stand back, pray with belief, and then watch as our God moves for us.

Woo Hoo. I can’t wait to see what comes from this moment in the SUMite Nation. Lookout devil. Your deceptions are over. We are the ordinary/ extraordinary army of the Most High and we demand this day a return of ALL that you have stolen and it MUST BE RESTORED SEVENFOLD. In Jesus name. AMEN.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

*****

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.


Praying for Our Kids to be Extraordinary (part 2)

NotAloneStudyImageHello, my friends! I pray this study is already helping you get ready for “back to school” and increasing your faith and hope in God to make this school year one of the best yet for you and your children. Let me add too that if you are a homeschooling mom, you are part of this too. Your kiddos need the same equipping for when they are out in the world, whether now at a friends, on a playground, and when they are adults on their own. We want to pour God’s truths into them with all His love so that they will continue what we have started in our own generation.

As I shared on Monday, the enemy wants us to think we are powerless against the “system,” but our God says otherwise. No “system” will keep Him away. Not if we are standing for Him and praying in the Spirit for our children, our homes, our schools—our prayers bathe these places with the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Perhaps one of our biggest challenges can come from our own expectations. I know I used to think that an easy time sailing through school with everything falling into place was how it was supposed to be for my girls. Especially since they were growing up with two parents and much more stability than I had. But that was no guarantee. They have faced challenges, but now I understand that this is part of this life and a life without challenges often winds up to be a selfish one. The key is that we can trust our God to take every challenge and trial and bring great good out of it. 

We know our testimonies are powerful and inspiring. We see it everyday here on this blog. Guess what? Our children’s testimonies are powerful too. 

In our book, Not Alone, I talk about two of my favorite stories in the Bible—Gideon and Joshua. These men overcame the impossible and won their battles, by the power and grace of God. God whittled Gideon’s army to a mere 300 men to battle and overcome an army of Midianites that numbered 120,000. The walls of Jericho fell at Joshua’s order to shout on their seventh day of marching.

Sometimes our situations and circumstances don’t make sense and the direction God leads us may not either. But we can always know that He is good, that He is working for our good, and that He is good at what He does. Take that truth and promise to the bank of your heart, my friends, and to the classroom, the schoolyard, and everywhere else your prayers are following your children. 

Pray and when you hear the enemy’s voice try to tell you that your prayers won’t help and protect your child, or try to tell you that God doesn’t care about you and your children, kick him to the curb with the truth! 

Can I do this? 
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). 

How can I do this? 
“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13, NLT).

Am I alone in this? 
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

Who will help me? 
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1).

What if I fail? 
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

What about the rough times? 
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

My friends, I have walked through depression and cancer with my youngest daughter. I have raised my girls to faith in a mismatched home. Though my girls are now grown, I continue to walk with them in their lives as a mentor, offering encouragement and prayers as I continue to speak God’s truth into them. 

Even though they are adults they still struggle at times with anxiety, because they are still learning how to battle the enemy. But they are getting it, because they listen to my words and watch me live out my faith. My prayers have released the power of God into their lives and He is faithful to do and complete what He starts. He will never abandon them or stop loving them. 

God has done this for me, and He has done and is doing it for you. Some days you may not be able to see it, but He’s there working. You don’t see the air you breath, but you know your breathing it. 

Take a deep breath, moms, dads and grandparents, and trust your God. He may not do it the way you expect Him to but He will do it. He will co-parent your children with you because HE loves them even more than you do and He knows your children by heart. He has a plan and future for your kiddos (Jer. 33:11), and He will bring it to pass no matter what challenges you and your children may face. 

Now breath out that life upon your children with your love, your words, your wisdom and your faith. Not by your strength or power, but by His Spirit! Amen!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing faithfulness. I know that You are able to do all that I have asked and more. I praise and thank You now for the ways in which You are and will be working in my children to make them effective and strong in their faith. In Your powerful and capable name, Jesus, I pray this. Amen!

Challenge: Start a list of areas in your children’s lives that you want to pray about regularly. Find specific verses to pray for your children in each area. You can even make this a prayer journal that you can record answers to prayer specific to your child and give it to them one day to show them how God has worked in their lives. Make it fun! 

For example, when my youngest daughter was dealing with anxiety, I would pray 2 Timothy 1:7 over her: 

Leslie Miller, God has not give you a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and self-control. In the name of Jesus, amen! 

Speak truth into their lives, my friends, and they will take it with them and walk in it everywhere they go!

All in His love!
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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.


Chapter One: Extraordinary Kids (part one)

NotAloneStudyImageMy friends, have we bought a lie? Have we bought into the lie that we’re powerless and alone in helping our children navigate the confusing and changing culture of today? That we are not enough?

I find it so interesting that just a few days ago I stood on my front porch, chatting with one of my neighbors. A simple compliment I made to her about their young daughter helping Dad mow the yard opened up a dialogue about her daughter’s anxiety and issues with school.

That was no accident, my friends. As she shared it was like I was hearing my youngest daughter’s story of school avoidance and anxiety. For the next hour we talked—I shared my heart with this mom, shared how God had always been faithful to my prayers for answers and provided solutions and people to help us. At this point I didn’t know if she is a believer or not and I still don’t.  

As she opened up more I was able to encourage her with ideas that had helped my daughter and I also helped her see areas in her own creativity that she could tap into and use to encourage and engage her daughter. I watched this worried mom become excited and even clap her hands in glee at one point. And all I did was share my heart with her though the love of Jesus.

This was on my front porch, but it could have been on a school yard, a playground, or even in a classroom on parent night.

My friends, the lie the enemy has fed us is that we’re not enough. I know I did for a long time. But I learned and am still learning in some lingering areas, that God is ALWAYS enough? Isn’t He bigger and stronger than anything we face? Doesn’t His Word say He’s faithful and that when His children cry out to Him, He answers? Let’s start crying out, my friends. Not just for God to change the situation but for Him to show us how to be part of His answer.

You are not alone, my friend. Our God not only loves us, He loves our kids. He wants them to know and love Him too. So no matter how contrary this culture is, and no matter how much our schools push Him out, He’s going to show up.

On a front porch. On a playground. And in a classroom. 

Why? Because of you. 

Because we are the righteous of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21) and our prayers are POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE (James 5:16)! Moms, Dads and Grandparents, YOU are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and YOUR prayers are POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE!

I want you to repeat this every morning as you get up (man, is the enemy going to be quaking in his pit):

“I am the righteous of God in Christ Jesus and my prayers are powerful and effective!”

So let’s start praying, declaring and BELIEVING that by the very presence and power of God, we are EXTRAORDINARY and EMPOWERED to help our kids to be EXTRAORDINARY right in the middle of this contrary culture, right in the middle of their schools. We can do this, my friends! By God’s Spirit (Zech. 4:6) and through His love.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. — John 13:35

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for partnering with me to raise my children to know You. Thank You for loving them even more than I do and for having a great plan and future for them. Help me teach them Your ways so that at home, in their school and everywhere they go they will do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with You (Micah 6:8). In Your strong and mighty name Jesus, amen!

Study question: What is one thing you can do on a daily  basis to model your faith to your children? How can you be a loving mentor to your kids and the kids God brings into your life as well? 

Share your answers in the comments, my friends. Let’s encourage and inspire one another with our love for Jesus.

All in His love,
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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.


Fight The Demonic

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comIn fighting against the tide of the demonic there is nothing more powerful than our words.

The tongue has the power of life and death —Proverbs 18:21a

I literally believe this. So I speak two kinds of words. Words of life - faith, belief, affirmation and truth from the Word of God over my life and family. And second, I speak words that bind, cancel, blind, silence and cast out the enemy.

If you could walk with me one morning in the vineyards, you would likely think I’m wacked. I pray out loud. I shout, wave my arms, raise my arms and let the Holy Spirit inspired words flow. The spoken Word in prayer wields great power. I tell the devil he is a liar and my God who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.

I will pray something like this:

In the name of Jesus, I command the demonic spirit of fear, confusion, sadness (any others that have been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit) I cast you into the pit. I silence you and you have no voice. I command the warrior angels sent to protect me to take you to the pit and to cut off your head. I have the authority of Jesus, my Savior, to cancel all assignments of the enemy. No weapon formed against me will prosper.

Angels, I have been given authority to trample of the enemy (Psalm 91). This very moment I trample on him and all his works and effects assigned to my life. I command the demonic into the pit along with all their works and effects. This spirit of fear, anxiety, sadness cannot go to my children nor follow any of my family line. I rebuke it and command it to leave me and my family forever. I plead the blood of Christ over my home and my family. In the name of Jesus and by His authority.

Jesus, I ask that you would surround me and my family (I name each one by name) with a hedge of protection. Place your holy angels around us. Prosper me and my family. Protect our hearts, soul and bodies. I ask for more of Your Presence and your anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let our homes be a place of safety, freedom, love, security, peace and joy. Lord, help me to bring heaven into our home.

Papa God, thank you for your faithfulness (I name several specifics). Thank you for your blessings and your provision. I will live to publish your deeds among the nations. Let everything I do, say and think, be anointed and inspired by the Kingdom. Thank you for Your Word. I believe it. I will proclaim it. I will use it as a powerful sword to bring freedom and healing to people.

Keep me humble and always looking to You. The only thing important in this world is Your Presence. I praise you. I worship you. I will always be loyal to you. I am your daughter. In Jesus name. Amen.

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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.


Take Six Steps Out Of Disappointment

SUMite Family:

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I struggled in my prayer time so I made myself write down the many past encounters, blessings, provisions and favor the Lord has poured into my life over the past 20 years. My undeniable encounter, with the power and love of Christ was on October 12, 2012. That moment changed me and everything about my life and faith. I would cling to that truth as the anchor in this dark period. Then I would write down the love notes God sends me. I wrote about some of them here and here

I would then pray.  And I’m still praying today. I walk in the vineyards, walk and pray. I sing worship songs to the King of Kings. Worship is essential to keep us from losing more ground to the enemy. I would pray honest prayers and I would keep practicing what I have always done even if my heart wasn’t fully in it, even in my doubt I continued to practice what I knew was right.

I walked through a process and I’m thankful it only took me 30 days. It is my hope that by sharing what I walked, others will walk through their struggle quickly and /or become unstuck and reach the end of their captivity.

Process to overcome Disappointment in God.

  1. Grieve – your loss, your expectations, your disappointment, your faith, your confusion.
  2. Surrender – Give Him your plans, hopes, expectations, and again your confusion. Ask for understanding even knowing you might never receive it in this life. Forgive God.
  3. Pray – begin to pray again. Gather others around you to pray. Rely on scriptures. Psalm 91 became very powerful to me. I listened to it in a song so I could memorize it. I studied it. Looked at the Greek, Hebrew translations.  I believed!
  4. Listen and wait. – I waited. I’m not patient. But I began to perceive that God wanted me to enter a season of rest. He also wanted my focus and attention in an area of my life for which I'd been asking for healing for years. So I started to understand His intent in this season was to heal ME and just be with ME. My healing was more important to Him than another book.
  5. Choose to believe - I also thanked God and remembered and relied on my past experiences with God. His faithfulness in so many areas. Years and years of faithfulness in my life is what i leaned on in my confusion.
  6. Allow Time – In the rest and waiting I discovered that He never left me. He began speaking to me about four weeks after my disappointment. I haven’t nor do I expect an explanation. But God’s not finished with me and the healing and new dreams I’m receiving are unexpected and amazing.

My friends, tomorrow I am going to share a prayer that I prayed and I continue to pray that defeats the demonic.

Through my experience can it be that God is shouting to you in your dark place? DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. Fight back with everything you have. Put on the full armor of God. Remember and trust in your past history with the Lord. Focus on every good thing Jesus brings to your life. Choose to look up and not at your circumstances. And my friends pray even when you don’t feel like it.

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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.


God Restores Us Too (part 2)

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d11ef502970c-320wiDear friends, on Saturday I started telling you a little bit about the dark night of the soul I walked through in 2014 and what 1 Peter 5:6-10 came to mean to me. Let’s look at those verses again and I’ll finish my story.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. — 1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV

As I said, Peters says to give God all our anxieties. And that’s where I was, in the depths of anxiety that made no sense. I would wake up shaking and spend most of the morning just trying to get a grip on my life for that one day. My quiet time with Abba was my refuge and sanctuary (my word for 2015), and worship became a weapon against the evil plan the enemy had sent against me to pull me into depression—a plague that has sickened several generations in my family. Psalm 91 became my daily declaration!

When my anxiety and depression would threaten to overwhelm me, I would stop and pray 1 Peter 5:6-7 and imagine all that dark stuff sitting my hands, then I’d lift them up and say, “Lord, it’s all Yours. I give it all to You. I am casting all this upon You.”

And you know what? He always had something to give back to me—His peace and comfort. And we need those, my friends. The peace of Christ guards our hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7), which is crucial if we are to “be sober minded.” That word in the Greek means to be calm and collected in spirit. As Peter says, the enemy prowls, seeking to devour. And he will use our emotions against us every way he can. And that is what he tried to do with me. The lie I’d bought into as a teenager was that I was at the mercy of my thoughts and feelings, but God’s Word says otherwise. 

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. — Romans 8:6 NLT

I stood on this truth and the others I’ve shared everyday, dear friends. Our greatest challenge, especially as women, is to look at our emotions first before we act upon them. If we don’t, we are just reacting. Then our emotions control us instead of us controlling and using them to our benefit. Emotions can be good in telling us when we are hurting and need something. They can also alert us to a lie we are believing when they seem out of context or alignment with God’s truth. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through this process.

And finally in verse 10, Peter returns to the promise he started describing in verses six and seven. After we have suffered a little while…that’s the hardest part, to endure, to persevere, to trust God has a plan for it all and that He is good and that He is working for our good (Romans 8:28). Because He is. That’s Who He is. Always.

Then that good comes, the good God has been working to bring out of our trials, our suffering, our challenges. He does not leave us in these places of pain. No, His heart is to Himself, by His hand of love, to restore us. To confirm, strengthen and establish us. The Greek word for restore also means to perfect and prepare. Sound familiar? And by establishing us, He is laying our true foundation in the truth of who we are in Him, in the truth of Christ. 

So from our sufferings, trials and challenges, we emerge more like the new creation He has made us to be. And that is what I have witnessed, my dear friends. I prayed and claimed these promises for over a year, tentative at first and then with growing confidence, until they became part of the established foundation of my faith. And as I have broken this “plague” off my life, I am contending and breaking it off of my daughters. Because as the enemy has lost hold of me, he has tried to insert his hold on my girls. That is NOT going to happen, because I now have the authority to speak these truths into their lives.

How do I know that? As I stood in my new church in January, worshiping God with a heart full of gratitude for how He has restored and is restoring my life, how He has and is making me steadfast, strong and firm in my faith that is now built on His truth and promises, His still small voice spoke to my heart and told me He was lifting me up that very day. And that it was time to soar. Just this past weekend, three different times He showed me a bird soaring in the sky, at the same speed and direction as the car I was in or driving.  

When I look back at all He has done, I am astounded. It could have gone very differently if I hadn’t humbled myself under His hand and trusted Him. I stepped out in what felt like a feeble and failing faith, and He met me with His faithfulness, His healing presence and sent key people to come along side and pray with me. Especially Lynn, who prayed with me, cried with me, and encouraged me greatly. 

SUMites, these promises are for all of us. Just as Jesus restored Peter, He restores us. Whatever you are struggling, battling, agonizing over, cast it upon Him. Our Great God has massive shoulders that can carry it all. And what’s so beautiful is that He WANTS us to do this. Longs for us to do this. Our God is completely for us (Romans 8:31-32)!

My friends, I have been praying these prayers for you too as I know many of you are in very difficult places right now. Share in the comments how you are casting your cares upon the Lord. I would like to pray with you and pass on the blessings and freedom Abba has given to me.

Love you!
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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.


God Restores Us Too

6a00d83451ee9f69e201b8d11ef502970c-320wiDear friends, today I want to talk about a part of 1 Peter that has been very powerful in my life. It is a truth that God proved to me over the course of a year and a half, and is in fact, still showing me. What I’m about to share with you has been powerful and life-changing. It proved to me that I truly could stand on God’s Word and trust Him to do what He says. Even if I didn’t completely feel I could believe the promise, I stepped out in faith with a heart desire to fully believe it. Astonishingly, God honored my action with astounding faithfulness.

I’ve shared in the past how difficult 2014 was for me. Health issues combined with a very real battle for my mind took me into a dark night of the soul, a spiritual battle, that God allowed in order to get rid of the lies the enemy had subtly inflicted upon me from a young age. God replaced them with His truth and has healed so many of those heartaches. I share more of this journey in the book I’m working on and what God did to bring healing and transformation. But one part I want to share today as part of our study of the books of Peter.

During the most difficult part of what I walked through, Abba brought me to this verse among many to write in my journal, to read over and over again and to pray and claim the truth over my life. 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. — 1 Peter 5:6-10 NIV

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. — 1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV

These verses became a lifeline of hope for me. And I want to share them with you. The first part, Peter says to humble yourself. I knew God was my only way to get through what I was dealing with. I wanted this time of trial to end so much, but had to trust Abba had a plan and would show me the way (Prov. 3:5-6). This was a daily effort, my friends, and I held tight to the promise that in time, God would lift me up. I prayed, spoke it out loud, and even reminded God of His promise.

I learned to give Him everything. The word “cast” in the Greek translation literally and figuratively means to throw upon. This is not a polite gesture, my friends. We are not supposed to wrap it in a bow and try to “pretty it up.” God knows what we struggle with and He cares for us, deeply. 

And Peter says all. Every heartache, every thought, every worry, every anxiety, because His Word says He cares for us. Next week I will tell you what happened when I did this. I am already praying that what I have to share will encourage you and help build your faith as Jesus intends our testimonies to do. Not easy sharing this stuff but the one thing I ask Abba at the start of this was, "If I have to go through this, then let me have a testimony to share and help others."

And that He did. He does that for all of us, dear friends! All of us!

Love you so much,
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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.


Keys and Power

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOn Friday we asked the question; Do we as modern day believers have access to Resurrection power?

Here is the short answer: 

—Ephesians 1:15-23
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Let’s tie this together.

Jesus handed US, that means you and me, the keys to the Kingdom. What is the Kingdom? Well I only have a glimpse but what I know is ginormous. We literally have the power of the Resurrection. Which means we are empowered to speak to the sun or moon to stand still. I say this in the context that if we are serving the Kingdom, walking in God’s will and warring against His enemies and we would ever need the sun to stand still, we could ask, declare and I BELIEVE God would answer and honor our words.

They key here….. Pun intended is this single word…….. believe.

Jesus said in Matthew 16.

  • I will build my church.
  • The gates of hell will NOT prevail against it.
  • I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven
  • Whatever you bind on earth- is bound in heaven.
  • Whatever you loose on earth- is loosed in heaven.

By the Resurrection power of He who dwells in heaven at the Right hand of the Father. BTW, that’s our Dad!

Staggering!

Jesus spent his years of ministry leading His disciples to a place where they would believe. They stepped into that belief when Jesus left and the Holy Spirit arrived. Their belief began as only a mustard seed. And my friends, that’s all we need. Just a teeny, tiny bit of faith.

Right now this minute, pray and ask the Lord to give you that mustard seed of faith. And right now pray a BIG, impossible prayer. Then let’s watch as we even believe that the sun and moon can stand still when an ordinary SUMites prays.

Next up. The breakthroughs that happen when we take the keys and unlock the gates that Jesus has placed before us. I LOVE YOU SUMite Nation. PRAY WITH POWER. Hugs, 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.


No More Chains

20056895_sMy friends, my post today is a kind of merging of two stories. You see, I thought they were separate, yet as I prayed for Abba's clear leading on what to write, He impressed upon my heart that they are indeed connected.

The first story is one we are very familiar with. The prodigal son. I find myself caught by the father's love for this wayward boy of his...

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. — Luke 15:20 ESV

For several days I kept reading and examining this one line, because I was so touched by the father's heart before he even embraced his son with forgiveness. It's that small little word that we can often overlook.

The son's father saw him. I looked up the Greek for this word (horaō), and it means to see with the eyes, to see with the mind, to perceive, know. It is also compared with another word that implies to be seen with wide-open eyes, as at something remarkable and signifies an earnest but more continued inspection.

In other words, this father waited and watched expectantly with love and hope for his son's return.

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. — Luke 15:24 ESV

This verse moves my heart to the realization that even though the son believed he was lost to the father, the father was never lost to the son. His father watched and waited, expected and yearned. And though the son could not "see" his father, his Father "saw" him.

Can you feel the Father's heart here? This is His heart for our pre-believers and for us, because there are times that we may feel lost, forgotten, unseen.

So, this brings me to the second part of this story. I received a letter in February, a long letter filled with the pain of a heart that feels lost. I read it for the first time just two days ago, because it  wound up in a pile of mail waiting for my return to California. I share that because I am hoping this dear woman, a fellow SUMite sister, will be reading and know she is heard. 

She didn't sign her name except for a first initial, nor did she put her name on the envelope, but her heart is all over the page in her words. She carries the heavy burdens of shame, anger, guilt and self-hatred. Her words...

I thought of writing her back privately, but I want this dear woman to know that she is seen and heard.

My friend,

I hear your heart in every painful word you shared. I want you to know that your heavenly Father sees you, even if you feel He is far away and intermittently present, He watches you with a longing heart to comfort and heal you. Please do not stay in the darkness of your suffering any longer. The chains of shame, anger, guilt and self-hatred that you feel are the lies of the enemy designed to bind you and keep you from being the influence and aroma of Jesus to your husband that you desperately want to be.

My sister in Jesus, I stand with you in the power and authority we have in Him and rebuke the spirits of shame, anger, guilt and self-hatred, in the powerful and capable name of Jesus Christ. These spirits can no longer plague you. They are bound as of this moment and cannot return. For what the Lord binds is bound and what He looses is loosed. And we stand in that same authority and stand on the same truth, that what we bind is bound and what we loose is loosed.

And in this "vacancy" left by these defeated spirits, I release the love of Jesus in all fullness and power into your heart. I release the full assurance that you, my friend, are dearly loved, chosen, accepted, adopted, blessed, forgiven and redeemed by Him. 

My dear sister in Christ, stand in the truth now and walk forward knowing that as you are loved so is your husband. That love from Jesus will be what flows from Him into you and will be revealed to your husband. No longer will the lies of the enemy dictate your place in your marriage or in your Abba Father's heart. For He sees you. He knows the pain of your heart and He has wept with you. 

But now is your time for freedom, to rise above and see your place seated in the heavenly realms. Ask Jesus to show you how He sees you, how He loves you, how He delights in you. You are a daughter of the Most High God. He is waiting for you, arms open and ready to love you, strengthen you and do more for and in you (and your marriage) than you can ask or imagine.

In the powerful name of Jesus, amen! My friend, you are loved in this community as well. I pray you will allow us to love and support you here.

SUMites, join me in these prayers for our sister in Christ. And if you are standing in a similar place right now as she is, step out of this darkness of shame, anger, guilt and self-hatred and allow us to pray for you. I have lived in this place of shame and self-hatred and Jesus delivered me of these spirits. My heart is to pass the blessing I received on to you. Let today be your freedom day, too.

I love you, my SUM family, so very much. I am contending for you! No more chains!
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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.