174 posts categorized "Relationship"

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

SUMite Nation: 

Matthew 24Let’s finish this journey of Walking The Walls of Jericho. 

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

This is who we are. And you know what awaits us?.... The sound of the Shofar... 

The Shofar: 

When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. —Joshua 6:20 

The walls crumbled. Now get this, the walls fell and the People of God didn’t lift a finger to topple this shut-tight fortress. God spoke. The Walls Fell. Period. The end. 

But my friends, there remains another blast of the Shofar. It’s the trumpet sound of the Redeemed. God speaks and His Word goes forth with power, reducing the enemy to an impotent and silent foe. 

And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. —Matthew 24:31 

The great day of the trumpet blast is ahead. It is a promise we can believe and trust and pursue this promise. In the meantime. We walk. We love. We help others. We love others. We trust. We see the miracles and we train up the generation behind us. 

As we conclude this series, I’m moved to ask you again. What is the most important verse or component of this story? Do you remember?

His Voice. 

The voice of God. It matters not what lies behind those walls. It pales in comparison the plunder, the victory, the riches, the abundance. At the end of our long journey (our years of wondering in the wilderness) only one thing matters. His Presence. 

Everything, all that we do, is in pursuit of His Presence. So consider a few thoughts with me as we continue to walk out this journey: 

  • My goal in life is not to figure out who I am, my goal in life is to figure out who He is.
  • God is always good. Always. Always. Always.
  • God has good gifts for His kids.
  • My victory is at hand because it was finished at the Cross.
  • It’s easy to pray general prayers to avoid disappointment. The Lord is looking for those who know they are servants and pray dangerously.
  • God makes me BRAVE!
  • Fear is faith in Satan.
  • The enemy loves to get us to look at ourselves either in self-criticism or self-discovery in order to keep us from looking to God.
  • Keep asking for The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that we may know Him better.
  • Our brokenness is also our pathway to His heart.
  • People matter.
  • Perfect love casts out all fear.
  • Healing is for everyone.
  • God lavishly gives Spiritual gifts that we can give them to others.
  • Grace, grace and more grace.
  • Walking together we overcome all hindrances.
  • Peace, I give thee. I receive His peace and I thrive.
  • The Promised Land? His Presence. 

I love you so much my friends. Share your thoughts, scriptures, prayers in the comments. Our worship silences the enemy. Your sister in the Kingdom, Lynn

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


The Movie: NOAH

Noah
Well, I don’t know about you but this past few days I’ve been reading some reviews and reports about the movie, Noah, that opened on Friday. It’s fascinating to me how many differing views there are from the Christian population alone. Honestly, I’ve been disappointed to read some of them. I will state here I haven’t yet watched the film but I’m sharing only my thoughts and perspective regarding all the hoopla! 

First, let me acknowledge that there are many who bristle that the movie is not a perfect depiction of scripture. It’s not even close as I understand. But I wonder why that gets so many people turned inside out. Many of the Christian fictions books we read by the millions also are filled with a large amount of creative license. But, that’s not what I want to consider today. 

For all of us who are married to Pre-believers, this movie may be the one movie our spouses will attend with us. I see this as an enormous opportunity to open up discussion about the real story with our spouse. This may be a chance to have an honest conversation, without fighting, about our faith. 

So, while the Christian community debate one another on this subject (which adds fuel to the atheists perspectives on Christians and our spouses, I might add), I wonder if we might have been given a gift to use to draw our faith and our spouse closer together? 

On Saturday I asked my husband if he would attend the film with me. 

“Why would I want to see that?” Ahem, yep, he’s blunt. *grin* 

I pray that some of us will give grace to the creators of the film and perhaps one spouse in our House of SUM will experience a stirring in his/her heart.

Thoughts? 

Love and hugs, Lynn 

*Please share your thoughts, even if you disagree with me, with grace and love in the comments.

 

** Congrats to Anel R. You were the winner of the Audio Book drawing. I emailed you.

Watch for another drawing soon.

 

 

*****

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.


Don't Know What to Pray?

PrayerOver the years I've learned that our mismatched situations come in all shapes and sizes. When I'm asked what mismatched means I explain that it can be as clear as one spouse believes in God and the other doesn't, as gray as differing faiths or degrees of faith (i.e. a believer married to a Muslim or one spouse growing in faith but the other isn’t) or as painful as one spouse walking completely away from God. Even this description is a broad attempt to capture its meaning. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Let’s leave that stuff to God and trust Him to make sense of it (Prov. 3:5).

Today I want to share from what I know to be true in my marriage. From my perspective, my hubby is like Fort Knox in letting anything about believing in God penetrate his fortress of atheism. I've been asked if something happened in the past to turn him away and many other questions that I can only shake my head to. I simply don't know what cranks my guy's head and heart in this direction.

But God does.

Yes, praying for him has been a challenge, because what do I pray against or for, besides the obvious, "Lord, show him You're real. Soften his heart. Don't let him miss seeing you today in his day."

Those are all great prayers (I don't think there's really a bad prayer when our heart is for our loved one to simply know Jesus, right?), but after a while, I kind felt like I wasn't having any impact at all. Now I know that just because I don't feel it or see it, that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.

But on this particular day I needed some new directions, you know? So I ask Abba, how do I pray for this guy? I'm baffled.

Guess what? God has some really cool ideas. Imagine that! As I prayed that morning, Abba inspired me to pray for divine connections. Not with people but in his work. You see, my guy is very techy—he's a computer programmer and analyst—and he's very creative. He wrangles various computer languages to do some pretty technical and amazing stuff, much like an artist manipulates paint to create the overall illusion of parts that create a bigger image.

An artist can look at creation, and in her attempt to paint its essence, can begin to see the smallest parts and how they perfectly connect to create the whole and how that whole points to God. In that same sense, I'm praying for my hubby to see how the code and technology he is using to create a full picture reflect the perfection and synchronicity of God in our lives. My husband is surrounded by technology every day—this is the world he moves and works in so I'm basically asking God to come in and be present in a way my guy can relate to.

Sometimes it can be really challenging to keep praying for our prebelievers and even for our children, especially the challenging ones. God created each of us uniquely so it just seems to make sense that our prayers can be similar yet unique to the person. And ultimately, Abba knows what we need and what our prebelievers need before we even ask, right? (Matt. 6:8)

We don't have to have the perfect words or method to pray for those we love, because really and truly, it’s all about love—God’s for us and our prebeliever, ours for God and our prebeliever and the mysterious way God’s love transforms ours into this beautiful thing we know we could have never done on our own. But when we can understand the direction Abba is moving in that person's life and join Him there with our prayers, then we can become a part of an amazing and beautiful journey as we watch the pieces fit together and create a brand new picture.

And even in those times that we don’t know what to pray for, we never pray alone. (Romans 8:26) and “the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:27)

Jesus is pleading for us, dear friends!
Love you dearly!
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.


Hope Restorers

(Read this post all the way through because you don’t want to miss what is about to happen) 

Lynn here……It’s Sunday evening here as I write this note to you. I’m smiling as I type for two reasons. First, the Denver Broncos WON!!  All is right with the world. Second, I spent the better part of two hours reading the comments left on the fasting posts from last week. Wow. 

Your words for one another, move my spirit. They move the Lord’s heart. Words of love, encouragement, wisdom, and words that exalt and nurture each other. Words that bring honor, glory, praise and worship to our King. This community is amazing and we truly are a representative of God’s love. And because of our love, the world may know that God sent His only Son. 

The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as you loved Me. John 17:22-23 

My head is filled with so much from the past few days. God has imparted some revelation and truths. He has filled me with a fire, a burning passion, for all of you and for the work He has assigned this community. I don’t even know where to start. 

I want to write about Spiritual warfare. Post such as recognizing the enemy spirits in our lives such as defeating the Orphan Spirit, contending with the Religious Spirit, ridding our lives of the Poverty Spirit, rebuking death,and breaking a “soul tie.” I have a ton more topics in this realm rattling around in my heart and soul.   

Then I’m overflowing with posts and thoughts about healing. Learning wow our healing is declared and delivered and learning how to receive it. And I’m talking about healing in every area; emotional, spiritual, and PHYSICAL… Just astounding stuff… I tell you, I’m so excited about all that God is doing right now. 

And then there’s the really, really BIG stuff. God’s plans for 2014 and for this community. Did you know that you are part of this community by His powerful and love-filled design? He personally chose you. He has placed you here as vessels of love and compassion. Out of our deep struggles in our mismatched marriages, we are the very ones who will be the first in Kingdom’s purposes. We are the Hope-Restorers. 

WE ARE THE HOPE RESTORERS!

What does this mean? 

My friends, this is the reason that our little community was born in 2006. There is great and powerful work in the Kingdom and we have been put together to have a significant influence in this world. Influence that comes with supernatural power and compassion. We truly are an anointed vessel to bring change to our homes, our cities, our states and nations. I can’t wait to see how God is going to use us to do this but I’m completely convinced we play a powerful role in the near future, even today. (Psalm 67) 

I have more to say on this as well. But tonight as I write, I hear the Father speaking to us. He knows that we have much to do and we will experience great things in the near future but before we move forward into all of that, He just wants to love on us. So, please take a minute and step once more into your prayer time, your secret place. Allow the Father to gently place His hands on each side of your face. Feel Him gently come near, embracing your face and lifting your face with closed eyes to listen to Him speak words of love into your heart. Hear Him now as He holds your face, your very countenance, in His embrace. 

"I am delighted in all of you." 

"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing." ~Zephaniah 3:17 


My friends, shortly after returning from Bethel, God woke me in the night. I kept hearing over and over, Zephaniah three. Over and over. I called Dineen the next morning and asked her, “Is there even a book in the Bible that is named Zephaniah?” I had some distant remembrance in my foggy brain. But why was God giving me this verse? 

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Read the verse below as well. I will remove sorrow, He says. I will deal with all who oppressed you. Wow!

Well, finally today, I understand why. I received this verse in an email this week. The email was about God’s people becoming Hope-Restorers. And low and behold, I open my Bible up and this single verse was underlined from the time when God gave it to me months ago. It is a confirmation that God wants us to feel His love and His gladness. He will quiet us with His love and sing loudly over us. Whoa.. 

Just WHOA!! 

So, I’m not sure what I will write about first but come Friday get ready. Because we are beginning a new era at SUM. We are a body who has been chosen to bring much healing, love, and compassion to the world. And this healing, love, and compassion- He is giving them to us first. Exciting! 

I know I’ve shared a lot with you. So what do you think? Where should we get started? I love all of you so much. So very much. Pray BIG this week. Ask the impossible and then share your stories with me as you watch our Father move. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


A Miracle Perhaps???

So my friends, I issued a kissing challenge on Monday. And I arrived home from traveling on Sunday and found myself with a giant cold. Achew! 

So there wasn’t any kissing happening around here. Bummer. I hope I start to feel better next week. And I have another challenge on Monday that will bring a smile to your face as it’s a challenge in our faith walk as well as our marriages. 

But today, I want to share with you a couple of fun stories from my travels this past weekend. Sometimes I’m simply overwhelmed by God’s favor. He delights showing up in the little things. I shared this particular adventure on my Facebook Page last Thursday. 

Here is what happened. 

I was traveling to Topeka, Kansas as my mother was being honored by Washburn University as an Alumni Fellow for 2013. It was a big deal and I’m glad I attended. 

I made my flight reservations and seat assignments several months ago. My mom, sister, and niece who were flying together also made reservations and seat assignments separately. The only plan was to meet in Denver and fly on the same plane to Kansas City. 

The day of the flight arrives and due to weather my flight from San Diego to Denver was late. I was barely able to make the connection and boarded the flight from Denver to Kansas City. I boarded the flight before my mom, sister and niece not knowing their seat assignment. 

Well low and behold. I’m seated waiting for the plane to fill up and looking for my mom and wondering where she will be seated when I spot her coming directly toward me. And guess what? Her seat assignment was right next to me. The very seat next to mine. My nice sat next to her and my sister was one row forward. 

Say WHAT??? 

God loves to delight me…. Every….. Single….. Day… 

And He wants to delight you too. It’s learning to give all of your life to Him and then watch as He displays His glory. 

Oh and a P.S. On my return flight, I stopped in the bathroom in the Denver airport. I stepped into the last stall in the bathroom and this is what I found on the floor. 


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All I can say….. Amen… Jesus Amen. 

Have an amazing day living in His Presence. I’m off to the couch with my cold meds. Achew! Love you… Achew! 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Weekend Worship — It Starts With a Willing Heart

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

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

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

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

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

Such grace, such acceptance, such love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you with the passion of Jesus in my heart! 

Dineen

And now for some worship!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Weekend Worship — We are Overcomers!

My friends, I just love our weekend worship time together. Today I want to share a couple things with you. The first is something God whispered to me one morning during my quiet time as I read a devo that talked about planting seeds (It's popping up everywhere! Yes, punned inteded. LOL!):

Eternity = The seeds of salvation.

Then God reminded me of this verse of Scripture that I have prayed for my husband and many unbelievers for several years:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. — Ecclesiastes 3:11

The seeds of salvation are planted in us from the very beginning. That is God's heart for us. So I'm praying for God to water and sprout those seeds in my hubby so he will be one of the many "harvested" during the Great Harvest!

The second is an article that I wrote for Today's Christian Woman called "Renewing My Marriage." I pray it's an encouragement and a blessing to you, my friends.

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And finally, here are a copule more worship songs for you. The first is a special request from Lynn. God is speaking to her heart for healing with this song. It's awesome!

This next one is by Mandisa, called Overcomer. I'm betting you probably heard it on the radio already many times but I want you to listen to it this time and hear it as if it's being sung just to you. I spent a lot of time before the throne this week praying for all of you and I want you to know that you are overcomers and I believe in you! And this is God's encouragement to us too!

Love you all so much!
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.


Disappointment Recovery

RecdisaptGood Monday Morning my SUMites! 

It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this note to all of you. I just went back and re-read the comments that you left for me last Monday on my post, Devastating Disappointment

I’m undone. 

By your love. Undone by of our shared tears. Humbled to the core for your prayers, your private emails, and the notes through Facebook. I’m moved by the Heart of God because so many of you also live in moments of devastation. So many of you live desiring intimacy, born of faith, with your spouse just like me. Many of you are facing life-altering changes in your home. For some, your kids are broken. Some face a spouse who is dark and seemingly hopelessly lost in the clutches of evil’s addictions, lies and self-centeredness. 

My friends, I truly KNOW how you feel. Over the past week I’ve had time to seek and discover the answers to the questions I asked of God on Monday. The answers I received were not what I exactly wanted to hear but they were the answers I NEEDED to hear from my Daddy, Father and my God. 

So, may I humbly share them with you and perhaps the answers will give you what they gave to me, hope. 

I will always hope. It is impossible for me to know God in the way that I know Him and not be hopeful, even for the seemingly impossible, my husband’s salvation and a desire for shared Sunday morning church experience. It’s impossible not to hope when I spend so much time in His Presence and I absolutely believe with everything in my heart that God’s purposes for me is to prosper me, that He desires to lavish His love upon me and to take me on an adventure that my marriage could never do in itself.   

My friends, I know all of this to be true. And I know, without doubt, that Our Lord wants all of this for you too. So before we get to the answers to the questions, I feel that some of you might be encouraged if I share with you how I have walked with God over the past two weeks as I wrestled with the pain, the loss of a dream and lost hope. 

I prayed. Yes, you knew I would say this. But, what did that really look like? 

Well, over the years I’ve learned to actually pray without ceasing. What does that mean? I enjoy an ongoing and every day conversation with God. I whisper prayers walking around the house. I mumble prayers in the car, some days when driving I have to pray A LOT because I find it difficult to love people on the road when they behave like idiots behind the wheel *grin*. Ahem…. Onward. 

So, I whispered, “Daddy, it hurts. I’m angry. I’m so disappointed. Dad, why.” 

I didn’t hear any distinct reply right away but I felt His Presence just like any other day. I also found myself out in the garden with my Daily Bible and my journal. I don’t journal too much anymore because I walk and pray after I read, however, on this particular day overwhelmed in my pain, I sat down and the words flowed on paper. Words of a broken heart. It was weird. I felt like King David when he was troubled and would write words about his enemies, troubles and then would find in his heart words of praise and thanksgiving. My words were likely to be ugly and looking back, I’m sorry I let them go for as long as I did which allowed the enemy a chink in my armor where he prolonged my pain and he tortured me with lies for a time. But they were how I felt at the time and our BIG God was up to handling my anger and disappointment. 

Currently I’m fascinated by the book of Ephesians and a couple of passages have fascinated me and become very powerful. So, I began to pray these passages to affirm my belief in the words. I prayed them morning, noon and night. I would repeat them over and over. I would say them as I drifted off to sleep and they tumbled from my lips as I woke. I was desperate to bring them into reality in my life and they were words that affirmed me and brought hope and comfort as I processed through my disappointment. 

I prayed, I proclaimed, I prophesied, I spoke aloud, “I am seated in the heavenly realms with Christ. I have the power of God, the same power that resurrected Christ. Seated in the heavenly realms, I have wisdom and revelation to see my marriage, my purpose on earth from God’s perspective.” 

The short version: I’m seated in heavenly realms. I have the power of the resurrection. 

I must have whispered this affirmation of who God says I am and literally the power I have available to me (the power that raised Christ from the dead) hundreds of times. I'm still freaked out that God has given to us the power that raised Jesus. Say What??? Freaked, I tell you. But I believe it.

Oh my friends, how speaking scripture is like the heaving of a mighty sword in the spiritual realms. Things began to happen…….. 

Amazing and fantastical, Supernatural things. Around me and in me. I’m still processing it all. 

And I will share that with you on Friday!

And I promise we will get to God’s answers to my questions. For today, please KNOW that I took every one of you with me before the throne this past week. Often and with passion, pleading for you individually and for your, life, your marriage, your spouse, your kids, whatever you asked of me. I brought you to our God seeking His favor and action in your life. I hope to reply to all of you if I have enough time this week. 

My friends, I leave you with a challenge. Read Ephesians, chapter one through chapter two, verse 10. This is a letter to the church that has overcome. This is a letter to the SUMites. We are living in the trenches and WE ARE OVERCOMERS! Let it empower you and I pray by Friday, you find you are seated in the heavenly realms and operating from heaven toward earth and not the other way around. That is our birthright as Kingdom children. 

And everyone said….. AMEN!! 

See you on our Facebook page and back here again on Friday. I love you. I truly love you with a full heart. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Weekend Worship — We are in Jesus! Jesus is in Us!

My friends, I've been reading in John lately and find so much in this book that continually hits me as so profound. Our Savior's heart for us is all over the pages of Scripture and though I've read this book many, many times, I wonder how I missed so much!

Here are a couple of my observations:

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true." — John 5:30-31

Jesus states clearly here that nothing He does is outside the Father's will because He only seeks the Father's will. In fact, much of John is Jesus saying He is there to do the Father’s will and that all He does is what the Father has shown Him. Jesus shows us how crucial it is to be completely dependent upon Abba.

Yet we so often try to carry our situations on our own because we want to be strong in our faith and not waver. It’s a vicious circle though because when we attempt to do that we are essentially standing alone and separating ourselves from God’s supply of strength. Even Paul sought to do this and God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you because for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

I emphasized “for you,” because that statement would stand alone fine without it. Yet God directed it at Paul, I believe, because that’s how personal Abba is with us. When we are weak, God’s power is perfected. So let’s be weak! Lord, perfect Your mighty power in our weakness!

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. — John 13:1

Did you catch those two phrases? “Having loved His own” and “He loved them to the end”? I believe that we are part of this, my friends. We are part of Jesus’ own and I make that argument from two places. One, Jesus IS the resurrection (as He tells Martha after Lazarus died), meaning He did it once and did it for all of us. When He was on that cross it wasn’t just His disciples He was seeing. It was all of mankind.

And two, take a look at how Jesus prayed for us in John 17:20-23:

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

It's absolutely astonishing to read those words and begin to understand that Jesus is in us and we are in Him, Who is in the Father. Yesterday as I continued to study in John, the Holy Spirit put the pieces together for me. This is what I shared on Facebook:

"As Christians we spend so much time trying to be like Jesus that we forget the work is done. Christ saved us and dwells in us. We walk in Abba's favor and His love in us is a mighty force waiting to be released on the world. Let's walk like we believe this. Let's be Believers!"

Lord Jesus, help us to truly take this truth in and live in it every day! Everything that truly matters in this life is our place in You, Jesus, and that You are in us. Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing such an amazing work in each and everyone of us. We love You so much! Let our lives bring You glory, Jesus! Amen!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!
Love you all so much!
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 is in the Details

17279092_sHello my dear friends! This week I'm working through my portion of the edits on our book, Not Alone (Lynn gets to do hers next week). I was so focused on this yesterday that I totally forgot to write a post for today! So sorry about that. I can't sit at my desk for really long periods right now either. Seems that nasty cold I caught before my daughter's wedding left me with a case of costochondritis. Sounds like an addiction to Costco, doesn't it? I wish. It's an inflammation of the cartilage of rib cage. No fun!

So this post will be short and sweet, but you know, some of the best truths we have from God are short and sweet, like my favorite, Romans 8:28.

I'm going to share a little story I've been saving. While Lynn and I were at the conference we spoke at in May, I was so impressed with all the work the ministry team put into every part of this conference. Even the decorations in the ladies room!

I said as much to one dear sister in Christ and she said this, "Well, you know what they say, God is in the details."

I don't know how to explain what happened next, but it was like the Holy Spirit jumped up and took over. You know how that happens when you say something you know didn't come from you?

What came out of my mouth was this, "And you know what the best part is? We're His details!"

Wow. I just love that! My friends, we are God's details. Abba spoke everything on this earth into existence, but us, He formed with His hands (like the potter!). Think about the love and care He took to do so, think about His heart for us, think about how all that translates into His desire to have a personal and intimate relationship with us, because, speaking as an artist, when I fashion something well, I take great pleasure gazing upon and appreciating my work.

God’s love is overwhelming! And this makes so much sense when you think of it in terms of Christ in us. God fashioned us from the very beginning to be vessels for His Holy Spirit.

Christ in us—God is in the details.

For the rest of this week, anytime a negative thought about you crosses your mind or someone speaks unkindly to you, I want you to stop and praise God out loud, "Abba, thank you that I am one of your details. Thank you for planning and forming me with such love and care" (Psalm 139).

Countering lies with His truth is our sword and God's love is the edge on that blade. So wield it!

Love you all so very, very much, my fellow details!
Dineen

Image credit: grthirteen / 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.


Honor and a Little Humor in Marriage

Yesterday Mike and I celebrated our 21 wedding anniversary.

Because all of you know how challenging a spiritual mismatch can be, I just marvel at all God has brought about in me, my husband, our children and all through our marriage covenant. 

Miracles abounding around here. May I just say, "Honey, I love you and I'm looking forward to the next 21 years."

I've been thinking a lot about honor and marriage. I've been pondering the qualities of my husband that are honorable. And today, just for fun, I want to share a hilarious video that points to an amazing quality my man possesses.

My guy can find the perfect anniversary, birthday and any-kind-of-card-day for me. 

Mike Donovan IS the guy in the video who seeks the perfect card for his wife. He spends an hour at Hallmark. I spend 10 minutes at Wal-Mart. Sheesh! He is SO much better at this than me.

Thank you Mike, you are so amazing and able to find the perfect card.

Okay enjoy. And today think about one area in your spouse that is honorable. Is he a good father? A good provider? When you type his honorable qualities in the comments it becomes a written record for the Kingdom. So today, honor your spouse and then watch as God honors you. Hugs, Lynn

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Special Guest Today! Please Welcome Suzie Eller!

My precious friends, today I want to introduce you to Susanne (Suzie) Eller. She's been a great support to the SUM ministry and now we get to share her with you! Suzie's message of forgiveness in her book, The Unburdened Heart is desperately needed today and by so many. I hope you find answers and comfort in her words below. 

Feel free to leave comments and pray for each other. This is a tough topic. And we'll do a random drawing from the comments for a book winner, who will receive a copy of her book.

Love you all dearly and know you are in my heart and prayers!
Hugs!
Dineen

SE13-1060-682x1024Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author. She’s written six books, hundreds of articles, and writes devos with Encouragement for Today that reaches over 500,000 women. Suzie is a radio co-host with Luann Prater at Encouragement Cafe Joy FM. She encourages women through two Facebook communities reaching over 20,000 five days a week. She’s been featured on TV and radio such as Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, MidDay Connection, The Harvest Show, and many others. Most importantly, she is a wife, mom, and “Gaga” to four beautiful grandbabies. Connect with Suzie at www.tsuzanneeller.com

 

Suzie, you’ve been listening to many stories from women who struggle to forgive. How many women struggle with forgiveness in their marriages?
 
Nearly 50% of the women who share their stories on my blog, or in person, say that their biggest struggle to forgive is in their marriage.
 
For many, it’s when a spouse is continually unkind, or says words that diminish her.
 
In this instance, many women bear their soul and are told either to get out, to seek counsel, or to submit.
 
The first leaves a woman who desires to stay and work things out because she loves her husband and wants her marriage to succeed, with a heavier burden. 
 
In the second, seeking counsel is wise advice, as long as it’s counsel that is skilled in helping a couple, with God’s help, find new ground in their marriage. Many times “counsel” can be someone who do not have those skills.
 
The third, to submit, is often shared without proper context. The word “submit” is thrown out without the beautiful framework of instructing husbands to love their wives as “Christ loved the church”. This is why wise counsel is key. Submission is respect, it’s great love, it’s working through the harder spots.
 
So, how do you begin to forgive in this instance?
 
It’s a blend of truth, grace, and confidence.
 
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that abuse is allowed to continue. However, he’s not yours to fix, and that’s where we often spend our energies.
 
What can you do then? You can speak the truth. Truth is shared, perhaps in the setting of a counselor’s office, or perhaps in a moment where it’s not heated, after prayer and with love, and with the intent of working toward a healthier relationship. Truth is coated with grace, knowing that we all fall short. It’s shared with wisdom and without accusation. And in some instances, it’s shared with healthy boundaries, not to punish, but to work toward the healthiest relationship possible. (A great book on boundaries that is both healthy and filled with wisdom is Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud and Townsend.)
 
What about unfaithfulness?
 
A percentage of that 50% wrote in that they struggled to forgive because of unfaithfulness. I shared Carlie’s story, a woman whose husband left her after 29 years of marriage. In this case, the word forgive meant that God moved into the broken and raw places of His daughter. He knew her. He knew her heart. She intentionally walked into a relationship with God during that painful time so that He could fill up her “temple”, residing in Her, healing her, moving in her in those moments when she wanted nothing more than to take revenge, or lash out. In Carlie’s case, her husband went on with his new life, but she also had new life that filled her up in the harder months ahead. She was redefined in so many ways – single mom, single woman. But her role as God’s daughter was made that much more clear and concrete.
 
Unburdened-Heart_GrassSky_smallFor those whose spouse asked for forgiveness and who desired to change, forgiving is key as you rebuild trust. But give yourself permission to be honest with your heavenly father, with the understanding that there is nothing in scripture that condones unfaithfulness. It’s not in God’s plan or His character. If He grieves over the fallen sparrow (Matt. 10:29), then He grieves over your marriage. He is big enough to handle your honesty while leading you to a new level of spiritual intimacy with Him and even tender vulnerability in your relationship with Him as you work through this harder aspect of forgiving. At this moment, it may seem impossible to forgive on your own, but are you willing? That’s the only question that you need to answer. God is a Healer, and my prayer is that your marriage goes to a new place, but also that you sense God’s hand over you as you work through this difficult place, and that one day you look back and see His tender touch over you and your marriage.
 

Read chapter one of Suzie's book.

Listen to Suzie share her journey to forgiveness.

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Weary of the Battle?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


What Will You Take With You From This Fast?

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Receive the Holy Spirit

***Before we get to what God has for us today, I just want you to know intensely special this week has been for me. I cherish the opportunity to serve this ministry in this way every year. I know the power and might of the God we serve for myself and it is my greatest passion that others know it too. My heart has cried out as I completed today's post because I KNOW how hard it is to keep going. I KNOW how hard it is to trust God and to really truly take Him at His word when everything and everyone - including my own self - says to just let go and walk away. I have seen God start keeping promises this week that I have been praying for ten years. I have seen His faithfulness start to manifest in such a way that burdens that have brought me to my knees up until very recently have been lifted. I have been challenged with you to give more of myself and to receive more of my LORD. Please know that this year's fast has been intensely personal for me and that I carry you in my hearts and sisters (and brothers), warriors, and friends. I love you. Ro***

Acts 2:38-39  Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

This is the last post of our fast, gang! I have wrestled with this one all week, because I wasn't sure what the Lord would have me share. And in all honesty, I struggled to pick just ONE verse from Acts 2 because the whole thing is just so poignant. But the part that in red, that's the part that has rested with me since Sunday.

Receive the Holy Spirit.

When I read the chapter, I thought of all the signs and wonders and of God pouring His Spirit out on all flesh, but then I kept reading and low and behold, as I read, another word came to mind: BELIEVE.

That's really what it's all about. You can fast, you can pray, you can give away all your possessions, you can even be privy to some amazing miraculous displays. But if you don't believe, if you don't allow your heart to open up and welcome the gift of the Holy Spirit - if you refuse to accept the greatness and the grandeur of the God who loves you enough to save your soul, then how will you ever really know the depths of His love for you?

The day of Pentecost came and people began speaking in tongues. But at the end of the day, even after such a display of power and greatness, some called them drunkards. Peter preached a sermon, explaining what was happening, inviting them into relationship - not only salvation, but sanctification. And he even gave them a promise at the end, for their children and themselves and all those who God plans to call to Himself! (Which, by the way, is also His promise to you and to me!)

I daresay that some of them STILL were willing to write it all off as just a little too much wine.

That makes me sad. It grieves me in my spirit to think that after all the work, all the buildup, all the display, we could be those who refuse to just believe.

The Lord spoke to me once a few years ago, when the fire was the hottest and I was at my weakest point: 'You have obeyed Me. Now I want you to believe Me.'

I am asking you now, having given of yourself and given up your own wants - having obeyed scripture to fast and pray, would you throw it all away by not believing the One who holds the power of life and death in His hands?

Tonight at 7pm, your sacrifice will be made complete. Don't let your week be wasted, don't let your sacrifice be in vain. Today's prayer is very simple:

Abba Father,

Help me to believe.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Gang, I really love you.

Ro

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Day Four - The Power and Humility of A Fast

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I Give You My Life

Romans 6:4-5 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,


When we accepted salvation, we accepted the call to die. The kind of death that would allow God to live in and shine through us. The kind of death that would give us new life. REAL life. We accepted death understanding that through our death to ourselves, we would also find a re-birth as glorious as the one Christ experienced when he was resurrected.

I know it's daunting, this thing of dying, but really ya'll. Membership has its privileges. The cost is great, but the destination is worth the journey.


Father God,
I come before Your throne and I humble myself at Your feet. I bow my spirit before You and I surrender all that I am and all that I have to you. Master, I come to you lowering myself in total submission to Your Lordship, Your Headship, Your Authority in my life. My life is not my own, but Yours to do with as You desire. I die to myself right now, today, that I might find resurrection life in You.

In Jesus' Name.
Amen.

Ro

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Day Three - The Call

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Lord, I Accept Your Call

2 Samuel 5:1-2 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and your flesh. Previously, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and in. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be a ruler over Israel.’”


There is so much here... God called David to leadership, and had him walking in that call even before the throne was free for him to be seated. He was leading those God called him to shepherd even before Saul was dethroned. The Lord spoke to David even before it came to pass, 'You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be a ruler over Israel.'

God asked David to accept the call even before the people that he was called to lead were free to accept it. David took all that he had learned from shepherding and intimacy with God and led a people whose following of him was not necessarily an intentional thing in the beginning, but more an instinct. And in the end, when they were free of Saul's rule, they came to David willingly - because they trusted his leadership and his heart for them - and declared themselves one with the new king.

Israel gave to David what David gave to God.

As believers, our initial following of God is more instinct and convenience than anything. Over time and as He proves Himself, that instinct becomes an intentional act of submission and love, borne of great trust and confidence in who the Lord is to us personally. We align ourselves with our King. We become one with Him because we can trust His vision.

We accept His call, just as King David did. David led because God asked Him to, not because that was the position that someone had given him. He understood and was humble enough to simply say 'Yes Lord' and to do the job set before him, trusting God for the outcome.

Adonai,
I come to you and I simply say 'yes Lord'. I will accept Your call. I will take all that I have learned, all that I am learning even now, and I will do the job You have set before me. I will trust You for the outcome.

Help me to align myself with You, help me to allow myself to become one with You as I learn to embrace Your vision. May I be a leader worthy of the call.

In Your Son's Name, Amen.

Ro

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Community Fast - Day Two

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Lord, I Surrender The Rules

2 Corinthians 3:6 ...who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

When I read it here's how my heart interpreted it: God you have done a new thing and You have made me someone you call worthy to be part of it. It's not about keeping the rules, it's about knowing Your heart; the rules rob us of truth, but the heart gives us life because it gives us real intimacy with You.

So much power and such a confidence booster! Ya'll, God doesn't want us to be rule-followers. He wants us to be Abba-Seekers, lovers of Him.

He picked us! He made us worthy to go the distance with Him. There need be no fear, no worry. Not if we will just choose Him. Not if we would just be willing to grow in intimacy.

It's really all about knowing the One who makes the rules.

Father, I don't want to be a rule-keeper. I want to be a heart-seeker. I want to know you. I give up my rules Lord. I give up my ideas of the way I THINK You should work and I ask You to show me how to really embrace the truth of the work that You choose to do in, through, for, and around me.

I will trust You to show Me how to honor your statutes in the way that truly honors You.

You chose me. You called me worthy. I want life, so Father I surrender my worship of the letter [of the law] and I will wait expectantly as I learn to be led by Your Spirit.

All things in Christ's name.
Amen.

Ro

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Day One of a Fasting Community

Fasting banner 2011

I Surrender My Will, Oh Lord

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

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

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

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

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

 

Oh Abba,

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

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

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

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

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

All in Christ's Holy Name.
Amen.

Ro

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Can You Pray "Good Morning Daddy?"

I want to say a couple of things before we move forward in this series. Reading the comments left after the last two posts, it’s obvious to me that God was right (like always). There many of us who He is revealing His desire to move our love relationship into a deeper intimacy. 

I think the past couple of posts have brought us to a reality we didn’t understand. It’s our ability to call our Lord, Daddy, and to accept all of the implications that come with naming our God, with that name of complete intimacy. 

Now to those of you who don’t struggle with this Daddy issue, please be patient with the rest of us. And I also want to assure you that I’m not trying to overly feminize God. Because I KNOW without doubt that our God is a warrior and fighter a brilliant commander of millions upon millions of warring angels. We will talk more about that side of our Triune God in January. But in order to grasp the warrior side of God we need to become intimately familiar with the love of God. Because out of that love, everything else flows. 

Well, let me explain how this Daddy thing began. While I was at Bethel, the woman Maria, who I’ve written about before, gave me a list of books to read and a few movies to watch. One movie in particular is, Father of Lights. This movie profiles several amazing believers and one man in particular. I won’t give away much about this movie because ALL OF YOU need to rent it, buy it, or borrow it and then watch it. I will tell you this….. The end….. It’s a mind blow and a total “God” set up. If you watch it, email me and let me know your thoughts. 

Anyhoo, one of the men profiled literally “hears” the audible voice of his “Daddy,” our Daddy and Lord. As I watched this movie, I was filled with a desire to KNOW God in this way. So, the next morning is when the Holy Spirit said to me, “Call me Daddy.” 

For me, and likely for many of you, this is the last (at least I hope it’s the last) blockade in our love relationship. When I’m able to name my Lord, “Daddy” it changes everything. This is where miracles happen because it’s where utter blind trust lives and thrives. It’s where the Holy Spirit can ask anything and I will do it because there are people who need healing and I’m the one He will work through. This intimate place is where fear is decimated and left impotent. It’s where wild courage is born to share with my spouse, my kids, my family, anyone and everyone the truth. It’s with my Daddy that I will be awakened in the night to receive my assignment for the next day, to witness my God’s love and His purposes unfold before my very eyes. It is with my Daddy that I will be so cocooned in his love that the devil and all of his minions can’t touch me and in fact they are scared out of their minds because I know and love my Daddy and I live in His favor and authority.

This is what it looks like this promise of God’s, Perfect love casts out fear. (1 john 4:18) 

So today, cry out just as Teresa T. did on Monday in the comments: Abba! Father. It does sound so personal that we don't think it as reverent. So I did some research and found this. 

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “ Abba, Father!”

 

Our Great King speaks to us with such a love that I cannot fully understand it, but He says to me and to you, “Cry out, Abba, Father!”

So right now I’m going to share a snippet form my prayer journal where I first prayed, “Good morning, Daddy.” 

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Sit with your Daddy and allow Him to make you the object of His affection today.

On Monday we will take our Daddy love and watch how that turns into self-love and the power it brings into our lives. Choosing love and thrilling in the power it brings to mortal man. Hugs, Lynn 

PS. On Sunday I woke from an afternoon nap. And as I came awake, there were two words that were on my lips and I was whispering softly. I kid you not, they were, “Abba, Father.” O, how He loves me. O, how He loves you. O, how He loves you and me.

*****

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.


Who’s Your Daddy?

IStock_000018122105XSmallOkay, I’m totally ripping off Lynn and some tacky song thing, right? But it’s what popped into my head and those are usually my best lines. (wink)

With that said, I’m going to share a few tidbits of my past that, well, I really didn’t plan or want to but God’s giving me the nudge to be even more authentic with you. And I blame Lynn. LOL!

Just like Lynn shared about her “daddy” issues, I’ve had the same challenge as well. My mother and birth father divorced when I was two. I did see my birth father periodically, but it wasn’t an easy situation because he was mentally ill (later diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic).

I don’t remember a whole lot, but I know my mother had it rough keeping food on our table and remarried when I was around four or five, mostly for security. Didn’t work out for very long (it was clear to Mom and I both he wasn’t too keen on having a kid around).

The man I called “Dad” up until two and half years ago when he passed away from cancer was actually my step-dad. He and my mother married when I was eleven. I’m so grateful for this man. Though his own father walked out on him when he was a young boy, he did a good job filling the gap of father in my life, especially without having a good role model. It wasn’t easy for him though. He was always dad, and I was always his daughter, and my girls’ Papa. No "steps" about it.

Whew! Done with the backstory. And please don’t think I share this for attention or pity. I admit in my past I had times of sharing this for that reason but not anymore. I share it because it’s important to the rest of this story.

Fast forward to 2002. I’m at a Women of Faith conference, having a blast with my two best friends from church. We’re singing and worshiping and bam! It’s like my life zips right in front of my eyes. All the rejection I’d experienced as a child and teenager flashed across my mind's eye like a depressing movie from the ‘70s (Am I the only one who hates movies from that time period? So depressing. Blech!)

Anyway, it’s not the past I thought would have “scrolled” through the dank dungeon of my past—you know, all the school yard junk and issues with school and not fitting in, etc.) Nope, it was to do with the three men who’d played the roll of father in my life.

Needless to say it wasn’t pleasant. Thank goodness it happened fast! As it reached the end, Jesus (my first encounter with Him, though I was saved and had recommitted my life to Him almost 10 years prior) spoke to my heart these words:

“I will never reject you.”

Like the story I shared of what happened to me at Bethel, this ripped something out of me that God didn’t want festering there anymore. But more importantly, He knew I needed to hear this/know this/believe this because otherwise I would never be able to trust Him.

My friend, this was the beginning of God working things in my life so that I could one, learn to trust Him, and two, begin to grasp how deeply I am loved by Him. I’m still grasping it.

I know many of you out there reading this have similar stories. That’s the sad part, so many of us do. When we have a broken image of our father here on earth, it’s hard to grasp that our heavenly Father is nothing at all like an earthly father.

I will even go as far as to say this (and feel free to correct me if you think I’m too far “out there): We know the enemy of our soul targets marriage in huge ways, namely because it is something God designed to reflect our relationship with Him. What if the enemy is doing the same thing with our relationships with our fathers? With our children’s relationship with their father?

We see a growing trend in our culture today of absentee fathers. Of men struggling to stay in the church, to be in the church, to be the spiritual leaders of our families. I believe the enemy is attacking this area too because this father image is something else God uses in the Bible to reflect our relationship with Him.

Think about it? The biggest symbols used in the Bible—marriage and fatherhood—that show God’s love for us are the two areas most at risk. And the recovery from this takes time, as Lynn and I have shared. God has had to work in us to undo the lies and replace it with His love and His truth.

So this is what we want you to know, more than anything, right now, right here. God loves you. He made you. He can’t make things He doesn’t love and He doesn’t do shoddy work either. Nor does His love rest upon our performance because if it did then we wouldn’t need grace and Jesus suffered and died on a cross for no reason at all.

Know in your heart of hearts that you were fashioned by His hand out of a love that is all encompassing, unimaginably perfect and so incredibly powerful and passionate that we won’t fully understand it until we are with Him in Heaven. Nor can we be separated from it.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
God wants you to grasp this now. Right now. Because until we do, we will use everything and anything to fill this gap to find fulfillment. Our husband, our children, our friendships, our work, the opinions of others—I know this because I’ve lived it.

Our Lord and Savior wants us to walk in freedom and victory (It is for freedom that He came to set us free. Gal. 5:1). Not when all our problems are solved. Not when our prebelievers finally accept Jesus into their heart. And certainly not when we think we’ve got it all together.

He wants this for us right now, right in the middle of all our imperfections and all our trials and challenges. And we can do that with Him through His love.

My prayers started with asking God to heal me and make me whole. I prayed to understand His grace better. I prayed for Him to help me love Him more, to free me from my fears, and to make me a bold and confident person, because I was so tired of my insecurities. I want more of God than anything else in my life. Not an easy prayer but I promise you it is one He will honor and love to hear come from your heart.

So my friends, I will leave this too long post right here with what I hope will encourage you to pursue God like never before. It starts with prayer and if you’re not sure what to pray for first, ask the Holy Spirit to show you. Pray and then believe He’s doing this in you. It won’t be something you can do on your own, make a plan to conquer, or figure out the missing key and, viola!, it’s fixed. (Trust me, I tried!)

No, the healing, deliverance, and change will come when you least expect it because it will be totally and completely God doing it. Rest in Him. Trust Him. Let Him do it.

And He will love you all the way to freedom and beyond. Because really and truly, He is our Father, our Abba, our Daddy.

Praying and believing for you!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


I Can't Say THAT To God

He said to me, “Call me Daddy.” 

Gulp! 

Wordle: Daddy

I sat on the couch on an early morning a few months ago, stunned. The Holy Spirit speaking these words to me was almost too much. There is no way I would DARE to call Him - my Lord - Daddy. 

What I’m about to share with you is deeply personal and I may not do a very good job in my explanation. But God has made it clear that I am to disclose this journey I’m on because there are others of you who need to walk it with me. So, please be patient as my telling may be a bit disjointed. 

I have walked with the Lord for a number of years now. And I enjoy a very real and vibrant love relationship with Him. It is personal. It is tender. God is gently correcting. He is firm yet so filled with grace. He delights in me and sends me tiny love notes continually. 

So, you can imagine my surprise since returning from our time at Bethel that God is calling me to a deeper love relationship. What is truly surprising is that I didn’t know I could have a deeper love than I already have. I really believed that I was completely, totally loving my Lord with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. 

But, my Great King has more for me. 

And He has more love for you. 

So share with me my story and see if the Lord is calling you to a deeper love relationship. 

First, I guess I need to explain why God would ask me to call Him Daddy. Well, to put it bluntly, I have daddy issues. And now please hear me. I hold my earthly father in the deepest love and respect. 

However, my daddy issues have stood in the way all these years to the intimacy that God wants for me. Let me explain. My earthly father is a good man. He was a provider for our family and a great businessman. He was a believer I think to some degree but I don’t recall much more than Sunday church attendance in his life. I grew up in a safe and loved atmosphere. But, I also grew up in a home where little girls weren't always a priority. Okay, I’m just being honest. 

The message I received as a child was that I was loved but I wasn’t cherished. Now for all women reading this, you know what I mean. We as women, it’s our greatest desire to be cherished above all other people and things by the significant man in our lives. For the guys reading this, its’ also true that your Father’s treatment of you growing up directly impacts your self-worth. 

Now I could go on and on about how my insecurity and daddy issues affected my decisions as a young woman but that would be boring. But it is crucial to help you understand how scary it is for me to place a person into my heart who has that kind of power or to be utterly vulnerable to someone who could disappoint me or hurt me at my core. 

Hang in there. Sheesh, I’m getting personal. 

But, for me to name someone Daddy in my heart and mind implies GIANT connotations. It’s the deepest intimacy I can experience. Because in my mind my Daddy is my ever-present protector, he is one who wants to twirl with me in the kitchen. My Daddy, (now get this) He WANTS to listen to me, spend time with me. He wants to know what upsets me, what makes me giggle, what is exciting to me and he desires to share my secrets. 

Good grief, I promise I don’t need therapy but I realized that morning that I need a Daddy which is different than a Father. Are you understanding what I’m saying here? 

And as I sat there stunned looking at my prayer journal, I could NOT write the beginning of my prayer, Good morning Daddy. I battled within myself to give Him that kind of trust. I battled with a lifetime of religion that I’m to respect the Lord God and be reverent in His presence. Which we are but……. 

But, here is God, Almighty who is asking me to crossover to Him into a new intimacy and a love relationship that seems unfamiliar, and a bit scary. 

Dineen and I are writing about love in December, and isn’t it interesting that God has decided to teach me about what it’s really like to be loved by my Daddy. He wants all of you to know what it feels like to be loved by a Daddy. So in the next few posts, I’m going to share what it looks like to me. How my love relationship is changing and how that’s impacting everyone around me. It’s going to blow your mind because it’s blowing my mind. 

So stop back on Friday, as I will tell you what I said to our God when He asked me to call Him Daddy. 

I wonder if you are in a place where you need to cross over from the God who is stern, distant, absent, or uncaring. Do you want to call Him Daddy? 

I love you my friends. I really love you. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Open Arms - FamilyLife Today -

Hi Everyone,

FLT-banner
We are psyched to be on the FamilyLife Today broadcast Monday, today, through Wednesday. In Regal photo on FBthe broadcast Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine welcome Dineen, me (Lynn) and another guest, Darla Stone, to share our stories. I think today is also when Dennis stops the broadcast to say something to my husband over the airwaves. I’m still freaked out about it and I will share more on what my husband thought about that later in the week. But today, Dineen and I just want to welcome listeners and wrap our arms around you. (To listen to the broadcast online or find a station, click here.)

My friends, those of you who are part of our amazing community and all of you who are just finding us today, we love you. Dineen and I, Lynn, are walking in the trenches with you. We are just ordinary wives and moms who love our pre-believer spouses, our kids and we love Jesus with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.

If you are reading this today, it’s not an accident that you find yourself here. God has heard your cry to know Him more and to grow in His love. Some of us have been part of this community for years. I myself, have been married to my pre-believing spouse for over 20 years. Some of us are relatively new to this group of amazing believers and some of you may be joining us for the first time today because you heard Dineen and me on the radio.

All of us who call this little place on the web home, we want you to know that we are honestly here to pray for you today. So many of us have come through the fire and are now waiting to take you by name to the mercy seat of grace in prayer. So my friends find your courage, your Joshua courage, and leave your prayer request in the comments, click on comments below this post.

If you are new here, please spend a few minutes here and get to know us. Click on the links in the sidebar, Join Us, which is a short description of our ministry. Also, visit the Community Map and see where we are all located around the globe and add your name.

Please click on the New Here link. There are a ton of resources to help you take real steps forward in community and in your marriage. Listen to some of the videos. Join us on Facebook. Visit our book website, Winning Him Without Words, there are free resources there as well (resources).

Mostly ask the Lord now to ignite in you a renewed passion for Jesus and for your spouse. Allow the Lord to begin a new work in you and then my friends….. STAND BACK and be astonished at all that God is going to do in your life.

Today I want to remind all of us in this community about one thing. One truth that changes everything….

Jesus.

The Anointed One, the Messiah

Jesus makes all the difference in every circumstance. When you feel defeated and so alone in your mismatched marriage that your heart physically aches. When you feel like there isn’t one soul who knows your pain. When you are facing tremendous trials and feel that no one in the world is praying for you, that you are all by yourself, I want you to remember this and never forget it.

JESUS IS praying for you. He is standing before the Father beseeching His favor, grace, love, joy and comfort for you.

...Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34

It’s never about, why is this happening to me. It’s ALWAYS about, what are You showing me in this.

Jesus is always with us. Jesus never fails. Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. Dineen and I are living, breathing testimonies to these truths.

So link arms with us today and defy the enemy and his lies. We are people of God. We have victories ahead for us, for our marriages, our children and for a world in desperate need of our Savior.

We love you. We REALLY love you. Please share a little about yourself with us in the comments and let us know how we can pray for you this day. Love and hugs, Lynn and Dineen.

Photos from our adventures with the FamilyLife Broadcast:

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One of my favorites from our trip

 

 

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Darla Stone and Tonda Nations, Research & Guest Relations, FLT

 

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Max Lucado, Lynn Donovan

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Dineen Miller, Max Lucado

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Dennis, Bob and Max (They recorded before us)

 

 

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In the production room

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Family Life

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Joanne Kraft, Dineen Miller, Lynn Donovan: Dinner at Crackerbarrel

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Related articles

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


When Love Abounds: Four Choices to an Intentional Christmas

IMG_1874We’d said farewell to precious friends and the turkey and fixings now resided in our fridge, along with the deserts, thank goodness! Our Thanksgiving Day drew to a close with a sweet contentment that warmed our hearts. My husband even commented that he thought it was his favorite Thanksgiving so far.

He and I worked to clean up the rest of the pots and pans, unaware that our two daughters and their sweeties sat at the dining room table, hooked into an action packed game of Catch Phrase.

Only when we’d finished our clean-up did we become fully aware of the momentous scene playing out.

How many years had I prayed and dreamed of such a day? For my two daughters to not just get along (with four years between them they often struggled to connect) but hang out and enjoy each other’s company? To one day see them with them as adults moving into their lives and witness the fruit of so many prayers?

I’m so glad I didn’t miss this moment, my friends, because even as I sat there, I knew this was a gift. A moment to ponder and hold in my heart, much like Mary did as she heard the shepherds and wise men sing the praises of the tiny babe she held close.

My husband and I whipped out our phones and snapped some shots to capture this moment because even he knew this time was special. To my chagrin, he even took a few pictures of me because “I looked so beautiful.”

I know without a doubt what he saw was my joy in the Lord for this time, for this rich blessing, for this sweet “kiss” from God telling me He’d heard every prayer and what I now saw was the promise of what was to come.

Love abounded. Great love. Great joy. A Great God.

Part of walking in God’s presence is staying aware of moments like these and staying in them. Right there, right in the moment. I could only sit on our couch and watch, soaking in every bit of it.

10563775_mAs we enter this Christmas season already full of events and family visits, it’s easy to miss special moments in the chaos so prevalent this time of year but therein may lay some of our greatest gifts of the season! Here’s what I learned last year in my determination to have an “Intentional Christmas:”

Intentional Choice #1: Reject the chaos. Decide how many “things” you and your family realistically have time for, pick a number and stick with it. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Sometimes last minute “things” come up so do be flexible but factor in margins to accommodate those sudden events so that your plans aren’t totally thrown off. Spontaneity can visit but don’t let her roost.

Intentional Choice #2: Choose specifically. Which events and activities do you and your family want to partake in? Which relationships do you feel the need to invest more time in this year? Even make time for rest in your schedule. Have a super busy day planned? Make the next day one of rest and relaxation. Make it a Christmas movie day, a time to read stories and just enjoy each other.

Intentional Choice #3: Release expectations. We often walk into the holidays with unrealistic expectations. We can’t control everything. Let go of unrealistic expectations of yourself, your husband, your immediate family, your extended family, of others and even of situations that serve only to create conflict and resentment. Let’s face the reality that the Christmas season can bring the best and worst out of us. Extend lots of grace and enjoy those moments when things just seem to fall into place and go smoothly. Be Mary and give Martha the season off. Moments with loved ones are way more important than making sure all your dishes match. Take this from someone who knows (wink).

Intentional Choice #4: Accept whatever comes. Not as a passive gesture but as a willingness to let God surprise you. This is where not just the good stuff happens but the great stuff. Don’t miss a moment of it. Cover yourself and your family in prayer for God’s love to abound and bring His blessings in the most unexpected places. Look for opportunities to bless your family, your friends and even a stranger here and there. This is where we find true joy and share it with the world!

I’ll end here with a wonderful moment right from the Bible:

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. — Luke 2:16-19

Let’s ponder those moments of the heart together!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


God's Unexpected Healing, Part 2

WorshipMy friends, last week I shared the first part of my unexpected healing at Bethel Church and God’s gift of truth from a dear woman named Helen. Now for the rest of the story. Or rather, the results of this dramatic healing in my life that keeps playing out on a daily basis. Wow!

I really didn’t understand everything at the time that it happened. The full reality didn’t unfold immediately. With this kind of internal healing, it’s like a walk of discovery. Only as you move forward do you see the changes.

I remember when I worked as a youth minister, I loved the verse Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free.” I craved that verse, wanted it to be true in my life more than anything but after a while I doubted it was possible. Seemed like my faith walk and life was an emotional roller coaster ride most of the time.

But over the years, as I submitted more and more of my heart to God, He has entered and healed as much as I allowed Him. Go back and read that sentence and see if that’s true for you. Do you limit what God has access to in your heart? Why? Keep reading and see if your answer is the same as mine was.

The conference at Bethel was the near completion (I say near because I believe we are constantly being perfected in our faith, and I in no way want to assume God is done in this area of my life) of a process that started in 2002 to free me of a past full of hurts and rejections that I’d allowed the enemy to use to hold me in bondage.

As I submitted more and asked for more freedom in my life, God was and is faithful. The process is ongoing! I am so radically changed! Sometimes we think we’ve completely submitted to God but He shows us more that He wants access to in order to show us who He created us to be through Jesus Christ, who we always were, are and are meant to be in our identity in Jesus. And very often to restore what the enemy has taken away.

My immediate proof was in the security and peace I felt. Then I noticed that I could look people straight in the eye. I didn’t dart my glance away out of shyness. I WANTED to look at them and I didn’t fear them looking back at me.

Then came our evening worship. I stood, anxious to worship God. My heart was so full of gratitude for what He’d done in me, even though I didn’t fully understand it yet, I knew He’d freed me. The music started and I can only describe it as if my spirit were dancing inside of me. I literally wanted to twirl like a little girl! Where I once used to hesitate out of fear of what others might think, I had not a care of what I looked like. It didn’t matter to me anymore.

At one point I shed the thin black jacket that I wore. Lynn was standing in the aisle a couple rows behind and says it was like witnessing my freedom come to life as I shed a mantle of darkness for God’s freedom. (I’ll let her tell that story if God leads her to.) I only know that I felt like I was dancing before God. I even remember the way I felt as a girl taking ballet lessons and losing myself in the joy of the movement. And now it was again like that elegant dance but this time, all to worship God. More proof of God’s unexpected healing.

And more kept coming. When I returned home and back to my office, all those things I’d been striving for didn’t matter anymore. And I don’t mean that they weren’t important—they are and they have their place in what God is calling me to do. They just didn’t define me anymore. My work for God no longer defined me. My relationship with Him and who He says I am now does. The rest is extra for Him and I to share together and my chance to give to others what He has so generously given me.

My entire world has changed. I used to structure my day by first starting with God, my quiet time of course, and then the rest of my day was about my work. My agenda. Now God is my agenda. I can’t figure out a better way to say it. All the work stuff—what matters gets done. But whatever God has planned for the day comes first.

I used to dread interruptions because they took me away from what I needed to get done. My agenda was priority. I truly wanted to be available to God but didn’t want it to be inconvenient. Now, as I walk through my days, I look for those interruptions! They are sweet times to see God at work in OUR lives (Not just mine. Yours too!) in a very real and tangible way and to be a part of that. To co-labor (love that word!) with God to reach the broken hearts He sets in our path at the most unexpected times.

And I will share one other place in my life that is radically changed. My fear is gone! Yes, that is the most radical area of my healing. Was your answer the same? Does your fear of what God might do or ask you to do limit Him? I know mine did.

My prayer life is very different now as well. I didn’t realize how big of a hold fear had in my life. The enemy had worked layer upon layer of fear in my life since I was a child. And that fear is what kept me from praying boldly and from understanding my authority in Jesus Christ.

Now I am learning to pray boldly in the Holy Spirit and I am seeing breakthroughs and answers to prayers. Areas of conflict in my life in which I normally would avoid rather than face, I now confront confidently and insist it be dealt with. This is an HUGE area for me!

My friends, let me emphasize that I did NONE of this! This is all God. He did this and is doing all this in me. I didn’t work at it, make a plan of action, set up a prayer regiment, or anything like that. I had been praying for God to make me bolder, like Paul. I wanted to be confident in Him and not afraid to step forward or to take a risk. I told God I was tired of being insecure and lacking confidence. What I didn’t realize is that was also part of God’s process in exposing what He wanted to heal in my life.

Please understand, this is about complete submission. My biggest prayer had been for more of God. I wanted more of Him in my life. I wanted Him to BE my life. The amazing thing is, God WANTS to do this in us and give Himself to us.

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! — Luke 11:7

The emphasis in this verse is mine because this truth just stood out to me this week. We miss this last line thinking we get what Jesus is saying, that we are to ask God for what we need. But hear me right how, Jesus is saying the Father wants to give us something better.

Himself.

God wants to give us HIS HOLY SPIRIT. Not just to indwell us as part of our salvation, Christ living in us. But his very presence!

Because He is all we truly need. The rest will come, just trust Him for it. And I promise you, that may seem like an impossible thing to do, but when we want God’s presence more than anything in our lives—I mean truly crave it—the rest just isn’t as important anymore or you are confident in God’s provision and care.

Let that truth sink in deep, my precious friends. I will have to finish this blog post next week as it seems God had so much more for me to share than I realized. And I dare say next week will have more revelations—one in particular, the mystery of God’s love.

Join me next week and I will tell you what fear and love have in common. The answer just might surprise you. I know it did me.

Know that I love you with the heart of Jesus!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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


Restoring the Holy Spirit

HiResMy precious friends, I am overwhelmed with joy in all that God is doing in our SUM community right now. The response to His call to “re-sign” has been astounding! ASTOUNDING!!! I. Am. In. Awe. I have inbox full of these wonderful requests so please be patient with me as I pray through each one. I will reply to every single email.

I want to share so much of this crazy journey God has Lynn and I on. We both will be doing this in the days and weeks to come. And it will go onward, I dare say. So please come with us!

So, let me start at a beginning, a preparation that God sent to me for what was to come.

While I was in Hawaii, my husband and would go and watch the sunrise on the beach each morning, then I would sit on our patio and read my Bible and praise God until my hubby came back out to share breakfast with me.

On my first morning, this little bird came up to me (right at my feet!), made a kind of moan-humming noise, then clicking sounds, then he proceeded to tip forward and spread his tail feathers at me. I was delighted! I giggled! I thanked God for such a precious gift.

IMG_1770The next morning, this little guy came back and had breakfast with me, feasting on the crumbs I left on my plate. Then to my complete and total shock, he hopped onto my knee! And there he perched. I saw it as another precious delight from God.

Here I’d asked for one of those feathers Lynn had been talking about and God sent me the whole bird! (I still laugh on that one!) This showed me again that when we let go of what we think we need and/or want, and trust God with it, He gives us even more than we imagined or thought possible because we are no longer limiting His work in our lives and marriages.

What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that God intended to use this little bird, which turned out to be a Zebra Dove, to prepare my heart to receive even more. While Lynn and I were at the Open Heavens conference, Bill Johnson spoke of protecting the presence of the Holy Spirit and likened it to a dove sitting on our shoulder. He cautioned us to walk carefully in our faith and service to God lest the dove fly away.

I thought again of that Zebra Dove perched on my knee as stayed still and watched in wonder. I began to understand how I had limited the Holy Spirit in my life. How I had unknowingly shrugged His presence off years ago out of fear and pride and had not shown Him the respect He is was due.

I repented and confessed all this. I asked the Holy Spirit for forgiveness and asked Him to return to me. That I would do whatever He wanted to serve Him and others if He would just restore His presence over me (yes, Jesus’ Spirit still indwells me, but I had stopped His power from flowing through me).

I can only explain it as feeling like a floodgate burst open. His presence and power flooded over me! Chills ran down my body from head to foot, except I wasn’t cold and exhibited no bumps. And I remembered this—I remembered feeling His presence years ago as a fresh believer before I allowed my pride and fear to push Him away.

There’s still so much I’m learning about all this, but I do believe this is what the Bible speaks of when it says to “walk in the Spirit.” When we walk in the Spirit’s leading, we become very sensitive to the world around us. We begin to see it through the eyes of Christ and we come from a place of love. What breaks Jesus’ heart, breaks ours. Those He loves, we love too, which is everyone you see and meet! And we pray in strength and authority, instead of fear and doubt!

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self- discipline. — 2 Timothy 1:7

It is a strangely wonderful and beautifully overwhelming place that has radically changed how I live my faith. God healed me of some things deep in my heart and freed me during the Open Heavens conference. Just this week, I’ve called myself a Jesus-freak in reply to something my husband asked. His reaction? He just smiled. And another time when I was concerned over a personal issue and without a thought, I said to him, “If you believed in God, I’d ask you to pray for me.” My husband’s response was to ask what was wrong.

These are things I NEVER would have said to my husband before, because I was too afraid of his reaction or too concerned of what he might think of me. That is God, my friends. That is what happens when we give Him free reign in us to do what He wants. The Holy Spirit moves big time when we let go and trust Him.

Praying & believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

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