16 posts categorized "Spiritual Leadership"

Love DEFEATS Knowledge

PATTY tOWER 2018By Patty tower  

We are over a month post conference and boy…not only is God doing a work in me, but doing a work in my husband! Hallelujah and amen.

I’m excited that God is opening doors of spiritual discussions between my husband I, and I’m thrilled to see where these discussions will lead. God will pave a way for my husband’s salvation, yes, but like many other women in this community realize…it comes at a price. The price of truly getting to know myself through the Savior first.

Sometimes, I have to be careful about what I ask. When I prayed, “God give me your heart and show me your ways.” You had better believe He will show you…and sometimes, it stings.

Recently, it occurred to me during in a conversation with my close sisters in Christ, that I may be too “self-righteous,” too “passionate,” and I may come on “too strong” when I talk about Jesus. The Bible encourages us to walk in holiness and righteousness, but was I really being self-righteousness? Was my righteousness the way to go?

Some thesaurus synonyms of self-righteous includes: holier-than-thou, self-satisfied, smug, priggish, pious, moralizing, preachy, superior, and hypocritical. It’s basically the opposite of humility. It’s the opposite of Jesus and what He came to earth to fight against. Those characteristics screamed of everything the religious “Pharisees” stood for in my head.

I didn’t know this about myself until now. I was having a hard time balancing my passion and spreading the gospel in a loving way.  God wasn’t telling me to stop spreading the gospel, but in my pursuit to tell others of my Bible knowledge, I was pushing them away from Jesus ,rather than drawing them in.

Bible knowledge is great, but what good is knowledge if you’re not representing the true love of Christ?

I felt like I failed Him. I failed God and others by not reflecting the love of Christ.

I dug deep and asked my Father, Why am I like this? Where is it coming from?

God answered. The root of it was simple. I had this inner desire to be heard. Growing up in my household, I was rarely heard. The type of relationship I had with my parents was more like a dictatorship. “Do as you’re told…or else.”

I remember memories of me begging them to “hear me out.” I was constantly trying to “convince,” them why they ought to trust me with friendships at school or joining school sports. My opinions or what I had to say were not valued. It was “my way or the highway,” or “because I said so.” I intellectually fought them because I felt like it was the only way that would lead me to freedom outside of my home.

My family prided themselves on being right. And I honestly, I don’t care if you’re right or wrong…I just want to feel loved. To feel protected, honored, valuable...to be heard. Isn’t that why we all love Jesus? Because he provides all those things other people may not be able to?

I was intellectually convincing people why the Bible was the source of truth. When God’s only commandment to me is 1) Love God first. 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. I had to put myself in my neighbor’s shoes and ask, “Would I want to know more about Jesus hearing what I heard from myself?” The answer was no, probably not.

God forgives and He honors our mistakes. But really, I felt like one of those people standing with a sign at a public venue that says, “Believe in Jesus or you will go to hell!” You know what I mean.

In all thankfulness, I have people in my life who can hold me accountable. In God’s perfect timing, He also starts to open more spiritual discussions with my husband. If it weren’t for sisters in Christ, I probably would have vomited Bible knowledge to people who didn’t even care! They just need Jesus!

Jeremiah 9:23 says “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom…”

My most important question to Jesus was, “Other than prayer, how do I go about spreading your gospel now?” I’ve been confirmed in this season it is time my husband hears about the Lord. I’ve been “winning” him through my actions and now it’s through my voice.

The answer was simple. Testify.

Testify what God has done in your life.

Testify the goodness of God.

Testify how he healed you.

Testify the miracles you have witnessed because of Him.

Testify. Luke 8:39 says:

“’Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming through the whole city how much Jesus has done for him.”

I love you all and I’m thankful for a community like you who understands the growing pains of being more Christ-like. Thank you all for your words of wisdom and prayer.

I will see you in the comments!


Slay The Marriage Killers - The In-Laws

Slay The Marriage KillersMarriage Killers. How do we slay them?

Today, I want to talk about …

The in-laws.

Every marriage brings with it an extended family. My experience with in-laws was a good one. They weren’t intrusive. At the time I married Mike, he had lived on his own for years. He had a health relationship with his parents, and they lived in another state. Their involvement in our lives centered about holiday visits and trips to visit their place in the summer. And on occasion, a trip to the Santa Cruz where his parents and their friends and family would vacation every year.

Marriages struggle when either spouse fails to become fully liberated from their parents. This is often an issue with your spouse’s maturity and also a proximity issue.

I can tell you from many emails to this ministry that dealing with in-laws is a REAL thing that challenges marriages. I will also tell you that as a mother of an adult son, there is a very special and unbreakable bond between the two that is a life-long reality. (We have a healthy relationship and I live in five hours from him.)

So, what to do if your spouse is still linked to home and Mom-in-law or dad-in-law interferes with decisions and the direction of your family?

If you are dealing with an overbearing, and ridiculously interfering family member, of course, conversation with your spouse is where you start. Pray and ask Jesus to create a perfect opportunity to talk about extended family. Gang, BATHE this conversation, before it takes place, in prayer. Ask the Lord for the right words. Leave accusation and ridicule of the family member out of the discussion. Take about the issues and how the meddling creates strife and leads to conflict and unhealthy boundaries and decisions. Offense will arise quickly in a spouse when talking about a mom or a dad. Tread carefully but with sound examples and SOLUTIONS that would have made for a better outcome.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

Forgive, forgive, forgive.

Love, love, love.

Determine to set healthy boundaries. In an overbearing situation, space is the only way to gain autonomy. And finally moving a distance away may become your only viable option.

Okay, I need help here. What are the in-law’s dynamics in your home? How have you handled interference? OR better yet, how have you and your spouse set healthy boundaries with the in-laws.

How to you restrain your own mother or father from interfering with your family? I’ll see you in the comments.

LOVE loudly this week. Love and bless your in-laws in your prayer time. Let’s see what happens by Friday? Perhaps a few tiny miracles in the extended family. Hugs, Lynn


SUMites Summit on the Summit by Libby

When I was paying for the SUM community, Holy Spirit started downloading words and pictures into my soul for us! So, in prayer, I grabbed my pen and sketch pad and let Holy Spirit flow through me. This is the first time I have ever done this, and let me tell you, it was awesome and I want more!!! I really hope that the photo at the end of this post expresses it properly (best viewed on laptop/pc). I pray that God will bless you through it and reveal to you in your heart what He wants you to know :) 

I believe He is calling together an army from across the nations to join forces together against evil. In the spiritual realm we are together and we are kicking up noise! An uproar against satan and his wicked plans. The angels can hear us and they rejoice! The demons can hear us and they flee! Other believers can hear us and they join us! 

Holy Spirit led me to this scripture for the SUMITE ARMY:

"Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath — those who rejoice in my triumph. Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war. They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens — the Lord and the weapons of his wrath — to destroy the whole country." Isaiah 13:2-5

Then, knowing I am a word nerd, He led me to contemplate "Sumite" and how similar it is to "Summit". I got super excited! Look at the dictionary definition of Summit and how it ties in with this scripture! 

1 - The highest point of a hill or mountain. (God is calling the Sumites to the Summit of the mountains/hills)

1.1 - The highest attainable level of achievement. (God is the highest of the highest. We are victors through him)

2 - A meeting between leaders (we are being called to converge at the Sumite Summit on the summit!!!) 

Holy Spirit then blew me away and as I prayed, it was as though He downloaded these prophetic words to me for all the Sumites:

The Sumite army is rising up! This army has been amassed from across the world, and now it is time to join together and wage war! Listen to the sound of the horn calling you! Move forward inch by inch to take back the land that the enemy has stolen! It is our land - it rightfully belongs to us through Christ - and it is time to march forward and reclaim it. We belong to God, He has called us by name, we are His chosen army. Rise up to take back land and free the captives of the enemy (our unsaved loved ones) who will then join the army and be mighty soldiers for God. Who better to make a powerful and effective fighter than one who has been held as a prisoner of war?! 

The battle is the Lord's. He goes before us and fights for us. He sends angelic armies to join forces with us. Trust Him. We fight from a position of victory! He has already overcome the enemy. Wave His banner high over you, blow the shofar, sing praises, dance and worship! The ground will shake and tremble. Mountains will crumble. Chains will be broken. Prison cells will be unlocked. We will spill the enemy's blood. Angelic armies are joining forces with us and fighting for us. Be fierce and forceful in battle, your strength comes from the Lord God Almighty and he has given us every provision we need to win. We are victors, we are overcomers, we are more than conquerors. 

Our battle plan and strategy are given through His word. Remember, put on the full armour - this is essential - and keep your shield of faith high and declare hedges of protection around your families and your households. Use your weapon - the sword of the Spirit, His anointed word, which is sharper than a double-edged sword, the most powerful weapon which no enemy can withstand. Follow Jesus' example when He was attacked and tempted by the devil - He declared the Holy Word and did not enter into negotiation. Know your enemy. Know his deceitful tricks and strategy - knowledge is power. What are your weakest points? Where is he likely to press? Is there anything that could compromise your hedge of protection?  Pray for discernment and wisdom and God will answer you and deliver you. 

We have the organization needed in our ranks: generals, officers, watchmen, gatekeepers and foot soldiers. If you are battle wounded and weary and can't be on the front line right now that is okay. But, pray for the army and you can regain your strength so that you can join the fight on the front lines. The way to stop becoming battle weary is to rest in His love and peace. Worship Him. Draw close to Him. Speak to each other in hymns and prayers. If anyone falls down, then the rest of the army should surround them and encourage them. When the generals and leaders are fatigued, foot soldiers should carry them. When a comrade is injured, tend to them. This battle is real - the Sumites are already experiencing the attacks of the enemy and some are wounded in battle. BUT, the enemy may be able to superficially wound us, but he cannot beat us or kill us and he knows it. We are each sealed by Holy Spirit and stamped through and through as God's child. Do not be afraid. Do not tremble before the enemy. God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing. He has given us everything we need. Use it and put the enemy back in his place! 

The enemy is trembling, he knows his time is nearly up and he will now amass all his forces in every last ditch attempt to defeat us. But, we shall not be defeated! Stand guard. Stand firm. Press on. Know we are victors through Christ. Prepare for victory and celebration. God's glory will be sung throughout the land and our victorious cries will resound in heaven!!!

Libby xxx

Libby Finan SUM Army May 2018


Spiritual Leadership For The Unequally Yoked

Love ring bibleLeadership of the family is absolutely challenging when married to an unbeliever.

Years ago, my husband was far away from God. It was obvious that he would not be leading our family in daily devotions nor praying with us. My reality at the time was on the receiving end of his hostility toward all things of faith. He was adamant that he wouldn’t attend church. I think in that season every emotion on the spectrum would bombard my thoughts. Taking them captive to Christ saved me from unending confusion and fear.

In the early years of marriage, as a young wife, I Christian leader on the radio say: If your husband has abdicated or refused to step into the role as the spiritual leader of your home then God expects, you, as the wife to take that place in the family.

FREEDOM!!!

I was freed to become the leader for the salvation and eternal life of my children. I would teach them about Christ and I would pray at meals. It was me that readied them for church, took them to Sunday school, youth group. I was solely responsible for growing in my faith and for praying for my families struggles, fears and concerns. All. By. My. Little. Self.

It’s not fair, you cry.

Indeed. But if you aren’t praying for your kids, who is. If you aren’t spending time in the Word, how can you make Godly decision for yourself, guide your children or influence your husband toward morality and goodness?

Gang, if we arrived in an unequally yoked marriage, God KNEW we could do it and do it well. So, hang up the phone on despair and the victim mindset. Leave fairness and laziness at the door. YOU CAN DO THIS. How do I know. Because I did it and I’m not easily convinced but by the Grace of God, I am so glad I pushed through the pain and loneliness.

The reward that came to me through intimacy, powerful faith and identity was worth the struggle. I would do it again to be where I am now with the Lord.

Today receive this if you are unequally yoked: I DECLARE YOU ARE STRONG, WISE AND BACKED UP BY ALL OF HEAVEN TO BE VICTORIOUS IN YOUR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY. YOU CAN LEAD THIS FAMILY IN FAITH AND DO IT WELL.

In Jesus name. I love you. I will be traveling for the next 10 days. I will likely post a guest post or a few devotions. Be back on May 18. Be good to yourself. Allow Jesus to heal your heart and speak peace, love, joy, hope into your family. I adore you. Lynn


Defending the Bible

A few days ago, I received a prayer request from a new reader. As I answered her email, I realized that her situation is also similar to many of us. So, I want to share her question/prayer request and my answer.

Let me know if you are in this season of marriage and struggle and I will be so glad to pray for you. Hugs, Lynn

Provers 3  1-6From B:

My husband says he believes but every time that I open my Bible or talk about God he makes me feel like I'm wasting my time and brings up controversial issues in the bible to try to prove it’s not true. It weakens my faith because he makes really good points and it then makes me feel stupid for believing it. I don't want to feel this way and I know it's Satan trying to steal my joy and my faith and he’s using my husband to do it. So, I'm asking my sister's in Christ to be in FERVENT prayer over my husband. Thank you all.

Dear B:

Girl, do I ever know how you feel. Indeed, this was my life as well in the early years of my marriage. I will assure you it’s all real. Jesus is real and the more you grow in your faith the easier it will be for you  to walk in confidence in the truth of the Word. Also, do not feel as though you must defend your faith or the Bible to your husband. It’s impossible to make them see the truths in the Word without the Holy Spirit. It’s not a book of logic. It’s a book of faith. Faith is believing. But right now, I will be the voice to tell you it’s all real. Hold on to those words when the enemy uses your husband to shame you.

Keep walking in joy and hope because you will not be disappointed. You may need to have a conversation with your husband. Pray first for wisdom and timing. Let your husband know that you don't have every answer he is looking for but your experience and the joy in your heart outweighs the questions you have. And over time you will receive answers because God loves to reveal himself to those who are diligently looking for Him.

Ask your husband to just respect your faith because it makes you happy. Ask him not to tear you and your faith down and then promise him you won’t push your faith on him. Prayerful and hopefully this kind of conversation will develop into peace in your marriage.

In the meantime, pray…. Your prayers are utterly powerful. Claim your husband and marriage with 1 Corinthians 7:14. It is our power passage. Read about there here.

I pray for your husband and I bless you with love, a peace that passes all understanding, joy, forgiveness and more faith. In Jesus name. AMEN

Hugs, Lynn

SUMites, have you struggled like this? Do you have any words of encouragement to give to B? See you in the comments. Lynn


Praying Our Power Passage - A MUST Read

If you don’t read any other post on prayer in this series, PLEASE READ THIS ONE.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMy friends, there are many more aspects of prayer that we could cover. We won’t get to them all in this series but I have covered what I sense the Holy Spirit is wanting to impart to the church in this season about powerful prayer.

Today, I want to speak to one more area that is very specific to those of us who are unequally yoked. And next week we will cover the “blocks” to prayer and what to do with unanswered prayers.

About a year ago I was doing some study about defeating the demonic. Because I’m married to a pre-believer and so are you, the spiritual warfare in which we engage is right in our own homes and it can be relentless. So, I began studying as many things as possible about how to have victory in my prayers and in spiritual warfare just so I could maintain peace in my home and so my home would be a place where the Holy Spirit lives and not the demons. Anyone want that as well?

Okay, so I learned a lot. But one of the most powerful things I learned was specific to those of us married to unbelievers. First let me state that the spiritual realm is governed by laws. These are spiritual principals and regulations that were instituted by God. Just as in the natural, there is the law of gravity, there are laws the angelic and demonic must abide by and these laws are meticulously followed. The demonic relentlessly search for ways to gain access into our lives through laws that have been violated. A violation occurs when we believe a lie about God or about who we are in Christ. The devils can gain access.

So, why am I giving you a lesson in spiritual laws today. Because we must understand how authority works. There is a structure to authority in the spiritual realm. God has ultimate authority, in the Bible teaches us that God has given all authority to Christ. We, as joint heirs with Christ, receive authority in some manner or degree. We access that authority through our prayers. All this to say: The structure of the family is a system of authority. It says in the Word that the husband has authority over his wife (Ephesians 5:23). And thus, parents have authority over their children.

Why does this matter. Because men who are Christians can pray for protections over their wife and children and the demonic realm MUST listen. But in our mismatched marriages, our spouse is not under the authority of Christ so we could be left vulnerable. But….. we are not.

This is the secret the demonic does not want you to know. We are empowered in a special way to pray protection, favor, blessing and much more over our unbelieving spouse through, 1 Corinthians 7:14.

THIS IS OUR VERSE OF POWER AND AUTHORITY.

And let me tell you I use this passage often. And I see results.

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. – 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV)

My friends, this is our authority to pray away things that are not of God in our spouse’s life and over our children. The rules of familial authority in this passage apply to the spiritual realm. I don’t know how to explain this well other than to just pray and show you how I use this passage in my prayers for my home and family.

Often, almost daily, I will pray something like this:

In the name of Jesus, I take authority over my home through the power of the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 7:14. I stand in faith over my home and it is now holy as stated in this verse. My husband is now covered with the holiness of Christ and covered by His blood. My children are holy and they will walk in glorious plans and purposes designed for them since before time began and declared by God. They, my children and husband and myself, will experience the abundance of the Lord today in our schools, ministry, workplace and anywhere else we go.

I say that any unclean spirit that is in my house MUST go right now into the pit. (I will name any here as the Holy Spirit leads me. The demonic gains access to my home at times through the television my husband watches at night.) Lord, in Jesus name and by the authority as the believing spouse, I command all demonic spirits, fear, pride, unbelief, political spirit, religious spirit, etc to leave right now. I state clearly that they cannot come back nor can replacement spirits come in. I bless my husband to receive the love of God through me and all darkness is forbidden to be in my home. In Jesus name.

Father, I take authority over my children through 1 Corinthians 7:14 as their mother. I say they are blessed and will receive today, every spiritual gift you have prepared for them. They will experience Your joy, peace and goodness (Romans 14:17) as this is Your loving and lavish provision for them. And Lord as I speak this blessing over them, I claim it for myself and my husband. In Jesus name.

Thank you Lord for the angels that you have stationed around and in my house. I stand with them - in your power and authority through Jesus as the protector and guard against evil. I declare today my family and home is a safe zone and nothing unclean can enter in. I declare today that blessings and peace and grace rest here in the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. I stand with my armor fully on and in faith under the truth of 1 Corinthians 7:14. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ my Lord. AMEN… Hallelujah!!!

Okay, do you all need some authority in your home? Well now you have it. Say this prayer out loud and give me an amen in the comments. Let’s release the Kingdom of God into your family line and sanctify hour home, spouse and children. AMEN…

We love you Jesus. Thank you.

BIG hugs, Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

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

(You know what is so weird. Every time I try to re-post this list, something doesn't come through when I paste it into the composer. Today is was number four -confidence. And half way through my prayer as I was typing it out, half of it disappeared.---DEVIL YOU DO NOT WIN. JESUS WINS ALWAYS. So there.)


Fear of Husbands - The Prescription For Fear

1 john 4 18 smallI was deeply moved by many of the comments on Friday’s post about the fear of man. Can I just say  - BLESS YOU, SUMites because of your courage to voice your real struggles. I want to share a comment as this is the crux of many of the comments last week:

The first thing that struck me was fear of my husband, his reaction to different things I might say or do, I fear I will push him farther away from God or me even by saying or doing the wrong thing.

I understand your heart, as I lived in this very place. Three years into my marriage, after a terrible night where my husband and I argued about faith, I woke up the next morning and realized, I am unequally yoked. O Lord, help. I don’t have a clue what to do now.

I lived for a long time in fear of my husband’s comments or reactions to any discussions of faith. And even more difficult was the rejection I felt when I would invite him to church or other faith centered events and he would decline. In fact, I think I still have moments where the rejection can pang my heart.

In the last several months I’ve been utterly fascinated with the developments in the presidential election. My husband and I often are at odds about politics. And years ago discussion about, politics, religion and social issues that conflicted with Biblical truths were sure to ignite WWIII.

However, I have come so far from those early years in my marriage and faith walk. And those of you who are walking years behind me and Dineen, let us be the voices to SHOUT, “IT WILL GET EASIER AND BETTER.”

God wanted to remind me and encourage you in several things today if you are walking in fear of your husband’s reactions.

  1. Over the years both my husband and I have come to peace about our different world views.

In the early years of our marriage I think I was very insecure and lacked wisdom and knowledge about my faith. I think my only grounding came from what I heard on Sunday morning. My lack of Bible reading added to my confusion and fears.

I also believe that my husband suffered the same. He wasn’t really sure what he believed and formed his convictions from sources that he wasn’t even sure he believed. When people are insecure or uncertain and feel threatened, they often react in anger. This is exactly what our early marriage looked like.

As we mature in years and faith, fears over our husband’s reactions diminish and your husband also reacts less. I’m convinced that my solid, year-after-year, commitment to grow in my faith has been the most powerful statement to my husband. It's brought us both peace.

  1. Choose love over fear.

Also in the comments from Friday, Gill reminded me of this: Most of our reactions or actions are motivated out of fear or love. Think about this for a minute. Hundreds of decision you face every day are fear based or love at the core.

Perfect love cast out all fear. —1 John 4:18. SUMites, this verse, well, it’s a journey. I believe throughout most of our lives we are in training to cast away our fears and learn to love God and people. Choose love my friends. I will share more about this on Monday. I see so many mothers live in fear as it comes to their children. I believe the Lord is directing me to share how to step out of that. Stay tuned! 

And finally the most powerful source to escape fear is:

  1. Identity……

Most of my fear of man was blown out of the water when I truly began to walk out of my identity as a child of God.

What does this mean? How do we walk in your identity? Can we grasp what it means to be an image bearer of Christ? Do we know our purpose in this life? There are awesome promises and great revelation ahead my friends. I can’t wait to get to this topic!

 See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn


Celebrating 10 Years - God works in Mysterious Ways

IMG_0369It was September 2012. I had always wanted to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference and having a publisher for Angelguard I thought it a useful way of building some momentum for its release a few months later.

Fiona and I combined it with a holiday to the US with the plan to attend the conference in DFW on our final leg before heading home. The conference had started and I was having a ball meeting lots of fascinating authors including some of my heroes plus gaining a lot of useful information. There was one particular workshop titled “How to Market Your Fiction Like a non-Fiction Pro” that featured four presenters: an agent who I knew of, an author who I was a fan of and two other authors who I didn’t know.

It was an excellent workshop spread over two sessions. One of the non-fiction authors shared a little of their journey on writing a non-fiction book about being married to a pre-believer. All of a sudden this workshop now had added meaning.

Yes, you guessed it that author was none other than our own, Dineen. Dineen, of course, is a rarity in publishing, being both an author of non-fiction and fiction. Her award-winning novel, The Soul Saver, is tremendous.

On the workshop ending, I was on my way to an appointment with an editor when I happened to notice Dineen waiting in the same area. She was by herself so I introduced myself and shared how I too was married to a pre-believer. We chatted very briefly, Dineen mentioned the SUM community and to my delight gave me a copy of “Winning Him Without Words”. She only brought two to the conference and I was the fortunate one to receive the second one. Talk about a blessing.

The Lies of the Enemy

Up to that time, one of my struggles in church life and faith was a belief that any ministry I undertook including through my writing would not be blessed because I was in a spiritually mismatched marriage.

As I sat in the workshop listening to Dineen, I was struck by the revelation that what I’d believed for so long was a lie. The scales of deceit shattered on reading the first few chapters of Lynn and Dineen’s book.

A few weeks later having read both books and explored this community’s blog, I genuinely felt a changed man. Have you ever experienced that? Having a lie that you convinced yourself of for years being zapped.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
 and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6 NKJV)

The above verse took on new meaning and continues to. Our perceptions can be so misleading. Hey, I’d carried that chestnut around for many years. In some ways I had come to believe my marriage and I didn’t deserve to be blessed. But no longer! 

God is good. Meeting Dineen and the Lord using her in that workshop and enabling us to bump into each other so soon afterwards was one of those moments I so cherish.

He certainly is mysterious.

10 Years

I joined (do we join?) the SUMite gang less than four years ago now. I’m a little envious of all of you who’ve been with Lynn and Dineen for longer. Our two dear friends are anointed. They share their anointing with us each and every week.

Reading the posts through the week is like an oasis. We all experience that loneliness of being the “single” one, not only in our church communities, but also often within our other various friendships and associations. Even though we’re mostly a virtual family it’s always special being able to hang out in a warm and safe place where there is much love, understanding and discernment.

On behalf of your SUM family, dear Lynn and Dineen, thank you. Thank you for honoring the Lord through your obedience in caring for us these ten years. We love sharing this journey with you both and each other and look forward to what the future holds.

And to all the SUMites, thank you for sharing your heart with us all. This family wouldn’t be what it is without all of our contributions.

I so look forward to reading more of your stories in weeks ahead.


Am I The Spiritual Leader

In 2012 I wrote a post for the Internet Café. It remains still today one of the most visited posts on their site. I can’t write it better today. It remains truth and remains powerful. So in response to our confusion and the issues we face about spiritual leadership in our home, I share the post again today.

May 2012


image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMy Husband is not the Spiritual Leader of Our Home

When I’m speaking or interviewed for radio, spiritual leadership of our home, often comes up as a topic for conversation. It’s really interesting to me that this question comes to me from other believing men (radio interviews) as well as women who are living unequally yoked.

My friends, we the spiritually mismatched, certainly live in the “in-between.” And spiritual leadership/direction is of monumental importance to us and we wrestle with how to do this well.

I struggled for years in this area of my marriage. Thoughts crossed my mind such as:

Do I wait for my husband to become a believer to set the tone in our home for prayer and Bible reading?

If I take any initiative to teach my kids about faith, will my actions be perceived as disrespecting my husband?

Can I be the Spiritual leader of our home and yet respect and follow my husband’s lead in all other areas?

Will my kids listen to me because I’m not the head of the household?

Does leading spiritually, make me the head of the household?

Am I up to the task all on my own?

Sheesh!

Tell me I’m not alone in this. If you are in the midst of this confusing mess, today I want to set your feet on a path to freedom. I will share with you what I share on the radio.

First, hear this and let this truth resonate within you:

If your husband is unwilling or has abdicated his position as the spiritual leader of your home, then God expects you, the believing wife, to step into this role.

Repeat that sentence out loud.

I heard these words a long time ago. I’m not certain exactly where or when but what I recall precisely, that was the moment when cloud of confusion lifted and freedom flooded my heart. I needed permission to take leadership and to teach my kids and it came in those words. So, if you need permission to step up and to begin to model, teach, and love like Christ, my sisters, then you have it. Clearly God’s desire is for men to lead but when they won’t, God is delighted that his daughter’s will help the next generation.

How do you do it?

Motive, motive, motive. I think the success of our marriage greatly increases when we consistently check our motives. Does my desire for my husband to lead our home come from a place that is “me” centered or “Christ” centered. Let me be specific. Here are some of my own thoughts from a few years past.

If only he would believe, he would help me get the kids ready for church.

My life would be so much easier if only he would believe.

I wouldn't have to sit with each of the children tonight and pray with them. I wish he would help.

Going to church alone is so embarrassing.

Okay, these are tough but sometimes we need to move past our “self” and truly focus on what Jesus wants. When you have the right motivation, which is born out of love and humility, you will be motivated to get the kids up on your own and get them to church. Out of a loving heart you can say to your husband, “Sweetie, watch the television without me, I’m going to go tuck the kids into bed and say bedtime prayers.”

There are many ways to build respect for your man and still quietly lead your family closer to Christ. More than anything, I will always go back to the truth of 1 Peter 3, Win them over without words. Win your kids, your husband, your friends, the neighbor, a world that is lost and broken….

Win them over with your boundless, crazy, passionate, fervent, zealous and adoring love for Jesus. When you love Jesus with all of you, heart, mind, soul, strength, it’s irresistible over time. And that’s a promise.

Jesus modeled humble leadership. That is the key to spiritual leadership, even in the midst of a spiritually mismatched marriage.

A happy marriage (believing and unbelieving) begins with love and respect. With Jesus as our center, add to that large doses of laughter and a sense of humor, it’s a winning combination.

Be blessed, Lynn


Proverbs 3 & Spiritually Mismatched Conference

Spirituallymismatched
SUMites. In less than two weeks Dineen and I along with a number of you from our community will be meeting in Detroit, Michigan for a Spiritually Mismatched Conference. It’s not too late to decide to join us.

Start your new year off with a full day focused on living victoriously in a spiritually mismatched marriage. How often is there a conference specific to our unique faith lives?

The day is designed to release victory into our lives and strengthen our faith through a beautiful freedom process. The whole day builds until we reach the most beautiful encounter. The ending of the event is absolutely powerful and is anointed with the healing Presence of Jesus. Hope fulfilled!

It’s not about me or Dineen. It’s all about our kind Father, Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit!

If you are able to get there, get there!…. Please make your travel arrangements today. Register for the conference through Eventbright.

Okay, I truly hope a few more of you can join us. Lynn & Dineen

For today, I want to share a passage I read this past week. It has stirred my spirit. What does this passage mean to you?

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.

Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. ---Proverbs 3: 1-6 NLT

I love you Sum family. I speak a blessing of joy, peace and goodness upon you this week. In Jesus name. AMEN 

Also, if you want a Kindness & Loyalty, Key necklace, you can order one by clicking on the Kingdom Necklace link.

Kindness Loyalty Key Necklace


Today At Church I Looked Down The Row And Was......


Raising Godly KidsHi Gang,

Well today it’s my turn to write about chapter four of Not Alone re-titled Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home.

Churched Kids

My heart and head is full of thoughts and emotions when I consider raising our kids in church. I share a number of my thoughts and experiences in chapter four about kids and church, youth group (to go or not to go), the conflict within our homes with Dad and so on….

But in this moment as I write about our kids and church, the faithfulness of God overflows in my spirit and stirs my heart.

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m pondering an ordinary, yet profound moment. You see, everything I’ve done to raise my daughter, all the words I’ve written about parenting culminated in this morning. I was humbled to watch the faithfulness of God unfold in front of my eyes in a beautiful moment.

I will tell you that my daughter, who was raised in a spiritually mismatched home all of her life, has been walking through a season of crisis and doubt about her faith. Several circumstances have contributed to this season. I have prayed with faith for her. I’ve talked with her. I’ve argued and there may have been moments of loud conflict between us *sheepish grin*. However THIS MORNING God showed me how very powerful “my faith and my prayers” have been in the life of this child. AND interestingly, in the lives of her friends.

Following one of our long discussions several weeks ago, I decided not to push her to attend church with me while she is home on her college summer break. So, on Saturday night I set my alarm and was heading to bed. My cell phone buzzed. It’s my daughter calling me from someplace in town where she met up with her friends for ice cream.

“Mom, I just wanted to catch you before you go to sleep.”

“Okay, I’m still awake.” She knows that I go to bed really early.

“Well, Mom, I want to go to church with you in the morning. Oh and I want to bring my friend who I plan to pick up and bring him to our house in the morning. Then can we swing by and pick up Gina because she wants to go with us too.”

“Sure thing Sweetie. I love you. See you in the morning.”

“Nite, nite Mom.

As I write this I’m an ordinary and thankful mother because God is so faithful. I sat in a row of chairs at church with my daughter who worshiped with her full heart. Her BFF, and two other young men who are her good friends were sitting with us. A row of young people who wanted to attend church. Young men and women who want to know Jesus and to walk in real faith.

I looked down the row and was overwhelmed by God’s love as I watched them all worship together.

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Mom and Dad, our kids watch us. They are looking to see if WE believe. They are looking to us to show them the way in a world that is confusing and brutal.  

We have two powerful weapons to war for our children.
We have profound influence in their lives.
AND we have the ear of the King!

Mom and Dad, your kids will choose one day to attend church on their own because you were faithful to love Jesus out loud before them. Day after day, moment after moment. Faithfully reading God’s Word. Daily praying for them by name.

THAT is what legacy is all about. That is what loving Jesus with our full heart will yield. That is what chapter four is all about…. Churched Kids, who will one day walk into a life-long faith in Jesus.

And if you are not seeing that right now, never stop praying! I believe the prodigals will be running home!

I would love to hear your thoughts about chapter four. It would bless me greatly if you would PLEASE share your stories of how you are impacting your children for the Kingdom. Please, please share because there is another mama or dad out there that needs your wisdom and your story to help them in parenting their children to faith.

I love you so much. Mom and Dad you are more powerful than you know. You are walking in a path of eternal impact. So WARRIOR ON and let’s lead our children by our love for Jesus.

Have an amazing week. Now go hug your kids and tell them that Jesus loves them!!! (An unexpected text works too) Hugs, Lynn


Parenting Supernaturally

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHow is our parenting supernatural?

We find the answer in a powerful passage of God’s Word…. And this paragraph was written specifically for all of us who are married to unbelievers.

For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God. — 1 Corinthians 7:14

Our love relationship with God and the promises of His Word are how are children are affected for the Kingdom.

In REAL LIFE: This plays out in my life in my prayers. If you read through my disappointment series, you will remember how much warfare surrounded my family on a single day. I became so mad at the demonic and the harm the enemy was inflicting, that I began to pray something like this:

Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I declare that my family and me are off limits. My children and my spouse are sanctified and a part of God’s plans according to my Lord’s purposes in 1 Corinthians 7. I cover myself and my children with the blood of Jesus and ask for the forgiveness of our sins and for the love and redemption of God’s mercy in our lives.

My children and my spouse are covered by God and are included in his plans for me and my family. I stand as a spiritual authority over my family through the power and love given to me by Jesus and through the promise of sanctification. Nothing can touch them. No weapon formed against them will prosper. I say that God has plans for us to prosper us and not to harm us. It is God’s will to give us a hope and a future.

I will stand against the enemy and speak love into their lives. I will live with faith and conviction and I WILL NOT RELENT IN PRAYING FOR THEM EVERY DAY. Devil you cannot have them. They belong to Jesus. It is in my Savior’s powerful name and by His authority that I bring my children before the mercy seat and declare them sanctified, holy, and covered by the plans of God. This day Jesus do everything possible to reveal yourself to my spouse and children. It is my heart’s cry that they come to full salvation through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. AMEN

 

When we grasp this truth of sanctification and pray in faith through the Holy Spirit for our children, we need not live in fear for their salvation or for their lives. It’s not a guarantee for their salvation but we do not need to fear because Jesus will do absolutely everything to bring them into the Kingdom of God.

Of this I have zero doubt. AMEN.

Q: What does it mean to you to know you have the spiritual authority to pray with power and watch God supernaturally move for your children?

Q: Share with me an example of how your faith impacted one or more of your kids? I want to celebrate with you.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Update and A Mother's Day Challenge

Hello SUMite Nation: (Challenge is below the update - read on!)

Well, you may have noticed if you are a regular subscriber that we changed our email provider to Mail Chimp. And do my great disappointment, Mail Chimp was unable to create our emails with photos and paragraph breaks. Grrrrr

So as of today, we are with Feedblitz our old service. How does this affect you? It doesn’t unless you subscribed or unsubscribed within the last three days. So, if you are a new subscriber, please subscribe again using the “Never Miss A Post” button in the sidebar -----. Thank you.

Also, a few of you have made donations toward these expenses. Your heart for this ministry and support mean the world to Dineen and I. I will be sending out an email thank you later this week. God bless you! THANK YOU!

As for other changes, in the next week or so we will be uploading our redesign to make SUM mobile friendly. Be patient if things still are wonky. We are working on it. Send me an email if you notice something that isn’t working in a week if it persists.

Funny that so many things happened in the last two weeks that required my “Tech hat.” I prayed God would give me the brain power to do all this myself. Guess what?

HE DID!

Other News:

Please, please visit my video CHALLENGE on MyKLOVE radio app. I have a unique Mother’s Day challenge that’s another opportunity to share your faith with your kids! In fact, I’m going to do this for my grown children. So, look up the app on the store and download it.

I still shake my head in wonder at the gates the Lord opens for Dineen and I. The “MyKLOVE contributor” privilege utterly moves my heart to unending thanks to my Father. My friends, the Lord has many gates for us to walk through and we need only take the keys from His hands.

Tomorrow watch for a post from Dineen about her own mother and on Friday, tune in for something hilarious! I love you so much. In my prayers the past two days, I have been storming the heavens in petitions for you and your families. I love you, Lynn

Not Alone2 copy


A Letter From God To Every Mother

I want to encourage all of our new friends who found our community here yesterday. And I want to love and encourage those who find us today. 

Mostly I want to encourage our entire family who meets here every day to share life, love and our Savior. I adore you. Thank you for loving each other and our Jesus. 

Today, the Family Talk broadcast will talk about raising children in a spiritually mismatched home. I’m absolutely passionate about this issue. Truly, when I was a young mom, I feared that my husband’s unbelief would influence my daughter, perhaps even affecting her eternity. But....

Our faithful God loves to answer prayers of mother’s who bring their children before Him each morning by name.   <-- (Click to Tweet)

Our newest book that releases October 7, 2013 is all about this topic. And I promise you, God showed up while Dineen and I wrote it. Today, I want to offer you an excerpt from that book. 

While I was writing the last chapter, I discovered a profound passage in scripture that applies to all of us. And to find out what that is, you need to buy the book. (yep, sorry a teaser). But as I finished the last chapter, I remember being out on my walk n pray and feeling frustrated. It was as if the story wasn’t yet finished. So finally out of frustration I asked God, “Lord, what do YOU want to say to all mothers.” 

My friends, God was waiting for me to ask. And immediately He began to download to my mind…… 

A Letter. 

It’s a letter that God has written to all moms. And today, I share His love letter with you. 

It’s currently uploaded on our Ministry site. So click over there. Read it. Weep. I kid you not, I cry each time I read it. I really do. And I wrote it. Sheesh! Well I only put it to paper (so to speak). Anyhoo, click over when you have an uninterrupted minute and receive this word from our God who loves you.

 Beloved Mother 

Print a copy and let me know how you felt when you read this letter. 

I love you and a BIG welcome to all of you who found us yesterday and today through Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. 

Love & Hugs, Lynn

To hear the braodcast, click below. And there are also articles on the Family Talk website that Dineen and I wrote about marriage and parening.


Chronicles Of A Humbled Donovan

Okay….. So, ahem…

You know what ALWAYS happens when I share teaching with you. I live it out… Well, this series on taking a step into the Jordan is no exception.

So today I’m going to share with you an experience that has opened up a giant hole in my heart that only our merciful and loving God can fill. And I wonder if some of you will find this hole exists in your heart as well? Travel this path with me today because I bet it reveals something within you that you didn’t know existed.

Let me set the stage. Many of you know my friend, Maria. I’ve introduced her here before. She has a healing and deliverance ministry through a large church in San Diego where they help women who are emerging from the adult films industry. Pornography is, of course, an open door to demonic oppression. Maria prays and delivers many of these women and they find healing and wholeness in Jesus. AMEN.

I had lunch with Maria this week. This woman is quite insightful and we began a discussion about rejection. She and I have talked a lot about this aspect of pain because we are convinced so much of our hurts, and the lies we believe, our spiritual struggles exist because we have been rejected by someone whom we wanted to love us.

Much of our teaching at retreats and conferences center around this very aspect. And we lead women to discover the truth and identity in Christ and obtain healing.

What I didn’t expect at this lunch with Maria, which by the way included a two and half hour discussion, with prayers, healing and tears (on my part) was that I needed to hear a truth.

Gulp.

This truth hit me so hard when Maria spoke it I literally felt pain in my soul (heart) and I cried right there at the table in Macaroni Grill. Sheesh! I'm sure our poor waiter was thoroughly freaked out. Oh well.

Okay, So let me loosely recap our conversation:

“Maria, I want you to pray for me about an area in my life where I struggle.” I asked. (Yes, I struggle with stuff in my life, just like all of you.)

So, I explained to Maria my struggle, It’s too long to write it out here.

Wouldn’t you know it; Maria turns this whole rejection thing around on me. Ouch!

“Lynn, is this struggle rooted in rejection?”

I think for a minute and then it hits me. “Ah, yes.” I stammer staring at her across the table. You see the light of the Holy Spirit just went on in my heart.

“Maria, I guess I still hold pain in my heart because my husband was not capable of loving me how I needed to be loved.” i.e…. Rejection of my faith…. And likely other areas too. (Just being authentic here.)

Now this is where my world split open.

“Lynn, he likely was never loved in the way you want to be loved. Lynn, it’s most likely that he was rejected way back in his life somewhere, perhaps parents? I don’t know. But Lynn,

He’s hurting.”

How come I’ve never considered the pain and rejection he may be carrying and that he conceals from me? Sometimes God shows me just how utterly selfish I can be.

 

I could bawl my eyes out just typing this.

In an instant God opened up a door into my heart and revealed something that brings me pain and shame. I knew in that instant that I’ve withheld a small part of my love, genuine love, kindness and compassion from my husband. I withheld it out of rejection. Out of some twisted belief that because he didn’t love me how I needed to be loved, that I was justified to withhold part of my love that I could have given him.

“Oh Maria, he IS hurting.” It’s all I could say.

Maria, doesn’t judge me. She loves me. She prays over me. I release my bitterness, the past rejection. Then a new love floods my heart for my hurting husband who has likely never been fully loved and accepted himself.

EVER!

So, that happened on Wednesday. As I write this it’s Thursday morning. My husband is away on a business trip and will arrived home this evening after a grueling work week. He is going to come home to his safe haven, our home. But when he walks in the door tonight, his wife is different.

It is my life’s goal from this day forward to love that man with unconditional and a full and accepting love. My friends, I don’t even know what that looks like right now.

But, I do know what that feels like. My Papa, Daddy, loves me like that. And living in His Presence, His love, is a place where EVERYTHING is okay, good, grace covered and happy. My husband needs to experience this kind of love. It is the very least and the very best that I can give to him.

So as I prayed about all of this today God opened up his Word to me and this is what I read:

FewaJohn 13: 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” 

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 

I sat stunned in my chair. God immediately said to me, “Wash his feet.” And God means this literally as well as to serve my husband with a new love and affection.

So, tonight after my husband’s long business trip as he sits down to watch television, I’m going to quietly kneel before him, remove his shoes, wash his feet, cover them with lotion and place slippers on his feet. I will rise and then kiss him on the lips and tell him how much I love him. I’m going to thank him for working so hard. I will tell him I could love him better and to forgive me for not doing so before now. And I will assure him that I’m going to be better at it in the future. And promise him I will try to do it better and better every day for the rest of our lives.

I’m not sure what will happen but I KNOW that my Daddy is proud. And after all, God does this for me…. every…… single….. day…

Signed, a humble and ever learning servant, Lynn


Spiritual Leadership

When I’m speaking or interviewed for radio, spiritual leadership of our home, often comes up as a topic for conversation. It’s really interesting to me that this question comes to me from other believing men (radio interviews) as well as women who are living unequally yoked.

My friends, we the spiritually mismatched, certainly live in the “in-between.” And spiritual leadership/direction is of monumental importance to us and we wrestle with how to do this well.

Today I'm sharing some thoughts on being the spiritual leader of your home in a mismatched marriage. Join me at the Cafe. Hugs, Lynn

My Husband is not the Spiritual Leader of Our Home