392 posts categorized "#SUM Nation"

Close The Open Doors by Lynn Donovan

FreedomContinuing from the last post. Let’s explore the second reason people lose their healing and freedom following an encounter with Jesus.

  1. OPEN DOORS: Around six-to-eight weeks following a prayer session a person will experience a moment. They stop and think to themselves, why am I feeling like this again. Why am I having these destructive and negative thoughts once more. Why am I back in the middle of this mess. And then finally they will think: Well that prayer session didn’t work. Humph!

What I know for sure is this. Jesus showed up. And He always brings love, healing, truth and freedom. But, we fail to do our part. And our part is two fold. As I mentioned last time, we must put in the hard work of developing our faith life and practices.

But secondly, WE MUST CLOSE THE OPEN DOORS. You see, if we have open doors in our soul, our home, our life and relationships, the enemy has access to come right back in. And if you remember from scripture. When the demonic returns, they bring friends with them.

JESUS SAID: “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” – MATTHEW 12: 43-45

In my experience, seldom do people close the doors. So, below is a video where Ann Maire Mora and I discuss her experience with closing open doors. This effort produces a powerful difference. Please watch it. Below are some common open doors. And if you have generational sin and curses, please sign up for a prayer session with me so we can close those doors.

Basic open doors that need shutting are:

  • Generational sins and curses
  • Any Occult participation: Horoscopes, tarot cards, Ouijas boards, palm reading, black & white majik, etc.
  • Television violence and sex.
  • Gaming violence and sex. Games like Dungeons and Dragons, magic 8 ball (get a prayer session)
  • Free Masonry
  • Trinkets from any overseas temple.
  • Dedications
  • Smart phone applications. Check your children’s phone.
  • Social media can be an open door. What groups of discussions are you entwined?
  • Habitual sin
  • Previous home owners
  • Anything that you brought into your home that may be cursed.

Okay, there is a lot of issues that allow entry into our lives. Jesus can and will quickly identify them. Watch the video and follow Annie's example.

I love all of you so much. Freedom is ours. Blood bought by the expensive and precious blood of Christ. Let us not waste a drop. Hugs, Lynn

For more information about this topic read: My Child Sees Monsters


Why Can't I Keep My Freedom In Christ? By Lynn Donovan

Hi SUMite Family,

I want to share some gained wisdom with you today. As many of you are aware, I have a prayer ministry where I pray with people to help them gain freedom from the enemy strongholds in their lives.

I pray with others to help them uncover the specific areas where the enemy has “legal rights” to their lives, their homes, relationships and faith. We work with Jesus to remove these legal rights and to release them into greater freedom.

I’ve worked with so many different people and one thing always happens in every. single. session. Jesus shows up. Every time. We partner with Him and many find freedom and help.

However, retaining that freedom isn’t easy. Today, I want to share two issues that contribute to a return of oppression.

  1. HARD WORK: To retain the freedom you gained via the Word, through teaching at church, a Bible study, prayer time or a prayer session with me, you must do the hard work.

FreedomI find most people aren’t willing to push forward to read the Word and ACTUALLY put the Word into practice. It takes hard work, determination and time. All of these things are counter to our culture of immediate rewards.

The Kingdom of God requires ALL of these. Hard work, determination and a LOT of time.

Many people truly experience freedom but if they don’t carve out time to pursue Jesus for themselves, the enemy quickly comes by to steel their freedom.

Then he (Jesus) told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” -MATTHEW 13:3-9

The enemy of our souls will devour the seeds if they aren’t nurtured, protected, watered and feed.

Next post: Reason number two.

I love you. See you next time. Hugs, Lynn


Spiritual Gifts Training with Lynn Donovan

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comDo you want to know what your supernatural gift set is? How about how to grow in another area of gifting. Why does the New Age movement call "Empath" something that is a gift from God? And can Christians walk in this gift? What are you supposed to do with your gifts to use them to honor and glorify the Lord?

This seminar will explain all the gifts. Offer you a gifting inventory. Share how you can ask and receive other gifts from the Lord. We will walk through how to discern spirits. Prophetic gifting. What is foretelling vs. forthtelling and why does the Lord place this gift within the body of Christ.

I PROMISE you this. This is be one hour that will be fast-aced and filled with exciting information. You will not be bored and take a ton of notes. My purpose is to release you into your original design and bring His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.

Sign up today. Thursday, August 26. 11 am Pacific. (You will receive a link to the video teaching afterward.)

 

In this seminar you can expect:

  • Biblical teaching about supernatural gifts
  • Defining the difference between gifts and how they manifest in an individual.
  • Discover your gifting set. 
  • Discover your children's gifts, your spouse. 
  • Exercises to continue to develop supernatural gifts.
  • Pray to reactivate your gifting, cleanse it from demonic interference and dedicate it to God.

There is new material in this class that isn't in most teaching on the Gifts of the Spirit.

This will be a one hour Zoom seminar on August 26, 2021 at 11 am PACIFIC. The live seminar will offer you the most effective portion of our prayer time. However, if you are unable to attend, you will receive the video. All purchasers will receive the video link after the seminar. 

Sign up now. $10 for the class. Live Q&A at the end. Come with your questions. I can't wait to help you launch into your gifts. Hugs, Lynn

Click on the Buy Now button.


Paul and Silas Show Us What To Do in 2021 -SUMMER Bible Study

SUMite Summer Study 2021

Vignettes of Paul

Paul and Silas

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Paul 2SUMites,

Lynn here. I’ve noticed that many of us are living smack in the middle of the fight. And the fires are burning molten. For me, I experience more enemy push back than in any other time in my life. EVER!!

There was a day I felt battle weary, bloody and broken. I ask you, have any of you ever thought of me as broken? I was. I truly relate to the scars that are healing on your soul. Mine are too.

And for all of us who find ourselves beaten and chained by the enemy forces of evil, I want to say one thing:

IT’S ONE HOUR UNTIL MIDNIGHT! 

Let’s take a look at the midnight story from the life of Apostle Paul. -ACTS 16:16-34

  • Paul and Silas rebuke a demonize girl and set her free. (Doing the right and Godly thing.)
  • The greed of men rocked the city and set the “government officials upon Paul and Silas (This sound far too familiar to our current day.)
  • Beaten and chained in the depths of a prison. (They were completely helpless.)

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” -ACTS 16:25-28

SUMites, we are facing a countdown to the midnight hour.  We may be rounded up.  Shut up. Denounced and abandoned by those who should love us. But midnight quickly approaches and God will show Himself and the prison doors will open. The chains will supernaturally pop off. This TRUTH is an utter mind blow!

As this hour draws near, there is no longer space for powerless Christianity. There is no place to hide our faith. Many of us are in a prison right now. A prison of our fears. A fortress of perceived failures. A marriage of iron resistance to Jesus.

BUT…….. Midnight is at hand! We have done the hard work of sanctification. Our vessels are filled with the midnight oil and we linger wide awake, waiting with anticipation for the King!

We will watch as the prison doors fling open. Then we will follow the angels as they lead us through the gates of our personal hell into the freedom Christ purchased. We will watch as Jesus sets captives free and release the oppressed from from their distorted prison of lies.

Keep singing. SING A LITTLE LOUDER. Shout to the Lord. Raise a Hallelujah.

We are not forgotten orphans. We are sons and daughters. Our Father awaits for the midnight hour at the gates with Jesus. Jesus holds the keys to death and hell. He paid the price. 

THE WAR IS OVER.

Thank you, Paul and Silas, for showing us the way. Your faith and example will save many of us from a fate worse than death.

Hallelujah.

I love you my friends. Keep marching. We will comfort one another. Bear with one another. Tend one another’s wounds and celebrate when one comes home. Love and hugs, Lynn

Paul & Silas Summer Study 2021


SUM on Radio Rhema, New Zealand

Hi friends, Ann here. Ann Rhema 2

This week I did something fun: I went on the radio here in New Zealand to talk about 'How to continue to be strong in your faith when your husband or wife is not a believer.'

New Zealand, where I live, only has 4 million people, but nevertheless there are a good few SUMites who live here. Of course, most of you live in the USA, UK, South Africa, and Australia, along with other parts of the world. Isn't it just amazing how we can congregate online, despite our diversity!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this 'Kiwi' chat at Radio Rhema, with Diane Campbell who's pictured here. You can have a listen by clicking on the link below: 

https://www.rhema.co.nz/shows/show/article/spirituallyunequalmarriage

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Ann


Lynn Donovan - Where We Are Today

Profile for TypepadSUM Nation,

Lynn Donovan here. Gang, it’s time to catch up with you. I’m going to share a few random thoughts. So grab your coffee, strap in, get ready.  LET’S GO! 

First, I believe that as followers of Jesus, we are amid one of the most challenging seasons of our faith life. This feels especially true when compared to a number of generations that preceded us. For me personally, since January, I’ve faced difficulty and pain that almost toppled me. Even in my marriage. Even though Mike is a believer.

So, if you have walked through or are currently in the Valley of the shadow of death, TAKE HEART.

  1. You aren’t alone.
  2. It will end.
  3. Needed lessons regarding surrender and determination are learned.
  4. Discovery of personal idols are revealed.

Then you will:

  1. Walk into a higher level of intimacy with our King.
  2. Realize how your personal idols were open doors to the demonic.
  3. Discover the blessings of surrender.
  4. Make changes that bring health. Physical health, mental and emotional health and health to your soul.

I’m convinced that we are headed for some interesting times and seasons ahead. The assignment against the Church is intense. Right now, Satan and his minions are working out plans to totally destroy or at least scramble the church. So, when it happens you will know that the effort was intentional. But God will reveal many truths in this season as well. And the Church of Jesus Christ will never be destroyed.

I hear the verse: What can be shaken will be shaken.

Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. – HEBREWS 12:27

We, The Remnant, and I mean all of us who are/were unequally yoked. We have been prepared. It wasn’t a wasted life to live with an unbeliever. We perceive things the majority of the church can’t begin to understand. We appreciate what it’s like to balance and live in the in-between.

And WE KNOW THE TRUTH. We were forced to figure out our beliefs because we lived with persecution within our own homes. So, we will be the first to sniff out deception. To uncover the lies and to unite, even if underground, to bring hope and truth to others who are desperate for a word from God.

One thing I know for certain. Choose every day to arise and…

  1. Follow hard after Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit
  2. Forgive Freely
  3. Kick the devil out
  4. Choose to never be offended
  5. Love with truth
  6. Allow wisdom of the Word to be your guide
  7. Know who you are and Whose you are

Finally, for all of you who feel broken. I know exactly how you feel. I can promise you this. When everything is broken and the only thing you have is Jesus. When He is all we have left. He is more than enough. And He is all the matters.

I love you dearly. Keep Marching because your faith is so very important in this season. Hugs, Lynn


And ... Another Spouse's Salvation!

My friends, Ann here. Do it again!

It seems that it's 'miracle week' here at SUM. How amazing God is, and I can't wait to share with you this next thing that happened this past Friday after I last posted on here. All I can say is that God is lavish, full of marvels, and sometimes he does things with a little fanfare -- Just so that we know it is him.

Last Friday I shared that one of our SUMite readers' husbands had got baptized. If you missed that you can read it here.  The photo I used for that post was this one here -- I got this photo from the internet, as I usually do, but I loved the happy smile on this man's face as he's in the water, and I thought 'That's what it looks like for a spouse to be baptized'. 

Anyway, as you'll see I have included that same photo again today, this time with the words 'Do it Again' -- For that is what today's post celebrates.

When I uploaded that post last Friday, I scheduled it to go live for a few hours later. Well, in the few hours between it being uploaded and going live, another SUMite messaged me (not knowing what I'd uploaded). In her message she too told me that her husband had given his life to Jesus! It had happened a month earlier, she said, and she was now getting used to having a believing husband.

I know this particular SUMite. She lives in America, has followed this ministry for a number of years, and from the few conversations we've had in the past I know for sure what a miracle this is. If she feels ready to share it publicly, we'll look forward to that; but often people don't share immediately. What I can say is this one 'felt impossible' - like they all do - and yet it happened.

Two spouse-conversion testimonies in the space of 24 hours. I don't know about you, but I'm pinching myself ((Big smiles)). So much of what we do, what we fight for, is about this. Yes, it's about holding on to our own faith -- But it is also about theirs: The spouses.

So, friends, we'll keep on watching with interest and believing that nothing is impossible. I'll keep this one short and sweet, but I'm praying about what's next.

Much love,

Ann 


Fighting Giants: A Personal Look at our Weapons of Warfare

Hi SUM family, Ann here!

This month we've had an ongoing series about 'fighting giants' and I've been writing about that here and there, in between our other topics. I hope you've enjoyed the series so far, and if you want to catch up you can find the introduction here.

This week we're going to finish with three videos. In each one I'm going to share what 'fighting a giant' has looked like for me personally in recent months. So without further ado, here's the first one -- From my couch to yours, enjoy!

 


The Truth about Menacing Giants

Hi friends, Ann here! Giant fighting

We're continuing today with our conversation about 'fighting giants'. Yes, those menacing things that present a huge challenge for us, whether it's sickness, financial trouble, fear of our spouse's unbelief, or any other 'very difficult battle'.

Being human, a giant will naturally look much bigger than us and make us quake in our boots:

And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. (1 Samuel 17:4-7, NKJV)

From my internet research, six cubits and a span is apparently 9 foot 9 inches. Goliath was a whopping beast! And it's all very specific: Every part of him is menacing, from his spear, to his leg armor, to his coat. The overall impression? 'AGGH!'

In the same way, if we have a giant we're battling we can spend a lot of time looking at every part of that giant and deciding it is truly threatening. SUM team

Right then. But would you like to hear a 'giant' story? Because God gave us one at our last SUM conference - It's a story I've only just remembered today:

Two years ago you may remember we held a conference in California. Here's a photo of part of our team at the time. I can certainly share that each of these valiant women have giants they fight, none of us are alone. And they do it so well! 

After the event I was sat on Lynn's couch and she prayed for me, with Tiffany's arm round me. It was a sweet moment. 

Now, compared to others I'm short -- The opposite of a giant -- Which is an important part this story. I used to think I was 5 foot 3 but I remeasured recently and seem to have shrunk. Anyway, at that time '5-foot-3' is what I thought I was.

While praying, Lynn gave me a word. It was this: "I hear God say you're a 15-foot giant in the spirit realm." She paused, smiling ... "Does that mean anything to you?" It didn't but, hey, I liked it. Later that night I wrote it in my journal and on the plane home I asked God: "Why 15 feet?" It occurred to me then to calculate the difference between 5-foot-3 and 15 feet. And so I wrote down: 9 foot 9 inches.

Well, blow me down, that's the height of Goliath. And so it turns out I'm bigger than Goliath -- Because of Jesus. So are you, SUMites, bigger than the giant you're fighting. In David's words:

"Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? (1 Samuel 17:26, NKJV)

There's one more giant story I want to share, and I hope this one encourages you. I keep a record of my days with God by journalling. Anyway, a few days before I got smashed by this sickness God gave me a vision of the spiritual giant that I was about to battle. I didn't understand it at the time, but found it in my journal later and went "Ohh, that's interesting!" It was as if God was saying: "This is what you're about to fight and this is how you need to see it."

Now, I can tell you this giant did not look anything like Goliath. He -- Actually, it was an 'it' -- did look tall, yes, but that was the only similarity. It was skinny, grey, wispy, miserable, pathetic, and weak. Not in any way scary or intimidating.

In other words, God was saying: "This thing is not as scary as you think."

In the last post I said that I was going to share two questions we can ask God about any given giant we're fighting. Well, my writing took a different turn. So there's just one question instead and it's this:

Lord, show me how I should see this giant?

Whew, I feel stronger already just writing this. I hope you do too. Feel free to share thoughts in the comments, and let's keep chatting about this topic of giants!

Ann


Battle Series: We Won't Start With The Giant!

Hi SUMites!

Today we’re embarking on our series entitled ‘Fight that Giant!’ If you missed the introduction to this series you can catch up here.

I’m rubbing my hands together at the thought of writing these upcoming posts, for 'giants'  -- That is, spiritually difficult things in our lives -- are nasty critters. As we learn to fight, though, we become strong. Then we can give away some of that strength to others. Wonderful!Giant fighting

Last week, I said we’d start by considering the giant that we fight. Well, God hit the override button on that one. Straight after I wrote that post, He told me “No, start with Me.”

Of course. 

Lord, You are our Giant who fights for us. And we have a picture of Jesus as a giant Himself, a picture that can help us:

“And in the midst of seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;

His feet were fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

Revelation 1:13-20 (NKJV).

Last Friday, when God told me to start this series with Him, I had a rather crazy experience. I'm not even sure what you'll think of this (you may deem me nuts!) but it seems to be relevant, so hey, I'll be brave:

While feeling unwell, I’ve been having hot baths during the day to feel better; there's not much nicer than soaking in a lovely bubble bath. Anyway, last Friday after such a bath I stepped onto the plain, brown, flat bathmat and happened to look down at my feet. There was a bright golden sparkle!

I squinted and bent down. There was another. Oh, and another! In fact, there were sparkles across the whole fabric. On closer inspection they looked like little balls, but with chiseled sides like gems. When I tried to pick a couple out with my fingers they disappeared. "What is this?" I then wondered, but I really couldn't tell so eventually stood up, thinking “It must be part of the fabric and I just never noticed before.”

Hmm...

I forgot about it then, but the next day it suddenly occurred to me to get up and look at the bath mat. Well, blow me down, there was not a single sparkle on it! This started to make my heart pound … So I grabbed the mat and took it from room to room, looking at it under different lights, and rummaging among the fabric to see if I could find just one little gold ball.

Not one gold ball was to be found. The mat was brown as anything and decidedly unsparkley. Yet, the day before I saw enough of these balls to deem them ‘part of the fabric’ and to try to pick them out with my hands. 

Could there be a rational explanation? The bathmat hadn't been washed ... I concluded that I know God is real, and so, why wouldn't it be God? In any case, the message is that His Heavenly realm is in my life, in every step I take, and in those very times I need soothing.

If we consider the Kingdom of Heaven, then, in the very place where we are most embattled those sparkles speak this message:

As servants of Jesus the Glory of Heaven is all around us,

and He is with us in every step we take.

That is our Almighty. And with that settled, now we can discuss on Monday the matter of measly giants!

For now, what's your favorite time that God showed his strength in your life when you particularly needed comfort? I would love to hear some stories in the comments.

Nice chatting, friends, and see you again on Monday,

Ann


Love Suffers Long ... And We Celebrate!

Dear friends, hello! Birthday photo

It’s Ann here, writing from a sunny Auckland.

I’m smiling because this past fortnight was a treat seeing Lynn, Ian, Martha, Tiffany, and Dineen all take trips down memory lane to write about our community. Mirroring that, it was super encouraging to read the comments. Thank you!!

We celebrate the work of Jesus in these spiritually mismatched marriages. At points, we have seen some astounding things happen here. He really can bring beauty out of anything!

The past fifteen years have also shown, however, that it is a deep work that Jesus does in these marriages. And, a ‘deep work’ seems to require longevity. We can now see that from each other's testimonies. That longevity often leaves us writhing in pain wishing for a quick fix. As Lynn said in one of her books (Marching Around Jericho), she would entertain thoughts like 'If you would only turn to Jesus, my life would be a thousand percent better'. Well that one totally makes me laugh because, yep, I can relate. But Jesus wants us to know it's a seed that slowly grows into a tree. It's a work that asks of us a hefty amount of patience. Not just patience but longsuffering. For we do suffer as we walk through the complexities of a spiritually mismatched marriage. Who knew there were so much to it?

I think at this point my mindset is, 'Let's get some proper hiking boots and pack our backpacks with all we need, for this SUM journey is a trek of kilometres and milestones!' It is our ‘process’ that God is taking us through, not just a destination. The journey is one that causes celebration when we look back, but the days themselves can feel wearying.

For many of us, then, this community feels like a parachute that’s just opened during a free-fall. It’s a relief to find others in the same boat. Once we do, it gets easier.  Parachute

Jesus has not left us stranded. He’s given us help in the form of each other. And, with that, I say Happy birthday, SUM community! The verse below captures how I feel about you. You are a gift from God to others in the same boat, a help from the sanctuary, and that will continue as others join us:

"May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you; May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion."

Psalm 20:1-2 (NKJV)

That wraps up our celebration series. Fifteen years: What an adventure. Tiffany will be back on Friday, and then we'll do something new next week -- Not sure what yet, I'm praying about it.

Love to you all,

Ann


Another Giveaway

I hope you have been enjoying the memories from all the writers. There is more coming. But today, just enter your name and favorite Bible verse in the comments to enter into any of the books or teaching below: 

 

Kingdom Conversations cover photo

Winning Him Without Words
Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home
Winning Them With Prayer
Marching Around Jericho
Kingdom Conversations
My Child Sees Monsters - Release date: June 1, 2021

Or you can choose from the vast video teaching: Equipping Warriors. Take a look. These videos WILL grow your faith and challenge you into greater faith in Jesus.

Lord Y'shua, I pray for every person who has come to this place on the web. Fill them with hope. Show them TODAY how you are working in their lives, marriage and families. Reveal the miracles that surround them. Speak to them clearly and remove the evil assignments against their lives. In Your powerful name, Y'shua. AMEN

 

I LOVE YOU! Lynn


Where Are You Planted?

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Hello there, Sumites!

So great to be with you today to celebrate the 15th year of this beautiful ministry!

I mean, community. Because that’s what this is, more than anything.

A community.

God’s taught me a lot about unity over the years. I still remember when the Holy Spirit significantly shifted our thinking here at SUM to a “we” mentality and to seeing ourselves as family and a church without walls.

Over the last two years, God has been speaking to my heart a lot about a deeper level of community, specifically intimacy and relationship. Not just with Him but with each other. And let me tell you, that has been challenging. Why? Because I had to learn to be independent at a very young age. So I became very good at figuring out how to do things on my own.

But in God’s family, we aren’t meant to function alone. Hebrews 10:25 even encourages believers to continue to meet together. Not because it was the “right” thing to do, but because the author (most likely Paul) knew believers needed each other in order to be strong and grow.

Which brings me to a revelation God showed me just recently. It’s the story of the seeds scattered on different kinds of ground. If you’re not familiar with it, take a moment and read Luke 8:5-15. In this passage, Jesus talks about how the seeds grew (or didn’t grow) in hard ground, gravel, weeds and good soil. 

I’m sure you, like me, have read or heard this parable taught as a condition of the heart, which it is. But I’d like to propose that’s it’s also about the community in which we are planted. 

Jesus describes how the seeds became bird food on hard ground. This depicts a lack of relationship with God and people. There’s no nourishment from intimacy, and there’s no community. Just a bunch of loners being seeds and nothing more. Which means there’s no opportunity for growth or change.

He then moves on to the gravel, where the seeds start to sprout but soon die off without moisture. This is most likely a broken community or one controlled more with a relationship with the law instead of the Lord. Rough edges and fear keep true connection and intimacy from happening. Offense can be present too, as well as competition.

Next we come to the weedy place. Seems pretty good at first, this community of all kinds coming from all directions. But the intimacy we long for as children of God isn’t really found here. It might be a good social place, but in the long run, it’s not the deep nourishment we need to connect and grow in our faith and in our destiny.

Lastly, we hit the mother load. The rich soil, packed with everything we need to grow. Warmth from the sun (the Son), nutrients to bring growth (the Holy Spirit), and even a farmer (Father God). What’s really amazing in this place is the connection to others, because farmers never plant just one seed. No, they plant a multitude in hopes for a full blown crop (community).

We are meant to be in relationship not only with God but with each other. Jesus goes on to give a picture of the levels of relationship in chapter eight. 

  • Verses 16-18 speak of relationship with community.
  • Verses 19-21 speak of relationship with family.
  • Verses 22-25 speak of relationship with Jesus.
  • Verses 26-39 speak of what happens when there is no relationship. Just aloneness and isolation.

Where we plant ourselves has a huge impact on our life and our future. Our destiny as well, because without others to speak truth and life into us, we can become lost without that vision.

Even within our mismatched marriages, which can be spiritually limiting, it is vital that we plant ourselves in a faith community to be nourished and encouraged. To be real and honest about what we need, where we need to grow, and how we can do the same for those we’re sharing the vital soil with.

That’s true community. No judgement. Just encouragement and unconditional love that’s willing to be open and honest.

So my question to you today is, where are you planted? Do you have other believers to support and encourage you? Do you have key people you are willing to be open and honest with? And are you willing to receive their encouragement even when it may stretch you in a good way? 

This place, this blog, has been about this very thing for the last fifteen years. It’s a beautiful place to connect, grow, and step into the more that God has for you. And the choice is always yours, my friend.

So be planted in rich places and grow for Jesus!

~Dineen


Celebrating 15 Years! - God works in mysterious ways!

SUM 15th Birthday photoHappy 15 years dear SUMites. Ian here from Sydney, Australia. I thought I’d share how I found this community that is very dear to me. Some of you may be familiar with my story but for all of you newbies you might find it interesting how a man from Down Under stumbled across this safe place.

It 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.

My wife 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.

Divine Appointments

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 Miller. 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? A firm perception or belief that you've carried for years being zapped by the Lord as a lie of the devil?

“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. I continue to meditate on these verses most days.

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.

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. It really was a divine appointment.

He certainly is mysterious.

15 Years

I joined (do we join?) the SUMite community almost eight years ago. I’ve always believed there is a special anointing over Lynn and this community. Even though we see less of Lynn these days, I feel Ann has received a similar anointing to carry the message of SUM into the future.

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) and Ann, thank you. Thank you for honoring the Lord through your obedience in caring for us these 15 years. We love sharing this journey with you 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 us.

I so look forward to what the Lord has in store for each other of us in the years ahead.


Heavy Stones and Dry Bones – A Poem by Charumathi R. Rao  

Heavy Stones and Dry Bones – A Poem by Charumathi R. Rao

 

Stone rolled awayShe walked down the dusty path, very early on that Sunday morn,

A bag of spices in her hands, teary faced and heart forlorn.

She’d seen him stripped and beaten blue, a crown of thorns upon His head,

All He’d said had seemed so true, but then He still did end up dead.

 

A hasty burial did no justice, to a man beloved and so adored;

So, with the spices and some friends, she walked to His tomb, down that road.

A heavy stone they’d rolled across, the tomb to shut and seal it well,

They’d posted guards to add to the loss, just in case some mischief fell.

 

“Now, who shall roll that heavy stone?”, she worried as they walked along;

She knew it was a heavy stone, and they surely needed someone strong.

But when they reached the place she saw, the open tomb, an empty grave,

And in the place of a body dead, the risen Savior she found instead…!

 

A broken seal and scattered guards, the heavy stone was rolled away,

Her tears of sadness turned to gladness, joy in place of utter dismay.

Overwhelmed and hope renewed, ran Mary, to declare that day,

That no heavy stone could hold Him down, not even death could block His way…!

 

And since that day, this hopeful news, remains the same and very true;

That Christ is risen from the dead, and His love our life’s rescue…!

We too can know, as Mary learned, and John and Peter, got to glean,

Nothing can stop, our risen Lord, no matter what, the dreary scene.
 

And so, my friend, what lies upon, your burdened, weary heart today?

What is the tomb you face with fear? What worries now, hold you prey?

What heavy stone, now shuts the tomb? And in the guarded tomb what lays?

Are they crushed hopes? Dreams in repose? Or prayers that are much delayed?

 

What valley do you have to cross? What dusty dry bones do you see?

What grief has held you captive long? What cares and worries do you flee?

What red sea now, stands in your way? Or are you in, a lengthy drought?

What’s that thing, you cannot bring, yourself to hope, once more - about?

 

If He can set the captives free, the blind to see and lame to walk;

If He can calm, the stormy seas, and even cause the mute to talk;

If He can bring the kingdoms down, and sets up kings upon their thrones,

What are heavy stones for Him or a valley full of dry bones?

 

So, whatever be, the tomb you face, shut and sealed, with heavy stones,

And whatever may, your valley be – that’s now filled, with dry bones,

Come - cast your cares, upon the Lord, For He’s alive and oh so well,

He’d fight for you and guard your soul, His victories you, will live to tell.

 

If He fought for, the saints of old, and proved His power, to Ezekiel and Mary,

He’d do much more, for you and me, if we’d seek His will, pray and tarry,

For He is faithful, true, mighty and able; alive and seated on His throne;

So, what are heavy stones for Him or even a valley full of dry bones?


Resurrection Weekend

My friends, 

Tomorrow we must bring to our remembrance ALL that was accomplished in three days by our Lord, Jesus, the Christ. Good Friday always leaves me feel somber. And it is good to feel in that way because of what happened to Jesus. 

BUT.... Of for the joy set before him.....

Tomorrow I want to share some little known information about what happened on Friday and about the blood of Jesus. Tune in for a short video and allow yourself to truly apprehend the work of the crucifixion and the Cross of Christ. Hugs, Lynn

Tomb and cross


What Does Hosanna Mean - Passion Week Starts Now!

SUM Passion Week 2021SUM Nation. Lynn Donovan here.

Gang, it’s TRIUMPHANT ENTRY Sunday. Do you know on this day the people of Israel believed their Messiah arrived. AND INDEED HE DID.

This story is very familiar to Christians world-wide, but there is so many nuances and unsaid statements that we completely miss.

Here is one. The disciples and Jesus sat down for a Seder. We call it the last supper. Seder is Hebrew meaning Passover. Did you know that they reclined at the table to eat as a reminder that they were free, not slaves in Egypt. So many, many things have meaning and power.

Did you know there were thousands along a one-mile route into Jerusalem? They were shouting

Hoshea-na. Hosanna.

Hosanna means: SAVE US NOW!

The English spelling of Hoshea-na, means Deliver Us Now. Derived from the Hebrew root as Y’Shua, the Hebrew name of Jesus. The ending -na is something we do not have a translation for in English.

It demands, NOW! Or Please, I pray you. Or Behold!

Literally they were shouting: JESUS NOW!

The palm frond greeting was done on the sixth day of the Feast of Sukkot, welcoming the reigning Messiah to assume the throne in Jerusalem.

Every single person in that crowd knew what was happening and believe in Y’Shua as their Messiah.

_____

Who could use some saving RIGHT NOW?

Hosanna, Our King come NOW! If we don’t cry out the very rock will echo our Savior’s name.


Let’s begin the Passion week with PASSION!

What has Y’shua saved you from and what is He saving you from now? See you in the comments. We have a whole week planned. Meet us here every day. Hugs, Lyn

HE IS RISEN. HE IS RISEN, INDEED!  Hosanna!

Luke 19: 37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”


Lynn Here. I'm Sorry!

SUMites,

Several of you over the past few weeks have tried to make a donation to the 501(c)3 ministry that supports this ministry. 

The PayPal button malfunctioned and created a donation amount that was not your intention. Yikes and what a pain. I promise this wasn't me.  So SO sorry. eep! I created a new Donation Button and it's now in the sidebar. 

Anyhoo, please accept my apology.

And I truly appreciate every single one of you who gives to keep this ministry going. 

Father, thank you for each person who serves, gives, logs in, who offers their financial support. Bless them today with abundance, provision, increase and their coffers overflowing with your goodness. Bless them to know that I love them and you see every penny they give to further the hope and the Gospel of Jesus Christ! AMEN

Love you, Lynn

Three Keys QR Donation Code


A Wave is Coming

Hello friends, Ann here!Record

I hope these recent words from the archives have been refreshing your souls. Don’t we need it right now! After a year of sitting through this pandemic, we certainly can do with a little spark of fresh stuff.

So, let's roll up our sleeves and carry on a little longer with these promises from God.

If you haven’t already, you might like to read the comments that three of our long-time SUMites wrote underneath my last post. I so loved hearing their gems of insight on the Harvest that we’ve been talking about.

Now, here's the next word:

We've been looking at how in mid 2013 the Lord spoke to us about ‘The Coming Harvest’ in several ways. This included the vision described in the last post. But after all those words about the harvest, there is now one more word that the Lord gave Dineen, and it's a mighty word for our community. You can read more about it here. The core word is this:

A great wave is coming.

Many souls to be claimed and collected.

Watch and see.

My heart is always for the many.

A great wave. A wave of the Holy Spirit, power and authority, perhaps. A wave of shaking as well. A wave. A wave crashing into our world.

Wave

That word about the wave was written by Dineen in 2013. So, are we seeing that wave now, with COVID? We can get on our knees and ask God about that. My understanding is that COVID is the first step. I've heard God say that COVID is a 'micro-wave' that is paving the way for the walls of Jericho to fall. The most important part is the wave of salvation power to follow, where things will change for unbelievers. And that is the part we must engage the most with.

Yep! The main -- most important -- part is the good stuff God is bringing next. Salvation to souls.

With that in mind, you might like to consider this next story:

Last week here in New Zealand we had a tsunami warning. I know several of you saw it on the news and you reached out and asked if we were all ok -- That was so nice, and thank you, I'm pleased to say we're all fine here. What may not have been evident to those overseas was the rarity of this tsunami warning: It was an unprecedented event in our nation.

What happened was we had three earthquakes in the ocean at about 2am, 6am, and 8am. The first and third were linked but the second was not, so scientists were scratching their heads, puzzled. I always think when scientists are puzzled there's something interesting going on. The newspaper headlines described it as a ‘Rare and noteable event’.

Much of the country went onto a tsunami alert, whole towns were evacuated and the whole coastline of New Zealand’s north island was under threat. Some parts severely, some less so, but every part was under some kind of 'alert'. All TV programmes were cancelled to make way for the ongoing civil defence updates. There were lines of traffic, crowds of people waiting on hills, and an alarm that went out on our phones from civil defence that sounded like something out of wartime. It was actually highly dramatic! So, all in all, a loud and clear ‘Tsunami Warning’.

Now, God speaks through signs and symbols throughout the Bible. And so, my very first reaction to this tsunami warning was: 'God is saying something through this.' And I believe that 'something' is that a wave of revival is coming. 

What do we do with this? The word above tells us: Watch. And See.

Pray. Be alert. See what happens next. And, in the meantime, reflect on the part what God says: My Heart is for the many.

My friends, as always I would love to hear your thoughts if anything particular springs to mind. For now, I just want to say 'Be encouraged!'

With love,

Ann


Jesus, I can't see past my SUM!

Happy Friday, friends -- Ann here!Record

Today, I’d like to share a vision that the Lord gave our community a few years ago. It was Dineen who received it, and she shared it on the blog -- The original article is here.

I hope when you read the vision below it will encourage you! Here’s the description of what the Lord showed Dineen (in her words):

“I was half awake, half asleep (it's possible it was a vision...I honestly don't know). I stood before a tall crop—corn I believe. Jesus stood next to me.

He gestured to the crop and said, "This is the Great Harvest."

I said, "Lord, I can't see past this, can you show me more?"

Suddenly I was up higher and could see tall mountains in the far distance. The crop spanned all the way to the mountains!” 

It’s a short vision, but sometimes God speaks volumes through few words. If we take the view that Dineen represents us – the SUMites – standing and looking at this, the following are some thoughts on this encouraging picture from the Lord: Corn

We know from scripture that Jesus spoke symbolically in his parables. So here we can look at the different symbols and think about what they mean:

The tall corn in our immediate view.

The fact Jesus is next to us.

The words that Jesus says: "This is the great harvest".

The fact we say: "I can’t see past this!" And then the fact that he takes us to a higher perspective and shows us what's actually beyond.

Phew!! It's a rich picture.

What do the tall mountains in the distance represent, I wonder? I’m still mulling that over, as mountains can represent a number of things in scripture. That one I will be praying about, for I know that every symbol in a vision is relevant but sometimes we don't understand instantly. Perhaps you have an instant sense of what those mountains represent? If so, do share!

What I really believe Jesus is showing us in this vision is that this harvest -- What we’re stepping into next -- is huge!

And, there's usually some kind of call to respond that's included in a word (vision) like this. In this case, I believe what Jesus might be asking us to do is listen to these words of his: 'This is the great harvest', start to allow him to take our perspective higher, and be willing to look beyond the immediate issues of our family's salvation.

It is difficult to do that -- To see past the immediate crop of our spouse and family. But there is more beyond our SUM. And our time of labor is only the beginning.

This very week, in fact, God said this to me: "You are stepping out of this season." By that, I understood that I am going to be stepping out of this time where there's been a faith difference with my husband. This is something I have known for quite some time: That the SUM season is one stage in my faith life that opens up into something quite different. I don't know the timing (I know God is leisurely about such things!) but I receive it. Given Dineen's vision, I can't help but believe this is a wider word for our community.

I'll leave it there. What do you think of this? Do any initial thoughts come to mind from reading this vision? I hope it blessed you.

Have a lovely weekend, and we'll be back on Monday.

Ann


The Harvest - The Many!

Dear friends, Ann here! Record

One of the things I’m currently thinking about is the word 'Harvest' and how it relates to all we have been through in this community.

I guess I feel we've been prepared through some pretty gruelling training (i.e., the challenges of a spiritual mismatch), and that training has equipped us to carry the Gospel outwards more -- Soon.

Here in our little home on the web, we've been learning to love. Specifically, we have learnt how to love our spouse well, and to love the church. Our SUM has been a deeply refining experience – We can all attest to that! But now it may be that we take that love and carry it outwards more.

I could write an essay on what a faith difference in marriage has done for my own character. Where would I begin? For me, perhaps the biggest thing has been to overcome cowardice when carrying the Gospel. People can be scary but I've become brave: Brave about stepping out for God (even if I am inwardly quaking!) For you it may be something else.

I can also say that I have come to understand why others don't believe or submit, and how to fight for another person’s soul. I’ve learnt to Win Without Words and to March Around Jericho. Phew, what a ride!

But now, several books and fifteen years of blog posts later, here we sit waiting for the dust to settle from a year-long pandemic; and perhaps we can say that we are now equipped to march forth. We are ready to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ forward, and to be used by God in whatever way he plans.

To that I say, ‘Here I am, Lord, send me!’ and I know the hearts of many here say the same.

With all that in mind, today I would like to share a quote from our archives. This is something that Dineen wrote a few years ago. She said:

“We have a unique calling that goes beyond us, beyond our marriages. As I’ve shared before God is a redeemer. He wastes nothing. We’ve been thinking and believing that our calling is right in our homes, in our marriages. And God is saying, that is just preparation for a greater movement that He is getting us ready for. God is calling us to believe Him like we never have before.”

I’d particularly like to grab these words and run with them:

We’ve been thinking and believing that our calling is right in our homes and our marriages. And God is saying, that is just preparation for a greater movement that he is getting us ready for.

Dineen then went on to say this:

“Early last year, we received an email from a reader that her husband had come to Jesus. A tearful and joyful moment to be sure. As I praised God, I heard Him speak to my spirit, “This is the first of many.” Harvest

That was Dineen. I always loved reading her words from the Lord as she had a beautiful relationship with Him. And now today I seize these words and say once again: "Yes, we believe there will be many!"

We’re waiting for many, many spouses here to receive Jesus; we’re also waiting for many children within our homes; and we’re waiting for friends and others in our lives. But I believe that God has promised us the many.

The harvest! It's exciting.

I'm smiling here, and cheer you on from my little corner. I know how deep you have dug and how tough the soil has been. So, for now, here's a question:

Do you look back on your SUM and recognize ways that it has made you more useable to God?

Sending you love today!

Ann


How To Enter Into Intimacy with Father, Jesus, Spirit ZOOM SEMINAR

Zoom Meeting Lynn Donovan comHi SUMITE NATION:

Lynn Donovan here:

So many people struggle to hear the Lord. They want their prayers answered and it feels like there isn't a response. This is often due to the fact that praying is at the core - RELATIONSHIP. If you don't know how to enter into that relationship, your prayer life will feel inadequate and a one way conversation with little satisfaction and often great frustration. 

Learning how to enter into the Presence is the Key to everything in the spiritual. 

There was a good deal of interest in the Intimacy Seminar over on my Lynn Donovan Ministry site, let's DO IT. 

In this seminar I will teach you the way to enter into the Presence of God. The teaching will include the scriptures, have your Bible ready, a pen and paper. We will cover what the blocks are that denies you access to the Presence. We will also learn about first fruits and how that passage is very powerful in our prayer life. There will be a couple of interactive activations.

The LIVE ZOOM meeting will be next Thursday, March 18th at 11 am PACIFIC TIME. I'm going to charge $10. This will help me pay for the Zoom renewal this year. THANK YOU! 

This also means that those who are really interested make an investment and will be ready to learn. WAHOO!!

If you can't make it, purchase the seminar and I'll email a link to watch after it is recorded.

I can't wait to walk beside you as you deepen your faith journey and learn to talk with God. Hugs, Lynn

Intimacy with God Seminar $10.