89 posts categorized "Thankfulness"

Praise Him Always

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Dineen and I will be taking the next week off from writing to spend time with our families. And we know you will do the same. Take time to rest. Get up early on Thanksgiving morning and take a walk-n-pray and marvel in all that He has given!

We love you, SUMite Nation. See you on November 30, 2015 where I will share my heart about a common struggle we, the unequally yoked, share. Loneliness.

But for today, rejoice and be exceedingly glad. We KNOW the King of Kings and have been graced with every good gift. Let's share our love and joy with our friends and family this week. Buy a coffee for a stranger. Rake leaves for an elderly neighbor. Take cocoa to a young mom. Let the love of Christ shine from your heart.

I know it always does. Hugs, Lynn 


Tablecloth Of Thanks 2015

I started a Thanksgiving family tradition a few years ago quite by accident. This tradition has become my absolute favorite. I'm sharing it today, as I do every year, so that our new readers can begin this tradition in their home. This is also a Family Faith Tradition I share in our book, Not Alone.

Enjoy.....Lynn

I'ts Never Too Late!

It’s never too late to start a new tradition in your home, especially one which brings honor to the Lord. I have a story to share and a photo. I also want to give you a chance to share some of your holiday traditions or giggles.

Join in today and share a Thanksgiving holiday tradition from your home or share a funny holiday hiccup.

I will share with you that like many newly married young women, I didn’t realize the turkey was stuffed with bagged giblets. Yep, I cook the turkey with the plastic bag and the giblets still inside. We ate it anyway.

Also, three years ago, I set the oven on fire when I moved the giant bird around. I freaked out. My husband came running. The house was crazy, people were yelling, crying and freaking… Perhaps it was only me doing the yelling, crying and freaking. My calm man put the flames out and to this day, I don’t know how he did it because we didn’t own a fire extinguisher.

The next morning I rose before dawn and went shopping at The Home Depot. NO NOT FOR CHRISTMAS… For a fire extinguisher. And now, every year BEFORE I bake the turkey, I check to make sure the extinguisher is charged and ready.

Sheesh!

Today, I'm sharing one of my most favorite family traditions. Here is a post I wrote years ago for the Internet Cafe. Hope you start a family tradition this year. It's NEVER too late to have a Tablecloth of Thanks.

Tablecloth of Thanks 

Many of you know that I am married to an unbeliever. This past May we celebrated 15 years of marriage. Our unequally yoked marriage has had its challenges to say the least. Over the years, however, our ingenious God has maneuvered us through many touchy issues. 

Our disparity becomes more apparent during the holidays. Giving thanks to our Lord in November is a treasured time for me. I name my blessings one-by-one in prayer, thanking God for His lavish abundance poured into our lives. 

Like most wives living in an unequally yoked marriage, I long for my spouse to understand there is a God. To know He is intricately involved in our lives and everything we have is provision of our creator. I have also learned that forcing God upon my husband is a surefire way to push him away. I am careful to respect my husband and simply trust Jesus to reach him in his perfect timing. 

In spite of my husband’s unbelief, I discovered a unique way to draw him into the celebration of thanks, besides through his stomach. He loves turkey. 

Four years ago, I threw a new, pristine-white tablecloth across our dinning room table two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I purchased several colored pens and placed them on top. A new tradition was born, a Tablecloth of Thanks. It began with my daughter. I told her, “I WANT you to write on this tablecloth.” She looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, wondering if her mother had lost her mind. 

“Really,” my smiled reassured. “Write down what you are most thankful for this year. Then write the year, 2004, near your name.” 

She grinned and began to write using several different colors. I joined in and wrote my thanks directly on the beautiful tablecloth. 

Later that evening my husband noticed the scribbles on the tablecloth. I watched as he walked over to read our words. I walked to his side and took his hand. I subtly asked him if he would also write down his thanks. He smiled and said maybe later. 

Finally on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, my husband picked up a pen and wrote; I am thankful for my wonderful family, great friends, and a very happy life. 

Wow! Was he giving thanks to our Lord? I am not sure. However, every year since he has continued to write a thankful list. Last year’s entry reads; I am thankful for all of my blessings…family, friends, and the dogs. 

Imported Photos 00001What? Did he use the word blessings? Small steps such as these lead to the Savior. I can’t wait to read his thankful list this year. 

The Thankful Tablecloth is one of my most prized possessions. Everyone who visits our home during the Thanksgiving holiday contributes to this permanent memorial of thanks. It is a visible praise to the King displayed in our unequally yoked home each November. 

One of my favorite thanks is this: 

2006
I am thankful
to be able to sit
on the couch and have
my people pet me.
Peanut 

Hmmmm, I wonder how the dog grew fingers and learned to write???? 

Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

 

Lord God, I will name my blessings one-by-one….. Jesus… eternal life…. clean water to drink…..capacity to love…..empowerment to forgive….. just for a start….. 

It is never too late to start a new tradition. If you want to start your Tablecloth of Thanks, I have a few helpful hints.

  1. Place a sheet of butcher paper under your tablecloth. (I have a permanent smiley face on my dinning room table from the year 2005)
  2. Use colorfast fabric pens.
  3. Store your tablecloth in an airtight Ziploc bag. 

Thank you my friends for sharing this Holiday treasure with me. I wish you were with me today and could share your thankful heart on the Tablecloth of Thanks.

(My friends, if you could, share this post on Facebook and Twitter. It's truly a wonderful tradition and I want so much for families to have an opportunity to share faith in this way. Thanks, Lynn  - click on the buttons below to share. Hugs)

Also, if you have started a tablecloth already in your home, PLEASE, take a photo and share it in the comments. I would love to see them. Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


What Does Thankfulness Do?

3KeysSUM family, we talked last week about the first two keys, forgiveness and love. On the subject of love I just want to make one more point that the Holy Spirit reminded about me over the weekend. 

We reference 2 Timothy 1:7 frequently when we talk about fear.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

We’ve been given love in our spirit. I just want to point that out in case you’re feeling like you can’t love your pre-believer or someone else in your life well enough. The truth is, on you’re own steam, you can’t, but as a child of God, you can. God’s Word says you have a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. And I love how these three are bundled up.

Love without God’s power runs out. Power without God’s love turns manipulative and self-seeking. And self-discipline without love and power is ineffective. All three are necessary and work best together. I could write even more on this subject alone, but let’s move on to our third key, thankfulness.

The Holy Spirit has been showing me how important thankfulness is to our walk of faith and the abundant life. Let me start with a story first. Several months ago, I was struggling a bit in my faith walk and couldn’t figure out why. I sat one morning in prayer and asked the Holy Spirit for help.

He said, “You’re not being thankful.”

At His words I realized I’d done more grumbling than thanking lately. Not grumbling in the sense of complaining, though I’m sure I did some of that too, but more in the sense of continuing to ask over and over again without faith.

The Bible has a lot to say about thankfulness. Psalm 50:15 calls it a “sacrifice of thanksgiving,” which it is when we’re called to be thankful in difficult situations and times.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. — 1 Thess 5:18

And let me point out that this verse doesn’t say to be thankful for the circumstances but to be thankful in them. I do not believe we are called to be thankful for an illness, a catastrophe, poverty—things that are clearly not from the hand of a loving God. But we can be thankful in them that God’s presence is working to help us in whatever situation we are in to bring redemption and goodness from it. 

When in doubt, reread Romans 8:28. Let your world and perspective revolve around this verse and watch how dramatically your life and how you live your life will change!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. — Rom 8:28

So back to my story. Yes, my friends, I repented of my unthankfulness and began intentionally being thankful. And I began to take notice of the effect thankfulness has on me—spiritually, mentally and even physically. These are my observations:

Being thankful:

  • Brings peace in every situation (Col 3:15)
  • Encourages and releases healing—spiritually, physically and mentally (Col 1:11-13)
  • Gives a sense of well-being (Col 2:6)
  • Brings our heart into alignment with God’s (Eph 5:20)
  • Releases the Holy Spirit to work (1 Thess 5:19)
  • Builds our faith and trust in God because as we are asking in prayer, we are then thanking him for the answer (Phil 4:6-7)

My friends, I want you to try your own experiment with thankfulness. Try one of two things: 

  • Start a thankful journal. Writing down five things every day that you are thankful for. Try not to repeat.
  • Sit in a quiet place and think about one thing that you are struggling with. Now, shift your mind to God and start thanking Him for one positive aspect of that situation. 

Perhaps your marriage—thank God for one aspect of your husband that you truly love. God designed your pre-believer just like He did you. Find the gold and appreciate it. Talk to God about this. Do this everyday and then at the end of the week, ask yourself how you’re feeling and thinking about your marriage now.

A situation at work—focus on the rest of your job that you are thankful for. Do this every day before you leave. Then email me and tell me about the day one of your co-workers commented on how you’ve changed and how positive you seem to be.   

Something inside yourself—acknowledge whatever it is you don’t like about yourself, but give yourself grace here, my friends. Sometimes the very thing we see as our weakest area is the very thing God is turning into your greatest strength. Thank Him for giving you the power and desire to do what pleases Him, because He is! His Word says so. 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. — Phil 2:13

Even Jesus prayed with thanksgiving (Luke 10:21). Paul thanked God and drew courage from it (Acts 28:16). Now look at a these Scriptures from Colossians:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. — Col 3:13-15

All three keys are right there! They build upon and are integral to each other. And when we are intentional to use all three in our faith walk, we are strengthened in our faith, my friends, because we living our lives rooted in the truths of Jesus Christ.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. — Col 2:6-7

There are so many verses in the Bible about thankfulness. Do you have a favorite one to share? Do you have story of how being thankful has made a difference in your faith and life? Let’s meet in the comments and keep talking! 

SUM family, I am so thankful for you, every day. I am thankful God has put me in this place for such a time as this to be a part of your lives. And thank you for being a part of mine. I love you!
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Disappointment -Part II

Proverbs 3 5 6Job Loss

Financial ruin

Divorce

Death

Years of sitting in church alone.

Disappointment, fear, anxiety

Rejection, pain, confusion…….. sadness

Whether we know it or not, following an unexpected disappointment, we will find ourselves at an intersection. Before us lies two paths and we choose which one to walk down. Faith or doubt. And In mid-June I was turning down a path that was purposely cultivated by the devil. My confusion turned to distrust and out of my pain I allowed an oppressive spirit access through an open door to my life.

Sigh!

Even my husband noticed I was in a really bad place.

I wrestled with, “Why Lord?” Anyone?

And once I allowed that demonic oppression in, it was hell to kick it back out of my life. (A post for later. I want you to know how to do the same.)

My friends, I will own my failings in this moment. Because what I needed to do is to focus on two “Key Truths” that I know deep within my heart.

  1. My God is good. Always!
  2. I have a lifetime (years and years) of experiencing the faithfulness of God.

It bugs me that I caved to doubt in a moment of confusion. And can I just restate very clearly. My disappointment was not about being published. Not at all. I was struggling with a lie the enemy was telling me. He wanted me to believe that God told me to do something and then He pulled the rug out from under me. The root lie: God is not good nor is His Word reliable. Just to be clear, I’m truly not needing affirmation of a published book. This was much deeper.

Even before all this went down in June, I began to hear the Holy Spirit speak this verse to me. It came in the middle of the night with whispers in my dreams. I would wake with the verse on my lips. This verse arrived in email. It was in the articles I read online. It came through many different venues.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight —Proverbs 3:5-6 (1984 NIV version. This is how I memorized it.)

God knew what was coming. He was preparing me. And because of this verse, it made it so much easier to flee the path of doubt and return to my vibrant faith walk.

But how do we pull ourselves out of the pit? I was truly under demonic oppression. I remember walking around the park and all of a sudden a great wave of sadness settled over me. I knew in the moment exactly what it was, I allowed this demonic spirit access. And even though I didn’t want it near me, I had to fight against it with all that I am.

My friends, to start climbing out of our oppression, we need prayer partners. People who will hold us up. We need community and we need people in our lives who really know us, the good, bad and ugly. We must be in transparent and authentic community. I have several people I reached out to and those women held me before the throne. They dragged my sorry butt with them every day in their intercession. They picked up my broken heart and placed it before Jesus with tears and pleading.

I THANK GOD for the Saints. I don’t often need this kind of prayer support but I’m so grateful God gave me prayer warriors. And you can bet that I have been on the other end interceding for many. I have interceded for so many of you my SUMite friends. I bring your brokenness before our Jesus with tears and pleading. I really do. And I count it a privilege to do so. And I will NEVER stop praying for those who call SUM home.

In addition, we need to have cultivated a strong faith walk over the years in order to persevere through trials. We must remember a lifetime of faithfulness and begin to give thanks, even in the confusion.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-8

Sometimes we won’t receive an explanation, at least right away. But I have experienced 30 days of life full of pigeons instead of The Dove. And can I just say….. That kind of life, well, it sucks.  

On Friday, I will share with you how I battled for my faith and how you can too.

I want to be the voice for your life today and encourage you to take a step out of fear, pain, disappointment then determine yourself to choose to remember and trust the faithfulness of God and reject the lie of doubt.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Our Authority to "Pass It On"

Heb10-25Dear friends, I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt through the Bible and the Holy Spirit keeps revealing these nuggets of wisdom and knowledge. In fact, I shared this verse on Facebook last week because it keeps showing up:

In him [Christ] lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. — Colossians 2:3 NLT

I have prayed into this for myself and for you, SUMites. Jesus wants to give us these treasures! We just have to ask for them.

So, this latest treasure is one that the Holy Spirit showed me builds on a truth we have talked about in the past, but builds upon it in regard to our authority in Jesus, the authority spoken of in Luke 9:1-2 and Luke 10:17. Our authority given us through our salvation in Jesus. 

But this nugget is revealing that we have specific authority, which I find fascinating. First let's start with 2 Corinthians 1:4:

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. — 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

I've always loved this verse, because it reflects God's heart for us individually and corporately. He is our comforter and we are to pass the comfort on to others. He intends it to work that way. That is why we encounter others who are going through the same trials and difficulties we have gone through. Sometimes even as we are going through them. Abba wants to comfort us so we can comfort others, and encourage each other. This is the body of Christ working in love and unity.

But did you know that the very places that you have overcome give you special authority? Take a look at 2 Corinthians 4:17:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV 

That word "weight" in the original Greek is baros and it means weight, burden, authority.

What does that mean? It means that the sicknesses and trials that you have overcome are now places of authority in which you can pray for others. You are essentially passing a blessing you have received to another person. It doesn't take it away from you at all or lessen its affect or presence. You are sharing it with another, which honors God because you are being obedient to His Word. And God always increases His blessings in these times.

Guess what else? It's a form of worship. An "eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison"! 

 That which we overcome gives us authority to pray for the same breakthrough for others and in combination with the glory of Jesus, it becomes an act of worship and praise.

My friends, I believe we are called to boldly pray and believe for others the very same things we have received. Remember the story of healing I shared a while back about praying for a friend's thyroid to be healed because my thyroid had been healed. And she in turn was healed! I simply passed on the blessing I'd received and was doubly blessed to see God do this in another person. See the increase?

And don't be surprised if Jesus sets you up with divine appointments to encounter people who need your prayers. It is a beautiful set-up, my friends. One that will bless you even more profoundly than the first. It's absolute nonsense to the world, but it's exactly what God will use to make Himself known (1 Cor. 1:27-30). 

My friends, I thought this post was done when I wrote the above paragraph but this morning I had an experience that so profound shows how this works. In my last post, Waiting in the Delivery Room, Holly shared an amazing encounter she had with God. I asked her to pray for me to have an encounter like that too. And she did! 

I DECLARE that you will have an encounter with the God of all creation that will be even greater and more profound than that which I testify to!! Holy Spirit please fall on Dineen with power and fill her to overflowing with Your liquid love and supernatural peace! Get her good Lord so that she is forever changed by the love of her Father!!! You are a good good Father and worthy of our praise!!! In Jesus name....AMEN!!!!!!

That prayer was answered today in a most unexpected way. I was walking around the nearby park, listening to worship music, praying and praising God. I needed this terribly too, my friends, because I’d let in some “stinkin’ thinkin’” recently. God revealed to me that my heart wasn’t thankful. 

So, I chose to walk in my authority over my heart and feelings and turn that frown upside down, to use a cliche. Halfway into my second lap, I felt something…different. I looked up at the magnificent sky and it was like the presence of God fell on me!

And guess what happened next? You won’t believe it… I burst out in laughter. Big laughter. Belly laughter. Holy laughter… And I couldn’t stop. Right in the middle of the park. My friends, I kid you not. 

Holy laughter is something I’ve been asking Abba for for a while. And today was my day. I continued to laugh the rest of my walk around the park—in sudden bursts that doubled me over! I haven’t a clue what other people there thought, and, honestly, I don’t care. 

Today, my Papa God made me laugh! And I believe that was in part a result of Holly passing on her blessing to me (thank you so much, Holly!), which came in an unexpected (and foolish to the world perhaps?) way, and I believe this was also Abba’s way of honoring my decision to be obedient to rejoice in Him, to choose joy, and to walk in that attitude. No more stinkin’ thinkin’! 

And now, my dear friends, I pray for you to experience holy laughter. 

Lord Jesus, You came to set us free and to know Your peace and joy. I ask for holy laughter for our SUMite family. You know best when and how to bring it, Holy Spirit. Do what You do best! In the JOYFUL name of Jesus, amen!

Laughing with you, my friends, and rejoicing in Him!
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Anxiety's Remedy

My Friends,

I will confess that I experienced an upside down week. On several occasions I was pulled into anxiety (fear). Can I just tell you I don’t dwell in the land of anxiety often and as I look back on the two incidents that threw me off my game, I’m now mad.

The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy our peace and joy. And many times in our unequally yoked marriages, he schemes to use our spouse and our children. Sheesh!  Does that somehow seem unfair to you as it does to me? Well, today SUMites. Let me share some truths and this next week, we will not live in anxiety but in peace and joy; the atmosphere of heaven.

Are you in?

Happiness- The root word is happenings. Our circumstances.

When our circumstances (happenings) overwhelm us and we feel all alone, isolated, distant from God. The enemy is aimed straight at your life and his goal is to keep you in anxiety fretting over all the “happenings” in your life.

Joy- is rejoicing in the Spirit. Rooted in God. The goodness and faithfulness of our Papa.

When we remain in the posture of joy, we DEFEAT the enemy. So how do we do that? It’s on our face crying out and it’s a life of thanksgiving. I’m telling you that if you spend even 20 minutes thanking the Lord for all that you have, you will change the atmosphere of your heart, your day and dare I say, even your spouse and kids.

So I challenge you. Every morning this week, take out your journal, write down in any random order the gifts, blessings and abundance you have in your life. Then watch as all of heaven rejoices with you and hell trembles.

Thankfulness is the key to open heaven’s gates and to rest in the reality of our Lord’s Presence.

Now here is your promise:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:4-7 

Now the challenge: In the comments we are going to break anxiety. Praise the Lord with Thanksgiving there. I will be praying along with you and I want to know on Friday that you experienced the power, love, peace and joy of our Father and the Kingdom of heaven.


Powerful SUMite Testimony of Faith

My friends, I want to share a precious testimony from one of our SUMites. She posted this on our 1Peter3Living Yahoo Group and when I read it, I knew right away it need to be shared. We never share anything from the 1Peter3Living group without permission first. So I emailed Becky and asked her if I could share her words here. Here is her reply:
 
Please do, I want it to encourage as many people as possible and I don't care if it has my name on it or not. I actually deleted my facebook account. The Lord has brought me to a place of full reliance on Him and I am so thankful for it and the faith He has given me. I'm thankful for everything He's doing and already done and I want to boast in Him and His good works. :) —Becky
 
Here is Becky's beautiful and inspiring testimony:
I just have to share what God is doing and has already done. The Lord has put on my heart lately the words "if only you knew" and it has made all the difference. He has given me the faith to see that He is on the other side of everything I'm going through, everything all of us are going through and His words to us are "if only you knew."
 
If only we knew that He has ALREADY answered our prayers and our future is a memory to Him, then we would not be afraid and trust Him with complete, reckless abandon. 
 
If only we knew how much joy we have on the other side, we would not become discouraged and we would keep our eyes on Him.
 
If only we knew the plans He has for us, we would seek Him every opportunity we have so that we would not stray from the path He has planned out for us.
 
He revealed this to me after a fun filled morning sledding with my children. My daughter was refusing to sled down the hill in our front yard and I thought to myself "if only I could get her to understand that it's safe and she would have fun." She finally decided to get on the sled and after about 15 more times up and down the hill, she was one happy little girl.
 
The Lord reminded me that my situation is similar except I didn't KNOW for a fact that my daughter would be safe or that she would have fun. Anything can happen and she could've hated it. But God KNOWS what is in our future because He has already seen it and He's asking us to trust Him and seek Him in every way, every day so that we will stay on the path He has for us.
 
He's also asking us to have enough faith to claim His promises. But that faith is honestly a gift. I woke up this morning with a new prayer that consisted of thanking God for already making my husband a brother in Christ and restoring our marriage and that was nothing I did, but everything God did. I pray that He would give all of us the faith we need to claim His future promises as His past and thank Him for what He has already done, from His view, not in our past.
 
It never really made sense to me before but I feel like the Lord lifted the veil about gave me new perspective about His purposes and plans. I pray that this has encouraged someone. I am claiming right now that my husband is already a brother in Christ, our marriage is restored, and everyone we know realizes and witnesses His power. God used all of this to bring my family members to Christ, including my children. And, as it says in His Word, our household was saved  (Acts 16:31).
 
In Christ,
Becky Walker   
 
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household. — Acts 16:31
 
King Jesus, today, we, Your SUMites, stand in our belief and trust in You. And we claim the promise in Your Holy Word that says if we believe, our household is saved as well. We believe, we believe, we believe! We believe You have saved us and our household too. In Your Powerful and Saving name, Jesus, amen!
 
Walk forth boldly, SUMites, and TRUST YOUR GOD!
Love you!
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Quick Update

Hi SUMite Family, 

I will tell you that Monday morning when I woke up, I was uncertain and uneasy about what I would read in the comments. I hesitantly open up my email and cautiously took a peek and then burst into tears when the love of your words washed over me. 

Thank you. 

Please know that today and tomorrow I will be praying through all of the comments that were left and seeking breakthrough for you. And I will tell you that I’m CERTAIN I’ve finally found breakthrough in this area of my life. 

Thank you Jesus. 

This week has been an adventure. Most of you know my son moved in with us last January. Well on Wednesday he finally moved into his own place. It turned out to be a home instead of an apartment. The rent is less than apartments around here. It’s perfectly, perfect. Thank you for praying for all of us during this past year. It’s been a whirlwind. Lots of joys and great sorrows too. But I see now how God has used it all to achieve things we couldn't have expected. 

With that said, I’m going to spend my time today, praying through the comments. I plan to post on Monday an “Open Letter” that the Lord has placed on my heart. Don’t miss it. And I will resume my series on prayer because, boy howdy, have I been experiencing some answers to some distant prayers. Finally, I haven’t forgotten about the series still rolling about in my head regarding demonic spirits. Oh and man, do I have a lot to say about those ugly things. Many of you will find great freedom in that series too. 

So, stay tuned because the Lord is on the move and my friends, we have been invited to jump on the glory train. It’s going to be the ride of a lifetime. 

I love you so very much.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

John 14 13


Disparaging Disappointment, Part 2

14511569_sSo glad you're back, my friends. The end of this series is so near and dear to my heart, because it's written with a deep love and desire for you to live in the fullness of Jesus and all He has for us. I believe we will see great tremendous breakthroughs individually and as a community in 2015 and I don't want you to miss any of it. I don't want to miss any of it either!

Now for the final part of this series. Scroll down to part one if you need to catch up. The links for the previous parts are there as well.

As I shared in part one, this journey was so unexpected for me. I had to face some dark places in my heart and mind and allow the Holy Spirit to peel back layers of lies and pain so that He could bring the healing Jesus wanted me to have. And as I faced the additional challenge of being patient in the process, the Holy Spirit gave me this prayer:

Lord, help me to be patient so I can focus on what you're doing right now instead of what You haven't done yet.

And just this week I found this nugget in Romans:

But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.— Romans 8:25 NLT

God's process will entail whatever is necessary to stop the enemy's ultimate plan to destroy our faith by stealing the one thing that he can never attain—hope.

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God! —Psalms 42:11 NLT

In a dark moment of despair, David recognized his disappointment and saw that his hope needed to be placed again in God. And with it came his decision to praise and thank God, no matter what the circumstances around him looked like. Sadly, by destroying our hope, the enemy keeps us from being the aroma of Christ to our prebelievers.

Dear friends, we have powerful tools to fight the three Deadly Ds of doubt, disbelief and disappointment and they are:

  • God's Word
  • A thankful heart
  • Praise and worship

These are also keys to kingdom living, to the abundant life, to sustaining our hope, joy and peace.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” — Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT

No matter what, choose every day to read God's Word, to thank Him for everything (even the bad stuff—for the good He Will bring out of it) and praise Him for what He has done, is doing and will do in your life. Jesus will meet your needs in astounding ways as you do this, because you're diving deeper in intimacy with Him.

And when your mind begins to race again with all the doubts, disbelief and disappointment, return to this place of rest and wait patiently for Him to act (Psalm 37:7). You will find yourself entering this place more frequently and easily until one day you will realize that not only have you persevered, you are now stronger than you have every been. You have defeated the enemy. You have moved to a whole new level of faith. God's anointings and gifts for you are growing stronger. You find yourself in situations (divine appointments) to now bring all that you have learned to others.

Just as I am doing right here, my friends, sharing all this with you. For that I give Abba Father, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit all the praise and glory! As this community prays and waits for our prebelievers to come to faith, my heart and prayer for you, SUMites, is the same as Paul's was for the Philippians:

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

— Philippians 1:3-11 NLT

With deepest love and admiration for you in Jesus,
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Photo Copyright: 72soul / 123RF Stock Photo


The Three Deadly Ds: Disparaging Disbelief

27165685_sDear friends, before Thanksgiving I started a series on the Three Deadly Ds: Dubious Doubt, Debilitating Disbelief and Disparaging Disappointment. In Part One of Dubious Doubt we talked about how the enemy comes in and plants seeds of doubt, as he did with Adam and Eve, and in Part Two I shared some examples of breakthroughs that came as a result of pushing doubt aside and re-establishing God's truth firmly in its rightful place.  

Today, let's talk about Debilitating Disbelief. And that is exactly what the enemy's intention is, to debilitate (weaken, enfeeble, enervate, devitalize, sap, drain, exhaust, weary, fatigue, prostrate; undermine, impair, indispose, incapacitate, cripple, disable, paralyze, immobilize; informal knock out, do in) our faith. Once doubt has come in like a ravaging worm, disbelief moves in to fill those empty places like a fungus or mold. 

  • Your mind is riddled with questions and you may even feel tormented at times.
  • You try to read God's Word but find yourself questioning its truth or thinking it's true for other believers but not for you. 
  • Praise and worship become difficult.
  • Your attitude of gratitude has fled the scene and his unwanted cousin, grumbling negativity, has moved in.
  • Fear subtly increases and can even move into physical manifestations such as anxiety and health issues.
  • Guilt and shame move show up like uninvited guests and make you think you've messed up and that God will never be pleased with you again.
  • You cry out to God but feel like He's abandoned you.

This is why it's so crucial to to seek God in prayer and in His Word, especially in these dark times, and in a mismatched marriage as we don't have a believing spouse to uphold us in prayer and encouragement. And, despite how we feel. The enemy will use your feelings against you to keep you from running to Abba, to our Lord Jesus, for the truth.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. — James 1:22-24

Community becomes even more important because the enemy's final tactic is to isolate you so you'll forget who you are and Whose you are. God's Word and those who carry it are our greatest source of healing, hope and restoration.

My friends, a burden Abba seems to be asking me to carry right now is for those of you whose spouse used to walk in faith with you but has recently walked away. I've received several emails from many of you in this place and have had divine appointments with several dear women who find themselves in this painful position of betrayal. 

Let me say that I get why some walk away. Much of what I've shared today is from my own experience. The enemy tried to destroy me earlier this year and now I understand why someone would walk away, or be tempted to walk away, especially if their faith foundation is shaky or built on sand (Matt. 7:26-27).

Part of my journey to freedom came one night when the demon assigned to torment me finally revealed himself. Amazingly (to me, not God) Abba had prepared me the day before, even though I didn't realize it until after the encounter. He'd shown me more about my authority in Jesus. That night this enemy revealed himself in the darkness, with oppression and hissing. He tried to make me fearful and afraid in my semi asleep/awake state. As soon as I realized what was happening, I rebuked him and went back to sleep! To God be the glory!

What I have learned is that disbelief opens doors to the enemy, who tries to steal our divine destiny and destroy our peace and joy in the Lord. These are the tools that brought me through this dark night of the soul and taught me so much. 

  • Read the Bible every day and write down key Scriptures that speak to your spirit and soul. Go back and reread them later in the day and to start your quiet time the next morning. You’ll be surprised at how much more you receive out of God’s Word by doing this. Our bodies sleep at night but our spirit doesn’t. Give the Holy Spirit a chance to work God’s truth into your heart, soul and mind. Believe His Word—it’s true for you too!
  • Worship and worship more. There are many ways one can worship. With music, by reading Scriptures out loud (the Psalms are great for this), by speaking out praises to God about His character and who He is. Take a walk and praise Him for His creation. Pet your dog and praise Him for putting the fur baby in your life.
  • Invite that attitude of gratitude back home and boot his ungrateful cousin out!
  • Rebuke the spirits of anxiety, fear, oppression, depression and confusion (and any others the Holy Spirit brings to mind). In the name of Jesus, they must go! 
  • Plead the blood of Jesus over your mind, your thoughts and your feelings and speak God’s Word against guilt and shame (no condemnation in Jesus—Romans 8:1).
  • Know, believe, profess and remind yourself that no matter how things seem, God loves you, He always has loved you and He always will love you. His word says He will not abandon you, so believe it. He is with and for you!

I still have much to learn and continue to press forward into more of God (Phil. 3:12). My faith is stronger and I am better equipped to recognize the enemy’s darts. And this translated into helping others to be released from this spirit of torment when I’ve prayed with them in the healing rooms. The places we find freedom and victory will be the places God calls us to pray for and help others find that same freedom and victory (2 Cor. 1:3-7).

My friends, the next and last part of this series will be about disparaging disappointment. I’m waiting on Abba to give me the words and message He wants conveyed for us, His children. Please pray that I hear Him clearly amidst all the hustle and bustle of this move and Christmas. 

Remember, Jesus came to heal, to set the captives free and release prisoners. He is always on our side and always fighting for us. Amen!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS, SUMites! Love you!
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A Thankful Hanky Story For Thanksgiving Day

SUMites, I just wanted to give Lynn & Dineen an update on the healing hankies. I purchased one of these anointed cloths for a co-worker's daughter. When I gave it to her, you can imagine the look of doubt and skepticism.

Anyway, just last week she came to the office exclaiming how her daughter is now handling a new medication, has come down from her upstairs for family gatherings, and even driven a car. All of which she has not been able to do in years. She was raving about the medicine, but I gently reminded her that all this kind of coincided with the timing of receiving the hanky - hmmmm:)... -Pam Osborn

 

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Our Breakthrough Happened! He's a Believer!

My friends, you know we have been praying for a breakthrough in our community for a long time. Recenlty Lynn and I have felt that a shift was coming, and we are over the moon to share with you that IT HAS HAPPENED!

Janet Sommer is a long time member of this community. Lynn and I have had the pleasure of getting to know her better over the years, and I myself am blessed to have the treasure of her friendship, encouragement and prayer. She has remained faithful to God even in challenging times and continued to pray for her husband and sow the seeds of faith. And the plow came.

A few weeks back when I shared in a video blog post that God told me things look like they're going backward, but He was about to turn them around. You could say that about Janet's situation, and God did exactly what He said He would—turned things around.

BIG TIME!

God moved and brought down walls and lies to expose a soul to the light of His saving love. Now this man has accepted faith, chosen to believe in Jesus and his transformation is tangible and visible. Read Janet's breathtaking letter as Lynn and I did, amazingly at the very same time in different parts of California. And have tissues ready because we both bawled and wound up on the phone rejoicing and praising Jesus.

My friends, this is just the beginning. We firmly believe this is the first domino that will lead to more disbelief toppling into submission to righteous faith in Jesus Christ. This is the power of testimonies, as the Bible says. Power is released and faith is increased! Amen! Thank You, Jesus!

Here's Janet's astonishing and beautiful letter...

HeadshotThe SUMites are so precious and dear to me, especially you two sisters. It was here I was convicted not to leave my pre-believer for an "easier marriage" to a *believer*. It was here I was first encouraged to try a fast thanks to Rosheeda along with the shared precious knowledge and encouragement here. It was here I learned and was challenged to pursue God despite my husband's lack of interest or pursuit. Slowly, and courageously, as I stepped out to the call of bible study, serving in various ministries and even singing in the church band I found my husband to be supportive and there, right beside me. Although divided, we were still intact.

It was here I felt an unspoken bond of the life as a spouse to a pre-believer, and the genuine love and community for those I didn't know. The list of how I grew, how I stood in my faith, how I went from discouraged to encouraged and courageous is endless. But most importantly, it was here, as you both poured out your hearts, that I learned how to hand mine to Jesus first, instead of my husband.

I am writing to you, from the sanctity of my bed, after a couple days of reflection. And I feel so conflicted. I recently sat on the bed one afternoon and was confused to watch a very sheer veil lift off my eyes, rising from the bottom to the top. My vision was crisper, sunlight was brighter and more pure. I had been texting my husband and simply commented that I felt a fog lift. He quickly texted back that he felt the exact same way.

Later it was revealed to me that was the moment he accepted what happened to him at our marriage counselor's office and yielded to faith. You see, at our marriage counselor's office, he suddenly grabbed my hand, said some hurtful things and walked out unwilling to listen to anything I said. He later shared that during that time he felt tremendous heat, felt forced & compelled to say those things to me, and then experienced wind. He says he let something behind. Then he described that something as "evil". He physically looks different; he emotionally is different. He talks about God and praying and how grateful he is that God removed evil and blinders from him. He's so kind, gentle and intentional now. He says he can't believe he had no idea of the true wife I was, but that a God has revealed that, among many other things, to him. Neither of us can believe the difference!

And as I lay here, experiencing what we all long for, I can't help but notice how it didn't happen as I thought it would. In my mind the Holy Spirit would wreck him at a church service or at a time he was standing by me supporting my involvement-- not at marriage counseling. I never even imagined we would one day sit on that cliche couch as a counselor walked us through talking about our struggles-- after a mere 22 years together. Nothing is what I imagined.... not the timing, not it actually happening, not the genuine, radical results... nothing. And I can't help but to be conflicted.... joyous for me, yet longing for you and everyone in this online family.

I am here solidly... rooted in grace, equipped with knowledge & authority... with a believing husband, because of your bravery, your boldness and your obedience to this ministry and community. It's awkward but peaceful, scary but hope-filled, cautious navigating yet easy to move forward. The life I knew and was comfortable with, after soooo many years in a UY marriage, is changing. It's beautiful... and scary. Words will never explain the treasure SUMites are to me, nor the gems you two most certainly are in my crown. A crown I'm not worthy of but have been ransomed for and deemed worthy to wear. And I can't wait for the day when my believing husband learns exactly how much it was a lot of Jesus, a lot of God, plenty of the Holy Spirit and just as much this SUMite nation that kept me waiting, with sanity, in hope for him and this new marriage we have.

On a hysterical note, he recently asked how I knew Dineen. I said through a blog. He asked which, and I reluctantly stated. He then asked if he was a case study!!! lol

I promise you every moment, every discouragement and hurt, every argument trying to obey God and find balance in respecting our spouse, every tear shed and prayer said to God is so worth seeing and living this moment. Our spouses and marriages are worth fighting for! And they say it's about "the journey", right? As I transition into this new life as a chord of three I can't help but to storm heavens gates even more for each of you, so truly it was my honor to donate to this ministry.

Much indebted and eternally grateful for this ministry.... Janet

Janet, we love you so much. We are rejoicing with you and continuing to pray for this time of transition, adjustment and wonder. The angels are cheering you on and so is this community. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story with your SUMite family. Love you so much! —Dineen & Lynn

Abba, thank You for bringing this man to Your Son, Jesus. Thank You, King Jesus, for lifting the darkness and filling him with Your saving love and light. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for filling our new brother in Christ with Your Holy Presence. Lord, protect and guide this believing couple into new realms of faith and discovery of Who You are and who they are in You. We praise You, Lord, with loud voices and joy-filled hearts for this miracle. And we humbly ask...DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN until every one of our pre-believers walks in faith! Let this community bring You great glory, King Jesus. We adore You! Amen!


God Makes Everything Beautiful

IStock_000021786064SmallThe three of us stood together, three women sharing hearts and faith. My prayer partner and I had just finished praying for our dear friend, who happens to be mismatched like me. Like you. And the weight of her yoke was sitting very heavy.

That’s when my prayer partner began to share her testimony about praying for her mother. She’d prayed for years for her mother to come to Jesus and grew very frustrated as well, thinking her prayers “availed nothing.”

But God told her one day that He heard every prayer. And answered. Each day He would put specific plans in place for her mother to encounter God. It was her mother who kept rejecting Him. From that point on, she shifted her prayers to appreciation and gratitude for each day that God pursued her mother.

As I listened, I realized I needed this message as much as the woman we’d just finished praying for. It’s hard to pray the same thing, ask the same thing over and over again. And I’m coming to believe that part of the journey is shifting from request to belief.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:6-7

So I started small. Now each day I thank God for how He is pursuing my husband, for the “chance” encounters, for the evidence and details in his work, (God told me recently to pray for divine connections in his programming—how cool is that?), for how He is making my precious husband beautiful for his own time, as God has planned it.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. — Ecclesiastes 3:11

I have always loved this truth, because it says God plants eternity in our hearts. It’s there in all of us, that longing to know Him, even if we continue to push it down and ignore it. We can’t undo what God has done.

But now I’m growing to appreciate another part of this piece of enlightening Scripture as I understand that God’s timing is often longer than what we desire or perceive. I know it seems so long, too long at times. But God has a reason for that too.

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him. — 2 Peter 3:15

And in conjunction with this, still another truth to Ecclesiates 3:11 is that we are unable to see the full scope of all that God does, because you and I, we see the now. And we we see our children too. But, God—He sees the generations to come. Even in the Bible as Jesus walked the earth and spoke to the disciples, He was thinking about us and directing His words and wisdom not only for those present but for the generations to come (John 17:20-21).

The truth of Ecclesiastes 3:11 carries the promises that we can be thankful for now and claim and believe.

I believe God is making my husband beautiful for his time to know Jesus.

Lord, thank You for relentlessly pursuing my husband and for all that You are doing to day to reveal Yourself and grab my husband's attention. Thank You for planting eternity in his heart and though I can't see all that You are doing.

And we can apply this to the believers in our lives too. I am holding onto these nuggets of truth for my daughter who continues to struggle in this life, and I struggle to watch because I want what every mother wants, to see her child reach for her potential and succeed.

Another job has passed her over and a freak accident totaled her parked car (thankfully she wasn't in it). These are the trials of life that we must navigate on a daily basis, but if I am to hold to the truth of Scriptures like Ecclesiates 3:11, He’s making everything beautiful for her as well.

Lord, thank You for the job You are putting into place for my girl. Thank You that You love her even more than I do and want her to be all You created her to be. Make her beautiful in Your time, Abba, and help me to let go of my timeline and expectations.

The longer I walk this path of faith the more I see my greatest challenge is to let go (even thought Abba keeps sending me this message over and over again!) and trust Him—for everything. Everything that He is making beautiful for its time.

Thank You, Abba, thank You for making all things beautiful for its time. Including me. I love You.

In this journey with you, my friends,
Dineen


The Miracles of Walmart Prayer Day

Hello SUM Nation: 

I hope you watched the video from our Walmart Prayer Day, if not click here and get ready to smile. 

My friends, the Lord surely showed up and heaven opened over that store. Let me share some of the details that touched my heart. 

Imported Photos 00155There were 10 Team members including the Teen-Brigade, as they have become known, who were the sign holders and photographer. Thank you: Heidi Holmes, my sweet sister Sumite, who drove from Nevada to participate. And Jodie, Bob, Sue, Lindsay, Lynn, Felicia and grandbaby Elise. Gina, Caitie Erich and Karamia. 

Ten people from different churches and streams of faith. NOW THAT is unity in the Body of Christ. 

John 17:20-23

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

I watched scripture come to life!!! 

But you know what is even cooler than that?? 

The gifts came from all of you. Believers from all ages, societies, different faith streams and nationalities….. This event was the most beautiful examples of the unified Body of Christ in action THAT I HAVE EVER WITNESSED! 

Our Papa, Lord is so well pleased with the people of the SUM Nation. 

I prayed for at least 10 people myself. Four people asked for prayer for back pain. Several for healing from cancer. 

One man in particular emerged from the store. I held out my hand with a gift card for him. I said, “I have a gift card for you. And could you use prayer?” 

He looked me in the face with eyes very serious and said, “I don’t want your card. I want prayer.” I still tear up just thinking about this man so desperate for prayer. His name was Marsh. I prayed for his back pain and surgery. My friends, today please pray that Marsh is so touched by God that surgery isn’t necessary. Let’s pray for his miracle. 

Heidi told me that a woman came back to her and told her how she spent the gift card. The woman said to Heidi, “I bought pajamas for my sister. Her husband just left her and the kids.” 

I was astounded by the number of men in their 30’s and 40’s who wanted prayer and who were prayed for. It became clear to me that men often want prayer but they don’t ask for it. I’m grieved in my heart for the men of this world who carry great burdens and don’t have people in their lives to pray with them. (Our unbelieving spouses also come to mind). 

We had a few hilarious moments. I prayed for a woman’s hands. She crochets often. Her name was Rosie Posey.. She was a fire cracker and a hoot. Sue and Lindsey contended with a cantankerous lil’ ole’ lady but in the end, this woman who didn’t want a hug embraced Sue. LOVE WINS!!! 

One story came to me hours after the event. I received a message through FB from a friend of mine. She wrote: Were you outside Walmart giving hugs and gift cards? I saw a post on a Temecula group of someone who received one. She loved the gift card, but the comment that got my attention was when she said she hadn't had a hug in 7 months

As we were leaving that morning, a man who was leaving the store said, “Thank you so much. Thank you so very much. It was a really great thing that you did today.” And right after that a man in the parking lot shouts over to me, “I will pay this forward.” I smiled and nodded. He said louder and with conviction, “I will pay this forward.” 

I smiled broader and said, “Thank you.” (He wanted to make sure I knew he meant it (smile)). 

Oh my friends, our world needs love. Our world needs Jesus. Last Thursday many people experienced that love. I’m still astounded at how many people wanted prayer. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I KNOW ALL OF YOU stood in love, with prayers and in agreement with us on Thursday. Your prayers were powerful. That is why the morning went so smoothly. 

I know there will be more that comes from this day and I will surely keep you up to date as we continue to receive feedback. 

I love you my dear and eternal sisters and brothers here at SUM. I gave your love away to strangers and they were touched. 

Here are some more photos. Have a great week. 

If you want more information on how to organize a Walmart Prayer Day in your home town, leave me a note in the comments.

Lynn and man praying

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Rosie Posie
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Lindsay E.
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Jodie T.

 

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Sue L.

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Transforming the Mind: Thanking and Praising

ThemindMy friends, I’m amazed this series is continuing (I changed the main title to Transforming the Mind, because that is truly what it’s about, Romans 12:2!) So far we’ve covered Feasting on God’s Word, Claiming and Praying God’s Promises, Giving the Holy Spirit Authority, and last week, Pleading the Blood of Jesus.

When I started this series I suspected thankfulness and praise would be part of it, but up until a couple days ago I wasn't sure if this series had more. I kept asking Abba for what was next. Part of the answer arrived on Saturday, during of all places, a yard sale my family and I were doing to clean out some extra stuff in the form of a humble, older man.

Let me tell you a story about a man named Frank.

He stood by my the boxes of Christian fiction and nonfiction that I'd decided it was time to part with and the conversation began about his own writing and his wife's love of Christian fiction. Soon I would learn more about Frank that would stir my faith and hunger for more of God.

He shared a story of hearing God's voice tell him to go to a neighbor's house—a neighbor he barely knew. In obedience he went and found out a year of unemployment would leave the couple destitute if they didn't get work. Moved by Frank's belief in God's Word, they prayed with him and in less than a month, both were employed.

Frank then told us of how God placed him in such a time and place to pray for another unbeliever for terminal cancer, who is now cancer free. And yet another story of a woman desperate for work and ready to settle for part time, who after praying with Frank wound up with a full time job.

My daughter Leslie, who has been searching for a job for over a year, stood nearby with a big smile on her face. I could tell she was as touched as I was.

Then the words just blurted out, "Leslie, I think Frank should pray with you for a job. What do you think?"

It was a bold move for me to make. Though I know my daughter believes in God, knows Jesus as her Savior and has witnessed miracles in her own life, she is reticent to do things like this, to allow others to pray with her.

But I had nothing to lose and neither did she. I expected the usual look of discomfort and shake of the head, but what I witnesses surprised me.

She did a little hop forward and said, "Yes, please!"

There we stood, the three of us (which Frank was quick to point out the strength of two or more praying), hands joined and heads bowed. All while my husband mowed the yard with a rotary mower (no engine, no noise) just a few feet away! (He did later make a comment about introducing Frank to a book about coincidences, but I still believe the spiritual realm touched him.)

Astounding, truly. But I will tell you what stuck with me most. After we prayed, Frank looked at Leslie and told her not to ask for a job again. It was done. He referred to the Word again, saying that it was finished on the cross. He instructed her to give God thanks every day for her job.

My friends, I believe that job is already in place and that God will reveal it very soon. I can't wait to see what it is! And I'm inspired to make this a new pattern of thought and action by this event and God's Word:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. — Phil. 4:6-7

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. — Phil. 4:19

And my story continues. What happened Saturday kept me thinking all evening and Sunday morning. I went to church and little did I know that my pastor would drop another piece of this truth into place through the story of Job.

In our most trying and challenging times, our natural inclination is to ask for relief, deliverance, for the pain the go away. I know I do, and did, especially in the beginning of this journey God has had me on as He has done spiritual surgery on my heart, mind, soul and spirit. But the surgeon must make an incision and blood must flow in order for healing and restoration to come.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. — 1 Thess. 5:16-18

I know what you're thinking. How do we do this? When the darkness is thick enough to touch and our strength is gone, thankfulness is the last thing we want to practice. Let me point out that this piece of Scripture tells us to be thankful in all circumstances, not for the circumstances. Yes, there are times when we can be but others...perhaps God isn't asking for that. Perhaps He is asking that we be thankful for His presence, purposes and plans in the midst of it, even when the evidence isn't there yet or we just can't see it.

And this is the truth from Job that somehow hit me in a whole new way in this season that I am in. In those times when we think God isn't hearing or answering us, He is.

And His answer is Himself.

This goes beyond the truth that Jesus is the answer. This is literal and rooted deeply in the Father's love for us. Greater than the solution we have asked, begged and pleaded for, Abba literally gives us Himself. His presence, His comfort, His reassurance.

Perhaps the clouds of doubt, worry, fear and anxiety are hiding Him. This is where knowing God is good, knowing Who He is and believing Him, and trusting Him and His promises becomes so crucial to our faith journey. For this is the Light in us that parts those clouds to reveal the Son, Jesus who is in us and Who has been all along.

He is always there, closer than we realize, especially when He feels the furthest away. My friends, this is our truth and reality. Anything else is a lie that needs to go and be replaced with this truth. And it's one of the most transformative truths that changes not only our minds, but our hearts, feelings, emotions and reactions that I know of.

It's a daily choice, filled with the strength and love of Jesus, and it's ours to make. My love and prayers are always with you, my friends! Dineen


Is God Good?

My Friends, 

I don’t even know where to start. So much has happened in the last seven days that I feel like every morning I wake, God has another “Holy Mind-Blow” in store for this ordinary, 5’4”, blonde girl. 

Do you remember back several months ago that I promised breakthrough. Well, boy howdy, I’ve had one. Probably SEVERAL. And likely the biggest thing that has yet to happen to me in the Kingdom is still coming. Woo Hoo!! I will be sharing this new adventure with you, step by step, as I move forward. 

But today, I have a word for all of you who worry about your kids. 

I worry about my kids. I pray, A LOT, for my kids. Today’s story has been more than a decade in the making. 

I’ve written before about my years of praying for my son who lived in Las Vegas. Since 1999 I’ve prayed years and years for God to move him to California that I may lavish God’s love upon him and help him to grow in his faith. And in February he, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter moved here. They have lived with us since then. Well as they have stayed with us, God has revealed the areas in their lives that He is desperate to bring healing. What an astonishing answer to my mama’s prayers. But God’s not done. 

I also have been praying like a mad woman for them to find new jobs with a livable wage, jobs that they will love and have opportunity for growth. 

Now to set the scene, my son had an interview for an awesome job several weeks ago. For more than a week following that interview, I prayed with every fiber of my being, soul, heart and mind for my son to be the candidate that the company wanted. I prayed, scriptures, I prayed in faith. I prayed with conviction, belief and prayed for hours. 

My son didn’t get the job. 

I was saddened, of course, and my son was affected. However, for me, I was baffled and I will admit confused and disappointed with God. “Why, God, didn’t he get this job? Please grant me understanding as I prayed in alignment with your word and as Jesus taught.” 

Well this week the kindness of the Lord and in His tenderness, He explained the reason. 

This week I will be attending a conference in San Diego. And while out walking, God said to me, “Ask your son to go with you.” 

“But God, the likelihood he would say yes and attend is ridiculous. He would never go to a conference like this with his mother. And Lord, what about child-care. Someone needs to watch the little one. And then Lord, on top of that, my son’s wife needs to be on board with all of this because she is affected and will also need to watch the baby when she gets home from work.” 

The list of reasons why this was impossible surged in my head. But I prayed and said, “God I will ask and I trusting you to make all of the details fall into line.” 

I came home from my walk-n-pray. Sat down in the playroom with my son and with my granddaughter on my lap, I simply asked him to go to this conference with me. 

“Sure, Mom, I would like to go.” 

SAY WHAT??????? SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!! 

Every detail fell into line and this Wednesday my son, Brad and I are off to a conference that God has promised will be the beginning of his healing.

As I sat in my office later that morning, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Lynn, this is the reason your son didn’t get that job. He would have been working and unable to attend this conference.” 

God is SO MUCH MORE interested in this young man’s heart, his soul, his healing and the rest of his life. 

I cried. 

Tears of love and thankfulness. 

God has good gifts for His kids. Many, many good gifts. And God is so much more concerned for our heart, our soul our emotional health and our healing than any old job. God has a million of jobs and when the time is right, my son will receive the perfect job. 

I know this because I know the tender love and faithfulness of our Lord. 

What have you been praying for that wasn’t answered how you wanted or expected. Ask the Lord to help you have understanding. Then wait. It may take a while to get the answer to you but I absolutely believe God wants us to understand He is good. He has good for His children and He wants us to have wisdom and understanding. 

Okay, gang, Brad and I are off on Wednesday. I’m expecting miracles, healing and more. Pray for this boy. I will keep you posted. 

I love you. 

And I promise, I still have so much more about Joshua and the Walls, so keep walking with me. The journey is exciting and breakthrough is ahead for all of us. I love you. I really love you, Lynn

Ephesians 1 17
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Kingdom Miracle - Fantastic Update

Grace with Cross


On this late Easter Sunday afternoon I find it absolutely the perfect time to update you about one of our community miracles. 

Many of you who are new to our community have yet to participate in one of our miracle adventures. But you can read about our past miracles on our Kingdom Miracle page. (Link is in the navigation bar at the top) 

But for many of you who have been family here for a few years you will remember our Kingdom miracle for Gina. 

You can read Gina's story by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. 

So many, many of you prayed for this girl who was 17 years old and facing life-threatening melanoma cancer. You mailed letters, cards and sent emails by the hundreds. Makes me all teary-eyed again to just think how our community went to the Father in prayers of healing for Gina. 

Gina was and still is my teenage daughter, Caitie's best friend. The girls finished out their senior year as Gina went through several treatments for the ocular cancer cells. The cancer did not go away. There were many dark days when she faced this disease alone. 

Gina told me about a year ago that when she was feeling low, sad and despondent about her prognosis and the fact that she could be facing her death in five years she would pull out the letters we sent to her and read them over and again. She said, "They always made me cry but they also brought me comfort." 

My friends, MY FRIENDS, I spoke with our Gina on Thursday. 

Our miracle happened! Praise Jesus. She is in full remission with zero detectable cancer cells in her body. 

Can I get a WOO HOO!!  Hallelujah and thank you Jesus. 

We serve a God who loves. Who heals and who answers prayer. 

Thank you my family for surrounding this young girl. You demonstrative love helped to get her through the dark months. I love you so much. I love Jesus. 

And on this day where we celebrate the risen King, I fall to my knees and weep with joy. 

Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 

 

Amen. Please thank our Lord for this miracle. And I wait for God to reveal the next Kingdom miracle that He has for us. Love you so much, Lynn

Gina's request now is to pray that she remain cancer free for the rest of her life. 

I posted a few of the prayers that were sent in down in the comments.. They will fill your heart.


It's Community Miracle Time

Good Monday Morning Sumites,  (This is a Community Miracle of the #SUMite Nation)

I have been praying to have the heart of God for a few months now. And as we move into the month of December, I feel God asking this community to LIVE THE GOSPEL. 

How do we do that? How do we impact people around us with the Gospel? 

The answer: WE LOVE

How do we love? 

Answer: GENEROUSLY

The video below is Todd White sharing his love with strangers. If you have ever watched the movie, Father of Lights, Todd appears in the last scene and it's a Holy Mind Blow.

This video is roughly 15 minutes long but it will inspire you to lavish love and give it generously. Take the time to listen and be inspired. 

 

You may say to yourself, I'm unable to be generous like Todd. How can I give like that? Well, my friends, give what you can. Be outrageously generous with what you have.

I have an experiment to offer you this December. See this photo?

Random Act of Kindness

Well, how about if each of us put a $1 or $5 or even $10 in a plastic ziplock bag. Include a blank sticky note and put at least 3-5 of these prepared bags in your purse or wallet. And then ask God to bring about an opportunity to share. Then leave a note taped somewhere, hand someone the ziplock with the money, or buy someone a coffee, pay for their groceries.

I did this once. I saw a women who I knew from church. Her and her husband were both unemployed. She was in the checkout lane at Walmart with her mother. They were counting change and looking for more money in their purses. I walked up, swiped my card in front of their astonished faces. They cried, I cried, the Walmart employee stood speechless as she watched.

or just ...... Allow God to direct you. I will make a bold promise. God will reward you and this Christmas will be the Best Christmas you have ever had.

I'm headed to Virginia on Wednesday. I'm loading my purse with prepared ziplocks and I plan to be generous. Sometimes anonymously but I'm hoping to love on someone in person to share "the Gospel" of love and generosity with strangers. 

God is a generous God. He lavishes his love and provision upon His children. The more we give the more He will give us..... And the more we give. The more He gives. What a fun and cool plan. I LOVE God's ways!!

Let's meet up here again in few weeks and share photos, experiences. But let's share how we loved God' and His people by our generosity. Email me your stories and photos of where you left bags. 

Please email me.

Are you up for this? Because those who dare to participate in this love experience will be the ones God blesses generously.

Here is my sticky note. I hope people will visit our #SUMiteNation on Facebook and Twitter to find out what it's all about. 

IMG_1333[1]

I love you. God is generous and wants you to experience the joy and miracles that happen when we love others with His generous and outrageous love. And people are so open to the love of God during this time of year. Hugs, Lynn


Thankful to be Thankful

ThanksgivingGraphicMy friends, I know we get a lot of stuff this time of year about thankfulness, but I have to share a story with you. I hadn’t even planned to post this week with the holiday, but this seemed the perfect time to share it.

The last week or so has been tough. In all honesty, I’ve been struggling with feeling down and melancholy. I couldn’t figure out why and the more I prayed about it, the worse it seemed to get.

Then late Sunday I read the devotional in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young for that day (Nov. 24th) and the pieces started to fit together. Here’s a snippet from that day, though I highly recommend you read the entire passage as well as the entries from the day before and the days after as they carry a theme of thankfulness. And if you don’t have this book, I highly recommend it.

“There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). . . Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts.”

As I read it again Monday morning I realized I hadn’t been thankful much at all lately. I can’t even tell you how and when it happened, but there I say with a thankless heart and no joy. My focus had shifted somewhere to seeing only the challenges of late and a melancholy had settled in.

I wanted my joy back. Had been praying for it for days. Like Paul, I thought I’d learned to be content in my circumstances. Obviously not. Plus a good friend gave me some great words of wisdom on how the enemy comes in to distract us from what we’re doing, but not in the way we’d expect. He’ll hit a completely different area just to pull our attention away from what we’re doing to please and serve God.

Sometimes Abba answers us in pretty clear ways. Other times I think He likes to see if we can come to an understanding with a few nudges and connect the dots ourselves. Makes the “lesson” more memorable that way, I think.

Well, the pieces had come together and I had found my solution. I spent that morning thanking Abba, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for everything I could think of, mostly for Him. It took some effort at first (had to ignore the feelings), but as I continued, my joy began to flow back and grow! And I felt reconnected and closer to Jesus once again.

This was a big lesson for me, dear friends. In light of what we endured through my daughter’s cancer, I thought of myself as a thankful person, even took some pride in it, and that is where I let the enemy in—I was confident in myself, not Abba (2 Corinthians 3:4-5

Pride always gives the enemy an entrance. But thankfulness is one of the quickest ways to shut those doors. If I feel my joy ebbing away again, you better believe I’m going to check my thankfulness meter first.

I want to give you one more snippet from Jesus Calling to bring this point home:

“To protect your thankfulness, you must remember that you reside in a fallen world, where blessings and sorrows intermingle freely. A constant focus on adversity defeats many Christians. They walk through a day that is brimming with beauty and brightness, seeing only the grayness of their thoughts. Neglecting the practice of giving thanks has darkened their minds. How precious are My children who remember to thank Me at all times. They can walk through the darkest days with Joy in their hearts because they know that the Light of My Presence is still shining on them.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Happy Thanksgiving, my precious friends!
Dineensig

 

 


Psalm 100 - Happy Thanksgiving

Hello My Friends,

Well, I'm bummed. Dineen and I had recorded a Thanksgiving video earlier in the month for today. However, the sound didn't come through. Anyhoo, we want to say, "Happy Thanksgiving."

Since the video was a fail, let's turn that around and let our praises open the gates of heaven over our homes for this week. 

We as believers have such a great opportunity to bring our love for God to the table on Thursday. Start praying now that God will open the door to allow you to pray over dinner, to share sweet moments of love with your family and to allow you some quite time with Jesus early on Thanksgiving morning. I've found early Thanksgiving Day, sitting with my coffee and Bible before a fire, writing my blessings into my prayer journal, make for a very special time and set the atmosphere for the rest of the day.

And let's bring honor to our Lord and change the atmosphere here today. Let's write two or three things you are thankful for this year in the comments. Let's celebrate the faithfulness of God in our lives. Hugs, Lynn

Dineen and Lynn would like to take a minute to thank the SUMites who have given a financial donation to our ministry this past year.Every dollar donated is us is strickly for ministry. Web hosting, design, maintenance runs in the thousands of dollars every year. In addition, donations cover free resources that we use when we speak at retreats and a host of other stuff. So thank you:

Vera, Jody, Christine, Pam, Elizabeth, Alaina, Cynthia, Teresa. 

We would also like to thank all of you who donated to Rosheeda's flowers. And finally, thank you to the many of you who are part of our ministry team this year:

Teresa, Lynette, Sue, Adrianna, Joanne, Martha Rosheeda (posthumously)

Mostly, thank you to each of you who has prayed for a SUMite. Who has left a word in the comments to encourage, others or Dineen and me. Thank you for your love for your spouse, your children and our Lord, His son Jesus and the Spirit.

We love you and truly give thanks that we are traveling this road toward heaven with you. Hugs, Lynn

Turkey Eat Pizza 2

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.


Tablecloth Of Thanks 2013

I started a Thanksgiving family tradition a few years ago quite by accident. This tradition has become my absolute favorite. I'm sharing it today, as I do every year, so that our new readers can begin this tradition in their home. This is also a Family Faith Tradition I share in our new book, Not Alone.

Enjoy.....A Tablecloth of Thanks

It’s never too late to start a new tradition in your home, especially one which brings honor to the Lord. I have a story to share and a photo. I also want to give you a chance to share some of your holiday traditions or giggles.

Join in today and share a Thanksgiving holiday tradition from your home or share a funny holiday hiccup.

I will share with you that like many newly married young women, I didn’t realize the turkey was stuffed with bagged giblets. Yep, I cook the turkey with the plastic bag and the giblets still inside. We ate it anyway.

Also, three years ago, I set the oven on fire when I moved the giant bird around. I freaked out. My husband came running. The house was crazy, people were yelling, crying and freaking… Perhaps it was only me doing the yelling, crying and freaking. My calm man put the flames out and to this day, I don’t know how he did it because we didn’t own a fire extinguisher.

The next morning I rose before dawn and went shopping at The Home Depot. NO NOT FOR CHRISTMAS… For a fire extinguisher. And now, every year BEFORE I bake the turkey, I check to make sure the extinguisher is charged and ready.

Sheesh!

Today, I'm sharing one of my most favorite family traditions. Here is a post I wrote five years ago for the Internet Cafe. Hope you start a family tradition this year. It's NEVER too late to have a Tablecloth of Thanks.

Tablecloth of Thanks 

Many of you know that I am married to an unbeliever. This past May we celebrated 15 years of marriage. Our unequally yoked marriage has had its challenges to say the least. Over the years, however, our ingenious God has maneuvered us through many touchy issues. 

Our disparity becomes more apparent during the holidays. Giving thanks to our Lord in November is a treasured time for me. I name my blessings one-by-one in prayer, thanking God for His lavish abundance poured into our lives. 

Like most wives living in an unequally yoked marriage, I long for my spouse to understand there is a God. To know He is intricately involved in our lives and everything we have is provision of our creator. I have also learned that forcing God upon my husband is a surefire way to push him away. I am careful to respect my husband and simply trust Jesus to reach him in his perfect timing. 

In spite of my husband’s unbelief, I discovered a unique way to draw him into the celebration of thanks, besides through his stomach. He loves turkey. 

Four years ago, I threw a new, pristine-white tablecloth across our dinning room table two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I purchased several colored pens and placed them on top. A new tradition was born, a Tablecloth of Thanks. It began with my daughter. I told her, “I WANT you to write on this tablecloth.” She looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, wondering if her mother had lost her mind. 

“Really,” my smiled reassured. “Write down what you are most thankful for this year. Then write the year, 2004, near your name.” 

She grinned and began to write using several different colors. I joined in and wrote my thanks directly on the beautiful tablecloth. 

Later that evening my husband noticed the scribbles on the tablecloth. I watched as he walked over to read our words. I walked to his side and took his hand. I subtly asked him if he would also write down his thanks. He smiled and said maybe later. 

Finally on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, my husband picked up a pen and wrote; I am thankful for my wonderful family, great friends, and a very happy life. 

Wow! Was he giving thanks to our Lord? I am not sure. However, every year since he has continued to write a thankful list. Last year’s entry reads; I am thankful for all of my blessings…family, friends, and the dogs. 

Imported Photos 00001What? Did he use the word blessings? Small steps such as these lead to the Savior. I can’t wait to read his thankful list this year. 

The Thankful Tablecloth is one of my most prized possessions. Everyone who visits our home during the Thanksgiving holiday contributes to this permanent memorial of thanks. It is a visible praise to the King displayed in our unequally yoked home each November. 

One of my favorite thanks is this: 

2006
I am thankful
to be able to sit
on the couch and have
my people pet me.
Peanut 

Hmmmm, I wonder how the dog grew fingers and learned to write???? 

Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

 

Lord God, I will name my blessings one-by-one….. Jesus… eternal life…. clean water to drink…..capacity to love…..empowerment to forgive….. just for a start….. 

It is never too late to start a new tradition. If you want to start your Tablecloth of Thanks, I have a few helpful hints.

  1. Place a sheet of butcher paper under your tablecloth. (I have a permanent smiley face on my dinning room table from the year 2005)
  2. Use colorfast fabric pens.
  3. Store your tablecloth in an airtight Ziploc bag. 

Thank you my friends for sharing this Holiday treasure with me. I wish you were with me today and could share your thankful heart on the Tablecloth of Thanks.

(My friends, if you could, share this post on Facebook and Twitter. It's truly a wonderful tradition and I want so much for families to have an opportunity to share faith in this way. Thanks, Lynn  - click on the buttons below to share. Hugs)


A Day of Remembering

Hi Everyone,

Lynn here. Still a bit under the weather so today's post is short and sweet. Before I get to that I want to give you a head's up that in my heart there is a series brewing, Open Heavens. I want to talk about what this term means and how an open heaven changes everything in our homes, our hearts, marriages and lives. 

It's going to be cool.

But for today, I think we must take moments to remember. 

StoneConsistently throughout the Old Testament, God directs people to set up memorial stones. I think of the crossing of the Jordan toward Jericho. Does anyone have that scripture handy and can post it in the comments?

We must take active measures to remember and focus on God's Presence inour lives because the devil is continually bringing before us our irritations, our anger, dissapointments and failures.

ENOUGH!

We take every thought captive to Christ and live in victory.

So today I want to do two things. I want to hear about your top three moments where you KNOW God showed up in your life. Let's take a minute to remember the good things and how God was Present, active and changed our circumstances. (list them in the comments)

I also want to remember praises for our husbands. When we live spiritually mismatched, again, we tend to focus on everything that is wrong in our spouse. Today, share three things that you admire and are thankful for about your spouse. (list them in the comments)

I hope to be back on top of the world on Friday and we are going to ...... OPEN THE HEAVENS. Love and hugs, Lynn


Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part Two

NehemiahWall2My friends, thank you for taking this journey with me through the book of Nehemiah and praying through these valuable Scriptures that God wants us to see and understand. I wish I could completely explain what I sense from God's heart for us, the SUMites. The way this community has grown and come together is no accident. God has been intentionally moving here to bring us forward in His plan for the Great Harvest.

I want to clarify about the walls in this series, because a couple people have asked for clarification and that's important. I so appreciate their willingness to ask as it helps me see if I've not explained something as well as I'd hoped. There so much going on and around us, I can barely keep up let alone get it down to words!

In the book of Nehemiah, the walls were for protection, to bring unity and restore the purpose and place of the Israelites as God's people. The walls were to establish boundaries and for protection. Good walls! God wants us to be ready and strong, my friends. Lynn and I have both written in recent weeks how we have sense that God is going to use us in crucial ways to bring many to Christ. As the SUMites we have a unique skill set and God is going to use it, but we have to be ready first. We have to repair, rebuild and "shore up" those broken and weak places in our faith, our beliefs and our marriages.

I kind of think of it as something like this. The enemy has hit us hard, especially recently. There are cracks and breaks in our faith walls and our armor. We can't just toss a prayer here and there and hope it fills the gaps as if we were just tossing handfuls of cement at a broken wall, hoping they would land where they needed to and create a new structure. God wants us to be intentional as we stand strong and firm, and rebuild and repair. Then we are strong in Him and protected as He calls us to where He wants us to serve. It's hard to serve Him confidently when we are vulnerable to the enemies attacks, and one way I have found that enemy works is to bring such chaos into our lives that we even our prayer lives begin to feel chaotic and ineffective. THAT is what we are re-establishing! 

So let's continue shoring up our walls, SUMites! If you haven't read part one yet, scroll down and then come back and read part two. 

then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows. — Nehemiah 4:13
When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Nehemiah 4:15-16
Lord, thank you for frustrating the plans of the enemy. Show us the exposed places in our marriages, in our lives and in our hearts. Holy Spirit, help us don our armor—belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sword of the spirit, helmet of salvation, and establish our feet in the Truth. Lord, we will stand firm in You. Restore and establish the territory of our marriages and family. And we boldly ask for the new territories you have waiting for us.
At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” — Nehemiah 4:20
For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “ They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. — Nehemiah 6:9
Abba, thank You that the enemy's attempts to make us fearful and discouraged will fail. Strengthen our hands, our hearts and our spirits for the work to be done. Thank You for fighting for us! We claim every victory now and praise You for each and every one.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10
Great joy, great strength! Pour out Your Spirit over us for this is the time of the Lord's victory. King Jesus, You are our joy! Such powerful and amazing joy! All praise and glory go to You!
The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. — Nehemiah 8:17
Abba, we declare and claim our time of rejoicing, because You are good and faithful. All that You have promised and said You will do, we believe, Lord, we believe! Your are good, faithful and true to all Your promises.
While they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. — Nehemiah 9:3
Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! — Nehemiah 9:5
Your name be praised, Lord! Forever and ever. For You are holy and glorious and worthy of all our praise and blessings. We bless You, Lord! This is our great honor and blessing—to love and worship You!
“You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst, And You told them to enter in order to possess The land which You swore to give them." — Nehemiah 9:15
Lord, You are faithful and You keep Your promises. Thank You for Your provision for us, thank You for taking care of us. You see our needs, every one of them. You are righteous and so faithful. We are overwhelmed by Your passion for us! Overwhelming passion, a holy and righteous anger for us, Your children. We are not forgotten! You see us, everyone of us! We step forward in trust and faith into the places You have promised us. Abba, continue to grow a hunger in us for You. Help us to understand where You are asking us to go and help us to be faithful and obedient.

My friends, I hope you are seeing the promises here. Yes, we are in a battle but God is fighting for us! He is giving us such joy for strength. He intends for us to rejoice in our victory because He has ordained that we will succeed wherever He is calling us. And we will be fully equipped as we intentionally do our part to pray and stand firm.

I will stop here and finish this on Monday (be sure to come back tomorrow for weekend worship though!). Oh my friends, God’s mercies are new each morning and His promises are forever and for us!

Lord, we claim every promise You are giving us! Thank you for your great faithfulness. We love you!

I love you all so much, my dear friends! So very, very much! And I am praying and rooting for you! Let's share our prayers and hearts in the comments.
Dineen


Testimony Time!

IMG_2200My dear friends, I have something absolutely astounding to share with you today. I have shared in the past about my financial situation being very difficult. We are still walking in this and it has required deeper trust for me to believe God will take care of us. Every purchase, even those extra not-so-necessary food items, is falling under the same scrutiny right now—do we really need this?

One of my major areas is a medication I have to take daily. It’s expensive. Each time my refill has come up I’ve prayed for God to help us find a way to pay for it. So far it’s been okay but still tight. We have muddled through.

Except for this time. Again, I found myself praying Wednesday night for God to provide the $80 I needed to pay for this month’s supply (thankfully health insurance has kicked in and brought down from over $600). And I prayed again the next morning during my walk (prayed for a fresh outpour of the Holy Spirit over our SUMite community too so look out!).

As I got to my house I remembered I hadn’t gotten the mail the day before. I brought it in and began going through its meager, junk mail offerings and found what I thought was a bill from our car insurance company. If you guessed it wasn’t a bill, you’re right. It was a refund.

For $80.11.

I was so overcome I broke into tears, praising and thanking God. I just had to tell Lynn (she’s been a mighty prayer warrior by my side in this) and was overcome with tears again and couldn’t speak! I scared the poor woman! LOL!

My precious SUMites, today I want you to share your testimonies of how God has supplied a need for you in such a way that you have no doubt it was Him. These testimonies are powerful and so uplifting. They strengthen our faith too. So share away and let’s give God glory today!

And thank you for all the prayers you have prayed on my behalf. Love you all so dearly, my friends!
Dineen
(P.S. I stepped out in faith and shared this with my husband too. Go, God, Go!)


Donovan Update

Good Monday Morning My Sumites!!

I arrived home this weekend after a few days of fishing in the California mountains. Yep, my daughter and I went fishing. We had a great time minus an almost visit to the ER when my daughter was ill. I prayed for her and so did many of you who are on our 1P3 loop. Thank you. God showed up. She felt better almost immediately... All was right with the world.

Below find photos from our adventure. I offer you a glimpse into an ordinary woman's life. An ordinary gal who is in love with an extraordinary God. Being in the mountains was like looking into the face of God at every turn. I glimpsed unmatched beauty in His creation. I inhaled deeply the gentle aroma of dawn (like the aroma of heaven) as I sat on a rock and read my Bible every morning. It was beautiful, peaceful and restful.

Now I'm home and I'm fired up wanting to stir up the Holy Spirit among our community, our homes and our world. So get ready because on Friday I'm going to talk about something deeply sensitive and we need to work through this particular issue together.

The following photos were from the Kern River and from the Sequoia Nation Forrest where we visited the 100 redwood giants. These trees are approximately 1500 years old and were simply astonishing. Thank you for allowing me time away. Thank you for loving me. Hugs, Lynn

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Such Beauty. This photo is my screen saver.

 

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The deer who came up behind me while I sat on a rock and read my Bible on Tuesday morning.

 

 

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Crazy Kayakers... They were a hoot!!

 


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Giant sequoias are slightly shorter than the coastal redwoods, more massive, and considered to be the largest tree in the world in terms of volume. The largest sequoia and the biggest living organism on earth is the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park, which stretches 275 feet high and 36.5 feet in diameter.

 

 

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You could throw a small party inside the trunks of some of these living trees. Astonishing!

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On Friday, September 30, 2011, two giant sequoia trees fell side by side across several portions of the Trail. The two sequoias, joined together at the base, were approximately 280 feet tall and have a combined diameter of approximately 17 feet near the root ball. Caitie and I climbed up and walked the length. (Don't tell the Forrest Service *grin*) This is Caitie on the top of one of the fallen trees. Give you perspective.
We had a blast!

 


Some other interesting sights:

 

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Yep, It's Caitie looking out from inside this living tree.

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I love finding the unexpected.

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I can't even begin to explain what this is or how it was formed in nature?????

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Dinner!!! Sorry if I grossed you out!

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Mountain Bluebells


I truly appreciate and give thanks to God that I was allowed to see His majesty and experience His Presence in such unsurpassed beauty of His creation. 

Have an amazing week. And I will see you all on our Facebook Page and here again on Friday. Hugs, Lynn