Hi friends. For today's post here’s a little video that I just did live on our Facebook page. Enjoy!
Hi friends. For today's post here’s a little video that I just did live on our Facebook page. Enjoy!
Well, unbelievably, there’s more! No sooner had I uploaded Monday's post about a second salvation than I got a message from another SUM friend (a local friend): Unbelievably, her husband had just responded to an altar call this past Sunday at church.
Three in one week.
Are you pulling the same stunned face as me, I wonder?
All I could do then is play the song ‘God is on the Move’ on repeat in my living room and do some serious (uncool, Mum-looking) dancing in celebration. My teenage son, Miles, sauntered down the stairs midway through. He looked at me, smirked, shook his head, and walked on into the kitchen to get himself some toast.
Anyway, somewhere in amongst this extreme excitement, God gave me a scripture. He said, “Go and look at the passage where Elijah prays seven times before he sees a small cloud.”
So I did; and I wondered what I would see. I suppose it’s one of those stories I’d read a few times so perhaps felt ‘old’. The thing is, scripture is so full of treasure it’s never old. I should have known better and, sure enough, I saw something brand new this time.
The story of Elijah’s cloud is in 1 Kings 18:41-46, and it goes like this: There has been a desperate drought in Israel, but then Elijah proclaims to the King that rain is coming. He says to the king, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the abundance of rain." In other words, "You don’t need to worry about stashing up food any more, I promise you the rain is coming!"
Truly, I feel this way about the spouses in our community. Impossible as it seems, we can know something is coming in the spirit before we see it in the natural. It's just ... There's perseverance first.
Elijah went to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” (1 Kings 18:42-43, NKJV)
Seven times, nothing.
Isn't that just like the prayer for our spouses? We pray. Nothing. Nothing. Oh, and nothing. Nothing? Nope, nothing. Nothing. Can’t see any sign of my spouse turning…. Years pass …. Nothing.
Shall I say that again for effect? Here we go, six 'nothings': Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Ok, I now hereby sign and seal this thing as officially impossible. That's not to say it won't happen; it's just it's an impossible thing that needs God. We all look at each other, nod our heads, agreeing and understanding that it will take a miracle the size of the red sea parting.
Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” (v. 44)
I wonder if even Elijah, let alone his companion, couldn't quite believe what he was seeing, even though he had sensed it in the spirit. After all, 'We're in a drought!'
So, with all that in mind, here's what just happened for us this past week:
One man’s hand goes up in surrender, ‘I say yes to Jesus’.
Another man’s hand goes up in surrender, ‘I say yes to Jesus’.
And a third man’s hand goes up in response to an altar call.
Oh, it's a cloud 'the size of a man’s hand' rising from the sea! A sign. A sign of more to come. We don't know how or when, but yes. More will come.
I am smiling here, and with that I’ll sign off for the weekend. Lynn will be here on Monday. In the meantime, for your pleasure here's 'God is on the Move'!
Teehee ... I bet the title made you eagerly open this one. And, you won't be disappointed with what you read next. God glorifies His name through this community. Sometimes we have to wait a little while between testimonies, but they always come.
I remember just before COVID spread through the world I wrote a post called 'Salvations in our Community -- What's Next?' We'd had a noticeable and unusual spate of spouses' conversions in a short space of time, which had pricked up my antennae. Feeling like something was ‘in the water’, I wrote the post.
Well, something was in the water, but it wasn't what we expected. I wrote that post on 1 March 2020. By 14 March, COVID was running rampage in Italy. A week later, people everywhere were saying 'What a week this year has been'; and, by the end of the month, many of us were locked down.
We've continued to watch all this unfold, but the biggest message I've heard from God this whole year is this: Prepare to win and care for souls. I continue to believe we are going to see new Christians -- born again ones -- come into the Kingdom of Heaven when this pandemic is over.
Well, blow me down, today we got a little inkling of that again, with a testimony of a spouse's conversion that was just so encouraging. It felt, to me, like the sun was coming out again.
It was yesterday morning that I heard. I stepped out of bed and thought to myself, “We had that spate of conversions before COVID. I’d love to see some more now!” Only an hour later I checked email and there it was -- This message, from one of our dear SUMites:
“After 24 years of marriage, my husband was baptized yesterday, July 4, 2021. I am over the moon! It was a gradual process that seemed to steamroll over the last two years, during a whirlwind move to another state, and aided by circumstances beyond our control … We look to God for comfort and direction and are closer than ever in our relationship to each other as well as to our Father. Praise God, and thank you, Jesus.”
I wrote back instantly, and she then told me something extra that was sweet: At the very moment her husband was dunked in the pastor’s swimming pool, fireworks went off in the background. Celebration, power, and God's goodness.
We all know what it takes to get there, and we can all relate to this one praying, perseverant wife saying she is 'over the moon!' On behalf of all of us, I say to her just how much we celebrate with her, and I thank her for sharing it with us.
On that happy note, have a lovely weekend, everyone!
My friends, Ann here.
I have a problem. Here I am writing a series on how to fight giants using the example of some fear I've been battling … But this week the fear has gone completely! So, that's inconvenient because I'm trying to write about it. Maybe the giant wasn't enjoying the fight and ran away. ((Haha!))
Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7, NIV)
It's true. As my fingers have typed words about how small giants are I’ve become increasingly fearless. To the point that I feel I've been injected with happy drugs!!
And, in that state, we've reached the part in our series where David picked up five stones to kill Goliath.
“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:40, NIV)
This passage could be seen as an analogy for spiritual warfare in a Christian’s life. It’s easy to think ‘spiritual warfare’ has to be big and dramatic, but it’s mainly fought in the secret place, the place of intimacy with God.
It can even be a restful battle, if we can get there. The stones are smooth, after all, and manageable.
I keep a pouch of five stones in my prayer room (TV room) as a symbol, I suppose. And I have an idea of what my top five regular stones (i.e., spiritual warfare tools) are. One is fasting, another is rest. Another, taking communion in my home.
But there are probably 25 'stones' (i.e., tools) available to us, not just five. And in our community others will have a different 'top five' to me because, as an army, we have different skill-sets, gifts, and experiences.
I therefore posted a question on Facebook, asking our community what their top five are. Here’s what they said, including their quotes. I personally found these wonderful to read, and I hope you do too.
The five smooth stones of the SUM community:
Worship. Private time spent in worship invites in the Lord’s presence and power; but even playing worship music in the background changes the atmosphere (2 Chronicles 20:21-22).
Praise and gratitude. Speaking out or journaling such words (Psalm 100:4)
Asking for prayer and support from trusted prayer partners/friends. Sometimes we're too embattled to pray for ourselves except to eek out 'help'. A solid two or three, or a group (e.g., church home-group) who really care about your situation is like a strong, three-fold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12). As is their emotional support.
Prayer. This is a huge topic, but it can include specific routines like praying on the armor of Ephesians 6:10-17 routinely, binding the enemy's activity and releasing glory and blessing verbally into a situation (Matthew 18:18); blessing the house, the bed, and more.
Healing prayer from a trusted source. Our battle may have at its source underlying spiritual issues (e.g., generational stuff, freemasonry in the family) that can be revealed and healed through prayer with a trained person. We're blessed to have access to that here with Lynn's healing prayer ministry.
Reading the Bible, and quoting scripture out loud, confessing God's truths and promises. Here's a great quote: "Throw a scripture stone to combat whatever battle you are currently facing. If it is healing, throw all the scriptures verses as a stone."
Surrender to the Lord, exchanging our will for His. A couple of SUMites said here, "The fruits are like no other".
Journaling. I loved this quote: "I put it all down on paper or computer the situation, including my feelings, and the Lord walks me through it. Then I can throw away everything except the lesson learned."
Time and intimacy with God. "Long walks outside with the Lord / Getting up early to be with him." "Walk n pray along with sitting on the beach and asking Jesus to be with me." This overlaps with other things.
And more, but I'm out of space:
Delight in Him
Revisiting prophetic words we have received
Distraction from triggers
Praying in tongues
SUMites, we are equipped and we're up to the task. For the stones are manageable.
Next time I write I'll continue with this series. For now: Do any of the above tools intrigue you and make you want to know more? If so, which ones?
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Today we’re embarking on our series entitled ‘Fight that Giant!’ If you missed the introduction to this series you can catch up here.
I’m rubbing my hands together at the thought of writing these upcoming posts, for 'giants' -- That is, spiritually difficult things in our lives -- are nasty critters. As we learn to fight, though, we become strong. Then we can give away some of that strength to others. Wonderful!
Last week, I said we’d start by considering the giant that we fight. Well, God hit the override button on that one. Straight after I wrote that post, He told me “No, start with Me.”
Lord, You are our Giant who fights for us. And we have a picture of Jesus as a giant Himself, a picture that can help us:
“And in the midst of seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
His feet were fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
Revelation 1:13-20 (NKJV).
Last Friday, when God told me to start this series with Him, I had a rather crazy experience. I'm not even sure what you'll think of this (you may deem me nuts!) but it seems to be relevant, so hey, I'll be brave:
While feeling unwell, I’ve been having hot baths during the day to feel better; there's not much nicer than soaking in a lovely bubble bath. Anyway, last Friday after such a bath I stepped onto the plain, brown, flat bathmat and happened to look down at my feet. There was a bright golden sparkle!
I squinted and bent down. There was another. Oh, and another! In fact, there were sparkles across the whole fabric. On closer inspection they looked like little balls, but with chiseled sides like gems. When I tried to pick a couple out with my fingers they disappeared. "What is this?" I then wondered, but I really couldn't tell so eventually stood up, thinking “It must be part of the fabric and I just never noticed before.”
I forgot about it then, but the next day it suddenly occurred to me to get up and look at the bath mat. Well, blow me down, there was not a single sparkle on it! This started to make my heart pound … So I grabbed the mat and took it from room to room, looking at it under different lights, and rummaging among the fabric to see if I could find just one little gold ball.
Not one gold ball was to be found. The mat was brown as anything and decidedly unsparkley. Yet, the day before I saw enough of these balls to deem them ‘part of the fabric’ and to try to pick them out with my hands.
Could there be a rational explanation? The bathmat hadn't been washed ... I concluded that I know God is real, and so, why wouldn't it be God? In any case, the message is that His Heavenly realm is in my life, in every step I take, and in those very times I need soothing.
If we consider the Kingdom of Heaven, then, in the very place where we are most embattled those sparkles speak this message:
As servants of Jesus the Glory of Heaven is all around us,
and He is with us in every step we take.
That is our Almighty. And with that settled, now we can discuss on Monday the matter of measly giants!
For now, what's your favorite time that God showed his strength in your life when you particularly needed comfort? I would love to hear some stories in the comments.
Nice chatting, friends, and see you again on Monday,
It’s Ann here and, with a smile on my face, I’m introducing a new series which we'll start next Friday: FIGHTING THAT GIANT!
In other words, spiritual warfare. We can always do with a fresh look on how to walk victoriously. And I know that many of us are in situations right now that fit the descriptor ‘Mind-blowingly tough’.
Here on this blog, I feel God often asks us writers to just share our lives. He takes us through things so that we can do that. Often it’s good stuff – Like Tiffany’s house purchase (yay!) Sometimes it’s crappy stuff. But pain brings story and testimony.
Well, my friends, I’ve got a situation currently that’s crappy, so here we go. I’ve mulled over whether to even share it because I don’t want to put particular attention on anything the enemy is doing. But I’ve decided that it is valuable to share, because it means we can have a good chat about how we fight tough things, with God by our side.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
So, let's roll up our sleeves and here's the situation:
When I stepped into fronting this ministry last year, I began to get unwell. That timing suggests it's the enemy, and I have had a couple of other clues that it is. I was prepared for it, knowing these things happen. In fact, I think a lot of Christians are going through some especially tough warfare at this time. If we are on the frontlines of salvation, as we are in this community with all our spouses, the enemy is going to have a go. His efforts won't be successful if we understand the fight and stay holding God's hand, but we do have battles.
Anyway, at first the illness was sporadic. Then it became more frequent. It turned into weeks in a row of lying on my couch. The main symptom is fatigue, and doctors are so far flummoxed. I have enough capacity to sit up with my laptop, hop on here, and look after my teenagers. So it’s not all bad. But still tough.
A health challenge is a new battle for me. It’s not something I’ve faced before, and it comes with an array of specific challenges, most of them being mental. But what God seems to be saying to me is this:
“Ann, you learned to fight the good fight of faith in your spiritually mismatched marriage. Now take those same tools and apply them to this new battle.”
In this series, then, I’m going to write about spiritual battles and tools. When we are facing a scary giant, like little David against whopping Goliath, what are our tools?
Many of us have been reading this blog for years and have read many posts on spiritual warfare. Still, when we find ourselves in new fights we have to start again and figure out how to fight this new thing. With that in mind, I'm going to share practically what I’m doing on my couch as I work through a new battle. Yes, it's couch-based spiritual warfare in action!
The story of David and Goliath is a great analogy for this, and specifically I'm going to consider David’s ‘five smooth stones’ in relation to our own tools. What are the five smooth stones that we can use?
"Then he (David) took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine." 1 Samuel 17:40 (ESV)
For the first post (next Friday), however, before even going near the tools I'm going to take a good look at Goliath. Even though our action involves flinging smooth stones (e.g., prayer, communion), we have to be able to see Goliath's weaknesses and know where to aim the stone in the first place.
For me, ‘Goliath’ is the giant of sickness. Some days he's scary. Other days I feel like I have more of David's warrior heart. But to fight him I have to understand him. So I'll start with that.
What giants do you have in your life currently? Let's have a chat about that one!
With Christmas festivities behind us, and hopefully some happy memories made, it’s time to turn our minds to our annual SUM Community Fast.
The fast will start in a week’s time, on Monday 4th January. If you haven't already, check out my video from last week.
Personally, I’m so in need of this year’s fast. Because of what we’ve been through with the pandemic, I have an especially strong desire to get before God and reflect on where we're at. When vulnerable from fasting, you just can’t help but hit the couch and listen to Him more than usual. And though fasting is very difficult, that is the benefit I know will come next week.
Every time we fast as this SUM community, at least a few of us will hear something from the Lord and post it in the comments. In fact, I look back on the years and remember many of the conversations or moments we’ve had together from these times.
Besides hearing God, fasting does something in the spirit realm and brings shifts in our homes. What power comes when a group of people does it together! We probably can't imagine this side of Heaven. Jesus said that some things from the enemy can only be removed through prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). These shifts aren't always noticeable straight away, but sometimes they are.
So, how do you feel about going for it this year? If you're new to it, here are some tips for preparing:
As for over here, I will be home quietly with my boys who are on school holidays. I plan to tell them and Bryce so that they understand my inertia that week, and I hope to do no food at all for the five days. Having attempted this a few times it's perhaps not as intimidating as it used to be. I know its power so I’m game. I’ll still have coffee and tea, juice, protein shakes, and yoghurt drinks. Some here even go further than that, doing water only. I have to say I'm building up to that still.
So, team SUM, are we up for it? Post in the comments and share what you think you’re going to do. It’s fun doing this together and we always love seeing each other’s adventures on this week.
Lynn will be posting next on Friday, and then I'll be back on Monday to kick us off with the fast.
I had a different post planned today, but that can wait until next week. Instead, I thought I'd share a few impromptu thoughts given the present events. We're watching wide-eyed as the US election plays out, and then across the Atlantic many Europeans are entering their second lockdown. It's all pretty intense.
However, many believers - friends of God -- across the world will be sitting in their living rooms asking, “What does this mean, Lord? What do you want us to know?”
Sitting … waiting … watching … seeking Him.
"I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected."
(Habakkuk 2:1, NKJV)
We hear in part, and we put the pieces together as a body. So, in that spirit I thought I might share what I've been hearing from God these past few months. And when I say 'hearing', I can say He has spoken this particular thing to me quite a few times this past year (even before COVID began), and quite clearly. The hard part is believing it (because it feels abstract) and knowing what to do with it. It's along these lines:
The Church is crossing over to a new era like the Israelites crossed the Jordan.
This crossing over involves moving from one era to another. From one way of being, to another. From old routines, old ways of doing church, and old mindsets to a brand new 'thing'.
Specifically, the Lord has led me repeatedly to the story of Joshua and the Israelites who crossed the Jordan river collectively. They crossed over from the wilderness to the promised land (Joshua 1:1-3:17) and this involved them completely leaving their old place. Even though it was the dysfunctional wilderness, it was what they knew so there was comfort there. The wilderness had a certain set of routines: They ate manna, for example, and they were led by Moses. In the new land, the manna stopped and Moses died just before they crossed. Their main focus was now to follow the 'new' -- Joshua -- into new battles. The whole package was completely different. And the process of crossing over took months, the river being only a small part of it.
The good part was that once they had crossed over, they experienced victory - Well, as long as they were obedient and listened to God's voice.
I believe what God is saying is that we are moving, and we need to be prepared for the same magnitude of change as the Israelites had, unbelievable as that might sound. When we emerge from this pandemic, things will be different in our faith lives and perhaps in the Church. I have no idea how, but I do believe God is asking us to prepare our hearts for that. He is asking us to be open-hearted to change, be prepared to embrace something new, be prepared to be obedient, and hold on tight to him.
Right now, the year 2020 is an experience that feels something like walking through the riverbed of the Jordan. It's hard to be straddling this in-between place, this 'no-man's land'. But in that story of the crossing over, the Ark of the Covenant went ahead to show God's people where to put their footing, for they had not been that way before (Joshua 3:3-4). In the same way, God will be leading us through this. We just need to keep talking to him -- And listening.
Here is the key scripture God has been giving me for this time, and I love it. It fills me with hope!
"But the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year."
(Deuteronomy 11:11-12, NKJV)
SUM family, let's be strong and of good courage, for God is doing something new in our midst. Hold on tight, he has us buckled in and safe!
In the meantime, how are you doing? I'd love to hear, even if you are finding it tough. Let's pull together as a community.
Love to you all,
As you know, we’re currently looking at past words that the Holy Spirit has spoken to this community. In our archives there are places where the Lord has said something specific to equip us, and I’m in the process of pulling these words out, in date order, to see how the Lord has progressively spoken to us as a body.
What does God want us to know? Where does he want us to focus our minds? What wisdom does he have for us?
On Monday I shared the first of these words. It was the simplest of words that the Lord gave Dineen for this community but sometimes he gives us simple truths to digest, especially as a first step. Dineen described the word as this:
He is calling our pre-believers with His salvation.
We need only lift our face to Him and trust that He is doing it.
When we receive such a word, our role is then to engage with it. Believe it. Turn it over in our minds. For example, we could go about our week asking 'What does it mean or look like for the Lord to be ‘calling’ my spouse?'
One way of engaging with a word from the Holy Spirit is to write it up and pop it somewhere accessible, at least for a little while. So today I have a post-it stuck on the wall by my washing-up sink. It says:
“He is calling my husband. Keep lifting my eyes heavenward!”
This is what Paul advised his younger believer, Timothy, to do in 1 Timothy 1:18: Wage war with a prophetic word. Speak it out in faith. God has said he is 'calling', and so we can align our thoughts with it and consider it carefully.
There is a scripture in the Psalms that vividly depicts how a body of people, like us SUMites, can 'wage war' with God's words. That scripture is super interesting, and I might unpack it a little. It says this:
"The Lord gave the word; great was the company of those who proclaimed it:
‘Kings of armies flee, they flee, and she who remains at home divides the spoil. Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, you will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.'
When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Zalmon."
(Psalm 68:11-14, NKJV)
What’s interesting here is that the first sentence uses the Hebrew word o'mer for ‘word’, which can mean promise. In other words, the Lord gave a promise and then a company of people proclaimed that very promise themselves. They were a great company too: Like the SUMites!
The middle lines are the promise itself: That kings of armies would flee, and it has a wonderful air of mystery with visions of gold and silver feathers. When God speaks, there may well be some mystery included. Anyway, it is this promise that the company of people declared. And then the final line (verse 14) documents that the Almighty did scatter the kings, just as he had promised. Exactly as the company of people had proclaimed.
SUMites, we are like that great company of people in Psalm 68 who received promises straight from the Lord, declared them, and eventually would see victory. Let’s keep on waging war with the things he has shown us.
On Friday I will share another word from the archives. Lovely chatting, and see you then!
Last week I had a ‘moment’ in my SUM life, as we do, that turned into a good wisdom lesson for me, so I'm going to share it today. It was about God's protection.
I was reclining in my favorite armchair before bed one night, cocoa in hand, when something occurred to me and my face fell.
It was this: Recently I’ve developed a routine where, once dinner is in the oven at about 5 or 6pm, I go to my bedroom and pray for my family. That includes Bryce, and I’ve been praying various things for him with gusto. I like that new routine, it's a happy one; but on this day a thought struck:
“I would love it if it was the other way round. I'd love it if he prayed for me.”
Aggh, and that thought snowballed. I got thinking about the fact that a praying spouse would be a strong source of protection and I'm perhaps missing some kind of 'protective coat'. Or am I?
To be fair, my family has plenty of people praying for us. And actually, it's possible my husband prays more than I realize. His levels of belief have inched up lately, and I do believe there is a quiet blooming that I shouldn't be quick to disregard. But that evening I got tangled. I eventually went to bed, and the next morning the Lord seemed to want to correct my thinking. He said this to me:
Ann, go to the Bible and look at what coatings of protection you currently have.
I love it when God gives me something to explore, so the minute the boys left for school I made myself an enormous pot of coffee and rolled up my sleeves, ready to take a look at what it was he wanted me to see.
My pen scribbled furiously that morning. I came up with quite a few forms of protection that I have, but here - listed below - are four of the key ones. And these apply to all of us SUMites. In fact, once I had finished working through that task I quickly realized that I had no need to fret whatsover. And I should leave my husband to go at his own pace when it comes to his own prayer life. Here, then, are some of the ways in which we are protected:
Layer of protection #1:
The shadow of Almighty God is so powerful we may as well be sitting under a nuclear bomb. If we make every effort to stay in that secret place, there's this:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
“He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day.” (Psalm 91:1, 3, NKJV)
Layer of protection #2:
The blood of Jesus Christ is our source of victory. I imagine it sprinkled on our homes like the Israelites smeared lamb's blood on their doorposts.
"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" (Revelation 12:11, NKJV)
Layer of protection #3:
Head to toe, we wear special spiritual armour at all times. This includes a helmet, a breastplate, a shield, a tool belt, and strong shoes (Ephesians 6). This keeps us safe and sound, and then we easily fight for our families.
Layer of protection #4:
The many prayers of other saints, past and present, is a force-field. This includes those who sowed seeds in times past, some in our ancestry, some who are now in the cloud of witnesses, and some who are currently shepherds to us -- And those shepherds who are in our lives know their authority and pray powerful prayers. All these prayers protect us and our homes from the enemy and plant faith seeds that will surely grow.
With these coatings of protection, then, we never need to worry about being victorious in our own lives. In turn, as fighters we are equipped to care for our families. And, of course, a big protective mechanism is this community, and its many prayers for each other.
Friends, in that spirit, if you'd like prayer today, put a post in the comments, and we'll gather round you. In the meantime, here's to fewer and fewer of those wobbly 'moments'!
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
Psalms 91:1-16 NLT
My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, since school has reopened and we have been navigating these uncertain times with Covid 19, I decided to write my own prayer using specific verses of psalm 91.
We are faced with challenging times, but our Abba daddy is so great and merciful. Along with Yeshua (Jesus) and Holy Spirit He has also given us the power of words to declare and decree our protection for our schools, households, families, our children etc.
Some of us were in a limbo of whether we should do virtual learning or in person. So, my husband decided that he wanted our daughter to attend in person. I was very tense and nervous at the same time, but I remembered that God meets us in whatever situations we must face.
Since I live in a spiritually unequally yoked marriage, I decided I would petition my household's safety and protection with psalm 91. So, first thing in the morning, I read psalm 91 aloud and then I say my prayer I wrote. With all my prayers I stand on 1 Corinthians 7:14 - For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy.
1 Corinthians 7:14 NLT
So here's my prayer I wrote:
Dear Heavenly Father, I stand on the verse 1 Corinthians 7:14 on behalf of my household and I declare that You, Lord, are our refuge and our place of safety. You are our God and we trust in you (Psalm 91:2)
I thank you Lord that you will protect my child and my household from every trap and protect us from every deadly diseases that includes Covid-19 (Psalm 91: 3)
Lord I thank you that your feathers cover me, and my household and you hide us under the shelter of your wings. I thank you, Lord God, that your faithful promises are our armor and protection (Psalm 91:4)
Lord your word says " We must not be afraid of the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day. (Psalm 91:5)
In the name of Jesus, me and my household will not dread the disease (Covid 19) that stalks in the darkness nor the disaster that strikes at midday (Psalm 91:6)
Though a thousand may fall at our sides and 10,000 are dying around us, because of your faithfulness Lord God, this evil as will not touch me or my household [ I name each person that lives in my household and you can also add other family and friends names here) - (Psalm 91:7)
Your word also says that if I make you my refuge and shelter, no evil will conquer me and my household and no plague (no coronavirus) will come near our home (Psalm 91: 9-10).
Lord God I thank you that you order your angels with special orders to protect us wherever we go. I thank you Lord God, that right now your angels are holding me and my household up in their right hands, so we will not even dash our foot against a stone (Psalm 91: 11-12)
According to Luke 10:19 and Psalm 91:13- You have given us the authority to trample upon fierce lions, cobras and serpents under our feet in Jesus name. Therefore, we will crush coronavirus under our feet in Jesus name. Hallelujah!!!(Psalm 91:13)
Lord I pray for supernatural wisdom and strength for each and every teacher, every school official, janitors, bus drivers, bus monitors and the school staffs. I pray for a supernatural hedge of protection over the parents and the children through the blood of Jesus. I pray for a peace that surpasses all understanding over everyone of them in Jesus name.
I pray for a holy ring of fire of protection over and around the school property and around all the other schools. I plead the blood of Jesus over the school staff and all the parents and children in Jesus name.
Lord God, I especially stand in the gap and ask for supernatural protection through the blood of Jesus over both the little children and the older kids. Give them wisdom to use their hand sanitizers and practice safety at all times in Jesus name.
Lord we thank you for all answered prayers. We give the honor, the glory and the highest praise in the mighty name of Jesus.
Amen and Hallelujah!!!
I am Vidya Rodney. Married to my pre-believing husband Andrew for 10 years. We have a beautiful 5 year old little girl Anya. I live in St Charles ,Missouri and first accepted Jesus in 2011 after losing our only brother to suicide. I have been a lukewarm Christian for years, but now I am stepping out to find out more of what Jesus has for me.
The other day I noticed something new about marriage in scripture. It was like a big flashing light going off in my mind, so I thought I'd share. See what you think of this:
In the Bible there are a few key scriptures about marriage, as we know. But what I noticed this week is that in two of those scriptures (one from the Old Testament and one from the New), it says that your treatment of your spouse determines whether your prayers will be heard.
What a thought!
Here are the scriptures in question, and I've highlighted the parts about prayer:
1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV):
“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”
Malachi 2:12-15 (NKJV):
“May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, being awake and aware, yet who brings an offering to the Lord of Hosts.
And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.”
All of this got me thinking: I often have to guard my heart to stay good to my husband in relation to our faith difference. The spiritually mismatched nature of our marriage raises particular challenges that other couples might not have. I have to make sure I don't hold negative attitudes about certain things. I also have to guard my mouth to make sure when I talk about him my words are good words. The bar is high and I'm a total work-in-progress.
The Old Testament passage in Malachi might have been addressing the letter of the law, perhaps physical infidelity; but we go beyond that in the spirit of the law, mirroring God's character and trying to be faithful in wider things, like our words.
This thought takes me meandering back to a moment in 1999, when Bryce and I were getting married. In our heady twenties it was all fun fun fun. But, when we booked in a minister to officiate at our wedding he told us it was his code to give us marriage counselling and we agreed. There was not much that was sensible about the two of us so it was all we could do to stop ourselves losing it in giggles at various points -- Especially when the session turned to the topic of sex. It was all so serious -- Did we really have to be talking about this?!
But, here's the golden question this minister asked us: “What does it mean to CHERISH someone? Your vows include the word cherish. What does that look like?” This man in his sixties knew what he was talking about.
Fast-forward twenty years and here we are living with a faith difference that - if we aren't careful to cherish - could fracture us. Yikes, it's not exactly small stuff. What does it look like now for us to cherish each other?
Here's what my favorite old dictionary says about Cherish: "To protect and treat with affection: to nurture, nurse; to entertain in the mind."
Honestly, I can think of many points where I have not been the shining star at cherishing Bryce. But what I’d like to do is treat him as my most treasured one. This is my heart, so I say 'Help me, God!' My marriage is entwined with the Kingdom. It’s part of that thing I want to seek first. And as I cherish him, then when I march in prayer around my 'Jericho' could it be that those walls of unbelief have a greater chance of falling? The above scriptures suggest perhaps so.
Do you have any thoughts on the concept of cherishing our spouse? We'll chat in the comments!
Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here!
Sunday, September 29th is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. We've talked about this Jewish holiday over the years. In fact, the first time I'd ever been made aware of it's significance was because of a blog post from either Lynn or Dineen. For those who are not familiar or are new to this holiday, a simple "Rosh Hashanah" search on this site will provide you with a wealth of information. Feel free to check out the archives!
My prayer for us today is that we will each take away something fresh and new. Holy Spirit, reveal to us the heartbeat of God. Amen!
Rosh Hashanah isn't actually a biblical holiday but a traditional Jewish holiday. The term "Rosh Hashanah" means "head of the year" and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. This is a two-day celebration that proceeds Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).
In the beginning of this month, the Lord really pressed upon me to watch Patty Tower's talk that was given at the SUMite Summit this last April. I decided to go back and watch it again. (I will provide a link below so you can revisit that as well. It is absolutely worth a re-watch!)
As I sat down to think about Rosh Hashanah and what I would include in this post, I went back to my notes from Patty's message. There is so much good in this message but I want to point out one theme:
Rosh Hashanah isn't in the Bible; however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, is. Let's take a look.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ” - Leviticus 23:23-25
The Hebrew word, Teruah, in Leviticus for blowing trumpets is the same word used in Joshua 6 where they shouted with a great shout. The first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, is a day of blowing trumpets or shouting.
Notice what else it says in Leviticus about this day - you shall have a sabbath-rest. Yom Teruah happens to fall on a Sunday. The day we, as children of God, call our sabbath!
So, why is this important for us? If we are not Jewish, what is the point of celebrating this time of year?
We've already seen in our community some amazing things worth celebrating. Many professions of faith and baptisms with our spouses, children or others we love. Libby gave us a beautiful word about the SUMite community with her picture of the mountain. The SUMite Summit where some gathered in California being at the top and from that trickle, the waters of our faith continued to pool together to create a river at the bottom.
I truly believe something was activated in the heavenlies and we have set off a chain reaction. The enemy has been stirred to anger and we have seen much push back from illness, discord with our spouses and children, financial struggles, backsliding, strongholds etc.
However, I truly believe that God is calling His children deeper. I believe that He is stirring in us a hunger and thirst that can no longer be quenched by fear, pain or opposition tactics from the enemy. I believe that NOW is the time for us to press in all the more into the God of Miracles. NOW is the time to storm the gates of Heaven for our spouses, children, our complete freedom and healing. I believe that NOW is the time for us to suit up and prepare for battle.
There is a shifting going on right now. As we are in this transition period, it is up to US if we are going to take God at His word - for our destinies, purposes, signs, miracles and wonders. We cannot afford to give up or give in. The future of generations to come hangs in the balance. It sounds intense but don't worry! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Patty's talk at the SUMite Summit: https://www.facebook.com/SpirituallyUnequalMarriage/videos/387269661859875/
There is so much more I could say but I've gone on a little long.
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! -- Psalm 47:1 (Shout here is the root word of teruah ::grin::)
We are going to shake the heavens and the earth with our shouts! In the comments, give a mighty shout to the Lord. Thank Him for the victory you've been praying and waiting for! Decree and declare that these prayers are answered in Jesus' mighty name! Now it is up to you to take Him at His word. Trust. Believe. Wait and see. God is so good. And He is worthy of the wait. Hugs!
Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!
I don't know about you but I have really been yearning for breakthrough! It gets me fired up thinking about the breakthrough needed in my life as well as others. I am really struggling to completely detach from my old self. I am not saying that I am not growing, maturing or bearing fruit. Please hear my heart. I am talking about the hard reality that the more I press into God, the more I realize I am in rough shape and need Jesus. Can anybody relate?
I recently came across this scripture that has been really stirring in my heart:
So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). -- 2 Samuel 5:20
Some context: David is now king. He captures Jerusalem from the Jebusites and makes it his home. The Philistines find out this news and come to capture him. David goes into a stronghold and the Philistines spread out across the valley of Rephaim. It is really interesting to note that the valley of Rephaim means "the house of the giants."
David could have been afraid. Sure, he had a run in with them before (remember Goliath, their once great warrior?); however, this time they were after him!
I love the conversation that happens just one verse before:
So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” (5:19)
Isn't there something so "magical" about the promises of God being fulfilled in front of your eyes? The New Living Translation sums up the child-like faith that I believe that David had - the Lord did it!
There are some things that I have been praying into for some time now - outside of salvation and surrender for Jason - full and forever breakthrough from the spirits of poverty and self-preservation in my life. There are many layers that have been broken but I still have a ways to go. It's been tough, especially with me as the toughest critic. These giants have taken camp in the valley of my heart and mind.
The Lord keeps impressing on my mind the idea of breakthrough and I praise Him for this recent revelation in this passage of scripture! Tiffany, I am your Daddy but I am also Jehovah Perazim. I am Your God who breaks through. Do you trust me? Do you believe it? Will you stand in faith - even when you can't see what is on the horizon?
I want to close with the song I heard for the first time today. It is so raw and honest. I can relate so well and I'm sure you can too.
If I’m honest, I don’t know what to do
With this battle that I’m going through
And how to trust you.
Every part of me, wants to figure out my own plan
Wants to take things in my own two hands
God help me to understand
You are enough, You are enough for me, for me
Take my doubts, drown them in the sea
Cause you’re more than enough for me
Every part of me, wants to figure out my own plan
Wants to take things in my own two hands
God help me to understand
Even if I lost everything, you would still be enough for me.
Even if I lost everything, oh
Even if I lost everything, you would still be enough for me.
Even if I lost everything, oh
Can you feel the breakthrough coming or has your hope been lost? Admittedly sometimes I am teetering on the fence between the two. Sometimes life is tough. But GOD! He is so so good.
Jehovah Perazim, You are our God who breaks through. You come forth against our enemies like a raging flood. There is nothing that can thwart the plans You have for us. When we are weary may we always remember that You go before us. You give us victory. When we are weary like Moses, bring others to surround us and hold us up. We can't do this alone. Thank You for this amazing community. We can all relate to the true struggle not against flesh and blood but against the forces of darkness. Thank You for always saying to us, like David, "I will certainly hand them over to you." We love you and praise you for the great big shout - You did it! We trust you. You are enough. In Jesus' name, amen.
See you in the comments! How can I intercede for you today?
Hello SUM Family, Tiffany here!
I shared with you at the conference that God has been speaking to me about cedars. I saw a vision of a tree that was my family
legacy. The deep roots were the word of God so deeply hidden beneath the soil. I wanted to share with you something that I have been working on. These are words that He has been saying about me. (To keep it from getting too long I will only expound on a few) Let's call today, "Motivation Monday." May these words be a motivation for you to believe what God says about you.
Cedars of Lebanon, Tiffany Carter, 5/31/19
Champion - (1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 Corinthians 9:24; Romans 8:37; Deuteronomy 20:4; Isaiah 6:8)
Elevator - one that lifts or raises someone/something up; exhorter - one who incites by argument, or advice; strongly urges; exultor - one who is extremely joyful; leaps for joy; rejoices); exalter - to elevate by praise; raise high; to enhance the activity of; intensify. (Deuteronomy 18:18; Proverbs 14:34; Psalm 68:3; Proverbs 27:17; Hebrews 3:13)
Deeply rooted - existing for a long time and very difficult to change; firmly established; deeply implanted. (Psalm 1:3; Colossians 2:6-7; John 15:5; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Daniel 2:22; Isaiah 45:3)
Ancient - (Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 1:4-5)
Righteousness - (Psalm 92:12-13; Proverbs 21:21; Psalm 112:6-8; Matthew 6:33; Hosea 10:12)
Stalwart Matriarch - woman that rules or dominates her family, group or state who is marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind or spirit. (Psalm 68:11; Proverbs 22:6; James 5:16; Psalm 102:18; Psalm 103:17; Proverbs 14:1)
Overarching Protector - (Matthew 6:10; Ezekiel 22:30; Proverbs 11:11; Jeremiah 29:7)
Freedom - (Psalm 18:48; Ezekiel 3:12; Psalm 119:45; Romans 6:14)
Legacy - something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past; carried over from an earlier time. (Psalm 145:4; Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Joshua 24:14-15; Proverbs 13:22; Psalm 78:2-4; Exodus 20:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:5-7; 2 Timothy 2:2)
Emanate Love - (1 Peter 4:8; 1 Corinthians 16:14; Colossians 3:14; Ephesians 5:2; Matthew 22:37-39; Hebrews 10:24-25; Proverbs 17:17; Proverbs 20:6-7; 1 John 4:11; 1 John 3:16-18)
Bethel - house of God. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:1-2; Psalm 119:37; Romans 8:5-7)
Anointed - to smear or rub with oil or an oily substance; to apply oil to as part of a religious ceremony; to choose by or as if by divine election. (Isaiah 22:22; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20-21; 1 John 2:27; John 15:16; Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 44:3)
Non-conforming - (2 Corinthians 3:12; Romans 12:1-2; John 17:14-16; Revelation 12:11; Luke 6:27-36)
Ornamental - one who lends grace or beauty; adorned - to enliven. (1 Peter 3:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Proverbs 31:30; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Genesis 1:27; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Samuel 16:7)
New - (Hebrews 12:24; Galatians 3:26-27; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 43:18-19; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17; 1 Peter 1:3; Mark 2:22).
Storms, temptations and trials will come and try to divert your eyes. The deceiver will come and try to cause you to doubt if not forget these life fulfilling promises.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lordyour God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Do whatever is necessary to remember and cling to these promises. I love making jewelry (see photo above) so this is a good tangible way for me to see His word on a regular basis.
How great of a Daddy we have that He would speak something so special and unique to you individually. Let's talk in the comments: What are some ways that you remember His promises in your own life? What helps you to keep your eyes on the prize set before you?
What a strange question, but it’s one that God gave me back in 2016 while our community was fasting. For those who are new here, we fast each year together and it’s not unheard of to hear a word or two for us all during those times.
Indeed, there I was during that fast, hungry and horizontal, when suddenly a picture of a blue-bottle jellyfish swooshed across my mind -- Flash. It was gone as quickly as it came but I promptly knew it was about the SUMites.
When something like that happens it’s an invitation to explore, so I went to Google, typed ‘blue bottle jellyfish’ and began to read. The lines progressed and, as they did, I began to link this extraordinary creature with our beloved ministry here. Some three years later I’d like to share it, it makes me smile.
First, the jellyfish itself:
Electric blue, it might look like one organism but is, in fact, a colony. It comprises numerous individuals called zooids that hang together. They need each other, and so they journey as one. In this state they have absolute power in their territory. Their tentacles are long, deep, and especially venomous. With one brush the prey is paralyzed. Predators stay away from this ‘terror of the seas’.
Interesting, but how does it link to the SUMites?
Well, journeying together like this jellyfish, we’re venomous and terrifying to the enemy. Through our situations, spiritual weaponry is a necessity and we become prayer warriors of the strongest kind. It’s what we learn. The way the jellyfish moves, though, is entirely restful. It’s through the momentum of tides and winds with propulsion coming from outside. In the same way, we here move forward through God’s strength alone.
SUM family, I love the analogy of us interconnected as this strong unit, and I might share now a little of my personal experience as an observer and beneficiary of this ministry:
I first came here in 2014, "a half-baked Christian", "crumpled", who "can’t do any of the things that Christians do." I posted these comments and received encouragement back. "You can do it, Ann, keep going!" Well, five years on I’m relieved to report I’m fully uncrumpled and there's nothing half-baked going on here. To be serious, though, the change in my mindset is marked. I’m charging on in faith.
That’s me. But what I like even more is this ministry’s wider story. It speaks to me of God’s intentionality, and it’s a story I believe many of us will be telling: It's a testimony of a whole community and what happened next.
Back in 2006, we saw one woman (Lynn), then two (Lynn and Dineen), and more, choose obedience, with tangible outcomes. Obedience shone through every one of their posts. Like Abraham taking Isaac to Mt Moriah in Genesis 22:2-8, they modeled the deepest sacrifice: “Put your spouse on the altar, risk that they won’t like you anymore, and choose to say yes to Me”. The rest of us have been doing the same. Amidst frequent anguished wails, we've been growing the fruit of the Spirit. What happens when multiple people obey God to this degree and for this long? What does obedience do? It makes the demons stumble.
Alongside Lynn and Dineen, there is a 13-year story of a community of believers becoming fearsome. It’s a colony that God has built, and a place where the fruit of the Spirit has ripened. From where I sit, there is a visible change in many I have come to know here. It's a story that shouts, ‘COME OVER HERE, TURN IN AND SEE!’ It’s not the salvation of spouses that grabs me the most, though of course we’ve had that! The most noticeable thing, for me, is what’s happened to the SUMites themselves.
We’ve gone from "How are we going to live practically and well in this situation" to "Let’s bring walls CRASHING down!" and, most importantly, "Let’s love God with all of our heart, our soul and our mind". A new book is upon us, and a new season. I'm excited.
Strong and deep as that electric-blue jellyfish, we have a lot to say next and a mutual story to tell. SUMites, I’d be keen to hear your comments. And for now, may we be the most fearsome terror of the seas together!
Hey SUM Family, Tiffany Here!
I have some wonderful news to share!
Today I graduated year one of ministry school. This was the first half of a two year program that will lead to ordination.
I was very surprised to receive "The Heart of David Award" along with my certificate of completion. What an honor and joy!
The words "thank you" are not enough to express the gratitude I have for you, my beloved family without walls. Your love, encouragement, and support has tremendously helped carry me to this beautiful moment. Thank you to everyone who has given time, prayer, finances, Scripture and hugs. My accomplishment is your accomplishment.
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. -- 2 Thessalonians 1:11
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. -- Ecclesiastes 4:12
You all have helped me accomplish my dreams. In the comments, share something that God has laid upon your heart to accomplish. I want to pray over you and bless you today.
Lynn’s news last week was so amazing and today I just feel like speaking from the heart and sharing a little more about last week’s summit.
Our summit was called ‘Hear the Roar’, and our logo for the event was a lion. Well, the 'God winks' began when we arrived at Lynfield School and saw that its logo was a lion. We had fun taking photos of the lions adorning the school’s walls (here are a couple) and I still just keep coming across that word 'ROAR'.
Before I arrived at Lynn’s house, God gave me a picture of a swathe of bright red, fluffy fabric. I didn’t know what that was about but it became clear: SUMite Libby had recorded a video for us, which we watched together in Lynn’s home. Having carried this event in her heart, Libby spoke about the SUM whole. When I saw her video, my jaw dropped: She was wearing the bright red fluffiness I’d seen a couple of days earlier! Believing, then, that her video contained significant words, I'll be revisiting it (here) She also posted about the summit before it happened back in 2018 (here). I think her words speak of the season we are now in.
Lynn’s Mike was at home for the event, and chatted to several of us. On the Friday Lynn needed help with the technology so he was the one who put Libby’s video on. As he did so I thought, “We are actually in ministry with our spouses, we just struggle to see it. Their doubt has been important for the whole.”
God’s goodness everywhere
At the event, I sat down in the front row and my eyes rested on a classroom whiteboard just in front of me. There, written on it, was a scripture that I had recently emailed to Martha. “Martha,” I thought. “You’re part of the whole.”
I then met two SUMites who told me extraordinary stories. One had received a promise that her husband would turn to God; it's now happened. The second had got divorced and then received a promise that her marriage would be restored. She held to it; it happened. In both cases it became clear they were to be at the summit: one had a vision about the summit a year earlier, the other received a free flight to the event. I’m sure their stories were meant to be brought to that day; I won't be forgetting them in a hurry.
In the day's final session I had thought Lynn was going to speak on 2020 but that was not exactly what she had for us. I couldn’t believe my ears when, in the last fifteen minutes, she started to tell us a baptism
had been booked. Having been through so much, my initial reaction was “Oh it won't happen!” But NO! NO. God promised, it happened. And so, in this amazing, life-filled moment, the Father's Name was glorified.
“Father, glorify your Name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” John 12:28 (NKJV).
In the passage, when that voice came from heaven during Holy Week, some heard it as a thundering roar. I'd say that's what we've heard this week.
Once home, over a cuppa I told my husband about the event. There was a peace in that conversation. We laughed at the fact that the whole point of the event was that spouses 'don't believe' and then one goes and gets baptized. It was the most light-hearted we've been about it.
SUMites, do you catch the sound of the roar? What else are you sensing or seeing happening? There's more I could tell about shifts in my own home, and perhaps I’ll do so in my next post.
Here’s what I hear from God now, in relation to this ROAR:
There are many birth days ahead!
I believe we have days ahead where promises will be birthed in great numbers. I seem to hear that it will be ‘amazing’, and ‘many’. Lynn's testimony fires up my hope and so I'm buckling up for the ride!
Several days ago, I received a phone call from a woman who lives in Wisconsin ( I live in California). She had heard about our book and took time to call me. She shared that she has lived with her unbelieving spouse now for 33 years. Wow, thirty-three years. She loves him and in the past, fought many spiritual battles and persevered with Christ. She went on to tell me that her strength to walk this road came from a scripture verse she heard as a young woman.
Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s (woman’s) ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him (her).
She told me that she believed this and this verse has proven true throughout her life. “Think about it Lynn. My husband doesn’t believe in God. He is an enemy of God.”
I reply, “Wow, I hadn’t really thought of it that way.”
She responds, “He is an enemy of God out of ignorance. But I have lived my life the best that I can to be a woman, pleasing to God. And just as His word proves, God has brought peace even within my marriage where my spouse remains an unbeliever. It has been God’s promise to me all these years and I believe Him.”
I thanked her for imparting this scripture verse to me and the promise it holds for all of us living unequally yoked.
Now I don’t believe my spouse is my enemy because I KNOW who the enemy really is. But, I also see how, as we wait for our unsaved spouse to discover the truths of Christ, we can trust God to bring peace into our lives, homes, and marriages. We need only take delight in the Lord and live for Him.
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Be blessed, Lynn
Hi SUMites, Ann here!
I've been praying about what to write this week after our wonderful communal fast. I'm sure you're still reflecting on it as I am. Anyway, a phrase has kept coming to me for today's post, and it's this:
One of the most important things you can do, in your place of commissioning, is receive God's love.
This phrase is one that I've been carrying around for a while now. It was spoken to me by a visiting pastor who I met briefly at a university student gathering organized by some campus missionaries. At this gathering, he went person by person round the room and spoke a blessing over each of us. There were at least thirty of us, so it was a labor of love to give such personalized prayers despite not knowing any of us. It took a couple of hours and we all listened intently to each prayer. When it was my turn he paused in silence and then said:
"I seem to feel that you are surrounded by those who have very comfortable lives. In this 'comfortable' place you're going to help a lot of people - but you're going to have to be out of your comfort zone to get into their zone. It's humanitarian work."
"Too right," I thought to myself, thinking of how deeply uncomfortable I am living in a place where atheism surrounds me. But to see it as humanitarian work? That put a different lens on it. Then, the pastor finished with this:
"The main thing you must do, to make sure you don't get weary, is receive God's love. Just focus on receiving His love, and you're not going to get weary."
Ever since that day I've been chewing on what it looks like to deliberately receive His love. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this too.
One thing I started doing, after receiving that pastor's wisdom, was to look back on the year each December, re-read my journals, and jot down moments where I experienced God's love. I would reflect on what those moments told me about how God perceives me, and I would write it up into a testimony with the heading 'How God has loved me this year'. These beautiful write-ups are things I pull out and read often.
That's one way I receive God's love; but another idea might be to meditate on 1 Corinthians 13 and think about what those features mean for my relationship with Him. He is, for example, patient and kind with me, is not easily angered by me, hopes and bears all things when it comes to me, rejoices in truth around my life, and more.
It's perhaps easier to focus on what we are to do - love others, and love God (Matthew 22:37-39; James 1:27) - than it is to sit back and receive; but like any kind of love relationship the giving and receiving go hand in hand. Hebrews 4:11, for example, tells us just how important it is to enter the rest of receiving Jesus Christ, and when we make deliberate efforts to do so it will protect us from falling.
Not only that, but making room for God's love brings power to our faith walk -- Something that is desperately needed during an intense season of humanitarian work. You could say that's the season we're all in right now!
… And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV
SUMites, I'd be keen to hear more from you on how we can practice receiving His love. Feel free to share ideas in the comments, along with any other thoughts you might have.
Till next time,
2019 is marching forward. And we, the Body of Christ, have tremendous assignments and moves of God in which we will participate.
In December I received a great deal of revelation from the Lord about 2019 and 2020. I will likely share what Jesus told me after our fast. But today, I want to encourage you to plan to fast.
The Community fast begins at sunrise, January 7th and end at sundown, January 11th. If at all possible, plan to fast from solid food for five days. Fasting from food is our Biblical model and Jesus modeled fasting. This next passage is our calling:
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:25-29
I wonder how many of us are contending with the devil in areas of our life and not experiencing breakthrough?
IT’S TIME TO FAST!
IT’S TIME TO PRAY!
I am contending for so much in 2019 as the Lord has told me that this year is a year of preparation and a year of divine reversal. And I believe this is a word for our “Church without Walls.” We are being prepared for what I believe will be the Greatest move of God. And many things that the devil has been directing toward destruction will make an immediate reversal, a 180 degree, turn about. Who wants to claim these words for your life in 2019????
So here are a few hints to make your fast a success.
What to expect:
I love all of you so much. I hold each of you in my heart. If you have a prayer need, leave it in the comments and I will contend along side of you.
Also, if you plan to fast, would you leave your name and your general location in the comments. I feel led to pray for you and your town or city.
On Monday, I will have a prayer prompt for us to kick-start our prayer time.
Be blessed, Lynn
Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here.
I pray that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love gathering with family, eating fantastic food and reflecting on all of the favor, mercy, and goodness of Daddy that has happened for the year.
As I was thinking last week about what Holy Spirit wanted me to share, I fingerprinted a man with a business logo on his sweatshirt that said "Stillwater." This prompted me to look up "still water" in the Bible. The main passage that came to mind was in Psalm 23:
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
*Photo credit: Loving Grace Ministries
Reading this familiar passage again I was shocked to see verse 5, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies..." I had completely forgotten that this verse was in this Psalm.
That is when Holy Spirit brought to my mind the song Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by Elyssa Smith from UPPERROOM. Forgive me if I've shared this song before. I love it so much. My favorite verses in this song say, "my weapons are praise and thanksgiving, this is how I fight my battles"
I have been seeing Psalm 23 all over the place since I first saw this man's sweatshirt. I know that of the Psalms, this one is so common and well known even in the secular world; however, this particular passage has not been on my radar for quite some time. Each and every time I am seeing a reference to Psalm 23 there is a different verse that is being highlighted. I think I need to dwell here for a while! I was inspired so much so that I committed this passage to memory. This is a first for me to memorize an entire passage. Woot!
I think with all of the apparent darkness and chaos going on in our community (illness, death, financial struggle, marriage breakdown, depression, chronic pain, etc) and in the world today I want us to meditate on this phrase, "I am beginning to see the darkness around me is just the shadow of Your wings." *Note: this is not my phrase, this gets me every time I listen to this song...SO SO GOOD.*
5 God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding. (Psalm 47)
Please know that our Daddy is surrounding you with His love, presence, favor, mercy, and grace. I know we all know this but may we truly rejoice and sing praises with understanding! Understand your are highly favored. Understand you are loved. Understand you are cherished. Understand in your weakness He is strong. Understand that even in the toughest time of your life He is in control. Understand you are seated with Christ Jesus. Understand you have authority. Understand you are the victor. Understand it. Is. Finished!
Let us lift our voices in one accord today:
I don't know about you the Lord uses songs to get me through the darkest days. Share in the comments some songs that see you through tough times. Your suggestions could be healing salve and oil of joy to another. I love you SUM family.
Hello SUM Family, Tiffany Here!
The last couple of months I have been sharing a bit about what I have learned from reading a book called From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris. I was assigned to read this book in class and I am so glad that I read it! This book has been truly amazing. To read the previous two posts I've written in this "mini-series" click on the links below.
In September I began to take steps to transition into a new church. As you read this, I have now been at this new church for 3 weeks. Each and every week has been so powerful and effective. Today I want to share with you a recent experience unlike anything I've ever had. It happened a little over a week ago on October 14, 2018. The following is what I posted the next day on Facebook (sharing here as well since a lot of you may not have Facebook or seen it because we aren't "friends"):
Worship at Hub is amazing. God is there. Holy Spirit presence is thick and tangible. We were singing a song I had never heard before. The lyrics were powerful and the words that floored me at the time were talking about laying my whole life down before Jesus our Savior. I was already worshipping on my knees but I couldn't help but crouch face down before God. I felt so heavy and overloaded. I was just crying and crying before God. My words spoken in tears and sobs. All of a sudden it was like God said, "get up." Not in an angry way but an empowering way...if that makes sense. I sat up and it was like I saw myself in the place of the woman caught in adultry that was brought before Jesus. The crowd, stones in hand set to stone her. Jesus calmly and matter of factly said, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." Slowly, one by one the people left. Once everyone was gone, I pictured Jesus lift up my chin so I would look him in the eyes. Crouched on the ground seeing His eyes intent on mine. Looking into my soul. Just like He did with the woman that day, He said, "who condemns you?" Looking around I reply, "No one Sir." In that instant...I felt all the weight of condemnation lifted. It was like I had an hour long deep tissue massage. Every fiber of my being, relaxed and stress free. I realized later after worship and after the service...reflecting on what happened in that moment. Those people standing and surrounding me so quick to condemn and judge...were different versions of ME. How often I have shot myself down, I have stoned myself for a mis-spoken word, a harsh tone, a forgotten task, a wrong thought...I have been stoning myself for years and as God clearly told me to get up - it was giving me my life back. It was His GRACE UPON GRACE. His mercy. His true love. He doesn't keep record of wrongs...and neither should I. NO LONGER DO I. This morning, as life went on as usual...I reacted in ways I am tyring to change (short with my daughter when she cries about everything she wears - meltown after meltdown this morning and my shortness with her, attitude from tired children, etc) but the major difference was this. No one condemns me...not even myself. I made a mistake, asked for forgivenenss and moved on. The first instance my flesh tried to condemn me I heard the words "no one Sir." Loud and clear and it reminded me of the freedom that I was given. Once and for all. I will never go back. Once that transaction was finished Jesus said, "Go and sin no more." Can you image the freedom, the joy, the apreciation she felt with that moment? I can...because I do.
You may have to click on the picture to better see but I found the moment in worship where this exchange happened. Today I stand free from years of mental torment. As I think about this moment it still brings tears to my eyes because every moment since then has been a blessing. Please know that it doesn't mean that I am perfect or care free. I still have some struggles that God is working on in me. Holy Spirit is still pruning and I've got a lot of work to do. However, I am no longer hopeless.
I've gone a little long this time so let me wrap up with this:
I have been blessed to be a blessing. So today, I bless you with joy unspeakable; freedom from weight (even YEARS worth) of torment - mental, emotional, spiritual, physical; victory beyond belief; confidence in your Daddy; hope to weather the storm; faith, life, salvation for your spouse and loved ones; light in the darkness; advancement in the Kingdom where you feel backslidden; fire shut up in your bones; fight and fierceness; and love beyond compare.
Below is the song that brought me to the feet of Jesus and ushered me into freedom.
See you in the comments. I would love to pray over you for your own deliverance.
Please listen to this short video. Then PRAY!
Hey SUM Family,
a : an outward sign : indicationb : something that furnishes proof : testimony; specifically : something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter(Merriam-Webster online dictionary)
Last post (This Is Just The Pits!) we began to take a look at the life of Joseph. We discovered that there are ten tests we must face in order to fulfill our God-given purpose (I highly suggest you read From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris for more on this topic). I want us to really dive into the deep end of the pool as we learn more about the pit test.
First, let's continue on in the story of Joseph. At this point he was ambushed by his brothers and thrown into the pit. Changing scenes, we see what happens with his family next:
So [Joseph's brothers] took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" And he recognized it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces" (Genesis 37:31-33).
Joseph's brothers did not flat out lie and say that Joseph was killed. Jacob came to that conclusion because of their leading question, "Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" This is what we would call fabricated (false) evidence. Remember evidence is an indication or something that furnishes proof. This evidence in Jacob's mind was proof that his favorite son was dead - to him it was the truth.
For over 20 years, imagine Jacob as he says in v. 35, "For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning." Imagine a father so heartbroken that he was not able to be consoled. I don't know for certain but I can imagine countless nights of crying himself to sleep, restlessness, no appetite, deep depression...unable to move on. Not only that but his other sons could have easily freed him from all of it...over 20 years of seeing and living with their father. What callous and prideful hearts!
What about you? What fabricated evidence has been stacked up against you? Your marriage? Your parenting? Your identity in Christ? What lies of the pit have kept you trapped for far too long?
We live in a sin-hardened world, and we will be tempted by fabricated evidence just as Jacob was. And like Jacob, we will suffer unnecessary grief if we allow the lies of the pit to determine what we believe.
This is very important. If you want to get out of the pit, you must learn to discern the lies of the enemy. Because when you are in the pit, you are especially vulnerable. When you are in the pit, circumstances usually don't look very favorable - and that is exactly when Satan will manipulate those circumstances in order to deceive you. He will hold up those circumstances before you as evidence that you should believe him rather than have faith in God. But fabricated evidence is not the truth. Joseph's brothers held up a bloody coat as evidence, and that evidence looked pretty convincing. But it was fabricated evidence. It was not the truth. If you want to overcome the lies of the pit, you must learn to focus on what God has said. When you are in the pit, you must remember that nothing is too hard for God, no matter what evidence the enemy might produce...
Yet even worse than his fabricated evidence is Satan's biggest lie: "You've messed up too badly. It's too late for you. You've messed up too badly to ever fulfill God's destiny for your life." Do you realize that the Bible is a book entirely about restoration? The Bible is filled with stories of people who messed up so badly that it seemed even God couldn't do anything about it - and yet He restored every one of them. He wants you to know that nothing is impossible for Him. As long as you have breath, it is never too late to call out to God. It doesn't matter what pit you are in. If you call out to God, He can fix it. And that is the real purpose of the pit. (pp. 38-39, From Dream to Destiny, Robert Morris)
Next time I want to finish up with the hope we have - the light at the end of the tunnel - in times of experiencing the pit test. But for now, let's meet in the comments. Let me speak truth into you and pray with you as we debunk the lies of the pit. Lean into this reality that fabricated evidence, no matter how convincing or real it appears, is NOT the truth. I promise you that this assurance will transform your life and catapult you out of the pit.
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
-- Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT)