13 posts categorized "#WonderOfChristmas"

Merry Christmas

SUMites,

Enjoy your Christmas with your family. I pray you are overwhelmed by the love of our Savior. Tune into Him this season and watch how He changes your life.

We will be on break until after Christmas... Then get ready for 2020. It's going to be a BIG year ahead and I have so much to share with you. I'll post more after Christmas.

Walk in love, Warriors! I love all of you from the depth of my heart. 

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Barn 2019


Your Everyday- A Sign and Wonder

Mary Joseph Jesus nativity 2019Today let’s consider our young Mary again. As we join the story, we find her in Bethlehem.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:7-11

This ordinary girl finds herself in with the sheep as she struggles through her labor. She isn’t assisted by the angels through delivery, nor while she rode nine-months-pregnant on the back of a donkey. She merely went about life when she left Elizabeth as any other woman of her day. She washed clothes, made the bread, sewed new garments, and prepared meals.

She merely did the next right thing. The ordinary life.

But in this amazing passage her ordinary became a sign and a wonder to millions. And it first began with the shepherds. You see, Mary gave birth to Jesus. And when He arrived, naturally she sought to cover her naked baby to warm the child. Just an ordinary, normal, mothering moment.

The next right step.

She tore strips of cloth either from her garment or something nearby and wrapped the baby boy in swaddling clothes.

The next right step.

And this ordinary thing, this next right step, it became a sign and a wonder that continues to echo throughout millennia.

The angels announced to the shepherds in the fields (and to all of us who read the Word):

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. — Luke 2:11

Her ordinary became a sign and a wonder.

My dear, dear SUMites, what ordinary thing that you have done, that you’ve touched, or ordinary prayer might become a sign and a wonder? A wonder to a lost spouse? What might be a miraculous sign to a friend, a neighbor, another believer? What ordinary thing, what next right step might be the very thing that changes a city, or a nation, or generations of lives in the future?

You, my dear friend ARE A SIGN AND A WONDER. Never let anyone tell you differently. Making dinner, sweeping the floor, praying for the sick, sharing a word that transforms one other person might possibly redirect the trajectory of a person, then a family, then generations or perhaps our entire world.

It boggles the mind.

Read the story of the birth of Jesus this year. Read it to your kids. And ask the Lord to reveal how your ordinary is extraordinary.

I love you.

Merry Christmas!

Walk in love, Warriors! Hugs, Lynn


Advent - A Season for Delighting

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Image courtesy of jeswin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear SUMite friends, it’s Ian from sunny Sydney here. I love that Lynn’s previous post involved Mary as I too seek to dig a little deeper on one aspect of her story.

Let’s quickly look at the scene once again. I’d encourage you to read it in its entirety, Luke 1:26-38. And as you read it, picture yourself in the scene. Stand alongside Mary, our teenage girl. Innocent and naïve. But one who is a committed believer in God. She has read all the stories of Abraham, Moses, the other Joseph and the like. These heroes of the faith are very dear to her. She knows God uses ordinary people to do great things.

All of a sudden and out of nowhere, Gabriel arrives. Picture this mighty esteemed angel. I do wonder what he looks like. Is he a giant with wings like the magnificent artwork of yesteryear or does he come in the appearance of a man? Interestingly, the first impression we have of Mary in response to his appearance is that “she is perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” No mention of her being terrified by his sudden appearing nor of any imposing presence but his words that she is the “favored one! The Lord is with you.”

Bearer of Good News

Gabriel informs Mary that she too will join the heroes of the Old Testament and be used by God for a great purpose. Luke in sharing this story contrasts Mary’s response to Gabriel’s words with those of Zechariah of a few verses earlier. Mary’s response is simply one of wonder and seeking to understand. Zechariah sought immediate proof to believe. He didn’t, so he was struck dumb.

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?” she asks innocently. Gabriel explains the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit and that she will carry for nine months the Son of God. Further, he validated his statement by providing the testimony of her cousin, Elizabeth, also being pregnant, as Lynn shared with us on Monday.

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

This statement has been significant for me this year simply in acknowledging that all God sees is possibility. Let that sink in. We kinda put things into two buckets, don’t we? The possible bucket and the impossible one. Not God. There is only one bucket – possibility. I love that. Remember that when you get disheartened about your spouse ever coming to know Jesus.

Interestingly, one commentary I read recently mentioned how Gabriel, effectively waits for a response from Mary. Will she respond positively to God’s favor or not? In effect, this commentator indicates that Mary had a choice. Like we all do when God enters. We can choose to say yes, or reject Him.

Let’s face it, Mary as a teenage girl carrying a baby that is not her fiancé’s was set for a very difficult pregnancy. She would likely be rejected by Joseph and her family. But, as we know she responds affirmatively: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

What courage, what obedience. She chose to abandon her own will and to follow that of the Lord. I wish I had this young girl’s faith.

The Magnificat

Lynn shared with us how Mary went off to see her cousin, Elizabeth. Oh, and how we could spend lots of time reviewing that scene. But I want to conclude this post by reflecting on a favourite verse of many of us

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 AMP)

Too often we hope that in believing God He will give us our desires. But this verse clearly shows there is a condition. And a significant one. God wants us to delight in Him.

This is what Mary did as expressed in the “Song of Mary” or “The Magnificat” as it has become known in the Biblical lectionary. Read it aloud for yourself: Luke 1:46-55. It is Mary’s hymn of praise. I suspect she sang this song many times during her pregnancy and through the years she mothered her son, Jesus.

This Christmas, let’s be intentional in simply praising our God. Sing those Christmas hymns with a little more gusto and passion. Because He is good, faithful and loves each one of us (including our unsaved spouses) like crazy. This is why we celebrate Christmas – God in loving us so much gave His son to be born to a young teenage girl, so that we could fall in love with Him and live a life to His glory.

Wishing all my SUMite family a most blessed Christmas. Be safe, be merry and delight in our most awesome God.


She's A Lot Like Me

Luke 2 11 Christmas 2019The Birth of Jesus.

SUMites, you know, I’ve read the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke 1&2 so many times, I nearly have it memorized in King James. But what I find is that when a story in the Word becomes overly familiar, we breeze past it and we lose some of the miraculous that it contains.

And if you aren’t aware, one of the coolest things about scripture is there are layers of meaning. Revelation comes from deeper places within the words and the LORD loves to reveal more and more as we mature. That’s the wonder of the Word of God. We can read it for 85 years and continue to be captivated by increasing understanding.

Say what??? It’s amazing.

So, will you go with me into this beautiful story about a teenaged girl named Mary. I want to share two things about Mary that I learned just this year. Perhaps you already received these gifts, but for me, what I uncovered is new and it changes me.

I want to start with the story of Mary when the angel appeared to her.

Luke 1:27 “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Ya, wouldn’t you be surprised?

I’ll tell you this, I often ask the Lord to reveal an angel in the physical so that I’m able to behold its presence with my natural eyes. I believe THIS WILL HAPPEN before I die. So, when it does, you can bet, you’ll be the first people I tell.

This particular Christmas I’m actually fascinated with the fact that the angel tells Mary that her cousin, Elizabeth, is six months pregnant despite her infertility and old age. Why did the angel include this information with his pronouncement???

Any idea?

Mary was an ordinary woman. She could have been you… Or me. She was a young girl who was given a responsibility that boggles the mind. But, think about this. Although or should I say, EVEN THOUGH an angel appeared to her and told her what was about to happen, she still wrangled with it all. In the moment with the angel present, it was easy to believe. But after the angel left, she struggled with questions and perhaps doubt.

How do I know this? Well first it’s human nature. God can appear and yet we doubt. Just take a read through the Old Testament.

As believers in the era of Grace, we experience the same thing. We pray. We ask God to give us an answer. And miraculously, we receive a whisper to our heart or a prophetic word, or a straight up answer in the Bible, yet we doubt.

God did you really tell me……..

God can you give me a sign……

It’s okay. No condemnation. God knows our human nature so very well.

Indeed, God knew that even our beloved Mary would need a confirmation. Did you know that?

Well, that is why the angel tells Mary that Elizabeth is pregnant.

Because the iPhone wasn’t around, Mary immediately leaves Galilee and travels three to five days walking to Jerusalem to “CONFIRM” what the angel said. Because if indeed, Elizabeth was pregnant, that means that Mary is pregnant and will deliver the Deliverer.

WHOA!

Mary needed some reassurance. It boggles my mind that she needed the angel’s words confirmed to her. Oh, humanity of little faith!!

Oh, but let this truth sink in. How many promises are you waiting upon? How many prophetic words have you received? How many whispers from the Lord are yet to be fulfilled? Perhaps it’s normal to process through doubt. Perhaps it’s okay to once-in-a-while ask the Lord for a confirmation.

When we are entering into new levels of faith and greater works for the Kingdom, I believe God loves to confirm His words. I also believe that once He does, He’s expecting to see our maturity and wait it out in faith.

But for today, in this special Christmas season, I feel as though the Lord is inviting us to ask. He is giving us grace to ask about long-held promises and ask for a confirmation. He is allowing us this special “Mary” gift nestled within the birth of Jesus story to seek Him and allow us to receive His truth, His promises and even confirmations.

I truly believe this is a divine moment for us. A special door has been opened just for us that we might ask for confirmation. But when we ask, choose to believe and hold on to His confirmation like a bulldog. Don’t let His Word be tossed to-and-fro. Stand upon His promise. Quote it back to Him. And write down how He confirms His word because if He says He will do something.

He will!

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:11

On Friday, I have another ordinary moment that is rich! Stay tuned. Stay warm. Walk in love, Warrior! Hugs, Lynn


Because of the Manger... Birth of the King!

From my prayer time this Christmas: December 2018

From the Father:

Emmanuel God With US spirituallunequalmarriage.com In the quiet before the early light of Christmas traditions, My child, rise and sit alone with Me. Press into My heart and travel with Me through the ages, back to a tiny town in the Judean desert.

This village, Bethlehem, shelters a teenaged, soon-to-be mother, struggling in labor throughout the night. Allow your heart to perceive the paddock of bleating sheep and goats, shivering in the cold as they huddle about the tiny family. Feel the course, dry straw where Mary, the mother of God, rests as she pushes through her pain, hour-by-hour.

Breathe in the earthy smells of the animals, the feed, the dung, as the couple labor together. The shadows flicker across the beams of the manger, lit by a single candle.

Finally, the last cry and she pushes forth the child. The King of Kings, the Messiah arrives into the hands of a young Jewish man, Joseph of Nazareth. He quickly comforts the cries of the child, wiping him clean. Resting the child in the trough made for the animals, he turns to Mary, wipes her face then settles her with a sip of water. She fades off to sleep.

Wrapping the child in torn strips from Mary’s dress, the child rests. Joseph ponders the destiny of this tiny baby within his hands. He prays. He offers thanks to the Heavenly Father as he gazes into the perfect face of a babe that is the Chose One, The Christ, who has come for all people.

All of heaven responds in a culmination of majestic worship and praise echoing throughout the eons. The angles sing, hallelujah! The heavens rejoice. Time splits in two. Hope returns. Joy and Freedom is proclaimed over the people. Devils flee.

The love of God is alive upon the earth.

Immanuel —God with us!

Luke 2: 6-14 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


The Difference Between Zechariah and Mary

Emmanuel God With US spirituallunequalmarriage.com We are nearing the time and the town of Bethlehem. Last week in the comments Cindy, brought forward an interesting observation. And today as I’m reading the story of Christmas from the first chapter of Luke, my eyes are drawn again and again to the angel Gabriel and his proclamation of the birth of the Messiah given to Mary, a young woman living in Galilee.

Cindy pointed out the difference between Zechariah’s questioning of Gabriel in contrast to Mary’s question put to the angel. Zach’s question was a cloak of disbelief and Mary’s???? Well as Cindy shared last week, Mary, was asking out of curiosity about how the conception and birth would come about.

This is what I believe we can receive from these two contrasts that are very similar and both prominent in the telling of the birth of the Messiah.

It’s all about the heart!

My friends, it’s our inner core, who we truly are and what we believe, that God comprehends in perfect clarity.

People are sophisticated and very clever about cloaking their full truth from others, but God understands our entire “real” self, every moment of every day. What fascinates me is that Mary proclaimed her acceptance of Gabriel’s word from the LORD in her song for Elizabeth. And within this song exists another profound truth about the human and spiritual condition of people.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. — Luke 1:51

Our thought life is everything!

What we think matters because our thoughts birth things into our lives, good or wicked. And Mary is stating this fact upon receiving the news of the birth of her Savior. Wow!

We must purpose to capture all, ALL, negative, ugly, ungodly thoughts and images, taking them captive to Christ.

I'm convinced through my personal faith life of more than 30 years and through the many prayer sessions I lead, that it is possible for the demonic realm to tune into our thoughts. I’m not really sure when and how the Christian church came to the conclusion that the demons can't hear our thoughts, because nowhere in the Word that written. But I’ve had experiences in the past when in my mind thought things and I never spoke a word, yet I partnered with a lie through dark thoughts and the and I gave power to the ugly thought and it became real in my life.

Because our thought-life is critically important, it's not a coincidence that there are numerous scripture verses about our thoughts and mind.

Our thought-life creates atmospheres. They can be dark, gloom, doom, sad, and mad. Or they can create life, hope, love, peace and joy. The Holy Spirit dwells in a person’s heart who thinks upon these things. Let me give you an example. The atmosphere of worship is where the angels play in vibrant colors of green, bright purples, reds, and golds. But a dark atmosphere is shadowy, fearful, nasty, accusatory, angry and the demonic lurks.

Within the telling of the birth of Christ, smack in the middle of Mary’s declaration, I discovered the preeminent importance of our thoughts. It was true over 2,000 years ago and it’s true today. Capturing thoughts to Christ and having the mind of Christ is our daily pursuit.

Dwell upon God. Think about Him. Talk to Him. Talk to Jesus. Dance with the angelic. Live with the Holy Spirit. Ponder and let your thoughts drift toward heaven. Offer Him praise. Blast the worship music. Give Him thanks and think words that echo His character. You can change your atmosphere and those about you. One of my favorite things to do, is to walk into Walmart and change the atmosphere of the store!!

Say what??

It’s so cool!

Once again, the powerful truths that are hidden in the Christmas story are bringing hope, tools and truth to equip the Saints to slay the darkness and release the captives…

…and isn’t that why Jesus was born?

I leave you with the end of the conversation between the angel, Gabriel and Mary.

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  

For no word from God will ever fail. —Luke 1:34-37


And His Name Shall......

Emmanuel God With US spirituallunequalmarriage.com I’ve read the Christmas story in the Gospels for years. In fact every January, I begin my Daily Bible with the telling of the birth of Jesus in the book of Matthew. But this year, this beautiful December, I’m reading it with a new hunger and in utter awe. What the Lord is reveling to me is creating a love for this story like I’ve never experience prior to now.

It’s peace. It’s wonder. It’s revelation. It’s JESUS!!! 

Reading the passage in Matthew chapter one, I stopped, transfixed on verse 21.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. — Matthew 1:21 NIV

COME ON!!!  My soul stirs just reading the words. Yet, in my NIV Bible, the paper kind, which if you don’t have a paper Bible. Get one. Read from it every day. Highlight, write in the margins. It’s an entirely different experience with God on paper verses digital. Ya, I promise!

Jesus Greek Joshua Christmas 2018

In my Bible there is a tiny little footnote. I glanced down at some point in a previous year, I had underlined it: Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the LORD saves. The significance was immediate. This is because I’m camped on understanding the name of God in this season of my faith life. I shared some of my recent discovery last week in my Facebook live video.

SUMites, names are extraordinarily important in the Kingdom of God. Now think about this. Why?

Why, does an angel arrive to Zechariah and tell him what name to bestow upon his son? And again, Gabriel arrives with the name of the Savior of the World, Yeshua, to christen Mary and Joseph’s child?

In the Kingdom, names carry mandates, missions, purpose, identity. And these names are gifted of God and are often accompanied by angelic support, power and authority in the Kingdom realm, abilities and spiritual and physical gifts. The name Samson is identified with strength and power. Fearlessness and courage are the spiritual covering of Caleb and Joshua. I’ve also discovered that names are also associated with the demonic, Jezebel, Leviathan, etc.

I will be real here. My husband’s name is Michael. It means: Who is like God. With this kind of mandate upon my husband’s name alone, it’s not a mystery to me that the devil has applied a concerted effort to keep him from fulfilling his Godly purpose on the earth.

Wikipedia: The name Jesus is a modern-day descendant of the Hebrew name Yeshua, which is based on the Semitic root y-š-ʕ (Hebrew: ישע‎), meaning "to deliver; to rescue.

Hallelujah… Our deliverer. Our rescue. And this name is NOT a one and done. This is a day-by-day, minute-by-minute redemption that covers a lifetime on earth. Can I get an AMEN?

I speak the name of Jesus literally hundreds of times a day. I’m not kidding. I speak it in my sleep. I speak the name over situations during the day. I praise His name as I move throughout my day. The name, Jesus, pours from my lips over and over. Just ask Mike. I can’t stop it and I don’t want to.

Because…… at the name of Jesus…… every knee will bow. On the earth and under the earth. ALL THINGS must come under the dominion of Jesus Christ.

This Christmas, ask the Holy Spirit to pour upon you revelation about the name of Jesus. The name of Yahweh, the names of the disciples, the names of your family. There are mandates and missions in waiting, to be discovered, to be released to our world… Let the name Jesus pour from your lips. His name changes marriages, realigns our health, released our children into their legacy, frees us from depression, fear, regret, bitterness, failure and false identity.

Yeshua!!!  JESUS SAVES!

And his name will be the hope of all the world. —Matthew 12:21


Because of the Manger. This One is BIG

Joseph & Jesus

I’ve been reading the Christmas story in the Gospels the past two weeks. My time in the Word has been utterly revelatory. Father, God has been speaking to me in His kind voice and uncovering treasures of the Christmas story that I didn’t even know were there. Such was the post from Friday about Zechariah.

After having my mind blow up over Zechariah, God led me to read through the first chapter of Matthew. That’s when my eyes were drawn over and over to this heading:

Joseph accepts Jesus

 

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

On the surface, nothing is noteworthy to most. However, for me. I was drawn over and over to the implications of this heading and then the passage that followed. And that’s because, in my Healing Prayer sessions, over and over again, I pray with believers to restore their voice.

So much of human misery is cloaked in lost identity, the result of rejection. This passage in Matthew 1:18-25 is about this very issue. This is the telling of Joseph’s tremendous struggle, which until today, I've never considered the enormity of what is happening here. As I read, I pondered. Why would God include the story in the Bible about Joseph’s struggle to accept an illegitimate child?

Joseph’s story is the story of humanity. We are all illegitimate. Born into a world that is harsh, unkind, brutal. And we find ourselves far away from our Father in heaven. As I mentioned, in nearly every prayer session, I help believers discover when and how their voice and identity was taken and then gently lead them through healing from a deep soul wound of voicelessness and rejection. It grieves me that many people live decades under words of pain, most often inflicted by a parent. And my friends, this is at the core of tremendous wounding in men! Most men are desperate to be accepted by their Father. 

I guess that explains why I was drawn to the words: Joseph ACCEPTS Jesus as his son. I can’t tell you how many people long for the same. We LONG for acceptance by others of our authentic self. 

I’m convinced that our good Father purposed this passage as a blueprint for family.

This man, Joseph legally and religiously was entitled, as well as expected, to walk away from Mary and the baby. Remember, Joe had already determined to divorce her. In ancient Hebrew culture, an engagement is the beginning of a marriage contract. They were considered married, yet unconsummated. As I think about Joseph, I see this play out day after day in our modern society.

Joseph was unwilling to face the shaming, the rejection of his own family (usually a controlling mother or harsh father) nor the disgrace of a marriage to a perceived “stained woman” some would say – a whore. How often are marriages doomed because of parental shaming, ignorance, misguided expectations.... the list is endless. 

Yet in a dream. A DREAM, no less! (Side note: I wonder how many times God has told us to do the right thing or answered our prayers and we didn’t recognize it was Him because He communicated in a way we refused to validate????)

Back to the dream: A nighttime visitation. The Lord said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

Upon reading this verse, revelation then began to emerge in my mind. My dear friends, this passage is in the Word for all of us. It’s the LORD speaking. This is also our “Dream from the Lord” written in antiquity for all generations of believers.

ACCEPTANCE!

Joseph accepted wholeheartedly the enormous, life-long task of raising a child that was not his own. He willingly and with gravity, accepted the mandate upon his life to love and protect someone that society said he should reject. Isn’t this similar to our lifelong mandate in our SUM marriages? Hmmmmmm

May I ask you a question as we ponder this underlying wisdom within the Christmas story? Who is God asking you to accept? Is it a step-child? If so, decide today to no longer call that child (step) but embrace that child as son, daughter. Decide to never say the word, step, again to them or in their presence. 

Is the Lord asking you to accept and “see” the broken, the angry, those crying inside, the vulgar, the sinner, yourself?

Have you accepted who you really are? Is the LORD calling out to you, “You are Worthy of love. You are worthy to be protected. You are worthy to be cherished and nurtured.”

Forgive those who rejected the “real” you. Ask for help if needed. Fully forgive and let go of the bitterness that holds you in chains of regret and anger.

This profound story in the telling of the birth of Christ, resonates throughout the centuries and remains vitally powerful today.

Listen as our Father speaks with tenderness and truth in His voice, “I love you. I accept you just as you are. You are already perfect to Me. My favorite things about you is your quirkiness, your weaknesses, your tender heart and all the things about you that others criticized. I love YOU!”

Let’s ask the Lord a question on this day in December. Ready?

Jesus, who do I need to accept?

What did you hear?

Now let’s ask this: Jesus, how do you want me to proceed to show love and acceptance to this person(s)? Jesus, how do you want me to show love to myself?

The road to Bethlehem is filled with lessons of love and God’s wisdom. Walk we me a bit further. By December 25th it’s possible that we will have walked into a new season of powerful awareness, freedom, and healing.

And isn’t that what the birth of Jesus is all about?

Emmanuel God With US spirituallunequalmarriage.com

Share in the comments if you are able, the name you need to forgive/accept. I will pray with you.


Because of The Manger... Our Voice Is Restored!

Emmanuel God With US spirituallunequalmarriage.com While reading the Christmas story in the book of Luke on Monday, I pondered Zechariah’s story. The Holy Spirit began to speak to me about Zechariah’s angelic encounter, his response, and the significance and similarity in many believers lives today.

Let’s read it together and then I will share the revelation that could very well change the course of your life this very day. 

Let us recall that Zechariah was the High Priest serving in the Temple, in the Holies of holy. He and his wife Elizabeth were devoted to the Lord, however, they lived in shame as they were childless. Childlessness was considered a curse in ancient Biblical times.

In Luke, chapter one, Zechariah received great honor when chosen to burn incense in the Temple. While ministering to God behind the curtain the angel, Gabriel, appeared before him and said, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to call him John….”

Gabriel continues to declare the destiny of John who becomes The Baptist. Let’s pick up in verse 18 and listen to Zachariah’s response:

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people. — Luke 1:18-25

Now this is where the Lord began to speak to me, “Lynn, I know that you are aware through your many prayer session, that many of my children have experienced this very thing.”

“Huh?” I pondered until the Lord went on to explain. “You see, many of my children’s voices have been stolen from them. They suffered much at the hands of those in authority over them who silenced their cries for kindness, consideration, and cries for help. CRIES TO BE HEARD!”

“What happened to Zachariah continues to play out in millions of lives today."

"And Lynn, it wasn’t by My Hand that Zachariah lost his voice. No. His voice was stolen by the demonic the instant Zach decided to doubt and believe a lie. He believed this miracle birth was impossible. He chose by his free will to partner with doubt and deceit, two principalities of darkness. Thus, giving the enemy an entry point to come in, snatch his voice, which was ordained to be a powerful witness of the Kingdom. He believed a lie even though my powerful angel stood before him speaking truth.”

“Stealing a believer’s voice is the goal of every demon. Your voice carries so much power to change everything in the world. But the devil tricks, swirls doubt, pain, and trauma to snuff out the realities that I offer. My children partner with deception even though they have My Word, the Holy Spirit and the testimonies of millions of believers who declare the reality of My power and love."

"Lynn, I’m so glad that you pray with My children and restore their voice.”

“I’m so glad too, Papa.”

“Lynn, but did you see what happened when Zachariah acted in faith and partnered with Me, with My son, Jesus, and with truth? The demonic stronghold was immediately broken, and Zechariah’s voice was restored. Read on!”

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. — Luke 1:61-66

“Meditate on this truth. Partner with Me no matter how impossible the circumstances. If I have decreed a thing. IT MUST HAPPEN!”

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Whoa, Gang!

Who knew the Christmas story could be this powerful.

This is the season of miracles and receiving gifts. Has the devil stolen your voice? Ask the Lord about your voice. Has it been silenced? Do you use your voice to bless and not curse?

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:6

For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. —Luke 6:45

Share your thoughts with me in the comments. Let me pray for you in the comments today. I love you Merry Christmas. AND, I can’t wait to discover more on our journey toward Bethlehem!


Because of the Manger... Shrug Off The Ugly Sweater

SUMites,

I’m so excited for Christmas this year. I went extra crazy decorating the house. Take a look.

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Within me remains a wide-eye small girl who still marvels at the wonder and whimsy of this season. I miss the snow so much this time of year. So much so, that I created a snowscape outside of my front door. My daughter, Caitie, who is freezing in Indiana is longing for the warm afternoons of southern California.

Christmas Door 2018

I love the decorations on the tree, each tell a story of a season of our life. I love the packages and the lights. I love to wear Christmas apparel and have laughed out loud at the crazy, and weird, ugly Christmas sweaters.

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There are tiny miracles all about us if we take time to notice.

In fact, just this past week Mike asked me what church service we would be attending on Christmas Eve. Say what??? A number of years ago, that would have never happened.

But what I love so much is the retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus. So, would you travel with me in this month of December to Bethlehem, visit with Mary and Joseph, imagine the Wisemen and their need to find the new born King? Let’s behold the gift that we have because of the manger…..

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. — Luke 1:35 (KJV)

The joining of the DNA of God with humanity within a covering of the Holy Spirit. The conception of a perfect child.

Because of Christ, we have been invited to remove the ugly and become a brand-new person. We can shrug off that ugly Christmas sweater and literally put on Christ. Whoa! Read this:

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. — Romans 13:14 (NIV)

This singular conception in a tiny town of Bethlehem is also our conception as a new creation, a child of God. A man or woman endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). The manger is our rescue from anger, fear, false beliefs, confusion, strife, and every tool of the devil.

We are offered a precious gift, to dawn and wear the love of Jesus this season and become peace bearers in our home. Love givers in our marriages. Leaders of joy in our communities. Ambassadors of purpose and destiny for our children.

SUMites, who do you want to be this Christmas. Will you choose to wear Jesus in the morning for your kids, your spouse. Will you put on the peace of Christ and bring Him with you into the workplace, into the schools and into our nations? We appear to be just an ordinary people, but that perception is a darkened deception. We are more than ordinary. Because of the manger, we the SUMites, truly impact our homes, our churches, our community, and our world.

We are love. We choose this day to wear Jesus on the outside and inside and reflect the perfection of a babe born in a manger who changed and changes everything.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. — Isaiah 9:6

Leading up to Christmas, let’s walk the road to Bethlehem. Let’s be purposeful to dwell on the greatest story ever told.

Emmanuel – God with us!

In the comments, tell me how putting on Jesus has helped you to take off the ugly in your life. And/or share your ugly sweater pic.

I adore you…. Merry Christmas!!! Lynn

Emmanuel God With US spirituallunequalmarriage.com

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This is my ugly sweater, my cute dog Finn.and my Broncos Cap! See you in the comments! BIG HUGS!


Advent - Jesus Came to Bring us Life!

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Image courtesy of samarttiw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So here we all are. The week before Christmas with still lots to do. Work to finish off, shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, travelling and hosting just to name a few things. It’s exhausting just reading that list.

Besides all of this we may have the added stress of having family staying with us (we do) and/or going to stay with family. A quick tip, delegate things. Don’t try to do it all. Engage everyone in the doing. Yes, this can be a struggle and frankly I’m preaching this as much to myself as anyone. Because sometimes people don’t follow instructions well or try to take over.

Breathe, Ian, breathe.

Abundant Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJV)

We all know this verse. At Christmas both parts of the verse are very relevant. The enemy will do everything to wreck Christmas. But. But. Jesus came to give us life and an abundance of it. Oh, how easy it is for us to forget especially when the stress levels are rising.

For many of us Christmas can bring back many sad memories of loss and grief. And because it’s Christmas we tend to feel those emotions even stronger. May I encourage you not to try and block them out. Let those feelings come. And when they do picture Jesus standing with you. Holding you. Grieving and crying with you. Feeling those same emotions.

Hold onto the truth that our Lord was born on Christmas Day so we could have life! An abundant life! With Him.

He arrived in a world that was in chaos. A world that was desperate for the promised Messiah. After 400 years many would have given up.

He arrived in a war zone. The supernatural war was intense.

He arrived in a time when the Romans held an iron grip on society.

He arrived ... so you and I could have … life. In abundance.

Cherish Jesus this Christmas. Cherish your family and friends.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV)

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS


#WonderOfChristmas - Who Needs Peace?

I received so many photos and tags on Social Media as our community captures the #WonderOfChristmas. Look at this one from Patty.

Patty's Son Macy's Train

Her son admiring the train set up at Macy’s. Priceless

December can be so amazing and also hectic. I wonder how many of you need peace on this Friday?

Jesus prince of peaceI continue to hear Jesus, the Prince of Peace, call out to each of us to catch the moments of wonder in our lives this December. Just as Patty’s young son marvels at the window display, Jesus is whispering to us, “Take notice of the beauty in the sky, in the clouds, in the sunsets and sunrises. Do you see the sparkle of the tree and how your face gleams in the reflection of an ornament? Your glorified face gleaming is how I see you ever day. Do you sense the angels that are in your home? Take a moment to read My story of my birth to your children and allow them to feel my love. Do you know that I’m enamored by you and I’m whispering words of love and encouragement to you all day long? Take in My wonder. Listen to my voice. Pause and allow me to dust you with golden peace that comes from heaven.”

 

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2016-12-08/f861471f-4ccb-4375-a4e1-ad03bef62615.png
From JB (Monday's comments): Decorating the tree...and the only ornament to shine brightly? The cross on the lower right.

My friends, do you know what happens when we catch the wonder of Christmas? Something amazing unfolds. Something that can move us out of fear. Something happens when we catch the face of Jesus in others. The miraculous can occur and as believers we receive a gift that the rest of the world can’t seem to grasp. Do you know what that is? Well tune in on Tuesday and I will share where Jesus is leading us this December.

Please share more of your #WonderOfChristmas with me here in the comment, Facebook or email me.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. —Luke 2:9-10

 

From this week posted on Facebook: CHOSEN!!!! Randomly I dropped my name in a drawing on Saturday. Don't know why. I picked up the gift card yesterday. I LOVE December. #WonderOfChristmas
#Steinmart Thank you!!!
feeling festive.  

Winner Steinmart Gift Card


#WonderOfChristmas -SUMites This Is Our Season

Hello SUMite Nation,

I’m going to save the Emotional Healing study for the new year. I think I need to have several uninterrupted weeks for this topic. It will be powerful.

Today, I want to share with you what the Lord is speaking to me for the month of December. And it started with a phone call to speak at my church.

Next Sunday I will be speaking at our Women’s event, Christmas Dessert. It is a great honor and I’m humbled to be asked. Truly! In preparation I went on a walk-n-pray and I asked Jesus this question, “Jesus, what do you want me to share with your girls?”

Immediately I heard Jesus say, “Lynn, tell them about Me. Tell them what it’s like to live an ordinary day with me. Tell them how to see the wonder of this season where we celebrate My birth. Tell them that I’m near to them. Even in the hard stuff. Tell them I’m filled with affection for them. Tell them I think they are funny and I laugh at their goofiness and jokes. I like to watch football with them and sit in the kitchen with them while they are making dinner. It is my favorite thing to just live life with them.”

“Lynn, tell them about me and tell them about the life we live together and tell them this wondrous life is for them as well.”

So, my friends, after I wiped the tears from my eyes, the Holy Spirit began to download what I’m to share. And as I began to organize these thought, Jesus said, Tell my SUMite family about this too. I want this kind of life for them this season.

I hope it’s okay with all of you if I share some of the wonders of this season with the hope that you will experience Jesus, the Jesus of today, in a new and wondrous way.

Okay?

One of the first things the Lord began to share with me was to take time to see the “wonder.” How do you see wonder? What is wonder?

Wonder: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

A surprise, something beautiful, unexpected…. This is exactly what I believe Jesus is asking us to notice this December. It’s the small things that bring a smile to our face. It’s the unexpected beauty that shows up in some way. It’s a gift of heaven.

He wants us to experience His love this Christmas through child-like faith. Neat!!!!!!!!!!

So for the next several weeks I have a challenge. I want you to find something wondrous every day in your life. I want you to take a photo of it or write it down. Post it to your social media with the hashtag #WonderOfChristmas and tag me on FB or Twitter, or Instagram and/or post to our FB page and best of all post some of them in the comments here.

We are going to do something with these wonders later in the month. And I promise you that Jesus is going to reveal something miraculous through this endeavor. But I’m saving that for the Big surprise later.

Okay, I’ve already started and here are a few of my post #WonderOfChristmas.

Sunday, December 4: Early Sunday morning walk n pray. The flocks of geese have returned to the valley to winter. Splendor watch and listening as the fly over. #WonderOfChristmas

December 2: Facebook

Christmas unwrapped dogsCame home last night to Christmas morning-post unwrapped. The dogs had a blast under the tree while we were gone. #WonderOfChristmas. Now off to re-wrap everything.feeling festive.

December 1: Facebook

Christmas beautiesI love the wonder of this time of year. And on my walk n pray these beauties greeted me. #WonderOfChristmas

Okay, now it’s your turn. And as we travel this adventure this week. I’m going to share with you what Jesus asked of me. Are you ready? Stay tuned and ask Jesus today to show you the “wonder of Christmas.”

I love all of you so much. My heart is so full of anticipation. I’m so full of expectation that this Christmas is going to be special and an intimate time with Jesus, for each of us.

Praying a blessing of love, joy, peace, goodness and HOPE. In Jesus name. AMEN