159 posts categorized "Worship"

Graves into Gardens

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Photo courtesy of Rob D and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear SUMite friends, Ian from wintry Sydney here. It's just turned July 1 here and it's incredible that half the year has already passed. Who could have anticipated what would go down this year? As I've mentioned previously, the Lord put on my heart the word, 'Awakening', in January but I had absolutely no sense of what that meant. Much has occurred for me personally, but it pales compared to all the global events.

Awakening

There is an awakening happening across the globe and it's important for us to hold on to the belief that God is in charge. And good has come out of these difficult times and will continue to I expect for years to come. 

Life for all of us is going to look different for a while, isn't it. Everything we're used to (outside of our homes) is having to be adjusted, whether it's the simple things like hugging friends, attending church, schooling for our kids, working out at gyms or eating at our favourite eateries. The list goes on.

Stay Connected

Even when it's challenging to be physically close, choose each day to stay connected with friends. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Schedule at least one contact per day - ring someone, Zoom/Facetime someone and be very present with them. Switch off other devices, email, clutter all around you so you can be fully focused on your friend. And be slow to share rather ask questions seeking to listen and care for your friend. Your turn will come to share, maybe not this time but the next.
  2. Embrace solitude with God - enables us to simply pause and take some time out from the world, family. Breath deeply a couple of times and try to clear your mind. There are a lot of apps that help us do this but I'll refer you once again to John Eldredge's One Minute Pause app which I and a number of my friends have found particularly beneficial in these crazy times.
  3. Encourage someone today - I have a saying that 'everyone needs a Barnabas in their life' and I try to be one every day. It can be as simple as a smile to a passer by, a quick check in to your neighbour, a text message with a heart emoji ("I'm thinking about you") or a note to say well done. Don't seek a thank you. God knows, that's all that matters. 

Worship

Who loves singing worship songs? At home? In the car? It's good isn't it! It awakens (that word again) our hearts and pours faith and belief into us.

I expect many of us will have seen the various collaborative versions of Kari Jobe/Cody Carnes "The Blessing"; the churches down under even did a version which I love. But it's this one from Elevation Church that is particularly relevant for these times.

Sing along and believe these lyrics because our Lord does indeed "turn graves into gardens, bones into armies, seas into highways and mourning to dancing" We are living in a moment in history that God has deemed for us to live in and oh, the wonder we are going to see. 

Get ready!


How God Stretches Us!

Hi friends, Ann here. Fire 2

We’ve just had Pentecost, a day when the Holy Spirit came with power upon the early church. What a moment! I can only imagine what those disciples felt when they saw fire on each other. They must have surely been scared but excited.

One time I had an experience in a church that left me scared-but-excited. It was a memorable moment. Here's what happened:

It was an evening in Auckland and I'd gone to hear a visiting missionary speak at a little-known church. I arrived alone and settled into the worship. So far, so good. The gentle presence of God was lovely and the worship went late. Eventually, the host stood up to close the meeting.

“Most of you will want to go home now to your families, and we say goodbye. I hope you’ve enjoyed this evening --”

“It is late,” I thought to myself. “I’d better get home to Bryce --”

But the host continued –

“And there are some here who will want to stay. Because you’re hungry. And if that’s you, you can come to the front and we’ll continue …”

Now, I fully intended to walk out the door but for some strange reason I found myself instead drifting to the front with the ‘hungry ones’. There they gathered to continue worshipping. I stood about ten rows back, watching. I was no longer worshipping but something held me there.

Well blow me down, I was not ready for what happened next. My friends, what I describe may or may not be new to you, but it was to me. Like a mighty rush, the power of the Holy Spirit hit the room and the row of people at the front fell to the ground in one swoop as if they’d been hit by volts of power.

SMASH! The power hit the second row. People began to fall to their knees like dominoes: crying, worshipping, utterly wrecked by his love.

WHAM! The Spirit of God hit the third row. Wave upon wave of love, crashing down.

At this point my face took on a deer-in-the-headlights look. Never had I seen this before.

The fourth row, the fifth row, it was nearing me. It was like a tidal wave heading straight for me. An internal whimper bubbled up.

I looked left and right as those beside me began to fall, and I took a step back. I looked again and took another as people were moving chairs to make way for the power. Soon my feet were stepping back very quickly. Then I paused: Should I? before I turned and ran. Here's what was top of my mind:

“I don't want to do this without Bryce.”

And so I left. I ran to my car, flung myself into the driver's seat, then sat in the dark with a beating heart and shaking hands. After a while I started the ignition and decided that if ever there was a time to gorge myself on a McDonald's super-sized meal this was it. So I pulled into a drive-through, bought up large and sat in the carpark shoving handfuls of salty fries into my mouth while digesting what I'd just seen. 

Glug glug went the sucking of my straw as I gulped down the sugary coke. Glug glug. 

Oh God, it was You.

Oh God, I wish I’d stayed.

I’ve since come to understand what happens to people when they are the ones getting hit by the power. It is beautiful, life-changing, and it's something to which I now say a huge yes. Further, this is the very thing that happened very personally to our leader, Lynn, in October 2012. She has written honestly about it in the book Marching Around Jericho, and it was a turning-point for this ministry. 

So today I celebrate those disciples and that radical Pentecost.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:1-4, NIV)

Lord, we ask for more. Give us the ability to receive your love, your power, your character, your heart, your wisdom, your majesty, your signs and your wonders. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Let the Fragrance of Worship Fill My House

Hi friends, Ann here! Perfume

During this time of incubation in my home, I've been reflecting on what I'm to focus my energy on. I sense it's this simple thing: Lock my eyes onto Jesus. As far as I can, I need to fix my eyes firmly on Him and steadily hold that gaze. This week, with that in mind, I’ve been marinating in small verses from the Gospels.

Today I thought I would share one little Gospel moment: The time when Jesus visited His special friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

The reason that I was drawn to this passage is that Good Friday is in a week’s time, and I noticed that the last thing Jesus did before embarking on that dramatic last week in Jerusalem was pay a visit to His friends. Maybe He just needed some camaraderie. 

“Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. They prepared a supper for Him there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pint of very costly ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.” John 12:1-3

This event followed the resurrection of Lazarus. Having a grateful heart fit to burst, Mary could do nothing else but show her love for Jesus, for ALL He had done.

SUMites, let that be us!

The ointment she broke was a heartfelt act of worship. Worship doesn’t have to involve music, it’s just absolute adoration. It's casting our crowns of glory at His feet, like Mary did with her hair. When we worship Jesus, the fragrance can fill a house.

SUMites, let the fragrance of our worship fill our homes during this time!

To Jesus those girls – Mary and Martha – had many titles. They were His close friends, His collective bride, His daughters, Princesses of the Kingdom of Heaven, Priests (Revelation 1:6), and more. How many titles do we hold in His eyes, and in His name?

Then there's Judas, who stands by sneering, nitpicking Mary for her devotion. We know what his end is to be. Nitpicking another person for their hunger is easy to do, but Jesus says this:

“Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” (v. 7-8).

The poor are a-plenty out there – And today that word 'poor' makes me think of those who don’t know God today in this hard situation. It’s hard to reach those poor at this present moment while we're house-bound. What we do have is an opportunity for time with Him, to focus on His presence within us, in our home, and we can break open the very best of what we own, especially for Him.

SUMites, may you find treasures this coming week as we commemorate His death, burial, and resurrection!


Keep Playing The Christian Music

Hi friends, Ann here! Dance

If there's one passage in the Bible that brings a SUM moment to life, it's the one where David dances to the Lord, his wife Michal sees him through a window, and she 'despises him in her heart'. Gulp -- Let's take a look:

“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart."

(2 Samuel 6:14-16, NKJV)

David then returns 'to bless his household', and Michal is not feeling it:

“How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” (v.20)

We don’t know what marriages were like in those days, but David must have felt sorely misunderstood. Nevertheless, his response shows determination:

“It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore, I will play music before the Lord. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.” (v. 21-22).

To leap and dance for God like David is akin to the intimacy with God that we're currently talking about in our community. I think we all have a leap to take when it comes to intimacy, and for my own part I can say I found it ever so risky to leap towards God and trust he would catch me. Specifically, I struggled to trust that I would not lose Bryce's favor. That was a biggie.

I was helped in this area by a friend whose Dad was a pastor. I wrote to this friend one day when it was all feeling too hard. My words went something along the lines of, "I think Bryce will go off me if I keep going." My friend duly consulted the Dad, who was old and wise, then flicked me an email:

“Ann, with God, the only way to go is forward. Now that you know that God is real, what else are you going to do? Sit in a dark room with a blindfold on? The fence is too sharp to sit on. But here’s what my Dad says: The closer you get to God, the more Bryce will see the spiritual bloom on your cheek. So keep going!”

This was great advice in theory, but I struggled to believe that Bryce would see this elusive 'spiritual bloom on my cheek'. My friend was saying, “Take the leap, Ann. God will catch you!” but the lie I was believing was “If I move any closer to God I'll lose out.” 

To cut a long story short, eventually I let go of the lie. Having leapt into God's arms I truly believe now that the more you love Jesus … Well, everything blooms. As David said to Michal, God has shown himself faithful.

David's response is a good one for us. Essentially he says to Michal, “Look, there is good reason I dance for him the way I do. I am going to carry on, and I will be playing my Christian music.”

Friends, did you catch that? Michal doesn't like his Christian music! I'm laughing as I type and I can't help but wonder if God slipped that part in for humor for us. Even in David’s day, Christian music was hard to play in front of the less believing spouse. Well, nothing there has changed. Eventually, like David, perhaps we stop caring and just play it. In fact, that's been a shift for me only in the last few weeks: I slip the Christian music on, Bryce laughs but doesn't really mind, I keep it on, and as I listen to it I leap -- In my heart.

Well on that happy note, I think the story got a bit more cheerful than at first it seemed. So keep on with that Christian music, friends. And perhaps we can chat in the comments: Has intimacy with God involved a leap for you?


The Wonder of Lingering

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Image courtesy of Chaiwat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I arrived at a Prayer Meeting that I was leading and one of the members was already present. This was unusual for him as he typically arrived after the first 30 minutes. But I could sense something in his spirit was bursting. It didn’t take long for my friend to share the experience he’d just come from – an impromptu morning worship time where he had ‘laid all his burdens down’ before the Lord as he lay prostrate on the floor.

I envied his freedom and the heightened experience of lingering with the Lord.

We had time before the others arrived for me to share that I too had experienced something similar at the Writers Conference I attended a month or so back. Both our experiences were stimulated by Spirit-enabled worship. There’s something very special when you’re completely given over to worship, whether in public or at home in your own secret place. It really feels like a touch of heaven, caught up in the arms of your lover. No words need to be uttered; no supernatural miracle of healing or prophecy or word of knowledge or other has to occur (even though they might), just the two of you wrapped in a cocoon of extravagant love.

The deepest level of communication is not communication but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. (Thomas Merton)

God Delights

God wants us to linger. Lingering may seem a waste of time because there is so much to do, isn’t there? But it’s interesting when one looks at those others who have a deeper connection with the Lord, they’ve usually spent lots of time lingering in His presence. It doesn’t have to be with music. As Mother Teresa once said: “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.”

We all know Jesus lingered with the Father. It was a regular habit of his to disappear early in the morning before sunset to simply spend time in the presence of the Father. It served to replenish Jesus, to refill him for the day ahead.

And Joshua. The one who led the Israelites into the Promised Land knew God intimately. That’s why he was given the responsibility. How did Joshua know God so well? Let’s see what Exodus tells us:

“And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood atthe door of the tabernacle, and the Lordtalked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing atthe tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man inhis tent door. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” (Exodus 33:9-11 NKJV)

Joshua stayed behind in the tabernacle. With God.

I’ve probably referred to this verse many times over the years, as it is one of my favorites:

“Here’s the one thing I crave from God,
the one thing I seek above all else:
I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house,
finding the sweet loveliness of his face,
filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace.
I want to live my life so close to him
that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.

 In his shelter in the day of trouble, that’s where you’ll find me,
for he hides me there in his holiness.
He has smuggled me into his secret place,
where I’m kept safe and secure

out of reach from all my enemies.
Triumphant now, I’ll bring him my offerings of praise,
singing and shouting with ecstatic joy! (Psalm 27:4-6 TPT)

Oh my … The Passion Translation just takes it that one step further doesn’t it? David wrote these words; he who learnt to linger with the Lord during the long hours of solitude when the only sounds were the occasional bleats from the many sheep he shepherded for hours on end. It was how he developed a ‘heart after God.’

Busyness

The enemy knows if he can keep us busy and/or surrounded by noise and distraction, he keeps us from lingering with God. So our connection with God tends to be rushed and compromised. We will often ‘hear what we want to hear’ rather than hear what God is telling us. We only have to reflect on a similar situation with our spouses – when we only connect in busy, noisy and distracted seasons, our relationship struggles, we often simply resort to going through the motions and everything is done quickly and without passion. Until one of us breaks.

Why wouldn’t our experience be similar with our Lord? What we do know is He never leaves us and His love is always constant. He won’t break. Only we will. And He is there ready to pick us up, having forgotten about the distance we’ve kept in recent times.

I hope you are able to make some time to linger this week with the lover of you soul. “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” (Psalm 149: 4 NIV)

He really does. He delights in you. Believe it. Enjoy Him.

Grace and peace, dearest friends.


The Enemy Cannot Handle This!

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:

  • Joshua 6 - God gives specific instructions about the destruction and taking of the city of Jericho. In verse 20 we see the result of following God's plan and not their own: "So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."
  • Patty called us to march around our house 7 times and shout, declare, pray and praise things into existence. It was in the great shout that the walls fell flat down.

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.

As we approach this Jewish New Year, what are the things you are coming to the Throne of Grace for? What do you hope to see in this new season? Shout

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!

 

 


But God! I'm Too Broken!

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!

As many of you know, I have been on a journey into worship flagging.

On February 9, 2019, I received my flags in the mail. I may have been a little excited. ::grin::

Feb 9 Eek Flag ArrivalPsalm 47:7 (NKJV) says, "For God is the King of all the earth. Sing praises with understanding." On February 20, 2019, I decided to write scripture verses on my flags as a reminder of why I dance. Using this same principle, it is my goal to always dance with understanding.

Feb 20 flag with scriptureA couple of months ago, I went to a worship and prayer night at my church. I grabbed my flags to begin to worship the Lord and I noticed something odd about how they were laying in the bag. Once they were out of the bag and I began to unwrap them, I noticed that the rods were snapped in half. I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. I was devastated. In that moment, I asked God, "Why?!" (Isn't it interesting how quick we are to blame God for our misfortunes?)

It was in the stillness of the room, as Holy Spirit settled upon us in worship, that I heard very clearly, "Broken is still beautiful. Broken is still usable."

I tried using the flags but it just wasn't working so I figured it was word meant for someone else in the room and mentioned it to the group.

Fast forward weeks later, I had been trying to use flags that were available for worship at church. Things just weren't flowing the way they did with my own flags. I couldn't seem to adjust to how these small and inflexible flags moved. I eventually decided this was a season of no flagging. I couldn't afford to fix them or buy new ones. All the while I had people mentioning how they missed seeing me flag. The "you were made to worship" quotes were another sting in my already broken heart.

A couple of days ago while lying in bed, Holy Spirit spoke to me again, "Broken is still beautiful. Broken is still usable." I missed flagging. It helps me to focus in on the heartbeat of God. I thought, "Yes Lord, I know. You've told me." It was then that I had received messaged from two different people about flagging. One was looking to sell her flags. Another had sent me a worship flag video. I could feel Holy Spirit wooing me. "Let's dance."

I got out of bed. The rest of the house was silent and sleeping. I couldn't resist Him any longer. It was in the darkness of my living room that I took out my flags and I began to worship. With broken flags and a broken spirit I moved, I spun, I jumped, I bent and I twirled. Oh what a joy to see the shadows of my flags moving in a beautiful rhythm. Holy Spirit and I dancing and interceding together once again.

You see, the problem was not with my flags. The problem was not in the word I received from God. The problem was with my expectation. With every adjustment in life there is a period where you have to do just that - adjust. In every new season we step into, we have to realize that we cannot do things the same way we did in the previous season. The old has gone, the new has come.

God never told me to stop flagging. This was a distraction from the enemy. During those months when I did not flag, I felt heartbroken. The first issue was that I had made my flags my identity. The broken flags helped me to realize this. The second issue is that I had put a commentary on the word that God had spoken over my flagging. I assumed they were broken and therefore, I had to either replace them or quit all together. But God! Broken is still beautiful. Broken is STILL USABLE.

One thing I should mention, God told me I am not to fix my flags. This is to serve as a reminder that I am broken. I am beautiful. I am valuable. I am usable.

Let's talk in the comments. I wonder, have any of you ever heard a word from the Lord but put your own spin on it? I pray I am not alone. How did you navigate back to the word God gave you? Do any of you feel too broken to be usable? Let's pray together. I want to pour into you today.


Praise & Worship

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

SUMite Nation,

Today was amazing. I woke to a cool and overcast sky. It’s quite rare for southern California in August. I started on my walk at 7:45 am. My praise hour 8-9 am PST.

The Lord was so excited to meet me that He prepared the perfect weather for our walk. As I finished my walk at 9:15 the clouds pushed off to the east. The sun peaked through and the rest of the day was sunny and hot…

My praise walk was PERFECT!

Father IS JUST THAT GOOD!

I worshiped, signing the Lord’s Hebrew name over and over for most of the walk. (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey) I was surrounded by perfect peace. I sensed so strongly the presence of angels. They were worshiping too.

I was about 40 minutes in and I heard the Lord whisper to my heart. The praise and worship by the community has touched My heart. You are known, all of you, known in heaven. This dedicated and united praise has brought favor upon the ministry.

SUMites, well done. Thank you for being a watchman on the wall. Now let’s anticipate the Lord’s response and look for His blessings in the season ahead. I pray you see the hand of the Lord THIS week in response to your praises and our intentional purpose to exalt our Lord during our 24-hour praise chain.

WHAT was your praise hour like????

AND…. Stay tuned. FRIDAY is the launch of our summer Bible study.

Hugs, Lynn


24/7 Praise and Worship- The House of SUM

24 Hours Praise and Worship

From SUMite Gladys Arias: ( SUMite Schedule below)

For us to know how to praise and worship God, we must first understand what it means to praise and worship. When we worship, we are expressing our reverent love and devotion to God. Worship is the act of doing something like reading the Bible, praying, or singing. However, worship is not limited to only to these things.

When we praise, we are expressing our admiration for God; we are lifting Him up in exaltation. Praise is the act of celebrating or boasting about the Lord. We praise through song, poems, or confessing the goodness of God to others. We should be giving God our praise and worship through our daily lives. We can do this at home, in our workplace, on the bus - wherever we are! Praise and worship is a way of life, the very heartbeat of our relationship with God.

We see how to praise and worship God in the Scriptures of the Bible:

  • The Bible instructs us to use musical instruments and singing. Psalm 98:4-6 says, "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn - shout for joy before the LORD, the King." Psalm 150:3-5 says, "Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals."
  • Offer up praise and worship with shouts of joy and clapping of hands. Psalm 47:1-2 says, "Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!"
  • Praise and worship in the assembly and by ourselves.2 Chronicles 29:28 says, "The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played.." Psalm 22:22 says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you." 2 Samuel 12:20 says, "Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate."

Praising and worshiping God is done in many different positions and forms. Here are several biblical examples:

  • Sitting - Acts 2:1-2 says, "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting."
  • Kneeling - Psalms 95:6 says, "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker."
  • Standing - Exodus 33:10 says, "Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent."
  • Lying prostrate/bowing down - 1 Kings 18:39 says, "When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD - he is God! The LORD - he is God!" Nehemiah 8:6 says, "Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, 'Amen! Amen!' Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground."
  • Bowing head - 2 Chronicles 29:30 says, "King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed their heads and worshiped."
  • Lifting hands - Psalm 63:4 says, "I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands."
  • Dancing - Psalm 149:3 says, "Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp."

24 Hour Praise & Worship Chain

PACIFIC TIME ZONE:USA

Name

Time

Eva CST, Ian P 12-1 AM Australia,

12:00 AM

LuAnn EST, Jackie PST,

1:00 AM

Barb EST, Martha CST, Julie EST, Florence CEST,

2:00 AM

Cathleen EST NJ,

3:00 AM

Sarah EST, Cabiria EST, Judy CST,

4:00 AM

Teri PST, Karla EST, driftergal CST,

5:00 AM

Lori EST, Amanda CST, Maureen CST, Jan CST

6:00 AM

Carmen PST, Suzanne EST, Beth CST,

7:00 AM

Lynn PST, Kathy PST

8:00 AM

Lynn L. EST,

9:00 AM

Vicki CST

10:00 AM

Mirta PST,

11:00 AM

Cindy EST,

12:00 PM

Leslie EST, Nickole PST, Diana ?, Ivana Czech Republic C Europe,

1:00 PM

Angela CST,

2:00 PM

Ann PST not sure in New Zealand,

3:00 PM

Marvie PST, Kathie EST, Dorothy CST, Laura J EST,

4:00 PM

Charu EST, Rhonda MST, LEM EST,

5:00 PM

Karen PST, Becky PST, Melissa EST, Jacci CDT

6:00 PM

Gladys EST, Stefanie EST, Lisa EST,

7:00 PM

Natalie MT, Rebecca CST, Ellie EST

8:00 PM

Tiffany CST,

9:00 PM

Lu MacDonald PST,

10:00 PM

Lucy Australia,

11:00 PM

Thank you to my prophetic art buddy, Lu, who picked up the one remaining open slot. 

LET'S PRAISE!

Hugs, Lynn and Gladys


24/7 Praise & Worship! SIGN UP NOW!

24 Hours Praise and Worship
SUMites,  (View open slots at the bottom of the post)

I’m deeply moved by the mass shootings over the weekend in America.

I’m grieved.

I’m convinced that humanity doesn’t have a gun problem. We have a heart problem. We have lost the highest and best life and turned to distortions of truth that have beaten us into depression, shamed us into silence and have robbed the soul of every person living.

GOD IS NOT DEAD. Nor does He sleep. His people MUST ARISE and take back ground the enemy has stolen. It’s time that the children of God decide to go ALL IN! A sold-out, Jesus Freak, life is our only hope. WE are the representatives of the Kingdom and we can bring the hope of Jesus to all humanity.

Let’s start NOW!!! We are going to praise God for His goodness in our lives. We are going to praise God for what He is doing in our nations. We are going to praise the Lord for His Presence in our lives, the love He gives, the provision and His grace.

Tuesday, August 6th at midnight, we as the SUMITE Nation, a Church without walls, will have a watchman (or woman) on the walls offering praise from our community. Every hour a SUMite somewhere in the world will offer praise and worship to the King on behalf of our church.

I’m convinced each one of us that participates will be in line to receive a blessing from heaven. If we praise, full out for one hour, God will shift something. He will shake something, and we will see His goodness in our lives.

It’s not too late. If you haven’t, sign up for a time slot in the comments. There can be overlap.

On Monday night I’ll offer some prayer prompts. ALL DAY TUESDAY, stop in and post in the comments what you heard from the Lord, your encounter, anything that came to you while you praised on Tuesday. Thursday will be a GIANT celebration.

Love you,  Lynn

24 Hour Praise & Worship Chain

PACIFIC TIME ZONE:USA

Name

Time

Eva CST, Ian P 12-1 AM Aussie,

12:00 AM

LuAnn EST, Jackie PST,

1:00 AM

Barb EST, Martha CST, Julie EST, Florence CEST,

2:00 AM

Cathleen EST NJ,

3:00 AM

Sarah EST, Cabiria EST, Judy CST,

4:00 AM

Teri PST, Karla EST, driftergal CST,

5:00 AM

Lori EST, Amanda CST,

6:00 AM

Carmen PST, Suzanne EST, Beth CST,

7:00 AM

Lynn PST

8:00 AM

Lynn L. EST,

9:00 AM

Vicki CST

10:00 AM

Mirta PST,

11:00 AM

Cindy EST,

12:00 PM

Leslie EST, Nickole PST, Diana ?,

1:00 PM

Angela CST,

2:00 PM

Ann PST not sure in New Zealand,

3:00 PM

Marvie PST, Kathie EST,

4:00 PM

Charu EST, Rhonda MST,

5:00 PM

Karen PST, Becky PST, Melissa EST

6:00 PM

Gladys EST, Stefanie EST

7:00 PM

Natalie MT, Rebecca CST, Ellie EST

8:00 PM

Tiffany CST,

9:00 PM

 

10:00 PM

Lucy Australia,

11:00 PM


SUMite Church Without Walls - 24/7 Worldwide Worship

24 Hours Praise and Worship
First Time Ever!

Our SUM Nation will offer to our Lord a 24 hour praise and worship vigil. Let's join and select an hour that we praise the Lord creating a 24 hour chain from our house of SUM.

Tuesday, August 6th, midnight   through
Wednesday, August 7th, midnight.

Take a look at the slots. Sign up in comments. I'll update the signup sheet on Monday. Form below.

Why should we praise? I'll tell you this, if you intentionally carve out 1 hour to worship and that is all you do, the Lord will respond. My life-changing encounter with the Father occured in worship. I always feel his love in worship. And lately, while in corporate worship, I literally can sense/feel the angels pour oil on my head and it drips down over my forehead.

Whoa... Say What?????  

Let's worship. Ask for the oil. Ask for revelation. Let's worship with a committed and dedicated heart for one hour in this 24 hour period. 

I expect fantastic God stories to be told on the blog on Thursday. March on Warriors! We Win!!  Hugs, Lynn   Thanks, Gladys Arias... Great idea!

24 Hour Praise & Worship Chain

Name

Time

 

12:00 AM

 

1:00 AM

 

2:00 AM

 

3:00 AM

 

4:00 AM

 

5:00 AM

 

6:00 AM

 

7:00 AM

 

8:00 AM

 

9:00 AM

 

10:00 AM

 

11:00 AM

 

12:00 PM

 

1:00 PM

 

2:00 PM

 

3:00 PM

 

4:00 PM

 

5:00 PM

 

6:00 PM

 

7:00 PM

 

8:00 PM

 

9:00 PM

 

10:00 PM

 

11:00 PM

Register your name in the comments. There can be overlap but let's try to get every hour covered. 

CAN'T WAIT!!!


Come Away With Me

Come Away With Me, Tiffany Carter, 4/18/2019

Come away with Me
My darling, My bride.
Revealed in the chamber
The secrets I hide.

I long for your presence Hosea
I'll wait here all day.
My love please don't tarry
There's so much to say.

I give you My heart
You hold the key.
All you must do
Is linger with Me.

No need to worry
I'm protecting your heart.
I'm faithful to you
I vow to never depart.

So come now, I'm waiting
Believe Me, it's true.
The treasures of Heaven
Are poured out for you.

The Lord is beckoning us to draw near to Him. I don't know about you but in this season I am in need of some refreshing! Will you answer His invitation?

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. - Isaiah 45:3

I love you dear SUM family!


"And My Hands Dripped with Myrrh"

If you were to open Google earth right now, you’d see a picture of earth from on high. Zoom in, and you’d see New Zealand, Auckland, then a suburb. Zoom in. You’d see a house. Oh, and there inside that house, there’s a girl, me, where God placed her. Unlock the door  SUM

Zoom out. Zoom in again. India. Another believer. Another location. Another heart.

Sometimes I wonder why on earth I’ve been placed in New Zealand and how to live with the fact that my life here is so seemingly comfortable while other locations are less so. As I’ve lived with that question, though, I’ve come to see that everything in the Kingdom is topsy-turvy, and in Kingdom currency, the most comfortable people don’t have it easy.

The important question is “What is my heart’s response to my circumstances, to this place God has me?”

SUMites, in this post today I feel I’d like to share something that has spoken to me strongly since April last year. The way it came was unusual, which always makes me sit up and take notice. Here’s what happened:

It was 20 April last year, I came on here to check a post I’d written. As I opened the post and saw the opening sentence, I became puzzled. “I didn’t write that sentence,” I thought. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. It was still there. “Huh…. I didn’t write that! … That’s strange”. I grabbed paper and pen and wrote the words I saw. I then looked again and – blow me down - the sentence had gone and the post had gone back to normal!

Was I seeing things? Nothing like that has happened before, but sometimes when things are a one-off they stick out. These are the words I ‘saw’:

He has placed us around the world to love Jesus.

Ever since that day I’ve been thinking about this sentence, us, and our placements. The whole time I’d thought it was about the fact we’ve been placed where we are to love other people. Yes, Lord? But this week, I saw it differently. It’s a long story, but over the weekend He spun me in a different direction, and here’s what I was led to instead:

Wherever we’ve been placed, whatever the ease or discomfort, the primary thing in life is to love HIM. Jesus. For Himself.

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV).

After all,

“The first of all commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29-30, NKJV)

And the second commandment, like it, is to love people; but the second flows from the first. If we are placed for the sole purpose of loving Jesus, then, here’s what’s on the tip of my typing fingertips:

To love Jesus means to find Him enough. To find Him everything we could ever want. To hunger and thirst after Him. To want to worship Him only, in the privacy of our homes. To spend thoughts on Him. To sit in His company and ask Him who He is. And more.

And if we don’t feel we’re good at it, it is even just about taking a baby step forward, saying “I unlock the door that lets You in, Jesus”, much like the graphic imagery of opening for a lover:

“I arose to open for my beloved and my hands dripped with myrrh.” (Song 5:4, NKVJ).

Perhaps this word is, in fact, an encouragement about the sweet spot SUMites have. Because of our unique circumstances, we know, clearly, what gaps we need Jesus to fill.

We need Him as co-parent, protector, friend, and encourager as we walk solo in our faith. We need His hand gripping us. How we need it: That we know! When our faith is challenged, we hurtle towards the secret place (Psalm 91:1); and that’s what it's all about: After all, the secret place is a space that is not shared.

If that’s our placement and a strength of ours, perhaps we can share some thoughts on this. What does it look like to love Jesus? How do we do even more to let Him in?

Nice chatting, SUMites. I, for one, am sitting with this thought.


You Are Making New Wine

Hey there SUM family, Tiffany here!

We are on the verge of a major breakthrough. I believe that this is both  individual and corporate for our SUM community and our families. Already we have seen a few wondrous accounts of spouses getting baptized into the faith! Hallelujah! Strongholds are breaking in our lives as well as our spouses. We are seeing addictions begin to cease. Affections returning in marriages. What a great time to be alive!

I wanted to share something that God is stirring in my heart. During the fast and even recently, I am hearing the phrase "new wine." I am barely scratching the surface of where Holy Spirit is trying to take me but I wanted to share my heart because I feel it is important. When breakthrough is upon us, there is always a push back from the forces of darkness. Freedom, identity, purpose, birthright. These are all things that scare the enemy. Satan and his minions know that when we step into the calling and purpose that God has ordained for us and we walk in our authority they are in big trouble! Is it any wonder that there are flair ups and illness, death and financial strain?

Back to new wine. Let's take a look at what Jesus had to say:

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of
the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:14-17)

Side note: it is interesting that Holy Spirit brought me to this scripture during the community fast. John's disciples originally asked Jesus a question about fasting.

When thinking about the process of making wine in ancient Israel it always begins with a pressing and crushing of the grapes. Grapes did not last very long when harvested in the heat New wine flagand climate of the season. The farmers would instantly turn the grapes into wine and store them in the wineskins to preserve them for longer periods of time. It was actually the process of crushing the grapes that started the fermentation process. During fermentation, carbon dioxide is released so new wineskins were needed for their elasticity to allow for expansion as the gas was released.

In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit came and filled the apostles in the Upper Room during Pentacost. A crowd gathered as they heard a noise and realized that they could understand men speaking in their own native tongues. The people in the crowd were amazed and perplexed. There were also some who accused the apostles of being drunk on "new wine (NKJV)." Paul urges in Ephesians 5:18 to not be drunk on wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit.

What does this have to do with what Jesus said in Matthew 9? For us as believers today, being filled with the Holy Spirit we need to realize that He is the one who leads us into all truth - He speaks what He hears from the Father through Jesus (John 16:13). He is the new wine inside of us. We are the wineskin (vessel). Just like the fermentation process as carbon dioxide is released in the wine making process, Holy Spirit releases things in us. He is always releasing, always leading. His job is to stir in us a call to become more like Jesus. He gives us guidance and direction. As the expansion happens to a wineskin, so does the pressure in our lives.

Being the wineskin, we are the ones who decide whether or not we will allow for this movement of Holy Spirit. Will we choose to listen? Will we be flexible as He calls us into the uncomfortable? We will refuse to allow the fermentation (preservation) process?

I am being drawn into a new level of worship. One that is completely uncomfortable and will really challenge me to worship the Lord with my WHOLE body. Take a look at the video below. I would love to explain my hearts desire further, maybe for another time. This is my inspiration into the new and exciting journey of flagging.

Let's talk in the comments. I would love to hear: What are some things that Holy Spirit is challenging you to do? What areas are you being drawn into the uncomfortable - for your preservation and God's glory? 


A Table Set For Victory

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:

 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

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.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

TABLE BEFORE ENEMIES*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.*

God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
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.


Deliverance After YEARS Of Torment! Hallelujah!

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.

This Is Just The Pits!

Do You Want Evidence Or The Truth?

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 Freedom foreverlift 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.


What Will It Take To Increase YOUR Faith?

Hey SUMites, Tiffany here!

I asked Lynn if I could do an additional post this month because I wanted to share a really cool story with you. I pray it activates and strengthens your faith to use your God given authority like it has me.

12 In my spare time, I love to upcycle things. Especially using license plates and 100+ year old barn wood from my grandpa's family farm. This year I really  ramped up my exposure going from doing the typical 2 -3 shows a year to 9-10 this year. On Friday afternoon, June 8th, the back power hatch when out in our suburban. It refused to open! I had to open the half window and reach through to try and get my groceries. We have a pickup truck but I can't use it for shows because we don't have a topper and I take a LOT of stuff whenever I go. I was a little worried because I was going to load the stuff up that night so that way I could just leave in the morning. My grandparents always come from Kansas City and help me with the shows. This time it was only my grandma and I.

During dinner, I told him that the hatch is broken and I was worried about it. I wanted to load the car that night so we could just leave in the morning. He said that he would take a look. Turns out the part for the hatch is a self-sustaining piece. There was no backup switch, lever, etc. to use in case of malfunction. He was frustrated as he had to figure something out and he was losing daylight. If I could brag on my husband for a second, Jason is kind of like MacGyver. He can see things and put things together in such a way that I am always mind blown. I know a lot of it is the Holy Spirit guiding and directing him because he truly is gifted in this way...oh the day he realizes this!

After a few hours of work he concocted a mechanism that would allow me to open the hatch if it refused to open when I 14 needed it to the next day. He gave a clear warning that NOTHING is to touch or lean against this lever. If it gets accidentally bumped, it could open the hatch, even if we are driving on the road. It was too late to load up the car that night so it would have to wait until morning. That morning, I made a point to hit the floor with my knees and pray. I refused to begin my day without His presence and making myself right before Him - mending our relationship. Praise God I did!


Turning out of my neighborhood onto the first main street (see below for a screenshot of Google Maps), I accelerated a little to quickly to get out the way of the oncoming traffic. This caused the stuff in the back to shift, a bump of the lever, and an opening of the hatch...as I am driving down the street! I quickly pulled to the side of the road, and my grandma and I got out of the car and scrambled to pick up the debris spread across the 4 lanes of the road. A white truck immediately pulled to the side of the road behind us and a man sent by God helped us move things to the side of the road. Another car stopped in the far left lane right behind some grid and a heavy tote and both men brought it to the side of the road. Trying to hold it together I thought, I don't even want to go anymore! Let's go home. I was overwhelmed...BUT God! He quickly swept the fear away and I was able to see with spiritual eyes the hand of God and the dispatch of angels. Grandma and I loaded the car back up as a cop car pulled up behind us down the street...making sure we were safe as we finished up. Getting in the car, I replayed that scary incident back in my mind. How is it that absolutely NOTHING got broken? How is it that there was NO traffic behind me as my car spewed out projectiles across all 4 lanes of traffic? How is it that I saw a car run over my plastic table but there was absolutely no damage to it? How is it that this cop who pulled up shortly after didn't cite me a ticket for my rigged hatch? How except for God? How except for angels on assignment?

120 + L

Beginning to cry, I held grandma's hand, gently shaking from adrenaline. Yes God did something so miraculous in that moment but now it was time to work. I prayed praised God for all that He had done. I then specifically called upon my angels and dispatched them to protect our vehicle. I said, "don't let that door open. Close the door like what was done for Daniel with the lions mouths. Keep that door closed until it is time. Don't let anything move or shift in the vehicle. Put a hedge of protection around our vehicle and get us there safely. You know what? They did! The rest of the 13.7 miles to our destination everything was smooth sailing. On our way home, same thing. With each second as I carefully drove, my faith increased as I saw with spiritual eyes the power of prayer.

  13Taken just after we arrived at the craft show at Chandler Acres Church.

Share in the comments a moment that angels were dispatched on assignment for you. This is not to praise the angels but to praise the One who created them - having you in mind when He sent them for your benefit and care.


SUMites Summit on the Summit by Libby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Libby xxx

Libby Finan SUM Army May 2018


What Defeats Fear?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comChildren And Night Terrors (Series Part III)

Part I

Part II

Part III

WORHIP. Our next tool in the tool belt to defeat the demonic.

It appears obvious that worship music that praises God would be something the devil hates. And this is true but let me share something that you might not know. There is a description of Lucifer in Ezekiel 28 that blows my mind. If you can explore that chapter and perceive all that is within it, it will freak you out. But let’s look at this specific passage:

Thus says the Lord God:

“You were the seal of perfection,

Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

You were in Eden, the garden of God;

Every precious stone was your covering:

The sardius, topaz, and diamond,

Beryl, onyx, and jasper,

Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.

The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes

Was prepared for you on the day you were created. —Ezekiel 28:12b & 13

Timbrel: a tambourine or similar instrument. (noun)

Pipes: Organ pipes of music. (noun)

Most of you may already be aware of this but Lucifer was likely the head worship leader in the heavenlies. He was DESIGNED to make music within his own body. The winds of heaven would blow and the worship of the angels would swell and he would create the most unique and beautiful music in worship for the LORD and it would come from within his body.

No other angel was given this ability.

I pause to wonder if this truth contributed to his prideful downfall?

I’m convinced that when there is great worship upon the earth, the devil feels it to this day within his body and it causes him great pain because it’s no longer worship but torture. He fears worship. He despises worship. It’s a continual, in your face devil, reminder of his past, his present and his future. Torment! And all the little devils fear worship for this reason as well. They CANNOT remain in an atmosphere of worship and not be affected, defeated and tormented.

BLAST the music. Worship God in your artistry. Sing acapella. Worship with dance, guitar, painting. Many of the creative abilities that God placed within us ere given to create in worship for our Lord.

For our kids, Mom & Dad, you bring the atmosphere of worship into their lives. Play worship music. In the car, in the house, in their room at night. Be worship to them in the morning. Show them that worship is a lifestyle and when they are grown, they will walk in it.

Okay, how has worship changed you? Your kids?


“Woman! How Would Like Your Husband Saved?” by Martha Bush

“Woman! How Would Like Your Husband Saved?”

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
I can see you screaming at your computer after seeing this picture pop back up, “Oh no, I can’t go through another fast; give me a break, Lynn!”  

Hold on; Lynn is not calling for another fast. I want to share with you about a fast I had several years ago in regards to my husband’s salvation.

An evangelist was invited to speak at my church on Spiritual Warfare. All of a sudden, he bellowed from the pulpit:

“Woman!  How would you like your husband saved, and keep your mouth shut to him and pray only to God?  You fast and pray, you do everything you can do until that prayer is manifested, or you hear a word from God that gives you peace!”

Something leaped inside me. I desperately wanted salvation to come to my home, and that thing leaping up inside told me that I wanted to partner with God to bring it to pass.

And so it was - I went out from the sanctuary that day and started fasting. No solid food during the week, lived on water, revived myself over the weekends, and got back to the fast on Monday for another week, and another week, and another week.

The evangelist had also said, “Do everything you can.” So, I called all my friends in other churches, weeping and pleading, “Please pray for Glen’s salvation.”

I also summoned my two teenage daughters together and announced, “Girls, this is urgent. Nobody is going to pray for your dad’s salvation like us, so we are going to start having prayer meetings in this house!” From the look on their faces, I could tell they were thinking, “My mama is going nuts.”

Even my husband knew something was going on.  Many nights, I would wake up in the middle of the night with something pounding in my stomach to get up and pray. I’d slip out of bed and close myself up in the bathroom. Some nights, he would wake up and come looking for me.  Lucky for me, I had enough sense not to say, “Go back to bed, sweetheart; I am just praying for your salvation!”

Finally, after about three months, I cried out to God, “He’s not saved after all these months of fasting and praying, nor do I feel any peace that he ever will be. But, I am tired and hungry; I feel like my backbone is touching my belly button. Where do I go from here?”

I turned on a tape from a lady minister in our area, and she was teaching on How to Pray. She said, “There are many ways to pray, but the best prayer I know is found in 11 Chronicles 20: 9-22.”

The story goes that an army was invading Jehoshaphat and the Israelites. Jehoshaphat cried out to the Lord, “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Jahaziel, the prophet, came forth with a word: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army; the battle is not yours, but God’s. March down against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 

You know the rest of the story, but for the record, they met the enemy singing and praising the Lord. The Lord set ambushment against the invading army, and they were defeated.

As I read this passage, I checked off my “to do” list. 

  • I had feared the army coming against my husband for his salvation; I called upon the Lord.
  • I had fasted!
  • Praise? Hadn’t done that one.  Is this my next step?

The next morning, I went to a Bible study. Right in the middle of praise and worship, a prophet came forth with these words:

It is not a day of weeping, sackcloth, and ashes. It’s a day of praise. Just as Jehoshaphat went into the battle, did I not send ambushment and did not the enemy kill themselves?  So, pick yourself up and rejoice in the Lord. It is a day of victory; it’s a day of praise.”

Talk about an overnight express answer!

Let me tell you, I had a PRAISE FEAST that day – my man was gonna be saved, and it would be the next Sunday!!  Wrong!  It still hasn’t happened all these many years. 

But, I am at PEACE, because I have heard from the Lord! Oh yes, there are other battles to fight in my unequally yoked marriage, but that salvation battle is over and done with!

So, I encourage you:  “Whatever word the Lord gave you during Prayer and Fasting 2018, start singing and praising. He will send ambushment, and the enemy will be defeated.

Blessings,

Martha


A Holy Spirit Moment

CrossMy friends, I have a fascinating story to tell you today. I shared in the past that God is changing things up a bit in how He speaks to me. Let me tell you this is both a bit frustrating and very exciting, but I absolutely love this adventure with Him. And I love His unexpected ways.

Well, He did something very unexpected just recently and right in my own kitchen. A few weeks ago I was standing at the counter, spreading refried beans on corn chips to make nachos. Yuuum!

Hubby was still in his office working. I sang along with worship music as I worked. Let me just say I am so glad I held a butter knife instead of a sharp blade. 

The Holy Spirit showed up big time. I was so overcome by His presence that I had to drop the corn chip and knife on the counter. I couldn’t do anything else except stand there and soak Him in! 

My friends, I’ve had encounters with God’s presence in my quiet time and at church. But this was so unexpected, sudden and overwhelming. It was like the Holy Spirit wanted me to understand that His showing up wasn’t dependent upon my efforts to make it happen. That is something Abba continues to work out in me and let go of as it’s a form of striving. 

So there I stood, hands out and tears running down my cheeks as I worshiped. God’s presence usually brings me to tears, because His love is so overwhelming. I knew hubby was in the house somewhere, which normally would have caused concern about what he might see and interpret, but as the thought crossed my mind I simply pushed it away. I didn’t care. I could do nothing but stand there and worship.

And then it happened. My husband walked in. Yet I remained in my worshipful state and noticed he just walked on by. Didn’t say a word.

Once the moment passed and I opened my eyes, Mike came back into the kitchen. He looked at me with concern, and asked, “Are you okay?”

As I wiped away my tears, I said, “Yes, I’m great actually. Just having a God moment.”

“Okay…He’s not being mean to you, is He?”

“No, sweetie. He’s just loving on me.”

Then he nodded and walked away. My friends, this is actually the second time my husband has expressed that concern, and it’s given me insight to understand that the God he was taught about at the private Christian school he attended as a teenager was not the loving and true God we know and love. And that breaks my heart.

Yet I rejoice in this encounter and what I learned! God is so good. I’m so excited to share this with you, because I believe it will give you insight and possibly even breakthrough in your prayers for your spouse.

  1. I experienced the presence of God without “working” for it.
  2. God’s presence and love truly do cast out fear! My concern about my husband walking in on my worshipful moment drifted away without a care and didn’t return. Thank You, Lord!
  3. My husband was able to again witness God’s love and presence working in and around me, even if he doesn’t fully understand it yet.
  4. Most importantly, I now have more insight in how to pray for my sweet hubby, and that is huge! My hubby has such a tender heart. Now I understand what his choice of atheism was truly about. It’s not so much about unbelief but a way for him to cope with the disconnect. 

SUMites, I wonder how many of our spouses are truly operating from that place of disconnect. As God showed me this, my heart swelled with even more love and understanding for my husband. And heartache too, because I can almost see with my spiritual eyes that moment he chose this path.  

So, my friends, I am praying against this tarnished mindset of Who God is that’s causing him to reject the image of a cruel god instead of knowing the One True and Loving God Almighty. I am praying for his spiritual eyes to be opened to the truth of Who God really is and to encounter the love of God all around him. That includes me too, that God’s love would pour through me even more. 

I believe God is working in amazing ways in our loved ones that we can’t even perceive yet. He’s revealing the pieces to us as well. I know that can be confusing and frustrating, but I’m learning to look at these pieces and simply ask God to show me how to connect them. And He does! 

And He will do this for you too. So my friends, I pray for greater wisdom to flood our entire SUM community. I pray that our own spiritual ears and eyes would be opened more and that we would have greater discernment to hear and see what the Holy Spirit is telling us right now. Because it’s really, really good stuff.

And Lord Jesus, we praise and worship with all our love. We give You and our hearts and lives freely as we walk this path of faith. Help us live each day in greater awareness and expectation of You. We love You so much! In the name of Jesus, amen!

I love you, SUMites! You are amazing!
Dineen


The Power of Words

HeavenMy friends, on Monday we talked about our authority and place of power, that we have everything through Christ Jesus and nothing to lose because of His sacrifice for us, and that the enemy has nothing and everything to lose. That's because he's already lost.

With that I want to point to a truth that we sometimes forget to practice, because we do a fair bit of spiritual warfare in our mismatched marriages. Just after Jesus tells us about the authority He's given us, He points out where our focus and rejoicing should truly be focused.

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” — Luke 10:19-20

We are secure in Heaven! With Him! That's the promise that we have nothing to lose! And when we rest in and live from this place of security, guess what happens? The enemy loses influence, because we are filled with confident hope. That's the light that makes him flee before he can even get near us.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13 NLT

Now let's talk about the power of words. In Genesis, God spoke the world into existence with words. Much of the Old Testament where it reads God ‘said’ or ‘told,’ those words also mean to decree or to promise in the Hebrew translation. 

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah encounters the Lord and witnessed heaven in action as part of his commissioning as a prophet.

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. — Isaiah 6:3-4

Did you catch that last line? The praises and worship of the seraphim literally shook the foundations of the thresholds (doorways) and smoke filled the house. I have to say there is something profound that occurs in worship when we sing the word ‘holy’ and the angels know it. That’s because we are declaring the presence and character of God.

Take a look at this passage from Isaiah 11 about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus:

But with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. — Isaiah 11:4-5

Let’s not forget that Jesus is described as the Word in John 1. The Word—logos—in Hebrew embodies not only the obvious meaning of words spoken, but encompasses decrees, prophecy, mandates, precepts, conception or ideas, and even even addresses the function of the mind in reasoning and our relationship to God. It is a power-packed “word.” 

And even as Jesus spoke healing over people, He spoke more to their hearts—to the person they were created to be (Ecc. 3:11)—than He spoke to the demons themselves. He would simply speak the truth and evil spirits fled—the rod of his mouth and the breath of his lips. Light always removes darkness completely. You turn on the light in a room and the darkness is gone completely. Not part way—all the way.

Truth is the light that makes the darkness flee. Thus why it is important to replace lies with the truth. Keep the room lit with the truth of God’s Word! That is the power of a transformed mind as well, my friends (Romans 12:2).

I have more to share with you about words and it has to do with a story we know well in the Bible. Since this post is long enough already and I want you to absorb what I’ve shared today, I will save that for next week. We have a clear model and example of how we are told to declare truth according to God’s Words and what that transaction does. I am looking forward to sharing that with you, my friends, and I will also share examples of how we can use this model to decree truths over our pre-believers, loved ones and ourselves.

Have an amazing weekend, SUMites. Stand in the truth that you are chosen and dearly loved by Your Papa God. And absolutely nothing can snatch you out of His Son Jesus’ hand (John 10:28).

Love you!
Dineen

 


This Prayer Strategy Can Change Your Heart

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comI am excited about sharing a few thoughts about what to do when prayer remains unanswered but I think we also must focus on a key prayer strategy that is very powerful and leads to breakthrough.

Worship and Thanksgiving.

My friends, sometimes our prayers can turn into a laundry list. We pray on and on with names and needs that are truly important but we can become restlessly caught up in our pain, need and daily life that it's possible to slip into a place of prayer where we lose our perspective. SUMites, it’s imperative that our primary focus in prayer is to remain fully aware that we are having a love conversation with our Father, with our Bridegroom-Prince, Jesus.

The Lord truly knows our needs and yes, I believe we must pray and speak our concerns to His heart. But can you just take a minute here and imagine our Papa God, waiting, hoping even longing for us to approach the Throne of Grace and just hang out?  To listen to Him? To ask Him what He's doing on earth? What thrills His heart? What makes Him smile?

My friends, let’s turn our affection toward our Lord and our Father. Let’s take time to be intentional about worship and thanksgiving. In my prayer time, I try to begin with what I call my “Three thankfuls”. I write down in my prayer journal: 3 thankfuls: Followed by three things that come to my mind and simply acknowledge that everything good in my life is from my Papa.

I once heard a pastor teaching on this aspect of intimacy in prayer. He said that he rarely brings a list before the Lord but brings his affection. He said something like this, “God already knows my heart and my needs. So I am intentional to bring my affection to Him. And He usually moves on my heart requests.”

Interesting.

I believe there is a time to petition and there is also time to just be (Psalm 46:10)! It’s wisdom and discernment fueled by relationship that takes us perfectly into each.

So this week I have a challenge for you, when you lay down to go to sleep, rest quietly and turn your affection toward the Lord. In your imagination or quiet prayers, give Him your heart and then let Him love on you.

Today in the comments, share with me your three thankfuls for today:

I love you my friends. You LOVE well. You love God and you love people. Well done good and faithful servant!!!!!!!!!!!!!  See you in the comments. Hugs. Lynn

Essential components of effective prayer:

  1. Create a time and space devoted to Bible reading and prayer.
  2. Use the Word of God in your prayers.
  3. Believe – Hebrews 11:6
  4. Confidence
  5. Engage you Will.
  6. Courage
  7. Fasting
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:14
  9. Thankfulness & Worship

Jesus is fighting for us

ID-100186861
Photo courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It happened again on Saturday.

What you may ask?

My three strikes policy.

Huh? Three strikes policy?

Whenever I’m struck three times by a common theme or thread within a short period of time I ask the Lord for some interpretation.

On Saturday as I scanned my Facebook feed our Lynn made a comment about being under enemy attack. You may have read that update. I prayed immediately for Lynn and saw an image of Lynn dressed all in white wielding a mighty sword and being surrounded by angels who were similarly armed.

Within a matter of minutes I read Revelation 19: 11-16 which describes Jesus riding on a white horse as He sets off on His final quest to bring His kingdom to earth. Do read the passage, as it’s full of incredible imagery.

At this point I was questioning whether it was Lynn I pictured or Jesus.

And then I read Psalm 68: 17-18 (NIV)

“The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. 

When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious—that you, Lord God, might dwell there.”

Once again, we see Jesus as a victorious leader of armies.

Strike 3.

Okay, okay, Lord. I get it. What’s on your heart?

And I sensed simply the words: “I’m fighting for you.”

I had been asking Him for the past few days what message He’d like me to write for we SUMites. Some ideas were brewing but then I got a strong sense that this was for us.

Jesus is fighting for us.

Alignment

We’ve come off a month celebrating this wonderful ministry and family led by our two pastors (ordained and all! Yes!) Lynn and Dineen. It’s been very special sharing in each other’s messages of how this family has so helped us all grow, irrespective of how long we might have been a part of it.

Last week I was reminded of my “different” situation to the members of my men’s group. We’d heard a panel discussion on married relationships where being aligned in purpose was put out there as being critical to a fruitful marriage.

And immediately I sensed the thrust of the enemy saying well Ian that’s a bit of a problem for you, isn’t it now?

I gave it a second’s thought and then swatted it away. Yes, yes, we have our challenges when it comes to not being aligned with spiritual purpose but as we’ve discussed many times before that doesn’t mean our marriages can’t bear fruit. Far from it.

And it’s because we have Jesus fighting for us. And for our spouses and our marriages. Believe that deep in your heart.

The power of worship

The warfare theme continued into Sunday as our pastor preached on “Speaking the Word of God into our Relationships.” The armor of God in Ephesians 6: 10-18 got a good overview. Fascinating that I’ve rarely looked at the second half of v18: “… be alert and always keep on praying for the Lord’s people.”

That’s us. And we’re doing it! How fantastic is this month of praying for each other’s spouses. I can’t wait to hear how God answers our prayers.

If things are particularly tough at the moment may I encourage you to worship. Worship isn’t simply singing a song, but as my prayer pastor said the other day, it’s the pursuit of Jesus Christ.

Worship Him. Spend time in His presence. Read His Word. Praise His Mighty Name.

And keep on worshipping.

And remember, Jesus is always fighting for our marriages and us.

Grace and peace, my dear friends.