Rosh Hashanah and SUM Community Fasting

SUMRoshHashanah
Hello, SUMites! I’m excited to tell you about what will be happening next week and who will be leading it. 

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2nd and ends at nightfall on October 4th and means “head of the year” in Hebrew. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, which in Hebrew means day of shouting and blasting and is sometimes translated as the Feast of Trumpets. Thus why the Shofar is a symbol of the holiday (as well as the eating of symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year”) and is blown as part of the celebration.

The significance of this horn is very symbolic as well. Remember the story of Jericho and how the seven priests bore seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord? They were to blow the horns as they marched around the city. Have you heard the sound of a Shofar?

 

Rosh Hashanah is then followed by Yom Kippur, which is a time reflection, repentance and fasting. So, my friends, next week our very own, Dawn Billesbach, will be leading us each day in community fasting and praying with stories and encouragement of how God has moved in her life through the observance of this Jewish holiday and its traditions.

Lynn and I are so very grateful to have her leadership for this. We’ve already read the first installment, and we both wound up in tears. It is a stunning and ongoing story of God’s goodness and faithfulness to a woman’s prayers and intercession for her for her marriage, her family and even herself. 

So, dear SUMites, be prepared to be blessed and encouraged greatly by this wonderful woman of God who’s heart for Jesus is steadfast and faithful. Lynn and I have had the honor and pleasure of standing with her for years in prayer and have witnessed her grow in her faith walk in ways we never imagined. God is so good!

Here’s a little about Dawn:

Bio_picI live in Broomfield, Co with my 2 girls.  I have a teen and a tween and needless to say, lots of gray hair. We enjoy camping and all things outdoors. If I can’t be outside, my 2nd favorite place is in the kitchen. I love feeding people. Food is definitely my love language. I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of, but one my greatest (besides raising 2 amazing kiddos) is learning to back up my pop-up camper. Funny, but true!

I am divorced, but standing in faith for a restoration of my marriage and family. I am in AWE every single day of the faithfulness of God and His promises to work ALL things for our good.   As I watch His plans unfold, I can’t help but be absolutely blown away. In recent years, I have learned the difference in knowing God and knowing God. HE has met me on every step of this journey whether I was face down on the floor, immobile from grief or learning to back up a camper so I could take my kids camping. For this, I wouldn’t trade a single tear or heartache.  

I joined the SUM community about 4 years ago when my husband and I were first separated. The encouragement has been a lifeline to me since.  

Dear friends, here are some links to help you determine how and what kind of fast is best for you. Please consider this next week prayerfully and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.

Why Should You Fast

How to Fast Safely

How Long and What Type of Fast is Right for You

SUMites, I’m excited about and expectant of what God is going to do next week. A verse I have prayed for years showed up yesterday, and I knew in my spirit right away this is for us right now.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. — Jeremiah 33:3

Lord, we call out to You and wait expectantly for You to answer. Tell us great and hidden things about this next year, Lord, as we ask to know Your heart for ourselves, our spouses and our family. We commit this next week to You and rejoice in knowing that You are always working for our good (Rom. 8:28) and have a future and a hope set in place for us all (Jer. 29:11). We rejoice, Lord! We rejoice in You! For You are our inheritance and we are Yours. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!

Love you, SUMites!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Both books


Our Expectations And Answers To Prayer

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

As we conclude this study, I have an astonishing story to share with you about how our prayers can remain unanswered or answers are delayed and how what we expect is usually not what the Lord has in mind. Let me take you to a very old passage.

Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

Don’t let the familiarity of this story steal the outrageousness of what happens here. God tells the Israelites to do something seemingly ridiculous. I’m mean absolutely absurd. Can you imagine coming against a city and instead of piling up dirt and stones to scale the walls, instead of practicing warfare and battle tactics, God instructs them to march.

And get this. On day seven march in silence.

Say what?????

In the reality of it all, it is stupid! At least in the eyes of men. Ahhhhh, but that is what is so cool with God. When God moves, you KNOW it’s Him.

And that is exactly the same when it comes to our prayers. We have certain expectations that God should answer our prayer in such and such a way. In all my years of praying and receiving answers from the Lord, RARELY does God answer my prayers in the ways I expect. Typically, His answers are always slow. He rarely answers the way I expect or hope or in my timeline. But, when He does move, it’s always spectacular and in ways that are so much better and bigger than I could even dream up. And I can dream up some pretty big stuff.

God may ask of us to believe and follow up on the belief with actions and faith that feels absurd at times. And in response to our faith, He is likely to answer in absolutely unexpected and miraculous provision. The story of the Walls of Jericho is a historic reference for us living today. 

My friends, prayer is at the core, a conversation between two “in love” hearts. Prayer is devotion and time together. It’s a relationship of consideration, respect, honor, and peace. It’s love and friendship. It’s worship and teaching. It’s a Father and His child whom He gave so much to bring into His life forever.

I pray today that your prayer life is enriched with all the prayer strategies we have covered. I pray you see astonishing answers and that lives are changed because you prayed. I hope you bear witness to supernatural healing and that your spouse falls to his or her knees in surrender. I pray with conviction and belief that you will experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living and that your life is forever changed because you pray. In Jesus name.

I love you, my friends. Now go and pray…. And change the world for the cause of Christ! 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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Both books


A Stunning Revelation of My Authority

LOVE
My friends, today I want to share a something God is showing me in my own life. And as God is so perfect in His ways, this ties into the series I’ve been writing about regarding words, the power of God’s Word, and the authority we walk in as His children. And I’ve no doubt this is something many in our community here (and this country) need to know as it’s something that affects the majority of women today in all ranges of ages.

First, let me set the stage. Last week I was listening to a podcast by a pastor and teacher I very much respect and he said something that I knew was true but didn’t fully understand in the moment how very deeply this truth can run.

His words were, “We can’t take authority over what we don’t love.”

When I heard it, my heart, soul, mind and spirit nodded in agreement. I believe God has planted the truth of 1 Corinthians 14:1 deep inside me since I was a child.

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy. — 1 Corinthians 14:1

Love must always be our motivator, sustainer and final goal. I firmly believe that. And hearing these words from this pastor brought this truth to a whole new level for me. It’s also made me examine the places where I have have taken authority in my prayers, yet haven’t seen a shift or change. 

As Lynn shared Friday, there can be things that block our prayers, and perhaps this could be one of them. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If our heart isn’t filled with love for what we’re praying for, how can our prayers be? And I do believe this kind of love has to come from our Lord Jesus and our intimacy with Him. He pours His love into and through us.

So, what did I discover? I can best explain by sharing how this translated into a revelation for me the very next day.

I have had a love hate relationship with food, my weight and my appearance for as long as I can remember. God has brought me a long way over the years, but I still long for complete freedom. I know there are many of you reading this right now, SUMites, that get this. You’ve most likely struggled with it in some way, shape or form too.

And I am determined. I know my prayers are powerful, so I have blessed my body with divine health, perfect function as God designed my body to work and blessed areas that I know I need healing physically. But I’m not seeing the results I so desire. 

As I said, the application of this pastor’s words that the Holy Spirit wanted me to grasp came the next day. He showed me that yes, I have attempted to take authority over my body, but how can I stand in that authority when I don’t love my body and the way God created me?

I have whined and complained about my appearance, my health issues and weight for a long time. I have spoken and thought negatively about myself in more ways than I probably know. And please forgive me if I’m being a little too real and honest here, but I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to share this, because I do believe it is the answer I have sought for a long time to understand what the core issue is.

So now I am changing this. I am seeking God daily to help me love myself in all ways. I’m not talking about anything bordering on vanity or pride here. Just simple appreciation and acceptance of who God created me to be and look like. (Psalm 139:13-18, Luke 12:7, Ephesians 2:10—share more verses in the comments!)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Because I firmly believe that this issue begins in the heart and mind. And I believe as I partner with the Holy Spirit to transform my mind in this area and break old thought patterns too, I will begin too see the results of a healthy mind and body manifest more and more. 

As a person thinks, they are and do, right? (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV)

My friends, can you relate to this? Is this a truth you’ve wanted or needed and didn’t even realize it, like me? What area can you see applying to your life right now? Please share if you’re able. I truly sense this will be a revelation day for many of us and the beginning of new healing and freedom in places we have prayed and longed for.

I love you, SUMites. So very much. I want all God has for you, every single thing He has written down in the pages of His book about you—I pray He pours out every word, blessings, gift and provision He has written down for you today and that His presence is the greatest gift He reveals to you. I pray for more revelation of who you are to Him and who He created you to be, so that you walk in complete confidence in your identity and relationship with your Papa God. In the blessed name of Jesus, amen!

He loves us, my friends. Oh how He loves us…
Dineen

(P.S. Later the same day I noticed the toenail on my left foot—I have unsuccessfully treated it for three years so I began blessing it weeks ago—is now clearing up and growing normal again. Thank You, Lord, for Your sweet confirmations! You are so holy and wonderful!)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Both books


What Blocks Answers To Prayer?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMany things can actually block prayer. Block Our Own Prayers? That’s one way our prayers become blocked. And there are several others.

Deliberate, willful and habitual sin creates a disconnect in our prayer life. In the Word, rebellion is as bad as witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). There is a time in our faith walk we come to a place to ask the Lord, “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalms 139:24

Our love for our God leads us to ask this question just as David asked. We don’t ask out of guilt or condemnation. We ask because we want to know if there is anything that is keeping us from experiencing “more” of the Kingdom.

When I’m walking in faith, the Lord will often point out issues that are stealing parts of my soul away from righteousness. The Holy Spirit will clinch my heart over things in the moment. Certain television shows that used to be okay to watch. Certain friendships or relationships. There are a multitude of things the Holy Spirit is always cautioning us to listen and turn away. These moments are often a split second of decision. We can say quickly to ourselves, “Naw, it’s not that big of a deal.” Or, “I can handle this. It’s not scary or too violent or over sexed or against Biblical values.”

These moments happen every, single day. We can either follow the Holy Spirit or our flesh. When we choose the Spirit over and over, God then releases you into a higher level of love, authority and power and your prayers are moved upon with angelic forces.

My intention is not to throw you into condemnation (Romans 8:1) with this post. God’s mercy and faithful forgiveness covers our every failure. We need only ask. I’m convinced the Lord is cheering for us. He looks upon our lives and speaks with the love of a Father, “Baby girl (My son), I know how very difficult it is. I knew before I sent you to earth that you would face enormous difficulties and pain. I knew you would screw up your life. I KNOW it’s very, very hard down there. I just want you to do the best you can and to learn to love me and others. It will all be okay. Just do your best.”

My friends, rest in His love. If He’s asking you to give something up, it’s because it’s to make room in your life for more of His love and goodness, His gifts and promises. Let Him reign!!!!!!!

I love you. 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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Both books


Sumite Prayer Partners

Good morning prayer family! Christy Edney here!

It has been one month since we invited you to embark upon this journey of Prayer Partnerships! I expected to receive a handful of requests but God has far exceeded my wildest expectations. Today, we have over sixty women in prayer relationships! Now, I'm calling on the male members of our community. I know you're out there and this invitation is also open to you. If any of you (male or female) would like to receive a partner then please click here: Sumite Prayer Partners

Image James 5

Now, please join me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for these hearts that have called out for a deeper fellowship with you and each other. In the name of Jesus Christ, I bless them with authentic friendships that will achieve your purpose in each of their lives. Lord, I focus our attention on the leaders of this community, Lynn and Dineen. I ask you to assign a host of angels to fight the spiritual battles on their behalf. Cover them with love and encouragement from the most unexpected places. Please provide an abundance of time, material and motivation as they continue to work on this new book that you have placed upon their hearts. Holy Spirit, fill this community with your presence and reinvent us in your image. Thank you for being more than my human words can express. I pray these things in the name of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, amen!
 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Both books