Guest Post: Lessons Around the Mountain

Dear friends, I'm so happy to have Trish Fuhlendorf back with us today. I love this post she's written for us about control. It's a good word for us, especially right now, because we in no way want to interfere with whatever God wants to do in our pre-believers. Love you! ~Dineen

Lessons Around the Mountain
by Trish Fuhlendorf

Fotolia_87585133_XSI recently took a personality profile called the DISC for my job. It’s referred to as a talent insights report. D-I-S-C breaks down as follows: D=Dominance, I=Influence, S=Steadiness and C=Compliance.

Shocker of all shockers, I am high “I” (Influencer) and high “D” (Dominance). In layman’s terms, my personality can be summarized as controlling.  One of my husband’s most frequently used expressions is, “your greatest strength is your greatest weakness.” True, indeed. My personality is perfect in my profession. As a matter of fact, all of my colleagues on my team who hold the same job are also high “I” and high “D”. I guess we controlling types just naturally gravitate to sales oriented work.

Here in lies the problem with being controlling; it does not work in our relationship with God. Jesus tells us that we are to lay down our cross and follow Him, or in other words, completely surrender. For a high “I,” high “D,” this is my daily battle. As Joyce Meyer once said, “God doesn’t fail us when we stumble. He just says, “Another time around the mountain, my child.”

Flashback to 1998 when God saved me and suddenly I found myself in an unequally yoked marriage with all the heartbreak that this implies. I remember thinking, “my worldview has completely changed; now Stu and I have nothing in common.” In addition to this, we also had to contend with the other huge thorn in our marriage, addiction to alcohol.

So in comes Trish, the bull in the china shop; ready to take charge! “If I can get Stu saved, eventually he will get sober, we will have the same world view, and life will be perfect”. So began my first trip around the mountain. I would leave Christian books on his bedside table. I would post scriptures on the inside of our medicine cabinet (subtle, right?). And last, but not least, I would plot and plan as to how to surround him with godly men that would of course, influence him. I can almost hear God laughing as I write.

As I was putting my plan into action, I continued to study God’s Word. I kept finding scriptures like John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you” and 1 Corinthians 2:14 ” The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” I asked myself, “How can I fill Stu with the Holy Spirit, so that he understands?” I can’t. This is something that only God can do.

Initially, these scriptures were upsetting to me because they removed me from the equation. After lots of prayer and reflection I learned that it was all about God’s work in Stu. My job was to fully surrender. My only “control” if you will, was prayer. Although prayers are not intended as a way of controlling God, they are our way of being in relationship with Him; our way to fully surrender our spouses to Him. To know that I no longer needed to orchestrate my husband’s salvation was freeing.

It is exhausting trying to control someone else’s life.  And while I learned an important lesson during this time of my life, still my personality and natural impulse in life is to control. I am a mountain girl after all.

Side Note: I asked Stu what topic he thought I should write on. He said, “Tell everyone what a control freak you were during our unequally yoked years.” No offense taken.

 

Trish headshotTrish Fuhlendorf is first and foremost a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. She is a wife, married 27 years. God saved her in her mid thirties, then her husband about 10 years later. She is a tireless advocate for the covenant of marriage and has a love and compassion for those in the bondage of addiction. She is a Regional Manager for K-LOVE and Air1, a mother of 2 adult children, loves her home state of Colorado, her 2 big dogs, cooking and exercise (to off-set the cooking).


The Thinning Veil

IStock_000011544315XSmallMy friends, in my journey through the book of John, the Holy Spirit is revealing more connections to the truths in God’s Word. I find this journey so fascinating. I hope you are too, because I have some to share with you today.

First, go with me to the book of John, specifically chapters nine and ten. I would first like to give a preface based in chapter nine. 

In chapter nine, we read about a man blind from birth who is healed by Jesus. This so stirs up the Pharisees that they question not only the man but his parents too. Still unsatisfied with the answers they receive, they go back to the man and question him further. I’m struck by the final answer the healed man gives:

“Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”

“You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue. — John 9:30-34

In reading this man’s answer, the Holy Spirit pointed out three things this man somehow knew:

  • God doesn’t listen to sinners, but is ready to hear those who worship Him and do His will. (This is based in OT Scriptures, the old covenant that required the law to be upheld perfectly to be right with God).
  • Since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind.
  • Only a man from God could have healed this man.

It’s quite possible his wisdom came from years in the synagogue, but I believe that in opening the man’s physical eyes, Jesus opened his spiritual eyes as well. This chapter is very symbolic in showing the contrast of spiritual and physical blindness. 

Yet even in blindness, this man more than likely “saw” more than the Pharisees and his wisdom seemed to increase with the healing of his eyes, judging by his answers, which frustrated the Pharisees to the point that they threw him out of the synagogue. Even Jesus calls them blind in the conclusion of this chapter as they still don’t recognize Him as the Messiah despite the evidence of miracles right in front of their face. Even seeing they are blind.

My friends, the veil of the Pharisees was thickened with great pride. We see this in the world today and very often in our pre-believers.

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. — 2 Cor. 4:3-4

The enemy blinds our loved ones from the truth, but even the man born blind was healed and given sight—something that had never been done before Jesus. 

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. — 2 Cor. 3:16-18

Just as the blind man received sight, our pre-believers can be healed too. We can pray for the veil to be taken away and sight to be given and/or restored. And lets remember that we too once were veiled from the truth, yet Jesus came and gave us sight to see. To see the truth and to see Him. This is wisdom for us to understand that our true enemy is not our pre-believer or their choice not to believe, but the enemy who keeps them blind.

Thus why our prayers matter. As ones who where once blind but now see, we stand in the authority of Jesus through our salvation. Our prayers matter for our pre-believers (James 5:16). They make a difference. We may not see it, but again, as I’ve said in the past, God’s heart is that none would perish (2 Peter 3:9-15) and He will take the exact amount of time necessary to bring our pre-believers to faith.

My friends, I want the veil removed from my husband’s eyes too. I am praying for God to give him eyes to see and ears to hear, and I am praying this for Lynn’s husband aw well as all our pre-believers.

Ears to hear and eyes to see—both are gifts from the LORD. — Proverbs 20:12

God is showing me that we must first contend in the spiritual realm for these things in order to see them in the physical. And especially now as, I believe, this veil is thinning, prayer by prayer. Now is the time for us to press in even more in faith, belief and trust, because so much is about to be released into our lives. I firmly believe that many of things we have been contending for here in the SUM community are about to manifest. I’m already seeing things I’ve been praying and contending for starting to come into place and alignment with God’s kingdom.

The Jubilee year is about to start and our Abba Father is already moving things into place. I’ll talk more about that as the Holy Spirit leads me. He’s doing some crazy stuff in my life right now that I hope I will get to share with you soon.

Love you so much, my SUM family!
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The Promise of Jubilee

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comSUMites:

5775

Jewish Holiday Calendar - Hebrew Year 5775. All Jewish holidays begin the evening before the date specified. In Hebrew calendar a "day" begins and ends at sunset, rather than at midnight. 

Two weeks from today is Rosh Hashanah. Monday, September 14, 2015 represents the New Year according to the Jewish calendar. This season, September into October has been a significant season of change in my life in years past. And this year I’m expecting “BIG”, Super-Ginormous things in the Kingdom of God.

In the next several posts I want to share some of my thoughts about the season ahead. I’m convinced that we, Christ followers, stand upon the precipice of the supernatural, restoration, redemptions and fulfillment of persona promises from God that are destined for His children. Last year I shared my thoughts about this significant time of year. It is worth reading so that you understand where I’m coming from today. (Click here)

I think we need to cover some historical ground in order to understand what is happening in the Spiritual realm. Why do we want to understand what is happening in the realm of the Lord? Because our earthly lives are deeply affected by the decrees, dispensations and purposes of God. When we walk in understanding of God’s purposes we grow in our faith. Also, we aren’t taken off guard by the unexpected and we can thrive when the world is in turmoil. I truly believe this! AMEN   

2014 has been the year of the Shmita.

2015 is the year of Jubilee.

I brief description of these follows as taken from Wikipedia:

The Jubilee (Hebrew yovel יובל) year is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years), and according to Biblical regulations had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel; there is some debate whether it was the 49th year (the last year of seven sabbatical cycles, referred to as the Sabbath's Sabbath), or whether it was the following (50th) year. Jubilee deals largely with land, property, and property rights. According to Leviticus, slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.

Leviticus 25:8-13New International Version (NIV)

The Year of Jubilee

Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.

Why in the world am I sharing a history lesson with you? Because these years aren’t just about history. God’s timeline remains vital, true and important to all mankind.

My friends, we the believers who are alive right now will bear witness to a Jubilee year. As we end this season of rest and for many it was also a season of tremendous spiritual warfare, we are about to embark on a profound moment in time. We will behold the great promise and reward because we pressed through the torment, the warfare, and the persecution of our faith.

Hallelujah! And AMEN!

And I’ve been experiencing glimpses of what is to come. I’m sharing my personal story over at lynndonovan.org. But I want to tell you what I believe the Lord is preparing to give and reveal to all of you.

But, alas….. Already this post is way too long.

Friday, holds the promises. And it’s not too late to pray for your share of the Jubilee. I will lay it all out on Friday and then we are going to walk into this year of restoration together and bring others with us.

What say ye? Are you in?

Also, who will fast with me on September 14? If you want in on this, let me know in the comments too!

I love you SUMites. We are living in perhaps the Best time to live on earth since Jesus! Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Back To School - Conclusion

Mom & Dad: I hope you found the Back To School series helpful and encouraging. Please know that Dineen and I are standing with you in faith for the salvation of your entire family. 


I would like to thank my writing partner, Dineen, as this was her fantastic idea. Thanks girl! You know I love you. 

Now as for next month. My friends, I'm so excited. September holds some pretty BIG stuff for us. Rosh Hashanah is only a few weeks away. I have so much to share with you! Get ready because I'm convinced that we are living on planet earth at one of the most important and astonishing times in history! Ever!

Wanna hear more? Stay tuned! Hugs, Lynn

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One more thing. Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone will only be on sale for a few more days. If you know someone who would be encouraged by these books, please let them know. The sale ends Monday.

Both books

 

Not Alone Contributors names


Not Alone - The BEST Parenting un-Advice

SUMites, have you ever wondered why I am in ministry?

I'm convinced if I'd been stronger in my faith-walk as a young person, I wouldn't have slipped down the slimy slope into my prodigal years. When I finally emerged from those dark years, by the Sovereign hand of God, I became dedicated to a singular passion.

Equip the Saints!

I'm driven to help people to NOT live in, or as long, in satan's camp as I did. This passion and God's purposes have come alive in many aspects of my faith throughout the years. I served for years in a local church Bible study. The SUM ministry was born out of my heart to equip believers who are married to unbelieving spouses. 

The books on marriage and parenting were birthed because of the Lord's grace and the heart He placed into me to equip His people to not just survive but to THRIVE! It is our Papa God's will that we live well on earth and further the Kingdom of Christ.

Train up a ChildAs we close our Back To School series, I leave you with chapter 10 of Not Alone. This chapter is about passing to our children a legacy of faith. I hope you read this chapter because I focus on a legacy of faith recorded in the Bible about a man who was raised in an unequally yoked home. His name was Timothy. Once again I'm overwhelmed by God's compassion and love because this story about Timothy, his mother and grandmother appears in His Holy Word. The Lord is encouraging all of us who are living with pre-believers to have faith, courage and assurance that we can raise World changers within a spiritually mismatched home.

Do you know what Timothy's mother's name is when translated from Greek to English? VICTORIOUS! 

We are victorious and we are standing in faith the same as Timothy's mother and grandmother. All of heaven is watching. They are cheering us on as we lead our children in daily life with Jesus. 

Do not fear. Do not be discouraged. Stand strong and do not waiver for GREAT is your reward. Your love, prayers and example will win them all, even without words!

As I finished up the book, Not Alone,  the Lord down loaded a letter to my heart. It is a letter from Him to every mother. You can read it here. Take time to read this because it's worth it. "My Chosen Mother" at our Mismatched & Thriving website.

Finally, thank you moms and dads. Thank you for your courage and your faith. I know deeply in my soul that your years of parenting will be remembered and hailed in the heavenlies for all eternity. I can't wait to one day, witness all that you have done to raise your little ones to faith.

I love you. I bless you and I call you amazing. Beloved of God. Lynn 

 And now mom and dad, this is for you!