When The Books Are Opened

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comLet’s open the next book, shall we?

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. —Revelation 20:12

There is a day in our linear future where every person whosoever liveth upon the earth, shall pass before the throne. The “Books” shall be opened and judgement shall be determined.

WHOA!!!  I can’t stop saying that… WHOA!!!

Astounding….. I don’t have language to express the fathom of this truth.

“As I looked,

thrones were set in place,

    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.

His clothing was as white as snow;

    the hair of his head was white like wool.

His throne was flaming with fire,

    and its wheels were all ablaze.

A river of fire was flowing,

    coming out from before him.

Thousands upon thousands attended him;

    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

The court was seated,

    and the books were opened. —Daniel 7:9-10

Let this passage leave you awe struck. We will be there. We will have our very own book opened. And in our book, is written our original design, our unique creation, our purposes, our assignments that were ordained and written to be fulfilled in our lifetime on earth, before time began. And in our book, will be the results.

Did we discover the truest thing about our self?…. Did we learn that we are lavishly loved. Did we come to understand that our hair color, our gender, our eye color, our imperfections were imperfectly, perfect? Did we realize our full potential and creativity that were gifted to us from heaven? Did we walk in joyous laughter and live in peace, which is our birthright (Romans 14:17)?

Did we learn to love?

Oh, how I have prayed for each and every one of you that you have all learned to love. God gave us difficult marriages so that we would learn to love like Jesus. I have tarried in the secret place for you, your children, and spouse to come to the place of your truest identity.

You are an empowered and perfect child of God!

THAT is our truth.

So, let’s tackle the why.

Why aren’t we walking in victory, true identity, and our predestined missions and assignments?

Enter stage left: Lucifer

Before time began when our books were written, there was an angel. According to Ezekiel 28:13, a probable reference to Lucifer, we learn that he is an amazing being to behold: "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."

His pride in his beauty and position ultimately lead him and a third of the angelic host to be cast out of heaven and down to earth.

And thus, he’s pissed off. I mean roiling mad.

He’s mad and also fully aware of the destinies that are written in our books.

Thus, the war is at hand. We are in a war for truth. The truest thing about us, the works of our lives assigned and contained within our books. As I walked through the vineyards that morning a few weeks ago, the Lord began to show me how, as people, we are destined to live on earth as it was originally intended by the Lord. And God revealed how the devil immediately went to work assaulting the destinies ordained for our lives.

God said to me that morning, “Lynn, it began years ago. Centuries and centuries, way back in families. A brother became jealous and murdered his brother. A man, an ordinary husband and father, heard a whisper from the demonic realm that perhaps he wasn’t good enough to provide for his family, he turned to stealing and alcohol. A mother leaned into a lie that she was insignificant and unworthy to be loved or respected because she was only a girl. A child grabbed hold of a lie that anger was the answer to his pain. Pride was whispered to every generation. Father after father, mother after mother, the generations began to believe the lies of the enemy and their divine books became corrupted.”

“Abuse entered into the bloodline, alcoholism, occult practices, bloodshed. The wickedness of men blotted out names,  destroyed childhoods, imprisoned generations to addictions of perversion. These wicked practices are passed to the children or gleaned from others with evil in their hearts.”

Oh Jesus, I whisper.

“But in my books, it is written that men would always love and cherish their wives. Their children were their pride and joy and the focus of their heart. Mothers were powerful and tender nurturers of the children and her husband. And together these families raised up the next generation to LIVE fully, alive and in the blessings and beautiful world that I created for them to enjoy.”

Okay, the heaviness of this is taking me over. I need a break.. Time to find Kleenex again.

Oh, My SUMites, let’s pray for the restoration of the books of our families.

See you on the next post…. It’s the BEST one of this series. I Love you, Lynn

A SINGLE LIFE Can Restore A Family Line

*****

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SUM Nation Newsletter

Newsletter long 2013Hi Everyone,

The news from here is that we have an extra initiative underway: A new quarterly newsletter.  This is something that Lynn and Dineen used to do and had wanted to revive.  In this season of us gathering round Lynn in the ministry her number of helping hands has grown.  I'll be lending my hands by coordinating the newsletter.

The newsletter will land in your inboxes, and will be a way of saying a friendly hello and keeping you posted about what's new and coming up.  It'll be especially helpful for those times when you're busy and might miss news from the blog.

The first edition is out this coming Monday.  To receive it make sure you're signed up using the form below.

We hope you enjoy this extra way of us staying connected!

Ann 

Subscribe to our Quarterly Newsletter

 

*****

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Is this all there is?

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Photo courtesy of Foto76/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was in the office early. First to arrive, every morning. I was the one who turned the lights on (and often the one who turned them off each night). Large triple shot coffee in my hand as I scanned overnight emails and my always too large work-in-progress folder.

Another restructure was in the wings and I knew with a new MD having recently arrived putting the heat on the sales team, of which, I was one of its leaders, we were to come under close scrutiny. Changes were inevitable and I knew my role, the jack-of-all-trades role that it was, would be closely scrutinised.

I wasn’t too concerned. In fact, I was ready for a change. 

But to what?

I’d never aspired to be a CEO, unlike my twin brother, but from early in my corporate career I had expected I would end up in one of the senior roles reporting to the CEO. Yes, I managed it once, in the Virgin business I co-founded but the desire for such an executive role had diminished. However, given the right company and right boss I’m sure I’d happily jump into one. There just wasn’t that burning desire to do it. 

And for the umpteenth time in recent months I find myself staring into an abyss.

My heart yearned for something more. But no longer was it for the big corporate gig.

But for what?

So I started talking to God about it on our daily commutes. My dissatisfaction with my career was troubling me but I soon began to realise it was more than that. I was frustrated with my relationship with God. Surely there was more?

It didn’t take long before I got my answer. It was blunt and too the point.

“But, you don’t know me, Ian.”

No, I didn’t hear it verbally but in my heart.

So I asked Him how I could know Him.

Once again the response was short and very clear.

“Read my Word.”

Those words jumped into my heart. Sure there was a sense of guilt but mostly relief. That was the answer. I was excited to get started.

Of course He was right. How can you love somebody if you don’t really know them? 

“You can believe in God and still miss life with Him. You can know about God and still live as an Orphan.” Allen Arnold

So I dived into the Word. New Year’s Day 2009 I committed to read the Bible everyday. I’m pleased to say that in the years since I started there have only a handful of days when I haven’t read the Word. That’s probably the one and only New Year’s resolution I’ve made and stuck to.

Meeting Jesus in His Word

I relished reading the Word, discovering so many new aspects of God’s character and finally truly getting acquainted with my Savior. I grew up attending a traditional Church of England church and loved how we used the Green Prayer Book each Sunday and sang old hymns. But I really only met God, the Father.

And my first impressions of Him were greatly impacted by my relationship with my dad. This is common. So I was often fearful (not in a reverent way) and felt He was more the disciplinarian.

Yes, I knew of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the trinity was just too much of a mystery for me to spend any time reflecting upon.

It’s only been in these last ten or so years where I’ve come to ‘meet’ and get to know the other two members of the trinity: the Son and the Spirit. My first impressions of Jesus were He was a super hero of sorts. He was more God than human. So He had an advantage over the rest of us because He could always play the God-card.

How wrong was I?

Yes, I’d read the gospels (and most of the rest of the New Testament) many times over the years, had it preached and talked about but still I lived in this deception.

“We need to hear the Gospel everyday because we forget it everyday.” Martin Luther

I love the fact that no matter how many times I’ve read a passage I discover something new each time. That’s why the Word is a supernatural book.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:1-2, 14a NIV)

Jesus is the Word. The Word is living and breathing. It was only in studying Him, His Word, did I begin to discover who Jesus really was. And that He wasn’t a super hero of sorts.

Falling in Love with Jesus

“... but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]” (Philippians 2:7 AMP)

Jesus became completely human. He was fully man. And fully God. But each nature, ie, His humanity and His divinity, remain distinct. All part of the mystery of Jesus.

It’s been in discovering the humanity of Jesus that I’ve discovered His divinity. A contradiction? Maybe. But in realising He completely understands me and even with all my shortcomings loves me like mad. Accordingly, I’ve become more accepting of myself, developed greater confidence in who I am and my anxiety has gradually diminished. As Thomas Merton says: “If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.”

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 NIV)

I’ve always loved this verse but I never really appreciated it’s meaning. Until I spent time meditating on and repeating it day after day after day did it dawn me that we can only experience what we were made to be until we fall madly in love with Him.

As Dallas Willard states we are called to a love affair with our Creator. 

I want the love affair. The whole kit and caboodle. With Jesus.

Grace and peace, dear friends.

*****

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The Next Profound Book

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comRemember Friday we revealed the truth that God created us as a perfect reflection of His love. AND He created us, every person on earth, to be His child, to walk in love and to live in His Kingdom. Remember God said to me, “Tell them about the books, Lynn. My people don’t understand the books and therefore they are unaware.”

Let’s open the next book.

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. —Revelation 3:5

This is the Lamb’s Book of Life. Our name was written in this book and it shines with brilliant light as a reflection of our choice to believe in Jesus Christ. It was written before time began and only you can make the choice to have your name blotted out. (Rejection of Jesus Christ.)

We were perfectly made AND we were created to be victorious. Our names are recorded as a resident of the Kingdom of God. … before time began, I remind you.

Good LORD!!!

It is, and always has been, God’s intention that every person is to be included in the Kingdom. Read these next passages and let these truths seep deep into your soul:

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, — Ephesians 1:4-5

Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. —2 Timothy 1:9

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. —Romans 8:29

Okay, I’m not going to debate predestination but I know, without a doubt, that God loves people. His intentions toward people are love and if there is some other doctrine that God doesn’t love people nor have the best intentions for us, we are all doomed. It’s a lie!

So where does life go sideways? Why are we not living in these truths? Why are people going to hell? Why is the world filled with hate? Why did we endure abuse as a child? Why are relationships and marriages so dang hard? What in the hell?..... Really, hell is the answer to all the why.

So, next post, let me share what happens to our books and how we have been every gift to fully realign with our destiny that was sealed before time began.

Book of Life is also referenced in:

And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. —Philippians 4:3 (NKJV)

SUMites, I don't know if I included all the references to the Book of Life. If I missed some, please post the scriptures in the comments. Also, what are your thoughts about the Book of Life? Would love your perspective. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Identity Is Written In Your Book

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWhile on my walk-n-pray today (Thursday), trotting down a street in wine country, suddenly a small feather floated out of the sky and into my cupped hands. I whispered, Thank you Daddy! Then I began to ask the Lord, “Father, what is on your heart about this subject, identity. How do I speak to Your people about this extremely sensitive subject?”

God immediately replied, “Tell them about the books, Lynn. My people don’t understand the books and therefore they are unaware.”

WHOA!

THAT IS NOT the answer I expected…. At all.

But, it’s exactly the perfect answer. Following the Lord’s reply, immediately a download from the Holy Spirit about the books initiated. I began to perceive what the books intend for mankind and where and why we strayed away from the truth. So, please allow me to share with you my conversation with the Lord. Much of what I share is found in Scripture and I include theses passages in the posts.

God began to speak to me about who we are. So, today, I want to share what I heard, the truth of who we are, predicated on scripture and then we will visit the reality of how our identity becomes warped or distorted. Okay? Let’s do this!!

Let’s start with the books.

Do you know that before time began, books were written in the heavenly realms? Books of all manner of things, purposes, and people. There is a book(s) written about you, specifically. Let’s take a look at some of these books. Because understanding The Books of the Kingdom will shed great light on the deceptions of the devil and illuminate the truth of our identity.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. —Psalm 139:16

Let’s start with this passage in Psalms. This is David speaking, a prophet, a King, and man after God’s own heart. In this passage it is written that God ordained every single day of life. God wrote down our longevity, our identity, our purpose, our works, our achievements, and His divine destiny in our own book before the dinosaurs. Really!

Let’s linger here for a minute. PLEASE let this truth ROCK your world. God wrote my book and your book before time began.

God spoke to me this morning and He said, “Lynn, all things written in your book are good. Your book contains assignments for My Kingdom. Works that bring you great joy, such as when you write for My Kingdom, you come alive. That is a fulfilment of one of your chapters in your book. I recorded the destinies of every human being in their book. The books are written decrees to be fulfilled which brings great glory, honor and joy to My heart and it brings the same to those who walk in their written destinies.”

WHOA!!!!  Can I just say, WHOA!

GULP…

Then the Lord went on to say, “Lynn, you and every person on earth was wonderfully and beautifully made. Remember that scripture?”

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. —Psalm 139:14

“Yes, Lord, I am very familiar with that passage.”

“Lynn, every person from the beginning of time, throughout history, has been created perfectly.”

Immediately I realized that every human being is a perfect expression of God’s love. God created us uniquely, specifically, intentionally. We aren’t a mistake in any way or any area.

Our eye color wasn’t a mistake. Our height, not a mistake. Our freckles, our bone structure, our skin color, NOT A MISTAKE, our gender, NOT A MISTAKE.

God is perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes. He crafted each of us, 7.5 billion people, as perfect expressions of His boundless, astounding, love.

We are NOT A MISTAKE. We were created in our mother’s womb with the love of a tender Father who only wants good for His beloved child.

Hold please, I need to find Kleenex. I’m weeping and shaking under the power of the Holy Spirit all at the same time. Taking in this reality is wrecking me. This truth is blowing up every false belief system about my life. And there’s more. So much more to this that I am shaking under the power of the revelation as I type.

I need to pause here. I ask you SUMite Nation, take in this reality. Ask the Father about your book, your destinies. Receive the truth that you are NOT a mistake and the reality that you are exactly who God created you to be.

I understand what you will wrangle with…. The WHY questions. If this is true, then why ______ did this happen. Where were you God when ______ this went wrong. WHY?

Oh boy howdy, did God give me an answer. Stay tuned. Pray into these passages. I feel a powerful revelation and freedom dawning.

WE LOVE YOU LORD!  Hugs, Lynn

PS. There is gold dust on my keyboard right now.

Can I just say again…. WHOA!

*****

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Sumite Prayer Partners

Prayer Partnerships - SUMHello Sumite nation! I would like to admit that I've been somewhat discouraged lately. The undercurrent of hatred and divisiveness is, at times, too much for this tiny brunette. During these moments of discouragement the Lord is quick to renew my strength if I remember to focus on his presence. I keep a stack of encouraging verses tacked to the wall of my cubicle for moments like these. I thumb through them and land on a bit of encouragement from Joshua 1:9, "This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Or this one from Psalm 42:5-6, "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again - my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you - even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar." And now one from the mouth of Jesus in Mark 4:39 "Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still!" And the wind ceases and there was great calm." Please join me in prayer:

Gracious Father, we lift our weary hearts to you and praise the glory of your name. You are the mighty king, the alpha and omega, the source of all existence. You are far beyond my comprehension, deeper than the depths of the greatest ocean. In these moments of worship, I can feel Jesus say PEACE BE STILL and suddenly everything stops then find myself in the stillness of your presence. You remind us that we are sons and daughters of the Most High, held safely in the palm of your hand. I ask you to renew our strength again today. Set our feet upon the foundation of your written word and encourage our souls in ways that we cannot begin to imagine. Now we look to those who have been affected by the numerous natural disasters. Father, please provide for their every need and send encouragement through the works of your children. Please provide relief and comfort. Mighty God, we pray and declare this things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

More information on our Sumite Prayer Partnerships can be found by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partnerships

If you are ready to receive a prayer partner then please send me an email using this link: Email Christy Edney In your email, please provide your name and your geographic location. 

If you and your partner are experiencing difficulty or you would like prayer then please email me using this link: Email Christy Edney

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Every Victory Begins With THIS!

Hi Family,

Who Am I SUMWe are a family. Being a part of something bigger than ourselves is part of our  spiritual DNA. We were created for connection. We were created to belong. To live in intimacy. Learning to love one another and learning to love our Father.

I’ve just returned from the Heaven Come conference. Three days filled with profound, life-altering worship and teaching that will live forever in my soul.

Attending an event for the Christian faith is an interesting experience. I wonder if you are like me in that you have attended many events that make you feel good about yourself and living for Jesus. However, you return home to the same-old-same-ole and quickly lose all the joy or hope that you came home with? Anyone relate?

However, each year that I attend this conference, something profound occurs. And this year I arrived home with such a powerful conviction to speak about identity.

IDENTITY.

Understanding our identity is everything to living in victory. So, I think that in the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit is urging me to lead all of us in learning about our identity.

Why?

Because out of our identity comes healing. Our understanding of our spiritual place in the Kingdom releases us into our destiny. Our identity is the core of our freedom, healing, hope and our future.

As we walk through identity, I also want to directly confront some of the societal issues that attack identity. Gender, sexuality, and more. I know these issues are controversial in the general public but also in the church. But right now, in our homes, we are trying to raise children to step into their God given calling and the enemy is doing everything to destroy them as men and women. Our spouses listens to the talking heads that shout absolute lies about who we are as people. And as SUMites, we are often shamed by our spouse who puts us down for believing in what they deem as a faith for the weak.

BUT let me be the voice of reason and truth. In the last several years, I have lived out of my full identity and I AM FREE. I am brave and I have helped others find their freedom. I have so much freedom and equipping to give the people of God. And I have insight to help you guide your children through love and not condemnation. I have wisdom, I believe, given by our Father to share how to walk in complete truth and faith in these modern days and handle the issues that confront the truths of God’s holy Word.

I also see our SUM community walking out of shame. Becoming free of condemnation and the need to “save” our spouse. Would you like to step out of shame? Would you like to silence the voice of confusion over sexual identity and know how to walk with others through this issues with love and hope?

Do you have a heart for those who are living in deception and fear? Are you living in fear and shame….. Well my dearest friend, GOD HAS HEARD YOUR PRAYERS. Let’s travel these next few weeks ahead and learn what is truth and how we can live and help our kids live in truth without being hateful or cruel.

And I ask all of you, SUMites, even if you ask the question of yourself, "Who am I" and you feel as though you have a firm identity in Christ, I ask you to walk this out because it may be that there are a few lies that remain hidden about who you are and whose you are that our Great God wants to bust wide open. 

God heals all and we are going to emerge from these weeks and guess what? Confusion will be banished. Love will be paramount. Our hearts will be filled with courage because we know the truth and truth will set you free. 

So, I enter this series with trembling and much prayer. It is scary to take a stand in social media for the Word of God but we are at a tipping point. We MUST learn the truth of our identity. We must walk in our true identity first and then we can help others discover their true identity. It’s in confronting the lies that our healing and healing of the world will happen.

Will you pray for me as I stand in the courage I’ve mustered up to share. Pray I am continually anointed by the Holy Spirit and all that I write is truth and wrapped in love.

What say you SUMites? Do you want to walk this difficult but needful path this season?

I love you. This next week is critical to launch into a the new season of God. Pray and seek His face. He has amazing assignments ahead for this new season and He wants us to be fully free and equipped to set in and behold the glory. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Thank you Dawn

image from billesbach.typepad.comWasn't this past week amazing.

Fasting and pressing into the Father's love. Powerful, precious and transformative.

And what about Dawn. She was amazing as well. Her heart for our Lord shines so bright. Than you Dawn, for leading us into a wonderful season. We love you!

I pray you were all blessed and filled up because the new assignments are now ready to be handed out in the heavenly realm. So get ready, GREAT things are ahead. 

See you all on Monday. I'm at the Heaven Come Conference in LA. I will be ON FIRE when I next write to you.

Bless you SUMite Nation. You are stronger than you realize. Your prayers are absolutely powerful and effective. And all the lies and torment are defeated by the blood of Jesus. Hallelujah!!!

Be blessed, Lynn

Also, on my personal blog, I'm sharing some fascinating insights about Rosh Hashanah. It's really good stuff! Join me for: Rosh Hashanah -Faith Practices and Realities of the Kingdom.

 

*****

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. -click or tap the photo-

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Last Day of Fasting

As we wrap up our fast this year, I want to share a story of fasting that happened to me this year.  It was only a few months ago in fact.  I have not fasted nearly enough in the past year.  I used to be so diligent about it and there was a time when it came easier, but sadly as things improve - I find myself fasting less and even praying less.  I'm not proud of this at all and fully realize that this is how Satan regains a stronghold.

That said, something started really pestering my spirit about needing to spend a day fasting.  And it had to be on the upcoming Wednesday of that week.  By the time Wednesday came around, I had kind of forgotten about it - but no, the minute I woke up - there it was.  I mean there was no getting around it.  My first thought was "Wait - you mean no coffee?"  "No coffee."  So I sighed and my feet were a little heavier than usual hitting the floor.  I  really didn't want to fast and somehow felt , I like I was being given no choice.

So I went to work and at some point that day I received the coolest email from my now dear friend Ann.  I barely knew her at that time and she found me on the SUM website to tell me that she had woken up with me on her heart and she had quite the message from me regarding my marriage and my husband (ex.)  It was a beautiful prophetic message.  It blew me away and I knew then why God had insisted I fast.  It was so I would receive that message with all of my heart knowing it was from Him. Receiving her email on that day left me with no doubt.  So I was giddy that I wasn't crazy in believing I had to fast that day and my sacrifice of morning coffee had no gone to waste.

Then, a little later in the afternoon, I got a phone call from a company wanting to interview me.  My industry kind of works that way where companies "poach" people from other companies.  I would have been in such a quandary about accepting the interview and then later accepting the position if I had not been fasting that day.  I did end up going for an interview and I did end up accepting the offer.  I walked away from my previous job of 4 1/2 years and many friends along with it.  I don't know why I was meant to change jobs, but I know without a doubt it was God's plan.  And I do really like my new company.  But I know I would not have left the other without the knowledge that this is absolutely where God wants me.  And I would not have known that and had such peace about it without having been fasting that day.

So if at any point you really feel nudged to fast, there's probably a reason.  We don't always see all that goes on in the heavenlies when we fast, but know that much is going on.  And sometimes we are blessed enough to see it down here.

It's been a lovely, beautiful week spent with you all.  I would love to hear about any breakthroughs or revelations.

*****

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. -click or tap the photo-

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How is the fast going for everyone?  We're just over halfway through.  I personally haven't had nearly the amount of time I would have liked to spend in quiet prayer.  Time and quiet are nowhere to be found in my life right now.  But I think fasting in itself is a form of prayer (I hope so.)  And I've managed to pray consistently throughout the days. I've had to remind myself that God meets us right where we are.
 

This story has stuck with me all of these years, but I hadn't really thought about it until I was praying about what posts to do for this fast.  One day a few years back, Lily and I were sitting at Starbucks right up against the wall.  Next to me I noticed a really cool mural, but I kept on chatting and drinking my mocha.  But I couldn't stop looking at this little piece of the mural and I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be. It was so distracting that it finally bugged me to the point of getting up and walking to where I could see the whole thing.  It was a series of pictures that made up the whole mural.  And then it all made sense.  And at that exact time, I heard that still small voice say, "This is my perspective compared to yours.  I see the big picture."    Today I ran over there to get photos for this post and it was great to see the mural again.  God has reminded me of this very thing so often throughout the years and I'm always thankful for this illustration from Him.

 
I hope it serves as a reminder to you too that He does see the big picture.  He's painting it and it's going to be beautiful.  Every stroke has been painted with you in mind and not a single thing will be forgotten in His masterpiece.
 
 
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The Waiting Room

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I think it's safe to say that all of us have been placed in a waiting room.  We are all waiting for something - our spouse's salvation, our prodigal children to return, our health to be restored, our marriage to be restored, our financial burdens to cease  - I could probably fill many pages with things we are collectively waiting for.

 
I often think about my own personal "waiting room."  I look around and I think God has set me up pretty well in my time of waiting.  He's blessed me with so much while I wait and wait and wait.  He's used this time to strengthen my spiritual muscles - particularly patience and humility and perseverance.  He's gifted me with relationships that I would have never found outside the waiting room.  He's filed down and rounded many of my rough edges making me a soft place for those in this room with me.  And best of all He's given me a deep, intimate relationship with Him.
 
"Some beautiful things can only be found in the hardest times." Bo Stern
 
This is so true.  I look around and I see so many beautiful things - things that could have only been found in the hard times of the last several years.  Things I wouldn't ever give back to spare my tears and heartache.
 
What does your waiting room look like?  What spiritual muscles are being strengthened while you wait?  What beautiful things have you found that you would not have found outside of your waiting room?
 
I think my time in the waiting room (at least this one) may be coming an end, as marriage restoration appears to be on the horizon and as excited as I am, I have to say - I wouldn't trade a single second of the time I spent waiting for God's perfect timing.

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A Wrong Turn Gone Right

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And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 

Have you ever wondered if God still works ALL things together for our good when we screw up - intentionally or unintentionally.  This is something I struggle with.  It causes me to lose faith when I make a bad decision, take a wrong turn in life, say something I knew I shouldn't have.  It causes me to wonder if God is still  going to work all things for my good.  The short answer that I've found is - yes - He will and He does.

Once a year, my friends and I hold an all-night prayer session.  We always start the first hour with praise and thanksgiving.  One of the things we reflect on is our favorite thing about God - our favorite character trait.  Hands down mine is His ability to redeem anything.  I probably pray the simple prayer, "Jesus, please redeem this," many times a week.  I've learned in any situation, even if it's my fault or disobedience or carelessness, He can redeem it.

 I have so many examples of God redeeming situations, but one of my favorite's that I think of often is when my girls and I were on vacation earlier this summer.  It was just the 3 of us in a foreign Caribbean country.  We were very much out of our element and for this reason, used a taxi everywhere we went.  One day, however, someone had told us of a popular beach about a half mile to a mile away.  Since it was "just around the corner," we decided to walk.  I don't think there are words for how hot and muggy it was.  It was miserable anywhere outside of a beach.  So we take off on our walk - the wrong way - around the wrong corner.  And of course, we don't realize it until we had gone really far and ended up at a dead end in an overgrown field.  Instead of a popular, thriving beach - we were met with tall grass and mosquitoes.  Oops!  Needless to say, I had 2 very unhappy campers on my hands since the walk was my idea in the first place.  As usual, I prayed my prayer for redemption, that somehow, some way God would redeem this sticky (literally) situation.  And did He ever answer that prayer!  Across the field, I could see that it dropped off.  I managed to talk the kids into walking through the tall grass (not a single person in sight - kind of scary) to see what was over the cliff.  After much (more) grumbling, we walked over to the edge of the field and looked down to see a beautiful, secluded beach.  We climbed down rocks and made our way to what became known as our "private" beach.  It was the highlight of our entire vacation.  The kids barely remember the wrong turn, the tall grass, the mosquitoes, their tired legs - but they remember every detail of "our" beach.  This beach had shells unlike any others on the entire island and the seclusion made it so special.  Isn't it just like Our Redeemer to turn my wrong turn into the best part of our trip?  And doesn't He do that so often in our lives?

 

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It's such a reminder to me as I walk this journey God has placed me on that He's working ALL things for good ALL the time - in spite of my mistakes.  

I'd love to hear your stories of redemption.  They are truly my favorite.

   

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Rosh Hashanah Fast 2017

 

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Hello Sumites!

Dawn here.  Welcome to the annual SUM Rosh Hashanah fast.

Many of you may remember last year’s fast.  I am honored and thrilled to be leading it again this year.  It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed.  I can’t wait to share the amazing things that God has been up to in my life and hear the amazing things He’s been up to in yours.  I am excited to spend this week lifting each other up in prayer and encouraging each other as we spend this special time fasting together.

What is Rosh Hashanah?  I’m going to share straight from Google because I don’t want to butcher this.  In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year.  Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. 

I don’t about you, but the “Days of Awe” gets me so excited.   I love that it represents a new year.  I, for one, am all for fresh beginnings.

So for these "days of awe," what awe inspiring things are you praying for this week?

Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the Lord,  and he will give you the desires of your heart.

What desires has God placed in your heart?  The ones that He just won’t let you shake.  That, my friends, is what this week is all about.

Let’s start this fast with gusto – praying and fasting for the promises, the miracles, the desires of our hearts.

Who’s with me?  Remember, you can fast in many ways.  Pray about the best fast for you this week.  I will be fasting from dinner each night and snacking between meals until sundown on Friday.

As a reminder to myself, because I always struggle with this - fasting is not about strong-arming God.  It's about standing in faith against impossible situations.  It's about walking in victory and claiming God's plans and promises for you and your family - no matter how long they take.  It's about breaking strongholds that have kept you captive for way too long.  Let this be your motivation when hunger pangs strike and temptation sets in.

Love you all and again – so excited to share this journey with you.

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Raising Up Generations

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Being the mother of a toddler and kindergartner can certainly keep me on my toes. I am so thankful for the grace of Jesus; He is so merciful - Knowing that I don’t always have to have it all together, that I can be perfectly imperfect in my efforts to be the best mom I can be. As many of the SUMites here have experienced; raising children in a spiritually mismatched household can throw in a set of challenges that other Christian families may not face.

By the time my daughter was born almost 6 years ago, it was evident that my husband was agnostic. I was so thankful that he gave me his blessing to raise our daughter (and now our 22-month-old son) as a Christian. He has gone as far as standing with me as our children were dedicated to the Lord at our church and participating in prayer time. While he supports me as I guide our children to follow Jesus, he has reiterated time and time again that he will not play an active role in shaping our children spiritually.

As a new wife and mother, I held onto hope that my husband would ‘come to his senses’, so to speak, and take on this leadership role. I placed unrealistic expectations upon him, when he had made it abundantly clear from the beginning that he would not be fulfilling the role of spiritual leader in our home. As you can imagine, and likely have experienced, this unfulfilled longing can leave one feeling unimportant and cast aside. My actions and words relayed to him that he was not measuring up as a husband and father, when what he needs to hear is that he is loved beyond measure just the way he is. It was only after pressing deeply into my relationship with the Lord to fill my every need that I could see this clearly.

My job as a mother is to love unconditionally and model to my children a loving relationship between husband and wife. If I am not allowing the Lord to set the precedence for my each and every day, to build me up and become the foundation for my life, then I am unable to be this example for my precious little ones. God is the ultimate father and spiritual leader. Who should I turn to with this longing than the source Himself? I came to a point in my walk where I was ready to allow God to work within me so that I could begin to be this Godly example, regardless of where my husband happens to be in his own journey.

The more I have delved into my walk with Christ, the more I have realized an amazing truth; the modeling of a God-fearing spirit to our children is important for generations to come. We can become hyper-focused on life’s current circumstances and our immediate surroundings, very much self-absorbed instead of God-absorbed. Let’s try to readjust our perspective to see that we are on a God-appointed mission to change the trajectory of entire familial lines. The Lord has sent you to be an influence in the lives of a line of people that had no prior recognition of Jesus Christ. This is a huge deal! The gift of eternity! Allow God to work on the heart of your spouse while you ‘train up your children in the way they should go’ (Proverbs 22:6)!

The following are a few verses that speak of the blessings that we pass to future generations when we are obedient to the Lord and his teachings:

Genesis 22: 17-18

I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.

Psalm 112: 1-3
Praise the 
Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.

Luke 1:49-50

For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.

I will continue steadfastly in this walk with my children, my husband at my side, with a hope in my heart that we, along with ALL our future descendants, will spend eternity together worshiping the King of Kings. It is my prayer that each SUMite comes to a place in his or her journey where fulfillment is found solely in Christ Jesus, not in another human being. If we continue to chase a mere man (or woman) to fill the role of our Messiah, then we will always be left feeling empty. Let us release all our need to control to our Father (Proverbs 19:21)! Allow God to bless you today, that you may lead your little ones to follow Him, and to sense a supernatural peace in your heart as you continue onward.

Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home (book)

 

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My Fearless Child in a Mismatched Marriage

Patty Tower and Family 2017SUMite, Patty Tower:

Thank the Lord. Although my husband and I are not on the same page spiritually, we see eye to eye when it comes to parenting.

Whether with a Christian background or not, one of the things we agree on in life is…fear limits us and inhibits us. Maybe you don’t agree on other things with your spouse while you parent, but perhaps you can agree that fear or producing fear is a bad thing.

My husband’s latest obsession has been mountain biking on the outskirts of where we live in Seattle. To gain more quality family time, we found a way for my 2.5-year-old son to be included in this newfound recreational activity.

The place where we go has a dirt pump track park, where kids and adults, anywhere from three years and older use it as a practicing playground on their bikes before they head into the woodsy area of the mountain. I do not sense a feeling of insecurity or hesitancy from my son at this park, where I find him hanging out with the big kids.

Of course, it’s not without falling the first several attempts of him riding up and down this track. And like anyone, he did not like to fall. Watching my son go, and almost as the Holy Spirit led me, immediately I clap and cheer, hearing myself say “Good Fall Levi! Great fall! You fell so well!”

I am chuckling as I write this, because even my husband thought I was weird.  

My husband looks over at me and asks, “Why would you praise him for falling? It’s like you’re telling him it’s ok to fall.”

“Because it is. I don’t want him to be afraid of falling. He makes mistakes and can learn and become better, right?”

And like that, my husband nods and totally gets me.

Someone once told me “The great thing about failure is that we create neuropathways when we fail. The more we fail, the more we force the neuropathway to grow. At a certain point the pathway is created and then practice of that same task creates a coating (myelin) that helps the pathway remain strong. I think it's great that God created the brain to create and expand through failure, not through success.”

Isn’t that awesome? Our God, our creator, created us to be strong through failure.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home (book)

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Sumite Parenting

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This weekend marked the passage of another year in my parenting journey and the turning of yet another page. My oldest child turned 14 and suddenly I realized that my sweet little goober has become more like a man and less like a boy. I say this with a twinge of sadness but also with a rush of excitement for what our future holds. Then I realize this is the perfect time to reflect and share the single most important thing that I've ever done for him and my daughter.

As a child there was no religion in my home, however, I was blessed with one set of extremely faithful grandparents. They radiated the love and kindness of Christ in every corner of their lives. Fast forward many years, I met my future husband at the age of nineteen, married by twenty one and had my son by twenty two. When he was born, I was still a child in so many ways but I knew one thing. I wanted to raise him in the home that was modeled by my grandparents and the first step toward that goal was finding a church. I asked my husband for permission to raise him in the church and he allowed it but promised never to join us. That was the beginning of my journey as a parent in an unequally yoked marriage. During those early years, I learned that simply going to church wasn't enough. I needed to learn what it meant to be made a new creation in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17). In that moment I made the best parenting decision of my life, I dedicated all that I knew of myself to all that I knew of Christ. I know that sounds lofty but let me share the practicalities of that choice.

I began by asking God to provide us with a church-home then I committed to regular attendance and involvement outside of the worship hour. I know that's a really hard one for us but I cannot overemphasize the importance of gathering with a body of believers. It will be hard and at times you will feel like an odd duck but do not let the enemy keep you in a place of isolation. That's his favorite weapon to use against this fellowship of Christ-followers. Ask God to knock down any walls that stand in your way, ask him to soften your spouse’s heart to the idea and know that you are supported by the prayers of this Sumite community. Persevere and make church attendance a priority for you and your children. (Hebrews 10:25)

Another small change that had a gigantic impact on my progression was the decision to listen to only Christian music. I’ve learned that the Lord clearly speaks through worship artists. The lyrics often confirm messages that I’ve heard from other sources and aide in the healing of some of my deepest wounds. My pastor once said that the root of the word music is “muse” meaning to think or ponder. That is one purpose of worship music, to point our hearts and minds toward God and keep us focused on Jesus Christ.

Even more important than church attendance or choice of music is your own inner relationship with the life giving King, Jesus Christ. Perhaps begin by setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier than you normally would. Wake up before your family and settle down with your Bible and a journal. Begin each morning with Him and allow the power of the Spirit to fill your soul. It’s also helpful to seek out a few online devotionals and begin to fill your email inbox with his word. Saturate your heart with the living words of God and he will never abandon you. John 15:4

I hope you see the point to all of this, we are called to make Christ the focus and center of our minds. I know it seems counter-intuitive for us as Sumite parents. The enemy wants us to believe that it's impossible, that we are too different, that our marriages are too hard, that we can't possibly be strong enough to raise authentic followers of Jesus Christ. I'm telling you now that the enemy is a liar and we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:31-39) If you stand up today and tell God that you want to devote your entire being to him then HIS Spirit will begin the work in your heart, taking you from lesson to lesson, transforming you into the image of Christ. In time, your husband and family will be transformed by the power of Spirit and no force on earth can stop that progression. This sold out dedication to Jesus Christ has been the most important aspect of my journey as a parent. I am a flawed and broken sinner just like every other human, so I cannot do this without the indwelling of the Spirit of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I think that God is raising a generation of believers who contain a faith, passion and obedience like no other generation. He has chosen our generation of fathers and mothers to parent these children. We are called to focus on Jesus Christ and model the same faith that Lois and Eunice modeled for Timothy. (2 Timothy 1:5) Will you choose to focus on Jesus Christ then allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you as your faith impacts the next generation?

Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home (book)

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Fall, Lattes, and Back To School

SUMites,

Raising Godly KidsI love this time of year…. I enjoyed my first Pumpkin Spiced Latte at Starbucks yesterday. Can I just say, Yum and eee. I love the colors the leaves, and it’s Back To School. Back to church and just an all-around fun time as we move through the holidays in the weeks ahead.

Every year at this time, I think about parenting. I was on the phone today to my now grown daughter, Caitie, who moved to Indiana last month. She is now teaching at Purdue as well as doing her Master’s work. We talked for more than an hour. It was sweet and interesting, fun and a bit melancholy. I loved the years we had together when she was small, working on homework, decorating the house with pumpkins, and slowly but relentlessly training her up in faith.

I wasn’t a perfect parent, by far. But I love my kids and I was determined to raise them to know Jesus even in a home where their father didn’t believe.

So, thinking about this, I have a life-time of knowledge of how to help you also parent your children to faith. Dineen and I wrote about our experiences and victories, wisdom and prayers in our parenting book. That book was recently re-released with a new title, Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home – teaching Your Children to Love God Without Limits!

If you want time-tested and real wisdom on how to raise your kids in faith in our unique marriages, get your hands on this book. Dineen added a powerful chapter for parenting your adult kids as well. So many of our fears are address such as:

  • Am I enough to hold the family together? To teach my kids what they need to know about God’s love? To actually sanctify this house? (1 Cor. 7:14)
  • Am I enough to teach them the truth of Jesus Christ and lead them to salvation? Am I enough to be a godly mom and wife, a good role model, and help support them emotionally and spiritually?
  • Am I enough to be a Mom and wife too? How do I balance both?
  • Am I enough for my kids, husband and everyone else depending on me?
  • Am I enough to point the way to True North for my children, and never let my flag waver no matter how fierce the storm of the world may blow—even when the storm may be my own husband?
  • Am I enough to overcome my junk so I don’t pass it on to my kids?
  • Am I enough to overcome my own fears so my kids don’t experience them firsthand?

Take time to read this book. If you purchase it through the SUM store, all the proceeds go to our ministry. You can listen to it on audio book in the car on the way to work also. Raising Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home

You are enough my friend but we need each other and we need wisdom. As an older mom now, I can be the voice to tell you that YOU CAN DO THIS. IT IS POSSIBLE. And you can do it well.

Have a great weekend. Hug your kids. Take them for ice cream. Swing with them at the park and tell them about Jesus every “catchable moment” that you are given. Hugs, Lynn

One other fun fact. I had the new book sitting on my desk. I picked it up to read Dineen’s new chapter. As I raised the book up, I noticed tiny flecks of gold dust all over the cover. Wild! Where did that come from? IT’S A BLAST LIVING THE BELIEVER’S LIFE!

 

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SUM Books 4


The God of Hope

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Photo courtesy of 9comeback/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hope. In Lynn’s last couple of posts she has shared what the Lord has been saying to her about hope. As I meditated with the Lord on what to write about He gave me a similar instruction: HOPE.

I’ve previously shared on my three-strikes rule: if I read/hear a topic 3 times in a very short space of time I realise the Lord is wanting me to pay particular attention. This happened last week and the topic was, you guessed it, Hope.

These are crazy times indeed. Both at the global level: Nth Korea, Harvey, Trump, Charlottesville, Middle East, terrorism, etc and at the individual level: depression, suicide, divorce, job loss, and so on. Yes, these are crazy times.

But.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NKJV) 

We have a God of hope.

This verse starts with urgency: Now. Yes, we can allow our circumstances to derail our hope and in no way do I want to sound like I’m underestimating the impact of anyone’s trying individual circumstances. Some of us are doing it really tough and I cry out to Jesus for His presence and supernatural peace to invade all of our lives in a new and vibrant way.

But. Now.

I was having breakfast this last Saturday and Fiona came in to say an ambulance was next door and things weren’t looking good. Fi had some errands to run and I was agitated by what was going on next door. I could see our friends hovering at their front door as the paramedics were doing their thing. I didn’t want to intrude as I might just be getting in the way.

But I knew there was one thing I could do and Now. Go to our God of hope and pray. He knew what was going on with our friend’s mum who’d collapsed. So I interceded for her for the next however long. After about an hour the ambulance left and I was filled with peace even though I was uncertain of the status of her life. He was in charge. He knew. 

Turn to Him. Now.

Often in difficult times we try to resolve the issue ourselves, panic, run around trying to be helpful. You get the picture. But we have a God of hope who knows all things.

Pray over your situation using the promises of God. God loves hearing us repeat His Words.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed these verses in the last ten years or so. They really are my go to verses when anxiety grabs a hold and/or my circumstances have gone pear shaped.

Something miraculous happens when we pray His promises, we get filled with hope and our faith grows. That’s why the Bible is a supernatural book. Our words have power. Perhaps our circumstances may not change immediately but our perspective will.

Dearest Father, we love you, we worship you. Thank you that you are the God of hope. We come to you now as our God declaring that no weapon formed against us and our families will prosper. For you are our God. You will strengthen us, You will help us and you will uphold us with Your righteous right Hand. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Oh, our neighbour’s mom is okay. She is still in hospital for a few more days but is recuperating well. Hallelujah.

Blessings dear SUMite friends.

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SUM Books 4


God Of The Impossible

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHOPE Part II

Last week I wrote about HOPE. It's a weird thing when God takes you through a season of change. I discovered quickly that the enemy will pounce on every insecurity, past wounding and bring every difficulty in your life to the forefront in an effort to torment. In the past week, I've walked this out. Don't think I'm not immune to the devil’s attacks. But my years of walking in faith has helped me to quickly rebound so I don't stay in the stinkin’ pit for weeks. 

Anyone want to climb out of the stinkin’ pit today? Well, this is what the Lord told me yesterday and within an hour of praying this prayer, I WAS BACK!!!!! So, everything I have learned, I pass to you today. Because I am an arm of love, supported by my Jesus, reaching into the pit and I WILL PULL YOU UP!  Well, Jesus will, but I'm there with you *grin*.

Lord, align my desires with Yours.

Today, align my thoughts with Yours. Align my work to Yours. Align my heart to Your heart. Seal my life to depend upon Your life.

Align my energies and efforts to what You are doing on this earth in this season. Align the love in my soul to Your love. Align my heart to love others.

Align my eyes to see what You see, to perceive as You perceive. Align my dreams to be birthed from Your dreams about me and for me.

Align my wisdom to Divine Wisdom and to reject the voice of worldly enticements. Align my pursuit of You to be holiness, kindness, compassion, truth and righteousness.

Align myself to be a leader to others and that I would lead in humility and love. That others would then align their love to Your Presence.

Align my worship to Your heart, to bring You honor and glory. Align my words to be words that become a well-spring of hope to myself and others.

Align my mind to Your mind that I think only what You think about me.

Align my every minute of every day to offer You thanksgiving for the richest blessings of provision, protection and grace.

In Jesus name. AMEN

*I want to thank Ann Hutchison for this inspiration. She left a comment on my personal blog that was my arm of support to lift me up. Gang, we all need one another. THAT IS WHAT FAMILY IS FOR!!

SUMite Texas Update: I also want to let you know that I spoke to Martha (Debbie) and Dorothy from Texas. Their homes were spared. Hallelujah. Martha was just let back into her home on Monday. Their church is a complete mess and there is cleanup happening all over the place. Thank you Lord for your protection but we pray for those who are experiencing enormous loss. We pray comfort, peace and Lord send them every natural provision they need, times seven. In Jesus name.

I believe in God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are our hope. See you Friday with a powerful message of HOPE in the God of the impossible. Love you, Lynn

 

 

Register for the Glorious Bride Women's Event (So Cal. area)

In Pursuit of His Presence, August 28, 2017

The Practices of Vibrant Faith, September 4, 2017

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SUM Books 4


Transitions And Ministry Update

Gang,

So, I think it's time for a ministry update. This is the home of The SUMite Nation. A Church Without Walls that loves God and loves people. We are dedicated to live our lives to honor God through His promises and instruction in His Holy Word. And we are living to honor our marriage and raise a family in the love of Christ Jesus. And we are powerful people of prayer and warfare in the Kingdom. We will not ever lose hope or faith nor will we allow the devil to steal our children. Never Ever. We are a bunch of gentle but fire-filled servants of the Lord and we mean to live in truth and freedom and set others free along the way. We LOVE Jesus and will remain loyally steadfast to His Kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name. AMEN

Church, we are waving goodbye to Dineen Miller who joined me on this wild adventure eleven years ago. What a ride it has been. She went with me to some crazy places and we experienced together, fantastic encounters with our Lord. I dragged her into many unsuccessful entrepreneurial and ministry experiences and some that were fabulously successful. We are ordinary women who are trying to live well in challenging circumstances.... just like all of you. I pray for her success and wish her every good thing from the Father. I have a heart filled with love and respect for Dineen.

Where do we go from here?  ONWARD, PEOPLE OF GOD... WE MOVE FORWARD!

I am settling back into my Monday, Friday posts. Ian and Christy will continue to post and I have a few guest posts that will come online. Right now the Lord has not indicated to me that I should take on a new partner. I feel as though I'm a partnered with all of you. So if you have something you want to share and write, visit the guidelines in the sidebar and then email me.

The ministry continues to grow and I've heard from several places that groups of women are studying Winning Him Without Words this fall. Awesome.  Three Keys Ministries, the parent 501(c)3 Corporation of SUM ministries has been blessed with some substantial donations. We have provided books for women's prisons and I have mailed free books out all over the place for those who can't afford to buy one. The prayer book, Winning Them With Prayer, has had profound impact on the faith lives of many. The feedback on that book continues to blow my mind. Dude! These prayers really work! Try 'em out!

I am filled up to overflowing with words of encouragement and feel as though God is transitioning me into a position of a Mother in the Kingdom. (A young mom of course *grin*). So many people haven't been mothered or fathered well. So, I will continue to pray with many of you over the phone to help you find freedom and walk closer with God. (Prayer Ministry) And I pray the Lord will lead me into this new transition with powerful revelation of how to lead our family here and how to love all of you well. Please know this. I truly love you. I care deeply about your heart, your marriage, your kids and your faith. I will always pray for you.

Many of you have mentioned over time that you would like to know how I developed my intimate relationship with God. I'm currently starting a series on my lynndonovan.org blog where I share the practices, thoughts and prayers that have led me into a powerful and transformative faith life. Join me there.

If you live in Southern California, I will be speaking at an event and teaching about transitions and how to walk through them well. I believe God has me smack in the middle of this classroom right now and I'm learning a ton. If you are in the area, this is a free event, for more information and to register visit: Glorious Bride

This fall I expect some major things to start shaking in the spiritual realm. And we need not be ignorant of shaking nor be afraid. So, I will likely be posting on transitions as well as other topics in the months ahead. I will also be writing on topics that were mentioned on the community survey I took a few months back.

So, SUMites, where do you fit into all this? Can you pray that God would grow our outreach. I run into so many who said, "I wish I had known you were out there." Let people know we have this amazing place here to gather and love on one another. Tell your pastor. Give him/her a book. Pass your old books to others. If a post brings healing and hope to you, forward it to someone. 

Today I leave you with a word that God spoke to me a few days ago about all this transition. I pray it fills your heart. 

Something is about to break. A paradigm, a transition, change. Looming, thick awareness.
The pressure is building, seismic. The tension is tangible.
The strife you are feeling and warring with are the birth pangs of something born of heaven. A change, a repositioning of significance.
Breathe through the transition. 
Fix your gaze wholly on Me. In the pain and confusion that swirls about you, let My years of faithfulness be your strength and truth. 
The moment of revelation draws nigh. And the labour in prayer hastens the end. You are in the midst of the transition and the struggle is great. Your efforts intensify, anxiety is prone. 
Grip My hand as you push forward. FEAR NOT! For great is your reward. 
You will see the goodness of the Lord in this hour. Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord!

SUMites! Rise and walk into your destiny. You are sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty!!! 

Love you, Lynn

Next post: Tuesday following the Labor Day weekend.

*****

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The Journey Continues…

My friends, I have a wonderful story to share with you. It started back in 2012 when Lynn and I went to our very first Open Heavens Bethel Conference. As Lynn has shared in the past, that was a very pivotal moment in time for us and this ministry. That adventure launched us onto a journey we continue to walk even now with you.

The very first night we were there during the worship time, a deep grief overcame me. I wept so hard I nearly went down to the floor. The interesting thing though…it wasn’t my grief. I’d experienced this once before and recognized it as a burden God was placing upon me but never had I experienced it to this degree.

I asked Him what He wanted me to do with it. He replied, “Be My hands of healing.”

It was His burden for His children, and I said yes. My only requirement was that He provide the training I needed and show me how He wanted me to minister. 

A few weeks later I was speaking to a group of authors about marketing and joined them for lunch afterwards. One of the women I knew from my local writers group. As we ate lunch and chatted, she told me about the International Association of Healing Rooms and the training that was about to start in a couple weeks. I knew right away this was God showing me my next step.

Once the first part of the training was completed, I joined the team at the Healing Rooms of Silicon Valley. For the next two and a half years I grew in my giftings, became part of a wonderful community of believers, and witnessed God do some amazing things! I learned so much.

When my husband and I moved to Florida at the end of 2014, I began searching for a healing rooms in Sarasota, where we lived, or nearby, but was continually told they had closed. Then one day as I had lunch with the ladies in the women’s group I had joined, a woman mentioned the Healing Rooms of Manatee. Needless, to say I made a beeline in her direction.

My friends, that was true a divine appointment. I contacted the directors of HROM and introduced myself. They were very excited, because they’d actually been praying and asking God to send them people who were already trained. The day I walked into those doors and met these two dear women who partnered together (just like Lynn and I had!), I knew I’d found a special place.

Not long after I integrated in, they promote me to team trainer, and just a few months ago I was asked to step into the position as an associated director. In a month’s time, the Healing Rooms of Manatee will expand into the space next door so that we will have more room for our team to worship, grow and serve the community. And part of this growth is a new school. Starting in early 2018, I will be Dean of the HROM School of Transformation.

IMG_0205So yes, as you may suspect by now, I’m retiring from the S.U.M. Ministry and stepping fully into the healing ministry. God has been putting things into place and preparing not only my heart but Lynn’s too for this move. She has encouraged and cheered me on as true friend and sister in Christ. I so look forward to sharing my ongoing adventures with her and hearing about hers. 

Dear friends, I want you to know that when God made His intentions clear, I again had a stipulation. If I’m to be “promoted” it must be that the S.U.M Ministry would be promoted as well. I want His absolute best for everyone here. I believe we are seeing just the beginning of that here at S.U.M., the way the team and this community is growing. 

The best is yet to come.

Who would have thought God would bring two mismatched wives so far and bless us with so many wonderful friends here? We’ve been so blessed to share our hearts with you through books, conferences, radio interviews and most importantly, right here on this blog. I am so grateful for the friendships and connections we’ve built here.

My dear friends, I’m still a part of this community, still a SUMite. I will still read and comment on the blog, pray for this community and continue to contend for the words and promises we’ve been given. My heart and prayers are with you as always. And I am delighted to share this next part of my journey with you. 

I love you all very much, and I am so very grateful for your prayers as I embark on this new adventure.
Big HUGS!!!
Dineen

 

SUMite Nation,
IMG_2652I hope you are rejoicing with me as I am praying over Dineen's adventure. We have been ministry partners for over eleven years and have shared life. She and I have walked together through so many seasons, books, ministry, and adventures that we are forever entwined at the heart.

We are great friends and will always be so. We love one another and all of you, deeply and we are parting in ministry without any animosity. 

As for me, I remain a firebrand for the SUMite nation and am more committed than ever to encourage, pray and walk with all of you toward heaven and to one day see our spouses and children join us.

Join me in praying for her as she steps into the next great move of God. 

Love and hugs,
Lynn

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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This WORD of Hope Is Powerful

Hope On Stone SUMSomeone needs this WORD today.

While in my prayer time I asked the Lord, “What do I need to write today for all of us (The SUMites)?”

At first, I didn’t hear anything but as I rose to leave the Lord began to speak over me…. And He said this is for all of us.

I know how difficult it is.

I know the challenges of your life. I see the struggles in your home, with your spouse. I know that you are alone fighting for decency and for Godliness for yourself and your children. In the night hours, I am sitting next to you as the tears drop from your eyes. I am holding your hand, my child.

I recognize the blows come in words that tear at your very soul. The disappointment that works to tell you it’s not worth the effort. And whispers of lies that are convincing you to stop fighting, to admit defeat. I see your torment.

But today, I want you to know deep in your soul, how I’ve been by your side every minute. You have a great hope. Your hope isn’t just a wish or a thought that perhaps something will change. Your hope is alive and filled with truth that something will be better tomorrow.

HOPE in the Kingdom is a substance and powerful. It is a word that when wielded in faith decimates the strongholds of argument. It silences the defeat of unchanged lives and heart. Hope is the greatest gift given to my children on earth.

When you lift words of prayer, with hope, this is the activation of your faith. I’ve blessed you with life and new beginnings. As believers, every morning that you rise is a choice to step into a new life, new hope, and redemption of past lies, sins and failures.

This is real hope. You have promises that hold power. Truth that brings steadfastness and love that changes everything.

I know you feel weary. Bring your battle scares to me in the morning or evening and I WILL HEAL THEM. In their place are medals of honor. They seal up the wounds and release power.

You are an overcomer. Let me remind you of this truth. You overcome the arrows of the enemy and you release light and truth. Your marriage is the one thing the enemy wants to destroy more than anything else. So, when you rise and fight, serve and pray for your family, GREAT IS YOUR REWARD. Every day you continue to hope releases a power to support. Angels are set on assignment to walk with you.

Walk it out. Pray the torment stops this hour. Demand it stop speaking lies to you, your spouse, and children. Pray the Holy Spirit into your home and the hearts of those you love.

And hear me now…. I AM THERE WITH YOU. I will not let you fail. The fire rages about you but what you are gaining in knowledge and experience is everything.

When you are doubting or feeling defeated, open My Word. Read the promises from Matthew aloud to yourself. Tell your soul, as David told his soul, these are my promises and I want every one of them, for myself and my family. In Jesus name.

Hope is your life. It is the substance that will carry you home and into the gates of the Kingdom. You will enter in with great celebration and adorned with badges of honor because you chose hope in the dark and you saw it come alive in the passing of the years.

I adore you. And I leave you this promise to stand upon today: I will never leave you nor forsake you.

The Lord, God , Almighty

I pray this word has encouraged someone who was wavering. Stand strong and know you are not alone. I’m with you. The angels are around you. The Holy Spirit is whispering truths to you. Jesus created every opportunity for you and God, Almighty is your strength, power, and wisdom. Hugging you tight today, Lynn

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. —Psalm 103:1-5

If you need prayer today, leave a request in the comments. I will be in my office on Thursday and Friday to pray for you. Lynn

*****

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. -click or tap the photo-

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You Are Loved: How Much Does God Love Us?

My friends, did you experience a breakthrough through our study together? What do you feel God did in you through the revelations of His love and promises for you? Please share your heart, your doodles and your coloring pages.

And thank you again for joining me as we walked through the truths of Romans 8 through Scriptures and coloring. I pray you are continually embraced in and transformed by God's great love for you!

Love you so much! 
Dineen

TWEETABLE TRUTH: 

“Jesus has the authority to condemn, but He chose another way—the way of sacrificial love. For He knew to condemn would drive us away and His desire was to be the solution to draw us near.” pg. 50 #youarelovedcoloringbiblestudy  goo.gl/qG9HBT

 

Romans8BookCover

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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You Are Loved: Is God Good?

 

Remember to share what you're learning in the comments. Did you identify a struggle? What is God's promise and provision for that? For you? Share your heart, your doodles and your coloring pages! Hugs! ~Dineen

TWEETABLE TRUTH: 

“His loves reaches us from the past of the cross, carries us through the present, and ushers us into eternity. It’s constant and relentless—for us and for those we love and pray for.” pg. 46 #youarelovedcoloringbiblestudy  goo.gl/qG9HBT

You Are Loved Coloring Book Study Schedule

Aug 28: (Share pages!)
Video: How Much Does God Love Us?
Wrap up!

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*****

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. -click or tap the photo-

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - God Never Relents

SUMite Nation!

Gang, can I just tell you…. I MISSED YOU. I finally am home. It’s great to travel and I have some stories to share but it’s awesome to be back at home.

I am refreshed now and feel as though God has cranked up my passion to a brand-new level for our community. Since returning, my heart is filled with the thoughts of you. I’ve been praying like a mad woman for marriages, for your hearts for you to rise up in hope and to see how Jesus is working all around you. I have prayed to defeat depression, fear and weariness. I’ve been praying for restoration, redemption and to cancel all the lies of the enemy in the homes and spouses of the SUMites… And I’ve only been home for a week!

Right now I’m in a serious season of intercession. Take comfort and hope and know that God sees you. He loves you and I’m interceding for you along with Jesus through the Spirit.

Today, I want to share a story with all of you who feel that God has disappeared or doesn’t see you. He does.

Most of you know that Mike and I traveled to Europe to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The only way I could convince Mike to travel overseas was to add a cruise to the equation. He agreed. So, we cruised on the biggest boat I’ve ever seen. Our room was on deck 15 and wow, what a view. 3,000 guest and 2,000 crew. THAT’S a crowd.

Mike is a traditional sort of guy, so nightly we would eat dinner in the formal dining room. The first night we were seated with a young couple. But they had been separated from their family and joined them for the remainder of the cruise at their table, thus we sat alone.

But…. On night three we walked in for diner and there sat two new couples. And this is where the story becomes a God thing.

You see, the women we met have been friends for more than 40 years. The two couples are great friends. And within minutes we were chatting and laughing and having a great time. And with me around, I can’t help it but conversations always move to areas of faith. I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself.

Wouldn’t you know it, out of all the thousands of people on our ship, we were now seated with a Nazarene pastor, his wife and their best friends. After a few nights of talking, Wes, the pastor looks over at Mike and asks, “Mike can I ask a personal question?”

“Yes, sure.”

“What is it that keeps you from accepting your wife’s faith?”

I sat motionless staring at Mike. He responded honestly and with great respect for me and the pastor. And his answer was not what I expected and yet it was. 

“I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I just struggle with organized religion.”

My mouth hung open as I took in this conversation. Mike went on to explain a bit more. Pretty much what you might expect. The evil that has been perpetrated by religion, etc.

I love Wes’ rely, “What your saying isn’t anything that I haven’t thought as well. But it is also true that when people organize, pool their resources, their manpower, they bring so much good to the world. Bringing the Gospel to those who would never hear it and helping people in multiple ways.”

Gang, can I just say, Wes was born to be a pastor. His love shined from his eyes. His concern for Mike was genuine and you could just see him loving Mike without judgement. Man, when I grow up I want to be like Pastor Wes.

A funny thing about these God-incidents. One evening I didn’t attend dinner because I was still full from lunch (eating is the main sport on a cruise – sheesh, I gained five pounds) an Anglican Priest was seated at our table along with the Nazarene pastor, his wife, their best friends and Mike. HILARIOUS!!  Mike is surrounded on all side, all the time, by believers.

Don’t think for a second that God isn’t working in your life and marriage. He is. He ALWAYS is at work to bring men unto His heart through His kindness.

Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep growing in your faith. Our God is all powerful, faithful and He is moving in our lives.

I love you. Have a great week. Lynn

 

25th Wedding Anniversary Cruise
Mike, Lynn (Photo bomb), Sam, (front row) Mary, Wes, Elizabeth

 

 

 

*****

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. -click or tap the photo-

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