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November 2015
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January 2016

13 entries from December 2015

Community Fast 2016

When you eliminate food from your diet for a number of days, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God. Matthew 6: Jesus said, "When you give....When you pray..... When you fast...." This passage in Matthew six is where Jesus made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, is a normal part of the believer's life. On January 4-8 we will fast as a community of believers. There are many different ways to fast. Last year we set out several examples of fasts and I want to list them here again today. Please begin to pray and ask God to prepare you and to point you to the fast that will work for you. Are you willing to forgo a Snicker's bar in the afternoon to over come a recurring sin in your life? ----- So what is fasting?... Read more →

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Seek and Listen

SUMites, as we prepare for our fast next week, I would like you to begin asking God for specific words and/or impressions from Him for yourself and for your family. I do this each year and God either gives me specific words or impression for me and each of my family members just about every year. I've already begun doing this and will be sharing what God is speaking to my heart about you and His heart for our SUM community for 2016. I am so excited to tell you more next week. If this is a struggle for you, don’t stress over it. Just sit in a quiet place, pray Jeremiah 33:3 and if you “hear” a word, see a word in your mind, get an impression or feeling, write it down. I find at times what I first receive may seem unclear or confusing but as I continue... Read more →

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My Unexpected Christmas

Happy (almost) New Year, my dear friends! I feel like I've been on a long trip and haven't seen my family in a long time. And now I've come back home. I've missed you! My shoulder surgery went well, and I've started physical therapy. This whole process has been much more difficult and painful than I anticipated, which has made working at my desk and typing next to impossible. But day by day I'm healing and am able to do more. Please be patient with me as I ease back into writing here and please know how much your prayers and words have helped encourage and sustain me. What I want to share with you today is about what God did in all this process. The day before my surgery I sat in my quiet time, sad and a bit fearful. Not about my surgery but about Christmas. I was... Read more →

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God Sent You To Earth On Purpose- 2016

You were sent to earth by God. You were assigned a purpose, a divine destiny to accomplish while you live on earth. God knew it would be difficult to live on earth. He knows the challenges we face and the evil that has been set up to defeat us. Yet, He is looking for those who will believe and then persevere. He is anxious to help us to discover our destiny. He is standing with us to answer our prayers for direction and protection as well as to lead us toward our divine purpose. Many never find their destiny. Many are victims of the deceptions and lies of the devil and flounder in unfulfilled purposes during our life on earth. However, there are those of us who one day come to realize our pain has been for not. Our struggle is actually our victory and our deepest hurts have become... Read more →

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There Once Was A Man Who Didn't Believe

There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments. One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.... Read more →

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Christmas and the Spiritually Mismatched Conference

Hello SUMites: I’ve come to realize that I’m in a struggle to keep up with holiday demands, writing and serving this community. My heart is to really be available to all of you as we work through the series on loneliness. And December is proving to be impossible to do – well, everything. So Dineen and I talked and decided that we are going to delay the series until after our week of fasting which is January 4-8, 2016. I still want to reply to all of the comments and emails and will do my best to do so. Dineen is having surgery on her shoulder tomorrow so we have decided to take a writing break through Christmas, the end of next week. We will have a few random posts that may pop up but mostly we are going to spend some time in rest and quiet. Boy howdy, don’t... Read more →

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This Is God's Request In Our Dissapointment

On Monday our discussion was about loneliness and disappointment at Christmas. SUMites, reading about loneliness and challenges in our marriages brings about a couple of different outcomes. First, sometimes we need to know we are not alone in our struggles. A little bit of commiseration is needed and understandable. Sharing our thoughts about our struggles allows for honest and authentic conversation, which is needed especially is you are new to the unequally yoked walk. But there is a fine line between the commiseration and focus on our troubles. I will assure you the enemy hopes our conversations will go down the road of “poor me” which will lead to more defeat in our homes. We won’t give the dark kingdom that kind of foothold in our lives right now. AMEN! So today, I’m compelled to share what I’m personally learning from the Lord. In the last several weeks, I’ve been... Read more →

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The Promise of Christmas

One of my favorite traditions of Christmas is the advent wreath. I first observed this at our international church while living in Switzerland and fell in love with the candles and their meaning. Every year I’ve used or remade our wreath, searching for just the right candles each year. But this year wound up a little different than I expected (there’s that word again). I’d actually prayed a few times over the years for a really nice wreath and candle holder. This year I wanted to find something different. These were simple desires I thought about and left unspoken. And this is the year that Abba surprised me with a new one. The most interesting part of this story is that I wasn’t the one to find it. My husband did. How’s that for some Christmas humor and delight? We saw this candle holder in a store and both loved... Read more →

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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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Moments of Delight and Moments of Despair

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. My friends, it’s great to be back with you! I had an amazing week in New York City with my mother and dear friend Sally, who is also my son-in-love’s mother. Definitely a family trip filled with special surprises and blessings that I know came from God’s heart to delight us. And I am moved and impressed by the heart of this city and and what it has endured. There is a sense of strength and unity there. I was profoundly moved by the 9/11 Memorial and took significant notice that majority of those around us on that particular day were from other parts of the world. They traveled to our country, to New York City, to specially see this memorial and museum. The most emotional part for us was to listen to our tour guide describe this day from her first hand experience.... Read more →

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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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Holiday Aloneness

Christmas is only two weeks away, let’s begin our discussion about loneliness and take a look at aloneness during the holidays. And SUMites it’s not only our community that feels alone during this time of year. For different reasons, The Holidays punctuate loneliness in many hearts. Those of us who walk through life with a spouse that navigates life from a different world view, the Christmas season brings a new set of challenges into our homes and hearts. I know for me, there were many years in our marriage that this was the one time in the year that my husband would attend church, the Christmas Eve Service. In fact, his entire family would attend… I had tremendous expectations that each of them would be overwhelmed by the story of the birth of Jesus and thereby be saved. Yep, didn’t work that way. In fact, I think that the holidays... Read more →

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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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Yep, We Are Lonely

Hi SUMites, Well it looks as though I hit upon a deep need. The responses to Monday’s post, asking all of you about loneliness in marriage were vast and passionate. The comments on that post as well as the private emails that arrived, are filled with tremendous emotions. I sat down and wrote down the issues, the emotions the coping suggestions and I filled four hand-written pages with notes. There were many common themes from all of you. Such as attending church alone, the lack of intimacy with our spouse because we are unable to share our heart, our passions and thoughts about Jesus. From my note taking, there are SUMites in all spectrums of the unequally yoked journey. There are some of us at the beginning of this walk where we learn to forgive ourselves and decide to stick this marriage thing out. There are others who have discovered... Read more →

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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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Childlike in Anticipation - some reflections on Advent

I've always loved December. Living in Australia, it’s summer, the end of the school year so we always had our long summer break over December/January. It’s also my birthday month and … it’s Christmas. I still recall those days approaching Christmas when the presents used to begin to pile up under the tree. Most of them were for dad, he’s a doctor and all his patients bought him presents. Every year. But my sister and two brothers were more excited by what Santa would put in the pillow slips that sat at the end of our beds. We’d struggle to sleep we were that excited. But mom always warned us that Santa wouldn’t arrive until we were fast asleep. And then when we woke, far too early for mom and dad, we’d have to wait until they arose before we could open all the goodies in those magical pillowslips. We... Read more →

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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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