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14 entries from June 2017

The Rooms in God's House

Hello, dear friends! So good to be back with you this week! I couldn't wait to share this beautiful revelation from John 14. God's Word is so very present and for us now. I pray this insight brings that home to your hearts in an astounding way. 

The words I am referencing:

Rooms: monē — a staying, abode, mansion, abiding, dwelling, metaphor of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers
(comes from menō — to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): — abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own, live, not to depart.

House: oikia — a house, an inhabited edifice, a dwelling

Way: hodos — way, journey, metaphorically a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding.

And I hope this prayer blessed you and your marriage as you wait in expectancy for God to fill the "room" of our spouse's heart with the love of Jesus. Amen!

Love you!
Dineen

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Devil, We Are Not Unaware Of Your Schemes

2 cor 10 11SUMites,

I am truly bereft in my soul.

Last week my friend, Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, posted on her blog that her nearly 25-year marriage is ending in divorce. Eight months ago, my dear friend, Courtney Joseph, of Women Living Well, also found her family torn apart by divorce.

The woman who runs Momastrey, who until recently, wielded vast influence and a large readership in the Christian arena. She also divorced her husband following, ironically, her book release of how their marriage was healed. She is now in a spiritually mismatched marriage with another woman.

This is a hard post to write but one of reality. Within the last nine months, three, high-profile, Christian bloggers with a large number of readers, have experienced divorce. I know Lysa and Courtney personally and they are my friends. My heart and prayers are full of compassion, love and prayers for each of them and their families.

But, it's weirdly unusual these breakups are happening in such short succession.

So, in my prayer time, I asked the Lord, “What is going on in the spiritual realm? Why is this happening to these prominent and influential leaders?”

Immediately, I heard the Lord’s reply, “Witchcraft.”

Gulp!

When God speaks to me often I hear a single word. And immediately what comes with that words is what I can only describe as a “knowing.” It’s as though the Holy Spirit provides the answers or information and usually multiple scripture verses in response. I received a “knowing” when I asked the Lord about what is going on right now in the spiritual realm and as to why this is happening to these high-profile leaders in the Christian world.

Along with the word witchcraft, I sensed that the Lord as telling me that for the last nine months there is a specific demonic assignment on Christian leaders and it is explicit to those who write about marriage. And I believe the enemy is marching against pastors and ministry leaders and their spouses as well.

Double Gulp!

This demonic assignment is initiated and called forth from the dark realms by occult witchcraft, witches and warlocks, who are speaking incantations, spells and more to destroy Godly marriages and mar the beauty of a union of a man and woman in the holy relationship of marriage. I also sensed the Lord tell me that as believers, we need not fear BUT PRAY. We will defeat this assignment of Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

Just recognizing that there is an active assignment, decimates the enemy’s power. AND our prayers can completely demolish the works of the devil in this area.

I believe the Lord has brought this to light for three reasons. One, the SUMites can destroy these demonic assignments. Wow, did you know we can do that? We can! As believers, we have this kind of power through the name of Jesus and by the blood of Jesus…. And it’s also our calling and purpose to further the work of Christ and destroy the works of the devil. (The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the work of the devil. —1 John 3:8)

Two, this blog is a marriage ministry. We need prayer covering. The leadership here and every marriage represented by a believing spouse who is part of our community needs prayer covering. YOU need prayer covering. Three, we need to pray for the marriages of those in our sphere of influence who are our ministerial leaders. Our pastors, Bible study leaders, worship leaders and those we listen to online or through other media platforms. If you have a relationship with a Christian leader, their marriage needs a prayer covering of protection.

SUMites, we can create this covering. AND we need to ask other believers with whom we have influence to pray as well.

The person who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. The devil has sinned from the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.— 1 John 3:8

In the name of Jesus, I stand upon the promises of the WORD of God. I speak forth John 14:14, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. So Lord, in Jesus name, I pray and stand against any and all forms of witchcraft that is spoken in my realm of influence. It is canceled, dissolved and impotent. It must fall to the ground…. POWERLESS. In Jesus name. And instead of cursing, I release blessing (Romans 12:14). I bless the marriages, every marriage relationship, here on SUM and those of my pastor and all my church leaders. I bless them with never ending love and compassion. I bless them and my own marriage to be sealed, unbreakable, in the heavenly realms. I bless marriages and my own with commmitment, service, intimacy, monogamy, commitment, and with the love of Christ as a covering. Sealed by the blood of Jesus.

We stand against the schemes of the devil. All evil plans and efforts are powerless in our world. We pray the devil is rebuked and silenced by You, LORD. Lies must cease in marriage unions and truth and sacrifice reign supreme. We bless each marriage now with Your love and protection, Father. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, who purchased our lives with His own. Who gave us the Holy Spirit and angels, we speak forth Your purposes, protection, and favor into this world. In Jesus name. AMEN

As a side note, I fully believe my friends Lysa and Courtney did absolutely everything they could to restore their marriages. I believe they prayed and that God is carrying them forward. They were not unaware of the devil's schemes but were in fact praying and trusting. Many of you have or are also facing divorce. You have done more than God ever asked of you to reconcile. There are just times that a spouse's free will and the enemy's advances can destroy. This post is NOT condemnation but my hope is to raise awareness of the plans of the enemy, and THUS DEFEAT HIM!! (Please be kind in the comments as there are many in this painful season who need love from their brothers and sisters in Christ and not condemnation, guilt and words of hurt.)

PRAYING IN FULL FAITH AND POWER, Lynn

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Oh, Captain…Our Captain! by Dee Rusnak

“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” — Hebrews 2:10

When you think of a wilderness, what is the first picture that pops into your mind? Perhaps a tree-thick forest, or a breathtaking landscape of a mountain terrain, or even the soft extending sands of desert dunes? What about a wasteland? Desolation? Emptiness? Solitude? This is the biblical description for wilderness, or eremos, the place where Jesus was driven immediately following His Baptism. The Spirit of God descended upon Him and promptly began His work…launching His Son into the arid wilderness to be tested and tempted in every way for 40 days.

IMG_0083The first temptation of man took place in a plush garden with gorgeous scenery, fresh crisp air, warm comforting breezes, surrounded by the musical sounds of life. The first temptation of Jesus occurred in the dry desolate wilderness that resembled death, with the air thick, heavy and dry as the scorching heat of the sun beat down amid the deafening sounds of stillness.

Adam’s human hunger was always completely satisfied. Jesus went without food day after day for well over a month. Adam was not alone. Jesus was in solitude. Both were sinless, yet the temptations brought drastically different results. Adam had everything, even the God of all creation walking along side of him, but succumbed to wanting more. Jesus gave up everything, intentionally experiencing the sufferings of sinful man, overcoming every temptation, and defeating evil at the height of its strength. The first catapulted us into darkness, while the second transports us into His great light. The first a defeat. The second a victory.

In order to serve His suffering people, Jesus had to experience for Himself the human condition where suffering became a reality. From it He can deeply sympathize with His followers in every way. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…stricken by God…pierced for our transgressions …crushed for our iniquities…and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:3-6) As we suffer through our hardships and trials, we begin to see our true selves and our helpless state, turning to our Captain who’s been there and can bring us through it! Accordingly, we can be there for others as well.

We cannot plead for our own cause. But, for all who believe and rely on His sacrifice, and based upon the accomplishments of His death, we have a Captain, a High Priest, who has purchased for us the Spirit and grace of God, removing the crushing weight of our own depravity upon the soul. His power bestows that same endless spiritual life, keeping us secure, while His intercession continuously presents before the Father the very reason why we should be saved. Herein lies our hope for the souls of our spouses. “But because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. Such a High Priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” — Hebrews 7:24-26

The 19th century poet Walt Whitman composed the poem “O Captain! My Captain!” following Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. Within its stanzas, Whitman expresses the great relief following the treacheries of the Civil War, battling the storms to abolish slavery, receiving the prize of peace in the nation, and celebrating all the Captain (Lincoln) had accomplished. A Captain whose sorrow was compounded with every hardship experienced by his nation. Whitman’s Captain unexpectedly passed away to death. Our Captain purposely passed from death into life! Our Captain leads us through the battles of this life, experiencing every sorrow we endure. When the temptations come, whether in a lush garden or the darkest wasteland, His power is made available to overcome sin’s strongest hold, setting the captives free. We celebrate all that our Captain has accomplished on His cross, and what He continues to accomplish daily in us. He never leaves us to ourselves or we would surely fall. We are kept by His power and His prayer, fortified by His grace, which is sufficient as He lovingly walks us through this life and into the next. Oh, Captain…Our Captain! “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9

DarDee Rusnak and her husband live in Westerville, Ohio, were they spend their retirement years taking great delight in their 5 grandchildren.

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Jesus Paid The Parking Fine

Lynn here. Last week I received a wonderful email from Tamara Hari, who is a long-time reader and lives in Switzerland. It is beautiful and filled with truth. Thank you Tamara.

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Paid In FullHello, my dear wonderful friends – how is life in your part of the world?

Mine is so full of wonderful surprises and sometimes a bit of holes too. I am always so positive, and God has spoken so clearly in my husband’s life, sadly, once again, when it comes to repent: regret and turn around, he has chosen the wrong way.

So now I am licking my disappointment wounds, and God gave me this amazing sermon to listen to this morning – that is why I am writing – not sure if this is worth posting but it touched my heart so deeply, I felt led to share: 

We all know the story of the prodigal son, who went his own ways, and when it went bad, he turned to God, his father. His father didn’t put him down, or give him a bad conscious or turn him away or treat him less than his beloved son. No, he took him into his arms and reconciled with him. Because the son repented, turned around and came back, the Father was able to embrace his son again, in love, in forgiveness and in freedom.

This part we all know........................now to show a picture:

You have parked your car in a parking space where you shouldn’t have. The meter-maid comes and gives you a ticket. The ticket is under your wiper. When you go to take the ticket, frustrated that you got another ticket = fine, you see, (here in Switzerland it is always  Sfr. 40.00 ) 40 francs in cash. There is a note attached:  your fine = sin has been paid – Jesus has paid for your fine = sin. He will go to court for you, pay the fine, work the hours needed to earn the 40 francs. You don’t have to do anything, He will pay. Will you accept this gift?  

It means:

- you are not able to pay the fine, Jesus is.

- You are not able to “right your wrong”, Jesus is.

- You are not without fault, Jesus is.

- Jesus is willing to pay for your fine in full.

- Jesus is willing to suffer for your fine.

- Jesus will free you of any debts in that he pays for your fine.

- In paying for your fine, He will suffer, not you.

- In that He suffers for you, you realize how much He loves you.

- His suffering for you, is where you get healed.

- In that you get healed, you are free.

- When you are free, you are in His love, saved, His child. 

This morning, I am newly touched by Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Jesus showed me once again, that He is suffering for each and every one of us that have to suffer pain. We think we suffer, we hurt, we are disappointed, which is true to a point. But we forget sometimes, I know I do, that JESUS CHRIST, our Saviour, has already seen it, suffered for us and paid the price and we are now without any debt.

We must take responsibility that we parked the car in the wrong place =  that some of us walked away from the Lord and now have living conditions that are a result of those prodigal years, some of us didn’t know the Lord before marrying and now must stand alone in faith.

WHATEVER the reason is that we suffer, it really doesn’t matter – because Jesus already knows about it, has suffered for us!!! Paid the fine, and set us free!! We are healed, we are free, because of Him!

I know this sounds really “normal” and not too astounding, and yet, for me this morning this was amazing! Each and every time we feel pain, Jesus has felt it already, has suffered for us, and said: I will take your pain and carry it for you, I will pay the fine, that you may be set free, you may be healed, you are DEBT-FREE!!!

This morning, I am set free, once again, and in the future, again and again. So, sisters and brothers in faith, don’t ever forget: when you endure suffering, pain, hurt, run to the Lord. He knows about it, He has already suffered, He is crying with you, and He shall heal you. Time and time again the Lord has paid, is paying and will pay for you .......until you don’t need healing anymore, when we reach heaven.  I am so deeply touched this morning, I felt how much my Saviour has suffered for me, for my spouse’s blindness. Jesus is without sin, and yet, He pays for all our debt and the debt that others do unto us. So, next time you are hurting, remember, Jesus is hurting with you, wants to carry your pain (pay the fine) and heal you and set you free!!

Do you want to let go of your pain to Jesus?

Do you want Jesus to carry your pain?

This means, forgiving and letting go of the pain the person did unto you?
Do you want to be healed and be free?

I hope for all of us, that we never stop running to the Lord for forgiveness, healing and freedom and we never begin to believe satan’s lies that Jesus “can’t or won’t” do everything He has promised in the bible.

Be richly blessed my dear friends, 

Tamara

Tamara Hari-Mueller, 53 years old, married to Jakob Hari since 1995, three children: twins Franziska and Friedrich 21 years old, Hans Jakob 17 years old. I was born and raised in an evangelical and baptist family, walked away from the faith at 21 years old and moved to Switzerland to discover my roots. My father immigrated to the states in 1939. I was awakened from by Lord in 1999 in a church service I attended. I didn’t expect anything because I believed I lived my life correctly and God was happy with me. I don’t remember what the preacher said, I only remember the preacher and I remember the pain in my heart:

BANG. I was in shock!

I realized, I am not saved. I then started a two year search for a church where I could have a church family. I was led to the Salvation Army Church. Since 2001, I am a child of God, follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, a listener of the Holy Spirit. With every season more that I get to live with Jesus, I wonder.........why didn’t I do it earlier? That is my passion: to encourage others not to wait. You shall never regret trusting the Lord with your life, you will only regret not doing it earlier. All our children are followers of Christ, my husband is still outside....looking in the window.

Tamara Hari and family 2017

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How God Spoke to My Heart About My Husband

Dear friends, I am on "vacation" this week. It's actually my oldest daughter, Rachel, who is on vacation and spending the week with Mike and I. We won't get to see her at Christmas this year so I am making the most of this week with my girl. I'll be back next next week.

In the meantime, this testimony from Alissa is so beautiful and powerful, of how God met her, reassured her, and even gave her revelation and insight to understand what was really at the heart of her husband's choice to be an agnostic. When I asked her if I could share her testimony here, this is what she said:

Absolutely you can use this. One thing I learned on my missions trip was the power of testimony. We learned that the word testimony, literally means 'God do it again'. So if my testimony can give someone else hope and encouragement that is really the ultimate goal, God do it again!

Thank you, Alissa! 

Be encouraged, SUMites. God has you and your spouse, right in the palm of His hand. He never lets go. Hugs! ~Dineen

 

How God Spoke to My Heart About My Husband
by Alissa Berglund

Alissa BA little back story first...  A couple of weeks ago I went on a missions trip to Romania while my husband stayed back and took care of the kids. While I was on my trip he got together with some of our friends (all unbelievers) and they got into a discussion about faith and God. Fast forward to this week. I went on a walk with my best friend who isn't a believer but is open to God and she was telling me that this discussion and taken place but didn't offer up any details, and I didn't push for the whole story, just listened to what she offered up.
 
After the walk on Wednesday night my hubby Andy and I got talking and I asked him about the conversation that had taken place. He told me that him and some of the other had arrived at the conclusion that they didn't know where they stood in terms of faith, but that he felt like he is searching for answers and "proof" of God's existence. Then he blurts out that he identifies as an agnostic.
 
I don't know what that was so hard to hear... but having him label or identify himself with a certain set of beliefs just pierced me. I started reading about agnostics and the more I read the more defeated and beat down I felt. It's like a huge mountain is before me that I have no clue how to conquer. Yesterday I was mowing the lawn and just pouring out my heart to God, just pleading with him to move in Andy's life and bring be peace about this. God was oddly silent, but just kept telling him I trusted him and it's not my job to save Andy but his. I almost got on the Summite website to ask you all for prayer because I was so discouraged.
 
This morning I was running late and I got into my car and Faith Radio was on. Usually in the mornings they talk politics so I was about to change it, when all of a sudden the host starts talking to his guest about agnostics.... WHAT??  I perked up. This guys starts explaining how some agnostics become the way they are.  He said a lot of times deep pain is the beginning of unbelief. Wouldn't you know it... Andy lost his mom to cancer at age 9 and he has always wondered why God didn't answer his prayers and heal her. Then he starts giving practical steps to impacting an agnostic for Christ, loving them, being in relationship with them, listening more talking less, not pushing the gospel on them, getting into the Word and other resources about apologetics... but most of all trusting that the Holy Spirit will move and there will come a tipping point when they experience the realness of God.
 
It was as if God was speaking directly to my heart, saying... see I heard you last night...  I haven't forgotten your struggle or where Andy is. I just was so encouraged and lifted that this isn't my battle but God's. I feel like God is preparing a prayer strategy for me that is very specific to my husband. I've been trying to pray for him consistently every day on my drive in to work since I started a new job. I just want to up my game and do my part to cover him in prayer.
 
So that's it!! Just wanted to share that with someone :)  Just remember it's not our battle alone, but God's.
 
-Alissa
 
About Alissa: 
Married to my high school sweetheart and a mom to two energetic boys. Lakeville MN is where I call home, most summer days you can find me outside taking pictures of sunsets or collecting rocks.

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A DEVOTION for our SUMite Nation

Psalm 37 3 4
Good Morning Papa God,

Contentment.

I humbly ask for contentment. – to be happy, satisfied and grateful for who I am, where I am and what I own. Contentment with my accomplishments and peace over my failings, faults and perceived lack.

I give You, LORD, permission to re-write my thoughts, hopes and dreams. Write into my life, daily awareness of Your Presence. Stir my heart moment-by-moment to ponder your goodness and notice the beauty which surrounds me on all sides. Turn my eyes and ears from the lies of the enemy’s camp that I am entitled to more. That I am missing out and left out and that God loves others more than me.

In the garden of Your Presence, I have everything.

My heart is renewed. My soul filled afresh. I’m washed in the blood and cleansed by the water of Your Word. You are my contentment, Father. Jesus You are every perfect relationship. Spirit, You lead me by the still waters and there I will THRIVE. I love you.

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My friends, I feel as though I want to ask for prayer requests today. And I want you to pray for others in the comments. I am traveling a lot this week but I promise to read them and pray for you. Have an amazing week. I love you. Lynn

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Knowing God's Voice

These are the Greek words from John 10 that I'm speaking about:

Know: ginōskō; a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed): — allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know(-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.

Nameonoma; from a presumed derivative of the base of ginōskō; a “name” (literally or figuratively) (authority, character): — called, (+ sur-)name(-d).

Truly: amēn; of Hebrew origin; properly, firm, i.e. (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially, surely (often as interjection, so be it): — amen, verily.
(The word "amen" is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related -- in fact, almost identical -- to the Hebrew word for "believe" (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly", an expression of absolute trust and confidence. -- HMM)

Thanks for listening, my friends!
Dineen

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Was I Really Lamenting?

Acts 16 31I was tired. Weary. Drained.

I thought I heard from God that my spouse’s salvation was supposed to come last year. When God told me to be more specific with my prayers, I was more specific with my questions. I asked when, Lord, when?? I heard two years.

Well, those two years came to pass…nothing.

I waited a couple weeks. A couple weeks turned to two months, and two months turned into eight months.

The thing was…I did not give up on God’s promise – but I did give up my fight. I was in a stage of utter disappointment.

“Well, God! If you told me it’s going to happen, it will and I’m just going to trust it! I’m DONE praying! Done! I’m tired of being the only spiritual leader in my household. I’m tired of being the only one spiritually guiding my child! It’s not supposed to be me! I’m tired of leading! I don’t get it Lord! Whatever, it’s on You now. When it happens, it happens. After all, it’s YOUR TIMING.”

That was my justification with the Lord. I was justifying why I should stop praying.

If this is you. I urge you…DON’T stop PRAYING.

The endurance we go through praying for our spouse, the dry seasons we go through with the Lord…it’s for His glory. It’s for us to recognize the hole in our faith where we need to glean from His Strength.

The spiritual shield I once had, turned in to a cloak. I felt defeated.

Yes, it feels like a lonely battle. Yes, I have envisioned seeing my husband and I worshipping in the pews together. Yes, I want my husband to pray for me for once!

The thing is…we are not defeated. Remember if God is for us, then who can be against us?

Knowing my bitter heart, God sent me someone to tell me not to GIVE UP. This woman gave me her testimony of living through affairs, long fights, and drunkenness in her marriage. And who am I to lament or complain? The battle is not over!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

My God, I repented. I repented for my bitter heart. I praised Him for healing that hole in my heart.

It’s okay to feel disappointed. It’s okay that every once in while we feel weak. Maybe you are going through stuff in your marriage. Maybe there are times, where you are asking, “why me?” Patty Tower and Family 2017

I was in a place of losing hope! What would it be like if God lost hope in us? What would it be like if our spouses stopped fighting for us? I can’t explain the why, but I do know YOU are instrumental to your household.

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." Acts 16:31

If we lost hope, we wouldn’t have a reason to live. Hope is what keeps us sustained.

Are you in a season where you’re on your spiritual shield is dropping? What is helping you get by?

Sumite, Patty Tower

Patty Tower resides in Seattle, WA with her husband and 2.5-year-old son. She loves Jesus and aspires to help women thrive in their Godly lifestyle. She ministers to women of all walks of life, and helps them learn their prophetic gifting by leading a women’s prayer group. She is a blogger of pattytower.com

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When Your Spouse Walks Away From God

Ps34-22My friends, as you can see from the title, we tackling a very difficult and painful topic today. It’s one I think we should address as it’s something many of you are living out. And one of you even asked for this subject to be addressed on our recent survey.

Please. Please talk about spouses leaving the faith. — Kelly

So, let me first say to Kelly and all those SUMites out there in this same position that I am so sorry. The closest I can come to relate to this kind of situation is how I felt when my husband made the choice of atheism. He’d recently bought a Bible, and I was convinced he would soon join me in this faith journey. Needless to say I was devastated. 

But God helped me let go of my expectations and to trust Him to bring my marriage through to a place of peace. I had a lot to learn and as the believing spouse, God started with healing my heart first.

My friends, I’ve prayerfully sought the Holy Spirit’s council on what to write and how to help those of you in this position. Though I don’t have first hand experience with this, I can imagine the pain, rejection and betrayal that rushes in to fill the gap once occupied by a united faith. And that is the place that we should start to address this kind of situation, because until all of the pain, heartache and betrayal is brought to God and addressed, the marriage is hindered and healing can’t easily begin.

Forgiveness Is a Daily Choice

As I shared from my own story, I had to let go of my expectations of what I thought my marriage would be like. That also meant I had to release my husband from those expectations. For many of you, this will mean forgiving your spouse for their choice to walk away from God and from a life of shared faith. Release them from the debt you may hold against them as well—for not meeting your expectation.

When you’ve made these decisions, make the choice not to go back into unforgiveness. That will most likely be your greatest challenge as you continue to walk in a mismatched marriage. Remind yourself that you made the choice to forgive and that you are trusting God to mend your broken heart as He promises to do (Ps. 147:3) and remind the enemy too. 

Also, realize that their choice is not against you, though it may very well feel that way. That is not your burden to carry. Give that to God as well. And you didn’t cause this. You are not responsible for your spouse’s decision. God gave us each a free will to choose—or not to choose—Him. 

Then move forward. Your relationship with God is your own. Continue to pursue your faith with all the fire and passion He has placed in you. 

Understanding the Situation and Applying Truth

First, remember that even though your spouse stopped believing (or think they do) in God, God never stops believing in them. They may walk away for a time but God does not leave them.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. — 2Tim 2:13 (ESV)

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.— Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

Not even your spouse’s choice to walk away from God will separate God’s love from him or her. God’s love is not based upon us—how we act, believe, succeed, etc. It is completely based upon Who He is. He loved us first—not in response to our love. He is love and that is His character.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love. — 1 John 4:16a (ESV)

We love because he first loved us. — 1John 4:18 (ESV)

Second, don’t make assumptions. The biggest pitfall I can foresee here is false assumptions as to the “why” behind your spouse’s decision. Most of the time, when I delve a little deeper, seeking better understanding from the person or God (or both), I discover details I never would have known otherwise. And those specifics can make a huge difference in how you relate to your spouse.

I know this will be difficult, but ask your spouse to help you understand where they are coming from. This is where I suggest you pray first, asking God to prepare your heart and your spouse’s for this conversation. What you find out may very well surprise you. Be prepared to bring what he or she shares to God also. You are now being called to intercede for your spouse at a whole new level.  

Their reasons may include things like:

  • Anger at the church. Sometimes we misplace our faith in people instead of God. So when they let us down, we reject God instead of realizing that we’ve put God-like expectations on an imperfect human being. No church is perfect. And it’s very possible a spirit of religion is at work here. It’s very possible your spouse has operated more under the law instead of grace.
  • Anger at God for not meeting their expectations. This is where disappointment moves in, and I believe many of us have walked this road. I know I have. What I discovered is that my expectations were based upon my own thoughts and determinations of how I thought the situation should be. Thus when it didn’t pan out that way, I was grew disappointed. This is where is it so vital that we know God’s character and that He is always working for our good (Rom. 8:28), no matter what things look like. (This one applies to us as well—we can be angry at God for what’s happened in our marriage. Be honest with Him. He can handle your anger and help you walk out of it in greater trust and faith.)
  • Feeling they can never measure up so why bother. This ultimately has a lot to do with identity—who do you believe you are and who do you believe God is for you. If you don’t know God’s character and don’t understand His love for you, you fall into a place of trying to earn His love and to “get right” with God. In our own power and ability, we can’t achieve that. God knew that and thus why He sent His Son Jesus to take care of it once and for all. Grace is a gift, and salvation is all about His love and willingness to die rather than to lose us. If we don’t understand that it has nothing to do with our own efforts and merits, we struggle to fully receive God’s love and can’t walk fully into the confidence that we are truly loved.
  • Deception. We know the truth of John 10:10, that the enemy prowls looking for a way to steel our Christ-given power, to kill our hopes and to destroy our faith so we are not walking in the truth of who we really are. But Jesus is greater. The rest of this verse is where you want to camp, my friends.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. — John 10:10b-11

SUMites, these reasons may very well be what keeps your spouse from even considering Christianity, church and all they believe comes with it. God has been so misrepresented by the ones who are supposed to represent Him best. But don’t lose hope. God always has a plan.

When Restoration Comes

And it will. Believe God for that. Stand for it. But most of all, don’t carry your expectations from the past into this new place. God is all about the new (Isa. 43:19), and He has a new plan of action for the both of you that way exceeds those old expectations. Don’t limit Him. Don’t limit what He can do in and through you—both of you—no matter where you are in this process. God completes everything He starts. Everything.

And He doesn’t move backwards. Even though you may feel you’ve lost ground or have been knocked off your feet, His plans for restoration always include more. He’s not going to make you start all over. Everything He set into place for you is still there and He will help you step back into it. No matter how long it takes. He’s on your side. Always.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. — Psalm 34:18-19 (ESV)

The Lord redeems the life of his servants. — Psalm 34:22a (ESV)

Yes, God not only redeems us, He redeems our lives and everything in them. He’s so good! 

My friends, I’m sure there is much more to this topic than what I’ve covered here. If you are in such a place and walking this challenging road, please share what you’ve learned that has helped you move forward in faith in your marriage. I’ve no doubt your words of encouragement will reach a heart in need. 

SUMites, you are amazing people of God! I love you!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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Update And Change To SUMite Sisters Group

Hi Everyone, my apologies as I am going to be out-of-pocket most of the summer. I’m traveling, teaching and moving my daughter and busy nearly every weekend from now until October. Whew… So, be patient with me if I’m behind in responding to email and FB, DM’s. I will get to them. I’m traveling with my daughter, Caitie today to Las Vegas. My Elise-e-boo (granddaughter) is in her first ballet recital. It’s going to be adorable and hilarious too. I’ll post pics on my FB page if you are interested, friend me. I also share many of the things the LORD is telling me in my prayer time right now. Recently, God told me to start sharing His words. Funny thing. It appears that what He is speaking to me is also for so many others. Scroll down through the posts and let your heart be filled.

SUMites Sisters In Christ HeaderALSO…..

I want to thank Christy and Taylor for how they have launched the SUMite Sister’s Facebook Group. It grew quickly and it has been wonderful and heart-filling to read about your lives, prayer requests and how the LORD and the SUMite Nation has made you strong and hopeful.

I also wanted to let you know that the group consensus was that it should be made a secret group in order to discuss issues with confidentiality and with respect to spouses who may also be on Facebook. So the group was changed to secret.

You can still join but now must be invited in by Christy or Taylor. If you want to join, it’s not too late. Email Taylor and let her know you are a SUMite. She will friend you on FB and then add you to the group. Please email Taylor.

I love you my friends. Refuse to listen to the lies of the enemy who wants you to give up, give in, stop reading the Word and eventually stop praying. That is the devils entire game plan. DON'T GO ALONG WITH IT. Your words of simple prayers spoken as a daughter of the King, in faith, CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING!..  How do I know, because I'm living it.

Hallelujah. Have a great weekend. See you soon. PS. Who is interested in learning more about the Courts of Heaven?

GREAT BIG HUGS, LYNN

*****

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Change of Seasons

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Image courtesy of graur codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We hit winter last week. Here in Australia, winter officially starts 1 June. We've had a mild autumn (or 'fall' for you North American folks) and it's only in the last two weeks when the temperature at night has fallen below ten degrees celsius. I typically enjoy winter as here in Sydney it's mostly mild and relatively dry. 

As I’ve grown older I’ve come to appreciate our lives, like the weather, can be full of different seasons. Typically, a new season starts when there’s a change in our circumstances. Generally, the new season comes about through some major change.

What I find interesting about such new seasons is the impact they can have on our conversations and areas of interest.

For the first time in our almost 25 years together, both my wife and I are not working in the Corporate world. We met, came to know each other and fell in love as employees of Big Business. I’ve been out of full time Corporate life for a few years now but Fiona recently elected to take some time out due to a couple of particularly difficult years with her employers.

Conversation starters

Interestingly but not surprisingly, much of our conversation involved business, Fi’s work, her challenges, employees, bosses and so on. And now for the past few months that part of our conversation has ceased.

Our sons are now young men, the eldest is married and now a dad, and I’ve noticed once again that in the past few years the boys don’t feature as much in our conversations. There are no longer the day-to-day happenings that fill a conversation.

We’re almost empty nesters, our youngest stays with us on weekends, and I see now why many couples can struggle once the children leave home. A new season of life requires new conversations.

Unprepared

The full extent of the changes a new season brings on can rarely be planned. Yes, we were able to plan for the reduced income, adjustment to morning routines and other physical aspects associated with the change. But such things as our conversations were harder to pre-empt.

Even though the physical changes are immediate, the ‘under-the-surface’ ones, like new conversations, can take a little longer to be discovered. Sometimes they become apparent as a result of unwelcome emotions.

We bumped into ours last week. And it was my grumpiness that initiated it. We’d had a few situations over a series of days where I’d got snappy about certain things and I had sensed in myself dissatisfaction about “stuff”. And then I brought it to ahead as I never enjoy it when things are strained between us.

Bring it into the light

We had a wonderful conversation about just that: the change in our conversation. Well, it took a little while to get to the “wonderful” but it was one of those wide-ranging chats that ended very positively. We shared the loss we are both grieving (hey, we both acknowledged “we still love the business world”) and recognized the need to add fresh content. 

I feel very fortunate that even though we might have disparate views on our individual purpose in life, Fi and I are able to actively engage in sharing what’s on our heart and constructively move forward. 

What we initiated the other day has provided fresh impetus and has enabled us to keep discussing what this new season has in store for us. 

How do you manage a change in seasons in your relationship or simply a change in your conversation? Be lovely to start a discussion where we can encourage each other in our various situations. 

Grace and peace dear SUMite friends,

*****

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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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Receive This From God's Heart...

My precious friends, last week God dropped this into my spirit and I've held it close, waiting for Him to tell me to share it. So read this and receive it from His heart to yours. 

Love you so much!
Dineen

This is My time of restoration and establishing My children in My timeline for them.

Look for the revelations of My heart, of My love. I have situated you in the midst of these revelations. One simply has to look.

There is no need or room for doubt. Remember, My love conquers all and My love lives in you—My Son. That is what makes you more than a conqueror. You are My child. Mine.

My love far outweighs the cares of this world and all the burdens you perceive. Apply My love to every one of them—to everything—like a salve. The name of Jesus and My love are one in the same. Understand this and you will have the greatest weapon, prayer strategy, comfort and peace than you have every known or realized.

Let Me reassure you of this: You lack nothing. I do not ill-equip My children. You have everything you need already. Just believe and tap into it. Ask and receive. It is My delight to give it to you.

Now is not the time to squander what I’ve given you by living in fear and doubt. Even in the remnants of your mind there can be no place for this. Not when I’ve given you everything. Everything. The very heavens are yours! Why else would I teach you to pray “on earth as it is in heaven”?

You are completely established in My righteousness. From this place you cannot fail. I’ve set you up for complete success. Be bold. Have fun. Walk in wonder.

And above all, know My goodness is perfect, unflawed—brilliant like a perfect diamond. I’m giving you jewels, my children, I’m giving you jewels.

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*****

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SUMite Sisters In Christ Facebook Group

SUMites Sisters In Christ HeaderSUMites,

A few weeks ago, in the comments of a post, some of you mentioned that you would enjoy participating in a private Facebook group.

Be careful what you ask for. Because those brave SUMites who asked about the group, chatted with Dineen and I. Collectively it’s a great idea and those ladies decided they would be glad to manage the group and facilitate the discussions. Neat! And Thank you!

So, Tay and Christy have created a safe place for more intimate discussions.

SUMites Sisters In Christ.

Click on the name and you can request membership. Be certain to read the group agreement at the top of the Facebook page once you are added and then scroll through some of the content. I think that Tay and Christy have a topic to discuss on this Monday.

Don’t worry about participating if you don’t have time and never, never stop commenting here on the blog because someone else who stumbled into our home on the web, they need your words, your comments, your love.

Thank you, ladies, for offering your time and love to the SUM Nation. We love you.

*****

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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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Standing in Truth

John11-25Welcome to June, SUMites! I know this is a very busy time for many of you as school ends and summer vacations start. I pray this summer is full of God’s peace, His rest, and that each day you feel more loved and strengthen in your faith. Our Papa God is so good and He is generous, faithful and full of surprises.

Just as a review of our “Seeing Our Spouse Like God Does” series, we’ve talked about “sitting”—where we are seated with Christ in the heavens (Eph 2:6), which is about our identity. This is the place we want to be seated at all times, remember? And we’ve discussed “walking”—the way we live our faith from our seat and walk in the truth of who we are, which reveals God’s kingdom here on earth as we walk in love as Jesus loves us (Eph 5:1). Here are the links to those posts if you’d like to review them.

Seeing Our Spouse Like God Does (intro)

How Sturdy Is Your Seat?

Walking in Love

Now this last part is about “standing” and comes from the part of Ephesians 6 about our armor. I have some really cool nuggets to share with you on this one, so let’s dig in and camp in God’s truth.

In Ephesians 6, Paul was most likely inspired by the armor of the Roman soldiers assigned to guard him. At this point he was under what we would call “house arrest.”  And I’ve no doubt the Holy Spirit showed him through the visual of the armor how we are protected in Christ Jesus. The astounding part of this revelation though is found back in Ephesians 1.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. — Eph 1:15-22

My friends, take a moment and read the above Scriptures slowly and prayerfully. This is one long sentence filled with some of the greatest truths we will ever come to understand as believers. In this “run-on” sentence, Paul is showing us how to pray for “the more” of God. To have the eyes of our hearts enlightened, to know the hope of Jesus, to understand the riches of our glorious inheritance in Jesus, and finally, the biggest bombshell in this passage—that the power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the heavenly places is the very same power we have been given in the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Don’t let that word “toward” fool you into thinking anything less. In the Greek also means into, unto, for, and among. It’s a very “large” word and encompasses a great deal. The point is, the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead and that same Spirit and all He entails lives in us as well. That’s pretty amazing to think about, SUMites. As I say, you are way more powerful than you realize.

So from this power in us we sit, walk and stand. Let’s take a look at the stand part now. I’ve always found it so fascinating that in the midst of all this defensive armor, our only offensive piece is the sword, which is the Word of God. Yet Paul tells us to “stand” repeatedly. 

Why? Because when we stand, we stand in Truth. And Truth is a person, Jesus.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. — John 14:6

But let’s take a look at those verses in Ephesians 6

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore,…— Eph 6:10-14

The word “stand” in the Greek is histēmi and means abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present. The form of this word is a “prolonged form” of its root word. In other words, it is a position of opposition. That is clarified in the word “withstand,” which in the Greek is anthistēmi and means to stand against, oppose, resist, withstand. The fascinating part of this word is that if you look at it closely, you see histēmi. The first part of the word, ant, is actually anti

I’m guessing you recognize that word and already know it’s meaning to be opposite to. So basically, this word it telling us to stand in opposition to evil. That we are to stand in the full power of the Holy Spirit against the enemy. 

And the only weapon we are to use is God’s Word. To know it, believe it and speak it. God recently spoke to me these words:

“Faith is transformative, but trusting and believing Me is imperative.”

Now, take a look again at Eph 5:14 again:

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Last week I pointed out the relevance of “awake.” Now I want to you to focus on that word “arise.” That word in the Greek is anistēmi and means to stand up, lift up, raise up. And its root word is histēmi, to stand.

If you’re confused, I was too. I wanted to understand the connection between the words, our place to “stand” firm as Paul says and what he’s saying in Eph 5:14, “arise from the dead.”

I asked the Holy Spirit to show me the connection, which He did the very next day in a very unexpected place. He took back to the book of John where I’ve been reading about Jesus and how He healed people—a subject you know is near and dear to my heart.

Take a look at John 11 and Martha’s confrontation with Jesus about why her brother, Lazarus, died:

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” — John 11:23-26

The word to focus on here is “resurrection.” In the Greek (anastasis) it means a standing up again, i.e. (literally) a resurrection from death, or (figuratively) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth): — raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again.

Here’s where it gets really fun, my friends. The root of anastasis is anistēmi, which comes from histēmi. 

Resurrection, raise up, stand up.

These words are so interconnected and point us right back to Ephesian 1:19:

and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

SUMites, we stand for a cause (our spouse) in opposition to the “anti-cause,” and we stand in the resurrection power and life of Jesus Christ, because of the Holy Spirit—God’s Spirit—lives in us. Think about that. I mean, really think about that.

Paul even tells us in Ephesians 6:10 to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Not ours. His. 

By God’s Spirit. Believe Him.

“Faith is transformative, but trusting and believing Me is imperative.”

SUMites, you stand in a great power and great protection in your marriages. The key is to know it (sit), live it (walk), and be firm (stand). God will not fail you. Let me say that again, because someone really needs to hear this.

God will not fail you. He can’t. He’s obligated to keep His promises because He said so (Jer 1:12). And the entire Bible is His promise to you. 

Jesus is His promise to you. Jesus.

I want to close with what I shared on my Facebook page this week, a truth the Holy Spirit dropped into my spirit:

“The enemy (satan, lucifer, the devil) was cast out of heaven. So when we pray as Jesus taught us, "His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven," he can't stay here either. Walk in the truth of what that means. If you are seated in the heavens with Jesus (Eph 2:6), YOU bring the heavens to earth and the enemy cannot stay! Do that and watch the enemy shrink before you to nothing without even having to say a word. Just say JESUS!”

Just say Jesus, SUMites! Jesus!!!!

Love you!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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