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February 2018

10 entries from March 2018

Centrality Of Easter

Tomb and crossEaster, the death and resurrection of Christ, is an event that altered the fabric of humanity.

Easter is the centrality of love.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. —John 13:35

As I consider the love in the heart of Christ that He willingly offered Himself to be beaten brutally for me and nailed on a tree. I’m moved with emotion and purpose to love others, to forgive freely, to speak life and not death, to include, to be the hands, feet, and voice of my Father. Christ paid a very high price.

The profound implication of Easter is far greater than most believers set aside time to reconcile. Powerful and life-changing gifts were bestowed upon our generation through the covenant that Jesus sealed for us on the Cross. We are honor bound as benefactors of the spilled blood of Christ, knowing who we are and whose we are, to love well.

What does love look like?

Love is longsuffering.
Love is kind.
Love is humble.
Love is forgiveness.
Love is vulnerability.
Love always places connection with another as the highest goal.
Love is brave communication.
Love removes condemnation and releases honesty.
Love is the wellspring that flows from our heart.
Love is laying down my need to always be right.
Love is giving away my heart with the risk of betrayal.
Love heals, love restores, love triumphs and love is our foundation.
Love is everything good from the Father’s heart.
Love restores a single life and love redeems nations.

This Easter, let us lock arms together because we have something our spouse, our neighborhood, our country and this world is desperate to experience. We are the Beloved of Christ, His ambassadors of love, beginning within, then outward to our family, our communities and to the ends of the earth.

I pray you are deeply touched by the love of Christ this Easter. Lynn Donovan

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 & vs. 13 New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Easter is the greatest love story ever told. And our SUMite Nation is founded upon the love and grace of Christ Jesus.


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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Very Good Figs

FigsHi everyone, Ann here.

My husband would freely admit that the chances of him turning ‘exuberant Christian’ of his own doing are a great big zero. I’m laughing. It’s a funny thought to him and to me. 

It’s impossible. And yet I believe with all my heart it'll happen. I’m not the sort who goes around being sure about things, but ... I just have my reasons. Today I can't resist sharing just one: 

Some time ago, I had a dream. In it I held a fig. I wanted to plant it, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know how. That was it, the whole dream. ‘Exciting dream,’ I hear you say!

Not exactly exciting, but it did strike me as unusual and so I wrote it down in my journal along with the date. I even looked up figs in the Bible, but nothing gelled. 

Imagine my excitement when a few short weeks later (in our January fast, 2016), Dineen posted that the Holy Spirit had told her our spouses were like the figs from Jeremiah 24:7! Her word laid out for us an enormous promise of our spouses’ salvation. I'll paraphrase it here, but you can click here to read the whole word:

He will return our spouses to Him, He will give them a heart to know Him.  He will plant them and not pluck them up.  He will build them and not tear them down. And this is a promise: Salvation is coming.  

Even the word ‘plant’ was in there, just like my dream. It was striking. But that was just the beginning.

Months later, 4 July 2016, Dineen wrote another inspired post for us. We were being lavished with promise as a community. This time, she felt God was saying that He is constructing the SUM community into a spiritual house and that latter house will be better than the former. Some of you will remember that Dineen was building an actual house and so there was an exciting series of posts where her house-building reflected what she was hearing spiritually. In fact, the very day I read Dineen's first house post I’d woken with a picture of a house in my head. Yet another ‘coincidence’, but that’s not even the part I’m coming to.

The part I’m coming to happened on a bad day, I’m afraid. One day, while on holiday the aloneness of my faith overwhelmed me, and I ended up hitting my pillow in a desperate mess. “Please,” I called to God, “I am really struggling here. Please help me.”

He helped me. The next morning I woke with a single word in my head: Bethphage. 

I grabbed my iPad and typed ‘Bethphage’. I discovered it was the place Jesus took the Palm Sunday donkey from. But mm, that wasn’t quite it. “Let me just look up the name meaning,” I thought. And here’s what Bethphage means ……{drum roll}:

House of figs!

True story!  

A few weeks later, I was skipping along, much happier. ‘Bethphage’ had helped. “What shall I pray for?” I asked God. This was an improvement on the paralyzed ‘help’ prayer that I had only prayed weeks earlier. Now I was strong enough to do something productive. As I asked that question, my eye caught something on the ground.  What’s that?  I peered over it. And then I realized: It was a fig! A lone fig. My eyes lifted upwards, there was no fig tree in sight. Only later would I realize that it wasn’t even fig season: it was the middle of winter. I picked that fig up, popped it in my pocket, and held it all day. It felt like I’d just been given a bunch of flowers.

What should I pray for? His answer: Pray for the figs.

So here’s a prayer for us today:

Lord God, I dare to believe that you will do the impossible for with You nothing is impossible. 

I know that for all the times we've been carried away You deem us and our spouses 'very good', we are sanctified. 

I believe that You will give us all a heart to know you, we will be Yours, You will be ours.  

Help me to know how to pray for my life partner, and help me to never stop praying - 24/7.

In Jesus' name, I receive these promises gladly. Amen.


Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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Via Dolorosa, Walk With Jesus

Via Dolorosa SUMVia Dolorosa, The Way of Suffering:

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” —John 17:13-19

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”— John 16:33


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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The Lord Saw - The Lord Compensated

By Martha Bush Honor

Praise and Worship was over, the offering had been taken, announcements had been made - time for my pastor to begin his sermon.

As he walked toward the pulpit, I readied myself to listen to his sermon by positioning my Bible and notepad on my lap. Yes, I am antique - I still carry my big Bible to church. Ipads and smart phones do not allow for the sweet sound of pages turning on an open Bible, plus seeing all the notes written on the pages from years past as the pastor speaks.

All of a sudden, from the pulpit, I heard the pastor say, "There's a lady I want to honor this morning for the ministry she has led the past several years. She doesn't know I am going to do this, but Martha Bush, stand up!"                                          

Obviously, I was taken back as I stood up trying to hold onto all the stuff I had placed on my lap, almost dropping all of it on the floor. Okay, okay! For surprises like these, small pieces of technology would have served me better.

From there, he began to explain what the SUM ministry is all about and issued the invitation for those interested to contact me. Once again he reiterated, "Martha Bush, we honor you today for leading this ministry."

The following week as I reflected on the recognition of the SUM Ministry, my heart was touched. I knew there was a BIGGER PICTURE going on with its recognition and the honor the pastor had given to me for leading it.

And so, I sat down and wrote my SUM group the following email.



The word, "HONOR" that Pastor used in introducing me has taken on a special meaning. First of all, I was not the only one being honored - I was standing up before the church for all of you. I was just the one for whom the blessing of honor flowed through. I was your representative.

One of my favorite Bible stories that has touched me time and time again is the story of Leah, Jacob, and Rachael. Leah was not Jacob's preferred wife; it was Rachael he loved. Leah went through turmoil living in the same house as the forgotten, invisible wife in an unloving marriage with Jacob and Rachael.

But, my favorite scripture in this story is found in Genesis 29:31: And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb, but Rachael was barren.

The key words in that verse are "The Lord Saw." What did the Lord see?

  • He saw Leah was hated.
  • He saw she was not accepted.
  • He saw she was not affirmed.
  • He saw she was not appreciated for the beautiful woman she was.
  • He saw she had been an invisible woman to Jacob and her father, Laban.

The question is "What did the Lord do when He saw all the things Leah went through?"

The unloved Leah, the forgotten one, the loser's prize, the one totally rejected was compensated with Motherhood.

Certainly, we don't experience the kind of behavior from our spouse as Leah did. At least, we don't live in the same house with his other wife. (Can you imagine that?)

But, think about those words "The Lord Saw," as they pertain to hurts you have experienced in your own marriage, and fill in the blanks.

  • The Lord Saw _______________
  • The Lord Saw _______________
  • The Lord Saw _______________ 

Yes, we all have had our share of problems in some form, as we have walked the path of the "spiritual mismatch" in our home, and perhaps have cried many tears as we prayed. But, on this Sunday, I believe the Lord gave us a wink and said, "I saw the things you have gone through." 

As a result, just as He compensated Leah with motherhood for her troubles, I believe He compensated us with HONOR. That honor was exhibited in at least two ways.

  1. He compensated us with HONOR for the role we have had to play as the spiritual leader of our homes. We've been positioned on the front line of duty, if you please.
  2. He compensated us with HONOR before men - our pastor and church body. No longer are we the forgotten, invisible ones. We are now recognized as an important role of service to the Body of Christ.

And so, I say to you, "Ladies, receive the HONOR that the Lord has given to all of us through our pastor.


And now, to all of you reading this blog on the world-wide web, receive this compensation of honor from the Lord for yourself. After all, Lynn and Dineen stood up and represented ALL of us before the world years ago.  

Perhaps, there are other ways you feel honored in your marriage than the two I have mentioned.  How about sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Be blessed.  



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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Testimony Springboard & Powerful Conflict Tool

Hey SUMite Nation:

Today I shared two powerful perspectives on the SUM Facebook page. I want to share these with you and to celebrate 26 years of marriage and how this is important to your marriage.

Let's Talk Live is moving to Wednesdays at noon Pacific. Please make time to listen to this broadcast as it offers some powerful perspectives to THRIVE in your faith and marriage. 

I love you. Lynn


If you can't view this video in the email blast, click here. :)


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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Our Father's Love For The Lost

There are many of My children who have languished in this end-time season, locked in the enemy’s prisoner of war camp. The barbed wire of disillusionment and abandonment, gouge and leave bleeding scars. Through this extended, grueling season of illness, persecution has devastated their very soul. They are prisoners of war, left abandoned on the plains of battle. Whispers of finality through betrayal, hopelessness, apathy and fear are the lies that fortify their restraints.

These are My Beloved Children who love Me and once believed in My truths and Kingdom. But the blows of darkness birthed perceived falsehoods that I was unaware of their sufferings. They turned toward the lies that I allowed the brokenness or cared little when tears drowned their faith.

From My Throne; My voice thunders in peeling crack of raw emotions and booming love.

It is NOT SO!

My love and power are always enough to liberate every soul.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. —Psalm 56:8

I have wept with you as I collected every tear as a token that restitution is due. I have stored each droplet that cries out for vindication of all that the enemy of life has stolen.

Today, My children who are beset by bitterness and strife, determine your heart to trust Me again. Pray. Speak to me again, for I never left you alone. People may have failed you, left you devastated, lost in rejection, but I stand for you. I am your hope, redemption, your healing, life and I have every answer to your questions. I AM your place of refuge.

Delay not another moment. Release your heart to Me. I’m a moment away. Your faith and My love are your healing script. Pray without ceasing and never give up.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. —Revelation 21:4


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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The GREAT Power of Our Warfare

Jesus Names of SUMOkay, the last weapon we will cover is the name of Jesus.

His name can launch a war, seal the fate of nations, change the destiny of a thousand generations. His name can cast out legions of devils and free captives from the darkest depression. His name heals the blind and destroys cancer. His name can bring freedom, deliverance, new destinies and fortunes.

For an entire season of my life, I would mumble around whispering the name of Jesus. Over and over, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. His name spoken aloud changes my heart and my home. Can I share something with you that is a peek into my life? Well, ahem, even today when I wake in the night and make a trip to the bathroom, without being aware, the name of Jesus still slips from my lips. “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, you are my King. Jesus, I adore you. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

Oh, that we would all have the name of Jesus continually tumbling from our lips.

Everything changed for me when I came to wrap my mind, heart and spirit around three passages of scripture and how Jesus is at the core.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. —Ephesians 2: 6-7

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:27

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:3

SUMite Nation, come to the truth and grips with these passages. Let them dwell in you and you in them. We are seated with Christ in heaven. Christ is IN US, the hope of glory. We are hidden in Christ in God.

Who could ever touch us if these are true?


Jesus, Prince of Peace
Jesus, Prince of Peace

So I have a simple question for you, are these your truths? If you don’t know for sure, that’s okay. But I ask you to start speaking them frequently and regularly over your life and faith. Ask Jesus to reveal to you what these passages imply and how to draw from them to defeat your challenges, circumstances, struggles and your fears.


The weapons of our warfare: The Word of God, Worship, Blood of Jesus, The name of Jesus. And our offensive weapon is our Sword. And to write about the Sword, well that my friends, would take about ten years.

I hope this series encouraged you, equipped you, challenged you and took your further on your journey with Christ. I love you. Lynn


Post Script: I wrote this series a month ago and I find it so wonderful that it concludes just a few weeks prior to Easter. The next few weeks I'll be writing thoughts about Easter, Passover and our Beloved, Jesus. :) I would love to read your thoughts about our beloved Jesus. Talk to me in the comments by dearest brothers and sisters. I adore you.


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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Remembering Billy Graham

Photo credit: Herald Sun

By Ian Acheson

The passing of Billy Graham two weeks ago brought back a flood of memories for many people. No doubt you’ve seen the many tributes for Mr Graham over these past couple of weeks. And I wanted to take a moment to express my own small tribute to him.

The Year 1979

The photo at left was taken in 1979 at one of Mr. Graham’s crusade meetings held at Sydney’s largest racecourse. 1979! Oh what a year. I think back on it with great fondness. I was in Year 10 at school and I particularly loved that school year. I even did well at Science that was a first for me. It gave me a boost especially as I wanted to follow in my Dad’s footsteps and study medicine. When it came to selecting my subjects for the final two years of school, I ignored the vocational guidance tests that indicated I was more suited to arts-style courses, and chose to study physics and chemistry so as to give myself a chance of qualifying for medicine. I soon discovered in the early weeks of Year 11 that I really wasn’t cut out for either of them. Darn!

But more significantly in 1979 I met Jesus. Because of Mr. Graham.

I had been attending youth fellowship and church for about nine months when Mr. Graham’s crusade came to town. So many of us from church attended that we had buses ferry us to the other side of Sydney to Randwick Racecourse to attend each night. We had a lot of fun on those bus trips.

I attended five nights. To hear Mr. Graham speak. To hear more about this person, Jesus Christ. I responded to his alter call invitation on the first night. I remember that stirring in the gut, will I/won’t I, and then having to make a long trek from my seat in one of the stands to the front of the stage. I was met by a man, one of hundreds of volunteers, who said a few things and gave me a small book. I never heard from him again. But that didn’t matter. I’d accepted Jesus into my life. I was born again.

Just the beginning

Soon after the crusades finished I enrolled in confirmation classes at my church. Yes, we had eight to ten weeks of classes in the home of one of the great families in the church to learn more about what being a Christian meant. In addition, we were given an overview of various disciplines like prayer and reading the Bible.

I also needed to be baptized as my parents didn’t baptize any of us when we were young. This created a bit of angst with my Dad. He challenged me to consider ALL the alternatives to Christianity and even asked me to read a book written by Carl Sagan who was a recognized God-skeptic. I read it but it didn’t discourage me in my decision. Dad appreciated the fact I read the book and even though he still questioned my decision he allowed me to proceed.

The journey

It has only taken me another almost 40 years to begin to better understand who Jesus is and how much He loves me but gosh I’ve loved the journey. Certainly, there have been many valleys where I’ve struggled in my walk but I’ve come to realise the importance of communicating with the Lord, reading His Word all the time, and being in community with other believers is so important to moving forward. Most of my valleys have been times of when I’ve tried to do life on my own terms. It’s been in learning that God made us to be dependent on Him that I’ve discovered the victory we have in daily walking with Him.


Thank you, Mr. Graham, for introducing me to Jesus. There have been so many wonderful and much deserved tributes dedicated to the great man but it’s kinda special for me to know that I’m one of the many millions who carry the legacy of the incredible life he lived. I’ll always treasure his memory.

Now your turn SUMites. I'd love it if we all could share a little in the comments of someone who has played a key role in your faith walk.


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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Weapons of Our Warfare

Part I Rev 12 11

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Scripture, Worship are powerful when held in our hands and used to defeat the enemy.

Today let’s look at two more weapons that bring victory over all the devices of the enemy.


I must confide, in the last several months, I feel as though I’ve had several epiphanies regarding the blood of Jesus. I shared some of my revelation during our Fasting week on Friday regarding communion. I will NEVER look at communion the same way again. It’s profound to me now every time I partake. And it’s become so important to me that I ordered little communion cups and I partake in a private communion in my prayer room several days in the week.

The devil is our accuser.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. —Revelation 12:10

This passage is legit. I’ve seen it. A story for another day, my visit to the courts of heaven. (Are you interested in hearing about this?)

But the blood of Jesus is the absolute covering for the Saints of God.

Satan the accuser of the Brethren: Lynn said such-n-such to this person and her words grant me authority to…..

Jesus: Yep, covered!

Satan: Well, then Lynn did this and that and hurt this person and her actions grant me authori……

Jesus: Uuh-Hu,  PAID in full. Next.

Satan: Well then, she forgot this and it caused pain in the heart of……. me authority…

Jesus: Shut-Up Satan…. COVERED… Paid in full. Done! Finished!

Jesus: Innocent! Her repentance and by the blood she has applied it to every area of her life!

Jesus: See-ya, Now get out of my courtroom, get out of her life.

Mic drop!

Okay, this is just my rendering of how I hope it goes down in my behalf. But what does transpire here is FULL redemption, restoration and protection because of the blood of Christ that paid the price for my life.

I cannot recommend highly enough to pray for a revelation of heaven regarding the power and purposes of the blood of Christ in the life of a believer. I could probably write a book about it. Learn about it. Learn to apply it. Learn to claim it. Learn to pour it over your past, present and future. The blood buys back all things, covers all things, redeems all things.

I’m nearly flooding with tears to consider the price that Jesus paid for me. His blood changes everything. AMEN

What an amazing gift to receive.

I love you and bless you today with a fresh revelation of the blood of Christ in your life. In Jesus name. AMEN


Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

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What Defeats Fear?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comChildren And Night Terrors (Series Part III)

Part I

Part II

Part III

WORHIP. Our next tool in the tool belt to defeat the demonic.

It appears obvious that worship music that praises God would be something the devil hates. And this is true but let me share something that you might not know. There is a description of Lucifer in Ezekiel 28 that blows my mind. If you can explore that chapter and perceive all that is within it, it will freak you out. But let’s look at this specific passage:

Thus says the Lord God:

“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. —Ezekiel 28:12b & 13

Timbrel: a tambourine or similar instrument. (noun)

Pipes: Organ pipes of music. (noun)

Most of you may already be aware of this but Lucifer was likely the head worship leader in the heavenlies. He was DESIGNED to make music within his own body. The winds of heaven would blow and the worship of the angels would swell and he would create the most unique and beautiful music in worship for the LORD and it would come from within his body.

No other angel was given this ability.

I pause to wonder if this truth contributed to his prideful downfall?

I’m convinced that when there is great worship upon the earth, the devil feels it to this day within his body and it causes him great pain because it’s no longer worship but torture. He fears worship. He despises worship. It’s a continual, in your face devil, reminder of his past, his present and his future. Torment! And all the little devils fear worship for this reason as well. They CANNOT remain in an atmosphere of worship and not be affected, defeated and tormented.

BLAST the music. Worship God in your artistry. Sing acapella. Worship with dance, guitar, painting. Many of the creative abilities that God placed within us ere given to create in worship for our Lord.

For our kids, Mom & Dad, you bring the atmosphere of worship into their lives. Play worship music. In the car, in the house, in their room at night. Be worship to them in the morning. Show them that worship is a lifestyle and when they are grown, they will walk in it.

Okay, how has worship changed you? Your kids?


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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