21 posts categorized "Church"

Learning to Receive Love

Photo credit: Austin Neill Hi everyone, Ian from Sydney here. For most of my SUM married life I thought I was okay doing the Christian life on my own. I’m an introvert by nature and enjoy my own company and for a number of years struggled with being in crowded situations. I still do and will usually choose to sit on the end of rows in any theatre or auditorium. This is purely a relief mechanism so that I know I can ‘get out’ quickly if I need to. As we’ve talked about many times over the years, it’s often easier for us Christians to maintain peace in our households by not engaging too much in church activities and such like. I’ve actually been very blessed by my wife who has always actively encouraged me to attend church: she knows it’s good for me. However, I resisted for years getting... Read more →

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The Finest Food and Drink

Hi everyone, on the last day of our fast - we are so close to the finish line! It’s been wonderful adventuring with you and, as always, we’ve made memories. I often think of this site as a memorial of where we’ve been. I can just imagine sitting in a rocking chair as an old lady, looking back. Today we’re going to take communion together; it is the finest food and drink. In giving us this bread and wine, it is as if God has set us the most wonderful table; one we really cannot imagine. In today’s post I’d like to tell you about a treasured item that frames my home. I’ll tell you about it, and then we’ll have communion. Several years ago, when my husband and I bought our house, we decided to put in a new front door. We wanted one with a stained-glass window, and... Read more →

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Conflict Is Finished. Now Jesus

SUMite Nation, Well I’m feeling we are at the close of our month-long classroom regarding conflict. And you may not feel as though it was worthy of your time but in the future, the truths of how to approach conflict with other believers will return to your mind and you will walk through it Biblically, work through forgiveness and seek restoration when possible. What is really weird is that this month, personally, I’ve worked through conflict with believers, unbelievers, family and more. Guess Jesus wanted me to be ready for the conflict that is surely ahead in my life. I want to leave you with a portion of an email I sent out the other day. I believe it holds Biblical wisdom for us all. I want to point out that in the Bible, Peter and Paul experienced great conflict over circumcision and food laws, so much so, that this... Read more →

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Church - My Hardest Act

Hi everyone, Ann here! My husband and I have been 'spiritually different' for almost five years now, and it’s become easier for us both. However, there is one thing that continues to floor me and I thought I’d share it with you today. It’s this: The act of giving my husband a kiss goodbye on a Sunday morning, getting in the car, and turning on the ignition to go to… church. Hubby and I are like peas and carrots, we’re a packaged pair, and this whole walking out the door on a Sunday feels somehow wrong. Or is it? Each Sunday morning I drive through the quiet city, and the minute I turn on worship music it sends an oomph to my heart. At that moment the disconnect between that music and the breakfast clatter I've just left feels stark. I reach the church car-park and walk towards the hall.... Read more →

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Submission vs. Obedience Part II by Martha Bush

Submission vs. Obedience Introduction In Part 1 of Submission vs. Obedience, I told my story of obeying the Lord’s new direction for my life, and the opposition I faced from my husband in doing so. Today, let’s get right down to business and try to decipher what is sometimes a controversial and confusing subject. Submission vs. Obedience I have read so many books on “this is what submission is, this is what submission is not.” And yet, I am still left with lots of questions, as many of you have also indicated. I personally believe in order to understand it, we have to look closely at other scriptures to see the big picture of how I Peter 3 plays out in our lives, as we try to submit, reference, honor, esteem, and appreciate our husbands as the head of the household. So today, I want to look at two questions... Read more →

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Could This Be What It's Like?

Hi SUMites, On Friday I put away the Thanksgiving decorations for the season, put up the tree and the nativity on the table where my Tablecloth of Thanks sat for most of November. Mike didn’t write on it this year. Caitie wasn’t home. We went to the neighbors for dinner, so this year was different than prior years. Because of our new holiday situation, I figured he was “over it.” Well to my delight and surprise, Mike retrieved the Thanksgiving box from the closet, pulled out the tablecloth and wrote his thanks for 2017. I was truly surprised to walk into the kitchen and there he was scribbling his thanks. Wow… My friends, take note, every effort we make to bring faith and love into our home is having an impact. I love this time of year. It fills me with so much hope and anticipation. Over the past few... Read more →

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Q&A From The SUM Survey (What Our Kid's Think)

Today I want to answer another question that came from the SUM survey. Laurie F. asked: Q: I would love to know how adult children who grew up in mis-matched homes feel about all of the things we deal with. (Going to church and activities only with mom, not being able to pray/sing/share at home when Dad's around, worrying that Dad is not going to Heaven, etc.) I would also like to know how to answer my daughter's constant questions about those same topics. So, I decided to call my daughter, Caitie, age 22 who now lives in Indiana. I asked her these questions and here is her response. She gave me permission to share. I asked Caitie: So how do you feel now that you are an adult and can look back upon your childhood, about going to church? A: Mom, many of my perceptions and answers are specific... Read more →

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Going To Church Alone

Today, I want to chat about another big issue. This is a re-post for our newest family members. (Jan, 2016) GOING TO CHURCH ALONE. Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well. First, dealing with the whole couple thing. Grrrrrr, again! Our Western society is significantly “couple” focused. Learning to do anything alone takes a ton of courage and prayer. At least it did for me and I’m usually a courageous person. But after remaining a floundering believer at home, there comes a day when your need for community outweighs fear and you... 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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My Unsaved Spouse and Church This Easter

I am wondering if any of you will be asking your spouse to attend Easter services with you? Are you feeling anxious about asking? About Him attending? Let’s talk about that today in the comments. I’m looking for suggestions and ideas to share with our community to encourage our spouses to attend church and yet preserve the peace in our home and at church, if our spouse decides to join the family. See you in the comments. Hugs, Lynn 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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GOING TO CHURCH ALONE

Today, I want to chat about another big issue that was mentioned back in December when we began this journey. GOING TO CHURCH ALONE. Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well. First, dealing with the whole couple thing. Grrrrrr, again! Our Western society is significantly “couple” focused. Learning to do anything alone takes a ton of courage and prayer. At least it did for me and I’m usually a courageous person. But after remaining a floundering believer at home, there comes a day when your need for community outweighs fear and you... 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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Today At Church I Looked Down The Row And Was......

Hi Gang, Well today it’s my turn to write about chapter four of Not Alone. Churched Kids My heart and head is full of thoughts and emotions when I consider raising our kids in church. I share a number of my thoughts and experiences in chapter four about kids and church, youth group (to go or not to go), the conflict within our homes with Dad and so on…. But in this moment as I write about our kids and church, the faithfulness of God overflows in my spirit and stirs my heart. It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m pondering an ordinary, yet profound moment. You see, everything I’ve done to raise my daughter, all the words I’ve written about parenting culminated in this morning. I was humbled to watch the faithfulness of God unfold in front of my eyes in a beautiful moment. I will tell you that my daughter,... Read more →

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1 Peter 1 & 2: Building Foundations (part 1)

My friends, we’ve been set up. But in a good way. A great way. Let me explain. Or better yet, I’ll let Peter explain… This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. — 1 Peter 1:10-12 NLT We walk in this truth today, the very truth of salvation that the prophets and even the angels... Read more →

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When The Church Hurts You

Hello SUMite Nation, I have to chuckle. Over the past few months reading through comments, Facebook posts and emails I have received, all of the “SUMite” puns. Hilarious! SUMthings about happen. To SUM things up. Is SUMone praying? Can I just say that SUM of you are very witty and hilarious. It’s the little nuances such as this that make our home on the web, a family. We are a family and SUM is a place where we are loved and where we love. Thank you SUMites for how you love Jesus and how well you love one another. And I guess I feel this post is leading to an entirely different topic than I expected. You see over the past seven days my daughter and I have experienced some weird situations. Conflict over beliefs with other believers. Yikes! Now don’t panic. I’m not going to cause a debate in... Read more →

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Unity Through Worship

My friends, I have so loved reading your comments on this worship series. You have shared your hearts and prayers. I have found myself inspired many times by what you share, have even prayed your words! And I know other have too. We started this series with discussing Worship is More Than a Song, then moved into talking about Intimacy Through Worship and Living a Lifestyle of Worship. Today we will talk about unity through worship. First, I want to share my first taste of corporate worship… Anticipation buzzed in the air and the low rumble of voices. The stadium was packed. Thousands of believers stood ready and waiting to hear Third Day. Though I’d attended concerts before, this was my first Christian concert. Third Day came out, the music started, and soon, to my utter amazement, I stood, arms up like many there, not just singing to songs but... Read more →

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The Aftermath

My friends, today I will finish my Bethel story but I want you to know that this adventure is far from over. Our journey with God is an ongoing adventure that unfolds on a daily basis. I’m stunned at times to go back and read in my journal what I’ve written down and then forgotten! I’m so glad I can go back and be reminded of these things because sometimes those little moments wind up being key to understanding what a big one means. As I will share today. I had a small moment before the conference where I found a dime and penny on the ground during one of my walks. God has me picking up pennies a lot this last year as part of my growing faith and trust in Him to provide for us during these financially trying times. I’ve shared much of that with you in... Read more →

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I Cried For You, Sunridge

So, this is a difficult post for me to write. However, I’m following the Lord’s lead as there must be one other person, in addition to me, who needs this word. My home church where I have served and worshiped for 12 years is teetering on the precipice of a split. And I am grieved deeply in my spirit over this. The thoughts of people whom I love possibly now hating another person in our church stabs my heart in searing pain. Grief has sat heavily on me now for several days as I have prayed and ponder over the people of God. So this morning as I left for an early walk in the frosty wilderness, I was contemplating our church. I was carrying the heartbreak on my soul. I began walking and noticed the geese feeding in the field. Such beauty. And as I turned to head down... Read more →

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - Never, say Never - This is NOT about James Bond

Several months ago, I told you that God was working some new things in my husband, in us. At the time, the Lord impressed upon me to hide these things in my heart until they were settled out. Today, all these months later, the changes that began in January and February have reached a stall and I have learned a few things. I think it’s time to share with you what I’ve learned. I remember the moment distinctly. I sat in my office, frozen, fearful to say, “Yes.” What ensued leading up to this moment was weird filled with conflict and hurt feelings and stress. Our 20th wedding anniversary was approaching and I remember saying something to my husband that went something like this: “We’ve been married now for 20 years. Honey, I “get it” that you don’t embrace my faith. I really understand. But, after 20 years can you... Read more →

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That Old Familiar Ache

It snuck up on me again, that old familiar ache. The one I used to walk around with constantly early on in my mismatched marriage. I thought I’d made peace with it, made the choice to trust God with my husband’s salvation and the future of our marriage. I’d learned to bring that ache, that longing to share my faith with my husband to God and leave it in His hands. But there it was again just days before Good Friday. Why now and why so suddenly? Had I stopped trusting God somehow? Had I taken it back from God? Or was God trying to show me or remind me of something? I did a mental review of the last few weeks and nothing came to mind that might have shaken my foundation of trust in this area. If anything, my marriage and my relationship was better than ever. And... Read more →

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We Are Stronger Together

If you found your way here from the Focus on the Family broadcast, the first thing you heard yesterday was a quote from us. “Isolation steals our joy.” That’s why the first chapter of our book is titled, “Know That You’re Not Alone!” Our marriages are under attack by an enemy who wants to keep our unbelieving spouse in his or her unbelief and the best way to do that is to keep you—the believing spouse—discouraged and feeling as if you are completely and utterly alone in this journey. We want you to know right here and now, that is a lie. If you are here, it is because God has heard your prayers and brought you here to be a part of a community that understands your marriage, your heartache and your struggles without you even saying a word. We understand because we are living it too. All of... Read more →

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What A Weekend

My friends, as I type this post, it’s late Sunday afternoon. I have just returned from my church’s Women’s Retreat. Every year I can’t imagine the retreat could be better than last year. But God never disappoints and this weekend exceeded every expectation. Healing happened, friendships formed, Jesus was present and God Almighty was worshiped. We tasted a tiny bit of heaven as we spontaneously formed a circle, hand’s clasped and worshiped Saturday night. And as I looked around the room of almost 90 women, I saw The Body of Christ. One day I hope I can describe what happened in that few short moments of time. My friends, as customary, God chose to keep me humble and the most hilarious and kooky, yet absolutely amazing way. It’s a story I will have to tell here soon about how I became, ahem, Balaam’s Ass. I promise you will laugh just... Read more →

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What Do You Say to the Kids and more....

Today we are answering your questions that were posted the week of January 18, 2012. What do you tell the kids when they ask, "Why doesn't Dad go to church." Why isn't there marriage in heaven? How do you parent your kids when you and your husband see parenting so different. The boundary between submitting and serving vs. enabling. How do I keep hope alive when I my husband never responds. Listen in. Then join the conversation in the comments. 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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