29 posts categorized "Thrive"

Do You Want The Evidence Or The Truth?

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here: ev·i·dence - a : an outward sign : indication b : something that furnishes proof : testimony; specifically : something legally submitted to a tribunal to ascertain the truth of a matter (Merriam-Webster online dictionary) Last post (This Is Just The Pits!) we began to take a look at the life of Joseph. We discovered that there are ten tests we must face in order to fulfill our God-given purpose (I highly suggest you read From Dream to Destiny by Robert Morris for more on this topic). I want us to really dive into the deep end of the pool as we learn more about the pit test. First, let's continue on in the story of Joseph. At this point he was ambushed by his brothers and thrown into the pit. Changing scenes, we see what happens with his family next: So [Joseph's brothers] took... Read more →

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I Am because He Is

My friends, (Invitation at bottom) Your words about Jesus on Monday’s post were amazing. I also realized that for many believers we have a disconnect to one or more of the Godhead. I know that for years I struggled to relate to Father, God, and was absolutely puzzled as to why I felt distant from Him. I also remember the precise moment when God said to me, “Call me Daddy.” It freaked me out and I couldn’t do it. Until finally….. Read the entire story here. My issues of intimacy were related to my earthly daddy issues. And for all of you who struggle to feel the Father’s love, it’s likely the same for you. For all of you who struggle to feel close to Jesus, the struggle tends to be issues you’ve experienced in the past with siblings or friendship. Trouble relating to the Holy Spirit is related to... Read more →

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Unequally Yoked - 2 Corinthians 6:14

Today, I welcome my friend, Lori to Let's Talk Live. We talk about living in an unequally yoked marriage. Take a listen. For more video teaching click on the navigation bar, Video Teaching. Some fantastic content is recorded there. I've been praying for more than a month about our annual Summer Bible study series. And the Lord is actually leading me to a study of Matthew 18. I want to have a community conversation about how as a church we walk through conflict, how the Lord is changing the assignment of the church in this current season, and finally I want to chat about how we create a culture of honor here at SUM. Stay tuned. These messages are powerful, from the heart of God and I believe that the SUM Community is commissioned to bring forth unity through honor and unity. We are on the leading edge of this... Read more →

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He Opened It. I Waited With a Butterfly Stomach

The following was written by Dorothy Fleming, a long-time reader here at SUM. She shared this story with me and I knew all of us need to receive it. Thank you Dorothy for your love, example and your Christ-like heart. Hugs, Lynn *** January 6, 2018 Making My Husband Cry on Christmas It started with a 2017 Valentine’s Day post by Gary Thomas author of the book “Cherish –The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage”. He kept a journal for a whole year writing each day how he cherished his wife. He then gave the journal to her at Christmas. Hmmm. What a great idea! I can do that I thought…can’t I? However, keeping a cherish journal for a SUM spouse presents some challenges, right? Not only would I need to find something to cherish each and every day for days, weeks, months, but accomplish it without directly... Read more →

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When Survival Is The ONLY Option...

First, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share my heart with you all. I am so blessed and even more grateful for the door that God has opened for me! The Holy Spirit has given me many spiritual gifts but there is one that I cherish the most. He has given me the gift of vulnerability. For some of you, vulnerability does not come easy. It may seem scary, impossible and maybe even unnecessary. I used to think it was a curse growing up because in those most delicate places of our heart people can so easily wound. However, it is also in those most delicate places that Jesus can (and desperately desires to) transform, heal and redeem. Let me assure you that Jesus is so worthy of those intimate places! In these next few posts, I am going to tell you all about myself. I... Read more →

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Was I Really Lamenting?

I 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... Read more →

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Celebrating 10 Years: Waiting for Lynn and Dineen to Grow Up

“Mama, you are the Christian in your marriage, but you are not showing respect to Daddy,” my two daughters said to me,” as they detailed times, places and events that covered several years. And with that, my two grown daughters, Crystal and Heather, shoved a book in my hands, called Love and Respect, and said, “You need to read this, and get your act together!” In that moment, I started having hot flashes (not from menopause, but anger) and I silently whispered, “Girls, I brought you into this world, I am a-fixing to take you out!” After their monologue of disciplining their Christ-like mother, I picked up my halo, walked out of the room and pouted with them for two months. During my two months of pouting, I walked my neighborhood crying and sometimes yelling, scaring the dogs and leaving people gazing at me in bewilderment. My heart became like... Read more →

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Broken In A Thousand Pieces But..... Jesus..

SUMites, ANOTHER profound email. What is happening in our community? Ten years of praying, believing, trusting. The fruit is ripe and I celebrate every victory in our SUMite Nation. And I continue to pray and trust for those yet to come. Today, please meet Kim Valentine. Her story is TRULY miraculous!!!! Thank you Jesus. (Read to the end because this story is astonishing!) ----- One day after 18 years of marriage my husband informed me he was moving out. As soon as the words left his lips, I knew this time it wasn’t an idle threat. God immediately began revealing to me every sin I committed that degraded, emasculated and disrespected my husband. Every time I blamed, criticized, condemned or withheld intimacy was before my very eyes. The blinders were ripped off and the ugliness of my sin was repulsive to me! Here I was a Christian for 16 years,... Read more →

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Conference At Merriman in Garden City, MI

Perhaps for a moment in time, just perhaps, we stood upon holy ground. Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” I bet many of you know these ladies. They like to hang around SUM! Gillian, Teresa, Melissa, Heidi, Joanne Some of the Ohio SUMites: Left to right: Judy, Mindy, Laura, Dawn, Chris This is Beloved, Franie. This conference started in her heart last summer. The Holy Spirit moved. We laughed, cried and we were loved on by our Lord! The skit was hilarious. I was cackling. Well done Merriman! This is the amazing team of leadership that made this day possible. Thank you is inadequate but THANK YOU! More photos are posted on our SUM Facebook page, click here. The best part of... Read more →

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Are You Lonely In Your Unequally Yoked Marriage?

Hello SUMite Family, I want to talk about loneliness in marriage. I may be off in my thinking. Do we, the unequally yoked, live in a kind of perpetual loneliness? I know for me, I’ve battled against loneliness for years. I’m coming to understand some common denominators that are present in our kind of marriages. I’m coming to see how and what we use to cope with our feelings of rejection, the pain, —boredom. I’m not sure right now what specifics to write about yet. Or even if this is an area we, as a community, need instruction or discussion. So, today, I’m asking all of you. Do you experience loneliness in your marriage to an unbeliever? What does that look like in your life? What are the triggers or are there triggers which allow loneliness to creep in? Do you want to talk about how we cope? Do you... Read more →

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Back To School.... And A New Series Begins

SUMite Nation: We are shifting gears. Following the SCOTUS Ruling last month I quickly realized that many of us were staring “Fear” straight in the face. As mamas we were grappling with questions such as. How do I handle it when little Johnny asks, “Can I go to my best friend’s house to play. Oh and by the way, his dads will be by to pick me up?” How do I help my child to remain strong in his/her faith when the world says we are haters? Is there a way to guide them in our new and contrary world today? How do I guide them through public school this year? Moms and Dads, the answer is, YES! We can raise kids to faith in a Contrary Culture. And in fact, I believe that the SUMite Nation is an unrecognized and unlikely leader in this area already. We have been... Read more →

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What Gods Love Looks Like

SUMite Family, I have to share that the word “family” has taken on an entirely larger implication in my life this past week. So, to say that you are my family, please know that I’m overwhelmed with authentic love and hope for you. Let me explain. I’m working on a new writing project and praise Jesus, the downloads are now flowing. It’s been astonishing. I’ve waited nearly a year for this past week and the few weeks that are ahead to hear the voice of God and His heart for the assignment He’s given to me. And this week in particular, I’m writing about the love of God. The love of a Father. Well, I don’t know how in the world you can encapsulate the love of God into a single chapter. However, I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to write this out because God will figure it out for me... Read more →

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God's Preparation: Recognizing God's Preparation

Welcome back to the God’s Preparation series, my friends. I hope you are finding this encouraging and enlightening. God’s ways are so beautifully intricate and simple at the same time. I know that probably doesn’t make sense, but that’s how I’ve begun to see Him. Lynn and I speak often of this and how we, His children, tend to complicate things. I sense part of this year of intimacy with Him is also about simplicity. To review, the first week we talked about how God works in and uses our Trials and Challenges. Last week we talked about how Time + Honor = Fruit. As I said last week, the fruit from one trial becomes the strength and preparation for the next. This week, let’s talk about recognizing God’s preparation. We have some amazing examples in the Bible. God is all about preparation. With the help of the Holy Spirit,... Read more →

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And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

SUMite Nation: Let’s finish this journey of Walking The Walls of Jericho. Remember, we are in the seven times around. I’m not sure exactly where I am, five, six, seven times around but I’ve come so very far and will never relent. There are promises behind those walls. There are captives to be liberated and plunder to be regained. Everything that was stolen. And there is a devil to be defeated and cast into the lake of fire. We, the saints, are the chosen to defeat the enemy with our worship. This is who we are. And you know what awaits us?.... The sound of the Shofar... The Shofar: When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. —Joshua 6:20 The walls crumbled. Now get... Read more →

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Reader Question: I Don't Know What to Do

Hello Dineen and Lynn. My husband and I have been married for 15 years. He told me in January 2013 that he was no longer a Christian. He became an aetheist at 51 years old. I was and still am devastated. I married a Christian man and we based our marriage on the same religious foundation. We also decided to raise our children in a Christian home. To put it mildly, the past year has been hell! My husband grew up in a Christian home, went to Christian schools, and even went to seminary. He holds a masters in theology. We have been very active in our church for our entire marriage. He used to be a passionate worshiper, preschool worship leader, and leader of various small group ministries. I don't know what to do, how to survive, how to parent, how to be married to an aetheist. He is... Read more →

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Your Breakthrough Is Here - Passover

Hi SUMite Family, This week I’m departing from our Joshua and The Walls series. Today I want to share my thoughts and prayer about Passover. And on Friday, I’m sharing a glimpse I had of The Wedding of the Son of God and His Bride. (It’s way cool and perfect for Good Friday. Be sure to stop in then.) What is Passover? Passover is a festival of freedom. It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the Seder, which occurs on the first night. As believers we know we are not under the Old Testament law. We are living in the age of grace because of the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus. And as a person who loves God and ponders His ways and thoughts, I’m thinking that many of the ancient feasts and... Read more →

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Two Powerful and Practical Words To Thrive In A Spiritual Mismatch

Good Monday Morning. We have some new friends joining us this week. Welcome to our family everyone who found us through the FamilyLife Broadcasts last week. AND... Welcome to the friends from the House of Women Living Well www.womenlivingwell.com You have found a humble and hopeful home here in our little spot on the web. There are many of us who make up this amazing family and we have two things to tell you. You are safe here. You are family here. So join us today and find a home where we ordinary wives and mothers, far from perfect, often goofy, filled with the love of Jesus and in relentless pursuit of the Presence of God. I thought it would be really great if we could share two things that we have discovered in our faith walk that has impacted our spiritually mismatched marriages and brought about positive change and... Read more →

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Terrorist Training Camp 2014

Good Monday morning SUMites! Every January it seems to happen. Right after our annual fast my spirit is burning to do some spiritual, butt kicking. And this January is no exception. So, I would like to welcome you once again to the “Spiritual Terrorist Training Camp.” And once again I would like to welcome the FBI who will likely be reading this series because their computers have just detected a blog using the words Terrorist Training Camp. Welcome back guys! Hope you enjoyed last year’s posts! In last year’s series we dealt with recognizing spiritual warfare, discovering who are the captives and who are prisoners in the spiritual and how we can recognize our captivity and find freedom. (Find a link to that series in the sidebar) This year I want the SUMites to join me as we explore some different aspects of spiritual warfare. I want us to shine... Read more →

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Marriage Challenge No. 1

So, I’ve been inspired by a friend of mine Courtney Joseph who has a new book coming out, Women Living Well. I will share more about that later. It’s a really great book. I was privileged to read it before its release and she has a couple of chapters that are Marriage Challenges. One of the challenges is a kissing challenge. Okay, for many of us who have been married a number of years there are statistics out there that indicate that 40% of married couples will go an entire week without a kiss. I’m not sure about this but I do think that as we settle into marriage, are raising children, working and become increasingly busy and distracted, we miss the opportunity to connect with our spouse through an intimate kiss. Yikes, I know this is true in my case. So, this week, I’m throwing down the gauntlet. It... Read more →

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Returning To Our Roots

Hello my Friends, Greetings this Friday! Dineen and I are both on the road, traveling to different events. But before we jumped on the plane, earlier this week we had a great talk about where we want to go with our writing here and at Mismatched & Thriving in the coming months. After a lot of thinking, praying and discussion, we were reminiscing about how all of this ministry was started. Years ago, two ordinary wives who, only by the power and love of Jesus Christ, came through the lonely, difficult and challenging years of marriage to our pre-believing spouses. Our triumph became our passion. We didn’t want one other person to waste another minute stuck in the lonely and struggling years of marriage when we knew our faith could pull us out of that place. It became our hearts purpose to help others on this journey with us. With... Read more →

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Same Sex Marriage

Psalm 2:1-4 Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. "Let us break their chains," they cry, "and free ourselves from this slavery." But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. I was sitting on the bank of a river when The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which limited the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal benefits, as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. This decision forces the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in states where it is legal and paving the way for it in California, the most populous state. And as I sat there, holding a fishing rod in one hand and... Read more →

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I Re-Sign!

On October 19, 2012, Karen Williams wrote: I Re-sign! Dear Dineen and Lynn, I appreciated your post on Monday. After reading it several times and understanding the seriousness of the commitment I prayed it out loud and mentally signed my name. I know I am ready for this as God has been leading me down a similar path this summer. I had been praying and asking God to show me/teach me how to love my husband as He does, how to see Him as He does. He answered that prayer by explaining how He saw me and sees me today. Because He knows the beginning from the end He has always known what my potential is. He created me with a plan and purpose in mind and sees the end result from the very beginning. If I truly believe this for myself (which I now do) then I have to... Read more →

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Weekend Devo — Blow Away Again...By You

My dear and precious friends, Yesterday I read all your comments on our post from August 6th about our visit with FamilyLife Today. I am blown away and so very humbled. To read your stories and hear your hearts in each one...I cried. My daughter walked in and asked me what was wrong. I showed her the page on my computer screen and told her how amazed and humbled and honored and blessed I am, to be used by God to help others, to be a part of this community. She asked, "So those are happy tears?!" Oh, yes, very happy tears. Grateful tears. Tears of joy. So, today I want to tell all of you how precious each and every one of you are to us. I know Lynn and I have said this before but we really do pray over all of you. At times we cry, other... Read more →

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More Than Just Waiting, Part 1

In June of 2008 I wrote a series on waiting (has it been that long?!?!?). And we have talked about waiting on God in our marriages A LOT. I’ve come to believe that waiting is a constant part of our faith journey. We wait for prayers to be answered, we wait for God to open doors to new directions and opportunities, we wait for change within ourselves and wait ultimately for the time when we will meet our Lord and Savior in person. We are always waiting for something, right? About a week ago, God blew my mind again with another facet of waiting that I’d never considered before. Are you ready for your thinking to be turned upside down? This concept has been ruminating in my mind as I waited for God to give me a clearer vision of what I was to share. Imagine my total surprise and... Read more →

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - God Hit Me Upside The Head

So what has happened in our marriage, in my husband’s faith journey? Well do you remember that conversation that started this weird journey? I shared that with you last week, read it here. Well, my husband started to attend church with me…… every week…… He has been attending church every Sunday since February. Interestingly, my man is not into the worship and music. So, get this, he rises from bed as I’m leaving for church with Caitie, showers, dresses, then drives to church by himself. He joins us as we sit on the right near the front just before the Pastor begins to talk. Not my perfect ideal but friends, he joins us for church of his own volition. The Four Horsemen surely must be riding because I NEVER dreamed my man would get out of bed on a Sunday to join me at church. The marriage class ended over... Read more →

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