'Preaching' the Gospel -- To a Spouse?

Hi everyone, it's Ann here and I hope you've had a good weekend! Gospel

Today we'll start with these words of Jesus to his then-disciples: 

“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15, NLT) 

"Yes, Lord", we say to that, as modern-day disciples. "In whatever way you want us to do that, here we are!" 

Yet, as a partner of an unbelieving spouse, anything to do with conveying the Gospel in our homes is far easier said than done. 

It fascinates me to look at some of the evangelists out there who have a special grace for leading people to the Lord. What a gift! A well-known example was Billy Graham, of course, who led large events. But an evangelist will also be particularly skilled at leading people to Jesus in one-on-one conversations. If this is their calling, they will live and breathe this purpose. 

Over here in Auckland I happen to know three evangelists and I watch them curiously. Two are paid ministers, and one is a guy from my past church who has a day job in I.T. but for his vacations he'll fly to refugee camps in far-flung places where he leads people to the Lord. Looking at these three I can say they have a particularly strong urge to get people across the line, they are skilled at putting the Gospel into words, and they are less fearful of rejection than the rest of us.

We need these skilled men and women -- Ministers of the Gospel -- and they're a really important branch of ministry. But perhaps why we need them the most is they can equip us, and I'm going to return to that idea in a later post.

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:11-12, NIV)

Now, while the evangelists are busy leading people to the Lord in droves, we have something entirely different -- but similar -- going on: We have one spouse to win over and it seems we cannot!! Like the evangelists, we have the burning urge in us to get this happening. Yet, we can barely verbalize the Gospel to our spouse. What's more, many of our spouses have already heard the Gospel from the pulpit and said a mental 'No.' As people do.

This makes our version of evangelistic work one of high intensity. But Jesus cares about the one (Luke 15:8-10), and so do we. We care so much, in fact, that the salvation of this one spouse is our deepest desire.

It's as if we hold a precious one penny in our hands, our spouse being the one penny that Jesus wants to save. Somehow in the course of our marriage we will repeatedly sediment the Gospel into our spouse's heart. But when I say 'repeatedly', it could be a decades-long project. I personally am prepared for that now. I wasn't a few years ago. Penny

This scripture here reminds us to keep going:

For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:13-14)

In other translations the word 'preaching' is replaced with 'publishing'. In its Biblical usage the word is used to describe John the Baptist and Jesus, proclaiming the Gospel in synagogues and out on the street. 

In the SUM home, however, 'preaching' looks different. It might involve sharing (or even debating) a particular facet of the 'Gospel' during conversation. But mostly it's living it out. 

In any case, we will keep going with this task. I cheer you on, and I know you cheer me on -- And hey, we will roll up our sleeves and do this hard thing!

Let's keep chatting in the comments, but here's a question I'm curious about: Do you think your spouse has actually heard the Gospel?

Ann


Covid Craziness vs Gospel of Jesus Christ

By Ann Hutchison Gospel

My friends, there's so much COVID craziness out there at the moment, I pray a lot about where God wants us to focus our energy on this blog.

Interestingly, when I do ask him questions about what to focus on, he usually points me away from the craziness out there. Instead, he focuses me on Him; on our purpose, destiny as SUMites, and the roles we have in our homes. And on preparing to win souls in other areas of our lives too (that part is exciting!) 

Well, a few weeks ago, after yet another time of questioning the Lord ('What do you want me to write about?') I received a 'Now word' from Him to us. I've been mulling it over ever since, and it's something we're going to linger on for a week or so.

The word was this:

SUMites, you are carriers of Good News in your homes.

And then:

You are clothed in Christ. You carry My Name, and that Name will make the enemy flee in your homes.

What an encouraging reminder. Thank you, Lord. Further, what an impact we make in our homes, and what a responsibility. We must stay focused.

The phrase 'Good News' got me thinking. A lot of the time Christians seem like they're bearers of bad news, even if they're not. It's just, the message of the cross can be offensive because it requires an acknowledgement of sin. But these words 'Good News' reminded me instantly that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News that someone can have an eternity of abundant Life, because of Him. 

So then, what do we need to think about when 'Carrying the Gospel' itself in our homes?

On reflection, it seems that carrying the Gospel involves two things:

(1) Representing the character of Jesus to our loved ones; and then

(2) Articulating the Gospel itself, verbally, in the right way and at the right time.

That second one is, of course, crazily hard in our families. We know there's a difference between desperately trying to control and convert the person -- spiritually hijacking them, almost -- versus talking about the Gospel in a way that we're being Jesus's hands and feet of love. Ultimately, to convey the Gospel appropriately we have to have our ear close to God's chest, spending time in his Word, knowing his character, and then listening carefully to the Holy Spirit's promptings about what to say and what not to say.

Anyway, with these things in mind we're going to start a series on Monday on Carrying the Gospel in our Homes, especially in this challenging time of COVID. And for starters, I wondered if we could talk about the following in the comments:

How do we describe the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a few sentences? 

SUMites, I'm looking forward to us having some conversations about this topic, and see you in the comments!

Ann


Let's Go to the Rock

Dear friends, Ann here. Rock 1

Today I just wanted to post a short-n-sweet thought.

Both Ian and I wrote last week about those moments in marriage where our partner finds our faith all too much. And we chatted about how our natural response might be to withdraw a little from Jesus to ease the comfort of our partner. But, as we discussed, the real solution is to push into Jesus.

Even if it feels risky.

We still honor and devote time to our partner. But we push into Jesus.

Those who commented last week agreed; and we all said it takes some time to learn that Jesus is actually the solution here. If we keep on prioritizing him, he will bring surprising things into our marriage; and will ease the situation somehow.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

In that discussion one of our SUMites, Susan, shared in the comments a song that captures this idea perfectly. It's I Go to the Rock by Helen Shapiro, and it's so spot-on for us it could be our anthem for the moment. We, the SUM community, push into the Rock! So, on that upbeat note I'll leave you with the song. Thank you, Susan, for sharing it -- And let's keep going to the Rock!

 


A Work of God in My Home

By Ann Hutchison Central church Ann 1

Hi SUM family!

Today I'm continuing on from Monday's post, with a curious story about something God did in my home this year. It shows just how good he is, and I really do hope you enjoy this story.

As I've shared before, last year none of my family was going anywhere near church. Sigh! But one day God gave me a most unusual word. He told me I was going to be on a year-long wait for something, starting on 21 June 2020, and that something would happen at the end of that year.

Goodness, how exciting!

Over those months, then, I waited. I waited … I waited … I waited.

I kept telling myself I should not have too high an expectation about what would transpire at the end of the wait (i.e., June 2021). I figured God works mysteriously and if I were to try to guess his moves, I would almost certainly be incorrect. 

That said, I simply couldn't resist trying to guess as the wait continued and, to add to my excitement, God gave me another two things: The phrase Let’s Go, and the name of a New Zealand town Whanganui.

By now this was all feeling highly suspenseful. "Is my family going to move to Whanganui, Lord?" I wondered. I was fit to burst with anticipation.

Well, my friends, I could never have guessed what would transpire next; and it's almost a little difficult to describe. But I'll give it a go. It turns out that these mysterious words related - at least in part -- to my family's church situation.

In February (2021), my pastor told me he was going to close the church I'd been attending for the past six years. I've shared this part with you all already.

Indeed, it was a shock. But then came an immediate move of God, a swipe of his power: As I've also shared, my son Miles’s school friend suddenly began attending a new church himself and invited Miles along. A miracle, in my eyes. I began attending there too, and now here’s a photo of the three of us at church together: Me, Miles (next to me), and his best friend next to him. As I write, these two boys are now fully engaged in this church. Ann Miles at church

Well, that was amazing. Suddenly I had gone from despairing at my family's lack of church attendance to enjoying it with my son. But there’s more.

I'd not been attending my new church long when they announced this:

“We’re moving into a new venue, St Paul’s College on 20th June.”

St Paul's college? 20th June? I nearly fell off my seat. You see, St Paul's college was the venue my old church had just vacated! I would be going back there? And on 20th June? That was the date my year of waiting was to end!

"Lord? What is this about?" I whispered, sitting in my seat, there in my new church.

It could still have been a coincidence … Until I saw the Facebook announcement about the new venue, and saw what phrase they had included:

'Let’s Go' !! Central church new venue

And it got even better. That weekend I just-so-happened to look at a map and saw something I’d never noticed before: The new church venue that I was moving back to (St Paul's) sits below a road called Whanganui Street!!

At this, I sat back, gob-smacked.

All I could conclude was that this church and my family were meant to be together, and it was as if the Father had given me signposts to confirm it.

The new church's move feels like a big new season for them; but also very significant for me and my family.

How does all this relate to my SUM? Well, this move has done something curious to my family. I can’t say why, but Bryce is fully relaxed about my involvement in this new church where it wasn't like that before. It could be because it's run by young people, and he can see how they treat Miles -- They're lovely. Or, it could be the fact he is seeing Miles thrive socially there. Nevertheless, it is a clear move of God in my family, it has been a major development in my SUM, and I thank Him. 

The motto from all this: Who knows how God will move in a SUM home, but he will surely move for us. We just... Have to wait. 

(Finally, to give you a final smile after Monday's post, I have even begun attending a weekly ‘small group’. But that is another story.)

My friends, I so hope this encouraged you. 

With love, 

Ann


Loving when it's hard

ID-10038728
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ann’s most recent post has lingered in my mind for a few days and I thought I’d reflect a little more on it. If that’s okay? Ian here from a sunny Sydney.

We have those between a rock and a hard place moments don’t we? As I think I’ve shared a few times before, one of Fiona’s biggest fears is that she’ll become a ‘church widow’. There was a time a few years back when I attended a couple of prayer meetings a week on top of my Sunday commitments and whenever you have some form of leadership responsibility, pastoring and caring for those you lead takes added time.

Crunch Time

Like Ann mentioned, our partner reaches a point when it’s all too much. And I especially feel for you ladies because as I’ve said a few times over the years, for many men, their wife is not just their best friend but often their one true friend. Yes, we may have male ‘friendships’ but they’re quite different to our life partner.

Every few years it seems Fiona will express her concern that there’s a big part of my life that she doesn’t participate in. It’s not just the physical aspects of attending church and such, she’s also aware of the time I spend with God.

How Do we Respond

Ann gave some wonderful counsel and it’s this aspect I wanted to spend a little more time on. Ann encouraged us to look to the Rock. To Jesus. Yes and Yes. Early in my relationship with Fiona, I probably didn’t do this believing it just would add to the issue at hand. It wasn’t until I came to appreciate how much I needed Jesus that in fact He would help me through the matter.

How? Because He’s love. That’s who He is, isn’t He? It’s His natural state. And I believe that’s what we most need in these ‘between a rock and hard place’ situations. Love.

“Christ is love covered over with flesh” – Thomas Goodwin

I found I needed more of His love so that I can love my bride ever more and also gain greater clarity over the situation at hand. And I believe our partners see this love.

Companionship

If we try to manage the situation in our own strength, we’re likely to exacerbate it. But if we honestly and in all humility come to Jesus and seek His love and wisdom, He will reveal them. There’s unlikely to be a lightning bolt but rather we have Jesus as our companion.

It’s in His companionship we discover more of His love which changes us from the inside and this is what our partners see. In time. The deeper we go in His love, the more our partners will experience it and I believe we have less of these ‘crunch’ situations. Remember His love is endless and wonderfully, Jesus desires to share it with us in ever increasing intensity.

I’m more convinced that life is less about having all the answers and seeking to fix everything and everyone, but rather to walk through it with Jesus and others in tight companionship. So when the dark valleys appear we have trusted companions, one of whom is ‘clothed in love’ who will walk with us. Another of course is our beloved partner in life. They’ll be with us in the thick of it. We’ll grapple the uncertainties of the valley together.

This is the life I seek.

See you in the comments, dear friends.


Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

“This isn’t what I married.” Said Bryce. “And there may come a point where I say to you enough is enough.” Rock hard place

He stood by the chest of drawers suddenly seeming distant. I sat on the bed. My heart was pounding with fear.

“Don’t you ever say to me you can’t give it up if I ask you to.”

He was talking about my church involvement. And possibly also my faith. Gulp.

One request had led to this conversation: I had told him I'd like to go to a ‘small group’ at church one evening a week. It was 2017, and I thought he was used to my faith and my church-going. But I had misread how he truly felt. As I can now see, a small group/home group is weird to someone not versed in church ways.

I was helpless and heartbroken. Helpless as to what to do; heartbroken at the fracture between us. I could not change my beliefs if he asked me to. I could change some of my behavior, but my beliefs? 

Over the next few days I scraped myself around the house, miserable. The burning in my bones wouldn’t go away. The experience of God had been too tangible for me to turn any other way except towards Him.

My friends, I'm guessing you've likely had one of these 'fracture-filled' moments at some point in your SUM? Some of us have an easier ride than others on this one, depending on how much our spouse disagrees with our faith and how much they verbalize it to us. When a spouse does verbalize displeasure at our faith it is memorably difficult and upsetting. It always calls for us to go away, think about what we can compromise on, and on what we just can't. 

Things are easier now between Bryce and me, but that day in 2017 I remember thinking to myself (crying) "I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, the rock being Jesus and the hard place being my husband!"

What on earth do you do when you feel stuck in an impasse like this?

Well, apart from having a little cry, which is thoroughly cathartic, I'd say the most helpful thing we can do is turn our face directly towards the rock-face that is Jesus. The rock-face that our spouse is even against. There is a rock on one side, a hard place on the other. Turn our face directly towards the Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). It has to be that way. Give some time to Jesus, go for a walk, say to Jesus 'Please minister to me in my pain,' and determine that you will keep on being a Christian.

Dear friends, if we do that (turn deliberately to Jesus), He will come through for us and change something in this situation, even if it is simply to give us strength.

Love for Jesus includes love for our spouse, so then we ask Jesus: "What does loving God but loving my spouse look like in this particular circumstance?"

I suppose the words 'rock and a hard place' aren't entirely unscriptural. After all there is a verse that says that Jesus is the rock that the builders rejected, and yet that rock became the cornerstone of the church (Acts 4:11). He is also the living stone rejected by men (1 Peter 2:4). I guess, then, if we are feeling we're in between a rock and a hard place with our Rock, Christ, being rejected by our other half, we're simply living out a scriptural truth!

The good news is, this particular story about my husband, me, and church has a rather amazing ending. God moved in a way that made my eyes widen with surprise. I will share that story next time I write.

For now, do you feel you're in between a rock and a hard place at the moment? If so, feel free to share in the comments and I'd love to pray for you.

With love,

Ann


Turn Your Attention - The Time Has Come!

Breaking Dawn

Strongholds crumble at the Word of the Lord.

Terror has to run and flee.

Breakthrough is just a moment away.

Because my God, He holds the keys.

 

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

 

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

 

Oh my soul, rise up.

Worship the King of Kings.

Crushing every thought held captive -

Chains binding, crippling, dismembering sanity.

 

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

 

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

 

Demons, spirits, principalities.

Don't you dare encroach.

This is your final chance at retreat.

The Lord laughs, enthroned in glory -

Fate has been sealed.

You are arrogant, pitiful, existing no more.

 

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

 

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

 

Hallelujah! The dawn has come.

The rising of a new era -

Riding upon the wings of the Hosts of Heaven.

Casting off the weight that hinders.

Freedom rings!

Worth. Authority. Purpose. Destiny.

RESTORED!

 

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

Holy, holy. God Almighty.

 

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

Worthy, worthy. God Almighty.

 

- Tiffany Carter, Untitled, 9/30/2021


A Prayer of Blessing From the Father to Your Home

Hey SUM family, Tiffany here! 20210919_164025

A blessing for your home - 

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are fill with all precious and pleasant riches (Proverbs 24:3-4).

For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change (James 1:17).

Peace be within your walls and security within your towers (Psalm 122:7).

Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have (1 Samuel 25:6).

Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out (Deuteronomy 28:6).

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore (Psalm 121:8).

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting (Job 8:21).

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts (Acts 2:46).

Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you (Exodus 23:25).

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard (Isaiah 58:8).

Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security (Jeremiah 33:6).

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet (Proverbs 3:24).

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord (Isaiah 54:17).

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;  planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, "The Lord is upright; He is my Rock and there is no wickedness in Him" (Psalm 92:12-15).

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16).

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).

Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time (2 Chronicles 7:15-16).

O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever (2 Samuel 7:28-29).

And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come (Psalm 71:18).

Yours, O Lord is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name (1 Chronicles 29:11-13).

Amen and amen!

I love you all! See you in the comments.


Financial Giving and Your Unbelieving Spouse

By Ann Hutchison

"How can I give to the church when my spouse disagrees?" This one seems to pop up for most SUMites.Pennies

For me it was an area of challenge in my heart for a good few years. There were so many areas of disagreement already, in relation to faith, that giving ‘our’ money to church was just beyond the realms of possibility. We both had jobs at that time but our money was fully shared psychologically so to force this thing on my husband … Should I?!

Whenever the topic of financial giving was raised at the pulpit, I would sink into my seat, disheartened … It was just another area where I felt I ‘couldn’t do any of the things Christians do’ because my husband wasn't by my side in it.

Occasionally I would sneak some dollar notes into the church money box … But then, was I doing that behind my husband's back, I wondered? Not every husband would feel that, but mine would. He cares about where the pennies go. I figured then, "I have to honor him here too."

It’s hard!

Eventually, many of us work this issue out over time; but wisdom doesn’t always come quickly. Instead, it's a process. Anyway, here’s the process I went on:

I always knew God understood. In fact, I heard the Holy Spirit very clearly say to me once, “Ann, the first time you ever told me you needed me was the first time you tithed.” In other words, "I loved your contrite heart and that was more precious to me as any material thing you could give me."

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17, NKJV)

So, I do personally believe that when it comes to giving it is very much a case of the spirit of the law rather than the letter. It's a principle where giving comes out of a grateful heart. It's a generosity to God, and he knows we want to.

Later, the Lord gave me a further word: “Ann, like the widow with the mite in the New Testament, I know exactly what the little you give has cost. Further, I will use and multiply that little.”

That story of the widow is in Luke 12:41-44. Indeed, we may have money in the bank, but as SUMites we often do have 'only a little to give', because of our circumstances. It almost becomes the currency of our hearts then: "What little I have, Lord, I give you."

What I concluded from all this was:

  • I did need to give something.
  • It wasn’t so much about the dollar amount, but giving something to church reflected my belief in the Gospel and my investment into it.
  • It would cost courage and risk in terms of asking my husband. That was part of the package.
  • I needed to honor my husband too and show him a spirit of unity towards our marriage.

So, I prepared myself to approach my husband. He was quite against the concept of 'church', so this was no easy task; difficult enough, in fact, that I procrastinated over it. Eventually, however, I came to him and explained: “I know how you feel, but this is important to me. Can we come up with an amount that we both feel ok with?”

He thought for a moment … And then nodded, "Ok.” And so we came up with a weekly amount.

Honestly, it was a little amount. Just like the widow’s mite. Far less than what I would want to give. But, the fact is, it cost me to get there; and so you could say it was a bigger gift, in a way, than if it had been easy. What's more, it was an act of compromise for my husband, and he did it to honor our marriage too. So, there we go: This tiny amount was the currency of the heart.

Speaking of the currency of the heart, I think these words of Psalm 69 are apt:

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bull, which has horns and hooves.

(Psalm 69:29-31, NKJV).

Our approach to giving will change as our SUM and our faith life changes. But now I'd love to hear from you: How do you handle the issue of financial giving as a SUMite?

Nice chatting!

Ann


In Our Homes We Are Fresh as a Daisy!

Hi dear friends, Scripture Aug 6

On Monday I talked about a particular feature of our Christian life in our homes: That on the one hand we're engaged in fierce battle against the powers of darkness; but on the other, much of our faith life is about enjoying the abundant life of Jesus by receiving his love and giving out his love. 

It's as if these two things often mix and swirl in our hearts: The battle, but also the delight. They do work together: If we delight in him and rest in him, we become better warriors.

Having thought about all this, I recently made the picture here for our Facebook and Instagram pages. Take a look and see what you think -- I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. It is a scripture about battle but, nudged by the Holy Spirit, I set it amongst a picture of daisies.

Fresh, lovely daisies.

The scripture itself is from 2 Corinthians 10:4:

"The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

If you look at this picture what does it speak of to you? The idea that our weapons are not weapons of the world can certainly get us thinking afresh. 

Having marinated on this picture myself, here are a few words I've scribbled for us all with the help of the Holy Spirit. I hope these bless you in your battle and delight you as a sweet and precious child of God:

Our weapons are love, intimacy with Jesus, rest, prayer, fasting, delighting in the Lord, and other weapons that don’t look anything like worldly weapons. These are restful Kingdom weapons, just like the yoke of Jesus is easy and his burden is light.

Like daisies we might seem 'common-garden' or ordinary to others, but we are fresh and white, clean and bright in God’s eyes. Oh, how he loves us! Clothed in white like the saints in the Book of Revelation, we know whose we are. Indeed, we are positioned in his inner courts, beside his throne of grace.

Like a daisy, our faith is beautiful and fragrant to him. It is delicate and ever so precious. What’s more, it came from him all along: He clothed us in those robes of white.

And who knew … This delicate and fragrant faith holds more power than we can easily recognize. It is the light of Jesus, and that Light destroys strongholds.

So, like a sweet daisy, keep on stoking your prayer life, dear SUMite. Keep on holding on tight to the hand of Jesus. Keep on resting in him and trusting in him. Keep on reading scripture. Keep going. For, the outworking of all of this is that the Light of Jesus is so powerful that strongholds cannot help but be SMASHED!

Love you loads, Sumites!

Ann