God's Provision: A Story

SUMites, Suitcases

Those of you who've been with us a while will remember we had our last conference in April 2019, the Hear the Roar Summit in California. Well, that was impossible for me to get to. Honestly impossible. Yet I got there.

I decided to dig out the story that I wrote on the blog at the time. For those of you who feel that God is stirring you to get our next meet-up in September, I hope this story encourages you:


Ann's story, from 2019:

"When Lynn first started talking about the summit, a little thought bubbled up for me that hadn’t happened the previous time there was a conference. This thought was that I was to go, and that God would provide. With a big dose of optimism, then, I went onto our Facebook group and said:

“For the summit let's believe in miracles!” 

It would take a miracle indeed. I live in New Zealand, a 12-hour flight away, and can only leave my children for a few days. That wasn’t the most difficult aspect though: How on earth would I explain to my husband that I want to fly twelve hours for this?!  In his eyes it could be weird, and given the content, even slightly offensive.

A couple of hours after writing on the Facebook page, I found myself needing to do a bank transaction. This is something I do often, but that day I noticed something I’d previously ignored. At the very bottom of the screen there was a $$$ figure with the label “True Rewards”.  My husband and I had been collecting these reward points ever since we got married almost 20 years ago but ignoring them. My jaw dropped as I realized that we had over a thousand dollars in points, I could spend them at a travel agent and I had a way to California!


This still left a hard part, though. I had to talk to my husband about it. I looked up tickets to L.A., and my heart sank. At US$1,300 the points would cover it but it was so much money for a 2-day trip. Shouldn’t I spend it on something we could enjoy together instead?

Time passed and Lynn announced the date. At this point, out of the blue my husband started mentioning these points for the first time in years, suggesting we buy a kettle with them!  Wanting to shout “No!” at him, “Don’t spend those points!!!” I figured God was dropping me a hint to pluck up the courage and ask.

It took a few days, but I finally did it. My husband has a kind heart, but our faith difference is not an easy situation for us. Nevertheless, he looked straight back at me with an affectionate smile and said, “Sure.”  Just like that.

Later, he surprised me again, “Come on then, let’s book it now,” he said. “Okay,” I squeaked, still feeling self-conscious. This was where one more surprise awaited: We went online to see that ticket prices had halved since I last checked, now being only $600. This meant that there would be points left over for transport and accommodation for me, and – better still -- enough points for my husband to get something nice for himself. SUM Meet-Up

I know I’m to thank God for this. Today I have my thanksgiving going and am believing in more."


Let's keep believing!  Share in the comments what you're hoping for, and let's pray for this meet-up.

26 September 2023 -- Ranch Murieta

27-29 September 2023 -- Bethel Church, Redding

For further details, click here.

Love you, SUMites!


Keep on Believing for the Miracles!

Hi my friends! Suitcases

It's a public holiday here in New Zealand, so this is the teeniest little hello. But I wanted to share something that happened in church yesterday.

Yesterday in church, a girl (well, woman) I'm friendly with stood up and gave a testimony. The testimony was this:

A few years ago she felt strongly she was to go to Africa and volunteer on a particular missions programme with Iris Ministries. However, she was broke. Completely broke! She said "There's broke, and then there's how I was: Completely broke."

We all laughed at that.

The three-month trip would cost thousands and in her penniless state it was 100% impossible. Nevertheless, she strongly felt Jesus wanted her to be there, and what's more she believed he had told her the funds would come.

So she made her plans. She told her family she was going, and everyone was cheering her on. Yet as the time drew near for the trip, she still had no money in the bank and started to think, "This is going to be embarrassing, everyone thinks I'm going, and now I'm going to have to tell them I'm not".

Well, the provision came suddenly. In an instant!

Suddenly, a person she knew told her "I've been led to pay for your upcoming trip. Give me your account details and I'll pay it in."

It was NZ$11,000! About USD6,500.

So all of a sudden, she went from having no way of getting there to having the full funds in her account, and off she went to Africa. 

Years on, it's a testimony she will always remember. It's a testimony of provision that she was able to tell us all about at church. And a testimony of provision that reminded me all over again that these things happen and if God wants you to be somewhere he'll make a way. There are so many other testimonies like this out there in the Christian world.

Conclusion for us SUMites: It is no big thing for God to do the same for our SUM Meet-Up this September. So keep praying: Ask him afresh if you're meant to be there, and if so ask God to make a way.

Let's keep praying!

Love you,


Get Over It!

Jan BSUM family, today we have a guest post from one of our long-time SUMites, Jan Bittner. I'm so happy to hear her voice on here as she has walked a great story. So now, over to Jan: 

By Jan Bittner

“Get over it,” I felt God say to me just a month after my husband revealed he no longer believed in Jesus. I remember feeling briefly amused by God’s command before pain flooded my heart again. We’d spent a long month fighting – my husband wondered why things couldn’t just continue with this one small change, and I wondered how things could possibly continue. The pain and grief were real. My marriage felt irreparably altered. Friends, it took a long time to ‘get over it,’ and in the meantime, my marriage, my children’s hearts, and my physical health were damaged as we teetered on the edge of divorce for nearly a year.

If only I’d known then what I know now! Learning that my spiritually unequal marriage is more ‘spiritual’ than anything has changed everything.

The first evidence of this was following an argument where divorce was again discussed. I prayed, “God, please give me a verse!” I felt Him say, “2 Corinthians 2:8.” “Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.” NO, I thought, I WON’T! And then…Okay, God, if I do this, you need to bless it. I then said aloud, “I affirm my love for my husband,” and within minutes, God supernaturally replaced the rage I felt with an overwhelming love for my husband! It was so remarkable, unlike anything I ever would or could have done in my own strength, that even my husband was dumbfounded. THAT IS MY GOD!

I learned that day that when I am unable to cast out bitterness, resentment, anger, and pain that I only need to be OBEDIENT to God, and He will help me. I also learned that the physical act of speaking out an affirmation of love caused a powerful shift in my heart and the spiritual atmosphere in my home.

That scripture is one that I return to, time and again, when I feel the need to set my heart right. But it's the rest of the chapter that really settles it for me:

“Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one [he] might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might [c] put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Cor 2:6-11 NASB)

In this letter, Paul was talking to believers who were hurt by another believer, but I think the spiritual lesson applies equally well to our SUMs. Paul basically told the believers who were hurt, “Enough is enough, get over it! If you continue to punish this person, you will cause excessive sorrow and open doors to the schemes of Satan.”

Is it possible that holding on to offense and unforgiveness against our spouses opens the door for Satan to create havoc in our families? Though we feel hurt by them, could unforgiveness cause our spouses to experience ‘excessive sorrow,’ that may spiritually manifest as sadness or depression, a desire to spend less time together, irritability, anger issues, division, self-medicating behaviors, and more? 2 Corinthians 2 8

Jesus also warns, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14–15 NLT) That’s a sobering warning. God’s forgiveness is directly related to our forgiving others. Forgiveness is that highly regarded by God, and unforgiveness is equally prized by Satan. By forgiving those who hurt us, we not only disrupt Satan’s plans, but we also wield stronger spiritual weapons. We can either partner with our Father to fight the spiritual battle for our husband’s salvation, or we can work against Him, as Paul warns, by harboring unforgiveness. 

Further, God recently revealed a bombshell! My season of unforgiveness EXTENDED my husband’s season of unbelief! Knowing this, I repented to God and apologized to my husband for my behavior. ‘Getting over it’ CAN reap supernatural rewards!

I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.

My name is Janice Bittner, and I’ve been married to my husband for 20 years. We have two children, 19 and 15, and live in Virginia. I found the Spiritually Unequal Marriage ministry in 2014, and I am so honored to be a guest writer. I pray my story encourages you as much as the SUM ministry has blessed me.

Believe in Miracles For Our Meet-Up

Hi everyone!

Many of us are thinking now about the SUM Meet-Up on Tuesday 27 September, and are keen to attend. Exciting!

If that's you, watch this testimony of one of our SUMites, Gillian Russell Meisner, who miraculously got her trip from Canada provided for a past SUM meet-up.  This video is five years old now, but it remains one of my absolute favorites in our archives. 

It's such a cool story, it is totally fun and totally God. Enjoy!

King Solomon and Science: Consider the Ant

By Ann Hutchison Ant

I love love love the Bible!

There are so many passages where I sit back and go 'WOW! How did the writer know that?'

It's truly an amazing book. Not only does it have scientific info in there, but quite often the Bible will 'show off' God's creation, inviting us to look deeper at certain animals or facets of nature so that we can fully appreciate just how amazing creation is. An example of this is the time King Solomon talked about ants.

Ants: Who knew they could be so fascinating?

Here are Solomon's words:

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.

(Proverbs 6:6-9, NKJV)

King Solomon had a special gift: he was given knowledge about nature and science by God and people would come from far and wide to hear him speak on things like this. But was he right?

He was. 

First of all, the use of the Hebrew in the ancient text refers to ants as female, a fact that scientists in Solomon's time could never have ascertained; and subsequent translations of the Bible continued to translate that verse in the female. So, are ants female?

Yes, scientists these days have confirmed that ants consist of large communities of sterile females, with a few fertile males and one or more queens. The males die as soon as they've mated, leaving the community primarily female.

So the Bible was right there: Ants can be described using 'she' and 'her.' 

Second, ants don't have a leader, as Solomon said. They have no captain, overseer or ruler. The queens are breeders but are not responsible for directing the ants. Instead, the ants process information as a group, and work as a group. And this is where it gets fascinating. Because it's not just that they have no leader, it's that they carry out such a startling degree of work with no leader. How do they do it? That's what the Bible is pointing out here: It's pointing out that this is amazing.

Here's why I say that:

I have a little newspaper clipping tucked away in my Bible by a journalist called Jamie Merrill (2014) who wrote an article called 'Ants more efficient than Google, say scientists'. Merrill wrote:

Research shows that ants flourish not only because they work hard and will slavishly sacrifice themselves for the collective. Their success is also due to their group ability to process information 'far more efficiently than Google' in the daily search for food, according to scientists.

A major behavioural mathematics study ... used complex computer modelling to reveal how ants bring order to chaos by creating "highly complex networks" to govern their actions. 

It found that not only are ants 'surprisingly efficient', but they are also able to deploy ingenious navigation strategies to divide themselves between 'scout' and 'gathering' ants during 'complex feed-search movements'.

According Merrill, the author of the above study concluded that "The learning strategy involved (by ants) is more accurate and complex than a Google search in processing information about their surroundings."

Isn't that amazing!

It's not only amazing that God created the ants to have this capability, but it's also amazing that Solomon identified that: That they work without a leader, and that if we consider her ways we would become wise.

There's more. In his article, Merrill also said: 

The study comes a week after a team from Georgia Institute of Technology revealed that ants' skills at building stable tunnels in loose sand could aid in the design of a new generation of search-and-rescue robots. The team used high-speed cameras to observe how fire ants can use their antennae as extra limbs to catch themselves when they fall, in a development that can be reproduced in the development of fledgling rescue technologies.

God's creation is genius. So genius, in fact, that us humans can study it and become wise ourselves. Just like Solomon said.

Love it!

Have you got a favorite thing about the Bible that shows off to you God's majesty? 


Know Your Worth to Your Families

Happy Friday everyone! Bible and coffee

I had something happen on Wednesday that felt like God's way of saying to us: 'Know your worth to your families, SUMites.'

Know your worth to your families.

It was nice to get this, it felt like a real encouragement from God for our community. So here's what happened:

I've been recently choosing to sit and read the Bible in the morning at my dining table in the middle of the family clatter, while they're all getting ready for work and school.

The morning routine looks something like this: Bryce potters in the kitchen, Miles - age 17 -- sits at a breakfast bench on his phone while his Dad makes his breakfast, and I sit at the dining table reading my Bible.

There's the radio on, it's noisy, and I get interrupted.... But I've decided to do this as it must be a STRONG thing for a mum to sit reading her Bible in the middle of her family. She soaks in God's words, absorbs those words, and surely light emanates out from that. What's more, I want Miles to see it.

Now that he's a teenager it's one of the remaining things I can do.

Well ...

There I was, reading the book of Proverbs. And I had just read this verse here:

Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,

But a prudent wife is from the Lord.

(Proverbs 19:14)

I stopped at that, and reflected as I have done before with that passage. "A prudent spouse is worth rubies," I thought. And JUST as I thought that Bryce came out of the kitchen and over to me where I was sitting, stood over me, and smiled nicely:

"You're really dedicated to that aren't you?" gesturing at my Bible. Ann B Miles 2

Then --

"Why do you do it?" 

"I love it!" I said, beaming quite naturally. Not self-conscious this time. "It's like health to me. I love looking at all the linkages between things in the Bible."

"Even in the Old Testament?" he said, scanning the page and seeing it was Proverbs.


"Oh look, you've got markings on it too... You write things on it?"

At this point he was bending down and peering over my shoulder at my Bible.

"Yeah... I do!"

Then he went back to the kitchen.

And I was left thinking 'How cool was that, just as I was reflecting on the fact a prudent spouse is from the Lord, my husband comes over and notices.'

Be encouraged SUMites. I just felt that was a little God moment to show that we are a gift from the Lord, an inheritance to our families, and what we're doing is worth more all the riches the world could give, really; it's worth more than rubies.

Love to you all,


Witchcraft and Kids' Games

Hi everyone Media

Family and media part one

Family and media part two

I've enjoyed hearing your perspectives about media. It sounds like so many of us think about this area a lot. 

I said on Monday that I would share one final thought on kids' games, so here's that thought as we wrap up this series:

A lot of kids' games have references to witchcraft in them. For example, there might be characters that are wizards, warlocks, witches, druids, and then there are spells, enchantments, temples, shrines, necromancy, crystals, potions, and so on.

There are other things in games too like killing, but the witchcraft side of those games has stood out to me as a feature to especially notice, I suppose.

We have to seek the Holy Spirit for ourselves on what we're going to allow in our homes, and as I said before there are degrees of 'good' and 'not good' in media. But one thing of concern I would say is this: If the kids play those games that have witchcraft symbols in them and then start using those ideas to role play amongst themselves ... they might end up speaking words over themselves or others like: 

"I'm a warlock!"


"I'm casting a spell"


"I curse you!"

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21, NKJV)

I do know that witchcraft is real, and the above things are real. What's more, I know that what we speak matters: We can bless people with our tongue, or we can do damage with our tongue. The Bible says that the tongue can actually curse. This means that there are certain things in the spirit realm that, if we speak, the demonic can attach itself to and then gain a right to have greater access than if we had guarded ourselves. So, thinking about the above, we don't want our littlies to start speaking out witchcrafty things over themselves or others, even if they're doing it in play, and even if it's all lighthearted. 

Again, we have to keep our ear out to God and ask for his wisdom and his help in all this -- It is not an easy issue to navigate in our homes. But the above thought was just one final piece I wanted to share in thinking about media, our family, and trying to keep our kids healthy.

There is one final thing to say, though, as I do want to end on a positive note:

If you're like me and you've allowed your kids to be exposed to things in the past that you wish you hadn't then we can always turn to the power of prayer and pray healing of their young minds, while committing to walking this path anew. It is never too late to pray for such things. That's what I'm going to be doing as I reflect on this series.

And what a big encouragement that is! Thank God for Jesus.

Lord God, we ask for your wisdom, we ask for your voice, we ask for discernment, and we ask for strength in navigating media in our homes. Help us to be rightly balanced, and to walk out this issue in the way that YOU would want us to do. Gently convict us, while also helping us have grace for ourselves. Give us your eyes on it. Thank you God! In your name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

Love you all,


Media and Our Families, Part Two

Thanks, everyone, for your comments on Friday about this tricky topic. Isn't it a hard one! Media

If you missed part one of this conversation, you can find it here.

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. (Matthew 6:22-23, KJV)

This verse has always told me that what I choose to look at, read, watch, and listen to will affect my spiritual health. I also believe it's the same for my family: What they look at will go into their hearts.

Over the years, God has also shown us the occasional illustration of this in this ministry. Some of these aren't my stories, but they're things I remember from years past. Times when God made us at least aware -- It's as if he gave us some food for thought. See what you think of these five stories:

Story #1

Lynn once was shown visually by God a black cloud of darkness sweeping from the TV straight to her husband, because of the kinds of shows that he was watching. 

Story #2

Lynn was also once challenged by God about something she was watching on TV and was asked: "Why are you watching bloodshed?"

Story #3

My family and I were sat down once to watch a movie on our regular Friday movie night. Our kids were pre-teens, and usually we would watch something family friendly but this time we chose a well-known movie that happened to have murder and fear in it but a great plot. As the opening scene of the movie came up on the screen, my son Miles said, "Mum I feel like I've got spiders crawling on me, have I got insects on me? I can feel spiders."

When he told me that I wondered if God was showing me that when I expose him to a film like this, I'm letting the demonic get closer to him, even touch him. Perhaps?

Story #4

God gave me a vision once of kids on phones, and showed me that if I don't guard what's coming onto their screen it's like allowing a weirdo to sit next to them whispering all kinds of 'stuff' in their ear.

Story #5 

God told me once that technology gets in the way of salvation; and has made life very difficult for those of us who want to win our loved ones to him.


Makes sense. But 'oh dear', because it's hard! Well, based on the above stories, I'd say that what we take from that is a prompt that it's a battle worth engaging in. 

We might not feel strong enough, or equipped, but we can start with two simple things. First of all (and this one's easy peasy): we can anoint all of our devices in our homes with oil and pray over them. Take some time over that, and perhaps also fast for the health of our home.

Then, second, we can ask the Holy Spirit afresh for wisdom and energy to navigate this one. Ask for our views on media to become aligned with God's views and ask him to guide us on a case-by-case basis. Ask for his help and commit to getting our home and families as healthy as possible. We are not tackling this without Jesus!

Then we can then make a call on certain things. There are degrees of this: Some things you really don't want in your home, and other things are not as bad but still not ideal.  I was interested in the comments to hear from Lynn and Ian that they both say no to having witchcraft or occult activity on media in their homes and I know Amanda has that mindset too, as do I. All four of us have a serious aversion to that so I'd say if we're all in agreement about that one, it's worth noting. 

On that note, I will write on Wednesday about witchcraft and kids' media. But for now has the above raised any further thoughts you'd like to share? Let's keep chatting!


Media and Our Families

Ann here! Media

Today's topic is one I've wanted to write about for a while, but I've procrastinated. The topic is this:

How strict should we be about media, in our families?

The reason I've procrastinated is this:

a) I've walked this one out in my own home somewhat imperfectly

b) I've taken a while to work things out on this one -- As in, work out what God's heart is here.

But today I'm going to give this topic a go, and I think I have reached clarity in my mind about it. Here we go:

In a spiritually mismatched home, media is a hard area to navigate. Why so hard? Well, for most of us, our spouse will have a different view on what is ok and enjoyable to watch on TV. Further, they'll have a different view on whether certain shows, games, or other apps on children's phones are damaging from a spiritual point of view.

That is certainly the case with Bryce and me: We have widely differing views on this one. Like a lot of husbands, Bryce watches a lot of TV in the week to relax, and I can't watch many of the things he watches. I'm too sensitive to it. He's respectful of what I want to ask the kids not to watch, but he's much more relaxed about it all.

So, any rules on this front come from me.

The thing is, having an understanding of the spirit realm there will be things we might see on those phones, and on TV, that our spouses won't recognize. I will watch a TV show, for example, and will see that there is a demonic spirit behind that show. It might be seen in anti-Christ statements, a character that's demonic in nature, witchcraft, strange languages being used, making fun of God, sexuality, or more. But bigger than that, the spirit in me does not like it. 

Then, the question, for me, becomes: 'Well, do I stop my family from watching this particular thing? How much does it matter?'

I'll see this in kids' shows even. Or a show that doesn't seem 'all that bad' to my family. A family comedy, for example. I'll watch a show, see things in it ... and will squirm, thinking 'Oh... umm .. mm .. that's.... No.'

Added to that, once our kids are teenagers they most likely will have a phone, unless we're raising them to be technology-free, which most of us aren't. As Christians we will likely have a different opinion to our spouse about what we're happy for our children to be exposed to on those devices.

My boys are now 17 and 18 and honestly I've struggled to know how much of a 'stick-in-the-mud' to be about the various games, shows, and apps. 

I know that God wants purity in my life, and I have a responsibility for my home. 'As for me and my household we will serve the Lord' (Joshua 24:15), and that means no compromise. It's also a matter of their spiritual health: I don't want to open doors to the demonic in my home. But it is tough when you're in the minority in your home. And you do want to think about your relationship with your family too -- They have to make choices of their own and learn to make good choices for themselves.

The hard thing about it is doing it on your own. I get laughed at, for example, by my three -- nicely, of course -- for saying 'No witchcraft on TV'. They think I'm nuts. 'Mum hates witchcraft.' And I laugh along and say 'Yes, but please just humor me ok?' 

And given all of this, my question -- for myself -- has been:

'How important is this as a battle?'

Well, I'm going to write about that on Monday. But to give you a heads up, the answer I've come to is it is a battle worth engaging in very thoughtfully. It is a matter of their spiritual health, so it's important.  And it's one of those battles we have to fight with the Holy Spirit guiding us.

So I'll continue on Monday, but shall we chat in the comments? Is this issue difficult for you, and what questions/issues have you been wrestling with?

See you next time!


Are You This Person?

Hi SUM Nation. Lynn Donovan here.

I want you to meet my friend.

Debbie DelNero

This is Debbie DelNero. I met her at my new church about a year ago. I was still fairly new to the congregation. She came up to me and introduced herself. Then she said something remarkable.

"I lead a small group of SUMites and we are currently studying your book, Winning Him Without Words."

I hugged her.

In her remarkable words was something that moved my heart deeply. You see, there aren't many of us. Those of us who are walking or have walked the unequally yoked path. The spiritually mismatched are often forgotten in a church body. No one truly understands the deep struggle of living in a marriage where you want to honor God and your marriage vows, even to an unbeliever. 

And even more unlikely will you find a woman who decides to seek out others and then gather them together to study and encourage them to grow in faith and hope for their unbelieving spouses.

Debbie, is brave. We all are brave but she did something that is even less common. She started and continues to lead a small group of SUMites. My heart fills with love for all of us walking out our faith in a spiritual mismatch. But my heart swells with the deepest of gratitude for her selfless efforts. 

She loves God. She loves people.

AND my heart and the heart of Jesus swells for every woman who has led a small group of SUMites. And for those who will in the future.

Also, My heart swells with deep gratitude for the SUMITE Team who writes online and those who contribute to social mead. You serve selflessly and for no reason other than to help someone and see the name of Jesus glorified. 

This month of May marks the 17th anniversary of this ministry. I am thankful for all of you. Those I never met. The many who served another SUMites, in some way, without acknowledgement. I'm thankful that the love of Jesus shines from your eyes.

I'm so thankful and I ask the Lord Jesus to bless each of you in a tremendous and REMARKABLE manner. 

I love you. Lynn