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12 entries from February 2018

If God Is REALLY Good Then Why...

Hello again SUM family, it’s Tiffany here!

Today I want us to continue on this freedom journey. Let’s pick up where I left off last time. My mom had met Joseph and he was the “knight in shining armor.” We all got along and things seemed to be looking up. At one point we found out my mom was pregnant. FINALLY! At last a sibling…I had been asking my mom for YEARS at this point and now, at the age of 11 I found out I am going to have what I have always wanted – a companion!

My sister Shelbie was born September 14, 1998. I was almost 12 when she was born. I remember that night almost like it was yesterday. My mom started having contractions late in the night and we went to the hospital – mom, Joseph and I. I paced back and forth between the waiting room and the hallway outside of my mom’s room. I waited for what seemed like an eternity! FINALLY at 1:24 in the morning (I remember because I was born 1:24 in the afternoon – so cool) my sister’s cries could be heard down the hall. I was so excited to meet her! I couldn’t help the tears from flowing.

Psalm 9Once my mom got settled into her room at the hospital, my excitement and joy turned to anxiety, panic, and desperation. My mom said we all needed sleep and so Joseph was going to take me home so we could rest. I did everything I could to beg and plead with her to let me stay with her – I’ll be quiet, I’ll sleep on the couch…I’ll sleep on the FLOOR! Just let me stay! What she may have taken as excitement and desire to spend time with Shelbie was really me not wanting to spend time with Joseph…alone.

Forgive me for the following blunt statement: when my mom was later in her pregnancy, Joseph decided to travel down the hall to meet his needs. I am going to spare you on the details of these encounters because no-one should have to be exposed to such things. Most if not all of my memories of this season of life with Joseph are negative and sometimes traumatic.

That day on September 14, 1998, I could not convice my mother to let me stay at the hospital with her. I honestly contemplated getting Joseph out of the room so I could whisper my months long secret to try and convince her to change her mind. Even at that young age, I thought, I can’t ruin this moment for her. I can’t take away her joy – so I stayed quiet.

 I rode home: heart pounding, trying not to hyperventilate, don’t let your tears show.

Keep quiet, cling to the door as far as you can.

Run to your room, keep watch.

Don’t you dare go to sleep.

There is no lock on the door.

Don’t allow yourself to become vulnerable.

Even though it is light outside, you are alone…darkness has nothing to do with it this time.

How could a day that I had been waiting for YEARS to come be ruined so badly? I honestly don’t know how long I actually had to endure sexual abuse. I have various memories and as hard as I try I can’t seem to put a time frame together. Regardless of how long or how many times – even ONE time is too many.

For years, I struggled with anger toward God. The question that people tend to ask is if God is so good, why did___ happen to me? Or why does ___ happen? One day in my teenage years a little bit of comfort came to me by His still small voice: Tiffany, that night – the first time Joseph violated your trust and your body – I heard the loud and painful screams in your head: ‘God, please, make it STOP! God, help me, this hurts!’ And I was right there with you. I felt your pain. I cried with you. It was one of my angriest moments. What happened to you is not okay. It was never a part of my plan for a father – daughter relationship. Don’t compare him to Me. I am NOTHING like this. I will never take advantage of you. I will never violate you in ANY way.

This word has been a comfort over the years but without allowing God to change the labels I had made for myself (throw-away kid, toy/object, usable but not valuable, etc) I still allowed myself compromise and do whatever I needed to do to FEEL safe. This brought on years of sexual promiscuity, lying, putting on an act that I was more spiritual and “Christian” than what I really was. I was able to fool people for years but God knew my heart. He was drawing me to something more. Jesus did not come to Earth so we could survive but so we could have abundance and THRIVE (John 10:10)!

This time I have gone a little long so I want to talk next time about how the trauma affected my adult-life. Remember that hurt people, hurt people; healed people heal. It wasn’t until the end of this last year that I moved from the first category to the second. Hang tight…there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Sometimes when we see darkness all around, we need a reminder of Who is in control. Can you share in the comments some words of light and comfort that the Lord gave YOU in times of trauma in your life? Scripture He gave you? I would love to rejoice with you in our Good Good Father.  Let’s remind each other how much God loves us!

In His Marvelous Grace,

Tiffany


I MUST Apologize

Lets Talk Live Intro SlideSUMite Nation,

I’m on the verge of a holy explosion. Okay, ya, that didn’t come off quite right. But the excitement is growing in my spirit. In fact, I’ve spoke to most of the TEAM of writers at SUM and we are all sensing that something BIG is rising. AND I believe that it’s something about the men….  About timing, about God’s purposes for this end-times season……

With that said, I owe all of you an apology. And I want to explain why and apologize to you face-to-face. So, I’ve decided that THIS Tuesday through the, Let’s TALK LIVE Broadcast, I will do it then.

I have much to say about the men of the SUM spouses and I want you to know I heard what I’m going to share directly from the LORD. I’m also going to share about why some of us aren’t seeing our breakthrough and then show you how to turn the page and walk into it…. INTO THE GLORY.

Tuesdays at 1 p.m., pacific time. On the SUM Facebook page.

If you can’t be online then, all of the previous broadcasts can be found in the Facebook feed and also on the website. Let’s TALK LIVE is listed in the navigation bar at the top. And if you missed last week’s broadcast, it’s worth a listen because I share a new perspective of this whole, UNEQUALLY YOKED thing. Take a listen because it will encourage you and empower you. (A 2,000 pound OX)

Okay, see you tomorrow, live. And on Friday, I have the next weapon in our tool belt.

I adore you. I’m praying for you. Hugs, Lynn


What Defeats FEAR?

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

Part I

Part II

My friends, in the prior posts of this series, I was directing our considerations to our children and how to assist them in dealing with their fright at night. However, this post is not only for the kids but also for us, grownups. Because if I asked our readership and they were brave enough to respond, half of you as adults also deal with frightening things in the night hours. So, this post is applicable to Mom and Dad and the children. In fact, let me start by sharing my personal experience.

There are four weapons of our warfare that can defeat the devils that work to frighten us. And today I will share two of those. However, before we get there, do you know WHY the enemy works hard to frighten us at night?

The simple answer is fear is the opposite of love. When you are in fear, you are in reality choosing to believe the enemy over the promises of God. I know this sounds harsh and it is difficult to reconcile in our lives that are clouded with uncertainty and fear abounds. But the reality is that God NEVER creates fear. He is pure love, kindness, goodness and all things holy and good.

When the enemy entices us to step into fear, we walk right into his camp and away from the truths of God. Now, please hear me, I understand that we must be cautious and that there are things in this world that are out of our control and cause us to have concern and can lead us to be fearful. But remaining in fear is the devils goal. In fear, we don’t hear God. We make poor decisions. Fear causes physical deteriorations and reactions. And fear locks us in a spiritual prison. The confusion joins in and terror arrives. Ick!

NO WONDER the enemy works in this medium.

BUT….. Hallelujah!  Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Jesus did not leave us as orphans! (John 14:18) As children of God, we possess major weapons to defeat the devils of fear and teach our children to do the same.

When my daughter, Caitie, was young and my son was in his teens, my husband traveled out of town for business. Every week, out on Monday back on Thursday evening. I was alone in my house for many, many nights as the kids grew up. And it wouldn’t take much in the middle of a dark night, a slight sound outside, something falls off the counter in the kitchen, or some other unexpected and sudden sound that would lurch me straight out of sleep into a panic, heart pounding, fear gripped sweat laying in bed. Covers poised to pull quickly over my head. Anyone????

Well, finally Jesus Himself, told me to memorize 1 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Well, when I was suddenly frightened in the night, I would sit up in bed and begin to say this verse OUT LOUD.

“God, did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and sound mind. Did you hear that devil? God did NOT give me a spirit of fear… NO, NO, NO… OH NO HE DIDN’T. You know what he gave me devil, a spirit of POWER… More powerful than you. He gave me a spirit of love and a mind that is sound and fixed on Him. Do you hear that devil? God gave me a powerful spirit. I will not be afraid. I command you out, spirit of fear. Get out of my room, out of my house away from me and my kids. I will not be afraid of you. I am filled with a sound mind, and I have a powerful spirit. I will rest in this truth. In Jesus name. AMEN”

Okay, my heart would slow. Something changed in the atmosphere and I went back to blissful sleep. It was over a season that I would sit up and repeat this verse over and over, even with my unbelieving husband in bed next to me. But, look I was DONE with fear. He had to go! and I didn’t care if my husband woke up and heard me barking at the devil. *grin*

SCRIPTURE is a powerful defeat to fear and many other weapons of the demonic world. The WORD of God bends time and space, creates galaxies, knits a child in his mother’s womb. His WORD releases angelic forces and smashed the demonic plots against our life. We MUST have the WORD abiding within.

Read it! It is your life-line to so many challenges of life. Give passages to your kids to have them say when they wake up at night. 2 Tim 1:7 is a good place to start.

Secondly, worship. It kills devils. In fact, I think next week I will continue this series because I want to describe specifically what happens to satan and his minions when we worship.

Stay tuned.

SUMites, please help others out. How has Jesus helped you to defeat fear? Share what you learned in the comments. I would love to share some of your lessons on Facebook. Hugs, Lynn


God Changed My Lens

 

By Ann Hutchison

“It’s excruciating”, I murmured to myself, munching on my toast and staring out the window. As usual, I was mulling over the fact that my husband and I had found ourselves in this … 'horrible' … spiritually mismatched situation. 

It happened to us late in life.  There we were hitting forty, and life had been going according to plan. Then, one day, God landed in our home – through me.  It shook us to the core. 

My husband is a good planner, so this one blindsided him. “I'm not the one who changed and this is not what I married!” He sounded almost angry. 

I couldn't blame him; I was the one who'd changed. I felt so bad.   Open

Bad, that was, until God nudged me differently. Don’t, Ann. However it looks and whatever the hiccups, this conversion will only cause home improvement (Proverbs 31:10-12). 


Ok, I really wasn’t seeing said improvement, but I took the nudge and did something symbolic: I left Proverbs 31 open on my kitchen bench and walked past it as I pottered – back and forth, back and forth. I peeked at the promises occasionally. It’s good that I changed. It's good.

That was helpful. But one night soon after, things took a terrible turn. I came back from a church event and told my husband how very up for God I was – very up for God! I wasn’t prepared for his response: “I don’t know you anymore!” he despaired, putting his head in his hands. 

That night neither of us slept. The next morning, I was resolved, and it wasn't in the right direction. “God help me,” I thought, “I need that man in my bed and I’m not going to lose him for anything.”  And so I shut myself in the bathroom, and crumpled on the floor: “God, I can’t follow you. It’s too hard. I’m out.” 

Ouch. That was an awful day. 

The problem was, I couldn't opt out that easily for I knew by then that God was real. Once you know, where else can you go? Soon after, I took a lone car journey. It gave me the chance to talk to God. As the countryside sped by, my tears flowed, and I whimpered: “I don’t really feel I have much choice here but to say yes to You. But will Bryce leave me?” To my amazement, He answered, and this is what He said:

“Your faith brushes against him like a feather.”  

Wow. I started to think about what a feather feels like: soft, gentle and nice.  And then, slowly I cracked a smile. But there was more:

“The more you love Jesus, the more your husband will love you.” 

Wow again. This was not what I saw but I could choose to trust it (Prov 3:5). 

I wish I could say my choice to follow Jesus was settled then, but it wasn’t. Soon afterwards a fiery battle hit my mind. I began to feel tormented by the fact I was ‘one’ with other Christians (1 Cor 12:27; Psalm 16:3) and with my husband (Mark 10:8). I suppose I felt like I was having an affair with a whole group of other people and that my husband would hate it. I tried repeatedly to run away from the pull of church, the pull of His body, and the pull of Jesus. That was when the Holy Spirit cut through my mess:

“Your husband doesn’t need to feel threatened by My Body.” 

BAM!  Those words came like a shot. Once again, it was a choice to trust what seemed utterly counter-intuitive: His truth. 

As I trusted those particular truths, the battle disappeared. It took a couple of years, but victory came. Those truths were ultimately a sword to my heart – they plunged deep, killing the old me. It was as if God gave me my way out, my victory (Rom 8:37). All I had to do was receive His lens. Now that I look back I don't just crack a feeble smile, I beam from ear to ear. And my husband is coping perfectly well too. My faith was not the marriage disaster I feared it would be. In fact, it's been quite the opposite.

So, that's my story. If yours is similar to mine and you would like prayer, please share in the comments or get in touch -- I'll gladly pray, as will others. 

In friendship,

Ann


A Ride in the Night

Road-1576538__340

Hello to all my SUMite friends: Martha Bush

I jolted straight up in bed out of a sound sleep. I looked at the clock - 2 A.M. I sat on the side of the bed, trembling, as my thoughts started screaming out to the Lord, "I cannot teach the Bible study course with Carol next week. None of the promises You have made me have come to pass; I have nothing to offer anyone!"

A few years ago, Carol, my friend and neighbor, had asked me to co-teach a class with her in her home. Carol and I were "Sidekicks," as we referred to one another, doting on the Word, and talking about the Lord for hours. We giggled like school girls with the thought, "We are going to have a New Testament Church in Carol's living room."

However, things were not quite as "spiritual," shall we say, at my home as they were at Carol's. From my kitchen window on Sunday mornings, I could see her ride off to church with her husband, Jim. He was even a member of the Sunday School class Carol taught. Jim had issued an invitation to my husband to join the group Carol and I would be teaching. After all, he insisted, "You can walk across the street without dressing up in your Sunday best." To put it mildly, my husband was NOT interested.

And so, at 2 A.M., the spiritual condition of my home and the thought of ministering to others came pounding down on me. I decided I had to get out of the house and get some things settled with the Lord.

I slipped out of bed quietly, so as to not wake up my husband, tip-toed to my car, and went for a ride in the night! Up and down the dark country roads I rode screaming out, "Where are you, Lord? What about your promises to me? None of them have come to pass! How do you expect me to help someone else?"

As daylight approached, I slipped back into my house. Thankfully, my husband was still asleep. (Whew) Once he left for work, I still felt the urge to get away, so I drove to a park where I had walked and prayed many times. I parked my car, walked out to a picnic table several feet into the woods, and sat down with my Bible. "Okay, Lord, we need to get some things straight BEFORE I help teach a class!"

All of a sudden, a man drove up in front of my car and started beckoning me to come to him. Fear gripped me. I couldn't run to my car - he had it blocked - nor could I run deeper in the woods for fear he might chase after me. I looked around and there were no other people in the park.

And so, my talk with the Lord changed its tune: "He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord; He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust. He shall give His angels charge over me."

Over and over I recited Psalm 91 while keeping one eye on the man. What seemed like eternity, he drove away.

Once back home, I finally came to my senses. I could have wrecked my car driving on the dark country roads, crying big crocodile tears while screaming at the Lord, or gotten raped in the park if God had not dispatched a host of angels to protect me.

As I became quite, I begin to hear the Lord talk to me from Acts 1. "When I was ascending into heaven, the disciples asked me, 'When are You going to restore Israel?'" I replied to them, "Never mind when I am going to do what I have promised you; it's not for you to know the time. You are delaying the work I have called you to do! Get a move on!"  (Paraphrased)

And so it was, several people testified of receiving healing from past hurts as my "Sidekick" and I taught the Word at our New Testament church on Rosewood Drive, Orange, Texas. And just for the record, I have never taken another ride in the night - one in a lifetime is enough!

****   

Is there anything delaying the work God has called you to do?

  • Are you waiting for your spouse to get saved?
  • Are you waiting for promises to be fulfilled?
  • Are you waiting on the approval of others?
  • Do you have feelings of inadequacies?
  • Have you discovered your passion and spiritual gifts?
  • Other?

I encourage you to get a move on! Someone needs to be blessed by you and the calling God has upon your life.

Blessings to you and your family.

 


Children And Night Terrors (Series Part II)

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comChildren and Night Terrors, Part I

SUMites, Lynn here. Let’s pick up from our last post: Honor your child and take a posture to monitor what their exposure to frightful images and sounds. Children under the age of seven are unable to distinguish what is real and what’s not.

What does it mean to honor your child’s fears?

Don’t dismiss their fears as insignificant, ridiculous, or dumb.

Your kid is afraid. Bend down and say, “Baby girl, tell mama what has scared you?”

Listen intently and don’t make facial responses that bring them shame or show exasperation. They are truly afraid and only have you, mom and dad, to help them process their fear and come out of it in wholeness.

Okay we’ve reached the place where Mom and Dad, we need to talk. You can’t assure your child about anything until you understand that some of the stuff your kids see at night, IS NOT IMAGINARY!

Gather yourselves because we need to have a straight talk, a real talk.

Ready?

The demonic world is real. The angelic is real. And often children are very sensitive to see and perceive both. They haven’t been fed a regular diet of doubt and religion to convince them it’s not real. Now I’m not trying to frighten anyone because there are times kids are perceiving something as real when it is not. But the more I speak with parents and through my own experiences with my kids, there are times our kids are dealing with something truly frightening and we are ill equipped to help.

BUT not any longer.

I want to share a conversation I had with Caitie, who at the time was very young. I think she was under six-years-old. And I’m giving you my best recollection of this event. And it was very real. My daughter and I have spoken about it several times throughout her growing up years. If you asked her today, she would affirm what I’m about to share.

When she was small she would be frightened and sometimes in the night she would run to our room to climb in bed with mom and dad. I believe we should comfort our kids and there are occasions when they run into your room and you invite them to stay and then there are times to face their fears with them.

My memory of this particular night was followed by conversation the next day. I asked Caitie what did you see that scared you? She replied that she could see red eyes glowing at her from within her stuffed animals. Now gang, here is where it becomes challenging. Are you brave enough to believe what your kid is seeing is a legitimate “something” in the room?

In that moment, I chose to believe her. I’ve seen enough of the spirit realm, even back then, to understand there are spirit beings, angels and demons that are in and among us. It’s in the Bible. Read it….

I immediately assured her that she wasn’t wrong to be afraid but instead of dismissing her fears and telling her that it’s imaginary, I affirmed and THEN EQUIPED her to conquer her fears. And better than that, I taught her how to evict any scary spirit from her room.

“Caitie, when you see something like those eyes or hear something that scares you, I want you to speak out loud; ‘In Jesus name, I command you to leave my room right now.’ Keep saying it and because you have Jesus in your heart, it will eventually go. It must go because you are strong in Jesus. Be persistent.”

I also would bless her room before she sent to sleep as I was tucking her in. I would pray, out loud, so she could hear me and anything else that might be lurking, that this room was off limits. I would instruct angels to stand guard at her door and window with swords drawn and ready than then pray that she had good dreams from Jesus.

These efforts, over time, equipped her to stop living terrified in fear and to start sleeping at night. And she used them!

In my next post I want to share the four weapons we have available to equip our children to fight off the demonic realm. And you can teach your kids to use them. And by-the-way, you are equipping them to become powerful adults with this knowledge.

So, how many of you have heard similar stories from your kids? What did you tell them? Is this topic helpful to anyone? Talk to me in the comments. Be blessed, Lynn


Sumite Prayer Partnerships

6a00d83451ee9f69e201bb09b03350970dHello Sumite sisters and brothers, Christy Edney here! Today, I'd like to direct our attention to the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew 18:12-14. 

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish."

I don't know about you, but this is a very familiar verse for me. I felt like I had learned all there was to learn from it, until I heard it in a song. After hearing the song, I began to wonder about the ninety-nine that he had left behind, how would they be protected as he searched for the one? Then I was reminded that Jesus IS the good shepherd and he would never leave the flock alone and without hope. So, how would the flock stay safe while he was away? Forgive me for taking some creative license but I believe the answer is safety in numbers. During the last quarter of 2017, I was reminded of how vulnerable I am when I step away from  my community. Peter reminds us that the enemy is prowling like a lion looking for someone to devour. When we separate ourselves from the flock we become an easy target. I want to encourage you to find your flock of believers. Our community offers several ways to get connected, through the Community Map, Prayer Partnerships, the Facebook page or the conversations following every blog post. If this community isn't the right fit for you then find a church and commit to involvement beyond the worship hour. I'm a Sumite just like you and I know how hard it is to find community but I believe it's absolutely vital. We are better together! Let's pray;

Mighty God, we look to you in every moment of our lives. We give you our highest praise and adoration. Today we are reminded that humans are built for relationship. We are vulnerable to attack when left alone but when bound in friendship we become stronger than a triple braided cord. Lord, thank you for the way that you have designed us, thank you for the provision and protection that you provide through a fellowship of believers. I ask you to provide all of us with such a fellowship. Push us from the comfort zone of isolation into the unknown. Let your spirit move freely through us and accomplish your will in every passing second. I pray in the matchless name of the Lord Jesus Christ, high priest and king of our lives, amen!

More information on our Sumite Prayer Partnerships can be found by clicking this link: Sumite Prayer Partners

f you are ready to receive a prayer partner then please send me an email using this link: Email Christy Edney In your email, please provide your name and your geographic location. 

If you and your partner are experiencing difficulty or you would like prayer then please email me using this link: Email Christy Edney 


He Opened It. I Waited With a Butterfly Stomach

1 Corinthians 13The 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 quoting Bible verses or writing prayers in it.  How can I honor my husband through this adventure and grow my faith, so I can be a better reflection of Christ to him?  Lord! Please guide me!

To cherish – to go out of my way to show my husband that I believe he is a gift to me and to honor him and our marriage of almost 29 years.  I wanted the Lord to teach me to have an auto-pilot that goes to grace, mercy and forgiveness when irritations and problems crop up.  I wanted my heart to not focus on negatives but show praise and thanksgiving for all the blessings our marriage has been, is and will be. 

So, I purchased a cute colorful journal that even says, “Cherish You” and I began writing.  Each day, I would pray - what do you have for me today Lord?  Many days, it was quite easy, but some days presented a challenge…do I have to cherish today Lord? Really?  Even when he….

But cherishing and remaining in God’s word teaches us to remember what Christ has done for us, how He loves us, cherishes us, shows unfathomable grace and mercy to us.  How can we not show that to our spouses by cherishing them as well?

Take a look at Song of Songs Chapter 5 as it describes my Beloved…My lover is radiant and ruddy…his eyes are like doves…his lips are like lilies…thinking of my husband as my Adam and I am his Eve.  Corny?  Maybe?  But isn’t that how Christ sees us?  Loves us? Shouldn’t we be imitating Him?

We know that God desires all to be saved and I hold on tight to God’s promises for my husband.  Dr. Tony Evans has written about our faith – “Faith is acting like something is so even when it is not so in order that it might be so simply because God said so.”  By choosing to cherish my husband more, am I not then being a better reflection of Christ?  I know my husband watches and listens to my actions and words, as he is quick to point out when I fall short of God’s commands.  He’ll comment, “Is that what it says in that Bible of yours.”  Ouch!

So I ended up journaling for six months!  Before Christmas I prayed a lot – Lord please show me how to conclude this!  Please open his heart to receive it as the cherishing gift I intend.

When Christmas day arrived and so did the butterflies in my stomach!  The time came for him to open the journal, I was nervous; please Lord let your love enter into my husband’s heart!  He opened the gift and began to read.  I watched.  He read.  I waited.  He smiled.  About two hours later he finished with tears streaming from his face and he thanked me with a big hug and kiss!  Thank you Lord, you are an awesome God!

Since Christmas, I have noticed my husband writing in the same journal at night…hmmm maybe I will receive a cherish journal back next Christmas…

DorothyFleming 2018Cherishing your spouse is a choice and that choice can be learned and grown into an awesome habit that will enrich your marriage.  You know all too well the extra challenges a SUM relationship brings and to remain motivated and focused on cherishing we must stay in God’s word daily and understand the gospel.  We need to remember that God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins that we may be restored to Him.  As Gary Thomas says towards the end of his book, the God who cherishes the imperfect you is more than capable of helping you cherish an imperfect spouse!

 

 


Patty Tower On SUM Facebook Page

Hi SUMite Nation:

I would like to introduce you to Patty Tower. Patty has come alongside of me to help out with our SUm Facebook Page. Patty is a writer and also has a ministry. She will be sharing some of her amazing articles and encouragement on the page starting NOW.

I am truly overwhelmed by this community. So many of you have offered to help. Many of you offered to help by sending in a tithe to the ministry and give generously and many of you monthly. 

THANK YOU!

Patty will be sharing NEW content about marriage and parenting that you will ONLY find on Facebook. Some of her topics are:

  • 25 encouraging statements to say to your husband
  • Dangerous Comparison statements when raising kids

Below is her introduction. Please click on the link, like that page and say hello to Patty.

I love you my friends. Oh And also, how would you like a Tuesday morning Facebook live where I share what I have learned about our identity in Christ, Spiritual Warfare for marriage, Raising our children in Faith and learning to overcome the sins and struggles we face to arrive in freedom? Some of the topics I am feeling led by the Lord to teach. I am also planning to share interviews with others and more. Anyhoo, stay tuned.

Pop over now to Facebook and say hello to Patty! Thank you Patty and congrats on your pregnancy. Praying for that little guy! Lynn

 

 


Children And Night Terrors (Series Part I)

Child sleeping Prov 3 24February 9, 2017

SUMites, Lynn here. I’m deeply moved with compassion for every child who is experiencing night terrors.

The LORD has been talking to me about this situation and He is greatly troubled that so many small children are terrorized in the nighttime hours. It is God’s intention to bring awareness to this issue and alleviate the fears that are troubling our children’s sleep. God wants to communicate with love and tenderness, adventure and more to our children in the nighttime hours but the demonic realm is in a very real battle for their little hearts and minds. With that said, I hope you will allow me to share some research, truths and some practices that as a believing parent you can employ to put a stop to the night terrors and release your children into the Kingdom of God without fear when they sleep.

Let’s chat about the brain. Adults operate in their waking life in Beta brain waves. This is our conscious thought processes that observe and conduct our life and situations. Beta is a fast-paced, analytical processing of our daily world and all that we experience. Adults transition out of Beta and into an Alpha state of mind just before the enter into sleep and as you become awake. That Alpha state of mind is defined by Phycology Today: Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) are present when your brain is in an idling default-state typically created when you're daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation.

Alpha brain waves lend to creativity, reduce depressive feelings, and are a meditative and reflective state of mind. As adults we are not really sure if we are asleep or awake when we are in Alpha when we are going to sleep or waking in the morning.

What is fascinating to me is that children, up until the age of seven, live in a constant state of Alpha. Their inner world is just as real as their outer world. They haven’t developed the analytical and fast brain wave state. So, everything that they are exposed to, goes right into their hearts, mind and memory. A child perceives everything as “real.” They aren’t equipped to differentiate what is fiction to the real life surrounding them. Wow. How many of you knew this? I didn’t.

Because of this fact, we must take great care about what our children are exposed to. What the see, hear, all things of the senses and the imagination.

For example, children are unable to determine if the ghost on the television is real or not real. Yikes!

Everything impacts our children and this is just one of the reasons so many kids are frightened at night and experience terror in their sleeping hours. So often as parents, we can dismiss their very real fears, “Johnny, that’s just TV. Grow up.” But little Johnny is absolutely terrified of that ghost. And now on top of his fears, mom or dad have just dismissed his fear and haven’t honored the little guy’s need for reassurance. Then on top of that mom and dad left him alone to navigate the reality of his fear. AND to add more to this equation, we send little Johnny off to bed without honoring him, without help and with the ghost in his mind and reality!

Ya, pretty much how I was raised.

However, every mama and daddy reading this, God is sending your help. First, let’s discuss what and how we need to help our children to process fear. Let’s choose right now to honor our children’s fear and not dismiss it. Let’s choose to bring help and love to their little hearts. Can you imagine what kind of functional and powerful adult they will become if we train them to process fear with the help of God?

Wow just Wow!

Let’s start with the first and logical parenting tip to curtail night terrors.

Take full control over what is allow into their little eyes, ears and life. Make a commitment today that you will ferociously guard their hearts and take an active roll in what is allowed to interface with your child. This means your inner mama bear must arise. I know that currently there are occult centered cartoons that seem harmless but are blaring on the television and YouTube, etc., before our unsuspecting children. They communicate ideas and enticement into the demonic realm of the occult. Television programs and movies should be monitored as well as video games. Can you think of a few more?

There other day my granddaughter was watching something on my son’s iPhone. It was some kind of video with a grown woman playing with dolls and mimicking a child’s voice. It seems harmless and is great fun for my five-year-old granddaughter. I asked my son about it. He said that he checks out what she watches but he continued, “Mom, there are some really bad things that go on that people do with dolls on YouTube and it’s deceptive because you think they are videos made for small kids but they are really, really bad.”

Sheesh!

You MUST be on alert because one wrong click, your child could be view pornography, violence, horror and more.

I realize that this many not be a popular message for many of you who are overwhelmed by the sheer work and exhaustion of raising a family. But, I implore you as a mother, it’s imperative for their future, their success in life and for their spirit that we honor our children and guard their hearts, eyes, ears, mind, etc.

I will explain what this looked like when my daughter, Caitie, was small. She saw things at night in her room. Do you know what most parents do? They turn on the lights and say, “See, nothing here. Go back to sleep.”

Not this mama. We had an entirely different conversation. I will share more with you next week. Today, I want you to come into agreement with me. We are going to pray this prayer together and stand for our children’s hearts and emotional health. I want you to pray this and then in the comments, share your child’s name and say AMEN. I want you to also share in the comments some of your experiences. Have you witnessed a direct correlation of fears at night to stuff that happened in the day? How did you handle it?

Pray:

Lord, today I declare my fierce protection for my child(ren). Today, I cross the line and will always honor their fears and work with all that I have to train them to seek God to process their fears and to live in faith not fear. I will not discount their fear. Nor will I ignore it. I promise today to learn what I need to know and practice it myself so that I can deal with my fears as well as theirs. I commit today to raise emotionally healthy and strong children who walk in faith in You. In Jesus name. AMEN


Mike's Best Advice To A Believing Wife

Finn Grace Hebrews 11 1Hello SUMite Nation! Lynn here.

I’m writing this post on a very warm and sunny Super Bowl Sunday. I’m apologizing to all of you who are freezing your keister off in the icebox of February. And for those of you battling this ferocious flu, I speak to that bug in your body and command it in the name of Jesus; BE GONE. STAND DOWN! BODY BE HEALED!

Anyhoo, I ask for your grace as I describe the warm weather, exceptionally warm (I’m frustrated- What happened to winter around here?) weather in Southern California. Yesterday Mike and I sat on our front porch swing together with our puppies, Grace and Finney. In these strangely warm months of winter, we often sit out there together and take in the neighborhood. Yesterday we watch an entire swarm of bees take residence in our neighbor’s trees. (She was made aware).

While rocking and also yelling at Grace to get out of the dirt, I popped a question to Mike. “Mike, what advice would you give younger women who are married to unbelieving men?”

I prefaced the question with the understanding that Mike and I have now been married 25 years. We are in the most beautiful season of our married life. It is peaceful between us. The friction and pain that once existed is over and we are truly enjoying what I feel we both fought so hard to finally obtain; peace, security, love and a friendship that is … You complete my sentences…. kind of friendship.

It’s weird to type those words but we finally have arrived and are living a beautiful married life. With this new season, my mind tends to forget what it’s like to live in the season of struggle where many of you are residing today. So, that is why I often find my heart wanting to write and share more about what is happening in my faith that continues to grow exponentially. So be patient with me if I tend to write more about faith in the future. I’ve actually learned that the more I grow in Christ the less conflict I experience with other relationships. NOW That IS a powerful truth to grasp!

So, back to the question. Mike replied with three words. I reached for my phone to record what he said, and he continued, “Patience, understanding and love.”

Ya, pretty much sounds like Jesus talking! Perhaps this guy has gleaned a few things after all.

“What does that mean?” I ventured, holding the phone closer to capture his words.

“What I mean by patience is that you can’t change someone or expect them to do something they are not ready to do, like church. You have to have patience and realize that perhaps it will change or maybe it won’t. But you need patience and don’t FORCE the change because it will only alienate your husband.”

“Mike, I think you also said something about a man’s discovery of God and how his wife could better serve in his journey.”

“Yes, a wife can support his discovery and encourage his discovery, but a wife can’t make it happen. It’s not her responsibility.”

“What does understanding look like in this kind of marriage?”

Mike, “Understanding is coming to grips with his current faith or lack of faith. Also, be intentional to understand who he is and what is important to him. Understand where he’s coming from so that you don’t fight over your differences in faith.”

“And love?”

“Love your husband. As a believing wife, you demonstrate God’s love by how you love your husband.”

This response means the world to me!

Me, “Do you really believe what you just told me or are you just saying that, so I have something to write about?” (grin)

He laughs out loud and chuckles, “No, I really believe what I told you. This is what I have learned from our struggles and all that you wrote about in Winning Him Without Words. It’s true.”

Wow, I guess I never knew he really read the book.

My dearest SUMites, let our ordinary marriages become a testimony to the power of the love of God in an ordinary woman. You WILL overcome. Your marriage can THRIVE. Your kids will walk in faith. Keep on praying. Remain steadfast in belief. Study and learn about warfare and the promises of God. Know your identity as a Child of God. Love, love, love, love, love…. Forgive, forgive, forgive, grace, grace, grace. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Be Blessed, Lynn


“Woman! How Would Like Your Husband Saved?” by Martha Bush

“Woman! How Would Like Your Husband Saved?”

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
I can see you screaming at your computer after seeing this picture pop back up, “Oh no, I can’t go through another fast; give me a break, Lynn!”  

Hold on; Lynn is not calling for another fast. I want to share with you about a fast I had several years ago in regards to my husband’s salvation.

An evangelist was invited to speak at my church on Spiritual Warfare. All of a sudden, he bellowed from the pulpit:

“Woman!  How would you like your husband saved, and keep your mouth shut to him and pray only to God?  You fast and pray, you do everything you can do until that prayer is manifested, or you hear a word from God that gives you peace!”

Something leaped inside me. I desperately wanted salvation to come to my home, and that thing leaping up inside told me that I wanted to partner with God to bring it to pass.

And so it was - I went out from the sanctuary that day and started fasting. No solid food during the week, lived on water, revived myself over the weekends, and got back to the fast on Monday for another week, and another week, and another week.

The evangelist had also said, “Do everything you can.” So, I called all my friends in other churches, weeping and pleading, “Please pray for Glen’s salvation.”

I also summoned my two teenage daughters together and announced, “Girls, this is urgent. Nobody is going to pray for your dad’s salvation like us, so we are going to start having prayer meetings in this house!” From the look on their faces, I could tell they were thinking, “My mama is going nuts.”

Even my husband knew something was going on.  Many nights, I would wake up in the middle of the night with something pounding in my stomach to get up and pray. I’d slip out of bed and close myself up in the bathroom. Some nights, he would wake up and come looking for me.  Lucky for me, I had enough sense not to say, “Go back to bed, sweetheart; I am just praying for your salvation!”

Finally, after about three months, I cried out to God, “He’s not saved after all these months of fasting and praying, nor do I feel any peace that he ever will be. But, I am tired and hungry; I feel like my backbone is touching my belly button. Where do I go from here?”

I turned on a tape from a lady minister in our area, and she was teaching on How to Pray. She said, “There are many ways to pray, but the best prayer I know is found in 11 Chronicles 20: 9-22.”

The story goes that an army was invading Jehoshaphat and the Israelites. Jehoshaphat cried out to the Lord, “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Jahaziel, the prophet, came forth with a word: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army; the battle is not yours, but God’s. March down against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 

You know the rest of the story, but for the record, they met the enemy singing and praising the Lord. The Lord set ambushment against the invading army, and they were defeated.

As I read this passage, I checked off my “to do” list. 

  • I had feared the army coming against my husband for his salvation; I called upon the Lord.
  • I had fasted!
  • Praise? Hadn’t done that one.  Is this my next step?

The next morning, I went to a Bible study. Right in the middle of praise and worship, a prophet came forth with these words:

It is not a day of weeping, sackcloth, and ashes. It’s a day of praise. Just as Jehoshaphat went into the battle, did I not send ambushment and did not the enemy kill themselves?  So, pick yourself up and rejoice in the Lord. It is a day of victory; it’s a day of praise.”

Talk about an overnight express answer!

Let me tell you, I had a PRAISE FEAST that day – my man was gonna be saved, and it would be the next Sunday!!  Wrong!  It still hasn’t happened all these many years. 

But, I am at PEACE, because I have heard from the Lord! Oh yes, there are other battles to fight in my unequally yoked marriage, but that salvation battle is over and done with!

So, I encourage you:  “Whatever word the Lord gave you during Prayer and Fasting 2018, start singing and praising. He will send ambushment, and the enemy will be defeated.

Blessings,

Martha