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10 entries from May 2019

Loving Your Separated Spouse by Linda Rooks

Fighting-for-Your-Marriage-While-Separated-Thumbnail (2)Loving Your Separated Spouse

I know in this community of unequally yoked believers, there is someone whose spouse has walked out the door and left. Your heart is breaking right now, and you don’t know what to do. Perhaps your spouse has never accepted Christ or perhaps, like my husband did many years ago, he or she walked away from their faith commitment.

Thankfully, my story has a happy ending. After three years of separation, the Lord drew my husband back into relationship with Him again. We reconciled, and have now had twenty blessed and fruitful years of marriage since that dreadful time.

If this is where you are, finding your way through this complicated and confusing period of separation poses many challenges and heartrending moments of feeling hopeless. But with God as your anchor, you can do it. He will lead you through this season one day at a time if you keep your eyes on Him.

Your faithful but patient love to your spouse while he or she is in a place of wandering will show them Jesus, but you need to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove (Matt: 10:16) as you navigate this difficult season of your marriage. Trust God in His timing. He knows what has to happen in your spouse’s life and yours before a successful reconciliation can take place. This may mean months . . . or even a longer period of separation. But as waiting spouses, it’s important not to get in the way of the healing God wants to do in both your partner’s life and yours. Give God time to do what He wants to do.

It begins by giving space to the one who has left so they can diffuse whatever conflict is whirling around in their head and clear their mind of confusion. A spouse who leaves the home usually doesn’t know what he wants, and chasing after them with questions about “why” and “when” can drive them further away. Meanwhile, pray for them as well as yourself. While you put them on the back burner of your mind, focus your attention on God instead. Let Him strengthen you and show you what He wants to say to you. This can be a time of growing ever closer to Jesus as you allow Him to speak truth into your heart and mind.

When you do have contact with your spouse, resist the temptation to make accusations and negative comments. Instead, offer positive encouragement, which shows that you care enough to accept him where he is at the moment. Affirm her as a person even though you don’t like what she’s doing right now. Positive words throughout this season of separation can offer a healing balm for unseen wounds that have brought division between you. Using positive words to create a safe place where the two of you can interact will help to open up lines of communication at some point down the road. Pray each step of your journey before and during each contact with your spouse. Let God guide you in your words and actions.

I know what I’m suggesting runs counter to what may come natural to do in this situation. Chances are your mind is racing with negative feelings and thoughts and you want to press in to tell your mate why he or she is wrong to leave. The flesh in us wants to do what comes naturally. When Satan attacks our marriages, however, he relies on us to do what comes naturally because he knows that in our flesh we are not strong or wise enough to overcome his strategies. So this is a time when you need God’s supernatural strength and wisdom to do what is truly unnatural. Take your pain and your negative feelings to God. Let Him carry you through this time. The message of 2 Corinthians 12:10 tells us when we are weak, then God can be strong within us.

Loving your spouse during a time like this is not something the world sees as natural, but Jesus didn’t ask us to do what comes naturally. When He told us to love our enemies, that was not natural. When He said to do good to those who hate us, that was not natural. (Matt: 5:43-44) But even though Jesus may ask us to do something unnatural, He never asks us to do something impossible because His power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9) What is impossible for us, is possible with God. (Luke 18:27) He wants us to lean on Him; He wants us to trust Him. When we look to God and rely on His Spirit to guide us during this difficult period of a marital separation, we can find the future and blessing He has planned for us. That is what I call winning. And when we win, the glory will go to God.

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Head shot Linda Rooks - blue scarfLinda W. Rooks is the author of Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated and Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation. She not only writes about separation, she lived through it for three years. For the last twelve years, she and her husband have been ministering to others in broken marriages through classes in Central Florida and seen many marriages healed. You can find out more about Linda and her ministry at http://brokenheartonhold.com  or http://fightingforyourmarriage.net 

(Lynn, you can use either web address you want. They both go to the same place.)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Come Away With Me

Come Away With Me, Tiffany Carter, 4/18/2019

Come away with Me
My darling, My bride.
Revealed in the chamber
The secrets I hide.

I long for your presence Hosea
I'll wait here all day.
My love please don't tarry
There's so much to say.

I give you My heart
You hold the key.
All you must do
Is linger with Me.

No need to worry
I'm protecting your heart.
I'm faithful to you
I vow to never depart.

So come now, I'm waiting
Believe Me, it's true.
The treasures of Heaven
Are poured out for you.

The Lord is beckoning us to draw near to Him. I don't know about you but in this season I am in need of some refreshing! Will you answer His invitation?

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. - Isaiah 45:3

I love you dear SUM family!

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


The Key To Lasting Breakthrough

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!

I want to get really vulnerable with you today. Sunday was one of my proudest accomplishments. However, it was also one of my hardest days as well.

The night before graduation my Jason asked me not to bring my flags to church the next day. I was crushed! I felt a sting of
rejection rise up in me. Doesn't he love me the way that I am? Doesn't he know how much I love it? Is he embarrassed of me? Thought after thought came swirling in - all trying to pull me down into the pit of despair.

I turned on some worship music in the kitchen as I washed dishes. I wanted to listen to God's voice but I also wanted to Psalm 2756drown out the sounds of crying. I texted a dear friend from church and asked for her advice. She encouraged me that Daddy God is pleased with my enthusiasm but if it were her she would honor his request. I took some time in the kitchen, letting it soak in. I sought the Lord and heard His love for me. He allowed me to see things from my husband's perspective.

My church can be classified as charismatic. We jump, shout, dance, flag, clap, cheer and sing during worship time. It is one of my favorite things about this place. My husband, not so much. He grew up in a more traditional church with organs, choir robes, standing still and quiet singing. I know he doesn't like my church. It makes him really uncomfortable. I (other than his parents who also attended) am the only thing of comfort to him in this unfamiliar place (the kids go to children's program in another room).

Sunday came around and things were a bit awkward for him. I had to be a door greeter so that meant I would be occupied with welcoming people fifteen minutes before and after service started. He went in with his parents into the sanctuary and I could hear the music begin to play. After the first verse or two I could hear shouts of joy, "Yes! Thank you Jesus! Come on!" I began to get nervous. I wasn't there with my family to see how they were handling all of this "noise."

I was completely alone in that little hallway as tears began to roll down my cheek. I was filled with mixed emotions. I was excited to graduate. I was nervous for my husband. I was grateful to God for this amazing accomplishment. I could handle those things. But all of a sudden, I was filled with deep sorrow at my spiritually unequal circumstances.

Oh, how the enemy filled my head with thoughts of regret. I thought about how different life would be "if." Holy Spirit, I love my husband and I love my life. Why am I struggling so badly today?

It was in that hallway that I heard through the chaos of my mind, "PERSPECTIVE."

Family, I have broken through to a new season in my life. I have experienced the endurance of the Lord as I fought to finish papers and assignments. I have seen the strength of God in me as I had to force myself out of comfort zones. My eyes have been opened to purpose and destiny in my life. I have learned what it means to meet Holy Spirit in the secret place. He ushers me in to sweet time with Jesus. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.

All the forces of hell are bent toward your failure. When you breakthrough and press on past the boundaries that the devil tries to set for you - it sets him into turmoil! Every effort will be made to prevent your breakthrough from lasting. If he can trick us into believing that it didn't really happen, than maybe we will begin to settle once again.

Let's take a look at these beautiful treasures found in Scripture:

Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where I was standing. -- Ezekiel 3:12

He rescues me from my enemies; He lifts me up high and keeps me out of reach, far from the grasp of my violent foes. -- Psalm 18:48

"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit." Says the Lord Almighty -- Zechariah 4:6 (paraphrased)

I challenge you today to ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you the breakthrough in your life. Ask Him to show you the triumphs you've seen. I promise you that even in the low seasons, you have truly grown. Don't believe otherwise; not even for a second. You are transforming into the likeness of Christ. You are pressing past the boundaries set by your enemy. You are sending the devil into turmoil. You are strong. You are bold. You are favored. You are blessed.

Let's talk in the comments. What is something you've learned in times of breakthrough? What is some advice you can give to those who are one decision or step away from victory? How can we spur you on and encourage you today?

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Milestone Made Possible Because Of You

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany Here!

I have some wonderful news to share!

Today I graduated year one of ministry school. This was the first half of a two year program that will lead to ordination.

I was very surprised to receive "The Heart of David Award" along with my certificate of completion. What an honor and joy!

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The words "thank you" are not enough to express the gratitude I have for you,  my beloved family without walls. Your love, encouragement, and support  has tremendously helped carry me to this beautiful moment. Thank you to everyone who has given time, prayer, finances, Scripture and hugs. My accomplishment is your accomplishment.

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. -- 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. -- Ecclesiastes 4:12

You all have helped me accomplish my dreams. In the comments, share something that God has laid upon your heart to accomplish. I want to pray over you and bless you today.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Endurance Training

Hi everyone, Ann again!

In Monday’s post I described how my children had sat at a table with me, my husband and friends and heard my testimony. Rear view mirror

Well, this week something crazy but parallel happened: My children sat at a table with me, my husband and friends and this time saw persecution. Yikes!

We were at a Mexican restaurant, laughing, when suddenly my friend’s mouth opened and out came a painful comment about Christians.

It was a comment that could have been considered funny but there was no opportunity for laughter as within an instant I went rage! I shot to my feet, hands on hips, stood over my friend, blurted out tempestuous words, and left the table. When I came back I was physically shaking.

Nobody enjoyed their burritos after that, especially not my husband.

Was my reaction good or bad? We turn the other cheek often, but this time felt different. My speed of reaction felt like I was a magnet being repelled. I know Jesus got mad sometimes. He sat at tables but he also messed up (overturned) tables in rage. I’m reflecting on that.

It’s now Friday as I write, and I’m unpacking the concept of persecution. What is it about? It seems so intensely spiritual:

“As he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now." (Galatians 4:29)

The Greek word for persecution, dioko, tells us more: Persecution is an active attempt to stop something. It is anything that resists.

As I’ve looked at scripture I’ve absorbed this: It’s the deal. Jesus sweated blood and we drink the same cup. To be a Christian is to be persecuted. In others’ eyes we are, by design, the scum of the earth, a spectacle, refuse and fools (1 Cor 4:9-13). Wow, that sucks -- I guess I forgot.

Scripture also shows us the reason: It is to stop the power of the cross and to destroy the church (Gal 1:13, 5:11, 6:12). Given this, should I ever be surprised by it? Perhaps, instead, I should go with a great phrase a friend gave me: “Oh, here comes old hairy legs again!”

All week I’ve been talking to God about it and I think I have some ways forward. It starts with this:

“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:14 (NKJV)

I’ve been saying to God, then, “Thank you that I was persecuted because I see what it means. The Spirit of glory and of You rests on me.”

Second, scripture gives us a core word: Endure it (1 Corinthians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 3:10). This tells me that I may be too weary to do anything except just sit it out. Last night, then, to endure I went to bed early, made myself a cocoa and sat and re-read some of my journal from a more encouraging time.

My final insight from this week was this: I should approach the Throne of Grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in my time of need (Hebrews 4:16). I’ve got a prayer room in my house, it's our TV room. This week I retreated to it to approach that throne. I lit a candle, got into comfy clothes (fleece onesie, slipper socks) and said to Jesus: “Please minister to me. Take me to this Throne of Grace. Please comfort me. Please smother me in your peace. Help!” I sat with Him in the quiet.

A few hours later an email hit my inbox. It was an older Christian from overseas who had felt led to sit and write to me. He wrote, “I know I need to write you but I don’t know what.” He waited, then wrote a collection of statements. It turned into a couple of pages. Those pages were made just for me. It was one of those God moments.

As for my kids? Well, they’re front-row spectators of the action. It’s more than what they’d get in Sunday school, but hey. 

We all have these moments and I'm smiling again now. If you happen to be struggling with this issue too, feel free to reach out in the comments and I'd love to pray for you.

Nice chatting!

Ann

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


A Road Well Worth It

Hi friends, Ann here!

Have you ever looked in the rear-view mirror, glimpsed the road behind you, and realized that something’s changed? That happened to me recently in relation to a friend who didn't want to know about faith. I thought I'd share the story today.Rear view mirror SUM

When I first turned to God, I began to tell my friends my testimony. Little did I know how unenthusiastic they would be. In their eyes it was a ‘fairy tale’. I realize now that this is normal, but at the time I was perplexed: “How can you not believe me?" 

I had a particular friend who epitomized this. At the mention of my faith she literally had a physical reaction. She raced to the other side of the shop we were in, and starting looking at shelves with her back to me. The months that followed brought honesty about her feelings towards Christians. Then came her husband, with similar reactions. They warned me off the ‘danger of religion’, shaking their heads as if I was a weakling who’d been sucked in. It was pretty painful to be viewed this way. Nevertheless, I stayed friends: I liked them.

Eventually they moved away but recently, after a couple of years' absence, I got a surprise email: “We’re in town, can we meet?” It was a big “YES” from me, we set up a time and day, and time found us gathered round a homely kitchen table with cake and tea.

Now, my heart at this point had become quite bruised. For some time I’d been feeling like I was lying in the corner of a battlefield, enduring atheist swipes. Anti-Christ sentiments among those near and dear had become bruising thumps against my shield of faith. Bang. Bang. Bang. I was tired – I’m sure you know the feeling. Yet:

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 (NIV).

Indeed, that day as we sat at the same table with cake and tea, the swipes seemed to disappear and something altogether different happened. As I took a sip of tea my dear friend came out with a question that had clearly been brewing:

“Ann, tell me, are you still a Christian? If so, how has that affected your marriage?  And Bryce, how are you coping with it?”

Woah. What? Of all our friends, none have ever asked me about my faith; they don’t want to know. None have asked that honest question about our life and marriage, and Bryce and I had never, up to that point, had the opportunity to talk about this situation to someone else, side by side. In essence we were being asked to tell our shared story.

And so we talked. I gave my testimony. Bryce joined in. I put my hand on his leg. We talked about the fact that you experience it or you don’t. We talked about a sense of calling. We talked about church and denominations, churches being clubbish, relationship versus religion, about how you can’t give up your faith, about how we still love each other, and about respecting each other within a marriage.

Our boys sat munching cake. Everyone at the table had open ears, including me.

Later, tucking the boys in, some childlike wisdom came, sweet and helpful: “Mum, don’t worry about other people. If you like something, you just do it.” Then: “I like Minecraft but it’s not cool any more. I don’t care though, I go with what I like.” Good words fitly spoken. 

That day represented a shift. Someone who had been so opposed to my faith actually listened. What’s more, my husband and I sat together, talking authentically about it to others. These friends of ours would never go near a church but what they were willing to hear is our story and reality, because it is a raw and real account. In that way, we did it together, he and I. Thank God for my husband's place in all this; and yes, we feel the blows, but we also keep going because who knows where it goes!

How about you? What rear-vision experiences have you had, looking back and seeing that something shifted? 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Jesus With "Skin on People"

ScaredBy Martha Bush

The young mother tucked her little boy in bed, turned off the lights, and walked out of his room.  It was then she heard him cry out:  “Mom, turn the lights back on; I’m scared of the dark.”  The mother walked back into his room to reassure him.  “Now, son, don’t be afraid, Jesus is here with you.”  To which he replied:  “I know Jesus is in here with me, but I want somebody with some skin on!”

Can we admit that we all have felt that way?  “Yes, I know you are near Jesus, but, I really want someone to pray and study your word with me, someone to sit beside me in church, and most of all, Jesus, I want to talk to someone about how much I love YOU.   That someone is my husband.  Won’t you please tell him to come into the room with me?  I am scared of being in this dark room alone.”

Years have passed since the day I accepted Jesus as my Savior, and my husband still hasn’t shown up in that dark room with me. But, my goodness; how God has blessed me by sending so many Jesus with “Skin On People!"  They brought light into my dark and lonely room!

Allow me to introduce a few of them to you.

1. Jackie:  Always saved a seat for me in church so I wouldn’t have to sit alone.

2.Gerry, Beth, Gloria:  Spent hours cleaning their homes and preparing food for the weekly bible study.  

3. Sylvia, Irene, Susan:  Prophets that God used to give me a prophetic word at times when I thought I couldn’t take another step.

4. Pastor David:  Preached sermons that I know he prepared just for me!

5. Melba, my pastor’s wife:  Gave me opportunities in ministry.  Quite frankly, I had always thought that I couldn’t go into ministry with an unsaved husband. What do I have to offer if the head of my household is not serving the Lord?

And then one day in March, 2011, God showed up with a whole army of people.  It happened like this:

I stumbled upon the book, Winning Him Without Words, by Lynn and Dineen.  In all my many years of being unequally yoke, I had never read a book about the unequally yoked, nor had I been associated with anyone “like me.”  But, God in his perfect timing, introduced me to these two ladies, along with their community of women on their website, Spiritually Unequal Marriage, and later a few more dropped in with the opening up of SUMite Sisters.  And, oh yes, the “man of the hour" on this site - -Ian. What a delight it has been sharing the Lord with him!

I’m not alone in the dark room anymore. – -I’m hanging out with – – Jesus with “Skin On People” from all over the U.S. and world who are “just like me!” I just know that all these people will receive a special reward in heaven one day for being obedient to God, and being there for me all these years.

As for my husband? I don’t know; that is between the Holy Spirit and him. I just know that “God will make everything beautiful in its time.” [Ecc. 3:11]

My dear SUMite friends, I believe that sometimes we grow weary on this journey we are on as a Spiritual Mismatch, and might forget to pay tribute to those who have been there for us to help carry the load.

So, today, I thought it would be nice to take a day off from a lesson from a deep theological standpoint (of which I couldn’t give you anyway) and celebrate and recognize those people. I have already done so within the blog, so what about you?

Who are your Jesus with “Skin On People?”  Take time today, not only to thank God for them, but call or send them a note expressing your appreciation for being with you on your journey.  

For starters, list them in the comment section, and let’s all celebrate together!   

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


MUST READ For SUMites Still Waiting

Proverbs 3 5 6(I wrote this prior to Martha's Post. The Lord understands and loves us so well. Hugs, Lynn)

SUMites,

My heart has been with the many who are reading here and are STILL waiting for your miracle. It may have been difficult to read about spouses coming to faith while you languish in the loneliness and deep conflicts of a mismatched marriage. I know for me, reading about happy couples was sometimes a dagger in my chest.

Several years ago, the Lord spoke to this issue.

One of the biggest tests of love is when someone else receives their miracle while you wait for yours. And the biggest sign of your maturity in Christ is your ability to genuinely celebrate with your brother or sister. Listen to me. It’s not easy to rejoice over someone else’s joy when you are asking God for the same and you’re met with silence.

In these moments the demonic will rise up and swirl the lies and confusion around you. They whisper, “See, God doesn’t listen to you. See, you are not making any progress. Yes, divorce is the answer. See, your life isn’t worth notice.”

Tell me these swirling thoughts don’t rise up? I know because these are the very wicked demons who once would whisper to me.

So, friends, TAKE CAPTIVE THOSE LIES AND SEND THEM TO THE PIT!

The truth is this:

  • You are powerful.
  • God listens to you because He is madly in love with you.
  • You are His favorite!
  • Your presence with Christ within you, changes your home for the better. If you weren’t there, O Lord have mercy, what a mess it would be.
  • Your love WINS!
  • The battle is the Lord’s. You pray. Command the demons to leave. Let the angelic do their work!

You can celebrate with your sisters because you ARE experiencing victory every day. Did you wake up breathing? Hallelujah.

Did your kids smile at you? GOD IS SOOOOO GOOD.

Did you lay down in a bed? Great is our King!

Your brothers and sisters who are walking ahead of you are PLOWING the road for you, so you don’t have to wait so long. You don’t have to endure the pain as much. Lean into what your brothers and sisters bring to the table because their victory IS YOUR VICTORY.

I love you. Don’t give up.

I bless you with courage to move forward today. I bless you with grit…. To fight for your family. I bless you with heaven’s powerful determination to pray your family into the Kingdom. I bless you to walk in integrity, maturity and in the love of Jesus. I bless you to never violate love and to let love be your highest goal, in Christ Jesus. AMEN

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


"How Long, Lord, How Long?"

How-long-300By Martha Bush

For the past month, we have celebrated with Lynn and Mike over his baptism. “Praise the Lord, hallelujah,” echoed around the world from those who had traveled this road with them. Can’t you just hear the angels and the heavenly choir also shouting, “Did ya’ll see that? Another soul has come into the kingdom! Whooopeeeee!”

And yet, despite our happiness for them, deep within many of our hearts there is still that inner voice that cries out, “What about my spouse, Lord? When is it going to be my turn? How long is it going to take?”

Whether it be the salvation of our loved-ones or some other trial in our lives, we often find ourselves in situations that it takes longer than we thought it would take. It is then that our emotions are tested.

Actually we are in good company with David, the one described in the Bible as “a man after God’s own heart.” He asked the same question and describes his own frustrations in Psalm 74:9-11 (MSG) 

There’s not a sign or symbol of God in sight, nor anyone to speak in his name,

no one who knows what’s going on. 

How long, God, will barbarians blaspheme, enemies curse and get by with it?

Why don’t you do something?

How long are  you going to sit there with your hands folded in your lap?

Now, that was pretty blunt, wasn't it?

My mentor of long ago once spoke from the topic of “How long, Lord, How long?” It became one of those sermons I tucked away in my files that I take out and re-read from time-to-time. This past month has been one of those times.

I thought you might enjoy reading a few scriptures she used as “food for thought.” I have added my own thoughts of things I have learned from them as a means of self-evaluation.

1. How long? Until we do something about the situation   ( Deuteronomy 2:3 MSG)

Then God said, “You’ve been going around in circles in these hills long enough; go north."

As a former school teacher, I am reminded how often I said to my students, “We are going to do this over and over again until you get it right!” (“Ugh!” were their groans.) I have come to realize that there are times God has taught me how to respond when certain situations occur. If I don’t do it, inevitably, the same type of test appears again and again. It is then, I think He is saying to me as He did in this verse, “You are been going around in circles long enough; it is time for you to get your act together and move on!”

2. How long? Until we pray for our friends   Job. 42:10 (TLB)

When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!

I have to confess, I am so guilty at times of praying for “me and my four and no more,” rather than being an intercessor for my friends. How selfish! Enough said about that!

3. How long? Until you submit to His timing. (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)

As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Jeremiah teaches us that God told the children of Israel they were going into captivity in Babylon. When they got there, they were to go ahead and plant their gardens and build their houses, as if to say, “You might as well accept this for now because you will be here 70 years.”

God’s timing is not something I want to submit to and accept, but I have discovered that as long as I resist, it only causes me more turmoil. I think it works much better to plant our garden and build our houses right in the prison where we are. God will be right in that prison with us.

4. How long? Until we let go just like Abraham had to let go of Isaac (Heb. 11: 17-19 NKJV)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

I have to believe that when this great Patriarch was going up the mountain to offer his only son as a sacrifice, he was in agony. But in his agony, Abraham’s faith was such that God would raise him up again, so he let go.

I have often prayed, “God, help me to let go of my Isaac and trust you.”

 Can you relate to any of these?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Step Onto The Warrior March

Winning Him SmallSUMites,

I want to release another testimony of a husband baptized. Susan Loyless sent me an email a few weeks ago and her husband went into the water!

Susan wrote me:

It got bad before it got better. In January, the elders of our church prayed for my husband in unity. I felt like we were so close to a breakthrough.

Within a few days, my husband took the kids and left me. I was not welcome in my own home. During that time, the Lord impressed on my heart....is there any place my arm cannot reach?

A few months later, my husband confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and the baptismal waters were stirred.

I love you dearly....praying for grace, favor, blessing and rest.

Love, Susan

Hallelujah.

I also know that Tina U. shared that her husband also was baptized back in March.

Something in the water, Warriors.......

For all of you still marching along, my friend Shayla will be leading a study of, Winning Him Without Words, in May. To join that study on Facebook, at Shayla Ortiz. And if you need a book, click here and order. A small portion is sent to the ministry to further our outreach to spouses who are unequally yoked. 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.