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13 entries from April 2024

The Power of Remembering!

Photo courtesy of Tara Winstead and Pexels

Hello, Ian from Sydney here.

As many of you might recall, I’ve been reading the Psalms most days for the last few years. I’ve now forgotten how long it’s been as I never tire of their goodness, wisdom, and passion.

As you’d expect, across 150 psalms, most of which are written by only a handful of people, there would be words, phrases, and concepts repeated. Two of the words I find often repeated and sometimes together are the notions of God’s ‘steadfast love’ and ‘faithfulness’. Some Psalms even repeat them several times in the same Psalm. Psalms 31, 32 and 33 in the ESV are great for the repetition of both words.

Choose to Remember

Many times in our lives we find ourselves in a similar situation to one that occurred previously. For example, a friend of mine has recently retired from teaching and is now thinking through what’s next. I asked him, how often he’d been in a similar situation during his life and to reflect on what God did in those situations.

SUMites, God is faithful. He’s demonstrated it repeatedly in our lives in a variety of ways. His faithfulness reflects His steadfast love for us.

If you find yourself in a moment of whatever, perhaps it’s in your marriage, cast your eyes back to how God acted last time you were in a similar moment. Trust that He will come through again this time. Why do I know?

Because of His faithfulness. He can’t stop loving us. He simply can’t. Because it’s His essence, it’s who He is. God is love! Choose to trust Him because He is faithful.

Go well, dear SUMites. May I encourage you to dive into a Psalm or two.

Warmest blessings.

He is Our Rewarder

Hello my friends, hope you had a nice weekend! Peak district

Bryce and I are currently in the north of England spending two days with my sister, who lives in the most delightful cottage in equally delightful countryside (the Peak District). My sister, an architect, restores ancient churches for a job -- some of which come from the Norman era, the 11th century. What an amazing job.

Speaking of old churches, in the middle of our boundaries series, I found the following comment from Ian to be a little 'oasis', and it fit with the fact I am currently visiting a lot of ancient churches -- so I wanted to pop it on here today.

Ian said, in response to my last post:

"I, you and others in this group have experienced God's faithfulness to us and our marriage when we do set the boundaries you outline.

Fi and I are home together a lot these days and my office is an 'open room' (no door), so having time with the Lord can often be interrupted. One thing I do each week is go to the prayer room at our church so I can have complete uninterrupted time with the Lord. I love Prayer Rooms. They're a liminal space, a thin place where prayers have soaked into the floorboards, walls and the soil underneath for hundreds of years (well my church that is). Fi understands how important this time is for me."

I just loved that.

It is true: If we are courageous, and fight for the things of God that are precious -- In this case, these positive boundaries -- he will reward us. 

... For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)

We take a lot of brave steps for God in our spiritually mismatched marriages, he is well-pleased with those acts of faith, and will reward us. Many of us in this community can attest to that.

... So let's keep making space and time for him in our marriages. Like Ian, let's seek out quiet spaces, places where we can find him -- Churches and prayer rooms included!

SUMites, may we all have a beautiful week with the Lord, seeking out the things of him that are precious; and I'll continue the boundaries series later in the week. Bye for now!


Boundaries in Marriage, Part Four: Bringing the Gospel to Your Children

Hi everyone Boundaries 2

A few times over this past year I've received an email from a young person who has found themselves in a spiritually mismatched marriage. In each of those cases, they have expressed their fear about having children: "What do I do when it comes to teaching our kids? Should I even have children? I am fearful of whether I have the ability raise them in faith."

Yikes -- Those thoughts are so hard.

The first thing I say is: "YES, you should so have kids! God will sustain you and surround you as you raise them in faith,"

I tell them that Jesus in them is so strong that they have every ability to walk in victory in this area.

But second, there is the question of what are our rights and responsibilities when raising young children? Say I am a Christian, and my spouse is atheist, what should I fight for in terms of my desire to raise them in faith, and what should I allow my spouse to bring in? This is another area where it's helpful to figure out what some appropriate boundaries might look like.

I really liked Amanda's comment this week, where she said one boundary she and her hubby have agreed on is that neither of them disrespect each other's beliefs. 

I think the same can be a good rule when raising children. Each spouse in a marriage may feel strongly that their own views are correct. They might even feel strongly that the other's views will damage the kids: Certainly being Christian, it would mortify us to think of our spouse expressing atheist views to our kids; but, to be fair, an atheist might feel the same way: It might mortify them to think of a Christian parent bringing faith to kids.

Aggh!!! Catch 22 -- What's to be done? How do you walk this one out honorably to your spouse, but faithfully to God? 

Bryce and I have friends who are in a SUM with young kids. The Dad is the believer. He takes them to church, which he finds very difficult to do solo, but he does it. However, I was heartened when the mum told me once, "When I'm reading books to the kids about the world, I say to them "Your Dad believes God made this... Whereas other people believe xyz." She said it matter-of-factly. I guess they've fostered an atmosphere of respect.

So in terms of rights and responsibilities, here's a good way forward --

First of all, courageously bring faith to your children, even if your spouse reacts negatively. Be brave, be bold. We have to be! If this is currently challenging for you I pray boldness into your soul!

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6, KJV).

It may be that it causes unhappiness for your spouse; if so, express to them respectfully that you do have a right to share your views with your child and expose them to faith so that they can make an informed choice of their own. However, to be fair, if you ask for that from your spouse, you should really give them the same courtesy. In the spirit of walking out a respectful marriage, don't muzzle your spouse, just as you would hope they wouldn't muzzle you. Just explain to your children that you each see things differently but you respect and love each other.

Then, pray your heart out. Prayer is the most powerful thing you'll ever do for your children anyway. Pray for protection of your children's ears, eyes and hearts. And fear not, because what's in you is stronger than what's in the world --

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world (1 John 4:4, NLT)

Our children will always come across other views, but as long as you have made sure they have plentiful access to the Gospel, you have done your bit.

Tough stuff! For those of you who've walked this out, how has all of this gone for you? Let's share our ups and downs in the comments.



Boundaries in Marriage, Part Three: Get Me To Church!

My friends, Boundaries 2

We're writing about boundaries in marriage; and to catch up, here are the previous posts:

Boundaries in marriage: Part one

Boundaries in marriage: Part two

On Monday we talked about how important it is to guard our own oil -- that is, guard our own connection with God, our own flame for him, our own infilling of the Holy Spirit. In a spiritually mismatched marriage our spouse can pull us away from that -- even if they don't mean to -- so we do have to take steps to fight for it.

So, what are some healthy boundaries that we can put in place to protect our own oil?

For me, this has taken two forms:

(1) I fight to protect my personal time with God

(2) I fight to protect my connections with the church

Fight to protect time with God

Our spouses will often, quite rightly, want our time; and in honor of marriage we should give that to them generously -- IF they want it. But that can come at the expense of our quiet time with God. Remember COVID lockdown? I don't know about you, but I struggled to connect with God when Bryce and I were constantly in each other's space. Well, Bryce and I are once again together 24/7 now as he is not working, so I am currently having to think through what is reasonable for me to ring-fence, in terms of my own personal time.

A couple of weeks ago Bryce -- newly unemployed -- came into the bedroom where I was sat reading my Bible. He was ready to start the day -- And I was in my God space. "So, how's this going to go?" he said. "There's you, sitting in bed reading, and here's me, wanting to do stuff with you -- Can we chat about this?"

"Ok!" I said. "Look, in the mornings before I hang out with you I'm going to need a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, then another coffee and four chapters of the Bible. After that I'm all yours!"


"I need it."

"Mm. OK"

So that's how it goes. He's since been coming in and saying "Are you on your first, second or third cup so far? Just so I can plan..."

I have told him it's non-negotiable; that I won't be well and happy unless I have that time. And that is my boundary.

I know other SUMites have said they've been criticised by their spouses when in prayer or with a Bible. Perhaps a boundary there might be to swallow the fear of their views and press in: Keep the Bible open, and keep going. After all, what harm does it do them? Press in to know the Lord, against all the odds!

Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him (Hosea 6:3, NLT)

Fight to protect connections with the church

The second boundary is around church. I think many of us have had a season in our SUM walk when we've stayed away from church for weeks on end to please our spouse. Uggh, well I have.

But the longer this SUM walk continues, the more I become like tough old boots on this one, and my boots must be on the ground in church. Attending church -- in some form -- is so critical to our spiritual life, and to the Body of Christ, that it's perfectly OK to say to our spouse that our church attendance is non-negotiable.

In fact, if a spouse is saying to their significant other that they cannot attend church, I would argue that's the kind of control that we should be careful not to bow to. After all, God loves freedom and wants us to be free; not bound in chains to the whims of another human being. 

Us SUMites need church more than most. Because we have unbelief at home we need to put ourselves into the oasis of church to keep ourselves spiritually alive. The same goes for Christian friendships and connections who pour spiritual influence into souls: Keep those relationships thriving -- As long as they don't take away anything from our precious marriage.

With all that said, then, we hold tight to those good things that help our faith life -- Because they are our oil.

My friends, have you had to put boundaries in place around church or your time with God? I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences! 



Boundaries in Marriage, Part Two: Hold onto Your Oil

Hi all Boundaries

Ok, let's dive into the topic of boundaries in spiritually mismatched marriage.  Have you been thinking about what kind of boundaries are important in a SUM? I've been jotting down various ideas over the last few days.

(And in case you missed it, here's part one in this series)

To start off with, let's take a look at this parable from Jesus. Do you see boundaries in it?

The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 'No', they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'

But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:25, NIV).

I know as we're a Bible-reading bunch, many of us will have read this parable several times over the years. However, a parable will often have more than one lesson to it, and sometimes you see something completely new in it -- Which is what happened to me a few days ago. I happened to read it as part of my daily reading and suddenly thought 'Oh, this is about boundaries!'

See, I had always thought of this parable in terms of keeping yourself filled with the Holy Spirit. And that is certainly what it's about. But what I had never noticed before was the fact that half the virgins were trying to take the oil from the other half. And the wise virgins had to put their foot down and say 'No, that crosses a line.' In other words, the wise virgins had to put a boundary in place to protect their most precious thing.

What was their most precious thing? It was their oil, which enabled their lamps to burn, without which they could not access their master. It was their Holy Spirit, their very source of life. 100% precious.

Yes, it would have been seemingly 'generous' of them to give up a little of their oil. But the outcome of that would actually have been disastrous. So they took a step, and protected their own access to Jesus at the risk of being unloving.

The moral might be for us that we need to put boundaries around holding tight our access to Holy Spirit, our infilling of the Holy Spirit, our time with God, our ability to worship him and keep him close, and our very source of LIFE, at the risk of being a little less 'generous' to our spouse.

This can involve a little bit of a fight, because our spouse doesn't yet see the value of the oil. They naturally might want to pull us away from the oil. 'Stop reading the Bible now, you've had enough of that!' 'Turn that worship music off!'

Practically, then, what kinds of things should we fight for in a marriage in order to keep our oil? 

How do we stay considerate to our spouse without giving up our oil?

Have you had to fight to hold on to a particular thing in your faith life?

I might pause there and see what you have to say in the comments. And then we'll continue on Wednesday.

Love you all!


Spiritually Mismatched Marriage -- A Two-Pronged Approach

Hello friends, Ann here. Two pronged approach

I'm writing from Singapore airport, where Bryce and I are sipping coffee and waiting to fly to England. Once there, I have a week with my parents to look forward to, and much-anticipated time with my siblings.

Cannot wait -- I love, love, love being back in England.

Meanwhile, what to write next for SUM?

Well, over the next week or so, I'd like to reflect on a particular topic that's critical for us: Setting good boundaries in our marriages.

"Have you heard of boundaries?" I asked Bryce this week. "Nope," he said. 

A boundary can be defined as a line in the sand, where you don't allow someone to take something precious from you or invade your life in a negative way. It works the other way too. Your spouse might need to set boundaries with you, not allowing you to negatively invade or take something from them.

Too few boundaries are not a good thing, but neither are too many boundaries. What's more, any healthy marriage - or relationship, for that matter -- has boundaries in it. 

But of course, in a spiritually mismatched marriage, healthy boundaries have to address some specific areas, and are an essential part of staying alive faith-wise. I think of it as a two-pronged approach. We do two things:

(1) LOVE our spouse well

(2) Set appropriate boundaries.

LOVE involves us doing everything prescribed here:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV)

We need this prescription, and we need to make this our great mission as SUMites, because that's what God asks of us: To love others.

But love doesn't mean being a doormat, and it mustn't come at the expense of our own spiritual health. It is possible to be too kind, too patient, too honorable with a person whose behaviors are unhealthy for us.

So with that thought in mind, here's a question to start us off:

What kinds of boundaries need to be put in place in a spiritually mismatched marriage? 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Love to you all,


LIVE Training for Spiritual Enforcer: Part II

1 med Res Enforcer Front CoverHello SUM Nation. Lynn Donovan here.

Next week I'll offer the SECOND of two LIVE video training sessions that expand on the teaching in Spiritual Enforcer. This will include an open Q&A at the end. April 24th at 11 am PACIFIC, I'll cover the concepts of closing open doors, the benefits we receive and the Spirit of Wisdom (my personal favorite).

It's not too late to read the book and join the fun. You can buy the eBook, paperback or audio book here. 

If you gave during our annual giving in November, you have received an email with the Zoom invitation. If you want to attend purchase a pass; click here. 

Write down your questions. Admittingly, I don't know everything, but I've gained an enormous amount of effective strategies that truly make a difference in our faith battles. 

THIS is worth your time. THIS is worth every effort. THIS training is the real deal.

Jesus needs us, His Church, to discover our power and authority and to bring the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I can't wait to share as I've already gained more info since the writing of this book.

Love you all. Be expectant, filled with hope and walk in joy. Love and blessings, Lynn

A Little Testimony


Hi friends, Amanda here! I don't know about you all, but I cannot get enough of stories where God fills a big need in a big way! So today I want to share a big something God did for me and my family last week.

Last week my washing machine quit working. It was mid-cycle with our large bath sheets and just gave out! Let me tell you, hauling sopping wet towels up a set of stairs should count as a week's work out! Haha! The next day I called our repairman and prayed he could fix it as he has done many times before. He showed up right after lunch and got to work looking at the inner workings of the washer. It took him no more than 10 minutes to reach a verdict. In his words, 'This machine is dead." Not only that, but because the washer and dryer were a stacked set, we would have to replace the whole thing! He was very kind and hated to give me that kind of news, but there was nothing else he could do. I thanked him, paid him, and he left.

Then I started to worry.

I wish I could say that I walked in perfect peace and stayed totally calm, but I didn't. I was wringing my hands, pacing the house, and fretting over having to tell Daniel - who was working 7 days a week - that we had a new expense... a BIG one! 

I started talking to God, "How are we going to afford this? Where are we going to wash clothes in the meantime? Where are we going to find a replacement set? God, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!"

He responded to me so calmly, "You're going to trust me."

"Okay, but God I-"

"No buts, TRUST ME!"

Every time waves of worry would wash over me, I would hear him say those two words over and over, "Trust me."

After my initial panic, I messaged a group of local homeschooling moms I have been blessed to become good friends with and let them know the situation. I also posted on good ol' Facebook asking everyone to keep their eyes open. I started scrolling Facebook Marketplace and worrying some more. The price for a decent set, even second hand, was really going to hurt us. 

Within a few hours, one of those mom friends I had contacted texted that she had found a FREE dryer for us! All we had to do was come and get it! At the same time (literally within the same hour), another friend from the same group texted and offered us a BRAND NEW washer for a fraction of a fraction of what they normally cost! Again, all we had to do was pick it up! my friend with the washer said, "My husband has been waiting to bless someone with this. He just didn't know who!"

My washer broke on Wednesday night, by Friday evening I had a whole new set!!

I could feel God smiling throughout the whole ordeal. I could practically hear him chuckling and saying, "See? I told you to trust me!"

This was a reminder I needed more than I realized. Our needs matter to him, even our regular, boring, every day, household needs! They matter! 

If there is something you are in need of this week, talk to him about it! No matter how small you think it may be. I promise you, he cares about the little things too.

If you would like, share a need in the comments so we can all pray for each other's needs! Have a blessed week my friends!

A prayer for you

Dear SUMites Heart

This Friday, I pray this for you:

In the name of Jesus,

I pray for His comfort to flood your soul.

I pray for the gift of faith for you.

I pray that your faith will be cast-iron solid, unshakeable, unmoveable, unmeltable.

I pray that He will fill the loneliness in your heart, and delight you with His romance.

I pray that your ears will be fine-tuned to hear His voice.

I pray for hope to fill your mind, and your imagination to be sanctified.

I pray that every place the sole of your foot treads, He will give you, and I pray that your faith will be catching to others like wildfire.

I pray that you will grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

And that all these same things will spread to your family.

In His name.



Have a beautiful weekend, SUM family!

Ann xx

Thank you Dear Friends


Some of you have been readers here for more than a decade and some only a short time. We have shared faith, our families and lives, difficult situations and so much hope in Jesus. Today, I want to say thank you. Thank you for learning with me as I grew in faith and in my marriage. Thank you for your precious time and your trust. I hold my responsibility to lead from a place of wholly relying on the Word of God, God's grace, wisdom, and the love of Jesus Christ with great reverence.

I want to thank you for every encouraging word you have spoken over me. Thank you for the emails and prayers you sent my way.


I also want to thank you for the many recent emails and notes about Enforcer. Many of you have shared how you've been greatly encouraged through the book. I spoke to someone last week, a precious daughter of God, who said, "My eyes were opened to what I am really facing in my marriage." So many of you have plowed through the challenging chapters to uncover areas that the Lord is now revealing where change is needed. And many of you have been galvanized into action to see the victories and promised that the Lord has for you. 

You have been so brave!

Your hunger for God, over all else, is such a beautiful gift to our King. 

Well done my family. WELL DONE. Keep marching. Swing your sword. Wear your armor. God is moving with such amazing change. Hang on as we are going to watch His hand move and destroy the evil that we have faced. And we will help as we pray and believe.

Today, I bless you with greater courage, greater awareness of the Lord's presence in your life, and with so MUCH HOPE for your future and family. In the Mighty name of Yeshua, our Lord and Savior. AMEN

Blessings and hugs, Lynn

Time for an Adventure

Hello everyone, Ann here. Ann Bryce uber

Well, while Lynn has been busy releasing her spiritual warfare book, Bryce and I have had an adventure of a different kind: We've packed up our house, have left New Zealand and, as of yesterday, have started our six-month trip overseas.

As I write, I'm in sunny Brisbane, Australia, where we're staying with Bryce's sister.

One of the themes of this trip, for me, is a desire to nurture my marriage. We're going to spend an unusual amount of time together, and I'm looking forward to talking with him about what matters to us and what our life is going to look like moving forward now that our kids are grown. I want to develop new shared routines with him, and I want to love him well. 

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer - may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love (Proverbs 5:18-19, NIV)

This is a funny little passage: It's poetically archaic. Still, even though it's speaking of a man's feelings towards his wife, I often think of it in relation to my husband: Delight myself in the husband of my youth. And something along those lines is what I hope this trip is to look like.

While we are away, we will celebrate 25 years of marriage, and 30 years together.

I know many of you follow the lives of us writers, as we keep you company in your own struggles, so I might take the opportunity to share what the spiritual mismatch is looking like for Bryce and me at the moment:

I continue to go to church alone (Sigh -- hard. Always hard). But peace has settled between us, and the years of being spiritually stretched like an elastic band have given way to more of a non-chalance on my part. Is it ok to be non-chalant about my SUM? Well, the opposite is to be wound up like a top, and constantly stressed! So I guess God doesn't mind non-chalance.

I know God's got it all in hand.

However, even though I'm reasonably non-chalant these days, the outworkings of the SUM life are still mine to navigate: I do have hurts from being at church alone; I still gulp and experience stabs of fear or regret when I think about bringing faith to my children solo; I still wish I could give more to God, and so on.

What is perhaps a little easier is the loneliness: For some reason that has lessened. And there is less self-consciousness now when I talk about faith with Bryce. We can even speak freely about this blog: He is sitting opposite me right now, in fact, trying to be quiet so I can write.

While we are in Europe, I would love to ask him to go to church with me, so that we can meet local people. Will he?  I will keep you posted!

So yes, the whole thing has been a strangely evolving thing. How about you? Has the SUM situation evolved for you?

Well, next I'll be praying about our topics for the remainder of this week and will be back on Wednesday, still from here in Brisbane, and still in happy mode.

Much love to you all,


Ask ME the Hard Questions

1 med Res Enforcer Front CoverHello SUM Nation. Lynn Donovan here.

Next week I'll offer the first of two LIVE video training sessions that expand on the teaching in Spiritual Enforcer. This will include an open Q&A at the end. April 10th at 11 am PACIFIC, I'll cover WHY we must have our stance established and what happens in the spiritual realm when we aren't firmly planted. 

Also, I'll delve into the demonic realm and why we need to know our enemy. But also, how vital it is to be in lockstep with Jesus and Holy Spirit. 

So, if you haven't read the book yet, pick it up and plow through the first couple of sections. You can buy the eBook, paperback or audio book here. 

If you gave during our annual giving in November, you have received an email with the Zoom invitation. If you want to attend purchase a pass; click here. 

Write down your questions. Admittingly, I don't know everything, but I've gained an enormous amount of effective strategies that truly make a difference in our faith battles. 

THIS is worth your time. THIS is worth every effort. THIS training is the real deal.

Jesus needs us, His Church, to discover our power and authority and to bring the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I can't wait to share as I've already gained more info since the writing of this book.

Love you all. Be expectant, filled with hope and walk in joy. Love and blessings, Lynn

So What Happens Now?

Photo courtesy of Adrian Cogua at

Hi everyone, Ian from Sydney here. How was your Easter? We hope it was full of goodness and happiness, especially with the wonderful message of the Resurrection. Jesus is Risen!

Easter has passed for another year. What happens now? Did the message of the Resurrection change anything in our lives? Is anything different in our hearts and/or lives since Maunday Thursday, less than a week ago?

Maybe? Maybe not?

Why not take a few moments simply to reflect on what’s going on in your heart now. Check in with yourself to see how you are? Perhaps jot a few notes in your journal or phone.

Peace is Available

I love the scene in John 20, the night of Jesus’ resurrection. The disciples are locked in the Upper Room terrified the Jewish leaders are going to break down the door and haul them away. They’re confused. Word is out Jesus is alive. But where is He?

Let’s read it together1:

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them …”

Let’s stop there. Did you catch it? Jesus appears out of nowhere. The door is still locked. If he’s risen from the dead, surely, he’d have to use the door to enter? Wouldn’t he? Then the being standing in front of them must be a ghost?

Let’s read on … 

“and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

They’re frightened because they’re unsure who or what is standing in front of them. Jesus comforts them with “Peace be with you!” To further convince the disciples he isn't a ghost, Jesus showed them his wounds that were healed but scars were still evident.

That seemed to do the trick. The disciples were convinced. Interestingly, in another Gospel (Luke 24:41-43), Jesus asks the disciples for something to eat. Which is quite funny when you think about it, but another way of demonstrating he’s not a ghost. Never say, Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humour.

The disciples are now convinced their friend and leader is here in the flesh. What a mixed set of emotions they must be experiencing. I expect relief is one of them which would bring such a comfort at this scary time.

Breath of God.

I imagine there’s a lot of good banter going on as this group is reunited, but Jesus isn’t finished with making this night even more special for his tribe.

Let’s see what he says next:

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus offers them peace and then breathes on the group. Wow! Can you picture what a moment this is for everyone present. The breath of God is life! Remember, Adam was formed from the dust and given life by God breathing life in him.

Closed Doors

What doors have you closed in your heart and mind? Invite Jesus into them, if you're able.  And picture him saying those wonderful words, “Peace be with you.” Not just once, but twice.

And then picture Jesus, the lover of your soul, breathing into you. Breathing new life, new love, new strength, new hope, and new joy.

Receive it. All of it. Breathe in His peace. And breathe out the stress, the worry, the fear, the whatever, that has locked you up.

Now step out boldly. Spirit is with you. Spirit is never leaving for. Your heart no longer needs to be locked up.

Jesus is Risen! Holy Spirit is alive in us!

Grace and peace, dear SUMites and enjoy the peace and release.

Note 1: The Bible passage referred to is taken from John 20: 19-23 (NIV)