191 posts categorized "God's Faithfulness"

The Power of Remembering!

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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.


God Confirms His Promise: Will We Believe It?

Happy Monday, friends!

Today I'm continuing the story about our SUM monument in Florida. For part one of the story, click here.

I left off where I described the fact that in Florida there is a certain house that has scriptures written on the beams. These scriptures were sent in by SUMites, as the house was being built, and now that house stands as a memorial for our ministry.

It's so cool. I love it! However, there is more to tell.

Way back in 2016, as the house was being built, we had our annual SUM community fast. And during that fast God gave the SUM community a promise. He gave it to Dineen. It was this:

SALVATION is coming to your homes. Figs and canaries

In Jeremiah 24 there is an image of a basket of good figs. These figs represent people who I am going to bring out of captivity and return to Me.

Your spouses are like those good figs. I will build and plant them. I will not tear them down or pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know me. They will be Mine; I will be theirs.

Amen.

Dineen decided to write this promise on a piece of paper, sign her name beside it, put it in a plastic baggie, and bury it under the foundation of the house.

She duly buried it with her patient husband standing by her side. What on earth did he think of all this? Well, I think our spouses eventually get used to our little faith-filled shenanigans. If he's anything like my hubby he probably didn't read what was on the paper.

Anyway, that was that. But I have not forgotten that story or that promise; and about a year ago I asked Dineen 'What was the address of the house?'

She told me, I recorded it, then forgot about it.

On New Year's Eve 2023, however, just as the new year was coming in, God reminded me of that house, and I sensed I was to look up the address on Google maps. As I did, my mouth DROPPED. OPEN. On Google maps, just below the house was the word 'Marriage Saved'!Marriage saved 2

I am not making this up.

And just beside it was the word 'Promise'.

Ok, that was amazing. And after seeing that I sat back on the couch where I was sitting and thought "God, you are here, and you are speaking about the SUM community right now through this."

I've included the screenshot of Google maps here so you can see for yourself. The house is where the red marker is. If you look to its right you can see the word 'Promise' (Lily's Promise), and if you look down towards the bottom of the map you can see 'Marriage saved'.

My friends, what this does for me is leave absolutely no doubt in my mind that God has promised us salvations in marriages.

And I would argue that we should take this promise very seriously.

God does not want us to go into bitterness, pity or hopelessness in our SUMs. He wants us to walk in peace, and he wants us to trust him. What's more, he wants us to fight for these marriages and these salvations.

That's the story I wanted to tell you. Yes it's been seven years and counting since this promise was laid in the foundation of that house in Florida. BUT, let us not doubt.

My friends, I hope that encourages you. How easy do you find it to believe? Let's chat in the comments.

Ann


His and Hers Bibles

By Ann Hutchison His n hers 3

My friends, some time ago I discovered my husband's Bible, and when I did, I discovered something amazing.

He and I each got given Bibles by our parents when we were young. His was given to him in 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand, when he was eleven years old. Mine, meanwhile, was given to me eleven years later when I was nineteen years old, in Texas, USA. That was before I met him. I was studying there, and my parents sent me some money from England and told me to choose myself a Bible. So I went out and randomly purchased one. I didn't know what I was looking for, I didn't know anything about Bibles, but I purchased a nice big leather one.

Well, guess what I discovered... Is the following a coincidence?

Bryce and I have the same Bible!

There are slight differences considering their different ages; but they are the same Bible.

The Holy Bible

The New King James version

Wide Margin Edition with center-column references, concordance, etc. 

Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Two leather-bound Bibles: One black, one dark red. The same size. The same Bible. His n hers 2

His n hers. Ann and Bryce. Always known by God to be together.  Always known by God to be growing in faith together.

On the spine, Bryce's Bible says NELSON 476 while mine says NELSON 475BG. This too is cool: his name is Bryce Gavin. BG. So you could say his initials were inscribed on my Bible before I met him!!! 475, 476: Well, one would always turn before the other. One would go first, the other second.

But in the Kingdom the first are last, and the last are first. It doesn't matter.

Both Bibles have a satin ribbon bookmark. Mine is currently sitting in Jeremiah 40-41, where I left off reading this morning, the enthusiastic Bible-leader of the two of us. His? Well, let's take a look:

((I am turning to it as I write, curious what I will find ...))

Proverbs 2: The value of wisdom and Proverbs 3: Guidance for the young. Perfect verses for this blog post. I will write them below in a minute.

Bryce's Bible's sheets are crisp, with the odd highlighted passage from when he was a child. Clean, crisp pages, ready for a fresh faith start. Mine? Scribbled all over, from ten years of avid God-life. 

So, all in all, how cool is that? I love it. I love the fact my husband and I have matching Bibles. Is it one more God wink that He is all over this situation? I sure think so. After all, what would be the chances of this happening? 

I'll end with the passage that Bryce's Bible is book-marked at. It seems appropriate: His n hers 1

My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding,

If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 2:1-3, NKJV)

And

My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. 

Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:1-4, NKJV)

And that, my friends, sums up my heart and prayer for my precious, precious husband.

Now I'd love to hear from you: How easy do you find it to believe that your spouse is on this path with you?

In His love,

Ann


The Story Behind the Pair-Shaped Promise

My friends, Pair shaped

Thank you ever so much for cheering me on with this book draft I've written. I got quite a few messages from you in the comments and privately, and do you know, that really encouraged me -- To keep going, and get the story out there.

It's Friday early evening as I type, my feet are up, my worship music is on, and now I'm settled in on my couch to tell you the story behind this book. It is rather a gorgeous story.

I wrote part one of this book way back in 2017. It was my testimony: My testimony of being an adult convert, and all that came with that. I described deeply what it meant for my marriage, but also the stunning things God did to show me he was real.

Once a week while Bryce and the boys would go out to swimming lessons I would write one chapter. Chapter by chapter over the following weeks the testimony took shape. But it had a core message that was at the crux of the book:

God had given me a specific promise. Ann Bryce 3

About my husband. And more.

After writing eighteen chapters, one day I heard God say "It's a wrap". Just like that. He was saying to me "Now wrap up this book, put it away somewhere, and I'll tell you when it's time to write part two."

"Should I get it published now?" I asked him.

"No. There's definitely part two," he showed me. "Wait for it.

Wait for it.

Dot dot dot .....

And so I did just that. I decided to wait. 'Part One' of The Pair-Shaped Promise sat wrapped up under my bed while I waited for my promise to come, for six whole years. I barely told anyone about it. But sometimes I would pull the manuscript out and read it as a reminder of where God had taken me, and what I was believing for next. 

Well, my friends, after six years of waiting, God said to me in February of this year, "It's time to write Part Two". He gave me about ten confirmations that this was what I needed to do.

And so I pulled my laptop to me ... And I began to write .... About how the promise was fulfilled. 

Because, my friends, the promise was fulfilled. It did come. It surely came. And I've written barely anything about it yet on the blog, so the book is a special little surprise story for you.

I find myself bouncing on the couch as I type this, in anticipation. But what I'll also say is this: 'Does God ever do things the way we expect him to?

Well, the plan is to get the manuscript proof-read next. Ian has offered to do a read-through too as he's a writer and has judged memoirs in writing competitions: What a blessing to have him. And then I'm thinking of self-publishing it.

On that note, I'd better hurry up and get it done so you can enjoy reading it. For, somehow, I feel this story will be an enjoyable one for you SUMites. You'll 'get' it. 

Well, have a lovely weekend everyone!

Ann


Swimming in troubled waters

Swimming-summer

Hello and happy Monday my friends! Amanda here, I had a little something laid on my heart last Sunday that I have been waiting to share with you all. I hope this blesses someone today!

It is summer time here in the southern U.S. and that means good food, cold drinks, nearly unbearable heat, and lots of swimming! My kids are so excited every year to get back in the water. Despite their enthusiasm neither one of them are very strong swimmers. They seem to fight the water more than anything haha!

I was driving home from church when this thought zapped me! It was like a divine download and I immediately turned on my talk-to-text and starting writing a rough draft of this post. My kids were in the car listening and they clapped when I was finished haha! I am taking that as a sign everyone needs to hear this!

The struggle of learning to swim can be a great analogy for the trials we sometimes face. 

It is often during life's trials that we have biggest the opportunity for spiritual growth. Those times when we feel we must cling to God the tightest (though we should cling to Him always) provide moments of immense grace, wisdom, empathy, and insight into His will...Only sometimes it doesn't feel that way does it? Sometimes we feel as though we have been thrown into rough waters without a life jacket and just cannot get out! No matter how hard we thrash we just can't break free from the raging current that keeps pushing against us. Intent on sweeping us away. So often during these times we scream and cry out to God to pull us out of the water. Begging him to pick us up and lay us on the dry shore where we can rest in the sunlight. And while there certainly are times when God absolutely does that, there are many times when He doesn't. 

Instead of pulling us out and letting us give up he says, "No my love, you MUST learn to swim through this. This current is here to teach you something. Do not be afraid. I will be your strength. I will show you the way, but YOU must do the swimming!". He will be there to feed us with his word so that we stay strong. Comfort and encourage us with his presence so we do not despair. And protect us from the attacks of enemy. HE is the life jacket!

Still, if the waters get rough enough, we may start to doubt Gods plan - or his goodness. We may believe the enemies lie that we are being punished, abandoned, or lose all hope that things will get better. That is when we start to sink, and we are at the mercy of the raging current. Drifting wherever it takes us. That my dear friends is one of the scariest things I can imagine, yet we do it often! We turn to "quick comforts" instead, things like food, TV, games on our phones, excessive sleep ect... Things that offer that instant gratification we so often crave. We feel comfortable, satisfied (briefly) and completely unaware of the fact that we are drowning! THIS is why we have to be vigilant!

We must keep our eyes on Him as we swim. If we listen to his instructions and his guidance. If we truly trust him. The growth and wisdom that are waiting on the other side are going to be more important and impactful than we can imagine. We will be able to not only swim farther and faster the next time we are in the water, but we will also be able to help others do the same! We will understand them on a deeper more personal level because we have been there and survived. We can help teach others to swim.

I'm going to leave you with this verse which is SO fitting for todays post, "When you pass through the waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU, and the rivers will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, and the flame will not burn you." Isaiah 43:2 CSB (emphasis mine).

I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments!


A Holy Moment. Don't Miss It!

We Are in the In-between

It’s likely you have read or heard me speak about the Jewish holidays and specifically, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

I want to take a minute to remind you to be observant in this in-between week. I’ve found that decade after decade many things will come to an end or close out in the month of September leading up to Rosh Hashana. Then in October new relationships, adventures and holy assignments arrive that I’m to participate and further for the next 12 months.

This is why.

The The Inbetween SUMHolidays were God’s idea. He instituted them and they aren’t any less valid to Him today than the first time they were observed thousands of years ago.

Rosh Hashana is the start of the Jewish calendar, New Year. That was Sunday here in the United States. Yom Kippur, a most holy day, is Tuesday, October 4th, here in America. We are in this precious in-between period.

Anything is possible!

As I consider how many things happened in my life last year, I’m undone. It was last October (new year) that Mike and I moved from our So Cal home of 22 years and started our new adventure. We didn’t know we would face cancer, home buying challenges, find ourselves actually staying and buying in No Cal. But, as I look back on SO MUCH that happened, I see God in it.

God knew my deepest desires and brought me to a new home I couldn’t even dream up in my wildest dreams. Mike and I stared down cancer and today he is healed and whole. CANCER FREE! I learned I can do hard things. In this past 12 months I received more direct revelation from God than in any other years. And I began this week to receive the chapters of my new book about spiritual gifts.

It’s been three years since this has happened to me.

I have an important question for you: What is closings out of your life? Sometimes it’s a job, a marriage, a relationship, a home, etc. Even things we don’t want to let go. BUT, our good Father ALWAYS has something better ahead. It’s simply His character.

So, in this in-between, I’m praying and expecting BIG THINGS…. REALLY BIG THINGS! Bigger than I’ve ever asked for and I wait expectantly.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, talk to me.

In the comments, tell my what you have noticed that has closed out of your life and what are the really big things you are praying for. Let me be part of this amazing journey of faith.

I will believe with you.

I love you. With a full heart, Lynn Donovan


Up Coming Events

Hey SUMites!  

Lynn Donovan here. While Ann is traveling, I'm going to pop in and take the reins for a few weeks. So here is what I have planned.

First, on Wednesday, August 3rd at 3 pm pacific time, I'm LIVE on Facebook and YouTube to talk about some miraculous salvations. This talk is to explain what happened and how after 30-year friendship, Jesus shows up. AND the Holy Spirit went wild. It's a fantastic and unbelievable story that includes the supernatural.

The following Wednesday, August 10th, I have another salvation story that still blows my mind. I'm sharing these stories because they release hope into your life for the salvations you are waiting for. YOU WILL BE IN AWE! Because Jesus is on the move and He uses ordinary people, like us!  

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! DON'T MISS IT!

Book of James GraphicNext Ann, Martha Bush, and I will be leading a LIVE video teaching of the Book of James. This book is all about Practical Faith. You MUST have this down to advance into greater faith practices. After this teaching, you should be able to teach this book at your church, home group, your kids, etc. More details ahead. Begins second week of September. And it will include homework. Ya, it takes work to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! 

You will be blessed. I promise.

 

Additionally, I'm pondering about doing some live teaching through Lynndonovan.com regarding healing. Physical healing that comes from Christ. I'm still pondering about when, how and if I have the capacity to handle all of this while still settling into our new home. 

I wanted to share with all of you one of the great blessings that Father has given to me in our new home. 

I love nature. And here where I live the deer roam the streets, nearly unafraid of humans. 

The other evening, I was walking from the kitchen toward our bedroom and happened to glance outside our dining room window toward the front yard. 

This is what I saw:

Doe at Window July 2022

A doe resting under the tree, eating her cud. She stared at me. I at her. I smiled. 

I'm so thankful that Father has provided this haven for Mike and myself. A lifetime of faithfulness is seen in His goodness.

Hugs, Lynn 


What Does Victory Look Like?

Hello SUMite Nation, our Church without Walls,

Lynn Donovan here. Years ago, at a writer's conference, I heard the Lord say to me, "Yes, you are going to do this." The reference was to start this ministry and hopefully help one other person who was on the road with me in an unequally yoked marriage.

And here we are years later. So many of you have followed my story, read the books I wrote and those I wrote with Dineen Miller. Our story is HIStory. It's a story of how an ordinary woman had a distant hope in a great BIG God.

I want to share the END OF THE STORY with you today.

March 14 was our THIRTY year wedding anniversary. WOW! Thirty years of ups and downs, fights and makeup mooching, laughing, crying, gain and loss, faith and doubt. We have lived through a life. On this 30th, Mike and I are about to close on our dream home in our New Promised Land. We found a home in a small country community in Northern California. We will move in May 1st. Just in time for my birthday. Papa is just soooo good.

I feel as though all the sacrifice and what seemed like a distant hope for years is now being fulfilled. Thirty years, a lifetime with one man. And more than that, this thirty years led me to the most important aspect of my entire existence. A powerful faith life and an intimate and consuming relationship with Father, Son and Spirit. 

I take into this new Promised Land everything I fought for. All my years of prayers and petitions and the fruits of decades of practice, belief and hope.

My friends..... This is the end game of a faithful God AND a faithful servant of Christ. There is goodness in the land of the living for the faithful. You do your part and God will do His. I KNOW it's difficult and this powerful faith isn't for the faint-of-heart, but for Kingdom children of the Most High.

After 30 years, this is the secret: Don't ever give up on the Lord. Never stop praying and believing. Always grow in faith. Let love change you, then your spouse and your family. Partner with the Lord in all you do and He will show up with miracles.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I'm humbled to think I shared a tiny part of your life and faith. I'm truly thankful. Thank you for celebrating with me. 

And for all of you still in the trenches, I now get to continually pray for you and your family. Leave your name and those you want me to bring before our Lord. I will do it with great gladness and exuberant expectation for YOUR MIRACLES!

I love you, Lynn

Photos from our new place: 

RM 3 14 2022
RM 3 14 2022
RM 3 14 2022

Lynn New Home RM 3 14 2022


A Work of God in My Home

By Ann Hutchison Central church Ann 1

Hi SUM family!

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

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

Goodness, how exciting!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At this, I sat back, gob-smacked.

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

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

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

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

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

My friends, I so hope this encouraged you. 

With love, 

Ann


The Ice Cream Van

Hi again dear SUMites Ice cream van

I said in my last post that the Holy Spirit had given us two playful pictures to hold at the moment. The first one I described in the last post. The second one I'm sharing today.

We are children to Jesus, and sometimes he will use playful analogies with us. What he seems to be saying to us today is this:

The way I am moving in the SUM community is like an ice-cream van.

My friends, does it mean anything to you yet? Perhaps you can see it instantly, but I couldn't. I needed a bit of help from him.

This is the fun of the Holy Spirit. He tells us something. We realize we have no idea what it means. He then gives us the interpretation when we ask for it - POW! And that's how we know it was him. 

Yep, this is how it went. Having pondered the symbol of ice cream van unsuccessfully for a day or so, I just could not figure it out. So I asked the Holy Spirit for help. 

Instantly it came:

What I am doing in the SUM community is like an ice cream van. The three testimonies you have seen are the sound of the music starting. You can hear the whisper of it, it's faint but it is a definite and clear sound in the air. You wonder if it will come to your street. You dearly hope that you will not miss out. But I am good! It's coming to you. You will not miss out. Get ready for the goodies!

With a word like this, God will often give us confirmation. In this case, so that I could be brave enough to write this he told me this: I've told you about an ice cream van before, go and look it up.

Yes, he had. I remember I had heard him say 'Ice cream van' before (That was all, just 'ice cream van', hilarious!! I could have thought I was hallucinating, but I did write it down .. Perhaps because I've been learning that hearing God speak can sometimes be a bit of a weird experience!)  Thankfully because I had written it down I could pull out my phone and search in the diary app I use for such records. 'Ice cream van', I typed ... And there it was. It was the week of the January 2019 fast. Just like the vision of the cloths that I described in the previous post. Two stories from God when we were fasting back in January 2019. Two stories from God about what we have just experienced.  Salvation testimonies. And more to come.

I even love the fact we fasted together, he gave the words then ... But they have come to life now. I suppose that's the way God works ... It's also perhaps a little nod to the fact that he honors our fasting.

Finally ... The analogy of a SUM ice cream van is such a sweet one. I guess, after all, we are his kids.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14, NIV)

Be encouraged, everyone, and have a great weekend!

Ann


SUM Community, Let's Party!

By Ann Hutchison

My friends, today is an auspicious day: A certain someone turns fifteen. Nope, it's not one of our children, it's this ministry. Fifteen years ago today this blog had its humble beginnings with its very first post!Birthday photo

Books emerged. A YouTube channel. Friendships. Testimonies. We've seen salvations of spouses, restorations of marriages, and personal growth. Amazing miracles have happened here in this 'church without walls'. God has been good to us.

I thank him. And I thank Lynn for beginning it and all she has given.

So, for the next two weeks we’re going to reminisce. Our writing team (current and past!) are going to hop on to share, and we'd love to hear some of your own stories too.

I’ve not fully shared my own behind-the-scenes story when it comes to this ministry. It makes me smile so maybe it will do the same to you.

When I found this ministry (2014), I was extremely challenged by the spiritual mismatch, as most of us are for a season. Constantly in tears, I was a seriously unlikely candidate for writing anything encouraging to anyone. But I gained strength from the blog posts and comments here, and gradually things changed.

I was also a covert reader here in that I didn’t want to be public on this site, not even in the comments. I didn't want my husband and friends to see me reading a blog on marriage help when we had a happy marriage. So those videos you see of me on YouTube or Facebook?! How on earth we got there only God knows!

The thing is, God works with the unlikely situations, so here's what happened next:

God began to lay this ministry thickly on my heart. I would have dreams about the ministry, visions even, and I really felt a love for this community of beautiful people. Then loads of ideas began landing in my head for things I could write on the blog. In fact, I began to want to write. But how could I? I was Miss Covert. 

Well, when God decides we’re going to do something, it happens. Just as I was having these thoughts about writing, I got a message from Lynn: “Hey girl, would you like to write for the blog?”

My response was this: “It would take a miracle for me to even tell Bryce about the ministry, let alone have him say yes to that.” 

Our SUM was a topic of huge sensitivity. We were happily married, and to show Bryce a website called ‘Spiritually Unequal Marriage’ would have offended him (I thought). What’s more, to write about our personal lives on the internet was way over the line.

The thing is, this tricky area needs to be written about so that others know they are not alone. And it seemed that I was being asked to take one for the team ... Lol. That night, I heard God speak: “Ann, you are going to run with it. With My approval and with Bryce’s.”

Aggh.

Totally aggh. But it had to be done. So while in bed the next morning, I reached for my iPad and tapped hubby on the shoulder.

“Ummm … Babe … I’ve been reading this website for people like us. I’d like to write for it. Can I just show it to you, and would you mind if I wrote?”

He took the iPad from me and squinted to read.

“Spiritually Unequal Marriage!” He read out.

“Mm hm” I squeaked. 

He read it some more, perused the photos of Lynn and Mike, and the other writers with their spouses. Then handed me back the iPad. “Why would I mind?” He said. "Sure." 

The rest is history. Along the way, God injected some strength into me as I journeyed in my own SUM, and in 2018, he told me I would be “Leading worship” here. That gave me an inkling of what was to come before I stepped forward last year.

Leading worship: How I love those words, for that is really what this ministry is about. We, the SUMites, worship Jesus through daily choices. And this blog helps us all do that.

Fifteen years -- What an adventure. Thank you, Lord, and thank you also, my family of SUMites, for all the times you have shared your hearts.

Lynn will be sharing on Monday. I imagine she is looking back at those fifteen years with wonder! But for now, your turn: When did you find this ministry, and how has it changed things for you?


A Prayer of Blessing Over Our Children

Dear SUMites, Ann here! Vidya

As a mum of two teen boys, I have to say that parenting is the biggest thing I bring to the Lord. Dare I confess that it really can send me over the edge when I think too long and hard about my precious boys and how precarious it feels to let them detach from my apron strings and fly free. Anyone else out there feel this way? These days my prayers have ramped up for that very reason and, in particular, it's their faith life that occupies me.

Yet, just like with my husband, I find I can't just make this thing happen on my own strength. And it takes a good deal of thought.

I know that many of you feel the same, and it's a big part of our SUM journey trying to figure out how to raise our children effectively in faith.

Well, today I want to share a prayer that one of our SUMites, Vidya Rodney, has written for us. She too is a mum and I always love the thoughtful prayers she contributes. This one is a great one for us this Friday.

Thanks, Vidya!

***

Blessings Over Our Children

My child is the head and not the tail. My child is above and not beneath.

I bless my child with favor, good understanding and high esteem in the sight of God and others, in Jesus' name.

I bless my child with wisdom and understanding in all study and endeavors, in Jesus' name.

I bless my child to be filled with the knowledge of the Father's will, bearing fruits in every good work, in Jesus' name.

I bless my child to prosper at everything he/she touches, in Jesus' name.

I bless my child with divine protection, to be rooted and grounded in love, in Jesus' name.

I place the whole armor of God on my child, in Jesus' name.

I charge the Angels with flaming swords and flaming wings to stand guard at my child's sides to defend, protect and preserve them, in Jesus' name.

I bless my child to be a man/woman/boy/girl of integrity in everything they do, in Jesus' name, Amen

I bless my child to be established in perfect love which casts out all fears, in Jesus' name.

Amen and Amen

**

I am Vidya Rodney. Married to my pre-believing husband Andrew for 10 years. We have a beautiful  5 year old little girl Anya. I live in St Charles, Missouri, and first accepted Jesus in 2011 after losing our only brother to suicide. I have been a lukewarm Christian for years, but now I am stepping out to find out more of what Jesus has for me.


Our Coatings of Protection

Hi SUM family, Ann here. Coat

Last week I had a ‘moment’ in my SUM life, as we do, that turned into a good wisdom lesson for me, so I'm going to share it today. It was about God's protection.

I was reclining in my favorite armchair before bed one night, cocoa in hand, when something occurred to me and my face fell.

It was this: Recently I’ve developed a routine where, once dinner is in the oven at about 5 or 6pm, I go to my bedroom and pray for my family. That includes Bryce, and I’ve been praying various things for him with gusto. I like that new routine, it's a happy one; but on this day a thought struck:

“I would love it if it was the other way round. I'd love it if he prayed for me.”

Aggh, and that thought snowballed. I got thinking about the fact that a praying spouse would be a strong source of protection and I'm perhaps missing some kind of 'protective coat'. Or am I?

To be fair, my family has plenty of people praying for us. And actually, it's possible my husband prays more than I realize. His levels of belief have inched up lately, and I do believe there is a quiet blooming that I shouldn't be quick to disregard. But that evening I got tangled. I eventually went to bed, and the next morning the Lord seemed to want to correct my thinking. He said this to me:

Ann, go to the Bible and look at what coatings of protection you currently have.

I love it when God gives me something to explore, so the minute the boys left for school I made myself an enormous pot of coffee and rolled up my sleeves, ready to take a look at what it was he wanted me to see. 

My pen scribbled furiously that morning. I came up with quite a few forms of protection that I have, but here - listed below - are four of the key ones. And these apply to all of us SUMites. In fact, once I had finished working through that task I quickly realized that I had no need to fret whatsover. And I should leave my husband to go at his own pace when it comes to his own prayer life. Here, then, are some of the ways in which we are protected:

Layer of protection #1:

The shadow of Almighty God is so powerful we may as well be sitting under a nuclear bomb. If we make every effort to stay in that secret place, there's this:

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

“He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day.” (Psalm 91:1, 3, NKJV)

Layer of protection #2:

The blood of Jesus Christ is our source of victory. I imagine it sprinkled on our homes like the Israelites smeared lamb's blood on their doorposts.

"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" (Revelation 12:11, NKJV)

Layer of protection #3:

Head to toe, we wear special spiritual armour at all times. This includes a helmet, a breastplate, a shield, a tool belt, and strong shoes (Ephesians 6). This keeps us safe and sound, and then we easily fight for our families.

Layer of protection #4:

The many prayers of other saints, past and present, is a force-field. This includes those who sowed seeds in times past, some in our ancestry, some who are now in the cloud of witnesses, and some who are currently shepherds to us -- And those shepherds who are in our lives know their authority and pray powerful prayers. All these prayers protect us and our homes from the enemy and plant faith seeds that will surely grow.

**

With these coatings of protection, then, we never need to worry about being victorious in our own lives. In turn, as fighters we are equipped to care for our families. And, of course, a big protective mechanism is this community, and its many prayers for each other. 

Friends, in that spirit, if you'd like prayer today, put a post in the comments, and we'll gather round you. In the meantime, here's to fewer and fewer of those wobbly 'moments'! 


About Our Homes...The Heavenly Perspective

Hi friends, Ann here.Sparkly nest


Today I want to share something that God showed me about the homes within this community: the Spiritually Unequal Marriage community. These homes are deeply special to Him, and although they are unconventional in Christian terms, what He showed me is that they 'sit under an open heaven'.

That's a great promise; I'll take it! But what does that mean?

To give you some background, most of you will know that my boys are teens and I have struggled to bring faith to them. Not all of us struggle with that, but some do. For those of us who do, it can feel overwhelming. Overwhelming, that is, until we have one of those moments where we stop and say "Nope, God's got this!"

A couple of days ago, against this backdrop of yet again wondering about my boys' faith, God showed me a picture that illustrated my home. It was pretty cool, and it cheered me along so much that I share it now with a smile.

What I saw was a nest, and inside sat two baby birds. “Those are your two boys,” I felt God say. These two babies had their mouths wide open, waiting to be filled.

The nest didn’t look a plain brown nest. Instead it had heavenly sparkles around it, within it, and above it. I sensed these sparkles were diamonds.

Then, in contrast, I saw a different house. That house was an actual house. It had a roof, thick walls, but its walls were also made of diamonds. I sensed my house was the nest; the other house was another kind of believer’s house. This other kind was one where there was a roof, where both parents were actively bringing their children up in faith, providing safe cover together (illustrated by the roof and walls). I actually sensed God was saying that my home will look like that eventually but, for now, it's the nest version.

Each house had its own strengths; neither was better than the other. They were both beautiful. In fact, both were adorned with Heavenly jewels (the diamonds). However, they looked totally different to each other, so to compare them would be like comparing apples and oranges. 

Back to the nest -- The SUM home. This kind of home can seem roof-less, lacking protection. It might appear far too exposed to the elements. For example, media might come into our home that we hope wouldn’t, or other influences. The diamond-walled house in the other scenario with its thick roof and walls appears safer to the eye. But the truth is, our own homes have safety too: It takes the form of an open heaven above us; and a God who takes care of His wee birds (Matthew 6:26). 

An open heaven was what the prophet Isaiah cried out for in desperation:

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!” Isaiah 64:1 (NIV)

Friends, I love that image of God rending the heavens open above us and bringing His presence. Like Isaiah, we can say to God, "Oh please, rend the heavens, come down into my home, and let all the mountains I’m facing tremble before you!" 

HeavensIn our open nest, while we gaze at the stars, our beautiful babies (children, teenagers, adult children) sit under that open heaven with a protective parent -- God -- hovering above them.
The fact we’ve built our house with such care on the rock of Jesus Christ looks something like the carefully crafted nest they now sit in. It means they have a great foundation as well as an exciting Heavenly life directly above. The Spirit of God hovers and broods, like a protective bird of prey. 

Finally, in this nest picture it's worth noticing that the baby birds’ mouths were wide open. This tells me that our children – The children of this SUM Nation – will surely open their mouths and receive God’s food. Perhaps it will be God who feeds them directly, more than us parents.

So with this beautiful picture, I rest. And I hope this post helps you along in that sense of rest too. As I said earlier, God's got this.

How are those of you who are parents finding it, bringing your children up in faith? If you'd like prayer for this, post a comment and our community will pray for you.

Ann


Calm in the Storm

ID-100282518
Image Courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography and Free Digital Photos.net

Hi, Ian here from sunny Sydney. Wow, who could have imagined when I wrote about supernatural happenings and wilderness experiences in my last post that a few weeks later almost the entire would be thrust into wilderness.

It’s scary with how fast things have moved. Our lives have been turned upside down haven’t they, normal routines (as Ann reflected yesterday) for entire households have been dramatically changed, there’s no short term certainty about many of the physical things of life: jobs, incomes, schooling, church attendance, exercise regimes and of course the health of our families, particularly those of us who are in the ‘more vulnerable bracket.’

God is Unchanging

But God. He is the one certainty we have, and I also believe it is certain that this wilderness experience will end, however, none of us can be very sure either, when it will end, and what the next season will look like for each of us.

God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good.

What we Focus on is Important

Lynn in her weekend post shared of the bombardment of bad news. My morning routine usually involves me reading the paper before heading off to the gym. But I found I was carrying this understated anxiety and tension as a result of allowing myself to receive the bad news. The Holy Spirit nudged me one day as I trudged off to the gym and told me to stop reading the news. Now it’s been a habit since I was about eight years old (I used to sit with Dad reading the paper together eating breakfast), however, the next morning, I went straight to a meditation app as I sat down over my morning coffee. I’ve enjoyed the freedom of receiving good news first thing in the morning while setting my eyes on the Lord as soon as possible in the morning.

We’re probably all familiar with the following verses in Hebrews:

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV)

How do we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus when everyone is home ALL THE TIME and trying to get some alone time is near impossible. I know there are many couples (put aside the kids for the moment) are just not used to spending so much time together and these couples have to work our new habits for both their relationship and each other.

May I encourage you to talk often about each other’s needs and how the other can help out. For example, for most of our 25 years together I’ve known it’s important for my wife that we spend time together in the evening. It’s not so much about doing the same thing but simply being present and enjoying each other’s company and presence. And so that’s we’ve done.

I suspect for many husbands this is a very unsettling time as we’re used to heading off to work, having a clear plan for the day and being away from the home. Similarly, for the girls, it’s strange having hubby around 24x7. And then there are the kids. Can’t take them anywhere, can’t have friends over and so on. There are only so many jigsaws you can do, right?

It's hard and unsettling.

But God knows this. He loves us so deeply and understands all that’s going on inside and outside us. He knows our needs and so staying close to Him is really good for us in this season.

Ann wrote about abiding and I want to share a little about how one can do this.

1. Start in the morning. If you are able.

I’m a morning person and it’s easier for me to do this because of the season I’m in. Getting the house up and running is a very normal daily activity for moms. A particularly important one. But may I encourage you though to consider tuning your soul in the morning. Why do you think Jesus went off to meet with the Father every morning?

Our souls get out of whack overnight. I’m continually amazed how I can be on fire for the Lord when I put my head on the pillow, only to wake in the morning like He’s a complete stranger. And that’s why our soul’s need tuning. Think of it like a piano or guitar; before we play them we tune them. It doesn’t have to take long. It can just be a few minutes of prayer, inviting God into our day and checking in on our heart, asking ourself how we’re feeling and giving those feelings, good or not so good over to God. Even ask Him, why am I feeling like this Lord? And listen for an answer. It may not be immediate but sometime during the day you’ll probably discover why.

2. Repeat this process during the day.

As often as you are able. You might even give yourself a reminder using your phone.

What’s important is connecting how your feeling in your heart with God. He knows, He cares, He wants to help us. If you’re reading say Psalm 23: v1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” And you’re feeling tremendous lack of something: peace, hope, money, etc tell God that (He won’t be offended) and repeat the verse in your own words, “You tell me you’re my shepherd, Lord, I really need a shepherd now, help me see you as my shepherd today, taking care of my needs.” Gradually, God’s Word comes alive in our hearts as we discover that He is indeed a good good shepherd.

3. Ever so slowly it will become a habit.

A habit you’ll look forward to even when you’re at your crappiest because you’ve discovered how much God loves to be the one who tunes our hearts and souls.

It would be great for us to encourage each other with what we do to fix our eyes on Jesus in these strange and unsettling times.

Be blessed and keep fixing our eyes on the Lord. He’s a good, good Father.


Holy Assignment - SUMites PLEASE DO THIS!

Rosh Hashana Dream List 2015SUMite Nation:

I have a homework assignment for you.

Several weeks ago, I found what I’ll call a “Dream List” tucked inside my Bible. It was written on September 14, 2015. I wrote out this list in the early dawn of Rosh Hashana that year. I apparently decided to scribble down my future hopes, prayers, and aspirations that I longed to accomplish with the Lord.

I’m sharing this experience with you for two reasons.

  1. God hears our prayers. However, we forget that He responds because our current concerns block the memory of all He has done and provided for us. This is a good day to remember His provision and goodness.
  2. We are all blessed. God doesn’t only dream with me, but also with you.

It began:

Papa,

This is my dream list: (And the answers)

I began to read down the list…. To my utter shock, many, I MEAN MANY of the dreams I’d scrawled out in long hand, had already come to pass. In four short years.

  • To love you with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength – ANSWERED
  • To walk in increasing power and authority over the demonic and sickness – ANSWERED
  • Provision for college for Caitie -ANSWERED (Full scholarship and they paid her to teach. Say what?
  • More Prayer opportunities – ANSWERED. I pray with many of you from all around the world. and recently I was promoted to Director of Freedom prayer at my local church.
  • A House of Prayer in the Valley – ANSWERED. I’ve watched the prayer ministry grow into exactly this! WOW! Before my very eyes!
  • Mike’s salvation -ANSWERED. I’m still wrapping my mind around this reality. I’m wordless to express how stunned I remain even today, at all that God did to bring this into reality. Wait until you read the book, I share the detail in there.
  • Loose 30 pounds. Ahem, well…. I’m still working on this one *GRIN*

I humbly ask and submit these words of my heart to You, Papa. May you show kindness and favor upon them. Your daughter, Lynn

My list is way too long to share more. I like to dream……There are dreams on that list that remain to be fulfilled but so many more have already come to pass. I’m nearly in tears as I write with such deep gratitude and humility to know our Father loves me with such depth and care that he fulfills the dreams of an ordinary blonde lady.

So, as we approach Yom Kippur, a very hold day unto the Lord, sit with the Father and dream. Write out your dream list and put it away to find it again in a number of years. You will be overwhelmed by the love and faithfulness of our good God.

He loves you that much also. Start to believe it!

Share three items on your dream list with me in the comments. Let me pray over them with you. I adore you.

Dream bigger than you dare because our God is so much bigger than we allow.


Divine Moments

Father-Daughter-Dancing-152x300
Image courtesy of BlueSuedeBallroom.com

Hello, dear SUMite friends. Ian from sunny Sydney here. I returned this morning from a whirlwind trip to San Antonio to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) annual conference. This is now my fourth conference and the reason I keep returning is that each time I go I experience a significant God-moment, writing and non-writing.

My first experience of this was at the 2012 event where I met our dear friend Dineen Miller who introduced me to SUM. I’ve written about our meeting a few times but in a nutshell prior to this conference I doubted I could ever have a ministry role outside my small little world as a result of being a SUM. Dineen both at the conference and, later through her contribution to SUM, clearly demonstrated otherwise and it dawned on me that I’d allowed myself to be deceived by the enemy.

Clearing Obstacles

I had felt the Lord’s nudge to attend this year’s event. It surprised me because it’s a fiction event and my energies this year have been focused around a non-fiction project. Surely, there was a disconnect. But the nudges kept on coming.

But there were some clear obstacles, the biggest being a financial one. We simply didn’t have the money for flights, conference and hotel accommodation. I kept saying to God, well, if you want me to go then you’ll need to clear this obstacle.

Six weeks before the event, mid-August, I received a completely unexpected financial gift from my parents. They were unaware of my desire to attend the conference. I was amazed. The Lord said to me, ‘well, that’s no longer an obstacle’.

I left chatting to Fiona about it for a week or so until she asked me what I’d like to do with the gift. And so I told her. She was kind enough to let me attend and when booking flights I was able to use frequent flyer points to get me across the Pacific meaning I didn't have to spend as much as first thought.

I’m continually amazed at God’s goodness.

Expectant Heart

I boarded my flight last Wednesday still unsure of why I was attending. I had set up some meetings but there was no guarantee they would provide anything of any great value. However, my heart was expectant both because of my three previous experiences but also because of how God had made it possible for me to attend.

It didn’t take long for things to start bubbling. The first worship session included the mention of a verse from Revelation that had been important to me during the first half of the year. Aha … is this it, Lord?

Even though I was able to share the significance of this verse to the two people who mentioned it and had a lovely moment with both, it soon became apparent it was simply a minor precursor to what the Lord had in store.

Feedback

The second day proceeded uneventfully until an afternoon appointment I had set up week’s prior. It was with a man whose counsel I admire and on discussing my non-fiction project with him, it wasn’t long before I realised this was the ‘gotcha moment’ and the reason for my attendance. The feedback wasn’t exactly what I would have liked to receive but it was exactly what I needed to hear. Two subsequent meetings with agents confirmed the same.

I felt pretty flat and a little discouraged by the time night came about. I thought my project was headed in the right direction but it was clear it wasn’t.

Worship clears the cobwebs of discouragement

The conference always has a late night worship session where writers can sit and write as they listen to worship. I didn’t want to write. I wanted to worship. I needed to because it’s something that always lifts my spirits. And the worship band at ACFW is one of the best I’ve sat under.

The enemy hates worship. I reckon it’s like a persistent jackhammer banging away at their heads. They have to flee – remember Paul and Silas in the jail set to be executed the next day? What did they do? They “were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25) What happened next? An earthquake happened, cell doors opened, chains fell off, freeing the two heroes.

Ephesians 5:18-19 is even more clear: “Be filled with the Holy Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to the Lord with all your heart.” The Holy Spirit is the one who changes the atmosphere and being filled with the Spirit through singing and praying weakens the enemy’s power.

The discouragement I had soon lifted even though I was unsure of the next steps in my project. I woke the next morning feeling refreshed and energized. The morning’s worship was tremendous even more so as the Lord’s presence was thick as He touched a number of people in a very gentle healing way.

The Dance of Dependence

God never lays out the blueprint of the future, does He? It’s always one step at a time so we continue to trust in Him to lead us. We have to depend on Him. I was reminded of how a dad dances with a young daughter. She places her feet on his and as He steps, her feet automatically follow. It’s a wonderful picture for how we can follow His lead don’t you think?

When was a recent time you followed one of the Lord’s nudges out of obedience even though you were unsure of what was to occur? Be great for us to encourage each other in the comments below.

Blessings, my SUMite friends.


What are Cycles of Faith AND the Significance of Rosh Hashanah

This is a short but powerful video teaching about the cycles of faith. How we join God in what He is doing and to stop fighting against Him. It's also about our current season.

In fact, Rosh Hashanah begins today at sundown. I recommend to push into the Lord in prayer and ask Him to reveal what He is doing in your life in this season and the assignments that being given after Yom Kippur.  Hugs, Lynn

 


The Enemy Cannot Handle This!

Hey SUM family, Tiffany Here!

Sunday, September 29th is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. We've talked about this Jewish holiday over the years. In fact, the first time I'd ever been made aware of it's significance was because of a blog post from either Lynn or Dineen. For those who are not familiar or are new to this holiday, a simple "Rosh Hashanah" search on this site will provide you with a wealth of information. Feel free to check out the archives!

My prayer for us today is that we will each take away something fresh and new. Holy Spirit, reveal to us the heartbeat of God. Amen!

Rosh Hashanah isn't actually a biblical holiday but a traditional Jewish holiday. The term "Rosh Hashanah" means "head of the year" and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. This is a two-day celebration that proceeds Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

In the beginning of this month, the Lord really pressed upon me to watch Patty Tower's talk that was given at the SUMite Summit this last April. I decided to go back and watch it again. (I will provide a link below so you can revisit that as well. It is absolutely worth a re-watch!)

As I sat down to think about Rosh Hashanah and what I would include in this post, I went back to my notes from Patty's message. There is so much good in this message but I want to point out one theme:

  • Joshua 6 - God gives specific instructions about the destruction and taking of the city of Jericho. In verse 20 we see the result of following God's plan and not their own: "So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."
  • Patty called us to march around our house 7 times and shout, declare, pray and praise things into existence. It was in the great shout that the walls fell flat down.

Rosh Hashanah isn't in the Bible; however, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, is. Let's take a look.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’ ” - Leviticus 23:23-25

The Hebrew word, Teruah, in Leviticus for blowing trumpets is the same word used in Joshua 6 where they shouted with a great shout. The first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah, is a day of blowing trumpets or shouting.

Notice what else it says in Leviticus about this day - you shall have a sabbath-rest. Yom Teruah happens to fall on a Sunday. The day we, as children of God, call our sabbath!

So, why is this important for us? If we are not Jewish, what is the point of celebrating this time of year?

We've already seen in our community some amazing things worth celebrating. Many professions of faith and baptisms with our spouses, children or others we love. Libby gave us a beautiful word about the SUMite community with her picture of the mountain. The SUMite Summit where some gathered in California being at the top and from that trickle, the waters of our faith continued to pool together to create a river at the bottom.

I truly believe something was activated in the heavenlies and we have set off a chain reaction. The enemy has been stirred to anger and we have seen much push back from illness, discord with our spouses and children, financial struggles, backsliding, strongholds etc.

However, I truly believe that God is calling His children deeper. I believe that He is stirring in us a hunger and thirst that can no longer be quenched by fear, pain or opposition tactics from the enemy.  I believe that NOW is the time for us to press in all the more into the God of Miracles. NOW is the time to storm the gates of Heaven for our spouses, children, our complete freedom and healing. I believe that NOW is the time for us to suit up and prepare for battle.

There is a shifting going on right now. As we are in this transition period, it is up to US if we are going to take God at His word - for our destinies, purposes, signs, miracles and wonders. We cannot afford to give up or give in. The future of generations to come hangs in the balance. It sounds intense but don't worry! Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Patty's talk at the SUMite Summit: https://www.facebook.com/SpirituallyUnequalMarriage/videos/387269661859875/

There is so much more I could say but I've gone on a little long.

As we approach this Jewish New Year, what are the things you are coming to the Throne of Grace for? What do you hope to see in this new season? Shout

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! -- Psalm 47:1 (Shout here is the root word of teruah ::grin::)

We are going to shake the heavens and the earth with our shouts! In the comments, give a mighty shout to the Lord. Thank Him for the victory you've been praying and waiting for! Decree and declare that these prayers are answered in Jesus' mighty name! Now it is up to you to take Him at His word. Trust. Believe. Wait and see. God is so good. And He is worthy of the wait. Hugs!

 

 


It's Worth The Waiting! Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

1 Corinthians 13Hello SUMite Nation!

Lynn here. I’m coming to you from my prayer room on a beautiful and somewhat unusually cool July morning here in southern California. It’s peaceful and a breeze is drifting in the front window. Oh, how I wish you were sitting here with me. I long to sit with each of you and listen to your story. I will one day. And it will be GLORY!

I just clicked off the phone after talking to my mother who called to check in on the job search, the book progress but mainly to tell me, I love you.

But as we talked about the book she said, “Lynn, I’ve shared that story with nearly everyone I meet. I tell it over and over.” She’s talking about Mike’s baptism story. “I tell them to NEVER give up praying.”

Never give up praying.

Don’t stop hoping.

Always lean into the impossible.

Twenty-seven years. I won’t look back at the years with longing for what might have been. I look back at the decades and see Jesus in every turn along the journey. I view the Father’s hand of favor and love and I feel the peace of the Holy Spirit as the Trinity lived within.

It was worth the price of waiting.

To all the weary SUMites, who linger in prayer and continue loving Jesus and your unsaved spouse, words from my beloved mother who has lived with the Lord for nearly eighty years, “Don’t give up hope. Don’t stop praying.”

I adore you my friends. Stay tuned because God is brewing up more fantastical stories in the Donovan Clan. I feel the excitement in the air and can’t wait to share all He brings about in our immediate future.

March on Warrior!!!!  WE WIN!!

Hugs, Lynn


Jehovah Perazim - The Lord Who Breaks Through

Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!

I don't know about you but I have really been yearning for breakthrough! It gets me fired up thinking about the breakthrough needed in my life as well as others. I am really struggling to completely detach from my old self. I am not saying that I am not growing, maturing or bearing fruit. Please hear my heart. I am talking about the hard reality that the more I press into God, the more I realize I am in rough shape and need Jesus. Can anybody relate?

I recently came across this scripture that has been really stirring in my heart:

Dam breaking

 

So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging  flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). -- 2 Samuel 5:20

 

Some context: David is now king. He captures Jerusalem from the Jebusites and makes it his home. The Philistines find out this news and come to capture him. David goes into a stronghold and the Philistines spread out across the valley of Rephaim. It is really interesting to note that the valley of Rephaim means "the house of the giants."

David could have been afraid. Sure, he had a run in with them before (remember Goliath, their once great warrior?); however, this time they were after him!

I love the conversation that happens just one verse before:

So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” (5:19)

Isn't there something so "magical" about the promises of God being fulfilled in front of your eyes? The New Living Translation sums up the child-like faith that I believe that David had - the Lord did it!

There are some things that I have been praying into for some time now - outside of salvation and surrender for Jason - full and forever breakthrough from the spirits of poverty and self-preservation in my life. There are many layers that have been broken but I still have a ways to go. It's been tough, especially with me as the toughest critic. These giants have taken camp in the valley of my heart and mind.

The Lord keeps impressing on my mind the idea of breakthrough and I praise Him for this recent revelation in this passage of scripture! Tiffany, I am your Daddy but I am also Jehovah Perazim. I am Your God who breaks through. Do you trust me? Do you believe it? Will you stand in faith - even when you can't see what is on the horizon?

I want to close with the song I heard for the first time today. It is so raw and honest. I can relate so well and I'm sure you can too.

Verse 1:

If I’m honest, I don’t know what to do
With this battle that I’m going through
And how to trust you.

Every part of me, wants to figure out my own plan
Wants to take things in my own two hands
God help me to understand

CHORUS

You are enough, You are enough for me, for me
Take my doubts, drown them in the sea
Cause you’re more than enough for me

VERSE 2

Every part of me, wants to figure out my own plan
Wants to take things in my own two hands
God help me to understand

BRIDGE

Even if I lost everything, you would still be enough for me.
Even if I lost everything, oh
Even if I lost everything, you would still be enough for me.
Even if I lost everything, oh

Can you feel the breakthrough coming or has your hope been lost? Admittedly sometimes I am teetering on the fence between the two. Sometimes life is tough. But GOD! He is so so good.

Let's pray:

Jehovah Perazim, You are our God who breaks through. You come forth against our enemies like a raging flood. There is nothing that can thwart the plans You have for us. When we are weary may we always remember that You go before us. You give us victory. When we are weary like Moses, bring others to surround us and hold us up. We can't do this alone. Thank You for this amazing community. We can all relate to the true struggle not against flesh and blood but against the forces of darkness. Thank You for always saying to us, like David, "I will certainly hand them over to you." We love you and praise you for the great big shout - You did it! We trust you. You are enough. In Jesus' name, amen.

See you in the comments! How can I intercede for you today?


The War Is Over - Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

My dear SUMite Family,

To write the title of this post, brings tears. I've waited since I began this blog in 2006 to write this very post. 

So with intentional honor to our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit, today let me share my news, officially. Please hear me first, THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. This moment was a lifetime of love of God for my husband. And I’m trying to remain low-key about it all. I’m allowing my husband to walk into this new season and let him take his time and find his own way forward in faith. And I’m still really processing.

But for me, my I give all honor and glory to our Lord. He has been faithful.

On March 14, 2019, on our 27th wedding anniversary, my husband, Mike, was baptized and made his confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

In the last seven years I have learned how to battle effectively for this moment. And I am working on how and when to share it all with you. There is much to learn, however, you can walk this path also. But for today, allow me to fully focus on giving high praise to our Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

I love you Father. Jesus you are my everything. Holy Spirit I’m lost in your love. AMEN

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I’m at another conference so I won’t be posting again until Good Friday. Thank you for walking this journey with me. I couldn't have done it with out all of you!

I love you, Lynn


Our Father IS the Father in Luke 15

Lessons From Prodigal SonJesus tells the story to His followers of the Prodigal son in the book of Luke 15. And there is so much more going on in this story than we comprehend. I hope you have enjoyed the posts about this passage over the past few weeks.

But today, we are going to look at the Father in Luke 15. I’m so excited.

There are so many things I love about this story. I often share on radio and television my personal story about my prodigal years and how I met and married my unbelieving spouse during that season. So, when I recount my return to the Father and how I see this story in Luke as my own, I become positively  emotional.

Each time I share my prodigal story, I envision my story playing out in my mind. I literally see my five-foot-two, blonde self, running as fast as possible toward my Father, God. His arms are OPEN WIDE and the smile on His face…… Well it breaks me into tears every time. His face is filled with such joy and love that I am instantly delivered from all doubt, fear and oppression. And I know, that I know, that I know, in my knower, I will see my heavenly Father one day when I cross over into the heavenly Kingdom and His arms await. Just like I envision! Halleujah!

Let’s take a look at the lessons from Luke 15 about the true nature of our Father:

  • God is generous. In verse 11 God not only gives the share of His estate to the younger son who demanded it but at the same time He gave the older son his portion as well. Wow, I don’t know how to process this fully. I know the lesson here is that there is a vast amount of inheritance and it’s made available to God’s kids, and available now.
  • God embraces the wayward son and kisses him. Our Father God is not angry with us when we fail, run, are mad at Him, or even defy Him. He is always hopeful, full of love, and accepting and forgiving of our past, no matter how horrible we think our past was or horrible we think we are.
  • God doesn’t hold a grudge. I will mention here that it only took the younger son to leave his deception and turn back to God and ask His forgiveness. One sentence prayer. DONE!
  • Our Father God, looks past the smell, the dirt and grime. I you remember the son was galivanting in the pig pins. God sees us in our worst moment and loves us and wants us so badly.
  • God wants us back so badly that he will send circumstances into our lives to lead us home. Take a look at verse 14. A great famine swept over the land and the son began to starve. Just ponder the numerous times God reached out to your through circumstances which trust to you to rock bottom? We often miss the outreached hand of God. Yes, indeed, how many times does God sends us a life raft, but we are waiting for a helicopter???
  • Sonship is restored. The GREATEST gift is a restored, reclaimed identity. With a hug and a kiss, the son is home. He is robed as a royal son. A ring that bears restored authority, power and privilege is once again upon his finger.
  • Finally, let’s par-tay! A giant party awaits for each of us the day we cross over. But what is even more beautiful, the day or our baptism, all of heaven sang. The day or our pre-believer’s baptism, all of heaven will celebrate!

My friends, our God is good. All the time in every way. And He has so much to give us.

Confusion about his goodness rest in the deceptions of lucifer. The Great Deceiver is responsible for the pain, trauma, hurts and confusion in life. Hear me now… learn about our enemy because we blame God for so much that is perpetrated by satan.

Jesus is the perfect reflection of the Father. He demonstrates God’s love and goodness through this story in Luke 15. It’s our truth! Period. The end.

Okay, share the goodness of God in the comments today. What other lessons are in this story and how has God turned your ashes into beauty?

See you in the comments. Lynn


The Perfect Son Who Stayed on the Farm

Lessons From Prodigal SonThe Perfect Son Who Stayed on the Farm

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’” —Luke 15: 25-32

I wonder if you feel offense for the older brother?

After all, this man dutifully stayed at home, working hard, toiling in the land and never disobeyed his father. Honestly, if you’ve been a prodigal, you wished you had never run away, and you feel guilty that you come home and are welcomed back. You compare yourself to your brothers and sisters and feel shame. You also feel admiration that they were faithful.

What is interesting is that what the older brother doesn’t realize is that God did a few things for him that he is unable to see clearly.

  • The older son received his inheritance the day the younger son received his. Go back and read the passage. It’s true. Wow, I never knew this until recently. How generous, how profound is our Father? We get our inheritance now, while we are living in the world. To contemplate what that entails is so far reaching, I scarcely can take it in. I like to ask God about portions of my inheritance that are at my fingertips, but I haven’t recognized it yet. I encourage you to ask as well.
  • The older son was told by his Father that ---- now get this----- Everything the Father has, is his. Already his. He owns it. It’s given.
  • What the older son doesn’t know, thank God, is that he will not have to go through all the years of breaking off destructive mindsets, terrible addictions, fear, shame, and the demonic oppression that the younger son picked up while in satan’s stronghold. Hallelujah! This alone is worthy of any and all sacrifice the older son feels he made.

So gang, what are other lessons the older son missed? And what are other blessings he has coming? See you in the comments.

Next post, my favorite. Lessons about the Father….. I can’t wait. I adore you, Lynn


Our Pre-Believers Are Prodigal Sons

Lessons From Prodigal SonSo, gang, let’s look at this Prodigal son and consider our spouses. They have been hoodwinked into a kingdom of darkness. And what is flabbergasting to me is this. They are convinced, passionately, that they are neutral to faith/religion. Or they are committed also with a passion in opposition to our God, in which they believe they know all about, but actually don’t know at all, and are deceived into blindness.

Sounds bleak, doesn’t it?

When I looked closely at this story, the lessons I learned in the Prodigal land were more severe than I realized. Let’s take a look. See if you relate to any of these and consider what your spouse believes is true but is actually a falsehood.

Lesson from the Prodigal Nation:

From Luke 15: About this time his money ran out. The son went to feed the pigs. The son was so hungry the pig food looked good. No one gave the son anything.

  • The son took on a poverty spirit. For the first time in his life he was living in abject poverty. Poverty of pocketbook, poverty of spirit, poverty of relationships and more. Think about the depression that comes with poverty.
  • He left the covering of his Father. Rebellion pushes God away. We walk in our own strength which is never going to protect you from lucifer and his minions.
  • The son then learned, shame, confusion, deception, desperation, uncleanness, etc., etc.
  • The son settled for less than…… Oh how many of us settle for less than what we are offered through the hand of our Father.
  • LOST IDENTITY

My dear SUMites, I can attest that this is the ultimate goal of the devil. If we don’t know who we are or whose we are, we can’t fight back. We are captured and live in bondage, oppression, sickness and are targets for greater destruction.

Now contemplate what is happening with our unbelieving spouses?

This story is in the Word for our enlightenment but also so that we can perceive the poverty spirit in our spouse. Let our understanding of where they are, push us to our knees to pray for their deliverance and restoration to our loving Father.

Okay, gang, what other lessons do people learn when they dwell in the Prodigal Nation?

March on Warriors! We can help ourselves through Jesus and help our prodigal spouses and kids!  Hallelujah!