127 posts categorized "Winning Him Without Words"

Unequally Yoked AND Infertility

SUM NATION:

Julie Nelson
Julie Nelson

Lynn here. I received the most astonishing email that past week. Julie Nelson wrote to me to share here testimony. I prayed for her in the comments.

Also, I prayed with her in a Healing Prayer Session. And God released her voice. Recently she shared her story about infertility and walking through that struggle with an unbelieving husband. Take a listen and give Jesus glory. The SUMite nation is making a way for so many to experience the love of Jesus. Hallelujah!

Thank you Julie for your faithfulness. Hugs, Lynn

The Journey I Chose and the Journey I Didn't (Julie Nelson)

 


Marriage Prayers of Influence

From an excerpt of my new book:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. — Ephesians 1:17

It’s time for a paradigm shift.

Release the old marriage and step into a new relationship.

It’s daily, that I grow ever more concerned and aware of the great power our word wield in the spiritual realm. As sons and daughters of God, our voice, is our greatest weapon of offense. But our words also can release havoc into our lives. Most of the time we are unaware that we are the saboteurs of our own happiness and marriages.

Label or category: From the original Greek kategoria, “accusation, prediction, noun from kagegorein “to speak against, to accuse,” assert, predicate,” from kata, “down to.”

We have categorized the very family we love with accusations of unbelief, insignificance, and out of arrogance or ignorance, our labels speak “down to” the very person God is asking us to elevate and love.

Ouch!

When we categorize a person, Muslim, unbeliever, looser, etc., unbeknownst to us, in the spiritual, we asserted an accusation against them. Upon doing so, we unknowingly lose all influence in their life because a wall of accusation is constructed.

Wow!

We can’t consider them properly. We are unable to see them through the eyes of Christ because we haven’t honored them for who they are currently.

Let’s catch our words and ask the Lord, “God, who is this person? How do you see them?” And when we choose to let go and reject any residue of religion, societal protocols, family history, and cultural constructs, the walls crumble and we see the truest part of the human in front of us. And when we catch a glimpse of what God beholds and adores. This intentionality changes our heart and our prayers. It opens up influence.

Make a conscious choice to reject the lies of judgement, labels, accusation.

Father, in the name of my Savior, Jesus, I repent from all judgement, labeling and misconstrued opinions that are birthed of the demonic realm. Please forgive me for any and all words spoken that create a wall between my husband (others) and myself. Wash these sins with the blood of Jesus and remove them from my permanent record. 

Father, open my eyes, physical and spiritual, allow me view my husband and others and see what you see within. I want to understand and honor them properly. Show me their innocence and reveal their pain, the deceptions that bind them, and allow me to perceive how I can love them into Your wholeness. In Jesus name, amen.

This is when we begin to have influence because all judgement is gone. Preconceived ideas or categories are replaced and this human before us is fully available and views in the eyes of perfect love.

Hallelujah!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18

 


The Influence of a Christian Wife - This is good!

Profile for TypepadGood Day SUMites!

Hope you are off to a brilliant summer.

This morning in my Daily Bible reading I came across the following passage and God began to talk. Want to know what He said? It’s really good.

1Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. 2 The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. 3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord. ─ 1 Kings 11:1-3

The Lord spoke immediately upon reading these verses, “Lynn, the wisest man in the world, the wisest of all humanity that has ever lived, was drawn away from Me by the influence of his evil wives. How much greater is the influence of a Godly wife on an unbelieving spouse.”

“You (wives of unbelievers) underestimate the influence you carry. You allow the lies of the deceiver to hold sway over the truth that Christian wives are utterly equipped and able to influence their husbands into faith in Jesus Christ. This is truth. Live it!”

Whoa.

Thoughts?

My thoughts: KEEP TALKING GOD! YOU ARE AMAZING AND WE LOVE YOU!


Love DEFEATS Knowledge

PATTY tOWER 2018By Patty tower  

We are over a month post conference and boy…not only is God doing a work in me, but doing a work in my husband! Hallelujah and amen.

I’m excited that God is opening doors of spiritual discussions between my husband I, and I’m thrilled to see where these discussions will lead. God will pave a way for my husband’s salvation, yes, but like many other women in this community realize…it comes at a price. The price of truly getting to know myself through the Savior first.

Sometimes, I have to be careful about what I ask. When I prayed, “God give me your heart and show me your ways.” You had better believe He will show you…and sometimes, it stings.

Recently, it occurred to me during in a conversation with my close sisters in Christ, that I may be too “self-righteous,” too “passionate,” and I may come on “too strong” when I talk about Jesus. The Bible encourages us to walk in holiness and righteousness, but was I really being self-righteousness? Was my righteousness the way to go?

Some thesaurus synonyms of self-righteous includes: holier-than-thou, self-satisfied, smug, priggish, pious, moralizing, preachy, superior, and hypocritical. It’s basically the opposite of humility. It’s the opposite of Jesus and what He came to earth to fight against. Those characteristics screamed of everything the religious “Pharisees” stood for in my head.

I didn’t know this about myself until now. I was having a hard time balancing my passion and spreading the gospel in a loving way.  God wasn’t telling me to stop spreading the gospel, but in my pursuit to tell others of my Bible knowledge, I was pushing them away from Jesus ,rather than drawing them in.

Bible knowledge is great, but what good is knowledge if you’re not representing the true love of Christ?

I felt like I failed Him. I failed God and others by not reflecting the love of Christ.

I dug deep and asked my Father, Why am I like this? Where is it coming from?

God answered. The root of it was simple. I had this inner desire to be heard. Growing up in my household, I was rarely heard. The type of relationship I had with my parents was more like a dictatorship. “Do as you’re told…or else.”

I remember memories of me begging them to “hear me out.” I was constantly trying to “convince,” them why they ought to trust me with friendships at school or joining school sports. My opinions or what I had to say were not valued. It was “my way or the highway,” or “because I said so.” I intellectually fought them because I felt like it was the only way that would lead me to freedom outside of my home.

My family prided themselves on being right. And I honestly, I don’t care if you’re right or wrong…I just want to feel loved. To feel protected, honored, valuable...to be heard. Isn’t that why we all love Jesus? Because he provides all those things other people may not be able to?

I was intellectually convincing people why the Bible was the source of truth. When God’s only commandment to me is 1) Love God first. 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. I had to put myself in my neighbor’s shoes and ask, “Would I want to know more about Jesus hearing what I heard from myself?” The answer was no, probably not.

God forgives and He honors our mistakes. But really, I felt like one of those people standing with a sign at a public venue that says, “Believe in Jesus or you will go to hell!” You know what I mean.

In all thankfulness, I have people in my life who can hold me accountable. In God’s perfect timing, He also starts to open more spiritual discussions with my husband. If it weren’t for sisters in Christ, I probably would have vomited Bible knowledge to people who didn’t even care! They just need Jesus!

Jeremiah 9:23 says “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom…”

My most important question to Jesus was, “Other than prayer, how do I go about spreading your gospel now?” I’ve been confirmed in this season it is time my husband hears about the Lord. I’ve been “winning” him through my actions and now it’s through my voice.

The answer was simple. Testify.

Testify what God has done in your life.

Testify the goodness of God.

Testify how he healed you.

Testify the miracles you have witnessed because of Him.

Testify. Luke 8:39 says:

“’Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming through the whole city how much Jesus has done for him.”

I love you all and I’m thankful for a community like you who understands the growing pains of being more Christ-like. Thank you all for your words of wisdom and prayer.

I will see you in the comments!


Step Onto The Warrior March

Winning Him SmallSUMites,

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

Susan wrote me:

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

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

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

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

Love, Susan

Hallelujah.

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

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

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


God's Promises Are Yes and AMEN!

SUM Nation,

Wedding pic 1992I'm writing this post on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary.

So much is happening in our lives and I can’t wait to catch you up. Miracles are abounding!

But until I have time to sit in my office,  I want to be a voice of hope to you who are warring in the trenches of conflict and pain.

Hear my voice now, with Jesus, our marriage relationships will become easier. 

Jesus fills in all the missing places in your heart and life that your husband is unwilling or unable to meet. Stay strong.

I have some new messages coming in the future that will launch you into a new season of victorious battling for your spouse as well as the peace of heaven, at the same time.

Thank you, my SUMite family ,for praying for the salvation of my husband! God’s promises are Yes and AMEN!  I stand on His truths! 

March on Warriors! We Win!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. — 2 Peter 3:9

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When God Asks Questions. Ugh!

Friends,

Today, I'm sharing the Let's TALK LIVE video from Wednesday. It’s vulnerable. It’s real. It’s God’s thoughts about our assignment in a spiritually mismatched marriage.

I love you. March on Warriors!!  Lynn


Living With The Enemy

Proverbs 16 7 on Bible
I hesitated in writing this post. If you live unequally yoked, I think you will understand my perspective. If you aren’t, consider what I have to say. 

Several days ago, I received a phone call from a woman who lives in Wisconsin ( I live in California). She had heard about our book and took time to call me. She shared that she has lived with her unbelieving spouse now for 33 years. Wow, thirty-three years. She loves him and in the past, fought many spiritual battles and persevered with Christ. She went on to tell me that her strength to walk this road came from a scripture verse she heard as a young woman.  

Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s (woman’s) ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him (her).  

She told me that she believed this and this verse has proven true throughout her life.   “Think about it Lynn. My husband doesn’t believe in God. He is an enemy of God.”  

I reply, “Wow, I hadn’t really thought of it that way.”  

She responds, “He is an enemy of God out of ignorance. But I have lived my life the best that I can to be a woman, pleasing to God. And just as His word proves, God has brought peace even within my marriage where my spouse remains an unbeliever. It has been God’s promise to me all these years and I believe Him.”  

I thanked her for imparting this scripture verse to me and the promise it holds for all of us living unequally yoked.

Now I don’t believe my spouse is my enemy because I KNOW who the enemy really is. But, I also see how, as we wait for our unsaved spouse to discover the truths of Christ, we can trust God to bring peace into our lives, homes, and marriages. We need only take delight in the Lord and live for Him.  

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  

Be blessed, Lynn


Slay The Marriage Killers - The In-Laws

Slay The Marriage KillersMarriage Killers. How do we slay them?

Today, I want to talk about …

The in-laws.

Every marriage brings with it an extended family. My experience with in-laws was a good one. They weren’t intrusive. At the time I married Mike, he had lived on his own for years. He had a health relationship with his parents, and they lived in another state. Their involvement in our lives centered about holiday visits and trips to visit their place in the summer. And on occasion, a trip to the Santa Cruz where his parents and their friends and family would vacation every year.

Marriages struggle when either spouse fails to become fully liberated from their parents. This is often an issue with your spouse’s maturity and also a proximity issue.

I can tell you from many emails to this ministry that dealing with in-laws is a REAL thing that challenges marriages. I will also tell you that as a mother of an adult son, there is a very special and unbreakable bond between the two that is a life-long reality. (We have a healthy relationship and I live in five hours from him.)

So, what to do if your spouse is still linked to home and Mom-in-law or dad-in-law interferes with decisions and the direction of your family?

If you are dealing with an overbearing, and ridiculously interfering family member, of course, conversation with your spouse is where you start. Pray and ask Jesus to create a perfect opportunity to talk about extended family. Gang, BATHE this conversation, before it takes place, in prayer. Ask the Lord for the right words. Leave accusation and ridicule of the family member out of the discussion. Take about the issues and how the meddling creates strife and leads to conflict and unhealthy boundaries and decisions. Offense will arise quickly in a spouse when talking about a mom or a dad. Tread carefully but with sound examples and SOLUTIONS that would have made for a better outcome.

Listen. Listen. Listen.

Forgive, forgive, forgive.

Love, love, love.

Determine to set healthy boundaries. In an overbearing situation, space is the only way to gain autonomy. And finally moving a distance away may become your only viable option.

Okay, I need help here. What are the in-law’s dynamics in your home? How have you handled interference? OR better yet, how have you and your spouse set healthy boundaries with the in-laws.

How to you restrain your own mother or father from interfering with your family? I’ll see you in the comments.

LOVE loudly this week. Love and bless your in-laws in your prayer time. Let’s see what happens by Friday? Perhaps a few tiny miracles in the extended family. Hugs, Lynn


The Wicked Marriage Killer

Slay The Marriage KillersWhat is the Wicked Marriage Killer?

Many years ago, my mother-in-law looked at my father-in-law and quoted me to him, “Just deal with it, Caitie.”

I bet my mouth hung open. It became obvious that Carole, was teasing and poking back at her dear husband with words I’d said to my then, hmmmm I guess ten-year-old daughter.

Gulp!

We decide we are going to handle everything!

Deal with it!

I’ll just handle it!

I’ll just do it myself and then I know it will get done and done right!

I will tell you, those words stung even thought MIL didn’t mean them to be harsh. And right now, I apologize to my daughter, Caitie, for telling her to “Just deal.” Ouch!

Although there is wisdom in teaching our children there are issues that can’t be changed. We need to equip them with coping and overcoming skills.

Thinking about marriage killers brought that old MIL memory back to me. Oh, how I like to “handle things.” I’ll handle the job. I’ll just handle the kid’s teachers!!  I’ll handle my marriage. I’ve got a handle on my church commitments and I’ll handle the money. I’ll handle my life and just make everything happen according to the gospel of Lynn. Yikes!

Attitudes like this may make you feel in control most of the time but what happens when you can’t handle anymore? When you hit the wall and then nothing is handled?

Am I speaking to anyone out there?

Oh, my dear friends, indeed, we need to take responsibility for many things but what I find it that in our society, the expectation of many is to take on far more than is possible to effectively manage. And that is the wicked marriage killer.

Over commitment.

We cram so much into our lives that we leave zero margin for the unexpected. No space to “date” our spouse. We slam meals together, pack the car, throw the lunches in backpacks and then off for the day. Rushing home, homework, church work, dishes, and laundry.

We don’t get enough sleep because we stay up watching mindless tv and then up again early the next day for another round. Time with our spouse as a couple is rare and rushed and it’s no wonder in five years you look at each other and think, “Wait, what happened to the fun spouse I married?”

Just callin’ it real here!

This thinking is wrong. People change as they grow older and have children together. There must be maturity and understanding that your spouse will not be the same person in five years. AND as a couple you must insist on margin in your marriage and in your life. Don’t over commit to an education, raising small children, restoring a home or building a new business all at the same time. It’s a recipe for disaster! Something has to give.

Talk to one another. Define a date night and declare it holy. Nothing can take its place. Choose to insert margin in your daily schedule. I know my friend Joanne and her family were so tired of the endless running and schedule demands of sports practice, school, ballet, and everything, so much so, that they took a sabbatical year. They kids didn’t participate in anything. It was the best year of their lives.

Talk to Jesus. Ask Him what must be a priority and what can be tossed out. In my early years, about every six months, Jesus would tell me to prune things out. I had a tendency to over commit. When I did, it created joy and peace. And who doesn’t want more of that in their lives.

Thoughts? Hugs, Lynn


MORE THAN I COULD HAVE ASKED OR IMAGINED!

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-10-21/c226824b-9256-423e-bfb7-e2ae2cfe4502.png
Shelley Cruze with Husband and Son

By  SUMite, Shelley Cruz

I was raised in a wonderful Christian home but walked away from God as a teenager because I thought that I was missing out on all the fun in life. I married, started my career, bought a home with my husband and had two babies. After 12 years of living for myself, I finally realized that the “fun” and all the other things I used to fill the void were leaving me feeling empty. I knew what I was missing was a relationship with Jesus and in 1996, I rededicated my life to Him. I wanted my children to know Jesus and began to teach them and brought them to church with me. I longed for my husband to know Christ, so I began praying for him.  

Soon after, he began coming to church with me, but it became quickly became apparent that he was only coming to make me happy and to present a unified front to our kids. It was clear that his heart was closed, and it was difficult to have hope. Thankfully, my family and the women in my small group prayed for his salvation too and encouraged me not to give up! So, I continued to pray.

Over the years, I saw seeds being planted in his life with different situations he was in and people that were put into his life; I knew God was at work. However, after many, many years of praying with no change, I would get so discouraged and I’d wonder if this prayer would ever be answered.

And yet, things got even tougher. By the time our son hit the 9th grade, he became very rebellious. At age 17, the problems had come to a climax.  He was out of control and involved all kinds of risky behavior. Our lives were in total chaos due to the constant issues that would consume us, and I felt desperate for God’s wisdom on what to do.  

Unfortunately, it is often hardship that motivates us to want to pray continually. I also was feeling frustrated and disappointed in myself in my spiritual journey. Although I was going to church regularly, involved in Bible study and ministry, I often was inwardly consumed with worry and fear about my son, and sadness and discouragement about my husband. So, I used exercise, entertainment and busyness as distractions.

God began to show me that although I was doing many of the right things as a Christian, I wasn’t doing what was most important, which was spending time every single day in prayer and reading my Bible. My spiritual “roots” were not that deep. I had allowed other things to become first place in my life.

So, I began to make prayer and Bible reading a habit, the first thing I did each morning. I journaled, even the small answers to prayer I was seeing in my life. This began to encourage me as I saw God WAS answering my prayers by giving me peace, wisdom and direction. As I began to make time for God and talk to Him regularly, I found something: my attitude about Bible reading and prayer changed. My desire for that time with the Lord became something I wanted to do instead of something I should do.

Unfortunately, things continued to spiral out of control with our son.  After trying everything we could think of, God helped lead my husband and I to the decision to send our son to a camp for struggling teens. Our hearts were completely broken. This was the most difficult decision we’ve ever had to make, and the next four months were very painful. During the time he was gone, I could see things were starting to change for my husband. His heart was softening to spiritual things. He now wanted to come to church with me regularly, he wanted to read the Purpose Driven Life book that had been sitting on our bookshelf for 10 years, and he was touched by the outpouring of prayer, love and support by the Christians that were in our life.  

Four months later, our son came back from camp and although it was stressful and there were many adjustments, it was clear that he was on a better track. I was so thankful that God had given us direction to make this huge decision. This had truly been an answer to prayer. However, now that life was manageable, it seemed like nothing was happening anymore in my husband and I again felt discouraged. 

Two months later, we were driving home from San Diego and my husband suddenly turned to me and said, “I’ve made a decision to believe”.  I was in total shock…. I asked him if he meant that he had accepted Christ into his heart, and he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “Yes, I have.” Needless to say, I could barely speak for the next 10 minutes as tears poured down my face…. WHAT A MIRACLE, AFTER 18 YEARS OF PRAYING FOR HIM. It made me realize that God had been working all along, even though most of the time, I couldn’t see anything. 

Our lives have not been the same since! God has truly transformed our marriage.  The spiritual and emotional intimacy that I had longed for all those years is finally here and God is the center of our marriage.  

I am so thankful that our prayers have been answered with our son and he has changed the direction of his life. God has healed our relationship with him, he has a job and just graduated from university in May!

Over the last five years since he made the decision to believe, I have watched God change my husband from the inside out. Although he was a good man before, I’ve seen God transform his heart, his desires, his actions and his purpose for his life. We serve in ministry together teaching spiritual growth classes at our church. We lead a small group in our home, he is part of a men’s group, serves in several other ministries at church, and we plan to go on our first mission trip together next Spring. God has answered my prayers so far above and beyond what I could have imagined! God has also given me a new ministry supporting and encouraging other women who are also in spiritually mismatched marriages.  He truly uses our pain for a purpose!

Maybe you have been praying for your husband for a very long time. Maybe you are getting discouraged and wondering if God is listening, or if anything is happening. If you are praying, please don’t give up! God is at work when we pray even if we don’t see it, miracles do happen!  

Shelley Cruze Family
Cruz Family!

God Can Change A Man's Heart!

Nicki Hathorn 10 2018

by Niki Hathorn

Hello SUMite friends!

I have some wonderful news today.

When I met my husband in our early twenties, we were both believers but not even close to walking with Jesus. Fast forward to my early thirties, we were married, and I was pregnant with our first child. It was at that time when Jesus finally got hold of me.

I found a church to attend, started reading my Bible, I became involved in community with some wonderful ladies, and really began to grow. My husband would participate once in a while - when convenient for him, but I wasn't seeing much change in his life. In fact, debauchery and anger seemed to take over any joy that he had. It's been a long and difficult road.

In August, I went to bed on a Sunday night and fell asleep telling Jesus that I didn't think I could stay much longer. The constant tension and lack of peace in my home had become too much and I felt that my prayers weren't being answered. The next morning, I found out I was pregnant (total surprise) with our third child. I thought my husband would be upset about this wrench in our plans, but he was excited - which even surprised himself.

A few days went by and I started to see a lot of his anger and anxiety melt away. A few weeks later, our friends (who have a band) were releasing their first album and putting on a concert at a performing arts center. He suggested that we get tickets and make a date night of it! But on that day, he also attended a friend's birthday party at a brewery, so he showed up to the concert pretty drunk. I was a little concerned that somehow his anger would rear its ugly head that night but guess what! He praised, he worshiped, he sang, he wept, he had joyful fellowship with the wonderful Christian's in our lives. The dark and the light collided, and the light won that night.

As I drove him home that night, he fell asleep and that's when the strange behavior began. His limbs started randomly flying around. One time, he sat up and punched the windshield. After getting home and going to bed, his arms were still thrashing around - one time accidentally hitting me in the face. He would randomly start yelling profanities as if he were angry at someone. Then he started getting out of bed and stomping around our home, yelling and cursing. I have NEVER seen anything like this from him and he drinks OFTEN.

He woke up the next morning with unexplained burns on his arm. It did not occur to me until the next morning (as I was pretty freaked out when this was happening) that what I was seeing was demonic. I think the enemy showed up at the concert that night thinking he was winning, but instead he realized how much he is losing his hold on my husband. My husband has zero recollection of any of this.

Now here's the best part. Fast forward two weeks and our church's missionaries from Nigeria came to speak at our church. They told us that they have already planted 16 churches in their people's kingdom, but until they can be educated, they will never rise up out of oppression. The first step to educating their children, is to build a school in this specific town where they can get certified by the government so that the children can then move on to college (which is free) in order to become teachers and doctors and come back to their villages to educate more and the cycle continues so that they can rise above the oppression and poverty.

They need $10k for the land to build the school and $20k for the building We left church that day and in the car on the way home, my husband said he was going to give them the money they need for the land.

SAAAAYYYY WHATTTTT??????

Here is this man who I have seen in bondage for so very long and prayed for with so many tears... He's breaking free, he's feeling the Spirit, he's giving to the Kingdom without restraint. I just can't even.

This God of ours is BIG and so much better than I could ever comprehend. My faith has turned a new corner and I cannot wait to see what the Lord Jesus does with my family. Thank you for reading if you are still here! And I sure hope that this is an encouragement to you! Please rejoice with me today :) Lynn and Dineen, I have and have read your books and they have been SUCH an encouragement to me. Thank you for this ministry!

Niki, SUMite Nation

My husband and I grew up about 20 minutes from each other in Alabama, but didn't meet until we both moved to Tampa, Florida after college. We have been married for almost 8 years and have a girl, a boy, and a surprise baby on the way! We are currently living in Apollo Beach, Florida where he built us a house.


Fill Your Kitchen With Love

IMG_1236Now for something completely different.

You know, I have discovered a secret to a happy marriage. Well at least it applies to the Donovan Clan.

Feed the man.

I’ve learned to cook. I didn’t know much more than spaghetti when we married. But I find cooking is one of the creative expressions I enjoy, a gift from God. So today, I’m delighting in the beauty and abundance of Autumn. I want to share what’s going on in the kitchen.

From my Pomegranate tree out back:

  Pom 2018

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Roasted Veggies with pomegranate: A Pioneer Woman Recipe Served with Salmon with a mustard and brown sugar glaze.

Roasted Fall Veggies
I forgot the poms in this pic... Oopie. Grin. But it turned out great!

Yum and eee.  I was pulling the seeds out of the shell, when all of a sudden a spider was crawling across the cutting board. Eeeeek! 

Love you SUMite Nation! Hugs, Lynn

Fill your home with the smells of home cooking. Find your creative side in the kitchen. Enjoy some of these simple but wonderful treasures of living the abundant life.


Going To Hell?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comHello SUM Nation,

On Monday I posted a question. See below. Today, I’ll share my perspective. Hugs, Lynn

Anne M. wrote: Answering questions about the eternal fate of unsaved family members to your children, knowing that your words may be repeated to those family members. It's walking a line of truth, comfort and diplomacy.

Anne, it IS walking a line of truth, comfort and diplomacy. So true.

Let me share how I view my pre-believer spouse.

HOPE.

I will never surrender hope that God will reach my husband. I’m so utterly convinced that God will answer my 26 years of prayers, that there is no other option for me. In fact, I’m nearly convinced that the prayer Mike prayed with Joe on the driveway in front of our house, sealed the deal. (I share this story in Winning Him Without Words)

I won’t know for sure until glory, but the Lord has given me peace in this area. I continue to pray things like, encounter my husband. Protect him from the devil. Prosper him. Let Mike see you today…. These are awesome prayers that move the heart of God.

I’m not in denial that Mike has free will and that there are eternal choices at hand. However, when talking to anyone about salvation, heaven and hell, this is my perspective:

I believe that God is far greater, filled with a love to powerful and all encompassing that our mind is incapable to comprehend it fully, and His person is mercy. I believe He spends an entire lifetime reaching out to an individual to share His love and bring that person into truth. I also believe that we, the Church, tend to put God in a neat little box so that we don’t have to think about a broader possibility that God can save even the ugly, the rebellious, and those who doubt. 

My friends, I once was all of those.

He saved me.

(We want justice. But often God's justice is the opposite of ours.)

When speaking to unbelievers, I share that God is bigger than we know. He will have mercy on those He chooses. So, as long as you are breathing, there is hope. I will hope, until I’ve hoped, hoped, hoped and then hoped some more.

God likes hopeful people.

I always choose to view people as children of God. Because every person on this plant is His kid. Some are so very lost, corrupted, and on a path of destruction. But, God redeems even the worst sinners. I believe that is what Jesus said was His purpose.

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. — Luke 5:32 (NIV)

When family members ask if you think someone is going to hell, I would reply, “God is good. He is love and I just don’t know. God continually surprises me, so I remain hopeful.”

Your thoughts?


Who is to Say?

Wedding-Hands-300 By Martha Bush

"Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thou God my God." (Ruth 1:16 KJV)

With that final scripture spoken over us, my groom and I kissed and ran down the aisle to start our new life together.

  • From a peanut farm in Georgia to Tripoli, Libya, and on to Maine, Louisiana, and Texas-I lodged with him.
  • His family became my people, and along the way, we had two kids of our own.
  • And then it happened. Seven years into the marriage, I fell in love with someone else. His name was Jesus, and at that point, the god of this world we had served together, was no longer my God.

Fast forward to another season of this high school sweetheart romance and marriage-I wanted out!

I had grown tired of waiting on God's promises to be fulfilled in my marriage. Waiting is always hard, but to live in the same house with someone who is in opposition to your faith is even harder. (Can you relate?)

And so it was, I began praying for God to give me permission to vacate the premises-not divorce, just separate. After a couple of weeks of praying, I began hearing the words, "who is to say that you have not been brought into the kingdom for such a time as this?"

"Where had I heard those words before? Oh yes, the book of Esther. No Lord; I don't want to be an Esther; just let me out of here!"

But, then He began to show me others in The Bible He had pre-positioned in a position for a special purpose. What was that purpose? TO BRING FORTH A GREAT DELIVERANCE!

Not only was the deliverance for their families, but for others as well. In the midst of their designated position, they had to experience discomfort, risk, ridicule, condemnation, and rejection.

I raced to my computer and composed a poem, recalling people and, yes, even animals who were pre-positioned for an important role in the history of all mankind.

_____ 

Who is to Say?

Esther, a Jewish slave, became the wife of a pagan king in the land,
Discovered that Haman wanted all the Jews destroyed by the king's command.
But, Esther had favor with the king and Haman's plot went amiss,
Who is to say that a slave girl wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

Think of Rahab, who was called a harlot by name,
Heard about God drying up the Red Sea and bringing the Egyptians to shame.
So, she hid the Israelite spies and every wall of Jericho fell without a miss,
Who is to say that a harlot wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (Joshua 2)

And then there is the donkey that stopped Balaam in his tracks,
From going the wrong way less the Israelites be cursed and attacked.
Now, we might scoff at the thought of God using a donkey and say, "That idea I will dismiss,"
Who is to say that a donkey wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (Number 22:21-35)

What can we say about Jehaziel whose name was mentioned only once in the good book,
Heard a word from God saying, "Stand still," before the battle Jehoshaphat undertook.
The enemy killed themselves as the Israelites sang praises to God with joyful bliss,"
Who is to say that a prophet wasn't brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this? (11 Chronicles 20:17)

Let's never forget Mary, a young virgin in her day,
Received a visit from an angel who had powerful words to say.
"You shall bring forth a son to save the world by shedding blood of His,"
Indeed, a virgin was brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this! (Luke 1:31)

But, wait, there were others involved in the nativity scene,
Shepherds, wise men, angels, all around the stable they leaned.
Quite unnoticed was Anna who proclaimed the redemption message in their midst,
Who is to say that an unknown woman wasn't brought into the kingdom for such a time as this? (Luke 2:36-37)

Now, each of these people probably questioned their position from the start,
Why, even Mary pondered these things in her heart.
No doubt they even found discomfort in doing what they had been pre-positioned to do,
For example the donkey: "I'm sure he didn't like being kicked by Balaam, would you?"

But, the Bible shows how God uses slaves, harlots, prophets, virgins, and even donkeys, too,
In order to fulfill the purpose they were created to do.
And so if I should be pre-positioned by God in a position that I would rather dismiss,
Who is to say that I, an ordinary housewife, wasn't brought into the kingdom for such a time as this?

_____

Yes, I stayed and as Lynn says in Winning Him Without Words, I have a front row seat watching God pursue my husband to be his God. So, go ahead, Lynn, and pencil Glen and I into your schedule for Facebook Live.

Note: To my Sumite Friends: I wrote this blog from my own experience. Every marriage is different, and guidance from the Lord is needed when deciding to leave the marriage or not. 


Declaration Friday

Declaration Friday

Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask for grace for today. I receive Your grace for today. Thank you for your fuel from heaven. Amen.

 

Father, I declare that my family will become mighty children of God. They will be free, in Jesus name. They will not miss their destiny. They will become a living testimony of the saving power of Jesus Christ. I stand in faith. AMEN

 

IMG_3095
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 


Spiritual Leadership When Unequally Yoked       

BibleNation of SUM Warriors,

To follow up on my post from Monday, there some discussion about the perspective I shared. It’s interesting to me that a few readers were uncomfortable with my perspective on the old English, King James Version of 1 Peter 3.

I get it!

Of course, I’m not a theologian. I’m only an ordinary wife and believer who is on this faith journey along with the rest of you. And I only pointed out my perspective because sometimes the Lord is the one who is longing to bring greater understanding to scripture. I will add one more comment about the King James rendering. For centuries the church in general accepted this particular rendering which included the word conversation. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that new translations came into the public readership and were widely received, that the rendering of conversation changed to behavior. King James was written in 1,611. NIV, 1973. So, how did believers from 1,611 to early 1,900’s deal with 1 Peter 3? Were they silent or did they present themselves as the living Word to their unbelieving husbands and talk with them about faith? Or in fact, did they do both? One day in heaven I plan to ask them. *grin*

However, I won’t ignore the fact that we can easily present the translation of the word “conversation” from the Greek which the King James was derived. The Word in the Greek is: anastrophé:

This is closely translated to: Behavior, manner of life.

And as I looked at other passages in the Word, time and again, the word behavior was translated, conversation, manner of life, conduct. But they were intertwined. Here is an example from Ephesians:

Ephesians 4:22 N-AFS
GRK: τὴν προτέραν ἀναστροφὴν τὸν παλαιὸν
NAS: to your former manner of life, you lay aside
KJV: the former conversation the old
INT: the former conduct the old

When you consider the Greek meaning, it comes together for me as how our entire life is presented to others. It’s our behavior, our conduct, our conversation…. Our manner of life. It’s our whole-self. Our true identity.

What I love is that the Word remains the same within these translations. We must present ourselves as a wife, a woman worthy of the High calling of God. Let our spouse behold this kind of life, conduct, perhaps even humble conversations. This is the Gospel lived out in the home of the unequally yoked.

In all my years of living in an unequally yoked marriage this is what I know. We are the Word of God being lived out in front of our pre-believer. It’s our year-upon-year, leaning into the truth, living with growing faith. It's not perfection. NO, it's living authentically. Our spouse discovers we are serious about our faith and they, even grudgingly, watch as our life, values, conduct changes before their eyes. Sometimes they quietly admire our adjustments. Sometimes they don’t like our lifestyle changes because they are fighting with lying voice that share their mind and are offended in their deception.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A man can ignore a nagging wife, but he can't ignore the truth of a transformed life!

As a woman with more than 26 years of marriage, I will state clearly and with confidence for your life and marriage. It’ does become easier. Even as I’m typing this I hear my husband in his office, praise music is playing in the kitchen. Gang, earlier in our marriage, praise music playing anywhere was the beginning of a fight.

Last week I was facing some difficult issues and in passing I asked my husband to pray for me as I headed out to a meeting that had me uncomfortable. Upon arriving home, he said to me, “I prayed for you.”

Yes, indeed! That happened!

And it was real. He truly prayed. I hope it was to Jesus. I’m not sure but I was deeply touched that he prayed for lil’ ole me. And the meeting went fantastic.

SUMites, get a grip on Hope. Take hold of with all your might Perseverance and grab Faith and never let go. I will be the voice to assure you, it’s all worth it. There is hope and while we wait, we are invited into the most astonishing adventures with our Papa God, Jesus and the entire realm of His Kingdom! Hallelujah!

If you agree, say it in the comments. I stand on faith. I grab Hope. I invite in perseverance and I accept the invitation to every adventure the Lord offers. In Jesus name. AMEN Signed:______


Testimony Springboard & Powerful Conflict Tool

Hey SUMite Nation:

Today I shared two powerful perspectives on the SUM Facebook page. I want to share these with you and to celebrate 26 years of marriage and how this is important to your marriage.

Let's Talk Live is moving to Wednesdays at noon Pacific. Please make time to listen to this broadcast as it offers some powerful perspectives to THRIVE in your faith and marriage. 

I love you. Lynn

 

If you can't view this video in the email blast, click here. :)


Mike's Best Advice To A Believing Wife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And love?”

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

This response means the world to me!

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

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

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

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

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Be Blessed, Lynn


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

“Woman! How Would Like Your Husband Saved?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk about an overnight express answer!

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

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

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

Blessings,

Martha


Submission vs. Obedience - - Part 3 By: Martha Bush

Submission vs. Obedience - - Part 1
Submission vs. Obedience - - Part 2

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comIntroduction by Martha Bush

I want to thank Lynn for giving me the opportunity to tell my story of the most difficult season  I faced in my marriage when submission vs. obedience came into play, as I obeyed the Lord’s direction for my life, and the opposition I faced from my husband in doing so.  (Part 1, Part 2)

These posts weren’t meant to degrade my husband. Looking back, this season was more about breaking strongholds and burning out impurities in my life that had kept me from putting God first.

I want to conclude with two questions that I struggled with the most.

Question #1: Am I Hearing Your Voice, Lord?

Trusting my heart to know if it was the Lord’s voice was entirely new to me. Perhaps it was because, since childhood, I had never allowed myself to think and feel for myself, nor had I ever made my own decisions.

Scriptures assured me God’s voice was within me.

  • Jeremiah 31:31-33: I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.
  • Deuteronomy 30:11-14: The word is very near unto you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.

What I was hearing on my heart was being confirmed by scriptures, sermons, prophetic words, and even in dreams.

My thoughts were still on my husband. Many days, I cried out in agony: “What about my husband, Lord?”

In Luke 14:25-34, Jesus is encouraging his followers to think about what it means to follow Him. To do this, they would have to forsake everything – including family – in order to make this type of commitment to Jesus.

Question #2: How Can I Balance 1 Peter 3 to Honor and Reverence My Husband With Harsh Words?

Take a look at the synonyms for harsh:

  • Brusque, hard, unfeeling, unkind, brutal, stern, acrimonious, bad-tempered, rough, discordant, dissonant, unharmonious

My answer to my question came after I made a “public fool” of myself.

When my husband retired, our two daughters and I gave him a surprise party in the small town in Georgia where we grew up. I prepared a beautiful speech in his honor.

As I stood before the crowd to give my speech, suddenly harsh words started ringing in my ears that began the day I approached him to discuss my new direction from the Lord.

An attitude rose up inside me, and I couldn’t give the honor speech I had written. Instead, I laughed my way through a rambling, meaningless speech.

Fast forward one year – my two daughters approached me.

“You had an opportunity to honor our daddy on the most important event of his life; instead you chose to disrespect him.”

“But, you don’t understand what goes on behind closed doors,” I protested.

Their cutting words were: “Mama, you are the Christian in this marriage; you should know better.”

I almost took them out of the world I had brought them into; instead, I stomped off and pouted with them for three months.

Google to the rescue---Marriage Mission International listed a book called Winning Him Without Words, which I ordered.

Two women from California who had never laid eyes on me started meddling in my business on page 67:  Know the Essentials of Love: Hope, Joy, Peace and Trust (Oh, Yeah, and Respect)

At last, I humbled myself before the Lord and asked His forgiveness.

He then began to teach me principles that changed my life.

  • Honor: Obey the Lord; honor those in authority over us, which includes our husbands.
  • Boundaries: Submission is never meant to allow someone to overstep another’s boundaries. Marriage needs two ingredients to grow and thrive – freedom and responsibility.
  • Harsh Words: I cannot control how another person speaks or acts, but I can control how I respond to it.

Note: There is an immense difference between being persecuted for the Lord than being physically or emotionally abused by a tyrant, or subjected to other traumatizing situations.  Godly wisdom is need in these situations.

The Finality of My Story

A prophecy I received about my husband:

  • Your husband is going to hate the things he has said and done, but he is going to love the gospel and want the truth. When I finish My quick work in him, I’m going to establish him for the very last work.

My church was flooded during hurricane Harvey, resulting in small groups needing to meet elsewhere. Would you believe my SUM group meets in our home? Though he thinks it’s a regular women’s Bible study, nonetheless, he opens our home for the Lord’s work. He retreats to the bedroom to watch the car races during the meeting, and afterwards joins us ladies for a meal.

As for Smith Wigglesworth whom I mentioned in Part 1 – After his conversion, many were saved, healed, and even raised from the dead through his ministry.

I’d like to think that when our husbands and wives get to the Pearly Gates, Smith will be there to greet them.

“Welcome! I have been waiting for you. I am in heaven today because Polly made Christ her Master, and prayed for me just like your spouse did!”

And all my SUMite sisters and brothers said:

“Praise the Lord. Bring it on!”

References

  1. Honors Reward: John Bevere
  2. Boundaries in Marriage: Henry Cloud, John Townsend
  3. The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: LeslieVernick
  4. Verbally Abusive Relationship – How to Recognize it and How to Respond: Patricia Evans.
  5. Beloved Unbeliever: Jo Berry

1 Peter 3 - Same But Different

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comThank you, Martha, for your powerful post about submission vs obedience on Friday. I believe she is working on a follow up and I will post it when she sends it along.

Today, I want to continue with what the Lord was showing me a few weeks ago about 1 Peter 3. If you recall, God has me camped in the books of Peter and He suggested I read all of the chapters. Reading chapter three, I sensed the Holy Spirit focus on something we, the unequally yoked, usually miss because we are hung up on the first verse and we miss the rest. And the rest of the passage is amazing.

So, let’s look at this passage.

1 Peter 3New International Version (NIV)

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,

2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.

4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,

6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

As I read through this the Lord said, “Read it differently. What if the verses were in a different order?”

Then I heard the passage like this:

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, you are (Sarah’s) daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Okay, I realize this is only my conversation with the Lord, so please understand, I am not changing scripture but as I read the scripture in this order, I felt the Lord help me to change focus.

I could feel conviction of the Lord to submit to my husband to win him to faith but ALSO to do what is right and not give way to fear. The Holy Spirit flooded my heart with understanding. Submission is a behavior of obedience to God and that kind of behavior is what will win the hearts of our husbands. Also, I realized that fear does not communicate faith to unbelievers. In fact, worldly people perceive fear as a weakness.

What I believe the Lord was trying to show me is that back in the day, when the church was new, people were converting to faith in droves for the very first time. They didn’t know how to proceed when they came to faith and found themselves in a marriage with an unbeliever. Peter, sharing under the Holy Spirit unction, is urging them/us to remain married and preserve the family. Yet, live out authentic faith without fear. When we do so, our obedient behavior to the Lord is the testimony to our unbelieving spouse. This kind of faith without fear is straight from the heart of God. And when empowered by the gifts of the Spirit, results in a beautiful submission out of love, compassion, great wisdom and the power of God to our spouse, our marriage, our family and ultimately to God for His glory.

Bold faith brings thousands to Christ. That’s a fact. Faith is NOT a weakness nor for the weak minded. It’s a powerful life of miracles, provision, protections and more. When we demonstrate that we live and believe in THAT kind of Kingdom, people are moved, changed, and want to be part of it.

After this revelation I sensed how the devil turns our hearts to believe the way to receive our husband’s approval is: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. (vs 3)

However, lasting beauty/relationships are developed through behaviors of authenticity and vulnerability, exactly like this: Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (vs 4) when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. (vs 2)

By the way, this is what makes a marriage successful.

Wow and WOW! Okay, thank you for allowing me to share my prayer time with you. I think that 90 percent of all the decisions we make, are motivated out of fear or love. And this passage speaks exactly to the core of our beliefs. It’s a daily battle to choose love and to operate out of the gifts of the Spirit and overcome our fears.

Share your thoughts. Does this resonate with you and how can we encourage one another to operate out of love and not fear? Hugs, Lynn


Going To Church Alone


Book-coverToday, I want to chat about another big issue. This is a re-post for our newest family members. (Jan, 2016)

GOING TO CHURCH ALONE.

Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr

This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well.

First, dealing with the whole couple thing. Grrrrrr, again! Our Western society is significantly “couple” focused. Learning to do anything alone takes a ton of courage and prayer. At least it did for me and I’m usually a courageous person. But after remaining a floundering believer at home, there comes a day when your need for community outweighs fear and you timidly cross the threshold of a church.

Once conquering that fear, you then must overcome disappointment as you see other couples together in church. True that. Anyone???

My friends, I want to assure you that if you are currently in this season of walking unequally yoked and attending church alone, it does become easier. 

Think about this. As you consider your life, most of us find that God has been amazingly faithful. Even in our periods of doubt or in my case, spiritual rebellion. God never left me nor did He forsake me. EVER. Even when I ran away from Him. As I slowly returned to my heavenly Father, I realized His faithfulness and it became the strength and my backbone. I made the decision to be faithful and return to church. And I’m so glad I did.

It was within my church community, women’s Bible study, that my healing began. I know I wrote about this our book, Winning Him Without Words. But it’s good to remember that God made us for community. At the core of all we are, we are designed for community, membership, authentic living, to be known and to know others in truth.

Knowing this, church became vital. It was my weekly re-charge. And when children became part of the family, they needed church too. That foundation of training in their early lives will live on in the next generation.

I’ve attended church alone for nearly 25 years. It’s been hard and it’s been glorious. Churches are challenging. You must remember they are filled with broken and needy people who are just like you. Attending church requires us to wear forgiveness like a cloak and to cry out for God to fill us with love, every, single day that we may love people like Him.

But at the end of the day, church is a hint of our future. One day THE CHURCH, will gather in the great assembly, with pure love in our hearts and will join as one people, one voice in worship. I promise we can’t imagine the depth of love we will feel and experience. I can’t wait.

So focus on Jesus and love even the broken and messy at church. And allow others who truly care about your life, to love on you. Be authentic and allow them to serve you.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned through sitting alone in church. One, I’m not the only one. My spiritual mismatched allowed me to see many others who don’t fit in. My heart is drawn to those who are alone, even those who feel alone but ARE sitting with a spouse. And my friends, churches are filled with these kinds of people who pretend their marriage is perfect. It’s simply not true. Every marriage, including your pastor's will struggle, even greatly struggle at some point. It’s just different from yours.

Allow yourself to set aside your loneliness and pain and truly look around you. It’s likely your training here at SUM and through the Word will allow you to speak love and truth into some other misfit who is sitting in the sanctuary. And that my friends, is exactly what delights the heart of God.

BTW: Ultimately we will discover we are all misfits and that is exactly what God intends!!!

Hugs, Lynn


Could You Walk Around Nude?

Canaries in fig tree SUMDo you read the stories in the Bible about those who died, who gave their lives up, for the cause of Christ? What about modern martyr accounts of believers in the middle east who are being killed for their Christian faith? Do you walk in faith that you could do the same?

I often cry out in prayer, “Lord, I want more of you. Lord, make me so strong in faith that if one day I must choose to die or take the mark of the beast, that I would be willing and able to die for the cause of Christ.”

Perhaps you don’t pray like this. It’s just that for me, I sometimes wonder if I could stand on my faith and die for Jesus. After all, there are believers right now, today, who will stand for Christ and ISIS will kill them.

GULP.

Recently I was reading in the book of Isaiah. I arrived at this passage and I wept:

In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander in chief to capture the Philistine city of Ashdod, the Lord told Isaiah son of Amoz, “Take off the burlap you have been wearing, and remove your sandals.” Isaiah did as he was told and walked around naked and barefoot. Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. —Isaiah 20: 1-3

I wept out loud, “Lord, I couldn’t do this. If you told me to go around nude for three years, I COULDN’T DO IT. If I can’t do this, how in the world could I die for you?”

Geeze, as I type this is sound overly dramatic. Ahem, ya! I’m NOT nuts!

But when you cry out for more of God and tell Him you are a servant that follows hard after Him, you think about these things.

So, while on my walk-n-pray today, I asked God about all this. I prayed, “Lord, I don’t know if I could do i. But I pray that if the situation should ever arrive, I could walk through whatever you have asked of me.”

It was in that moment that I heard the Lord’s kind and gentle voice reply. “Lynn, you walk through your own challenges every day. You willingly submit to your marriage vows, even when it’s difficult. You remain steadfast and committed to praying for your spouse and family. This is immensely important to me.”

“Many, people crumble under way less that what all of you, the SUMites, live out. So many people, carelessly cast away their marriages. You choose to remain steadfast. Your faithfulness is way more important. I know you can’t perceive the end of the story but your prayers for that one man are impacting. Your lifetime of sacrifice fills my heart with a special love for you.”

I felt as though the Lord wants all of us to know that because we haven’t bailed out on a challenging marriage, He is proud. He is helping us. He hears our prayers and somehow in a way, this life-long sacrifice IS the giving of our life for the cause of Christ.

Well done SUMites! Well done!

And for those of you who are walking through divorce, there is absolutely NO CONDEMNATION in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) I spend time with so many of you who have fought with all you have to heal your marriage and yet it didn’t happen. Please know, your faith and your love in very challenging circumstances is a precious gift to our Lord!

Hugging all of you today! Lynn

Next post: I want to share from the archives:

GOING TO CHURCH ALONE.

Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr

This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well…..