A Ride in the Night

Road-1576538__340

Hello to all my SUMite friends: Martha Bush

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

****   

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

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

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

Blessings to you and your family.

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


Children And Night Terrors (Series Part II)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready?

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

BUT not any longer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


Sumite Prayer Partnerships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


He Opened It. I Waited With a Butterfly Stomach

1 Corinthians 13The following was written by Dorothy Fleming, a long-time reader here at SUM. She shared this story with me and I knew all of us need to receive it. Thank you Dorothy for your love, example and your Christ-like heart. Hugs, Lynn

***

January 6, 2018

Making My Husband Cry on Christmas

It started with a 2017 Valentine’s Day post by Gary Thomas author of the book “Cherish –The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage”.  He kept a journal for a whole year writing each day how he cherished his wife.  He then gave the journal to her at Christmas.  Hmmm.  What a great idea!  I can do that I thought…can’t I?

However, keeping a cherish journal for a SUM spouse presents some challenges, right?  Not only would I need to find something to cherish each and every day for days, weeks, months, but accomplish it without directly quoting Bible verses or writing prayers in it.  How can I honor my husband through this adventure and grow my faith, so I can be a better reflection of Christ to him?  Lord! Please guide me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow


Patty Tower On SUM Facebook Page

Hi SUMite Nation:

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

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

THANK YOU!

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

Footer w drop shadow