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Ann Hutchison
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Hi SUM family, it's Ann here. I'm on holiday at the moment in England, where I've been visiting my parents in my home town (Reading), and attending my brother's wedding. I have one more week here before flying back to New Zealand. It's been special to be with my family. I am finishing off this post with my Mum pottering in the next room. That's nice huh! Now for today's post: Today I had a catch-phrase I wanted to share -- It's something that we can speak out when feeling battered by others' unbelief. The catch-phrase is this: I'm not going to let anyone steal my crown! Perhaps we can even take a moment to speak that out right now, in fact, before continuing to read? Here we go: I'm not going to let anyone steal my crown! The back story to that phrase is this: I know there are... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
We were sent this amazing story of how one husband turned to Jesus after many years of his wife waiting. We are so grateful to Yvonne Swarbrick for sharing it -- it is her story. Read, meet Yvonne, and be encouraged: "I became a Christian in 1985 , the Lord had been calling me a long time because I could trace back through my life when I had tried to find Him. I wasn’t aware I was searching for Him till I found him and a lot of people realize this after they become Christians. I watched a program on TV called This is The Day one Sunday morning. Me and my two daughters were getting ready for a birthday party on a canal boat, it was a Sunday. In the program there was a short sketch of the crucifixion. The tv was on in the background and I only... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
One of our SUMites, Gladys Rosario Arias, made this video for us all today, we loved it. Thank you, Gladys! Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Ann Hutchison Dear SUMites, as you know over the last few posts we've been talking about the Holy Spirit and looking at what his activity in our lives can look like. Well, I had one thing planned to write today but something really amazing happened this week that I need to share instead. The following thing happened hot on the heels of us talking about breakthrough in the last post: This week I’ve been on holiday in a town called Queenstown. A close friend and her family have been with us and, like most of the people we spend time with, they are not yet believers. The husbands and kids took off skiing for the day, and so my friend and I grabbed tea and cake in a café. Girl-chat ensued and she began to share some hard things she’s been through lately - Really, really hard stuff. I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello, dear friends, it's Ann here. Last week we talked about life with the Holy Spirit. I so enjoyed those conversations. Well, this week I want to share a couple of simple stories -- one today and one on Friday -- to describe something the Holy Spirit did on an otherwise ordinary day. In each story there is a truth for us SUMites to take away. Are you sitting comfortably? Ok, here we go: A few years ago, I was fast asleep in bed when I suddenly woke to feel a jolt of explosive power break out of me. KAPOW!!! It felt like shards of diamonds had just exploded from within my innermost depths. POW! It was the descriptiveness of it that struck me. The sense I had was definitely of shards of diamonds. Precious stuff. Why did I experience that, and what was God trying to say? I wasn't... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
We've been talking this week about the Holy Spirit. He is our comforter and a genius in our lives. Well, that topic led me to make this week's live video about how God speaks. Sometimes he really does speak to us creatively! If you haven't seen it already, hope you enjoy this. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Ann Hutchison Years ago, I asked God a question: "What does it look like to walk with the Holy Spirit?" I had not read the Bible through yet, but I noted scripture mentioned gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as healing, tongues, and miracles; and I had questions for God about this. A night or so later, I woke with a phrase in my head. The phrase was this: The voyages of Paul. The voyages of Paul? Hmm. Now, I was a babe in the faith. I knew who the Apostle Paul was -- he wrote parts of the New Testament, but I didn't yet know he took voyages. "Did he take voyages?" I asked. Well, I went to Wikipedia and found that indeed he did! WOW. Yep, that was the Holy Spirit speaking to me, and I sensed God was telling me to go and look at Paul's... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
My dear friends It's Monday morning here in New Zealand as I write, my two boys are on school holidays, and I'm sitting in my comfy clothes, ready to write to you. I'm armed with much coffee here, and I so want to chat! This week I have kept on thinking "I want to talk about the Holy Spirit, and how he works in our lives." The unequally yoked life can be so serious and weighty, can't it? We get weighed down by all sorts of things. Especially the spiritual condition of our family. BUT, the Holy Spirit brings a counter-experience to that. If we welcome him in, things happen to us that leave us wide-eyed in wonder. Holy Spirit, you are so welcome here. On this blog, in this community, and in our lives. The Holy Spirit is our comforter. And for us SUMites that is very meaningful. What's... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Ann Hutchison My friends, I had a reallllly interesting night a week ago. It was one of those nights where you see God move and you drive home with a head full of thoughts. To tell you the story, I need to backtrack a little. One of our SUMites, Paula Blackie, lives about an hour's drive from me, and every now and again I meet her for coffee. The first time we ever met in person, we randomly picked a cafe halfway between our two houses. When we got there, imagine our surprise when we saw that the cafe was decorated with model wedding cakes ... Everywhere. I meet a SUMite in a place where the walls are adorned with wedding cakes? ... Love it! But God had more fun for us than that. A few months ago (sitting in this cafe), Paula shared with me that she'd been... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Ann here! My own journey of trying to raise kids in faith has had its ups, downs and edgy bits over the years. As my boys are now nearly adult I thought I would look back and share a few personal thoughts. Grab a cuppa, have a listen... and I wish you a happy Friday. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
My friends, It's been interesting talking about serving God when spiritually single, and I've found your comments wonderfully insightful. I have especially loved hearing your stories. Our lives certainly are different to other Christians, aren't they? For the final post in this series, I want to finish with a story -- You might remember I'm going through the book The Love Dare, and one of the dares I had to do was ask Bryce a question, listen to his answer, and not argue back. The question was a hard one. It was this: "What three areas of my behavior do you wish I would change?" "Do you really want me to answer this?" He said. "Are you sure you want to go there?" "Hit me with it!" I said. Go on, just do it. "Wellll..... I'm sorry but your driving is terrible," he said. "It really, really bothers me, your... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello everyone! Serving when spiritually single, part 1 Serving when spiritually single, part 2 We're continuing the above series, and it's time to turn our attention to this difficult aspect of serving: How our spouses feel. Gulp! Because we are one flesh in marriage, like conjoined twins, our choice to serve often costs our spouse something. It's mostly our time that we give; but sometimes it's part of our heart too. And from our spouse's point of view, our time and heart could be spent on other things. It's very difficult, and for me this continues to be a tightrope balance. My husband does miss out on certain things because of time I spend on God. That said, marriage is about two people's needs, so there's give and take here. Several years ago, my pastor took a few of us through some conversations as a leadership team. He wanted to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello friends! We'll continue our series on 'Serving' next week, but for today we wanted to share a video. This is Tiffany and Ann with a word for our community that we hope will bring comfort. Bless you all, and love from us both, Tiffany and Ann Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hi SUM family, Ann here and we're currently in our series on Serving God while Spiritually Single. Part One is here: Serving God when Spiritually Single: Part One Today I want to talk about how we cope when the church looks at us differently. Does it affect our opportunity to serve? I decided to look at this because one of our SUMites recently shared that's how she feels. She said something along the lines of: "Sometimes I feel the leaders might look at me and think there's something wrong with my life because my husband isn't believing. That might make them less likely to trust me or think of me as an obvious person to serve." Have any of you have found that? In my experience it's certainly been harder to build social connections and trust at church, at the very least. Because my husband isn't there it takes longer... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
My friends, Today I want us to roll up our sleeves and thing about whose feet we're to wash and how! Yes, we're launching into a series on serving God while spiritually single. I say 'washing feet' because when we serve the church, our family, or people outside the church that's exactly what we're doing: Putting ourselves aside, like Jesus did, to show love to others. As Jesus said -- If I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet (John 13:14, NKJV). Now, I reckon for us -- The church of the unequally yoked -- God has an absolute array of things for us to be doing. What's more, the good works he prepared you for will look completely different to the good works he prepared others for. It's exciting to find out these things. And, God equips us. For... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Happy Friday, everyone, Ann here. For many of us the desire to serve God in church or some other way outside our home runs through our veins. We want to contribute, we want to muck in. After all, that's the spirit of a Christian: We're part of a global effort to spread the Gospel. Well... We all know that serving is a little complicated with an unbelieving spouse. It's complicated on one hand, but it can be exciting too. With this in mind, next week we're going to start a series called 'Serving God when Spiritually Single'. To kick off you might like to watch this week's live video, below. In this video, one of our SUMites Paula Blackie shares her story about she has served in ministry despite having an unbelieving husband -- Yikes! That story got my own creative juices going, and I thought "We can definitely talk... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Ann here! I've got a little story today that may make me sound bonkers. But I'm laughing as I write, because sometimes you've just got to die to yourself and tell the story. I hope it gives you a smile. In my spiritually mismatched marriage, there was a real season of tears that lasted a number of years. To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven: (Eccl 3:1) A time to weep and a time to laugh (v. 4, NKJV) It wasn't that I didn't love my husband, but the spiritual mismatch itself was just so upsetting, uncomfortable, and stretching that I cried most days about it. One day I was home alone thinking about it as usual and, yep, crying. I happened to put a CD on, and as I sniffled away a song began to play that was catchy. Words floated out: Don't cry. Open... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Ann Hutchison You know, when it comes to my kids I've always found it super challenging to bring faith to them. In fact, it's no less challenging to bring faith to them as it is to bring faith to my husband. Is it like that for many of you, I wonder? Here's a pic of my precious two boys -- Travis and Miles. They are 17 and 16 and, like their Dad, they have not yet had a point in their life where they've said "Yes, I give my life to Jesus". That's not to say they haven't been exposed: Both boys were raised with me talking about God a lot. I would tell them God stories, I would pray for them, and I did take them to church for periods of time, but church never gelled for them and that part was a real struggle for me. In... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Lynn and I had great fun this week as we hopped on together LIVE on Facebook and YouTube to answer some questions from our community. Here's the recording and we hope it blesses you. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Ann here! I've been having a little adventure lately with a book called The Love Dare. * Here on this blog we talked in January about some of the things we want to focus on this year, and some of you said you'd like help with the area of how to love your spouse better. Well, as we know, love is an action, and that brings me to this adventurous book. I was recommended this book by one of our SUMites here in Auckland, Paula Blackie. She said, "It's really, really good." So, curiously, I ordered it. Books take a while to get to New Zealand, but eventually it landed in my letter box, I ripped open the package, and here's what I found: The book is a set of forty dares that you do over a period of forty days. Each dare is something you are asked to do... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Ann here, A few years ago a friend at church told me how she and her husband used to be unequally yoked, but then he became a believer. "He did?!" I gasped. "How? How?" At the time her story really helped me. Well, this week that friend came to my house and recorded her story on video, especially for our community. Here it is for your viewing pleasure, and may it spur you on. "For nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37, ESV) Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hi SUM family, It's Ann here, and today I want to talk about a topic that perhaps needs to be talked about more in the church: Abuse in marriage. I'll start by talking about our approach to normal marriages, and then will switch tack. So, on the topic of a normal marriage, first this: Here at SUM we are covenant people, and that very much guides our writing. We love the institution of marriage, and we fight collectively for the wholeness and health of our marriages. So, for that reason you'll see us write a lot here about loving our spouses with gusto. We also follow the principle that we stay in our marriages, if it is at all possible. That's scriptural guidance in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, and we believe in that. We know that some here are in very difficult marriages, while others are in easier ones. For those... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Ann here! Over recent years I've really enjoyed finding out about our community, and how different people found themselves in a spiritually mismatched situation. We truly have a vibrant mix among our readership, and you can be sure that if you're feeling alone there is someone else here who is going through the same thing as you! There are different ways in which people suddenly find themselves 'spiritually mismatched', and I thought it might be interesting to look at those today. After all, everything we learn about spiritually mismatched marriage from each other helps us minister to others who come up behind us on the path. So, here we go: Broadly, people get into a spiritually mismatched situation usually through one of five ways: They were a Christian who married an unbeliever. Their spouse was Christian when they married but then left the faith. They and their spouse have always... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Happy Friday, everyone -- Ann here. We are truly blessed to have a community of inspiring, strong, faith-filled men and women here at SUM, and I'm really looking forward to more of the upcoming Let's Talk Live videos where we will get to hear some of their voices. Some weeks we'll have a guest, and some weeks it will just be me. This week was our first one, and I had the pleasure of talking to Gladys Rosario Arias. If you missed it here it is: I won't always manage to put the video on the blog afterwards, depending on what else there is to share in a given week; but you'll be able to find each one on our YouTube channel after we've gone live. Hope you have a good weekend, and we'll see you on Monday. Ann Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello friends, Ann here. We have some nice news this week: Many of you will remember we used to do a weekly live chat on our Facebook page. Well, we're going to start that up again. So, each Wednesday at 3pm Pacific time, I'll be hopping on to do a Live video, which will stream on our Facebook page and our YouTube channel. You'll be able to comment if you like, and we should be able to make it a little interactive. Exciting! We'll sometimes have guests come on over the coming weeks, and we'll cover a different topic each week relating to spiritually mismatched marriage. So, with that, I'm pleased to announce our very first guest who has kindly agreed to come online and share a little. Many of you will have heard us mention Gladys Rosario Arias, who has been a great help to us behind the scenes... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2022 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage