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Ann Hutchison
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Hello friends, Ann here. I've been a little quiet the last two weeks as my mum has been visiting from England. My Mum is a woman of faith. And having a fellow woman of faith in my house has been wonderful. My Mum grew up in a home with religious -- but-not-on-fire -- parents. Yet, at the age of 19 she began to study the Bible and ask God questions. A few weeks after that she was lying in bed one night and 'sensed' the hand of Jesus come down to meet her in bed, and her arm lift up to reach his. She has never walked away since. And she has a feistiness in her for HIM. She prayed for me and my two brothers, for years, often single-handedly, as she was a single mother for a while; and she watched us each wallow in faithlessness. I was the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Happy Friday SUM family! On Monday I asked the question of whether there is hope when a spouse loses the faith. Can you have hope that they will return? The answer, I said, was 'Yes'. I shared a testimony by Georgian Banov, whose wife left her faith, but then returned. Well, today I wanted to share the testimony of his wife. Again, it is a long video, but she starts to talk about the loss of her faith at about minute 16 ... And then, how she came to find faith again. Enjoy. Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello SUMites, Ann here. If your spouse was once a Christian and has since left their faith or gone cold, I want to share something encouraging with you. Is there hope that your spouse will ever come back? My answer: Yes. I mentioned on Monday the story of Georgian Banov, whose wife Winnie lost her faith. They were itinerant ministers at the time and he had to carry on in ministry without her by his side. They actually almost got divorced because of it. Well, here is Georgian's story. It is a long video, and for most of it he is talking about his faith journey more widely. But just after minute 55 the video takes a SUM twist: The interviewer says: "You and Winnie minister so powerfully now, but it wasn't always that way. What advice do you have for anyone who is on fire for the Lord and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
There's a song that goes -- All by myself, don't wanna be All by myself, any more. My friends, that's how I've felt in a SUM. I've felt it so keenly, sometimes. Don't wanna be, by myself, any more! Here's a photo that my church popped onto our Facebook page a while back. It's of me, all by myself, standing at the back. A married couple is in front of me. There I am worshipping, solo. It's a cup I drink. We all have a cup to drink, of some sort or other. Where I have felt this keenly is in ministry. It is difficult being in ministry alone, and I have found it very comforting indeed to have Lynn, who has the strength of an ox. If I had not had her, it would have been significantly more difficult. She's strong, and you need strong people alongside you. But,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Happy Friday SUMites! It's Friday afternoon here in New Zealand, and as I sit here winding down from my week, I wanted to share something short and sweet: A couple of weeks ago I sensed the Lord tell me that 'families are being made ready'. I believe that through each of you, God is making your families 'ready' in all the ways they need to be ready: Ready for HIM. SUMites, you play such a big role in that. We should always be 'ready' for Him. Not sleeping, not apathetic, not lukewarm, but on the ready. Scripture says we should always be ready in case Jesus came back tomorrow. Wouldn't that be amazing if he did. But it's not just us who are being made ready. We are making our families ready too. There is so much growth that goes on spiritually in our families that we do not see.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Every year Halloween is tricky for us, given our split households and the pressure we get to engage in it. So, with that in mind here's a post on this topic that was written by Lynn last year. Hope this helps a little -- Keep praying for wisdom, and let's chat in the comments. From Lynn: "I received a call last week from a frantic young mother who was desperate to receive help and deliverance for her very young daughter. After her description of the frightening things going on in her home and with her daughter, I lay awake most of the night praying and interceding for her child. This child sees bugs in the bathroom and is terrified and refuses to shower. She has been drooling and talking to people who aren't there. She is under tremendous oppression and needs freedom from the Lord Jesus so much. I’ve prayed... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello my friends This is the last post in my series of stories from our meet-up, what a blast it's been writing these. Well, this last story features my fellow SUMite Lucie, from Canada, who was the last one I was left with before flying home. It had been such a wild few days together, that Lucie and I had much to reflect on. We spoke to each other about how there had been 'God moments at every turn.' And it was against that backdrop that this final little thing happened. When I tell you about it, it might sound to you like it's not even a God thing ... But to me, it felt meaningful because it came as a kind of finale to a string of 'moments' that week. It was our final thing. Ok, here's what happened: Lucie and I were being looked after that final day... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
... Today I'm continuing my story. For part one, see here. This story is a playful story. It is, in fact, a story about the joy of the Lord. My friends, I left off where Lynn and I had just sat down at the back of a room where a man was about to talk about healing. Everyone around us had settled in quietly, and the man walked to the front and prepared to start his talk. Shh. The room was quiet. People shuffled their papers, chatted to those next to them, then settled into a quiet hush as the man took his place at the front. Hush. The man opened his mouth -- - And BAM!!!! The Holy Spirit hit me!!! My friends, I crumpled in my seat. And this hit of power took the form of laughter and joy! Yes, God endued me there and then with a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
My friends, today I want to share something personal that happened while we were at the Open Heavens conference. It meant the world to me. To give you some context: I have never had an experience of physically feeling the power of God, and I've always wanted to. Others in my life have had that happen to them, but not me. We're all different, and that's ok. I have experienced God in other ways. I've experienced his voice, for example, and I've felt his presence quite often. I have seen others hit by his power, even, but I have not had an experience of feeling his sheer and absolute power myself, physically. Until the Saturday morning after the Bethel conference, that is! Saturday morning rolled around, and Lynn had booked us in for a Healing Rooms appointment. You write on a piece of paper what you would like healing for,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello my SUM friends I'm continuing to share stories of our Meet-Up, I hope you're enjoying them! So, after spending that day at Lynn's house, where Jesus rang the doorbell (!!!), we drove up to Bethel church, Redding, where we were to attend the 3-day Open Heavens conference. By now, our crowd had been reduced to eight. Clockwise in the photo here, we have: Lynn, me, Jim, Alyson, Janet, Lucie, Christine, and Laurie. And over the next two days, together, we worshipped ... ... And we worshipped. We are all different to each other, but the thing we had in common was this: We love God. Now, Bethel church carries something special. I had not been before, but I can say that while there I felt the presence of God strongly. Being in a large church crowd does not replace the secret place of our intimacy with him, but it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hi again friends, I am on a ROLL, writing about the meet-up. I have a number of stories I want to share with you about this week that we've just gone through. Why not! So settle in, it is going to be story-time for the next week or so. Yay! Let's turn now to the morning we spent in Lynn's living room in Rancho Murieta, on the Tuesday morning when our lovely group had gathered. With us all gathered around, sitting on comfy chairs, I gave a talk. In that talk I shared a story. Here was the story I shared: Last time we had a meet up was 2019. At that meet-up there was a lovely SUMite called Alyssa who joined us early. Because she arrived early, she came to hang out with us the day before the event, and we had the opportunity to pray for her. In... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
My friends ... Last Tuesday morning, the California sun was shining, as those of us who were already at Lynn’s house (Lynn, Gillian, Jim, and I) set the breakfast table ready for those who were yet to arrive. Then, a bunch of lovely ladies came down the pathway to knock on Lynn’s door. We stood to meet them, hugged, and cried. Tears welled up in their eyes and in ours. “Sorry, this is overwhelming,” one of them said. Somewhere along the way, one of the lady’s husbands mingled in amongst it all at the door. He had dropped his wife off. He received a hug too, then left. "I'll leave you to do your thing," he said to her behind the scenes. "You enjoy yourself." It takes a while to get to that point in a spiritually mismatched marriage! The thing that struck me the most in the whole day... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello SUMites! I am about to commence my journey home to New Zealand, and I hope to devote this journey to writing some blog posts about what has happened this past week as a group of us met up in Calfornia. Are you ready? OK, let's start! It all began with God saying to us, when I got to Lynn's house, I AM HERE. He didn't say it audibly; he said it through a sign. But it was a great big sign. And that's what I want to write about today: That sign. First, I'll backtrack: I landed at San Francisco airport a week ago and had arranged to meet Jim from England and Gillian from Canada, neither of whom I had met in person before. We met, instantly hugged, and off we drove for a three-hour trip north to Lynn's house. We began talking God, we began talking faith.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello dear SUMites Well, I type this sitting in a hotel room in Redding, with my fellow SUMite Lucie from Canada who is packing her bags as I type. We're room-mates tonight and have become firm friends. So, while she packs, I wanted to pop on to say hello. I had been meaning to write the odd update during this meet-up week, but in the end I found myself unable to: It has been just too spiritually intense and my head has been too full. So, I will write next week once I've gathered my thoughts. In the meantime, here's a little pic of Lynn and me in the glorious sunshine at Bethel conference, Redding. We have had a God-filled, supernatural week together, and I can't wait to share about it. I have thought about all of you a LOT during this past week. And at many times during this... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Dear friends, Lynn and I are deeply looking forward to the SUM Meet-Up in California next Tuesday -- The 26th of September. I'm going to devote the next week and a half of posts to that event. So I will hop on as and when I can, to write. I leave on Sunday night (NZ time) to fly to San Francisco - And then on to Lynn's house to stay and prepare. Most importantly, though, the vast majority of you will not be there in person - and yet you are so included. For YOU, we are live-streaming parts of the event. You can find the Live Streams on our YouTube channel, and specifically, if you click on the following links you can access two specific sessions: Morning Session, at 11am Pacific time Evening Session at 7pm Pacific time If you prefer, you can also find both of those sessions... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Humbly serve our spouse. We are up to part two of our series on The Meaning of Marriage*, and today we're going to talk about being servant-hearted. To be a Christian means to have a servant heart towards others. And what better place to practice that than in our marriage? Yep! But, my friends, I'm not sure how well I do this personally. How about you? Every marriage is different, but it's generally agreed that marriage is not easy, beautiful as it is. Truthfully, I find the familiarity of living with Bryce can make me get easily annoyed with him, and impatient about many of the things he asks of me. Just being honest. I LOVE him, but I do get annoyed. To be fair, he does too. Sometimes I drive him nuts. There are things that matter to him that do not matter a jot to me (e.g., Looking... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Let's talk marriage! Today we're beginning our series on The Meaning of Marriage, using the book of that name by Tim Keller. I'll start with my own story: Bryce and I have been married 24 years now. Here's a picture of us at the beginning our relationship. We were 19 and 22 then -- Just babies, really. We are now age 47 and 50. When I think about how I made the decision to marry Bryce, here were my criteria. These were very mature criteria, as you will see: 1. I was seriously attracted to him. Yes, my primary goal at that time was to be near/with Bryce Hutchison as much as I possibly could. 2. He made me laugh so was grrreat fun. 3. And finally, he was a guy who I could see had integrity and stability to him. These three things made him the 'one'. He still... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hello friends! I've had a particular book sitting by my bedside for a very long time, gathering dust ... Intending to be read. It's a book by Tim Keller called 'The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Marriage with the Wisdom of God.' Well, I think it's about time to read it; and what I want to do is use it as a basis for a series for us: The meaning of marriage, and how we face the complexities of a spiritually mismatched marriage with the wisdom of God. The book has eight chapters with intriguing titles, and what I'm going to do is read each chapter and then write a blog post for US on that chapter's topic. In each post we'll take a SUM view on the topic. This means we're going to talk marriage, marriage, marriage for the next few posts. So, roll up your sleeves... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Ann Hutchison "Why, why, WHY does it have to be this hard?" This question we might well ask God. In fact, I imagine most of us have asked him this at one time or another. "Why am I having to wait this long to see my spouse turn to you, Lord?" While we wait for our spouse to join us in faith, we often feel hard pressed on every side. But there's a verse in the Bible that I really like, a verse that speaks especially well to this anguish of ours. It's a verse that was given by God to the prophet Jeremiah, when he expressed his anguish to the Lord about the hardness of the hearts around him and the loneliness he felt. In response to Jeremiah's anguish God said this: If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Hi SUMites Wow, I cannot wait to hug those of you who will be at the Meet-Up this month -- in person!! (IF you're a hugger that is -- I will ask first before launching myself at you, LOL) It is just over three weeks until we meet for a day of connecting with each other and with God. If you're planning to be there, but haven't yet registered, make sure you do so now by clicking here. Also, later this week I will email those of you who have registered, so look out for that email. As for those of you who are not able to be there, you will be missed, and will still be able to take part: We hope to live-stream parts of the day so you will not miss out. We will be thinking of all of you, and we will take time together on... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Dear friends, Ann here again. In our community, our spouses sit on a spectrum when it comes to how much they accept our faith. At one end of the spectrum, we have those spouses who hate our faith and fight tooth and nail against it. I'm sorry to say that: And it is so tough to walk through a season like that in your marriage. Then, in the middle of the spectrum are those spouses who feel nothing about it. They express no interest either way and are completely ambivalent. "Meh, whatever," they'll shrug. Finally, on the other end of the spectrum are those spouses who are generously supportive. They welcome the concept of faith and Jesus, and they find it not unattractive in us ... At times they find it attractive, even. In this case, the spouse hasn't yet surrendered their life to Jesus, but they would be up... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Dear SUMites, Ann here A couple of weeks ago I walked into my local library. I wasn't even intending to get a book out, but my eyes rested on one singular book, sitting there innocuously on the shelf: 'Hope is Coming: A True Story of Grief and Gratitude'. Looks interesting, I thought, and took it home. Oh. My. Goodness. I began reading at 2pm. By 5pm I was glued to the chair unable to put the book down even to go to the toilet. And by 7pm I had to shout upstairs to my two children, 'Sorry boys, can you get your own dinner? I've got this book....' 11pm rolled round and I was two thirds of the way through, having barely interacted with my family the whole evening due to the gripping nature of this book. Bryce called out 'I'm going to bed Ann!' and so I had to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Ann here! Here at SUM we do make a point of making our posts positive and hopeful: that is a great characteristic that God loves. And now these three remain: Faith, hope and love .. (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things .. (1 Corinthians 13:7, ESV) That said, it's also important to be real and to allow each other to bleed. That is what helps us not feel alone. So today I wanted to talk about the emotional toll that a spiritual mismatch in marriage takes. Do you find it has left an emotional toll on you? I certainly have felt like that. I feel it less so now, thankfully, but I remember a few years ago thinking to myself, 'Wow, bringing faith into my marriage has really taken its toll.' Some SUMites have even said they became unwell from the stress;... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Ann Hutchison My friends, some time ago I discovered my husband's Bible, and when I did, I discovered something amazing. He and I each got given Bibles by our parents when we were young. His was given to him in 1983 in Auckland, New Zealand, when he was eleven years old. Mine, meanwhile, was given to me eleven years later when I was nineteen years old, in Texas, USA. That was before I met him. I was studying there, and my parents sent me some money from England and told me to choose myself a Bible. So I went out and randomly purchased one. I didn't know what I was looking for, I didn't know anything about Bibles, but I purchased a nice big leather one. Well, guess what I discovered... Is the following a coincidence? Bryce and I have the same Bible! There are slight differences considering their... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
Barb here with a testimony! A few months back I felt led to start praying and declaring that our clubhouse belongs to the Lord and His Holy Spirit is welcome. I declared we’d see salvations, healings and deliverance. Our pool will become a baptismal. I live in a 55+ community where we meet on Thursdays for Bible Study. John is our leader at age 90! He sometimes will have me pray at the end of our study. So I started telling our little class these declarations and what I see coming. All of a sudden Yoga is being pushed into our clubhouse. You may not agree with me but I’ve done some research on Yoga and let’s just say our clubhouse serves the Lord and we will have no other gods before us. That was the first pushback we got after believing and declaring! Then a few weeks ago one... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2023 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage