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Ann Hutchison
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Hi friends, Ann here. We’ve just had Pentecost, a day when the Holy Spirit came with power upon the early church. What a moment! I can only imagine what those disciples felt when they saw fire on each other's heads. They must have surely been scared but excited. One time I had an experience in a church that left me scared-but-excited. It was a memorable moment for sure. Here's what happened: Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Ann here! Today I thought I would chat a little about hearing God's voice as a whisper. Often the way God speaks is through the softest of moments, much like the everyday companionship of a good friend. Even the prophet Elijah heard God in the still small voice rather than a dramatic fanfare (1 Kings 19:12), and that's usually how it is. The hard thing is, we have to believe it's Him, and that takes a leap. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Dear friends, Ann here! Today, as we enter our umpteenth week of staying home I thought I would share a personal story. I think I got an inkling last year about this whole Coronavirus thing, but didn't understand it. I know a couple of others who had the same thing happen. See what you think of this: It all began when my kitchen got ripped out last October ... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here. Today I want to share something that God showed me about the homes within this community: the Spiritually Unequal Marriage community. These homes are deeply special to Him, and although they are unconventional in Christian terms, what He showed me is that they 'sit under an open heaven'. That's a great promise; I'll take it! But what does that mean? Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! During this time of incubation in my home, I've been reflecting on what I'm to focus my energy on. I sense it's this simple thing: Lock my eyes onto Jesus. As far as I can, I need to fix my eyes firmly on Him, and steadily hold that gaze. This week, with that in mind, I’ve been marinating in small verses from the Gospels. Today I thought I would share one little Gospel moment: The time when Jesus visited His special friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! How are you all doing, I wonder? Well, here we are with a new normal that has been thrust upon us: That of being house-bound with all regular routines interrupted. As far as I’m concerned everything has been interrupted, including my routine with God. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! If there's one passage in the Bible that brings a SUM moment to life, it's the one where David dances to the Lord, his wife Michal sees him through a window, and she 'despises him in her heart'. Gulp -- Let's take a look: Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! There’s a curious thing happening in our ministry right now: We're seeing significantly more spouse salvations than we have before. For years we’ve known it would happen, and now it's visible. We’re seeing it mentioned in emails or on closed Facebook groups; that's how we know. It started about a year ago. Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! We're spending time talking over on Facebook about intimacy with God, so I thought I would follow suit in today's post. Many years ago, I observed another Christian's intimacy with God, and it was so eye-catching that it kick-started my own relationship with Him. Here’s what happened: Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! The other day I noticed something new about marriage in scripture. It was like a big flashing light-bulb going off in my mind, so I thought I'd share it. See what you think of this: In the Bible there are a few key scriptures about marriage, as we know. But what I noticed this week is that in two of those scriptures (one from the Old Testament and one from the New), it says that your treatment of your spouse determines whether your prayers will be heard. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! Like many of us, I’ve been watching the launch of Lynn’s new book, Marching around Jericho, with interest and am looking forward to cracking open its fresh pages. Today, I thought I would tell you some of what I’ve seen from the side-lines. Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Ann here! We have reached day 4 of the fast. It’s Thursday afternoon here in New Zealand and, remarkably, I’m still going foodless. I'm pinching myself as this is officially the longest I’ve managed to go without food. I'm praying that I can inch across the finish line tomorrow. Now to us: I have my communion cup and cracker at the ready, and in taking communion I'd like to share a thought about God’s faithfulness. Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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I would say us SUMites identify strongly as people of covenant. We dig deep to make our marriages great, we’re intentional about staying connected to our spouse, and the whole concept of covenant drives us deeply. Our faith difference necessitates it. This covenant mindset helps us sympathize with Jesus’ covenant that He carried so deeply. In His case, He carried a deep commitment to His people, His babies, His church. In giving us His body and blood, he offered a covenant to us -- A covenant of salvation and protection. Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here! I'm looking forward to our fast next week and, as I'm preparing for it, this thought keeps turning around in my head: Sometimes the only way to take God's hands is when we let go of other people's. Only when we let go of others' support can we inspect His strong hands fully and hold them tight. Similarly, there's this whole other prop in life that we can, at times, let go of for our own closeness with Him: Food. It's our most basic of necessities, and when we forego it we practise clinging to Him in a way that feels like no other. Fasting leaves us needy. I can certainly say that in my own case it only takes a few hours of non-eating for me to hit the couch and curl up with Him, pen and journal in hand. Anything more industrious becomes impossible.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2020 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Two Christmases ago, I was sitting alone in a spacious old church in Edinburgh, enjoying a family service. I'd been visiting that city on a solo trip, and it was a treat to go to a new church. I chose one I’d like to visit and as I took my seat it warmed my heart to be surrounded by a hall full of believers, none of whom I knew. As the singing began, I got the faintest thought that there might be someone there whose spouse did not yet believe – Someone there whom, maybe, I could help. Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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One of my favorite stories is that of Elizabeth in Luke chapter 1. We probably all know her story, but there’s a curious detail within it that is currently hitting me, and it’s this: Her promise had a plot twist. It took the form of her baby having a surprise name. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Recently a reader posted a question for the SUM community that many of us would relate to. I thought it would be a good one to share on here, and I wonder if we could add any answers to her question in the comments? Her question was this: “My husband is reading and using a particular anti-Christian book to ‘convince’ me the Bible is not the truth. Does anyone have any input, or has anyone read this?” Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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“How would you and your husband like to come for dinner?” A dear church friend threw her arm around my shoulder one Sunday, extending her hospitality. My heart began to pound. Not this again. Inwardly, one word hit my brain. “Noooooooooo!” I smiled as best I could and said, “That’s really nice. Um. Can I just think about it?” She looked puzzled. “Sure.” Here’s my deal: My husband loves people, and we don’t find it difficult to talk to strangers. But, when it comes to church, I personally have a mountain of complexities in my head. Truth be told, the idea of us going to a church friend’s house made me feel sick with nerves. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Ann here! On this blog, we’ve been through many an adventure. Well, today, I'd like to share an insight God gave me about some of the purpose. I hope what I share will spur you on. The insight came in the form of a dream I had in 2016. At the time I was a regular here, as were many others we still see here. Lynn and Dineen were our beloved pastors and we leaned on them heavily. That's how it looked in October 2016. Now for my dream: I saw the SUMites walking forward as a group, wearing matching red t-shirts. Lynn was walking in the front and middle, championing the group. On each SUMite's t-shirt was a white butterfly, above the right breast. The scene shifted to a room where the SUMites were gathered around a table, making these t-shirts for others. It might seem flaky to talk... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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By Ann Hutchison I have an analogy that I often use when I begin to feel challenged by spiritual difference in marriage. It’s this: My husband and I are like conjoined twins. We're one flesh. Does that resonate with you? I pull in one direction, spiritually; he might say ‘No!’ and before we know it we’re yanking and straining, stretched beyond possibility. Sometimes it gets too much; then one of us will yell: “Stop it! Ouch!” Being one flesh, we are knit together intensively. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (NKJV) Thinking about this whole 'one flesh' thing, I decided to watch a documentary on conjoined twins. It might sound bonkers, but that is genuinely how I feel in spiritual terms. He is my other half. Anyway, others’ paths are good to watch,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Ann here again! Having shared on Monday a little about church life, I thought I’d continue, this time about church and teenagers. Many of us have older kids, I know. Well, I live in a family of males. Add to that our male Persian cat and male lizard, and it seems that males are my speciality. I'm mindful that males sometimes don’t gel with church so I have a job on my hands, especially now that my boys are teenagers. Like Moses’ mum, here’s how I feel about those two boys of mine: “She saw that he was a beautiful child” Exodus 2:2 They are my beautiful children; and as their mum I will fiercely fight for their faith. However, I have a wee problem: I’m not managing to get them to church. Aggggh! I know many of you have this too. Honestly, if I could go back, I would... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hello SUM family, Ann here! It’s a beautiful spring day here in New Zealand and I have a testimony of God’s grace that I want to share. Some fun shifts have happened in my life, so with a bounce in my step let me tell you a fun story. I’ve written previously about my struggles with churchgoing. This, for me, has been one of the hardest parts of this walk: Churchgoing without our spouses can be so complex. You know, a few years ago if you’d been to my church and gone ‘where’s Ann?’ you’d have looked and found me contorted in a crying shape in the back row. That was if I got there at all. Well, it’s changed. No, I’m not about to announce that my hubby goes with me; but these days we have a peaceful routine. On a Sunday we share a nice coffee together before... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here. Today concludes our Esther study, and I want to devote this post to one word: Victory. First, what a crazy mess Esther and Mordecai have on their hands. We ourselves do battle with mess .. sigh. It’s mess from past choices, but also made by others. Often this 'mess' makes us think we’re losing; but we’re not. Here’s a fun fact: Esther’s problem was King Saul. Crazy, huh? It was Saul’s crappy problem that he made some 500 years earlier by not obeying God. See, Haman was an Agagite, and centuries earlier God told Saul to destroy all Amalekites, including King Agag (1 Samuel 15:1-9). Essentially, God said: “Saul, in your obedience don’t leave any stone unturned. Ok, son?” Saul thought to himself, “Um… yes .. ok.” But then his troops captured King Agag alive, along with goodies: fatlings and lambs that he could breed. Oh,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Hi friends, Ann here. We're now in chapters 4 and 5 of Esther. As I begin this post, I have this in my head: Know your enemy. I don’t talk about the enemy much. I deliberately don’t give him airtime. But I do take careful notice of his activities so that I can move appropriately in prayer. One of my earliest questions as a Christian was whether there really was an enemy of our souls; a being, or beings who were influential in this world. Without going into detail, God did answer that question for me and showed me there is. On a couple of occasions, I’ve even heard a demon, though I’ve never seen one visually. Though I was surprised to hear the thing, it didn’t scare me one bit. It used a lot of F-words, and then spat out what its intentions were. My reaction was “You’re busted!... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Ann here! Oh, I enjoyed the story of the crazy King and Vashti on Monday. Now, let’s hurtle towards chapter 2, where we meet Esther, this “lovely and beautiful” daughter of God. She carries an intense cocktail of pain and growing strength. What is it we ourselves carry? Something similar I’d say, even though different. I see Esther as a fragile baby bird: Orphaned and snatched. But I also see her as strong as an ox. The 'ox' part comes later. Putting ourselves in her shoes, can you imagine being taken hostage for the sole purpose of a King's pleasure? It makes me inwardly choke. I wonder how she would have felt; I really don’t know. There was an honor to it, but a powerlessness. After her night with the King, in my mind it gets worse: She was shifted to a different house (v.14). No longer a virgin, she... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage