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Martha Bush
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Come with me to the first chapter of Nehemiah, and let’s listen in on a conversation Nehemiah is having with his Jewish friends. “How are the Jews getting along who have returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian Exile?” “Well, things are not good; the wall of Jerusalem is still torn down, and the gates are burned,” they replied (Nehemiah 1:2-3 TLB) Nehemiah knew that the Temple in Jerusalem was being reconstructed. Now, his friends were telling him that the city had no protection from its enemies while they were rebuilding the Temple. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
As a child growing up on a farm in Southwest Georgia, it was not uncommon for family and friends to drop in for an unexpected visit. It was also not uncommon for my mother to greet them at the door with a smile on her face and say: “Come on in. Y’all just sit down and talk to Roy, (my daddy) and I will have supper ready in one hour.” Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush Oh, how I wish my husband could have helped me deal with some problems I have faced the past few months. However, it is a topic that I felt I could not talk with my unchurched spouse about. The topic? Sexual indiscretion among pastoral staff, financial ruin, division in the church body, a mass exodus of hundreds of members--all occurring at the church I have attended for the past 32 years. And, oh yes--the Harvey Flood in 2017 that almost completely destroyed the building, which still has not been fully restored. All of these things happened within a span of 5 years, bringing the average attendance on Sunday morning from 1,200 to 350. Now, I ask you. "Would you discuss those things with your unchurched spouse--you know the one you have been praying for that he would sit in the pew beside you on Sunday morning?" Honestly,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush May I start off by saying, “My husband is a true southern gentleman.” He still opens doors for me when we are out, as well as other ladies. He still says, “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am” to the elderly; he stills says “thank you” and “please,” and takes care of repairs for the widow down our street. Why? Because that is the way his mama raised him in the little south Georgia town where we both grew up. If he didn’t, she would have taken him “out behind the barn,” as they used to say in Georgia, for a good old fashioned paddling. Let me hasten to say that I call him a good old southern boy for doing those things, but I am sure it happens in all geographic regions. In fact, I meet many men right here in my great state of Texas, where I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush “How can I accept this situation; it’s not supposed to be this way!” No doubt, most of us have made that statement many times in our spiritually mismatched marriages. I tend to believe that God is agreeing with us and saying, “No, it wasn’t supposed to be this way.” Today, I want to write about a teaching that made light bulbs light up within me as I listened to my pastor’s wife, the late Melba Berkeheimer, teach on Acceptance vs. Approval. See what you think of this analogy when you think of the word acceptance, particularly as it pertains to hurts in your marriage. There is a big difference between ACCEPTANCE and APPROVAL. We sometimes think that we have to approve something or someone in order to accept the situation, but that is not true. We have to accept a lot of things in life, but we... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush It is 4 o’clock in the morning, and time for me to enter into my quite room with the Lord. I know what you are thinking. “How faithful and holy she is to get up so early in the morning to praise and worship the Lord!” As President George Washington replied when his father asked if he had cut down his cherry tree, “I cannot tell a lie–I did cut it down with my hatchet.” So, I cannot tell a lie. Instead of a praise and worship time with the Lord, I had a complaining time with Him. This is what I wrote in my journal at 4 A.M. in the morning. “It seems as though my whole life has been spent waiting for You to show up, Lord. Why Lord, why so long? Is there something I haven’t done? Is it for Your special appointed time... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush “You, lady, as she pointed her finger at me, the Lord said, ‘Sometimes we are looking for a closer relationship for our loved one, when at the moment He is looking for a closer relationship with us.’” I squirmed in my seat, and whispered to myself, “This prophetess has missed it. She doesn’t even know me! I am the Christian in my family; the Lord needs to be going after His prodigal son. His prodigal son’s wife is doing JUST FINE!” Before going further, let me backtrack to my post Monday, The Influencer Trophy Reward in which I related how the Lord was admonishing Jeremiah as he complained about being mistreated by sinful people around him. “Stop this foolishness and talk some sense! Only if you return to trusting me will I let you continue as my spokesman. You are to influence them, not let them influence... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush Come with me to the 15th chapter of Jeremiah, and read along as this well-known prophet is having a conversation with the Lord. I warn you in advance, he is not in a good mood. 15 Jeremiah: “Lord, you know it is for your sake that I am suffering. They are persecuting me because I have proclaimed your word to them. Don’t let them kill me! Rescue me from their clutches, and give them what they deserve! 16 Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me. How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord. 17-18 I have not joined the people in their merry feasts. I sit alone beneath the hand of God. I burst with indignation at their sins. Yet you have failed me in my time of need!... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush What a title for a post; “Don’t let the Fowls Eat Your Inheritance!” Please stay with me while I make my case, and perhaps you will be energized to take heed to those words in your own life. Let me begin by sharing a quote I recently heard a woman say in a discussion group. “I have always struggled with low self-worth. Just about the time I begin to lift my head, someone comes along to remind me that all my self-doubt is true! I've been a Christian for over 20 years, and I am ashamed of the way I feel about myself. I just can't seem to make that leap to “because HE says I'm worthy, I AM!!” How well I understood what this woman was saying. I played that same scenario out in my mind for years until I came face-to-face with myself one cold,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush The young mother tucked her little boy in bed, turned off the lights, and walked out of his room. It was then she heard him cry out: “Mom, turn the lights back on; I’m scared of the dark.” The mother walked back into his room to reassure him. “Now, son, don’t be afraid, Jesus is here with you.” To which he replied: “I know Jesus is in here with me, but I want somebody with some skin on!” Can we admit that we all have felt that way? “Yes, I know you are near Jesus, but, I really want someone to pray and study your word with me, someone to sit beside me in church, and most of all, Jesus, I want to talk to someone about how much I love YOU. That someone is my husband. Won’t you please tell him to come into the room... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush For the past month, we have celebrated with Lynn and Mike over his baptism. “Praise the Lord, hallelujah,” echoed around the world from those who had traveled this road with them. Can’t you just hear the angels and the heavenly choir also shouting, “Did ya’ll see that? Another soul has come into the kingdom! Whooopeeeee!” And yet, despite our happiness for them, deep within many of our hearts there is still that inner voice that cries out, “What about my spouse, Lord? When is it going to be my turn? How long is it going to take?” Whether it be the salvation of our loved-ones or some other trial in our lives, we often find ourselves in situations that it takes longer than we thought it would take. It is then that our emotions are tested. Actually we are in good company with David, the one described... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush God spoke to Abraham and said: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3 MESG) In that day, going into Canaan, the place God was leading Abraham, was like going into Indian territory in the Old Wild West. There was no law; it was the survival of the fittest. It was not a land filled with good crops, a lot of it was barren wilderness. Nevertheless, God told Abraham “if you go that way, I will bless you and make you a blessing.” Abraham decided to go the path God directed him and, indeed, he... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush Note: Adapted from my journal entry during the Sumite Fast, January 10, 2018. ***** She walked to the well as usual to draw water. Since she was an outcast from her society, she came to draw water at midday because she wasn’t welcome to join the other women of the town in the morning when it was cool. She was unmarried, living with a man and had shacked up with a few others guys before this latest guy. She wasn’t perfect, unlike the “other women” of the town who obviously thought they were. (John 4) As Lynn told the story of The Woman at the Well and her encounter with Jesus, she had these words to say in regards to our family: “This salvation experience is what our unbelieving family members are looking for. They need an ENCOUNTER with the God of love, power, forgiveness and wisdom.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush With their adrenalin still running high right after miraculously crossing the Jordan River, Joshua, Caleb and a new generation of Israelites had to make a “pit stop” for three things to take place before moving forward into Canaan. It happened like this in a little town called Gilgal: 1. Don’t Move Forward Before Building Memorial Stones God instructed Joshua to choose twelve men, one from each tribe to take a stone and carry it back out into the place where the priests were still standing in the middle of the Jordan River. Pile the stones up as a monument. “In the future, when your children ask you, 'What is this monument for', you can tell them it is to remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the ark of the covenant went across. The monument will be a permanent reminder to the people of Israel... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2019 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush Are you looking for that perfect gift for someone on your Christmas shopping list? Allow me to suggest a gift-giving idea that won't cost you a penny! Take a stroll with me to the bedside of a dying father in the Old Testament by the name of Isaac as he was about to give this free gift to his oldest son, Esau. The name of the gift - - The Blessing. In keeping with the custom of the day, parents in the Old Testament set aside a special day to give The Blessing. On this special day, the parent spoke words of love, high value, acceptance, and words that painted a bright future into their child’s life. And so it was, Esau had been summoned to his dying father's bedside to receive The Blessing from his father. However his brother, Jacob, had deceived their father into believing... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush It's that time of the year again - - a time we set aside on the calendar for "stuffing the turkey" and "giving thanks for our blessings." We pull out our recipes, head to the grocery store to buy the ingredients needed for stuffing the big bird, and the cooking preparations begin. When Thanksgiving Day arrives, families gather together, have a time of giving thanks, and then carve the stuffed turkey waiting on the platter. For just a brief moment in time, most of us capture the true meaning of "giving thanks unto the Lord" on Thanksgiving Day, no matter what kind of trials we have been through during the year. But, what about the day after Thanksgiving--“if you could actually put your heart on a platter like the stuffed turkey, what would you see stuffed inside that might rob you of a thankful heart throughout the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush Background Libby Finan Drawing A former pastor of mine, the late David Berkheimer, made the following statement in his sermon: “I believe with all my heart the greatest trials of life are the obedient things God calls us to do.” He pointed out that the trials we face are often in the path God is leading us. A prime illustration of this is in the life of Abraham, the father of our faith. Abraham was seventy-five when he left the comforts of his homeland to obey God and, indeed, walked straight into trials and difficulty. The trials were the kind of things that would, perhaps, challenge his thinking. “Did I really hear Your voice leading me this way, Lord?" (Genesis 12-16) 1990's I agree with Pastor Berkheimer’s statement that the greatest trials of life are often the obedient things God calls us to do because it happened... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush In my post last month, I told of a betrayal that touched the lives of all my immediate family. This betrayal, with all its false allegations, lead to a court trial. Convinced that I had forgiven the parties involved, even before the trial began, I still had a gnawing feeling that something was still missing. I discovered that the missing link was to Take a Step Beyond Forgiveness - Bless My Enemies. Bless those who persecute you. Bless and Curse not.” (Romans 12:14) My efforts to find out “HOW” to apply the blessing principle lead me to Numbers 6:22-27: The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron this is HOW I want my people blessed: the Lord bless and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” You can... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush On May 19, 2018, the world tuned in to watch on television as Meghan Markle arrived at Windsor Castle. All eyes were upon her as she walked down the aisle in St. George's Chapel to say, “I do” to Prince Harry. Meghan was referred to as a commoner because she was not born into a royal family bloodline. Yet, on that day, Queen Elizabeth gave the bride and groom the ultimate wedding gift - brand new royal titles! From that day forward, Harry and Meghan would be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was a fairytale wedding - one that all little girls dream about. It took me back to my childhood when I played pretend games with my girlfriends. We often pictured ourselves in a faraway land where we would meet our prince charming and ride away in a carriage drawn by white... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush It was 4:30 A.M., April 22, 2017. My mother’s nurse tapped me on my leg while I was grabbing a short nap on the sofa down the hall from my mother’s room where she lay at the point of death. I sat up quickly at the feel of the nurse’s soft gentle touch and immediately said, “She is gone, isn’t she?” “Yes,” the nurse nodded. As the dawn of day lurched forward with a beautiful array of sunshine despite death all around me, funeral arrangements had to be made and relatives and friends had to be called. A few days after the funeral, we left Georgia headed back to our home in Texas to clear my mind before I took on the task of returning to Georgia in a month to empty out my mother’s home, so I could sell it. However, two weeks later, we received... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush For a peek into one of the most, shall we say, romantic books of the Bible, follow along with me today to Song of Solomon, and let’s go on a love adventure with our Lord. I particularly like Chapter 2 because it resonated with me during a particular time in my life when I was ready for a new season to begin. In the first few verses of Chapter 2, Christ is pictured coming to His bride to spend some time with her. The way in which He is approaching her clearly shows that He is full of joy and excitement as He looks forward to spending some intimate time with His bride. He comes leaping over the mountains and bounding upon the hills. He comes swiftly like a young deer (vs. 8-9) When Christ arrives, he looks into the window of His bride’s heart, and says:... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
By Martha Bush Praise and Worship was over, the offering had been taken, announcements had been made - time for my pastor to begin his sermon. As he walked toward the pulpit, I readied myself to listen to his sermon by positioning my Bible and notepad on my lap. Yes, I am antique - I still carry my big Bible to church. Ipads and smart phones do not allow for the sweet sound of pages turning on an open Bible, plus seeing all the notes written on the pages from years past as the pastor speaks. All of a sudden, from the pulpit, I heard the pastor say, "There's a lady I want to honor this morning for the ministry she has led the past several years. She doesn't know I am going to do this, but Martha Bush, stand up!" Obviously, I was taken back as I stood up... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2018 at Spiritually Unequal Marriage
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Jan 17, 2018