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13 entries from September 2006

Interview with Nancy Kennedy

Today I am thrilled to welcome Nancy Kennedy, author of When He Doesn’t Believe to Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Originally, from California Nancy lives in central Florida with her husband, Barry. Her two daughters, Alison and Laura, are grown. Alison is married with one daughter, Caroline (age 4 ½). Laura is going to college part-time in Charlotte, N.C. and working full-time. Nancy works as a features writer and religion columnist for the Citrus County Chronicle in Florida. She also writes books and speaks at Christian women’s retreats. She is a member of Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, Florida. Personal testimony by Lynn Donovan: Five years ago I found myself ready to give up on my spiritually unequal marriage. It was during this time I discovered Nancy Kennedy’s book. It became a road map to healing my marriage. I could relate to the struggles she experienced. Her words of advice set... Read more →

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Jerry Jenkins and Billy Graham

On Saturday, I was tickled to meet and talk with Jerry Jenkins author of the Left Behind series. He was the keynote speaker at the San Diego Christian Writers Conference this year. Jerry’s wit and humor were delightful. During his address to the conferees, Jerry spoke about writing the memoirs of Billy Graham. Jerry told us about the authentic humility of this man of God and how humbling it was to write the story of Mr. Graham’s life. I must admit that in years prior I have not been in touch with the Graham ministry because I thought it was appealing to my mother’s generation. Shame on me! What treasures I have denied myself. Jerry spoke about interviewing Mr. Graham. He asked him a question I will never forget. Join in the conversation between Jerry and Billy Graham….. (my paraphrase) JJ: How do you maintain your spiritual life in the... Read more →

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The Desert Experience

Recently, I have talked with several friends who are living through a desert experience. They are in the midst of intense struggle; physical, emotional, and or spiritual. All of us will live in the desert during some part of our journey with Christ. He also endured the desert for 40 days. Read Matthew 4:1-11. What I know to be true about the desert experience is this: God is at work on my heart. I found God would grow my character to serve Him in a way I could not have imagined prior. In the desert, I wrestle with strongholds in my life. I clearly see God is with me in the experience only after I leave the wilderness. To encourage those of us in the desert right now I want to share an excerpt from Breaking Free by Beth Moore. IT IS WORTH THE READ! One of the most common... Read more →

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The Christian Blogosphere

The Christian blogging community is an amazing place. I have been delighted to read the vast and varying blogs dedicated to serving Jesus. Our community of men and women has a passion to share their hope in Christ with a lost world. Christian bloggers propel me, as a believer, to grow in my relationship with Christ. Our community also challenges me to rethink my opinions to insure they stand on scripture. I am pushed to release prejudices that limit my ability to love others. In addition, I share in the joy and pain of fellow sojourners. I see people living their faith in the everyday mundane as well as those who are facing seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Christ is honored through our lives! I am humbled to be a participant in this amazing community. I thank all of the Christians in the Blogosphere for their contribution and love of our Savior.... Read more →

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Going It Alone - Christ who strengthens me

It is through Christ who strengthens us that we can attend church alone and thrive in our experience. I attend church alone. I abandoned my self-consciousness years ago. I can walk into the auditorium and sit in the front row. Okay, the second to the front row. I purposely look for another woman seated alone. I will sit down by her and wait for the Spirit to open a door for conversation. Sometimes we talk, sometimes not. I don’t feel angry prior to leaving for church and arriving home is much easier today than in years past. I have peace. I am thriving in this part of my Christian faith journey. I can still stumble from time-to-time and those old frustrations will invade my heart. Now, however, I know what to do with them and I don’t suffer as long as in years past. Praise God, neither does my spouse.... Read more →

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Going It Alone - Their Perspective

What is their perspective? Can our unbelieving spouses harbor feelings that are identical to ours? In fact, they usually do. An impromptu interview with my husband was revealing. I asked him if he would be willing to share his perspective with me regarding the emotions a nonbeliever experiences when faith becomes a disagreement in marriage. Nonbelievers usually rest in one of two camps: indifference or antagonistic. The spouse of a believer will experience a range of emotions as they navigate the new direction of their marriage. Hurt/betrayal: Spouses think to themselves, “It wasn’t me who changed.” They may not actually say this out loud but the thought has occurred to our spouse on many an occasion. As our relationship with Christ grows, we are changed. We exclude our spouse from activities and friendships purposefully or unknowingly because we think he/she won’t be interested or may be hostile to any suggestion... Read more →

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Going It Alone - Grief in the Sanctuary

One other area of the “church alone” experience that could just cripple me was grief. I would arrive at church, sit down then I would notice all of the couples seated around me. Observing a husband with his arm around his wife during the service could be excruciatingly painful. I think I would mourn for what I perceived as lost forever. A Christ centered family and marriage. My grief was real enough that I could not concentrate on the service. I believe this also contributed to the conflicts that arose at home when I returned from church. My poor husband. When this grief stuck that is when I wholeheartedly climbed into the arms of Christ. My prayer life stepped up and I found genuine comfort and I release my grief. Once again, Christ used my spiritual singleness to teach me to pray! I no longer sit in church and find... Read more →

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Going It Alone - Before and After

The battle is already raging around me. Conflicting thoughts invade my conscious mind flashing swiftly. Do I go to church today? I could stay home. Will I have to fight with my kids to get them to church with me? Will my husband get out of bed? I know I am going to be angry, I can already feel it. God wants me to join Him. I want to sing! Is it a football Sunday, there is not a chance my hubby will be joining me. Is there? Yikes!! What a mess and I haven’t even jumped out of bed yet!! Sunday was torture for me. I usually experience one the two scenarios on any given Sunday morning: 1) Anger or frustration followed by pouting before I left for church or 2) anger or frustration followed by pouting arriving home from church. In the early years of our marriage, I... Read more →

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Going It Alone - It starts the night before

My apologies, this post is tardy. Life interrupted my blogging. Go figure! It is another beautiful Sunday today and yes, I attended church this morning, alone. However, my eleven-year-old daughter joined me this morning. She volunteered, without my prompting, to work in the Kindergarten classroom while I attended church. I plan to write a series of articles next month on children, faith, and mismatched marriage. Our children are more of a concern than attending church alone. I would be grateful for your insights on this subject, please Email Me. Going it Alone – It starts the night before. Lesson 1: Dineen Miller, who has been a guest writer for Spiritually Unequal Marriage, offered an excellent suggestion to prepare our hearts for Sunday mornings. Pray! Dineen is right on the mark! I know this is the typical suggestion for every Christian dilemma. However, it is what we pray for and how... Read more →

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Going It Alone - Oh, the Social Pressure

When was the last time you went to the movie theater alone? What about going to a restaurant by yourself? Can you relate to the words profoundly uncomfortable and self-conscious? It feels like every other person in the place notices you, which multiplies your conspicuousness. The thought of going alone to a social gathering can be paralyzing. Many single people experience aloneness anxiety in social situations. However, I am of the opinion that married people who attend social events alone, experience singleness anxiety, as well as feelings of, hurt, disappointment, and sadness. We also feel cheated! So why is it so difficult? We are created to be social beings (Geneses 2:18) . From the time we are small, in most instances, we have lived in community with one another, parents, siblings, and friends. We then marry and become a couple. Our need for social interaction and validation stems from our... Read more →

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Going It Alone - How did I get here?

So how do we find ourselves sitting in a pew alone? The stories are vast. Men and women become unequally yoked in four ways. Let’s take a look. 1) God will win over a spouse after marriage. This is probably the most common, especially with wives. 2) Sometimes, there is deception intentional or not intentional before vows. The spouse says they believe when in reality they have not truly surrendered to Christ. 3) On the other side, a believing couple marries but one spouse grows in their faith while the other stagnates. 4) Finally, willful disobedience. A believer marries a nonbeliever thinking I will win him/her over later. This is my story, willful rebellion. That’s hard to type on the page. I want to share my story, however, to offer you hope. Our Great God worked through my rebellion to create in me a woman who is intensely in love... Read more →

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Going It Alone - Preface

As I started to organize my thoughts and research materials for the up-coming series on church attendance, I was impressed by the Spirit to first begin with a different post. Today, take a minute to remember your love story. How did your love for your spouse begin? When did you meet? How did you meet? Who introduced the two of you? What was it about your spouse that intrigued you? Do you remember thinking about him or her all day long? What were some of the fun things you did together? What caused you to be moonstruck? Was it his smile? Was it her laugh? Remember the fragrance he wore. What quirky mannerisms endeared you to her? It is my prayer, this process will keep love in the forefront of our minds as we endeavor to tackle tough emotions in the posts to follow. If we have not love, we... Read more →

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Beautiful Sunday Morning!

What a beautiful Sunday morning!! I am up early to read, pray and then I am going to church. Yes, I am going alone. I sincerely love going to church. I feel a supernatural recharge when surrounded by like-minded people who love Jesus. Going to church alone, however, was an enormous obstacle in the early years. It was almost incapacitating emotionally when I would sit behind a couple who were, perhaps holding hands. Noticing a family together at church was crushing and I would grieve. I would grieve my aloneness and what I thought was a broken family before God. I would become so upset that I couldn’t focus on the message, which I desperately needed to hear. Today, I am free of that hurt and on my way to The House of the Lord! I can’t wait to get there. This week I am going to discuss how to... Read more →

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