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20 entries from January 2008

Thankful Thursday - Compassion

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

I have often envisioned our Lord Jesus in this scene. Can you feel the hurt in His heart to know they were so close to truth and happiness and yet so far away. Can you imagine the tears in his eyes as the sick and possessed pressed around Him?

I can see this scene today. I see our world through the eyes television and the newspaper. There are millions clamoring for peace and contentment.

Things change yet they stay the same.

Two thousand years later Jesus still sees the crowds of this world. He sees throngs of people who are soul sick and His heart is broken.

His compassion is new every morning. I will give Him thanks in the morning, in the noon day, and the evening for I serve a God of compassion.

Be Blessed, Lynn

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Time to Pray

PrayingSo many people I know are struggling at the moment, including myself. The enemy's turned the heat up a bit. One acquaintance at church lost her husband suddenly this past week. Thankfully, this dear man is at home now in the arms of Jesus. Another dear lady, I fear her marriage is about to fall apart. Relationships are under attack. Hope is in desperate need. Faith is being challenged.

My goal is to always be authentic here. So, I can't offer any pretty words today, but I can offer this prayer.

Father God, we are your sons and daughters. We claim our position as your adopted children through the blood of your precious Son, Jesus Christ.

Lord, you see our struggles. You know first hand what we are suffering. Nothing in our lives has happened without your first-hand knowledge.

Lord, we need You now more than ever. We need your Holy Spirit to fill us constantly, to be our strength, and to guide us in these difficult days. Strengthen our faith, renew our hope. Restore to us the joy of your salvation.

Father, teach us to recognize and fight Satan's antics. Protect our marriages, protect our unbelieving spouses and loves ones, protect our relationships. Renew our spirits each and every day and enable us to pray boldly for those who are lost. Help us to pray those most dangerous prayers, and help us to believe our prayers are making a difference, even when we can't see any change.

Lord, You are the Great I Am. Through You all things are possible. We bow down before you, grateful for You, for your presence in our lives and for your sacrificial love, mercy, and grace.

Thank you, Father. Thank you for all that You are doing. We are grateful. In Christ's Holy Name, Amen.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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A Cell Phone and Forgiveness

Forgivegenerator

Matthew 5:23,24
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Let's face it; in our daily walk with God life isn't perfect. We squabble and disagree with other people especially our spouses, family members, and immediate friends...In fact we can disagree with almost anyone we meet on a daily basis.

A while ago I had an old cell phone stolen. My husband and I talked with witnesses that proved a certain person had taken it. However, we couldn't prove he'd definitely taken it. In a discussion with the parents of this person I lost my temper and said some things I shouldn't have. God immediately put it on my heart that I needed to apologize, after all it's not who is supposed to say sorry it's who is willing to say sorry.

Let me tell you that I've been putting off saying I’m sorry since then. I have come up with all sorts of excuses from “I'm not in the wrong" to "it's their son who stole it and he should apologize to me.”

We all get angry at one time or another and I'm sure the way I behaved isn't the way God wants His servant to act. I've now prayed about this situation and I know that if I see the people in question I will make amends for my attitude.

It's not always easy to do but don't you find that when you have something against someone or they have something against you; it sort of eats you up inside and festers to where you're constantly thinking about it? It's much easier to let it go and deal with it in a righteous way pleasing to God that way you're not holding on to any unforgiveness.
Amy

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Weekend Devotion - God's Gift of Hope

"So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me." — Acts 27:25

Img_0154A dear friend of mine gave me a wonderful birthday present. This is a friend who time after time, God has used to give me little nudges in the right direction. We don't get to see each other often, but our hearts sure seem to stay in tune. I treasure her dearly.

Now about this gift. She gave me a set of Beth Moore Prayer Cards. Just days before this, I'd actually looked at them and considered ordering a set. Needless to say, I was delighted to get them.

One has taken residence in a little photo holder on my desk at the moment. It says, "Lord God, help me to keep up my courage and have faith in You that things will happen just as You said."

It's based upon Acts 27:25 when Paul was on a ship headed for Rome and a storm struck. God told Paul that not only his life would be spared but the lives of those sailing with him as well. Paul believed God completely and shared this with the men in their darkest hour. He gave them hope.

A storm struck my marriage this week. If you were here Tuesday and read my post, A Choice of Faith, then you know what I faced. This prayer card has been my comfort every morning, a reminder that I am not alone in this journey. That things will come about, just as God said.

What amazes me is this. God knew what I would need. He set it in motion through a dear friend before this storm even struck. And He knew it would be exactly what I would need to keep going strong in Him. Isn't He wonderful?

God gave me hope, and He longs to give it to you too. So keep up your courage. I promise you, He's there.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living

Rejoicing

I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.—John Wesley

We have arrived!

I hope sharing some of the semantics of prayer and Bible reading has encouraged you over the past two weeks. If you want to read this series from the beginning, (click here).

We are now going to move to the meat….. So let’s feast and grow in the ways of prayer and watch our world change before our very eyes!

Do you want real information and instruction about praying powerful prayers? First we must understand why we need to pray. We are going to explore the why of praying.

If God is in control of everything, why should I pray? After all He is going to do what He wants to do anyway, right?
I wonder if you have ever asked yourself this question.

The more I teach Bible study and workshops, the more I have come to realize that believers don’t understand why their prayers matter. If believers don’t understand why their prayers are essential to God’s purposes, they don’t pray with conviction and persistence.

Conviction and persistence are the key words we will look at in the next few posts.

The answer is apparent in the very beginning of the Bible, Genesis. Get out your Bible right now and underline this passage. God is about to make it very real to you!

Genesis 1:26-28 (New International Version)

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

From the very beginning of the human race the Lord elevated mankind to be His caretaker. We are His stewards of this planet and everything on it. We are his representative here and He expects us to act in His behalf. (Also see psalm 8:3-8)

Now we know Adam messed it up and Jesus came to earth to set the mess straight. It is through Jesus we are the current caretakers of matters here on earth. God made us to be His link to authority and activity on earth. That is why prayer is necessary. God chose, from the time of creation to work on earth through humans, not independent of them.

The LORD purposely limits himself in order that He may work though us. Why? Because of His love for us and desire to be in a relationship with us. How could we know Him without praying and watching Him intercede in our lives? Intercess_3


This is proven time and again in scriptures. The first thing that comes to my mind is Elijah. First Kings 18 tells the story of Elijah and how he prays seven times and rain falls on the drought stricken land.

So whose idea was it to send the rain? It wasn’t Elijah. So why did God need him to pray?

James 5:17-18 (New International Version)
17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

God chooses to work though mankind. This just boggles my mind to think we share this amazing responsibility and adventure. This is the why of it. God works through our prayers to accomplish His purposes on this planet.

This leads to the next obvious question. Is it true then God can and does work independently of us? Absolutely, however, in His amazing wisdom - to draw us closer - He chooses to include us in His work on planet earth. How fantastic is that!!! My head can explode thinking about this.

When you understand that you are a vital player in the plan, you are filled with conviction and purpose in your words. You are also filled with persistence.

Last week I asked you several questions. Who is one of the best pray-ers you know. What great answers you left by the way. The great prayers of God’s Kingdom are those who pray with persistence.

So why is persistent fundamentally important? Well next Friday I have a story for you. It is about 5,756 days! This is exactly why. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Assignment: Take these scriptures (1 Kings 18 and James 5:17-18) to the Lord this week and ask Him to make them real in your life. Then ask Him about your place in His plans. Ask Him to show you why you are praying and to give you persistence.

Questions:

  • Have you experience a situation where it was almost as if God was waiting for you to pray in order to supply an answer? What was it?

  • Do you think you are a partner with God to achieve His purposes?

    I want to leave you with a final thought for the day: Satan does not care that you are reading this blog. He doesn’t care that you go to church or attend Bible conferences and seminars. He is not bothered you read the Bible.

    However, Satan is wild with fear when you pray!

    Oh, I have so much to tell you in the weeks ahead. Stick with me. We have a wonderful journey still waiting. Be Blessed, Lynn

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    Thankful Thursday - Jehova-Jireh

    Jehovah-Jireh - The Lord Will Provide

    As I have watched the developing economic news over the past week, I have grieved for the many who will suffer financially in the months ahead.

    In the county where I live, home foreclosures hit a record 300% increase over the prior year. Yes, you did you read that right?
    -300 percent-
    I know many families who are affected by this economic upheaval.

    For women, financial insecurity is particularly scary. So as I sat and watched the news last night, I was moved to pray for friends and for our nation. I know many of the readers who stop here have received bad news such as layoffs and repossession notices.

    So how can we be thankful when it appears our life is ruined? We can be thankful because we serve Jehovah-Jireh.

    Our Lord will provide. Sometimes He must take us to poverty of finances to see our poverty of spirit. It is in these desolate and desperate places where our deep need for a Savior is revealed. For those of us in unequally yoked marriages, this is especially true of our spouses.

    I know a difficult road lies ahead for many of us including possibly me. But, we must cling to the God of our ancestors. The LORD, God is our provider. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

    2 Corinthians 9:8 (New International Version) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
    Psalm 84:11 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
    Psalm 34:10 NLT 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Be Blessed, Lynn

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    A Choice of Faith

    RingheartSomething happened this weekend that rocked my world. The pain of it still runs deep and reminds of the day my sweet husband told me he’d decided he was an atheist. I can only describe it one word.

    Grief.

    I won’t go into details, except to say a glaring difference of belief placed a wedge between us. In the past, I’ve dealt with our mismatched beliefs by agreeing to disagree. My determination to love my husband unconditionally never wavered, because I knew that’s what God wanted. I gladly obliged. I will say it hasn’t been that hard because one, my husband is very easy to love, and two, I believe God has enabled me to do so.

    But the tables turned this weekend. I was faced with a question and had to answer honestly what I believed. I attempted to do so openly and in as non-confrontational a manner as possible. I knew he would disagree, but as in the past, I thought we’d again reach an impasse and agree to disagree.

    I never expected the reaction I received. I had assumed he knew where I stood, and he thought I believed as he did. And not only that, he seemed affronted and disappointed that I didn’t agree with him. As strongly as I believed in God’s clear Word against this particular behavior, he believed just as strongly that there was nothing wrong with it and to believe so was judgmental.

    The chasm in our beliefs never seemed wider than they did this day. For the first time I saw that I risked his love and respect by standing by what I believed. My heart broke at the thought of this dear man thinking less of me.

    Yet there stood my choice—my faith or his respect. To retract would mean hypocrisy (and a failed testimony of my faith for sure), but to stand firm meant that his opinion of me would waver. I could not change my belief, because it is grounded in God. I therefore had to risk the love and respect of the man I love to stay firm in the God who is the very essence of my being.

    Thankfully, we were able to come back to one another by the strength of our mutual love, but I know our foundation took a blow. I know I did the right thing, but forgive me when I say I find little comfort in that at the moment. My comfort comes from just knowing God is there, and that He understands.

    And I cling to the knowledge that God is working in my husband’s life to change his heart. If this is part of the storm I must weather in this transformation process, then so be it. I will trust God to supply the strength and guidance I desperately need to battle my doubts and the enemy.

    I choose faith. I choose God.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

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    Truck Stops are a Blast!

    It all happened last Monday off the Interstate at a Truck Stop. Join me today at Laced With Grace for the retelling of my road warrior adventure. (Click here)

    Have a blessed week. Love and hugs, Lynn

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    Weekend Devotion - The Heart

    In the May/June 2007 issue of the magazine Today's Christian Woman there was an article written regarding quiet time. I thought it was refreshing. Here's a quote from that article: "Scripture says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) God does not stipulate a format; he stipulates a heart attitude.” It's always about the heart with God even when it comes to our quiet/devotional time.

    1 Samuel 16:7
    But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

    I'm especially thankful that HE understands the heart and struggles of the unequally yoked. He understands that we have a need for quiet time, but because our spouses may begin to resent us for our devotion to the Lord we may need to postpone quiet time. He also understands that we may have a deep desire to teach Sunday school class or attend a Bible studies class or clean the church on a Saturday, but we can't because of the possible resentment, opposition, or disfavor, that our spouses may begin to feel or express towards our faith. The struggles are real and I'm feeling them! How I want my husband to taste and see the Lord is sooo very good. How I long for the both of us to spend quiet time together.

    I will rest in the Lord and in His promises with all of my heart.

    Dionice

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    Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living

    “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”- D.L. Moody

    Teach me to pray! That is my heart’s cry.

    Today we are going to learn some simple and successful practices to pray with focus and effectiveness.

    Before we start, how did you do last week? Did you make an appointment with the King and keep it? Did you find yourself a Bible and a regular reading place? If you missed last week’s introduction to this series, please take a minute to read it. The first step is crucial to the rest of our series. Click here for last Friday’s post.

    Now let’s continue with

    Breakthrough praying for Breakthrough Living!

    Perhaps you are like me. Are you easily distracted while you pray? Do you notice the clutter on the kitchen table? Do you start thinking about the bills that need paying? Are you distracted when the dog jumps up on the couch and sits down next to you? Do you stray from your thoughts when you see a spider crawling down the wall?

    The slightest noises can distract me. But the worst detractor from prayer is my to-do list. My mind fixes on the numerous chores and errands that await. The next thing I know, I have wasted 15 minutes thinking about meaningless stuff and my time with God is squandered.

    I needed help to stay focused. I found it. Fountainp_2

    The second most profound change in my relationship with God came from a spiral binder and a pen. Yes, I began to pray on purpose through a prayer journal. I forced myself to write out a sentence in long hand. When I placed my focus just upon the paper in front of me and the words I was writing, I found distractions simply disappeared. Forming sentences on paper led me to focus on the words I pray. It revolutionized my prayer life.

    I found I prayed more intensely and with my whole heart. I was writing with purpose and passion to the Lord. Every morning I would begin to write a love letter to the King. Praying in long hand forever changed my prayer life. Yes, it takes longer to get everything out that I want to say. Sometimes I abbreviate. Sometimes, I will only write a name or a word and then complete the sentence verbally. Often, I will start writing a prayer and I will end up on my knees in worship, the journal and pen forgotten on the couch.

    After all these years of praying, I still get my Bible and prayer journal out every single morning. I begin praying in my journal when I am reading scripture. Without fail, every morning, the Lord speaks to me through some verse or passage. I write these passages down and then pray asking the Lord to teach me or I thank Him for teaching me in that moment. I ask for clarification or how to make a particular scripture real in my life. I have more to say about this in a future post.

    For today I have an assignment. Get a prayer journal. I buy spiral binders in bulk usually when it is “Back to School” season. You can find them cheap and plentiful. I put them in a cabinet and use them all year long. You don’t need to have a flowery journal inscribed with "prayer journal." All you need is paper, pen and the Holy Spirit.

    For me, praying on paper removed all my distractions. I found I wrote and prayed with purpose and expectation. I am able to go back in my journal and read past prayers. One other blessing of journaling is the ability to re-read and then remember past prayers and recognize how God specifically answered.

    The idea of a prayer journal is not a new one. But, often people don’t know what to write in it. So in the next post of this series we are going to learn how to Pray Out Of The Box.

    Assignment: Begin praying in a prayer journal if you struggle with prayer.

    Questions:

  • Have you prayed for something but didn’t get any results? What did you pray for? Why do you think your prayer wasn’t answered?

  • Explain your take on prayer.

  • Who is the most effective pray-er you have ever seen? Why do you think his or her prayers are answered?

    We will look at these questions next week. If you are willing, please give me your answers in comments.

    Motivation to pray. Praying in God's will. Praying with expectation. Praying through strongholds. All this awaits us. It is an exciting time in God's Kingdom. Stay tuned for more. Have a blessed week. Look forward to and expect answered prayer. Love, Lynn

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    Thankful Thursday

    As I type this post I am watching my husband in the kitchen. He is wiping of the table after clearing the dinner dishes. He is swaying back and forth with the dish sponge squeaking across the table. He is completely unaware I am watching him with a heart that is swelling with love for him.

    This man is kind and conscientious. He willingly clears and cleans after I prepare and serve. As I watch him walking to the kitchen sink, I am overwhelmed. I realize the profound gift in this ordinary moment. God created this man for me.

    As I watch him close the dishwasher, he speaks to me. He is on his way to walk the dogs. I smile. This is a common, ordinary moment yet, extraordinary. I am indeed thankful.

    Have a wonderful Thursday. Be Blessed, Lynn

    For more Thankful Thursday blessings, visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

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    Another Revelation of God

    WeddingringssmallLast July I wrote a post called The Revelation of God about a divine appointment God has set up between me and a woman who was unequally yoked for six and a half years. Learning how her husband came to Christ and interviewing him turned into a unique opportunity to how God worked in this process. I had no idea then that God would continue to show me more.

    Since that warm July day, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this family better. Like Sunday I had the even greater pleasure of witnessing this man get baptized. And not only him, but his oldest daughter and son as well. The last year has been a time of tremendous growth for this very special family.

    Right before the baptism of this gentleman’s teenage daughter, our pastor shared with us that she’d made her decision to accept Christ because she’d witnessed God working in her family. If you knew this young lady as we do and the struggles she’s had to overcome, you’d tear up as I did watching her stand boldly in front of our church and witnessing her faith.

    I have to say, I remained teary eyed through all three baptisms. Seeing God work in such a mighty way was, well, mind blowing, to say the least. I’ve come to love this family very much over the last six months and to be a witness to this day was so humbling and encouraging.

    After the service, I rushed over to congratulate them, so full of joy I thought I’d burst. The morning’s events confirmed for me just how much God is in control—that He desires the salvation of everyone and even allows us to share this great joy when it occurs. He orchestrates every detail.

    I couldn’t help but imagine this day for my own sweet hubby. I allowed myself to imagine how I’d feel, how he’d look standing in front of the church, what he might say. It may be years but I know the One truly in control.

    And I know He’s orchestrating another divine appointment.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

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    What "Not" to Do

    I'm sure you've had those moments (like me) where you've wished you could take back a word or action against your spouse. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes - here are some of the most common ones I've been responsible for over the years:

    * speaking sarcastically
    * rolling my eyes
    * not helping him when I'm angry with him
    * holding onto a grudge
    * the silent treatment
    * telling him to go wash his own clothes and make his own lunches etc
    * with-holding intimacy

    You know you've done wrong but the point is don't beat yourself up about it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Thankfully all is not lost.

    1Peter3:1 says: "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives".

    Note: submission does not mean being a doormat - there are ways to be submissive with appropriate boundaries. To me, it also means sometimes putting aside our own feelings to positively be a help-meet to our husbands.

    Psalm 18:30-32 says: "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect."


    Note: God is there for us to run to. When times are tough cling to the rock of God. He is our strength, our joy, our mighty counselor and our heavenly Father. If you need a hug or an uplift just ask Him. Talk with him like you would a friend.

    Micah 6:8
    He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.


    Note: An apology goes a long way. You don't have to prove you're right all the time. If you're wrong and you know it, apologize to your spouse. That way they don't think you're high and mighty and self righteous.

    James 1:19
    My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.


    This was a BIG one for me. God was constantly reminding me that my tongue was getting me into trouble more than it should be. Sometimes it's better to take a deep breath, count to ten and then respond instead of when we're deep in anger. By the way, never let the sun go down on your anger. A good night's sleep can change your outlook in the morning.

    I hope these help you in your walk with God in your unequal marriage. It's also important for you to have regular time out by yourself with God so that he can craft you and rejuvenate you.

    Amy Fobes

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    Spiritually Mismatched - Weekend Devotion

    Welcome back to Weekend Devotions at Spiritually Unequal Marriage! Lynn and I are hoping and praying these weekend devotionals will encourage you to keep walking with our mighty Saviour and persevere through whatever you may be facing today. Please let us know how we can be praying for you.
    Hugs and blessings,
    Dineen

    PrayingAnswered Prayers

    I started reading my Bible from the beginning again with the New Year. I try to do this each year, and I am always amazed how God will bring out new truths from Scripture I've read several times. To me that's what makes the Bible relevant and living!

    In Genesis 24, Abraham sends his chief servant back to the his homeland to get a wife for his son, Isaac. This servant, who we never know by name, obeys his master and makes the journey. Once there, he prays for God to show him who He has chosen to be Isaac's wife.

    Verse 15 says, "Before he had finished praying, ..." This stood out to me when I read it, because I have to say, my clearest answers to prayer have come before I've even finished my prayer. I could completely identify with this unnamed servant.

    Verse 45 confirms that the servant understood God's quick answer when he tells Laban and Rebekah how God answered his prayer. He says it himself, "Before I finished praying in my heart, ..."

    Normally I rely on three areas to confirm or debunk what I think God is telling me. His Word, the advice of trusted Christian friends, and prayer. But when God has answered me in such a manner, it is clear and strong. And I cherish the times He's given me such clear answers.

    Throughout the Bible, we witness again and again how God hears prayers and answers them. Sometimes immediately, as in the case of Abraham's servant. Other times, God answers but the results aren't seen until years later, like Sarah waiting for the birth of Isaac.

    But first and foremost, we can witness in those sacred pages that God does hear us and knows what's best for us. That's a promise represented by the very presence of his Son, Jesus.

    Precious Lord, we are so thankful that you hear our prayers and that you've set your Son by your throne to be our intercessor. Lord, You are so awesome! We love you and want to hear what You have to say to us. Teach us to stay tuned to your voice, your Word, and your guidance. Help us to seek you daily, let our hearts be changed by your Word, and make us more like your Son everyday. In his glorious name we pray, Jesus, Amen.


    *****

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    Breakthrough Praying for Breakthrough Living

    Womanpraise
    If you arrived here today at this very hour it is not a coincidence. It is not by chance or happenstance. The LORD, God brought you here. There is much work to be done in the Kingdom of God here on earth. God, Himself, has appointed you to participate in His redemption plan.

    So, Welcome! We are about to embark on a fantastic journey together. A journey that will certainly leave all of us changed. Dare I say, Forever! YES! We are going to learn how we can know the Lord’s will, His character, and His purposes for our lives. Does this sound impossible? Perhaps, but God desires each of us to know His will, character and purpose. Even more fascinating, He desires to set us on a life journey that is so fantastic we could never dream it up in a thousand years.

    What this journey entails:

    This weblog was born on May 1, 2006 it’s purpose is two-fold. First, to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, to offer practical help and encouragement to the followers of Christ.

    What I will share with you throughout this series is the practical knowledge and practice of “knowing God.” I don’t pretend to have everything figured out. Those of you who read my posts regularly know I mess up and mess up big at times. I don’t always get it right. What I can tell you, however, is how my relationship with the Lord developed and how I am able to pray dangerous prayers without fear.

    Do you want the assurance the heavinlies move when you pray? Then let’s get right to it.

    Lord, our God, today as we read this prayer, place a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon each of us. Stir our heart and soul with conviction and to be expectant about our future with You. Prepare us for a deeper understanding of Your heart for people. Lord, when you cry for the lost and the weary, let us cry. Lord, when You reach out to save, let us be Your hands, Your feet, Your voice and Your eyes.

    Father, as we prepare for this journey grant us the commitment to see it through. At the end awaits a new life, a changed heart, and saved loved ones. Father, I especially ask for You to instill a desire in us to spend time alone with You. In Jesus name, Amen.

    The first part of our journey will cover some of the practices which grew my understanding of our Lord and His will and grew my prayer life. The second part of our journey will cover prayer and faith. These are common concepts, yeah, been there stuff. However, over the years in ministry I have discovered many Christians struggle in their prayer life and need help and encouragement to pray life-changing prayers.

    So ask yourself now these questions: 1) Do I know God’s will for my life? Do I know how to pray in God’s will? Am I afraid to pray dangerous prayers? Does God’s word abide in me? Do I want my relationship with Christ to be richer in a year from now?

    I know my answers and I WANT more of JESUS this year!

    As we move through this process I will leave you with an assignment and a few questions. Please find yourself a journal and begin writing down the questions and working on the assignment. Don’t fret. It is easy and it will be a tremendous help to grow your relationship with Jesus.

    Let’s begin at the beginning:

    What is the bedrock of our faith? In the early years of my marriage to an atheist I struggled with the many questions my husband would ask me. What I realized was my faith and knowledge of God’s word was based upon what others had told me and what I heard in sermons. I did not know what God’s Word said because I had never actually read it. I couldn’t answer my husband’s questions and I had no idea where in the Bible I could find scripture to reply with a knowledgeable answer.

    Our faith, our hope, our life begins in the pages of God’s word. Have you read it?Biblehands


    Last February I had a chance visit with a Christian woman whom I adore. She has been the leader of a worldwide Bible study ministry for years, Kay Arthur. I literally tangled up with Kay at a Deeper Still Conference in San Francisco. Kay stepped out into the audience, stopped in front of me. We reached out to exchange an embrace and my large and inconvenient earring tangled with her cordless microphone that was hanging on her ear. What a mess. We both giggled as we untangled. What a gracious woman. Sheesh I was embarrassed!

    The next day my travel companions and I had another chance meeting with Kay at the Airport. Kay remembered me from the tangle earring incident. I turned red again. But, I began to tell her about the unequally yoked ministry and asked her for a word of advice. Kay immediately responded, “Keep them in the Word.”

    Wise indeed.

    It really is simple. The Word of God changed my life. On June 13, 1998 my mother gave me a 365 daily bible. This Bible is organized as a daily read over 365 days a year. It includes reading in the Old Testament, New Testament, a Psalm, and Proverbs. The translation is easy reading, New Living Translation.

    I remember the date exactly because the day I began to read it I wrote the year next to June, 13. I have read through the Bible every year since then.

    Today, I KNOW what God’s word says because I have read if for myself. God’s word abides in me.

    Now I know there is some spicy discussion among bloggers this January about methods and assignments and must do reading. A daily Bible may not be a fit for your life. You may already have a daily reading practice. Wonderful.

    However, if you aren’t reading daily and want your life to be different in a year from now, start with this Bible reading plan. Order a bible online or head to the bookstore. Let me add a few thoughts here.

    Daily reading of God’s word may seem at first like a duty. It is a duty to set the alarm 30 minutes earlier to meet with God. It may appear to be a duty to push through the chapters when you are tired. It may look as if you have a million things on your list for the day that are far more important. I will make you a PROMISE.

    DUTY WILL TURN TO DESIRE!

    When you are regularly meeting with the Lord through reading and prayer, you will see your life change. In fact, every day I set my alarm to go off at 5:45a.m. I want to be certain to have an hour to meet with God before I do anything else.

    PrayhandshadI crave my time alone in prayer and with the Word. It is the best time of the day. I cannot function if I do not meet with the Lord every single day. No matter where I am, I bring my Bible, I get up early and read and I pray. Every minute no second I have invested in this relationship has come back to me in immeasurable ways.

    Don’t become obsessed with the reading plan itself. Read what you can in 15-20 minutes and allow some time for prayer. Perhaps you will only read a chapter from the New Testament or a Psalm. Read something everyday. When you read a particular passage and a line or a word jumps out at you making an impression upon you, underline it. This could also be a passage you can bring to God in prayer. We will cover praying through the Word in later posts. You will be amazed how God works through these specific passages as the years pass.

    Questions for the week:

    1) Will you commit to daily reading God’s word?
    2) Will you create a quiet place to read, where distractions are minimal?
    3) Will you try it for at least 30 days?

    Assignment: Ask the Lord for guidance and help to create your 30-minute appointment with the King on a daily basis. Ask your husband to help you. Tell you kids that you are going to start reading every day at (time) see if they would agree to try not to disturb you. Get up early.

    Next Friday we will jump right into prayer. The best is yet to come. I hope to offer you the motivation you need to pray like you have never prayed before.

    This week you have a lot to work on. Get a 365-day Bible if you can. If not, read a chapter from your own. Set an appointment with the King and keep it.

    Give me some feedback. If you read daily, tell me what you do. If you don’t, tell me what your plan is for the week.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    Be Blessed, Lynn

    *****

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    Thankful Thursday

    Wow, my four weeks of hosting Thankful Thursday has reached an end. Time flies when you are thankful. *grin*

    Today I give thanks to the Lord for Iris who is our regular hostess for Thankful Thursday. Be sure to join in next week at Sting My Heart. Iris, you ROCK!

    I am thankful for Crystal and Laurel who also hosted over the past three months. Thank you!

    I am thankful for each of you who stopped in to link up to share your praises. Your heart-felt stories inspired me. Sharing your struggles brought tears to my eyes at times. Reading about your kindness and generosity was overwhelming.

    I shared Christmas with most of you. The stories of family, fun, and Jesus were priceless and I felt I was right there with many of you in your homes. You are wonderful writers and mostly I see Jesus and His Kingdom in all of you and IT IS GOOD!

    God bless each of you. I will be by to visit you sometime this week. Love and hugs, Lynn

    What are your hopes for the year? Do you want to experience a real and lasting change in your walk with God? Do you want to find contentment in your marriage? Can you pray dangerous prayers expecting answers? Do you need a breakthrough in your marriage, health, job, with God?

    We will begin a new series here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage on Friday, January 11th.

    Break Through Praying for Break Through Living.
    This series is for every believer seeking to deepen your intimacy with the Lord, through His Son Jesus Christ. Hope to see you then. Be blessed, Lynn

    *****

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    One Scarred Hand to the Other

    716045_handsFear.

    That’s what God told me to write about this week. To be honest, I don’t really know what to say about it, other than I seem to be battling it more at the moment than I ever have before.

    I learned at an early age to be confident, even if I had to fake it. An insecure childhood taught me how to “pretend” this state to the point that I could almost believe it myself. I remember one of my first prayers to God after He’d put me back on my journey of faith was to be authentic. I wanted to be real.

    Yet now, after all the years of persistence in obtaining this authenticity, I suddenly find myself tempted to pretend again. Makes me think of some of the lines from the Casting Crowns song, East to West.

    I don't want to end up where You found me

    I really don’t want to go back to that place I used to be. I don’t want to return to that person who knew only how to rely on herself and no one else. I don’t want to go back.

    'Cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again

    I don’t want to be a woman who lives in fear. Afraid to fail, afraid to try, afraid to hope. No, there’s more. There has to be.

    Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
    Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

    I already know this will be a critical year. God has shown me this and reminded me again just the other day. He’s promised to do great things in my life. He’s promised to reward my obedience. He’s promised to be by my side all the way. He’s promised that this will be the year that my husband comes to Christ.

    So what am I so afraid of? Is this me or the enemy trying to interfere with what God’s calling me to do?

    Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
    I don't have to see the man I've been come rising up in me again

    Perhaps in my deepest inadequacy, God’s strength will shine the brightest. This is what I’m grasping onto as I face questions from my husband regarding the Bible and the Old Testament Laws. These are questions that send me running to the Bible and God for answers, because I know I don’t have them.

    In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
    'Cause You know just how far the east is from the west
    From one scarred hand to the other

    I love that last line most of all. Because through it, I see that all I have to do right now is hold on and let him do the rest. His hands are more than adequate.

    Scars and all.

    *****

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    Feeling Alone

    When I was feeling alone in my marriage, before my husband received "the big talk" from God. I felt really really alone. It was just me and the kids.

    Most wives and husbands can talk to each other and communicate pretty well but not us. We use to be pretty much best friends in the early years of our marriage but as time went on we grew further and further apart. Finances grew tight as our family grew, cruel words were said, bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness crept in.

    I remember one time in particular my husband said something mean which went right to my heart. I couldn't believe how he could have been so awful. I was just about to start on a pile of ironing, most of it was his work shirts and I said to myself "he can go do it all himself if he thinks he can speak to me that way."

    But I heard God gently saying to me "that's not how I want my servant to behave, I want you to go ahead and do it anyway so that you will be heaping burning coals on his head". God didn't mean it in a nasty way; he was showing me to still "do good" towards my husband rather than having the same attitude. So...I carried on, pulled out the ironing board and iron. I set it up in my office, put on some praise n worship music and got through it all while venting my frustrations and tears on God.

    I was able to tell Him all about it and at the end it was almost as it those big arms gave me a big hug, wiped my tears away, picked me up spiritually and set me back on my way again. When I put all of my husband’s shirts away in his wardrobe he saw them and told me he felt humbled. I even got an apology for the way he'd acted. I saw that if I'd vented and shouted at him, it would've made the situated much worse. However, because I took it to God He was able to work it all out instead.

    For those who are still unequally yoked, there is hope and there is light at the end of the tunnel It is SO important to take our prayers and concern to the one who unconditionally is always there for us. Let Him do the intervening and speaking for us, after all He knows our spouses better than we do.

    Amy Forbes

    *****

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    Spiritually Mismatched - Weekend Devotion

    Welcome to Weekend Devotions at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Dineen and I pray the weekend devotional will enrich your marriage and your relationship with God. Be Blessed, Lynn

    Surely, I have all the Answers!

    I reasoned since I have read the Good Book, surely “I” must have all the answers. Because my husband doesn’t believe it was obviously up to me to keep this family traveling in the right direction.

    I thought because I knew God that I had to be control. After all, I know what’s best and I had better watch out for me, and the kids and clearly my husband. It was up to me to direct my man to safe people and safe places.Biblehands_edited2

    I tried all of the usual things. I would arrange a “casual” get together with a Christian couple. I would manipulate my husband to attend church. And yes (shudder) I would leave scripture verses on 3x5 cards conveniently placed around the house.

    What I was really doing was mothering my mate. These silly and controlling actions only made my husband feel emasculated and resentful. Those feelings emerged in our daily life to tear at our relationship leaving me feeling anxious, frustrated, and fearful.

    The truth is I surely do not have all of the answers. I had to learn to respect my husband’s need for freedom. He must choose for himself even if he chooses unwisely. In fact, my good intentions to guide my man away from certain ideas or activities may have interfered in the very circumstances that could have brought him to the cross.

    I am far from perfect. I mess up on a daily basis yet slowly, surely the gospel is alive in my life as a witness for truth. I trust Jesus to do the rest of the work.

    As spouses of nonbelievers we mean well, however, when we try to control our mate to the foot of the cross the result is disappointment. What we can do is to pray every day for our husband and show him respect. Then trust the Lord to do the rest.

    Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
    Lord, You know my heart. You know I see life from an eternal perspective. I want my husband to know you. I know I often get in your way but I truly want the best for my husband. Teach me to stand aside and allow your work to be accomplished. Teach me to trust you and approach your throne everyday with my husband’s name on my lips. Lord, I freely give him over to you. I trust you to do what is best for both of us. In Jesus name, Amen.

    *****

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    Thankful Thursday

    A New Beginning

    Do you feel it? The excitement of a brand new year?

    We are gifted with another set of 12 months to live the abundant life in the Lord Jesus. Do you wonder what plans the Lord has prepared for you this year? Do you ponder what new friendships God will bring? Perhaps this will be the year the Lord removes a spiritual stronghold in your life.

    I am exuberant about our future. We serve the one and only God and guess what? He loves us to distraction and has plans…..for us!

    Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    What amazing promises belong to us! AMAZING!

    Today I am thankful for the hope of new beginnings. I am thankful for the plans God already has in place. Plans to prosper, to fill us with hope and give us a glorious future.

    What are your hopes for the year? Do you want to experience a real and lasting change in your walk with God? Do you want to find contentment in your marriage? Can you pray dangerous prayers expecting answers? Do you need a breakthrough in your marriage, health, job, with God?

    We will begin a new series here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage on January 11th.

    Break Through Praying for Break Through Living.

    This series is for every believer seeking to deepen your intimacy with the Lord, through His Son Jesus Christ. Hope to see you then. Be blessed, Lynn

    *****

    Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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