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21 entries from June 2008

Pornography~ The Reality!

Lynn

I loved how you showed that even though a husband may try to draw his wife into it to "enrich" their sex life, it actually creates a vicious suction pool of addiction and despair. That is sooo true. Wives should not enter into it even one bit, or their own consciousness will begin to burn, their relationship with God will be burdened and their husbands will be in big trouble with God, I pray!

The only thing I wasn't as crazy about was the first question. She asked, "if it's not all about sex, then what is it about?" And I felt like you responded with an explanation of a man's sex drive. I felt like it was saying...it's about sex. He can't help it, this is what he likes to do, even though it doesn't please God. That's still just "sex." What I would say to a woman who is dealing with that with her husband is this:

"There are dozens of reasons why your man could be into porn. Of course, he might just plain like it. It's hot and sexy. Period. He's a guy. He might be getting great sex at home, or he might be deprived. Men with sex-loving wives can be into it, and men with frigid wives can be into it. Your husband might resent you. He might be angry at you. Using it to get back at you or control you. He might be stressed from work and needs a let down. He might be lonely. He might be bored. When he lets lonely, angry, bored, stressed, or tired, he may turn to porn because it is handy, provides quick, immediate relief and he has no better coping mechanisms. Relationships take energy, and he may not have the energy to wait the full hour it takes to use you, his wife, for his natural stress relief. He may be running from God. He knows he can get all he needs from Jesus, but chooses not to. He may love his wife, he may be sick of his wife...it may or may not have anything to do with his wife. Porn is easy, cheap, handy, fun. And he can rationalize it saying that "everybody is doing it." Even Christian guys get sucked into the idea that it's normal.

However. Afterwards, porn does leave guys feeling guilty, depressed, angrier at their wives, more discontent than ever, sneakier, wasting the family's finances, and eventually addicted, compulsively enslaved to it's drug-like effects. His relationship with God suffers as his heart grows colder and more numb to the Spirit of God. At this point the guy has to reach a "bottom-out" point before he will let God pull his white knuckles off the merry go round.

Wives do well to understand that it is not about them most of the time. Being prettier, bustier, wilder, riskier will not satisfy their husbands. It is like money...they will always want more. Women do well to pray for the Spirit of God to convict their husbands and open their eyes to the dangers. Because even if the marriage is in pretty good shape when the guy starts using porn, by the time it has run it's course it will damage his intimacy with his wife, no matter how understanding she is. She may not mind the porn, but she will might the secret internet accounts, the lies and the excuses. And she may begin to resent his lack of spiritual leadership even more as he falls further from the truth. Women must remember that the guys don't see porn stars as sleazy, needy, damaged, hurting, empty little girls like women do. Women are helpless to convince their husbands of anything. You can pray, fast, be sexually available, but don't let down your boundaries of what you are comfortable with. Be strong-minded and firm. Be understanding of their stress and remind them of other coping methods available...for example, be available for "quickies" after work, let him go running or golfing after work, find a constructive hobby, insist on more date nights, more guys' nights out. Be creative, but don't obsess about it. Realize above all that it is HIS responsibility to deal with it and with God and NOT YOURS. Or you will become more codependent and miserable, and lose your own identity and life in the process. Be sure that YOU are doing what you can to be on track with God, and doing your best in all your areas of responsibility and leisure.

You are loved and deeply empathized with by "zillions" of Christian/non-Christian women who are in your shoes. (Beware that if you talk about it with non-Christian friends, they may say they don't mind their husbands doing it because it's normal. But if you dig deeper, you may find that it did hurt them, but that they have given up because they have no paradigm for figuring out what is right and wrong in their life, and they can't get their husbands to stop either!)

Turn to Jesus. All husbands and wives hurt and disappoint each other. Jesus will never fail you or leave you alone. Climb up into HIS lap when it hurts to much to pray. God will do more than you can imagine through this painful process. He may grow you, make you stronger, more empathetic, more patient, more understanding, more compassionate, less judgmental, less rigid, less selfish, less arrogant. And he may take your husband on a journey of truly discovering forgiveness and salvation. God can work this for your and your husband's good as he promises.

Sincerely, One Who Knows

We Will continue this series Friday. Be Blessed, Lynn

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A Divine Balloon?

Weekend Devotion

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Sunday my husband opened the back door to go outside to do some chores. As he opened the door, this is what he found lying on the doorstep.

Now look at little closer. Can you read the words?


Is reads: BAPTISM!

Baptized


I think God is hilarious! The delivery from the sky of this particular balloon is irony taken to a supernatural level. God is funny. Really, He is. He knows how much I love to laugh so He sends a “Baptized” balloon to my unbeliever on a Sunday morning.

My husband brings the balloon in wearing a befuddled look on his face. He shows me and I can’t help but to bust out with knee-slapping merriment. I laugh so hard I actually snorted. How ironic. Can you believe God would send a special and private invitation to my man?

The arrival of this balloon was perfect. It prompted a pointed and genuine conversation about baptism. My husband knows enough about Jesus’ teaching to know baptism is a deciding step toward faith. He is familiar with Christ’s example.

Matthew 3: 13-17 (NIV)

The Baptism of Jesus
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Of course, I had to say something. I couldn’t let this divine moment slip away. “Honey, do you think this is your personal invitation to be baptized?” Usually I avoid these direct approaches because they tend to move into moments of tension between us. However, today, between my guwffaws I couldn’t help asking.

He kindly replied, “I am not ready.” *smile*

His response humbled and surprised me. I didn’t realize my man had actually contemplated baptism. Praise the Lord, he has!

It is unlike me to leave a story unfinished. I always like neat and tidy endings. However, today, I leave the ending of THIS story undone. I will wait for the Master Author to work this conclusion. And finish it He will. In spectacular fashion.

I can’t wait for the day when I can tell all of you who faithfully prayed for this man, he found his way to the foot of the cross. It will happen!

O Lord God, today I shout out the names of all of those whose salvation hangs in the balance. For my husband, for my neighbors, family, every person at my salon, gals in my Bible study, my online visitors who are searching. Lord, I shout their name out before your throne. Send them a balloon. Send them hope through the Bible, or a kind word, or some encouragement. Let them see Jesus in me and in every believer who stops in here today. In the life-changing name of Jesus I ask for their salvation, Amen.

Who is your hold out this day? Wont you shout out along with me? Be Blessed, Lynn

Originally posted September 2007 at Laced With Grace.... I am still praying. Can't wait to see what the Lord does next to get my mans' attention. It should be really great!

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What's In Your Camp?

This scripture started it all:

Deuteronomy 23:14 For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

If you remember I began this journey back in April and we have looked at what is indecent in our camp and can those indecent items –attitudes- be a cause for the Lord to turn away from us.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Idol story – Subtle Stealing
(Click to read previous posts)

A couple of posts back I told you we would explore something indecent which is prevalent today and has very easy access to our homes; pornography. I have been researching this subject and have asked the psychologist I work with here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage a few questions.

Interview with Rebecca Saville:R_sunset_bkgrnd_2

Lynn: I am thrilled to Welcome Rebecca to Spiritually Unequal Marriage today. Rebecca Saville has a Masters in Social Work and has been a counselor for 14 years. She is a deeply committed Christian and a mother of three. She has been married to a Navy Chaplain for 18 years.

Rebecca, here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage we have been taking a careful look at what is brought into our homes. This series of posts has led me to the subject of pornography. This is a difficult subject to be sure. However with the internet, viewing porn is now an epidemic: Here are just a few statistics taken from Familysafemedia.com.

Pornographic websites 4.2 million (12% of total websites)
Pornographic pages 420 million
Daily pornographic search engine requests 68 million (25% of total search engine requests)
Daily pornographic emails 2.5 billion (8% of total emails)
Internet users who view porn 42.7%
Received unwanted exposure to sexual material 34%
Average daily pornographic emails/user 4.5 per Internet user
Monthly Pornographic downloads (Peer-to-peer) 1.5 billion (35% of all downloads)
Daily Gnutella "child pornography" requests 116,000
Websites offering illegal child pornography 100,000
Sexual solicitations of youth made in chat rooms 89%
Youths who received sexual solicitation 1 in 7 (down from 2003 stat of 1 in 3)
Worldwide visitors to pornographic web sites 72 million visitors to pornography: Monthly
Internet Pornography Sales $4.9 billion

Lynn: Rebecca during our conversation, I believe you told me that pornography is not about sex. What is the allure? What is it about?

(Rebecca): Men are created different from women. Women are aroused by words, touch, and relationship. Men are aroused by what they see. They don’t have to talk to or interact with or have any relationship with another woman to be aroused. In fact, (Ladies, I know this is disappointing to hear) a picture can arouse a man as much as his wife can. Everywhere men look there are women with the latest tightest fashions. Even in church men are aroused by curves, legs, and breasts that are exposed. They are up against the battle of the age-old problem of the eyes. Being male brings a natural vulnerability to sexual sin. And marriage doesn’t usually cure sexual sin. Christian men and unbelievers alike face intense temptations.

Physiologically, men receive a chemical high from sexually-charged images. Epinephrine is secreted into the blood stream. Then there is a memory lock on the stimulus that is present when he is emotionally excited. The images in the mind are there and can be accessed at any time. It takes discipline not to fantasize about the images in everyday living that have gotten his engine revving.

Not only are all men susceptible to sexual immorality because of the way they are wired, some also have unresolved emotional issues that make them vulnerable to inappropriate sexual gratification: Insecurity, fear, low self-esteem, abandonment, etc. For example, take the issue of poor stress management. When stress overwhelms a man, he wants to stop feeling that way. The easiest way he knows to feel better is to masturbate to release the epinephrine, enjoy a physical and emotional high and sleep. That choice becomes a habit. Whereas others exercise, talk or problem-solve under stress, this individual chooses an ineffective way of handling stress. The problem is still there when he wakes up, and the toll on his marriage is greater.

Even nice guys look at all women. Subconsciously in the flesh they have this internal conversation with themselves: Would I? Could I? Should I? To shut that conversation down before it ever comes up takes a lot of training to suppress the human nature that God created them with, but it can be done with the Lord’s help.

Lynn: Many people view pornography as harmless entertainment. Is pornography a sin?

(Rebecca): Ephesians 5:3 sets God’s standard for sexual purity: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.”

I Thessalonians 4:3 states: “It is God’s will that you should be made holy; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust”.

God requires obedience—to all his principles. We need men of honor and decency.

Wives, you can (1) pray for your husbands to remain sexually pure and to avert his eyes when someone may arouse him.

(2) Fulfill your husband sexually even though you don’t want to at times;

(3) Talk openly and honestly about the topic of being easily attracted visually recognizing most men are affected by sexual impurity;

(4) Understand that this is not your problem even if your man says it is.

Lynn: What are the consequences of bringing pornography into marriage?

(Rebecca): Many men are ignorant of the fact that pornography hurts their marriage and he needs to train his eyes and mind and heart to behave in an honorable way. The purpose of sex is to create oneness between two married people. Making love in marriage is a celebration of Christ’s love for his church.

Men invite their wives to watch pornography with them so they can “learn more” about how to please him, or experiment more. This does not work. The deviant sexual appetite left unchecked will not be satisfied. It has an addictive nature that wants more. Initially pornography makes men view women as objects of their sexual gratification and possessions. Viewing pornography entices to “forbidden love.” The choice starts with masturbation to a 2-dimensional picture, and the habit leads to ejaculation with a 3-dimensional person outside of marriage. Each growing step of the addiction is overstepping God’s boundaries a little more.

Matthew 5:28 states “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

An addiction to sex progresses through four steps:

1. preoccupation

(2. ritualization

3. compulsive sex behavior

4. despair

This Monday I have a follow up to this interview. A Christian woman who is living with pornography and has for years will share her perspective and the truth that will set you free! She has read this interview and makes some excellent points and first person observations. Don't miss this post. I promise, it is worth it!

Next Friday, we will continue this interview and learn more about the devastation of relationships and this epidemic. But more importantly we will discover the truth about hope and help for those who are affected by pornography.

I have found online resources to help you learn more. Check out:

Bebroken.com
Troubledwith.com

Lord, God, on our knees we ask you to stir, in the hearts of our men, a mighty character. Lord, give them strength when temptation arises. Stir within them a desire to be men of honor. In Jesus name, Amen.

Be Blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - A New Baby?

Hi and welcome everyone to Thankful Thursday. Some of you have been participating in Thankful Thursday for quite some time. You may remember that in March I wrote a Thankful Thursday post about a new garden.

You might recall we changed our backyard landscape from grass to a vegetable garden on the left and a flower garden on the right side of the yard. So why is a garden significant? I left the Corporate world of banking a few years ago. Prior to that I was a driven, wanna be, yuppie. Never, in a million years, would I have thought of myself as a stay-at-home mom, planting a garden, ironing clothes, cooking, cleaning and enjoying it. No…. LOVING IT!

The Lord, my Father, has been so very kind to me. He showed me a life I didn’t know I could have.

To date, the tiny garden has produced a couple of zucchini and a single artichoke. But look what I found when I returned home following the She Speaks Conference.

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This is Mega-Zucchini. I pulled it out of the garden and held it like it was a newborn baby. I felt as though I had birthed the thing through careful tending and TLC. I couldn’t help but to find a baby cap and draw the eyes. This is my daughter, Caitie, holding the newest addition.

Okay, y’all (can you tell I’ve been down south?) I am not obsessed over zucchini. I do plan to slice and dice and serve it with pasta.

I am so very thankful to enjoy this simple yet wonderful experience of growing and harvesting. I am thankful to the Lord above.

I have veggies commin’ out of my ears now. I wish y’all lived close because I would be brining you some today. In stead, please let me send you a hug (((((you))))) and know this. A slightly zany gardener and daughter of the Lord loves you just because you are His.

Count your blessings. Name them one-by-one! Count your many blessings see what God has done.

Be Blessed, Lynn

I need zucchini recipies! Please

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


The Third Attitude of Waiting

WaitinghandsThe last two weeks I’ve talked about the significance of waiting in our spiritual lives. Click here to read part one. Click here to read part two. Today I’ll continue with the final attitude of waiting.

Waiting Expectantly.

We all inevitably have times of waiting for God to move. Through time and trial, we learn to wait patiently as we come to understand God’s faithfulness, and trusting God seems to be the heart and soul of just about any issue we face in our lives. But how much do we trust God? How far are we willing to trust him?

With each attitude of waiting, our trust muscle gets stretched more and more. We may be able to wait patiently, for the most part, but what about waiting expectantly? What exactly does that mean?

Waiting expectantly crosses a belief barrier. We can wait patiently, unsure of what God has in mind, yet trust that He will move in some way. We continue to pray for God’s intercession but we may not entirely believe God will act.

Waiting expectantly moves one step deeper. We not only trust God to do something, we eagerly await results. We KNOW without a doubt God is working in our circumstances. Our prayers even reflect this. They move from, “God, if you’re willing, would you…” to “God, thank you for what you are and will be doing in this situation.”

So how do we wait expectantly in our unequally yoked marriages? In Mark 9 the father of a demon possessed boy asks Jesus for help. “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I know we can’t simply make things happen by believing they will. That isn’t what this verse is saying. Jesus is talking about believing in him, not circumstances which can easily mislead and disappoint us. It’s about shedding our doubts about what our God can do and believing he can do anything. Trusting he will do what is in our best interests, and then waiting for it (whatever it may be) to happen.

Ultimately, waiting expectantly confirms our faith in God.

Praying, believing…and waiting expectantly,
Dineen

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Life-Changing!

Shespeaks
I am attempting to gather my thoughts from my jet-lagged brain this morning. Amazing, fantastic, humbling, AWESOME…… These simple words are inadequate to describe this weekend at the She Speaks Conference.

What I know for sure. God changed me. I will never, ever be the same….. I saw the Lord a fresh. I grasped in some small measure how really BIG God is and just how small I am….. and it was so very good.Shespeaks_conference_024 (Photo: Angie Knight, The Knightly News, Joanne Kraft, Blessed, and Lynn Donovan, Spritually Unequal Marriage also contributors at Laced With Grace)

I can’t begin to thank you enough for the prayers of support. THANK YOU. You words spoken for little ole’ me were priceless gems in my life. Each breath, word you uttered for me, the Lord heard. My appointments with the publishers, for whom you prayed, went so well. Now I turn my project over to the Lord. And it can rest in His capable and miraculous hands.

I will write more about some of the life-changing words I heard later in the week. To follow are some pictures from the event. I wish I had taken more. Some of the pictures were taken by Angie. Thanks Angie!

Have a blessed day. Remember we serve the King. Fear not and trust Him with your day. Be Blessed, Lynn

Lysa TerKeurst. Proverbs 31 Ministries. I love Lysa. She is a humble servant of our Lord. Thank you Lysa for this profound ministry. The Lord sees you and He is well pleased indeed!!! Love you girl!Imported_photos_00004

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Lynn and Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee

Boo Mama and Big Mama.
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AProverbs 31 Team. What a hoot!

Imported_photos_00000Jenny from Standing at the water's edge.

Imported_photos_00009 Angie, Joanne and me.

Imported_photos_00013Angie and her sister, Amiee

Imported_photos_00017My Roomie, Debbie Calvert

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The amazing and talented gals in my Speaker Critique group. Thanks Charlene Kidd, our group leader, You Rock!

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Weekend Devotion — Are You Esther?

633819_smoke_swirl

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
— Esther 4:14 (NIV)

Against opposing odds, Esther met the call set before her and risked her life to save her people. At first she baulked, but her cousin Mordecai pointed out that she had everything to lose and nothing to gain by remaining silent. Seeing the situation through his eyes helped Esther see beyond herself.

Often when we look at our spiritually mismatched marriages, we see a situation we have no control over and no hope of ever changing. We need God’s help to see beyond our own limited vision and perspective.

This is probably the most challenging part being unequally yoked, to keep our eyes on God and to remember we potentially serve a higher calling in our marriages. But this is the truth we need to cling to in the most difficult of times. By keeping our eyes on God, we can see our marriages through his eyes and keep our hope planted firmly in Him.

Perhaps we too are the Esthers in our marriages and have been put there for such a time as this. When we keep the view of our marriages limited to what we see and perceive, we run the hazard of losing our hope, and even our faith. We need the bigger picture. We need God’s perspective.

For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. — 2 Corinthians 2:14–16

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Thankful Thursday

If you are reading this on Thursday, June 19th, I am likely in an airplane headed from California to North Carolina. I am attending the She Speaks Conference hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries.

This opportunity is only possible because of my Jehovah-Jireh ~ the Lord our Provider. My precious mother paid for my tuition. My adorable husband gave up one of his free first class tickets to fly me.

It cracks me up the way the Lord works. He works through my unbelieving spouse time and again. One day, after my husband’s confession that Jesus is Lord, my guy will know fully how God was working in his life and mine all along.Shespeaks


I love you my husband.
Mother, you are an amazing woman and I love you.
Jesus, you are my life. Thank you!

I praise you my Jehovah-Jireh. I give you thanks for the abundance in my life.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Be blessed, Lynn

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


The Second Attitude of Waiting

WaitinghandsLast week I talked about the significance of waiting in our spiritual lives. Click here if you’d like to read that post. This week I want to explore the next attitude of waiting.

Waiting Patiently.

Our natural tendency leans toward a continuous sense of movement. When we feel our progress stalling, we grow agitated and antsy. Think of traffic. You’re moving along, thinking you might actually get home, or wherever, in a decent amount of time. Then one after another, you see those taillights glow a bright red and you moan along with the hum of your breaks. So much for that idea. Now you’re stuck, creeping along with no idea what’s causing the hold up or how long a delay lies ahead.

You’ve just lost control of your agenda. And now you have to wait. You can bang on the steering wheel, curse at the delusional driver who just cut in front of you, and rant the next hour or so. Or you can open the sun roof and let the sun warm your face, turn on some good Christian tunes, or even better, catch up on those prayer requests you didn’t get to in your hurry that morning.

Our lives are much the same. We think we’re moving along okay, then life throws something totally unexpected our way. We can rant and rave, or we can take advantage of the time and benefit from it. Learn from it. Trust God in the middle of it.

One such character comes to mind. Abraham’s life is a true picture of waiting. The Bible even describes how he waited:

And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. — Hebrews 6:15

When God first spoke to him (then Abram) about his future offspring, Abraham was seventy-five years old. He was 100 years old at Isaac’s birth. That's a lot of waiting!

Through his Word, God gives us further instructions on this attitude of waiting:

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. — Psalm 37:7

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. — Romans 8:25

I (David) waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. — Psalm 40:1

Waiting patiently is the next step in trusting God to be in control of our lives, especially when we can’t be. It’s all in the attitude, my friends, and that we always have control over.

Next week we’ll explore the third attitude of waiting. Waiting expectantly. Hope to see you here!

Praying, believing…and still waiting,
Dineen

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Facing the Giants

Good Monday Everyone:

Over the weekend I told you the story about jogging, a rooster and a car. Scroll down if you missed it then come back.

I mentioned the movie, Facing the Giants. There is a sceen in this movie that can put tears in my eyes. It is powerful when you realize that the Lord our God, stands over us shouting these very words into our lives.

Your very best.

Don't give up.

You can do it.

I RARELY post a video because we are all so busy. It takes effort to quiet ourselves for more than five minutes and focus on a video. This one is worth it. Might I suggest you turn up your speakers to "loud." Let the full impact of the sceen affect your day today. Then stand back and see the power of God at work in your life. Be Blessed, Lynn

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The Rooster and the Car-
Weekend Devotion

The sky was brilliant and the birds were singing. I stepped out into the brisk air for my early morning jog yesterday. Now don’t be too impressed. If you saw me jogging toward you on any given morning, you would probably dive behind a bush to avoid me.

All fashion sense is forgotten when I put on my jogging clothes. Rooster2Yesterday I wore black nylon shorts, and a tank top. My shorty socks hid under my jogging clodhoppers. I clipped my hair up in this funky grabber clip. It doesn’t hang nicely down my back like other joggers out on the path. No, it pokes straight up out of the clip. I resemble a rooster with an attitude while running down the street as it bobs up and down. Then there are the white legs. I shudder to think about any poor pedestrian who I might pass and is not wearing sunglasses.

When I jog I take along my iPod and yesterday was no exception.

Let me be clear….. I hate to exercise but I hate how I feel even more when I don’t. Therefore, I trudge out most mornings, listen to praise music and pray. Amazing experiences with the Lord often occur while out jogging.

I was nearing the last stretch in my 45-minute run. Running uphill toward my neighborhood, the sweat is dripping into my eyes. The expression, feel the burn, took on new meaning. My eyes stung and my face was on fire. I always turn this weird strawberry red when I run. I am able to keep myself going by envisioning the scene from Face the Giants where the coach says to one of his players, “Give me your very best.”

I love that scene. I can just hear God saying that to me.

Off track, sorry…..

Yesterday, I approached the busiest intersection near our home. Now I am dripping wet, panting like a dog and I look like a red-faced rooster bobbing along the roadside.

I am always leery when approaching this intersection. This four-way stop frightens me when I am safely ensconced in a car but running into the middle of it freaks me out. But I am beyond tired so onward I plod. I can see cars approach from all directions and slow to stop. In front of me is a blue sedan. She is waiting for the car to pass from the opposite direction. I can clearly see she is stopped so I jog into the crosswalk.

Out of my peripheral vision the blue car started to ease forward. I stood directly in front of her. My first thought was, What is this joker doing? But the car kept moving. I moved faster but not fast enough. The car was practically upon me and I reached out my hand to ready myself to jump on the hood. I guess my gut reaction was to jump on the car. I felt the car under my hand and then….. The car screeched to an abrupt halt. I scooted to the side of the vehicle then fear gripped me and I was frozen for a second. I just stood there taking in what almost happened. I was almost hit by a car.

Frozen in my tracks, I could only stare at the driver. The poor girl was mouthing the words, “I am so sorry.” I could see she was as frightened as I was. She was fumbling around looking for the window control to release her window to talk to me. It was obvious she hadn’t seen me.

At this precise moment I return from the vision of my life flashing before my eyes and all traffic has come to a complete halt. There are at least a dozen motorists gaping at me, the red rooster, dripping in sweat, frozen in the middle of the crosswalk. I quickly recover knowing I look like an idiot standing out there. I run out of the intersection leaving the poor frightened driver still struggling with the window lock.

On the last leg home I start thinking about this car encounter and how it happened so fast, just a single second of time. But what an impact this tiny second has had on my thinking since then. I haven’t faced a situation where I could have died, well at least not like this. My life could have changed on a dime. Injury or death was a possibility.

Two things have been on my mind since then. One. The Lord isn’t finished with me yet. Hallelujah! Those poor angels that run with this rooster girl every morning were there yesterday and protected me.

Two. I asked myself and the Lord these questions: If I had died yesterday, would my daughter remain in her faith for the rest of her life? Have I shared enough with my husband?

You know what? The Holy Spirit then impressed me with these thoughts. “Lynn, you have. All I have ever asked is that you love me with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

I do Lord. I do.


Mark 12:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

Have a wonderful weekend and never doubt your faith is planting seeds and angels are always nearby. Be Blessed, Lynn

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King

Isaiah 44: 6 "This is what the LORD says— Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

Today I want to follow up to my post yesterday. Yesterday I told you about a recent conversation with my husband. Conversations about faith are rare in our marriage in order to keep the peace *grin*. In this instance my husband’s heart opened to listen. On this particular evening he listened and asked questions which I didn’t realized he wrestles with.

Scroll down to read and then come back because I would like your perspective.

Several days after this conversation, I was dissecting it all. You know what I mean. Those of us who live unequally yoked anguish over these talks. We anguish and struggle, looking for any hint of movement in their position about faith. We ponder over the words again and again in our minds. For weeks! We are desperate to find understanding or some small glimpse into where his thoughts and beliefs might lye.

Out of the words I discovered something I didn’t realize. This applies to just my husband but it makes me wonder if other men are also perplexed in this.

My husband hears all the time about God’s love. We attend a very seeker friendly church and I know messages from the pulpit always focus on love and forgiveness. I know for me, as a woman, I eat this up. Looking at God’s qualities of love, faithfulness, forgiveness, etc. feeds that need in me.

However, there is the regal side of God. He is a King. Kings demand justice. Kings are rulers. They wield power. They make decisions which affect the masses. They are responsible and accountable for many lives and the kingdom’s property.

With this said, do you think that men need to hear more about God’s leadership, His power, His promise of justice. Are we over preaching the soft side of our Lord? Do men want a roll model that is a warrior?

When I answered my husband’s hard question last week, I told him God is a King. That single sentence resonated with him. I saw for the first time that men, or at least mine, want to view God as the rightful King that he is.

Your thoughts?

Be blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday

Living with an unbeliever actually has its advantages in some small ways. I think the Lord desires me to live in this awkward place of wholly loving Him and yet still attached to a world who does not know he exists. He constantly brings situations before me to stay sensitive to those who are lost, those who are searching, and even those who are running from God.

This past week I was privileged to participate in a discussion with my unbelieving spouse about God. His searching really boiled down to some confusion about who God is. You might also find this interesting.

My husband told me he hears so much about God’s love that he is confused. He went on to say that he is always told by believers and through the messages at church when he attends that God is love. God loves us like a father loves his child.

Well my husband went on to ask me this question, “How can a God who loves like a father turn his back on his child when they die. How could he send his own child to hell?” He continued, “As a parent, I don’t care what my child might do or become as an adult, I would always love her and never want her to go to a terrible place of torture.”

Intense huh?

These questions came up after he and I were discussing King David and the Old Testament. This led to how God is a King of a real Kingdom. God is powerful and he demands justice as a King or ruler, just as David demanded justice.

My husband said to me, “So which is he a King or a Father?”

Okay, I am sweatin’ it by now. Praying under my breath as fast as I can asking for the right words.

“God is a King, over a real Kingdom.”…… (pray, pray, pray some more) “But, His love is so far beyond our mental capacity we can only relate it to our experience of how a parent loves a child.”

This explanation seemed to settle something in my man. Whew! Now, I don’t know if I answered the best but for this moment, it was right.

We serve a King! Never doubt the power of our God! Every wrong done, every tear shed will be accounted for and justified by our King!

He is All Mighty!
He is Majestic!
He Powerful!
The Alpha and Omega!
I am thankful this regal King of time and space is my God and my Father.

Have a wonderful Thursday! Be Blessed, Lynn

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


The Attitudes of Waiting

WaitinghandsHow much time in a day do you spend waiting for something?

We wait in car lines to pick up our kids. We wait in line to pay for our groceries. We wait for our food to arrive at a restaurant.

On a spiritual level, I’m beginning to think we spend a lot of time waiting there as well. We wait for God to answer our prayers. We wait for unbelieving loved ones to finally embrace Christ as their Savior, and most importantly, we wait for Christ to return.

I also think this kind of “spiritual” waiting is the most difficult. If you wait in a car line, you know your kids are going to come (at least you hope so!). At the grocery store, you know you’ll eventually get your turn at the cashier. And as far as restaurants go, wait too long and the waiter (now there’s another person waiting!) risks losing a nice tip, but you will get your food. All of these kinds of waiting have tangible and guaranteed outcomes. Not necessarily positive, but the waiting does end within expected and controllable parameters.

That’s not the case in the spiritual realm. Sometimes our waiting can go on for years. Some prayers are answered quickly, others take time for God to move and speak. We wait and pray for our unbelieving spouses to come to Christ and wonder if it will ever happen. And we wait for Christ’s return, wondering if it will occur in our own lifetime, or the lifetimes of our children or grandchildren.

That’s a lot of waiting…and wondering…and hoping. We have no guaranteed outcome for this kind of waiting. We can’t control what the outcome will be. Often times, we don’t even know what to expect. Perhaps that’s what makes it so hard. We’re not in control. And if we’re not in control, that means we have to trust someone or something other than ourselves.

We have to trust God.

Trust seems to truly be the key in this waiting game. Even in the temporal realm, trust is involved. You trust the school to take care of your children and return safely them at the end of the day. You trust the systematical supply and purchase of groceries. You even trust the established purpose of a restaurant to serve you food (even if it’s bad, you’re going to get food).

So why is it so hard to trust God? He’s more trustworthy than any earthly establishment. And certainly more consistent. The Bible proves this over and over again. God is who he says he is. God will do what he says he will do. God is always in control.

We start with belief, then as we come to know God better, our trust takes seed and begins to sprout. And through his discernable repetitive and reliable movement in our lives, our trust grows even more.

Our times of waiting can either be periods of unrest, resistance, or impatience. Or they can be times to grow in our trust and belief in God. That part we do have control over. How will we wait and with what attitude? I’m going to take a leap here and make this a short series. I hope you’ll join us here at SUM next week as I explore the next step of waiting. Waiting patiently.

Praying, believing…and waiting,
Dineen

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What is in Your Camp?

It IS indecent.

I have been writing about marriage for over two years. I believe in marriage as God designed it. I believe with all of my heart. Because of my strong convictions about the sanctity of marriage I am compelled to share my thoughts about current events with regard to marriage. I know my words will draw a line in the sand. I can’t help it. I will not remain silent.

Article Headline June 5, 2008, The Californian, my local newspaper: Court removes last hurdle to gay marriage

As I scanned this article, my soul literally grieved. I felt pain. I am certain most of us don’t realize this change in our state will affect the world. I am convinced this single decision is a pivotal moment in our world and societal history. This one single change in our law will forever change marriage as we have known it.

On June 17th gay marriage will be legal in this state. Once we allow it there is no going back. Millions of gays will marry. Many will be residents of California, many will flock here from around the country and from around the world. Residency is not required in this state for a marriage license. Have you heard about this recent development? Have you ignored it? After all gay marriage is only allowed in crazy California. It couldn’t possibly happen where you live.

I am absolutely convinced gay marriage will be legal in all fifty states within a few short years.

I am absolutely convinced that within one generation, probably before I die, we will see headlines such as: Triple Wedding; Two men and one woman legally wed.

This is a certain reality. What's to stop our insane world from allowing two men and one woman to be wed? Why stop there, three men and two women. After all, they are consenting adults.

I want you to know that Believers did not stand by silent. We fought against gay marriage four years ago here in California and won in a popular vote election. Currently we have an initiative scheduled for the ballot this November. However, the court system took control and gay marriage will, in fact, be law in less than two weeks. The election in November will be too late to stop this runaway locomotive.

My spirit grieves over this development in light of Biblical teaching. What an arrogant slap in the face of God. He created marriage for His people. He ordained it.

I need to clarify something here. God hates sin regardless if it is homosexuality, an extra marital affair, lust, telling a lie. WE ARE ALL SINNERS. Love is what we need to share with sinners but there are consequences to sin. It is likely that ALL of us will share in the consequences of this new design in marriage.

I have thought about this landmark event for days now. I can tell you I believe marriage through the church is now more important than ever. Teaching our children what commitment to one person really means is paramount at this juncture. The only hope we have for our country today is to place more emphasis on why God created marriage, what His design is and how it is the best plan.

Does God see America – or should I say, California (for now) as a nation in need of a reprimand? Remember the decision to support gay marriage was over turned by a handful of judges – not the people.

And, my second question: As believers, where do we go from here?

I am anxious to hear your thoughts. For Dineen and me, we are living in this firestorm right now (California). This change will immediately impact our lives. Thank you for reading and I appreciate your boldness to reply. God bless, Lynn

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Weekend Devotion - Where's my hope?

55446_catch_the_lightThese last few weeks have been a true trial of faith, more so than ever before. One thing I'm realizing is that when my faith falters, it's because I've misplaced my hope in circumstances, people, or a false belief. Take a look at these Scrptures:

"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you." - Psalm 39: 7 NIV

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." - Psalm 42: 11 NIV

"Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD; point out the right road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you." - Psalm 25: 4,5 NLT

"No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame," - Psalm 25: 3 NIV

Each one clearly shows our hope should be in God, because he's the only "circumstance," person and truth we can rely upon 100%. But how do we do that? How do we completely place our hope in God and not in the "hope" that the circumstances will work out, that our spouse will come to know and love Christ, or that we made a good decision despite the uncertainties and the unknowns currently dominating our lives? And our hearts...

I'm formulating my own theory on this one. Would love to hear what you think.

*****

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What is in Your Camp?

What's in your camp? Does this title make you think of the Vikings and a credit card? Hmmmm Perhaps it is just me….

This scripture started it all:

Deuteronomy 23:14 For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

If you remember I began this journey back in April and we have looked at what is indecent in our camp and can those indecent items –attitudes- be a cause for the Lord to turn away from us.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Idol story – Subtle Stealing
(Click to read previous posts)

Throughout the series you have offered wise and scripturally based comments. I am humbled to serve among you. I have gained perspective from your wisdom.

A couple of posts back I told you we would explore something indecent which is prevalent today and has very easy access to our homes; pornography. I have been researching this subject and have asked the psychologist I work with here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage a few questions. She is diligently preparing her answers. I hope we will have her input in the next few weeks.

Today, I want to share an interesting article:

Answered by Dr. Bill Maier

Q. Dear Dr. Bill: My husband is a great man and we have a great relationship — except for one thing. He's recently been asking me about bringing pornography into our marriage bed. Now we don't have any intimacy issues and he doesn't view porn because he knows it hurts me. But my husband sees no problem with viewing it, or making jokes about looking at "hot women” or even admitting that he'd like to have sex with them!

Click here to read the rest. Be Blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Gentleness

“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed." ~ Psalm 18:35-37

This week Iris has selected gentleness as our theme. I am so glad she did.

I am thankful for the gentle touch of my best friend here on earth, my husband.

I am thankful for my daughter who walked into the kitchen this afternoon and said, "hug." She held out her arms and I ran into them then squeezed her tight. This is quite something as she will be a teen in two weeks.

I am thankful for the gentle notes of love my Savior sends daily. A bunny on my walking trail. A beautiful sunrise. Roses in my garden.

I am thankful for Iris. Her friendship has blessed my life and made it rich.

Have a fantastic Thursday. Be blessed, Lynn

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


The Choice

520021_chained“I feel like a failure.”
“I can’t seem to do anything right.”
“Why can’t I overcome this?”
“How can God still love me when I keep screwing up?”

Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? I know I’m very familiar with the first one and lately, that last one has crept in. I’ve also heard this same theme coming from many friends and dear people I have the privilege to minister to, and I have a feeling many of you, our readers, are struggling with these feelings as well.

First of all, it’s pretty obvious to me the enemy is working overtime lately. The “hits” are coming more frequently and with much more strength. (Gee, wonder what’s up with that?) Plus we live in a societal system that seems to constantly judge who we are by it’s own twisted standards (another tool cleverly manipulated by the enemy to make us ineffective).

As parents we feel like failures because our children are either struggling or overwhelmed. As women we feel inadequate when we don’t measure up the model on the magazine cover. I can only imagine the pressures to perform our men are under these days. Then hit a little deeper to our faith, and we feel we’ve failed God because our unbelieving spouses still don’t believe. These lies barrage us on a daily basis, tearing our hope away and even undermining our faith.

Just what the enemy wants. I believe right now the enemy is hitting hard at our core, attacking us where we live, in our faith and in our hope. I myself have even come to doubt God’s love for me in recent weeks, and the only place I know to find confirmation of his love is in his Word.

Romans 5:8 (NIV)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:32 (NIV)
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

These last verses say it all. If Paul, who offended Christ and the early church in some of the worst ways, could be this confident of God’s love, how can I doubt? How can I buy into the lies satan (yes, I refuse to capitalize his name intentionally because he does not warrant such respect) pelts at me when God’s Word so clearly tells me the polar opposite? I won’t lose God’s love. I may disappoint him or lose a blessing due to disobedience, but He will never stop loving me.

And that goes for you too. God loves every one of us (even our unbelieving spouses) no matter how miserably we think we fail on a daily basis. In fact, his love gives us the freedom to try again. Every day is a new day—reset and ready for new opportunities. The only time we truly fail is when we give up and refuse to believe this truth—even when we think we don’t have the energy to do so—and allow our failures to become chains. God will never walk away from you, so don’t walk away from him.

1 John 4:7-10 (NIV)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Just like God chose to love us first and we choose to love him, we can also choose to keep believing.

I pray Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV) for every one of you reading this post and for our unbelieving loved ones:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you, dear friend and your unbelieving loved one, with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, dear friend and your unbelieving loved one, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you, dear friend and your unbelieving loved one, may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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The Water Drop Experiment

Wd2_2
I opened up my email this morning, read this passage of scripture, and felt the Holy Spirit open up an area of my life which needs cleaning. This is what I read:

Colossians 4:6 (NIV) Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

The Holy Spirit hit me smack dab in the face with this thought, Lynn, it is time to control your tongue and I want you to begin with just one person. Immediately a single name came to mind.

...hop over to Laced With Grace. I want you to experience, The Water Drop Experiment too!


Also, all of my friends at Chrysalis are praticipating in Marriage Monday, The Wedding Day. Head off to read some great stories and share your own. Be Blessed, Lynn

PS. For those of you waiting for the continuing posts on What's in Your Camp, I am still researching and so is the psychologist who is working on this series with me. Thanks for your patients. It will be worth waiting for and will certainly help someone ensnared in pornography.

*****

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