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20 entries from August 2008

Weekend Devotion - Somthing To Ponder

Good day All:Clouds_faith_and_pat

I thought I would share with you what God is teaching me these days. I know that many people struggle with patience and the Lord had few things to tell me personally about my own impatience. If you struggle in this area, perhaps something that I share, may help you to embrace patience...

"But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing." James 1:4 (Amplified Bible)

About two weeks ago, I took a walk to the Christian bookstore and before I set a foot in the store, I prayed "Lord, if there is a book in this store that you would have me read, please don't let me leave the store without it".

As I browsed through the books, I picked one by Andrew Murray called "Waiting on God" a 31 day devotional and as I read one of the devotions it hooked me. This devotion
was not just about waiting on God, but also about a God who waits on us. It sparked a question in my mind "could God be waiting on me?" I was eager to learn more, so I purchased the book.

Andrew Murray says that "Gods waits so that He may be gracious to us". The Lord has been most patient with me just like a farmer who waits for his crops to ripen. He states "it is a blessing when a waiting soul and a waiting God meet each other. God cannot do His work without His and our waiting for His time." This scenario of a waiting soul and a waiting God described my exact situation in my relationship with God.

The words of Andrew Murray caused me to kneel down in prayer and ask, "Lord are YOU waiting on me? At that very moment, I knew my waiting soul and waiting God met. While this was a blessed moment that led to a spiritual breakthrough, it was also painful because the Lord disciplined me.

"For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised." Hebrews 10:36

The Lord's Word spoke to me in Hebrews 10:36. He let me know that He was not pleased with my impatient ways and attitudes. He let me know that I had a need for patience. His discipline hurt; I cried, repented and He was gracious and forgave me. It comforts me to know that our Father disciplines those He loves (Hebrew 12:10). It hurts, but it is for our profit and His glory. The Lord then spoke to my heart and let me know that it was time for me to embrace patience.

Impatience has kept God from performing His work in my life. However, now that He has revealed my need for patience and as His grace enables me to embrace it, I feel like I have surrendered another part of myself to God. By surrendering, I have set Him free to perform His work and accomplish His perfect will in my life.....

I'm still amazed by all this, but I'm thankful that God revealed all of this to me.

Something to ponder. Is your impatience keeping God from performing His work and perfect will in your life?

~Dionice J~

Dee Cuadrado is a born again Christian married to a wonderful Muslim man. She says, "I met and married my husband during a time of my life when I didn't give much thought to spiritual matters. I had forgotten who the lover of my soul was. A couple of years into my marriage, I felt the Lord tugging on my heart and I could not resist HIM. I repented of my sins and I fell in-love with Jesus all over again. Shortly after this, the struggles of the unequally yoke began to emerge in my marriage. Thankfully the Lord has not left me hopeless. As I persist in prayer for the salvation of my husband, God's Holy Word offers me continuous encouragement and heavenly promises that fill me with joyful hope."

*****

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The Prodigal

Most of you who have read my testimony know that I was raised in a Christian home. In my teens and twenties, I turned away from my Lord and pursued a very selfish life. I hurt many people, including myself, in those years.

I met and married my husband in those years just like many of you. I know the verses in Luke are very special to me and to you.

I saw this video at The Knightly News and knew I must share it with you. Thanks Angie!

The Parable of the Lost Son

11Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.[a]'

22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'

*****

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Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for so many things:

  • Forty or fifty pounds of tomatoes from my garden over the summer… Yum and eeee. I made tons of salsa… Bring on the chips and NFL football.

  • My friend Dineen. She always listens. Always prays. Always Loves.

  • Iris at Sting My Heart and Laced With Grace. I have been a contributor at Laced With Grace now going on three years. I am humbled to write devotions about our Great God along with my amazing co-writers. Thanks Iris!

  • My friend Laurel Wreath. She has prayed for me and my family many times over the years. A rich friend, indeed. She is having a fantastic give-away on Friday… Check it out at Laurelwreathreflections.com.

  • My prayer partners who prayed for my daughter this week. My little lamb is experiencing real growing pains of Middle School. For all of you who prayed for my baby girl (13), Thank you!

  • The family who live at 1Peter3Living. I would be lost without you.

  • The family of all my friends who stop in here to share their wisdom, a hug, and encouragement with me and all of us who hang out here at some point in the week.

  • I am thankful for all of my Thankful Thursday buddies. You gals ROCK!

  • Mostly I am utterly humbled to be loved by the Lord Jesus Christ. He saved me from myself. Redeemed my marriage, my very life. Lord, I am so very thankful.

    Have a wonderful week… I have a post for all prodigals tomorrow. Be Blessed, Lynn




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

  • The Great Hope Maker

    And now part two...see you next week!

    Hopecont_2Last week, I posted about enduring hope. At the end of the article, I included this verse as part of a prayer.

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

    Since then, I’ve found myself coming back to it frequently. (I also wrote it on an index card in the most delicious shade of pink—how can I miss it?) I love picking apart God’s Word. I’ve found that just about everything we’re told or shown in the Bible has at least two layers or two meanings. Isn’t that just like God? Nothing wasted and everything to gain.

    In reading this verse over and over again, two things stood out. The first part, “the God of hope,” tells me that, just as Christ is the author of our faith, He is also the creator of our hope. We can’t accomplish this within the confines of our own ability. If we’re to truly know a hope that endures, we must pray and let God do what He does best.

    Which brings us to the second part, “overflow with the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This last part affirms what we’re told in the first. Again, it’s only by God’s power that we not only know hope but overflow with it as well. I don’t know about you, but this lifted a weight off my shoulders, knowing the hope I want most will come from God and not me. Yet another thing I don’t have to strive to accomplish. (Whew!)

    Now the deeper layer in this hope-filled nugget. (Or the creamy filling, if you prefer.) In reading the Bible, I’m finding one word is constantly used in association to hope and faith. If you guessed trust, you’re exactly right. Look at the verse again. God tells us that HE will fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him, so that (have to have one in order to accomplish the other) we can overflow with hope. Joy, peace, and hope can’t exist where trust is lacking.

    I believe our trials are designed to do just that—to bring us to a place of complete and total trust in God. No, this process won’t be completed until we join our Lord and Savior in the heavenly realms, but so often I’ve heard our time here is more about preparation for what’s to come. (That’s what I tell my teenagers then they get frustrated with the here and now—it’s just a blip in their eternal lifeline.)

    So if you’re struggling to find hope, trust in the fact that we serve an ever-faithful God and call out to Him to restore, renew, and build your hope. Write this verse down and pray it every day. Replace the “you” with “me” or your name. This is a vital weapon in the battle for our faith, our hope, and for our unbelieving spouses. God didn’t just give us his Word to read. He gave it to us to use—to learn and grow, and for battle and protection.

    Finally, the most precious layer of all. (Like I said, God wastes nothing.) God has absolutely everything we need. He planned it that way. He never intended for us to walk this path alone. He’s right there, waiting for us to ask. Or just to sit at his feet and bask in his glory. Or to pray verses written on bright pink index cards.

    Tomorrow I’ll be looking for a new verse. I’m thinking I might use purple this time.

    Praying and Believing,
    Dineen

    *****

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    Think of me Monday

    For many of us who have been married for more than a few years, we sometimes find our marriage falling into a rut. Our routines become habits. Habits are a good thing. However, in the world of romance, spontaneity gives spark to our our passion.

    I have heard from spouses who complain that their marriage relationship has settled into predictability. I hear from women who say, “He goes to work and forgets all about me.” I hear from men that are desperate for their wives to surprise them with a little flair.

    Spiritually Unequal Marriage is all about practical help and encouragement to thrive in marriage. So, today if you are tired of your husband leaving for work without a second thought of you the entire day, I have something for you.

    If you are a guy (and I know you are out there) and you want your wife to think about you often today, I have something for you.

    I am declaring today officially: Think of me all day long Monday
    aka email Monday, text Monday, message Monday…..

    May I suggest the following:

    Women: If you want your man to think about you all day today, I want you to do the following:

    Please keep in mind that your husband is in a work place and you must be sensitive to communication with him in the office. I want you to email or text or leave a voice mail on their private phone. Somehow, leave a message early in the day and say this:

    Honey, guess what color my panties are? --Then hang up.

    GASP, okay, I know this is a bit personal. But, if you truly want your man to think about you ALL DAY LONG, this will do it.

    Men: If you want your woman to think about you. It’s a little different. She needs a surprise card. Either you buy a card or write a note and leave it in a drawer she will open during the day or you mail it in the snail mail. (Result to follow in a couple of days). Or, send her one of the best e-cards you can find. Better, buy her an inexpensive flower to hand to her when you arrive home.

    Okay, put me to the test. By the way, be ready to follow up. Carefully choose the day you want your spouse to think about you because…… he will…. He won’t be able to stop thinking about you, if you get my drift.

    Same for the guys!

    Do any of you know where you can find really cool e-cards for free?

    PS. If all your undies are white, go right now, and buy something with color.

    Have a fun and crazy day. Be Blessed, Lynn

    *****

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    Spiritual Warfare - Negative talk and the enemy

    I picked up my daily Bible this morning and began reading. The Old Testament reading started with the first chapter of Job. Wow, what a story. I have read this book several times and yet I am always blow away by this conversation in the first chapter.

    1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright….

    Now what gets me is this dialog:

    6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan [Satan means accuser] also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"

    Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

    It is freaky to think that God and Satan talk about people on earth. Do you think this still happens today?

    Well I submit to you that our accuser is relentless and he accuses us night and day.

    Let me ask you a question. Do you ever feel like you never escape some of the sins of your past? Do you repent of something, ask forgiveness, and still feel guilty? Do you feel like the Holy Spirit is convicting you for this sin over and over?

    Well my brothers and sisters this is your accuser.

    The Holy Spirit will indeed convict you of sin but it is the accuser who uses your memory to heap on guilt and condemnation to effectively sideline you. The accuser wants you to feel bad. The Holy Spirit will free you.

    Do you find yourself hearing negative self-talk in the third person such as:

  • You’re fat.
  • You’re stupid.
  • You’re an idiot.
  • You’re not a real Christian.
  • God doesn’t love you.
  • There’s no hope for you.
  • You’re worthless.

    This is your accuser. Do you normally talk about yourself using the word “you.” No, you talk referring to yourself as “I.”

    When you hear this kind of talk going on in your head, there is an enemy near and I literally mean a demon. However, you can shut this negative self-talk down. We just need to realize what is really going on.

    The spiritual realm is real. The accuser waits and uses every opportunity to defeat us and render us useless. Now you know the truth and the truth will set you free. When you begin to hear that negative self-talk heaping guilt and condemnation on you over sin you have repented of and asked forgiveness, stop right there and tell the enemy you will not listen.

    Lord our All Powerful God,
    Forgive us when we do not believe we are forgiven. You have promised us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Today free us from the lies of the enemy and let us not listen in the future. Help us to repeat the promises you give us in the Bible.
    I am free in Christ.
    I am valuable.
    I am beautiful.
    I have a great purpose in this life.
    I am effective in the lives around me.
    God Loves me.
    I have hope.
    I am wise.
    I am saved.
    In Jesus saving and redeeming name, Amen

    Revelation 12:10
    Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

    Amen, Lord. Amen.

    Be Blessed, Lynn

    *adapted from the teaching of Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church ~Thank you Mark!

  • *****

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    Thankful Thursday - Make it Your Choice!


    1 Corinthians 13 4-7 It is a choice you make!

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love is patient. Today it is my choice, I will be patient with my spouse and daughter.

    Love is kind. Out of the great love of Christ which fills me, I will seek to love instead of hate. I will aim to show genuine kindness to every person I interact with face-to-face, on the phone and through the internet.

    It does not envy. Here and now, I will focus on the rich blessings God has poured into my life. I will desire contentment over the fantasy of greener grass on the next hill.

    Love does not boast. Daily I will seek honest assessment of my motives compared to the Word of God. I surrender my agenda for God’s will. Love_ring_bibleI will love my Lord through obedience and a humble heart.

    Love is not proud. I desire more of You Lord and less of me. Keep me from pride and should I receive any praise, let it rightly be redirected to You.

    Love is not rude. I will decide daily to pray James 1:19. I want my words to encourage and never hurt.

    Love is not self-seeking. Lord, today, I will seek your desire for my day. I will choose to fulfill my daily assignment from You.

    Love is not easily angered. I will not fly off the handle or be easily upset.
    I can do this through the power of Jesus Christ.

    Love keeps no record of wrongs. Every month, week, day, even hour-by-hour, I choose to forgive each person who falls short of my expectations, who talks about me behind my back, who criticize, or harms me in any way.

    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. I want to live in the truth. This day I seek to know the truth and live it.

    It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. This day, I will trust in You, hope in You and persevere in the truth. I know that You will protect me along the way.

    1 Corinthians 13 4-7

    It's a choice we make every day. Happy Thursday. Be Blessed, Lynn




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

    Hope That Endures

    Hi Friends! Here's the first of the two part hope series I wrote last August. I love this series and "hope" it will bring you encouragement again. Catch part two next week. Then I'll be back!

    831982_hope How do we keep hoping when everything we see tells us there is no hope?

    The very definition of faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrew 11:1). But how do we apply that to situations that leave us hope-less? So often I see the struggle of the unequally yoked spouse as a battle to simply hang on to our own faith. In the midst of the adversity the mismatched marriage naturally brings, we find ourselves praying, hoping for our spouse’s salvation. Day after day we petition God. Months or even years pass with no visible change. How do we continue? How do we keep fighting and not give up?

    I sit in a unique situation. God has told me the time frame of my husband’s impending salvation. Using scripture, He revealed a glimpse of his seven-year plan to me during a fast and has affirmed it again recently. I know my prayers serve a purpose and will help accomplish what I hope for most—my husband’s salvation. But had I not received this incredible gift, would I still be able to continue praying for what seems an impossibility even in the midst of what I know is to come? Would I have given up by now?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions, but my heart aches for anyone struggling with this question: How do I go on? Because even knowing what I know, there are days that I wonder if I’ll even make it to the end. (Can you tell I’m a mother of two teens?)

    For days this has been my question to God—how do we continue to hope? I searched my concordance and found one scripture that seems to shed the tiniest of lights on this dimly lit search.

    Isaiah 40:30-31
    Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
    but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

    The key seems to be in the third line—those who hope in the Lord. Could it be that we place our hope in the transformation we so desperately desire in our spouses and not in the author of our faith, Jesus? Are we looking in the wrong direction?

    When we keep our eyes on our situation and our unbelieving spouses, how can we possibly continue to hope? The burden of our unfulfilled desire becomes the object of our attention and saps the very strength we need to go on. The burden is too heavy for us to carry alone.

    If those who hope in the Lord will be strengthened, then by keeping our hope firmly placed in God (the only one who has the power to bring our loved ones to belief) can we persevere and continue, even when things appear hopeless.

    With God we can soar above the murky waters of hopelessness. With God we can rise above our own limited ability and trust completely in a God bigger and stronger than anything we are dealing with, even the most stubborn of spouses. With God we can have wild hope—the kind that perseveres even when someone asks you, “How can you be so sure?”

    I know my God. I believe my God. I hope in my God. He can do anything. I believe this completely, so therefore, I hope.

    I pray this for all of us, for Jesus to not only be the author of our faith but the source of an unending hope planted deep within us and overflowing to God’s glory. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

    Praying and Believing,
    Dineen

    *****

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    Dead-End Street

    A Dead-End....Deadend2
    …Divorce…

    …Failed adoption…

    …Lost job…

    …Friendship betrayed…

    …Circumstances…

    …Cancer…


    Arrival on: Dead End Street

    This is a familiar road to me, perhaps to you as well. We arrive in this desolate place by many different vehicles and at various speeds.

    I have ambled down this road in a slow, painful progression, via a loss of a friendship. I have slammed into the road sign, leaving it flat on the pavement, after screeching to a halt. I look around bewildered at my arrival once again. Pride usually facilities this crash. I have followed Christ, with absolute certainty of His leading, only to take up residence once again next to the familiar roadblock because I didn’t trust Him completely.

    Arrival on Dead-End Street brings the inevitable questions: Why? What purpose does this serve, God?

    The question to ask is not why. The question to ask is, God what are you up to?

    James 1:5-6 (New International Version) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

    Ask Him about it. In many instances, God has future Kingdom work so intense and fantastic we would fear it and run. It is in the waiting that we are prepared to climb to the next plateau. Living on Dead-End Street forges a soul of Christlike character. Life is not about us. It is about Him. God utilizes our dead-end to magnify Himself.

    Romans 11:36 (New International Version) 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen
    .

    The holding pattern teaches us to set aside our ambitions and help others. God works through people. If we are flying down life’s highway screaming past the befuddled bystanders, we can’t possibly show them Jesus. God is revealed when we enrich another’s life, a child, our spouse, a stranger, and especially others stranded on Dead-End Street. If we refuse to slow down willingly, God will unquestionably find a way to do it for us.

    1 Timothy 2:4 (New International Version) 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

    It is at the dead-end where God will pursue us, change us, and grow us. Are you stuck on Dead-End Street right now?

    If so,

    YOU ARE ON HOLY GROUND!
    Jeremiah 29:11(New International Version) 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.

    Lord, we are standing on holy ground in your presence waiting. Reveal your desire for our lives and character while we abide in this desolate place. Keep our memory strong. Never allow us to forget the lessons learned here. Let us find peace in the promise that you want to give us a hope and a future. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Originally posted at the Internet Cafe, November, 2007

    Be blessed, Lynn

    *****

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    Weekend Devotion - Dreaming of Rapture

    A_rapture_2

    Revelation 21

    The New Jerusalem

    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

    He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

    He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

    Have a fantastic weekend. Be Blessed, Lynn

    *****

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    Kid's and Everyday Faith

    Backtosch
    A couple of Friday’s back I wrote a post about our kids going back to school. I talked about ways we can impact our children’s lives with Jesus. Today, I have a few more suggestions I hope will inspire.

    Original Post: Kid’s are abandoning their Faith (click here).

    The idea is to begin some new habits which brings faith into their daily lives. School is beginning for most of the nation in the next few weeks. This is a perfect time to make a few visible changes to inspire and connect with our kids and our Lord.

    Kids and parents are stressed out the first week of school. To enjoy a successful morning the first week of school begins, get ready the night before.

  • Fill the backpack.
  • Lay out clothing- including shoes
  • If the kids plan to buy lunch or even just milk, organize envelopes with the correct amount of money for each child. Put them in the backpack.
  • Add a note to your child’s lunch or backpack.

    This last item is crucial. You can change a child’s entire day when she opens up her lunch and sees a note from Mom. Even if they are kids in Middle School and High School.

    I sent notes with jokes in grade school in my daughter's lunch. She would be surprised by the riddles and just fun nonsense. She passed them around the lunch table and I always included an ~ I love you. Include a scripture verse one day. I now print off stories that are age appropriate and stuff them in the lunch sack. She STILL passes those around just like she used to pass the jokes.

    There are a ton of clean jokes and riddles that make kids laugh available on the Internet. Such as:

    What are dog biscuits made from? Collie flour

    Why can't you tell a cow a secret? Because it goes in one ear and out the udder!

    When my daughter was eight, I told her she was my cuddle fish. For weeks I would hug her and say, “My little cuddle fish.” She would gush and smile.

    Then one day I put a picture of a cuttlefish in her lunch and wrote, My little cuttlefish. She didn’t think it was so cute. My daughter and I still laugh about the cuttlefish in the lunch today and she is thirteen years old.Cuttlefish

    Building memories.. Building connections…

    While you are writing a note to your kids, slip a note into your husband’s lunch or briefcase.

    What a great surprise on the first day of school! Be blessed, Lynn

  • *****

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    The Most Dangerous Prayer

    Hi friends! I'm still traveling! Here's a post I wrote in November of 2007 that is still so relevant. :-)

    PrayingIt’s birthed in the deepest recesses of our hearts, then moves with our silent yearnings to the hidden places in our thoughts. We dare to think it, until we finally submit and give words to this most dangerous prayer.

    “Lord, do whatever it takes to bring my husband/wife to Christ.”

    Among the unequally yoked there is an unspoken enormity to this prayer. And we understand the journey it takes deep within ourselves to finally speak it—to pray it with sincerity, knowing full well we have no idea what we may have unleashed. It comes from a place of near desperation and complete trust in God.

    We are willing to risk it all.

    At times the urgency of this prayer fills me with such desperation that I can hardly breath. And when I am overcome by it, God tells me this is just the minutest fraction of what he feels for my husband.

    Can you imagine?

    Can you imagine a love that wild and all consuming? Then I realized that God feels that way about us and pursued us then just as He is pursuing our loved ones now. (Talk about really leaving a girl breathless!)

    That kind of love never fails. It’s always there, protecting and watching. He’s got our backs. (Isaiah 58:8). We just have to trust him and let go of our expectations, preconceived ideas, and fears. He will equip us to handle whatever comes. (I’m listening to those words as much as you are.)

    Amazingly, I’m the one who’s been changed the most by this prayer. At first what I thought to be terribly unfair now appears to be part of a grand plan. A time of preparation. With each pruning, I find myself more and more grateful, and humbled. (There’s hope for me yet.)

    Perhaps it makes a difference knowing the outcome—God gave me a glimpse of what’s to come several years ago. Or perhaps it has more to do with how He has strengthened my trust and reliance on him. He’s shown me my fallen-ness. I have no choice.

    What are you willing to risk for your unbelieving spouse to know Jesus? What are you willing to pray for that loved one? Are you willing to walk into the unknown realm of God’s will, and trust him completely with the outcome, no matter how you’re affected in the process? It’s a scary question, I know!

    When I worry what this prayer will cost me, I remind myself that God will equip me for whatever comes. That’s been the whole point of this time of preparation. And then I remember that He made the greatest sacrifice. He already paid the highest cost of all with his Son. And nothing I could lose can compare to that.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

    *****

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    A Death In The Family

    This week I received an email from a very close friend. She has been a reader here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for some time now. I have grown to love her and her family deeply. This week my sister in the Lord wrote me to tell me of a death in her family.

    Reeling in the aftermath of this death is a woman bereft of hope. Her dreams of living a life of contentment, fulfillment, and joy are crushed.

    This woman is not alone. Every one of us who lives unequally yoked is likely to experience this life-altering death.

    You see, she arrived at a place where reality kills your expectations. We arrive in this grief when we face the naked truth that our spouse is not turning to Jesus as we expected.

    Our dreams of attending church together are smashed. Our heart-hopes to serve God united at a team are victim of a spiritual deepfreeze. The utter reality that we may wait decades before our spouse is saved knocks the breath from our lives.

    We grieve. We shed bitter tears and find our will to remain committed to the devoid decades ahead wavering. We are angry…. at our spouse…. at our circumstances….at the ourselves…. at God.

    I lived through this valley and I can promise you it felt like someone died. My dreams of discussing scripture, sharing devotions, leading a Sunday school class, building homes in Mexico….. so, so many fantasies were striped away in a moment of realization.

    Why am I sharing this very sad time with you? Because most of us living in hope for our spouse’s salvation don’t expect to find ourselves at this desolate place. Ever. Sooner or later it is likely.

    But...... (you knew this was coming)

    But, if I can rise out of this abyss with my trampled heart, so can you. I spent significant time wrapped in the arms of Christ in the beginning. Now think about this. Isn’t this where Jesus wanted me all along? Isn’t my relationship with Him more important than teaching Sunday school and building homes in Mexico? Don’t you think the Lord knew what I really needed?

    What the Lord did surgically to rebuild my heart is more significant than my old dreams. He led me to pray differently for my husband. He also gave me permission to serve God’s Kingdom without my husband by my side. He showed me how my dreams were meager trinkets compared to the fantastic, fun, and overwhelmingly fulfilling life He now has given to little ole’ me.

    Today I want you to know two things that every unequally yoked spouse needs to know.

  • You will arrive at this place of grief. God will take your there on purpose.
  • He will recraft your broken heart and give you a new dream reality, bigger and better than you thought possible.

    Also, I want to give you permission, if you need it: Don’t wait for your spouse to serve the Kingdom. Years ago I heard Patsy Clairmont say these very words at a Women of Faith Event. This was the permission I needed to begin to serve in a Bible study.

    I leave this with you today:

    James 1:4
    Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

    He really loves us. So much so, He will not leave us unchanged. Be Blessed, Lynn

  • *****

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    Weekend Devotion

    Imported_photos_00263_2

    My mother has some really neat wall hangings. This is one of them.

    I am heading out of town once again. I will be back in a week. On Monday, I have a post that every person living in an unequally yoked marriage must read. Stop back Monday. Have a blessed week. Lynn

    *****

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    Would You Want to Live Here?

    model-home3.jpgMODELS NOW OPEN!

  • Imagine living in a place where people come in search of tranquility and relaxation.

  • Take a walk down the tree-lined, cul-de-sac streets and take in the rustic backdrop that is inspired by the rich, old town charm of its surrounding area.

  • Homes are nestled amidst pocket parks and paseos, and the exquisite exterior stylings are enhanced by a variety of spacious floorplans and interior amenities like slab-granite kitchen countertops and upgraded GE® appliances, including a refrigerator.

  • Here, you’ll experience the true spirit of country living, with rolling hills and abundant space where you and your family can grow together.

  • Looking for a home that represents a lifetime of memories and rewards? We offer you tangible gratification.

    ____

    Too good to be true? No! I even found how wonderful my husband really is at a model home. Pop over to Laced With Grace for a quick devotion about one thing all women have in common. Be Blessed, Lynn

  • *****

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    Thankful Thursday - ETERNITY!

    Imported_photos_00265
    John 14:2 (King James Version) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.



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

    Life…Interrupted

    Hi friends! I'm on the road traveling, and life is full of interruptions at the moment. Just wanted to share this post I wrote in May of 2007 with you again. :-)

    716045_handsSo often we think we have things under control. Life is going along fine. Then it happens, that one thing you never expected. Or, you saw it coming, but the magnitude far outreaches what you imagined.

    Is God there? What is He thinking? How can I get through this?

    My greatest challenge these days is understanding that interruptions are a major part of God’s plan for my family at the moment. It’s a critical year of transition…transformation.

    You see, my husband’s soul is at stake.

    As a writer, I can appreciate that as the makings of an amazing story. I can picture the book trailer now. The heroine throws aside her own desires and wants, just to overcome obstacles and battles, all to save her hero. All to bring him to the feet of Christ. And in the end, she realizes it really wasn’t her all along. It wasn’t even about her. Her character arc brings her to the humbling truth of God’s amazing power and plan. To the staggering realization that she played a part, an important role, but in the end, it was all God’s doing. (John 6:44)

    The end, finis, fertig.

    If only it could be that easy. If only I could be that perfect. If only I could read the book ahead of time, so I would know exactly what to do. (Insert hysterical laughter here.)

    As a wife and mother in real life, I’m finding my character arc has sagged a bit. (Not to mention other areas, but we won’t even go there.) My focus has been more on me, and how these “interruptions” wreak havoc in my own life and interfere with my plans. Then comes the guilt. Aren’t I the heroine of the story? Why can’t I so willingly put aside my goals and desires, and serve God in the greatest way possible?

    After all, a soul is at stake.

    But I’m no heroine. Just a very flawed human in need of God’s mercy. Each week I ask God for a Bible verse that I need—to study and memorize. This week he gave me Hebrews 4:16:

    “Let us then approach the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.”

    He knew exactly what I needed. Lots of grace.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen

    *****

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    Marriage Monday - Men and Play

    Today is Marriage Monday.

    Our topic this month is; Men and Play

    Recreational companionship is an important need in men. Husband’s want their wives to partner with them when they play.

    I have a weird and funny story about this very subject. It happened to me last week while I was blow-drying my hair.

    Without further ado, I am reposting this story today for all of those who are visiting from Chrysalis.

    Fantasy Football and God..... Say What??

    Many of you who have been readers at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for some time know I hear from God while in the bathroom. Many times I am buck nakid’ in the shower and sometimes I am in the closet getting dressed. Today I was blow-drying my hair…. Guess what the Lord prompted me to do?

    Join a Fantasy Football Team. Nfl

    I can tell you NEVER in a million years did this idea come from my own thoughts. It was God.

    WHAT A HOOT!

    Why, you ask?

    My husband has been part of a neighborhood team for several years. He has a blast goofing around with his fantasy team and braggin’ about his wins to the neighbors. Side Note: Poor guy incurs more losses than wins but has a ton of fun anyway.

    This is recreational fun. It fulfills a great need in my husband and I want to share in the experience. In 2007 I reviewed the book, His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr. This book covers the five most important needs of a man in marriage and a woman in marriage. Recreational Companionship is an important need for a man. Click here to read this series.

    When I walked into my husband’s home office and told him I wanted to participate, he got the funniest grin on his face. He said, “Okay, but do you understand you have to draft a team?”

    I like football. However, I barely understand the rules and usually only watch it on television when my beloved Denver Bronocs are playing. So taking on a fantasy team is a big commitment. But, oh so worth it.Denver_broncos_logo

    My husband is trilled!

    He grinned and said, “I will call the Commissioner and see if we can get you in.”

    Then my husband got worried. A) I have God on my side. B) I have another secret weapon. My son. When it comes to sports, he is the best read, knowledgeable man I know. Hee hee.

    Woo Hoo! There will be a blonde winner at the end of this season!!!

    I can’t wait to share the camaraderie with my husband and our neighbors, guys and gals are in this league.

    Now help me with two things.

    1) I need a team name.

    2) Purposely look for a new way to enjoy recreational companionship with your spouse this fall. Write me and tell me what it is.

    Go Bronocs!!! Be Blessed, Lynn

    PS. Boo, Raiders!

    *****

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    What does Your Cardboard Say?

    Weekend Devotion

    This video is a powerful statement about the power of our God.

    I hope you have time to watch it. It will set your heart for victorious living this week.

    My cardboard, yesteryear:

    Strugglingmarriage

    And today....
    Thriving

    *****

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    Kids are abandoning their Faith

    A new study by The Barna Group (Ventura, California) shows that despite strong levels of spiritual activity during the teen years, most twentysomethings disengage from active participate in the Christian faith during their young adult years—and often beyond that. In total, six out of ten twentysomethings were involved in a church during their teen years, but have failed to translate that into active spirituality during their early adulthood.

    I completely relate to this information and really don’t find much has changed since my early adulthood. My twentysomething was lived in complete rebellion against the teachings I learned in youth group. I attended church faithfully as a teen. I went to Sunday school. I was active.

    Why do our youth abandon their faith in early adulthood? What can we do so our kids won’t make the same mistake?

    I was listening to a radio broadcast recently on this very subject. What the speaker said made a ton on sense. First, as parents we can’t rely on the church to instill life-long values into our kids. The church is a partner in our faith transfer but, when the rubber meets the road, it is the parents who make faith real to their children.

    I cringe at the thought of moms and dads dropping their kids off at church on a Sunday morning then head to Starbucks. I guess they think it is solely up to the church teach their teens about God. Really, what kind of message does this communicate? Sorry, don’t let me rant. Onward….

    It is true our kids need church and we should encourage them to attend as often as we can. However, and especially in a spiritually mismatched home, we must LIVE OUT OUR FAITH daily.

    What does this look like?

    I have a few suggestions. Because the new school year is right around the corner, I thought I would share some ideas you can implement in a few weeks. I hope you can change your kid’s lives beginning this school year.

    1) Model your faith. Pray before meals. This can be challenging in a mismatched home. However, if your kids see you stop before a meal, close your eyes and thank God silently….. these actions speak louder than words. Pray at meals out loud when you can.

    2) Get up early. Before your kids. Be prepared to meet your children after you have spent time with God. Read your bible and pray. Ask the Lord to lead you and your children. You have precious little time in the morning before the clan heads off to school. If you are unprepared and sleepy eyed, how can you model the fruits of the spirit to your children?Kids_in_car


    3) Pray with your kids in the car if you drive them to school or walk them to school. I have found this short prayer time is powerful. My daughter’s entire day can be influenced for good because I prayed for her before she left the car. Don’t be lazy. Don’t car pool. You be the parent who drops your child at the school door each day. You be the parent who waits anxiously to pick up your sons or daughters after an exhausting day at school. The precious conversation time while they are captive in the car is irreplaceable.

    Okay, that is enough for today.

    How do you pass your faith heritage to your children?

    Be Blessed, Lynn

    *****

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