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20 entries from September 2008

Answer the Call

948175_telephone_46And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:6-10 (NIV)

I’ve noticed a commonality lately with many unequally yoked spouses. Many have shared with me that God has called them to cease petitioning for their unsaved spouses’ salvation and to begin thanking God that it’s already in place. I know this to be true in my own situation, but I wondered how I could back that up biblically.

This Sunday, my pastor unknowingly revealed what I needed in the above verses. If you take at the first verse, Paul says “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.” Our place is secure and already established. And there’s much more to this multifaceted jewel:

1.) God established our place with him from the very beginning. Verse seven affirms this as well. He’s set this in place for us, so wouldn’t he have done the same for our unbelieving spouses? Maybe it’s a more a question of “when” and not “if” our spouses will be saved.

2.) If you read verse eight, Paul shares why God set this in place long ago. God wanted it clear that our salvation comes from his grace through faith, not anything we or someone else might have done. And this is brilliant! We can have no doubts that God is the orchestrator. Therefore, we can firmly trust him to do the same with our unbelieving spouses. We may be part of the process, but we are not responsible for our loved one’s salvation. Only God can draw someone to him, and it is always according to his timetable.

3.) Even before death we are raised up with Christ and seated in the heavenly realms. Which basically means we are accepted because of our identity in Christ, not by our obedience or disobedience. We may displease God with our actions, but who we are, his children, will not change. How wonderful to know that God wants this for our loved ones as well.

Ephesians 1:3 continues to affirm that our place is established:Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

We’re not in heaven yet, but our blessings are already there established and waiting. What is loosed in heaven is loosed on earth. We can claim that as a promise. If God has revealed to you that your unbelieving spouse will be saved, then you can bet he’s already established that in heaven and Ephesians 1:3 is a promise to claim.

Therefore (the big conclusion!) our place as the believing spouse is the answer the call:

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. — Ephesians 4:1

Pray as God has called you to pray. Believe as God has called you to believe. And most importantly, trust him to know the when and how. These are mighty promises we can rest in, knowing our precious spouses are held firmly in God’s hand.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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On The Edge and I Need You

Hello Everyone:

I am interrupting the scheduled post from last Monday: Is God’s love conditional or unconditional? I have to share with you some thoughts. I am very interested in your opinions.

Saturday I attended the San Diego Christian Writers Conference. This is an annual even which is tied to my writing critique group. The conference is a great place to meet with editors and attend workshops and also to improve my writing skills.

What I found at the conference this year was something unexpected. It has left me a bit unsteady. It appears to me that much of the book publishing in Christian circles is becoming Edgy Christianity.

What I mean by that is some of the speakers/teachers are much more free with their thoughts about God and what Christianity is or means. There are many new books in the market place that are specific to this, also bloggers.

I have not read these books so perhaps I am speaking out of turn. However, I sure have heard from believers (left and right) about these writings.

Books:
unChristian
Blue Like Jazz
I am fine with God.. It's Christians I Can't Stand
The Message We're sending Non-Christiands and Why We should Stop
The Shack
These are only some of the titles that are currently hot sellers in our market.

I have heard wonderful things about these books from people I love and trust. I have heard cautionary words about these books from people I love and trust.

Let me be clear…. I have not read these books. I have read book reviews and there are believers who agree and don’t agree with the message or content.

One of my instructors was a blogger for Crosswalk and is a Christian blogger, John Shore. He receives over 275,000 hits a month on his blog. After spending an hour with John I know he is edgy. But is this bad? He really appears to have a heart for those Christians who feel like they don't fit in.

Why I find myself unsettled is this, I am married to an unbeliever. Could it be my traditional up-brining and tendencies which are a hindrance to my husband coming to faith? Could it be that these edgy Christians are only trying to share Jesus in a way I am unfamiliar? How much edgy is too much edge. How much tradition is to much tradition?

Help me to get my mind around Edgy Christianity. Be Blessed, Lynn

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Weekend Devotion - Do You Need Healing?

This past week in Bible study we looked at scripture in Exodus 15. The Israelites were wondering without water in the wilderness. They came to Marah and found water.

Whew! However, we know the water was bitter and undrinkable. The people panicked. Moses cried out to the Lord.

The Lord, Jehovah-Jireh.
Crossrome_2

The Lord their Provider.

The bitter water was made sweet after the Lord instructed Moses what to do. The Lord healed the waters.

Jehovah-Rapha the God who Heals.

We talked a lot about the healing power of God. He can heal our diseases and our past. He can heal our hearts and very souls. One of the most amazing things the Lord can heal is our own bitterness.

Bitterness is a seething, black cancer that will grow secretly in our hearts and minds. It consumes our very life and when it is finished with us it will spread to our children and spouse.

We can’t save ourselves from this disease, only the Great Healer can rescue us.

How do we meet the Healer? We pray. We ask the Lord to make us want to forgive. We pray seeking to forgive the bitterness in chich we cling. We seek to see the situation through the eyes of Christ.

Psalm 147: 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

This is His promise!

Lord, Almighty God, our healer, Jehovah-Rapha,
Show me where I need healing in my life. Help me to surrender my agenda to accomplish Your healing. In the name of Jesus, Amen

Be Blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday -

A Birthday, An Announcement, A Prayer Request

This is a very special Thankful Thursday for me. I am so humbled and thrilled to share some exciting news. I am joining the staff of our church, Sunridge Community Church. I will be helping my friend Pam in Women’s Ministry. If any of you have read my Bio you know I have been involved in Women’s Ministries, Bible Study, for years. It was in this Bible Study where God met me and placed my marriage on a path of healing.

What you don’t know is the amazing history Pam and I share. Pam and I met in Las Vegas. She and I were in the management-training program within the bank where we both worked. She was training in Operations and I, in Lending. We were great friends and loved the same clothes. Pam is a smart dresser and a fantastic banker. What I find fascinating is the time in which we met was I was smack in the middle of my prodigal years and she was unsaved.

Our career paths changed a few years later and I moved to California.

Fast-forward two or three years, I run into Pam at our local Southern California, Target. “Pam, what are you doing in Temecula?”

She also moved to Temecula and we renewed our friendship. A coincidence? Not! All these eight years later she and I are now madly in love with Jesus. More amazing still, we will serve Him together at the same church and are teaming up to serve the women in this body of believers.

Don’t ever discount past friendships because we don’t know how or why God brings people into our lives. I am amazed, further still, that God would take me, this broken and messed up girl, and use me in any way to serve His Kingdom. For this I don’t have adequate words to express my thankfulness. Jesus, I am nothing without you!

I have been telling Pam about our amazing online community. I want to share all of you with her. So, would you leave us a quick prayer asking for the Lord to cover our ministry efforts at our Church so that everything we do would honor Jesus.

Thank you my friends.

Now, I wonder how and when we will meet? Our friendship is eternal in spite of the fact we have never met face-to-face.

Have a wonderful Thankful Thursday and thank you for praying for us. Be blessed, Lynn

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IRIS!

I adore you and I am celebrating your day this Saturday. May it be filled with love notes from our Savior.




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

My Hubby My Hero

935633_heroI think I fell in love with my husband all over again Monday evening. Our family is facing a crisis at the moment, which called us all to join together and participate in something he normally would refuse. My sweet guy not only came, but he didn't fuss, argue, or resist either.

As I sat across the room from him, I fell in love with him in a whole new way. For the first time in twenty-one years, he was my hero. He came to the rescue of his family. At one point I looked at him and said, "I don't think I've ever loved you more than I do at this moment."

He smiled. I love his smile. What a guy. I can only praise God for this amazing turn about. I could never have accomplished this. I prayed before hand, God worked it out.

Awesome! So, I'm cherishing this new feeling of seeing my guy in a whole new light. And most importantly, praising God for showing me what it's like to partner with my hubby to solve this issue. I can't tell you how different it felt to pray, "God, please show us what to do here." I realized that was the first time I'd prayed for us as a team to work together.

God clearly honored that prayer, despite my husband's unbelief. I've learned a valuable lesson in this, and a wall has come down. I won't limit God again.

Praying and beleiving,
Dineen

*Photo by Ben Smith

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Chronicles of ….

Conditional? OR Unconditional?

Last Monday everyone had a chance to vote. Wow, many of you did. You also added your wisdom to this discussion and backed it up with scripture. I am blessed to know each of you who voted. Also, thank you for adding your thoughts and scripture verses.

The question of debate: Is God’s Love Conditional or Unconditional? As believers we are certain of the answer and I think the scripture verses you left in comments unequivocally confirms God loves us unconditionally. But…….

Last Sunday I asked my unbelieving spouse this same question. Listen in….

“Honey, Pastor Greg had a great question during church today. Is God's love conditional or unconditional?” I looked up from chopping peppers and onions for the omelet I was making for brunch. Side note: An omelet and NFL Football on a Sunday morning is close to heaven.

For most of us in an unequally yoked marriage, asking our spouse a question about Sunday services can be as fun as a root canal. I held my breath, ready, come what may.

“God’s love is conditional.”

I stared. Not sure how to respond. I am always surprised that my husband has contemplated matters of the Bible. He continued, “Lynn, you have to love God back.”

Whoa!

(I think this guy actually read the Bible)

“God, wants to be loved and He wants obedience. If you don’t, you will not go to heaven. You go to purgatory or whatever you call it. That's conditional.” – Okay, his words… Keepin’ it real.

I didn’t have a response. A week later, I still don’t. Is he right? Is he wrong?

Looking forward to your wise thoughts and scriptures.

Let’s meet here again next Monday and see where this conversation is taking us. Can’t wait. Be blessed, Lynn

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Weekend Devotion—My Lord Speaks My Name

At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

Jesus said to her, "Mary."

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
—John 20:14-16

In the softness of the morn,
I sit and wait
For your sweet voice
To speak my name.

It's the gentlest of sounds,
As soft as a caress.
With such tenderness you speak
And make my heart rejoice.

Oh to hear my Lord speak,
It's the most precious of sounds.
I'd wait a lifetime
Just to hear him speak again.

For he knows my name so well.
He knows my heart, my soul.
He's been there since the beginning,
Ever close and ever near.

So I sit and wait again.
Speak, Lord, please speak.
Let me hear your tender voice again.
Such joy to hear you speak my name.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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The Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

Hot Salsa and Scripture! What a Hoot!

Okay, I have another story from the Donovan clan. I sure hope my stories don't bore you but sometimes I just can't hold them in. I see Jesus all over place pursuing my man in amazing ways. You should have heard him earlier in the week when I was telling him about some of stuff going on in ministry. He looked at me and said, "The Bible is the basis of all Christianity, it is not up for debate or sideways interpretation…. Period… The end."

I stood and stared at him completely speechless. And you all know that is a rare thing for me to be speechless!!

I finally closed my mouth and said to him, "I can't wait until you become a Christian because you are really going to be good at it." We both grinned.

Okay but that is not the story. Today at lunch I was telling him about a little prank my teen daughter wants to play on our neighbors. It's all in good fun and harmless. However, my husband surprised me and said, "I don't like this idea and I don't want you to give her permission."

He left me sitting there feeling a tad more than sheepish as he went to the salsa bar for a refill of the hottest stuff on the planet. (If his nose is runnin', he's a happy man).Salsa

He comes back to the table and before I can say, You are right and I am sorry. He says to me, "What's that scripture verse that says women should obey their husbands."

Okay, I had to laugh out loud!

This is so unlike my husband to object to something so strongly and secondly, he was quoting scripture. Hilarious!

We both started to giggle and I can tell you my daughter will not be toilet papering the neighbors. ( now my nose was running. *giggle*)

We laughed about it all the way home from Rubios.

Anyway, every week in all kinds of ways, God pushes at the door of my husband's soul. What an amazing God we serve. I am so fortunate to watch it all play out. What a ride.

Hope you are seeing our Lord at work in your life this very day. Praying for many of you and especially our community as a whole. Love you bunches, Lynn

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Hit Again

Img_0293Last Friday as I was driving home with my daughter in typical California rush hour traffic, I got rear-ended. Again.

Two years ago we traded in my gas guzzling car for a nice, shiny red Honda Civic. I picked up my daughter from school one day and got rear-ended by the poor 17-year-old in the SUV behind me. I say poor because I totally lost my cool, hopped out, and started ranting how the car was only a week old. Brand spanking new.

I was not at my best that day. I apologized to this poor kid who felt so horrible for hitting us, and I could tell he felt his world had just crumbled into total darkness. I later found out that was because he wasn’t supposed to drive his car to school.

Uh oh. We both learned big lessons that day. I asked God to help me keep my cool if I was ever in the same situation again.

Well, last Friday, as I said, I got rear-ended. Amazingly, I stayed completely calm, got out of my car, and checked out the damage. A nice dent the size of a basketball waved hello along with his entourage of scratches in the nice shiny red paint.

And the last two years were so peaceful and damage free. The guy behind me suggested we move out of traffic. I paused for a mere second. Long enough for the thought that he might take off to present itself to my brain and my heart to say, “Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Sigh. Why didn’t I at least use my cell phone to take a picture of my bumper and one of his license plate, which I didn’t even take time to notice? (In CA we have both front and back plates).

Well, you guessed it. I drove ahead a bit and found a church parking lot to pull into. He kept going, never to be seen again. Boy, did I feel stupid, but I did learn another lesson and will know how to handle it the next time it happens, which it most likely will.

After spending the next few hours beating myself up for being so gullible and feeling rather stupid, it suddenly dawned on me that I never lost my cool. When the guy hit me, I remained calm and polite (though I sure would like to give him a piece of my mind now).

God had certainly answered my prayer from two years ago. And the reward in this (yes, there really is one) is that the dent in my bumper popped out by the time I got home. Only the cover was damaged with some scrapes.

Life will inevitably throw us these curves, but knowing God sees (yes, whoever you are, God saw and will deal with you at some later date for your deceit) and equips us to handle these surprise situations.

I may have left the scene of the accident with a dent, but I landed on my feet mostly undamaged and a lesson learned. But most of all, my prize is knowing God was at that intersection before me, ready to answer a two-year-old prayer.

And that’s the best kind of accident insurance anyone could have.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Think About It

I have a question for you.

How would God vote? Knowing how God answers this question has big implications in our life and definitely in our marriage. So I want to explore this provocative question.

Please vote and give me your scripture references. Let's understand more about God and His great love for the lost and the saved. Have a great week. I am looking forward to some spirited conversation. Be Blessed, Lynn

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Weekend Devotion - Praying for Salvation

Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of Life, Compassionate, Holy, First and the Last,
Bibleglasses

I give you praise. In my worship I offer you my heart, my soul, my very life. Today, Father, I bring my husband/wife before Your throne. I approach in humility, seeking your will and with Jesus at my side.

Let me see my husband with your eyes. Allow me to never forget how much you love him. Remind me that my husband is a person you are pursuing to secure his salvation. Show me where you are working in His life and teach me to pray in support of all your work. I ask for your hand upon him. Please protect him from evil people and evil spirits. Cause the circumstances in his life to prompt thinking about eternity, God and his purpose in life.

Lord, bring men into his life who are believers. Men of character and who know You. Provide them with courage to share Christ with my husband. Let them reveal Christ as strength and the key to happy living.

Father, I ask that you would create in me a humble heart that I would be a good wife. A woman who supports, respects, and cherishes my husband. Let my actions teach my children how to have a healthy and Godly marriage. Mostly let my husband be won to you without a word. Strengthen my faith, my heart, give me wisdom and fill me daily with the Holy Spirit that I may resonate love.

I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

A Visit.... and then a really Great Question.

When we walk the road of the Spiritually Mismatched it can be a lonely walk. We can feel emotionally abandoned by our spouse and forgotten by God.

I want to you to know we often don’t know how to see God moving in our lives. We don’t know how to watch Jesus as He pursues our unbelieving spouse.

In the past year I have watched as God has pounds on the door of my husband’s heart. I learned how to percieve God's hand moving in a situation. I am a front-row spectator in the best drama in the most fantastic adventure and grand story ever told.

What I think would be fun and encouraging is to share what I see. So, from time-to-time I plan to post a new story in the Chronicles of the Donovan Clan. I usually share these stories at 1Peter3Living. They are written usually in the moment and in a very casual style. I hope they inspire you to watch what the Lord is doing all around you and especially in the lives your lost loved ones.

The following story was originally posted at 1Peter3Living on August 26, 2008:

Hi Everyone:

I want to share with you what just happened here at home. I hope this little post doesn't offend anyone.

Just a few minute ago a team of Jehovah's Witness, rang the doorbell. My tiny, tiny office has a window next to the front door so the men spied me sitting at my computer. I was caught and had to open the door.

So, I went to the door and they pushed two magazines at me and mumbled something about Global Warming. Then I spied the watchtower magazine. They asked me if I would read them. I smiled politely and answered, "Probably not." Then handed them back. They said something like, "Well, at least you're honest." I thought that was funny-strange reply.

Okay, but the story is not about that. I returned to my office and my husband came in. He stood in the hall. My office is in a cubby in the hallway. My husband is home this week instead of traveling.

He looks at me and says, "Didn't you used to date a Jehovah's Witness? Why do they feel the need to come by constantly and annoy people with their visits." -His words… not mine.

(I did date a Jehovah Witness in my teen years much to the fear and anxiety of my Mother. I learned a great deal about their practices.)

So, I explained that JW are taught they must earn their way into heaven. They do this by making visits as well as other service stuff. They are compelled to serve this way and the church checks up on their parishioners to make sure they are visiting. At least they did at the time I was dating this guy.

I looked at my husband and said, "Did you know that every other religion teaches that people must earn their way to heaven. Only Christianity teaches that eternity with God is a gift. That is what sets Christianity and Jesus apart from every other faith."Question_mark

He said, "No I did not realize that."

This truth is profound when you realize just how different our faith is from every other faith in the world.

Isn't it COOL that our eternity is not up to us but up to Jesus? I am blown away!

Wonder what my husband will do with this bit of info? I love how the Lord orchestrates things around my house. I am looking forward to the next unexpected visit to the Donovan’s.

Have a blessed day and REJOICE. Our eternity is bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. We don't have to earn it. Amen

Decorative_clip_art

I see God revealing truth to my man in all kinds of circumstances. Almost weekly the Lord is active in the most outrageous and interesting ways. Stay tuned next Friday for what happened at the Salsa bar.

Be blessed, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Beth Moore and BFFs

This week I am overwhelmed with thanks for so many things. But, I am especially thankful to the Lord for Women’s Bible study at our church. I took a year off from leading a study group to work on some writing projects and boy howdy, did I ever miss it.

I am thankful God faithfully selects absolutely the right women for our group. I am amazed year-after-year and yet shouldn’t be.

I am thankful these women are hungry for Jesus because I am hungry for Jesus.

I am thankful for the vulnerability and willingness to share their lives. It is when we are authentic that real healing and growth occur.Bbs

I am thankful for the lunches that follow. We laugh for an hour and a half. Sometimes so loud I thought I would pee my pants and scare the other customers.

I praise God for Beth Moore. Need I say more?

I am THANKFUL and humble.

Hope you find yourself in a Bible study this fall. I wish you were in my group. Love all of you, my Thankful Thursday gals, so very much. Be Blessed, Lynn

PS. I am starting a new and kind of different set of posts tomorrow. I have watched God pound on the door of my husband’s heart now for years. Sometimes God’s pursuit of my man is so fantastic I stand back and watch dumb founded. I have been sharing these stories at 1Peter3Living but now feel led to share them with you. Please stop back tomorrow if you can. It is so cool to see how God reveals Himself to unbelievers.

Sometimes I can’t even believe it!

Hugs~




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

Sustenance

953185_hourglassOne particular day in which I was complaining about waiting (ok, I moaned and groaned), God reminded me that David was chosen to be king, yet he had to wait 14 years to take this position. And not just waiting, but running for his life, fighting battles, and baffled by King Saul's vacillating behavior.

We don't have a complete and detailed picture of David's ordeal, but what is recorded depicts a man who seemed constantly aware of his humble position and his desperate need for God. I'd dare say the first is what made the second possible.

David didn't seem to doubt God for long, nor did he bemoan his circumstances. For the most part. And neither did he question God's plan. He simply served God to the best of his ability in the current circumstances. He may have had moments of despair, but judging by the Psalms he invariably came back around to praising God and casting his fears aside.

Nor did David remain inactive during his time of waiting, using God's promise of kingship as an excuse. This really got me to thinking. Did I use my husband's unbelief as an excuse to not participate in church activities? Did I hide behind his atheism to protect myself from ridicule? Is it his lack of faith that holds me back or myself?

I don't quite have complete answers to those questions. In some ways, I believe there may be some truth to each one. And in light of that I've decided I want to be more proactive, like David, believing and serving the body of Christ during this time of waiting.

God told me recently in that most quite voice of his, "Trust me to sustain you." Those words have continued to pierce my spirit over and over again in conviction. "Yes, Lord, I will trust you, for however long it will take."

My God will sustain me.
Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Marriage Monday - Why Romance Matters

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
Proverbs 30:18-19 (New Living Translation)

18 There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
19 how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,

how a man loves a woman.

This scripture verse gives me chill bumps. No, not because of the snake. Eeeek! I am not shivering over the majestic eagle soaring in a brilliant azure sky. No, I get goose bumps when I realize my husband really, really loves me.

He loves deeply, with a passion so intense he would walk through fire that I might live. His commitment to “us” is fierce, constant, and unrelenting.

I shudder when I try to wrap my feeble mind around this truth. This is what it means for a man to love a woman as Christ loves the Church. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Jesus is rubbing off on my unbeliever in small bits. It’s only a matter of time.)

Knowing my man will be there for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live is romance at its pinnacle.

My husband may not remember to send me a card as often as I would like. He sometimes can be a blockhead when it comes to romancing but, he loves me. Really, really loves me and that covers me in waves of romantic chill bumps.

Be Blessed, Lynn

Handholding

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Weekend Devotion — Promises

WeddingringssmallBut do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. — 2Peter 3:8-9

Friday was my 21st wedding anniversary. My sweet hubby surprised me with reservations at a very nice restaurant downtown. We sat at a circular booth table, snuggled together on one side. He'd even told the maître d' ahead of time about our celebration. So sweet.

Though time is still passing and my dear husband seems as set in his atheism as ever, I found myself praising God for the man sitting next to me and our life together. Despite our unequally yoked circumstances, I find great joy in our marriage. And God's abundant blessing.

The Scriptures above encouraged me that though I may not see anything changing, God has the situation completely in control. The future holds great promise—full of God's faithfulness.

Have a blessed weekend, steeped in the joy of his salvation and the promises of God.
Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Ten Secrets to a Happy Marriage

From the book, Forever, by Karen Kingsbury

1.God has you here to serve one another. Love acted out is serving.

2.Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you’d lay your life down for her.

3.Continue to date her and admire her. Share a hobby - find something you can do to have fun together.
Laugh often.

4.Be patient. Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.

5.Spend more time trying to fix ourself than your spouse.

6.Keep short accounts. The Bible says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are angry.” Make it a habit to forgive.

7.Determine upfront that divorce is not an option.

8.Learn about love languages. Not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back rub and your spouse wants a clean kitchen. The love languages are fairly simple: acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation. Learn them. Love is better received when it’s in the language that person speaks.

9.Words of affirmation are a love language for all men.

10.Men are born to be leaders. He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. If you love your husband, build him up. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.

What amazing words of wisdom. Imagine how different our marriages would be if we could practice this wisdom on a consistent basis.

Thank you Karen!

307640: Forever, Firstborn Series #5 Forever, Firstborn Series #5
By Karen Kingsbury

Katie Hart is thrilled about her future with Hollywood's Dayne Matthews. But as she plans a wedding and looks for a house on the shores of Lake Monroe, she receives tragic news. Now she and the members of the Baxter family must travel to Los Angeles and sort through their options. While paparazzi open fire on the Baxter family, Luke Baxter must wrestle with feelings that have troubled him for nearly a year. Ultimately, the Baxter family must pull together one last time in an act of service and love to help Katie and Dayne find what they've always been looking for--a chance forever.

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Thankful Thursday -

A Question for You.

Fantasy Football Update: A few weeks ago I posted about joining a Fantasy Football League. God told me in the bathroom to spend quality and recreational time with my husband by joining Fantasy Football. Say what? (Read the story here)

Well last weekend was the team draft. What’s a draft? My question exactly. Good thing my twenty-something son is my partner. Well Sunday morning arrived and it was my turn to pick. Of course, I was at church (don’t I sound righteous here, sorry). In my absence, my helpful husband drafted a player for me.

I returned from church to discover my husband’s treachery. Need I remind you I am competing against this man? I proceeded to yell at him at least five different times for picking, should we say, a less than desirable candidate (frown face). Nfl

Later, I grinned at him with a sheepish look, “Sorry honey. I think this was supposed to be fun.” Sheesh! I could have kicked myself five times. Good thing my man is amazingly forgiving.

I wonder if I could be a tad bit competitive? Hmmmm.

Anyway our first game is tomorrow. So I have one question.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

Thankful for FALL and FOOTBALL this Thursday. Love you my Thankful Thursday gals. Thanks for stopping in here today.

Hope you have a wonderful football season. Break out the chips and salsa and have some fun with your man. Hugs, Lynn

PS. I sure hope John Elway wins *grin.*Denver_broncos_logo




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

The Chain of Effectiveness

1018103_broken_chainFor this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. — 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

For years I’ve sought to understand why it is so difficult to an effective Christian. When we read the storied of the disciples and the thousands brought to Christ in one day, I wonder what we’ve lost in this day and age. What’s different now compared to then? Why is it so difficult to be effective in our own generation? To our own families and spouses?

I don’t have the answer to that, but the verses in 2 Peter struck a cord with me recently. I’d asked this question about our influence in the world today, and there, right in verse eight, it states clearly what we need to be effective.

“For if we possess these qualities…”

Goodness. Knowledge. Self-control. Perseverance. Godliness. Brotherly kindness. Love.

In the past I’d concentrated on one of these—the one I thought I needed the most. So often I’d prayed for self-control in direct relationship to a food addiction I’ve struggled with for years. But these verses showed me something I’d missed.

If you study the wording carefully, each on these attributes is built upon the other. And they all start with faith. Our first step is to believe. In John 6: 28-29 a crowd asks Jesus what they “must do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Our first and foremost “work” we are all called to is to believe in Jesus, God’s Son—sent for our salvation. Here begins our faith.

Next we are told to add to our faith seven attributes. (There’s that number seven again.) And the wording or intent goes further. We start in faith, then add goodness. Once we have goodness, we are to add knowledge. To knowledge, self-control. And so on.

Like the links in a chain, each is interdependent upon the others to be strong. If one link is weak, the chain is weak and breaks. And there we stand, the ineffective Christian.

We can’t do this on our own. It’s impossible for us to makes ourselves good or godly. But these are attributes we must clearly desire and seek from God in order to be effective Christians. We will find our goodness in the changing power of the Holy Spirit. Knowledge in the Word of God. Self-control and perseverance in our complete reliance on God and the confession we can do nothing without Him. Godliness in our willing hearts to allow Jesus to mold us into his image. Brotherly kindness in that same changed heart that realizes we are no better than anyone else. And finally love because we’ve given ourselves completely to Christ because He first loved us.

And this is brings us back to the beginning of our faith and our very first command.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. — 2John 1:6

We are to walk in love—the seventh ingredient in this list of the effective Christian. And also the first.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Laced With Grace -
It's in THE WALLS, I TELL YOU!

Color me surprised! When we fist moved to California, I found myself sharing our home with unwanted critters. I moved from an extremely arid region, translation – Las Vegas, where the only small animals around our home were a few scorpions and tiny ants.

Following our unpacking and a few nights in our brand new home, I was sound asleep enjoying the cooler nights of Southern California. That’s when I heard it, a rustling noise in all places, the walls of our bedroom. EEK! I mean, I sat straight up in bed, freaked. Can I get an Amen here?

Hop over to Laced With Grace and find out if my face was red.

*****

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