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17 entries from November 2008

Giving Thanks @ Thanksgiving

Dineen Miller

DM-Chairpose When asked to give my testimony, I never know what to say. God didn’t come into my life on a blazing horse, saving me in the middle of some catastrophic event or dark moment. As far back as I can remember, I always remember him being there. Which is amazing since I didn’t grow up in a Christian home.

Yet to look back over my life is to see the constant impression of God’s fingerprints and his divine plan connecting each joy and trial to the next in an amazing display of perfect planning and preparation.

I believe God ingrained Romans 8:28 into the very cells of my body and mind. I knew this truth as a young child before I ever read that Scripture. In fact, everything fell into place the first time I read it, and I finally understood the pattern of my life. That God was, is and will be that pattern.

My testimony lives in the moments where God made his undeniable presence known. Moments bathed in fabulous glory and reassurance. Moments designed to grow and mature me. Moments that make persevering and trusting God possible now as we travel this latest trial with our daughter. I can look back to many events and see how even then God was preparing us for this time.

The pattern of our lives is exquisite. For me, this is the strongest and most beautiful evidence of God’s inimitable presence. And my greatest testimony. This instills such deep gratitude within me. I am overawed and overjoyed when I examine God’s fingerprints and discover the delicate yet enduring tapestry he uses. From past to present. From present to future. He is in all and in him all things hold together (Col. 1:17).

So I can with deepest appeal say that my past trials and experiences have uniquely prepared me for what we face now, and this current trial will become an integral part and reference for the future. For God truly uses and works in all things to bring good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

And I am grateful, thankful, and rejoice in every bit of it.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

 
"This week, many of us bloggers have devoted a special post in which we are sharing our personal testimonies of the Lord's work in our lives and/or that of our families. Our collective prayer is that this sharing of our testimonies will not only encourage each other and give Glory to our Lord, but also show the love of Christ to those who happen upon our blogs. To enjoy many more testimonies like the one you've just read please visit us at "Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving."

*****

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Giving Thanks @ Thanksgiving!

Lynn Donovan

There is a passage in Luke that always stirs my heart. It is a story about a kid with an attitude. It's also about a father's forgiveness and love. Luke 15: 11-32 Jesus tells the story of The Prodigal.
 
I am that child. I am a prodigal daughter.
 
In 1999 I married my best friend. We married during a time I was far away from God. As a typical young person, I wanted to take on the world and live on my terms. I had little regard for the teachings of the Bible. I believed I was saved; however, I lacked a vibrant, personal relationship with Christ.
 
Three years into our marriage the Lord began to woo me, calling me to return home. Living the way of the world was proving shallow. I felt lost and desperately unhappy. Jesus beckoned to me and I heard his voice. I returned to the faith of my childhood.
 
The prodigal daughter came running home to her Father. I arrived dragging my unbelieving husband kicking and screaming all the way. He wasn't happy about the new Man in my life.
 
Through the years of our marriage, my faith has grown while my husband has remained a nonbeliever. We are spiritually mismatched. Our marriage has been a wild, fantastic journey, completely unexpected. It is just like God to surprise both of us with more than we could ever dream. We are enjoying the abundant life God promises even though we remain unequally yoked. We have found peace and a profound love for one another through the life-changing power of Jesus Christ at work in our marriage.lynnd
 
Today I devote my time to my family and ministry. I serve as a Bible study leader at Sunridge and help with Women's Ministries. I also am a freelance writer and speaker. Prior to my writing career, I worked in Corporate America for 23 years. I retired as a banking executive in 2003.
 
I meet many believers who also find themselves on the road behind me in an unequal marriage. It has been a humble privilege to offer hope and encouragement to them through my online ministry,
Spiritually Unequal Marriage.
 
My marriage is the cradle where God grew my faith. The Lord has done amazing work in my soul and character through my unbelieving spouse. I am deeply grateful. I am also a spectator in the grandest drama of life. I have a front row seat where I watch God Almighty pound on the door of my husband's soul. 
 
My husband and I share a rich life together and are completely head-over-heels in love. With his permission and encouragement, I write to encourage believers so they also can thrive in marriage. More importantly, I am able to do nothing apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. It is for Him that I live.
 

My life verse: 
John 15:5b apart from me you can do nothing.
 
"This week, many of us bloggers have devoted a special post in which we are sharing our personal testimonies of the Lord's work in our lives and/or that of our families. Our collective prayer is that this sharing of our testimonies will not only encourage each other and give Glory to our Lord, but also show the love of Christ to those who happen upon our blogs. To enjoy many more testimonies like the one you've just read please visit us at "Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving.""

*****

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Weekend Devotion—What's Your Life Message?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. — 2Corinthians 1:3-7

In the past, Lynn and I have talked about how we are not alone in our unequally yoked situations. God is with us through every moment, challenge, and shed tear. But I also believe he is calling us to not be alone in our situations either. Thanks to the world of computers, we have a wealth of knowledge and support available at our fingertips. Using wisdom of course.

But these are avenues that we can connect with others, especially if we can't find that kind of support within our own church. And not all of us have the freedom or ease to go to church, so that can make it even more difficult.

Along with what Lynn wrote about yesterday in making our spiritually unequal marriages an idol, isolationism is one aspect to be wary of. We can easily use our situation as a reason to stay away from church, use it as a shield to not get involved, and make it the very definition of our faith.

That's not what God intends. Yes, we are in a unique situation that most of our Christian couple friends may not understand, but sharing our journey with them can actually be a blessing to both parties.

I have one dear friend who told me she liked reading my posts here at SUM because it gave her more insight into what I struggled through and with. That blessed me beyond words, that she cared enough to want to understand. And others I have shared this journey with have expressed how it inspired them in their own marriages.

We need not hide and be ashamed. And we have to realize it's not all about us. We never know how God will use our life and marriage lessons to help others. He did not call us to remain silent. On the contrary, he tells us to share what we have learned, what comfort we have received so that other may benefit too.

In a recent devotional, Rick Warren talked about sharing our life message. He made a list of questions to think about to determine what our life message might be:

  • What has God taught me from failure?
  • What has God taught me from a lack of money?
  • What has God taught me from pain or sorrow or depression?
  • What has God taught me through waiting?
  • What has God taught me through illness?
  • What has God taught me from disappointment?
  • What have I learned from my family, my church, my relationships, my small group, and my critics?

We can examine these within ourselves and even ask them of our friends and spiritual mentors, thus another chance to learn. And as an unequally yoked spouse, I can pose another question to add to this list.

  • What has God taught me about loving unconditionally?

God doesn't call us to be separate. He wants us to interact and get involved in each others lives. Then we become the body of Christ, sharing what we have learned and gaining wisdom from others. And in our connections we find comfort and understanding.

What's your life message?

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Is Your Marriage an Idol?

We tackled several questions of great magnitude yesterday at 1Peter3Living. Here they are:

Dee: I'm thinking as I type & I have a couple of questions.....perhaps you can help me...

Recently, a lady shared (this is not verbatim & this lady is not from 1P3), that she prays she will not make her unequally yoked marriage into an idol. My first thought and question is what does that exactly mean? I have an idea of what that means, but can someone clearly define this for me? This topic is a bit fuzzy to me and a clear definition and or examples would be helpful.

Also, do you think that there is a fine line here? How do you know when you've crossed the line from ________ (fill in the blank please) to making the spiritual status of your marriage into an idol?

Last question, this may be difficult to answer and forgive me if I am getting too personal; if you are willing to share, have you ever made your unequally yoked marriage into an idol? When did you come to that realization?

Great questions Dee. Thank you. Okay, so let's hear your thoughts. I wonder if these questions would apply to all Christian marriages. I plan to follow up this conversation on Monday, December 1st. I am sure you have some excellent and wise thoughts and I have a few stories to tell.

Also …. I have another story for the Chronicles of the Donovan Clan…. This is a good one…

Dineen and I will be participating in Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving event next week. Hope to see you over there.

On this Thanksgiving, Dineen and I offer a prayer of thanks to Jesus because He has brought you into our lives. Your desire to serve The Most High inspires us daily. Your friendship, wisdom, encouragement, and willingness to show up here for a read occasionally are priceless treasures. Thank you.

Have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving. Hugs, Lynn

Thanks2

*****

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Thankful Thursday

This week prior to Thanksgiving, I am deeply thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for so much.

Bible study concluded for this year today. Tears of happiness and friendship were part of our morning. I will miss these ladies I have come to love over the past 10 weeks. Girls, next up…. Beth Moore, Esther, It's Tough Being A Woman. Study begins January 14th. Can't wait.

I am thankful for Laced With Grace and the wisdom and inspiration I receive daily.

I am thankful for Laurel, Iris and Angie. My bloggity friends who are always standing near and ready to pray for me.

I thank the Lord Jesus for His overwhelming presence in my life. Nothing, I mean nothing, is more important than knowing God is walking with me every day. I wouldn't trade His presence for anything.

I am thankful my Mom and Son will be arriving on Monday. We have a ton of fun planned. Tie-die shirts, tumble weed snowmen, turkey dinner, pumpkin seed making, laughing, loving and a week of wonderful family time. My daughter is excited beyond words… SO AM I.

I am thankful for 1P3. These men and women inspire me daily in my unequally yoked marriage. I hope to post tomorrow about our current topic of conversation. What a great group of believers.

The Kingdom Assignment has been something so amazing; I can't begin to thank the Lord enough. You must take a minute to read some of fantastic stories of God at work in the lives of bloggers you know. See the sidebar

I am deeply thankful for my weekly prayer partners, Noreen, Patricia, Amy, and Dineen. Hugs~

I am thankful for my husband. I love him very much.

Also, I can't forget. Happy Birthday Denise at Shortybears Place. I love you girl

I want you to know that tomorrow morning, I will bring each of you, my Thankful Thursday gals, before the Lord by name. I will offer your names to Him as a fragrant friendship that you have shown me. I love you.

I also will be posting on Monday in Heather's "Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving 08." Dineen will be on Tuesday. Then we will rest for the week to honor the Lord with our hearts. We will see you again, December 1st.

Be Blessed, Lynn




For more Thankful Thursday blessings, visit Iris at Grace Alone.

The "Right" Prayer

Praying I do not believe that there is such a thing in the history of God's kingdom as a right prayer offered in a right spirit that is forever left unanswered. — Theodore L. Cuyler

Theodore L. Cuyler's words ring true when held up against the light of God's Word:

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. — James 5:14-16

Mind you, that's not our righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ that we receive through his saving blood. But go back a moment to Cuyler's words, which speak of a right spirit. This is different than the righteousness of Christ. He's speaking of our motivation.

No matter how we might couch our words to those around us and even to God, he sees the motivation of our hearts. If we come to God in prayer for our unsaved loved ones, asking for their salvation in order to suit our own needs, then our motivation is off, and we aren't praying in a "right spirit." That doesn't mean God will prevent our loved one from coming to Christ, but we know God is perfect in his timing. He won't allow something to pass if the circumstances aren't the way He wants them.

What I'm saying here is this. That until we can pray for our spouses out of pure motivation—from a selfless love and desire to see them know our amazing God and all the extraordinary knowledge, peace, understanding, forgiveness, and completeness that comes with it—we, the believing spouses, are the ones God will work on first.

We cannot change our spouses, but we can influence them. Thus God will work in us to change and mold our hearts and character to make us the kind of influence God wants in our spouses lives. God will create us to be whatever tool necessary in instrumenting a change in our loves ones live. And though we are changed, we are still merely the tool, wielded by the great Carpenter.

Herein lies the key to what Lynn and I call thriving in our spiritually unequal marriages. It is not we who are attempting to change our spouses, but God in us, given free reign through our obedience to do whatever is necessary.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Trouble ~ Transition ~ Tension

Today is our conclusion to the Love Our Neighbor series. Walking through this scripture has left me permanently changed. My heart for people softened. This series brought with it the Kingdom Assignment. God gave us a chance to practice kindness, and goodness. He gave us a chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus. He watched, as we loved our neighbor.

This series unfolded Matthew 22:36-39 and Matthew 25: 14-30.

I understand this command in a way I never did before:

Matthew 22: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Our world reverberates with hate, bitterness, and broken dreams. When we give our love away a doorway opens. Kindness and compassion overcomes barriers, hatred, and anger.

It opens a door to share Jesus.

Today, right now in our country and in our world, doors are opening.

People come to know God usually through three circumstances; trouble, transition, and tension. The pressures of the terrible T's propel people to search for God. Our world is smack in the middle of all three. People are scared, they are in financial trouble, and tension mounts each day as we watch the nightly news.

Our opportunity is NOW.

From this day forward I will never be the same. I am going to live every day of my life, giving love away, opening the door for God. I will be obedient. I will be kind. I will live compassion. I will live for Jesus.

If we truly live in this kind of obedience, our unbelieving spouses, our children, our neighbors, the world will know there is a God and He lives and works in our lives.

Lord, this is my prayer for every reader who stopped here in the last few months. Let your Holy Spirit fill us so full, that kindness is in our every breath, love in our eyes, and compassion in our hearts. Let us live it. Let us be the door to share with this broken world the life-changing truth: OUR GOD SAVES! I ask this in the powerful, awesome, glorious name of Jesus, our Redeemer, and our Lord. Amen.

Please share with me what happened with your Kingdom Assignment. Whatever you did with your dollar is exactly what the Lord wanted. Don't judge it unworthy of mention. Allow the Lord Jesus to receive honor because you used God's money in some way to serve His kingdom. Write to me today a quick note. Please email me. You can read other's stories by going to the Kingdom Page through the link in the sidebar.

I am excited to see where the Lord will take us next. You should know I am always just as surprised by the Lord as you are when we walk through these journeys. Thank you for walking beside me. Your friendship, wisdom, and love are gifts I can never repay. But, I sure do tell my "Father" about all of you often. Have a blessed week, Lynn

*****

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Weekend Devotion—Jesus, Our Intercessor

716045_hands "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." —John 17: 20-26 (NIV)

I read these verses last week and was struck again by the enormity of it. To think that Jesus our Lord and Savior prayed for each of us so long ago. And he still does. Take a moment and read these verses and imagine that as Jesus stood there, saying these words, he had each one of us in mind.

He had YOU in mind. And your unbelieving spouse.

It's mind boggling! By Jesus' actions here, he shows his love in huge ways. He not only prayed for those present, he also prayed for those of us now following him, and for those who will follow him—specifically, lovingly, and intimately.

We have a Savior who knows us well and has anticipated everything we will ever need. And we need Him.
Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Thankful Thursday

It’s a Birthday!

On this Thankful Thursday I am giving thanks for my BFF, Dineen Miller. Today is her birthday!


Dineen was one of the very first readers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. In fact, I checked the archives and Dineen contributed her story in the first month after this blog was born. About a year later, she agreed to be a regular contributor.

I look back over the months years we have shared our lives with each other and with you and I see the Lord's hand upon us.

Dineen completes me!


She writes about the heart when I tend to write about the practical. She perceives things that I miss. She is quick to support yet will point out areas in which I need help. Above all, she loves me…. for me.

Happy Birthday, my friend, partner, and sister in Christ! Hope your day ROCKS!





For more Thankful Thursday blessings, visit Iris at Grace Alone.

Letting Go

933344_i_love_you Growing up a latch key kid made me think the kids with parents had it made. As an adult I carried this belief over to my own children, thinking that if they had a mother and a father who loved them, they'd be happy, successful, and have an easier life than I did.

I was so wrong. (Lots of head nodding yes out there, I bet.)

Before this journey with our daughter began, God had showed me I needed to let that go. No matter how right I may have done things did not guarantee my children's lives would be smoother, easier, or trouble free. Quite the contrary, in fact. Raising them to love Jesus set up a whole different path of challenges.

Now with my youngest daughter's diagnosis, I'm realizing I have even more to let go of. Certainties and confidences placed in this world are now fraught with uncertainty and insecurity like I've never experienced. Our Father God is showing me new places I need to trust him more.

And that's the crux of it all, isn't it? How much do we trust God?

Wherever we have doubt, we'll find trust dwindling. Any place we have fear, we'll find no trust at all. And in those places we struggle, trust is wavering but hopefully growing. The longer I walk this path with God, the more I find trust to be at the heart of it all.

That's where God starts, isn't it? In our hearts? So this is the place I'm learning to let go of the most—to let go of my heart and trust God to hold it close, cushion it from the blows of this world, and trust Him to take it in the right direction.

Life may not be what I thought it would, but God is everything good, great, pure and faithful that I can possibly imagine. In the end, I think that's a whole lot better.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Triumphant Living is…

Living in Obedience 24/7

I am creating this post in a new Word Blogger tool so if it looks weird, bear with me.

Last week, I received in the mail, a book from my friend Dee. I am so glad she sent it. Thank you Dee!

The book is, I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh. This is a miraculous story of a Muslim Woman's Encounter with God.

I read the entire book, cover to cover, yesterday. In a single day, I tell you. It was THAT good.

I encourage you to buy, read and re-read this book if you struggle living in the glorious presence of Jesus 24/7. I know that I struggle but after reading this book, it is my life's goal to live every moment in the glory of the Lord and the secret is absolute obedience.

My life verse: John 15:5b apart from me you can do nothing.

One thing jumped out at me during my reading. It was as if the type lifted from the page and spoke directly to my heart. I think every man or woman living in an unequally yoked marriage will understand, let me share.

In the book, Bilquis approaches the Lord with frustration.

Page 115. "It seems so pointless, Lord," I said. "Am I doing what You want? Why is it Lord." I said raising my hands in supplication, "that not one single time have I been able to see the results of talking about you?" There was the Englishman, and the general, and all the servants, and the hundreds of times I talked with my family and friends -- not one of these times bore visible fruit. "It's so puzzling, Lord! I just don't understand why You aren't using me."

As I prayed the sensation of Christ's Presence grew ever stronger in that room. He seemed to fill the atmosphere with strength and comfort. I heard in my heart the distinct suggestion, "Bilquis, I have only one question to ask you. Think back over those times when you have talked with your friends and with your family. Think back over the times you have accepted people who have come to argue. Have you felt My Presence during those visits?"

"Yes, Lord. Yes, indeed I have."

"My glory was there?"

"Yes, Lord."

"Then that's all you need. It is so often this way with friends. And family. The results are not your problem. All you have to worry about is obedience. Seek My Presence, not results."

 

Oh, I pray you see this parallel in our marriages. We may not, probably will not, see the results we desperately want to see. We may never see our prayers answered as we hope. However, if we are obedient, we are living in the glory of Almighty God. Our spouses salvation is not our problem.

WHAT GLORIOUS FREEDOM for all of us living unequally yoked. I don't know about you but I am going to my knees now to pray and thank Him for His presence. I will live this week and the next and the next, thanking Him that my husband's salvation is in His capable hands.

Have a blessed and beautiful week in the presence of God Almighty, Lynn

93247: I Dared to Call Him Father, 25th Anniversary Edition: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman"s Encounter with God I Dared to Call Him Father, 25th Anniversary Edition: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman's Encounter with God
By Bilquis Lohse

*****

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Weekend Devotion—Are You Envious?

Weddingrings-small Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. — James 3:13-18

These verses were part of my devotional reading this past week. When I read it, I immediately thought of how often the unequally yoked tread this ground. We don't mean to, but when we see couples and families worshiping God together at church, we can fall into this trap of envy. Then our envy can turn into ambition as we try to manipulate our unbelieving spouses into going to church with us next time.

James tells us in these verses that seeking wisdom from God will help us reap the best benefits. We can take those feelings and turn them into more constructive actions that will speak louder than anything else to our loved ones. By submitting our envy and and selfishness to God, we can grow into the peace-loving, considerate,  fruit bearers of Christ that God intended us to be.

Through God's strength we can become the peacemakers in our family and be visible representations of the righteousness of Christ.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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Love Your Neighbor
That's Easy but Jesus says
Love Your Enemies. Ouch!

The end of this bitter election brought along with it some raw feelings from every side or angle in the last couple of days. I know because I was one who was feeling a tad bit of emotion.

Today as I sat brooding at my desk I shuffled through a pile of papers and uncovered notes from a message by Pastor Greg from a couple of weeks back: How to Love People Who Don't Like You. Loving your Enemies...

Is it an accident I found these notes this very day?

Luke 6:27-35 (NIV)

Love for Enemies

 27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Pastor Greg: Live out these radical commands of Christ and watch what God does with your obedience.

How:

With prayers: Verse 28

With Words: Verse 28

With Actions: Verse 27

Don't:

Defend your honor. Jesus held His tongue. Verse 29

Fight for your rights: Verse 29

Do:

Be generous. Verse 30,35

Be proactive: Verse 35

Why:

Because love for our enemies is what makes us resemble God.

The Gospel becomes compelling when our lives are compelling.

Be Blessed, Lynn

PS. The Kingdom Assignment stories are beginning to roll in. Click on the link in the sidebar to read and add your own.

*****

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Thankful Thursday - A Win for Marriage

I love being married.

I have written and supported biblical marriage here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for two and a half years. I believe in marriage. The union of marriage is the most intimate of relationships next to our relationship with Jesus.

Christ, Himself, demonstrates the value of the marriage relationship as he calls the church His Bride.

It is within this life-long commitment that we develop Godly attributes such as selflessness and humility. We uncover what it means to love our spouse with our whole heart including warts, farts, bad breath, and love handles. We conceive and raise kids to know the God of the Universe and to pass on a legacy of hope in the unfailing love of Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for marriage. I am thankful that yesterday in my home state of California, Proposition 8, defining marriage between a man and a woman passed. It narrowly passed but IT PASSED!

Marriage and family as we have know it to be for millennia is destined for challenge again and again in the future until the battle weary can no longer muster the votes to defend it. But...

For today, Marriage Wins! We Win! Our Kids Win!

God Reigns!

I am thankful..... so very thankful. Be Blessed, Lynn

For more Thankful Thursday blessings, visit Iris at Grace Alone.

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I was a Kingdom Assignment

788824_dollar_bill Little did Lynn know that a kingdom assignment was already brewing back in May. A dear friend of mine found a lost treasure in a parking lot—a wad of money. She let the store know she'd found something valuable and left her phone number to call if anyone came forward. One phone call would gladly bring her and the treasure back to its rightful owner. She went to the police, but they basically told her there was nothing they could do. So she prayed for the owner to come forward and continued to pray for their loss all summer long.

One night at the hospital, she came to visit us. She handed me an envelope with this wonderful letter telling me how she'd found this literal "manna from heaven" on the ground. And how God led her and her family to give it to us. I was so amazed to hear the story and shocked when I opened the envelope!

God is so good. I couldn't imagine why he wanted us to have it, but I trusted him to know best. And since it was his money, truly, I wanted to tithe 10% back.

Then I got Lynn's letter and my dollar bill. I prayed about what I could possibly do right now with that dollar. I remembered that tithe I had ready to give to my church, and then thought I could take it and add to my kingdom dollar since I technically didn't earn it and felt free to use it elsewhere.

So off my little envelope went today to a friend in need, a check and that dollar. Yep, I "passed the buck," so to speak. (Now how could I resist using that one?) She can keep it or pass it on to another person as God leads her.

The joy of this is knowing that through a blessing I could bless another—the whole point of why we are here! God blesses us so that we may be a blessing to others. He never intended us to keep it all to ourselves. He even asks us to share our struggles so that others can share those blessings with us and share in that comfort—what I and my family have recently experienced in abundance.

We are all part of God's Kingdom. And His Kingdom is within us all.

"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." — spoken by Jesus in Luke 17: 20-21

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Marriage Monday -

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

 

It is Marriage Monday and e-Mom over at Chrysalis has invited several of us bloggers to hostess this monthly event. This Monday Robyn at Overflowing Grace is our hostess. My turn is February and my topic is going to be fun. The Surprise of Christian Marriage. Can’t wait. Today our topic is. The GRACE of Christian marriage.

Decorative clip art

The time changed last night. The sky was dusky as my husband shrugged on his sweatshirt. I zipped up my jacket and we stepped out into the cool air.

Finally, fall. Fallleaves

Mmmmmm, my favorite time of year. Leaves tumbled down the street and my little dog pulled against his collar in an attempt to chase one. My husband took my hand and we walked.

Our afternoon dog walks are a peaceful time of togetherness. We often talk about mundane stuff in our marriage. We laugh at our goofy dog that wants to play fetch but looses interest instantly by some offensive but interesting smell in the grass. We spend time together just talking and walking.

Holding his hand I said, “Honey, What is grace?”

He paused, “I am not sure I know.” I waited and watched him process his answer. “I guess it would be forgiveness, understanding, kindness.” He looked at me while the dog ran on ahead.

“Do we have that in our marriage?”

“Yes, I think we do.”

I grasped his hand tighter and felt warm inside. I smiled up at his face, “I think we do too.”

God’s grace, His unmerited favor, is everywhere in our home. I see His grace in the mundane, the spectacular, and the love in my husband’s eyes. We have grace in our unequally yoked marriage, God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed, Lynn

Today join all of us at Robyn’s place for some great posts about grace in our marriages.

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Weekend Devotion—Resolving Conflict (Part 3)

Welcome to week three of a three part series from Purpose Driven Life, Daily Devotional about resolving conflicts with your spouse. Have a blessed weekend and enjoy your spouse!
Praying and believing,
Dineen

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How to Resolve Conflict with Your Spouse (Part 3)
by Rick Warren

Wisdom … is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others …
James 3:17 (LB)

If you’re going to pull together when you’re pulled apart, you have to:

Concentrate on reconciliation, not resolution. Reconciliation means to re-establish the relationship; resolution means to resolve every issue by coming to agreement on everything.

That’s simply not going to happen. I don’t care if you both love the Lord and are both deeply in love with each other, there are some things you’ll never agree on because God has wired each of us differently.

But you can disagree without being disagreeable. That’s called wisdom. The Bible says in James 3, “Wisdom … is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and it is willing to yield to others.”

The Bible says it’s wise to compromise. You can have unity without uniformity. You can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye. You can have reconciliation without resolution of every issue.

Some of you are worn out from the conflict in your marriage. You want to throw in the towel. Don’t do it! It is more rewarding to resolve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship.

Let me close with a couple of suggestions:

1. Get help. Many marriages are miserable, and they go year after year with the same old problems because the couple doesn’t seek professional help. Don’t go to just anybody; get a godly counselor who bases his/her practice on God’s Word.

2. Let God help. The other thing you need to do is get help from God. You can’t do this on your own. I’ve seen these steps work, but you need Christ’s power to work them.

Many marriage conflicts could be solved overnight if both the husband and wife would kneel before Jesus and say, “We humble ourselves and humbly ask you to make this thing work. We submit our egos to you and our hurts to you. Jesus, do what only you can do.”

© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.

(Dineen here. Just wanted to inject a thought here. For the unequally yoked, we know the above suggestion of both spouses kneeling before Jesus isn't a choice we have (for now...), but we can ourselves take such a position of humility for the sake of our marriages. Our unbelieving spouse may not see or understand, but God does. And in this humble position, God can do his best work.)

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