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February 2009

24 entries from January 2009

Risk an Affair?

by: Amy Forbes I'm currently reading a book by Jerry B. Jenkins called "Hedges - loving your marriage enough to protect it". Having personally been in the position where I've had to step back from a friendship with a member of the opposite sex I found this book to be easy to read, intriguing and convicting with simple examples and ideas to help me to step back. The first chapter discusses two couples. The husband (John) of the first marriage works with the wife (Sue) in the second marriage. All four are friends but when John and Sue are away on a business conference they make the step to take things a step further and end up committing adultery. The author likens this to the bible story of David and Bathsheba (who was married to Uriah): While David's army was away at war he stayed in Jerusalem. One night when... Read more →

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Stories for my Grandchildren

I began reading my daily Bible in 1998. That was the beginning of my restoration and healing. I have read through this Bible every year since. This morning, January 30th, I found myself in the story of Moses and Pharaoh. Exodus 10: 1-12. These words were underlined in the first verse. The the Lord said to Moses, "Return to Pharaoh and again make your demands. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can continue to display my power by performing miraculous signs among them." Look at this photo. Can you see the writing? I scribbled a note above this verse as a prayer to the Lord. I often write in my Bible. It says, "Lord do this for my husband." I wrote '00 for the year 2000. Well, I am certain I wasn't praying, asking the Lord to make my husband stubborn. He already was there. I... Read more →

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The Call to Fight

In my journey through the Bible, God’s showing me a constant thread of struggle and perseverance. From Jacob to Joseph to Moses and the Israelites. In Genesis 32, Jacob is faced with a potential disaster. His brother Esau is coming with 400 men, and Jacob fears the worst. He even prepares for the confrontation by dividing his people and possessions into two camps. In verses 9-12 he revisits God’s promise of prosperity. Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I... Read more →

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The Chronicles - What Will this Wacky Family do next?

I am sitting in my office at 3:07 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Less than five hours ago I was headed down the home stretch to the finish line of the Carlsbad Half Marathon. Tada! I did it. I ran 13 miles along the ocean with 8 to 10 thousand of my closest friends. Runners are a strange lot. I still can't figure out why I think this is fun.... Okay, I can barely move and my knee is throbbing but I DID IT. What amazes me further, I ran the entire way except to suck down water at each and every water station. Although, around mile ten I was tempted to call an ambulance. I hated mile eleven and thought I would surely die through mile twelve. Have mercy! My muscles are sore and I am a bit whinny so my family is constantly reminding me today that THIS WAS... Read more →

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Covetousness is a Mirage - Weekend Devotion

By Amy Forbes I've been going through a period of unsettlement over the last few months. Too many times I've been unhappy with my marriage, unhappy with who I married and just generally unhappy with my life. My friends are better off financially and their relationships seem to be without problems but I was looking at what was going on from an outside perspective. I was so busy looking at what they had and wishing I had the same that I was failing to pay attention to what I did have. I can't count the number of times I whined to God "Why me God, why do I have to be stuck here when I want to be somewhere else?” I pointed and pointed the finger at my husband "He's the one with the problem God, he's done this and he's done that....look what he just did, it's not fair."... Read more →

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Do you Have an Answer for the Hope You Have?

What Jersey are you wearing? You know I am anxious to get rolling about this "Big" subject, defending our faith. You know, this subject is really about our identity in Christ. It is about courage, and how our faith grows over the years through study and real-life practice. I have been storing up words and thoughts since December to encourage you and help you navigate sharing your faith or at least standing confident in the truth. This is especially a sensitive area when answering the hard questions our spouse will ask. Sometimes, however, I think as believers we could be better prepared to answer the questions about our beliefs. Because I was married to an agnostic for so many years, I know they need and honestly want answers that we are ill prepared to supply. Let me be specific. Most of us learn our faith from our churches. Our Bibles,... Read more →

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Thankful Thursday - It's A Girl!

I can't begin to thank all of you for your encouragement and prayers for my husband's salvation and his search for new employment. Overwhelmed, just doesn't cover it. But today I want to share another special person with you. I rarely talk about her because my writing focus is marriage relationships but she is a gift from God, my daughter, Caitie. She is thirteen going on twenty-eight, if you know what I mean and she has got the "Mom, I can't believe you said that" eye-roll down to an art form. But, she is a delight to my world. And a princess to her Daddy. My daughter plays the flute in her Middle School band. This past week she moved up to second chair-flutist. She is now planning to tackle the number one chair, Annie, who has managed to cling to that spot the entire year. She plays beautifully and... Read more →

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God’s Umbrella

One morning an interesting thought struck me. All our trials and sufferings fall under the umbrella of God’s protection, but beneath that covering they diverge into two areas: consequences and circumstances. Consequences are the result of our poor choices. Sometime we just make mistakes. It’s inevitable. Sometimes God allows us to experience them in order to learn from our mistake so that we can make better choices next time. We don’t like being in this place, but we learn and grow. And our character is strengthened. Circumstances describes those events that upon first glance seem to come out of the blue and can even seem unfair (think of Job). We did not cause the difficult situation by making poor choices and we have little to no control over it. They just happen. God allows these times to mold us, to teach us vital understanding, emotions, and spiritual lessons, which He... Read more →

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Chronicles of The Donovan Clan

Friday was my husband’s last day on the job. It all began when I was finally able to pray earnestly “The” Dangerous Prayer, Lord, do whatever it takes to save my husband. Scroll down or click here to read Friday’s Post or click here to read the dangerous prayer that I prayed two years ago. Friday I shared some fantastic events. God reached out to assure me that He was in this trial. He wants me to pray and not worry. So many scriptures rush to my head as I am now walking this very real path. The years of Bible reading and writing the verses upon my heart have reach maturity. It is a profound time to realize all the preparation God has done to enable me to walk confidently down this road without a pit of fear in my stomach. This is what God is doing in me... Read more →

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Team Marriage - Weekend Devotion

He doesn't notice her new sweater, says nothing about dinner, and turns the television on as soon as dishes are done. She wants to throw something at him to induce his attention. Instead, she produces his smile as she plops herself on the couch next to him, remembering an important fact. He is on the same team. Because she asks him to, he stops at the grocery store on the way home. Often he is in a hurry when she calls and he doesn't write down her list. She knows he's done it again as she unpacks the bag, missing one item. She starts muttering under her breath, getting ready to chastise him for his inability to get a simple job done right until she is forgetting too. He is on her team. She disagrees with him and secretly rolls her eyes at his suggestions. Resentment and anger try to... Read more →

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

After 17 years, today is my husband's last day on the job. Gulp! We are one of the families who are joining the ranks of the unemployed. But, Girls and guys, don't worry about us. So much is happening. Many of you know that I am a contributor to the devotion site, Laced With Grace. On February 2, 2007, I wrote a devotion titled, Dangerous Prayers. That was the day! On that date God set in motion the events that have led us to this very day. I knew as I typed those words almost two years ago that our path to answer this dangerous prayer would be about finances. I just knew. We have known for the last two months about my husband's employment. And my friends, this knowledge, has indeed had an affect on my man. Extreme challenges tend to drive men to or away from God. Girls... Read more →

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Thankful Thursday

Where does the time go? I usually have my Thankful post up at least 12 hours earlier than this. Too many things cooking on the burner this week. Have mercy! But, it is all good. In fact, I have so much to tell you about the Donovan Clan! Our Lord is so faithful. I have some astounding stories to share and they happened all in one week. ‘Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”’ ~ Mark 10:27 (ESV) Iris, perfect, PERFECT scripture verse for today! I will interrupt my new series tomorrow, What Jersey Are You Wearing, to expand on this scripture and to tell you about our great God, His amazing plans, His work in my life (and others - hint), and how God is a God of provision. Stop back! Today, I give... Read more →

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God's Promises: Abraham Believed

The best way I know of getting closer to God and getting to know him better is to read God’s Word daily. Abraham came to know the God of Israel well enough to be called “friend.” This year I’m returning to reading the Bible in a year* to glean more nuggets about God and to know him better. I’m already finding myself journaling about what the Holy Spirit reveals and would love to share those with you. Here’s what I gleaned this past week: Genesis 22 tells the story of Abraham called to sacrifice his son, Isaac. In verse 5, Abraham tells the servants to wait. “We will worship and then we will come back to you” (emphasis mine). Abraham is portrayed as a man of great faith and a friend of God. Either he was lying to conceal what he intended to do, preventing the servants from interfering and... Read more →

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What Jersey are you Wearing?

1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. Okay, the Chargers lost yesterday. (Queue theme song: So You Had a Bad Day) Sigh! Our poor Southern California boys just didn't know what to do with the snow and cold of Pittsburgh. (This is my defense and I am sticking to it) Most of you know I live an hour away from San Diego. So by default, I am a fair-weather fan. However, my true loyalties lie with my beloved Denver Broncos. Don't even go there! I know how terrible they were this year. However, for me each year I am always hopeful. No matter what happens I watch the games with fingers crossed praying for a playoff berth. Sigh! Queue theme song again. All my neighbors know I am a fan. I hang blue... Read more →

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Weekend Devotion — Isaiah 58

This past week, 1Peter 3 and many readers here have spent a week fasting for our loves ones. It's been a very powerful and promising week for many of us. New things have been revealed and promises reinforced. God is so faithful and good. This weekend is truly a celebration of our God who is so personal and intimate in his love for us that I am just overwhelmed by it! He's so tender! To close our week, I'd like to encourage you to read Isaiah 58 next time you fast. It's an amazing piece of Scripture that I've seen God use in amazing ways in my life and the life of others. These two verses in particular hold special meaning to me. God used them in my life to show his presence and give reassurance during a critical time in my life several years ago. I pray they bless... Read more →

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Time To Celebrate

Our prayer focus today is our relationship with our spouse. That's all! Pray however the Lord leads. This is has been an amazing adventure. The Lord looked down and saw our efforts to humble ourselves and pray like Daniel. The Lord is well pleased and our words did not fall upon deaf ears. I am convinced our prayers Rocked the heavens. I am convinced Satan is trembling with fear. I am convinced that salvation is at hand! There is something special waiting for every one of us and I am glad, glad, glad that we did this together. The fast officially ends at whatever time your next meal is for those who have given up lunch or breakfast, and at midnight for those who have given up dinner. Break with something good! Worship Him, Praise Him, Thank Him, Adore Him. Please share your experience. Tell me what the Lord has... Read more →

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Thankful for Prayer and Fasting!
Day Five

I missed last week's Thankful Thursday so I am so glad to be back this week. Some of you know that the readers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and the gang at 1Peter3Living have been fasting the evening meal every night this week. Already, God has done amazing things. I invite you to fast tomorrow with us. If you scroll down you can read about our fasting efforts, how to fast effectively and why we are fasting this first full week of the year. This Thursday I am thankful for God prompting me to fast and pray. I have been so close to the throne room I absolutely felt as if I was sitting in the lap of the Lord as I spoke with Him. I am thankful for experiencing the presence of the Lord in a powerful way. It is my hope that in the months ahead I can... Read more →

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Day Four: Perseverance, Persistence, and Peskiness

One of the hardest aspects of praying long term is perseverance. Especially in today's society of immediate results, our patience muscle is sorely lacking exercise. Our food, our clothing, our shopping, our work—everything is structured to be quick and easy. You can even watch your favorite TV shows on one site condensed to about five minute clips. Cliff notes for TV. Who would have thought? Well, persevering in prayer isn't easy. It takes constant commitment and recommitment. And the key to praying long term for our unbelieving loved ones is persistence. Even to the point of peskiness, if need be. Most of the parables have an underlying theme of perseverance, persistence, and even peskiness in some cases. (Check out Luke 18 for the parable of the persistent widow.) Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine... Read more →

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Day Three: Believing Like Abraham

Welcome to day three of our week of fasting and prayer. I know many of you have joined us in praying and even fasting for your spouses. I'd like to encourage you to continue, in whatever form God is leading you, to keep your vigil going. For the sake of simplicity for my family as we continue through the final stages of my daughter's treatment (and she's doing great, praise God!), I chose to fast through my first meal of the day and devote my morning quiet time to seeking God's will for this next year. The emphasis of course is for my sweet hubby, who seems even more set in his atheism than ever. My faith choices have even come under more scrutiny of late. So, I'd like to share some of what God is showing me through this time of fasting to encourage you to keep going, and... Read more →

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Day Two

Tonight as we fast through the evening meal, let's bring our prayers to our spouse. I know many of us are facing financial hardship this very hour. So, tonight let's pray for financial wisdom. Ask the Lord to be very clear with you and your spouse when it comes to spending money. More importantly, let's ask the Lord what things we need to surrender. Pray for our spouses to have discernment and the ability to make hard decisions. Pray the Lord guides our spouses concerning finances. Ask for protection from deception and all evil regarding money and spending. Seek the Lord to discover what are only wants and what are true needs. Look up scriptures regarding money. The Bible speaks a great deal about finances. Let the Lord lead our discovery. Side note: Yesterday I found fasting through the evening and through the night less difficult than expected. I was... Read more →

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I am Fasting at the foot of the Throne

It is 7:05 pm. I am only an hour into our first night of fasting and already so much has happened. Through unusual circumstances our Great God has worked it out that I am home alone. I have been playing praise music - loudly - and I just found myself in the most unusual place. Somehow the music was cranked to ear splitting and Paul Bouche was belting out Our God Saves. When the song was over I opened my eyes and found myself on my knees in my hall where my tiny office resides with my hands in the air and my little dog staring at me eye to eye. The Lord's presence is so real and powerful right now I literally feel I am at the foot of the throne. Oh I pray everyone of you will fast at least once this week and find yourself this close... Read more →

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What Is Fasting?

By: Pastor, Rick Warren

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. Jesus expected His followers to fast, and He said that God rewards fasting. Fasting, according to the Bible, means to voluntarily reduce or eliminate your intake of food for a specific time and purpose. “When you give up eating, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They make their faces look sad to show people they are giving up eating. I tell you the truth, those hypocrites already have their full reward. So when you give up eating, comb your hair and wash your face. Then people will not know that you are giving up eating, but your Father, whom you cannot see, will see you. Your Father sees what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18 (NCV) WHY FAST? There are many good reasons, and even health benefits, for fasting. We give... Read more →

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Searching for Satisfaction

Where do you look to satisfy your emotional longing for affirmation, love and acceptance? We’re told that nature abhors a vacuum. Our human nature hates emptiness. So, what do you do? If your day goes well and your husband tells you he loves you and your children are obedient; great. But what if… the car won’t start or your child’s teacher calls to inform you about his disruptive behavior or your husband insists he doesn’t want to hear about the sermon you know he needs to hear? When the people in your life aren’t meeting your expectations and you feel emotionally empty; what do you do?What is your preference? · Food · Shopping · Romance novels · Keeping a perfect home · Accumulating material possessions · Social status · Career Do you place high expectations on your husband, children or friends to meet your needs? But is it really fair... Read more →

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Who Do You Want to Come to Faith in 2009?

It's a new year.... a new beginning. The Lord has granted each of us another 12 months. Every January excitement exudes from my spirit. I am expectant about what the year will bring. Every year the Lord is faithful to change me. He molds my character through challenges, struggles, and opportunities to watch Him work in my life. The journey is always an adventure and never boring. To start the year differently Dineen and I, along with the gang at 1Peter3Living, will corporately fast and pray for a week. Beginning Sunday, January 4th we plan to fast the evening meal or at least one meal a day and use that time for concentrated prayer for our future, for our spouses, and others who are in need of Jesus in their lives. We will fast at least one meal each day through Friday, January 9th. Join us. If you have never... Read more →

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