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20 entries from March 2010

Thankful Thursday - The Resurrection and Passover

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

I am thrilled to be hosting Thankful Thursday in April. I have been crazy busy and plan to jump back into blogging this month and earnestly look forward to visiting all of you are reading your praises. Next month we will meet with Laurie at Women Taking A Stand and then in June we will share our thanks over at Iris of Grace Alone.

As I prepare this post it's Wednesday. The middle of the Holy Week. Also, the observance of Passover coincides with the week leading up to Easter. It would have been on a Wednesday that Jesus and his disciples sat for a Seder meal.

I became quite curious about the Jewish traditions of Passover and began chatting with a friend, Kathryn, who describes herself as a Christian with a heart for unity between Jews and Gentiles, who provided me with insight into the ancient customs. After speaking to her, I decided I wanted to experience some of the traditions and how they point to Christ with my small group from church. So I did. You can see the photos below (Thanks Tanya for grabbing my camera and firing off a few photos).

The following is from Kathryn:

I'm so glad you are blessed by this! That would be very meaningful to share the matza and juice with your group. 

Because the seder has always been done in the same order (the word seder means order), we can know at what point Jesus did what. 

For example, before the seder begins, there is a ritual washing of hands. That's when Jesus washed his disciples' feet. 

It's overwhelming to me that Passover rituals that have been kept for millennia point to Jesus. He had it all in place before He came. Even the matza used for the seder is kept in a special linen with three compartments, and is called "echad" which means one. Three in one. Jews have no explanation for it. That's the way it's always been done. And why break the middle matza, wrap it in linen, hide it away, then redeem it and partake of it? Just tradition, they say. 

Jesus didn't bring a new meaning to Passover. 

It was about Him all along. 

It's always been about Him. 

If you're interested in knowing more, I recommend reading Christ in the Passover by Ceil and Moishe Rosen. You might also want to browse around my website at Precious Holidays. Hugs back, Kathy

It is true. I am overwhelmed as well and delighted to share this life changing week with my small group and now with you my friends who participate in Thankful Thursday. This week I give thanks for the Resurrection. It's always been about Him! AMEN!

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Peter Looked Away

932274_walking_in_the_beach One of the most famous stories we have of Peter is when he walked on water. I think I’ve read more commentaries and devotionals on the story than I can remember.

Well, bear with me as I add another one to the list, because a nuance of this story hit me afresh recently. Like I’ve said in the past, God brings multiple layers to everything in the Bible and symbolism is his strength. In fact, I think the Bible should be given credit for setting the precedent on symbolism.

Anyway, onward with Peter. If you’ve read the story, then you’re familiar with how Peter boldly (did he do things any other way?) stepped out of the boat when Jesus told him to come to Him. I might add as well, that Peter is the one who asked to go to Jesus first. Gotta love this guy’s moxy.

So Peter steps onto the water and everything’s going fine until the wind caught his attention. Imagine if you will, that you’re Peter, and you’re not just talking the talk, you’re walking the walk! You’ve got the groove of life working for you and have figured out how to stay upright.

Then a gust comes a long and unsettles your momentum. Suddenly that walk isn’t so smooth anymore. The storms of life have hit you full force and the waves are taking you down. Shakey finances, a bad health report, a failing marriage…

Where are your eyes? Where’s your focus?

Let’s go back to Peter, specifically the first part of verse 30:

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!” — Matthew 14:29-30.

Where were Peter’s eyes? He was doing fine as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. He stayed above water. But the minute the wind took his focus off Jesus, he grew fearful and started sinking down fast, about to drown.

I’ve read this story so many times but only now appreciate the depth of the imagery here. Our lives can be pretty tough in this world. Add the element of being spiritually mismatched and on the front lines of spiritual warfare, and life can seem unbearable at times. But like Peter, we can walk on those troubled waters of life as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus. Plus, when we start to sink, we can cry out to Jesus to save us.

So next time the waters of life are threatening to pull you under, call out to Jesus. Then keep your eyes on Him and start walking in confidence!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*Photo by Marcos Santos

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Passover - me, Easter Blues!

I started thinking about this thing….. “The Easter Blues.” Scroll down to read the article by Dineen. 

It has been a long while since I have thought about how difficult this holiday is and how I struggle in a mismatched marriage to bring meaning and celebration into our home. But, as I was pondering and praying over my marriage, and Easter Sunday, and the week leading up to the most profound event in history, the Lord placed a very old memory before me. Whoa! God has a way of doing that. 

I was young, before my prodigal days. It was an early morning and I opened the front door of my home and found this: 

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A tiny Easter basket. 

I have saved this simple basket now for almost 30 years. It is precious to me. It arrived on an Easter morning just for me. The card reads: 

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At that time in my young life, I was indeed seeking to know God’s will. Little did I know the enemy was plotting to take me down the prodigal path and he did so shortly after. However, on this particular day I slowly bent down, picked up the basket and marveled. I felt like the most love girl on the entire planet. 

Jesus sent me a personal message on Easter morning. 

I had no idea who left the basket for me. I don’t remember if there was anything in it besides the simple cross. But, I will never forget how special it made me feel. Strong feelings well up in me still today when I take this little basket out of the closet and read that card. 

I called my mother that morning long ago, “Mom, it was you wasn’t it? You left this basket for me didn’t you?” I just knew she would admit it when I pinned her down. My mom is like that. 

“No, I didn’t. I don’t know who did.”  

I was perplexed. I never found out who put forth this effort to love me on that Easter morning so long ago, but I will never forget it. 

It was Jesus. 

So why am I telling you this story? The Lord said to me, “Shake the Easter Blues by giving a basket to someone just like the one you received many years ago. Give it anonymously. Give it to one or two or even three people who absolutely would never expect it. Leave it on their front door and let Me love them.” 

Today is Monday. Easter week is upon us and we can make it extraordinary. You can do this with me. You can buy cheap supplies at any store. A simple basket, a candy egg if you want, and hand write a small card and attach it to the basket. On Saturday night, take your basket(s) and leave it at the front door of a neighbor, a church friend, or better yet, a complete stranger. 

Let the Lord love on someone this Easter and watch your Easter Blues disappear.

I have kept this cheap but priceless basket for years. It holds great meaning to me because someone made the effort and I felt loved by Jesus. And now, I hear the Lord calling, “Now, go and do likewise.” 

If you leave a basket on a door this week, please drop me a note here in the comments and say, “The Lord loved on someone this Easter.” Let’s celebrate the resurrection in a personal and profound way this year. 

Let’s let Jesus love on someone and I bet the Easter Blues will Passover. Hugs, Lynn

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Winning Him Without Words

As I prepare this post, Dineen and I (Lynn) are utterly humbled. All of you know we are just ordinary gals. Yet, we serve the most extraordinary God. Out of His rich kindness and desire to help others, God has allowed us to take our stories and put them into a book so we can encourage others who have been unable to find us here on the internet. 

Today, we are thrilled to share with you the cover artwork and title of our book, anticipated release date, early, 2011. Whww  

Winning Him Without Words ~Ten Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatch Marriage.

I can promise you that we prayed for every word poured into this book. I begged God to give us words. 

He gave. 

Dineen and I love our Editor, Kim Bangs. She saw our vision and has been the absolute best cheerleader from the start. The team at Regal Books rocks and God purposely placed us together. Their passion is to transform lives through the power of Jesus Christ. This is our passion as well.  

We are so excited to share the content with you. Much of the writing is fresh and I share stories in the book I haven’t written about here at SUM. The book also offers study questions. Real questions that deal with the real issues we face. 

So today, Dineen and I thank you for helping us make this book happen. Your words, wisdom, and encouragement are part of this book as well. Thank you to all of you who contributed and prayed for us to see the process through. 

Finally, may the Lord, Almighty, His Son, and Spirit be honored in the pages of this book. It is our love offering to Him and to you. Hugs, Lynn and Dineen.

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Easter Blues

1268385_easter_eggs__3 Holidays can stir up turmoil in any marriage, but “religious” holidays can bring about huge conflict in a spiritual mismatch. Of all the holidays throughout the year, I think Easter is the most awkward for my household. When my girls were little, we focused on Easter baskets and spending the morning together as a family. I worked around missing the Easter service by attending the Good Friday service with my daughters in tow.

But as they’ve have gotten older (20 and 16), Easter’s become less of an event and resembles most other Sundays. This breaks my heart because I know this is the whole reason we have to celebrate life! A saved life!

My oldest daughter has her own church now so she goes her own way. My youngest will most likely go with me if nothing else winds up planned. I guess the good side is that I’ve been able to go to Easter services the last couple years, but I find the day still falls kind of flat in meaning.

This year I’d like to prepare a little better and go into Easter with a plan, so I need your help. Do you struggle with Easter in your family? Got any ideas for this sister in Christ who has a touch of the Easter blues? What have you found that works for you and your family?

And thank you so much for sharing and helping me out! I’m really at a loss this year.
Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Donna's Story -- Get Ready to Applaud Jesus!

I am constantly inspired and amazed by all of you who stop by here to read. The men and women who visit us here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage have some of the most fantastic testimonies. You live out your faith under circumstances that, for me, seem utterly impossible. But, like me, you greatly desire to honor Jesus within your marriage and through your lives.

Last week I asked all of you to share your conversion stories. I wasn't sure how this might sit and I wondered if anyone would share. God placed it on the hearts of several to honor Him through the sharing of your lives. I was blown away. (To read all the stories, scroll down.) But before you do, I want to share Donna's story with you today. I am humbled and so thankful Donna took time to encourage all of us through the sharing of her life. I love you Donna. Thank you. And, thank you everyone who shared your story. I had tears in my eyes as I read each one. Hugs, Lynn

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Donna: I was raised in home filled with anger. Although I was forced to attend Sunday school in Methodist Church...I never once heard the "Gospel" or the words "born again" uttered! My father forced us to attend w/our mother but he never went..Talk about confused!


My mother's sister & her husband were Pentecostal Pastors that lived 4hrs north My sister & I would visit for 2wks in the summer. We both went forward during a Sunday night service and accepted Jesus as our Savior. She was 10y, I was 9yrs. I knew something new had happened to me..but when we returned home, we were never taught and we were "stifled". My sister & I both walked onward into a life far from GOD..but HE never left us! FAST FORWARD 30yrs!

The LORD moved my family 1500miles south and then one night 9mos after our move to FL..the LORD spoke to me on my outside Lanai! I was actually angry, confused about life..and i was smoking a cigarette and holding a glass of wine.. and I held them both up toward the night sky...and hollered at God! I said ..."Are you even REAL God?...Are you even there?!!!"

Well, to my utter astonishment and amazement, He answered me! lol He spoke very tenderly, yet firmly ..2 Words!

"I AM" !!!!

Ladies!... I couldn't believe GOD actually was speaking to me! It was not audible...but it was so loud in my mind, heart and inner spirit.. i almost fell down!

I continued to "meet with GOD" on my Lanai very late at night..when the family was sleeping..and HE continued to speak to me.. He actually spoke to me gently, yet firmly and very "scripturally"...thought I didn't know it because I had never read a bible.

The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY spoke to me and told me I had to give up living my way of living & seek HIM and that I would not be able to do it without JESUS! He also added one thing at the end.. He told me I was going to be "persecuted"... but I did not know or understand what HE actually meant by that last comment.. I was so excited that HE was actually talking to me and I was so intent on knowing that I was going to listen...the last part about "persecution" just didn't mean much.

I was 40yrs old when the LORD brought me out the wilderness! What a glorious year!

When I initially told my husband that GOD was talking to me on the Lanai at night.. he only had one response... "you need to lay off the Beringers (wine) lol

It wasn't until I mentioned to Dave the Name of "JESUS" that he became enraged...you see my husband is Jewish.(not practicing) I never knew how little I actually "knew" my husband until I uttered my Savior's name.. I was astonished & somewhat frightened.

From that time on a "wall" became erected in my husband's heart toward me...and things have never been the same. There has been division ever since..that was 7yrs ago.

I have not seen his family in 7yrs..Only one sister has ever contacted him while visiting in FL and I have seen her..she & her husband inquired about my belief so I was able to witness & give my testimony.

All of my daughters have accepted Christ Jesus as their Savior, as well as my niece.
My mother has re-dedicated her life to Christ as well....The LORD is on the move in my family!

This has been one of the hardest places i've ever been in my life, being yoked w/a husband who struggles with my faith, but at the same time.. the most amazing testimony of God's grace, love and mercy.... ALL of which HE is teaching me to extend to my confused, strongwilled husband.

I am believing GOD that my husband actually does know that Jesus is the Messiah..he is struggling with the rejection he has seen come upon me and he fears his family's persecution.

By the way...GOD delivered me from my smoking addiction of 25yrs..as well as from desiring any consumption of alcohol in any form.. All in one week back when HE first spoke to me!!!!! That alone threw my husband into fury..He was glad about the deliverance from smoking...but not from abstaining from drinking wine!

Anyway.. I pray this bring glory to my LORD & Savior and King of Kings!

Blessings to you all!
In His grace & service,
Donna

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Weekend Devo — Holy

55446_catch_the_light  O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit. Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. — Psalm 30:3-4 

God of wonders beyond our galaxy 
You are Holy, Holy
The universe declares your Majesty
And you are holy holy
(song—God of Wonders) 

One of my favorite descriptive words for God is holy. The word contains such a reverence for our Lord and Savior. Whether I speak or sing it, the word holy resonates with deep within my spirit.

How about you? What words do you associate with God? Make a list or sing them in your heart and mind. Our God deserves all our praise for He is mighty indeed and mighty to save! 

 Praying and believing,
 Dineen

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It's Time

You know it occurred to me that so many of you have not shared with me your story. And, I find that as we lead up to Easter, NOW our time to give Jesus honor and glory for all He has done in our lives.

So, I have two questions. Share with me your salvation experience. Honor Jesus by posting your story here online. Second, when was it that you realized you were unequally yoked and the implications there of? 

Most of you know my story. I am a prodigal child. Oh, how I wish I never left the path toward righteousness but alas, I did. I suffered much because of that choice and unfortunately many others suffered as well. But, the Lord Jesus is faithful and He waits even for stubborn, blonde, idiotic, girls like me.

TOADY, honor Jesus. Leave your story below and let the world and the angels rejoice in your testimony. Can't wait to read them. Hugs and may this Easter be more profound in your life than any other before. Hugs, Lynn

Three-crosses

 

 

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Thankful Thursday - Dirt

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

In this beautiful month of early spring we are gathering to give thanks at Laurie's place, Women Taking A Stand. Find Thankful Thursday here in April and back to Grace Alone, with Iris in the lovely month of May.

This is one of my sweetest joys in life. My garden. I added a new box, changed the path way, added a white picket fence. This year I planted new stuff like, red potatoes and Yukon Golds, red onions and lettuce.

I also have tomatoes, yellow peppers, zucchini, pumpkins, corn and some others I can't remember right now. I am so very thankful for my garden.

Have a blessed Thursday. Hugs, Lynn

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A Life That Speaks

Surrender Recently we sang the song “Blessed Be His Name” in my church. As in the story of Job, one part of the song conveys the words that God gives and takes away. I have to admit this part always bothered me. It always seemed so harsh to me that God took away Job’s family and home, that God takes away anything good.

But as I grow closer to Him, I’m realizing that often what we cling to as good isn’t God’s best. (I’m not referring to Job here.) I’ve also learned that anytime God removes something from my life, even if it’s something that seems good, it’s for my best or for a greater good.

Unfortunately, the idea of giving something up for a greater good doesn’t fly well in today’s philosophy of pursuing happiness. The idea of sacrificing something for someone we love is considered repugnant when it means we can’t have what we want too.

Ironically, the very act of sacrificial love brings more satisfaction and fulfillment because we’re ultimately serving God, not ourselves. But it’s not easy. Especially in our mismatched marriages, it can be downright painful. Those are the times that try our faith and make it the most difficult to keep our eyes on God and trust him in our situation and circumstances.

But like Job, those are the times that call us to stand the strongest in our faith and hold on to God for dear life. What I want to tell you is that God is faithful. He will reward those times, as he did Job who lost so much but wound up with even more than we he had to start with.

The key is in trusting God completely and knowing that he only desires what’s best in our lives. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, comfortable, or even rewarding at first. But I’ve found over time, that these are also the times that bring growth, change and miracles.

I think living a surrendered life is our greatest challenge in life and in our mismatched marriages, but that’s the life that speaks the loudest of God’s presence.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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An Anniversary; So Happy, So Melancholy

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Take a look at these. I don’t think I have received red roses in a very long time. 12 perfect blooms. 

As I am writing this it is Sunday evening and we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary today. We went out to dinner last night and toasted our life together. My husband told me how very happy he is with his life with me, his zany wife and how I make him laugh and am a great wife and mother. 

I have such a great guy so please don’t think terrible of me but, today, Sunday, I still went to church alone. I had one of THOSE moments where I spotted another young couple seated in the worship center, holding hands while raising hands in worship. For a tiny moment I said, “God, I want that so badly. What happened?” 

I am trying to understand all that transpired in the past year. My husband experienced God and answered prayer through our eleven-month unemployment. I am convinced he knows that God looked after us. Heknows He provided for us in amazing absolutely, miraculous ways and finally gave my man the perfect job. 

I came home from church. He met me at the door. Look intently into my eyes, which freaked me out. He never does this. Grabbed my face and kissed me soundly. “Happy Anniversary. I love you.” 

I am soooo happy and I am soooo melancholy. 

What I MUST remember is-- I have hope. I could not live without hope. So, after 18 years I will not give up. I remember stories like Cate, who left a comment here at SUM on Tuesday. Her story is enough to give all of us hope. I live in hope. I know that God could call me to live an entire lifetime married to an unbeliever. I would do it for Jesus because I know what really matters. It’s Jesus and our eternity. He is using my life living with an unbeliever to serve His purposes. Need I know more? 

I believe my Jesus will one day bring my unbeliever home. It may not be until our 25th wedding anniversary or longer but I will never give up hope. So for today, “Happy anniversary sweetie. I love you more every day.” 

I love because Christ first loved me. 

Be blessed, Lynn

Also, please hop over to Laced With Grace for Dineen's Devotion, Contemplating Peace and if you missed mine on Friday, God Loves Mylar Balloons, take a read. It is an amazing story of the supernatural.

Have a blessed week. Now take one minute and tell me why you have hope for your particular struggle. Hugs, Lynn

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Weekend Devo — Refinded by Our Spouse

When I first started reading this devotional by Rick Warren, my brain said, "Well, I'll read it, but this is for Christian couples." By the time I finished it, I knew I had to share it because it applies to our spiritually mismatched marriages as well.

Though our spouses may not share our faith, our marriage relationship is still a tool God will use to refine us—both husband AND wife. Don't fall into the enemy's lie of thinking  just because our spouse isn't a believer, God can't achieve his purposes in our lives and our marriages.

So read this devotional with that in mind, that God is working in our marriages to refine us, our spouses, and to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Biblical Marriage - Growing in Christ Together
by Rick Warren

I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you. John 13:15 (TEV)

Any successful marriage is built upon the biblical truth that God designed each of us with five purposes in mind: worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and missions.
You and your spouse were both created to become like Christ. God uses your spouse to build his values, attitudes, morals, and character within you. God uses your spouse, and your relationship with each other, to form you into an image of Jesus.

Once you understand this, a lot of what happens within your marriage will begin to make more sense. When you start to ask, "Why is this happening to me?" The answer is -- to make you more like Jesus!

If God's purpose for each of our lives is to make us look more like Jesus, what better tool could he use than the marriage relationship? Who better for God to use to chisel you than the person you live with seven days a week? God is using each of you to shape the other person more and more into the image of Jesus.

God's work within your marriage is designed to produce "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control" within you and your spouse. (Galatians 5:22-23, TEV)

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God Loves Mylar Balloons- Really

Our Lord loves balloons. Big shinny, Mylar balloons. He loves them so much that one day He just might send one just to you. I have two true stories to tell you and I can't wait until you receive yours.

Join me at Laced With grace for the rest of, God Loves Mylar Balloons. Be blessed, Lynn


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What's Your Favorite Scripture?

1122915_pray Dear friends, Lynn and I need your help! We want to put a chapter in this book that has all these wonderful Scriptures that we can pray for our unbelieving spouses, like a heavenly resource. Can you help us?

Would you tell us what Scripture you pray for your spouse? Do you put their name in as you pray? Here's an example of one I use frequently, and not just for my hubby:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you, NAME, with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, NAME, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you, NAME, may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.— Ephesians 3:14-19

I love praying this verse out loud and speaking my loved one's name right into it. Is there a verse or a piece of Scripture you pray for your lost loved ones? What does it meant to you personally to do this?

We'd love to have these contributions from our readers to encourage those who read it. Your heart speaking to theirs! Now that's 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 in its purist form, don't you think?

Thank you so much for your help. We couldn't do it without you! :-)

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Mismatched Marriages. Are they Holy?

1 Corinthians 7:14 (The Message) 12-14For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God. 

Couplehands I find this scripture brings me great comfort. The translation from The Message seems to help me get my mind around what the Lord is working out in our marriages. We often underestimate our power and purpose in our spiritually mismatch marriages. As the believer, God is alive and well and working in us and through us to influence the lives of our husband and children. 

Our marriage is brought under the Sovereign  Hand of our Lord. We make our marriage Holy. Let this scripture empower you today. We are meant to be a threat to the devil so put him on notice that this week your marriage will stand under the banner of the Most High. 

I love each of you. Thank you for spending a bit of your time with me today. Have a blessed week. Hugs, Lynn

PS. Take a second right now, call, text or email your spouse and say, "You are amazing. I am proud of you."

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Special Thanks!

Yesterday we received word that the Spiritually Unequal Marriage was one of ten blogs to receive the most nominations under the category of Gathered Together in Internet Café Devotions' Top 100 Blogs in 2009.

This is the second year in a row we've received this honor. That you, our readers, would consider us worthy AND take the time to nominate S.U.M. fills our hearts with such gratitude and disbelief. We never stop being amazed that God uses us to help others like this. We are mere women sharing our hearts with you, and you let us! :-)

So, thank you from the bottom, sides and tops of our hearts. We are so blessed to serve you in even the smallest way. What an honor and blessing to be able to bring encouragement to others. And to be encouraged by you!

Lord, we give you all the praise and glory for this blog and ministry. May we and our service be a sweet aroma to You! In Christ's precious name, amen!

Have a wonderfull weekend! We love you!

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan- The Cubs

One of the most challenging issues in a spiritually mismatched home is how to go about keeping peace in our marriage while raising our kids to know God. There are so many every day things we can do as the believing parent to influence our children toward faith in Christ. The scripture that springs to my mind is this: 

Deuteronomy 6:8 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 

Such amazing wisdom rests in these few sentences. Talk to your kids when you sit at home, or in the car, or when at a ball game, or when tucking them in bed. We may not tie scripture on our hands or foreheads but I have scripture on the walls of my kitchen. I have it hanging in a picture frame on the wall. Don’t even try to guess how many verses I have hanging, push pinned, or stuck in my bulletin board over my computer and around my office. 

As our kids get older, the time arrives when they will choose to follow or depart from the faith of their parent and choose to make it their own. A scary time indeed but today as I was talking to my mother on the phone she said, “Lynn, I always trusted in the scripture, Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. I prayed everyday asking the Lord to honor this promise. I told him, I’m doing the best I can to help them know you, so you draw them to you Lord.” 

I found this to become very real in my own life and now I see how the Lord is working this in my teen daughter’s life. At 14 years old, she started public high school here in California. Within the first few weeks at school, she was exposed to a friend who was on drugs, hit on by a girl, discovered the bizarre fashions of teenaged kids and she grew up very fast. 

I am so proud of her. She would tell me about all this stuff and I would ask her how she felt and what she did with each situation. I discovered she has a giant heart for her hurting fellow students. 

I want to shelter her and take her far away from public school but she is exactly where the Lord wants her. She is light, not perfect, but light in a strange world, which is vastly different now from how I grew up in public High School. 

But I have been worried of late about her faith becoming luke warm. I wish church started at three in the afternoon. That is about when she would like to go. However, it doesn’t and with her hectic schedule, she hasn’t been attending but sporadically. I knew she needed to read the Bible on her own. I encouraged her for months, but…. 

She didn’t. I purchased a teen Bible from the bookstore, “Mom, this Bible is ugly and boyish looking.” I returned it after is sat unused for a month. 

I DID NOT GIVE UP. 

Imported Photos 00007 I ordered a girly Bible from Christianbook.com and behold, it arrived this week, and she has read it every evening since it arrive. Go figure. 

It needed to have some pink. 

“Mom, where are the stories?’ 

“Start with the book of John” 

“Mom, what is a Centurion?” 

“A Roman soldier.” 

“Mom, why is it kinda sing songy in this part?” 

“Because it is likely a song. There are many songs in God’s word.” 

“Mom, give me the back story, who are the Pharisees?” 

Such great questions. To talk about my favorite book with my baby girl, is a joy that fills my heart. I don’t force my faith on my girl, just as forcing my faith on my husband doesn’t work. But, I pray every day for them both and I seize the moment to share when they arrive. 

So seize the moment, never stop praying, and cling to the promises in God’s Word. He will not fail you or your kids. As this passage says, when they are old they will not turn from it. They may not return until they are 50, 60, 70 years old, but trust our Lord to work it out. 

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Thankful Thursday - Spring is Sprung

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

In this beautiful month of early spring we are gathering to give thanks at Laurie's place, Women Taking A Stand. Find Thankful Thursday here in April and back to Grace Alone, with Iris in the lovely month of May.

Need I say more of the Glory of our Great God! I praise Him and give thanks for the beauty of His creation. Happy TT, Hugs, Lynn

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Periwinkle in my back yard

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Sunshine on a stick

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I have no idea what this is but an entire bush full of flowers. Neat.

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Apple blossoms

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Lily

Matthew 6:28 And why do you worry about clothes? 

See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Who’s in the Lead?

1215912_paper_chain_in_the_dark We’ve talked here at S.U.M. a lot about being the spiritual leaders in our families since our unbelieving husbands can’t be. At least not yet, right?

Well, I’ve recently learned a lesson about myself in this area. I think early on I took this to mean that since my hubby wasn’t a believer, I couldn’t trust him to lead our family at all. That and the control freak that took early residence in me from a young age out of necessity deemed it important that I stay at the controls at all times.

Over the last several years, I’ve slowly relinquished control of many areas, because God has this way of showing me my way isn’t necessarily the better way. Our finances were the first ones to get handed over. Color me surprises when hubby managed the money better!

Then it was grocery shopping. Seriously, my husband does a better job and spends less. That’s okay. I can live without control there. I don’t like grocery stores much anymore anyway.

Lately things have been pretty tough with our daughter, as you know. Physically, she’s fine, but we’re still battling some emotional and anxiety issues. I was doing my best to listen to what the doctors were telling me my daughter needed and all of it seemed even more serious at times than her first diagnosis of a brain tumor.

How had the situation become so difficult to where I actually felt the first days of surgery and treatment were easier?

Let me stop right here and give you a little backstory, which my fiction writer side is screaming is a big no-no, but this is real life (yes, life is stranger than fiction). Besides, it’s my post.

At the beginning of this year during our fasting and praying week, God gave me a word for my family.

Rebuild.

I sensed when I heard it that God would be doing a lot of restructuring in my family this year, and that a critical part of my role was to submit since my personal word for the year was “submission.” What I didn’t expect is that I would be in a critical place that would require me submitting to my husband’s judgment and leadership with our daughter. I was SuperMom. The kids were always my territory…

From the outside, many would caution me to rethink this direction and several health care professionals did. But in the moment this decision was presented to me by my husband along with the onset of the panic I would refuse to show, I started praying.

This was a big move—to completely change direction from what the therapist and NP were recommending, but I remembered the word God had given me and listened. And in the briefest of moments, God’s voice broke through.

“Trust him.”

Rebuild. Submission.


I obeyed God. I’ll admit, I was scared. Lynn can tell you about the conversation we had that evening and how she reassured me I was doing the right thing. It was time, she said. And she was right.

Our daughter is doing better. I won’t go into the details of it all—that’s not the point of this post. What I want to share is what I’m learning…

I’m learning that even though my husband isn’t a believer, God has worked through him to help our daughter, to help our family, and I’m guessing, to help my husband at some point to recognize God.

I’m learning to truly allow my husband to take the lead of our family and to trust him. To trust God in yet another place in life I hadn’t let go of.

I’m learning another way I can show my husband respect and affirm his role in our family.

We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but I shudder to think what about the direction the situation would have gone had I not listened and not submitted. I may have thought at the time that I was doing the right thing, but it wouldn’t have been the right for our daughter.

This isn’t an easy step, let me reassure you. The health care professionals involved didn’t approve, but it was a decision between seeing and treating our daughter as healthy or still sick. And as a friend so aptly said, “They don’t know what our God can do.”

She is so right. Our God is so much bigger than we realize and even when we see Him work, it seems like we so easily forget it! I know I have. Yet here again is an opportunity that God is using in my life to teach me just how great He truly is. And can be.

So here’s my über-big realization…when God calls us to let our unbelieving spouse be the leader that means God’s working, that we can trust Him and our spouse, and that mighty things are and will happen. 

Because inevitably, God’s the one in control. And He’s no freak!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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Marriage Monday Praying for Salvation

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis


Lord, Almighty, I approach your throne with Jesus at my side. Lord, I bring with me my heart's yearning, my husband, Lord. I am humbled to come before you. 

Please conquer me and rule over every part of my life. Let all I do and say reflect Jesus and bring honor to Your name. Father, I bring my husband seeking your hand upon his life. I ask that the words of Romans 10:10 become real and living for my husband: 

Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 

I ask that I would pray consistently and with conviction your purpose to save my husband and prepare him for eternity with You. I ask you would place men in front of him at work who know you and can reveal truth to my man. Relentlessly pursue my husband with thoughts about you. Give him a curiosity about your Word that he picks up your Bible and reads.Prayinghands  

I also put satan on notice that his claim on my husband is over. That Jesus holds the keys to hell and has suffered and died and rose to life for the salvation of his soul. I bind the enemy and ask you expose every lie every spoken to my husband. I ask you would open my husband's spiritual eyes to see Your truth and let that truth penetrate his heart and mind.

Lord, I humbly ask that you teach me to be a good wife, a woman of character and of righteousness. Father, let me live out my faith authentically and with so much love my husband finds it irresistible. Lord, protect our marriage from all temptation as the enemy would dearly love to destroy it. Protect our children and help us to model love and commitment and Godliness to them.

Lord, thank you for your presence in our lives. Thank you for your abundant and ever-present love. I worship you. I adore you. Jesus, you are the reason I love and breathe. In Your powerful and life-changing name, Amen.

Join us for Marriage Monday at Chrysalis today. Be blessed, Lynn

Also, check out the new design over at Laced With Grace. It is beautiful. Thanks Lori!

Laced With Grace

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

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