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21 entries from April 2010

Friendship With God - The Journey Starts Now

Friendship With God 

Romans 8: 35-39 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 3(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 

I have a question for you. 

Can you really take this scripture and all the promises it holds? Can you with honesty, breathe in the truth of this kind of love and the profound inference thereof? 

I have been asking the Lord to reveal some things to me. I have asked God, what was it like to be Moses. Teach me about the friendship you two shared, still share. Reveal to me and to all of us, what living in the freedom of Romans 8 all about. What is authentic friendship with the creator of the universe? What does it look like, feel like. 

How do we fear God as the Bible teaches yet love God as a friend? How do we reconcile lonely times in our lives with an all loving all knowing God. How does my friendship with God change my life? 

Join Dineen, Angela and I (Lynn) as we follow the Lord’s leading and step out in another journey. Many of you have traveled with us before. The Mind of Christ Experiment and the Kingdom Assignment have been a few. Lives were changed for the cause of Christ and we influenced those around us and literally around the world. I’m still seeing results from both of these adventures and will share more about that another time. 

To get started, sometime over the weekend, sit quietly in prayer and ask Jesus these questions. (Get out a journal, a piece of paper, write on the back of your hand if necessary – no don’t do that- and write down the question and any thoughts that come.) 

  • Jesus, do I know you as a friend? 
  • Jesus, what area in my heart/life do I exclude you as a friend? 
  • Jesus, will you promise to meet me in this journey? 
  • Jesus, Lord, what does it mean to be your friend? 
Walk with us. 

We are out to discover a friendship so vast, so full, so honest, and absolutely pure that we will never feel alone again. We are seeking a living hope and a true friend. 

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

Our series will launch on May 4th. Tune in for some great study, some stories, laughter and plan to meet a few new friends along the way. Hugs, Lynn 

Lord Jesus, we offer ourselves as humble children seeking to know you and know real friendship with you. I know you have been standing in the doorway of many homes beyond anxious to share the abundance, security, joy and outright hilarity with us. Lord, I grieve that we hold you at a distance and deny ourselves the riches you are desperate to shower upon us. Oh, Lord Jesus, teach us to let go of our fears and wounding and to discover that vastness of your eternal friendship. In your name I pray this for all of us as we step on the path to Friendship With God. Jesus, Amen.

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Thankful Thursday - What's In Store?

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

I am thrilled to be hosting Thankful Thursday in April. 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.

Can you believe five weeks have past us by? Say WHAT? 

What happened to April? 

ChickentopWOW, what a month. I shared with you my multiple neighbor encounters of God dealing with my pride while I was out walking the dog and how I was a chicken in the grocery story. 

Imported Photos 00023This month you lived my discovery of the baby bird egg and our Living Hope.

And on the first of April you joined me and a bunch of my friends for our Passover seder. 

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Wow, I’m humbled and thrilled to count you as my TT buddies and friends. Thank you for sharing your life with me. One day in heaven about 100 years from now, we will all sit together and talk about our many Thankful Thursday adventures. I can’t wait for that day my friends. I surely can’t wait. I have a bear hug for each of you. 

I now pass the hosting on to Laurie at Women Taking A Stand. We will meet there next week and I still plan to participate, and will catch up with you then. But for now, I leave you with some coming changes, events, a new series and a miracle. 

On May 3rd we will launch our new blog design. I love the rings and grass my friends but it’s time for a change. You will love our new look. Stop back on Monday. 

On Tuesday, we are launching a new series, Friendship With God. What does that really mean? How are we supposed to fear God as the Bible says yet be His friend. What does that friendship look like in 2010 and ultimately we will discover together a friendship so profound, we will never, ever feel alone again. How cool is that? God is writing this so stop back. 

On Wednesday, I am sharing a personal story of the supernatural. It really happened but it is so weird and different, I’m not sure what you will think. Please let me know if you get goose bumps or do an eye roll….. It’s fantastically strange. 

Finally on May 10th I am going to share my personal story at A Woman Inspired Conference, Who Killed Cinderella? You will want to see what really happened to our Princess. I hope you can tune in.

I am deeply thankful that God held my hand each day of the month of April. He is always near, teaching, correcting, astounding me and loving me to greater heights in His Kingdom. 

What are you thankful for this week? Write you post, link up and give glory to the name of Jesus for all He does in your life. Hugs, Lynn

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What Does He Think?

360179_face_-_think_about_it In yesterday's post, Lynn answered Cindi's great question about what our husbands think of what we're doing here on the blog and the S.U.M. ministry. Scroll down to read Lynn's awesome answer. I thought I should answer Cindi's question as well.

Like Lynn, I too have been amazed at the ease in which my husband has accepted our ministry and supported me. I've been up front with him on all of it and even at times sought his approval, especially for our upcoming book. I could not do anything that would dishonor him in any way. So, I can merely say that in that gap where we wonder how it's possible, that's where the Holy Spirit is working in amazing ways.

I completely understand Cindi's struggle to share her faith and position with her husband. I struggle with that, too. But I've found repeatedly that when God is in control and I am following his will, things move in amazing directions. I'm not saying it takes all the conflict and difficulty out of it, by no means. What I hope I'm making somewhat clear is that God uses every bit of it according to his plan for our spouses. He redeems it all. So amazing...

I will say that my husband has never liked the "unequal" part. So I've been sensitive to that and use spiritually mismatched. The key is making sure our husbands understand that we love them no less despite the fact that they don't share our faith. This is unconditional love. And what I'm coming to understand in the big picture about that kind of love is that it's not just about loving them as they are with complete acceptance, it's also seeing the potential of God's work within them in the light that our spouses are so dearly love by God as well.

I recently read this verse:
(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. — 1 Timothy 4:10

I love the part that says God is the Savior of ALL MEN. We have such great promise in our God, and we can see and look for that potential in our unsaved spouses. :-)

Let me also say that I adore my husband even more at this point in our journey. To see this man as excited as I am about our book and his ongoing support speaks volumes of his love for me and God's power. I could not do any of this without our great God, nor could I do it without my husband's encouragement and support.

Will he ever read the book? Not in the near future. Nor does he read this blog, though I've invited him to. He too keeps a distance from this part of my life, but I have faith that God is working in my sweet hubby, and I know God is blessing and protecting our marriage. I'm content to leave the future in God's hands.

Let me also commend Cindi in her commitment to lead a group of unequally yoked women in her church. I'm sure her efforts to reach out and help other women find that they too can thrive in their spiritually mismatched marriages will bless and free many. That's what it's all about, helping each other. And that's why Lynn and I are here. :-)

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Get Real.. A Few More Questions:

Next Question:

Part I 

Part II 

Part III 

Interview: 

From Cindi on April 5, 2010: Jesus was there with you so what a great interview. It touched me. I am constantly intrigued to know just how your husband supports you so much with this ministry but does not believe. When he heard the interview, how did it make him feel? Was he offended in any way? Does he hear what is spoken? I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. We're to win then without words, however, the blog, the upcoming book, and even this interview is all about words. How is he not affected by it all? And Dineen's as well? I am obviously struggling with this aspect of being married unequally and sharing and expressing the very fact with my husband verbally. I know it is a frustration that needs to be addressed in my marriage and am struggling with really how to inform him of this. I don't want to hurt his feelings. I know he must know, but, we never discuss it. Do you? Well obviously you do but how? Anyway, I loved the interview Lynn, Thanks! 

First, I adore you Cindi. I want to thank you for your willingness to let me share your questions with everyone. You may be frustrated with my answer but I will share honestly the dynamic between my husband, me and the ministry. 

It’s weird! 

Okay, not the best answer but let me explain. 

First, I need to state that when I began this blog four years ago, I went to my husband and said something like this, “I want to write about our marriage, and how you and I were able to find peace and happiness in spite of our spiritual differences.” 

He looked at me with his amazing blue eyes and said directly to my face, “Honey, if you can help one other couple to not go through what we have been through, then go for it.” 

I kid you not. That was his response. Let me further state that over the years I have tried with great focus to always portray my husband in a light that is respectful even when discussing our difficulties and challenges. Additionally, when I write an article that I think might be too personal or something that may make him uncomfortable, I have him read it first. Out of 912 posts (as of today) I can only recall one post where he suggested I make a change because he was not at ease about it. 

What may further astonish you is that it’s my husband’s salary and his income that supports the many expenses of running the ministry. He never complains about me spending money on all my faith efforts. I mail books around the world, he pays. Hosting for the blog, he pays. I fly to speak at events, it’s his frequent flyer miles. And girls and guys, he is so good and willing to support me. I just see God working circles around my man as he supports the Kingdom efforts. Our God is like that you know. Cracks me up. 

But, the real question is, how does he process all of this stuff, the words I speak and write?

He stands at a distance. 

Hard to say but true. He usually doesn’t read my blog entries unless I ask him. I can tell you he hasn’t listened to the radio interview, nor has he heard me speak. It’s strange but the more I ponder this strangeness, the more I see God doing His thing in my husband. 

I am convinced God wants my husband’s salvation to be of His divine hand and NOT through any efforts made by me. My man’s salvation will bring glory to Jesus and not to Lynn. (Thank you Lord and may it be to your honor he is saved.) 

There are times when we discuss some of the miraculous stuff that happens in my life. Things that you can’t explain. He just can’t get it. I ask him, “What do you do with this miraculous event – (I have one to share with you on May 5th). "How do you process it?” 

He replies, “I don’t know.” 

This is where the scripture from 1 Corinthians 2:14 rings loudly as truth: The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

Holding_handsGod has set my feet on a path I couldn’t have fathomed in a million years. I am humbled and more thankful than any of you will ever know. It is strange that my husband is my number one fan and my biggest supporter yet he remains at a distance. I can honestly say; I don’t understand. But, I don’t harbor hurt feelings. I rejoice because God has it all worked out and I just watch from my Front Row Seat. And what an amazing show it is…. every… single…. day… 

I am at peace with it. I do have questions such as why my husband’s long unemployment wasn’t the beginning of his faith journey. Perhaps it’s because God wanted me to write our book with authenticity. I don’t know and when I ask God about it, He chooses not to tell me. He tells me to trust, to love, to pray and to live for Him. 

That’s enough for me. That is MORE than enough for me. 

I am an ordinary gal who serves an Extraordinary God. 

Have a fantastic week. Hugs, Lynn 

PS. We have some Big surprises for you next week as we launch our new series, Friendship with God. Stay tuned.

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Weekend Devo — God Knows Your Faithfulness

Another great devotional from Rick Warren. I hope it encourages and reminds you that God knows and sees our obedience and faithfulness in our spiritually mismatched marriages. And we can praise him for that! Have a great weekend!
Praying and believing,
Dineen

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God Knows Your Faithfulness
By Rick Warren

So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up. Galatians 6:9 (HCSB)

Here's another benefit from God knowing everything: He sees everything you do that is good and right. Every time you choose not to sin, every time you resist temptation, every time you take a stand because of God's Truth, he sees your faithfulness to Him.

The Bible says every good deed will be rewarded, no matter how insignificant and regardless of whether anybody else on earth sees it.

Every encouragement you give to other people, every kind word you give to your children, every time you do a thoughtful act for your husband, every time you pick up around the office when it's not your job, every time you set up chairs in church or stuff bulletins, every act of courtesy, every time you refuse to gossip, every time your positive instead of negative -- God sees it all, no matter how small. (Matthew 10:40-42)

Imagine yourself on a giant stage and you're the only person on that stage.  You're acting out your life.  In the audience there is only one person and it's God.  He's out there clapping and saying "I see that good thing you just did.  Keep on going! Nobody else saw it, but I saw it."

So what should be my response?  If God sees all the good things that I do and He's out there cheering me on, then my response should be, "Don't Be Discouraged!"

You may be thinking, "I've been trying to do the right thing in my marriage.  I don't see any results.  I've been trying to be the right kind of person and respond correctly with my kids or to my parents.  I've been trying to do the right thing at work or at school. And I don't know if it's paying off.  I don't see it making any difference in anybody's life."

God says, "I see it and it doesn't matter who else sees it."

Nothing good we ever do is ever done in vain: "So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up." (Galatians 6:9, HCSB)

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What Changes Really?

I want to continue the series I began a few weeks ago, Get Real

If you remember, I recently was a guest on a radio program where I shared about my life and marriage to an unbeliever. This interview stirred the thoughts of many readers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. 

Below are the links to the first two posts. 

Get Real

Part II 

Today I want to answer a few more of your questions. Here we go. 

Q: Please, please dear Lynn don’t be hurt by what I am saying – but you said, “Our men can see by our life, not by our words, they will see the difference.” 

Another great and very real question. And don’t worry, I don’t get hurt feelings easily and I always write from an honest and authentic heart. 

A: If I recall, this question is referencing my discussion of the scripture, 1 Peter 3: 1-2 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 

This passage can be frightening or liberating my friends. More on this later. 

Q:My sister, went on to ask, “Well, how long have you waited? Is it really worth the wait? I don’t mean with divorce but, silently going your own way. I am so tired of accompanying other women while my husband enjoys staying at home and having his peace. I am trying to be strong in Christ but actually my heart is bleeding. I am wondering, what changes really?” 

What a very honest question and I can bet most of you who live unequally yoked have asked this question too. 

A: I have waited now going into our 19th year of marriage. And I will confess with honesty, there are moments when I think the pain is NOT worth the wait. Many of those moments I experience in the early years of our marriage. My faith was shallow and I struggled with a list of unmet expectations I placed upon my husband, that in truth, were never meant to be fulfilled by him. It took me a long time to realize I could only be filled up by Christ and Christ alone. I experience very few of the really hard moments today. 

This is part of our LONG journey with God. When we allow His truths to penetrate our consciousness, our heart, our belief system, we allow Him to replace the lies we believed about marriage and the entitlements we are certain belong to us. 

One area which is difficult for all of us is watching other believing couples enjoy life and marriage around us. Just as our reader stated: I am so tired of accompanying other women while my husband stays home. 

Every one of us, men and women, feel deep pain in this area when unequally yoked. Somewhere deep inside we want our spouse to attend church and church functions with us. We want to sit together with our spouse and hold hands during services. Ugh. It still hurts me today to watch a cute couple step in a row in front of me, holding hands and then raise those hands together in worship. I grieve. I want that so badly. 

This is true of most of us. Am I right? 

It’s not wrong to desire this companionship of our spouse. However, what I had to do was ask God to take away my pain over this lack in my life. My continual grumbling and hurt over this was accomplishing nothing. In fact, because “I” wanted this so much, I applied pressure on my husband to attend church. 

What a disaster. 

 He would stand in what I call his hostile stance. Arms on hips, scowl on brow and motionless through the entire worship portion of the service. Once we sat down, it didn’t get much better. I would sit next to him worried about what he was thinking, doing, how he was feeling. I would worry about the argument that would ultimately occur later and the hurt that followed. God said to me, “Enough.” 

Forced church attendance was a “No win scenario” for all involved, including my daughter. 

When I released my husband from attending church because I wanted him to do so, peace resulted. He attends how when he wants. I attend every Sunday. Sometimes he joins me, sometimes not. But I am honestly okay with it. Now when he joins me, the "hostile stance" is gone and he really listens. Go figure. Who knew. Sheesh, I wish I had released him to attend at his pace years ago. 

Q: So what changes really? 

A: I did. 

I agree that for a period of years in our marriage I was angry that I was left to find my own way. i.e., I joined church activities alone or with my daughter. I went to church alone. I wasn’t free to share my authentic self with my husband. He didn’t want to hear about this Jesus of mine. It was hard. But the most amazing thing resulted. My husband’s unbelief just pushed me faster and harder toward the cross. I gave my husband to Him and I live for Christ. This surrender changed me. I can promise you that our circumstances in an unequally yoked marriage will always will grow our relationship with Jesus if we take our eyes off our spouse and our self and place them on Him. 

Armsraised  My life is being recrafted. Continually, constantly and noticeably. Slowly and under the hand with divine purpose my life is in transformation. 

A transformed life is undeniable. 

That is what 1 Peter 3 is all about. You can yak your husband’s head off about the joys of Christ. The amazing eternity that awaits but they are words. Words are a dime a dozen, however, an authentically transformed wife, a man cannot deny. 

Be blessed, Lynn 

More questions and answers are in store for Monday’s post. And get ready for our new series, Friendship With God, starts May 3rd. Stay tuned!

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Thankful Thursday - New Birth

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

I am thrilled to be hosting Thankful Thursday in April. 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.

Wow, here we are and another Thursday. This week I don't have a "Neighbor Encounter" to share with you but I'm sure I will in the very near future. God is up to something and I bet I will learn a thing or two in the process. 

I stepped outside to walk Peanut this afternoon, just minutes after it rained. I brought my camera along in hopes of a experiencing a tiny love note from my Savior. He's like that you know. Love notes and all. I was breathless to take in the beauty of the sky and breathe in the fragrance after the rain.

Look what I found while walking.

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A baby bird must of hatched in the tall trees above where I found this half shell on the sidewalk. 

Sometimes, tiny encounters like this humble me and delight me at the same time. The fragrance after the rain, the brilliant blue sky sporting clusters of dark and rumbling clouds and the fragile shell that shouts of spring and new birth.

Neat! 

Have you had a tiny encounter with Jesus this week? Post about it at your place and let's praise Him. 

Thank you for the beauty of spring and mostly Lord, thank you for new birth. We have been born again into everlasting life and a living hope. I worship you Lord, Jesus. Amen

1 Peter 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

What are you thankful for this Thursday. Be blessed, Lynn


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Living Like Winners

IStock_000007310932XSmallFor everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. — 1John 5:4-5

In last week’s post I touched on the theme of overcoming. If you think about your favorite movies and stories, I bet you’ll find a common theme of a character overcoming some major obstacle or hurdle in their life, even possibly death.

As Christians, we have a unique perspective of the greatest “Overcomer” in history. Jesus overcame the greatest battle over sin and through his death, we have the opportunity to live victorious lives.

But what does that mean, what does it look like, and how do we do it? This past Sunday, my pastor spoke about 1 John 5:1-5. What leapt out at me were verses four and five. John tells us flat out that everyone born of God overcomes the world. He even goes on to define who that person is, one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.

That’s you and me. Or if you’re still sitting on the fence about who Jesus is, take a leap of faith and accept who he is. God will affirm you in amazing ways!

But these verses hold a truth and a promise that’s ours for the taking:

  1. Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is our promise from God. No matter what we face or how difficult it might get or how hopeless things might seem at the moment, we’re already winners. Death and sin have been defeated. Our eternity is secure. It’s a promise. So, do we live in fear of what might be or do we go forward, knowing exactly what WILL be? We know our future and ultimate destination. We’ve won, so let’s live like winners. He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1John 4:4). The enemy would like nothing better than to convince us we can’t overcome the hardship and challenges in this life and in our spiritually mismatched marriages. If he can convince us we’re defeated, he destroys our testimony to our spouse too, but it’s a big fat lie.

  2. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is our truth. It’s a fact. The moment we accept Jesus, we are born of God. That makes us overcomers. We WILL overcome the world because God’s Word says we will. This doesn’t mean life will be smooth sailing, but it does mean we can face each battle with the reassurance that we don’t fight alone and that God equips us with everything we need to overcome and win. The thing we have to remember is that sometimes victory may not look so great. Look at Christ…he died and even the disciples thought they’d lost. But that wasn’t true, was it? They won the greatest victory of all time—eternity with their precious Lord Jesus. So just because it may look like you lost to the world, seek God’s perspective. You’ll find the deeper prize hidden beneath the outward appearance.

As I continue my search for how to live victoriously in Jesus, I keep finding the same truth over and over again. It all boils down to trust and focus. Who are we trusting? (I mean really trusting…it can’t be ourselves.) And where is our focus? (On our circumstances or on God?)

I haven’t figured it all out yet. There are a couple areas in my life that I continue to struggle with and some days, wind up feeling like a failure because of them. But God’s working on me, working to replace the lies with his truth.

What does living victoriously look like to you? Hope you’ll join me the rest of this month as I search for more clues in God’s Word to living in victory through Jesus.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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God Showed Up

BIG TIME!!

Jesus Christ showed up at our Women's Retreat this weekend. Amazing worship, amazing stories and more than anything, Jesus was honored. 

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I am still trying to process all that took place over the past three days. I plan to write and share with you some of the fascinating things Jesus is doing in the lives of ordinary people. I am one of them.

Over the weekend I shared my personal story. It has been an adventure and a path I would never have thought I would travel. It's a path you can travel too and I promise, it is an adventure you don't want to miss.

I will share my story once again on May 10th, 2010 at A Woman Inspired Conference. Some of my story you  read here at SUM. Some of it is new. I hope you can join me on Monday, May 10th 9:30 PST as I share my hope with all of you.

I have a free ticket to give away today. To enter, leave a comment and share with me one thing God has done in your life to change your marriage forever. Be blessed, Lynn

Who Killed Cinderella 

 

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Weekend Devo — Jesus is for Everyone

794713_retro_radio (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. — 1 Timothy 4:10

I heard a cool story on Air1 yesterday. During the station's fundraiser drive, a woman had written in about how she and her son loved listening to Air1 and kept the radio on a lot, even when her husband, who wasn't a believer, was around.

Just a week or so later, this dear woman wrote in again to report that her husband had accepted Christ because he'd listened to the music. Her husband also wanted to support Air 1 as a way of saying thank you.

I was driving my car at the time I heard this story and fought a rush of tears. What an amazing story of how this mom and son had affected their unbelieving loved one by doing what they loved—listening to music that glorified God. And in this one instance, words did make a difference obviously, but not the words of this faithful woman. Her devotion to God in how she raised their son and enjoyed her faith through music is most likely what spoke to this man at home.

Don't you just love seeing how God works in the smallest of ways to make the biggest difference? We just never know what God will use in our lives to speak to another person. This also spoke to me about not being so fearful of living my faith honestly and authentically.

After I heard this story I couldn't help but pray for all the unbelieving spouses of our readers here at S.U.M. and those of the members of the 1Peter3Living Yahoo group. Our Jesus truly is the Savior of all men and we get to be his audience! So rock on!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Consider This

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. ~Ephesians 1:11 (MSG)

What is it like to consider that God has been thinking of you for a very, very long time?

-John Eldgridge, The Sacred Romance

Retreat 2010 I am off early this morning for the mountains. Saturday morning I will be sharing my story at our women's retreat. I am humbled to share the hope I have and the healing I received through the amazing power and love of Jesus Christ. (leadership team for our retreat in photo)

I am an ordinary woman who serves an Extraordinary God.

Have a wonderful weekend. I appreciate any prayers uttered over my words. I am praying the women this weekend see Jesus and hear His words. I will be back Monday and plan to announce a new series Dineen and I will cover in May.

I love you. Have a blessed weekend. Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - A Chicken

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

I am thrilled to be hosting Thankful Thursday in April. 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.

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I am preparing to speak at a retreat this weekend. I ran out of time and wasn’t able to get around to visit everyone this week. Boo Hoo…. I hope to stop by and visit everyone early next week. I truly love reading your praises and catching up with you. 

Most of you read my story last week about my challenging neighbor. (Does it strike you that perhaps I am the challenged one?) In fact, I believe our God is intentional when He is working on our character. This has proven to be so once again in my life this past week. Here we go…. 

I went to the grocery store Sunday afternoon to pick up some fresh veggies, fruit, milk, and bread. As I rounded the corner and looked down the potato chip aisle, I spotted – him. AGAIN. (If you missed this story, scroll down to last Thursday’s post.) 

Yep, it is my Harley ridding, tatted out, neighbor I have purposely avoided, until last week. 

Remember, God told me to get over myself and start acting neighborly toward this guy, so I did. 

Well, God wanted to make sure I wasn’t going back on my promise. Here I was in the grocery store, staring at him from the top of the aisle. “What are you going to do, Lynn?” The Holy Spirit whispered. 

I gulped and started toward him not really sure what I would do. He was looking over a bag of chips. I walked down the aisle, resolute that if he saw me, I would talk with him. But, he never looked up and I passed him by. I chickened out. I didn’t say a word. 

I finished shopping. Perhaps it was okay that I didn’t tap him on the shoulder to say hello. I whispered to the Lord, “I will chat with him on my next walk around the block.” 

God would have none of my excuses. 

As I unloaded my cart in the checkout lane, guess who pulls up right behind me? Yep, it’s him. 

Okay, Lord. I’m busted. I get the message. I surrender. Forgive me. I am hearing you loud and clear. 

I stood straight up. Turned away from my groceries, looked him in the face and with a smile I said, “Hey, how are you?” He smiled back. Then with a gentle chuckle said, “I almost didn’t recognize you without your little dog.” 

He grinned sheepishly. I grinned back. We laughed. I finished my check out and as I was about to push my cart away, I turned around to my neighbor and said, “Well, I’ll be seeing you later.” Inferring that I will be around with the dog as usual. 

We smiled then I walk to the car. 

I grined to myself as I prayed and loaded groceries into the car, “Lord, you are at work here and I am a slow learner. Help me to see what you see and let me be prepared to interact with anyone and everyone you choose to send my way.” 

How utterly patient is the Lord. He relentlessly pursues me. He pushes me out of my comfort zone so that I will be conformed to the likeness of Christ. 

I am fascinated by these encounters and I expect you will hear of several more this month before my turn is over hosting Thankful Thursday.  

God is at work in the life of this ordinary chicken. (better not lay an egg *grin*)Chickentop  

What do you think? What are you thankful for this week? What is God working out in your life? Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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Feet or De-feat?

841479_pain Are you feeling defeated?

I’m slowly working my way through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book, Lies Women Believe. This is what I highlighted in my reading for today:

“The Enemy doesn’t care if we “believe” in God, if we are doctrinally orthodox, or if we fill our schedules with a lot of “spiritual activities,” as long as he can get us to run on our own steam rather than living in conscious dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit.


If he can get us to try to “live the Christian life” without cultivating an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, he knows we will be spiritually impotent and defeated.”

This is eye-opening. I can remember when I first recommitted my life to Christ, I became heavily involved in the church I was attending. I would complain about feeling worn out and over taxed, and my husband would tell me to slow down and not do so much at church. But was the message I was sending? That church is draining, demanding, and exhausting? Ouch! 

It took me a year to finally cultivate this quiet time with God. Now I’m very protective of it, but I still have to remain intentional about it. The busyness of life has a way of moving in and taking over. And it’s so easy to slip into doing things in my strength and not God’s.

What better way for the enemy to not only make us impotent, but also to defeat our testimony to our unbelieving spouses?

Yes, it’s important that we are part of a church community if possible, but even within our own homes, we can’t mistake doing for God as being with God. This time alone with our Lord is vital to keeping us focused on what He is asking us to do, and it may surprise you too.

Isaiah 40:31 tells us that those who hope in/wait on the Lord will renew their strength. That’s God’s promise of what time spent with him will produce. This is my pursuit right now… how can I live more victoriously in Christ and be a living and visual testimony to my husband of who Christ is?

Ladies and gents, we’re in a battle here. We can either stay alert at the feet of Christ or live in defeat. I know I much prefer Christ’s “feet” over “de-feat.”

What does living victoriously look like to you?

Praying and believing,
Dineen

New LWG Button_2010 Hope you'll check out my post "Remember" over at Laced with Grace about a fascinating connection I made between communion and monuments.

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. — 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV)

I read this verse just recently in an Upper Room devotional and the writer that day helped me see a profound connection I’d missed before... Read the rest at LWG.

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This Was Hard, But it Changed My Entire Perspective Forever

Good Monday Everyone: 

If you remember last Monday, I began a series where I answered some of your questions. Specifically, many of you listen in to my radio interview, which generated some thoughts. You can listen to my interview and Dineen’s by scrolling down and click on the audio link. 

One of the first questions arrived in an email from a friend who is also unequally yoked. She asked: In the radio interview you said: You are happily married to your best friend - how is that? How can a believer and an unbeliever be happy under the same roof let alone be best friends? 

Scroll down to read last week’s post because today, I will tell you how God led me to get over myself and how he replaced my loneliness with fulfillment. 

Many of you know how I began this blog. I wanted to share the healing I received and the hope I have for my spiritually mismatched marriage. Jesus was my rescue and although our marriage was still far from perfect, He was desperate for me to help other discover hope for their lives. So I started writing and sharing the hope I have here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. 

Next month SUM will be four years old. But, it was in the very early, early days of blogging where my sadness and frustration over my marriage and my unmet expectations were forever changed. It began with a private email from a woman who stumbled upon the blog within the first few months of its launch. 

I can’t remember exactly what she wrote and I have not had contact with her in years but her email changed my perspective forever. Today, I want to share with you what she shared with me. I want to share how in an instant, her words changed my view of my marriage forever. 

As I recall, she was an older woman married, I believe, for more than 25 years. What she went on to tell me is difficult and I think I need to share it today to help some of you see your husband with new appreciation. 

She said she loved her husband very much but her life has been a struggle. She is committed to her marriage because she is committed to the Lord and His teachings. But, her husband struggled over the years with a tendency toward Transvestism (also called transvestitism) is the practice of cross-dressing, which is wearing the clothing of the opposite sex. Not only this but also, Infantilism is characterized by the desire to wear diapers, due to reasons other than medical necessity, and/or be treated as an infant or toddler. 

I didn’t even know what these conditions were. I had to look them up. 

I read her email and bawled. I cried for her pain and for the brokenness of our world. 

I still grieve it today. 

I absolutely do not judge this woman as to why she chooses to stay and live in her marriage, facing these unimaginable struggles. I am certain many don’t understand why I cling to my marriage when there appears no hope of resolution in the immediate future. 

She loves her husband. She is honoring the Lord. God sees her heart. 

But……. On that day, my life was forever changed. I knew I see my husband with a new vision of love and appreciation. 

My husband is a good man. He is in every way what I want with the exception of knowing Christ. How can I ever be disappointed in the light of what this other woman lives in day-after-day? 

So, if you are feeling unhappy about your spouse, pause and ask God to help you see Him as He does. Then take action. 

Serve. 

When I decided to serve God and His Kingdom, my expectations about my spouse changed almost immediately. I discovered there are always others who live in situations  far worse than we can comprehend. It makes your life look pretty, darn, good.  

You don’t need to start a blog. But you could start a small study group for unequally yoked like my friend, Cindi. Cindi started a small group study for unequally yoked women in her church in January. I have much to share with you about her and her ministry. She also wrote me with some fascinating questions, which I will answer next week. 

Look for somewhere to serve. It doesn’t need to be the homeless or in Haiti. It could be once a month at a woman’s shelter. I bet that would change your heart immediately about your place in life. You can sing in the choir, help in children’s groups. But serve where your heart calls you and mostly serve in how God has gifted you. 

God will reward you a bazillions times over. REALLY! 

We MUST take our eyes off ourselves and place Jesus firmly on the throne of our life. Only then will be free to find the fantastic joy He has waiting. Jesus wants to raise us up to be more than we are. When He does so, it brings Him glory. 

And He WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN. That’s a promise. 

Can any of you tell me how you started to serve people and how it changed your life? I so, want to celebrate what God is doing. Also, if you have other ideas and areas where women can serve and not create more stress in their marriage, I would love to hear about them. 

I am an ordinary woman and an ordinary wife but I serve an extraordinary God. 

Be blessed this Monday. I love you. Please write me as I stand ready to pray as a prayer warrior over you, your husband, and your family this week. Hugs, Lynn

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Tune in Today!

Last week, Jim Norman of Wise People interviewed Lynn. This week is my turn. Special thanks to Jim for giving us this wonderful opportunity to share the amazing hope we have in Jesus, God's wild hope! And for knowing how to handle a shaky interviewee. Boy, was I nervous!

God is so amazing and we give Him all the glory for this journey He's set us on. He not only showed us how to thrive in our spiritually mismatched marriages, but is allowing us to share that message with others. I'm praying for those listeners who have lost hope, that God would reveal Himself and love all over them! We are never without hope in Jesus!

We pray these messages encourage and strengthen you in Christ!

Wise People Interview, Dineen Miller

Praying and believing,

Dineen

In case you missed Lynn's...

Wise People Interview, Lynn Donovan


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Thankful Thursday - When God Corrects

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

I am thrilled to be hosting Thankful Thursday in April. 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.

Just a few minutes ago I was stumped about what to share with you on this Thankful Thursday. Often when I am stuck without a word from God, I will go for a walk. So this afternoon, like I do around this time of day, I leashed my little dog and went for a walk. 

I kneeled down and prayed, “God, what are you words. What is it you want to share?” 

Little did I know I was about to receive a very personal and powerful message. 

I started toward the neighborhood park a couple of short blocks away. I know many of our neighbors and wave to them as they see me jogging in the morning or walking in the afternoon. As I crossed the street, I looked up and there I spotted – him. 

Our neighbor over the fence and three houses up. He moved in a few years ago and has been known, on occasion, to host loud parties in the hot tub with “medicinal” smoking into the wee hours of the morning. At four in the morning, I was not a fan. 

Couple this, with the fact that his teenage daughter has nearly collided with my car on three separate occasions because she drives way to fast and texts at the same time. I am definitely not a fan! 

I have ignored this man who always arrives home from work minutes before I walk down his street. I walk on the other side of the road pretending he is non-existent. (This is starting to sound like the Good Samaritan story but I’m not the Good Samaritan----am I) 

I don’t want to wave and give him a warm smile. What I want is to give him a piece of my mind. 

Well several months ago, my husband was out walking the mutt and the guy stopped him, “Why don’t you ever say hi?” 

Gulp! 

My husband chatted with him then came home and told me our neighbor asked why we were ignoring him. 

Well, I didn’t think much about it until today. Until I spotted him. I knew in an instant God was putting the smack down on my attitude. 

“Lynn, I love this man. You are to wave to him every day from this day forward and one day a conversation will develop. I have used you with your other neighbors. Why are you being so judgmental?” 

Gulp! 

Well on our return trip my little mutt, Peanut and I, walked down his side of the street and in fact, he was out front watering his lawn. I knew what was coming. 

I shuffled by with a smile on my face, “Hi, how are you? It’s great weather this afternoon since the wind died down.” 

He looked at me without response. Was it stunned silence? 

He gathered his wits and replied, “Hi, ya.” 

“Your yard looks great.” I encouraged. 

No reply 

I walked on. 

Then, “Yeah,” he called after me as I walked down the street. I think he recovered from the shock that I smiled and spoke with him. I could hear a smile in his words as he shouted down the street to me, “It’s really great weather.” 

I know there are more conversations ahead and they won’t be about a piece of my mind. 

O Lord, forgive me for my arrogant, unforgiving, and judgmental heart. 

I am so thankful God does not leave me unchanged. I have attitude and He fixes me. I have arrogance and I get a much-needed smack down. I have pride. He works it out. 

Thank you God. Thank you.

I have a free ticket to give away to the One Woman Conference May 10-12th. Expect a few stories, some giggles, and powerful truths from God’s Word. If you are thriving in your marriage or want to thrive, this session is for you. I hope you will join me as we honor the Lord within our marriages. Leave a comment here to enter. Hugs, Lynn Drawing on Monday. Enter on our Facebook Page (click here).

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Foundations

1174278_spade_in_backyard "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." Luke 6:46-49

This parable about building on a firm foundation has always fascinated me. Again, I really love God’s symbolism, and Jesus truly knew how to use it. In this parable we can see the obvious that when we build our lives on the foundation of God’s Word, on Christ who is truth, we are unshakable in our faith through the storms of life.

But I’m seeing a new part to this Scripture. If you look at verse 48, specifically the part about the man “building a house, who dug down deep,” the words take on some figurative meanings as well as literal in the Greek translation.

The Greek word used here for building is oikodomeo, which means to build, but also comes from the root word meaning to edify or for edification. Interesting to think about, especially if we consider edification in terms of teaching and improving. This reflects the process of how we learn more about God and grow as we build our foundation upon Christ.

But even more exciting is the “dug down deep” part. The Greek word used for deep here is bathuno, and has such a rich meaning that goes beyond the literal result of digging deep. It also means deep, extreme poverty, the deep things of God, things hidden and above man's scrutiny, especially divine counsels.

I hope this excites you as much as it does me. Christ is speaking in these Scriptures using a literal action to express a figurative meaning. He’s speaking of this builder as digging deeper into the things of God, pursuing God for understanding and stability. The builder removed all the loose sand (lies, half truths, deceptions, misconceptions, worldly influences) to reach rock (God’s truth, his Son Jesus) in order to build his house (his life in all aspects—emotional, physical, spiritual).

When we skate along the surface of our faith, we’re not digging into the changing sands of our lives to reach God’s truth. The sad part of this is we not only have faulty structures, we miss out on knowing our amazing God as a friend.

For a time my house wasn’t built on a foundation of Christ and I do not wish that on anyone. I’ve never been fond of roller coasters either. But the last few years have proven how vital that foundation is when the hardest storms hit and make life feel like a roller coaster ride without end. I’ve been able to stand firm as some of the worst storms have hit my family.

So I’d like to encourage you to dig deep and don’t ever stop digging and building your foundation on Jesus and God’s Word even within the confines of a spiritually mismatched marriage. The prize is a house (an internal and eternal life) that won’t crash around you and a friendship with our amazing Lord. And that’s the exact testimony our unsaved loved ones need to see.

Praying and believing,

Dineen

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Marriage Monday - Get Real!

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

Hi, It's Marriage Monday.

This month the readers and contributors to Marriage Monday at Chrysalis have an open topic for our community. So I am going to put myself out there and be very real. I invite you into this conversation and look forward to more questions.

Let me set the stage. On Saturday I was interviewed by Jim Norman of Wise People. My interview was an opportunity to share the reality of living in an unequally yoked marriage and the hope I have. Many of you took 25 minutes and listened in. I received several emails that day from regular readers here at SUM. You can listen in here if you have time, no pressure, I know we are all very busy but you might come up with a few questions yourself. Please email me your questions.

100403 Wise People, Lynn Donovan

For those of you joining us for Marriage Monday, I will bring you up to speed. I am living and thriving in my spiritually mismatched marriage. With that said, one of the emails arrived, from a long time friend who is also unequally yoked. In a very nice way, yet with earnest need to know, she doesn't know how to reconcile what I say on the radio and the reality of living unequally yoked. 

I love this woman and I am so glad she is honest to ask how I can possibly say I am happy when my husband hasn't embraced Christ yet. I will venture to guess there are others who also puzzle this question. My answer isn't what you might think.

One of the first questions my sweet sister asked is this: In the radio station interview you said: You are happily married to your best friend - how is that?

How can a believer and an unbeliever be happy under the same roof let alone be best friends? Wow, excellent... I can tell you more than ten years ago, I would have told you it's impossible. Truly, but I can tell you today with complete sincerity that my husband is my best friend on earth. This man knows me better than anyone, next to Jesus. I trust him with my authentic self and do not fear judgments or condemnation from him. I love to laugh with him, tease him, and please him as a wife and a friend. 

It's not always this way. We must look at our marriage as part of the long journey with God. The seasons change, come and go. In our early season, I was lonely and felt judgement and struggled in my faith because of the onslaught of criticisms of Jesus. If it were not for Christ, we would not have moved past this season. 

Part of the journey to becoming best friends was maturity. I had to let go of two things. Entitlements and selfishness. If you knew me many years ago, I was full of myself and believed I was entitled to a man who would fulfill my every desire. There is not a man on the planet that can do that for a woman. We are created to need Christ to fill us up. I had to let go of some of my dreams. Flowers once a week were never gong to happen. Weekend trips to a coastal destination.... gone.... But, what I received in return is a man who I trust. A man who will never leave me. A man who absolutely loves me over all else.

I should insert here, I'm not an easy person to live with. I am driven and at times demanding. I can be critical because I have high expectation of myself and those who live with me. God bless that man for putting up with me.

But, my friend asks, even if you try to let go of things you can't change how you feel. It hurts and it's lonely. I agree. You can't fake it. But, I know how to get over it. So join me next Monday and I will tell you how God led me to get over myself and how he replaced my loneliness with fulfillment.

I am an ordinary woman, an ordinary wife, but I serve an Extraordinary God. AMEN! Happy Monday. Love and hugs, Lynn

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He is Risen, Just as He Said!

The Resurrection
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.Stone rolled away  

Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

The Report of the Guard
As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.
The Great Commission
Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

We have everything because of this day. May the Lord bless you and keep you, Lynn

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Tune In Tomorrow

100403 Wise People, Lynn Donovan

Click on this link to listen to the Interview. I hope my words will encourage someone who is struggling in their marriage. Hugs, Lynn

The Bible has quite a bit to say about Christians being “unequally yolked”. What does this mean and how big of an issue is it to the church today. What does this issue mean to Christians who are married to unbelievers? Well, large numbers of Christians find themselves in this situation and our guest this week is one of them. Lynn Donovan is a believer in California who is married to a man to does not believe in God. Be sure to tune in to hear this amazing program and learn how Lynn copes in her “unequally yolked” marriage. ~ Jim Norman, Host of the Radio broadcast, Wise People, on KDKR 93.3fm Dallas/Fort Worth.

Can I tell you how scary this interview was and how I loved sharing the hope I have at the same time? I have yet to hear it polished. And, I don't think I remember what I said. So, join me as the interview will air this Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 8:30am Central Time (6:30am Pacific Time)

You can hear the program by going to www.kdkr.org and clicking on the live link at the top of the home page.

Dineen's interview is on April 10th. 

It is my prayer that someone is encouraged through this broadcast and Jesus is honored. Have a fantastic day, Hugs, Lynn


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