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22 entries from August 2010

Blinded by Darkness

IStock_000011544315XSmall We’ve covered some ground in the last few weeks about spiritual warfare in our marriages. Sadly, it’s a topic treated as taboo at times right within the church, but our enemy has been effective there as well.

Too effective.

If he can convince us he’s not a real threat or even better, that he doesn’t even exist, he’s accomplished more than just a foot in the door. We're blinded.

If this concept is foreign to you, let me tell you that for a long time I was deceived myself. I can even remember telling someone years ago that though I did believe in God, I wasn’t convinced satan existed.

God’s Word tells us clearly otherwise and much more. Things like:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (sound mind). — 1 Timothy 2:7

As evident in the Bible, this stuff is real and pretending it doesn’t or avoiding it only sets us up for failure. We don’t have to be fanatical about spiritual warfare, but we do need to be aware. I know you’ve heard Lynn and I say this before, but knowing the Bible is your best defense. You can’t fight with a weapon you don’t know how to use. Same goes with the Bible. To know it is to live and use its truth effectively.

And if the whole idea of spiritual warfare scares you more than you fear God, take a look at this one:

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. — 1John 4:4

These two verses are so interconnected. First John 4:4 is our reassurance that we can overcome evil and 1 Timothy 2:7 is the proof of it.

Plant these truths firmly in your heart and mind. We need them so that we can stand strong for our unbelieving spouses. Second Corinthians 4:4 is a vital truth to understanding our unbelieving spouse and realizing they are truly handicapped as if they were physically blind.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. — 2Corinthians 4:4

But we can pray against this and stand in that gap between them and God. Just like it says in this verse:

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. — 1 Corinthians 7:14

Just living our faith and rejoicing in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ makes us the best conduit for His light to shine into that blinding darkness. And we can pray:

“And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’” — 2Kings 6:17

In this truth we can praise God for what He’s doing and celebrate!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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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A Little Different

Hi Everyone,

I don't have anything to write about today. 

Almost all of the time, God places a burning heat in my brain and heart about the words I share with you. He usually works on an idea by placing it in my soul to marinate for a few day. After several days of praying over the thoughts coupled with the Holy Spirit working me over, I'm about to explode.

You get the idea.

I write to share what I have learned and what God is currently teaching me.

Well, this Sunday evening as I'm preparing for Monday's post, I am feeling serene. 

But, I have several things a bubbling that the Holy Spirit it working out and you will likely heart about later in the week.

One topic for sure.... The Rapture.... It happened at our house. Well, kinda sorta. I will tell you more later and it's a fun story.

For today, I offer you a chance to ask questions. I find sometimes it's difficult to cover subject matter completely in our post and I don't always answer all of your questions. So, if you have a question, leave it in the comments. Questions for me (Lynn) and for Dineen.

Ask us about our marriage. How we overcame our faith differences. What is it like to raise kids in an mismatched marriage. What do we eat for breakfast. What is Peanut doing when I'm writing. *grin*

Okay, ask away. I love you. YOU are the passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, YOU are my passion and I care deeply and eternally for your heart, your family, and your marriage. Love and hugs, Lynn

*****

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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Weekend Devo — The Key to Being Content

This is a post I wrote in Spring of 2008 and a topic worth revisiting. Blessings!

1228973_love_1 Have you ever had one of those weeks where you notice a common theme? The subject of a devotional, an email that comes over your favorite prayer loop, Sunday’s sermon, this weeks subject at your small group Bible study…

Those are the times I pay close attention, because I know God has something teach or show me. This has happened over the last week and the subject has been about contentment. Paul touches on this subject very clearly in Philippians 4:11-13:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

At first glance, it’s easy to assign material needs to these verses, and you would be correct. But Paul addresses a deeper level in the latter part of verse 12—“being content in any and every situation.”

On daily basis, we struggle with this issue in our unequally yoked marriages. How do we find contentment in the midst of conflict? How do we reach the point of saying like Paul did, “I am content in my situation?”

First, there’s one fallacy in the questions I posed above. If you’ll notice my emphasis is on “we.” Yet if you look at verse 13, Paul gives us the answer to those “how” questions.

We are not capable of finding this contentment alone. Paul gives all the credit to Jesus, totally and completely. He recognized his own limitations and believed completely in Christ to make up for what he lacked. And more.

But the true, underlying theme here goes even deeper than contentment and is true in any situation, no matter what it may be. And I can say this with certainty. Keeping our eyes on God is the key—to contentment, to peace, to hope, to perseverance.

He’s our one and only answer to everything we need. And more.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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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A Roly-Poly and a Great Big God!

Have you ever prayed this scripture? 

Psalm 139:23-24 (Amplified Bible) Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

A couple of weeks ago, my alarm sounded at 5:15 a.m. Ugh! 

I shut it off. Shrugged into my robe. You should see this robe. It is thick and fuzzy and fat and I look like a warm roly-poly all tied up in it. But, no one is awake in the house at that hour except Jesus and he doesn’t care what I look like. 

Imported Photos 00015  I shuffled to the coffee pot where a fresh brew was waiting. (One of God’s greatest blessings to humanity is the auto brew feature). I pulled my Daily Bible from the drawer along with my prayer binder then moved to sit on the end of the couch under the lamp on the table. I tucked my cold feet under me and I begin to read and sip from the steaming cup. 

It’s funny what will happen when you just sit with Jesus. You find out just how much you really don’t know. 

It’s been years since I overcame my disappointments in my marriage. I discovered peace and am happily married to the best guy on the planet. But on this particular morning, God was going to have a WORD with me. Yikes! 

As I sat and scribbled a few requests in my prayer book, I immediately stopped in mid-sentence as a thought came to me. 

"Lynn, you have unforgiveness in your heart.” What, Lord? Are you talking to me?” 

I sat and listened. 

And then, I was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit. It was true. Way, way back in the cobwebs of my heart something was lurking. I honestly didn’t know it was there. 

It was anger. 

Anger with my husband. I was still mad at him and to top it off, I wasn’t even really sure what I was mad about. Just mad. Angry. 

“O Lord, Lord, LORD, you are so right. It is there.” 

To my utter surprise, I was still allowing anger to linger in my soul. I was SHOCKED! But I knew in that instant it was there. What’s crazy about this is the fact that God has known it was there all along and decided it was time to clue me in. God freaks me out sometimes! He is amazing in His love and care for us. 

Now here is the wild part. 

I prayed, “O, Lord. There IS anger in my heart. I didn’t know I was saving it back there. I confess it to you. Forgive me.” 

Immediately I felt a physical release. The best way I can think to describe it is as if a rope was tied around me. It had been there so long I didn’t even know it. It had become part of me. But, in that instant I felt like a knife sliced clean through it and released the tension. I’m not kidding, I felt a physical little pop. I jumped. 

Then I sat there stunned. What in the world just happened? 

I’ll tell you what, God knows me so well, certainly better than I know myself. He yearns for every part of my soul. In that moment, I understood for the first time just how sin binds us up over time. It slowly intertwines itself in our skin, deliberately tightening, shutting down our circulation – life in Christ. Real freedom comes from confession and forgiveness. 

Unforgivness, the need to be right, having the last word, selfishness, bitterness, hatred, held against anyone is a bitter root, a rope of bondage, that will impede our full relationship with Jesus. 

I realize forgiveness is difficult. Many of us carry deep woundings, placed there by people who should have protected and cared for us. 

My journey to forgiveness started with a simple and honest prayer. 

Lord, help me to want to forgive. 

I’m sure you have heard this before but unforivness and bitterness rarely affects the person to whom you are harboring these feelings. Forgiveness comes through the supernatural power of Jesus Christ. I have found the path to freedom from my bitterness through Jesus. 

So I have a scary challenge for you today. Pray this scripture. 

Psalm 139:23-24 (Amplified Bible) Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

But expect Him to reveal some things to you that He want’s changed and then …… 

Do it! 

There is freedom in Jesus. There is happiness in mismatched marriage. Let His name be praised. Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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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Thankful Thursday

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, August, we are all meeting up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and in September we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone

This week my heart is full. 

I work with some of the MOST amazing women in our church office. I tell you what, working in the office of our large church has opened my eyes. The people who work there are under paid and over worked. They deal with life and death problems and the fates of eternities.

They love Jesus and work tirelessly in the face of complaints about the donuts or the coffee, or the bathrooms, or the music or ..... or...... and..... and....

But, they love Jesus and they serve. I count it an amazing blessing to be on the team of Women's Ministry. These women I work with are amazing mothers, wives and servants of Jesus. They care deeply for the healing of the women in our congregation and for their spiritual growth. They give hour upon hour, their personal financial resources and their tears to help other women discover the joy of living for Christ.

So, today I give thanks with a heart filled up for the unusual blessing of working in a church office, even though I am unequally yoked. But mostly I give thanks to our Lord because these friends, like all of you, are my forever family. My eternal family.

I can't wait to hug your necks in heaven. I truly long to meet you. Happy TT. What are you thankful for?

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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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Three Powerful Words

1201960_born_again In Mark 10, we’re told about the story of a rich young man who approaches Jesus and asks what he has to do to inherit eternal life. Now read Jesus’ reply below as I’ve shown an edited version of it. You’ll understand why I did this in just a moment.

Jesus looked at him... "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." — Mark 10:21

Read it again if you need to and notice every word. Now read the complete version of this same verse:

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." — Mark 10:21

Can you see the difference? If not, go back and compare the two and find the three words missing from the first one. Three little words:

and loved him

They don’t have to be there to show what’s going on, but those three words stopped me in my tracks. Here stands this young man who lacks nothing materially. Jesus can see his heart before he even speaks a word, and most likely knows what this young man will say.

Yet—and this is the part that blows me away—Jesus loved him. He loved this man whose world centered on his wealth. This man who would turn and walk away from the gift Jesus offered. The man who was so mired in his sinful nature that when offered the key to eternity (Jesus was offering himself here), he still chose to walk away.

Through all this, Jesus loved this man and met him exactly where he stood, figuratively and literally. Every time Jesus looks upon us, He loves us.

Every time Jesus looks upon our unbelieving spouses, He loves them. Exactly where they’re at.

These three little words held within the complete context of this chapter of Mark is one of the strongest examples of Christ’s unconditional love. When God inspired the men to write His Word down, He intentionally put those words in there for a reason. Not as an afterthought.

As Christ loved this man who was poor despite his wealth, so we are called to love our unbelieving spouses. We stand before them, possibly the only representation of Christ in their lives. We are the door Christ can walk through and reveal His endless and intentional love.

God’s love is not afterthought. It is the heart of His salvation. And when we allow God to use us to reveal His heart…His love, we stand in the footsteps of Christ.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

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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Spiritual Warfare and My Unbelieving Husband

I have one last story to share with you. 

This trilogy of articles on spiritual warfare has a price. I have asked the Lord to protect my family and me. So today, I ask you to pray over my writing and speaking to result in two things; that the Lord, Jesus, is honored and that His Saints are empowered to fight the forces of evil. 

Also, I acknowledge that sharing these accounts of the spiritual realm may be troublesome to those who have never encountered what I describe. However, I began this blog over four years ago with a single purpose: To help others who are married to unbelievers. That is why I am compelled to share this story.

It took me years to learn how to fight for my unsaved husband. After too many years and too many tears, I finally found peace with my faith and my spouse through the power of Jesus Christ alive in my heart. I don’t want one other person to live in wasted years of unhappiness and frustration when I can share the truth I know from sitting at the feet of Jesus. 

It was Christ, Himself who brought healing to my heart and marriage. I want to share what Jesus has taught me so that you can also thrive in your marriage. 

In addition, I know there are many of you who are married to a spouse who dwells smack in the middle of the enemy camp and the spiritual warfare I describe is very real in your life (I have read your comments from last week).

Oh, how I wish I had known what I know now back in the early years. No one was teaching me. No one talked about these battles with the enemy and in fact, most Christians shy away from talking about doing battle with the enemy because it’s so controversial. But, I answer to Jesus and after serious prayer and four years of writing, He told me to share so that I can help someone else fight for their spouse. 

Thank you for praying for me. Now let’s get started. 

____ 

When I speak at conferences, the audience is always interested in how my husband feels about my ministry efforts. I think that’s a great question and I always tell them this: 

Today I’m going to share with you some stories from my marriage, some struggles, triumphs and the fantastic journey in which God has set in motion. I want you to know that my husband enthusiastically supports my writing and speaking. He has given me his full permission to share our lives. 

In fact, on the day I was preparing to start my blog, I went to my husband and explained what I was doing. I told him that I planned to write about our married life but wouldn’t do it if he objected. I also promised him that if I wrote something I thought might bother him. I would bring it to him to read first so he would be okay with my posting it. (Every time I have, he has always approved- I love that man) 

After my explanation and seeking his approval, he looked at me and said this, “Honey, if you can help one other couple to NOT go through what we have been through. 

Then GO FOR IT.” 

Amazing! 

I still giggle as I remember this. I giggle and delight at how in spite of my husband’s lack of acknowledging God, God uses my husband to do His work on earth. It’s a blast to watch it all unfold. 

With that said, I want to share my account of a time when I was praying for my husband. 

Several, several years ago, I began to pray differently for my husband’s salvation. I was doing some study about breaking spiritual bondage. I was learning that the devil’s lies hold so many people hostage, unable to “hear” to real truth of the gift of salvation. I wanted to pray and fight the bondage that was holding my husband captive to the lie that God did not exist. 

I would lay awake at night and place my hand on my husband’s back as he slept. I would pray for him. Something similar to this: 

Lord, right now I ask that you would break the bondage of lies my husband has around him. In the name of Jesus, I bind the enemy that speaks lies to my husband and that is fighting to keep him away from You. Lord, I ask that you would protect my husband from evil that is fighting to retain its claim over him. Lord, dispatch angels to walk with my man wherever he is goes to protect him. Free his mind and heart. Open his spiritual eyes that he can know the truth and let the truth set him free. In the powerful, life-changing name of Jesus our Redeemer, Amen. 

My prayer was drawn from a couple different passages, which I was studying. Such as John 8:32 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 

I think I prayed like this for many, many months, perhaps even a few years. I can’t really recall. I just know I would pray every night with my hand lightly resting upon him as he slept. 

Well several years ago, I recall it was during the summer months because we have a door in our bedroom where you can step out onto the back patio. I remember that on this particular night we left the door open to allow the cool evening breezes to come in. We kept the screen door shut to keep the bugs out but the air could still flow. 

It was in the middle of the night and pitch dark. I don't know the time of night but I came immediately awake. I sat up in bed. I couldn’t see anything but I felt something had just come through the screen door into our bedroom. I felt alarmed in my spirit.  

I couldn't see anything but I sensed it and……It was seething. 

I could feel its hatred and anger. In a split second, I understood that I was facing an evil spirit who had a claim on my husband. It was seething mad that I was praying it’s claim away. I don’t know how to explain this but to say I just knew….. I knew this thing had “owned” my husband for a very long time. 

What I mean by this is, I think it was assigned to my husband to keep him from finding the truth. And for years had been successful. However, my prayers were making a difference and it arrived to have it out with me. 

Oh my gosh, I started praying like crazy. Out loud and with fervor, I prayed, binding it by the power and blood of Jesus Christ. I spoke and said it no longer had a hold over my husband that Jesus was the truth. I prayed scriptures but I can’t remember today which ones. I also don’t know for how long I prayed like this. It could have been only a minute or many minutes. 

All during this pivotal battle, my husband never woke. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know how loud I was speaking; I was just doing what I knew to do. Pray with the authority of my Lord, Jesus. 

Then suddenly I sensed “felt” it turn and with what I would describe as a great rush like wind, it fled in a hurry back through the screen door. 

It has never been back. 

Whew! 

This encounter happened years ago, before I began writing, but now as I have had time to pray and consider it all, I didn’t realize at the time how important that night was. 

Since that time, my husband has changed. I didn’t notice at first but now I can clearly see that my husband’s hostility toward matters of faith is mostly gone. He doesn’t bristle when I talk about God. In fact, he has moved significantly toward the cross ever since. Although he has yet to cross the line and make Jesus Lord of his life, our marriage now thrives in peace. 

I’m convinced, as a woman, married to a man who doesn’t believe, our prayers for our unsaved spouse are of eternal and monumental importance. 

We are on the front lines. 

At the end of this life nothing, NOTHING, else matters but the salvation of people and a life lived to glorify the Son. 

Period. The end. 

Don’t grow weary. When you are weak, write me. I will pray beside you. I know how utterly important our battle prayers are for the cause of Christ. 

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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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Nancy Kennedy Interview and Update 2010

It is a delight and a privilege to welcome Nancy Kennedy to Spiritually Unequal Marriage once again.

Nancy-picOriginally, from California Nancy lives in central Florida with her husband, Barry. Her two daughters, Alison and Laura, are grown. Alison is married with one daughter, Caroline (age  8 ½). Laura is going to college part-time in Charlotte, N.C. and working full-time.

Nancy works as a features writer and religion columnist for the Citrus County Chronicle in Florida. She also writes books and speaks at Christian women’s retreats. She is a member of Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, Florida.

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I have shared in previous posts here at SUM that Nancy’s book, When He Doesn’t Believe, greatly impacted my heart and marriage. Her work contributed enormously to the healing of my marriage in the early years. As a young woman I struggled to navigate my faith with my unsaved husband and was deeply unhappy and desperately searching for help. It was in the early years that I picked up Nancy’s book from the local Christian book store and found comfort. Her wisdom and practicality filled me with hope and encouraged me to move forward in my marriage and faith.

I thought it would be fun to take a look at a couple of the chapter’s in her book and ask Nancy to expand on a few of the subjects covered.

Lynn: Nancy, we are delighted to have you join us again here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and giving of yourself to serve the Kingdom of God. You honor Jesus with your life and heart.

I was thinking it might be fun for our readers to just get a quick update on your life and marriage. How are you and Barry doing? How are the girls?

Nancy:  Barry and I celebrated our 35th anniversary this past May. He retired about five years ago and four years ago this month he had open-heart surgery, quadruple bypass. His heart surgeon was a doctor who was also a member at my church and got to know Barry well. Six months after that Barry had another surgery with the same doctor and then another few heart procedures after that. So, he had a rough couple of years for a while. Oh, and the girls are fine.  

Lynn: Nancy, chapter ten, Lord, Hear my Prayer, particularly resonates with me. I can testify to the truth that our motives in prayer are crucial. Can you share with us your thoughts on how we can pray for our spouse?

Nancy:  I know more about how NOT to pray than how to. I believe that God uses the prayers of His people, but He doesn't NEED them in order to work in our lives. I think that our prayers are more for us than anything else. That said, God tells us to pray, to ask and believe.

I started out praying that God would convict my husband of his sin, but it was more of a "Get him, God!" Today, I would pray that people would understand how great their sin is in comparison to God's great mercy and grace. That's my prayer for a lot of people, me included, that we would see God's great mercy and our need for it because that's what draws us to Him. 

When we pray for our husbands, or anyone, I think God's purpose is to change us, soften our hearts, and also surprise and delight us when He answers. 

Lynn: You and Barry have been married for 35 years.  Share with us how you remain hopeful over these many years. 

Nancy:  Just before Barry's first heart surgery he prayed with his doctor! He said he knew it was time, that the day of his surgery might be his last. It was awesome! I was terrified in the waiting room, but I knew that I would see him in eternity. But that was 30 years in the waiting. I kept hopeful all those years because I believe that God is sovereign, that He knows what He's doing (and that He's just not done doing it), that He never says "Oops" and that as long as a person has breath, there's still reason to hope.  

Lynn: In Chapter five, Being Perfect vs. Being Real, you talk about the many women who feel like they must always be the perfect example of a Christian in their marriage. At the end of the chapter you offer this; Think on These Things: Think about how easily Christians fall into the “Maintaining a good witness” trap. Can you give us an example from your own marriage where living in authenticity proved more powerful than the pretense of being a perfect Christian?

Nancy:  I write a weekly faith column for a daily newspaper in Florida and in it I often express my doubts and confess my sins and shortfalls. I admit freely that at times I don't love God the way I think I should and that I struggle with going to church sometimes. I've had very proper churchy people call or write and scold me for not "maintaining my witness" but I've had more people stop me in the market to say they're not Christians, but that I've shown them that maybe they could be. Too often we show the world that we're uptight and uncomfortable in our own skin as Christians. It makes outsiders think that Jesus makes a person weird. What Jesus should do (and does!) is make a person secure—secure enough to let people see our struggles with sin and obedience. That authenticity is what attracts people to the Lord. 

Lynn:  One day in heaven, you and I will sit together and share the stories of how our Lord orchestrated the astonishing in His relentless pursuit of our husbands soul. What is one story that shines in your memory?

Nancy: My “pigs fly” memory. I had almost given up thinking my husband would ever want to make a move toward faith. I told a friend, “It’ll happen when pigs fly,” in other words, never. Then came Christmas Eve, I think it was 2004. It was the first year neither of my girls were home for Christmas and Barry worked out of town. I didn’t expect him home until Christmas Day, so I made arrangements to be a greeter at all three of our Christmas Eve services. As I stood in the church lobby area before the second service, out of the corner of my eye I saw a familiar face, but it didn’t register who it was. Barry came walking up, wearing a white shirt and tie (and his sunglasses!), no advance notice, no clues, total surprise. He had never been to my church before and he came that night. He had been planning it for weeks. That night I saw a pig fly. It was a year and a half later that I know for sure he came to faith.

Lynn: Nancy give us an update on your newest book/project.

Nancy: I’m not currently writing any new books and my speaking schedule is blank, so I’m not sure what God has for me. Maybe my season of writing is over or maybe it’s just taking a break. My newest books are “Girl On A Swing” and “Lipstick Grace,” which is a collection of 120 of my columns.

Lynn: How can we, the community of Spirituallyunequalmarriage.com, pray for you?

Nancy: That I will continue to rest in God’s faithfulness to me.  I need to tell you all that even though I know for sure Barry is saved, he still doesn’t love church. I go on Saturday nights and he and I take a drive on Sunday mornings and listen to sermons on CD (he does love to hear preaching). So, in many ways, my life is the same. Still, God is sovereign and He never says “Oops” – and He’s not done yet.

You are always a delight Nancy. Thank you for taking time to share your life with us. We love you.


64344: When He Doesn"t Believe: Help and Encouragement for Women Who Feel Alone in Their Faith When He Doesn't Believe: Help and Encouragement for Women Who Feel Alone in Their Faith
By Nancy Kennedy

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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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Thankful Thursday

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, August, we are all meeting up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and in September we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone

Walking with Jesus is always a surprise. He is continually showing me His grace, His work in my life and His desire to help the Saints.

So last Friday I came home from a walk-and-talk with Him and I was filled with a Holy Fire to share some of my spiritual warfare encounters. So, I wrote what He told me.

And, Wow. I'm finding out as believers, we don't talk about this kind of warfare too often. And that many of us have actually experienced it. 

I'm so thankful that I followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit and wrote what He told me. If you have time to read the stories here is the link:

This is Real Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare and our Children

Stop back on Friday for Spiritual Warfare and my Husband.

Praise God from Him we can Fight and WIN! Have a blessed TT. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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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Can't Out Give God

933344_i_love_you When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. — Psalm 94:18-19

I read these verses yesterday morning during my quiet time. As their truth sank into my spirit, my thoughts latched onto how much God does for us. By nature, gratitude doesn’t come easy. It’s a mindset that takes some practice and diligence. Unlike God, we tend to give a little, then watch for one of two things. Or both.

1. That we’re appreciated.
2. That we’ll get something back.

It’s kind of like a test for us. And if we’ve been burned, we hesitate to give again. This can be especially true in marriage where hearts are easily hurt and motives can take a u-turn toward selfishness.

But something magnificent struck me today about God. He gave everything He had (His Son) right off the bat. He didn’t hold back, despite the constant pain and rejection he received from his children. He didn’t wait until we truly appreciated Him, nor does expect anything from us.

God desires our love and devotion but he wants it as willingly as He gave us His Son. That’s how He works, especially with our unsaved spouses. It’s all about the heart and God’s timing.

I know sometimes you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, that you have nothing left to give. Take that as a sign that God’s telling you to quit working from your own reserves and start using His. He never runs out. His love is endless and always accessible, and He’s filled us with it.

We’re like a two part tank. One tiny part is filled with our love. It’s the first one we tend to draw from and it runs out fast. Then there’s this huge cavernous tank holding an unlimited supply. The problem is, it’s so big, we have a hard time comprehending how to tap into it. We assume we’re not meant or worthy to. But God’s Word tells us otherwise, and speaks of His amazing love constantly. All for us.

Afterall, He loved us enough to give us His Son, right?

So, when you reach that point where you think you have nothing left to give, reach out to God. He’ll show you that bottomless tank of His love. He’ll fill you with it, then He’ll show you how to love your spouse, your family, your friends—everyone He needs you to love through Him and to Him.

How will you know it’s God’s tank and not yours that you’re using? You’ll suddenly realize that the way you love your spouse is way beyond any love tank you have.

That’s when you’ll know you’re drawing on the best source of all. And not only that. You’ve just given your unbelieving loved one a glimpse of it, too.

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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Spiritual Warfare and our Children

Friday, I came back from my morning jog and I returned home absolutely on fire in my spirit. That morning I wrote about my recent account with evil trying to enter my home and the spiritual warfare in which I engaged. After posting my story, my spirit continued to burn with a Holy inferno to inspire the Saints in their march against the gates of hell. 

Well, a few hours later Dineen telephoned me to talk about some of the details about our new book. However, I was still all fired up about how the enemy attacks so many of us and we don’t know how to defend ourselves. 

Poor Dineen, she had a fired-up Lynn Donovan on the line a preachin’ about the power of God and His amazing Son, Jesus. It’s so great she loves me and boy-howdy, do we have the most amazing conversations about the world of our Lord. 

Anyhoo, while I was on the phone with her I shared a story about another spiritual encounter that not only affected me but my daughter. Dineen and I agreed that it’s time for me to share that story here in the hopes it will help other parents to help their children. 

So, I ask that you once again understand that the spiritual world is very real. It is all around us and absolutely active. The devil roars around like a lion looking for someone who is weak to devour (1 Peter 5:8) also remember Ephesians 6:12 

Ephesians 6:12 our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. This passage is NOT a metaphor it is absolute reality and truth. 

Onward. 

For many, many years I would be awakened occasionally at night. I especially remember a lot of this kind of activity I’m about to tell you about happening while I lived in Las Vegas, NV. But it continued when we moved to California. 

Just as I was falling asleep, when I was in the weird in-between state of being fully awake and fully asleep, I would feel my bed begin to shake. The shaking was vigorous and fast-paced, as if someone was standing at the foot of my bed shaking with determination to wake me. 

Of course, I was groggy and not fully comprehending what was going on. And of course, the bedroom is dark. So, I would sit up not fully coherent and look around in the dark to see if it was my husband or an earthquake or ????? 

I didn’t know what it was and it always stopped. I thought it was my imagination. 

I thought it was my imagination. No, I convinced myself I imagined it. 

Well, as I matured in my faith, I began to recognize what was really happening. It was an evil spirit that arrived to frighten me. If I was frightened at night, it was in direct conflict with everything I was learning that God wants for me. 

The devil wants fear. God wants peace. 

The devil wants doubt. God wants security. 

The devil wants me to be paralyzed so I won’t pray. God wants my mind free so He can call on me to pray at night. 

The devil wants to torment, just for the fun of it. God wants to love us with passion. We are His heart. 

As I learned about speaking scripture out loud and how to pray against the enemy, I began to fight back. 

In the darkness of the night when I would begin to drift off to sleep and the bed would shake, I would sit straight up and start praying OUT LOUD. I would pray something similar to the prayer I wrote in Friday’s post. I would also quote scripture. 

One of my favorite passages and one that holds power against the enemy is: 

2 Timothy 1:7 (New International Version) For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 

I would quote this to the enemy and tell it that God did not give me a spirit of fear and I will not be afraid. I would bind the spirit with the name of Jesus. 

The name of Jesus. The name of our Savior is our strength and our power over the evil in this world. I speak to the enemy as a redeemed child of Jesus and it was by His power I command the enemy to leave my home. In Jesus name and by his shed blood. It would leave. 

My heart would be pounding but as the years have passed, I’m not frightened anymore. I know it can’t touch me. And in fact, today it’s quite rare that I experience this kind of spiritual attack. 

However, the story doesn’t end here. This is what I didn’t know. 

If that evil thing couldn’t get to me, it went to my daughter’s room. 

Gulp, I know. It’s hard for me to even type. I don’t want to alarm you as parents but I am convinced it’s critical to know the devil doesn’t restrain himself from messing with our young children, just because their young. 

The fact is I have seen very small children who are bothered by evil. Have you ever wondered why your kids are afraid of the dark???? There is good reason to be. 

Okay, now don’t freak out. I’m sharing this because this knowledge will bind the enemy and help you defend your children from evil. 

So, how did I find out it was bothering my daughter? 

One day my daughter and I were talking about nothing and she brought it up. “Mom, something is shaking my bed at night and it is scaring me. I think I saw something (-eyes-, her words not mine).” She said it happens as she is going to sleep and sometimes in the middle of the night. 

I think I trembled when I realized my baby girl was in the sights of the enemy. 

BUT, this is when at a young age I began to teach her to pray against the shaking. Against evil. Now I didn’t make it a scary thing for her but I was truthful. I told her that the devil was trying to frighten her because she loved Jesus. I said to her, “When this happens, you sit up in bed immediately and start praying OUT LOUD and command the evil to leave your room immediately by the power and the blood of Jesus.” I told her to say it over and over. (I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to leave my room.) 

She has learned to fight the enemy with her words and prayers. Let's be clear here. My daughter KNOWS Jesus. It is critical that we and our kids are connected with Jesus through a personal relationship.

Today, she is equipped to pray the devil out of her life and she rarely has this kind of thing happen anymore. It’s still scary to her when it does but she knows what to do instead of panic and hide under the covers hoping the shaking will stop, to afraid to run to her parent's room for help. 

Now, I don’t have this whole "fighting the battle with the devil thing" all figured out. He has been up to his diabolical acts for centuries. He knows just how to use our weaknesses. 

BUT, we have the truth. 

1 John 4:4 (New International Version) You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. Imported Photos 00014  

Even our children have the power to defeat the enemy. But we need to teach them. 

We need to have our battle armor on and be ready ourselves so we can help our kids. Seriously consider what training have you gifted your children with so they can overcome their fears of the night and of the enemy. The name of Jesus brings enormous comfort and protection to those who claim Him as their Lord. 

Praying with Power here in California. Be blessed, Lynn

*****

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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Weekend Devo — Watch, Pray, Love

Lamplight "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'

"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'

"'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'

"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'

"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."

—Matthew 25:1-12

Based upon the Parable of the Ten Virgins, a reader had this question:

"In light of the second coming of Christ and with respect to being unequally yoked, how should we live each day?"

As if it were our last chance to love our spouse to Christ. As if it's our last chance to pray for them. Every moment can matter. This is part of what Lynn and I want so much to share with our upcoming program "The Intentional Marriage." We can't walk through each day in our marriages just reacting. We need to be intentional in our actions and be proactive. What can I do for my spouse today that shows them I care? What can I do for him or her to make his or her day better? How can I encourage him or her?

While we were living in Europe, my husband rode a motorcycle. He was very good about wearing body armor and everything, but it still worried me. Every time he went out on that motorcycle, I prayed for him. For his protection, etc. That the enemy's plans to take his life too soon would be thwarted.

One day he went out, he almost didn't come home. As he rode past a trailer truck going the opposite direction, the house it carried slid off into my husband's lane, just behind him. He said he felt a whoosh, and when he looked in his side mirror, saw the car that was behind him drive through the house.

I'll never forget that day. I try to never forget to pray for him every time he walks out the door. I always tell him I love him and hold him before he leaves. Whatever happens, I want that man to have no doubts that I love him completely.

That's how we should live each day, giving Christ's love away.

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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This is Real Spiritual Warfare

I’m interrupting this Friday and adding a second post. 

Over the past several days I have been in the midst of some powerful spiritual warfare. I know many other who are smack in the middle of warfare as well. On Wednesday morning, I was up early, 5:30 a.m. to read my Bible and pray. As I sat reading, I felt the presence of evil trying to enter our home. I heard noises out back and then something touched the handle on the door to the patio that is only three feet directly behind where I was sitting. 

Now, I’m sharing this story not to frighten you but to tell you that spiritual warfare is very real. The Bible speaks clearly to this. 

Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version) 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

I am discovering that so many of us don’t truly know how to fight the devil and his minions and I am determined today to share some of what I know and I have found effective. So onward with the story. 

I immediately began to pray OUT LOUD. 

Our spoken words result in enormous power in the battle. It is the words we speak into the spiritual realm that have cause and effect. This is true when we are living in the will of God. So, if you aren’t right with God. Get so right now. Confess any sin and ask for forgiveness, turn to God for healing and beg Him to reveal His will for your life. THEN OBEY. Stay in God’s Word, daily. I can’t stress this enough. If you are not in God’s Word every day and you aren’t praying, you are vulnerable. 

The words we speak affect every aspect of our lives. I have watch people sabotage their own prayers by saying something stupid later in the day which was counter to what they prayed. The Bible is filled with warnings about how we use our words. And, to stress this further, may I remind you of how the world began? 

God spoke it into existence. Whoa! 

I began to pray something like this. 

I bind the enemy that is trying to enter this home by the power and blood of Jesus Christ. I bind all the works and affects this evil is trying to place upon my home and family. I ask you Father, to dispatch angels this very moment to fight for our home. Let them stand at every door and window with their swords drawn. 

Lord, fill this house with light and the power of Your Holy Spirit. Let it glow so brightly that the devil and his minions flee for miles around. 

Lord, I bind these evil creatures to the pit of hell, never to return.  

Father, it is your will that prevails in this house. It is your home. Place a hedge of protection around it and around my family (I name them by name). 

Lord, may our home and our lives bring you all, honor and power and glory and worship. I pray by the name of my Redeemer. It is his shed blood that purchased my life and it is Jesus who holds the keys. In His powerful and life-giving name, Jesus. Amen 

Okay, I know this prayer is a little disjointed but God gets me and hears and you know what happened next? 

I felt..... or I guess the best way to describe it is I sensed a super-fast motion around the house and almost immediately heard the flap of our dog door on the other side of the house flap loudly like something had speedily thrust threw it. 

Then I knew (sensed) it was over. They were gone. 

Do I understand why sometimes these things occur? No. 

Do they happen less frequently now as when I was weak in my faith? Yes 

Would these attacks occur if I was married to a Christian? Yes 

Is the devil threatened by me and therefore attacking with more intensity? Absolutely 

I can expect to do battle with the ugly one until the day I step into heaven. God expects it. I am part of His Kingdom. I can promise you that I have done battle for so many of you. I don’t say that to point to myself. I am not righteous. I am not even a very good Christian at times. But, I love God’s people and when He sends them to me to pray, I do it. 

Now it’s your turn. Take up the battle. You have a family to protect. You have neighbors who are hurting because they are listening to the lies of the enemy. You have Jesus. You have the answer so speak His power into your world. It is by His name we can fight and win and bring much honor the God of the universe. 

AMEN! 

Praying up a spiritual storm, Lynn 

Have a fantastic Friday. Go, Fight, WIN!

*****

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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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Randomness

Hello Everyone: 

We are postponing our first broadcast of The Intentional Marriage until next month. The second Friday, September 10th. We found ourselves a little behind on many of the details and didn't want to do a partially good job..

It is our earnest prayer that we put forth the BEST job and share words and stories that inspire you to live your married life intentionally. So we will hope you will join us next month. We will remind you as the date approaches.

In the mean time. I have a question for you. 

In the many years of walking in my faith, married to an unbeliever, I have discovered that there are numerous times where I mistakenly created conflict in my marriage over matters of faith. I also discovered those grow opportunities fights were a waste of time.

Of late, however, I realize there are times when we absolutely must engage in conflict. 

I may have backed down many times as I pushed, argued and tried to convince my husband that God exists and Jesus is real. But, through my relentless living of my faith and engaging in conversation when I could, my moments of conflict have impacted my husband and moved him closer to the cross.

I am also convinced I cannot be someone I'm not. I can't pretend I don't know God. I can't stay quiet about my views and I share them with my daughter and I even share my "God moments" with my man. In the early years, he would bristle over any mention of this sort. Today, it's just his life with Lynn. It would disappoint him today if I was not my authentic self with him.

I feel exactly the same. I want his authentic self, warts, snoring and all.

Conflict in marriage is inevitable and it's part of every healthy marriage. So my question. How do we navigate conflict as it relates to our faith? Looking forward to your thoughts and we chat about this again on Monday. 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 -

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, August, we are all meeting up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and in September we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone

Lord Almighty,

It was a great privilege to pray with one of my readers over the phone this past week. She prayed with me and for the first time and accepted Jesus, Your Son, as Savior and Lord of her life.

Lord, I am overwhelmed you placed me into that young woman's life to share the hope I have in Christ. The hope we all have in Christ. 

Father, so many are in deep pain in their lives right now. And we your church, the believers, have the truth that can set them free. We have the truth that this life is not doable without You. So, Lord, I am available. Choose me. I will pray, I will hurt with them and rejoice with them, I will love on those you send my way.

I am utterly and deeply thankful that you use ordinary people like me in the service of Your Kingdom. 

I worship you. I love you. Forever and ever. In the name of my Redeemer, Jesus, I pray and give you thanks. Your humble servant. 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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God Took Me on a Walk

IStock_000006737670XSmall God took me on a most interesting walk yesterday. First, let me preface this with something you might find interesting.

I walk our dog three times a week in the morning to get some exercise, and for a long time, I’ve gone the same two routes. See, up until recently, going new places, whether walking, driving, or flying has cause me some anxiety. Not much but just enough that it keeps me in a comfortable pattern.

Well, you know how God is about those comfortable places. And as I’ve shared since my father’s death, God has had me on a journey of No Fear. So, in the last couple months as I walk our dog, I seem to be drawn toward new detours and directions.

Without fear and anxiety. Amazing!

Yesterday, God seemed to have a plan in mind. As I traversed up a new street, I sensed God’s nudge.

“Go that way.”

Pooch and I changed direction and followed His leading. Now, normally when I walk, I don’t see many people. Yet as we took this new path, I ran into person after person.

First, an older man walking with a cane. Without even thinking about it, I greeted him and smiled. Not normal for this somewhat shy person.

Pooch and I continued on. We passed two to three more people working in their yards. As we passed each one, God nudged me to pray for them. I did as He asked, praying mostly that they knew Jesus.

We took another turn down a street I’d never traveled on and saw a man sweeping his drive. Again, God nudged me to pray. For pain, for hurt, for healing, for renewed strength and faith. Though I knew none of the details, I could sense there was great pain in this man’s life. The Holy Spirit gave me a glimpse of God’s heart for this person.

We went on, and passed yet another man sweeping the sidewalk. I began to pray again, but God said, “He already knows me.”

Another turn took us to a street I recognized, and I knew it was time to head home. I scanned the houses I’d passed so many times before and realized a new perspective—God’s perspective. Each home held people God loved, ached for.

Died for.

I have a feeling my walks won’t ever be the same again. I pray fervently that they aren’t. I like the walks where God’s in the lead. I like his perspective. And I love His heart for us.

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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It's a Belly Flop World

Hi my friends,

  • I don't fit in....
  • I am the keeper of the Belly Flops.....
  • I bet you are a Belly Flop too.

Join me for a fun and poignant story that came from my recent adventures to Sacrament to visit my husband's family.

I am now a contributor to the Internet Cafe, The Marriage Counter. I am delighted to return as a writer at the Cafe. A long, long time ago I wrote articles there and I have missed being part of that amazing team of writers.

Okay, hop over and please, please leave me a comment so we can chuckle together and perhaps too, you can be a Belly Flop. *grin*

Unequally Yoked Belly Flop



*****

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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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Weekend Devo — Doggy DNA

LWGI did a post at Laced with Grace about our precious poochy, Shasta, and the results of her DNA testing. Her results were not at all what we expected!

 Click here to read about her Doggy DNA. 

Have a wonderful weekend and if you havShastae a pet, think of the ways that little critter is a gift from God.

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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I Bet You Didn't Know This

Here is a small factoid I bet you didn't know about Dineen and I (Lynn). 

This blog was launched in May of 2006. Dineen was one of the first readers and she and I became fast friends. Within six months she and I became a team and have been writing and serving Jesus together ever since.

We talk via email, daily. And, I do mean daily. Sometimes more than 10 emails will fly between us. We also chat on the phone several days each week and we pray together over the phone.

We brain storm our ideas and share what the Lord is speaking to us on a given day. We agonize and pray together over the emails that arrive from people who are in crisis in their marriage and we celebrate with those who find healing in their hearts and marriages through the power and love our our Jesus.

We are best friends.

But up until today, Dineen and I have only met face-to-face for less than two minutes.

We connected at a Deeper Still Conference in San Francisco for only two minutes. Other than that we have never spent any significant time in the same room. 

Now think about this. We have written together here at SUM for four years and have even written a book together.

Do you find this fact as uncanny as I do????

Well, think it's just like our Lord to do something this different just so He can display the power of His will in the lives of two ordinary women.

But today, as you read this I am on my way to pick Dineen up from the airport and we are then off to spend time with our Acquisitions Editor, Kim. Kim is awesome and we both have a wonderful friendship with her. 

We will also meet some of the team at Regal Books, our publisher.  

So today Dineen and I are asking all of you our friends, to rejoice over this amazing reunion and to pray for us.

Please ask our Lord Jesus to bless our time together as we are going to plan our first broadcast for The Intentional Marriage, to be aired next Friday. Please pray for safety as we will spend some hours on the LA freeways. Yikes!

Pray we remain humble and only seek to glorify the name of Jesus.

Thank you all of our friends. You can bet your names will be chatted about as we talk about all of our online friendships. We will thank Jesus for you.

Also, I plan to Twitter @LynnDonovan and Facebook (Lynn Donovan) about our adventure. Tune in and see a few photos and follow us as we journey with the Lord to serve His Kingdom.

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

Let us give thanks. It is Thankful Thursday.

This month, August, we are all meeting up with Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and in September we will share our thanks with Iris of Grace Alone

Do any of you remember the staples commercial for back to school? It just makes me grin.....

Anyhoo, next Wednesday school begins and I am happy/sad.

This is the fastest summer on record. I never even made it to the beach. I think we will have to go after school starts.

I am also excited as my daughter begins her sophomore year in high school. Oh, what adventures await. What drama and heart breaks. What auditions are ahead and homework? 

It is a rich blessing to be a parent. I am so utterly and deeply thankful the Lord gave me two children.

I am thankful for the richness of family. What are you thankful for? Looking forward to reading your post. 

PS. Stop back next Friday for our debut of The Intentional Marriage. I hope it inspires you to be intentional in your own marriage. Be blessed, Lynn

 

Gotta LOVE this commercial. Makes me grin every time! 

*****

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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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Step Four: Catch the Vision

Over the last few weeks I’ve posted several articles about loving our spouses unconditionally. Here are the links in case you want to review.

Step One: Choose to Love
Step Two: Focus on Your Mission
Step Three: Obedience

ColorfulEye This week, I’d like to take this to what I believe is a subtle yet very crucial aspect to loving our spouses unconditionally. In step two, I talked about keeping our focus on God. Let’s take a deeper look and talk about vision.

Now I’m not talking about the health of your eyes, or anything supernatural (at least not anything existing outside the perimeters of God’s prsence and power). I’m talking about grasping a sense of what God has planned for our unbelieving spouses. “Catching the vision” of what God wants for our spouse, so to speak.

This requires more than just 20/20 vision. Many of the comments you’ve left on these posts have mentioned trust, a key element that must be present and growing in our relationship with God. When we don’t trust God with the future of our mismatched marriages, we can’t see the potential in our spouses.

I recently had the opportunity to exchange emails with a dear woman who’s been unequally yoked for fourteen years. She shared some of her journey from near divorce to a thriving marriage today, despite the fact that her husband is still an unbeliever. And how God works through her to minister to others on similar paths now. I just love how she put this in her own words:

“Standing by our men doesn’t look like sense to the rest of the world. Even to some it looks like denial, but faith is all the difference. Others don’t see in our husbands what we see, for we see the promise!! We see them with the eyes of God, we see the priest of the home, the leader of the family in the making.” — Renee

Seeing that promise in our spouses is part of keeping our focus on God. We see the potential, the promise. This is so important to staying focused on what God’s doing. When we shift that attention to our situations, we tend to see only what’s wrong and grow discontent and impatient. Our vision becomes limited.

We need the spiritual glasses of faith and trust to see what God is doing and to know where we have opportunities to work with Him toward the salvation of our spouses. To do otherwise is to remain in darkness and lose hope.

Ask God to help you see your spouse through His eyes. Then trust Him to show you amazing things.

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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Hide and Seek

Good Monday Everyone:

I'm playing Hide n Seek today. You can find me over at Laced With Grace where I share a story about things that scare our kids at night and how we can help them overcome fear.

Visit me today and read about: Things That Go Bump in the Night.

Also, I absolutely love the Marriage Monday meme over at Chrysalis. E-Mom is one of my dearest and oldest online sisters. This month we are linking up and chatting about: Romantic Favorite Foods.

I will share a secret about marriage as it comes to food. My husband has traveled as part of his job all of our married life until recently. One of the best gifts I could give him was a home cooked meal. And, if I spiced it up and he broke out in a sweat, all the better.

Watching him take his napkin and wipe down his entire face is a sure sign the man is euphoric. *grin*

Here is a favorite recipe. Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas compliments of Kraft Foods

1 small Onion, chopped 

1 clove Garlic, minced 

1 lb. cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded 

1 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa, divided 4 oz. 

(1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed 

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro 

1 tsp. Ground cumin 

1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese, divided 

8 Flour tortillas (6 inch) 

This is my part: Add sliced jalapeños on top of the chicken mixture to turn up the heat.

To make it HEAT oven to 350°F. HEAT large skillet spayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 min. Add chicken, 1/4 cup salsa, cream cheese, cilantro and cumin; mix well. Cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese; mix well. SPOON about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining salsa and shredded cheese. BAKE 15 to 20 min. or until heated through.

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One more thing. Next Friday, August 13th, Spiritually Unequal Marriage will launch a new meme up, The Intentional Marriage (read more about it here). We have a great idea for our first meme up that I pray you will find a meaningful experience for your marriage and will likely inspire others in their marriage. So stop in a be part of the day. More to come about this new adventure. Stop back this Friday. Hugs, 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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