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25 entries from December 2010

The Physical and Spiritual of Fasting

Fasting banner 2011 
 

When you honor and worship God by presenting your body as a living sacrifice through fasting, you too will know His assignments for your life. ~Jentezen Franklin, Fasting

There is so much written about the physical and spiritual components of fasting that I find it impossible to fit it all into a single post. Nor, am I an expert. So today, I want to share a couple of links to give you more information about the physical and spiritual part of fasting.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO FAST, read these.

Campus Crusade:

How to Prepare Yourself Spiritually and Physically

What Physical Effects to Expect

Quick Tips by Jentezen Franklin

Tomorrow stop in for a a Fasting guide prepared by Rosheeda. Ro and I, will be leading us through next week's fast. 

It's almost time.

Just imagine in a weeks time the answers to our questions we might have, the miracles, to close sweetness of dwelling with the Most High. 

Just imagine. Be blessed, Lynn

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Preparing for a Fast

Fasting banner 2011 
 

Some of our preparations for our week of fasting January 2-8 have already begun. We have talked about the kinds of fasts and I pray you have sensed what God is asking of you. We have written out our goals and praises to pray with next week. But, what more is there to do to prepare for a fast.

Today I want to share a story with you from the word of God. It's about emptying…

Jesus Questioned About Fasting Mark 20: 18-22

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”

19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them.

20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse.

22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

In his book, Fasting, Jentezen Franklin, says, “Fasting is what prepares you for a new anointing. God can’t put that kind of wine in old skins. If you want new wine, new miracles, new closeness, new intimacy with Him, then it’s time to call a fast and shed that old skin for the new.”

It’s about emptying….

I don’t think I have understood this passage before now. Have you heard the saying, “If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got.”

Well, duh!

It’s time to do something different, something God speaks of a great deal throughout His Word. It’s time to cast of the old wineskins, do something new, and then EXPECT, the new anointing. The miracles, the closeness, to expect Jesus to show up and astound us.

So prepare for this fasting. Reach for your Bible in the morning: Read this passage in Mark, then Read Isaiah 58.

Also read: How to Make Your Spiritual Experience the Best It Can Be. by Campus Crusade.

Today I have a question. Do you believe that fasting is offering our body as a living sacrifice?

Be blessed, Lynn

792583: Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate,
More Powerful Relationship with God

By Jentezen Franklin

 

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What is Your Top Ten for 2011

Fasting banner 2011 
 

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Fasting prepares you for a fresh anointing. ~ Jentezen Franklin

Let's do some serious things for God in 2011? Let's crash through our walls of Jericho and bring the surrender of those strongholds.

Let us also bring before the Lord our priorities, hopes and dreams as we know them today. Through this process we will bring into clear focus those areas in our life that we are seeking God's hand, His wisdom and His power.

Top Ten for 2011 (PDF)

The form above is a simple list to get our mind, heart and prayers circling around the new year. I am asking you to consider several areas in your life, bring them to God in prayer, ask for his wisdom and provision over these areas and to lead you to their completion.

For example on my list I have written:

  • Deepen my prayer life through fasting.
  • Speak to audiences at least 10 times in 2011.
  • My husband's Holy Spirit conversion.
  • Seek God's next assignment for my writing.
  • Work harder than I ever have to get our message, Winning Him Without Words, into the hands of those who need the hope of Christ in their marriage.

Okay, these are a few of my hopes, dreams, goals.

Then I'm going to write down my praises and thanksgiving for the answers to prayer I have received. A least 10.

Now I am going to bring my list every day throughout our fasting to the Lord. Asking Him to confirm or remove any of these. To supply His wisdom as to how I am to follow Him toward these goals. To ask Him for accountability.

Dineen and I want to be your partner in this with you throughout 2011. We have prayed about how to be your accountability partner to acheiving your Top Ten. If you want someone to pray over your hopes and dreams. Someone to share your joy in answered prayer. Someone to check on your progress and to see you though the next 12 months, then consider us.

Make a copy of your completed Top Ten of 2011 and then mail it to me.

Lynn Donovan

43952 Barletta St.

Temecula, CA 92592

We plan to follow up with you several times throughout the year. Okay, start dreaming. God gave us dreams and they are for His purposes and glory.

Right now, share with me one of Your Top 10 for 2011 in the comments. Don't be shy. I will be taking your top Ten with me in my prayer time this week and next. So, don't worry if it's right or wrong or that someone will judge you. You write your one Top Ten down and let Jesus see it proclaimed publically. Be blessed and I can't wait to dream with you, Lynn

See you tomorrow for Fasting Preperation. Be Blessed, Lynn

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A Snickers Bar..... or God

Fasting banner 2011 
 

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Are you willing to forgo a Snicker's bar in the afternoon to over come a recurring sin in your life?

-----

So what is fasting? It's the humbling of ourselves to draw closer to God.

Fasting must be coupled with prayer and reading of God's word. This three cord approach is what releases God's supernatural power into our life. Without all three, fasting is just dieting.

Fasting is NOT:

  • A tool for weightloss.
  • An attempt to arm twist God into our way of thinking.
  • Advisable for those with medical conditions that are complicated from fasting.

True fasting is giving of our basic human nature completely over to the Lord. To allow Him to fill us up spiritually as we empty physically.

There are many ways to fast. You can fast from television. Or give up one meal a day. Or like, Daniel, fast certain foods. The Biblical fasts include fasting from food for one, three, ten, 21, and 40 day fasts.

In his book, Fasting, Jentezen Franklin, describes the types of fasts:

  • Absolute Fast: Food and water fast. For only a limited time and under medical consultation.
  • Normal Fast: No food, clear liquids, lots of water, 1 gal purified the first day, broth and juice when necessary.
  • Partial Fast: The Daniel fast was vegatables and water.

If you have never fasted before, I would suggest trying out a one day fast. Forgo food from dawn to dusk. After sunset you join the family for a modest evening meal. This was the first kind of fast I participated in. It was amazing. This was the type of fasting I did during our annual fast last January.

This year I hear the Lord calling all of us that are able, to fast from food for seven days. I have prayed about how and what to pray for and the Lord is so good. He has given, Rosheeda, who will lead our fast next week, and me some general topics which to pray through.

Why do this corporately? We all are living in some difficult and challenging circumstances. When we pray and FAST together we bring down the power of God. We will also bring God into our planning for 2011.

So tomorrow we will cover the Top Ten of 2011 and what that is and looks like and why you want to be part of it.

Okay today, if you are feeling that excitement build, leave "I'm In" in the comments again. Also share any experiences you have had during a time of fasting. Your experiences can help others to be ready.

Additionally, I discovered some excellent information about the details of fasting on the Campus Crusade website. Take a look:

Why You Should Fast 

How to Fast Safely

How Long and What Type of Fast

Stop in Tomorrow for the Top Ten 2011

Be blessed, Lynn

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Are You Going to Dream Big in 2011?

Fasting banner 2011 
 

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Do you really believe God? Do you read this passage and think this promise is for somebody else?That God really doesn’t care about what you desire deep in your heart?

I’m here to tell you that we can believe this simple passage with full confidence.

Now read further:

Psalm 37:5-9 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

What do you want in 2011?

Do you have big dreams or are you looking to move out of survival mode?

Would you like to know what God wants for you in the year ahead? I know that's what I want.

What is the key to this passage? Look at the first sentence. Delight.

Delight in the Lord!

Definition: *To take great pleasure or joy. *To give great pleasure or joy.

So HOW do we delight in the Lord?

Well it really is quite simple. It's through our worship, prayers and fasting.

On January 2nd, we will join together as a community of believers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. We will fast together, pray together, worship together. Our only purpose is to seek to delight in the Lord. But I’m certain if you dare to walk this week with Jesus you will not only find delight, but you will also find:

  • Your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God when you fast.
  • Fasting brings one into a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord.
  • Addictions will be broken.
  • Marriages will be redeemed.
  • Salvation and redemption of lives of our husbands, children will be set in motion.
  • Ministries will be raised.

You will hear from the Lord in such a way it will astound you.

So start today to ask the Lord about your first week in January. Ask Him about your 2011. Ask Him what kind of fast and how long to fast. Ask Him. He is beyond ecstatic that you would seek Him through prayer and FASTING. He has been waiting a long time to give you so much that only comes through the humbling intimacy of a fast.

Now, don’t panic if you think you can’t fast. There are different ways to fast and you can see a list here on our site tomorrow. Do any of you know the different Biblical fasts? Add them in the comments.

If you just read this post and you feel anxious, excited, scared and your heart is beating faster, I think God is tapping you on the shoulder. If I can do this…. So can you.

Wednesday we are going to also talk about how to seek God’s will for your 2011? Do you want to do His perfect will in your life. Are you tired of making the mistakes? Let’s do this together. The Top Ten Exercise is a small mentoring effort that Dineen and I are working up right now to help you through to see God’s will fulfilled in your life in 2011. We can’t wait to share it with you on Wednesday.

Monday – Pray ask God about fasting.

Tuesday – Ask God what kind of fast and how long to fast.

Wednesday – Top Ten Mentoring Exercise for 2011

Thursday – Fasting preparation.

Friday – How to fast. The physical part of fasting. The spiritual part of fasting.

Saturday – The fasting guide will be ready for you to use daily.

Sunday – Leaning into God and the start of our seven day fast.

If you are excited, if you want more of the Lord in 2011. Sign up now. Leave a comment, “I’m in.” God sees your commitment and He will prepare for the blessings and discovery ahead.

BIG hugs with tons of enthusiasm, Lynn

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There Once Was a Man Who Didn't Believe in God

There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

Snow_church One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.

"That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet.

When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn't go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It's warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.

The geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn, but they still didn't catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

"Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human.

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud.Geese winter

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn - and one by one the other geese followed it to safety!

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind:

"If only I were a goose, then I could save them!"

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God want to be like us? That's ridiculous!"

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, and perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized!

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.

Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:

Mangercross "Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!"

~Author Unknown

 

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Your Teen and Christmas

It's pouring rain outside. 

I sit at my computer peeking at Facebook and see a post from my friend Pam Farrell.

The video starts. I call to my teen daughter, "Caitie, you are going to want to see this."

She strolls into my office.

I move over in my chair, she joins me. 

We watch.

We smile.

We awwww.

We "get" it.

 

 

Merry Christmas from the Donovan Clan

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I'm Thankful

It’s two days until Christmas:

I’m thankful our house is clean.

I’m thankful that we had just enough to provide for Christmas.

I’m thankful that we had a tiny bit more to help a few others.

I’m thankful for my Christmas baby, my son Brad, age 28. He shares his birthday with Jesus.

I’m thankful for my husband. He is my hero.

I’m thankful for my teen daughter.

I’m thankful for my little Peanut who is still annoyed with me for tying a Christmas kerchief around his neck.

I’m thankful for everyone who has stopped in here to read and shared a part of themselves with Dineen and me.

I’m thankful for the grace and gift God has given that Dineen and I have a message arriving in February, that is from our heart and covered in prayer, our book Winning Him Without Words.

I’m thankful for Jesus.

I’m thankful and my mind boggles to conceive God would come as a man to save a messed up and needful me.

Christmas_cross_ball
I'm Thankful! Be blessed, This Season, Lynn

Visit Iris for more Thankful Thursday.

 

(If you are wanting to start 2011 with a close walk with the Lord, to discover God's will and understand His calling on your life in the next year, join us the first week of January for the Top 10 Exercise and a week of fasting. Read more here on Monday, December 27)

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Let Us Adore Him

IStock_000014106078XSmall I was on a road trip over the weekend and listened to Third Day's Christmas Offerings (had to use headphones because hubby doesn't care for my music). I know we hear this one song a lot this time of year but maybe it was just time for me to hear it in a new way. Here are the words:

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful
By: John F. Wade

Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Highest, most holy,
Light of light eternal,
Born of a virgin,
A mortal he comes;
Son of the Father
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God
In the highest:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.


I guess I've always listened to most Christmas songs in terms of the Baby Jesus, but hearing the line "oh come let is adore him" spoke to me this time about the man/God who is our Savior. I felt a call in my spirit to adore my Savior.

If that's the one gift I can give Jesus, then I give it gladly. And not just at Christmas. I want to adore Jesus all year long.

Oh come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Have a wonderful Christmas, my friends!
Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Be Intrigued... Get ready 2011

I want to intrigue you..... Think about the following.

I want God to Wow you with His presence, power, and miracles.

I want to see spouses come to the cross.

I want to see the captives set free, marriages thriving, lives filled with joy.

I want your life to shout of God's possibilities.

DO YOU?

Let me share just a little more to peek your curiosity. Dineen and I are reading a life-changing book right now. Here are some short excerpts.

*The three duties of every Christian are giving, praying, and fasting.

*Could we be missing our greatest breakthroughts because we fail to fast?

*Your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God when you fast.

*Fasting brings one into a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord.

*You have to wonder what blessings are not being released. What answers to prayer are not getting through? What bondages are not being broken because we fail to fast.

*Jesus knew that there were supernatural things that could only be released through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17).

At Spiritually Unequal Marriage, we as an online community of believers, fast the first week of January. Will you begin to pray about how and what you should fast and join us.

I will be sharing more about how to fast. How our fasting brings us to a place of being able to clearly hear God's will and so much more.

But, to truly start 2011 with God's view of your next 365 days, I urge you to join Dineen and I, order this book and read it now. Then let's set 2011 on fire for the Lord.

Do you want real change? Do you want supernatural vision? Then let's follow Christ's example.

I have so much more to share... fasting and promises.... Our Top Ten excercise for 2011.... So much ahead to grow in our faith walk with Jesus. Be blessed, Lynn

792583: Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate,
More Powerful Relationship with God

By Jentezen Franklin

 

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How Rich are You this Christmas?

Author Unknown

My Dad sent this along to me. I wish I knew who wrote it so I could give credit.

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

" It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them." The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Too many times, we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don't have. What is one person's worthless object is another's prize possession? It is all based on one's perspective. Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have instead of worrying about wanting more.

Take joy and appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Merry Christmas my friends, Love, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Twas the Night....

Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house,

not a creature was praying, not one in the house.

Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care,

in hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,

not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.

And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap

was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,

I sprung to my feet to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, I flew like a flash,

tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

but angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!

With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,

I knew in a moment this must be The Day!

The light of His face made me cover my head;

it was Jesus! returning just like He had said.

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,

I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand

was written the name of every saved man,

He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;

When He said, “It’s not here”, my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love

He gathered to take to His Father above.

With those who were ready He rose without a sound,

while all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees but it was too late;

I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;

Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.

This is a poignant poem and tough to read when you are spiritually mismatched. Let the truth of Jesus rapid return, plunge us to our knees this season. There are eternities at stake and Jesus birth and death is what it's all about. Happy Thankful Thursday, Lynn

This December let's all meet up with Iris at Grace Alone in January we are back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and February we will be at Laurie's, Women Taking A Stand.

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Keep Letting Go

IStock_000006935189XSmall Yesterday my youngest daughter turned 17, and next week, my oldest daughter turns 21. I can’t believe how fast this happened. I’m sure many of you out there can relate. How do they grow up so fast

The last two years have been fraught with difficulties for our family. So many of you have prayed for us along the way through my youngest daughter’s brain tumor diagnosis and the ensuing surgeries and treatments. Her complete physical recovery is a story of many small miracles (can they ever really be small?) that comprise a truly miraculous recovery.

I’ve written a lot lately about unending trials because despite such an amazing journey, our hardships with our daughter are ongoing. I’ll spare you all the details but will tell you I’ve been fearful for her future because of her seemingly inability to live her life in the light of her miracle.

My faith has been tested more deeply in the last month than I ever imagined possible. I confess, I’ve come closer to losing hope than I ever have before and even contemplated if I could continue. I believe God wanted to show me that when I reached the end of my ability to believe, I would still find Him right there, still faithful and very present.

In the midst of this journey I’m learning that I can’t take responsibility for that which is not under my control. Though it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I’ve had to step back and allow my little “bird” to try to fly despite her seeming inability to do so on her own.

I have to accept that she may fall to the ground, but that this may be the learning catalyst she needs. And somehow in the mix, I sense my husband’s continuing unbelief is part of the equation.

It’s not easy watching our loved ones make poor choices. I’m a fixer. I want to clean up and fix things, but in the end, I’ve delayed their learning process. I can take responsibility for that but not their poor choices.

And I’m sure you can understand the frustration of seeing the clear path, yet watch your loved one totally miss it. At times I’ve felt like my hands are partly tied by my husband’s unbelief.

So, I’m sharing this with you because I’ve sensed a need to be more transparent with you. I tend to guard my emotions and what I’m really facing, solely for the purpose of not wanting to discourage anyone. But I fear in that process I’ve misled others in thinking I have it all “together.” Boy, if you’d been around a couple weeks ago, you would have seen me at a most untogether state.

I’m still traveling this road. For now, the dust has settled and I’m trying not to be afraid of what we will face in the New Year. I want to trust God for that, because He’s shown me that so much of this doesn’t depend upon me and my choices, but on Him.

Just Him.

And there is the greatest lesson in what I’m learning right now. To keep letting go. I thought I had this part figured out, but I see now how easy it is to lose sight of what we hold onto and what we give to God when we’re in the middle of the yucky stuff.

I hope and pray as we walk into Christmas that if you are facing conflict in the New Year that God will show you in very special ways, from the smallest to the blow-us-away-extra-large-kind, that He is bigger than anything we face and ready to take over when we finally let go.

May He be the One thing we cling to tenaciously and joyously.

Merry Christmas!
Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Gift_certificate Okay, I'm wondering if buying Christmas gifts for your husband is a challenge?

It is for me. My man really isn't in need of much. He doesn't want a bunch of stuff.

However, he is a geek. I say that proudly. I think most of you know he works in the high-tech industry. So when some new electronic gadget arrives on the market, he begins his research. And you can bet we will own one at some day in the future. Can you guess what intrigued him this year?

Blu-ray disc player.

Well he never waits to purchase his gadgets and by the time Christmas rolls around he owns one. I think he bought the Blu-ray in August. 

The man works seriously hard so if he wants to buy himself a Blu-ray in August, it's good with me. However, I usually don't have a clue what to give him to unwrap on Christmas morning.

It's usually small stuff.

I think this year I need to get creative. Personalized gift certificates may be the perfect gift. Here are some ideas:

  • Back rub
  • Dinner and movie (of his choice/ but no war movie *grin*) We laugh about war movies.
  • Prepare his favorite dinner
  • Make the run to the dry-cleaner
  • Model lingerie

Okay, these are some things my spouse might like.

Here are some ideas I have run across for men and/or women

  • Tickets to a sporting event/theater
  • Dinner at a nice restaurant
  • Cuddle by the fire
  • A sexy coupon
  • DVD movie at home/ pizza night

I found a site where you can type your own Christmas Gift Certificate. 

I would love some of your ideas. What is a creative gift certificate to give to your spouse?

Be blessed, Lynn

Right after Christmas we are going to begin a series of posts to help you bring the year 2011 before the Lord. We are declaring 2011 the year when god moves mightily in the lives of the readers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Stay tuned for the amazing first week of January and also Your Top 10. You are going to want to walk with us on this journey. I'm so excited. Hugs, Lynn

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In Case You Missed It...

Hi Everyone! In case you missed the Christmas edition of The Intentional Marriage, here's the recording. I loved sharing the story about my girls when they were little and how they showed me they really did understand Jesus was the heart of it all. I also shared some cute ideas for activities for your little ones (and older ones) to help focus on Jesus, the meaning of Christmas and to bring that home in the hearts of our kids. I pray they inspire and encourage you. And we want to hear your stories! Share your traditions with us! Don't forget about the meme too. Share your tidbits of wisdom on yesterday's post and you'll be entered in the drawing for those two beautiful journals. Merry Christmas! We love you! Dineen

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The Intentional Marriage—Santa Claus, Jesus and Kids

IntentionalMarriageButton Today I will share a cute little story with you about my daughters when they were itty bitty, just around 3 and 7. I (Dineen) hope you'll tune in to our Christmas edition of The Intentional Marriage broadcast over at CWATV.com for some great ideas to keep Jesus alive all year long in our children's minds and hearts, and I have two special gifts for two special commenters.

Find us at Christian Women Affiliate at:

The Intentional Marriage - You can view the show from this page.

Eastern Daylight Time 11:30 a.m.

Central Daylight Time 10:30 a.m.

Mountain Daylight Time 9:30 a.m.

Pacific Daylight Time 8:30 a.m.

GMT for all of you outside of the US 15:30 (and, thanks for joining us at odd hours.)

And don't forget our meme! We're still planning to gather your stories and put them in a book, so be sure to share and link up below. 

The Meme:

This month, think of what piece of advice you would give yourself as either an about to be new mom or a mother of little ones. Share some tid bit of wisdom or insight based upon one of these categories:

  • See the Humor – humorous anecdotes and funny advice about the hilarity and fun in marriage and how to relax and not take ourselves too seriously.
  • Powerfully Positive – wisdom and perspective that comes with living with our spouse over time. What wisdom or perspective would you share with your young self that would make married life more fun, fulfilling, and joyful for you and your spouse. How has the power of God worked in your marriage through forgiveness, commitment, and unconditional love.
  • Practically Practical – Everyday things that show love to your spouse, yourself, your family. This can be anything. A favorite recipe or a story about letting the laundry go so you can watch a movie together. Anything practical that is edifying and helpful.

I also have two very special journals (these are the "special special gifts") for two people. One is the Embracing God journal by Anne Graham Lotz and the other is Praying the Names Of God journal by Ann Spangler. So if you post the meme on your blog, be sure to leave a comment here so we can draw names.

So, LINK UP and visit us today at The Intentional Marriage.

Discovering the joy and beauty of marriage....

as God intended it.

Adoring 

Enduring 

Intentional

Reflecting Jesus... The Intentional Marriage


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The Christmas Letter

Okay, you usually fall into two camps when it comes to this funny and strange tradition of a family Christmas letter. You love ‘em or hate ‘em.

I LOVE THEM.

Now I know they are usually filled with sickening sweet recollections of all the amazing and fantastic things that occurred in the year and sometimes it’s hard to read those kind of letter’s especially when you had a tough year. Some people like my friend Kathy writes a Christmas letter that often begins with something like this…

Well, the dog was run over and the oldest daughter shacked up…..

It’s real-life and that’s what she writes. I LOVE her letters too. She is hilarious.

No matter what kind of Christmas letter you write, I love to receive them and read every word. I thrill to enjoy the adventures and triumphs in your year. I am thankful for those Christmas cards and letters. They are a joy and a tradition I treasure.

If you love receiving Christmas letters too, write in the comments…. I LOVE CHRISTMAS LETTERS.

You are then entered into a drawing for some really cool prize I have yet to purchase. But you will love it…. I promise.

Also, if you want a Donovan Clan, Family Christmas Letter mailed to your home this season, I would love to mail one to you with a personal thank you for your friendship and to tell you I love you. Email me with your snail mail address Lynn and I will pop one in the mail.

Happy Thankful Thursday this Christmas Season. Be blessed, Lynn

Please, please, please mail your Family Christmas letter to me:

Lynn Donovan

43952 Barletta St.

Temecula, CA 92592

This December let's all meet up with Iris at Grace Alone in January we are back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and February we will be at Laurie's, Women Taking A Stand.

 

Post Notation: I just went to my mail box and there I found the annual letter from my friend Kathy. It a doozy... a three pager... So, I'm off to the couch for a great read and a belly laugh. Ho -Ho -Ho

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Santa Claus, Jesus and Kids

IStock_000014229117XSmall When my girls were little, one of my biggest challenges this time of year was not letting Santa Claus overshadow Jesus. Add to that the conflicting expectations a mismatched couple can bring to Christmas and sparks fly! Those early years were really tough sometimes.

You see, my sweet hubby turns into a big kid at Christmas and it’s hard not to get swept away by his enthusiasm. Plus there’s so much media focus on advertising and sales, our kids wind up resembling the Bernstain Bears’ Green Eyed Monster.

The truth is that our challenge comes all year long. If we wait until Christmas to teach the message of why and how Christ came, we miss our biggest opportunity to build the foundation of Christ in our children’s lives. We miss the chance to teach them that Christ is our greatest gift all year long.

I know sometimes it can seem hopeless, like you’re not getting through to them, especially if your opportunities are limited. But trust me, you are. God sees our efforts and adds his presence to the mix. He wants our children to know who He is too, and He’s working in ways we may not realize until a precious moment of revelation.

IntentionalMarriageButton I have one such moment that I’m going to share this Friday on our Intentional Marriage program. I hope you’ll tune in to my televised edition of this theme—Santa Claus, Jesus and Kids. I have a wonderful story to tell you about one Christmas morning that still lives vividly in my heart and mind. I think it will inspire and encourage you as well.

And don’t forget about the meme! We’re still building your stories into a book, so be sure to come back Friday to tune into The Intentional Marriage and to share your Christmas story as part of our meme.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Deck the Halls and the Dog

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon putting up the Christmas tree. Our tree is a fake tree. Boo! I know. I know. There are two camps those who MUST have a real tree and the rest of us… I promise I’m not a Scrooge… But an artificial tree is in the Donovan home.

Our tree is about nine feet tall and it’s one of those ornery beasts, which requires you to insert each branch into the base one at a time and then fluff the greenery out. Insert – fluff – repeat… Insert- fluff- repeat…

It takes forever to get the thing up and ready for lights. No one in the house likes this part of the Christmas tradition.

“It’s time to put up the tree,” I call to my family.

Imported Photos 00004 Caitie, my daughter, somehow slips away to her room. My husband is hiding out in his office. The only one in the living room with me is our dog, Peanut. Even he is annoyed with me because I have tied his Christmas kerchief around his neck.

We deck the halls and the dog around here.

Well I pushed on and started the tree by myself. What I discovered is that slowly the family started emerging from their hideouts. My husband came to inspect my work first.

“Honey, why is it you don’t help me with the tree?”

“Well, it’s not my favorite thing to do.”

I should have expected this answer. But then he quietly pitched in, placing the top on the fake evergreen. He fluffed and smiled down at me.

It was then that I realized something I hadn’t before. This tradition is very important to my husband. It would bother him beyond words if one year I didn’t want to put up a tree. I also realize that my husband is not a starter of most projects around our home but he always comes to help once I get it going.

Imported Photos 00008 This morning in the predawn, I plugged in the lights of our tree. Mesmerized, I gazed at the glistening color as they twinkled in the darkness. This tree reflected back to me a message...  a lifetime of love.

The ornaments collected over the years from our vacation adventures, soccer practice, Bible studies, our children’s activities and many other odd sorts of escapades are memories, which fill my heart. The ornaments echo our life together, our marriage, our children, our laughter, and our love.

This tree, our family scrapbook, is a deep connection in our home and I realized something this year. I will always, always have a Christmas tree in our home. Long after the kids have married and have their own home and family. Long after our Peanut is gone. I may be eighty but I will hang ornaments on our tree and thank the good Lord above for the abundance of love He has given me.

Imported Photos 00006 Be blessed, Lynn

What is a holiday family tradition that connects you and your husband? 

 


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The Bright Morning Star

Star We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. — 2Peter 1:19

I loved reading this particular verse this past week because its reference to Christ as a morning star is so profound. This connects the prophetic reference to Christ’s coming in Numbers 24:17:

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”

And also to Revelation 22:16:

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

Past, present and future. Christ has been, is and will be our bright Morning Star. What a precious thought as we enter this time of Christmas and remember that star twinkling over a small baby, announcing the brightest Star ever to arrive.

I pray the star of Jesus will rise in our hearts as these days lead us to celebrations (and sometimes conflict) with family and friends. May his presence in our hearts shine brightly!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Do You Believe In Modern Day Miracles?

On Monday afternoon I went to my mail box. Waiting inside was a rather large envelope mailed from Canada. Puzzled, I took the package inside. I opened it up and out came a book.

Modern Day Miracles

Mdmiracles3 I smiled and breathed a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Inside I found my story about a small miracle in my life. My story: It All Started With a Woman and a Cow. What a Christmas!

Many of you read this story last year over at Laced With Grace. This was my retelling of God's fantastic, crazy, and faithful provision during our eleven month-long unemployment. So, today I'm praising God for allowing me to share with many others how He lavishes His love into the lives of our ordinary family.

But, I'm not writing about that story today. I want to share with you a different story from this book. Let me set the stage:

Russell VerMulm was a young man who came from a very large family. He joined the military and several months into his service, he fell gravely ill. His complaints were ignored by the medical staff for a week until finally they ushered him into surgery to remove his ruptured appendix. 

For SIX months, this kid langished in pain and fighting for his life in a military hospital. He was unable to speak or basically even move. Now listen to this excerpt as he recalls this period of his life:

Why was I in the hospital? I wrestled with that for a long time and God spoke to me again and said, "Do you remember the nurses who read your cards to you while you were in the hospital?" 

I did.

He said "Do you remember when you were lying there unable to talk, they were reading those loving get well cards to you? You for all practical purposes were dying and through tear-filled eyes they said they wished they had what you had (A relationship with Me). 

Today they do."

Did you hear what I said? While I was dying they wanted what they saw from this dying young man. Even while standing by the fragrance of the dying, you can smell the victory of life. 

I had life eternal and they wanted that.

By the part I played just lying in that hospital, a good work was done. I give praise and glory to God. The time was well spent. That was my best witness to date; I couldn't talk or move, so God did what God needed to be done with no interference from me.

-----

Quite a story. But this is where the rubber meets the road for our own lives. The troubles in your life may appear to be overwhelming. They may feel like they are bringing you close to death, an emotional death, a spiritual death, a marriage death, and perhaps even a physical death. However, we are charged to persevere through it because someone's eternity is at stake.

Now hear me as I say this: ALL THAT MATTERS IN THIS LIFE is that we live for Christ and the salvation of souls.

So, step up to the plate. God is asking us to bear our diffuculties with dignity and with grace. He is asking us to reflect Him, especially through our hardships. In our challenges is when we shine the brightest in the spiritual realm and people are affected.

People are saved.

Our children, our neighbors, our family and even one day our spouse.

Praise the Lord, Jesus. He knows what He is doing. We must trust Him. Live every minute for Him and allow Him to shine in this dark world.

Be blessed, Lynn

To order a book, visit Allisson C. Restagno at Moderndaymiraclesbook.com

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Our Season to Shine

This December let's all meet up with Iris at Grace Alone in January we are back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and February we will be at Laurie's, Women Taking A Stand.

It's Thankful Thursday. It's December and I joyfully give thanks to the Lord, Almighty for His Son.

What is true about December is, this is month many people soften to the idea of Jesus. They are more willing to hear about Him. They often attend church in December when they won't go any other time. They will listen to the story of the virgin birth and the conclusion with the cross and ressurection.

This is a month of hope.

So, I'm looking past the busyness of the season to see someone who might be open to hear about Jesus. I might send a card in the mail, yes the real mail, to encourage someone this time of year. I may buy a family's lunch or dinner anonymously at a restaurant. I will perhaps drop a bag of groceries on the front porch of a friend who is struggling financially. I may do all of these in hope that they see there are people in this world who step outside of selfishness. That they may see people can be generous and share love and gifts without any expectation in return. In hope that they ask, "Why?" 

Why would someone bestow a random act of kindness?

It's because of Jesus. 

Matthew 25: 37-40 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Star This is our season to shine. It's right now when people are open to hearing about Jesus. Decide this day, December 1st, to be intentional and reflect Jesus into the lives of others.

Then step back and watch what God will do.

Some of the most impactful moments in my unbelieving spouse's life have been when I randomly pay for a stranger's meal or pay a toll for the car behind me at the toll booth. Small amounts of money. BIG impact on the heart. 

Let HIS light shine through our eyes and bring glory to the name of Jesus. It's time to celebrate the birth of the King of Kings!

Have a blessed Thursday and rejoice for unto us us born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. ~!Luke 2:11

Giant Hugs and blessings on this Thankful Thursday, Lynn

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