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February 2011

29 entries from January 2011

Want a Boyfriend????

It’s two weeks until Valentine’s Day. For many who live in unhappy marriages and those of us who live unequally yoked, this day is not all smiles and chocolate. In fact, this day can be painful.

Later in this series leading up to the big V-day, I will share some of those articles and my newest one, which will be at the Internet Café on the 14th. But, let’s not live defeated. God did not create us to live in disappointment nor defeat.

So for the next two weeks we are going to set off on an experiment to move away from the traditional renderings of Valentine’s Day and make this “Greeting Card” holiday one that we will laugh about, enjoy and remember. Join me and…..

Let’s make our husband our boyfriend.

Now before you give me the eye-roll and say, “Oh brother, she’s nuts,” hear me out.

I actually did this recently, made my husband my boyfriend. It was a complete by chance opportunity but it was so much fun and now I have a boyfriend. A fun and cute and attractive boyfriend who likes to hold hands. Who knew???

Here’s what happened.

Most of you know that I have an ornery streak in me. Darn it! But, whatever, my family loves me anyway and we sure laugh A LOT because of it!

Set the stage: My family, we were all getting in the car several weeks ago, I was the driver, my husband was in the passenger seat and in the back, sat my 15 ½ year old daughter and her best friend. Two girls who at this age and I quote, “Want a boyfriend more than air to breathe.” Oh brother. (drama…. drama… drama….)

As we pulled out from the garage on our way to drop the girls somewhere, they were quite surprised that my husband was going with us just to drive around on a drop-off errand. I have to tell you that I understand their surprise; my husband rarely does the driving of children unless I am absolutely unable to do it. But on this particular day, I had forethought to ask my husband to join me for this outing, a short car ride to drop kids, just to spend time together. No office. No computer. Just time driving and talking. Plus I told him I would make it worth his time… (wink.. wink.)

*Side note: Notice I did the driving. Men do not multitask. They either drive or they talk, but never the two shall mix.

My daughter was completely surprised when Dad jumped in the car and as we backed out. She says, “So whasup? Why ‘s Dad goin?”

Now remember these two teens are completely obsessed over having a boyfriend. Not that I think they have a clue what to do with one once they get one. (A story for another day)

Knowing their fascination with boyfriends and you add to that to my ornery and jovial sense of humor. I stopped the car in the driveway, turned around, and spoke to their stunned faces with a broad and mischievous grin plastered on my face, “Dad’s coming with me so he can be my boyfriend and hold my hand.”

Holding_hands Impetuously, I reached over and grabbed my husband’s hand and we locked fingers. I grinned bigger.

You could literally hear the “eye-roll” directed at me from the backseat of the car as I backed into the street. Then the giggles started. My daughter’s friend couldn’t contain herself any longer. She tried to stop but the giggles erupted which of course then, I started to laugh (loudly by the way, I never laugh softly), then my husband and my daughter joined in.

Hilarity and gaffs of laughter, uncontained, flowed from our car as I happily rolled down the street holding my boyfriend’s hand and living life to the full. God is good to me.

So, that day my husband became my boyfriend. Who would a thunk it, but this “boyfriend thing” has grown over the past months and it’s become a new and wonderful romance between my husband and me.

I have more to tell you on Friday. Stop back in then. Today, I want you to be purposeful and invite your husband to be your boyfriend. Start asking God to show you how, when, where, what… all of it. You will discover what I have. A boyfriend in your husband is really kinda cool.

Be blessed, Lynn

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Have I told you lately....

... that I love you!  So does Dineen..

And so does the Lord. And He loves on us too.

First, I'm sitting in my office on a storm Sunday afternoon as I write this. I am overwhelmed by love. The kindness, prayers, petitions and caring all of you have poured onto Dineen and I. We have been on the phone several times this weekend getting teary eyes together reading your prays and we are thanking the Lord for each of you.

We have so many surprises around the corner to share. I feel as if I'm about to burst. And out of my terrible day on Thursday came God's amazing presence. He showed up and surpassed our wildest dreams once again. I live in continual amazement and worship of our King.

Stay tuned. Much more to come. Hugs, Lynn

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Made to Crave

Hi Everyone,

Many of you know that I was able to sit with my friend Lysa TerKeurst this past spring. We enjoyed a delightful talk. She gave me some helpful advice about writing and such. And, we talked about some of her current writing projects. 

At that time she was finishing up her new book Made To Crave. This book hit the market place early January and has been a great help to so many of us who struggle with conquering our eating missteppes.

I am reading the book now and it's not a diet plan. It's a plan to help you succeed to eat healthy and to support you on whatever eating plan your are following. 

If you struggle in this area, pick up here book. 

Lysa has generously offered a book to give away here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. So, to enter the drawing, please leave your name and "enter me" in the comments.

Check out the Madetocrave.org website to order a book now.

Love you Lysa. Thank you for all you do to serve the Lord. Hugs, Lynn

Enter once until midnight on Tuesday, February 1st. Winner will be chosen by drawing.

 

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Weekend Devo — Faith of a Mother

IStock_000005466158XSmall Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
—Matthew 15:21-28

The mother's faith in this passage caught my attention this week. She is one persistant woman! First the desiciples try to get Jesus to send her away, then Jesus counters her request twice. I don't know what His reasoning was there, but I have a feeling it was for the disciples then and for us now.

The message? Don't give up! Despite the visible oposition, this woman persisted in asking for her daughter's healing and knew Jesus was the only One who could do it.

As a mom I love this woman's heart. She fought for her child. So many of us have children facing challenges in a world with little to no understanding for them. But this story shows us Jesus cares! And He hears our prayers.

I'm still battling for my own daughter's health and well being. My prayers aren't being answered the way I want, nor is anything miraculous happening as with the girl in this story. BUT, I know from this Scripture that sometimes things aren't as they seem. God is in control and has a purpose in it all. He's working in my daughter to help her walk into the plan He has for her life. In the meantime, I will keep praying and believing!

Hope you will too.
Hugs!
Dineen

 

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This time... I Need You

Hi My Friends,

Well as you might expect the enemy has been working overtime. Yesterday, a giant setback occurred.  Something we counted on to be prepared for our book release became completely unravelled.

I'm going to be completely transparent here. I was so angry I was shaking. I haven't been that mad since I was an executive at a bank . (banking can really tick you off *grin*)

So, may I ask you, our friends, to pray for Dineen and for me. The enemy would love to destroy our marriages, our efforts to get our message out and our witness.

I would treasure any words of prayers you leave in the comments for us today. We have prayed for so many of you. For your marriages, for you spirit, for your happiness and we count it a privilege to do so. We rarely ask for prayer. Perhaps we should ask you to pray for us more frequently?

But, today, I am utterly humble and in need of the Lord to protect us and show us what direction we need to go.

I love all of you so much. I care deeply for your heart, your marriage, your children and your spirit. Thank you for praying for Dineen and I. Hugs, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Serving the Kingdom

Thankful Thursday is hosted here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage in January. Don't forget that next Thursday we will all meet up for Thankful Thursday at Laurie's of Women Taking A Stand and then over to Grace Alone for March.

I have been richly blessed to host Thankful Thursday. I haven't been around to read your online friends posts but I WILL get there, God willing.

This Thursday, I am utterly thankful for allowing Dineen and I to share our stories of God's healing in our spiritually mismatched marriage with the world.

Our book, Winning Him Without Words, will be released on February 17th. We are in earnest prayer that our message will save marriages, encourage women to grow in their relationship with Jesus and mostly that the name of JESUS CHRIST is glorified.

If you know a woman who is living unequally yoked, they are lonely, they feel misunderstood and are struggling quietly. Please send them to us. We will pick them up, dust them off and give them a Wild Hope they need to move forward in their marriage and their journey toward heaven.

I can't begin to thank Jesus enough for the chance to serve His Kingdom.

How do you serve God's Kingdom? Is it through your church, through your online ministry, is it by serving your family and your husband? Give thanks to Jesus and let's celebrate all the good things God works for our good and His glory.

Praising Him. Lynn

PS. Stop back in February as we start a new series: How to make your husband your boyfriend.This will be hilarious yet practical as well as perfect timing leading up to Valentine's Day. Also, we will be launching a brand new website the second week of February. Cool Free stuff, stories, information and a bunch of other stuff. Stop in and visit with me.~ Hugs, Lynn 

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The Hummingbird Atheist

I snapped this photo last night from my family room window. We are looking into the backyard. It’s twilight in this scene. It’s the mad rush of the Hummingbirds.

If you know an unbeliever this is a good story. If you are a believer, this is a GREAT story. Let this tiny bird reveal some very BIG things about our God! Read the entire post at Laced With Grace, The Hummingbird Atheist.

Here are a few more photos I snapped last night.

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Living BIG FAITH

BigFaith When I wrote my original post about BIG FAITH, I had no idea how many people would respond. So many of you, as far away as Africa and Austrailia, have contacted me here or privately to say God has put the same yearning in their heart as well. Reading my post merely put into words or confirmed what they already sensed.

It’s an amazing and awe-inspiring thing to see something like this happening in our day and age. God is moving in big ways and He wants to take us with him. But He’s not asking us to have perfect faith—let me be clear about that. I don't want anyone to think that just because something didn’t pan out like you’d hoped, it was because you didn’t have enough faith. That’s a sticky, gray area that just causes doubt and confusion.

What I’m talking about with this whole praying for BIG FAITH for 2011 is asking Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith, to do just that—perfect our faith.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. — Hebrews 12:2

In the King James version the word used is “finisher.” The Greek word is teleiotes and means perfecter, one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith. Jesus is our example of BIG FAITH. AND according to Hebrews 12:2, He’s also the author of our faith.

The real heart of what God is asking us in this journey toward BIG FAITH is to BELIEVE and TRUST him. God wants so much for us to not just believe in him but to BELIEVE Him for whatever He has placed upon your heart for this year. And trust Him for the how and when.

If you’re sitting there, reading this and don’t know what God has put upon your heart, then maybe it’s time to ask Him. Maybe He’ll have something to tell you, maybe He won’t right then, but trust Him to be the one working in your life to bring about His plan and purpose.

And if you’re someone like me who has hidden for while out of fear because the situation you’re in is like an endless and repetitive loop, then we’re the ones God’s especially calling to right now. He wants to end the brutal attack on our faith and strength but we have to BELIEVE that. Just because we may be in the middle of chaos does not mean we have to live like chaos. We can still have peace and joy in the midst of whatever stormy trial has invaded our life. I know what that’s like to be sucked into a raging storm that is the result of the circumstances and actions of someone we love. We didn’t cause it but we love that person and are an integral part of their life.

We can’t go untouched by the trial but we can walk through it with the confidence that God has our back, that God is in control, and that God is working for our good and the good of our loved ones. When we BELIEVE this, our perspective begins to change. This is the seed of BIG FAITH because in the center of it, we’ve dethroned ourselves, our loved one, the issue, or whetever it is, and placed our BIG GOD in the center of it all by affirming,

“Yes, my God is bigger than anything I’m facing and with Him I can do anything.”

BELIEVE this truth, AFFIRM it every time doubt, the enemy, or naysayers want to tell you differently.

This is what BIG FAITH looks like. We know that we know that we know God is BIG, and then we live like we believe it.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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What's the Name of That Book?

I have to tell you that Jesus Christ can do amazing things in the lives of two ordinary women. You may know that Dineen and I spent a few days together. We were preparing for our new book launch and at the advice of our publisher, Regal Books, we worked with our video guy, Jim Fredrick, who is a genius and very patient, to record some video segments that we will use on our website.

Okay it was a grueling, fun, hilarious and weird day. We filmed for hours. Dineen and I came home utterly exhausted. BUT, wow, did we laugh….

God gave me an amazing friend in Dineen. While we were filming our last segment at my kitchen table, I looked Dineen in the eyes, took her hand and said, “Thank you for coming to my home and allowing me to be myself.”

You see Dineen knows me, really knows me, the good the bad and the ugly, she has stayed in my home, met my family, lived with my zany ways AND loves me anyway. I can’t tell you what this really means. For years I never had girlfriends, a real friend. But, God, once again God, knew what I needed and He sent Dineen.

So, with that I say. Love you girl and thanks for all the laughs. AND boy howdy, did we ever laugh.

Here are two women who are goofy. We hope you love us still when you see the following “BLOOPER” video clip.

If you missed our streaming online TV show, The Intentional Marriage, I hope you have a chance to watch it. We answered some questions that seem to be a common issue in spiritually mismatched marriages. Scroll down.

Okay, here is the clip. PS. There are more to come. We will let you know. Hugs, Lynn

Remember, we had been recording for hours and were quite surley by the time this clip was recorded... I hope it makes sense and makes you smile at our ordinariness.

Here you go...."What was the name of that book?"

 

 

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Weekend Devotion at The Intentional Marriage.

Okay, Stickam may have a commercial before our video. Bummer. We are working diligently to have it removed.

We sure would love to hear from you. Share with us your thoughts and suggestions in the comments. Hugs, Lynn and Dineen

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Lynn and Dineen LIVE

This morning Dineen and I will be together LIVE on, The Intentional Marriage, online streaming television.

We would be thrilled if you have 30 minutes to sit with us in the kitchen, have a cup of coffee and talk about Jesus.

We will give you some updates about things that are happening around here. We will answer some of your questions. And the questions you have given us already are really, really good.

And we have a message from a familiar passage that I think you will read today with a newness that leaves you with a WILD HOPE.. for you, your marriage, your family.

Join us at 11:30 a. m. Eastern / 8:30 a.m. Pacific. Click on the link in our sidebar: The Intentional Marriage.

If you have questions: click over to our Facebook Page and leave your question on our wall.

Can't wait to see you. Hugs, Lynn

The video of this mornings show is processing. We will upload it tomorrow morning for our weekend devotion. Thank you everyone who tuned in this morning. BIG hugs, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Online Community

Thankful Thursday is hosted here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage in January. WOO HOO!

In February we move to Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and then over to Grace Alone for March.

Tomorrow my BFF, Dineen Miller, my co-writer and co-author, the one who listens to my problems, the one who puts up with my zany blondness, the one who forgives me when I miss a deadline, the woman who knowns me well and loves me anyway, will be flying into town for a short visit.

WOO HOO!

Some of you may know this but many of you don't, Dineen and I have written together on this blog for almost five years (May). We wrote a book together and we have an active prayer ministry for so many who need prayer for their marriage. She and I have partnered for over four years yet we hadn't spent more than two minutes with each other face-t-face until just this past August.

THAT is the power of the community of God on the internet. We worked together in one accord and for the Lord without spending any time together in the same room. 

Dineen is visiting because we are frantically working to finish some of the details for our upcoming book publication. We must finish some video stuff together. We have a jam-packed schedule and we will LOVE every minute of it and treasure the time we have together face-to-face.

We would LOVE IT if you would join us for a cup of coffee, some of our zany stories, a peek at what's coming up next,  LIVE THIS Friday morning 11:30 Eastern/ 8:30 Pacific) for our online show, The Intentional Marriage. It's going to be in my kitchen (I hope I can figure out the logistics) and it's going to be a hoot.

Today, I'm utterly amazed yet delighted God could form a deep and everlasting friendship over the internet. I am richly blessed with many of these friendships with you. 

Thank you Lord for my online community and friends. THEY are the treasures in my crown that I cast at your feet. 

How about you. Is there an online friend who you treasure? I'm looking forward to visiting you and finding out out who your online BFF is and why.

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I Am Convicted & Convinced

When I wrote my post Saturday about BIG FAITH, I had no idea the response it would get. I simply put to the page what God seemed to be saying to my heart.

Turns out He’s saying it so many right now. There are now 20 people on my list. And as I said in my post, I commit to praying for each one to have BIG FAITH for 2011.

What amazes me even more is that all your comments convicted me that I was not completely embracing what God was asking us and then I was convinced that God really and truly is up to something BIG here.

Really big…

He wants more. He wants us to trust him like we never have before in ALL areas of our lives. But today, I want to address the one that is so critical to us who live with an unbelieving spouse.

Years ago, I did the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby. I will never forget the moment I sat there, doing my homework and came across this verse:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. — John 14:6

God chose this moment and this Scripture to make very clear that I was not in control of when my husband would come to faith—that my husband’s choice to embrace faith (or not) would not be due to anything I had done right or wrong. No, it would be completely up to God as to the how, when, why, what and where.

This was the most liberating of moments. Suddenly I felt released from burden of saving my husband. I can’t. Never could, never will be able to. Only God can do that. And He is more than able!

So here is a first step in our journey to BIG FAITH—BELIEVE God for your spouse’s future, whatever that may be. Entrust your man into God’s hands and just say, “Lord, I believe YOU for whatever you have planned for my husband. I KNOW You are bigger and stronger than his unbelief.”

Now walk forward in the faith that God has this completely under control and enjoy your spouse for who he is and where he’s at right now. Jesus will most definitely be there. You can BELIEVE that.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Building Big Faith

Over the weekend Dineen shared a fantastic post ~Big Faith… If you missed it, scroll down and take a minute.

So today I must follow up that post with a question. How do I develop BIG FAITH?

I was pondering this very question and the Lord answered. Isn’t that just like the Lord?

Sunday mornings, my church is studying from the book of Haggai. We finished the first chapter yesterday. I have to tell you, I’m astonished this obscure book in the Old Testament with a strange name contains so much wisdom we can apply to our life in 2011.

So here’s the gist…. Fifteen years have passed since the Israelite remnant returned from Babylon. The people have use the cedar logs meant for the temple to rebuild their homes and they failed to construct the Lord’s house. Can you see a parallel in 2011? Yikes

Oldwall
So God calls them out and says: “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”

In these words I hear the Lord calling me out. Ouch.

I had my own dreams. I tried to build my house, my marriage, my career, etc. and I didn’t consult the Lord. I didn’t want to hear what He had to say about marriage to an unbeliever.

God, blew it all away. Why does God blow our dreams away?

Well, out of our dying dreams our opportunity to really trust God is born. We learn to put God (His house) first. We discover the truth of Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?

God says in Haggai 1: 13 “I am with you,” declares the LORD.

These words shout to my soul. I am with you….. You are special. You are chosen. You are important to God’s plan. You are significant.

So today, I’m going to respond like the Israelites did. They got to work. They believed God and began to build. They left their mediocre past behind and embraced a new future. They lived believing that God was with them. They found a new dream.

Today, I am going to live as if Jesus is with me always. I am going to build my marriage up. I am going to breathe significance into my children. I will reject the lies of the enemy and tell anyone who will listen that my God saves.

I will build my faith through obedience just as they did. I will, because I know that I am significant to God. Therefore everything I am and everything I do is significant.

THAT is the beginning of BIG Faith. Live like Jesus is with you always.

Be blessed, Lynn

*Inspired by Josh Clark. Thanks Josh. Sunridge Community Church.

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Weekend Devo — BIG FAITH!

MovingMountains When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” — Matthew 8: 28-30

Yesterday after I read this piece of Scripture, I prayed for big faith. God’s Word had convicted me and made me realize that I’ve hidden behind a safe faith the last year because I was afraid of more disappointment.

That’s the danger we face in this life riddled with all kinds of challenges and trials that seem to go on and on without answer to our prayers. I’d chosen to protect my heart but I’d also sacrificed seeing God move in my life.

Well, today I’m praying for “big faith. The BIG, WILLING-TO-RISK-MY-HEART-TO-BELIEVE FAITH!

Will you join me? Leave a comment that you want BIG FAITH too, and I will add you to my prayer list. I committ now to praying for this for you and me for rest of the year. :-)

Lord Jesus, you are the author and perfecter of our faith. So make it big! We want to be like the blind men who came to you and believed completely in your ability to heal them. Whatever you’ve put on our hearts and minds, Lord, help us to step out of our safe faith zones and trust you more. Make our faith grow in huge ways and let it be done to us according to our faith! We believe you will do great things in 2011! In your precious name we pray, Jesus. Amen!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Freaking Out.... and a few other details

Well quite a few things have happened around the Donovan house over the past several weeks. And I have gathered a few stories up to share with all of you. I have felt the spirit moving around me and wow does the Lord have some big plans for our family here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Today I want to confess something. I have some anxiety. Actually I’m FREAKING OUT!

It’s unusual for me to get this pent up feeling of fretfulness for a prolonged period of time. But, I have felt it building until just a few days ago. My anxiety stems from the fact that our book will release in six weeks. SIX weeks.

I’m freaking again.

Thoughts in my head roll around something like this:

Will people like it?

Will it help people in their marriages?

Will my husband be mad over some of the content? (I have practically begged the man to read it but he insists he won’t read it until an actual hard copy is put in his hands…. Sheesh) *note: I am blessed that my man really and truly trusts me to share about our lives.

Okay, more thoughts…. Will my publisher be glad they believed in our idea?

Good Grief.

So, a week ago, I realized that this angst was rising at a constant pressure and was not going away and so I finally asked God about it. Duh!

“Lord, why am I so nervous about this upcoming event? Why am I so fearful????”

God is alway blunt with me....

“Lynn, why ARE you fearful. Don’t you remember that this is MY book and not yours? Don’t you remember you begged me for every single word on your knees and I gave you each syllable? Lynn, didn’t I place a burning passion in your to write down what I have taught you and now that it’s written you feel released?”

“Oh Lord, my Lord. I remember. This IS Your book. It’s not mine. You have its future, it’s message and you already know each and every women who will ever read it. You hand-picked each one already. Oh forgive me.”

This is an ordinary day in the life of an ordinary woman. Yet it is a day of realizing a dream that is utterly beyond my imagination. This book is a humble love offering to our King.

Join Dineen and I next week, January 21st 11:30 Eastern/ 8:30 a.m. Pacific as we broadcast, TOGETHER, live on The Intentional Marriage. We plan to share with you some of the behind the scenes things we are planning. We will talk about the book and share some of the reviews that are coming in, we will tell you about some of the opportunites we will have to grow together in our marriages and in our relationship with Jesus.

Mark your calender. I promise you will be encouraged and filled up with the love of Jesus. Watch then as your overflowing cup spills into the lives of your kids, your spouse and your world around you. Love all of you so much, Be blessed, Lynn

 

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Thankful Thursday - Significance

Thankful Thursday is hosted here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage in January. WOO HOO!

In February we move to Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and then over to Grace Alone for March.

Now that 2011 is a few weeks old, your zeal about new beginnings and potential is waning. You still have piles of laundry waiting, kids shouting at you, demands on your time and you feel lost.... once again. You might feel like your hope for something new is diminished and you feel forgotten or unappreciated.

That's the January Blues. A not so uncommon occurrence.

So, this is EXACTLY the time you need to hear this: 

"A woman's high calling as God's image bearer renders her incapable of insignificance, no matter what has gone wrong in her life or how much she has lost. Even if her community shoves her aside, turns a deaf ear to the sound of her voice, or regards her as invisible-even if she is forced into a passive role in the community she remains vital to God's purposes and is a solid contributor anyway. She simply cannot be stopped." Carolyn Curtis James, "The Gospel According to Ruth" - Zondervan, 2008

Press on we serve God Almighty and He is our significance. I'm hushed to whispers of thanks that God sees me. I am incapable of insignificance. 

What are you thankful for this week? I'm looking forward to visiting all of you. Also, if you know other bloggers who would like to give thanks this Thursday, please invite them to join us this week. I love to meet new friends. Take time to visit a few of the other participants and...... no matter what, you serve a God who values your roll in your life. Be blessed, Lynn

 

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Raising Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home

Hey, I almost forgot to tell you that I have shared a facinating interview I did with my daughter a few years ago and it's over at the Cafe. 

Take a minute and read this if you are trying to raise children in a mismatched home: A Child's Faith When Raised in a Spiritually Mismatched Home.

 

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A Change of Heart

1236084_love You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. — 2 Cor. 3:3

Many of us participated in the Fasting & Praying week here at S.U.M., but I want to share something that happened the week before.

Fasting has never been easy for me. I struggle with it greatly and have actually avoided it for the last couple years, using my food issues as an excuse not to. The enemy used that one on me very effectively.

So as this week approached I began praying for God to help me do it. I needed to do it because I was facing some big issues in the New Year and my gut was telling me it was time to break the bondage that had gripped my family in a matter of weeks!

I will tell you that God enabled me to fast as I’ve never done so before. I will also say that the week wasn’t easy in the sense of hearing God. I probably struggled more there than I did with food. But what I want to share with you is something that God did before this.

My family and I went to Florida to spend Christmas with our families. We haven’t been able to do this in about 10 years. My husband’s family is huge, and I adore these wonderful people. I miss them as much as I do my own mother. Thankfully they all live in the same city—the city my husband and I met, went to school together, fell in love, and got married.

The idea of moving back to Florida has cropped up periodically through the years, but my husband has resisted it. Mainly because of the type of work he does—Silicon Valley really is the place to be if you’re a software engineer.

Just after we got there, my mother, my youngest daughter, and I prayed together, which is amazing in itself because I’ve not prayed with my mother like that out of respect for her comfort level. We joined hands and prayed for a change of heart for my husband to want to move to Florida. I’ve felt this pull in my own heart for a long time, and losing my dad last year really brought home how precious time is and how quick it flies by.

Now, fast-forward to after Christmas. We’re still in Florida for a few more days. My husband asks me to run a quick errand with him so we can have some time alone. On our way, he asks me how I felt about moving back to Florida.

I was shocked! So surprised, in fact, that I stuttered when I tried to answer. It was as if God were showing me He was at work in my family and already honoring my prayers to come. And I’m pretty sure God knew I would need that reassurance as well.

For those of you who participated yet wonder or even doubt if your prayers were heard because nothing changed immediately, I’m there with you too, despite this startling and quick answer to prayer. I’m struggling to believe God for the promises He’s given for me and my family for 2012 because it pushes me to trust in areas I’ve seen “fail” over and over again.

I need a change of heart too, and I’m determined to leave this place of doubt and continually affirm my trust in God. Probably one of the most important lessons I’m learning is that God does not require us to have perfect faith. He just wants us to step out in faith, even with our doubts and reservations.

He can work with that. He can take our mustard-size seed of faith, plant it, water it, and bless it to grow into a fruitful tree. Perhaps that’s where our prayers can and should start. To ask God to grow our faith and help us believe His promises for 2012. Then we can leave the perfecting of our faith to Jesus (Heb. 12:2) and trust God for the rest. Like changing the heart of our unbelieving spouse.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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If I were God, I Would Zap Him

Christians are judgmental.

Yep, we’re not supposed to be yet often we save our harshest judgment for other Christians.

Sometimes I find myself in this very place. I hate it when I live in the land of judgment. So, I have to tell you that there are times when I’m truly glad I’m married to an unbeliever. He makes sure to snap me out of that place and gives me a reality check.

And you know what, it’s really sobering to be given a reality check, especially about my faith, from my unbelieving spouse. Sheesh!

So picture this.

4-way-stop-sign A few days ago, my husband and I were on our way home from Wal-Mart. My husband, the sweet man, went with me just to spend time with me. (This is a rarity and he knows how much I love him for it.) Well in our town, in southern California, the roads are crowed and especially in the evening rush hour. So naturally, everyone was rushing around i.e. speeding, trying to get home. Our car approached a large intersection. A four-way stop intersection.

I’m convinced that there IS NOT a single driver on planet earth who really knows the proper procedure for negotiating a four-way stop. This is certainly true at rush hour. Think about it… Have you heard the term, a California stop i.e., slightly slow then go very fast and who cares whose turn it is… Grrrrr

Well, I approached to stop and already I was grumbling about the idiots who don’t know how to drive. Yep, real Christian witnessing going on in our car. Ugh….

And as I expected, some idiot cuts me off and practically hits another motorist and speeds through the intersection without a care for anyone but himself. (Now, It’s not like I would ever do anything like that….. ever…. cough… cough…. ahem….)

So I continue with my, um, “Christian witnessing” and pronounce to my husband, “Now see that idiot. If I were God, I would zap him. It’s a good thing I’m not God.”

My usually quiet and introspective man just smiles at me and calmly says, “If you were God, you wouldn’t be upset by things like that.”

Gulp

Immediately my mind flashed to things like child abuse, and poverty, human trafficking for sex and people who are freezing in the cold. I could almost feel God’s tears sting His check as He looked down on earth.

I felt ashamed. I was whining about the stupidest stuff when there are real and terrible things about which God cares deeply.

“On honey, you are so right,” was all I could muster. “Thank you for restoring my perspective and my patience.”

Sometimes, more times than we want to admit, our unbelieving souses do more for our spiritual growth and love for others than any other person.

I love you my husband.

Have a blessed Monday and a great week. I have a fascinating discussion planned for Friday on The Intentional Marriage. Plan to tune in 11:30 Eastern and 8:30 Pacific. Hugs, Lynn

 

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Now Watch the Miracles!

It's astonishing to realize the first week of 2011 has already passed. How quickly life on planet earth passes. I think the Bible equates our 80-90 years to be only a vapor James 4:14.

Well as we depart from our week of fasting, I'm convinced the prayers and sacrifices of our time this week will yield untold work in the lives of our online community. God has listened and He dearly cares for His children.

I was amazed that there were great numbers of us who chose to fast this year. More than I ever expected. Many of you left amazing testimonies and stories in the comments over the past week. You greatly honor the name of Jesus. There were even more of you who didn't post comments but also fasted and prayed.

There will still be other's who will come back to these posts in the months ahead and fast for a week, seeking the Lord in their lives.

Can I say one thing about our week? .... LIVES WERE CHANGED. Destinies altered. Salvation encounters set in motion and freedom from lies, sin, fear, addictions descended down upon us.

Praise Jesus! Can I get an AMEN?

So, thank you everyone who participated. And now I want to thank Rosheeda Lee who spent significant time preparing us for this week.

Ro,

I adore you and thank you with a full heart for leading us through this past week. You are an inspiration to me and all of us here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Your heart for Christ is evident and your love for Him shines as bright as the noon day sun. 

Thank you!

So today will all of you leave a note for Rosheeda? Tell her what this week has meant to you. Then also leave a note for Jesus. Tell Him what this week has meant to you. 

Dineen and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts that you allow us to spend time with you, our online family. We have so much more to share with you this year. We serve a God who is the great dream giver and we are following hard after Him. It's our priviledge to march arm-in-arm with you toward heaven.

On Monday we will return to some of our regular programing *grin.* I have a story to tell you. Tune in and we will see you then. Be blessed, Lynn

Fasting banner 2011 
 

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Friday, Final Day of Fasting

Fasting banner 2011 
 

Today's Activity: Consider God's challenge prayerfully. Then give Him an answer.

Today's Focus: Healing. Ask God for healing for all we've prayed for this week - healing that begins in the spirit and then pours forth in the body.

'I Am a jealous God. I will no longer accept lukewarm faith. I want full commitment. No longer will I allow My people to claim to love Me with no action that puts that love on display. During this week, I have called you to new relationship and deeper faith. You must know that there is a place in this journey where no one but you will understand your faith. And when that place comes, I want you to keep believing. I want you to continue to trust Me.

Your fast has availed much and I Am well pleased with your sacrifice. As the year begins, I want four things from you:

(1) Be willing to stand alone, for My sake. Seek to please Me alone. Not your parents, spouses, children, friends, or pastors. Only Me.

(2) Make Me first. Worship Me alone. I want to be the only God in your life.

(3) Love all as I have loved you. I view My people with complete sight. I want you to do the same. See what I see; see through My eyes, rather than the cloudy lens of your own humanity.

(4) Be willing to give it all away. I want everything. I want it ALL. Do not be like the young rich ruler who could not part with his possessions or his people. I want you to be willing to give it all away to follow Me.

I love you. I have heard the cries of your hearts and I will not tarry. Stand firm and you will see My glory in your life and the lives of those you love like a mighty flood. This year I will part the seas, I will free the captives, I will give a fresh anointing. No matter what comes, trust Me. Listen and obey. Do not be anxious or afraid, for I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of sound mind. Continue to seek Me earnestly and watch Me establish the work of your hands.'

This week has been amazing all. God has done marvelous things. Please be sure to share the testimonies with Lynn & Dineen and myself (rclee@swbell.net). I love you and I am humbled at the opportunity to serve you and worship alongside in such a holy way this week. I'll be praying for you throughout the year.

BIG HUGS! Ro

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Thursday Fasting: A Love Letter

Thankful Thursday is one post down: SCROLL DOWN 
 

Fasting banner 2011 

 

Rosheeda Lee:

Today’s Activity: Write a love letter to God.

Today’s Focus: Let your heart speak. Spend your time in personal reflection and prayer.

Are you a friend of God?

Is He a friend of yours?

I know this is supposed to be about a love letter. And it is. No worries. But let’s not put the cart before the horse.

Before you can successfully enjoy the intimacy of being in love, you first have to learn to trust one another as friends.

One of the greatest lessons of 2010 for me was the value of friendship and the power that it has to help sustain love. Only a few know the real deal of this past year for me, but those who do have heard me say in very recent history that one of the greatest blessings to come of all that went terribly awry between me and Sweetheart is that through all the rubble, God uncovered a friendship we’ve never known. Being broken forced us to connect in a way that we had not managed in our entire history and today I can say that he is my best friend forever and that I am falling in love with him in a way that I doubted I’d ever know.

It’s the same with God. I couldn’t properly fall in love with Him until I was broken enough to go to Him with the truth of my heart laid bare and open for His full perusal and address. It was totally not easy. But it was the beginning of the most vibrant, most vital friendship I’ve ever known. As I learned to trust Him with my truth, He was able to woo me and lead me into deep intimacy and fellowship with Him.

He wants to do the same for you.

Friends being bff’s with God is something phenomenal, but if you think that’s amazing then you’ve just GOT to experience Him as the Lover of your soul. Let your love letter be truth – not pretention. Give Him all that you are and let Him take you deeper. Trust Him. Because He won’t abandon you, no matter how bad it gets or how much is aches. He will not let you go.

Today is the first day of the greatest love affair of your life.

Make it a great one. Ro

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Thankful Thursday - A Fresh Beginning

Thankful Thursday is hosted here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage in January. WOO HOO!

In February we move to Laurie of Women Taking A Stand and then over to Grace Alone for March.

It's Thankful Thursday.

This week the online community here at SUM has been fasting. For an ENTIRE WEEK. (Can you hear the stomach grumblings around here?) We started Sunday and will conclude on Friday. We are seeking to know our Lord more intimately and are expecting to hear His voice for the year ahead.

One of the things we did was to complete a Top Ten for 2011 and pray over those 10 items and ask God to confirm them or remove them and to show us His plans for our spiritual growth, our marriage, our children and ministry.

So today I'm thankful for a fresh start. January holds such promise of a year lived serving the Kingdom of God. If you missed the chance to join in the prayer and fasting with us, no worries. Still pray along with us and share one of your Top Ten for 2011. And share one thing that happened in 2010 that you are most thankful for. You can see the Top Ten for 2011 (here).

One of my Top Ten for 2011: To get our new book into the hands of women who need hope for their marriage.

Top 2010 Thankful/Praise: Jesus gave me and Dineen EVERY.... SINGLE..... WORD that we wrote.

I praise you Jesus. I love you with all of my being. You are the reason I live and breathe.

I'm looking forward to visiting with everyone this week. What is your two "Tops?" I can't wait to find out. Also, take a minute and visit two other participants and encourage them this week. Hugs, Lynn

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Wednesday Fasting: Worship

Fasting banner 2011 
 
Rosheeda Lee:

Worship. One on one time with God to hear and to seek Him simply for who He is.

Focus is ministry. What is it? How does God see it. How does He want it to look in our lives?

This day is between you and God. Worship Him. Don’t ask for stuff. Ask for Him. That’s what He wants more than anything – to give you more of Himself. Let Him minister to you. Let Him love you and let Him teach you how to love Him in return.

Ask Him to tell you what ‘ministry’ is from His own heart and then ask Him to help you to apply it to your own life. You should walk away from today willing to give away what’s been given to you…

Love ya'll. Ro

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