Previous month:
February 2011
Next month:
April 2011

23 entries from March 2011

Thankful Thursday - A Garden

Thankful Thursday is at Grace Alone in March, back here in April and at Women Taking a Stand in May.

I'm so excited that Thankful Thursday will be back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage next week. I put up my TT posts around 5:oo PM PT on Wednesday so the gals who live on the other side of the world, can join the fun while it's still Thursday where they live. Plan to stop in and participate in the praises.

Today, I am thankful for the warm breezes. It's 82 degrees right now at 5 in the afternoon. (Sorry to all of you in the north) Imported Photos 00038 Spring is here and my garden will be planted tomorrow. 

I can't wait to see how things progress. New this year, green beans, roma tomatoes, egg plant.

I give thanks today for something seemingly so simple yet full of joy, a garden. Thank you God for the lessons you teach me every year through my backyard garden. 

What are you thankful for this year? Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Message in a Wrapper

Wrapper You know, God really does have a sense of humor.

The last couple weeks have been fraught with issues in the Miller home. Nothing life threatening. Just financially exhausting.

First our cat winds up needing some costly vet visits thanks to some unknown creature that bit his tail. As I started to write this our Mitty Kitty was back at the vet and we were waiting to hear if he would keep his tail or become our first “bob” cat. I’m happy to report he gets to keep his tail.

In the midst of all this we found out that raw sewage was running under our house due to a back up in a line that was never properly installed or capped. This apparently has gone on for a while so before we can even fix the problem, we had to pay a small fortune for clean up so we wouldn’t be a biohazard site. I wonder what the neighbors thought when they saw a man in a HAZMAT suit walking around.

And in the middle of all this is my husband who’s already stressed out about money since he left his job last July to work independently.

Things have not gone as he planned.

My hubby’s in unfamiliar territory. Losing sleep. Stress eating. (Sounds like God's stomping ground, doesn't it?)

Here I am on the outside looking in, wondering what in the world I should be doing. In the past I would have jumped in and tried to take control, tried to make things easier for him, tried to make it all better.

Not this time though. I know my place is to be there, to comfort as needed and let him know I’m there. But I’ve not a clue how this will all work out. I only know God is there, working and answering my prayer, “God, do whatever it takes to grab his heart.”

Not an easy place to be. I have moments of doubts. Moments I want to get mad and blame him for what I fear may be turn out to be financial ruin. Moments I imagine the worst possible turn out. Moments of weariness, wondering how long this is going to take and how bad will it get. But I know I can’t interfere. This time it has to play out without my help.

But God has this way of reminding me at just the right moment that He’s completely in control. This time it came inside a Dove chocolate wrapper. I indulged and had one. Just one. And that little wrapper held this message:

“You are exactly where you are supposed to be.”

I’m a firm believer that God will use whatever He wants to make sure we get His message—even a message in a chocolate wrapper. He’s even used a fortune cookie before.

I think I’ll keep this little wrapper for a while as a reminder that I’m right where God wants and needs me to be. And treasure once again that we serve a God full of love, who delights in the unexpected, and has a great sense of humor.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Meet MaryLu Tyndall

Imported Photos 00014
Finally after five years I am humbled to meet MaryLu Tyndall. Marylu came to our very fist book signing this past weekend at Berean, San Jose. It was a blast by the way. This is her between Dineen and I. Marylu was unequally yoked until she finally had given up hope that her husband would find God. One day she just surrendered and said to her husband, "I give up. You just go ask God to prove Himself real."

Well he did.

Back when this blog began almost five years ago, MaryLu and her husband George agreed to share their miraculous story with me and I posted it here at SUM. Today, I want to share it again. It's fantastic. A story I will never forget.

Here is MaryLu's story:

Guest Writers Mary Lu and George Tyndall (introduction). Read this first.

My husband's conversion by Marylu Tyndall. Read this next.

My husband's conversion by Marylu Tyndall, Part II. Read this next.

George Tyndall – My miraculous conversion - Part I

George Tyndall – My miraculous conversion- Part II

Thank you Marylu and George for your willingness to share your life with all of us. It inspires me and brings me humble to the foot of the cross. 

Life is all about Jesus. All for Jesus and I pray everything we do brings honor to Him. Have a great week. Be blessed, Lynn

This is the last week to find a blogger who is giving away a free copy of our book. Please visit the following friends of our. We love all of you for helping us to get the message out that Jesus can make all the difference in marriage. Hugs, Lynn

Stacy - Our Safe Haven 

Janna - Cornhuskers Academy

Heather - The Trusting Nomad

Camy - Camy's Loft

Jeannie - The Character Therapist

Karla - Empowering Christian Women

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Join us over on Facebook!

Dineen&Lynn Lynn and I are together today at the Berean Christian Book Store in San Jose, California at 12:00 PT signing books and making new friends. Join us over at our Facebook Page to see pictures and get updates. We'll be sending messages all day long! Come join us!

Praying and believing!
Dineen

(Special thanks to Joey Garcia, store manager, and his entire team for opening the doors to us to share our book and our message!)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


What a Twitter?

Do you tweet?

Tweet_deck Well sometimes I get over to my TweetDeck and try to keep up with all the incessant yet compelling whirs and whistles. I will open up the Twitter deck and the next thing I know I find myself lost in a vortex of crazy conversations, hash tags I don’t understand and giggles for more than an hour.

Sheesh.

Time flies when you are twittering with your friends *grin.*

Well a few days ago, I received a private message from a Twitterer (is that a word?). This obscure Twit was calling me out on something I said in a post that I shared on the Deck. They were anxious to correct my "flawed" thinking regarding this scripture passage:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

The Twit(er) responded to my post about this scripture: BTW, unequally yoked is not the way you interpret that verse..

I read this then laughed so loud that I scared the dog who was quite perturbed to be awakened from his afternoon nap.

All I could think to myself was, “Seriously? I mean really?”

You may have heard debate over the application of this scripture. One interpretation is this verse is not specific to marriage and that in fact, Paul, is specifically directing these words to business partnerships.

May I say just a few things in response to my TweetDeck messenger: Without a doubt and unequivocally I will confirm that 2 Corinthians 6:14 applies to marriage.

This is 19 years of experience talkin’.

It also applies to business partnership and a few other things that believers and unbelievers should not mix. If you doubt me, ask ANYONE who is in love with Jesus and in love with a spouse who is not.

Period. The end.

Have a nice day. Lynn

*grin*

Today I am flying to Northern California to stay with Dineen and be part of our very first book signing at Berean, San Jose. I will be Tweeting photos of Dineen and I and sharing the funny and also profound things and moments I discover on the way. Follow me on Twitter @LynnDonovan.

We will also be posting updates and pictures directly from the booksigning on our Facebook Page from our @sumarriage Twitter page. Join us! :-)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Thankful Thursday - Bible Study

Thankful Thursday is at Grace Alone in March, back here in April and at Women Taking a Stand in May.

Hello... IT'S THANKFUL THURSDAY.

Bible study ended today.

Last September a group of women gathered together in the upstairs room of our church. Many of us were strangers or merely acquaintances. Yet, we set out on a journey together to know more about the Lord, whom we serve.

We traveled through the difficult yet powerful and healing study, Breaking Free by Beth Moore. Chains were broken, sins forgiven, freedom found, eternal friendships were forged. Then we moved on to learn more about Jesus through the study, Jesus, The One and Only by Beth Moore (I'm a Beth Moore fan).

Today our long journey ended and as I looked around the table at the the 15 women sitting there, I wept. Overcome with emotion that I will love and know these friends forever. That I was selected by God to see their freedom at hand. That I was able to pray with one of them to accept Christ as her Savior. That I was able to serve the Lord that I love.

The women cried with me and then we laughed and then we all reached for Kleenex. 

Oh, how I will miss them.

Oh, how I love them.

Oh, how HE loves all of us. Forever and ever.

THAT is what I am thankful for this Thursday.

Be embraced by the King. Lynn

If you are not part of a group of believers and trying to travel the unequally yoked road alone, I encourage you to find a Bible study, a small group a friend. Bible study was a rock in the early years of my spiritual mismatched marriage. Hugs, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


It's a Rug.

Do you have a rug?

You know. The big woven monstrosity that sits in the living room under the coffee table? This rug displays it’s finely designed workmanship to the world. Everyone who steps into the entryway notices its extraordinary color and luxurious fabric. It’s put together with exquisite patience. It’s well worn.

It is….. ….well it’s perfect.

I bet you own one... read more at Laced With Grace today: Do You Have A Rug? Lynn

Laced With Grace

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Revealing the Lie

IStock_000009930085XSmall One of the things we talk about in our book is walking out of the guilt and shame of our pasts. Whether you knowingly married an unbeliever or came to faith after you married, God has a plan for your marriage.

But if you’re still carrying around guilt over how you wound up in your marriage even though you’ve already confessed and sought forgiveness from God, you can’t walk into that plan.

Why?

Well, here’s the thing about condemnation. It paralyzes you. It blinds you. And it keeps you ineffective in the lives of those around you. That’s why the Bible warns us about the enemy condemning us—this is one of his most effective tools to negate your influence in your mismatched marriage.

One of our most well known, if not THE most known, pieces of Scripture is John 3:16, but have you ever really looked at verse 17?

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

So here’s the truth to dispel the lie. If Christ didn’t come to condemn you and make you feel shame even after you have confessed your sin, then that feeling of shame isn’t from God. It’s actually quite the opposite of His truth in Psalm 103:12 that tells us He’s removed our sin from us as far as the East is from the West. And how about Galatians 5:1 that tells us that Christ came to set us free?

If you’re still doubting, take the Scriptures and insert your name into them.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn me, (name), but to save me through him.”

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed my (name) transgressions from me.”

“It is for freedom that Christ has set me (name) free.”

Don’t let this lie that the enemy has inserted so stealthily and cleverly into your life keep you from stepping into the plan God has for you and your marriage. We hold a very special place in our marriages. We are on the front lines and part of God’s team to battle for our unbelieving spouse’s salvation. And for the salvation of our children. The enemy would like nothing better than to make you think you aren’t up to the task.

The beauty of it is, we don’t have to be. God has that all taken care of. All we have to do is say yes to His plan. He is our strength. He is our redeemer. He is our FORGIVER!

Every day is a new opportunity to walk in forgiveness and serve our King. Don’t miss out on a single moment!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Submit To Your Husband. You Win in the End

Submit to your husband.

Why is it, this very short sentence makes my emotions bristle?

For far too many years the teachings from Ephesians 5:22 have been misunderstood and misrepresented. So let’s have some real and honest talk about God’s intention of this passage and let’s take it a step further. Can you submit to your unbelieving husband?

This is a compelling post from my experience in submission in my marriage. You will look at this passage in an entirely different light and see the beauty God intends for all marriages.

Join me today for : Submit To Your Husband - You Win in the End, at the Internet Cafe, Marriage Counter. Have a blessed day and I pray you discover what I did about God's Word and marriage.

Hugs, Lynn

Also, I want to give a shout out to my friends who are offering a copy of our book in a giveaway today at their blog:

Holly at Broken For God

Shari England

Rachel at Racheltemple.com

Trica at Trica Goyer

Patty at Patty Lacy

Pay them a visit and say, "Hello."

Marriage counter (3)



*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Parenting Struggling Teens

IS-StrugglingTeen I wrote a post over at Laced with Grace that I'd love to share with you. It's harder than ever to raise teens today. Throw in some complications or ongoing issues (like my family is going through with our daughter) and you begin to  wonder if it will ever change. I share four areas that have helped me keep my focus on God and not the issue how that translates into helping my daughter as well. I pray it blesses you! 
Hugs!
Dineen

 

We'd like to give a special shout out and express our thanks to Tricia Goyer for sharing our book on her site! Thank you, Tricia!

Tricia Goyer's site (she's also giving a book away)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


The Intentional Marriage - Stand Up or Shut Up???

Welcome to our video broadcast of The Intentional Marriage. We are looking at how to sift our marriage conflicts, failures and questions through a small but powerful passage in the Bible.

18 minutes of power. Take a listen. Lynn

 

 

The Intentional Marriage Show March 2011 from Lynn Donovan on Vimeo.

Also, find Dineen today over at Laced With Grace where she shares: Parenting Struggling Teens.

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Thankful Thursday - Under God's Hand

Thankful Thursday is at Grace Alone in March, back here in April and at Women Taking a Stand in May.

Hello... IT'S THANKFUL THURSDAY.

Two days ago I sat in the church office with my friend, Pam. We were talking about the developing nuclear disaster in Japan. Pam looked at me and said, "The arrogance of man that we think we can control nature. " 

No one thought a 9.0 earthquake was possible in Japan. 

I'm grievous for the people in Japan. Please join me today to pray for them. To pray for our world. 

But mostly today, let's remember that our God, the Creator of all things, He has His hand over this world. Pray that He covers Japan and in and through this event, Jesus is revealed to many.

Be Embraced by the King, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


The Sacrifice of Prayer

IStock_000001262149XSmall Every time I read about Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsmane, I stop at the part where he’s praying so earnestly, “his sweat was like drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).

In researching this further, I found out there is actually a condition called hematidrosis (sounds like something from House, doesn’t it?), which is an actual mingling of blood and sweat found in cases of extreme anguish, strain, or sensitivity.

Whether Luke intended to be literal here, I don’t know, but obviously Jesus broke a profuse sweat as he prayed. He agonized over what was to come, and we can only imagine what his words to the Father might have been. I can’t help but think the reference to blood here is symbolic of what was about to happen.

What strikes me is that Jesus’ prayers were so earnest. His heart was fully engaged as he prayed about his impending crucifixion. Sometimes I wonder if I pray “earnestly” enough and I think many of you do too.

While I don’t think God requires us to break out in a severe sweat, I do believe He wants our hearts engaged. As Oswald Chambers so eloquently says, “Prayer is not what it costs us, but what it cost God to enable us to pray.”

Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation reaches beyond our rescue from eternal damnation, and I think I missed that until now. Christ’s death brought one of our greatest gifts imaginable—communication with God while we are still on the earthly plane.

Perhaps our need in prayer is to remember what Jesus endured and sacrificed starting right in that garden so that we could have the opportunity to truly communicate with Him now. His prayers from back then reach to the here and now, just as he prayed for us in John 17:20-26.

Whether we’re praying for 5 minutes or an hour, when we fix our hearts on Christ with the reverent understanding of what it cost Him, we begin to view prayer as a gift and a privilege. That is my goal, to see prayer as such a gift and to enjoy the privilege God has given us so generously at such a high price. In that realization, I am humbled yet again by the magnitude of God’s love and mercy.

And it’s so simple. We are His children and He desires that we come to Him as such. Pay attention to a young child in prayer and watch how earnest they are. They simply speak what’s in their hearts and then trust God has it in complete control. They walk away free and assured.

Lysa Tekurst speaks of prayer in her book, Made to Crave. Specifically having times to just sit in God’s presence to listen, especially when we’re at a loss for words.

Sometimes we don’t know what to pray, especially in our mismatched marriages or situations so bewildering we can’t fathom what to ask. But even to sit in silence before God in those times and allow the Holy Spirit to pray for us is a sacrifice of prayer for ultimately we are called to sacrifice our will for the greater one of God. We come before God with our own brokenness to offer, trusting that He is the only true source of our healing and hope.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


The Power of a Three-Stranded Cord in an Unequal Marriage

The Power of a Three-Stranded Cord in an Unequal Marriage

. . . a three-stranded cord is not easily broken.   (Ecclesiastes 4:12, CJB)

Cordring In the verses prior to this, Solomon is speaking of how two are better than one because if one falls the other can help them up.  They can keep one another warm when it is cold and they can defend one another against an attacker.  Then in the last part of verse twelve, he changes things up a bit and speaks of three instead of two. 

This verse is often spoken of in regards to marriage.  It describes how a successful and strong marriage is one in which there are three participants, a husband, a wife and God.  I’ve also seen it illustrated as a triangle in which the bottom corners represent the husband and wife operating in a horizontal (physical) relationship and God being the top point operating with both husband and wife in a vertical (spiritual) relationship.  Regardless of the picture drawn, it makes sense.  Anything we bring the Lord into will become stronger as He has strength far beyond anything we can ever begin to fathom.

The illustration of the three-stranded cord though makes even more sense when you speak to a rope maker.  They will tell you that this is the strongest cord you can make because all three strands are touching each other.  If you add more strands, the rope becomes thicker but not necessarily stronger because not all the strands are touching at the same time. 

If one or even two of the strands becomes frayed or broken, the cord will remain intact as long as the third strand does not break.  This gives time for the other strands to be mended.  God works in this way in our marriages.  During those hard times when both spouses are at a breaking point, God holds the marriage together until He heals the other two.  And the good news is that God is a strand that can’t be broken.

So then why has an illustration regarding marriage that makes so much sense and should give so much hope, only saddened me in the past?  The answer lies in the fact that I am in an unequally yoked marriage.  My beloved does not share my faith, does not believe in the God that I so love and believes if there truly is a God, He doesn’t really care about us.  So in my mind the three-stranded cord can’t happen as one of the strands does not “touch” or acknowledge the one unbreakable strand.

However, God in all His wisdom whispered a secret to me recently, a secret that caused that beautiful flower of Hope to once again blossom in my heart.  He said, “Angela, my beloved, what makes you think that just because one strand does not acknowledge Me that I suddenly no longer exist?  Since when does the unbelief of one person negate the Truth of my Existence and keep Me from working in their lives?”  At that moment I realized, that even if my husband does not bring the Lord into our marriage, that does not mean that I can’t and it does not negate the presence of the Lord in our marriage. 

Regardless what my husband chooses to believe, I can still commit to follow the Lord and to plead on behalf of my marriage and my husband at the Throne of Heaven.  I can commit to love my husband unconditionally and to pray for him – his health, his success, his life (physical, emotional and spiritual).  I can commit to respond to him in kindness and forgiveness even if he does not always respond to me in the same way.  And if (when) I fail, I can go to him humbly and ask for his forgiveness.  My commitment to the Lord and my marriage brings God, that third unbreakable strand, into our marriage cord whether or not my husband himself acknowledges it, because by doing so I am sharing God’s love and strength with my husband.

And as 1 Peter 3:1-2 says, by doing this who knows but our husbands may actually acknowledge for themselves the Lord and be won over to Him by how we have treated them – by the love, respect and submission we show to them and which strengthens our marriage.

I will be honest, in the end our spouse may still choose to walk away and break what God has joined.  Our Creator has given us all free will, and our spouse may choose to exercise it by walking away from our marriage.   However, by bringing God into our marriage through obedience and submission, we will make that break harder for them to accomplish.  The strands of a cord not only touch one another, but are also entwined and woven amongst one another.  Our spouse’s strand must be broken and disentangled in multiple places before they can truly and completely get free of the cord they have been woven into. 

Angela smith Asking the Lord into our marriage will only strengthen, not weaken it.  It will only strengthen, not weaken us.  In the end we will know that we have been obedient to the Lord and can leave the rest to Him, the One who created us and knows us best.  Regardless of our spouse’s choices and the final outcome of their faith or our marriage, we will be strengthened by that unbreakable strand and we will have given our beloved spouse a glimpse of what that can look like in their own lives.  What better gift can we bestow upon the one we have committed to love for the rest of our lives?

~Angela Smith

 

Thank you Angela. You have inspired me. Hugs, Lynn

Dineen and I also want to give a "SHOUT OUT" to our blogging friends who are profiling our book today at their place. Many are offering a free copy as a giveaway. If you keep entering, you are bound to win one eventually because there are many to give away.

A BIG THANK YOU to:

Noreen - Life Blessings

Angie - The Knightly News

Debbie - Debbie's Homeschool Corner

Angela - Thankful Heart

Bonnie Paulson - Bonniepaulson.com

Mary Lu Tyndale - Cross & Cutlass

Jeanette - Making This House Our Home

Patty - Adding Zest to Your Nest

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


The Funny Thing About Losing Your Life

WearyWoman During my quiet time the other morning, I sat there reflecting on the direction God has taken my life. What sparked my examination was another reference to the movie Chariots of Fire about Olympic runner Eric Liddell.

I know...this movie and story gets referenced a lot but this time it wasn't his choice not to run on a Sunday that caught my attention but what happened after that.

First, let’s set the stage. Here is this powerhouse runner ready to compete and bring home a medal in the 100 meter race, his best event. He’s forced to withdraw because it’s scheduled for Sunday.

Now imagine being faced with a choice like that? Something you’ve worked for, dreamed of, even longed for right in front of you but now you’re faced with a decision.

Do what I want or do what honors God?

Liddell chose to honor God and didn’t race. He made his decision in advance that he wouldn’t run this race and instead trained for the 400 meter. The day of the race an American Olympic Team masseur slipped a piece of paper into his hand with a quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30: "Those who honor me I will honor."

Liddell not only won the gold, he set a new record.

This story made me think of Matthew 16:25, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

Sometimes we are faced with decisions in life that require us to sacrifice what we long for in order to be obedient to God. Sometimes it can even seem unfair. But was true for Liddell and has also been true of my own life is that God really does honor those decisions in which we choose Him.

I once thought making the sacrifices God was calling me to would result in a life without what I wanted and enjoyed. Instead, it’s turned out to be a life I could have never even imagined, filled with joy and wonder (and yes, still trials) because I chose Jesus.

The challenges in our mismatched marriages often put us in this position and I want to encourage you to step out in faith and choose God’s direction for whatever it is your struggling to decide. God will honor your sacrifice as you honor Him. Then be prepared to be surprised and wowed with how He brings it all back to you.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Our Greatest Weapon—Prayer

IStock_000001262149XSmall At church Sunday, a friend of mine stood up with her husband and shared their testimony of how God saved their marriage ten years ago. I’ve only been at this church for about nine years so I had no idea this was the case. This couple has been an inspiration to me, especially my friend. She is an amazing woman of God and a true prayer warrior.

To hear them share spoke such joy to my heart. They shared how they were at the point of filing divorce papers. He wanted out, she didn’t. What did my friend do? She fell to her knees in prayer, prayed constantly. What struck me most though was WHAT she prayed.

She prayed that God would do whatever He needed to prepare and equip her for what lay ahead. Whether that meant her marriage would be healed or not. She gave it all to Jesus and wow, did Jesus give it all back to her. And more. They now counsel young couples and lead many of our Bible studies that deal with marriage.

I would have never known had they not shared. From the outside they seem as if they’ve always been a strong, Christian couple. Things are not always as they seem.

Sadly, all marriages are under attack today, whether believing, unbelieving, or mismatched. The enemy has found a niche that he can use to steer us away from God. We have to stay alert and fight for not only our own marriages but for those around us too.

Along those lines I want to share an example. Almost two years ago, God put it upon my heart to pray for a married couple in our church. I didn’t know why but I faithfully followed his leading. I found out shortly after that this marriage was in dire shape and the family was falling apart.

I continued to pray for the next year, then wondered if I should continue. I gently checked with the dear woman I’d been praying for who shared that things were not good. I continued to pray.

As I sat in church this past Sunday, I looked over and saw them both there, sitting together—something I had not seen in a while. And it was as if God spoke to my heart and said He’d heard every prayer. Not just mine but many others as well.

They’d made a turn in the marriage just barely a month ago. I am so glad I didn’t give up praying. Now I get to celebrate and KEEP PRAYING for their marriage to grown stronger, and for protection for this relationship.

Marriage is sacred. Period. God designed it to be a reflection of His relationship with us and with the church. When we view it this way, amazing things happen. Our perspective changes, and we understand better the depth of the commitment God is asking from us, as well as gaining a glimmer of the depth of His commitment to us.

I know being mismatched isn’t easy, especially since we as the believing spouse HAVE this perspective—God’s perspective—of what marriage is and what it means. The key is to remember that even as we are fighting for our marriages, God is too!

Let me say that simply: God is fighting for your marriage too!

Don’t ever forget that. He’s there. You’re not alone. So don’t give up. Do whatever God is asking you to do. Stand firm in that position and LET GOD FIGHT FOR YOU! He will do this, I promise you. That’s what Ephesians 6 and the armor of God is all about. He gives us the equipment we need for battle then tells us to stand firm in Him. He is our champion.

And prayer is our greatest weapon. So wield it with devotion!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Marriage Monday - Trust Me and Take Courage

It's Marriage Monday. This is a monthly marriage meme where our online community contributes and participates in a single marriage topic:

Our Topic for March is "Trust"

e-Mom: Please accept my invitation to join us for Marriage Monday on March 7, 2011. Our group topic is trust.

As always, you have all the freedom you need to cover the subject of trust in whatever way you want. You can post prose, a bulleted list, a video, a slideshow, a poem, or a song—whatever the Spirit leads you to share with us. You're the expert, and we're counting on you to teach us a few new things to apply to our own marriages.

Today I will share with you: Trust AND Action

I don’t subscribe to the old adage; God helps those who help themselves. I am acutely aware the Lord helps many of us when we are so low we can’t even get off the couch. But, I am also certain God wants our active participation in His plans. With that said what does it mean to “trust” God?

Suppose you were unemployed, would you pray and trust God saying, “Oh, I am trusting God to give me a job,” then never apply for work?

Would you fail to intervene in your teenager’s life if you found marijuana in their room? Would you just pray about it and say, “Oh I am just trusting God to change my daughter’s mind about drugs.”

HECK NO!

Well, I think sometimes we fail to join the Lord in His plans with regard to our unbelieving spouses. There are times when we must stand for the principals we know to be true. I am convinced there are times when the Lord wants us to be a fighter for His kingdom.

Discernment is the critical component when you are married to an unbeliever. There are indeed, times when you need to let go of your rights and/or desires and then there are times when conflict is necessary. I can tell you through the years of my marriage there were many heated moments of conversation (read: fights) over our different worldviews. Some specifics were church attendance. I would attend. Period. The end. So would my kids when they were little.

I look back over the years and KNOW, without a doubt, my consistent defense of the Word of God in the face of my husband’s skepticism played a powerful roll in his discovery process. The Lord would allow my words to land on my man’s heart from time-to-time where they would sink in. Coupled with living my faith with authenticity and enthusiasm, my husband softened to the Lord.

Trust is to be confident and secure. Trusting God is an unafraid trust. We know the Lord has our best interest at heart. But the Lord is also expecting effort. He gave us a brain and wants us to use it. He also calls us to action. He expects us to move in our world for His benefit and glory.

There are numerous stories of God calling His people to action throughout the Bible. There are just as many where God calls His people to trust Him.

So why am I sharing this today? I know many of you are walking a difficult road right now. I know the Lord is calling you to trust Him in your marriage but He may also be calling you to action in a specific area.

Ask Him.  

What you and the Lord set into action today may be life changing for those you love tomorrow.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Be blessed, Lynn

Read more posts and join the fun at Chrysalis with e-Mom

Some dear friends are featuring our book today on their blogs. Each one has a copy of Winning Him Without Words to give away. Just leave a comment to enter. We are so grateful for each one of them!

Southern Fried Musings (Thank you, Ane!)

Craving the Supernatural (Thank you, Ronie!)

Robin Caroll (Thank you, Robin!)

Walking In Grace (Thank you Vicky)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Weekend Devo — Pray with Devotion!

Prayer Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:2-6

This piece of Scripture has been speaking a lot to me this last week. A wonderful pastor (Tim Wood) here in San Jose is a great job pointing out the jewels in it recently. Five to be specific—to pray for open doors, to pray for a clear message, to pray to walk in wisdome, to pray to make the most of every opportunity, and to pray to say the right things.

I've found myself studying the words and even making it into a prayer, and I want to share that with you. We can pray this for ourselves to so that we can "always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you know how to answer everyone." That includes our unbelieving spouses.

I hope you'll pray with me...

Lord, show us how to devote ourselves to prayer, to be watchful and thankful. Provide others to pray for us too, so that You may open a door for the message of Christ to be heard in the hearts of our unbelieving spouses, family members and friends as we proclaim the mystery of your Son, Jesus, whom we desire to serve with all our hearts and lives. Help us to speak when needed to share in clarity the truth of Jesus and His salvation. Help us be wise, Lord, in how we act toward those who don't know You and help us make the most of every opportunity to share YOU! Let our words and our ACTIONS always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that we know how to answer everyone who asks about You. Give us the words, Lord!

Father, we are so thankful for what You are doing in our lives, in the lives of our unbelieving loved ones, and for allowing us to join Your plan. Lord, we give you all the glory. May our lives honor YOU!

In Jesus's Holy and Powerful Name, amen!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Glee and Other Thoughts - The Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

I hope you read the comments from my Monday post, Television and Our Kids. There are some very wise parents who offered their thoughts and reflect on some of their past interactions with regard to their children and the media.

I am deeply troubled over the direction television programing is headed. It is reflective of the fact that the return of Christ is imminent and near. But as we wait, we must continue to live in this world, to be the salt and light, especially to our kids and to our spouse.

AND THAT is the tricky part.

How?

So, I'm going out on a limb again today and share a peek into our life here with the Donovan Clan.

I know I can get riled up about Skins and two dozen or more other television programs I think should be cancelled yesterday. But, I will share with you that my daughter and I began watching the series, Glee on Fox when it premiered three years ago.

This is a show about a high school glee club. I recognize this show is highly controversial and is absolutely offensive. The episodes are scripted and deal with matters such as homosexuality, teen pregnancy, bullying, underage drinking and a few others I can't remember right now.

I asked my daughter, "Caitie, Glee includes content of teens drinking, having sex and homosexuality. How is this different than Skins."

"Mom, I haven't seen Skins but I can tell you that the way it's presented is very different. For example the most recent episode of Glee was about teen drinking. Mom, at the end of the program the teens learn something. They learned drinking wasn’t worth it and they signed a pledge to not drink. They always learn something."

So, here I am a parent, what do I do with this?

I will tell you that I have watched the episodes with my daughter and we have literally put the show on pause in the middle of the broadcast to have discussions about gay students in her school, we have talked about sex, the temptations, the curiosity of teens and every manner of morals and Biblical teaching with regard to abstinence. Glee actually opened up a wide door of communication about very real issues that are present in my daughter's life.

I will tell you that last year, as a freshman in high school, she saw a lot. A friend came to school high, one drunk, a girl hit on her in math class, bazaar clothing and every kind of tattoo and piercing, smoking, drinking...... And that was just the first month of school.

I want to shield my daughter from these things but I also realize that she will encounter them, almost daily, in her high school. Watching this program together with her has given me the chance to bring up the subject matters, provide her with solid thoughts on how she can make a decision today to do the right thing when she finds herself faced with temptation or what seems to be actually happening is that her friends are struggling and have little guidance from home. My daughter is often the voice of descent.

So, I'm trying to find the balance. I want her to feel safe to talk to me about these issues and to allow her some personal freedom of choice. I don't want to be so ridged that she feels she must rebel. Yet I want her to know the truth about what God says on these very real and controversial issues she and her friends face. I want her to choose to do the right thing not for my sake but for hers and mostly I want her to choose to do what God wants. It’s that kind of thinking that will stay with her for a lifetime long after my parenting influence is over.

My ultimate goal is that she chooses to honor God’s desires for her life.

I have more to say on this and more about how we balance television viewing with an unbelieving spouse.

I’m curious about how you find the balance and how you help your kids navigate the moral challenges they face in this lost and broken world. What has worked for you? Be blessed, Lynn

Next post: Do we have any influence over our spouse’s media choices??

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Thankful Thursday - 2,920 days

Thankful Thursday is at Grace Alone in March, back here in April and at Women Taking a Stand in May.

Hello... IT'S THANKFUL THURSDAY.

Bible study is a lifeline for those of us who are unequally yoked. In the early years of my marriage, I was desperate to have someone of faith come along side me and love on me, teach me and pray for me. My small group of gals from Bible study was God's provision in a time of my much needed spiritual growth.

I have served as a small group leader of women's Bible study for many years now. It remains one of the most rewarding adventures in my life. 

Yesterday I was privileged to pray with one of the women in our group when after eight years of inviting her to study, she gave her heart to Christ. 

Angels and this lil' ole Bible study leader are rejoicing!

I'm overwhelmed the Lord would pursue this woman for all these years and allow me to watch as He captured her heart. He never gave up and you know what, I didn't either. Her journey to the cross was nurtured through so many in our group and I am a humble participant.

Rejoice with me today for God loves people and He never, NEVER gives up. 

Praising Him, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Book Giveaways and BFF's

Today I'm going to tell you about two friends I met way back when I was a tiny baby blogger.

I began blogging, let's see, it will be five years ago in May. I stumbled my away around in this crazy and fantastic cyber community and was blessed to find two amazing friends, Iris Nelson and Darlene Schacht.

Darlene was the editor of Christian Women Online, an online magazine and devotional site. Almost everyone who was a Christian woman and a blogger found each other through CWO and we all read and loved Darlene's writing. Through Darlene's ministry I join the devotional writing team, now named Internetcafedevotions.com (read my articles here) and that's where I met Iris Nelson. I wrote for the cafe for a year, took a break and then returned there last summer.

Darlene was instrumental in launching Spiritually Unequal Marriage and so was Iris. I joined Iris's devotional team, Laced With Grace, and remain one of the original contributors. God has given me some of my best stories to share there. I also write articles for the Cafe specific to living unequally yoked.

It's been an amazing journey and I love and adore these two women.

What is so cool about God's community is this, Darlene and Iris are enthusiastically willing to help us reach out to others who haven't found us yet. Today at Darlene's place, The Time-Warp Wife and all month at Laced With Grace, they are offering free copies of our book. Please enter. Even if you have a copy, enter and then give it away to a woman who needs encouragement.

Please take a stroll over and visit Darlene and Iris. You will be richly blessed through their writing. Be blessed, Lynn

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Launching Our Newsletter!

Newsletter In January we put out a question on our Facebook page to see if readers wanted a newsletter. We didn't want to put another cumbersome "thing" out there to clog people's inboxes. Lynn and I were so surprised (and heartened) by the comments we received.

"Yes! We want it!"

So, today is the official launch of our newsletter! If you haven't had a chance to sign up and want to, follow this NEWSLETTER link to our NEWS page. At the top is a place to put in your email address that will take you to a sign up window. We promise not to abuse or use you or your address. (wink-hugs) Our newsletter is designed to be another resource to help you thrive in your spiritually mismatched marriage.

For March we have a great article about contentment and an absolutely fabulous article by one of our readers about something that's had a major impact on her spiritually mismatched marriage. And every issue (hopefully monthly...) will have a prayer that you can customize with your unbelieving spouse's name.

Our goal is to keep seeking God for ways that we can give you resources to encourage and strengthen you on this journey. We have more plans in the works, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, happy reading! We love you!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4