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25 entries from April 2011

Weekend Devo—Do You Believe in Miracles?

Fortune_cookies In the vein of Lynn's wonderful Donovan Chronicles, I have a funny story for you about the Miller Clan. The other night my family and I tried out a new Chinese restaurant—new to us. I'm always looking for good Chinese food, which I seem unable to find in my neck of the woods. Doesn't make sense since we live in Silicon Valley, but I think it's more about that I grew up on the East coast and Chinese food is different there. We called those soft fried noodles Lo Mein. Here they call them Chow Mein. And the best sauce for egg rolls—Duck Sauce—you rarely find it.

Anyway, we checked out this restaurant and enjoyed our meal. (Thumbs up!) With our bill we got our traditional fortune cookies. Always a good laugh to see what these silly pieces of paper say, but I will tell you God has used a couple of these in the past to show His sense of humor and give a small affirmation. God can use anything!

My husband opened his, then chuckling, holds it out for me to read. "You will soon witness a miracle."

I totally forgot I was in the middle of a restaurant and laughed out loud (a big guffaw!), snatching the fortune and declaring my plans to blog about it—about how my atheist husband got a fortune about miracles. I love God's sense of humor.

The story gets even better. Yesterday's Air 1 verse of the day was this:

"Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!" ~ Psalm 66:5, NLT.

God has this way of using stuff like this to let me know He's up to something, and it usually comes in threes so I'm waiting for the third one. (grin)

In the meantime, I know God is working in my hubby's life in ways I've yet to see. All I can say is, "Bring it on, Lord!"

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Hey, Help Us Out

Hi Everyone,

Three-Gerbera-Daisies-4x5-D My friends I hope you can help me out with two things.

1) Next week Dineen and her daughter will be visiting the Donovan Clan home once more. Lord have mercy on poor Dineen. She has to put up with my zaniness. Anyhoo, we will be taping our show, The Intentional Marriage, while she is here. 

We LOVE to answer questions from all of you. So, please today, ask us anything. Write your questions in the comments and we will answer them next Friday on our show. The last time we did this you all provided some fantastic questions. I'm wondering if you have questions about raising children, how to defend your faith, how you deal with other Christians who are well meaning yet don't understand what you are really dealing with. Okay, now it's your turn. Ask away and make them hard. *grin*

2) Dineen and I will have a book signing in the Temecula area next Saturday. Oh please, if you are anywhere near us, please stop in. We have prizes and treats and would love to hug your neck and get a photo.

Also, Dineen and I have been discussing a few topics which we are feeling led to write about beginning in May. Who wants to really understand "The Genesis Woman?" Also, I'm toying with some thoughts on how you can turn a bad day into a good day and uplift your soul. All kinds of stuff ahead.

Finally, I have been deeply touched by the emails and comments that arrived this past week from our single readers who are trying to live out their faith in the wild world of dating. Wow, do I ever esteem them and praise their efforts to submit to the Lord's teaching. I am thinking of writing more on that subject. Doing some research on it now.

LOTS ahead. So join the community. Leave a comment and let's really work out somethings in our lives. To bring us peace and joy. To bring salvation to unsaved spouses and mostly TO HONOR THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

Hugs, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday - Hope

I'm so excited that Thankful Thursday is back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for the month of April. 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.

In April we meet here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage in May we are over at Laurie's, Women Taking A Stand and June at Iris', Grace Alone.

At Home With The Donovan Clan:

Several days ago I stood in the bathroom working my usual routine, blow dryer, make up, hair spray, hair spray and ……. more hair spray. (I heart BIG hair -- Loved the ‘80s) Okay, I’m dating myself here.

My husband, at the time, was also working through his morning ritual. Please join in on our conversation.

“Yes, you do snore.”

"I DO NOT snore,” I replied resolute in my voice. *I grin*

Now you have to understand this conversation. My husband can snore with the best of ‘em. One time he snored so loud while on a business trip, the guy next door checked out and move down the hall. Yep. Ahem. Sorry Honey, probably didn’t want me to share that tidbit of info with the world. Moving along…..

“You are the one who snores loudly, “ I quip back.

He looks into my eyes through the reflection of the mirror, grinning as if he knows a telling secret of mine, “You do to….. snore. I heard you last night.”

Not to be outdone, I stubbornly reply with a telling grin across my face, “I reject that lie,” as I begin to giggle knowing I am about to be had.

My husband turns, faces me squarely, and pronounces, “You snore. That’s the truth and the truth will set you free.”

I look at him stunned for a split second then I bust out laughing as my man quotes scripture at me. I start laughing so hard my stomach hurts. I reach up and give him a high five, “Honey, are you speaking scripture?” I giggle and hoot. “Dude, I’m impressed. There is hope for you yet.”

He’s laughing. I’m laughing. All is right with the world.

We went on with our morning routine with joy in our hearts and a giggle in our step.

As I recall this silly exchange and now share it with all of you, there is a smile resting upon my lips. My man is a fun guy but you know what really makes me smile?

Somehow, he is hearing the truth of scripture.

Someway God is sticking it in his brain.

Someday that scripture will become more than a funny retort in our morning habit.  

Something will happen to cause my man to surrender to Jesus.

I have hope.

I have a GREAT BIG hope that all the years of praying and loving this man, none are wasted. I have hope that the Bible verses that sometimes escape my lips in everyday and ordinary conversation are landing squarely where Jesus wants them to land, on his heart. I have hope that Jesus always hears my prayers for my husband’s salvation.

I have hope.

A GREAT BIG God sized hope.

I serve the Creator of the Universe. He is my hope. He is my joy. He is my laughter. He is optimism for today, tomorrow, and my eternity. He is my hope over my past, my sins, my mistakes, my failures. He redeems it all and then uses it all to reflect just how powerful and how fully loving He really is.

I have a hope that transcends understanding and it makes me smile.

It has been a great privilege to host Thankful Thursday this month. I love all of you. I can’t wait to read your posts on HOPE. Love and hugs, Lynn

PS. Sometimes I DO snore, but only very quietly. Don’t tell. *grin.*

 

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Let's Not Fool Ourselves

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Yesterday, Lynn wrote a great post about Missionary Dating at the Internet Cafe. She and I have talked about this frequently because we want to be clear that walking willingly into a mismatched marriage is not God's will for our lives.

So I'd like to add to this topic from the sense of the heart and spirit. Here at S.U.M. we talk about our struggles in our mismatched marriages and how to trust God to help us thrive in them. But today I want to talk to those who are knowingly dating or considering dating and unbeliever. Here are some things I truly want you to think about.

  • If you are reading this blog, you are more than likely pursuing a relationship with Jesus. Your faith is important to you. And you’ve probably experienced that unspoken connection to other believers that is so unique to the body of Christ. You can't share that kind of connection with an unbeliever. You can't share the essence of who you are with that person because they just won't get it. Maybe this doesn't sound like a big deal to you right now, but it will be.

    Right from the Garden of Eden God intended for us to have this connection, for the two to become one. One in spirit. We can't be one in spirit with a person who isn't a believer. This is our greatest heartbreak in a mismatched marriage. We cannot share the very core of who we are with that person.

  • Think ahead. Imagine that you wind up marrying this person, thinking he or she will surely come to faith at some point. Are you willing to wait 10, 20, or 30 years? Are you willing to deal with the constant struggle and prayer for this person to come to faith even if it doesn't happen until the very end of their life? Or not at all? Can you live with that possibility?

    This may seem harsh but it is a reality we deal with in a mismatched marriage. We have a role to play to be a sacred influence to our unbelieving spouse but it's not easy. As women we do not have a spiritual leader to walk with and have his protection over us. We are a lone warrior fighting against the enemy's persistent determination to keep our unbelieving spouse from coming to know Jesus. We fight every day.

  • Think ahead even more. Do you want children? If so, then you want them to know Jesus and have an eternity secure with Him. What if your spouse is opposed to you taking them to church? Opposed to you sharing your faith with them because they feel it's all misconceptions or not even true? Children bring a whole new dynamic to a marriage. Children change perspectives and priorities. Often for women, children bring us back to a fervent faith in our desire to raise our children to know God. That's not the case with an unbelieving spouse and they may very well oppose you, especially if they are of another faith and belief system.

  • Don’t even go there. Maybe you think you can “lightly date,” but don’t fool yourself. We’ve heard in movies that the heart chooses whom it will love. Well, that’s partly true. Love is a choice, but why put yourself in a position where you may fall in love with an unbeliever? That will only cause you and that other person unnecessary pain. Spend time with friends. Save dating for it’s true intent—to get to know someone you’d like to get to know better in the sense of building a love relationship with the goal of marriage. Don’t let yourself get sideswiped by your heart or the enemy.

My intention here is not to make anyone feel condemned but to bring out the truth. For those of us walking the path of being spiritually mismatched, we do experience God's power working in our lives and marriages. Our situations have forced us in many ways to be more intentional about our faith and our marriages. We work hard to make our marriages work.

But it is not a path we would recommend you take. Quite the opposite because we know intimately the heartache and that obedience to God is best path, no matter what decision we face. We know this because that means we are following God's will and His will is always best. Always.

So if you are in this place, not married to an unbeliever but dating or even considering marrying one, step back. Pray. Seek God honestly about what you are doing. Be willing to do whatever He asks you to do because you know that His plan for you is always for good (Rom. 8:28). Trust Him with your future.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Missionary Dating?

So...... I must live under a rock at times.

I was listening to the radio a few days ago and the radio host threw out the term, missionary dating.

Read more at the Inernet Cafe, Marriage Counter, today.

 

Marriage counter (3)

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Feel the Passion- He is Risen Just as He said

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 

He is not here; he has risen!

     He comes on His terms, not ours.

         Will you accept what He asks of you..... 

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The Tomb

Saturday:

Jesus body was int he tomb during the Sabbath, and the Pharisees hired Roman guards to keep watch of the tomb.

The Tomb. Was it really empty?

 

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The Via Dolorosa

The Via Dolorosa (Latin for Way of Grief or Way of Suffering)

Friday

Early in the morning, Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod Antipas, and Pilate again. He was led to the cross and crucified at 9:00 a.m. and died at 3:00 p.m. and was buried later that day. Christ the Paschal Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) died at the time when the Israelites were sacrificing their Passover lambs.

(Video is graphic but with truly remind us what Jesus suffered for our redemption

It's difficult to watch this let alone think Jesus walked this road for you..... for me....

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The Last Supper ~The Passover

Each day between now and Easter Sunday I will post a Chronological Look at the Passion Week. Remember to stop in here every morning, pause for five minutes, and think upon what is happening on this particular day nearly two thousand years ago. Reflect, pray, get out your Bible, and then add your thoughts here in the comments. 

Look up scripture verses and share them. Write your prayers. Let’s bring to life again the week of Easter and thank Jesus for the most profound event to ever take place. His death and resurrection, which is the reason we have hope and a life.

Let’s get started:

Thursday

Jesus and His disciples prepared the Passover lamb, and they had their Passover meal in the Upper Room. Jesus shared powerful truth with His disciples and offered and intercessory prayer in their behalf. They arrived at the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus suffered in agony waiting what was to come. Later that night Jesus was betrayed and arrested. He was tried first by Annas and later by Caiaphas and other religious leaders.

What would it be like to sit in this room? To share this meal? To try to comprehend all the Jesus was sharing?

Whoa. I'm undone?

It's dark in the garden...... It's Thursday, but Sunday's comin'.

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Wednesday ~

Each day between now and Easter Sunday I will post a Chronological Look at the Passion Week. Remember to stop in here every morning, pause for five minutes, and think upon what is happening on this particular day nearly two thousand years ago. Reflect, pray, get out your Bible, and then add your thoughts here in the comments. 

Look up scripture verses and share them. Write your prayers. Let’s bring to life again the week of Easter and thank Jesus for the most profound event to ever take place. His death and resurrection, which is the reason we have hope and a life.

Figtree Let’s get started:

Wednesday

On the way to Jerusalem, the disciples saw the withered fig tree. At the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus' authority and wisdom was questioned by some religious leaders. That afternoon Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and delivered the Olivet Discourse. Two additional things occurred on that day: (1) Jesus predicted that in two days He would be crucified at the time of the Passover; and (2) Judas planned the betrayal of Christ with some religious leaders.

I'm fascinated by the mention and remention of the fig tree. After all the miracles recorded and witnessed by the disciples, why does the fig tree stand out to them and why is it referenced so prominently? 

It's Wednesday and in two days he will be crucified..... It's Wednesday but Sunday's comin'.

Thoughts? Lynn

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Tuesday

Each day between now and Easter Sunday I will post a Chronological Look at the Passion Week. Remember to stop in here every morning, pause for five minutes, and think upon what is happening on this particular day nearly two thousand years ago. Reflect, pray, get out your Bible, and then add your thoughts here in the comments. 

Look up scripture verses and share them. Write your prayers. Let’s bring to life again the week of Easter and thank Jesus for the most profound event to ever take place. His death and resurrection, which is the reason we have hope and a life.

Let’s get started:

Tuesday

On the way from Bethany to Jerusalem, Jesus cursed the fig tree, and He cleansed the temple in Jerusalem. Some religious leaders began to plot ways to kill him. That evening Jesus left Jerusalem, presumably returning to Bethany.

Okay, thoughts on this. Is it sometimes difficult to imagine Jesus getting really, really mad as in this scene? What would it be like if Jesus came into our church building/meeting today? Would He tear down, throw out and cleanse? Fascinating thoughts. 

Sunday's a comin'.... Hugs, Lynn

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The Lamb and the Entry ~ Whoa!


Jewish-passover-meal
Last week a wonderful friend of mine, Kathryn, sent me a book, Christ in the Passover. I am enjoying learning how the Passover customs and practices are fulfilled in Christ. Every day this week we are intentionally focusing on the Passion Week of Christ and Passover.

Each day between now and Easter Sunday I will post a Chronological Look at the Passion Week. Remember to stop in here every morning, pause for five minutes, and think upon what is happening on this particular day nearly two thousand years ago. Reflect, pray, get out your Bible, and then add your thoughts here in the comments. 

Look up scripture verses and share them. Write your prayers. Let’s bring to life again the week of Easter and thank Jesus for the most profound event to ever take place. His death and resurrection, which is the reason we have hope and a life.

Let’s get started:

Monday

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, followed by His visit to the temple, and His return to Bethany. It was Nisan 10,  when the Passover lambs were selected. Likewise, the triumphal entry was the day when Christ presented Himself as Israel's Paschal Lamb.

….

Okay, what Is Nisan and Paschal? What do you think it would have been like to be on the road, so excited that you believe the promised King is coming that you throw your coat ont he road in front of Him? What are your thoughts today on the entry. Do you know what gate He entered the city and why. What does that have to do with the return of Christ. So much to talk about here.

What are your thoughts today? I can’t wait to listen in and share this week with you. Love and hugs, Lynn

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In Preparation of the Lamb

I love my Jewish heritage. No, I wasn't born a Jew but the King, through Jesus, the Lamb of God, adopted me. The legacy of the Jewish customs especially the Passover enriches our Easter experience.

Jewish-passover-meal Last week a wonderful friend of mine, Kathryn, sent me a book, Christ in the Passover. I am enjoying learning how the Passover customs and practices are fulfilled in Christ. This week begins the Passion Week and Passover as well. So let’s be intentional and focus on the events of Christ.

Each day between now and next Sunday I will post a Chronological Look at the Passion Week. I want you to be part of this experience. Stop in here every morning, pause for five minutes, and think upon what is happening on this particular day nearly two thousand years ago. Reflect, pray, get out your Bible, and then add your thoughts here in the comments. Let’s bring our community together and chat about what impact this week has on you.

Look up scripture verses and share them. Write your prayers. Let’s bring to life again the week of Easter and thank Jesus for the most profound event to ever take place. His death and resurrection, which is the reason we have hope and a life.

Let’s get started:

Saturday & Sunday

Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, arriving at Bethany six days before Passover, which was the Saturday before the Passion. Jesus was anointed at Simon the leper’s house. On Sunday, there was a great crowd that came to Bethany to see Jesus.

….

Okay, what is the scripture that places Jesus and Simon’s? What are your thoughts about the crowd? How would it feel to be there? What prayers to you think Christ spoke? Would you have been mad or fearful, like the disciples that Jesus wanted to return to Jerusalem?

What are your thoughts today? I can’t wait to listen in and share this week with you. Love and hugs, Lynn

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The Intentional Marriage — Confrontation

Welcome to our video broadcast of The Intentional Marriage. Have your Bible handy because we'll be looking at Luke 12:11-12 as we explore how to speak the truth in love using prayer and preparation.

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Thankful Thursday -

I'm so excited that Thankful Thursday is back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for the month of April. 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.

In April we meet here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage in May we are with Iris at Grace alone and June over at Laurie's, Women Taking A Stand.

Sometimes we spend a significant amount of time pouring ourselves into other people, writing on our blogs, teaching at church, just so that we might help one person discover what we already know..... That Jesus can change anything, redeem anything, save anyone. He can restore joy and purpose, hope and love.

Often we don't see the results from our hours of efforts. We never see the fruit. But on rare occasions God allows us to see what all of our writing, talking, working, serving has done for a single life.

This past week, I have receive not one but several emails from women who have read our book or who are regular readers here and they have shared with me and Dineen that our efforts are helping. They are finding hope, and a renewed strength to press forward in their marriage.

THAT is why I write. That is why I continue to share my story. THAT is what brings honor to the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are wondering if no one reads your blog, no one cares about your life, no one responds to your efforts, I have a few words for you. 

You make a difference to someone. The enemy wants to discourage you. Reject that lie. You keep following the Lord's direction and trust Him to send that one individual who needs your words at that exact moment.

I'm so thankful that God started me on this crazy, harebrained journey called blogging. What a fantastic ride it's been. I would be the least likely of women to start a blog.... Go figure. God ALWAYS knows what He's doing though. I'm SO glad I follow Him.

What are you thankful for? Lynn

PS. If you missed my Go Ahead, Pray Really Big story about God answering the most fantastic of prayer requests in the most fantastic way, stop over to Laced With Grace today. Leave me a word here in the comments and one there too, if you can. 

 

 

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Go Ahead, Pray Really BIG

A few weeks ago, I read the book, Heaven Is for Real. It’s a little boys astounding story of his trip to heaven and back. I read it in less than a day. I was thrilled, had goose bumps, wrangled with some the secrets he shared about the afterlife and I was flat out craving my heavenly home.

Thus begins a story in which I share with you one of the most astounding answers to prayer I have ever experienced. Join me today at Laced With Grace.

I still can't beleive it and it happend to me, Hugs, Lynn

 

Laced With Grace

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Who Do You Trust?

IStock_000000870829XSmall A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" Getting to his feet, he told the wind, "Silence!" and the waves, "Quiet down!" They did it. The lake became smooth as glass. Then he said to his disciples, "Why can't you trust me?" —Luke 8:23-25 (The Message)

I know this is a passage that we are all pretty familiar with, but for some reason (God’s of course) when I read it yesterday, the significance of its meaning hit me anew. When I looked up The Message translation of these verses, I knew God wanted me to talk about trust. I’d suspected this for about a week—just love how He brings things like this front and center in His time—just wasn’t sure about the how.

So let’s talk about trust—trusting God is our greatest challenge in the life. I believe it’s something you and I will grapple with on a daily basis for the rest of our lives. We begin to trust God in one area of our life only to find ourselves facing new challenges or an entirely different area of our life that we’ve yet to completely place our trust in God. It’s just the way it works. It’s our training ground. It’s how God works.

Trust isn’t easy though, especially when we’re dealing with the unknown. But that’s the whole definition of trust, isn’t it? Accepting the truth of something without evidence? (Heb. 11:1) Isn’t it about trusting God so completely that we know that we know that we know that whatever we are facing or will face, God is right there in the middle of it working for our good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose? (Rom. 8:28)

The amazing part of all this is Jesus is asking us to trust the truth. Want your mind blown away?

Jesus is Truth. (John 14:6) He is the ultimate and unchanging Truth, the most reliable Truth we have in our lives. We live in a world that loosely defines truth as whatever works in the current moment. The world’s truth is always changing and is completely unreliable. What may be true for one person isn’t true at all for another. What was true ten years ago, or even last year, for that matter, isn’t true today.

But Jesus is true for everyone, all the time. No matter what, we can trust Him for anything and everything in our lives and until we begin holding onto this, we will continue to be thrashed around by the storms of life.

What I love about this piece of Scripture is the clear example of Jesus in action. The rocking boat, the raging water, the rain and the wind are all the trials, challenges, struggles, bad news and set backs we will ever face in this life.

The disciples calling out to Jesus is exactly what we’re supposed to do in those storms. And just like then, Jesus is right here now to calm the waters, comfort us, and then challenge our faith, “Do you trust me? Can you trust Me more?”

This is His gentle rebuke when the boat rocks and we cry for help—His reminder that He’s always been right there. So what does He want us to learn?

Jesus wants us to know without out a doubt that He is the one in control. He wants us to stand boldly in that boat as the storms are about to hit and affirm that our Jesus is bigger than anything we will face. He is the one in control, and He wants us to trust His Truth above all else—trust Him above all else.

Then when the raging storms of life hit—and even the little ones—we’re sitting calmly in the boat of our lives knowing that we have nothing to fear. And sitting right next to us is Jesus, smiling at our trust in Him.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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A Community

The following was posted by my good friend, Dee, on our 1 Peter 3 Living group. I was moved by her invitation and want to extend it to all of you in this amazing community of believers who are waiting for the salvation of our spouse. 

John-3-16 So here is Dee:

John 3:16 is the most well known verse in the Word of God. It is the classic statement of God's salvation through Jesus Christ. This verse describes God's plan of salvation in simple but powerful words. This verse of Scripture also provides you with a prayer model to use in praying for the lost. It offers you vital truths that you can use to plead with God for the lost.

With the above in mind and considering the Easter season that we're in, I thought that John 3:16 would be an excellent verse for us to use to plead/pray/fast for the our spouses on the remaining Tuesdays of this month. (We fast and pray every Tuesday at 1P3)

This is a special time of the year - Jesus died for my husband - He died for your husband.  My husband doesn't believe this and I want that to change - the sooner the better!

So, would you consider making this your prayer and fasting focus on Tuesday for your spouses and the others in our group?

Who's in? 

Thank You Jesus - for what You did for all of us on that cross!  I pray that our men/women would not perish for not believing this powerful truth.  Lord, I cannot  even stand the thought of that -  No Lord, have mercy, show them the way, the truth and the life!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his  only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

I love our community of believers who are living to love Jesus and loving their spouse. I especially love all of you who are loving in extraordinarily trying marriages. If you are seeking a change in your life, join us for prayer and fasting this Tuesday. Start with a day -time fast. 

God honors a humble heart and LOVES to answer prayers for salvation. I will be also praying Romans 10:10 for my husband. What will you be praying. Have a great week. Hugs, Lynn

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Weekend Devo — Precious Moments

IStock_000009988691XSmall Yesterday I attended the funeral of a friend's husband. He'd lived a full life, knowing his place in this world and especially his place in God's Kingdom. He'd lived for Jesus and impacted the lives of many.

What I loved most about this service was the stories shared about this man's life. Hearing them reminded me again of how those memorable moments are the ones we carry through our lives because they're steeped in love. And at our most difficult times, they can be what carries us though.

If I learned one thing going though my daughter's ordeal with cancer, it's that these moments are critical and precious. Grab them, treasure them, hold them close. They are the substance of our lives just as much as the trials we endure.

Together they build a complete picture of a life lived to the fullest. We need both. So laugh every day. Find a moment to be goofy with your kids. Tickle your husband and make him smile. Embrace every moment to the fullest.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Prince Charming Is.... The Average Joe

Good Morning Everyone. Today’s post is just for the ladies. Sorry guys but if you read on I hope you feel affirmed.

Girls, yesterday I was listening to a radio program where the host was interviewing an author of a book titled, Average Joe.

This interview brought into sharp focus some facts that we, as wives, conveniently forget. The interviewer asked a question, “When you were a little boy, what did you dream about becoming when you grew up?”

“I dreamed like most boys, of spaceships, moon walks, of fighting fires and rescuing puppies, to be a doctor or policeman.”

Manwork
Like many of our men, this author turned out to be “just” an Average Joe. A man, who loves his wife, dotes on his kids and pays bills regularly. On weekends, you'll find him fixing the leaky sink or helping the neighbors.

He surrendered his dream because he wants to do the right thing and provide for his family. He gets up every morning and pulls on his big boy pants and heads off to an average job where he feels unchallenged and unappreciated. He works hard and finds little satisfaction in his work.

He comes home and instead of appreciation and respect for this life he is living, we as women have our Cinderella Complex in overdrive and look to him to give extraordinarily more of himself. We expect him to meet every need and be the perfect parent and perfect lover and perfect “Prince Charming.”

Ladies today I want you to do what I did when I heard this interview. Put your Cinderella Complex in check. Truly look at your husband. See him through the eyes of God. Your husband loves you and the kids. He’s not perfect but, he is honest and he is trying. Trying hard.

Cut him some slack and tell him how much you appreciate what he does for you and the kids. Tell him you know he works hard and how he has sacrificed his dreams to do the right thing.

As the interviewer said…. We call him an “Average Joe” ... but God calls him extraordinary!

From one Cinderella in recovery to another, love on your husband with the love of Christ. It’s irresistible.

Be embraced by the King, Hugs, Lynn

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Thankful Thursday -

I'm so excited that Thankful Thursday is back here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for the month of April. 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.

First, I have missed all of you so much. I can't wait to catch up on what's happening around your place. The Lord has been up to BIG things and I can't wait to read about them.

Please post your thankful post on your blog/Facebook or in the comments here and join the community and let's be intentional about giving thanks to God for our abundant blessings. Be sure to visit at least five others and share their praises.

Let's get going.

 One of the greatest blessings of our internet community is to FINALLY meet you face-to-face. And last week after knowing my friend Angela for nearly five years through this blog, we met... Face-to-face. Here she is between Dineen and me.

  Lynnangdineen
I about hurt myself getting out of the car to hug her neck when I first saw her. Anyhoo, I'm so thankful for our online community here. And, I look forward to almost hurting myself again getting out of the car when it's my turn to meet you, face-to-face. Sure hope it's this side of heaven. 

What are you thankful for this week. Let's give praise to the LORD for He has done great things. Be blessed, Lynn

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In Community

BetterTogether The significance of community has truly become more and more apparent to me as I walk this journey in a mismatched marriage and have the pleasure of interacting with you, our readers, here, on our Facebook page and on our 1Peter3Living Yahoo group. The very first group I ever joined was in Europe at my international church. It was an amazing thing to be with a group of women who all spoke different languages, yet we “spoke” the same language when it came to our mismatched marriages.

God designed us with a need to connect to those who share common interests and especially common trials. I was reminded of this Sunday at church. I chatted for just a few minutes with two gentlemen in my church. What did we talk about? The Bible. Specifically about how God’s Word is so alive! How we can read something we’ve read many times, yet find a new revelation and meaning in the very same piece of Scripture thanks to the Holy Spirit and God’s timing.

Just this brief conversation reminded me how much we need to connect to other believers to not only share our needs but to share our excitement about our faith. To stand with other believers who are also walking the journey of faith in Jesus. Two places in Scripture reveal this:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. — Hebrews 10:24-25 (emphasis added)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. — 2Corinthians 1:3-7 (emphasis added)

Both of these Scriptures point out our need to be in community with other believers, not only to receive comfort and encouragement but also to be comforters and encouragers as well.

Simply said, we need each other.

I know it’s not easy getting to church every Sunday for many of us, so I’d like to encourage you to think outside the box here. Can you join a small group for Bible study, even an online group? In this day of technology, it’s overwhelming but it’s also easier than ever to find others who share in our faith walk and join groups for Bible study. Please consider these options carefully, of course.

A dear friend of mine pointed out a wonderful truth in 2Corinthians 1:3-7. God’s Word tells us in these verses that God desires us to use the comfort we’ve received to comfort others. We are called into service here. The other side to this is amazingly simple and beautiful.

When we are struggling in our trials, we can expect God to send others to encourage and comfort us. Yes, expect! Isn’t that amazing?

Look for those precious people God sends into your life at just the right time. Ask God for a way to connect with other believers to share your faith. This is especially vital for those of us in mismatched marriages because it gives us a way to talk about our faith without putting expectations on our unbelieving spouses.

Then the need for community that God designed us to have is nurtured and filled exactly as God designed it to be.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

 

New LWG Button_2010 Are you feeling overwhelmed by the events going on in the world today? Do you know God has a plan for that, for us? Check out my post today over at Laced with Grace.

Overwhelmed by the World

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

It’s been a long while since I’ve updated the Chronicles. So today, join me for a peek into the Donovan house.

Most of you who have been readers here know that I am a bit wacky and I love an adventure. I see adventure in so many things. I am convinced that is because God lives in my heart and I can expect Him to show up, show off and show me new revelations of His amazing love and grace.

He doesn’t disappoint.

One of my favorite adventures is a trip across the street to our mailbox. Yep, lame, I know. However, I have some fantastic encounters with neighbors out there. I find stray dogs that follow me home (read that story here) and mostly I delight in some unexpected treasures that arrive in that small tin box.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I trotted to the box, slipped in the key and pulled out a wad of papers. Walking back toward the house I flipped through the junk mail and bills and my eyes landed on a bright yellow envelope neatly addressed to Lynn Donovan in the recognizable and neat hand printing of my husband.

Astonished, I froze on the spot in the middle of the street.

I immediately flipped the envelope over and pressed my index finger under the lip of the yellow paper and tore that envelope almost in half.

What in the world?

A delightful greeting card with a photo of a little boy and girl slid out. I almost fell over right there, smack in the middle of the street. The world faded away. A convoy of cars could have been honking for me to move out of the street and I wouldn’t have heard it.

I opened the card, which incidentally I noticed it was postmarked from Minnesota where my husband currently travels for business. Inside was… ahem, the sweetest words of two people living life together.

Imported Photos 00017 An overwhelming loved filled my heart and I smiled. I closed the card, returned to earth and realized I better get out of the street because inside our house awaits a man who is deeply loved by a wacky 5’4’ blonde and he is about to receive a big ole kiss.

Standing in my husband’s home office doorway with card in hand, I smile and say, “Excuse me, who are you and what have you done with my husband?”

He looks up, puzzlement resting on his eyes until he spots the card in my hand.

He smiles. I walk to him and grab his face and …. ahem, well you get the picture. And for those of you with a suspicious nature, no, he's not trying to get out of the dog house. "We are in the best place in our marriage that we have ever been." ~ his words....

As I share this turn in our life, this event may look like a small and silly gesture. It may also be terribly difficult for some of you to read about this encounter of a couple who are in love and how they share that love in this unexpected way. But, what I need to tell you is that I have waited many, many years for this very moment.

Not since our very early years of dating did a card “for no reason” show up in my mailbox.

You know what I find so intriguing about all of this is that I am living in a place in my life and marriage that it’s doesn’t matter to me now that I receive an unexpected card or flowers. And if you knew me years ago, you would know how crazy this sounds.

How can this be?

I dared to live the hard years.

I didn’t give up on my dream. I didn’t surrender my marriage. I wouldn’t stop praying for this man I married. I never quit pouring the love of Christ into him. I relentlessly pushed forward through the exhaustion, the loneliness, and disillusionment.

How?

Two things. I learned to love Jesus with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength and I had to let go of “me.”

Jesus changed everything in my life. He flipped me upside down, turned me around and inside out. Do you feel like this is happening in your life? Then you are in the right place for God’s Son to do the fantastic in your life.

This life is not about me. It’s about Jesus. All of it. All the time. In every way, about Jesus. When I finally got over myself and my wants that is when the rewards, the adventures, the love and joy filled my life.

Ask yourself this question. Am I “really” ready to take Jesus at His Word and trust that it’s okay that life isn’t all about me?

Aren’t you at all curious what He could do for you if you just let Him?

Be embraced by our King this day. I love and care for all of you with a deep and eternal love. Hugs, Lynn

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Congrats to Katie!

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One of the best parts of our booksinging last weekend was meeting and making new friends. We had a drawing for a $25 Berean gift card and our special winner is Katie Clark. The picture above is her with her mom, Marge. These two special ladies made our day extra special with their love and support. I am especially blessed to know Katie and Marge from my church, East Valley Church.

Thank you, Katie and Marge!

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Are You Desperate?

There came a day.

That day when I finally said, “I can’t do this anymore.”

I am a determined and self-sufficient woman and for “that” day to finally arrive, I was truly at the end of my rope. I was desperate.

I couldn’t have one more argument over my faith with him.

I was done trying to help him find Jesus.

I couldn’t take one more hurtful word about my Lord.

I was desperate.

Why is it that we must finally travel this desolate road of desperate into the wilderness? Why do we think we can handle our life on our own strength, by our own wits, with our own intellect?

My journey to the Land of Desperate was necessary. I needed to realize I was….

Desperate for Jesus.

Jesus had to take me to the end of myself to see that everything I was working to accomplish was nothing. He needed me to see that I just needed Him.

When I finally came to this place in my marriage that is when I truly discovered Jesus. He is all I need. Jesus is my Hero. Jesus is my provider. Jesus is my strength. Jesus is my joy, and hope and love and future and… and… and….

I finally decided that reading the Bible might make a difference. (What a thought) I began getting up early and would read from my daily Bible then pray. Every morning. Without fail.

    Theholybible

That was 14 years ago and I still meet with the King today, every morning, early with coffee in hand and my daily Bible.

Are you desperate? Meet with the King every morning. It will change your life. And that’s a promise.

Be embraced this day my friends and meet with the King. He has so much to give you and it will blow your mind. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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