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21 entries from May 2011

The Heart of the Matter

933344_i_love_you Over the last two weeks I’ve shared the importance of having a quiet time. My fear is that we haven’t covered the heart of this discipline and see it more as a duty, so I want to make that clear today.

Not having a quiet time each day isn’t a sin. You haven’t broken a law or anything like that. Above all else, do not let this become something legalistic in your life. And I say that as someone who could fall into legalism and must guard against it.

At the very least, see having a quiet time with God as an opportunity to grow closer to Him and understand His love for you. And to the extreme, see it as a life preserver to your spirit in a drowning world ruled by an enemy who loves nothing more than to keep us from experiencing an effective life in Christ. Our time with God and reading His Word every day is the only way to arm ourselves against our common enemy.

So do it. Find what works for you and do it. Make this the most important part of your day. After all, Jesus thinks you’re that important—important enough to die for.

Even during times when you feel distant from God, keep this appointment and work through whatever it is He might be trying to teach you. Sit quietly before God and seek Him. My mentor told me that too.

And I’m so glad she did because there was a time that I felt that no matter how hard I sought God, I could not find Him—couldn’t sense Him near me. I persisted. I pursued God. I cried out to Him to answer me. Finally, He did. He rewarded me with His presence and showed me that He wanted me to understand the emptiness without Him.

I’ve never stopped seeking Him since. I hope I never wind up in a desert that dry again. God knows what we need now and what we will need in the future. I dare to say that had God not taught me that early on, I may not be walking as closely with Him now.

From a Biblical example, look at David. He sought God his entire life through the good and the bad. And God saw him as a man after His own heart. David wasn’t perfect. He messed up pretty bad at times and still suffered the consequences of his poor choices. But he never stopped pursuing God and God rewarded him for that.

Hear David’s passion in Psalm 27:8:

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.

David knew the source of his strength and hope was God. That no matter what, no matter how inconsistent the world and people around him were, God was constant. Always there. Always helping. Always loving.

And hear what God tells us He will do when we seek Him:

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. — Deuteronomy 4:29

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. — Jeremiah 29:13

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. — Matthew 7:7

God’s Word is clear. When we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him—our great Lord, our King, our Savior Jesus. We will find God.

So seek and pursue God in those quiet moments so you can hear Him through His Word, through your prayers, and through those God strategically places around you.

And through that small voice that speaks to a willing heart.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Unequally Yoked and Ashamed at Church

There is a lot of shame that accompanies the unsavory title of unequally yoked.

In fact, now that our book has released I am discovering there are many more women and men living in a marriage where they and their spouse are on significantly different planes in their faith walk, than I suspected.

Read the rest of this article today at the Internet Cafe Devotions: Unequally Yoked and Ashamed at Church.

Marriage counter (3)

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Freedom

Freedom is not Free



 

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain, 
For purple mountain majesties 
Above the fruited plain! 

America! America! 

God shed his grace on thee 

And crown thy good with brotherhood 

From sea to shining sea! 

Dineen and I (Lynn) humbly salute and honor all those who serve and who have served. We know many military and military wives are readers here. We are praying for your families and thank you seems inadequate..... but, thank you.

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Pant, Pant, Breathe

 Mark 13:5 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines and calamities. This is but the beginning of the intolerable anguish and suffering (only the first of the birth pangs). AMPLIFIED

September 11, 2001 ~ a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States.

Pant....... 

Pant.......

Breathe.......

Katrina, Middle East Conflicts, Iraq, Afghanistan, deadly snow storms, earth quakes, famine....

September 2008 ~ Global Financial Crisis, liquidity shortfall in the US banking system and has resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world.

Pant

Pant

Breathe

April 2, 2011 ~ Tohoku Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster. One of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world overall since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

Pant
Pant

Breathe 

April 20, 2010 ~ Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. The largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Pant
Pant
Breathe

April 25-28, 2011 ~ An extremely large and violent tornado outbreak, the largest in US history.

Pant, Pant, Breathe

May 2011 ~ The Mississippi River flood in May 2011 were among the largest and most damaging along the US waterway in the past century.

PANT, PANT, BREATHE

May 21, 2011 ~ Iceland volcano erupts spewing ash 18,000 feet into the Stratosphere.

Pant, pant, breathe,.... Pant, pant, breathe....

May 22, 2011 ~ Joplin, MO Tornado. A mile-wide funnel touched down at 5:41 p.m. CT Sunday and blasted a six mile wide path. The deadliest single tornado in nearly 60 years, according to federal records.

PANT.... PANT.... BREATHE....

______

I'm fascinated with the increasing speed and the ferocity. Are you? Lynn

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Creating a Quiet Time

IStock_000010591901XSmall Last week we talked about keeping a divine appointment with God on a daily basis. Again, I know this isn’t easy to do, especially if you have small kids, but I promise you it will be the most important and beneficial decision you will ever make in your life.

Do you want a transformed life? A life of victory? Then this is where it starts. So, what does a quiet time look like? There’s many ways people choose to carve out a time to spend with God so this isn’t a right or wrong question. Suzanna Wesley threw her apron over her head, signaling to her children that she was praying and spending time with God. I’ve heard many women say they use their time in the shower to pray and often find they “hear” God better there. I’ve experienced that myself but it’s not always convenient. (grin) Some find they have more time in the evening.

As I’ve shared before it took me a year of my mentor’s sweet nudgings to finally heed her words and practice this discipline. And just let me be clear that this isn’t something that we need to feel guilty about if we miss a day here and there. God isn’t keeping count. Over time you will find this time to be something you look forward to as you sit at the feet of Jesus and know Him as the Lord of your life.

So, I’d like to share some of what helped me create and keep a quiet time:

  • Time. Start out small, say 15 minutes. Get up a little earlier, before the kids, or wait until they go off to school. Take part of your lunch break or the time the little ones are down for a nap. Just make it the same time every day. You may have trouble sitting still at first, especially if you’re used to always being on the go, but stick with it.

    When I first started doing all this, I really struggled with my mind wandering. What worked for me was picturing myself sitting with Jesus with this bubble-like dome covering us. This was my way of telling my mind to push the concerns of the day aside because they weren’t allowed to invade my space with Jesus. Over time you will be surprised how easy it becomes and how you wind up extending your time without even realizing it.

  • Place. Pick a comfy spot in your home that’s conducive to sitting quietly or is private. I have a comfy chair by a window. I’ve always needed to see outside or even sit outside during my quiet time. God’s creation helps me relax and focus. And as with the time of day, make this the same spot you go to as much as possible. Our brains make associations so by creating this habit of the same time and place everyday, you will train your brain to focus and relax. You’ll notice it will get easier over time too.

  • Materials. I love using daily devotionals. Over the years I’ve used devotional magazines like The Daily Bread (RBC Ministried), Our Journey (Walk in the Word by James MacDonald), and books such as Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest and Experiencing God Day By Day (Blackaby). I use these in conjunction with a daily plan to read my Bible in year. Most devotional magazines have a daily plan to read your Bible in a year. There are also Bibles designed to do this as well.

    With the advances in technology, I’ve found great benefit in using my iPad. There are many great Bible apps in several translations available (I use Olive Tree), which include study notes and reading plans. They also give you the ability to highlight passages and takes notes as well. And now that so many books are available in digital format, I have many of my favorite devotional and prayer books on my iPad as well. This makes keeping my quiet time when I travel much easier since I don’t have to bring so many books. It’s all in one portable place.

  • Prayer. My mentor helped me a great deal in this area too. One of the things she said and I’ll never forget is to “clear the air.” Each morning as I sit down with God, I pray for my sins to be forgiven. I don’t want anything clogging the pipeline of communication with God. 1John 1:9 is the Scripture I refer to.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


    Then I ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes and heart to hear what He wants me to understand through His Word and prayer. This is how I start my quiet time, then from there I do my reading and journal what God has shown me that day (journaling doesn’t happen every day), then I pray for those needing prayer and intercession. Even writing out your prayers can be invaluable. The benefit of journaling is being able to go back and remember what God showed you.

  • Expectations. Do expect interruptions and challenges when you first start. The enemy will most likely try to discourage you from this because if he does, he knows you’ll miss out on some amazing times that will grow you closer to God. But also expect to be hugely blessed by this time and see a change in yourself, how you handle your days, your life, your family and your marriage. This is valuable time God will use to equip you for whatever’s coming your way.

Make your quiet time uniquely yours. Don’t be afraid to explore and change things up from time to time. Sometimes I play worship music. Sometimes I’ll sit outside. If you find yourself doing it more out of duty, ask God to help you change that and do something a little different.

The one thing I know that changed the most for me is feeling like my faith was a rollercoaster ride that went from strong to weak to strong to weak on the tides of my life. Over time, my faith was strengthened in so many ways to where I could ride those waves but still feel centered in my faith and knowledge of who God is and trusting Him to be in control of my life.

Once you start, I promise you won’t want to stop. And you will miss it dearly on days (hopefully rare) that you miss meeting with your Creator. If you want God to transform your life, this is where it starts—by spending time regularly with Him.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

(Here's another article about building a quiet time.)

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The Schwarzenegger Rant

(Photo: Reuters / Tomas Bravo)
Mariaarnoldshwartz Okay, I’m not really sure where this post is going today but I think I’m about to go on a rant.

I am utterly and wholly disappointed and sad over the impending divorce of Arnold and Maria Schwarzenegger. I am outright devastated for the children, and the son of the household employee. I’m devastated for all of them.

It’s a tragedy that continues to play out in an ever growing and ugly fashion. I live in Southern California and it’s the talk everywhere. Are you hearing about it all where you live?

I guess my heart breaks for marriage in general. It grieves me that after 25 years…. NOW it’s a failure. I think I felt this way when Al and Tipper Gore separated after 40 years. But if I have learned anything in these years of marriage ministry, I have learned that the marriage behind closed doors is the real marriage. Often when we observe married couples, we are only viewing their public face, much like watching celebrities. What their real relationship is all about is rarely glimpsed in the public. Would you agree?

What can we learn from this strange turn of events? Can we see that marriage is a union of two people that are not always mature, or wise? They are often selfish and insecure. Can we take notice that a good marriage takes work, trust, and more than anything, constant prayer?

Let this misfortune remind us that we can never stop working on our marriage relationship. We must be intentional to spend time together. To be spontaneous. To love and to honor and to respect our mate.

Okay, your thoughts? Rants? Prayers?

Be blessed, Lynn

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Lavish Love

933344_i_love_you When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. — John 6:12-13

I read this piece of Scripture last week and was struck by the thought that Jesus could have "made" the fish and bread to be just enough for these 5,000 hungry mouths and not have a crumb left.

But he didn't stop there. He created a bounty. Leftovers, sustenance for another day perhaps...

This touched my heart because the story seemed to say to me that Jesus loves us lavishly. He wants to give us what we need and MORE! But how often do we settle for just enough?

Look at the hand of our Savior and see what He's holding. You'll see His heart—all for us.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Light Vs. Darkness: Living in the Natural World

Article II: Our Soul and the Natural World

A few weeks back, I began a series on the natural world and how we can let nature, the world God created, bring healing, and joy to our soul. We started with light. If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Today I want to post another article in this series. I’m completely convinced the world God created is purposed for our health; physically, emotionally and spiritually. The environments where we spend time affect our lives. I want to take one more look at light before we move on to sound, sight, exercise and perhaps a few others.

Light vs. Darkness: This scripture just grabs me: Luke 22:53 NIV Jesus said: Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.

This encounter occurs in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed into the hands of those who were determined to see Him dead.

Now read between the lines. Darkness reigns. Sin, satan, evil reigns in the darkness. Why do you suppose Jesus said this? Look at the ESV rendering:

Luke 22:53 ESV When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."

I get the cold shivers when I read this passage. It’s obvious that the powers of evil live in darkness.

Earth So what does this mean for our lives as believers. Stay out of the dark. Literally and figuratively. Now think about this with me. Isn’t it interesting that we as humans desire to sleep at night? We remain unaware and inactive during the night. Now, some of you skeptics out there may disagree but walking with Jesus all these years, I yearn to live in the light. I don’t even like it when it’s foggy here in May and June. Bring on the sunshine. I go to bed early and wake up with the dawn. It’s awesome.

We can’t ignore the fact that great evil takes place in darkness (and the light as well.) However, it seems to me Jesus was warning us that evil thrives in the dark. Secrets we keep in the dark, untold and unconfessed hold us captive. I think television programing in the late evening hours attest to the enemy’s power. Have you watch any of it lately? Sheesh.

I once heard an interview with a young man who was a Christian and once was possessed by a demon. He tells of his life during that time that he hated to go outside in the light that the spirit in him wouldn’t allow it. Fascinating. I also wonder if you are like me. There are times I can look at a stranger and I can feel the dark. I look in their eyes and I see they are dark.

It is healthier for us physically and spiritually to live in light. Open the shades, open God’s Word. Clean out the dark places in your heart and thrive. Avoid the darkness for that is where satan will use his power. Why give the enemy more advantage? Spiritual warfare is fought with the light. In the spiritual realm and in the physical. Thrive in the light and start fighting.

Okay, I’m really interested in your thoughts on this post. Be blessed, Lynn

Next post: In a bad mood? I bet I have something to help you out. 

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A Divine Appointment

IStock_000014889792XSmall I’ve been on a quest.

What kind of quest, do you ask? A quest to understand how to listen to God better. To hear Him more clearly. I don’t want to miss a thing He has to tell me.

Hearing God is not something that comes easily. (And please understand I'm using the word "hear" figuratively. God communicates through His Word and gives us impressions through the Holy Spirit.) We have to work at it just like we do in our earthly relationships. In order to hear what another person has to say, we have to spend time with them—be in their presence. I can’t expect to know what my husband is about and who he is if I don't spend time with him. Nor will I be able to hear him if I’m not in the same room with him.

Same thing goes for God. We can’t know who He is and what His will is for our lives if we don’t spend time with Him. I know we’ve touched on that here in the past but I think it’s something we need to talk about again.

Are you spending time with God everyday? Just 10 or 15 minutes even? A time that you can simply sit, be still and KNOW that He is the God of your life?

This isn’t just something that’s good to do. It’s necessary in order for us to truly know our Creator, because you know what? He is pretty cool and has a lot to tell us. His Word is full of stuff that He intentionally put there because He wanted us to know it. That’s right. The Bible isn’t just a mish mash of stuff some guys threw together. Every word in that book is there because God wants us to know it. And not reading it is as if your spouse wrote this amazing love letter to you—a long one full of the most important things he will ever say to you—and you left it unopened and sealed in the envelope.

There’s another important aspect I want to bring out here as well. We have often said here at S.U.M. that the changes we often desire in our lives and marriages have to start with us. If we’re not spending that time with God, how are those changes going to happen?

If you want to see God work in your marriage and in your life in ways you can’t even imagine, make a commitment now to spend time with Him every morning. If you have to get up 15 minutes earlier, do it. If you have to give up a TV show, do it. What God has for you is more entertaining and valuable anyway.

And please don’t think I don’t understand how difficult this can be at first. I truly do. I had to learn to do this when my girls were little. The only way I could get a quiet time was to get up before my family. Often before the sun had even begun to peak open its own eyes. But I will tell you that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not made that commitment and kept that appointment with God almost everyday for the last 15 years. Even on Sundays before church!

Nor have I regretted a minute of it. My time spent with God keeps me centered and helps me manage the rest of my day. Things still get done. In fact, they get done better.

So, are you struggling in your life? Are you finding things just aren’t working? Are you tired and want to get off the merry-go-round? Start tomorrow. Set that alarm a little earlier. Ask God to help you find a time that will work if you have to. I know He will because He’s done that for me too. Then keep that appointment everyday. Protect that time as if it is the most important appointment you will ever have in your life.

Because you know what? The Creator of the universe is waiting to meet with you. He loves you desperately and wants you to know that. Don’t stand Him up.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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A Tale Worth Telling

Indulge me today.

Let me introduce the cast:

One- small furry, cute (deceptive) cat
One- small dog named Peanut
One – teenaged girl 16 going on 27.
One – believing mom and keeper of the home.

It started several months back. The rainy season. It’s cold, wet, and dark. One early evening during a light downpour as we sat in the family room watching TV. From the hallway we hear a tiny, “Meow.”

To read the entire story, join me today at Laced With Grace.

 

Laced With Grace

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Weekend Devo — A Special Prayer

IStock_000001262149XSmall I love my Kindle. Especially the way you can see what parts others have underlined too. In fact, in one marriage book I'm reading right now, one line was highlighted over 100 times! Amazing! I love it when something significant resonates with many of us in the body of Christ.

I want to share such a line, actually a prayer, from chapter one of our book, Winning Him Without Words. It's a beautiful prayer that Lynn wrote:

Jesus, right now as I begin this new day, I surrender my place of authority over my life to You. I am placing You firmly on the throne of my life. Teach me to focus on Your desires for living. I give You my entire life this day. In Your powerful name, Jesus, amen.

This is where we start thriving in our marriages and in all areas of our lives—when we entrust our lives in the loving and capable hands of Jesus. Amen?

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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The Intentional Marriage

Good Day Everyone:

It's the second Friday of May and welcome to our newest show, The Intentional Marriage. Today Dineen and I are together and we are fielding questions.

*Holding out hope for our Spouse's Salvation
*Kid's and respect for their unbelieving Dad
*Handling media choices in a spiritually mismatched home 

Please spend a few minutes with us and then add your thoughts in the comments. We are especially wanting your suggestions on how you navigated these GIANT issues with the grace of Christ and with love for your spouse.

Thank you now join the show. Hugs, Lynn

 

The Intentional Marriage May 2011 from Lynn Donovan on Vimeo.

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Thankful Thursday - In The Storm

“Everything in our lives has to go through the filter of God first.  Just like Job.  His disaster’s were not a surprise to God— God didn’t keep it from happening.  God filters what happens and what is kept “from happening” in our lives on a daily basis.” ~Aimee Douglas 

 Every tear. Every question why. Every pain. Hurt and every disappointment. God has filtered it and will use it for good. I am living proof of this truth.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I'm not thankful for disaster. I'm thankful that God will not waste it. That out of it He will bring good and all for His glory. 

It's Thankful Thursday. What are you thankful for this week? Hugs, Lynn

I't's Thankful Thursday. 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.

May we are over at Laurie's, Women Taking A Stand and in June we are at Iris', Grace Alone.

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You Make a Difference

708892_insipite_storms_1 While I was with Lynn this past weekend, we talked about where our hubbies were at spiritually. I know you can relate to this discussion. Do they really see Jesus in us? Do they have any idea of how much we pour of our love and selves into these guys of ours? I will be honest, I wondered if my hubby really picked up on any of this.

I’ve been praying for him a long time. Just like you’ve prayed for your spouse. And it’s not easy to be in that place and not see anything change. Really hard…

Well, I want to share something that happened this weekend that affirmed to me that God is working.

My husband is pretty good about giving cards. Sometimes we agree to bypass them when we’re just too busy, but overall he's pretty good at finding simple, one-liner cards that tell me he loves me. I so appreciate that.

This Mother’s Day was different though. He gave me a LONG card. He’s never done this before, not something this wordy. It had lines like:

“How can a husband ever repay his wife for the gifts she brings…her love, her time, her very self…” (The water works started right here.)

“Your love sets something free inside my heart…a deeper joy for life, a peace from truly being known…” (This one really struck me because we have talked about how we feel lonely in our marriages.)

“Your love challenges me to stand taller…” (This reminded me of our discussions about respecting our husbands and affirming them.)

I will tell you, as I read this, my eyes filled with tears. He’d warned me there was a “cry factor” to this one. (giggle) He knows me well.

But I had to know…had to ask… “Do you really mean all this?”

He smiled at me. “Of course I do.”

Wow… I was speechless. I cried some more. This was a gift from God. I’d just expressed my doubts to Lynn about whether my hubby really saw all this working in his life and here was this amazing card telling me that he did. As if God were saying, “See, it’s really making a difference. YOU are making a difference.”

So my sweet friends, I know many of you feel discouraged because nothing seems to change. And Mother’s Day may have been a disappointment to you. Perhaps again…

But I just want to say to you, don’t give up. Keep going. Keep praying. Keep believing. God hears our prayers. He sees what we pour into the lives of our unbelieving spouses and what we sacrifice for them. None of it is wasted.

Even when we can't see anything changing, God is working. Our love, respect, and prayers are making a difference.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Netflix - Light - Spiritual Warfare

A few days ago, I finally surrendered.

We signed up for Netflix.

It’s not like we don’t already have over 100 channels to choose from. But if you’re like me. I am very choosy about what I pour into my soul through television. So most of what’s available to watch….. I don’t.

Okay but back to Netflix. I’m having a blast. Let’s see last night Caitie and I watched a classic romance. Ahhhhh, all is right with the world. I have placed in my queue all kinds of programs from romantic comedies to syfy, even documentaries. In fact, I enjoy some documentaries. Alright, already...... stop the yawning.

Yesterday I watch a PBS documentary. It was about one woman’s journey to healing. She encountered healing through taking a trip to Crete. There she enjoyed the sunshine, long walks in nature, wholesome foods and laughter.

As I watched this show I found myself just nodding my head. Don’t you think that God created our natural world then placed us into this kind of environment because it is healthy. Healthy for our physical body AND healthy for our spirit…. our soul.

A prescription for our soul.

If you have been a reader here for some time, you know I have shared some of my very real battles with the enemy. I truly know what it’s like to be the only adult believer in your home and to fight through prayer the forces of evil that are present and trying to destroy your home and marriage.

Imported Photos 00024 Spiritual warfare is very real and girls and guys, we are on the front lines. So I have learned a few things about warfare that relate to our natural world. And after watching this program on Netflix, I found the Lord prompting me to share what I know in the hope it will help others.

Effective battling of the enemy begins first and foremost through spending time with God. Reading His Word and prayer. Every morning, every day, every week, every month…. without fail. Ready yourself with Ephesians six. God’s Word instructs us how to be prepared.

(Image from my kitchen window.)

I have also discovered there are many practical practices you can adopt which will render the enemy powerless. These have to do with the natural world that God has placed us in.

Sight: Let’s start with this passage:  Luke 11:34-36  Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.  See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.  Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.

I am fascinated at the numerous scriptures which reference the word "light."  Your eye is the lamp of your body. So, let the light in. The light of God and also the sunlight.

When Dineen visited my house a few months ago, we had a very interesting conversation. We got on the subject of how every morning she walks all around her house and opens the blinds and drapes to let the light in. 

I said to her, "I do the very same thing. I think that's because we are children of God and live in the light."

I am a child of God. A child of the light. I let the light into my home as much as possible. On warm days I open all the doors and the windows too to allow in breezes (smells) which we will discuss in a future post. Satan hates the light. Literally. And he flees from the light.

I am convinced one way I gain the upper hand in spiritual warfare is I flood my home with light. The Light of Christ’s truth and bright natural sunlight. In addition to scaring evil away, natural light also is a mood enhancer and cheerful.

So, step up your battle today. Every morning throw open the curtains, pull the blinds. Don’t worry about who can look inside. Let the light shine in. God created the natural world for us. For our joy and benefit.

I have a ton more to share with you and how I bring elements of our natural world into my home and create an environment that is edifying and healthy. We will look at sound, smell, movement.

I’m excited for you to experience how these subtle and small changes can make a giant impact on your spirit and your home. Stay tuned.

Be embraced by the King. Lynn

1 John 1:5-6 (The Message)  This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him. 

Do you open your windows? Do you think it makes a difference in your spirit and your spiritual warfare? 

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The Images of Mother

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot! Mothersdaygerb

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn't know everything!

14 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother? She wouldn't have a clue.

16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's so five minutes ago.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

 

Thank you for passing to me your legacy of faith. I love you Mom, Lynn

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Book Signing Tomorrow

Hi Everyone,

Dineen is here with me today. We are taping our Intentional Marriage Show. If you have a question to ask us, please leave it in the comments. We will try to get to it. 

Also, if you are in the Temecula area, please plan to stop in and visit with us on Saturday, May 7yth at the Berean Christian Store in Temecula. Noon- 2:00 p.m.

Register for a gift card, collect some other treats and let us hug your neck. Dineen and I were on the phone today for over an hour. We are going to read the book, Boundaries In Marriage.

Who has read this book and what stood out to you. We are going to have some conversation over this book in the months ahead.

Be blessed and see some of you  on Saturday. Love, Lynn

43149: Boundaries in Marriage Boundaries in Marriage
By Drs. Henry Cloud & John Townsend

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Thankful Thursday - Small Group Community

I't's Thankful Thursday. 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.

May we are over at Laurie's, Women Taking A Stand and in June we are at Iris', Grace Alone.

Today I sat outside of a local coffee house with a few of my friends. Eleven of us to be exact. These are some of the gals from my small group Bible study. We were having a reunion.

I can't tell you how thankful I am for God's people. Today we shared triumphs and new challenges some of us face but you know what we celebrated the most.

Jesus.

And our friendship through Him. Our hope for our future and the relationships we have with one another. Imported Photos 00007

You know, when we leave this earth all we take with us is our relationships. THAT is the entire reason we are living day to day in Christ. 

RELATIONSHIP

With Christ and with each other.

In the early years of my marriage, I desperately needed those relationships I formed through a small group Bible study. All these years later I still treasure my small group. I have been leading this small group for years and it is one of the absolute richest rewards I have from the King.

If you are not enjoying a small community, find one. If you are, give thanks today.

I'm thankful for my small group and so thankful for our relationship with Jesus and with one another.

(Love you gals)

Hugs, Lynn

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A Universal Theme

New LWG Button_2010 I had some fun writing a post over at Laced with Grace about how many of our favorite movies and books hold a universal theme of a savior. We seem to be naturally drawn to this. Gee, I wonder why... (wink). Hope you'll pop over and share your favorite movie or book! Hugs! ~Dineen

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Blessing or Burden?

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One of the features of Kindle is it allows you to see what other people are highlighting in the same books you are reading. I hit upon this feature when I was preparing the speech for a MOPS group and was using our book to develop a speaking point.

In chapter 5 (Believe Your Marriage is Blessed) this is the line several have highlighted:

"The key is to stop seeing our mismatched marriage and our husband as problems to be solved and accept both as blessings to be enjoyed." (pg. 92, Winning Him Without Words)

How can we view this person who’s spiritually lost as a blessing in our life? Especially if we’re married to a difficult person… I don’t have all the answers to that one, but I do know that God’s Word holds more answers than we realize. And from this same chapter, my own words reminded me of this wonderful Scripture:

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. — Romans 5:3-5

There is so much truth in this tiny piece of the Bible. It gives me strength to keep going in tough times because it tells me there is a reason for it all (I talk about this in chapter 5 as well). God has a plan and a purpose for sufferings—an end goal that isn’t just about us.

It’s about our marriages too, and more importantly about bringing our unsaved spouse to Jesus. We can be that tool and a part of that plan, right in the middle of it all. I’m not saying it’s easy—it’s not. But our perspective plays a huge role in how well we make this journey. The secret is right in those verses I shared. It’s all about God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

That is our strength, our hope, and the necessary ingredient to seeing our marriages and husbands as blessings. We see the whole situation through the eyes and love of God.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Marriage Monday - Couples in Faith

It's Marriage Monday. Please join us once again for Marriage Monday on May 2, 2011. Our group topic this time is “faith.” How does your Christian faith express itself between you and your spouse? Do you pray together? Or discuss theology? Do you lead or attend a couples Bible study? Perhaps you’re spiritually unequal, yet you're thriving nonetheless. Feel free to share any aspect of your spiritual journey.

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This is actually a difficult topic for me personally. It's challenging not to let myself slip into the "poor me" mindset knowing that other couples pray together, discuss theology and (one of my greatest desires) attend Bible study together. I struggle to keep that green monster, envy, in check.

Handscoup What I need to share with all of you is that first, I am honestly joyful to know there are marriages where a man and a wife pray together, attend church together and even study God's word as a couple. Secondly, for all of us who are unequally yoked, I know you feel the same way. You are glad to know there are couples enjoying faith together and you yearn for that in your own marriage. I also know the pain you feel because you don't have what others seemingly take for granted.

But you know what? I've discovered that over time Jesus fills in those gaps. In fact, because my husband isn't the spiritual leader and because I must pursue my faith alone my, relationship with Jesus is richer. I am deeply dependent on Jesus every day, more so than if my spouse was also a believer.

Think of the practicality of this statement.

  • I'm acutely intentional about sharing my faith with my daughter when those rare "teachable moments" arrive.
  • I pray over more aspects of our home and my husband's welfare than I might if he was a believer and praying over them. Things such as his career, his boss, his friendships, his health.
  • I rely on the consistent reading of God's word to provide me with Godly wisdom to make good decisions and to perceive when things are what they appear on the surface.
  • I know what is good and what is not. Knowing Biblical truth and having the Holy Spirit guiding me every day keeps me from unnecessary conflict, bad decisions, and a ton of trouble. 
  • Dependence of Jesus fills me with peace and I live most everyday with a genuine joy in my life. 

There are some amazing blessings that are ours alone when we are spiritually mismatched. One of the greatest blessings of all is this: My Front Row Seat.

I have the privileged position to watch this fantastic show; God, The Creator of the Universe and His Son Jesus, persistently and passionately pursue the life, heart, and soul of my husband.

So, in many ways I share faith and practice my faith with my husband. It's not so much the traditional way. It's just different and what a wild, wacky and fantastic journey. I can say with complete honesty that when I reach heaven and look back on my life and marriage, I will KNOW, without a doubt, that God KNEW what He was doing to place me in this marriage. 

There are eternities at stake and I am in the battle to win it. WOO HOO!

Always love to participate in Marriage Monday. Visit e-Mom to read more. Have a fantastic week, Lynn

PS. This week let's make a conscious effort to pray for our mothers and especially our spouse's mother everyday with week. Mother's Day is Sunday. Hugs.

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