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20 entries from February 2012

Is Jesus the Only Way to Salvation?

 

QuestionMarks

We've had some great discussions here about faith and why we believe God's Word as Truth. Celia has another question that is so relevant to our foundation of faith because until you settle this question in your mind, we are vulnerable to deceptions and false beliefs.

 

"I would also love to know how you know "this" is the one and only way to God....what about all the other religions of the world...they have all been here...and other people are born and raised with their religion and think it's the one and only way too..."

Celia's question is one we NEED to ask so that we can find the answer and be sure of our faith and give a reason for it (Hebrews 11:1). I will tell you that there was a time that I believed God was in and the same in all religions, just called by different names. Why not? Couldn't God present Himself in more than one way to bring hope to us?

The thing I discovered was, that would be direct conflict to WHO God is and HOW He loves us. All other religions put the burden of "salvation" on the person. It's up to us to make ourselves better and even then, there is no guarantee of salvation.

Now tell me, why God would offer alternatives for us to pursue that can't even promise that our eternity is secure in Him?

Only in Christianity do we have this amazing FREE gift of salvation through God's Son (not our efforts) and the guarantee of eternity with Him simply by accepting this gift. 

I'm attaching a video of Lee Strobel's Case for Faith. It's a little over an hour, the first half of which deals with this question: Is Jesus the Only Way to Salvation?

The second half deals with another difficult question and if you have time, I encourage you to watch it as well. That question is: Why would a loving God allow so much suffering?

This video is worth the time to watch. I encourage you to watch and share your thoughts with Celia.

Praying and believing,
Dineen 

LEE STROBEL: The Case for Faith (Special Upload) Full Documentary from nlytetv on GodTube.

 

 

 

*****

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-

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When They Are Stinkin' Mean

“I try to read the Bible....but it doesn't sink in....I read it and I don't "get it".....I read it and I don't hear what other people hear....so I give up. I give up because I doubt....I give up because my husband is so stinkin mean about "religion".....” 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Over the past few posts I have been sharing excerpts from a one of our new readers, Celia. Above she writes about her doubt and about lack of understanding the Bible. So many of you left comments filled with truth, prayers and encouragement. To read those posts, scroll down or start here with the first one.  

Today I think it’s time we tackle her next statement:  “I give up because my husband is so stinkin mean about "religion".....”. 

What does this statement really mean? If I think a minute about this statement and my past experience with my unbelieving spouse, what I’m really hearing are these statements: 

  • My husband shames me with my faith.
  • I’m unable to defend my faith.
  • My husband belittles me because of my faith.
  • My husband is defensive when it comes to my faith
  • My husband is mean (is in general a mean person)
  • My husband becomes hostile when confronted in any way about Christianity. 

Well my friends, there is enough here to be addressed that I could write three books. But, for today’s purposes, let’s get to the crux of the issue. 

There are two things happening here. Both the wife and husband are grappling with a commonly held conception of God. They are asking/or asserting: Is God real? Or God is NOT real. 

The wife struggles to defend herself and her faith because in her mind she’s not entirely sure God is real nor is she certain that living as a believer is really doable. AND I get it. Celia, I lived for many, many years in this particular cul-de-sac, wondering around and around trying to figure out if I really believed in God or if it was all foolishness. And I bet if we are candid, there are many more of us who also walked around and around in that darn cul-de-sac with me. 

What I want to confirm for you again is that it is okay to have doubts. But it is also so clearly evident that God wants you to seek Him and to let Him show you how to put your doubts to rest. And if you need some ideas on how to go about this just go back and read the inspired comments that were left last Monday

When we are tossed and turned on the tide of public opinion of our society about the truth of God, we aren’t able to help ourselves with our beliefs let alone affirm truths to our spouse. When we aren’t convinced of what we believe, how can we expect our spouse to discover it? Now, as a woman I know what we would really like. We want our men to come to Christ, be the leader who helps us firm up our faith and pass along strong faith to our kids. But, in our unequally yoked marriages, that does not happen. 

When a spouse abdicates or refuses to fulfill the role of spiritual leader of our home, God is …. Now get this….. God is URGING us, the believing spouse, to step into that position. 

So what does that look like in this scenario? Let me share two truths with you. 

First: 

1 Peter 3:1 NLT 1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over. 

The longer I live in this unequally yoked marriage, the more I see the truth of this passage in my marriage. I needed to mature my faith and when I really began to know what I know that God is real and living the Christian life is not only doable but the best life ever, I was set free from trying to convince my husband of anything. Jesus could be Jesus. All I had to do was to love Jesus and you know what? The love of Jesus flowed out of me and into my husband. When that happens, things change. I don’t understand why or how but the mean words my husband would say about my faith, bounced off. His accusations and his attempts to shame me because I believed truly did not penetrate my heart. 

Did that stop him from saying them? No. But words against my faith didn’t hurt as much and a funny thing about this change is that over time, my husband stopped saying them. 

What I began to see was a man who was listening to the world. He was unable to perceive the things of the spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14) But I was assured through many promises in God’s Word that if I surrender to Jesus, He would take care of me. Things that once annoyed me, hurt me or even crushed, no longer held power over me. The lies of the enemy could not pierce the protecting love of Christ. 

~~~~~ 

Shoot, another post that has already run way too long. Sheesh, get me going and I could talk about what Jesus has done in an ordinary 5’4” blonde girls life forever. So on Friday, come back as I give you the second truth that is very practical taken from our book, Winning Him Without Words. I’m going to teach you how to rise above the meanness and to thrive. 

Okay my friends, what are your thoughts about 1 Peter 3:1 and how do you process the “Authority or submission” as it relates to living and thriving in a spiritually mismatched marriage. 

Looking forward to your thoughts on this controversial passage. 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-

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Weekend Devo — Overcoming Our Thoughts is Like Brewing Tea

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The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. — Romans 8:6

I used to be a horrible worrier. I used to be (and still am at times) fearful. I used to be very pessimistic.

As I look back over the years of my faith journey I see a distinct pattern of change in my thinking process. I think this is the greatest challenge of living our faith. The old thoughts and ways have to change in order to be in alignment with God.

Thankfully, this isn't something God expects us to do on our own. On the contrary, Romans 8:6 tells us that the Holy Spirit is responsible for this work. We are simply asked to be willing and aware, thoughtful and intentional.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Corinthians 10:5

The biggest lesson I learned was that I am not a victim of my thought process. Second Timothy 1:7 says that we are given not a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind. God’s Word tells us this. It’s up to us to believe and pursue it.

The best way I know to change those destructive thought patterns is to give this area of our lives over to God and allow the Holy Spirit to change us. To do that we need to read, study and memorize God’s Word. Think of it like making a cup of tea. We are the cup and the tealeaves are God’s Word. The Holy Spirit is the steaming water that mixes with the tea to make this rich brew. The tea takes time to reach it’s best taste too—it’s a process.

Ultimately, what are we working for? How about joy? How about peace? How about growing trust in God in all areas of our lives?

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. — Isaiah 26:3

Think about those areas of your thought life that continually trip you up. Worry? Fear? Anger? Are you willing to shed those thought patterns?

Then pray this prayer this wonderful prayer for Jesus Lives by Sarah Young with me:

"Holy Spirit, think through me, live through me, love through me."

Pray this often, read your Bible and take notice of the freedom you start to experience in your life. Get ready to know joy!

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-

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The Bible? Is it Reliable? Can you Understand it?

DID YOU READ THE COMMENTS?

Absolutely inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!!

You, the community here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage ARE living out your faith in Jesus. It is so evident that you are filled with love, compassion, and truth. So many of you reached out to our new reader, Celia, with words to encourage. So many of you were vulnerable with your own stories, some of you prayed for her and I saw the body of Christ LIVING OUT LOVE IN ACTION.

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring and sharing.

If you missed the post and the comments from Monday, click here. You will be inspired, cheer, shed a tear and be moved by the Holy Spirit. And that’s a fact.

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

But, we still have some more of Celia’s questions. On Monday I spoke to doubts and I pray there was enough in that post and in the comments to grip your soul and to move you forward. And Celia, I saw that you have been back to read the comments and have even started a prayer journal. My sister, see you are already on your way. Funny how Jesus will do that for us, push us along when we least expect it.

 

Today I want to echo a few of the responses about reading and understanding the Bible. So Monday, was about doubts and salvation, today the Bible. Here is a portion of Celia’s email again:

February 15, 2012, Celia: I have stumbled upon this site yet again....I guess I didn't stumble upon it.....I was seeking it out....and here is this post. Every time I ask someone....a believer....why I don't have what they have.....why I doubt and they don't....why I fall over and over and over again.....I am told this....that I have to learn scripture to say against the enemy. I try....I try to read the Bible....but it doesn't sink in....I read it and I don't "get it".....I read it and I don't hear what other people hear....so I give up. I give up because I doubt....I give up because my husband is so stinkin mean about "religion.

Celia, today I want to answer your question about reading the Bible and understanding it. I know you have also asked in a subsequent question, how can we know the Bible is an inspired work of God and is reliable when it was written by fallible men. That question I think I’m going to ask our community and they can answer in the comments. And I may follow up on it as well but I’m thinking there are some amazing people who can share truth about that here.

I’m also going to hold off talking about what we can do when our spouses are stinkin mean about our faith for another day.

Celia, for me I found Jesus in the pages of the Bible. Let me tell you how that happened and then I’m going to encourage you to do the same.

It was almost 14 years ago that my mother gave me a Daily Bible. This is a Bible that is organized to be read every. single. day. I started reading this Bible on June 13, 1998. A day I will never forget because I wrote in the margin of that day.

My Daily Bible

This Bible is organized by date to include a portion of the Old Testament, New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb. It takes roughly about 20 minutes to read it each day. I made a commitment that day to rise 30 minutes early and to meet with God. I began to read that Bible and then pray in a prayer journal. It was then that my life began to change. This change happened slowly and at first. I couldn’t even understand the Old Testament so I just read the New Testament, Psalm and Proverb.

What turned out to be amazing is that I read through the entire Bible in a year. I made notes in the margin. I wrote down events where I saw God working in my life. I recorded things that happened in my family life. That was 14 years ago and since then I have read through God’s Word every year. I now treasure that time that I rise early sometimes 5 a.m. to meet with my King and His son, Jesus.

I have been forever changed through slowly letting God’s Word bring truth to the lies I believed. One important thing about this particular Bible is the translation. It is the New Living translation. It is written in an easy to understand, modern vernacular. If you have a Bible with an old translation you will struggle.

In the early years of my marriage when life was terribly lonely and I struggled immensely, it was this Bible that got me through it. It was this Bible that transformed my doubts, fears, unbelief, anger, ….. all of it to a life of triumph. My life’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but I can tell you I am truly happy and I am living the abundant life.

There is a verse that I absolutely could not understand nor believe in the early years of my faith journey.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

How can the Word of God be a living thing? I don’t pretend to know how it is living and active but I am proof that it is.

In the early years all I had was God’s Word to help me. And it was enough. It’s all I need because if you knock, if you seek, YOU WILL FIND, when you seek Him with all of your heart.

And that’s a promise.

Okay, my friends, can you help me with Celia’s question about how we can know that the Word of God is an inspired Book even when it was written by ordinary men?

Stay tuned for more questions as we tackle some of Celia's thoughts. They are the thoughts our unbelieving spouses have as well. 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-

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I'ts In the Walls. It's at Laced With Grace.

Sometimes I can be so blond.

Color me surprised!

When we first moved to California, I found myself sharing our home with unwanted critters. I moved from an extremely arid region, translation – Las Vegas, where the only small animals around our home were a few scorpions and tiny ants.

Following our unpacking and a few nights in our brand new home, I was sound asleep enjoying the cooler nights of Southern California. That’s when I heard it, a rustling noise in all places, the walls of our bedroom. EEK! I mean, I sat straight up in bed, freaked. Can I get an Amen here?

To read the rest of the story, head over to Laced With Grace.

Laced With Grace

And five names were selected by the random number thinging again from the comments last Friday.

They are:

Keli Gwyn
Celia
Barbara Jenkins
Sherillynn
Emily Arndt

Please email me your address and I will get your copy of Winning Him Without Words in the mail.

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-

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False Security

On February 12th, something happened that seriously rocked my world. I’m not an overly brave person, I confess, but I stepped out of my comfort zone (way out) and agreed to drive cross-country from Florida to California because my daughter wanted to come back home.

It’s a trip we’ve done many times, but always with my husband. He’s a great driver, loves road trips and has always done the bulk of the driving. So, on a clear and sunny Friday, my daughter and I headed out with the intent to make our country trip in five days—a trip my husband and I have normally done in four days. I wanted to be safe and reasonable.

I wanted to be brave for my daughter and husband and do this thing. I wanted to prove to myself too that I could handle such a trip without the comfort and security of my husband.

We were doing fine for the most part, my daughter and I, swapping turns driving. Day one brought us out of Florida to Alabama without incident except for an engine light. Okay, not part of the plan but we could handle it. We lost a couple hours the next day but left the service garage with the security of knowing all was well with the engine.

Security. I like security. I like knowing what’s ahead of me, what to expect, how to prepare and be ready.

But what happened on our third day wasn’t expected. Wasn’t at all something I could have prepared for. Inclement weather we thought would clear up left a patch of ice on an overpass and in a matter of seconds, the most terrifying thing I could imagine happened.

Why? I’d prayed, asked God for protection, to bring us home safely. But it still happened. The car that had so faithfully brought us halfway across the country now sat in a center median, mangled and in despair of ever cruising a road again.

Thankfully (and praise God) my daughter and I were okay. But for this person who’d done her best to brave a new adventure, my deepest fear had materilized. We were banged up, had no car, and were out in the middle of nowhere in Texas, far from the comfort of home. Details had to be dealt with and worked out when all I really wanted to do was curl up in a ball and hide.

Where was God? I needed help. I could accept that He had a plan in all this, but I needed tangible evidence He was there helping me deal with the situation. I muddled through, we worked out arrangements, then my husband decided to come get us. I was relieved...so relieved. I didn’t have the strength to be brave anymore.

God helped me face a truth: I have a fearful spirit.

God has shown me this in the days since our accident. I’d built my security in my world based upon controllable circumstances. The minute those circumstances changed and moved completely (and I mean totally and completely) out of my control, my false security crumbled. I couldn’t do anything but look to God and wait for Him to show me the way out of this mess of mangled emotions and broken perceptions.

The more I cried out, the more I realized I was now on another journey. One that meant rebuilding and repairing certain areas of my faith. I’m on that journey now, still waiting for God to reveal more of what this is all about. What more does He want me to allow the tow truck to haul away and allow Him access to replace and rebuild?

I only know I don’t want to live in this place of fear, nor does God. It’s not going to be a pleasant process to let go of my false securities. Sometimes the thing we fear most is the very thing we need most. Doesn’t make sense but I’m starting to understand its truth.

The best cure for a fearful spirit is trusting God. That is true security because it requires relinquishing our expectations, weaknesses and fears into God’s control. Completely.

For now I’m clinging to Psalm 34:4:

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

God brought me to this verse and it’s my prayer and comfort right now. I’m learning that even in the worst-case scenarios—the ones we never expected and wonder how we’ll walk out of with any semblance of wholeness and strength—God is really there. We may not feel like He is at times, but we can KNOW and BELIEVE it.

Lord, we seek you with our fearful spirits, ready to trust You in new ways. Hear us and deliver us from all our fears. Though the future looks so insecure at times, dry our tears with the comfort and security of your constant presence and that You are in complete and total control, working for our good—always. We cling to your Son who is our hope and proof of these truths—and our greatest security of all. 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-

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Doubts About God

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Who is God?

Last week a new reader, Celia, left a comment which I think deserves our reply. As I read it I could hear in her words a heart and her soul calling out, “God help me to understand. God save me.”

I empathize with her plea and most of us here in this community have at one time asked some of her questions. In fact, I can bet there are many who are still asking these questions. So, I’m compelled to take on these questions because THERE ARE ANSWERS. There are solid, believable and verifiable answers about God, His Word, His Son, His promises. How do I know, because I have asked them myself. AND my husband has asked them.

Now I don’t pretend to be a Biblical scholar. Nor do I think I can completely answer these questions to the complete satisfaction of everyone. But, what I can do is share what I know. I can share what I have experienced and point you down the path that I traveled to faith.

I also want to lean heavily on our entire community here. Our community ranges from every age and every place on their spiritual journey. Many of you WILL be able to answer Celia’s questions better than me. So please do so. If you can elaborate and point to resources that are Biblically based, please share in the comments. If you have a story of God’s presence in your life in a similar situation to Celia’s questions, now it the time to write them here.

So let’s get started. Today’s post is the beginning of her email and focuses on the first of her many questions.

February 15, 2012 Celia: I have stumbled upon this site yet again....I guess I didn't stumble upon it.....I was seeking it out....and here is this post. Every time I ask someone....a believer....why I don't have what they have.....why I doubt and they don't....why I fall over and over and over again.....I am told this....that I have to learn scripture to say against the enemy. I try....I try to read the Bible....but it doesn't sink in....I read it and I don't "get it".....I read it and I don't hear what other people hear....so I give up.... (more of her email in later posts)

Celia, first I thank you for being transparent about your faith questions and allowing me to share them with others. I have found that if one person is brave enough to ask the tough questions, there are likely many others who just haven’t found a voice yet to ask. So thank you. Celia, I pray that you will read my answers not as a scholar of the Bible but as an ordinary woman like you who has experienced God in my everyday life. I pray what I share with you and what others share with you will make you so curious about God that you become determined even obsessed about finding Him in your everyday life.

When I read the first part of your question my heart moved. You see, I think I lived a long time with doubt. And I think if we are all very honest, doubt has a way of creeping into our thoughts even after years and experiences with God. So, the first thing I would like to share with you is that it’s okay to be honest about your doubt. After all, God already knows how you feel and He knows your thoughts. It’s okay to pray to Him and say, “I don’t get it.” He already knows.

So I think what I really hear you asking is this: How did I (and other believers) overcome our doubt. Why is it we “get” something from the Bible and you don’t? – I hope I’m on target here.

I think we need to start at the beginning. This is where you must ask yourself, Do I believe there is a God? Do I really think Jesus is who He says He is? Even a tiny bit of belief (even belief filled with doubt) is all you need. It’s that tiny mustard seed faith that God then uses over time to develop into mountain moving faith. So, my question to you, to anyone struggling right now is: Do you believe Jesus is the son of God, that He came to earth in a human body, lived, was crucified for our sin and rose to bring us life?

When you can say yes, this opens up a new world where the Holy Spirit can help to open your heart and mind to understanding.

But, what if you aren’t there yet? Can you figure it out if you read the Bible? In a word, YES. But this is where faith can become challenging.

I have a ton more to say about the Bible and how it can bring you to salvation, grow your faith and do much more but this post is already way long. So tune in on Friday because Celia, you are about to discover the Bible is going to change your life. And girl, it’s all good.

To Celia and anyone who earnestly believes and has never prayed for salvation, today is the day. Click here to say this prayer and then let me know you prayed.

Okay, my friends, please leave a word of encouragement for Celia. What scripture verse helped you in your salvation journey and please share your story of how you overcame your doubt to place your faith in Christ. I look forward to continuing this conversation in the comments. I will be out of town most of Monday but will be back in the late afternoon to chat with all of you in the comments.

Celia my friend, Jesus has heard your plea for understanding and help, He is answering. Be blessed, Lynn (and the entire community here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage)

*****

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-

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One Year Ago

It was one year ago today......

Winninghim
To read more, click on the photo

The official launch of Winning Him Without Words.

 I scarcely can take it all in. 

What a journey. As I type these words to you my friends, with brimming eyes I wonder, “Who am I?”

I’m an ordinary woman and wife just like you. But just like you, I have discovered the only thing that matters about living life.

JESUS

I love Jesus. I love Jesus. I love Jesus.

And for the rest of my life I will tell anyone who listens that healing, joy, peace, and purpose are all ours through the transforming love of Jesus.

That is what this book is all about. We can trust Jesus with our marriage, with our heart, with our kids, with every part of us.

Today I give humble thanks to the Lord for allowing Dineen and I to share the transforming power and love through our stories in this book. We prayed hours and hours, poured our hearts and souls into writing it, hoping it would help someone who is walking the journey with us. It is our life’s purpose and our fervent prayer that many more will discover what we all know, Jesus is the answer.

Thank you to each of you who purchased a book. THANK YOU to those of you who have or are currently reading it and leading a small group. THANK YOU to all of the bloggers, website owners, radio hosts and stations around the world for allowing us to share our hope.

What will the next year hold? Perhaps a new book? Certainly more fantastic surprises and what I pray for more than anything, the salvation of many, many spouses, especially one stubborn man married to a wacky 5’ 4” blonde lady who loves him, fantasy football, and all of you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. Thank you for traveling this journey with us. I can’t wait to meet you face-to-face and to live with you forever in our Father’s house.

Be blessed, Lynn

 

Leave a comment today as we are giving away five copies of our book. If you already have a copy, enter anyway and then give it to someone you know who needs hope.

 

Update: The drawing is now closed and the winners will be announced on Wednesday or Thursday. Thank you for entering, 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-

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Courage and the Winners Are...

Hello Everyone,

I hope you found the Courage series inspiring and that something in the past two weeks moved you to fight the battles for Christ.

 

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

I find it interesting in that as Dineen and I wrote about this very subject, God wanted us to "live" it first hand. Earlier in the week I posted on our Facebook page that Dineen and been in a car accident in Texas. Let me tell you that it was scary but they are all fine and now headed home to California. Woo Hoo.

For me it was last Monday. My husband and I shared a significant exchange about faith and marriage. My friends, I had to face some fears and I did. But the outcome of facing those fears was oh so worth it, as my husband stepped into a new place in our marriage.

Now I'm still waiting and praying to see where all of this is leading. I'm asking God to show me my part or what I think is actually NOT my part (I need to get out of the way) and when this adventure is mature the Lord will allow me to share it with you.

Let me just say this, my husband stepped way out of his comfort zone to show me love. NEVER, I mean never, in our 20 years of marriage has this change happened which I have greatly desired. Okay, that's enough for now but I'm so glad I mustered the courage to ask.

And now for the winners of our drawing:

The Resolution for Women:

Karen Friestrom
Heather Passuello

The Resolution for Men:

Denise
Robert Allen Young

The movie Courageous:

Teresa t

Comments where chosen by the Randomizer number thingy. Please email me your address and I will get them in the mail.

A few days back a reader left us a comment. I was deeply moved by her questions and plan to work through some of them on Monday.

Stop in again tomorrow for another giveaway. Tomorrow is a BIG day and we want to celebrate.

We love all of you who are living to honor Jesus and praying for your unbelieving spouse. We count it a great privilege to walk this road with you toward heaven.

Audacious 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-

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The Resolution for Men

THE RESOLUTION is a bold declaration of commitments that men are making to be faithful to God as the spiritual leader of their home. As read in the movie, this print is ready for framing to mark the moment and celebrate the commitment being made to God and family.

Message THE RESOLUTION

I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ---Joshua 24:15

Leave a comment to will win a beautifully framed copy today. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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Courage for Women

Courageous souls...women resolved to bring God's beauty to the world and most importantly, to the lives of their husbands and families.  Signing THE RESOLUTION for Women to display in your home or office is an outward promise of an inward change--- a reminder to stay true to the amazing woman God created you to be.

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THE RESOLUTION for Women

I do solemnly resolve before God to embrace my current season of life and live with a spirit of contentment. 
 
I Will champion God's model for womanhood and teach it to my children. 
 
I Will celebrate my God-given uniqueness and the distinctions He has placed in others. 
 
I Will live as a woman answerable to God and faithfully committed to His Word. 
 
I Will seek to devote the best of myself to the primary roles God has entrusted to me. 
 
I Will be quick to listen, slow to speak, and esteem others more highly than myself. 
 
I Will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged. 
 
I Will not tolerate evil influences in myself or my home but will embrace a life of purity. 
 
I Will pursue justice, love mercy, and extend compassion toward others. 
 
I Will be faithful to my husband and honor him in my conduct and in my conversation, and will aspire to be a suitable partner to help him reach his God-given potential. 
 
I Will teach my children to love God, respect authority and live responsibly. 
 
I Will cultivate a peaceful home where God's presence is sensed. 
 
I Will make today's decisions with tomorrow's impact in mind and consider my current choices in light of future generations. 
 
I Will courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory. 
 
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.---Joshua 24:15

Leave a comment. Two Women will win a beautifully framed copy today. Hugs, Lynn

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I Hate Hallmark

Sometimes I hate Hallmark.

Well, not really. Sorta….

I don’t hate the store but I sincerely “dislike” what I call “Hallmark Holidays.” You know these days, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Ground Hog Day (well maybe not this one) and the sometimes dreaded…..

Join me at One Plus, The Internet Cafe today for the rest of the story:

I Hate Hallmark on Valentine's Day. Hugs, Lynn


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Weekend Devo — A Godly Wife of Influence

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. — Proverbs 31:10-12

In the NASB version, that first part of verse 11 reads:

The heart of her husband trusts in her.

The Hebrew word for heart used here is leb and means inner man, mind, will, heart. Our actions play the dominant role in winning our husband's trust--to winning anyone's trust. Yes, our words come into play, but our actions will speak the loudest and will confirm what and when we do speak. If our actions don't back up our words, we lose credibility.

In today’s world, we often hear things about winning the trust of others but it’s usually to gain something for the person, company, or organization set upon this quest to bring results.

But Proverbs 31 shows we, as godly wives, have a higher motivation. Verse 10 describes us as a wife of noble character. Our motivation is not for ourselves but to serve God and our husband.

Personally, I know I can't fulfill this calling as a wife without God's strength, wisdom, and a whole lot of grace. The longer I've walked this path as a spiritually mismatched wife, the more I've learned how little I'm capable of on my own and how much more I can accomplish when I follow God's lead.

Speaking of following His lead, I'm still planning to give my hubby a signed copy of The Resolution for Women for Valentine's Day. I'm still nervous but I'm stepping out in courage and faith that when God leads us to a specific action, He'll take care of the rest as I do my part. God has me stepping out a lot right now. I'll fill you in when I get back from an unexpected road trip from Florida to California. I'm on the road right now actually...more stories to come!

Praying, believing and DRIVING!
Dineen 

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Defeat vs. Courage

Living out of God’s courage, what holds us back? And how do we escape the two traps of the devil.

On Valentine’s Day we will give away a DVD of the movie Courageous, several books and also we will give away two framed, The Resolution for men and 2 framed, The Resolution for Women. To win, leave a comment in any post over the next two weeks.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com
Before I reveal some highly effective strategies in our spiritual warfare I first have a question for you to consider.

Do you think God wants courageous followers?

And why might it matter to God if we have courage?

I often think as believers, our natural tendency is to gravitate to the attributes of God which are most appealing; love, grace, forgiveness, kindness, provision, protection. Those spring to my mind and I will admit that I’m drawn in and want to focus most of my prayers and learning on these qualities of our Lord.

If you are like me and dwell in these qualities, like me you may tent to dismiss the fullness of God and His other facets which include justice, judgment, and warfare. These are far less appealing and quite frankly…… can be scary.

However, let me be forthright. We would do well to study these aspects of His character and how the relate in our lives because whether we like it or not or even know it or not, we are living smack in the middle of a war.

And the players, the VITAL players in this war are…… us, the believers.

Now I don’t pretend to have all of this spiritual warfare business figured out but I have learned a few things over the years. Many of you have read my account of battling over my husband (click here). What I have learned is how believers are easily defeated by the enemy and I have also learned how to use the weapons we have to thwart him and his minions.

How does this relate to courage?

Well, it takes courage to acknowledge the truth about the spiritual realm, its existence all around us, the part we play and the consequences of unrestrained evil. It takes courage to step up to the battle field and deal fight with real evil. But, my friends, an ounce of courage and the hand of Jesus can render an army of evil in shambles.

What might you surmise are the greatest weapons the devil uses to defeat God’s people?

Fear and lies.

Fear is born of lies. It’s a wicked web than ensnares so many believers. How do we begin to replace lies with truth? When we learn to do that our fear disappears and prayer warriors emerge.

Let me share something from the early years of my marriage. My husband travels for business. Out on a plane on Monday home on Friday. I spent many nights alone with my two small kids in a large city. I found myself fearful at night alone in the darkness. I couldn’t sleep. My imagination ran wild. Okay, you get the picture.

I needed to escape this night time fear. So, I turned to God’s Word. I looked up scripture verses about fear. I wrote them down on 3x5 cards and began to memorize them. 2 Timothy 1 :7 comes to my mind even now:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)

When I would wake up in the middle of the night, with my heart pounding, I would sit straight up and I would repeat this scripture OUT LOUD, over and over again. Until whatever was disturbing in the spiritual realm would leave. I would tell the darkness, “God did NOT give me a spirit of fear. I will not be afraid because my spirit is not of fear but my spirit is of power, great love and self-control.” Man you say that a few times at night with great passion and conviction and you will we ready to take on the world. I would then settle down and go right to sleep and rise the next morning ready to kick butt and take names.

This process of replacing lies (fear) with God’s truth (scripture) transformed my life. This IS the renewing of the mind and taking every thought captive to Christ.

Now, as for those accusatory thoughts and untruths that pop into our mind which we know are not of God, I challenge you to say this to yourself out loud, “That is a lie from the pit of hell. I reject that lie and I take it captive to Christ.” Then follow that up with a scripture of truth. “God’s Words says this about me…… I am chosen, I am loved, I am a His child.” Quote a scripture verse.

My friends, it may seem silly but speaking the truth, especially speaking scripture out loud is part of our arsenal in our spiritual battles. Remember the Word always was and will always be. It was the WORD of God that created the heavens and the earth. Now that is a powerful word. The Word is the final truth and it can set us free.

SO SPEAK it out loud.

Was it weird to speak it out loud around my unbelieving spouse? Yes, it still is. But I can walk around my house when he’s at work and speak scripture and pray for protection. I can wake at night and speak scripture into the darkness and I can pray with my kids in the car out loud to cover them with protection. Over time my husband has stumbled upon me praying out loud, singing scripture out loud and all manner of scripture verses posted around my office and the house. He’s grown used to it. It takes time and in small doses.

We utterly defeat satan by rejecting his lies, replacing them with truth, speaking truth into the spiritual realm around us and then standing on that truth.

THAT is the recipe for courage.

God expects his people to be courageous just like Joshua.

We, the spiritually mismatched, are on the front lines of the battlefield sometimes we are the only one fighting through our prayers for our kids, our home, our marriage, our spouse. It’s not always easy but as a woman who has fought many times with only Jesus at my side, I have gained the victories, I have slayed the dragon, I have saved my family from calamity because I chose to reject the lies, speak the truth, pray like crazy and live for Jesus.

If I can do this, you can too.

Okay, what scripture verses have helped you to reject the lies and defeat fear? I can’t wait to read how you have been doing on the frontlines in your home. Audacious and brave hugs, Lynn

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Our Place of Influence (Part 2): What does that look like?

IStock_000015200654XSmallLast week I wrote about our place of influence in our marriage. How do we get there and what does it look like? Let’s start where I ended last week.

1. Pray for wisdom and guidance. It starts right here. Without God’s wisdom and guidance, none of this is possible. It’s like groping in the dark for a light switch. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). First and foremost, we need to be cultivating a relationship with God. If you do just this one thing, the rest of the steps below will fall into place.

2. Pray for change in you. As I shared last week, we are often the heart of our families. That means we are also a catalyst for change. Ask God to help you be the wife and mother HE (not your husband or family) needs you to be. This means you’re asking God to use you to be this person of influence and change in the lives of your husband and children. This means asking God to help you see your husband as a blessing, not a burden. We are not martyrs in our own homes, but we can be missionaries.

3. Pray for your husband. This is most likely your highest calling. Pray for his protection, for his mind and heart to know and accept Jesus, and pray for him as the leader of your family. He may not be the spiritual leader of your family right now, but he is still the leader of you and your family in general. Allow him to lead! This is where you will find your greatest calling and challenge as a wife—to stand by your husband, to affirm him as a man, as a husband, as a father. In doing this we serve him and we serve God. The amazing thing is, when we take this place, we discover what God truly means by, “and the two will become one.” This is a beautiful place of partnership where we work together as a team, as a “we” and not two “I”s working against each other. Our greatest gift to our husband is to help him reach his God-given potential, even in the midst of his unbelief or lagging faith. Remember, God is working there too.

4. Pray for your children. This is your legacy. This is your influence on future generations. This is your mark on eternity. As I said before, we often set the tone and pattern in our family. Nothing has been more rewarding than to see my oldest daughter choose a relationship with a godly man and desire to have a marriage based upon God’s design. Even in their engagement I see these two taking their God-given and ordained places in their relationship. It is truly a thing of beauty. All the years that I’ve poured into my marriage and into my family are bearing fruit in her. That is so humbling and so rewarding. I’ve already received some of my treasure in the here and now.

5. Pray for and encourage other women in mismatched marriages. Lynn and I are walking and talking testimonies to this. If you look at 2 Cor. 1:3-7, you’ll see that God never intends for us to keep what we know about and learn from Him to ourselves. Those areas of victory will be used to help others. That right there is another blessing we can receive in this lifetime. I can think of no better way to serve God than to share His hope—to share Him—with others so that they too can know love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in their lives and their marriages. This is the example we have in Titus 2 as well.

6. Be still and know God is God. Quit trying to fix your husband, your kids, your life...youself. If you look at the Lord’s prayer, the end affirms that God’s kingdom, power and glory are forever. Pray these prayers and then trust that God is already in action. He probably was even before you said a word. The hardest part is waiting on God’s timing. I waited 16 years for my husband to accept my faith, to accept this is who I am and I’m not going to change. It’s a small step forward and worth the wait. Ten years ago I was impatient and anxious for my husband to know Jesus NOW! Today I am content and thankful that he now accepts my faith, understands this is who I am, and chooses to love me and walk the road of marriage together.

My friends, I write these things from my heart and from my experience. And with this comes the full understanding that we cannot do this, fill this place of influence without constantly seeking God for strength, wisdom and courage. Do not let your husband’s unbelief and the lies of the enemy tell you that you can’t be this kind of wife to your husband. You can and God will give you everything you need to do so.

Just trust Him. Trust Him to equip you. The most amazing part of this journey, for me, is finding myself and my life in Christ. This is the part that’s hard to put in words other than to say that there is nothing more peaceful and empowering than walking in obedience to God. Had I clung to what I wanted instead of allowing God to be the one in control, I would not have the marriage I have now. I wouldn’t have the life of joy I’m experiencing now! This is what Jesus meant when he said we must lose our life to get it back and that his burden is light. Though our lives will always have conflicts, challenges and trials, His way is the best way to live a life of joy and peace in the midst of it all.

In walking this path as a mismatched wife I have found purpose, joy and amazing faith. This is God’s doing, not mine. And we have so much more waiting for us in heaven. That’s when we will see the full picture of what our place of influence truly accomplished for God.

Amen?

Lynn shared that we’ll be giving away two copies of the Resolution for Women. I feel led to buy one for myself, sign it and put it in a card for my husband as a Valentine’s Day present. To be honest, the idea scares me—what will my husband think of it? How will he react? I’m choosing to step out in courage and follow what I believe to be God asking me to testify openly to my husband what my place in our marriage means to me. I’m praying for God’s courage and for my husband’s heart to receive my gift.

Is God calling you to have courage and take a step of faith in your marriage?

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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The Most Courageous

On Valentine’s Day we will give away a DVD of the movie Courageous, several books and also we will give away two framed, The Resolution for men and 2 framed, The Resolution for Women. To win, leave a comment in any post over the next week. That's six different winners.

Out of the Old Testament comes a facinating story. Read it now and allow the Lord to show you something you haven't perceived before. (Numbers 13 and Joshua 1

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Joshua and Caleb, believed the Lord could deliver Canaan to the Israelites. The Israelites listened to the negative report of the ten who did not believe. The people turned against God and God was so angry with the people that he wanted to destroy them all. Moses plead with God to save the people and God relented. However God decreed that the Israelites would not enter Canaan until the unbelieving generation had died. The only members of that generation to survive were Joshua and Caleb. They were ready to claim their inheritance but were delayed for 40 years!

In the end Joshua led the people of Israel to the Promised Land and Caleb, at 85, saw the Promised Land and was given Hebron. (Joshua 14: 6-15)

Those two great men prepared a generation to take the Promised Land. They didn’t lose faith, they didn’t leave the people but somehow helped guide a faithful generation.

Joshua and Caleb were faithful to God but because of the unbelief of others they waited 40 years to see the Promised Land. The observation is that sometimes those who love God “suffer” because God’s grace is so bountiful; God persists in offering grace even to those who just don’t seem to get it or want it.

Perhaps God’s grace costs those that love Him. Caleb and Joshua model the best way to behave: they didn’t leave God or reject those who rejected Him. They stayed, created a new generation and saw the Promised Land. Perhaps they understood if God loves sinners they must too.

Something to think about.

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Thoughts? 

Thank you Carolyn who emailed this story to me last week.

Looking forward to your comments and conversation in the comments today. Audatious and brave hugs, Lynn

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Weekend Devo — Be Strong and Courageous

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9

 

The mother of a friend gave me this verse when my husband told me he’d decided he was an atheist. This verse would come back to me time again over the years.

Almost seventeen years later I can testify that it is true. God has been with me where ever I went. From the US to Europe and back again, from places of discouragement and despair back to courage and hope, from life threatening illness to health, God has kept His Word—His promises—to me.

God is with us, always. Believe this truth and walk in it and you won’t feel alone. And even when you do, remember this truth so that you know in your heart that God is ALWAYS with you.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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Courage.... In Church????

From Monday’s Post: I should tell you that my own story of stepping up my courage began today (Sunday). I went out for an early morning run before church and as I was listening to my ishuffle I heard God whisper to me, “Lynn, you step out and be brave for me. You do one thing that scares you today.”

Whoa. I hate it when God says stuff like that. Can anyone relate?

Well within a couple of hours I knew the moment when God was calling me to put my courage up for a test. And, wow, it was completely unexpected……

Continued:

Courage
Football season is over. Well almost. This Sunday is Superbowl Sunday and even though the Broncos were annihilated by the Patriots, I will still watch the game. However, I will likely be cheering for the other team, any other team but the Patriots (Sorry Pat’s fans. I’m still sporting a grudge).  At this point, it’s all about the commercials anyway. *grin*

But since the playoffs ended, my husband went to church with my daughter and me on Sunday. First time in a long time. Can I tell you that I felt stress on Saturday night about even asking him if he wanted to go? I went through what many of you go through. Do I ask? How do I ask? Should I even mention it? How should I pray about it? Sheesh.

Well I mentioned church to my man and received the typical noncommittal response. So Sunday morning arrived and while out on my early jog, I prayed the Holy Spirit would overwhelm my husband and wake him up. Have any of you ever done that? I hope I’m not alone in asking for divine intervention into my husband’s sleep. Sheesh, this sounds bad doesn’t it?

Well miracle of miracles. At exactly 9 a.m. Sunday, both my husband and daughter (night owls) both woke on their own and shuffled into the kitchen. Woo Hoo. I think I need to pray like that every Sunday morning.

Later, the three of us sat down together in church. Ahhh, all was right with the world.

Or not.

Okay, let me set the stage for what happened next. Now I don’t know where you stand in the whole area of hand raising during church worship but for me this is a relatively new thing. For all of you who bust a move and fling arms around, forgive me. I’m still getting used to it all. However, in the last several months, I have been known to fling not just one arm in the air in worship but two. Be patient with us Californians. We are a bit behind the whole worship with hand waving and such.

I now LOVE to worship with my hands raised. Okay, with that said, I’m usually more restrained around my husband if he attends church. But today with the music crescendo I heard God say, “Okay Lynn, are you going to be courageous now?”

Gulp.

Yep, I knew what that meant. I’d freely worshiped God with my hands in the air before today but was I going to do the same with MY HUSBAND SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME?

This is not a big deal to many, but to me the implications are vast and lasting. If I do this, will my husband become so uncomfortable that he won’t return to church? Will he mock me at some point in the future? Will he walk out? Will he think I’m an idiot? Will he turn red. Will I turn red?

Good grief.

But somewhere inside my soul rose up the assurance that God had this moment in His hand. All I needed was a tiny ounce of courage. One hand slipped up. The music filled my soul and then the other rose. In full worship, with my hands lifted toward the Living God of the Universe, I stood next to my pre-believer. He didn’t freak out. He didn’t leave. He didn’t tease me. In fact, I think he kinda knew I just couldn’t help myself.

As I sat down I heard God’s still small voice whisper to me, “Don’t worry about your husband Lynn. I’ve got him. But as for you, well done my brave daughter. Well done.”

Okay, raised hands in church may seem minor but my friends it’s one new brave step at a time that we travel this journey toward heaven and live in victory.

Pray with me:

Oh Father,

There is so much You want to pour into our lives. We live so small at times when You are desperate for us to live large, amazing and thrilling lives. Help us to overcome our fear to experience life to the fullest. Show us where we need to take one step in courage. Show us where to do the right thing. Teach us how to step away from what is easy so that we may reflect your power and grace. Lord, lead us this very hour to decide to do one thing for Your Kingdom today that scares us.

Fill us with your holy power, your Spirit and your wisdom. Let us walk out our faith in front of our spouse, our kids and a world that is desperate to see someone who is brave enough to be different. Brave enough to share the healing name of Jesus. In His life-changing name, Jesus. Amen.

Audacious Hugs, Lynn 

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Give Thanks a Challenge

I have a challenge for you today.

You may be in the midst of a struggle or a tremendous trial with your health, your financial security, your marriage or facing devastating loss.

But for this hour, bring a heart of thanks and praise to God and then watch what He will do in you.

Write out all your blessings. Name them one by one.

A soul filled with the praises of God receives a gift..... Peace.

If you need peace in your life, I challenge you to offer praises and let the peace that passes all understanding surround you, speak into you and bring you rest.

 

Moody_Radio

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Also today, I would humbly ask you to join Dineen and I as we are the guests at Moody Radio The Midday Connection. 1pm Eastern Noon Central 10am Pacific.

Please cover us with prayer that Jesus is honored and women find hope for their unequally yoked marriage. Hugs, Lynn 

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Interrupting Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

I'm interrupting our scheduled series on courage, well sorta. Today I want to introduce you to a woman who stepped out in great courage, Heidi.

I've know Heidi for a number of years and she has overcome so much through the transofrming power and love of Jesus. I was priviledged to interview Heidi last fall. And today I bring you her amazing story.

This is a story to encourage all women, join me at Laced With Grace today for:

Triumph After Childhood Sexual Abuse.

 

Laced With Grace

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