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21 entries from March 2012

The Focus on the Family Experience

Hello dear friends! Since so much happened during the week of our Focus on the Family broadcasts, we thought we'd put all the links and information in one place in case there was something you missed. We absolutely loved talking to Jim Daly, Juli Slattery and John Fuller about how God has shown us how to thrive in a spiritually mismatched marriage! You can order or download the program in its entirety from the Focus on the Family/ChristianBook.com site. If you know someone struggling in their spiritually mismatched marriage, please consider purchasing a copy for them. Or send them here to listen online. Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, Part One Thriving in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, Part Two When You Can't Compromise in Marriage Along with the broadcasts, Focus had some wonderful resources available as well, including an article Lynn wrote for ThrivingFamily.com, another resource from Focus on the... Read more →

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God Said What????

Prayer Requests Over the past several days I have been praying for so many of you. As I have been working through the prayer requests left here, I write down names and the things for which you have asked me to pray. In fact, this photo represents a fraction of the many prayer cards I have written in the last few years. Each prayer card can have as many as 30 names and requests scribbled upon it. I earnestly pray for you. So does Dineen. Several days ago, I took the current requests I’m praying through from this past week to God. I literally lifted the pink cards, cupped in my hands, up as an offering before the throne of grace. I remember praying something like this. “O Lord, see these names. They are some of the many who are broken. Their marriages are difficult. They are dealing with horrendous... Read more →

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Thankful Thursday - Marriages

Every once in a while we give thanks on Thursdays here at SUM. And considering all that transpired in the past few days, Dineen and I have so much in which to be thankful. As I think over the opportunities we had to reach out to people who are unequally yoked, I'm undone. Let me just share just a few of the miracles and praises. Please celebrate with us. From the Forum on Tuesday at Focus Communities: Hello Ladies, my name is Mark and I heard the announcement about this FOTF program while on the way to pay for a divorce with my wife....... The Lord stayed my hand on divorce yesterday, so I know He's up to something. From 1 Peter 3 Living: Gill ~My mom was married to an unbeliever for 19 years. She prayed and prayed of course, but she didn't push, just lived her quiet example.... Read more →

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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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We Are Stronger Together

If you found your way here from the Focus on the Family broadcast, the first thing you heard yesterday was a quote from us. “Isolation steals our joy.” That’s why the first chapter of our book is titled, “Know That You’re Not Alone!” Our marriages are under attack by an enemy who wants to keep our unbelieving spouse in his or her unbelief and the best way to do that is to keep you—the believing spouse—discouraged and feeling as if you are completely and utterly alone in this journey. We want you to know right here and now, that is a lie. If you are here, it is because God has heard your prayers and brought you here to be a part of a community that understands your marriage, your heartache and your struggles without you even saying a word. We understand because we are living it too. All of... Read more →

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Messy and Broken Could Be The Best Place To Be

It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this post, I know I should be asking you to listen to Dineen and me on the radio today. But, right now I just can’t. My heart is heavy. In a rare moment, this morning at church at the request of our Pastor, I went to the front of the church to be available to pray with anyone who needs prayer. I’ve never done this before and wouldn’t you just know God KNEW there was one woman, a wife, who needed me, whom I could so relate. As I looking into her face, I could see a not-so-distant reflection of me only a few years ago. She was struggling in her marriage. My heart is broken for her. My heart is truly broken for all of our messy marriages. I am broken for those of us who are married and yet lonely, who are... Read more →

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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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Beauty from Ashes

On Friday we shared about the upcoming broadcast on Focus on the Family. This is an amazing culmination of a dream birthed from depths of pain. Can you believe that? Lynn and I are continually in awe of how God does that. Beauty from ashes... We are gearing up for whatever God has in store for us next. Right now our hearts are focused on those who will be coming in search of hope and prayer. This community right here, right where you are sitting right now, has proven to be one of love and prayer and encouragment! You all are so amazing! Now we have a chance to welcome more men and women into our midst who are looking for answers and help for their mismatched marriage. This is why we are here! To pray for you, to encourage you, to help you too discover what we have. God... Read more →

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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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It's A Tweet Up! Let's Get Ready to Rumble. I mean Twitter.....

Join Dineen and me (Lynn) today as we join with @FocusMarriage a discussion and questions about thriving in a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage. Use the hash tag #WinningHim. Tweet using the hash tag and join the conversation and watch your tweets pop up here. We will randomly select five Tweets who will win a copy of our book, Winning Him Without Words, at the end of the day Friday. Everytime you tweet until Friday, midnight Pacific, using the hash tag #WinningHim will enter you into the drawing. Here are sample questions that @FocusMarriage will ask the Twitter community: How do you handle praying at the dinner table? What unique ways do you flirt with your spouse? (Keep it G-rated!) How does your relationship with Christ help you love your spouse? Tune in around noon-1 p.m. Pacific. So that’s 2-3 p.m. Central and 3-4 p.m. Eastern. Join the fun. Win a book... Read more →

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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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Focus On The Family Broadcast - March 26 & 27

John Fuller, Juli Slattery, Lynn Donovan, Dineen Miller, Jim Daly Dineen and I are humbled and thrilled to be guests on the Focus on the Family broadcast, Monday and Tuesday, March 26 & 27, 2012. We will be sharing how we are thriving in our Spiritually Mismatched Marriage through the transforming power and love of Christ in our lives and marriages. If you are unequally yoked or if you know someone who is, please join us for a word of hope and encouragement. Visit Focus on the Family to find a station in your area or listen online. Also, please join us LIVE on March 27th at 5:00 p.m. EST and 2:00 p.m. PT where we will be answering your questions through the Focus on the Family Community. We will be fielding community questions for a block of four hours. Request membership and ask us the hard questions. We welcome... Read more →

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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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#WinningHim and @FocusMarriage Unite! Woo Hoo!

Are you ready for a little fun? Before that however, let me just tell you that I have been reading the prayers you left for Dineen and me. I promise you, I burst into tears, sobbing at times over the love and caring you poured into our lives. I will be printing them out and saving them in my Daily Bible and as you know, that is where my most precious memories live. ~Thank you, Lynn Okay now. Are you ready for a little fun? Tweet... Tweet... #WinningHim Well tomorrow Dineen and I along with the Twitter guys at Focus on the Family, @FocusMarriage, are going to have a Twitter Forum. Say what? Well, I’m glad you asked. *giggle* For all of you who Twitter and Tweet and even those of you who don’t, join in the fun as we Tweet along with Focus Marriage on Friday, March 23rd Noon-1... Read more →

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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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We Need YOU!

My dear friends, Lynn and I just had one of our lively phone conversations—this one in preparation for our Focus on the Family broadcast scheduled for March 26th and 27th. There will also be a Twitter "party" on Friday—stay tuned for details on that. But we need your help. God is throwing open doors to this ministry that we never imagined possible. We hoped, we prayed, but did we dare to dream? Yes, but not on this level. God is AMAZING!!! So, how can you help? We need your prayers. This community has proven to be a huge blessing for all of us—a place of safety to seek prayer, encouragement and understanding. We are expecting the upcoming events to bring new people into our midst as they find out they are not alone in their mismatched marriage, that there are others walking this path who care and can come along... Read more →

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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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What A Weekend

My friends, as I type this post, it’s late Sunday afternoon. I have just returned from my church’s Women’s Retreat. Every year I can’t imagine the retreat could be better than last year. But God never disappoints and this weekend exceeded every expectation. Healing happened, friendships formed, Jesus was present and God Almighty was worshiped. We tasted a tiny bit of heaven as we spontaneously formed a circle, hand’s clasped and worshiped Saturday night. And as I looked around the room of almost 90 women, I saw The Body of Christ. One day I hope I can describe what happened in that few short moments of time. My friends, as customary, God chose to keep me humble and the most hilarious and kooky, yet absolutely amazing way. It’s a story I will have to tell here soon about how I became, ahem, Balaam’s Ass. I promise you will laugh just... Read more →

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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 — THE Dress

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11 When I prayed for my oldest daughter during our SUM fast the first week of January, God gave me this above verse for my oldest daughter. I wrote it on an index card and gave it to her. And I've been praying it over her ever since. I shared last Thanksgiving that my daughter was officially engaged to the wonderful young and godly young man she'd been dating for four years. Yesterday marked another special moment in my her future. We found the wedding dress. Yep, THE dress. I can remember clearly the day I got my wedding dress. I remember how I felt. Now I understand how my mother felt. Seeing my little girl try on these... Read more →

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What Happened on March 14th? I Still Ponder it All.

SPOILER ALERT….. SPOILER ALERT….SPOILER ALERT I know that there are many of you reading and working through the questions of our book right now. There’s a story I share in the book that I have never told here on the blog. It’s the story of a glimpse into the miraculous and it happens in chapter eight. Well actually it happened on our front driveway. *grin* I won’t retell the story here but today I want to share with you that this particular encounter continues to fill my heart with hope. Like Mary, she treasured the small things of Jesus in her heart. I too, treasure this day and I ponder it often. The reason I speak of it is because this week, I opened my daily Bible to March 14th and written there in the margin at the top of the page it reads: 2008- Mike ….. (okay, I can’t... Read more →

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It Had to be Him...

I love my husband. No, I really, really love my husband. And it’s not the same as when I married him. It’s better. I can’t take credit for it either. At all. It’s totally God. I started praying years ago that God would help me love my husband the way Jesus did, to love him with a godly love. And He answered that prayer bigger and better than I ever imagined. Now this is coming from someone who almost canceled her wedding a month before because I was scared to death! Every marriage in my family had ended in divorce and most of my relatives had married and divorced multiple times. My fear went even deeper than that. I will confess to you that the first time my husband told me he loved me, I told him to go to heck (not the word I used but you get the... Read more →

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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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Focus On The Family Broadcast

Hi My friends, Lynn here. I don't know how many of you receive our monthly newsletter but in December I shared a significant event in my life. At the time I felt as though my unequally yoked journey came full circle. To read that story, click here. To sign up for our monthly newsletter, which will be going out this week, visit our book website, here. The story recaps a time in my early marriage where I felt alone, sad, hopeless and confused just like many of you have felt or feel. I sat at my kitchen table and tuned in the local Christian radio station to a broadcast that saved my life, my marriage. It was Focus on the Family and Nancy Kennedy was sharing her unequally yoked story. I found hope. Well in two weeks from today, I come full circle in that it’s my turn to tell... Read more →

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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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Wekend Devo — You and Who's Army?

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred men lapped... Read more →

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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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What Really Happens When We Worship. I Promise I'm Not Weird.

Chronicles of the Donovan Clan: On Wednesday I experienced something with the Lord that I am still processing. It’s a bit unusual but as I lay in bed that night, I felt the same compulsion to share the experience with you. This is exactly how I felt on Wednesday evening when I shared it with the women with whom I was sitting. Sharing these kinds of experiences is often a scary prospect for me but God has a way of keeping me humble by keeping me awkward. And my obedience and my joy in sharing this story trump my personal comfort and pride. I pray when you read these words you will forever be changed as you experience worship. Here we go….. For several weeks I have attended a Wednesday night Bible study in preparation for our church’s annual Women’s Retreat. The study is comprised of the leadership and all... Read more →

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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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How Do We Reconnect?

Staying connected with your spouse can be a challenge. I'm finding this to be harder to do as we get older. I shared recently that we'd become empty nesters, but our status is now back to three. Here we are again, adjusting to new and old dynamics. Here I thought my greatest challenge would be keeping myself from falling into old patterns so that the new ones my husband and I had created would remain established. I didn't stop and think what his reaction might be—that he might be the one to fall back into old patterns. So, I'm facing the challenge of reconnecting with my hubby. Inertia I find inertia to be one of my greatest enemies in life. I know, I know. We're human and we like our comfortable areas. But that doesn't serve me well. The "easy" thing to do right now would be to just let... Read more →

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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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An Open Letter to Celia

My Friend Celia, Dearest Celia, Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. God is a mystery and we will never fully understand or know everything about him. Even in heaven, we will continually discover new facets of His love, grace, and character. And I am truly thankful that we don’t have God all figured out. If we did, how bland and ordinary life would be. How utterly boring. Living life with God is anything but boring. We, the CHOSEN, live an everyday adventure. It’s often scary, many times uncertain; we face seemingly insurmountable odds in our struggles, and fight against demons and every sort of evil. But we live. We live; fully-alive, 3D, full-color, spectacular, even supernatural lives. I am an ordinary woman Celia, who has an ugly past, have hurt... Read more →

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Weekend Devo — Power of Prayer

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. —Revelatins 8: 3-5 Ready for a confession? Lately, I've felt like my prayers weren't making a difference. I didn't like that feeling because it started to affect my prayer life. I started to doubt and wonder if I should even pray at times. See how the enemy loves to move in and make us doubt? So I started praying, asking God to help me... Read more →

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When They Are Stinkin' Mean ~Part II

“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".....” 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. On Monday I shared with you the strange phenomenon of when we mature in our faith, even a little, our need to defend Christ and to argue the truth with our spouse diminishes. When we aren’t always on the defensive, our spouses tend to back off. Today... Read more →

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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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