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19 entries from August 2012

We've Reached The End. Or Is It Really the Beginning?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMy friends, I’m impressed that it’s time to bring our Kingdom Come To Earth series to a close. I truly have so much more to share with you about praying for anointing and about how the Holy Spirit is intricately involved in our worship experience. But, I’m thinking it’s time to leave what we have learned and move on to some of the practical posts about living with an unsaved spouse. 

This hour I’m moved to tell all of you something from my heart. Some of you have read these posts and have felt left out. You haven’t experienced any of this crazy stuff and you feel forgotten and left on the sidelines. Please hear me now as I say to you this: You are not forgotten or left out. Dineen and I love each of you and we realize that walking in faith is a journey. It’s in the journey that we learn to see God all around us. It’s not the destination…. It’s the journey. 

So, keep walking with us. And ask others who have been left on the sidelines to join us. We are not perfect. We still fail, argue with our husbands, slam the cabinets around, say dammit once in a while, and even throw a tizzy fit over something trivial. But, we are real here. We are walking with Jesus and we need each other. 

Our mission is love. Love for the Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And we love each other and especially love our spouse and kids even when it is difficult and we see no immediate reward for our sacrifices.

But I can promise you this. God IS faithful. I know this because He has walked every minute of this journey with me. He will never leave me. He has so much more to show me like glory clouds and rain inside. He has my back and His will is to bring my life to a place where I live each day, thrilling in His presence. It is His will that my life brings Him glory. And it’s His will for your life as well. 

This series is only a starting point where we see a glimpse of how utterly present and supernaturally God dwells in our intimate lives. I still can’t get my mind around this truth. I remain utterly astonished at all our God is doing in me, in our community, and the world. 

The Love-Revolution is coming. You are part of it. You will not be left out. Your life is utterly necessary for His plan to astonish the world. And you know how He will astonish the world???? 

One ordinary life at a time. 

You bring great honor and glory to God. Your worship brings Heaven to earth. Now let’s deliver God’s glory with authority to those around us one person at a time. 

I love all of you so much. Our journey is only really getting started and we have much more to see in the months ahead. My friends from this day forward, pray like you mean it. Laugh with gusto. Love your family and make God your absolute priority. 

Hugs, Lynn 

Next Friday I have a Chronicles of the Donovan Clan update. This is a good one. I’m still trying to figure it all out. See you then. 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


This Letter will Inspire You

My friends, today I bring you a special treat. A letter to all of us in this community from Durda who lives in Croatia. Her words will bless you and she brings great wisdom to light on how to stand against the devil for your marriage. I pray you will leave her a note in the comments. Hugs, Lynn

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image from static.ddmcdn.comHi to all there, every person who joint this group and to you Lynn and Dineen.Father bless you all in all your efforts. My name is Đurđa.I'm from Croatia.Me and my husband have four children, four boys. I find this page before two days, because i felt deep inside of me need for many answers that bothers me a lot, so i typ on google something like "what if woman have a faithless husband", or" how to live with faitless husband"...and google throw out this preccious page.

Me and my husband doesn't came into marriage because of love each others, but because of my need and he help me than..so slowly this became - marriage.you understand, right? In that time i became believer and born again, but he doesnt. You know...i felt all this time like i carry him on my shoulders for faith. BUT....from our wedding is past 11 years and i have in those years so much to learn about all.I realize that he is not so bad and against me how i was thinking,but that my pride was so big....

So, why i write all these??shore because of many couragement on your's writing and many good answers to my questions which bothers me a many years...and because i felt like i'm alone a woman who have those problems...and if i will keep all this in my, like a some secred, it will be much more difficult each day i live... BUT, especcially this writing - "who are we really fighting" (from an older post on spiritual warfare) remind me on something big in my life.

Not so long, before maybe 1 on 2 year ago, our marriage was still bad and it look like it will be worst and worst...and one day we are argue and more than argue, and Ivica(in english John) said that he would kill me...because every argue was the same i became to look him and be angry on him because he doesn't believe like me, so i became to see him negative and that is enough for him to see that i look him that way, they feel this, right? and of course, he have his negative things and when this two have join together there is BUMMMMMMMMMM!!! Maybe my case is a uttermost, but i have to be honest, because i know it will help others maybe who will read this... So, on that day we fight and argue and he said that he will kill me and our youngest son scream no, daddy don't kill mammy....when i was heard this, i stopedd, and Ivica too.It was to much!

I stopped and start honestly searching answers, because i was thinking of me as a believer and i know that my Father love me and my family and i ask myself - is this will of my Father who sent His only beggotten Son to die for all people in the world because He love them???? And for me? And like many other times i realize that i again forget on such important thing - devil!!! In one secong thru my head fly a like some idea or picture how devil and his demons seat in our house , laughinh how Ivica and i fight, and he beat me, how kids are lonely and hurt with all that, and what kind are we picture to our neighbours...(and i i'm a christian...)

And in one second, with tears still in my eyes and with my hair in mess, i could allmoust fell how devil was laughing and how he is satisfied, and i was imagine how we, people are like a litlle puppet on thread, you know what i mean? like people stay behing a curtain and just pull the thread, and puppet movin exactly like man wants? Just like this me and my dear husband was, and i believe a many couples, married in faith or whithaut it.

And after that i stand i speak with a loud voice this( and after this our marriage is 100% changed) - Now, listen to me devil and all yours demons, you will not tuch my marriage any more.You have us till now, but from now on your rule on our marriage is FINISH!!! From now on you will not put even your one finger on us ,our marrige, or every each of us, or our children, nowhere.i dont give you nothing, milimetar.Our's Lord from now is Jesus Christ who died for us. And from that on, our marriage, or we as a individuals are different.God is healed everything what our boys are watching, and going thru!

Praise to be the Lord God, Jesus Christ! And i write this, open my heart because myself was at the bottom, i have a thoughts how to runaway from marriage, but i have not strenght because of children, and in the same time i was wondering how that can be - i know Jesus loved me and promise me a good thigs an in the other hand only the bad things what happen? Thruth is that we must know the Thruth and declare it.Our God is bigger than enything else, our unbelievin husbands, or even us like "believers"...

From that time on Holy Spirit teaches me one lesson which i think is most powerfull in marriage . accept your husband or wife totally, complete.Jesus said it like this - Love another like you love yourself!!!So, if God has loved and love me excatly how i'm, i MUST love my husband excatly like he is...this is something beautifull and gives a full freedom and give freedom to Holy Spirit to work. Its not easy, but it's the only way. And on the end, message to all sisters which have a "unbelieving" husbands...God's command is the same- Love him Like I love you.!!! I love you and i'm happy to see that i'm not alone! Sorry for the mistakes in writing, my english is bad. God bless you all in Jesu's name! Đurđa

 

Durda, we love you our sister in the Lord. We are praying for you and feel so encouraged by your faith. Thank you. With deep love Lynn, Dineen and the entire Community here at SUM.

Leave Durda a word of encouragement. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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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-

SUM Books 4


One More Story...

ColorfulEyeMy friends, I don’t think I ever shared in detail about how things played out with my daughter’s cancer. Maybe it needed to be now so that I can share in context of how God comes, shows up and works in ways that are blatantly astonishing or the opposite, so subtle that we don’t realize until after the fact.

For those who don’t know the story, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on October 1, 2008. Two weeks later she would have her first surgery to relieve the pressure on her brain and take a biopsy. They also wanted to insert a port in her chest for her chemotherapy.

What God did: He used Leslie to touch the heart of our hospital social worker very deeply. She told us seeing how Leslie handled it all made her rethink her own faith. Leslie also surprised the staff in that she was able to go home a day earlier than expected. (The order for the port fell through. Some kind of miscommunication.)

Next stage. The biopsy report said it was Grade 4 cancer. That’s the most aggressive rating and a very hard thing to hear for your child. They wanted to plan an out patient surgery to insert her port, but again there was confusion and the order fell through the cracks. Two weeks later she would undergo full brain surgery to remove the tumor. They would insert the port at the same time if they were able to do the surgery and not keep her under too long.

We were also warned that the area they were going in (the back of her head) could cause issues with her eyes. Specifically, she may not be able to lift her eyes anymore. Not a big deal, not in light of saving her life. We could handle that.

What God did: When they woke Leslie the next day, the first thing they checked was her eyes. She could immediately look up without any issue. The doctors also told us they were able to remove (actually suck it out) the entire tumor. Originally they were not sure if they would have to do it in pieces so as not to remove too much of her brain tissue. The tumor wasn’t attached. They didn’t have to remove any of her brain tissue. I just recently learned that isn’t normal. Tumors attach.

And yet again, no port. She was already under too long and they didn’t want to risk it. That would have to be scheduled yet another time. I was frustrated of course, because she had gone through so much already. Now to face another procedure? But we would deal with it.

What God did: The report came back. The doctors were surprised. The results showed it was a Grade 3 cancer. Not 4. They even sent it to another hospital in St. Louis to recheck it. Leslie would only need radiation, no chemo.

That is when the light came on my friends. What I took as complications was the hand of God protecting my daughter. Had they put the port in, they would have had to just remove it. There are even more stories that happened during my daughter’s recovery, like our nurse practitioner looking at one of Leslie’s later MRIs and saying in total surprise that there was absolutely no more inflammation, which again, was not the norm.

The big picture of what God did is still coming to light. He came in and brought healing to Leslie. His healing. His way. His timing.

Sometimes what God is doing isn’t obvious in the midst of our trials and challenges. Sometimes we are too wrapped up in what’s going on to see it, or sometimes we can’t see what God has done or is doing until later on because that's how God wants it.

And it has nothing to do with how “good” a Christian we are. Look at Paul, look at Peter. One man was the severest of skeptics, the other believed himself to have “arrived” yet realized through his own failure that he still had more to learn about faith in Christ. Paul became the voice of Jesus to the Gentiles and Peter became the Church.

All God asks of us is to be willing, just to surrender our heart, our flesh, our soul—all to Him and then He says, “Watch what I do.”

Let’s watch what He does.

Praying & believing,
Dineen

*****

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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-

SUM Books 4


Let Me Tell You a Story...

This is a story I wrote in 2006, but it actually happened to me during the Summer of 2002. The reason I want to share this is because it shows how God can work in a simple activity like grocery shopping. God showed up BIG that day for me and I wasn't the only affected. God is closer than we think. We just have to look for Him. 

So read my story, then sit back and think. Did God meet you at the grocery store one day? On the school yard? At work? 

* * *
Exact Change

CoinsI can’t do it anymore.

This line ran through my head, over and over again as I stood in the grocery line. The thought had dominated my mind long before my two daughters and I had joined my husband in London for a week. He’d been assigned to a client there two months earlier, and now he would be required to stay longer. That meant two more months of handling things on my own, and I was already worn out.

We had moved to Switzerland three years ago and found living in a foreign country to be as much of a challenge as an adventure. The first two years alone had been a real struggle for our two daughters. Learning the language and trying to make friends in the small community we lived in had proven to be more difficult than we’d ever imagined. Just shopping for groceries turned out to be one of the biggest adjustments in my life. That and coping with the daily struggles of living in a foreign country had begun to take its toll.

Managing the house, being the main interpreter in the family, and coping with some of the stigma that came our way because we were foreigners had finally caught up with me. I couldn’t escape it. Mind overwhelmed and heart about to shrivel, I didn’t think I had anything left to offer, or the energy to even try.

I felt completely and utterly hopeless over the whole situation. I cried out to God for help with what little strength I had left. Not even a real cry for that matter. Just a simple statement.

I can’t do it anymore.

I put my groceries on the counter and waited for my total in a daze. My thoughts centered around getting home as fast as I possibly could. The cashier finished ringing up my items and told me the amount: 45.56 CHF (Swiss Franks). I ran my bankcard through the machine, but it didn’t register the magnetic strip. The cashier said to try the card again. I did but no luck. Once more. Still nothing.

Since we had just flown back from London the day before, I hadn’t gone to the bank. I only came to the store for a few things to get us by until I had the strength to do serious shopping. I can imagine the picture I made that day as I opened my wallet, hoping I had enough cash to pay for my groceries. The thought of having to put something back was more than I could handle.

As I counted out the bills I was relieved to see I had exactly 45.00 CHF. Now at least I had a chance. I dumped my wallet over into my hand to empty the change section, and the cashier held out her hand to count it for me. I think she recognized my tattered condition as a woman under stress. This, I have found, is an identity that transcends all cultures and languages.

The next moment is still clear in my mind to this day. She looked up at me with eyes bigger than the largest coin she held, and said I had the exact amount. My wallet lay empty, not a single coin remained, and the groceries were paid for. To the Swiss penny.

The next day I went to the bank to order a new bankcard. The teller took my card and ran it through the pin machine. It worked perfectly. I asked if she were sure, so she checked again. There was nothing wrong. As I left the bank, the proverbial mental light clicked on. It was no coincidence that the grocery total and the money in my wallet had matched exactly. That’s when I knew I would be okay. God had shown me I didn’t have to go it alone anymore. He had used a simple activity such as grocery shopping to remind me of what I had somehow forgotten. He’s the one in control and with me every step of the way. I simply had to quit trusting in my own ability and trust him. Where I fell short, He was exactly what I needed.

Right to the last penny.

* * *

One time God even brought me a pair of shoes the exact color I needed. These are small things but He uses them to prepare us for bigger stuff, like what Lynn and Janet shared yesterday. Like seeing a man fall to his knees in the median of a highway (read that story here). The more we trust God, the more we will see. And I love watching God at work, especially in my mismatched marriage. 

How about you? What's God showing/doing in your life and marriage right now?

Praying & believing, 
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


A Holy Anointing by Janet S.

To follow is a guest post by Janet. She has written here for us before but today is a specail treat. She shares her personal story of worship and I KNOW it will touch you. Read all the way through and then watch the 15 second video at the end. I PROMISE you will be changed. Hugs, Lynn

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Janet's white feather aug 2012
One of many feathers God sends to Janet
There is no one size fits all standard when it comes to an intimate time of praise, prayer and worship with God. I know because I’ve tried everyone’s formulas.  The result?  I felt like a failure.  What worked for them just wasn’t working for me.  Praise and worship music was the easy element.  Morning time with God?  Not only am I not a morning person, but neither is our wee tot who enjoys sleeping in our bed and asking for midnight snacks.  Disciplined, concrete pattern reading of the bible from Psalms, Proverbs and gospels?  I tried, exhausting myself to no avail.  Sadly it became a regimented routine transitioning into discouragement.  Specific prayer patterns?  The focus became assuring I mastered them, leaving no detail forgotten, instead of heartfelt conversations with God.  While these work for some, I personally felt like a blue spruce planted on a tropical island. 

Yet this insatiable desire for more - continued to manifest and convict me.  I just knew there had to be more.  But I had no idea where or how to find it.  I was left to seek help from God while being honest with myself.  I had to accept the realization that God, the creator of not only the universe but me, created me already knowing I thrive after the hours of noon.  Freedom in peace of that knowledge empowered me to take the next step.  I released myself from the “morning time with God guilt”, and I began to carve out daily afternoon time with God.  I purchased the Daily Chronological Bible.  Reading, which seemed like an insurmountable goal, was thrilling and intriguing as I read the bible in a story form.

Most interesting was the transformation of my prayer time.  My prayers moved from “me focused” to “Him focused”.  Prayers reminding Him who wronged me and how I needed this or that, dialogue asking for His blessings on my plans became conversations asking for His anointing and courage to move forward with His will and plans. 

During a recent phone call with Lynn we explored worship, prayer and the divine power released when we pray asking for anointing.  I esteem anointing to be a sacred topic—a powerfully holy one, filled with awe and mystery.  The supernatural possibilities of it challenge my human mind, and I still have much to experience and learn.

Let’s journey this together as the joined Body of Christ, open to what He chooses to reveal to us uniquely and individually, through prayer and by learning from one another. 

Gracious Father, we are so humbled by Your love that You entrust each one of us with one of the greatest mysteries—direct access and power of Your Holy Spirit, which is present, alive and moving within each of us.  It is an honor we choose to not take lightly.  Remove stumbling blocks and falsehoods in our paths, experiences and traditions that limit our yielding.  Awaken our spiritual senses blessing us with wisdom and discernment as together we journey to better understand and know You and Your power unleashed. By the blood of Jesus, all for Your glory and honor, Amen.

We see beginning in Genesis and up through the life of Jesus, oil was used in the Old Testament to anoint.   “Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.” Genesis 28:18 NIV   Read Exodus 30:22- 33 NIV.  In these scriptures the Lord reveals a divine recipe of anointing oil to Moses, and He had Moses anoint places, items and people— Aaron and his sons.  “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Mark 6:13 NIV

During the baptism and after death of Jesus the bible continues to speak of oil to anoint, but also begins to include a different and powerful anointing through, by and of the Holy Spirit.  “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” Acts 10:38 NIV  “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14 NIV “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” 1 John 2:20 NIV  “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,” 2 Corinthians 1:21 NIV

I am convicted to believe His Word shows us physical oil is indeed an element for anointing, used for all time in accordance to His Word and will, but so is unseen oil of the Holy Spirit poured within us straight from His throne.  In each of these scriptures we see a common theme of anointing being mandated before God’s will is purposed and carried out.  Let me stress before God’s will is purposed and carried out.  Anointing is the consecrating, making holy and set apart for His purposes and glory.  For me personally this is convicting.  This isn’t about me telling God my plans and asking for His blessing upon them.  This is me asking for His anointing as I move forward in His will.

Regularly I pray for God’s Holy Spirit to be unleashed and pour down anointing our home, town, church, congregation, family and more.  There is no rhyme or reason to these petitions other than I pray as I am led based on circumstances, need and conviction.  I pray for the anointing of our Pastor whose spiritual gift is to preach to His children each week, for His glory.  I pray for the anointing of our community requesting divine healing, for His glory, because in a short span of time we have experienced tremendous and heartbreaking loss after loss.  I pray for the anointing of my husband’s friendships and work that God will move in them and in him, for His glory.  I pray for anointing of my friends and myself.  In these prayers I am asking God to be the forefront and focus, that His will is accomplished on earth.

When I pray these I believe with full confidence God is at work hearing and answering my prayers.  He never fails to amaze me with answers—divine, supernatural, unexplainable answers.  As Lynn and I ended our conversation she prayed over me asking the Holy Spirit to anoint my writing.  I, the self-doubter and fearer of both success and failure, later prayed again asking for an extra measure of anointing upon my hands as I piece together the writing. 

Hours later I endured another occurrence of what I call “gold glitter” upon my hands.  This is not the first time, nor the only place it physically appears on me.  Each time I am taken aback and startled.  This time though, it was only on my hands.  Specifically the prayer request of anointing both Lynn and I asked God for, for His glory, not mine. (see video below)

Supernatural activity and answers can be found throughout the bible—talking donkeys, burning bush, a rod and snake, and so much more.  We are called to not seek, idolize or worship miraculous signs and wonders.  But we are called to believe with full confidence expecting His answer.  In God’s perfect and holy timing we see many examples in the bible where anointing occurred revealing His power, sovereignty and glory. 

Everything can be set apart, made holy, for His glory, including our day-to-day tasks, and His will and purpose for us.  We just need to pray asking for the anointing, and be an open, willing participant.  We participate by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and to conform us to the likeness of Christ.  And we seal it by stepping out in belief and faith that the anointing has empowered us to do His will—be it writing, preaching, serving or any other gift, for His glory, not ours.

Have you prayed for anointing?  How can we pray for you to be anointed?  Has God answered your prayers in a supernatural way?

Janet.

--My friends, Lynn here. Now behold the glory of God as below is the video of Janet's hands after her prayer time. Thank you Janet for your faithfulness and your love for our Lord. You bring Him great honor today. Lynn

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


On The Fast-Track - Kingdom Come to Earth

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comMy friends I’m sitting in my tiny office overwhelmed with expectation. I’ve had encounters with God this week that still freak me out. I feel like I’ve been thrust on the fast-track to come up to speed with the Holy Spirit. And next week I’ve asked my friend Janet to share an astonishing encounter with God with you here at SUM. You won’t want to miss this one. 

As I travel this fascinating and mind-blowing journey, God has asked me to bring you along with me. But, we need to visit some of the basics still. 

A week or more ago, we talked about how I walk in nature, God’s creation. I listen to worship music on my iPod. So many of you shared your worship playlist and they are fantastic. My current favorite I just loaded onto our Facbook page. So what is next? 

Silence. 

I walk for an hour. I’ve found if I walk for only 30 minutes I miss out on hearing from God. And please understand this, I don’t always hear from God every time I walk. I hear from Him when He has something to say. 

After listening and singing along with my music, I turn it off. I walk in silence. It’s after I have spent time reading His word, then praying and finally in worship and when I’m walking along where there are no people or distraction, only nature, that is when I will hear from God. 

Do you know that most people cannot be silent? Thirty minutes of silence is unheard of in today’s culture. We have electronic devices to keep us company 24/7. My friends, 

GOD WILL NOT COMPETE FOR OUR ATTENTION. 

I don’t know how to say this any more clearly. Unplug, go somewhere in nature or secluded. Worship, pray and then just listen. Marvel at creation. Ask God to delight you. (He loves to do that, by the way) God wants all of us and our silence and willingness to just listen intently for Him stirs His heart. 

I understand that two hours out of your day is impossible for many of you. I get it. I was a working woman once and a young mother just trying to get through on survival mode. But start somewhere. Spend some time with God and learn to listen. 

I’ve shared some real practical ways to grow closer to God and to experience His presence but NOW, now I can’t wait to share with you what happens when you DO live in His presence. 

Next week I have a video to share that will rock your world. At least it rocked mine. I’m hearing reports from all over, many from you, of encounters with the Most High God. 

My friends, something is brewing. It is a revolution. God’s Love-Revolution. And we’ve been invited to be part of it. Many will miss this opportunity but for a few courageous believers who are not afraid to be weird for God we will live smack in the middle of what is coming. There is much to learn and God has a giant calling on our lives. And the best part……. 

We will experience His divine presence in ways never before. There is healing ahead, glory clouds, rain indoors, and so much, much more. But there is a price. So next, we will be talking about what it’s like to live in His presence and how the Holy Spirit is intricately part of this experience and finally we will count the cost. 

My friends, out of our worship we receive God’s glory and through His power we deliver it to the world with authority. This is what the Kingdom of God come to earth is all about. 

So, ready for some profound stuff? 

Bring it Lord, Jesus. Bring it Holy Spirit. Anoint the believers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. God, we declare this hour We are part of the Fellowship of the unashamed. 

BIG hugs, Lynn

BTW, I might add a thought. Don't think for one minute that these posts and our responses are not effecting our spouse, our children, our world. God's presence in an ordinary woman is unstoppable and powerful. (I have more to share on that too)

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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

SUM Books 4


Who is This Man?

4811379_sOn Sunday my hubby called me from the disc golf course and asked if I’d like to go to a movie with him. It took me a few seconds in my fumbling surprise to say yes.

Why? Because we have had this ongoing disconnect about going to the movies. I know this sounds a bit feeble so let me fill you in a little.

When we lived in Europe our favorite thing to do on Friday nights was to watch a movie and eat homemade nachos. I LOVED this time together and we had fun! It was a way for us to connect and have something in common.

Then over time our tastes in movies have changed, I guess. It’s gotten harder and harder to find something we both want to watch. And I have so missed those times together.

Recently, I asked him to take me to the new Batman movie, thinking it would be one we’d both enjoy, but he kept hemming and hawing about it. I didn’t understand why either so I let the poor guy off the hook and said I’d go see with my older daughter, Rachel.

Now back to the scene with me on the phone. After I finally squeaked my answer, I’m expecting he’ll suggest Batman, right?

Wrong.

He wants to take me to see Hope Springs, a new movie with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones about a middle aged couple trying to reconnect and make their marriage come back to life.

I stutter out another, “sure!”, while this is going through my head:

This is the man who runs as fast as he can from any movie resembling a chick flick, the man who can’t stand to watch any kind of drama (Hope Springs is a mix of drama and humor), the man who seems to have a penchant only for slapstick comedy along the lines of The Three Stooges and Will Ferral. And now he wants to see a movie about a married couple?

Who is this man and what did he do with my husband?

When I expressed my surprise in regard to the choice of movie (which I was totally happy with because what I really wanted was to just go to see a movie WITH him)—Hope Springs vs. Batman—I got a new insight into this change. He no longer wants to watch violence. He’s never been an avid fan of such movies, but he seemed to enjoy action and adventure movies overall. Now that seems to be too much violence for him too.

So we go to the movie. Despite the previews, there’s more drama than comedy (along with the intimacy/sex issue) but it’s a good story. 

And he likes it! Wants to see more movies like that with me. He even references one of my favorites, Julie and Julia, as an example. I’m stunned. I’d given up getting him to go to movies at all, let alone one in this genre, which are my favorite.

I think God showed up big time and gave His own show. And I am loving every minute of it.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

(P.S. I give my youngest daughter, Leslie, credit for the inspiration behind this post.)


Image credit: swhite / 123RF Stock Photo

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Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - An Update

Tennis elbow. 

I didn’t even have the joy of playing tennis to acquire Tennis Elbow. Darn it. But, thank fully it’s not something more serious. I’m thinking the 10 and a half gallons of tomatoes I hand blanched, hand-peeled and then turned into salsa was what did my poor elbow in. Thank you everyone who shared prayers and encouragement. They filled my soul. 

My friends, something awesome happened on Sunday. My home church of 12 years invited me to share my faith journey during our morning services. I am humbled and thankful and give Jesus all honors for this opportunity. But, you know what was truly special to me? I looked out over the audience during the second service and spotted my husband. And in front of a thousand people, God, my daughter and many of my close friends I said this: 

“Josh, (my pastor’s name) I’m astonished at all God has done in an ordinary, blonde-brained girl. He loves to use the ordinary and do the extraordinary. I wrote a book. I’m married to an unbeliever. I like to call him my “pre-believer.” 

“And my husband is here this morning. He is my biggest cheerleader.” 

I looked over at my husband and my daughter in the audience, a first for me. I faced him and blew this man a kiss in front of everyone and said, “Love you.” 

Talk about bringing a man and a woman full circle. Whoa! 

Can I just encourage you that God can redeem our broken dreams, our surrendered hopes and show us the astonishing? Take one more step forward in your marriage today. Love with intention. Love with passion. Love with the full power of Jesus flowing through you. One day God will give you a day like mine and you will look at this man across a room full of people and shout to the world that God knew all along what He was doing and that loving your man was absolutely in God’s divine plan to conform you into the image of Christ. 

This Friday we will jump right back into our series.  Do I dare tell you about the glory cloud???? So much more to share. But for today, join me at the Café where I share, Money - God- and Worry.

 


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Weekend Devo — Blow Away Again...By You

WriteLetterMy dear and precious friends, 

Yesterday I read all your comments on our post from August 6th about our visit with FamilyLife Today. I am blown away and so very humbled.

To read your stories and hear your hearts in each one...I cried. My daughter walked in and asked me what was wrong. I showed her the page on my computer screen and told her how amazed and humbled and honored and blessed I am, to be used by God to help others, to be a part of this community. 

She asked, "So those are happy tears?!"

Oh, yes, very happy tears. Grateful tears. Tears of joy.

So, today I want to tell all of you how precious each and every one of you are to us. I know Lynn and I have said this before but we really do pray over all of you. At times we cry, other times we laugh and rejoice with you.

You've heard me say God blows me away. Well, you blow me away too. You may think you're not doing very well; maybe you feel like you're failing in your marriage or in your relationship with God (I feel that way at times too, btw), but just the fact that you come here to share your heart openly, that you're seeking God for wisdom and guidance, that you desire to honor God and do what He asks for the sake of your marriage and your desire to know God better...

Well, that tells me you're far from failing, dear friends. You are thriving! Did you know that? You are flourishing. You are succeeding. Victory doesn't mean easy. It's means reaching that place of overcoming and knowing God's joy and peace right where we are.

And you are there! This is our shared journey and I am so grateful and honored and humbled and blessed beyond words to be on the path with you.

Love you all so very much,
Your sister in Christ,
Dineen 

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Grace and Mercy

Hey Everyone, 

I’m writing this on a Thursday morning. 

After arriving home from Little Rock, I’ve been balancing school meetings, back to school was Wednesday, my son and his girlfriend arrived for a visit, my daughter dropped a quart jar of salsa on her toe, spent the day in urgent care, canned another 10 quarts of salsa and wasted a few hours watching Big Brother (Don’t judge me. It’s a weird obsession this summer, go figure?????) 

Whew! I’m overwhelmed just writing about it all. 

Needless to say, my friends, I’m running a tad behind. More than anything I want to reply to the comments that were left here way back on August 6th and every day since then. I have read them but just haven’t had time to sit down and type for several hours. 

I’m thinking I’m going to save my next post in this series for next week and do the right thing today. I need to spend time with my son today as he will be leaving tonight. I think a beach trip is just what we all need. So please forgive me for leaving you hanging. He brought along some big, BIG news. More on that later…. 

I hope to reply to some of your comments from the past two weeks tomorrow as I will be sitting in the urgent care once again. There seems to be an annoying pain in my right arm that will not go away. Time to have an x-ray. 

For all of you who left your play lists on Monday, a GIANT THANK YOU. I will be listening to your suggestions all weekend long. Some of you emailed songs to me, AWESOME. I loved them all. Here is a photo from Brie. 

Beach Florida
Brie said, “Thank you for your beautiful blog post on Worship! I've discovered it’s the way I can publicly display my thanks to God with others who share this belief. I wake up, gulp my coffee, grab my toddler and take off to the beach while listening to the most amazing music that lifts my heart & soul.

I am sending you a pic (in the following email) of how God greets me in the morning! I feel his presence so so so much when I start my day like this. 

I just give him my worries, my heart and praise Him for all he's done in my life.” 

My friends, I know it may be difficult to carve out time in your busy, busy lives but the message I’m hearing from so many who enjoy a rich and vibrant relationship with Jesus is; He is worth every minute we give. 

Thank you for loving me in my everyday life, the busy, the weird, the BIG news, the pain in my arm. But mostly, thank you for loving Jesus and for being the salt and light in this dark, dark world. I promise you this. Every hour you live for Jesus in front of your unbelieving spouse and your children IS NOT WASTED. God's will is being accomplished. His love is trampling the darkness. His purposes will come to pass in you and your spouse. 

Thank you for loving me and your prayers. I’m a bit nervous about this whole arm business. See you Monday. 

I leave you with another question. Am I the only one who looks like a crazy woman driving in my car and singing out loud, sometimes with my arm in the air? Anyone??? 

*grin* Lynn

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More Than Just Waiting, Part 2

IStock_000004628405XSmallYesterday I left you with the question, what is the key to this? In other words, what is the key to worshiping God even as we wait?

Back up to verse Isaiah 40:26: “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:”

What if that lift of our eyes is a constant state of awareness—constantly looking for God in our everyday lives? What if we looked for God’s hand and provision each day for the prayers we sent up just that morning. What if we waited expectantly for God to just show up in some way each and every day?

This is the abundant life, my friends! (John 10:10)

And this is where it takes a mental shift that I do so hope I’m explaining well enough. This is a place of worship because we have chosen to live our lives focused on God. God doesn’t revolve around us. We revolve around God in reverent waiting, birthed from a growing trust in Him to take care of us, a belief that our prayers will be answered, and the expectancy that God will do even more than we ask because we long for His presence more than anything else in our lives. This goes so beyond material provision—it affects every aspect of our lives.

It’s about wanting Jesus—God’s presence in our lives—more than anything else. Absolutely. Anything. Else.

I will share something that happened just this weekend. I’ve been praying about this aspect of worship in our waiting, about wanting more of God and less of me, and I did something I don’t do easily. I asked God to delight me.

It’s not easy for me because I struggle to ask for anything from anyone, not out of pride but out of fear. Yet I dared to ask God. As I drove in my car Saturday, I noticed a man cross the other side of the road to the center median. Now this is an 8-lane road. I’m in a center lane, just barely aware that he’s there.

Traffic slows a bit. The next thing I know, this man drops to his knees in the median and raises his arms in the air, all the way up. I can only stare in shock.

And then I start to cry. I don’t know why. I only know that I have just watched something profound. I could have easily just seen it as some oddball doing something strange, and believe me, I considered that. But I keep coming back to my reaction. I had no way of knowing what this was about but something deep inside me reacted to this man’s display.

I don’t know what happened that day. I do believe it was significant. I want to believe that God chose that moment to delight me, because nothing brings me to tears faster than when I watch someone worship God or give their hearts to God. I bawl like a baby.

With joy. With gratitude that God loves us that much. With worship that I too can experience that delight.

God is just waiting to show us things we can’t even begin to understand.

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” —Jeremiah 33:3

This verse is a part of my prayers now. And I’m asking God for another thing close to my heart—to allow me to hear Him sing over me (Zep 3:17).

I will leave you with this quote from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd. The more you focus on My presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life. Glorify me through your pleasure in Me. Thus you proclaim my presence to the watching world.” (August 13th, Mathew 1:23; John 10:10-11)

And a prayerful Scripture:

1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
—Psalm 25:1-5

Praying & believing,
Dineen

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More Than Just Waiting, Part 1

IStock_000000340142XSmallIn June of 2008 I wrote a series on waiting (has it been that long?!?!?). And we have talked about waiting on God in our marriages A LOT. I’ve come to believe that waiting is a constant part of our faith journey. We wait for prayers to be answered, we wait for God to open doors to new directions and opportunities, we wait for change within ourselves and wait ultimately for the time when we will meet our Lord and Savior in person.

We are always waiting for something, right?

About a week ago, God blew my mind again with another facet of waiting that I’d never considered before. Are you ready for your thinking to be turned upside down?

This concept has been ruminating in my mind as I waited for God to give me a clearer vision of what I was to share. Imagine my total surprise and delight when my pastor’s sermon yesterday was on the very same subject! He bought out points I was contemplating, which, for me, confirmed what I sensed God showing me.

Like I said, BLOWN AWAY!

Now, back to the subject of waiting. We often treat this time of waiting as our burden to carry. I know I have, more so in times of trial and challenge. But what if it's more? We've talked a lot about waiting patiently and waiting expectantly (go to the June 2008 archives if you want to go back and read them), but what if there was another aspect to our waiting that we're missing out on?

What if our time of waiting is intended to be a place of trust, which in turn is one of our most profound ways to worship God? Look at this quote from Andrew Murray:

“Let us resolve at once that is will be the one characteristic of our life and worship, a continual, humble, truthful waiting upon God. We may rest assured that He who made us for Himself, that He might give Himself to us and in us, will never disappoint us. In waiting on Him, we will find rest and joy and strength, and the supply of every need.”

Murray talks about waiting upon God’s provision as a characteristic of worship. As I read this, chills ran over me. Now let’s take a look at Isaiah 40:25-31:

25 “To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

We've talked about this piece of Scripture before, specifically the part about God being our source of hope. Not the things in this life, not even our pre-believers salvation. Our hope must reside squarely in God in order to know this kind of hope, to be renewed in our strength, to persevere—not just to survive, but to thrive in every aspect of our lives. Reread this piece of Scripture and look for these truths:

  1. Nothing is greater than God. He has created everything, yet He is not created.
  2. His great strength not only holds our world together, He does so perfectly.
  3. God sees everything we see, experience and feel. Good and bad. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows us intimately.
  4. He doesn’t wear out. His strength and love never wear out. In fact, the weaker we are, the stronger He is. (2 Cor. 12:9 also says this.)
  5. We will not only survive we will rejoice, not run out of His strength, and we will also walk forward in that strength. This is victory.

What’s the key to all this? I will tell you in part two since this post has gone so long already. Come back tomorrow and find where I'm going with this. I think you will be delighted!

Praying & believing!
Dineen

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Worship - He's in the Music

Okay, I’m going to admit that I’ve become a fanatic. I want more. I want more of God’s presence. I want to experience the supernatural to receive God’s glory so I can deliver it with authority. So, guess what I did. 

I went to church twice. 

Ahem, yep. 

Saturday night and then again on Sunday morning. I will acknowledge it’s extreme and I’m not suggesting this to you. But, I just seem to be in this sweet place with God that I can’t get enough. Worship was so powerful Sunday morning that I was shaking. I looked at my daughter who has learned to bear with her mom who raises her hands and sits in the front and showed her my shaking hands. I mouthed, “Whoa.” 

She smiled. What a great kid. I’m a blessed mama. 

image from www.fcbcb.org
So, I’m on this journey of worship. I hope you are as well. Reading some of the comments in the past few weeks inspires me all the more to experience the supernatural in worship. And, I’m so proud of those of you who asked for prayer on Friday. I want you to KNOW in your heart and soul that I am praying for you by name. 

To continue our series today I want to share with you more of how I worship God every day. Last week I shared with you my most precious earthly possession, my Bible. Today, I want to take you two steps further in my morning worship.  So, join me. 

After reading my Daily Bible, I pull my prayer journal into my lap and sit with a pen. I write long hand sentences of prayer. For a long time I struggled with prayer. I’m easily distracted and lose focus. However, I found if I wrote out some of my prayers, the focus on creating sentences kept my mind on the page and on thought. 

My journal is a simple and cheap spiral binder. I get them on the super cheap and in bulk during back-to-school season. Which by the way, is happening right now. So stock up. 

I will pray starting with my journal. I write down names and then speak my prayer. I allow God to move me through my prayer time. In my mind and my life, this prayer time is really a conversation. It is an ongoing, never ceasing, communication with my Lord. But it IS a focused time of speaking and listening to the Lord. My friends, I could likely write for the next three months about how to pray, what to pray, etc. But that is not the focus of this series. Perhaps another time. 

Now we are getting to my favorite part. This is by far the absolute best time of the day. I take my prayer time on the road. I change into my walking clothes, drive a short distance to where I can walk in an area that is rural. There I experience God is His fantastic creation. I have much to say about this aspect of my worship. So much that I will have to write about it on Friday. 

Today, I want to share with you that I take music along with me. I start my walk, most of the time, with my iPod filled with worship music. This is critical to me as worship through music brings me quickly and powerfully into the presence of God. I have more to share with you about this as well. However, I think we can help each other out. 

Let’s share our play lists of worship songs. This is exactly what our community is about. Someone is looking for some great music to discover worship. So here is what is on my list today. I change it up often as I listen to it every morning. And sometimes I play it while I’m in the bathroom dressing or doing dishes, working in the yard. 

Worship brings you into the presence of our God. So, find your own style of worship music and blast it all around you. Sadness flees, the enemy hides, unbelieving spouses are annoyed *grin* and God comes to hear us. How amazing is that? 

God is inhabits the praises of His people. Ps 22:3 

My playlist:

Your Presence Is Heaven to Me – Israel & New Breed (My personal favorite right now)

All Things Possible – Mark Schultz (Added today)

Sound of Your Voice – Third Day

Keep My Heart – Colin Bernard

Always – Kristian Stanfill

Michah 6:8 – Kathleen Carnali (The most beautiful rendering of scripture I have ever heard. Another favorite)

Awakening – Chris Tomlin

A Mighty Fortress – Christy Nockels ( I blast this one… It ROCKS)

Beautiful Jesus – Kristian Stanfill

Healer – Kari Jobe

Endless Hallelujah – Matt Redman

When Mercy Found Me – Rhett Walker Band

Healing Is Here – Deluge (Let this one flow over you with healing love)

Overcome – Jeremy Camp 

Share your favorites with me. I can’t wait to discover some new music. Leave your list in the comments. 

BIG hugs and worship, Lynn

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Weekend Devo — Our Greatest Testimony

As I was walking the other day, I had what I call a dream vision. Basically this is my imagination running a little wild with possibility. In this “drimagination” I was with my husband in front of a group and we were sharing our testimony about our faith journeys, walking from a mismatched couple to now sharing a growing and vibrant marriage based in Jesus.

This may sound crazy but I choose to dream big and love to see God wow me. So, it was brief and fun, but what really hit me is the testimony part. What is our testimony now?

On my post last week I talked about how we don’t have to defend our faith and one reader left this comment:

Sometimes I think it can be tough because if prior to our salvation, we weren't addicted to drugs or worse, we feel like our testimony doesn't really matter. That is so not true. Even in the world's eyes if what God saved us from wasn't a big deal, in God's eyes it is. It doesn't even matter, He saved us from an eternity in Hell and we need to stand by that, claim it, and share it. — Heather Passuello

Heather is on to something here and the pieces of the puzzle fell in place as a result of my daydreaming.

You are on of God’s greatest testimonies. Did you know that? Each of us stand as a testimony to God’s amazing love and represent what He has done in our lives.

He saved us! He saved us from an eternity in Hell separated from Him. We are now forever adopted into the family of God and have a place in Heaven with Jesus as coheirs.

Think about it. Just as you, where you are sitting, laying, standing right now—you represent a powerful testimony of God’s love. As Heather so wisely said, let’s claim it and live in the truth that we are Children of God!

Praying & believing,
Dineen

For fun and inspiration, another Third Day song, Children of God!

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Worship... God is Not Cheap!

Dineen and I had an amazing time in Little Rock. We will share more about that when we find out the broadcast dates. Here we are in front.

Imported Photos 00028
Thank you for your prayers and your words of encouragement Monday. We literally teared up as we read them utterly thankful that God brings all of you into our lives. 

-----

I want you to see this: 

Blue feather

Cheryl sent it to me. She said, “There was a feather on my bedroom floor!!! It was small (I thought a leaf or something else)  It is blue without a blemish and in my bedroom !!!!”  ~She is saving it in her Bible. 

Another reader described rain …. INSIDE. I have to say that I have heard others experiencing this as well. In fact, a few months back, I was in church during worship and felt a single water drop kiss my face, falling on my right cheek. In my blonde brainedness, I stopped singing and looked around for the idiot with the squirt gun in church…. Geeeze…. Wish I had grasped what was happening then. 

Oh my friends, I think God has been delighting me and sending His tiny gifts of love in very tangible ways for years. I just didn’t know how to see Him or hear Him. But, no longer. I am opening up my heart and pleading for His anointing. I will bring my entire life into complete obedience to just experience the presence of our Holy King. I am willing to surrender my body, which remains my last really big stronghold. I offer my service, my money, my possessions, my dignity pleading for my Lord to only increase in my life. 

For months now I’ve been hearing God to help you to learn to experience His presence. And more than anything I want you to know you can. You can feel the rain on your face and receive gifts of love and find yourself shaking from the sheer experience of God’s love washing over you. 

There is a cost however. 

Our Lord is not cheap. He will demand much but what He gives in return I’ve decided far outweighs any petty little thing this earth could offer me. 

So today I want to begin to tell you about my story of worship. As I share this story, I ask you to pray about it. Ask God if He is calling you into some of these practices? If you feel a deep conviction, follow through. If you feel a hunger to experience feathers and rain, follow through. If you KNOW you have a sin in your life that God has asked you to repent, follow through. 

As I said at the beginning of this series, at the end of this summer you could be in an entirely different place in your life with Jesus. 

I worship in several different ways. So today, I’m going to share with you what I share often and every time I speak to a live audience. It’s my Daily Bible. This is only one aspect of my worship and I will share more in the days ahead. 

Imported Photos 00000

Over 13 years ago my mother purchased a Daily Bible for me. This Bible is organized by date with a portion of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm and Proverb to be read each day. I made a commitment to rise early to read this Bible every day. And 13 years ago I was working full-time and raising a family so I would rise as early as 5 a.m. to keep this appointment. And it changed my life. Finally the lies of the enemy were silenced and truth filled my thoughts and ruled in my life. 

I will pray about what I’m reading, asking God to show me, teach me. I will tell Him that I don’t understand certain passages and ask for clarity. I will discover a passage that so astonishes me I whisper, Whoa, God. That Rocked! God likes it when I tell Him He rocks *grin.* 

Still today, I sit with this Bible every morning. It’s my first priority. Every year I read through it, God brings different passages alive to me. I write notes in the margin about my experiences in life. And about events in the lives of my family and friends. There are many notes about trips, opening nights of my daughter’s plays, notes about finding feathers and such. These are the monuments in my life with Christ. 

I love reading my notes a year later or five years later and celebrating the miracles in my life all over again. I worship Him for His faithfulness to this ordinary woman. 

This Bible is my most treasured earthly possession. In fact, my daughter has asked for it as part of her inheritance. 

So I ask you? Do you have a daily appointment with the King? Where do you read? Do you read anything in addition to your Bible? If you don’t, can you be courageous enough to declare that you don’t in the comments and then commit to starting. I want all of us to pray for you by name in the comments. 

Monday, I will share with you what I do immediately following my Bible reading. And it may seem that these next few posts are boring or inconsequential but I promise you that there are many who need some examples of how to get started on this amazing love relationship with Jesus. 

Earlier I said that God is not cheap or easily obtained. A commitment to spend 30 minutes every day with Him may seem impossible in your current schedule, but are you willing to sacrifice intimacy and answers to your prayers for 30 minutes of television, reading or some other insignificant task? 

Tough questions I know but they truly demand an answer. Oh my friends, these posts are going to wreck your life.

Oh how I hope they do. 

With great love and hope, Lynn

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Arrogance or Confidence?

IStock_000019427290XSmallMy call to jury duty last month was the closest I’ve come so far to being seated on a jury. In years past my number has either squeaked by anonymously, or, like last year, the jury was completed just before I would have been interviewed.

It's a fascinating process and as I listened to the judge speak about the burden of proof is on the prosecution's side, which makes sense in our system of "innocent until proven guilty," a thought struck me.

We are like the defendant, only in the sense that our role is to stand firm in our testimony. Ours is one of faith, of Jesus' salvation, and God's mercy and grace. We are not required to prove God's existence, the crucifixion of His Son, or the Holy Spirit's presence in us who have accepted the gift of salvation. As Ephesians 6 tells us, our job is to stand firm in our faith. And as the Bible shows us, God is more than capable of defending Himself.

I don't imply that our pre-believing spouses are the prosecutors, though I dare say we may feel like they are at times. I dare to also say, that the enemy is often behind those times of "cross examination" that turn cruel and harsh. But even then, it’s not up to us to prove God. The enemy knows this and would like to keep us in the dark, which is rather ironic if you think about it. He wants us to prove what he already knows to be true.

The amazing part of our freedom in Christ is that we don't have to prove anything. God sees our hearts and our minds and knows us better than anyone. If we have spoken or acted in faith, yet receive criticism or rejection, we can still stand confident in God's defense of us (Isaiah 45:24-25).

Years ago a former pastor of mine spoke of Paul as being perceived as arrogant. He explained that it wasn't arrogance that motivated Paul to speak and serve God as he did. It was confidence.

I'm beginning to understand Paul a lot better lately. I see his confidence flowing from his reassurance of his place with Christ, even though he would be the first to admit he was the worst of sinners. If anything, this made his witness even more powerful because it stemmed not from his ability or knowledge but grew from his constant hunger for and dependence on God based upon this awareness of where he came from.

In the past I've referred to us as Esther's in our marriages. We truly are in these places for such a time as God has called us to stand firm in Him and by our pre-believers. Now I say we can stand in the place like Paul because we KNOW our God and what He is capable of.

So my prayer of late has been, "Lord, make me confident in You like Paul was." I don't want to waver in the face of resistance or even rejection. The more I come to know God, the more impassioned I become about His Word and my faith. Yes, most of the time our actions are what speak the loudest to those around us. But even then we can be like Paul and live out our faith in confidence.

I didn’t get seated on the jury this year. I guess the prosecution didn’t like my comment about having a heart for the underdog because he sent me home. But I confess I walked out proud because I’d spoken about my heart for people. I didn’t waver in the moment when I could have backed down, and I didn’t care what those around me would think.

That’s happening a lot more lately. I think God’s already answering my prayer. 

Praying & believing,
Dineen
a.k.a., Paulina ;-)

*****

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FamilyLife Today

Hi Everyone, 

FltToday Dineen and I will be flying to Little Rock, Arkansas. We will be meeting Dennis Rainey, President of FamilyLife and host of the syndicated broadcast, FamilyLife Today as well as the co-host, Bob Lepine, Chief Content Officer. We’ve been invited to a taped interview that will be two hours long, and will be recorded at the offices in Little Rock, AR.   During that time we are privileged to discuss our latest book, “Winning Him Without Words.” 

On Tuesday we will spend the morning with the staff of FamilyLife Today in their chapel service where Max Lucado will bring the message. After that we will join the broadcast team, Max and his wife along with another guest for lunch. (I still can’t believe this)

After lunch we will head into the studio to share the hope we have for our marriage, for your marriage and for a world who needs hope through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

We are beyond astonished over this opportunity and filled with a humble gratitude to our Lord.   

To think we have another tremendous opportunity to reach out to another believer who feels lonely, lost and stuck in a mismatched marriage and then point them to the hope of Jesus, simply leaves me undone. 

My friends, as you may remember, I was quite nervous recording our interview at Focus on the Family. So, may I meekly ask for your prayers today? Pray that Jesus fills our hearts, minds and tongues with His words and that all nervousness will flee during our interview tomorrow. Pray for our travel and all the details that must happen. Pray for this vital ministry, FamilyLife Today, as they are reaching people with the love of Christ. 

I know many of you first found us through a radio interview through broadcasts such as Focus on the Family and The Moody Broadcast Network. Many of you found us through a desperate internet search or you found us through our book, Winning Him Without Words. 

So today, as we travel together toward Little Rock, it would thrill our hearts if you would leave in the comments how you came to find our humble community here on the web. Dineen and I will be checking in regularly and we will pray for you by name. 

We love all of you so much with a genuine heart. I long for the day that I will meet you face-to-face. 

Okay, see you in the comments. 

AND, on Friday I will share with you my daily worship experience and how that worship brings me into God's astonishing and life-changing presence. If you struggle in this area, I KNOW this post will inspire you. AND, I’m all about the practical. We will share with each other practical ideas to help one another in this area. 

BIG hugs from the skies, Lynn and Dineen too! 

 

PS. For our travel updates, tales and escapades, follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

*****

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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 — Pascal's Wager: Worth the Gamble?

220px-Blaise_Pascal_VersaillesHave you heard of Pascal's Wager? I looked it up recently and ask my husband about it. I was curious what he thought of such a theory coming from Blaise Pascal, a scientist whose been influential in his own scientific persuits and beliefs. 

From Wikipedia: It posits that there's more to be gained from wagering on the existence of God than from atheism, and that a rational person should live as though God exists, even though the truth of the matter cannot actually be known.

Here's what my hubby basically had to say in response: Christianity believes our salvation is contingent on your acceptance of God's Son Jesus so Pascal's wager still fails because just believing God exists doesn't save you unless you buy into the fallacy that good works save you.

I must say I was surprised at his clarity of the differentiation and I could see his point. My guy never stops surprising me. He understands more of my "doctrine" than I give him credit for sometimes. I'm relieved too that it's one less hurdle between him and God. I want my guy to have all the facts straight so that when the day does come that he considers Jesus, he'll know the full story and consider the cost (Luke 14:28-33).

 No wagers or gambles. Just all in for eternity.

Praying & believing,
Dineen 

 

*****

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Worship With Feathers?????

From this humble writer, I tell you that I woke on Monday morning with anxiety over the post I shared that morning. It can be scary when you write or speak about God’s supernatural. All throughout the night, I prayed. I prayed for you. I prayed for every reader that would stop in and read the post about God’s power descending on me in church. I prayed asking God for an anointing over the words I shared. I prayed that people would see Him and desire to grow closer to Him. 

So Monday morning came and as I read my Bible and then dressed to head out on my walk-n-pray, I was asking the Lord for His anointing upon the words. To change lives. That the words would be received and not ridiculed. I felt insecure and unsettled. 

I have been reading lately about the New Testament Church in Acts and about the miracles of the disciples. I am puzzled as to why we don’t see supernatural healing and empowerment by God in our modern-day church. I picked up a book recently that addresses this very thing. The author was describing some pretty amazing things that are happening in his church. It’s a hugely encouraging book to me. 

On Sunday night I read a portion of the book that described an unusual phenomenon. Feathers appear out of nowhere. The pastor at first thought there were birds in the air conditioning ducts at church. But feathers began appearing in other buildings at church, in restaurants, at home. He went on to say that it makes you wonder about God. And has no other purpose than to be valued as an act of God. 

Well if you have been a reader here for anytime, you will know that I am convinced God sends doves to me. They are His personal message to assure me He has angels surrounding me, protecting me and often times the doves arrive during my morning walk and worship for the soul purpose to delight me. 

In fact, several weeks back I rose early for a walk after finally feeling like I finished a spiritual battle. I was exhausted but elated. As I walked that morning I came up over a hill and onto a road. Stepping on the road I looked up. Two doves were flying down the road straight toward me at breakneck speed and at my eye level. I froze, they were coming fast and we were about to have a collision. At the very last second, they both swerved and flew off to my right. As they turned, a tiny feather popped off one of the birds. It floated gently down and I reached out my hand. The feather gently glided into my palm. 

I smiled. 

God delighted. 

This feather experience occurred prior to me realizing (reading) that God sends feathers to people….. And it still boggles my mind because…..  He does things like this……..Just for fun…. 

So back to Monday. I hop in my car. I’m still praying for a Holy anointing over the words. I praying as I drive to the park where I walk. I’m half way there and stopped at an intersection. And as I look at the red light, still praying, slowly a large feather twirls down RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. 

Whoa! 

I got to the park. Freaked out. Thrilled. Humbled and elated. I think I cried tears of sure amazement and joy on that walk. 

010Well that’s not all. Later in the day, I told my daughter this story right before we head off to Golden Spoon. And yes, you guessed it. As we are in the store I spot another feather right outside the door. I ask her, “Did you see that when we came in?” 

‘No” 

And today, another…. 

My friends, this story about feathers may seem dumb or a coincidence. But, I find it utterly fascinating that as soon as I read about the feathers the very next day a large feather falls out of the sky right above me. The skeptics will say it’s a coincidence. After all, there are birds that fly above cars. 

And you know what? I don’t care. I KNOW God delights in me and He is a blast. He likes to make Himself known and show off for those of us who have learned how to see Him. 

Monday’s story and this week’s encounters are only the most recent that I have enjoyed with God. There have been so many more. I share a lot of them when I speak at churches. 

So why am I tell you about these. Because I think God wants me to tell you that He is desperate to have this kind of relationship with you. He wants to delight you. To protect you. To speak wisdom to you. 

I want you to also know the supernatural of God because it’s astounding to witness Him in action. All I can do is share with you my experience and how I came to this point in my relationship with the Lord. I hope my story will encourage you to step off on this path. 

Which brings us back to worship. It all starts with worship. So next week I will talk you through my journey because I’m desperate for you to join me. 

My friends, the revival is brewing. The supernatural power of God is being and will be released. It will be scary and fantastic all at the same time. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines. I want to live on the edge with my Jesus. I want to be part of what God is doing on earth. I am His chosen people and He has plans. 

Jesus is edgy. His love and lessons will stretch you, confound you and draw the critics to your life. But, it’s the most fun and exciting way to live life on earth. 

This life will thrill you beyond your wildest dreams and it will also take your places you didn’t know you could go. It will also demand all of you. So my question to you today is this: 

Are you willing to give Him your time? Your money? Your pride? Your dignity? Your life? 

Or do you want to cling to what you want and your dreams? These are very convicting questions. So I ask you to truly pray about them. 

Do you want the feather experiences. The doves, the balloons. The victories? They will come but only on His terms. 

My name is Lynn Donovan. I have decided to follow Jesus. 

No turning back. 

No turning back.

 

Are you in? 

 

PS. See any doves in your yard? Email me a photo: unequalmarriage@verizon.net 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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