Previous month:
August 2012
Next month:
October 2012

15 entries from September 2012

Weekend Worship — Psalm 150

6a00d83451ee9f69e2017c31ef2550970b-250wi
Praise the Lord.

1 Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.

Father God, no matter where we are, we will praise your Holy and Mighty Name. You are our Mighty Savior, our One and Only. You are ALL we need.

2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Lord, You move among us with such strength and love. We can't even comprehend how great Your love for is. It is all consuming and always GOOD! We fall to our knees before you in wonder and love.

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,

4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,

5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

Lord Jesus, let every song we sing and and word we speak bring You praise and glory. You are more than worthy of our trust, our praise and our love. We owe everything to You. We would not be able to even stand before You without Your sacrifice for us. We wear Your righteousness only by the blood You shed for us and by Your death.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Oh Lord God Almighty, may our every breath, every thought, every feeling glorify You! Words can not express Your greatness, nor are there adequate words to express our love and gratitude to You. May our very lives be a song of praise and worship to You. Receive our praise as sweet incense to bring you pleasure and glory. We love you, Lord Jesus! Move among us and do whatever You need to bring us closer to You. We want more of YOU!

Praise the Lord.

In Your precious Name, Lord Jesus, amen!

Below is an awesome song to sing and praise to. This is a group that's new to me too. Great find! I won't be posting next week because I'm running away with my hubby for a few days of R&R and to celebrate our anniversary. (Hee hee...) So keep on eye out for Lynn for me and don't let her get into trouble, okay? (wink!) No doubt I will have stuff to share about my trip when I get back.

Praying & worshipping with you!
Dineen 

When the Stars Burn Down (Blessing and Honor) by Phillips, Craig & Dean

*****

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-

Covers Three Books


Who in the Heck ARE YOU?

My friends, 


Can I just thank you? Last Friday I asked all of you to share about some sensitive and very private concerns in your lives. When I was writing that post I re-wrote it five different times and nearly deleted the entire thing twice because I didn’t believe anyone would leave a comment. I’m overwhelmed by your honest responses and moved by your courage to be transparent.

Your comments and the emails I received were at times gut wrenching in that some of you are struggling with some BIG stuff. Please know I prayed for you. I prayed with tears. I am going to pray about how to reply and address some of these issues. And I’m waiting for God to show me what issue to write about for the magazine. So thank you. 

Today I actually am compelled to write about something that all of us deal with. Failure 

Wednesday I joined a Bible study group at my church. This study is unlike any other I’ve been a part of since I started Bible study years ago. It’s completely simplistic and has already rocked my world. God is kinda like that you know. 

Wednesday we spent some time contemplating: My Identity in Christ. Did you know that God’s Holy Word is filled with attribute and attribute of who we are as believers? I read down the list and underlined those attributes that I related to and there were many. When I went back to read the list I was surprised by one that I did not think described me. And as discussion moved along I came to realize that many others also struggle with this: HOLY.. I don’t feel holy. 

And reading your comments from Friday, I’m finding there’s a vast number of us in the same boat. 

I’m bringing this up because many of the comments from Friday are about the same thing as well. For example this was a common issue from Friday that a reader shared: Something that I have struggled with is that my intimate relationship with my husband started prior to marriage, sometimes it hard to see that God wants to bless a relationship that was started in sin. 

Boy howdy do I understand this. And just so you know, I met my husband in a bar in Vegas. He was supposed to be a one night stand. Ahem, yep, I understand you completely. 

How can a Holy God bless a marriage that started out as a night of sex and was intended only to be that? 

As I sat in our study on Wednesday I heard women pour out the same question? How can God love me when I sin and do the same thing over and over again? And just so you know, I’m in that boat as well. I’ve begged God to heal me. Save me. Keep me from sinning. But over and over I choose to do something I know God doesn’t want for me. 

Okay, just keepin it real here. 

One wise woman in our group spoke up. It was like watching Titus 2 come to life in front of my very eyes. She shared with me a picture from her years of teaching school. 

“Lynn, you’ve seen a globe haven’t you?” 

“Yes.” 

“Now picture this in your mind. You are at the equator and you start to travel north over this globe. You keep going north until you arrive at the North Pole. Keep traveling and you start to move southward, crossing the equator again, still traveling until you reach the South Pole. And if you keep traveling you will again be heading north. Is that correct?” 

“Yes, it is.” 

“Now think about this. If you are on the globe once again at the equator and you begin to circle the globe traveling east, you know what happens?” 

“No.” 

“You will always be traveling east. You will never circle around and travel west. NEVER.” 

“What does God say about forgiveness? Our sins are as far as the east is from the west. Is it any wonder that God used this analogy in His Holy Word?” 

I know I’ve heard this passage a million time but for some reason the “school girl globe visual” allowed this truth to fall upon me with fresh power. 

God does not condemn us even if we struggle over and over with the same thing. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. God has forgiven me for starting my marriage out in defiance of His will. In spite of the fact that we had sex, lived together for a few months, married an atheist and a slew of other things I can’t even remember. 

But God….. 

But our God is in the business for redemption. I’m living proof that God can love a stupid blonde girl whose stood up to Him with fist raised in defiance. I think I’m still living in defiance in areas of my life, just like you. But God is gently loving me through my struggles and I know one day I will find victory. 

You are not a failure my friends. You were created the way you are, imperfect, on purpose. And do you know why? Let God tell you Himself. 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV) 

Let us say: Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 

Oh how I want Christ’s power in my life. I know you do too. 

Forgive yourself and live in His promises. They aren’t for someone else who is better than you or never sinned or started out their marriage the right way. His promises are EXACTLY for us, sinners who are living proof of redemption. 

And now do me a favor, read these truths to yourself. Print them out, memorize them and let them be the TRUTH that sets you free. 

Repeat out loud and slowly: I AM .....

....Able to do all things -Philippians 4:13

...Accepted -Romans 15:7

..Adequate -2 Corinthians 3:5 NASB

.Beautiful -Song of Songs 1:15

Beloved -Deuteronomy 33:12

Bride -Revelation 21:9

Bold & Confident –Ephesians 3:12 NKJV

Chosen –Colossians 3:12

Dead to sin, alive to God –Romans 6:11

Delivered -2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Encouraged -2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Equipped -2 Timothy 3:17

Favored –Psalm 84:11

Friend of God -John 15:14-15

Hidden with Christ in God –Colossians 3:3

Holy – Hebrews 10:10

Inscribed on His palm –Isaiah 49:16 NKJV

Inseparable from His love –Romans 8:35

Joint heir with Christ –Romans 8:17 NKJV

Justified -1 Corinthians 6:11

Known -Psalm 139:1

Light of the world –Matthew 5:14

Made by Him –Psalm 100:3

New creation -2 Corinthians 5:17

Never forsaken –Hebrews 13:5

One with Him –John 17:23 NKJV

Overcomer -1 John 5:4-5

Perfect & complete –James 1:2-4 NKJV

Prayed for –Romans 8:27

Qualified to share His inheritance –Colossians 1:12

Redeemed –Galatians 3:13

Renewed -2 Corinthians 4:16

Salt of the earth –Matthew 5:13

Soldier -2 Timothy 2:3-4

Spiritually minded –Romans 8:6

Temple of the Holy Spirit -1 Corinthians 6:19

Treasured –Psalm 83:3

Under no condemnation –Romans 6:5

Valued –Matthew 6:26

Victorious -1 Corinthians 15:57

Washed, sanctified, justified -1 Corinthians 6:11

His witness –Acts 1:8

Yielded to God –Romans 6:13

 

Which one, two or more of these do you need to make real in your soul today. Tell me and I will pray these promises over you. 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-

Covers Three Books


Receiving Grace

716045_handsLast week I spent five days and four nights in Dallas, Texas at the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference. This was my eighth year to go and yet again God had some things to show me.

Maybe you're wondering why I'm sharing this here since I keep my fiction side (nonfiction authors call it the dark side. LOL!) in a separate hemisphere. Maybe I shouldn't do that because everywhere I go, I take this precious SUM community with me. I brag about how we support and pray for each other. I love letting others know we are there to help and encourage.

Two copies of Winning Him Without Words stowed away in my suitcase and went home with two new friends. A dear woman who's now divorced yet still grieves over her unsaved husband and a man who longs to share his faith with his wife. They found me in a sea of 675 people attending this conference.

Don't you just love how God takes care of us and leads us to what we need even in the most unlikely of places?

God took care of me while I was there too. One of the things I love about this conference is our times to praise and worship God in between our times to meet with editors and agents, to sit in workshops to learn and grow in our craft, and time spent with old and new friends. We all desire to serve God through our writing.

Connecting with the people there is a blessing I treasure. There is nothing like sharing your faith with others who love God, especially when we can't at home. My spirit was fed and watered several times.

And in an evening of worship God spoke to my heart. I will share very openly what that was, but please understand that this is how God communicates with me. Almost every year, God tells me something about my husband. I'm still processing it because this time the mental image He gave me with it is new.

I saw my husband on his knees, head down and shoulders slumped as if broken in spirit. What God spoke to me was, "My will is done. Now believe Me."

What struck me so strongly was not what I saw even though I confess I find it hard to imagine. No, it was the tense of the first part of what He said. It wasn’t His will would be done but it is done.

Though I’m still processing this latest piece of the puzzle to the big picture of my husband’s salvation, the other thing God spoke to me connects very clearly to something He said to me last year:

Know My grace.

This journey of knowing God's grace has been confusing at times. Ultimately I've had to let go and let Him show me what He wanted me to know instead of figuring it out myself. I'm learning to rest in Him and let Him do the work in me instead of trying to make something happen. As I stood in worship after hearing His words to me about my precious hubby, God had a specific massage for me:

Receive My grace.

So I received His grace in that moment. My posture changed from head down and hands clasped to face up and arms out to my sides. Now I'm not a showy girl. I don't easily lift my hands to worship because I'm shy and feel awkward, but you know what, God doesn't care about that. He wants us to be completely in the moment, free and joyful in Him.

And I not only stood there with my face up and my hands out at my sides. I started to giggle. Yep, you heard me. I giggled right there.

Hmmm, faith like a child. That is exactly what I felt like. God's little child, laughing and delighting in the Father's grace.

Sometimes what God wants to show us comes as we expect it. Most times I’m finding that what He has for us vastly surpasses anything we can imagine or expect. And the more I learn about God, the more I realize how little I know of the vast greatness and goodness of our Creator. I am undone and overwhelmed by His goodness almost on a daily basis.

My friends, God has so much to share with us. He longs to show us so much of Who He is and how much He loves us. It’s all there just waiting for us to receive it.

To receive Him. And all we have to do is stand there and say yes.

Again I am undone.

Love you all dearly,
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-

Covers Three Books


Does God Have a Ministry For You?

Lynn here: For many, many years I honestly believed that if my husband was not a believer, I could not serve in any ministry. That is a lie from the pit of hell and I want to blow that myth completely out of the water. In fact, today it's my delight to share a new ministry that God brought through one of our long time readers here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Let me introduce to you Courtney Silberman:

 

How Encouraging Women for Christ Encouraged Me
By Courtney Silberman

 

Courtney Silberman
Courtney Silberman
God said, It’s time. I was back from my trip to Israel and finishing my last assignment for seminary. Now what was I going to do? God had given me a vision for an online women’s ministry, but I had no web development company to work with. I had tried two last fall and neither one was the right fit. I began to feel discouraged.  I began to feel despair. But God has a way, at just the right time, of turning things around to show He alone is God.

 

I drove to meet my Bible study group one evening in late May. We had a close group, but I hadn’t really told them about God’s plan for me to build a website. I admitted my discouragement that evening and told them why. Then one of my friends mentioned a web development company she uses for her organization. Almost right away, I knew. I knew this was the one. God said, It’s time.

I was excited, but one thing made me uneasy—my husband. I had thought by now he would have come to faith. I never expected to begin this ministry without him understanding why I would pour my heart into an endeavor he knew little about. I admit I got angry with God and said, rather uncharacteristically, “I’m not doing this until you save my husband.” I fought Him for two days before making the phone call to the web development company. Looking back, He was so kind to me. He sat there, like the Compassionate Father He is, and listened. During my protests, He kept saying, Trust Me.

There were many people God brought alongside me to build the site and get it launched. He brought in each person with the perfect gifts to fill the needed role for the ministry. But no one could fill the role God had designed specifically for my husband—financial planner and resource. Even though my husband has yet to profess his faith, God is using him daily to help the ministry.

I learned something big—God can use our husbands in ways we couldn’t even imagine. Here is a ministry, founded by a woman, whose husband is deeply involved, and he doesn’t even believe (yet)! Does that not show the power of our Lord Jesus Christ?

I want to encourage all of you in a similar situation now—if God is calling you to do something in ministry, trust that He has taken care of your husband as well. If you stay true to His Word and obey Him, He can use you to fulfill His plans in the world. Don’t back down thinking you could never do this without a husband who understands your faith. Our God is way bigger than we think and can do much more than we can imagine. With God, all things are possible.

Ministry Name: Encouraging Women for Christ
Web: http://EncouragedinChrist.org
Email: Courtney@EncouragedinChrist.org
Facebook: Encouraging Women for Christ
Twitter: @EncouragedToday

Encouraging Women To Christ logo

*****

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-

Covers Three Books


Weekend Worship — Psalm 149

Worship
Praise the Lord.

Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.

Lord, hear our songs of worship and take them as our offering of love and adoration. And thank you for singing over us! We adore you!

2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the Lord takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
5 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.

Lord, hear our songs of worship and see our spirits dance for joy in You! As You delight in us, we delight in You. Continue to show us your glory, Father God. We rejoice in the victory you have given us!

6 May the praise of God be in their mouths
and a double- edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters,
their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them—
this is the glory of all his faithful people.

Lord, hear praises lifting up to worship You and give You all the glory for all that You have done in our lives and continue to do. We are so grateful for all that You do, but mostly for just You! You are holy, mighty and strong. And You are so FAITHFUL!!! Even when we are not, You are faithful, Lord, and we are so humbled by and grateful for that.

Praise the Lord.

We praise you, Lord! May all that we are be Yours. Let every breath we breathe, every word we speak, every song we sing, every dance we dance, every work we do be for You and all for Your glory. Amen!

Worshiping with you!
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-

Covers Three Books


Enter To Win and Flourish

Hi Everyone, 

I have found a new and dear friend in the editor of Flourish Magazine. Myra is an amazing woman of God who is filled with a passion to help women flourish in the love of Jesus Christ. Most of you know that Dineen and I are regular contributors to the bi-monthly magazine. This month’s issue is all about fear and I wrote an article that is just for all of us who are spiritually mismatched.

I sure hope you have a chance to get a copy. And in fact, Myra has offered to give me 10 free copies to give away. So here is how you can enter to receive a copy from me along with a note and a prayer. In the January/February issue I will be writing about sex. Now, I’ve written on this topic before and even share a tiny bit about the bedroom in our book. I have very strong feelings about being open and honest about sex because it seems to me Christian women especially are so very confused and guilt ridden about this entire matter. And to make things worse the “church” is not addressing this topic nearly enough. 

So, here is where you come in. I would really like my article in the magazine to address something YOU would love to read about. And it must pertain to being spiritually mismatched. Don’t be shy because this could be a real opportunity to truly help many couples. I know a common issue for the spiritually mismatched is this: After you marry and come to Christ or recommit to your faith, things you once did in the bedroom now make you feel uncomfortable and you don’t want to do them anymore. However, your husband is ticked off because you used to be “game” and now after this Jesus guy moved in, you are no fun? 

Anyone??? 

How about this? Have you ever wondered what is “allowed” and what is not? Okay, some of my thoughts. Don’t be shy. If you leave a comment, you are entered into the drawing to receive one of the ten copies of the magazine. Thanks my friends. Have a wonderful weekend. 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-

Covers Three Books


Astonish Us, Lord!

11990759_sYesterday many in the S.U.M. fasted and/or prayed for Rash Hashanah. Did God reveal something new to you? Be sure to jump over to our Facebook page and share. We'll be talking about it there as well as here. 
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert. —Isaiah 43:19

Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days —
You would not believe if you were told. — Habakkuk 1:5

This is the fourth year in a row that these two Scriptures have come to me either in emails, in devos, from a friend. And it's always around this time of year. 

And this one came to me during my fast and has shown up several times this year alone:

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. ’

God is definitely up to something big. I can explain how I know it, I just do. In the past these Scriptures have seem to be for me personally. This year, I think they are meant for all of us. God is faithful, He's heard our prayers and He is about to show us some pretty cool things. So if you're struggling, if you're not sure how much longer you can go on in your mistmatched marriage, if you are losing hope that your prebeliever will ever come to faith, I want to tell you a story right from the Bible. I don't take any credit for this insight and I attribute my inspiration to a Bible study (James by Beth Moore).

Jesus was the oldest of his siblings. Scripture reveals that He had brothers. They didn't share the same father, obviously, but none-the-less, they were brothers. Did you know that His brothers didn't believe in Him? In fact, the Bible tells us this:

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said,

“He is out of his mind.” — Mark 3:21

Even by His own brothers, Jesus was rejected. The author and perfector of our faith was rejected in His own home just our own faith if often rejected by our loved ones. Think about that. If you ever doubted whether Jesus truly understands what you and I are struggling with on that intimate of a level, then doubt no more. We often overlook this aspect seeing His overall rejection and crucifixion, but Jesus endured this level of rejection on a personal level as well.

But here is where it becomes astonishing. By the time you reach the very first book in Acts, His family believed. All of them. Jesus' entire family is mentioned in Acts 1:14 as being present and united in prayer. 

Jesus didn't give up on them. He knew they would eventually come to see the truth, and they would come to see that He was the Way, the Truth and the Light.

So don't give up hope my friends. Our limited vision can only show us what we percieve and understand right now. These limitations don't exist where our Saviour Jesus is concerned. He knows about all those hidden and unsearchable things that are at work right now in your life and in the life and heart of your prebeliever.

Call to Jesus and ask Him to show you what He's doing and to reveal Himself to you. He will. It may not be what you expect, but I know it will astonish you!

Praying & believing,
Dineen 

Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo

*****

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-

Covers Three Books


Rosh Hashanah - Join Us

UPDATE: I will be offline from Sunset on Sunday through Monday evening. But please leave your names and your prayer requests because I will be praying over them the rest of the week. ~Lynn

 

My friends, thank you for your amazing comments on the post last Friday. I’m blown away. I wanted to respond to each one however, in the midst of such a milestone the devil tries to take back ground and destroy. Let’s just say on Friday there was a lot of crying going on at the Donovan house due to an unexpected turn of events with regard to my daughter. 

I know many of you saw my few posts on Facebook and I’m deeply thankful for your prayers. It was your prayers that allowed me to walk with her through this trial and retain a somewhat calm mind and heart. I want to assure you that everything has worked out. I am fine and so is my daughter. In fact, God has redeemed much already and that is a very happy thing. I have learned some much needed lessons through this weekend and one day will share them with you. For now, I’m still allowing God to continue to work things out, to teach me and my daughter through it. 

Okay, enough of that. ONWARD.. 

On Monday over at 1Peter3Living the crowd has agreed to fast and pray together. Can I just say I love this community of believers. Monday is Rosh Hashanah. That is the beginning…. God’s New Beginning. This day is considered the “New Year” in the Jewish tradition and calendar. 

What a perfect day to be humble, fast and to pray seeking God’s hand in our lives. So I invite all of you in our community to also plan to fast and pray for your spouse this Monday, September 16 & 17th. We will be fasting from sunset on September 16th through sunset of the 17th. This is the Jewish tradition for fasting. 

Kinda cool, huh?? 

This is a wonderful time to participate in something very old and precious to our Lord. So if you can, join us. 

Sunset where I live on September 16: 2012 begins at 6:51 p.m. PST

Sunset on September 17, 2012 is 6:51 p.m. PST  


If you can fast, let me know and let me know your husband’s name as I will pray for his salvation just as we are doing over at 1P3.So I will plan to join my family for dinner at 7 p.m. Monday evening and break the fast. I’m expecting my prayers to avail much. I want God to be honored by my life. I will be asking His favor upon my life, my family and all whom I have contact. I will be asking for chains to be broken and for freedom of the captives. I will be seeking the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But mostly my prayer time will be devoted to just be in His presence. 

Love all of you Happy New Year!!!! Hugs, Lynn 

For many of you who are new to our community, we fast every year the first week of the year. Here are some links to information about fasting. Visit our Archives (here) and scroll through these posts. Also to read up on some interesting facts and listen to the Shofar, visit Hebrew for Christians.

*****

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-

Covers Three Books


Twenty-Five Years and a Slip of the Tongue?

IStock_000016816249XSmallLast week was my 25th wedding anniversary. A pretty big deal on my side of the family. I'm the first to be marriad that long. My husband, however, comes from a family of long marriages. I mean yeeeeeaaaaaars. His parents just celebrated their 48 years in April. Amazing...

I confess, it boggles my mind and I give God all the credit. I give my hubby some too. LOL! He's a wonderfully patient man, thank goodness. 

What I really love is looking back and seeing how far God has brought my marriage from that heartbreaking day when my guy first told me he'd chosen to be an athesit to now, which brings me to funny little story.

My husband and I have discussions on occasion about how I believe God works in our lives. You and I can talk like best friends and sisters about "God-incidences" and blessings and totally understand that these things really happen. My guy just can't wrap his brain around that and calls it all coincidence.

One phrase I've used that gets his head shaking or his eyes rolling is "Godsend." Nope, just doesn't work for him. But I still say it, because, well, it's true! LOL!

This past weekend we had a chance to stay with friends in San Francisco. On Sunday we went for a walk through the city and wound up in Ghirardelli Square. All these wonderful vendors had their wares out. One in particular caught my eye. This designer (Christian Gardelle) makes these gorgeous pieces out of copper (if you go the website, the earrings we bought are in the top left corner).

As  my husband goes to pay, he comments on the man's use of SquareUp, which gives merchants the ease of using all types of credit cards for one low fee and no paperwork from the companies). My sweet hubby then makes this statement:

"That's a real Godsend for you, isn't it?"

I'm so glad I was standing behind him and out of eyesight, because I know my mouth dropped open big enough to fit the man's entire display case! My turn to shake my head and giggle.

And that's all I did. I didn't say a word, didn't even point it out. I honestly do not think he even realized he said it. But it sure told me one thing.

He's been listening and watching me live my faith. For 17 or our 25 years of marriage. My husband said he was looking forward to the next 25 years. 

Oh, me too! Me too! What a Godsend that will be. Hee hee...

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-

Covers Three Books


Encounter God in the Wal-Mart Checkout line? Say What?

You know what scares me?

The Wal-Mart checkout line....

I'm sharing a story today that is simple yet filled up with Jesus and it happened in all places, Wal-Mart. Join me today and share with me your encounters with the body of Christ. Lynn

Visit the Cafe: Encounter in the Wal-Mart Checkout line? Say What?

 

*****

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-

Covers Three Books


Forget the Devos. Let's Worship!

WorshipMy friends, I sensed God’s leading this week to change our Weekend Devo to Weekend Worship. We are a community bonded together by a common desire to see our loved ones know God as we do and our hearts are knitted together by a love for Jesus and each other. Lynn and I are continually blessed and blown away by you, and we have all expressed how we long to worship God in Heaven together.

Let’s start that here and now.

That is the vision God put on my heart this week, to gather here online and worship Him together. I don’t know where this will go or how it will work. I’m content to let God’s Holy Spirit guide us.

Let’s worship God together. Find a quite moment and place and read the Psalm below in prayerful worship. Add whatever comes to your heart and let the Holy Spirit guide you. I'm inserting what the Holy Spirit has put on my heart, but you pray what He puts on yours. Feel free to worship and pray in the comments—let’s worship together!

Psalm 148

1 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights above.

2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.

4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for at his command they were created,

6 and he established them for ever and ever—
he issued a decree that will never pass away.

Lord, we praise You from the earth below and give you all glory. We join our voices and hearts to those praising You above.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,

9 you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,

10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,

Lord, we marvel at your creation. Though we see only a faded representation of your true plan, we are awestruck by the notion that ever flap of wing, every wag of tail, every sway of branch, and every sway in the ocean waters is your creation singing praise to you. Lord, we add our hearts and voices to this praise. We ask that You bring Your Glory down upon us.

11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,

12 young men and women,
old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord.

Lord, You are El Elyon, the God Most High. Bring your strength and power into our governments, into our homes, into our hearts and rule! Let us worship You in complete surrender and thanksgiving for Your Horn, Your Son Jesus, whose name we lift with our prayers and thanksgiving.

Reign in us, Lord. We give You all our praise for You alone are worthy! In Jesus’ Holy and Powerful Name, amen!

Praying & worshiping with you!
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-

Covers Three Books


Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - Coming To Faith

I have contemplated and prayed, struggled and contemplated about writing about what I’m about to share with you. Why? Because I don’t really understand what to do with it. I don’t know what it means and the implications to this ministry. But, I’m compelled to share with you my tiny story of recent. 

There are many of you who are in deep spiritual battles fighting against the very darkness that lives in your own home. There are many of you, my sweet friends, who have waited and waited for your spouse to change but he/she remains distant from God. Many of you cry in the closet alone. 

I too, lived where many of you live right now. I spent years wandering around, stuck and unsure if God was even hearing my prayers. So today, I want you to know these years that you battle, feel stuck and unheard by God, they are precious. There is not a word spoken to God that He doesn’t hear. There is much that He is teaching you that you do not conceive right now. He is at work if you are sold out for Him. 

How do I know? Because I have lived it. The hard, brutal reality of all of it. I understand you and because of that I live with a burning Holy passion to encourage you to keep on walkin’ it out because nearing the end is beyond astonishing, beyond joyful, ……just beyond. (I’m lost for a descriptive here.) 

So I’m taking you with me back a few weeks. Listen in as my husband joins me in the kitchen after returning from work at the end of the day following a business meeting. 

“Hey, how’d it go?” I smile as I glance up from the cutting board where I’m chopping veggies for dinner. 

“Fine.” 

He walks around the kitchen island to the pile of mail on the end and begins shuffling through the envelopes. I continue to chop. The television is on and it’s a normal, everyday evening for the Donovan Clan. At least that’s what I think as I chop a giant red pepper form my garden. 

He looks up from the pile, “A guy I know from the company was at the meeting today. He grabbed me during a break and told me about a new position that could be potentially opening up and was very interested in my application.” 

I stop chopping. Look at him. He’s nonchalantly telling me about this enormous, great new job opportunity. My eyes light up in pride and I intently listen as he goes further to describe the position. I watch as I see the tiniest glint of excitement in his eyes. Understand this about my man, he is v-e-r-y low-key. 

“Wow, that’s really great honey. What happens now?” 

He explains. 

Now here is where my world spins crazy. 

He looks casually at me and says in his nonchalant style, “This would be a really great opportunity. So I closed my eyes in the meeting and prayed about it. I hope no one noticed my eyes were shut.” 

Gulp!

WHAT?????? 

I don’t even remember if I said anything back to that sentence because the implications sent my mind reeling. 

So my friends, here I am. On several occasions over the past year my husband has said to me that he prays. What does this mean? He must believe “someone” is up there listening? Is it Jesus or God? I’m too scared to ask him about it right now. I’m not ready for whatever the answer could or might be. I hope you understand this. It’s scary after years and years waiting to find out he believes or worse he really doesn’t. But he is praying on his own, without my prompting. And in my heart I absolutely believe if you ask him, he would say he talks with Jesus. 

The next day I described this exchange with Dineen. Her words to me were profound and I haven’t been able to remove them from my mind. She said in the sweetest voice, “Our men are coming to faith but it isn’t like what we imagined.” 

I was struck hard with this truth. My man IS coming to faith. It is not what I imagined nor at the pace I would have chosen but my friends, MY FRIENDS, it’s happening. 

So here is my dilemma. I told God that I would be willing to surrender this ministry any time He said and especially when my husband comes to faith. So I’m in this weird place. My husband believes in some way, he believes. I now claim this because of his consistency to tell me he prays. But he isn’t sold out about church. Doesn’t want to be baptized. Really he isn’t likely to ever fit the “typical man at church” mold. But does any of that matter to God?

I’m thinking perhaps not. 

I don’t know what God’s plan is for me if in fact my husband chooses not to be baptized nor to read his Bible. I don’t know what God has in store for my husband’s baby faith. But I do know I will always, always pray for him. 

Mike and Lynn Nov 2011Today I accept this truth: I will ALWAYS be spiritually mismatched in that my faith journey began so long ago. I’ve walked years with Jesus and have traveled the through the valleys of disappointment, struggle, loneliness to come out on the other side KNOWING that all I ever need is God’s presence. But my husband has his own journey ahead to learn what has taken me years to learn. Thus, we will always be spiritually mismatched. And today, I can say with complete honesty that I’m really okay with it. 

So my friends, you who are barely floating about the waves of struggle, be encouraged because God is using you in profound ways you cannot understand or see today. But, in the years ahead you will see with such clarity it will bring you to your knees in such adoration and praise that tears of joy will flow and the world will know that the God of the universe loves us beyond our wildest imagination. 

Thank you all of you in this amazing community for walking this road with me. You are my treasure. My heart. Love, 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-

Covers Three Books


I LOVE Small Groups - Starting a Small Group In Your Area

Pinguins
In the early years of my spiritually mismatched marriage when living with an unbeliever was confusing, frustrating and painful, I found hope in a small group. In fact, it was a women's Bible study group where I found others who would pray for me, encourage me and just share life with me.

You can imagine then how humbled I am and Dineen as well that many of you are gathering together in a small group setting to study our books, Winning Him Without Words & Not Alone.

We included a study guide and questions for personal or group study because that is what all of you wanted. It's what WE WANTED. Dineen and I are desperate for all of you, our friends in this community, to discover Jesus on every page of both of these books and to live in His victory in your marriage and parenting.

The Lord has filled me with a passion to help anyone, everyone on the road behind me. I started this ministry in 2006 with this goal: That not one more person would waste as much time and live in defeat as long as I did. So below are our humble offerings to help anyone who is willing to lead a small group study.

Book: Winning Him Without Words & Not Alone have in the back of the books:

  • A Leader's Guide: includes helpful hints for starting each week and weekly suggestions for discussion.
  • Small Group Agreement (I developed this and used it for years as a leader of Women's Bible studies.
  • Member Class Form
  • Scripture Prayers -For Self and those who need Christ.
  • Prayer Evangelism
  • Prayers for our Children
  • Family Faith Projects

In addition to the books we have a ton of free resources on our Ministry website:

Click on the Resources tab for downloadable handouts and Leaders's Guides, sign up sheets and more.

You can also request free bookmarks for your small group study, please drop us a request through our contact page

We have videos which can be shown in class through your computer. Take a look at those on our Vimeo Page. We address many of our common conflicts such a tithing and raising kids. For example in this video we discuss:

Today we are answering your questions that were posted the week of January 18, 2012 on our Facebook page.

  • What do you tell the kids when they ask, "Why doesn't Dad go to church."
  • Why isn't there marriage in heaven?
  • How do you parent your kids when you and your husband see parenting so different.
  • The boundary between submitting and serving vs. enabling.
  • How do I keep hope alive when I my husband never responds.

This particular video is 18 minutes long. There are more videos we hope you find encouraging and helpful.

If you need more help with setting up a small group, email our Small Group's Coordinator, Sue Conklin. She has helped many of our small groups get an idea of how to launch. Thanks Sue!!

And Dineen and I would love to Skype in or conference call into your small group for an encouraging word and an open Q &A. Visit our contact page and just ask. We will get a visit to your group on our schedule.

Don't forget to encourage your group to be an active part of our community at www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com and on our Facebook Page. One final offering, our monthly Newsletter, Mismatched & Thriving, View August 2013. And there is our online forum, 1Peter3Living. Also visit our forums on Mismatched & Thriving.

My friends, all of these resources are helpful but the most important part of a study is LOVE. Let the love of Jesus fill you up and let it flow out to those in your small group. I cannot begin to thank you for your heart to serve others, especially those of us who are unequally yoked. We have been overlooked, ignored, even outcasts in the body for a long, long time. But, no more. Jesus sees our faith, our heart and our desire to know Him and to thrive in our marriage. Jesus sees our desire for our spouse's salvation and our children's.

THAT IS WHAT MATTERS.

Please know that the numbers (attendance) are of little consequence to Jesus. Many would like to attend but struggle with the lable "unequally yoked." Don't you worry about the numbers, you serve those who sign up because God loves them and has called you to show them hope and healing through His transforming love even in the midst of overwhelming circumstances.

From the bottom of my heart, please know that I treasure you and Dineen and I pray for all of the small groups. Mostly Jesus want's to say to you, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Thank you for serving the Kingdom of God. Hugs, Lynn Donovan

O Lord, Almighty God, I bring each small group leader before you as they prepare to lead others to your promises, your hope and your healing for their lives. God anoint them with the Holy Spirit fire to share truth, give courage, encourage others and to live their faith with boldness. Lord, bless them richly for their efforts. Father, protect them from the enemy and protect their family. Seal their marriage and family under your divine power and provision. Let them laugh and cry and grow more in love with you as they serve for a season those of us who live with hope in our unequally yoked marriage. In the powerful, life-tranforming name of Jesus. Amen.

*****

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-

Covers Three Books


God, I Need to Hear From You

IStock_000014889792XSmallEver have one of those weeks where you end in a completely different place than where you started? That’s what happened to me last week and this was the prayer of my heart.

God, I need to hear from You.

I needed direction, guidance and affirmation. You name it, I needed. Life had taken a 180 and bit me in the face. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, what direction to go, or even what decisions needed to be made. I needed to hear from God very clearly and I asked Him very directly.

God, I need to hear from You.

Sunday morning I read from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. The reading for September 2nd spoke of how we “scurry around, trying to accomplish things through our own strength and ability.” And in that process we miss living our lives in collaboration with God.

I don’t have that problem but then again I do. I try to live my life in collaboration with God so much so that I’m scurrying around so busily that I sometimes miss what He’s doing! I forget that He’s the whole reason I write, speak and serve others. I forget to talk with God first before I start doing.

And part of this reading was 2 Cor 12:9-10, a verse that God brings to my attention frequently.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

There was my guidance. I went to church later that morning and guess what our pastor spoke about? Yep, same issue. That we get so caught up in what we’re doing that we forget what we’re really about. We forget that the first and most important piece of work we are to do, is pray.

Pray.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. — Col 4:2

There was my direction. I returned home from church, jumped into doing some work that’s hounding me to get done, took a break and read the Forty Days of Prayer email from Max Lucado. In it he said,

“The flagship assignment of the church is prayer. Feed the hungry? Counsel the confused? Teach the lost? Absolutely. But first, we pray. The primary activity of a local church is intercession and worship.”

And there was my affirmation.

I prayed in the midst of the chaos that hit me and my family last week and God spoke. He used a devotional that pointed to Scripture, my pastor and a message in an email. God’s answers usually come in threes like that for me. It wasn’t the clear message telling me what to do that I’d hoped for. Instead, God gave me a reminder that I needed much more.

That in the chaos of life that makes us feel confused and weak, He is strong. That in whatever I do, I need to remember to pray first, that there lies my first and most important work of the day. That I am not required to be perfect and get things right before I can have God’s grace. His grace is there before I even begin and mine to find strength and direction from.

I prayed for an answer and God gave me Himself.

I don’t know if I’m making sense. It’s all part of that waiting and trusting thing again. My directions are clear for now.

Pray. Wait. Trust.

And while I’m doing all that, can I boast at how incredibly weak I am?

Lord Jesus, may your power rest on us weaklings as we wait on You.

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-

Covers Three Books


Weekend Devo— What's Your Mountain Top?

IMG_1677
This is the hilltop in the middle of a park that's in walking distance to my home. In the background you see the hills that back up behind the cluster and crowded homes in my neiborhood. This place is my mountain top where I sometimes go to walk and pray—an oasis in the middle of our busy and noisey community. This week I met a young man named Jaun who spontanteously started talking to me and we spent a half hour sharing our faith. I love God's family.

These hills hold a special place in my heart because God used them to minister to me at a very crucial time. We were on our way to get Leslie's diagnosis and we had no idea what we were about to find out. Literally, as I sat in my car at a traffic light looking at these hills, I turned on the radio and Casting Crowns "Praise You in This Storm" was playing. The first words I heard were:

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth

So now, everytime I look a these suede-like rolling hills, I remember where my help comes from. It is a sweet reminder to me of God's faithfulness and goodness.

How about you? What's your mountain top?

Praying & believing,
Dineen 

 

Read more: CASTING CROWNS - PRAISE YOU IN THIS STORM LYRICS http://www.metrolyrics.com/praise-you-in-this-storm-lyrics-casting-crowns.html#ixzz259alUavP 
Copied from MetroLyrics.com 

*****

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-

Covers Three Books