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17 entries from October 2012

Over 100 Emails and 8 Countries!!!

6a00d83451ee9f69e2014e8a1f06d0970d-320wiMy friends, the responses to re-sign have been amazing—over one hundred emails and 74 requests for the certificates and wristbands! Women from Canada, Croatia, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Jamaica, England and all over the U.S. have written and so many have said that God had been moving them in this direction too! God is moving BIG, my friends, BIG!  I believe we are seeing just the beginning of something major as God moves to bring revival across the world and also in our marriages. AMAZING!!!

Our "I re-sign!" wristbands are still in the works. I will send them out as soon as they show up on my doorstep! I'd hoped they'd arrive sooner but a check in with the company shows they're taking longer than expected. So hang tight and stand firm in your decision to re-sign.

Below is one of the email replies I received from Stacey Daley who has so graciously and willingly agreed to share her testimony. Please take note of how Stacey followed God's leading and the promptings of the Holy Spirit to help her speak in truth and with courage:

It seems over the past 4 years I have been taking tip-toe steps with a hop periodically. I had never boldly claimed my love for Christ to Brian. He only saw the outward changes and watched as I transformed and took note of how much time I was reading the Bible. After 4 years he became accustomed to it.

Well, about 6 months ago I sold out for Christ to my husband. It was one of those moments I took a dose of Holy Courage and with Holy Boldness shared from my heart what I believe and why. And then I ran to the bedroom, hit the floor on my knees and praised God for giving me the courage to speak the truth and as the tears poured out I asked God to use the truth to his glory. I was convinced that Brian would be so put off by my confidence in Christ that it would send him running in the opposite direction. But, again, I didn't preach... I made a statement of faith and left it at that. What I didn't share with you is that when I read your message about resigning... I had just had a spat with my husband...

Our spats typically go like this: He says or does something hurtful and I become silent. We don't fight, we just avoid each other. I realized that I had allowed the enemy to wedge his way in and cause my focus to drift from praying for Brian to complaining about his insensitivity (silent complaining, but complaining non-the-less). As long as I was complaining and not living joyfully the enemy was doing a victory dance.

God called me out on it. He used your message to open my eyes. I sat down and typed an apology letter to Brian. Knowing him, he probably didn't even realize that I was giving him the silent treatment, but I felt led to apologize. And again, I shared deeply, feeling led by the Spirit... Here is an excerpt,

"that instead of being frustrated with your emotions this week I should have been praying for you like I normally do, but I was distracted by my pity-party attitude. I don’t want the enemy to sneak in and destroy the union between us. I want our union to be blessed. I want to be the godly wife that God calls me to be. I want to learn more, to increase my knowledge of the Word and to apply it to my life… our life. I want to protect our marriage by placing guard rails on our path… our journey through life together, so that no man, or woman will come between us intending our union harm." I told him that I wanted to recommit to him, not only in sickness and health, but even through bad moods and frustrations that may or may not be directed at me. "I will honor you as my husband, and lift you up in prayer asking God to fill you with knowledge and wisdom...."

Then I went on to tell him the things that I pray for him. I know the Holy Spirit was directing my words as they were said in love... "I pray that God will give you peace and security knowing that you are accepted and not rejected by Him. That He will free you from self-consciousness that can imprison your soul. That He will show you who you really are, that you are in the image of Christ. That you will hear the words, “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you; the glory of the Lord is your strength.”

I closed with, "I pray that together we will learn to walk in the Spirit, in order that we might bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That God will unite our bond of friendship, commitment, generosity and understanding...and that He would eliminate our immaturity, hostility or feelings of inadequacy. That He will help us to take advantage of alone time to nurture and renew our marriage and remind ourselves of the reasons we were married in the first place. I pray that our love for each other will grow stronger every day…. And that nothing will come into our hearts and habits that would threaten our marriage in any way. I pray that we will search for answers together and that we will learn to trust God and have the faith that will move mountains. I pray that God will open the eyes of our hearts so that we may understand."

So that was a few days ago, and he has not responded with words. He will read, reread, chew on it for a couple of days or weeks and one day it will come up. But in the mean time the Holy Spirit is working in his heart and soul. The seeds you have been planting all along have been watered by God. With the knowledge I have gained from your posts, and praying the prayers from "Power of a Praying Wife," God has truly blessed me by nurturing the seeds that were planted deep in the soil of my soul.

I can only hope that some day I can touch the hearts of women who are hurting as you have touched my heart. To answer your question; I would be honored if you would like to use any part of my story. It's the least I can do...

Thank you again, from the depths of my soul for using your Spiritual gifts and touching so many lives.

Your Sister in Christ,
Stacey Daley

Thank you, Stacey, for sharing your heart and how God led you through this time to not just show your faith but to speak it. When God leads us to such a place, He is right there not only working in and through us, but also in our spouse as well. Believe it!

My precious friends, I pray this encourages you! Lynn and I pray for you all constantly and love you all so dearly!
Praying & believing!
Dineen 

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Winning Him Without Words – or NOT!

Today’s post will mess you up. 

I’m compelled by the Holy Spirit to bring some clarity to the words: 

Winning Him Without Words. 

I’m taking this detour in our posts away from our Holy Spirit theme because as I was on my walk-n-pray I was overcome with God’s righteous anger and His frustration over this passage in 1 Peter 3:1. 

First, Winning Him Without Words can become a tool of the enemy. Now don’t get your pants in a twist, Let me explain. 

Read with me 1 Peter 3:1-2: Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 

I know, I know… You are thinking, “Oh here we go again with this submissive thing.” 

Believe me, I would be thinking the same thing. Submissive teaching has been so overly misused in the church it’s a wonder we aren’t all seriously screwed up. But, this scripture actually is filled with such power and liberation for women when you realize its true meaning and how to apply it to our lives. 

I think all we need to do is examine this passage in a real-life setting. In marriages such as ours that deal with problems like spiritual disconnect, arguments over moral ground and over issues such as pornography, alcoholism, mental illness, immaturity, etc. THESE are the real things we are dealing with in the 21st century. So how can this verse bring light and freedom to our lives? 

We must read this verse for what it is AND for what it is not. 

I’m convinced that this passage is specifically calling me as a wife to firstly respect my husband and specifically through genuine (not faked) humility. And as a Type-A wife, this is not an easy task. Humble respect begins through a surrendered life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Period. The end. 

I also believe this passage is specific to one area of marriage. Belief in Jesus. Read it again. Now let this passage sink in and bring the power it was intended into your heart, soul and relationship. Hear me now. It is the surrendered life to Christ that creates a purity and reverence. And it’s our purity and reverent living that affects our husband’s faith. 

What this verse is not: 

It is NOT our preaching such as subtle digs about his lack of morality or spouting off scripture or sharing our “rightness” over his “wrongness.” Nor is it our nagging him for church attendance. And it’s not our complaining to our girlfriends that he is a failure as a spiritual leader of our home. 

This scripture brings power into our marriage when we clearly understand that it is our husband’s view as he watches us love Jesus in our everyday, ordinary. When we are sold out, head over heels, in love with Jesus we become irresistible. To our spouse, our children and others that we encounter. 

I Peter 3 is also misconstrued in that we want to apply it to every area of our relationship with our husband. 

WRONG! 

If you are dealing with your spouse who is caught up in an addiction such as pornography, gambling, alcoholism (any addiction), the absolute worst thing you can do is remain quiet. This also is the same for emotional, physical and controlling abuse. 

I’m of the strongest opinion that when dealing with these issues in a marriage you need to not only be talking but talking loudly. And by that I mean talk to your spouse. If he won’t listen, talk to a counselor. Read Christian books to help you navigate these issues and find healing for your spouse and ultimately for yourself and your children. 

When Jesus walked the earth He brought healing and he rebuked many who were in sin. He didn’t remain quiet. He used His words, His powerful words to speak healing and to turn many away from sin that would not only destroy a person in this life but also the next. 

You may say to me, “Yeah, Lynn, this is easy for you to say but you don’t deal with all that I deal with. You don’t know how scared I am. You don’t know the paralyzing fear I face every single day. You don’t know a thing about the alcohol, the porn, the violence.” 

You are right. I don’t understand but Jesus KNOWS. He knows every detail and has heard your cry for help. 

This very post that you are reading right now may be His answer to your pleading cries of prayer. Jesus will help you walk the scary road ahead. But, to take the first step to your deliverance, you must realize that hiding behind scripture hoping and praying is actually a twisted tool of the devil. God is pleading with you to examine your situation and to have courage to take steps for healing. 

Ask yourself a couple of questions. 

  1. Is my struggle only a spiritual mismatch or are there more issues at play in your marriage? i.e. anger, addictions, infidelity, immaturity, financial neglect/abuse, mental illness, family influence/interference. I’m sure there are more. I just can’t think of more right now.
  2. Have I taken the proper and efficient steps in the past to address these significant problems? 

Okay, right now some of you would like to take me to the woodshed and pound my hide. I KNOW that many of you who are living with some of these destructive behaviors have done your part and to no avail. Please, now accept my humble apology because I have talked with many of you and I absolutely know you have done all you can. 

I also know that there are many who are confused about the application of this passage and have not stepped into the zone of intervention and recovery.

Do I believe God can instantly change and heal our spouses? I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE God can and He does. In my experience, however, God mostly chooses to work through people as that is how we grow in our faith and it’s God’s best teaching method (we don’t forget as easily). 

Is God calling you to step into Joshua courage and deal with issues in your marriage that perhaps are more than a spiritually mismatch? If so, don’t be upset. God wants you to be healed. If I had an issue such as these, I would gather my courage, a few friends around me and make a phone call. Call AA or AL-anon, the spousal-abuse hotline, my pastor, or call today to set up a visit with a Christian counselor. Start attending Celebrate Recovery. I would call Focus on the Family counselors. I would read great books written by Christian authors and mostly, I would take some small action step toward healing. 

Just understanding more about the issues you face and finding resources can change everything. Please, don’t be angry with me and feel free to share your thoughts about how we might discern the difference from a spiritual mismatch and other issues that affect our marriages. Hugs, Lynn

 

More information about Pornography: Help, My Spouse Likes _____ and I Don't. Simple Marriage.

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

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What Do We Do With Halloween?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comWhat do we do with Halloween?

Each year when October 31st rolls around I find it fascinating how many of us in the Christian community struggle to know what to do with this day. Is it a holiday? Should we celebrate it? Do we allow our kids to participate in Trick-or-Treat? Is it a sin if they do?

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The above is an excerpt from an article I share every year. To read the rest, click here, What Do We Do With Halloween.

Hugs, Lynn

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I'm Praying. Want to Listen In????

Hi,

On Monday I shared Luke 9: 1-2 with you and how these two verses have changed how I pray. I also asked about sharing a video of how I pray with these verses and I'm astonished that a number of you wanted to listen in. Thank you my friends.

As you listen to this video, please don't hear the voice of Lynn Donovan but hear your own voice praying and imagine God listening intently to you as He sits on His throne poised and anxious to move at your words.

Whoa!!!

My friends, there's an army rising up! The time is now. So, after listening in, then head to the comments and let's pray like we mean it and pray how God has intended for us to pray all along.

Thank you Jesus! I just marvel at how you became a man to model for us how to live in God's presence, to serve Him and to flourish in a human body and in a broken world. Thank you. Thank you for finding us not only worthy but ready to share your power and authority. Jesus I pray we use it well and use it with Your wisdom. May we always be about our Father's business. In your name and by the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen

Praying Luke 9: 1-2 with Lynn Donovan from Spiritually Unequal Marriage on Vimeo.

Praying with the power and authority of Christ.

I love you. I really love you, Lynn

*****

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I Re-Sign!

 On October 19, 2012, Karen Williams wrote: I Re-sign! 

Dear Dineen and Lynn, 

I appreciated your post on Monday.  After reading it several times and understanding the seriousness of the commitment I prayed it out loud and mentally signed my name.  I know I am ready for this as God has been leading me down a similar path this summer.  

I had been praying and asking God to show me/teach me how to love my husband as He does, how to see Him as He does.  He answered that prayer by explaining how He saw me and sees me today.  Because He knows the beginning from the end He has always known what my potential is.  He created me with a plan and purpose in mind and sees the end result from the very beginning. If I truly believe this for myself (which I now do) then I have to believe that this is the way He looks at my husband (and all my family members).  He created Andrew (my husband) with a plan and purpose.  And He is in relentless pursuit of my husband, always working to bring that plan to fruition.  He sees my husband in the end result, knows what he is capable of (because He created him that way) and LONGS for my husband to become what He has in mind.  

This really blew me away at the time because I had been so focused for so long on what my husband has been or is.  Things like....narcissistic, catholic, workaholic.  God showed me that these labels I had put on him were like putting him in a jail cell.  Not only was he not free to change, I had been the one to lock him into that place. There was also some work God was doing on forgiveness with me so after time in prayer working on forgiving my husband for not being who I wanted him to be and asking God to forgive me for how I had sinned against my husband all these years He helped me to set him free from the jail cell.  He planted His love in me in a new way that enables me to see my husband as He sees him and love him with the love of Christ.  

I thought that that was an amazing experience but the best was yet to come!  A few days after this time with the Lord was our 30th wedding anniversary.  In the past these were pretty uneventful, often very disappointing, days for me.  I really expected nothing different this time.  My husband was scheduled to be traveling on our actual anniversary so we planned to eat out for dinner after he got back. Other than that I thought it would pass just like it was any other day.  But God!  

First, my husband came home with two dozen roses and a card...three days ahead of time! (Sometimes he would buy a card and forget to sign it and I'd find it later or you knew he stopped on the way home for work as a last minute thing).  His cards up until then were always the funny type, never serious.  Frequently with sexual overtones. But this time it was serious!  The front said "Life isn't perfect but love doesn't care".  That got me right there!  It was as if God was speaking right to my heart...isn't this how He was asking me to live with my husband...to love him despite our differences?  I took it as confirmation I had been hearing God correctly.  

Then the inside said "Thanks for loving me through it all".  You have to understand my husband rarely apologizes for anything and isn't too good at acknowledging others for their contributions so this was VERY big to me!  Then he asked me for 30 more years!  My husband blessed me and God blessed me with that card that day.  He also surprised me with a very expensive piece of jewelry (also very uncharacteristic of him) so I was really blown away by it all.  

There was a dynamic shift in our relationship. When God dealt with me and I changed my thoughts and ways...somehow in His economy....it freed my husband at the same time it freed me.  I know that sounds weird but I think you will understand.  I stopped looking at him as the Unbeliever and more as someone who just wasn't a believer yet. This was just about the time you all were seeing a similar revelation!  God is so amazing and so wonderful!  I just love that you are where you are and I am here but He helps us reach the same conclusion!  

I prayed and fasted with you all back in January and the word God gave me was "expectant".  I have been sitting on the edge of my seat ever since!!  Something IS right around the corner. I felt it then and I still feel it now.  As the year has gone by I have read and heard others saying the same thing...it is very exciting!  

At this point I want nothing more than to be with Jesus.  I long to see His face.  Taking my eyes off of my husband, and my supposed lack, and keeping them on Him has eliminated the stress, the disappointment, the hardship.  I have been set free, free to love my husband and he is free to love me back.  Not sure he is aware there are any changes but I sure see them.  God has brought me to a place where I know I need nothing more than Him, and Him alone.  Everything after that is icing on the cake, the exceeding and abundant life He promises. 

I look forward to the coming days and weeks as you both share what happened at Bethel.   Won't lie, a little jealous, but I will continue to seek Him in my quiet time here and I know He will show up.  Blessing to you both and thank you for all you have done and all you do! Sure wish we lived closer so we could talk in person and I could give you real hugs!  

Love you sisters!
Karen Williams

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Restoring the Holy Spirit

HiResMy precious friends, I am overwhelmed with joy in all that God is doing in our SUM community right now. The response to His call to “re-sign” has been astounding! ASTOUNDING!!! I. Am. In. Awe. I have inbox full of these wonderful requests so please be patient with me as I pray through each one. I will reply to every single email.

I want to share so much of this crazy journey God has Lynn and I on. We both will be doing this in the days and weeks to come. And it will go onward, I dare say. So please come with us!

So, let me start at a beginning, a preparation that God sent to me for what was to come.

While I was in Hawaii, my husband and would go and watch the sunrise on the beach each morning, then I would sit on our patio and read my Bible and praise God until my hubby came back out to share breakfast with me.

On my first morning, this little bird came up to me (right at my feet!), made a kind of moan-humming noise, then clicking sounds, then he proceeded to tip forward and spread his tail feathers at me. I was delighted! I giggled! I thanked God for such a precious gift.

IMG_1770The next morning, this little guy came back and had breakfast with me, feasting on the crumbs I left on my plate. Then to my complete and total shock, he hopped onto my knee! And there he perched. I saw it as another precious delight from God.

Here I’d asked for one of those feathers Lynn had been talking about and God sent me the whole bird! (I still laugh on that one!) This showed me again that when we let go of what we think we need and/or want, and trust God with it, He gives us even more than we imagined or thought possible because we are no longer limiting His work in our lives and marriages.

What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that God intended to use this little bird, which turned out to be a Zebra Dove, to prepare my heart to receive even more. While Lynn and I were at the Open Heavens conference, Bill Johnson spoke of protecting the presence of the Holy Spirit and likened it to a dove sitting on our shoulder. He cautioned us to walk carefully in our faith and service to God lest the dove fly away.

I thought again of that Zebra Dove perched on my knee as stayed still and watched in wonder. I began to understand how I had limited the Holy Spirit in my life. How I had unknowingly shrugged His presence off years ago out of fear and pride and had not shown Him the respect He is was due.

I repented and confessed all this. I asked the Holy Spirit for forgiveness and asked Him to return to me. That I would do whatever He wanted to serve Him and others if He would just restore His presence over me (yes, Jesus’ Spirit still indwells me, but I had stopped His power from flowing through me).

I can only explain it as feeling like a floodgate burst open. His presence and power flooded over me! Chills ran down my body from head to foot, except I wasn’t cold and exhibited no bumps. And I remembered this—I remembered feeling His presence years ago as a fresh believer before I allowed my pride and fear to push Him away.

There’s still so much I’m learning about all this, but I do believe this is what the Bible speaks of when it says to “walk in the Spirit.” When we walk in the Spirit’s leading, we become very sensitive to the world around us. We begin to see it through the eyes of Christ and we come from a place of love. What breaks Jesus’ heart, breaks ours. Those He loves, we love too, which is everyone you see and meet! And we pray in strength and authority, instead of fear and doubt!

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self- discipline. — 2 Timothy 1:7

It is a strangely wonderful and beautifully overwhelming place that has radically changed how I live my faith. God healed me of some things deep in my heart and freed me during the Open Heavens conference. Just this week, I’ve called myself a Jesus-freak in reply to something my husband asked. His reaction? He just smiled. And another time when I was concerned over a personal issue and without a thought, I said to him, “If you believed in God, I’d ask you to pray for me.” My husband’s response was to ask what was wrong.

These are things I NEVER would have said to my husband before, because I was too afraid of his reaction or too concerned of what he might think of me. That is God, my friends. That is what happens when we give Him free reign in us to do what He wants. The Holy Spirit moves big time when we let go and trust Him.

Praying & believing,
Dineen

*****

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Pray With Power, Real Power

I’m writing to you on a Sunday afternoon. The rain has been gentle outside. The birds at my feeder are engaged in boisterous tweets as they tussle for the seeds. My exhausted daughter is having a nap and I can hear the crowd noise coming from the family room where my crazed husband watches and tracks his Fantasy Football score. And my friends, I’m privileged to spend some precious time with you. 

Walking with the Holy Spirit this past week has been full of firsts and fascination. I’m discovering that you must protect the Holy Spirit. And in the not-far-off future I will be writing to tell you about this and why we must protect the spirit. But today I want to share another experience from the conference at Bethel. 

As I look back over our conference experiences and process all that happened, I’m especially moved by the other attendees that God placed around us. Not only did we encounter wisdom, teaching and His presence from the speakers and worship but God placed unique individuals around us that spoke enormous truth and healing into us. God KNEW what we needed and sent each one at the right moment. Wait until I tell you about the woman who prayed for us in the women’s restroom. I kid you not. It was crazy but awesome.


Maria
Maria
Today I want to tell you about Maria. 

On the last day of the conference, I “happened” to sit right next to Maria. I think we only spoke for perhaps 15 minutes but our brief exchanged changed everything about how I pray. And now I want you to know what I learned. 

Maria lives in San Diego which is only an hour away from where I reside. So funny to meet her in Redding. We introduced ourselves to one another and I can’t remember the exact progression of the conversation but we didn’t waist anytime and the next thing I knew she was sharing with me her ministry. She serves at the ROCK (church) in San Diego and is part of the church ministry that helps former porn stars escape that trade and find Jesus.   

Can I just say: AWESOME! 

Well she started to tell me how there is a lot of demon possession in those who are emerging from adult films. She then began to tell me about her conversion experience and how she was placed on the fast track to learn to pray against the devils and evil. Whoa! 

She had me at hello. 

Anyway, what follows is the cliff note version as I try to rack my brain to remember the details. 

She said, “Look up Luke 9:1-2.” 

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 

Okay now get this. She told me that Jesus has given His disciples (that would be us) power and authority to cast out ALL demons and to cure diseases. 

Good grief I’ve read this verse a million times but on this day…… For the first time, I ACTUALLY BELIEVED IT and believed this verse applied to me personally. I believed I had authority and power over satan and his realms. 

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Maria's Husband, Rick

Maria went on to give me an example of how this works in her life. “I was standing in line at the pharmacy recently. And there were two women at the counter talking to the girl who was waiting on them. They began to get loud and scream at the poor girl. The tech behind the counter was getting more and more flustered.” 

“It was at that moment that I heard God say to me, “ ‘Take authority over this.’” So I began to pray: Right now I take authority over the spirits of anger and evil that are present in these two women and in the name of Jesus, I command them to leave.” As I watched, these two just picked up and headed out the pharmacy door.” 

“When I reached the counter, I told the clerk that I had been praying for her. She said to me with relief in her voice, “Thank you so much, I needed it.” 

I’m sure my mouth hit the floor as she recounted this story. She also went on to tell a similar story about an encounter in her ministry where a woman was swearing and cussing and creating all kinds of havoc. She prayed, took authority over the spirits and then commanded them to leave in Jesus name. Immediately the woman’s demeanor changed and she settled down. 

My friends, MY FRIENDS, this is what Luke 9:1-2 is all about. Notice that we are to preach the Kingdom of God. It’s our purpose and privilege to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. To cast out the demons and bring healing. ALL of this is for us. But is for us to give away. Never forget that. 

Okay, so on the car ride back to the airport after the conference, I was sitting in the passenger seat and I wanted to pray. So I began to pray out loud and loudly with authority over my home, my husband, my daughter. I prayed authority over Dineen and her home, girls and Mike. I prayed authority over Heidi’s house, husband and children. Man, I felt the Holy Spirit descend upon me and I started shaking and fresh fire lit me up until I broke out in a sweat. God birthed in me some kind of power to pray like this. And I saw results immediately when I came home. (More on that later.) 

I also follow up these prayers asking for the Holy Spirit to then fill the person or situation for which I’m praying. I ask God to fill them with love, truth, compassion, empathy, etc. I follow the Spirit’s prompting. So not only is there a casting out of evil but a filling up of God’s Spirit. Whoa! 

I have prayed like this over many situations I’ve encountered since the conference. It’s life changing. And this is what we are supposed to be doing for the Kingdom. I pray daily now over my husband and children. I pray for strangers. I have prayed for some of you over the phone and in private. 

Luke 9:1-2 has changed my life forever. I have so much more to say about this but I’m wondering if you would be interested in hearing how I now pray? I could record how I pray and post it on YouTube for Friday. Would that be helpful? Would you listen to it? Not sure if I need to do this or not. You let me know. 

Today, on this beautiful fall day, it is peaceful. But I know that tomorrow I will confront the face of evil somewhere but I AM NOT AFRAID. I choose love! And love decimates fear every… single…. time…. 

Choose love my friends, God’s love. Pray with the power and authority that has already been given to you. 

On Friday, I will talk about how my view of Spiritual Warfare has changed as well. Let me know about recording a prayer. I love you. I REALLY LOVE YOU. Lynn

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Living In The Presence

My friends, it is impossible….. 

It is impossible to stand in the presence of Almighty God and not be changed. 

Little did three unsuspecting women know what God had in store for us. We stepped out in faith and with a hunger to discover more about God. We were not, WE WERE NOT, disappointed. 

My friends, so much happened to us that my head is spinning. So much is STILL happening and I want to shout it to you. I want you to know what I know. I want you to live in the presence with Dineen and I and if it is all I write about for the rest of my life, then I have fulfilled my calling. I’m going to try to take you through some of our experiences, praying with passion, that as you read them on the computer screen you will begin to experience God’s powerful love as well. 

Let me give you a glimpse of what I will be writing about in the coming months.While at the conference:

  • I had a God encounter that brought me to the floor, TWICE. The second time was so wild that I don’t even know how to tell you about it yet.
  • Dineen and I experienced Holy Laughter.
  • We watched God heal people’s physical bodies all around us and in us (this is a future Heidi story).
  • We saw gold dust. Worshiped among the nations with power. We LOVED. 

And we are in love. 

This is only a few of our experiences and as we traveled in the car on the way back to the airport, He birthed something new and that has been growing in us since then. It is powerful, centered in love and transforming. More on that too and what has happened since then. 

I asked God what to share with you today. And He impressed upon me to share just a few things. 

God is desperate for you. He holds you, your spouse, your marriage and your family in His very hand. He also has so much to teach you so get ready because we are going to continue our journey in the Kingdom and my friends, it is EPIC! 

I want to share a tiny bit about how we ended up at Bethel church in Redding, CA. Do you remember I said months ago, several, several times, that God is moving and there is something happening in the spiritual realm that He wants our community to be part of? Well, this is it. It’s a modern day revival. I always wondered what the old-time revivals were like, what they looked like, how they affected the people. And now I have witnessed it firsthand. In fact, I’m living in it now as we speak. 

In July I heard about Bethel and the amazing things that were happening there. I did some checking about the church and discussed it with several of my trusted and Godly friends. And then immediately registered for the next conference. Then discovered I couldn’t afford the airfare, travel, hotel, etc. Well after an astonishing answer to prayer and an even more miraculous string of events that is too long to share here, God provided the money and the people to travel with me. 

We arrived at the church and began to meet God’s people. People came from everywhere around the globe. Here is a photo of Nikki and Tim. They are brother and sister and arrived from England.

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We met them as we stood in line. And then proceeded to stand in line with them for the rest of the conference. We adore them both. We met people from all over America and travelers from Switzerland, Scotland, and Germany. People arrived from Venezuela, Hong Kong, the Philippines. It was a calling and we came. 

So today, God wants me to share the sights and photos so you can visually bring yourself into this journey. The photos are below. I will be talking about some of the people in them at length as we journey forward. 

But today I have to ask you this. Did you re-sign? Did you read Dineen’s post from Monday? If not, after this head over there. I want to share this photo with you. 

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On Friday, October 12, 2012 at the speaker’s prompting, I wrote down this commitment. And I also wrote down “A New Gift!” Well God takes this re-sign - thing very serious and He gave me a new gift. More on that to come. 

So I’m asking you to re-sign this week. You are part of Dineen's and my heart. This community is going to walk this re-sign together and be hungry for all God wants to give. In order to take this journey, I must ask of you two things. These two things I asked of Heidi and Dineen as we rode in the car together toward Redding last Wednesday. 

One: Be very careful to not judge. God warned me that it was not my place to judge others in how they choose to worship God or experience him. I cast out, with determined purpose, to not look upon one other person with judgment or with condemnation. Doing so would deny my entrance into His presence. 

Two: Enter in without expectations and with great expectation. Leave all your preconceived ideas about what you want from God through this experience out of this journey. God hates agendas. He gives unto each of His people in vastly different ways. He also manifests His presence in various ways to an individual. Don’t expect to see gold dust but be filled with wonder and joy if you do. 

Expect to have an encounter with God. I pleaded with God for months in my prayers like this: Lord I am so hungry for more of You. I will pay whatever the cost. I just want more. I want Your presence. I will travel great distances. I will surrender my dignity. I just want more.

God LOVES to answer these kinds of prayers. And my friends, there is a cost. 

Attending this conference caused a paradigm shift and it comes down to two things. Today I’m going to share a statement and I will ask this question of you frequently in the weeks ahead. 

Here we go: Everything we do, all of our thoughts, actions, intentions, attitudes are driven out of two things: Fear or love. 

Really think this through. Think about some of your current conflicts are they fear driven or driven by love. 

Love and fear cannot co-exist. And that is the power we have over the devils in the spiritual realm and every relationship we have. We are going to talk a lot about love. Love of our God for us and our love for people. If you walk this with me, I will make a promise to you about a few things. 

One: You will begin to see things differently. I went to Wal-Mart on Monday and my friends, for the first time I SAW people. I really saw them. I can’t wait to tell you what happened. 

Two: You will encounter God like you didn’t know was possible. You will change. Everything will change in you and around you. 

Three: Your marriage will be a blissful place, a place of power and love and thriving. 

Okay, I’m sure there is much more but let’s discover together as we step into this “revival thing.” Let’s not be left out but be part of what God is doing on earth. 

For today, re-sign with Dineen (see Monday’s post). Contemplate where you are living. In fear? In love. 

Here are the photos. On Monday we will talk about a single verse of the Bible that was given to me at the conference that radically changed everything for me. I love you and now when I say this it seems to be so shallow as I have said it to you in the past. But my friends, 

I REALLY, REALLY LOVE YOU. Lynn

 

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Dineen, Heidi, Lynn. The first night.


 

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Wait till I tell you about the Worship!

 

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Lynn, Bill Johnson, Dineen. The first night.

 

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Heidi, Bill and Lynn

 

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My favorite photo. It's on my desktop now.

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Heidi in front of this cool painting that they painted during worship.


 

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Heidi, Dineen in worship. Loved the young men from North Carolina who sat behind us this night. Awesome.

 

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Long after the end of the second day. We sat in the auditorium and experienced a serene, peaceful presence. I didn't want to leave. So we stayed for a long time.

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This was a profoundly healing moment for Heidi.

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And there was hilarity. I laughed and cried and laughed and cried some more.

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The end of the third night. Three women profoundly changed for eternity.

I have more photos and will share them as we move forward. Be blessed, be encouraged increase, and breakthrough and power and fresh-fire, I pray for you. <3 Lynn

 

 

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Redefining My Marriage

1228973_love_1Many of you know Lynn and I were at the Open Heavens conference at Bethel Church in Redding, CA last week. She and I are still processing much of it and God is still moving and doing things to confirm and move us in this faith journey.

Let me tell you, it’s deep stuff and one part I fee led to share with you today. So bare with me. This post might sting a little. But it’s like that antiseptic on a wound that stings at first but as it helps, the underlying pain goes away and the wound begins to heal.

Are you ready for some shaking up and then some healing?

I’ve shared in our book (chapter 4) God showed me (at a traffic light no less!) that I shouldn’t treat my husband any differently than if he were a believer.

Well, this past week I was convicted of this same principle in my marriage. Here’s my confession. I have treated my marriage as “less than.” I have treated my marriage as if it were defined by our spiritual mismatch. I have seen my marriage as a “yes, but.”

Does that resonate with you?

God is telling me to stop this. He wants me to see my marriage like I would if we were a believing couple. It doesn’t make sense but it does. Just go with me here.

Jesus treated every person and situation He met the same. He didn’t stop and take inventory of where the person or situation stood because He didn’t have to. His truth is universal REGARDLESS of whether a person or situation falls under his authority. Jesus acted according to what He knew to be true (what the Father told Him) and it was often after this that the person or situation then came under His authority.

God made His point that day at the traffic light about treating Mike no differently in his state of unbelief than I would if he were a believer. Now God is telling me to do this very same thing with my marriage.

This is what God showed me. When I see my marriage only through the definition of being spiritually mismatched, I limit God. It’s not my spouse’s unbelief that has limited God’s presence and power in my marriage, it’s my own fear of how my husband might react or what he might think of me, and my doubts.

If you’re like me when I first heard that, it took me a day to process it. It’s a shift in my thinking and perceptions but one I fully intend to obey. I’ve already confessed this to my sweet hubby who promptly smiled and said, “Right! We’re just different.”

Oh, how I love that guy. Is that not a measure of grace right there?

Now here comes your part. If this resonates with you, if you feel God’s tug to do the same (this is not just for me, my friends, and you’ll see why in just a few lines down), then I want you to pray the prayer below and make a new commitment to your marriage. If you need more time to think and process, that’s fine too.

Are you ready?

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If you prayed this prayer, mentally sign your name. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step! Email me at dineen@dineenmiller.com with your name and address so I can mail you a copy of the certificate that you can sign and tuck into your Bible or put in a frame. Lynn and I also ordered some nifty wristbands with the words “I re-sign!” I’ll send you one of those as well.

I will also pray for each one of you by name (include your hubby’s name!) to step into this new way of seeing your marriage, and for God to show you your next step. Lynn has more in store for you later in the week too.

Lynn and I re-signed! How about you?

Praying & believing, Dineen

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Angry and Married

Today, I'm wondering how you have dealt with your mismatched marriage. Out of my mismatch came so much anger. Join me and some discussion over at the Cafe.

Oh, and this is my last post at the Cafe. I started writing there over six years ago. I kinda grew up as a writer there. But, God has given all of these opportunities to me for a season, such a time as this. I'm deeply thankful to the Lord for allowing me to share the hope I have in Jesus through the Cafe.

Join me today for Angry and Married.

Hugs, Lynn

 

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Weekend Worship — Colossians 1:9-14

Let's start with a prayer...

Precious Lord, we continue to ask You to fill us with the knowledge of Your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives us, so that we may live a life worthy of You, Lord, and please You in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of You, being strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to You, Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of Your holy people in the kingdom of light. For You have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son You love, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I shared in an earlier post about God telling me to receive His grace. I am changed! I can't even comprehend it all yet but will share more as I understand more. In the meantime, I want to share a song that has become the song of my heart right now. Brings me to tears to think what God has done for us. Turn it up, sing along and make it your song too. We are REDEEMED!!!

Praying & praising!
Dineen 

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The Culmination

Greetings Everyone,

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comAs you read this post today, Dineen and I along with one of my great friends, Heidi, who happens to live right behind my house are on our way to a Heaven's Open Conference in Redding, CA.

Dineen and I feel like this is the culmination of our entire series this summer, about bringing the Kingdom of God to earth. We are beyond excited. 

Did you know that Dineen and I have known each other for more than six years now and not once have we been in worship together. Wow. Well that all changes today. We will gather with a few thousand people tonight to worship and learn more about our Lord.

We are expecting our Lord to arrive with power and to change us. And that's just a little of what we are expecting from the next three days. The conference begins Wednesday evening, continues all day Thursday and Friday. We fly home on Saturday. 

So you can EXPECT some pretty fired up posts in the next few weeks as Dineen and I will be in the presence of our Father. We are especially listening for His direction for all you. So, EXPECT BIG things in your life in the next few months.

Many of you have traveled with me before. And I love that. So, if you are interested, I hope to be sharing photos and Tweets through out the conference as I can. (I hope cameras are allowed)

Please join us as we learn: Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven... 

Click on the following links to walk with us and we will see you on Monday with what we hope to share, a life-transforming experience for Lynn, Dineen and Heidi.

Lynn Donovan, Twitter

Lynn Donovan, Facebook

SUM, Twitter

Dineen Miller, Twitter

Dineen Miller, Facebook

It would mean the world to us if you would pray for us in the comments. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to anoint us, our community and this ministry to reach a world who is desperate for a Savior. 

BIG, excited, and love-filled hugs, Lynn

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A Day in the Life of a S.U.M.

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Hello, my dear friends! How I missed you this past week. I shared in my last post that my hubby and I were off to a get-away to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and have some R&R. Our destination?

Kauai, Hawaii.

Yes, truly and for real. This was our first time to visit this tropical paradise. We loved every bit of our time there to reconnect, relax and recharge. Okay, so that’s three “R”s instead of just R&R. But we are talking about Hawaii here.

This not so brave girl did things like Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP), kayaking, hiking in the rainforest to a waterfall, swimming in aforementioned waterfall, and traipsing around a chocolate farm (I know, such a hardship to taste new-to-me fruits and chocolate, but I managed to plug through...)

We packed a lot in our 5 days there. Even managed to coerce my hubby to take one afternoon to sit in a lounge chair by the beach and read his Kindle. (i.e. let your wife catch her breath.)

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Mike and I standing on lava...

But there’s one day I want to share with you because it so closely captures what we walk on a daily basis in our mismatched marriages and how God can take our difficult moments and turn them into blessings.

On our first day out I made the mistake (can I call it that lightly?) of bringing up God and creation. I think I was just so enamored with Kauai and the sweet gift of a Zebra Dove God sent in my quiet time to coo and spread his tail feathers at me. Right at my feet! Okay, that’s a story for another day.

So here we are in our Jeep rental with the top down and the Hawaiian breezes blowing through our hair and the vibrant colors of tropical flowers tickling our senses—how could I not think of God, right?

I start sharing because I’m thinking this is an opportunity for me to move toward him. To show him I’m willing to keep an open mind about God’s creation and how it all came about. I’m expecting that we’ll have this amiable conversation that will draw us closer, which is the whole point of our trip.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. He politely shut me down, saying he doesn’t want to have an argument.

What just happened? That’s not what I expected. My feelings are now hurt because my effort to meet him part way has been met with a roadblock. I really and truly thought this would turn out so much better. I withdraw and try to explain why I brought it up and he now feels horrible for upsetting me.

Have you been there? Or is a better question, how often have you been there?

Perhaps my efforts were also about defending my faith, which I sometimes still feel I need to do, even though I don’t. Or more likely, was I trying to defend God as Lynn talked about in yesterday’s post?

These are tough moments in our mismatched marriages. They’re places we can get stuck and ruminate in our hurt and feel misunderstood. It’s not easy to move past them, but I was determined to not let this ruin our day or even our trip.

Because here is what happened later that day. My husband and I headed to the northern part of the island in Princeville and found new wedding bands. My husband wanted do what we’d done on our 10th anniversary—we replaced our gold bands for silver and turquoise to commemorate our trip to Arizona.

IMG_1835We now have new bands that are tungsten with a center band made of Koa wood, which stands for boldness, strength and fearlessness. We exchanged rings on the beach the next morning in front of a gorgeous sunrise.

What’s my point? In just a matter of hours, my marriage picture shifted from one extreme to another. The best way I can describe this is to think of these moments as pictures in a scrapbook filled with images and memories. The idea is to move among these pictures that are held in a book that binds it all together. Not one specific picture is the entire book, nor does it likely define the entire album. And those blurry and not so great pictures? I know I don’t include the ones that are out of focus, have a finger hanging in them, or my eyes are shut. I want to leave room for the best pictures. The ones that capture the heart and meaning of the moment.

When we focus on just one picture, one aspect of our marriage like our spouse’s unbelief or difference in belief or whatever that may be for you, we miss the moments of blessings that God so desperately wants to bring to us, to bless us, to bless our spouse, to bless our marriage.

This album—the binding and the pages—is God’s presence and spirit weaving in and around, bringing everything in our lives together in this collection of memories, experiences, spiritual growth, and everything that defines and builds our lives and marriages. He is the one who holds it all together, whether our prebelievers know it or not!

Doesn’t that just blow you away? Our loved one’s choice to not follow or trust God right now doesn’t diminish or preclude God’s power or presence in our lives and marriages. Let that truth sink in deep into your heart, my precious friends. I want so much to pour that hope into you more than anything.

A moment in my hands and control ended in grief, but God brought it full circle and turned it into what I’d hoped for—a moment of connection and meaning. It just didn’t need to be focused on our faith differences. One of the greatest gifts you can give to your prebeliever is to not define your marriage by your faith disparity. And in keeping your focus on God instead, you give Him the gift of trust, which is another way to worship Him. There’s even a gift in there for us—living in peace and even joy because we know who’s really in control and we’re not worrying about our spouse’s state of belief.

God is there. God is BIG! And God is working. Believe it! Trust it. Even when you don’t see it. Rest in the truth of God and His love for us. Nothing is bigger or stronger than that.

Like 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

God’s love always prevails. Always. And it’s always, always, always about His love. Jesus is our greatest testimony to that.

Amen?

Praying & believing, Dineen

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Was Jesus a Democrat or Republican?

Christians-Democrat-or-Republican_2Yep, it’s that time again. Every four years the Presidential politics rise up around our nation and especially around the Donovan house. 

How about you? 

I’m daring to talk about politics today because if your house is anything like mine, politics is a deep chasm of which my husband and I stand on opposite sides. I’m not sure if you will agree with what I have to say but if you disagree, that’s okay, just do so with love. 

You will understand the significance of this story if I set a tiny bit of background before you. Most of you know I’ve been married twenty years. I grew up in a conservative place, Salt Lake City and was raised in an Evangelical home. My husband, well he did not. He grew up in a home without any kind of faith training and where “religion” was often mocked. He attended the University of California, Berkeley. 

Need I say more? 

Truly we are the ultimate odd couple. And our differences in our beliefs come bellowing to the front and center every four years when it’s time to elect a president. Now that I’ve walked this unequally yoked marriage for many years I have gained some perspective when it comes to politics in our mismatched home. 

What I find fascinating is how passionate I am about my beliefs. 

What I find fascinating is how passionate my husband is about his beliefs. 

Isn’t it curious that in order for candidates to obtain votes they need to be “right.” And when a candidate is “right about something” that makes the other guy automatically wrong. Hmmmmm, and in this paradigm, argument develops in the political theater and also at home. Which so bugs me. Perhaps neither guy is right or wrong. But it seems to me this effort makes for a lot of disagreeing on the airwaves, in the papers, and in our house. 

But this year something happened to change all that within the Donovan Clan. I’ve realized a few things and I want to share them with you. It is my hope that someone, even just one person, will read this today and save themselves years of frustration and quarrelling with your spouse. 

Firstly, I just stopped. I’ve learned over 20 years of marriage that becoming a talking head and spewing every kind of argument at my husband to convince him of his error in thinking (grin)….. DOES NOT WORK. It’s the biggest waste of time. So I just stopped talking. 

What does that look like? Well our arguments always erupt over the national news broadcast. One of us (me) would offer free commentary during a political story or a controversial social issue – )read  gay marriage, abortion, striking prayer from football games, the Ten Commandments, etc.) My observations always required a return volley of words and in the early years those words hit my heart like bullets. Ouch! 

What is astonishing to me is this year, all this political stuff just ceased to matter to me. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the political process and we should vote. But, I’ve stopped watching all the news stories covering the candidates. I’ve read enough to allow me to cast an informed and prayerful vote. But, what a wonderful fall season I have enjoyed because I simply choose to miss the first half of the news broadcast. 

What peace, what joy. And now what is truly funny to me is that when I’m unable to watch the news because of another commitment, my husband will record the news for me. AND he only saves the personal interest stories at the end of the broadcast. He will even tell me, “There is a great story you will want to see tonight.” And he has the recording queued up for my viewing where he has skipped all the political stories and we start watching together the rest of the news. 

I LOVE it!!! 

Now, I’m just peeved I didn’t stop watching all those talking heads a long time ago. 

Secondly, I recognized a couple of things about politics. Down deep inside what was really going on in me was that I was defending God, His Holy Word and actually I was defending my self-worth. 

What has truly been profound in this political season is that finally this blonde-brained, girl recognizes just how truly powerful, Omniscient, and how utterly BIG is our God. He transcends the mundane political process and likely grieves that the world wastes so much time and money on all of it. 

Jesus does not need my defense; He is completely capable of defending Himself, thank you very much. 

Politics cease to matter when you look fully into the face of Christ. When you release your need to be validated, to be seen and heard and stand fully in the identity of Christ, politics are meaningless.

 

Jesus would likely be neither a Republican nor Democrat. He IS the Savior of the World. So what would Jesus want from me in this political season? The same thing He always wants. 

I think He would say something like this, “Reveal me to others. Show them my love by providing for their needs, one person at a time. Reach out and tell someone there is real hope. Show the world your love for me through your radical obedience. Be my advocate.” 

Be His advocate. Serving people out of the love for Jesus absolutely dumbfounds unbelievers. Caring for the physical needs of people opens up hearts and souls to hear the Gospel. Love, forgiveness, grace and empathy command more power and influence than the office of the President. 

Our Kingdom is not of this world. 

It’s the crazy, unexplainable, supernatural love within us that confounds the skeptics and brings great honor and glory to our Lord. 

So relax, God’s got this. He already knows who wins in November. So, let the talking heads roar and the political machine grind but you, my friends, YOU, the beloved of the Most High God can truly make an impact on this world…. 

Be His advocate. 

Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Lynn

*****

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How Long Has It Been?

How long has it been since you have truly prayed this prayer? Lately I've been moved to pray the Lord's prayer and to pause to take upon it's meaning and power. Will you join me today?

On your knees alone and aloud.

Have a great Tuesday. I will see you again soon with some updates, happenings and cool stuff. Hugs, Lynn

"Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, 
as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever."      -- Amen.

--- Matthew 6:9-13 - KJV

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My Biggest Cheerleader by Martha Bush

It is my profound privilege to introduce to you today another of our long-time community members, Martha Bush. I have come to know Martha and love her deeply. She has a heart for the spiritually mismatched and guides a group of ladies at her home church. Today I' welcome Martha as she has a short sotry to share with all of us. Hugs, Lynn

 

My Biggest Cheerleader 

Front-Book-Cover -Train WindowDan Brack, children’s pastor at my church, came to me several years ago and said:  “I have got a lot of hurting children in children church.  Can you help me?”  Dan knew that I had taught The Grieving Process to adults for a number of years, and thought perhaps that I could put together a condensed version of it for children church. 

Well, the short of the long is this:  When the first draft was completed, Heather, my daughter, suggested that I have a professional editor in Austin edit it, which I did.  Somewhere along the line, I was re-united with a student I had over 25 years ago in New Orleans.  He is a professional illustrator, and author himself.  So, he became my illustrator. 

And now six years later, what started out as a study course for Dan, I am almost ready to publish my first book, entitled Helping Hurting Children:  A Journey of Healing.  I am so excited, and give God all the glory and praise for bringing me to the place. 

But, there’s more!  Guess who has been in the midst of this and who has been my biggest cheerleader?  You got it - -my unsaved husband, Glen.  He has been my “tech-man” by documenting, filing illustrations in folders, sizing pictures, and whatever else that needed to be done on this computer that I do not know much about.  And yes, he has even read most of it (scriptures included) and given me his opinions on the clarity of it. 

And now about the publishing.  I just kept on writing, not really knowing what I was going to do with it.  But, there was a time when I was out of town, and Glen got on the phone to WestBow Press, a publishing company that we had had a couple of conversations with in the past.  When I got back from out of town, he said:  “I told them how passionate you were about this book for children.  I also told them what was in each chapter, and how valuable the information would be to children.  I also put up the money today for the contract to publish with them.” 

I sat speechless.  Here is a man who calls himself an agnostic and yet------he spends his money on a “God Book” for children?  Where else have you heard of that happening???  Yes, Lynn and Dineen’s atheist husbands are their biggest cheerleaders also. 

I tell you this ladies to say:  I know this is a God thing and that He is working in our husband’s lives when we may not be fully aware of it.  So, let’s be encouraged and continue to support one another in the midst of our SUM.  Together, we can learn to be our husband’s biggest cheerleader, too. 

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