Previous month:
May 2013
Next month:
July 2013

17 entries from June 2013

Weekend Worship — I See Heaven

IMG_2274
Hello my precious friends! This picture is one I took on my walk and pray last week. The sky was amazing on this particular day. What this picture doesn't show is the way the clouds seemed to sparkle like jewels. To me, it looked exactly the way I pictured heaven would look like as described in in Revelation 21. Fascinating stuff!

I'm including a second song (Let It Rain) because it's been in my heart and on my lips this week as I have prayed for God to pour out His Holy Spirit over our SUM community, over this nation and all over the world. I have no doubt that this is at the direction of the Holy Spiri,t because I don't normally pray like that. God does amazing things! Two Sundays ago my pastor had our entire congregation stand and pray for revival! Very unexpected and so wonderful! Again, God does amazing things!

Keep your eyes and ears open, my friends. God's been talking to me about "the many" we've been praying for. Keep praying and watching. Something's coming. And God always does things BIG!

Love you all so much!
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


Beloved Part II

Lynn here again... Here is December with Part II of My Beloved.

I am jealous for you to be who I’ve made you to be in Jesus. Who that is – the one seated in heavenly realms with Christ right now (yes even now already you are there!) – you really have no idea who that is! That one (YOU) is beautiful inside and out with a radiance, purity, holiness and loveliness that you cannot imagine. There is nothing in the world like you to compare you to. Like a priceless jewel shines, you shine – ONLY MORE SO! Like a deeply adored child – you are content, fulfilled with overflowing happiness and unstoppable joy – ONLY MORE SO! You will be restless, unsatisfied and disappointed being anything other than who I’ve designed you to be! Your own vision of you is nothing to the astonishing true YOU in me. Your very design requires relationship with me, though I never force that. That doesn’t mean I am not relentless in pursuing you, but, I invite you because I want you to come to me from a real heart commitment on your part. 

Come to me. Lay down your busyness, set aside your anxiety and worries. Put down your hurts, pride and anger. Take off your masks of pretending to be good enough, smart enough, capable and protecting to avoid rejection. Just come as you are. Come; abide in my acceptance of you, my joyful rest, love and approval of you. Practice spending time with me and receiving my great love for you. When you receive my love and understand who I really am (more and more) – everything in your life falls rightly into place. Where before - anxiety, performance and rushing to complete tasks over road your vision and all the hurts, protecting and concerns loomed large in your eyes, when you spend time with me, I and my extravagant over the top love and power will take up ALL of your vision. I’m really too big not to! You will no longer have eyes for anxiety or worry – your eyes will be filled with me, safe, protected, working in confident peace from rest in me. I have an intimate life long walk with you, whether you are aware of me or not. Beloved, I long to spend intimate time with you. It’s an integral part of who you are. Your part, if you choose, is to choose to spend time with me. Not in a legalistic – do this many hours of bible study and this much time in your prayer lists and all the endless the lists of good things Christians do. I want you – just yourself – real, wholehearted, with all weights on you, flaws, all the stuff – just to come talk to me, listen to me, rest with me. Our relationship establishes the process of washing away any hurts, worries or troubles. And my powerful love, my fruitful love that is ever joyful, my love that is peaceful, my love that displays patience and long suffering, my love of overflowing kindness, my love’s abundant outrageous “never get to the bottom of it” goodness, my love that’s faithful and always for you, my love that is powerfully gentle, and my love richly abundant in self-control - this Love overcomes every deficit and need in you, making you an overcomer and bearer of that same fruit! You are made to be more than a conqueror! You shine and the brilliance I designed in you continues to be unveiled as we walk together – you shine into all the world around you. That’s Kingdom life! Me in you, you in me, we together with all of the Beloved - are one! Our unity, life giving love and power testify to and lift up Christ - drawing all the world to Him. 

I set my love upon you, beloved, because that is just how I AM! Come. Jesus made it possible for you to come! Receive what I have for you - for Jesus’ sake – He’s worthy.

*****

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 is in the Details

17279092_sHello my dear friends! This week I'm working through my portion of the edits on our book, Not Alone (Lynn gets to do hers next week). I was so focused on this yesterday that I totally forgot to write a post for today! So sorry about that. I can't sit at my desk for really long periods right now either. Seems that nasty cold I caught before my daughter's wedding left me with a case of costochondritis. Sounds like an addiction to Costco, doesn't it? I wish. It's an inflammation of the cartilage of rib cage. No fun!

So this post will be short and sweet, but you know, some of the best truths we have from God are short and sweet, like my favorite, Romans 8:28.

I'm going to share a little story I've been saving. While Lynn and I were at the conference we spoke at in May, I was so impressed with all the work the ministry team put into every part of this conference. Even the decorations in the ladies room!

I said as much to one dear sister in Christ and she said this, "Well, you know what they say, God is in the details."

I don't know how to explain what happened next, but it was like the Holy Spirit jumped up and took over. You know how that happens when you say something you know didn't come from you?

What came out of my mouth was this, "And you know what the best part is? We're His details!"

Wow. I just love that! My friends, we are God's details. Abba spoke everything on this earth into existence, but us, He formed with His hands (like the potter!). Think about the love and care He took to do so, think about His heart for us, think about how all that translates into His desire to have a personal and intimate relationship with us, because, speaking as an artist, when I fashion something well, I take great pleasure gazing upon and appreciating my work.

God’s love is overwhelming! And this makes so much sense when you think of it in terms of Christ in us. God fashioned us from the very beginning to be vessels for His Holy Spirit.

Christ in us—God is in the details.

For the rest of this week, anytime a negative thought about you crosses your mind or someone speaks unkindly to you, I want you to stop and praise God out loud, "Abba, thank you that I am one of your details. Thank you for planning and forming me with such love and care" (Psalm 139).

Countering lies with His truth is our sword and God's love is the edge on that blade. So wield it!

Love you all so very, very much, my fellow details!
Dineen

Image credit: grthirteen / 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


My Beloved

Good Monday morning,

Today is a really great day. You will find me and my daughter sitting on a riverbank, fishing. Yep, us two girls packed the tackle box, the poles some provisions and are in the mountains praying a rainbow trout will be our dinner. And yes, we clean them ourselves. eeeek... gross. I know...Go figure. 

So while I'm away, I want to introduce a new friend of mine, December Long (yes, she was born in December... I bet you never forget her name *grin*) I met December for the first time at the National Day of Prayer where I was invited to pray for our city and nation. And then I came to find out that December would be sharing a devotion at the retreat where Dineen and I were to speak (May). 

December shared a letter spoken to her by the Holy Spirit. And today I'm sharing it with all of you. Today is Part I and on Friday, Part II. I will be back next week and perhaps with a few photos from our fishing adventure. I'm expecting God to show off His glory in the mountains. I can't wait to share His glory with all of you. I love you. Now.... here is December.

(A letter from God [Papa, Jesus & The Holy Spirit] – transcribed by December Long) 

Beloved, 

Maybe you know me. Maybe you have only heard or read about me. I have always known and loved you. Long before you were born, I knew what every one of your days would hold. I crafted, in my heart, your design and my vision for who you would be, putting my image - the very stamp of who I am - into you. I reveled in the role you would play in the world and eternity. When you were conceived I rejoiced that you had stepped into time. I formed and shaped you with great care in your mother’s womb and protected and watched over you. When you were born, my excitement and love overflowed! I smiled, sang and danced over your long anticipated life emerging into the world!

 

When you were a baby, I walked with you as you developed and grew, wonder and discovery in every moment. I cared for you and protected you, delighting in your “ah –ha” moments. And I held you close to me through your tears (catching every one). 

I saw your attempts over the years to venture out and try new things. I sang over you with joy when you manifested the beauty and creativity I placed in you and stayed close by your side grieving, as you did, moments of deep pain, hurt and injustice when you withdrew hiding in fear, feeling shamed, rejected, un-seen and un-valued. I was your fortress protection there and I shielded you and tenderly held you there – though you may have had no awareness of me. I have many things to reveal to you about this – things that will set you free to be yourself. 

You are priceless to me. No one else is committed to you in the way that I am. My love and care for you is life-giving and transformational. When you come to me and spend time exploring the width, length, height and depth of my love, and really know that love in tangible ways - I bring you into line with your glorious original calling and design – that you may be filled to the measure of ALL of my fullness. Giving yourself to be present with me is a moment by moment choice that I never force, but am always available for, welcome and invite. Just think – here I am, creator of the universe, all powerful, and my deepest and greatest joy is when you and I spend time together. Do you understand how my heart longs for you? Do you know or even suspect who you are to me? You are a one-of-a–kind masterpiece; there is no other like you. You are my very favorite! No other person (past, present or future) can ever replace you in my affections. You are a deeply loved child who I take great delight in. When my eyes land upon you, they light up!! And, I always have my eyes on you! I look forward to our time together and I am always with you, but it is times where you engage, when you take time to drink in deeply and refresh in me and my love for you – these are deeply satisfying times for me too. Look into my eyes. Do you see yourself there? These eyes overflow my radiant and heartfelt welcome and pleasure in you. My heart is always full and for you – I have so much to share with you and show you.

See you Friday for the last half of this letter and it's amazing... 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


Weekend Worship — God's Throne Room

My friends, I stumbled upon this video of Graham Cooke as I was searching for a good source (i.e. affordable) of his books. He tells an amazing story of how God used opposition in his life. It's an amazing story of what he experiences in a dream in God's throne room too. Let me know what you think of it.

And have an amazing weekend full of God's presence and love, my friends! I absolutely adore you!
Dineen

An here's an oldie but a goodie from Kutless.

*****

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


Do We Practice Atheism?

I’ve been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I’m in the middle of the book and I can say she writes like no other author I’ve read. And I’m still processing a lot. A couple of days ago I read a single sentence that messed me up….. in a good way.

So, I want to share it with you and let’s have a conversation.

 

Page 148 

If authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, then to choose stress is an act of disbelief…. Atheism. 

Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism.

Perhaps the opposite of faith is not doubt. Perhaps the opposite of faith is fear. To lack faith perhaps isn’t as much an intellectual disbelief in the existence of God --as fear and distrust that there is a good God. If I don’t emotionally believe, practically believe, in the goodness of God, am I a believer? Don’t the believers have to believe? Don’t the saved have to trust the Savior? For yes, salvation from sins, but this too: the salvation from fear.

-----

My friends, such a short passage but filled up with some things to wrestle with. So what do you think? Do we more struggle as believers with trusting that God is good? Do we practice atheism when we live in fear…

and if we do... how do we move away from fear to belief. Real, life-changing belief?

Whoa… I will be back to chat with you in the comments. 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


Momentum

I sat in my favorite chair, praying over my lackluster state and confessing the selfishness and self-centeredness that had crept back in to my life the last week. I felt ashamed of how I'd handled many things of late as well as how I'd lost my focus on God. Not a pretty picture.

SoapboxWithout focus we wind up running on our own steam. And that's when I received a clear picture of momentum from God. It's like being in a soapbox racing cart at the top of the hill. You get that push to get you going and then you sail down the rest of the way, relying on the steepness of the road and gravity to keep you going as long as possible.

But then things level out a bit and your momentum begins to wain. Before long, your cart peters out and you come to a stop.

As I received this imagery I could hear God say, "You went back to relying on your own strength." Yep, I did. And I didn't even realize it until my cart came to a stop.

That's one of the dangers we have to be aware of. We have these great starts in whatever area God is calling us to walk. All the pieces seem to flow together and we can see so clearly the path God is calling us to walk. We move forward and take off, but then seem to lose our oomph.

Somewhere along the line we've shifted from functioning in God's strength to using our own. It's subtle and sneaky. I think this is one reason why God doesn't give us the complete picture when He draws us to a path because He knows how easily we switch to our own ability and perspective.

Our reliance on Him for every step may feel like weakness, but I find it takes greater strength, commitment and focus to wait on God in this manner than to barrel forward with my own plan.

And waiting on God is by no means a lack of movement or direction. It is our most challenging state of action as Believers in Christ and our highest form of trust and worship.

You know, God has the best ways of letting us know He's right there with us. As I sat and worked through this and prayed for His strength, my phone buzzed.

This was on the screen: "@JesusStrength is now following you."

I’m shaking my head and laughing. God even uses Twitter. There are no true barriers to God's presence and strength. I'm reminded again of that verse that says we have not because we ask not (James 4:2-3).

I firmly believe God loves it and is highly honored when we ask for more of Him, of His strength and His presence. He knows our own momentum will only carry us so far and He loves us so much that He will allow us to peter out to understand the difference between His unending strength and momentum verses our own limited capacity. In fact, I sense His great delight when I step back into His presence and ask Him to take over again. And that delight never seems to wain or diminish either. No matter how many times I have to ask.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. — 1 John 3:21-22

And what are His commands?

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. — 1 John 3:23-24

I think we complicate things sometimes, thinking we have to meet a performance standard. I know I still struggle with this at times. I judge the state of my relationship with God with how I feel, what my circumstances look like and from my own perspective of how “well I am doing things.”

Where is my focus when I do this?

God breaks it down so easily for us. Believe Jesus and love each other. It’s all about abiding in Him, focusing on Him. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about keeping our focus on God and it won’t be the last, I’m sure. We need constant reminders.

So, my precious friends, I leave you (and me!) with this mental image as a reminder. You’re in that go cart and God is about to give you a mighty shove down the track. That cart holding and protecting you along with that surge of excitement is the Holy Spirit in and around you. And Jesus is there at the finish line, cheering you on. As long as you hunker down (abide) and keep your eyes on Him (focus), you won’t lose momentum.

Grab your helmet and get ready to fly!


Love you!

Dineen

Image credit: 3quarks / 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


Declare this today!

I am discovering just how powerful the spoken word is in our lives. The following declaration was spoken and we spoke it aloud at church yesterday. As I stood in God's Presence I heard Him say to me to share this with our family of Sum. So today, God asks you to declare this truth and speak it out loud to yourself. In Jesus name.

"I am powerful, and what I believe changes the world! So today I declare:

God is in a good mood.
He loves me all the time.
Nothing can separate me from His love.
Jesus' blood paid for everything
I will tell nations of what He has done.
I am important.
How He made me is amazing.
I was designed for worship.
My mouth establishes praise to silence the enemy.
Everywhere I go becomes a perfect health zone.
And...with God
Nothing is impossible!"

 

Now go forth and LIVE IT! Also, I really want to pray for you this week. What is it that I can speak over you and for you before the Mercy Seat? I love you so very much, 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


We SUMite Women Stand In the Gap for The SUMite Men

Honor….. 

This word has followed me around a lot in the last several months. And I’m coming to realize that honor is a great prize. Honor is also something I haven’t always done well. However after a recent dinner out with my husband I’ve come to realize the utter importance of honor. The honor I give to my husband and the honor I receive from him. Let me explain.

RestSeveral months back I was at dinner with my husband and another couple that we haven’t seen in a long, long time. It was an enjoyable enough evening. But something began to happen throughout our meal that really started to bug me. 

It began with subtlety but became more and more abrupt and troubling.

The diners next to us were very close to us and I noticed a man was obviously whispering something to the man next to him and then snickering as he looked toward to bar of the restaurant. This behavior increased as the wine flowed until it beame so distracting that I couldn't help but notice that this man’s growing whispers about feminine body parts and learing looks were directed toward a certain woman at the bar.

I purposed to ignore this man’s interruptions and went on to talk with my friends at the table. Dinner ended and we went home. However, for the rest of the evening I grew increasingly embarrassed for the poor woman who was obviously the wife of this man. And in an instant it was as if the Holy Spirit hit me upside the head. This woman was greatly dishonored in public by her husband. I grieved for her. 

And then immediately I realized that my husband has never dishonored me by ogling other women. As soon as the thought entered my head, I walked into the bedroom where my husband was dressing and I thanked him for honoring me in this way. 

He has always honored me in public. And I’m just now understanding what a valuable gift he has given to me. 

My friends, there are a lot of people who would say there’s nothing wrong with a little looking and admiring and it’s only normal for guys. And there are many women who like to complain to their girlfriends about every tiny thing their husband does or about the things he doesn't do. I know, because I used to be one of them. 

But, we the children of God, are called to honor. 

HONOR… 

We are called as believing husbands and wives to honor our spouse, especially in public, and to love them as Christ loves the church. 

So, for me this Father’s Day as we honor men, I think I’m seeing the man of my dreams emerge. He remains a pre-believer but God has given me a man of integrity and honor. He is an amazing father. So today, I honor you Mike Donovan. You are a man that rises far above the crowd. I’m blessed to be called by the name Mrs. Lynn Donovan. 

And to every SUMite man who stops in here from time-to-time, we honor you this day, a day we celebrate men and fathers. You walk a very difficult path with even less resources and encouragement than women who are married to unbelievers. So today, we the SUMITE women pray for you. 

Our Lord God, today we bring before you every man who is a reader here and is married to an unbelieving wife. Lord, pour upon him Your honor. Grant him Your unending love and lavish upon him great encouragement. Remind this man that You stand with him when he attends church alone. Remind him that every moment that he loves His children and shares truth with him that he is doing the right thing. Remind him that through Christ he can do all things. Hold this man up when he feels abandoned and lonely. Fill this man with a fresh anointing to keep on living in his mismatched marriage and to see that eternities are at stake. Bless this man with abundance in his job and among his coworkers, his bosses and clients. Bless him and affirm that his faith is always enough to carry him and his family through life. We the SUMites stand in the gap for him and his family this day and we love him. In the name of our King 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


Our Righteous Trust Fund

9437891_sYesterday my daughter Leslie and I set out to handle transferring her trust fund into her possession. It’s such a small amount. I wish I could say as her parents that we’d managed our financial picture the best we could as there’s always room for improvement.

I didn’t think much of this small pittance. I only saw it as failure on our part. A failure to grow it more, add more, provide more. So I was totally caught off guard when she came to me in tears of gratitude. Didn’t matter that the amount was so small. She drew more from our love and intent behind the action than the result.

Sometimes we get so caught up on how things appear on the outside. Lately I’ve become very aware of how this manifests in our words and how we interact with the world. We worry about how we look in the sense of how others will perceive AND judge us. We worry about how our family appears to others, be they neighborhood or family friends or our church family—worrying how we are perceived AND perhaps judged there as well, especially when we are mismatched.

I’m learning that those things I’ve spent so much time worrying about often don't mean squat. In fact, when those thoughts or concerns creep in, I find myself saying, “I don’t care.” Or, “It doesn’t matter.” What matters is what God thinks.

And that’s what I felt like my daughter showed me yesterday. She showed me an unexpected perspective. God’s. Didn’t matter that the result hadn’t turned out the way I wanted it. She received something from it that I never expected.

Validation that she mattered..

And that’s truly what we want, isn’t it? As moms. As wives. As God’s children. We want to know that we matter, that our efforts makes a difference in the lives of those we love, like our children coming to know Jesus and walking in a faith relationship with Him that continues to grow and grow, right?

But what I’m also learning (and a bit painfully I might add) right now is that the results God has planned are so often different than what we think. At times they even seem counterproductive, like when God brings the most amazing fruit from our failed attempts.

Like when our weakness makes His strength all the more apparent.

My daughter received something much more meaningful than money from her parents’ meager attempts to provide. She received the intention in our hearts, to want only good for her.

And if that’s our hearts as parents, think about God’s heart for us, His children. When God shows up, we are validated as His children. We grow in our faith and trust, which brings us more boldness and freedom.

And His heart for our children is even bigger than ours. All those things we pray for our children—God wants them too. He wants them to know who He is. He wants them to know His goodness. He wants them to have a relationship with Him that rocks their world for Jesus.

I love what the second part of James 5:16 says:

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

My friends, we are the righteousness of Christ. That’s part of our inheritance, part of the trust fund Jesus set up when He died on that cross for us. We receive it when we ask Jesus to save us and as coheirs with Christ, we bear His righteousness.

So our prayers are powerful and effective. Statistics will try to tell us how ineffective we are, and based upon our own ability alone, they are probably true.

But the prayers of the righteous are effective because they are powerful and ongoing. The Greek word for effective is the same as the word we get energy from: energeo. And if you pay attention to the law of physics, energy continues to work. It doesn’t diminish or run out in a defined system.

In other words, our prayers don’t just peter out and fizzle. Every prayer of the righteous is ongoing, present tense and working. So in God’s system of prayer, righteousness and energeo, we are effective and our loved ones will be affected.

Those are statistics worth noticing and caring about. Ones we can believe and trust because God is the fuel behind them. And I’ve never known Him to run out.

You have my heart and prayers!
Dineen

Image credit: sqback / 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


Nets for Nepal Update #2

"In solemn truth I tell you that in so far as you rendered such services to one of the humblest of these my brethren, you rendered them to myself." -Mathew 25:40

Nepal Nets Woman
Thank you so much for your prayers! The mosquito net distribution in our first village went very smoothly today. Instruction was given, the gospel was shared and lives have been (and will continue to be) transformed! 

But, our job is not finished. We have two more days of distribution, so please keep praying! Pray for safe travel to our next area, for a smooth time of distribution, and for open hearts to receive the gospel message!

Ya know, Lynn...when I first saw the pic of the disabled older woman, I was so excited for her! I wondered how many gifts she's received in her lifetime. Not many, I imagine. But, there she was, that dear woman...receiving a net because God KNEW her. He knows her every day, her every moment. He's had His eye on her since weaving her in her mother's womb...even before that time! She's precious to Him and He worked and re-worked the puzzle pieces of history together to bring her a simple gift. Oh the love of God!! May the GREATER gift be hers as well!!

Much love... Lisa 

To read the beginning of this miracle click on the "Believe In Miracles" tab in the sidebar.

*****

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


The Statistics Aren't Good... But Our God IS.. Thoughts?

So I’ve been pondering Father’s Day that looms on Sunday. I have felt compelled in my spirit to write about Father’s Day and have waited for God to prompt me. Well, today one of our SUMites posted some statistics on her FB page which really moved my heart. I want to share it with you and let’s have a discussion here. 

Before we jump into that discussion however, I think we need to cover this conversation with love and respect. We must keep it clearly in our minds that our spouses don’t “get it.” They don’t have the wisdom, the knowledge, the Holy Spirit to help them in our marriages and in parenting. I know that a discussion like this can stir up our memories and thoughts to find every conceivable wrong and short-coming in our husbands. So, let’s just no go there. 

Let’s remain focused on what believing mothers bring to the family and faith of our children.

 

Alisa wrote:

Well, it's that time of year again...around Father’s Day we hear a sermon about how important fathers are, and they are. And inevitably, the statistics roll...70+% of children who go to church with only their mother will not stay in church as adults....I remember hearing it one year and gripping the seat in front of me to keep from standing up in the middle of the sermon and shouting that it would not be that way for my children, I envisioned locking eyes of the other women who sat alone in the sanctuary, we would all rally together, and stand against that statistic.... 

Yet I just sat there in silence. 

I sat there because I know too well that the statistic is true. I watch as women who have walked this lonely road before me pray for their adult children who have turned from the Lord. With all the Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, VBSs and youth camps, no matter what I do I am fighting an uphill battle, with a 30% success rate....the weight of their father's influence is powerful. So...I will ponder this today....and try to remember that even with all I try to do, all I really can do is turn them over to the Lord and trust Him for their best.... — with Dineen A. Miller and Lynn Donovan. 

This was my response:

Alisa, I'm standing with you today. I dispute that statistic too. I know that with the love of God lavished through an ordinary mother, all things are possible. I have watched my children both choose Jesus even in a spiritual mismatch. The enemy can no longer have our children. They are hereby declared as God's and we will stand in that faith and truth. Love you girl. 

So, what do you think? See you in the comments. Signed a Prodigal and Spiritually Single Mom, Lynn

Friend me on Facebook. Join the discussion on our FB Page, Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Follow the SUMite Nation on Twitter #SUMiteNation.

*****

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 — God Won't Let Us Go!

My friends, how has your week been? Have you faced some "giants" this week? I know I have and I'm feeling a little battle weary, but gave me such joy through it this week. I love how our God does this, right in the middle of our circumstances. 

I want to share a little verse I stumbled upon this week and find HUGE meaning in it. 

"What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." — Matthew 10:27

Jesus spoke this to the Twelve as part of what He instructed them to go out and do. In this I see two key truths. One, remember what we know to be true. God spoke this to my heart this week when I cried out to Him in a dark moment, "What do you know to be true." It came not as question but as a statement. This is our strength, to take the truth and speak it out. It brings God's light into the darkness. 

In this moment, I literally spoke out loud—God is good, God is in control, God is an equipper and God is a redeemer (Romans 8:28). The darkness lifted and my peace was restored.

And two, that's what I'm doing right now. I'm proclaiming the truth from the rooftops of the internet, namely our blog. We can share God's truth more easily now than ever before. We live in amazing times!

So, my friend, remember what you know to be true and go shout it from the rooftops! God won't ever let us go!

Love and treasure each of you so very much!
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


An Astonished Chronicles of a Humbled Donovan

Hi My Friends, 

I feel like I’ve been away on a long trip. So much has transpired since my last post where I told you I was about to wash my husband’s feet. My daughter’s graduation was amazing and the kid just makes me smile. She graduated with honors, 444 hours of community service, two scholarships and with her sanity and more than that -with her faith still intact. I feel like I graduated as well. 

What a rich blessing this thing….. “Motherhood.” 

 

Imported Photos 00061
Caitie and my son, Brad

Caitie is my youngest child and I suppose it’s likely true with most moms, when your youngest graduates you spend some time reflecting. And as I think about the fears I faced as a young mother, some of them I shared in the last chapter of Winning Him Without Words, I just want to stand up and shout to the world…. OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL!!! (I shared the whole story here) 

 

I prayed so much for my children throughout their lives and today, this very week, God has allowed me to witness the fruition of my humble motherly prayers. And I’m watching God fulfill them in both my son and my daughter. And they are bearing fruit after years and years in the very same week. I will tell you more about these developments at a later time. 

But today, let me tell you what happened when I went to wash my husband’s feet. If you need to read the precursor to the story, click here, Chronicles of a Humbled Donovan

My husband arrived home tired as I expected and after unpacking, dinner and dawning of our PJ’s, we sat down on the couches in our usual places to watch the evening news. As I’m sitting there pretending to watch the news, I’m growing more and more uncomfortable thinking about actually washing his feet and even more fearful to talk with him about his feelings. 

I almost changed my mind. 

However, I gathered my courage and God whispered to me, “Lynn, just make this light-hearted.” So I stood up and moved to sit on the other couch next to my husband. I decided as I sat next him and cuddled into his shoulder that the actual washing of feet might be too much. After all, my husband knows a lot about the Bible and how Christ washed the disciple’s feet and more than anything I didn’t want my man to think I'm manipulating him or was practicing some ritual or that I am disingenuous. 

I simply picked up one of his feet and said, “I’m just going to rub your feet.” So as we watched the news I removed his socks, rubbed his feet, applied lotion and finally returned him to his socks. Then I became completely uncomfortable. How do I start this conversation? Actually what transpired next was my fumbling about with a few words but I started the sentence. 

I paused the news broadcast and then….. 

I remember saying something about how I may have withheld a portion of myself out of stupidity and selfishness because of our early years of pain. And that I’m truly sorry. And I asked him, “Do you feel that I haven’t loved you or that you haven’t felt loved in the way you need?” 

Let me tell you that asking a question like this takes a ton of courage but I’m in a place with my Lord to receive whatever answer comes because I honestly want to love this man better. 

He replied, “No honey, I really feel loved by you.” 

Wow, so much better than I expected…….

 ----- 

My friends, I wonder if you are like me? Perhaps we are doing a better job at this marriage thing than we give ourselves credit. After all, we have the Master of the Universe walking every minute with us. Loving us. Teaching us. Loving through us. If God is in our house, then love is lavished upon all that reside there. (1 Corinthians 7:12-14 – read this today and let it fill you up.) 

I love you. Now I leave you with a question. Is it time to wash your spouse’s feet? 

Have an amazing day living in The Presence. 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


How Does God Prepare Us?

ColorfulEyeSo often we look at our circumstances, trials and challenges as contrary to what we think or thought God was doing in our lives. We see them as setbacks, deviations and mishaps—out of our control and seeminly out of God’s.

But lately I’m seeing the seemingly out of control chaos of life in a different light and I think many of you are starting to see this too, in terms of being mismatched.

We’ve talked a lot about how God redeems not only us but everything in our lives as well. Good and bad, He uses it all. But what I’m trying to get at is, what if we looked at even the hardest parts of our lives as preparation for whatever it is that God has called us to? What if in our attempts to just persevere we’ve limited ourselves to just the next step when God is working on our lifetime picture?

I want to show you some incredible examples right from the Bible—ones you and I are familiar with but sometimes need to see as a whole and in a slightly different perspective.

Specifically, God’s.

Take Esther. Her story is definitely ours. God put her in a position to move from simply being one of “the people,” an Israelite, to a queen who would use her influence to save her people. She went through a year—an entire year!—of preparation to step into this position. And God prepared the way for each step with His favor and provision in the form of a eunuch who saw her potential and a king whose heart was softened by her gentle presence.

How about Joseph? God gave Joseph a glimpse of his future purpose in dreams. His brothers’ jealousy led them to throw him into a pit, which led to slavery. As a slave, Joseph learned to run the household of an Egyptian official.

Joseph most likely learned the customs, culture and laws of this foreign land during this time. He organized and ran everything for Potiphar until his lust-driven wife falsely accused Joseph of assaulting her.

He’s thrown into prison where God’s favor leads the captain of the guard to put him in charge of an entire prison. All of it, including those incarcerated there. Joseph must have taken what he’d learned in running a household to now run a “household” of a much larger scale. Here he meets the cupbearer and the baker whose dreams most likely remind him of the ones God gave him as a youth.

Two years later the restored cupbearer remembers Joseph and suggests him to Pharaoh as a dream interpreter. Joseph is brought from managing a prison to now running an entire kingdom! All that he has learned again is crucial to managing the biggest “household” of all.

His journey begins and ends because of dreams and everything he’s endured, suffered and experienced has prepared him for what God first showed him—to be the saving presence and provider of a race of people. From pit to prison to palace, Joseph’s legacy would go on even after his death.

And what about Moses? He grew up in a palace and saw the workings of a kingdom managing its people. He’s then “thrust” into the seemingly menial task of managing herds of sheep for forty years. He’s gone from being an observer to having hands on training in managing masses.

All this was his preparation to step into leading over a million people from slavery to their promised land. From 40 years of corralling thousands of sheep to 40 years of managing an entire people population.

I’m sure at times these people must have wondered how God was working, just like we do. Or was God even in the picture! Just like we do at times when we see only the impossible standing in front of us so much taller than we are.

But what if instead, we faced down our giants? What if we began to see the potential instead of the purgatory? What if our entire mindset were to shift from just looking for how God would get us through to what is God preparing us for? Teaching us?

How is He growing me through this so that I am equipped to manage and do what He has next for me?

Many of you have shared in the comments recently that you are seeing how your mismatched marriage has drawn you closer to God, and that you even wonder if you would have gone so deeply and craved God’s presence otherwise.

I say let’s not waste time wondering but instead expend that energy asking God to show us what we can learn and jump in with both feet with expectation for what comes next.

Because this is our trust in action. This is our faithfulness to God. And right now I am astounded at how strongly, greatly, massively (I can’t find a better word) God responds to even the smallest step of faithfulness on our part with His great and overwhelming faithfulness to us.

We walk with the Holy God of the impossible. My friends, let’s walk like we believe it. I know it’s not easy—trust me, I’m struggling to do this myself right now, but the more I determine to do this and see things from this perspective, the more I walk in the Spirit and the joy of the Lord.

I begin to see what is impossible for me as POSSIBILITIES with God!

These are exciting times. We are living in a time of great revival, awakening—whatever you want to call it, God is doing it. And He’s preparing us—each of us—for our unique part in this great movement. Right now, right where we are. We are in training.

Let’s look for and walk in His presence, my friends. Every day. Every moment! Call out for Him to pour out His Holy Spirit over all the nations, over all His people, over all of us, and especially for those who don’t know Him.

Now is the time to get ready. God has big stuff for us!

Love you all so very, very much. You have my heart!
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


Martha's Miracle!

My precious friends, you've seen Martha Bush's name many times in the comment. On Mother's Day, she sent this email to Lynn and I—the story of a miracle! And it's a story to be shared! Wow! 

 

5508294_sI have a testimony of praise on this Mother's Day. I left my home in Orange Friday morning at 4:30 A.M., headed for Georgia to spend Mother's Day with my mother. About an hour into the trip, the following is what happened.

Just before I got into Sulphur, LA on Interstate 10, all of a sudden there was a big boom and I didn't know what had happened, but I knew that my body was moving around in the car, and I knew I did not have control of the car. But, I didn't know what happened.

Somehow, I got back into driving position, and I was traveling straight ahead in the right lane, as if nothing had happened. But, I knew it had. I saw am 18 wheeler pull over to the outside lane, and my first thought was that he had pulled over to help me, so I pulled up behind him—I didn't know what had happened.

Now, here is the miracle. He walked up to the side of my car, and I said, "what has happened?" He said, "I am so sorry, but I dozed off to sleep, and when I woke up, you were there in front of me and I couldn't stop."

Yes, I was hit in the rear by an 18-wheeler, my car is totaled, and I don't have a scratch on me.

I couldn't find my glasses, so I had to ask him to help me look for them. He found them on the floorboard behind the driver's seat. That's when I realized that the driver's seat had been laid back upon impact. Later, I realized that was when I was spinning in my head, not knowing what was happening—the driver's seat was laid down away from the steering wheel, but God picked me up to put my hands back on the steering wheel, and my car kept going down the Interstate as if nothing had happened.

This is 1-10, no other cars were around us at that time.

I give God all the glory. He truly drove that car for me when I was in a laid back position. He sat me back up to the steering wheel of the car, and I was driving down in the right lane as if nothing had happened.

I know that you both believe in miracles and I just had to share this with you—I am a living, walking miracle today. Praise Him with me.

I had to call my Mother and cancel the trip. But, I could only tell her that I had car trouble—she would not be able to stand up to this kind of news. My husband has been an angel himself. Actually he was out of town, and I had to call my neighbors to pick me up. But, Glen started driving home immediately, and I have held nothing back of testifying of how God's hands were on me. He agrees.

To God be the glory!!!
Martha

 

Needless to say, we were so thankful and praising God that she was fine. A couple days later I asked Martha if she'd experienced any soreness or stiffness since. 

She said none! She's had no after affects at all!

I don't know why but that completely brought home the magnitude of God's miracle in this for me. As Martha said, let's praise God with her!

Precious Lord, You are so AWESOME and AMAZING! Thank You for Your love and care for Martha and for us. Thank You for keeping this dear sister in Jesus with us because You have more for her to do here. We ask for your anointing and blessings upon her to do the works that You have prepared for her. In Your saving name, Jesus, we pray all this. Amen!

Have a great week basking in the presence of our Mighty God, my friends! Love you all so much!
Dineen 

 

About Martha Bush: 

Martha-031-Lite-WebMartha's love for teaching led her into areas outside the school system as she began teaching Bible study courses in jails, prisons, and at her local church. She also writes a monthly inspirational post at Created Woman and is a contributing editor for Created Woman Magazine.

In addition, Martha is a contributor to Girlfriends Coffee Hour and a member of the Orange County Christian Writers Guild.

Through her years of teaching, as well as being an avid reader of human behavior and grief counseling from noted Christian psychologists, she recognized how a team effort can help build a foundation in children at an early age that will enable them to cope with the losses in their lives. Modified-Front-CoverShe believes this team, made of up parents, grandparents, educators, and spiritual leaders, can guide a child to healing from losses he or she might experience. They can do this simply by recognizing his pain, listening to his pain and then teaching the child how to apply the principles of God’s Word to his hurting heart. This led her to write Helping Hurting Children: A Journey of Healing.

 


*****

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 — God is Calling Us!

My friends, no matter where I go I keep hearing this same message. Special thanks to a friend who shared that a specific verse was on her heart and mind. When I read it, I knew it was meant for us and for all of God's daughters whom He's calling forth in amazing ways right now all over the world.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter  2:9

Right before the last conference Lynn and I spoke at, God gave me a dream that I shared with the women who attended. I've had prophetic dreams before, just a couple that were directed just to me. But this one, this is the first one I've received that related to a global scale. I believe He wants me to share it here as well.

I was half awake, half asleep (it's possible it was a vision...I honestly don't know). I stood before a tall crop—corn I believe. Jesus stood next to me.

He gestured to the crop and said, "This is the Great Harvest."

I said, "Lord, I can't see past this, can you show me more?"

Suddenly I was up higher and could see tall mountains in the far distance. The crop spanned all the way to the mountains!

My friends, pray and seek God for how He is calling you forward. These are exciting times! God is moving in such a large scale right now. Many of us are hearing the same things! Share in the comments what you are hearing. I'd love to hear your thoughts and impressions of what God is doing.

I am so thankful for each one of you. That I can share this amazing journey with my fellow SUMites. God has so much and even more for us! 
Love you dearly!
Dineen

This is the entire worship session with Jesus Culture from the 2013 Power & Love Prophetic Conference at Bethel Church in Redding. Listen to all or bits and pieces, but do listen to Beni Johnson's message at about the 59 minute mark. You will be blessed with hope!

*****

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