52 posts categorized "Humor"

Opportunities

My friends, I have an interesting story to tell you. Last Friday as I awoke, the word "opportunities" was loud and clear in my thoughts. I love it when I wake up with a word, because that usually means the Holy Spirit is setting me up for something.

So that morning I prayed for understanding of what this word was about. What did the Holy Spirit want me to learn and share? Thought the day as He continued to connect the dots, I began to understand two things.

First, let's take a look at what the word “opportunity” means in the dictionary.

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“A set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” This seems to imply a once-impossible situation being made possible by a set of circumstances. Could it be that we are quick to deem negative situations as impossible without considering how God may be working to make something possible? He is the God of the impossible. He makes all things possible. Jesus even said so.

But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” — Luke 18:27

Yes, I agree. That can be quite a challenge. I’m looking for the opportunity in one area of my life that I seem to go round and round with. The Holy Spirit will help me see what that is, even if it simply an opportunity to change my thinking about this very thing.

And how interesting that one of the synonyms listed is “break.” We are in a year of breakthroughs, and breakthroughs bring us new opportunities to grow, to step into new places, to deepen our intimacy with God and to have greater understanding about who we are to God and who He is for us.

Amazing how so much of what we experience is intended to be rooted in our identity. I know we talk about that here a lot, but as I grow in my understanding I realize how foundational it is to everything. (Remember the Foundation Series?) As believers who live in the present but have a forward mindset (Phil 3:14), we need to know who we are in order to understand where we are going.

Now this second one was a surprise. Throughout this same day, the Holy Spirit continued to reveal more details to me in regards to something I experienced at the healing rooms last week. It was a sweet and astonishing time of worship that gave me an "opportunity" to delight in the Lord.

He continued to connect the dots until finally He asked me with a playful tone, "Do you see where I'm going with this?" I confess, I laughed out loud when He said that. And I did see where He was going and what He wanted me to fully grasp. 

An "opportunity" is also an opportunity to delight in the Lord. This reminded me of Psalm 37:4, which tells us to delight in the Lord and He will give us the desire of our hearts. Did you know the Hebrew word for delight means to be soft or pliable? It also means to be delicate, pampered, and to be happy about.

Opportunities.

What opportunities is God putting in your life right now? What opportunities does God want us to step into right in our mismatched marriages? With the difficult and cranky neighbor down the street? With the budget that just doesn’t seem to make ends meet? With your teenaged daughter’s best friend who seems so lost sometimes you just want to reach out and hug her? Do it! Hug the kid! Bring your neighbor cookies. Remind God of His Word to provide (Phil. 4:19), then watch Him do it (I have a story on that one too.) And ask God to show you a new opportunity to love your spouse that will reveal Jesus. You may be surprised at how delightful it will be!

Opportunities. Opportunities are the gateway to breakthroughs, my friends. I firmly believe that. God wants to show us what that looks like too, because it is new and fresh and unlike anything we’ve seen so far.

SUMites, share in the comments any opportunities you are seeing in your life. Maybe in reading this post, God brought one to mind. Maybe you’re already seeing one, but you weren’t sure if it was you or God. Or maybe, you’re already in the middle of an opportunity unfolding and have a testimony to share. Let’s meet in the comments!

Love you, my friends. You are so much greater in Him than you know.
Dineen

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Hilarious - From The Archives!!!!!

Weekends we re-post from our archives, articles which remain relevant for the spiritually mismatched marriage. 

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Today, I'm going to share a quick, I mean really quick video. This is from our blooper reals. Yep, I can really be blonde. (Turn on your speakers or you'll miss it! :)

Dineen and I love you SUMite Nation!!  Thanks for being part of our family. 

Lynn and Dineen - The Blooper - Laugh with Us from Spiritually Unequal Marriage on Vimeo.

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When The Church Hurts You

Hello SUMite Nation, 

I have to chuckle. Over the past few months reading through comments, Facebook posts and emails I have received, all of the “SUMite” puns. Hilarious!  SUMthings about happen. To SUM things up. Is SUMone praying? Can I just say that SUM of you are very witty and hilarious. 

It’s the little nuances such as this that make our home on the web, a family. We are a family and SUM is a place where we are loved and where we love. Thank you SUMites for how you love Jesus and how well you love one another. 

And I guess I feel this post is leading to an entirely different topic than I expected. You see over the past seven days my daughter and I have experienced some weird situations. Conflict over beliefs with other believers. 

Yikes! 

Now don’t panic. I’m not going to cause a debate in our Home on the web here. In fact, I think it’s remarkable the kind of unity that we experience in our SUM House considering all the different steams of faith represented here. And Dineen and I are very careful and intentional to focus on what unites and not on what divides. We focus on only two things.  

Love God…
Love people…. 

But what do we do when we don’t see eye to eye? My daughter and I have been living this out as of late. It’s hard enough to stand in our faith when facing harsh words from our unbelieving spouse. But it’s even more difficult to face conflict with people who are “supposed to be on our side.” 

Do you agree? 

Well, in both cases we must let love be our compass and focus on what we have in common. This works both with our pre-believers and those who have differing ideological views. And right behind love, we must walk the road of forgiveness. 

However, the most difficult to forgive are those who are in the church that wound us. 

Am I right? 

Recently I listened to Ann Graham Lotz share how she overcame pain when she was wounded by her church. She shares how she was part of a church for 15 years, raised her children in this particular church and yet on one Sunday morning the church dismissed her husband from leadership. 

THIS IS WORTH A LISTEN MY FRIENDS.

 

 

Thank you for loving Dineen and I even when we might offend, hurt or fail you. Please know we would never do so with intention. I know many times I would like to respond to the many email, comments and messages that arrive and I simply can’t do it. I might write words such as “I’m Pissed Off” and you choose not to take offense but see how I remain committed to authenticity. I pray more than anything that you see our imperfect hearts are filled with love for you. It’s the love of a perfect Father, His Son, Jesus and the love of the Spirit. That remains our highest purpose when you visit our home on the web. 

The calling in this season of the Kingdom upon the House of SUM, is to love God. Love People. Amen and AMEN!

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Secret Sin - A Barrier To Breakthrough

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comOkay, so weird. In the past two weeks I’ve heard more messages about prayer than I could have dreamed. Even today at church, the message was: Why Pray? 

My friends, let’s talk about this unique thing, we the religious, call prayer. In fact, right off the bat, I want to debunk all the “religiousness” off this word. Let’s call it what it really is. Prayer is only a word to describe talking to God. And when we cast of all the religiosity off the word, do you know what happens? 

We discover a few amazing aspects of talking to God. 

I likely will cover a few posts with this topic so hold on. It’s gonna be good because I’m convinced we, as the SUMite, Church Without Walls, are being called into a new place of prayer. Not just ordinary prayer but prayer that manifests immediate action, miracles, lives impacted, nations changed. 

Before I write about all that exciting stuff, let’s talk about what happens when we pray and we don’t receive our breakthrough. I think God has been leading me in this very place in the last six months. I’ve come to understand breakthroughs and also understand why other prayers remain unanswered, for at least the time being. 

I’m going to be very vulnerable here. I finally believe I fully understand why I can pray and literally see God move immediately. I can receive prayer and believe for my supernatural healing and receive it. Yet, I’m defeated in other areas of health. Specifically, all of the colds and flu this past six months. There can be several reasons why answers to prayer are delayed or remain powerless. Today I’m going to describe mine. 

Sin. 

I’ve allowed an area of sin to remain in my life. For a long while God has called me to give up having a glass of wine at night with dinner. Which could become more than a glass of wine. Now drinking wine is not a sin. I’m not an abuser nor an alcoholic, however, for me, God no longer wants this evening “past-time” to be present in my life. For lots of reason, too many to list here. One primarily, is that it’s not good for me and the Lord has been trying to restore my health. 

Each time I’ve fallen to a cold virus or bacteria is because I have been outside of the protection of God because of my deliberate sin. I know this clearly now. Now this is only for me, however, when I disobey God it’s an open door for access of the enemy. And right now the devil wants to keep me incapacitated so that I won’t write this next book. What has been fascinating is the messages God has been sending me about this secret sin. Through the television, through my prayer time. Practically every time I read the Word, I land on a scripture specific to this issue. Sheesh. Finally, two days ago, I receive a private message from a dear friend and she called it out. 

Gulp! 

God is desperate to heal me. And now that the secret it no longer secret, I’m going to step into healing. 

Now, you may want to judge me for struggling in this area, and I understand that. But I also know that everyone of us struggles with some secret sin in their lives. 

Disobedience has kept me from healing and from receiving the blessing of the very prayers I’m praying. 

No one likes to talk about obedience. It’s not popular and it doesn’t edify nor lift our souls. But if we aren’t real about what is keeping us from victory, how will any of God’s children find breakthrough. 

So, as of today. I’m done with that nonsense. I’m choosing to change old habits and walk in complete and perfect health the rest of my life. 

I pray my honesty brings freedom to someone else out there. I pray my honesty allows you to see that I’m not always together. I’m not a super Christian. I’m a child of God who is only determined to live fully for my Lord. Thank you for loving me in my brokenness. 

And on Friday, let’s talk about what power and answers can and will come from those of us who are broken, yet redeemed. All of us who are Poor in Spirit. 

Do you need prayer for a secret sin in your life? If you are consumed by a weakness, shame guilt, fear, today is your freedom day. Tell me about it. I will pray for you. 

I don’t fully understand but even now, when I pray through the comments, things can and do happen. SUMites, Church Without Walls, we need to become completely free, receive our breakthroughs so that we can then take freedom to our world. 

I LOVE YOU.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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The Pope Said What?

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Photo courtesy of NBCnews.com

My friends, at the risk of opening the proverbial can of worms today, I want to talk about the statement Pope Francis made this past week about evolution and the Big Bang Theory being real. You can read the short article here.

My goal today is not to argue or prove anything but to share how this has impacted discussions between my husband and I. As I’ve shared in the past, we both love the show Big Bang Theory (I share a humorous story here.) and that alone has opened up some discussions for us over the last few years, one of which having to do with how we all came to be here.

I have many a time said to my husband that I don’t fully understand all the details, but why does it have to be faith or science? Why can’t it be both? Parts of both? Why can’t it be God who started the big bang? Who used evolution to bring man into being as described by the breath of God breathed into man’s lungs? (Yeah, that one may be a stretch, but I’m just throwing out ideas here.) Why can’t it be a God who initiated it all with His spoken words?

Our God is immense, and we can in no way understand the full scope of our Creator. For centuries religion and science have tried to dominate and push the other away as hypocrisy and falsification. And I’m sure the enemy was the instigator.

But what we have lost sight of is that God created all the physical laws of this world as well. If I may say, He is the first and greatest scientist of all. Why wouldn’t He go to great lengths to create a fascinating world for His children to discover? A world that continues to grow and create from His spoken Word…

As I said, my goal is not to justify or prove anything, nor to argue. Mine is to ponder and celebrate. I see the Pope’s statement as the first steps of faith (not religion) and science merging to prove the truth of God’s presence, authority and power. For too long it has been one side or the other without any willingness to consider each side may have part of the story right and may need the other to more fully embrace the larger scope of creation. Nor should we expect to be able to understand completely as God’s ways are so far above what we can understand (Isaiah 55:9). But we can have fun discovering!

And at the very least, this has provided more opportunity for my husband and I talk, to discuss, to consider, to ponder and to wonder. God is so very much in every detail, even in these discussions, and I very much welcome these opportunities to bring His presence into my marriage and plant more seeds in my pre-believers heart, even if it is challenging and uncomfortable at times.

God wastes nothing. And if I am willing to listen and consider what my husband believes, then by example and action (1Peter 3) I believe he will be more willing to listen and consider what I believe.

The rest I will leave in God’s most capable hands. I don’t have to prove anything. God’s work and truth will always speak for itself.

Have an amazing weekend pondering, my dear friends!
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Powerful Teaching from Kris Vallotton

Img_small_krisMy friends, I want to share two very powerful teaching sermons by Kris Vallotton with you (I will continue the worship series on Wednesday). These are so powerful and anointed, I'm sure. And I don't you to miss the chance to listen to them (not sure how long the links will be available). 

Kris Valotton’s Steps to Successful Living in the Kingdom, Part 1

Kris Valotton’s Steps to Successful Living in the Kingdom, Part 2

There are two of them and I recommend you listen to them both. If you find you can only do one, then listen to part two. Kris outlines five areas of successful living in the kingdom:

  1. Be present
  2. Be thankful
  3. Have a big YES!
  4. Persevere
  5. Be humble

I found myself deeply convicted by the first one, about being present. I am definitely guilty of this one and am now commited to following the Holy Spirit's leading to change this. I learned to live in the moment through my daughter's cancer ordeal, but in the last year or so, I lost sight of this. Makes me think of Matthew 6:34:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

But it's so much more than worry. It's also about not missing out on what's right in front of you, including diving appointments. You'll understand more as you listen.

At the end, Kris gives a list of signs of humility. I typed them out and will keep them in my journal, because I know have several to work on. Here's that list:

13 Signs That You're Humble

  1. You know who you are without requiring others to acknowledge your identity.
  2. You allow others to get credit for things that should be attributed to you.
  3. You take a lower seat than you deserve.
  4. You refuse to promote yourself.
  5. You allow others to share their accomplishments without sharing yours especially when yours are greater.
  6. You have an attitude that no task is beneath you.
  7. You’re honest about your weaknesses.
  8. You admit your mistakes.
  9. You live below your means.
  10. You work to promote others.
  11. You’re teachable.
  12. You’re correctable.
  13. You’re influencable.

And I love this line that he shares: "Adversity may be the mother of invention, but humility if the father of promotion."

Such profound teaching in these two sermons, dear friends. I pray they bless you greatly, encourage you deeply, and challenge you to move and grow in your faith. That is God's loving heart for all of us.

Learning and growing with you!

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This Experiment Can't Get Any Better Than This...

If you have been a reader here for any time now, you likely know that this five-foot-four, blonde-haired woman has an ornery side to her “delightful” personality. Hee Hee. 

And now that my daughter is away at college, my unsuspecting husband is the recipient of my gentle but ornery teasing. (I remind you that it's my dad’s side of the family has this faulty teasing gene – sheesh). 

But sometimes I think the sense of humor and the mirth of our God far surpasses my silliness. Let me explain. 

If you recall a week ago, Friday, I initiated this grand experiment. I determined to plant seeds of God’s Word in my husband. I absolutely believe this passage of scripture:

 Isaiah 55:11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it. 

I want to see the results of crossing scripture verses with my prebeliever. It’s been a fantastic experiment so far. Read Monday’s results. But today, I can barely contain myself because on Wednesday, the most astonishing thing happened. I think both God and me were in a teasing mood and this is what happened. 

It’s Wednesday, late in the afternoon, and I’m taping up a box for the post office. In the box is a bunch of stuff for my daughter who started college a month and a half ago. It’s our first care package we are sending her way. I finish addressing the box and casually ask my husband, “Hey, I have to run this to the post office, why don’t you ride along with me.” 

(On a side note: This empty nest thing…. It’s filled with these ordinary moments that are tender and sweet.) 

“I don’t want to go to the post office.” 

“Ya, but come with me anyway,” I bat my eyelashes playfully at him. 

That’s it. He knows I’m in a playful mood and he says, “Okay, I guess I’ll go.” 

I grab the box, my purse and the keys and head straight to the car before he changes his mind. While he’s putting on shoes, I jog out to the mailbox and pick up the mail, then get into the car and start the engine. He emerges from the house and sits in the passenger seat. I throw the car in reverse, casually toss the stack of mail in his lap, and off we go. 

I say to him, “Hey, I noticed that there is a postcard from Caitie’s college in the stack of mail. I didn’t have my glasses on me, so can you read it to me?” 

This is a photo of the postcard:

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So my husband begins to read this card ….. OUT LOUD…. while I’m motoring down the road. As he proceeds to read it I hear scripture coming from his lips. The card has a verse from 2 Corinthians printed on it. He finishes reading it to me. 

“Wait, wait, what did it say? I inquire. “I couldn’t understand you.” 

He reads the entire card to me again. At this point I am grinning so big that the light glistening from my broad smile is blinding other drivers. I’m sitting in my seat, driving, and now get this….. Listening to my husband read scripture verses to me. 

GOD… SOMETIMES YOU ARE SO MUCH FUN… And funny too. 

And now God and I become ornery. I say to my man in the passenger seat, “ Can you read it one more time to me? I’m not sure I understand that passage.” 

Okay, I’ll admit. I just wanted him to read it again… Yep, I’m ornery at times. And what I love about my sweet man is that he is patient and long suffering with his zany wife. So he begins to read it for a third time. 

At this point, I’m literally laughing in my throat, biting my tongue as to not laugh out loud because the outlandishness of this entire scenario is blowing my mind. I’m giggling and giggling inside. A smile as broadly as the sun and I’m just thanking God that He is "in on" this wacky experiment. 

Lord, My Papa, You ARE a blast.

Now Daddy, BRING THE PLOW! 

Have a fantastic weekend my friends and let our Daddy make you smile as broad as the sun!! 

See you Monday, our book launches that day and there is a ton of stuff going on for this amazing community. I love you so much my friends. I pray for you every….. single…… day… With a heart full of love and an ornery sense of humor, Lynn

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Honor and a Little Humor in Marriage

Yesterday Mike and I celebrated our 21 wedding anniversary.

Because all of you know how challenging a spiritual mismatch can be, I just marvel at all God has brought about in me, my husband, our children and all through our marriage covenant. 

Miracles abounding around here. May I just say, "Honey, I love you and I'm looking forward to the next 21 years."

I've been thinking a lot about honor and marriage. I've been pondering the qualities of my husband that are honorable. And today, just for fun, I want to share a hilarious video that points to an amazing quality my man possesses.

My guy can find the perfect anniversary, birthday and any-kind-of-card-day for me. 

Mike Donovan IS the guy in the video who seeks the perfect card for his wife. He spends an hour at Hallmark. I spend 10 minutes at Wal-Mart. Sheesh! He is SO much better at this than me.

Thank you Mike, you are so amazing and able to find the perfect card.

Okay enjoy. And today think about one area in your spouse that is honorable. Is he a good father? A good provider? When you type his honorable qualities in the comments it becomes a written record for the Kingdom. So today, honor your spouse and then watch as God honors you. Hugs, Lynn

 

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I'M FREAKED OUT!

Okay, I have to tell you…. I’M FREAKED OUT!!! 

Dennis Rainey, stops the broadcast and speaks directly to my husband, Mike. 

FLT-bannerMy friends, this is the craziest, bestest, radio interview with Dineen and I to date. As I told you yesterday, I was able to listen in before the BIG DAY… And I about fell on the floor when I heard Dennis Rainey start talking to my husband. I had completely forgotten about this exchange. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about it all. 

So, on Monday, THIS MONDAY (Yikes, already), FamilyLife Today with Host, Dennis Rainey and co-Host, Bob Lepine will welcome Dineen and me along with Darla Stone to a three day broadcast, “Married to an Unbeliever.” 

Dineen and I are praying that God will help men and women to “happen” on to a radio station exactly when we are on the air to find us at SUM. (oh ya, like it’s a coincidence, *grin*) We know so many are out there who feel alone in this crazy journey of the unequally yoked. We WANT them to find all of us. 

We are desperate to tell them that Jesus can and WILL make all the difference in their marriages and their lives and that Jesus brings healing, hope and JOY! 

Everyone, this broadcast is also about all of you. We don’t want it to be about us. It is our community which God has blessed. It’s about the love and the power that flows through all of us. So may Dineen and I humbly ask you to help us next week? 

Will you please decide today to partner with someone who lands on our site Monday and then again on Tuesday and once more on Wednesday? Will you see some young wife who is brave enough to leave a comment on the site and will you pray for her right there in the comments? Will you give your name and offer your love? Can you tell her you know how she feels? Can you say to her, there is hope? There is always hope because we serve the great God of the universe. 

Stop in once, twice or more each day. Pray for more than one newcomer. Pray for each other if you want. Just be present in the comments to love one another. So many of you have come so far in your journey and as you share your love, your testimonies, two amazing things happen in the spiritual realm. One: You OVERCOME… by the word of your testimony and TWO: you give great honor to our Lord. 

Do you remember where you were when you first found this online place? So, walk this out with us and share all that God has done in your life. 

So I ask you today: Are you in? (Let me know in the comments) 

I love you so much. Our Great God is preparing us to ROCK this world. The devil quakes when this community is in action. So let’s kick butt and take some names for the sake of Christ. 

BIG, GIANT, THANKFUL, HUGS, Lynn

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Twenty-Five Years and a Slip of the Tongue?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praying & believing,
Dineen 

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Who is This Man?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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


Image credit: swhite / 123RF Stock Photo

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A Little Marriage Humor

Sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves. Please receive this with all the smiles and laughes intended. Enjoy!

 

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The Latest Miller Adventure

IStock_000008559596XSmall I have a cute story to tell you. My family and I were visiting our family in Florida. When we do this, we divide our time between my mother and my husband’s parents. Last week my daughter and I stayed with my mom for a few nights while my hubby stayed with his parents.

On one of these evenings we had plans to meet some friends for dinner. In fact, this was the night Dee (one of our long time readers here at S.U.M.) and I planned to meet for the first time face to face. We’ve known each online for years and talked on the phone, but just seeing her in person and getting to meet her hubby was an unexpected treat!

Okay, back to the story. The plan was that my husband would come and pick me up for our dinner with Dee and her husband and then drop me off at my mom’s on the way back. So I had fun with this and did what any wife would do. I teased my husband. LOL!

Our conversation went something like this (remember, I’m flirting with my husband here.):

I giggled. “So, is this like a date or something? You’re going to pick me up and then take me home?”

He smiled at me and gave me this cute look that borders on being shy. “Yeah, I guess it is kind of like a date.”

“Well, maybe I’ll let you give me a kiss when we get to the door.”

He fell right into my fun and then I left it at that. But my hubby didn’t. Get this. He shows up at the door the next eveing with a single rose! My heart melted. My daughter thought we were too cute for words, and I thought my mother would laugh herself silly when he told her he’d have me home before dark.

It was a precious moment, to say the least and so unexpected. I was so surprised! I really didn’t think much more of our flirtation but it showed me just how responsive my husband can be when I am intentional about our marriage and relationship. The smallest things can make a difference.

This isn’t something that happened over night either. God has shown me constantly how to love my guy the best way possible. Our marriage is better now and we are more in love than ever. All despite our faith disconnect.

Let me share one more precious moment that happened while in Florida. During our time there, I had the chance to do a booksigning at Living Word Christian Store. (They are an independent Christian book and novelty store, which like so many independent stores, need our prayers and support to continue being a presence in our communities.)

About half-way through, my husband comes into the store to see how I’m doing. I explained the store was pretty slow and not many people were stopping at the table, which was facing the café.

He suggested that I move the table on the other side of the aisle so people could see me better as they walked around. Brilliant idea! We moved the table and guess what? More people stopped to look at our book and something precious happened.

I met these two ladies, mother and daughter, who stopped to chat and share a bit about their lives with me and my mother, who was there for moral support (Yay, Mom!). They started talking about their church there in Sarasota and even invited my mother to come. I passed this information on to my mother (she was talking to someone else at the time), unsure if she would even be interested.

You see, I’ve prayed for my mother to find a church she could really love and plug into. She’s still a bit of a newbie to the Christian walk but I know she loves Jesus. I was ecstatic when she called me later to say she’d already made plans to attend this church with a friend in a couple weeks and would look for the two ladies who so graciously shared their names along with the church information.

Without my husband’s brilliant suggestion to move the table, we may have never met these two dear ladies nor would this door now be open for my mother (please pray for her and this church to be a good fit!).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. God never ceases to amaze me. I can only explain my husband’s complete support of my involvement in this ministry and our book as being God’s divine hand working in his life and heart. I honestly shake my head in disbelief. And not only that, God used my husband to bring about something I’d prayed for and to benefit my mother.

We just never know how God will work or who He will use to answer our prayers. But we do know that He is always working for our good. And I truly believe God loves to surprise us.

Let me tell you, this is one surprised and grateful woman at the keyboard writing this post. I may not have sold many books, but I know great things were accomplished for God’s Kingdom that day.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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The BEST Video EVER!!!! Celebrating Dad

TUNR ON THE SPEAKERS AND GO GET YOUR HUSBAND. Then watch this video together.

I promise this two minute video will have you laughing, rockin' to the beat, and stir a love in your heart for Dad.

Father's Day is Sunday. Be intentional and tell your Dad and your kid's dad that he is a hero. 

Be blessed, Lynn

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A Tale Worth Telling

Indulge me today.

Let me introduce the cast:

One- small furry, cute (deceptive) cat
One- small dog named Peanut
One – teenaged girl 16 going on 27.
One – believing mom and keeper of the home.

It started several months back. The rainy season. It’s cold, wet, and dark. One early evening during a light downpour as we sat in the family room watching TV. From the hallway we hear a tiny, “Meow.”

To read the entire story, join me today at Laced With Grace.

 

Laced With Grace

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Weekend Devo—Do You Believe in Miracles?

Fortune_cookies In the vein of Lynn's wonderful Donovan Chronicles, I have a funny story for you about the Miller Clan. The other night my family and I tried out a new Chinese restaurant—new to us. I'm always looking for good Chinese food, which I seem unable to find in my neck of the woods. Doesn't make sense since we live in Silicon Valley, but I think it's more about that I grew up on the East coast and Chinese food is different there. We called those soft fried noodles Lo Mein. Here they call them Chow Mein. And the best sauce for egg rolls—Duck Sauce—you rarely find it.

Anyway, we checked out this restaurant and enjoyed our meal. (Thumbs up!) With our bill we got our traditional fortune cookies. Always a good laugh to see what these silly pieces of paper say, but I will tell you God has used a couple of these in the past to show His sense of humor and give a small affirmation. God can use anything!

My husband opened his, then chuckling, holds it out for me to read. "You will soon witness a miracle."

I totally forgot I was in the middle of a restaurant and laughed out loud (a big guffaw!), snatching the fortune and declaring my plans to blog about it—about how my atheist husband got a fortune about miracles. I love God's sense of humor.

The story gets even better. Yesterday's Air 1 verse of the day was this:

"Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!" ~ Psalm 66:5, NLT.

God has this way of using stuff like this to let me know He's up to something, and it usually comes in threes so I'm waiting for the third one. (grin)

In the meantime, I know God is working in my hubby's life in ways I've yet to see. All I can say is, "Bring it on, Lord!"

Praying and believing,
Dineen

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What a Twitter?

Do you tweet?

Tweet_deck Well sometimes I get over to my TweetDeck and try to keep up with all the incessant yet compelling whirs and whistles. I will open up the Twitter deck and the next thing I know I find myself lost in a vortex of crazy conversations, hash tags I don’t understand and giggles for more than an hour.

Sheesh.

Time flies when you are twittering with your friends *grin.*

Well a few days ago, I received a private message from a Twitterer (is that a word?). This obscure Twit was calling me out on something I said in a post that I shared on the Deck. They were anxious to correct my "flawed" thinking regarding this scripture passage:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

The Twit(er) responded to my post about this scripture: BTW, unequally yoked is not the way you interpret that verse..

I read this then laughed so loud that I scared the dog who was quite perturbed to be awakened from his afternoon nap.

All I could think to myself was, “Seriously? I mean really?”

You may have heard debate over the application of this scripture. One interpretation is this verse is not specific to marriage and that in fact, Paul, is specifically directing these words to business partnerships.

May I say just a few things in response to my TweetDeck messenger: Without a doubt and unequivocally I will confirm that 2 Corinthians 6:14 applies to marriage.

This is 19 years of experience talkin’.

It also applies to business partnership and a few other things that believers and unbelievers should not mix. If you doubt me, ask ANYONE who is in love with Jesus and in love with a spouse who is not.

Period. The end.

Have a nice day. Lynn

*grin*

Today I am flying to Northern California to stay with Dineen and be part of our very first book signing at Berean, San Jose. I will be Tweeting photos of Dineen and I and sharing the funny and also profound things and moments I discover on the way. Follow me on Twitter @LynnDonovan.

We will also be posting updates and pictures directly from the booksigning on our Facebook Page from our @sumarriage Twitter page. Join us! :-)

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I Like Big Bibles and I Can Not Lie

Yesterday in honor of Father’s Day we experienced: 

Manchurch

Every year ~ fantastic. Here is a taste.

Prepare to experience an urge to dance, giggle and jump up and down. You will want watch every second of this video. I promise.

Have a fantastic week. Be blessed, Lynn

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A Shaghetti Western

Marriage Monday

e-Mom of Chrysalis Is hosting Marriage Monday.

Our topic: "Friendship in Christian Marriage." How do you and your husband celebrate your friendship together. Scripture teaches us to phileo our husbands (Titus 2:4). This is a human brotherly kind of affection and love. For most men, phileo translates into side-by-side companionship. What do you two love to do together that fosters good feelings between you?

Hop over to Chrysalis to read more Marriage Monday.

I have spent a number of hours thinking about this topic. Friendship is a word that can encapsulate a vast number of meanings. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what defines a friendship. It can change over time. Friendships differ with each individual.

So, of course, I asked my man. “How would you describe our married friendship?”

Now, I need to tell you that asking my man this question, this particular week, was dangerous.

Most of you know that on Wednesday I will be a speaker at A Woman Inspired. I will be speaking about Marriage. What you may not know is that every time I prepare to speak about this topic, my marriage becomes victim of attack. The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy our “uniquely yoked” marriage.

With this said, you can bet there has been some “tension” in our relationship last week. However, we survived the crankiness, okay, my crankiness… *grin* The Lord is faithful indeed and His angels stood guard over our home and marriage.

Back to the story. I asked my husband, “How would you describe our friendship?”

He was standing next to me and shot me a sideways glance. Girls, you know this look. This is where he is afraid to answer. Sort of like when we ask him, “Do I look fat?” ~Deer in headlights!

I started to grin, then the hilarity of the situation got the best of me and I busted out in giggles. He was grinning too. I KNEW what he was thinking.

I turned to face him smiling, ear-to-ear, “You think married friendship is like an old Clint Eastwood movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Don’t you.”  queue: whistle -- (woo-eee, woo-eee, woooo...wah, wha wha)  

I could tell by the look on his face I was exactly right. I said, “You have only seen the bad and the ugly lately, right?” He just smiled.

Oh, girls I grabbed that man and hugged him with vigor. He puts up with an awful lot at times.

This exchange is what married friendship is all about. I can be bad, I am often ugly, and he still loves me. I am safe to be the authentic me, good, bad, ugly. He is safe to be the same.

I can’t leave God out of this equation because without the life-changing power at work in me as well as working in and around my unbelieving spouse, our marriage would not be a safe place to land.

Our marriage mostly lives in the “good” part of that old Spaghetti Western. But on those days when the bad and ugly are present, we know our friendship will triumph because it is deep, lasting and honest. Our life-long friendship is rich because the Lord is alive and well in the midst of the Donovan home.

Be blessed, Lynn

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

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Men's Brains - Women's Brains

Now we finally know!

Next week at A Woman Inspired Conference, I will be talking about the "Ultimate Odd Couple" - The Donovans. I wish I could include this video because it sure explains A LOT! It is hilarious. Enjoy! Be Blessed, Lynn


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The Soap Cup and a Rapture -
Marriage Monday

I pulled into the garage this afternoon after visiting the Farmer’s Market and snagging a frozen vanilla yogurt cone from Golden Spoon. The temperature outside was a magnificent 84˚. My daughter tagged along. We chatting about everything and nothing.

As the garage door rolled up I spied my husband in the laundry room which is actually a hallway from the garage to the house. Okay, I admit it. My guy is a treasure. He does the laundry….. Every week…..

Can I get an Amen!

My teenager and I walked into the small room.

“Wait!” my husband insisted. “I have been waiting for you to get home.”

I shot a sideways glance at Caitie, wondering, What in the world????? Which prompted my obvious response, “Whyyyyyyyy” I spoke slowly, cautiously. Wondering if I might be facing trouble. Naw, I couldn’t be in the doghouse. After all, I remembered to bring home a Mint Chocolate and Cappuccino yogurt just for him.

“I’m going blind.” He spurts out.

“Say What?”

“I dropped the laundry soap cup. I heard it bounce once. Then…..It disappeared into thin air.” His hands flew up with flair as he spoke. “Help me find it. I have been looking for ten minutes. I need both sets of your eyes.”

I am not kidding when I tell you the three of us looked like chickens pecking in dirt. Our heads were bent, checking behind the door, under the cabinet, behind the washer and dryer. To no avail.

After another 10 minutes and three people with cricks in their necks the soap cup was officially gone. I looked at my husband. “I can’t believe the three of us can’t find a soap cup in this tiny room.” I stated flatly - truly perplexed as to how it could simply disappear.

He looked at me with a grin on his face and mumbled, “It’s been raptured.”

I busted out laughing!

My daughter joined in. She laughed and said in her teen sarcasm, “Dad, what? Did the cup become a Christian?”

We all roared. My family is a hoot.

This silly exchange wasn’t disrespectful. It was a moment where I can see the glory of our marriage through the eyes of the Lord. In years past the mere mention of faith matters brought tension and usually a fight.

Not today. My man has come to respect my faith and even delight in my beliefs in the rapture, heaven, and Jesus. (My friends, I think my guy is not far from the cross.) Even better, I am able to relax and not worry about my husband’s faith journey, nor take offense if he tells me the soap cup raptured out of this world *grin*.

We are a happy couple.

The glory of our marriage is the very presence of a glorious God at work and evident every. single. day in our lives.

Be Blessed, Lynn

For more Marriage Monday, Please visit A Pair of Bartlett’s.

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I Can't Believe I sent this to a Radio Station.

It is strange but I find myself listening to a Christian Radio Station that is located in Texas. I found this station through ITunes and have enjoyed the music and positive message. I listen while I write and blog.

Well today the station asked their listeners to submit a fun and creative relationship-building tool.

HeartValentine’s Day is Saturday and I thought this is a perfect idea for us to share here as well. So, share with me a creative relationship-building tool you have proven in your own marriage. Then log-on to the station KLOVE and submit it there as well.

If they select your suggestion you can win A DVD copy of the movie Fireproof and a copy of The Love Dare book. Since we are starting our Love Dare today at 1Peter3Living, I thought I would enter.

Why not?

I have posted this suggestion at Spiritually Unequal Marriage because it works..... and is perfect for this week heading towards Valentine’s Day. Your V-day could turn out to be very, uhem, un-boring.

Okay here it is…. Gasp!

After 17 years of marriage, I knew it was possible our relationship could languish into boredom and routine. My husband would leave for work and never think about me the rest of the day. Gone were the days when he couldn’t wait to get home to see me.

One day I decided I wanted him to think about me all day. I zinged off a quick email to his Blackberry, "Honey, what color are my panties?"

Shocking?

Perhaps but it worked. He couldn’t stop thinking about me ALL DAY LONG. *grin*

Fun, spice, and Christ are the reasons we are thriving in our 17 years of marriage.

Okay gang.... Let's hear your tip. You are some of the wittiest and wisest people I know. I am sure there are some good ones. Don't be shy. All of us can use a tip to make our marriage better. Be Blessed, Lynn

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What Jersey are you Wearing?

1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.

Okay, the Chargers lost yesterday. (Queue theme song: So You Had a Bad Day)

Sigh!

Our poor Southern California boys just didn't know what to do with the snow and cold of Pittsburgh. (This is my defense and I am sticking to it)

Most of you know I live an hour away from San Diego. So by default, I am a fair-weather fan. However, my true loyalties lie with my beloved Denver Broncos. Don't even go there! I know how terrible they were this year. However, for me each year I am always hopeful. No matter what happens I watch the games with fingers crossed praying for a playoff berth.

Sigh! Queue theme song again.

All my neighbors know I am a fan. I hang blue and orange streamers from my garage during the good years. When the team performs poorly, everyone on my street loves to heap on the abuse as I walk to retrieve the mail. (I think they keep watch from their window just so they can "accidentally" meet me at the box.) This haranguing has gone on now for way too many consecutive years. But, I remain loyal.

Once many years ago, when our insufferable rival, Oakland, was still playing in LA, I was invited to attend a game when the Broncos were on top of the heap. My Dad, also a fanatic, had a friend who had season tickets on the fifty-yard line in the heart of Raider season ticket holders.

I arrived at the stadium proudly wearing my blue and orange jersey. Of course I received a ton of abuse as I started down the aisle. Now if you have never been to a Raider game, I will caution you, never wear a Bronco jersey and venture into the heart of Raider Country.

I unwittingly was taking my life into my hands. I thought the guy sitting next to me was going to do me injury when I jumped up to cheer for a Bronco touch down! Queue: We Are The Champions!Scary Raider Fanpp1

So, with the threats and harassment pouring all over me that day, I should have been scared. I should have quickly put on my jacket to hide the bright blue and orange. But, I didn't. Rock on Broncos! I withstood the remarks, the abuse, the threats. I defied them all. By the way, the Broncos lost that game so I skulked out of the stadium with thousands of Raider fans screaming Booyah! (check urban dictionary for definition. It's not nice)

I have only one thing to say, I DON'T CARE!  I am a fanatical fan and I love my team. I will be buried proudly sporting blue and orange paint on my gravestone.

So my question for you today is: Whose jersey are you wearing?

Why is it so difficult to wear a label, Jesus follower? Why does it matter so much to us what other people think? Why do we shy away from our faith under the scrutiny of our spouse?

Well, we are going to explore these questions which are extremely relevant to all believers but even more compelling to those of us who live every day with someone we love but that someone makes us feel uncomfortable about our faith.

Do you want to know how to stand firm in your faith in the face of abuse? Do you want to be known as a man or a woman who wears the jersey: Jesus Follower?

I hope that over the next several weeks we can discover how we can navigate the pressures of claiming Christ and loving a hostile unbeliever. Are you up for this? Do you want to be renewed in your faith and have concrete answers for their hard questions?

Well, stay tuned. We are on this path now. I have so much to share with you and at the end of our journey, you will be able to take that Jesus jersey out of the back of your closet and wear it for all men to see (including Raider fans and unbelieving spouses).

Matthew 15:6 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Be Blessed, Lynn

See you Friday. I have a post that will equip you to defend marriage. Can't wait!

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A Big Waste of Time...

Have fun...

This is one of my favorite Holiday time-wasters.... I hope you can blow a few minutes with me. See if you can guess the Christmas carol.

Chrisch Chrisdek Christaw Christbel Christkknigh Christl Christok Christonig Christshipp (ANSWERS)

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