5 posts categorized "Mismatched & Thriving Ministries"

Meet Lynn & Dineen In Person

Spirituallymismatched

Okay, our BIG announcement may not be a complete surprise but today we are making an official announcement and launch of a Spiritually Mismatched Conference. Wahoo!!!

THRIVING In His Presence Conference

Garden City (Detroit area), Michigan
Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM (EST)

Lynn & Dineen present:
THRIVING in His Presence Conference

*Revive your heart
*Restore your marriage
*Rejuvenate HOPE
*Recognize your divine destiny and live it fully
*Reach for the impossible
*Risk for the Kingdom
*Run in His Freedom

Register through Eventbright

Dineen and I are beyond psyched to be guests of the amazing team of Girlfriends of Grace Women's Ministry of Merriman Road Baptist Church. This is a group of women who are familiar with the unique and challenging circumstances of living with a pre-believer. They have a heart to bring hope to others and have organized a fantastic opportunity for us to meet together, pray together, learn together and allow the love of Jesus to change us all.

Merriman is located about eight miles from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. The team is working on bringing other believers together from the Detroit area. They also are hopeful many of our SUMite community can attend. 

So here's the deal. Pray... If the Lord is leading you to join this special day, then ask Him to provide the means and the way. You can book a flight in on Friday, January 22, 2016 and depart after the conference on Saturday, January 23, 2016. Book your flight later into the evening to allow time to meet us following the event. 

You can also book a hotel room. I've done a search of hotels that are near the airport as there is not a hotel near the church. Click here to see the options and information from reviews on Tripadvisor. I'm trying to figure out if there is a hotel that will shuttle to the church. Most of these hotels will shuttle you to and from the airport. I'll let you know if we can sort out some way to get you to and from the hotel to the church and then back to the airport following the event. Stay tuned.

Registration for the event is through Eventbrite. If you are attending, please register and then let me know. Dineen and I are going to choose two people to receive a free registration. We will choose two,   in a random drawing, in early January and then reimburse you for your registration. 

Additionally, we have formed a closed "travel" group on Facebook. I'm hoping that through this group we can arrange some travel together and save money. Ask me to join that group if you are planning to attend. Email me.

We expect this single day to change many. We expect the Holy Spirit to show up with power. We expect women to return home filled with fresh hope, a fresh anointing, fresh perspective and a powerful love. We expect you to be loved on and filled with scriptures that revive and restore. We expect Jesus to change us all.

Oh how I do hope that many of our SUM family can make their way toward a reunion in the flesh. January isn't all that far away and what a fantastic way to start your new year, with your SUM family the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and our good, good Father.

Pray and let me know your thoughts. If I left something out that you need to know, please ask in the comments. 

A word of advice that the team of ladies who live in Michigan gave this southern California girl about visiting the grand state of Michigan in January: "Lynn, wear everything you've got!!!!"

Hilarious. I can't wait to wear my boots and gloves and throw a snowball at Dineen. (Love ya girl! *grin.*) Join the fun and let's have a cup of anything hot together in January! BIG 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


Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

Stacked RocksThe Chronicles of the Donovan Clan began as a continuing story line of my husband’s faith journey as well as my children. As I think back upon some of the outrageous events God has orchestrated in my pre-believer’s life, I giggle and I ponder them in my heart as Mary pondered thoughts of Jesus in her heart. 

It’s been a while since I gave an update but something curious happened yesterday that I believe is a worthy story that will encourage you as you wait for your unsaved family to find faith. 

For those of you who are new to our community, let me bring you quickly up to speed. My son, daughter-in-law and one-year-old granddaughter recently moved in with us. They are relocating to California from another state. So our house has been crazed with one year old antics, crowded living and the stresses of two married couples trying to figure out boundaries. Actually I think the transition has gone way better than expected. And this little girl… Oh my heavens, she is hilarious and a blast. But atlas those are stories for another day. 

So with this in mind, let me set the stage. Many of you know that I go on a walk-n-pray every morning for about an hour. I walk in the wine country among vineyards and open spaces, by homes and pastures. It’s divine and I meet my Papa out there and we chat, I worship, I talk with Him and He with me. It’s the best part of my life. 

Also to set the stage my husband received a new work assignment that begins Monday. He will be traveling every week until the end of the year. Out on a Monday, home on Friday. This assignment has been described to my husband as very difficult, the work environment is hostile, and the project is off course. Oh yea! (sarcasm intentional) So of course, I have been praying for my husband and this new assignment. And as I was praying yesterday I clearly heard the Spirit impress on my mind this thought. Yes, this assignment will be difficult, especially in the beginning, but your husband will make friends there and it will work out. 

Wow! 

Later that morning I found myself sitting at the kitchen table with my husband and my daughter-in-law. The chit-chat was casual as we sipped coffee. But all of a sudden the Holy Spirit reminded me about my husband’s work assignment. 

I gathered myself and I said this, “Mike, I wanted to tell you that God said to me this morning that Yes, this assignment will be difficult, especially in the beginning, but your will make friends there and it will work out.” 

NOW… This may not be a big deal to some of you. But for many who are married to unbeliever’s even mentioning God can open a door to conflict. But in our house this kind of conversation has now become common place. 

I often share with my husband what God speaks to me. Or share what happens when I go to pray at the healing rooms. I also turn on worship music in the kitchen and it plays all day while I’m in my home office and he’s in his. 

Say what??? 

I mean even ten years ago I would never do this. I was afraid of the fights. Afraid of the conflict over our music choices. Fearful and weary of battling for my faith. I wonder if any of you can relate? 

Part of my fear and hesitancy to stand in my faith at home stemmed from my own doubts. I wasn’t certain about a lot of things. And it is likely that if we are honest, many of us live in this place right now. And that’s okay. Faith is a journey. But there are two central questions of faith that when you settle them firmly in your mind and heart your mismatched journey will begin to change. 

Do you believe who God says He is?
Do you believe who God says you are? 

After may years I feel confident that I’m firmly rooted in the truth of the Word of God and I know that I know what it says about God and about me. When I settled this matter in my soul, my fear of condemnation by my spouse, by anyone fled. I’m not worried about an eye-roll from my spouse or a cruel word he might speak when I mention my faith. 

I’m sharing this change in the Donovan Clan house because if God brings about a softening in my husband’s heart, He can and will do it in your home. This process is long and patience and prayer is your ally. But I promise you that when you are consistent and filled with the love and power of the Holy Spirit, you too will sit at your kitchen table one day and share the miraculous with your spouse. 

So, you might ask how do I settle these two questions in my heart? It’s relationship. Spend time with God. Come to Him like a child and chat with Him. Carve out time and read His Word. Allow the Word to challenge your doubts and silence the voice of the enemy. Replace those old doubts with God’s love and truths. Pray and ask God to settle these questions in your soul. 

Our struggle is Identity. And today our Lord God says, “I want you to believe who I say your that you are.” 

My friends, your identity is key to thriving in your mismatched marriage. And God’s Word is full of confirmations of who you are in Christ. Visit our Resource page on Mismatched and Thriving (click here). Print this out and when you feel weak in faith, or facing conflict with your spouse, when you have doubts, or just need to feel the love of our Father wash over you, go into your room, shut the door, and read this card out loud. I’m betting you will feel a change in the atmosphere. 


As I conclude this Chronicles update, I will tell you that I don’t know what my husband does with all of the things I share with him. Does he believe I’m wacked? Does he file the miracles I share with him away in a mental file to deal with them later? Does he listen but not hear? I’m not really sure. God doesn’t allow me to see into his faith journey. But for me……. 

If I don’t share the astonishing God encounters I have with my best friend on earth, the very rocks would cry out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

"I tell you," he (Jesus) replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." ~Luke 19:40 

And I believe that as I grow in my confidence to share my faith, God is moving in my pre-believers life. 

CONVERSATION:           

Can you share with me a time you gathered your courage and shared your faith with your pre-believer? What happened. See you in the comments. 

I love you my friends. Have an amazing week in His 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


No Apologies for Apologetics

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(Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

We were on vacation and sitting under the shade of a palm tree overlooking a breath-taking blue lagoon. “Are you seriously sitting there reading the Bible?” Yes. I am reading about how beautiful Queen Esther saves her people. I love this Bible event. (I try not to call them Bible “stories” because people sometimes confuse that word with “fable.”)

“You’re crazy. How do you even know there is a God?” Oh, Babe. Look around. Isn’t this gorgeous? We just spent the day swimming in the ocean with fantastic creatures – that huge whale shark that feeds on tiny plankton, the octopus that changes shape and color… How can water that is so, well fluid, have so much force in the form waves and current? Who thought of gravity? There is God. He is intelligent. He loves us and gives us awesome things. Can’t you see the possibility of it? “OK. You’re still crazy.” Yup. Always have been. I’m crazy for you too, you know.

Conversations like this present themselves from time to time. “Winning Him Without Words” teaches us that it is ineffective to preach at our pre-believing loved ones to the point we harass them. At the same time, we have to be prepared to lovingly explain our faith when given the opportunity.

Apologetics is the practice of presenting rational explanations for our faith in response to objections against Christianity.

1 Peter 3:15 “but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.”  Holman Christian Standard Bible                                              

Inspired by this scripture, there are a few approaches I try to follow.

  • I try to wait on an opportunity. A comment. A question. A TV show.
  • I try to keep it short. I try to hold my comments to only the specific question or topic. There is no point in overwhelming our pre-believers.
  • I monitor my tone. I don’t want to sound offended or overly defensive. Depending on the situation, calm and factual or outright happy may be the right tone. When speaking of God, we must speak with love in our hearts.
  • I try to keep my audience’s perspective in mind. In the conversation above, if I told my husband how I feel God’s presence in my heart, he would have just rolled his eyes or had me locked up. Instead, I responded based on the undeniable majesty that surrounded us that day. I know that he was also moved by the beauty.
  • I try to remember that each such conversation is a seed. I don’t have to keep talking until he totally agrees with me. I just have to plant the seed.

I’ve heard some objections to Christianity that seem especially strange to me. One that stands out was when a fellow at the gym said that he doesn’t believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead because in all of history no one before or since has been able to do that again. I agreed (I’m sure I looked startled.) That is what makes it so wondrous. No ordinary man could do that. Only Jesus could rise from the dead of his own power because he was God’s Son in human form.

Conversation

I don’t claim to be an expert at apologetics. Rather it is an area that I am hungry to develop. Are you? Is this an area we can explore and grow in together, Sumites? What are some objections you have heard and how did you handle them? Do you have tips or best practices to share? Do you have questions for which you’d like input about how to handle?

Prayer

Dear Lord, give us the right words to say when we have the opportunity to explain our faith. Let our actions and our words both bear witness of Your majesty. Prepare our hearts. Prepare our minds. And give us opportunities to share the Truth. 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


Returning To Our Roots

Hello my Friends, 

Greetings this Friday! Dineen and I are both on the road, traveling to different events. But before we jumped on the plane, earlier this week we had a great talk about where we want to go with our writing here and at Mismatched & Thriving in the coming months. 

After a lot of thinking, praying and discussion, we were reminiscing about how all of this ministry was started. Years ago, two ordinary wives who, only by the power and love of Jesus Christ, came through the lonely, difficult and challenging years of marriage to our pre-believing spouses. Our triumph became our passion. 

We didn’t want one other person to waste another minute stuck in the lonely and struggling years of marriage when we knew our faith could pull us out of that place. 

It became our hearts purpose to help others on this journey with us. 

With everything in us, we want others to discover hope, help and healing for their spiritual mismatch. 

We are not professional counselors. We are only women who are living in the trenches that have gained much knowledge and hope through our experiences. Every week it’s our desire to help people thrive in their marriage. Our ministry is for every marriage where faith and spiritual beliefs are absent in a spouse or not faith growing at a similar pace in both the husband and wife. Our writing is to serve those who are committed to making their marriage better and for the believing spouse to grow in his or her faith walk. Our writing is directed toward the positive actions we can take in our marriages within the context of a healthy relationship that is outside of physical, emotional abuse, addictions and behavior such as uncontrolled anger, etc. 

So as we talked about our roots earlier in the week and thought it would be great to revisit some of the ideas and suggestions from the early years of our ministry. Things like Captivating Your Spouse. Going the extra mile to make his or her day easier. Spoiling them when they least expect it.  How to love your spouse with the love of Christ. 

I realize that for some, these topics feel uncomfortable as your marriage is dealing with some of these tough issues such as addictions and such. Please hear our heart. We will pray for you and love on you. But we also want to remain steadfast to the purposes of this ministry. 

We CAN THRIVE in a spiritually mismatched home. So beginning next week, we are going to do some fun stuff, some practical stuff and move into this wonderful fall season with some real tips to try at home to spice up the romance. Tips to affirm our spouse. Tips to show the love of Christ to our pre-believers and so much more. 

And over at Mismatched & Thriving we have decided to post once a week on Tuesdays, as we don’t post here on that day and once a week we will post Parenting tips there in preparation for the release of our new Parenting book, Not Alone. One of my favorite tips is up there now, Teaching our Kids Respect in a Social Environment. 

So, what say you? Are you up for some unconditional and sacrificial loving? Do you want to see your spouse respond to that kind of love? We become irresistible over time when we love our pre-believer with the love of Christ. 

And, thank you everyone for giving us ideas for future posts on Monday. We will work through those in the coming months as well. 

Thank you for being part of this family. Remain focused on the love of Jesus. Because love changes everything. Hugging you tight. See you next week. 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


Drum Roll, Please!

Mismatched&ThrivingButtonSUMites, Lynn and I have some exciting news to share with you! With our new book, Not Alone, coming out October 7th, we wanted to create a site that would hold everything in one great place.

Drum roll, please! This new site is Mismatched & Thriving Ministries. It replaces our old site for Winning Him Without Words and works together with our site here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage.  

On our new home you will find resources and videosour booksa calendar of our speaking events, retreats and radio interviews, plus a lot more new stuff for you to check out.

You'll find new resources to help you with your marriage, your parenting, and a community forum to hang out and talk to other SUMites. And in addition to our posts here at S.U.M., we will have a weekly blog at Mismatched & Thriving to share even more resources, information and insights on parenting, marriage, family and faith.

 

M&TScreenShot

 

Another new and very special feature is Healing Prayer by Lynn. If you feel God is calling you to seek prayer for healing, go to this page for more details. 

So go take a look, check out all the menus in the navigation bar and enjoy the content at your leisure. You know where to find us! 

Honored to be on this journey with you, my friends!
Dineen

(A big shout out to Jones House Creative for putting together this stunning site for us. Thank you, Matt and Emily!)

*****

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