87 posts categorized "Praying God's Word"

Praying God's Word

My friends, today I want to make you aware of a couple of great resources. Kathi Lipp is one of my favorite people and a treasured friend. She is as real and authentic in person as she is in her books. And her books encourage, delight and are amazing tools for us to use. 

 

Praying-Gods-Word-for-Your-Life1Praying God’s Word for Your Life gives women the direction and Scripture they need to bring purpose and power to their prayers. The simple strategies Kathi Lipp shares will create in women the habit of praying with renewed boldness, consistency, and expectation. And Kathi’s warm, approachable style will make praying Scripture accessible to new believers and lifelong Christians alike.

 (Kathi gave me a book to give away so be sure to leave a comment if you want to be entered in the drawing.)

 

The other book I want to share with you is Praying God's Word for Your Husband. There's even a chapter in there about praying for your husband when he doesn't believe, which I had the privilege to write for Kathi. But besides that, this book will give you lost of ideas of ways to pray for your husband. 

 

Praying-gods-word-for-your-husband-smallWomen often offer up polite prayers to God without any real hope of seeing change in their marriage, their husbands, or themselves. Kathi Lipp directs women to Scripture and shows wives how to pray God's Word boldly and in full confidence of seeing God-sized results. Praying God's Word for Your Husband shows readers how to stop feeling helpless and start making a difference in their husbands' lives through bold, expectant prayer, whether they are new believers or have been walking with God for years.

(This book is on sale for Kindle for $1.99 right now. Great deal for a great book!)

 

My friends, I pray these books are good resources for you and will inspire you not only in how to pray  but to keep praying for yourself and your husband. Praying God's Word is powerful and is our sword, remember?

I will catch you again on Saturday for the Weekend Worship. If you've come across some awesome worship songs lately, send the link to me (dineen@mismatchedandthriving.com) . I'm always looking for great new worship songs or even old ones that speak right to the heart of what God is doing right here in our community.  

Have an amazing week drenched in God's Word, dear ones. Love you all so much!
Dineen

_______________________________________

 

935759_512368882145065_1841852146_nKathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the of The Husband Project: 21 Days to Loving Your Man—on Purpose and with a Plan, The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter, and The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted and The “What’s for Dinner?” Solution. She is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and dozens of other radio programs. Church leaders and women’s ministry directors rely on Kathi to help women move from living out of obligation to enjoying godly passion. She speaks to thousands of women across the US and Canada every year. Kathi and her husband, Roger, are the parents of four young adults and live in San Jose, California. Find out more about Kathi at www.kathilipp.com

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Worship — Overwhelmed by God

Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? This was a small thing in Your eyes, O God; but You have spoken of Your servants house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the standard of a man of high degree, O Lord God. What more can David still say to You concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know Your servant. O Lord, for Your servants sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things. O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. — 1 Chonicles 17:16-20

I love this part of David's story. He wanted to build a house of cedar for the ark of the covenant, to create a permanant home for the presence of God. But God totally turns it around and basically says He will establish David's kingdom through his family line and even speaks of His plans for David's descendants. God promises David He will never take His presence away from David and his family lineage.

Then David goes before the Lord and says, "Who am I, Oh Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far?"

As I read this I felt myself overwhelmed by God's goodness. Imagine how David felt in this moment? He desired to honor God in the best way he could think of and God takes his offering and turns it completely around and multiplies it back to David. Our Lord is that GOOD!

Wow. Now think of our offering of ourselves. We become the temple of God's Holy Spirit, not a home of cedar but a home of the heart. And God takes our humble offering and multiplies it over and over again. We are blessed to be this "temple" to His Holy Spirit in ways we will not completely understand until we are made complete in Christ and stand in His presence.

I am overwhelmed by God's grace, generosity and goodness. We can't outgive God. His delight in us exceeds perception and understanding. His faithfulness endures forever!

Oh Lord, who are we that You would give us Your very Spirit to live and dwell in us? We are Your children, Your chosen and loved ones whom You bless over and over again with Your very goodness. Thank You, Lord, for bringing us this far. Thank You, Lord, for regarding us and loving us in such high degree. Thank You, Lord, for Your greatness and all that You do in and through us. Abba, there is no one like You! We adore you, Jesus! Amen!

Love you, my friends, so very very much. We belong to the Most High God and we are His delight! 
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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


We are Equipped!

IStock_000019658016XSmallAs we walk in our faith, God continually puts a call on our hearts to be more like Jesus. It's a mystery we will walk through our entire time here and is part of God's Kingdom come here on Earth and is part of God's great plan.

The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I've been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board. This is my life work:helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God's way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. — Ephesians 3:6-8 (The Message)

I'm using The Message paraphrase here because I think it makes this passage in Ephesians more understandable. First, Paul makes it clear that we all stand on the same ground before God. We are all offered the same promises in Christ. Jesus came to die for all of us and it's up to us to accept His gift. I think our SUM community here understands this probably better than most.

But it's the second part of this that I want to point out. Paul shares how taken by surprise he was that he would receive such a gift. He's referring to his past as a Pharisee and his brutal persecution of Christians. We see this happen even today when the least likely in our eyes become powerful tools for God.

The beautiful part (at least to me) is God's loving care in all the details. Paul says the same, that God equipped him to do what he clearly knew he could not. He even emphasizes this in saying it had nothing to do with his natural abilities.

Think about it. Here is a man who once stood in complete authority in the Temple who could have easily relied on his knowledge to move forward in his new standing with Jesus, yet he saw it as way over his head.

We feel that way a lot in our mismatched marriages, don't we? We feel like we're ill-equipped and in way over our head. That would be true if we were completely on our own. But we're not. Just as God equipped Paul down to the smallest details to share the mystery of Christ with Jews and Gentiles alike, God does the same for us.

My friends, this goes way beyond our words! God's Holy Spirit lives and dwells in us. We are equipped to the gills! Perhaps our greatest challenge isn't knowing when to act, speak, or do but in trusting this truth—trusting that God is there equipping us constantly for every situation we encounter or are called to.

Scripture backs this up too:

Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." — Matthew 28:20 (The Message)

We don't have to ask God to be with us. He already is so let's use that prayer power to ask for what we need. Ask God for something He can do, not something He's already done.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. — Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

God's grace doesn't stop at the moment we accept Christ. God's grace is active and working. We tend to think we receive it when we are saved and then it's done, but God's grace is powerful and continues to work in and around us to transform us from the inside out. And that "out" is what those near to us see as we are transformed day by day to walk in the confidence, competence and gifts that come from God.

My friends, we spent a lot of time in our spiritual warfare series on our identity in Christ because this is truly our foundation.

As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. — Luke 6:47-49

Now I believe God wants to build upon our foundation the truths that are part of our inheritance in Christ so that we can walk forward in the promises and victories that are ours.

Any time you feel ill equipped or ineffective, I want you to pray this prayer over yourself and repeat it, out loud whenever possible, to affirm who you are and that Jesus has equipped you:

For I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do. — Ephesians 2:10

The Greek meaning of that word for “works” also means action, behavior, deeds, doing, effectual, labor, result and task. In other words, God created (in the Bible a word that is used exclusively of God and the energy He exerts) us and He planned significant actions that we would do effectively and with results (fruit).

Now repeat this to yourself, and out loud!

God intends for me to be effective and see results in my life.

When we are “walking in the Spirit”—following and seeking God in every part of our lives—we will be effective daughters and sons of the Most High God and see results in our life.

The choice starts with us, my friends. If we want this kind of life, we have to go after it, ask for it and believe it’s possible. God pursues us. We can choose to pursue Him.

Are you with me?

Lord Jesus, You came that we may know the Father as You do and to walk as co-heirs with You. Help us to truly believe this truth and to believe that wherever You are calling us to step out in faith, You have already prepared every detail so that we can walk effectively in this place and produce results (fruit) either in ourselves or to impact the lives of others. Thank you, Lord Jesus for this precious promise and gift! In Your powerful and mighty name, amen!

Praying & believing with you, my precious friends!

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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Worship — Praying On Our Armor

We're reaching the end of our spiritual warfare series, my friends, and I can't think of a better way to punctuate all we've learned than praying on our armor of God. Join me in prayer and then let's praise God for His outlandish and extravagant love for us.

Ephesians 6:10-18
Lord, we are strong in You and Your mighty power. We put on our full armor of God, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. Remind us daily that our struggle isn’t against our spouse, our children, our family, our friends, our jobs, our situations, our neighbors, the strangers we meet or even our government. The battle is truly against the rulers, authorities and powers of evil present in this world and in heaven, against satan and his demons working to steal, kill and destroy us.

So today and everyday from now on I put on my full armor of God and stand my ground against the enemy’s schemes against me and my family.

I buckle on the belt of truth, which is Christ dwelling in me because He accepted, adopted, blessed, chose, forgave, loves and redeemed me (Ephesians 1). This is the truth of who I am in Jesus and the foundation of my authority and power in Him. (Luke 9:1-2)

I put my breastplate of righteousness in place over my heart because your Word says to guard my heart above all else for it determines the course of my life. (Prov. 4:23) Lord, I pray that the eyes of my heart be enlightened so that I will know the hope that You have called me to, the riches of my inheritance in Jesus, and the amazing power for us who believe—the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in Heaven as our intercessor forever. (Ephesians 1:18-21)

I stand with my feet firmly placed in the gospel of peace because your word is lamp to my feet and light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

I take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, because He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) The enemy cannot prevail for I am already the victor in this battle. (Romans 8:37-38)

I don my helmet of salvation because the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

I lift sword of the Spirit, which is your Word that I will use faithfully to pray against the enemy and to faithfully live my life in accordance to for we live on every word that comes from Your mouth, Oh Lord. (Deut. 8:3/Matt. 4:4)

Lord, teach and help me to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. And keep me alert to pray for all my sisters and brothers in Jesus. In your mighty, powerful and holy name we pray, amen!

I love you so very much, my precious and beautiful friends. You bless me, inspire me and show me everyday the wonder of God in our lives and what it means to be unified in the Spirit.

Hugging you so very tight with the love of Jesus in 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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Who’s Your Daddy?

IStock_000018122105XSmallOkay, I’m totally ripping off Lynn and some tacky song thing, right? But it’s what popped into my head and those are usually my best lines. (wink)

With that said, I’m going to share a few tidbits of my past that, well, I really didn’t plan or want to but God’s giving me the nudge to be even more authentic with you. And I blame Lynn. LOL!

Just like Lynn shared about her “daddy” issues, I’ve had the same challenge as well. My mother and birth father divorced when I was two. I did see my birth father periodically, but it wasn’t an easy situation because he was mentally ill (later diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic).

I don’t remember a whole lot, but I know my mother had it rough keeping food on our table and remarried when I was around four or five, mostly for security. Didn’t work out for very long (it was clear to Mom and I both he wasn’t too keen on having a kid around).

The man I called “Dad” up until two and half years ago when he passed away from cancer was actually my step-dad. He and my mother married when I was eleven. I’m so grateful for this man. Though his own father walked out on him when he was a young boy, he did a good job filling the gap of father in my life, especially without having a good role model. It wasn’t easy for him though. He was always dad, and I was always his daughter, and my girls’ Papa. No "steps" about it.

Whew! Done with the backstory. And please don’t think I share this for attention or pity. I admit in my past I had times of sharing this for that reason but not anymore. I share it because it’s important to the rest of this story.

Fast forward to 2002. I’m at a Women of Faith conference, having a blast with my two best friends from church. We’re singing and worshiping and bam! It’s like my life zips right in front of my eyes. All the rejection I’d experienced as a child and teenager flashed across my mind's eye like a depressing movie from the ‘70s (Am I the only one who hates movies from that time period? So depressing. Blech!)

Anyway, it’s not the past I thought would have “scrolled” through the dank dungeon of my past—you know, all the school yard junk and issues with school and not fitting in, etc.) Nope, it was to do with the three men who’d played the roll of father in my life.

Needless to say it wasn’t pleasant. Thank goodness it happened fast! As it reached the end, Jesus (my first encounter with Him, though I was saved and had recommitted my life to Him almost 10 years prior) spoke to my heart these words:

“I will never reject you.”

Like the story I shared of what happened to me at Bethel, this ripped something out of me that God didn’t want festering there anymore. But more importantly, He knew I needed to hear this/know this/believe this because otherwise I would never be able to trust Him.

My friend, this was the beginning of God working things in my life so that I could one, learn to trust Him, and two, begin to grasp how deeply I am loved by Him. I’m still grasping it.

I know many of you out there reading this have similar stories. That’s the sad part, so many of us do. When we have a broken image of our father here on earth, it’s hard to grasp that our heavenly Father is nothing at all like an earthly father.

I will even go as far as to say this (and feel free to correct me if you think I’m too far “out there): We know the enemy of our soul targets marriage in huge ways, namely because it is something God designed to reflect our relationship with Him. What if the enemy is doing the same thing with our relationships with our fathers? With our children’s relationship with their father?

We see a growing trend in our culture today of absentee fathers. Of men struggling to stay in the church, to be in the church, to be the spiritual leaders of our families. I believe the enemy is attacking this area too because this father image is something else God uses in the Bible to reflect our relationship with Him.

Think about it? The biggest symbols used in the Bible—marriage and fatherhood—that show God’s love for us are the two areas most at risk. And the recovery from this takes time, as Lynn and I have shared. God has had to work in us to undo the lies and replace it with His love and His truth.

So this is what we want you to know, more than anything, right now, right here. God loves you. He made you. He can’t make things He doesn’t love and He doesn’t do shoddy work either. Nor does His love rest upon our performance because if it did then we wouldn’t need grace and Jesus suffered and died on a cross for no reason at all.

Know in your heart of hearts that you were fashioned by His hand out of a love that is all encompassing, unimaginably perfect and so incredibly powerful and passionate that we won’t fully understand it until we are with Him in Heaven. Nor can we be separated from it.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
God wants you to grasp this now. Right now. Because until we do, we will use everything and anything to fill this gap to find fulfillment. Our husband, our children, our friendships, our work, the opinions of others—I know this because I’ve lived it.

Our Lord and Savior wants us to walk in freedom and victory (It is for freedom that He came to set us free. Gal. 5:1). Not when all our problems are solved. Not when our prebelievers finally accept Jesus into their heart. And certainly not when we think we’ve got it all together.

He wants this for us right now, right in the middle of all our imperfections and all our trials and challenges. And we can do that with Him through His love.

My prayers started with asking God to heal me and make me whole. I prayed to understand His grace better. I prayed for Him to help me love Him more, to free me from my fears, and to make me a bold and confident person, because I was so tired of my insecurities. I want more of God than anything else in my life. Not an easy prayer but I promise you it is one He will honor and love to hear come from your heart.

So my friends, I will leave this too long post right here with what I hope will encourage you to pursue God like never before. It starts with prayer and if you’re not sure what to pray for first, ask the Holy Spirit to show you. Pray and then believe He’s doing this in you. It won’t be something you can do on your own, make a plan to conquer, or figure out the missing key and, viola!, it’s fixed. (Trust me, I tried!)

No, the healing, deliverance, and change will come when you least expect it because it will be totally and completely God doing it. Rest in Him. Trust Him. Let Him do it.

And He will love you all the way to freedom and beyond. Because really and truly, He is our Father, our Abba, our Daddy.

Praying and believing for you!
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Over 100 Emails and 8 Countries!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Sister in Christ,
Stacey Daley

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

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

*****

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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Worship — Colossians 1:9-14

Let's start with a prayer...

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

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

Praying & praising!
Dineen 

*****

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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Worship — Psalm 150

6a00d83451ee9f69e2017c31ef2550970b-250wi
Praise the Lord.

1 Praise the Lord.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

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

Praise the Lord.

In Your precious Name, Lord Jesus, amen!

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

Praying & worshipping with you!
Dineen 

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Forget the Devos. Let's Worship!

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

Let’s start that here and now.

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

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

Psalm 148

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12 young men and women,
old men and children.

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

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

Praise the Lord.

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

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

Praying & worshiping with you!
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


More Than Just Waiting, Part 2

IStock_000004628405XSmallYesterday I left you with the question, what is the key to this? In other words, what is the key to worshiping God even as we wait?

Back up to verse Isaiah 40:26: “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:”

What if that lift of our eyes is a constant state of awareness—constantly looking for God in our everyday lives? What if we looked for God’s hand and provision each day for the prayers we sent up just that morning. What if we waited expectantly for God to just show up in some way each and every day?

This is the abundant life, my friends! (John 10:10)

And this is where it takes a mental shift that I do so hope I’m explaining well enough. This is a place of worship because we have chosen to live our lives focused on God. God doesn’t revolve around us. We revolve around God in reverent waiting, birthed from a growing trust in Him to take care of us, a belief that our prayers will be answered, and the expectancy that God will do even more than we ask because we long for His presence more than anything else in our lives. This goes so beyond material provision—it affects every aspect of our lives.

It’s about wanting Jesus—God’s presence in our lives—more than anything else. Absolutely. Anything. Else.

I will share something that happened just this weekend. I’ve been praying about this aspect of worship in our waiting, about wanting more of God and less of me, and I did something I don’t do easily. I asked God to delight me.

It’s not easy for me because I struggle to ask for anything from anyone, not out of pride but out of fear. Yet I dared to ask God. As I drove in my car Saturday, I noticed a man cross the other side of the road to the center median. Now this is an 8-lane road. I’m in a center lane, just barely aware that he’s there.

Traffic slows a bit. The next thing I know, this man drops to his knees in the median and raises his arms in the air, all the way up. I can only stare in shock.

And then I start to cry. I don’t know why. I only know that I have just watched something profound. I could have easily just seen it as some oddball doing something strange, and believe me, I considered that. But I keep coming back to my reaction. I had no way of knowing what this was about but something deep inside me reacted to this man’s display.

I don’t know what happened that day. I do believe it was significant. I want to believe that God chose that moment to delight me, because nothing brings me to tears faster than when I watch someone worship God or give their hearts to God. I bawl like a baby.

With joy. With gratitude that God loves us that much. With worship that I too can experience that delight.

God is just waiting to show us things we can’t even begin to understand.

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” —Jeremiah 33:3

This verse is a part of my prayers now. And I’m asking God for another thing close to my heart—to allow me to hear Him sing over me (Zep 3:17).

I will leave you with this quote from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd. The more you focus on My presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life. Glorify me through your pleasure in Me. Thus you proclaim my presence to the watching world.” (August 13th, Mathew 1:23; John 10:10-11)

And a prayerful Scripture:

1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
—Psalm 25:1-5

Praying & believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Taking a Walk with Nehemiah, Part 2

IStock_000001537091XSmallOn Tuesday we started our journey with Nehemiah and his calling to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. In the comments, Shelly pointed something amazing out in Nehemiah 2:

After this post I was intrigued to read Nehemiah myself with the perspective of marriage at hand. Only made it to chapter 2 but what stood out was 2:21... "The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall (marriage). But you (those who were against him, my interpretation...satan) But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem (my home)." Satan has no share, legal right or historic claim to our marriages! A powerful statement to remember when the battlefield of the mind seems to be getting the best of you.

Is that not amazing? I love how Shelly took this piece of God's Word and brought out the truth we could apply to our marriages. Make a prayer out of this, my friends, and let's put the enemy of our marriages on the run!

Now onward...

I left you with some questions to consider about doubts. After the doubts, the voice of fear chimed in next. They were threatened with death. Do you find at times that you fear the "death" of your marriage? That the current situation or constant conflict will result in this kind of loss? I know I have at times.

In verse 14 Nehemiah says something we hear repeatedly (repeated even more than God's messages of love) thought the Bible.

Do not be afraid.

Nehemiah tells them not to be afraid and to fight for their families and houses. Do these men go to battle and fight the men opposing them? No, they stand their ground and continue in the calling God has place on their hearts. That same commitment and calling spoken of in verse six when they built the wall to half its height with all their hearts.

Nehemiah then divides the men into workers and defenders. The defenders are equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. Even the workers held a weapon as they built. They didn't even take off their clothes to sleep or put down their weapons to get water. They continued to do what God asked and stood firm in the calling. Sound familiar? Isn't this the same "standing" spoken of in Ephesians 6:10?

Now think of those weapons as prayers. These men were constantly armed with weapons just as we are to be constantly armed with prayer and God's Word (there's our armor).

Now look at verse 20 where Nehemiah says, "Our God will fight for us." Who's that doing the fighting again?

God.

God did the fighting. The men did the believing. They held onto the vision of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, of seeing their home repaired and made strong for God's glory.

We are being called to a similar place, my friends. God is calling us to stand firm for our marriages, to hold our prayers and God's Word firmly in hand and use them. As God fights for our unbelievers and our family, we are standing firm in our place to pray and believe in God's plan for our lives, our marriages and our children.

The wall of Jerusalem was completed. Can you imagine the cheers of these men when the past beam was put in place? They held fast to the vision of a completed wall and stayed faithful.

Catch the vision God has for your marriage. Ask Him to show you what needs rebuilding, repairing and reinforcement. I’m doing this myself right now. God has alerted me to places that are weak and could give the enemy entrance.

I'm standing my ground for my marriage, for my husband’s impending salvation, for the future of my family. I have my armor on and God’s Scripture in hand as I work, as I pray. The enemy tried to make me think I faced an impossible situation but God reminded me He is the one working and the very situation I feared is what He is using to bring His plan to completion. I will not be afraid.

How about you, my friend? Are you willing to stand for your marriage and let God fight for you? Let’s stand together. God is fighting for us!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Devo — Possible AND Impossible

859675_book___God’s been whispering a message to my heart this past week with every prayer request or comment I’ve read here and other places.

“All things are possible with Me. Nothing is impossible either.”

I so sense God wanting us to truly understand His heart for us. So, this led me to compile all the verses in the Bible that speak this truth. If you have some to add, leave them in the comments. I’ll even create a special download from them all if we wind up with a bunch!

Memorize them, use them to battle doubts. Speak them out loud to affirm your faith AND change your thinking. You will be astounded especially in that area at how God’s Word can change the way we think and relate to our situations.

Friends, dive into these promises and claim them as your own!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” — Matthew 19:26

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” — Mark 9:23

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” — Mark 10:27

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” — Mark 14:36

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” — Luke 18:27

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” — Matthew 17:20

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” — Matthew 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” — Mark 10:27

For nothing is impossible with God.” — Luke 1:37

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” — Luke 18:27

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. — Acts 2:24

*****

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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


That Old Familiar Ache

PrayerIt snuck up on me again, that old familiar ache. The one I used to walk around with constantly early on in my mismatched marriage. I thought I’d made peace with it, made the choice to trust God with my husband’s salvation and the future of our marriage. I’d learned to bring that ache, that longing to share my faith with my husband to God and leave it in His hands.

But there it was again just days before Good Friday.

Why now and why so suddenly? Had I stopped trusting God somehow? Had I taken it back from God? Or was God trying to show me or remind me of something?

I did a mental review of the last few weeks and nothing came to mind that might have shaken my foundation of trust in this area. If anything, my marriage and my relationship was better than ever.

And there it was. I’d hit this place of contentment with things as they were. Now there’s nothing wrong with being content in my marriage. Paul even speaks of how he learned to be content in every situation.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. — Philippians 4:11-12

Though Paul referenced his physical needs, his meaning is deeper when he speaks of “every situation.” He trusted God for everything. He was content.

But my contentment made me question whether I was simply at peace with God’s plan for my husband’s impending salvation (I believe, I believe!) or had I started to lose hope in the waiting? Had my prayers lagged and desire waned to keep praying?

Every once in a while I think it’s good to take an inventory of where we are at in our faith. Sometimes life has a way of becoming so busy with the doing and the routines that we “do” without thinking “why.”

That's what I had done recently in my marriage. I’d prayed and asked God to show me the difference. Had I truly given Him that ache in my heart in exchange for His reassurances that no matter what happens, I have Him and I am His? Or, had I become complacent, living for the now with my husband because he is a good and moral man by nature, which makes living in a mismatched marriage a little easier? Had I allowed complacency to make me forget what’s at stake in the end?

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. — 1Timothy 6:6-7

I’m being honest and authentic here because you deserve it, my friends. Our battles don’t always lie in the obvious conflicts and issues we face being in a mismatched marriage. Sometimes the enemy works in the subtle areas we forget to take notice of. Complacency can be his tool as well.

Do I have an answer to my question? No, actually I don’t. I don’t know why the ache returned. I’m begining to think there’s more than one answer to this question because God is never found in just one place or one level. Even the Scriptures are full of many layers and meanings.

Perhaps complacency is one factor. I do believe I have trusted God for my huband’s future and I do believe one day he will come to know Jesus because God gave me this reassurance many years ago. Maybe God allowed me to feel that ache again so that in this gift of reassurance, I didn’t become lazy or forgetful.

I also believe God gives us things like this so that we don’t lose compassion and understanding for others walking difficult paths. So I believe that is part of the ache I felt even more keenly as I sat in church Friday evening.

Because as I sat there, yearning for my sweet guy to know Jesus, not just for me, but to know this amazing and wonderful God who was willing to become man as well God and suffer a most horrible death for my husband, I prayed for him to understand that kind of love.

And I thought of all of you. How we walk this path on a daily basis, some days good, some days bad, but we walk it together as sisters and brothers in Christ.

I left the church that night with a prayer to leave that ache at the cross. I can think of no better place for it. God met my needs in many ways that evening. He met me in my heart, He met me in the nudge He gave to a sweet friend at church to invite me to sit with her instead of alone, and I know He is meeting my pleas and prayers for my husband—my need for this man I love so dearly to know the One who loves him even more.

I know this because God’s Word says so:

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. — Phil 4:19

My dear friends, may God meet ALL your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. He is faithful and He is good and you can be sure He will do this for you. Leave that ache at the cross and watch how our Great Lord and Savior redeems it.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Messy and Broken Could Be The Best Place To Be

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comIt’s Sunday afternoon as I write this post, I know I should be asking you to listen to Dineen and me on the radio today. But, right now I just can’t. My heart is heavy.  

In a rare moment, this morning at church at the request of our Pastor, I went to the front of the church to be available to pray with anyone who needs prayer. I’ve never done this before and wouldn’t you just know God KNEW there was one woman, a wife, who needed me, whom I could so relate. As I looking into her face, I could see a not-so-distant reflection of me only a few years ago. 

She was struggling in her marriage. 

My heart is broken for her. 

My heart is truly broken for all of our messy marriages. 

I am broken for those of us who are married and yet lonely, who are sad, angry, disappointed. My heart breaks for us who are isolated even at church because we don’t fit the typical church family shape. My heart hurts for those of us who are desperate to share intimacy with our spouse and to know a marriage where Christ is the center and not ridiculed by the very person who was supposed to be our soul mate. 

My heart is broken. But….. (With God there is always a but.) 

My sweet friends it’s when we are broken that God can do His best work. It’s when we have finally reached a place that we just can’t do “it” anymore. That is when we finally surrender our pain, our expectations, our marriage, and our spouse’s salvation to an all-powerful and good God. 

I am an ordinary woman. A 5’4” blonde who doesn’t have this walk with God all figured out. I don’t have all the answers but I have one thing and it’s all I need. 

I have Jesus. 

I love Jesus with every part of me. And Jesus loves me. And that is the simple key to living in peace and to loving my nonbeliever. The transforming love of Christ and His Word has changed everything. 

My friends, you CAN do this messy marriage thing. You can thrive in your spiritual mismatch. You can raise Godly kids in the midst of different world views. You can laugh, OUT LOUD with praises on your lips. You can experience peace that surpasses all understanding. You can love profoundly and with passion. 

Dineen and I are ordinary wives but we serve the Extraordinary God of the Universe and His son, Jesus. And our marriages have been redeemed, our kids are safe in our Savior’s hands and we are on the most amazing journey any believer could hope to travel. 

Oh please, travel this crazy, mixed up road with us. Learn to hear the Father’s voice. Watch as He astonished you with unexpected and fantastic answers to prayer. Let Him comfort you and teach you new ways to live. 

Walk with us and behold…… His desires for your life will be the greatest thing you will ever experience. 

Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord 
and He will give you the desires of your heart. 

I bear witness to the truth of God’s Word. 

Today, if you are brokenhearted, leave your prayer request in the comments. We will pray for each of them. We have a prayer team that will pray for you by name. Take a step forward in your walk toward heaven and watch all that our Great God will do in you, around you and allow him to amaze you this very week. 

FocuslogoBe blessed my friends, Lynn 

To listen to our Focus on the Family interview, click here. We pray that every word reflects Jesus. To God be all honor and glory. 

And, if you are new to our website, visit our New Hear page. Step off on the path to healing this very hour.

*****

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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Devo — THE Dress

IMG_1430
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11

When I prayed for my oldest daughter during our SUM fast the first week of January, God gave me this above verse for my oldest daughter. I wrote it on an index card and gave it to her. And I've been praying it over her ever since.

I shared last Thanksgiving that my daughter was officially engaged to the wonderful young and godly young man she'd been dating for four years. Yesterday marked another special moment in my her future.

We found the wedding dress. Yep, THE dress.

I can remember clearly the day I got my wedding dress. I remember how I felt. Now I understand how my mother felt. Seeing my little girl try on these beautiful gowns—so glad I brought tissues.

Last week I confessed how afraid I was to get married. Now I see the joy and excitement brimming in my daughter's face as she takes these steps to marry the man she loves. I am so thankful to God for helping me overcome my fears. This has enabled me to share wonderful stories with my daughter, laugh over funny tales about her dad and me, and realize that God has worked all this to not only deliver me from my fears (Psalm 34:4) but to show my daughter a future of hope and love.

And faith.

Often times we have to wait a long time to see the fruits of our labor and faithfulness. This was truly worth the wait.

Praing and believing,
Dineen 

*I took this picture of my two girls as we looked at dresses. What a day!

*****

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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Devo — Power of Prayer

6a00d83451ee9f69e2014e8a1f06d0970d-320wi

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. —Revelatins 8: 3-5

 

Ready for a confession? Lately, I've felt like my prayers weren't making a difference. I didn't like that feeling because it started to affect my prayer life. I started to doubt and wonder if I should even pray at times.

See how the enemy loves to move in and make us doubt?

So I started praying, asking God to help me pray more effectively. I wanted to be a pray warrior! But I sure needed help to do that.

You know what God sent me? One of you. Lori sent me an email with the Scripture above, painting a mental picture of our prayers mixing with incense to be presented before God.

One, remember that the incense in the Old Testament that the priests of Levi were to use was very specific. They couldn't just use whatever they wanted. 

Two, I love the aftermath of this verse, that the incense combined with our prayers are hurtled back to the earth and cause the earth to shake and lightning to boom!

Now when I pray, I think of Lori's email (thank you, Lori!) and imagine my prayers in those censors before God, mixng with the prayers of so many other believers and shaking the world! Makes me also think of that verse that says when we speak God's Word to Him, it doesn't return void (Isa. 55:11).

I shared recently that I was praying Psalm 34:4 for myself: "I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears."

I have prayed and spoken it aloud as prayer and praise. Guess what? That fear I was battling is gone. My prayers (and those of many others) came back to me in a powerful way and rocked my world!

Maybe I'll be a prayer warrior yet. ;-)

Praying and believing again,
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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


False Security

On February 12th, something happened that seriously rocked my world. I’m not an overly brave person, I confess, but I stepped out of my comfort zone (way out) and agreed to drive cross-country from Florida to California because my daughter wanted to come back home.

It’s a trip we’ve done many times, but always with my husband. He’s a great driver, loves road trips and has always done the bulk of the driving. So, on a clear and sunny Friday, my daughter and I headed out with the intent to make our country trip in five days—a trip my husband and I have normally done in four days. I wanted to be safe and reasonable.

I wanted to be brave for my daughter and husband and do this thing. I wanted to prove to myself too that I could handle such a trip without the comfort and security of my husband.

We were doing fine for the most part, my daughter and I, swapping turns driving. Day one brought us out of Florida to Alabama without incident except for an engine light. Okay, not part of the plan but we could handle it. We lost a couple hours the next day but left the service garage with the security of knowing all was well with the engine.

Security. I like security. I like knowing what’s ahead of me, what to expect, how to prepare and be ready.

But what happened on our third day wasn’t expected. Wasn’t at all something I could have prepared for. Inclement weather we thought would clear up left a patch of ice on an overpass and in a matter of seconds, the most terrifying thing I could imagine happened.

Why? I’d prayed, asked God for protection, to bring us home safely. But it still happened. The car that had so faithfully brought us halfway across the country now sat in a center median, mangled and in despair of ever cruising a road again.

Thankfully (and praise God) my daughter and I were okay. But for this person who’d done her best to brave a new adventure, my deepest fear had materilized. We were banged up, had no car, and were out in the middle of nowhere in Texas, far from the comfort of home. Details had to be dealt with and worked out when all I really wanted to do was curl up in a ball and hide.

Where was God? I needed help. I could accept that He had a plan in all this, but I needed tangible evidence He was there helping me deal with the situation. I muddled through, we worked out arrangements, then my husband decided to come get us. I was relieved...so relieved. I didn’t have the strength to be brave anymore.

God helped me face a truth: I have a fearful spirit.

God has shown me this in the days since our accident. I’d built my security in my world based upon controllable circumstances. The minute those circumstances changed and moved completely (and I mean totally and completely) out of my control, my false security crumbled. I couldn’t do anything but look to God and wait for Him to show me the way out of this mess of mangled emotions and broken perceptions.

The more I cried out, the more I realized I was now on another journey. One that meant rebuilding and repairing certain areas of my faith. I’m on that journey now, still waiting for God to reveal more of what this is all about. What more does He want me to allow the tow truck to haul away and allow Him access to replace and rebuild?

I only know I don’t want to live in this place of fear, nor does God. It’s not going to be a pleasant process to let go of my false securities. Sometimes the thing we fear most is the very thing we need most. Doesn’t make sense but I’m starting to understand its truth.

The best cure for a fearful spirit is trusting God. That is true security because it requires relinquishing our expectations, weaknesses and fears into God’s control. Completely.

For now I’m clinging to Psalm 34:4:

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

God brought me to this verse and it’s my prayer and comfort right now. I’m learning that even in the worst-case scenarios—the ones we never expected and wonder how we’ll walk out of with any semblance of wholeness and strength—God is really there. We may not feel like He is at times, but we can KNOW and BELIEVE it.

Lord, we seek you with our fearful spirits, ready to trust You in new ways. Hear us and deliver us from all our fears. Though the future looks so insecure at times, dry our tears with the comfort and security of your constant presence and that You are in complete and total control, working for our good—always. We cling to your Son who is our hope and proof of these truths—and our greatest security of all. Amen.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Who You are in Christ

WhoIAm

Lynn and I hope you've enjoyed this week's Twitter stream of praises and truths. The above is a compilation of all of them. Just click and download it. It's our gift to you! Keep it on your computer, print it out and hang it up somewhere, or even insert copies in your Christmas cards this year as a gift to those you send it to. 

Christ came and died to give us these truths, to remember that through His birth and death, we are adopted, accepted, blessed, chosen, forgiven and redeemed (Ephesians 1). Let's ponder these wonderful truths right into Christmas and continue to give thanks to our Savior for giving us the greatest gift of all.

Himself.

Praying and believing, 
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Answered Prayers Can Be Painful

698517_dancing I’m grieving. But in a good way. I know that sounds a bit crazy so I’ll explain. Two prayers that I’ve been praying for my family seem to be coming to fruition, but it’s not at all what I was expecting.

I will share with you the one about my daughter because so many of you wonderful prayer warriors out there have prayed for her since her cancer diagnosis in 2008, through her surgeries, radiation treatments and recovery. It’s been a bumpy road emotionally too.

In January God gave me Malachi 4:2 for her and I have been praying this Scripture for her ever since.

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

Things in my daughter’s life haven’t unfolded the way I expected, but God is showing me that now is the time for her to be like that calf. She’ll soon be moving to Florida to live with my mother so she can find a job and start beauty school.

She still has to conquer driving and getting her GED in October, but this is the path God has set before her. She knows it’s right for her and I see that it is too.

But it’s painful. I didn’t expect to have to let go of my youngest (17) so soon. I’d expected that this time of transition into healing and joy would happen while she was here with us in California. I didn’t expect this to happen now and in another state.

So I’m grieving the loss of my little girl—the girl who was forced to grow up so very fast three years ago and is now reaching for the independence that comes with this maturity.

Yet in many ways she has so much still to learn. I’m comforted by the fact that she’ll be with my mother (who is an amazing mom!) and I hear God’s call to trust Him with my baby. She really is His after all, right?

So my heart aches with this transition but rejoices that my daughter is stepping into her future, something I prayed for so desperately some days that it bought me to tears and to my knees.

Tears of worry to tears of joy. My heart is breaking and rejoicing all at once.

Here is a piece of Scripture that God used to direct and comfort this mother’s aching heart:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. —Prov. 3:5-6

In reading a devotional and listening to a sermon (both on the same day but from different sources), God helped me see that I’d “leaned” on my own understanding. His plan is the best way, I know that. But now I have totally let go and trust Him despite the unexpected circumstances.

This is the “trust him with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding” part. It’s risky and scary but if we know God is faithful, we can trust Him for the right outcome, whether it’s for ourselves or for a loved one.

That last part of this Scripture is the promise of God’s faithfulness. I know we’ve talked about that a lot here but He shows this to us over and over again. In His Word and in our lives if we really pay attention. It’s not his choice, it’s his character. Who He is. Wrap your brain around that one. I’m still floored by it on a regular basis.

As for that second prayer…I’ll keep you posted. It’s the most dangerous prayer we can pray for our unsaved spouses. (Chapter 10 in our book). I don’t know how far the ramifications are going to reach, but I can tell this transition with my daughter is may just be a warm up for what’s to come.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Devo — Praying Scripture

IStock_000001262149XSmall For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. ~ Philippians 2:13, NLT

Sometimes God calls upon us to do some pretty difficult stuff, especially in our mismatched marriages. More importantly, we face a daily battle within ourselves to do what pleases God and what pleases ourselves. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing between the two.

That could be a good thing if my desires and God’s are closely aligned, but I’m human and that is not always the case.

So this is the Scripture I’ve been praying for myself this past week and will continue to do so. There are lots of new challenges ahead and I need fortification and reassurance. I love having Scriptures I can specifically pray to meet each new challenge.

Lord, I’m so grateful that You are working in me and giving me the desire and the power to do what please You!

Are you praying a specific Scripture right now? Do share!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


A Community

The following was posted by my good friend, Dee, on our 1 Peter 3 Living group. I was moved by her invitation and want to extend it to all of you in this amazing community of believers who are waiting for the salvation of our spouse. 

John-3-16 So here is Dee:

John 3:16 is the most well known verse in the Word of God. It is the classic statement of God's salvation through Jesus Christ. This verse describes God's plan of salvation in simple but powerful words. This verse of Scripture also provides you with a prayer model to use in praying for the lost. It offers you vital truths that you can use to plead with God for the lost.

With the above in mind and considering the Easter season that we're in, I thought that John 3:16 would be an excellent verse for us to use to plead/pray/fast for the our spouses on the remaining Tuesdays of this month. (We fast and pray every Tuesday at 1P3)

This is a special time of the year - Jesus died for my husband - He died for your husband.  My husband doesn't believe this and I want that to change - the sooner the better!

So, would you consider making this your prayer and fasting focus on Tuesday for your spouses and the others in our group?

Who's in? 

Thank You Jesus - for what You did for all of us on that cross!  I pray that our men/women would not perish for not believing this powerful truth.  Lord, I cannot  even stand the thought of that -  No Lord, have mercy, show them the way, the truth and the life!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his  only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

I love our community of believers who are living to love Jesus and loving their spouse. I especially love all of you who are loving in extraordinarily trying marriages. If you are seeking a change in your life, join us for prayer and fasting this Tuesday. Start with a day -time fast. 

God honors a humble heart and LOVES to answer prayers for salvation. I will be also praying Romans 10:10 for my husband. What will you be praying. Have a great week. 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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Revealing the Lie

IStock_000009930085XSmall One of the things we talk about in our book is walking out of the guilt and shame of our pasts. Whether you knowingly married an unbeliever or came to faith after you married, God has a plan for your marriage.

But if you’re still carrying around guilt over how you wound up in your marriage even though you’ve already confessed and sought forgiveness from God, you can’t walk into that plan.

Why?

Well, here’s the thing about condemnation. It paralyzes you. It blinds you. And it keeps you ineffective in the lives of those around you. That’s why the Bible warns us about the enemy condemning us—this is one of his most effective tools to negate your influence in your mismatched marriage.

One of our most well known, if not THE most known, pieces of Scripture is John 3:16, but have you ever really looked at verse 17?

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

So here’s the truth to dispel the lie. If Christ didn’t come to condemn you and make you feel shame even after you have confessed your sin, then that feeling of shame isn’t from God. It’s actually quite the opposite of His truth in Psalm 103:12 that tells us He’s removed our sin from us as far as the East is from the West. And how about Galatians 5:1 that tells us that Christ came to set us free?

If you’re still doubting, take the Scriptures and insert your name into them.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn me, (name), but to save me through him.”

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed my (name) transgressions from me.”

“It is for freedom that Christ has set me (name) free.”

Don’t let this lie that the enemy has inserted so stealthily and cleverly into your life keep you from stepping into the plan God has for you and your marriage. We hold a very special place in our marriages. We are on the front lines and part of God’s team to battle for our unbelieving spouse’s salvation. And for the salvation of our children. The enemy would like nothing better than to make you think you aren’t up to the task.

The beauty of it is, we don’t have to be. God has that all taken care of. All we have to do is say yes to His plan. He is our strength. He is our redeemer. He is our FORGIVER!

Every day is a new opportunity to walk in forgiveness and serve our King. Don’t miss out on a single moment!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


The Intentional Marriage - Stand Up or Shut Up???

Welcome to our video broadcast of The Intentional Marriage. We are looking at how to sift our marriage conflicts, failures and questions through a small but powerful passage in the Bible.

18 minutes of power. Take a listen. Lynn

 

 

The Intentional Marriage Show March 2011 from Lynn Donovan on Vimeo.

Also, find Dineen today over at Laced With Grace where she shares: Parenting Struggling Teens.

*****

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. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Our Greatest Weapon—Prayer

IStock_000001262149XSmall At church Sunday, a friend of mine stood up with her husband and shared their testimony of how God saved their marriage ten years ago. I’ve only been at this church for about nine years so I had no idea this was the case. This couple has been an inspiration to me, especially my friend. She is an amazing woman of God and a true prayer warrior.

To hear them share spoke such joy to my heart. They shared how they were at the point of filing divorce papers. He wanted out, she didn’t. What did my friend do? She fell to her knees in prayer, prayed constantly. What struck me most though was WHAT she prayed.

She prayed that God would do whatever He needed to prepare and equip her for what lay ahead. Whether that meant her marriage would be healed or not. She gave it all to Jesus and wow, did Jesus give it all back to her. And more. They now counsel young couples and lead many of our Bible studies that deal with marriage.

I would have never known had they not shared. From the outside they seem as if they’ve always been a strong, Christian couple. Things are not always as they seem.

Sadly, all marriages are under attack today, whether believing, unbelieving, or mismatched. The enemy has found a niche that he can use to steer us away from God. We have to stay alert and fight for not only our own marriages but for those around us too.

Along those lines I want to share an example. Almost two years ago, God put it upon my heart to pray for a married couple in our church. I didn’t know why but I faithfully followed his leading. I found out shortly after that this marriage was in dire shape and the family was falling apart.

I continued to pray for the next year, then wondered if I should continue. I gently checked with the dear woman I’d been praying for who shared that things were not good. I continued to pray.

As I sat in church this past Sunday, I looked over and saw them both there, sitting together—something I had not seen in a while. And it was as if God spoke to my heart and said He’d heard every prayer. Not just mine but many others as well.

They’d made a turn in the marriage just barely a month ago. I am so glad I didn’t give up praying. Now I get to celebrate and KEEP PRAYING for their marriage to grown stronger, and for protection for this relationship.

Marriage is sacred. Period. God designed it to be a reflection of His relationship with us and with the church. When we view it this way, amazing things happen. Our perspective changes, and we understand better the depth of the commitment God is asking from us, as well as gaining a glimmer of the depth of His commitment to us.

I know being mismatched isn’t easy, especially since we as the believing spouse HAVE this perspective—God’s perspective—of what marriage is and what it means. The key is to remember that even as we are fighting for our marriages, God is too!

Let me say that simply: God is fighting for your marriage too!

Don’t ever forget that. He’s there. You’re not alone. So don’t give up. Do whatever God is asking you to do. Stand firm in that position and LET GOD FIGHT FOR YOU! He will do this, I promise you. That’s what Ephesians 6 and the armor of God is all about. He gives us the equipment we need for battle then tells us to stand firm in Him. He is our champion.

And prayer is our greatest weapon. So wield it with devotion!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith


Weekend Devo — Pray with Devotion!

Prayer Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:2-6

This piece of Scripture has been speaking a lot to me this last week. A wonderful pastor (Tim Wood) here in San Jose is a great job pointing out the jewels in it recently. Five to be specific—to pray for open doors, to pray for a clear message, to pray to walk in wisdome, to pray to make the most of every opportunity, and to pray to say the right things.

I've found myself studying the words and even making it into a prayer, and I want to share that with you. We can pray this for ourselves to so that we can "always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you know how to answer everyone." That includes our unbelieving spouses.

I hope you'll pray with me...

Lord, show us how to devote ourselves to prayer, to be watchful and thankful. Provide others to pray for us too, so that You may open a door for the message of Christ to be heard in the hearts of our unbelieving spouses, family members and friends as we proclaim the mystery of your Son, Jesus, whom we desire to serve with all our hearts and lives. Help us to speak when needed to share in clarity the truth of Jesus and His salvation. Help us be wise, Lord, in how we act toward those who don't know You and help us make the most of every opportunity to share YOU! Let our words and our ACTIONS always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that we know how to answer everyone who asks about You. Give us the words, Lord!

Father, we are so thankful for what You are doing in our lives, in the lives of our unbelieving loved ones, and for allowing us to join Your plan. Lord, we give you all the glory. May our lives honor YOU!

In Jesus's Holy and Powerful Name, amen!

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. 

Winning Him Without Words

Not Alone; Parenting Kids To Faith