93 posts categorized "Praying God's Word"

Rosh Hashana - Sanctified

  • א׳ בְּתִּשְׁרֵי תשע״ד

Today is the first of Tishrei 5774. 

SUM Prayer and Fasting
That is today's date on the Jewish calendar. It is also the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh Hashana. 

I don’t know about you but I’m fascinated by the Jewish culture ancient and current. And for some reason Rosh Hashana, The New Year, has a draw on my soul and pulls me into learning more about my Jewish heritage. And I am of Jewish heritage. Jesus, my family redeemer, was born into the line of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph. And by the way, Jesus is your family redeemer too! 

So as I ponder our Papa, the Lord of All, I wonder how He views this New Year. I like to ponder about God. I recall that the Jewish people believe this is a time of accounting of mankind. That people pass before the Lord and He takes an account of their life over the past year and He also sets in order certain things for the coming year. Now I don’t know much about that but it’s still fascinating to consider. God is God of the Jews and the Gentiles and I wonder, does he make an account of our lives once a year? 

Fascinating. 

On my walk n pray yesterday, I asked God about this holiday and the fasting we are doing as a community and He said to me, “Lynn, for you and this community, I desire for you to become Sanctified. You are to become sanctified for two reasons. One, you are the harvesters and you are the seed planters. I give seed and you plant it into the hearts of many. And two, you have great favor and I want to give you gifts of bread. You are my sons and daughters and I want to live in the details of your life and delight you.” 

Whoa! My friends. 

So today, let’s take this journey with our God and discover what it means to become sanctified and have the favor of God. And the favor of God is precious as God loves everyone the same but He favors those who are sanctified. 

And why does God want us to be sanctified? To receive His favor and to bring our families into this realm of sanctification. 

So who is Jehovah-Qadesh? The Lord your sanctifier Lev. 20:8 

In Hebrew, the word for sanctified is qadesh, and many scholars submit that it originates from another word that means "to cut." When you combine the word qadesh with the divine name Jehovah, it opens our eyes to yet another aspect of His nature. Jehovah-qadesh, or "the Lord who sanctifies you," speaks of God's divine influence upon His people. It speaks of the manner in which He takes those who are His and purifies and sanctifies them, or separates them, from the world they were once a part of. 

God calls us to be different than those of the world. After all, if we as followers of Christ aren’t different, why would anyone want to follow Christ? People hunger for the powerful Christ of the Bible. And those of us with God’s favor, bring Him into the world. 

That is the seed planting. 

But my friends, the bread... It's is a glorious gift from a Father who loves us. And eating of the bread, what is that? Well it's living every day in the favor of God and this is what it looks like in an average day of my life. My story may seem silly but God just loves to spned time with me, delight me and He shows up every day in so many ways and He blows my mind. Here is an example. 

As you know I walk n pray every morning out in the wine country near my home. On rare occasions I am confronted, even charged, by domestic dogs that scare the crap out of me *ahem.* Anyhoo, there is a certain place these dogs like to linger to chase squirrels and it’s a hidden area around a bend in the road. They are rarely there but the last time I enjoyed one of these confrontations *sarcasm* was on an early Sunday morning. So last Sunday, as I’m walking and I start around this bend in the road, my anxiety rises a bit because I don’t know what or how many barking dogs might be ahead. So I pray, “Dad, I would really like it if there weren't any dogs ahead. Can you send angels to makes sure they aren’t there. And then Dad, could you just send someone who is also on a walk down the road toward me, so I know there aren’t any dogs ahead?” 

I kid you NOT. As soon as the words crossed my lips, I see an older couple walking a tiny dog coming down the road in front of me. I knew immediately that the road ahead was safe as these people weren’t rattled and the little dog was walking right beside them with his tiny feet shuffling along the road. 

God favors those who choose to believe Him. He favors those who believe His word and follow hard after Him. He favors those who pray and who love people. God favors those who love Him more than themselves. And God favors those who live in a spiritually mismatched home. 

This next year is going to be the most amazing, supernatural, and life-changing year for this community yet. Release yourself into the tender, loving arms of our Daddy and become sanctified. Because God, our Father who is always good greatly desires to give His children good things. He desires to be part of our everyday, our ordinary and make our life extraordinary.

Matthew 7:11b how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Today, look up the following passages and pray them back to God. Ask Him to fully sanctify you , your marriage, your family and ask Him if there is anything in your heart that is not sanctified and that needs to go so God can pour more into your life.

John 17:13-19

1 Corinthians 7:14

So, today as you fast. Ask for God's favor. Ask for more of Him. Ask for an increase of His Holy spirit. Ask for wisdom and revelation. Ask for a fresh anointing of the Spirit. Ask for His Holy Fire of Sanctification.

Let me know today if you are fasting. Leave your name in the comments and one thing you are asking of God in this new year. I will pray with you.

We are walking today on Holy ground. Remove your shoes, fast, pray and watch the breakthroughs come. In King Jesus name. Amen.

Hugs, Lynn

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A Sacrifice for Freedom

6036911_sMy friends, I have to tell you that God is doing more than I expected in this week so far. (Tamara, thank you again for suggesting we do a week like this.)

In less than twenty-four hours God put the word JOY in front of me almost a dozen times. (Yes, I counted.) In two devos, the first name of a woman who requested to be friends on Facebook, the wrapper on a candy cane from last Christmas that my daughter found in the cookie jar, several Scriptures emailed to me from various places, as I ready my Bible...

I think you see what I mean. Abba wants us to be joy-filled!

And yesterday, as I prayed for Him to tell me what He wanted us to have for today, so many things went through my mind as I prayed for our community. What did we need most? First Abba reminded me of the truths in 1 John 4. Read that chapter and note specifically this verse:

We love because he first loved us. — 1 John 4:19

We are believers because God loved us first (and let that supernatural love be your “spa soak” today). He loves our pre-believers exactly the same way too. We can trust God for their salvation, and He is in pursuit of our spouses just like He pursued us.

As I stood under the shade of a tree praying for our community, God spoke this to my heart:

“Tell them to give Me their husbands.”

(For our male readers, insert wives as I believe this is for you too.)

Sumites, my heart constricted and tears sprang to my eyes, and even as I type this I am so moved by this. Because it’s not just about the obvious part—salvation. It’s about God’s heart for us to be free. Free from the worry, free from a burden we are not intended to carry, and free to love in our mismatched places without fear because we choose to trust God.

So today we are going to do two things. It may seem a little out there but this is what God showed me. Get a piece of bread and some grape juice, because communion will be part of this.

Find a quiet time and place, even a closet if you need to. Take your bread and juice with you. If you’re able, get on your knees and tell God that you release your spouse completely into His hands. That you want to trust Abba with your spouse’s future completely as well as your own, and if needed, ask Jesus for forgiveness if you sense you have made an idol of your spouse and/or his or her salvation. This is about you finding freedom and not about praying for your spouse’s salvation.

Try to visualize yourself literally placing your spouse on Abba’s altar and leave him or her there. Stay in this place as long as you need and end with taking an intimate communion with Jesus. As the Holy Spirit releases you, take note of the level of freedom you now sense in your heart. And peace.

Here’s the second part. Last week I found my trust in Abba waning a bit in one area, because my family and I walking through a very difficult time and even though I know this is more about my husband than me, I’m struggling at times. God sent me this verse last week:

But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, "You are my God!" ~ Psalm 31:14, NLT

I prayed that verse out loud and continued to pray it anytime I felt my joy slipping or worry and fear creeping in. That was it, and I am newly convinced again at the power of God’s Word when spoken out loud over ourselves. My trust grew again as did my joy.

So pray this verse over yourself anytime you feel your focus slipping away from Abba and onto whatever conflict you are facing. You will feel your trust grow and strengthen.

I am trusting You, Lord, because You are my God!

I want to encourage you to write down your impressions and experiences in your journal this week. I know you will want to go back and read them time and again.

My precious friends, I am standing in the gap this week praying for breakthroughs, encounters with Jesus and for the Holy Spirit to increase in us. Don't forget that tomorrow we are fasting from sunrise to sundown. I have a feeling you will hear God very specifically during this time, especially after this time of prayer and communion with Jesus. 

Love you like crazy, my sisters and brothers in Jesus!
Dineen

Image credit: jillbattaglia / 123RF Stock Photo

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A Feast of Joy

File000638778040My friends, today begins our “Spiritual Spa Week.” Today, I want you to look at a line of Scripture that absolutely undid me last week. I was struggling to feel centered in God and feel His love and this is what broke that off of me:

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. — Luke 10:21

Jesus was full of joy! And we are meant to be too. Remember, that’s not the same as happiness, which is based on happenings. Joy comes from the Lord and is in no way dependent upon our circumstances. The joy of the Lord is also our strength too, remember?

Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10

So today's focus is simple but more profound than we realize. This place of joy is not something we can do on our own, we can't manufacture it, and it is readily available to us from Abba when we ask for it. Here is the basis of our prayer today to ask for that:

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” — Psalm 51:12.

God literally woke me one morning with this power-packed verse on my lips, and I couldn’t have even told you where it came from. I had to do a Google search for it. And now it is the prayer I go to when I sense my joy is waning. And Abba supplies, without fail. So pray this today, SUMites. Joy comes from God just as our salvation does too. So fitting that Psalm 51:12 verse clearly refers to salvation as His. And I truly sense this joy is crucial to our spiritual health and to this time we are in right now. 

Let's pray:

Lord, restore the joy of Your salvation to me and fill me with more of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, amen!

Just pray this prayer throughout the day, the rest of the week and anytime you fill your joy waning. Don't "work" at it. Just pray and ask. And you will be filled with His joy, my friends!

Praying for our SUMite Nation to be filled with so much of His JOY that the world can't help but notice and want what we have.
Love you all so much! 
Dineen

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

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Weekend Worship — It's the little things...

My precious friends, I have held so many of you up in prayer these last two weeks. And I will tell you the enemy has been hard at work at my door too. Even to trying to cloud my mind and make it difficult for me to pray. 

I want to share a verse that has been invaluable for me this week:

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. —Romans 8:6

I pray this Scripture over myself when I find I'm struggling with my thoughts in any way. Because our actions are the fruit of our thoughts and I want to bear great fruit for Abba! 

So I pray something like this:

Holy Spirit, set my mind and thoughts, my emotions and my feelings all on You, so that I walk in the fullnes of the life You've designed for me and know Your peace. Remove any thought that is not in alignment with You, Jesus, and guard me from temptations.

The key to this, my friends, in not just to pray but to believe as well. I'm learning to truly look at my heart when I pray for something I know is in God's will for me and ask myself if I truly believe He will answer my prayer. 

Lately I've found myself praying this too: Help my unbelief, Lord. Help me believe.

God is so faithful. He never lets go and never stops pursuing us. He knows what we need and often sends it even before we ask. Like an encouraging word from a friend, an Amazon gift card sent from another caring friend who "somehow knew" I needed something, and cup of hot cocoa homemade by my daughter who thought I needed a something "sweet" in my day.

Yep, those are some of the little things God showed up in my week to bolster this weary girl. I love You, Jesus. You are my best friend and comforter.

SUMites, we have some really great stuff coming next week so be sure to stop by. You don't want to miss any of it.

Love you and praying for you, my precious friends. So honored to be a part of this amazing journey with you!
Dineen 

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

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Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part Three

NehemiahWall3SUMites, welcome to part three and the conclusion to this series. Again, I am so blown away by what God is speaking to us and by you, this amazing community! You have prayed for each other and given such precious words of encouragement to those in need. That is what the SUMite Nation is about and after all this rebuilding I do believe that is what we are in a way, an online nation. We are completely and totally God’s people here.

If you didn’t read parts ONE and TWO, please take a moment and read those first. That way you get the full picture. I can’t wait to see and hear about what God shows you, my dear friends. Please leave comments and reports, prayer requests and testimonies! Testimonies are faith builders. Even if you think it’s something small that you see God has done in you, your life, or your marriage as a result of these prayers, please share it. They are all gems to behold and share to glorify God. Now on the part three.

“Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, But when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors. — Nehemiah 9:27

(Let me make a special note here that the Hebrew word for compassion here originates from the same word for "womb." Then Nehemiah speaks of deliverers, which has the meaning of salvation and victory. God's delivery is likened to new birth! And that is what I am sensing is coming, a time of new birth and rebirth for so many.)

Oh Lord, we are humbled and overjoyed at Your good intentions and love for us! We love You so much! Your great compassion releases the power of Your hand and brings miracles, signs and wonders. Thank you, Lord Jesus! You paved the way for all of this with Your great compassion. Your death and resurrection brought the greatest miracle of all—SALVATION—and it continues beyond the cross, beyond us and to eternity! It is constant and finished!

Then the two choirs took their stand in the house of God. So did I and half of the officials with me; — Nehemiah 12:40

and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from afar. — Nehemiah 12:43

Oh Lord, such promises are ahead for us! Thank you, Lord! Thank you! Lord, forgive our unbelief and help us BELIEVE! Then let our joy be heard from afar as we rejoice in how You have brought us and our families to victory! Holy Spirit, help us to sing songs of praises to our King. Fill our children with Your joy and help us show them how to worship You, Abba! Let our voices and praises be a sweet aroma to King Jesus and what He has done for us!

What a glorious day and time to come, my friends! Ask, pray, and believe! God's favor and heart are for us. Now I want to pray for each of you:

Abba, I pray for a fresh anointing over every SUMite. I pray that You will release new gifts, new provision, new strength and prosperity over every single one of them. Lord, reveal and destroy every lie that keeps them from believing how much You love them and that You have given them every good gift. Destroy the lies that tell them they aren't worthy to serve You and replace it with the truth that they are Your precious sons and daughters who You have called specifically to You for such a time as this.

Destroy the lie that tells them their situation is hopeless and won't ever change and replace it with great hope and expectation in Jesus that is sprung from the very heart and purpose and miracle of His life, death and resurrection, because the power that did this now resides in us through Your Holy Spirit. And it is COMPLETE!

Holy Spirit, give each of my dear sisters and brothers in Christ clear discernment and recognition of Your voice. In the name of Jesus Christ, I break off anything over them that would block or hinder them from hearing Your voice. In the name of Jesus, I break the chains of addiction, of distraction, of deception and of fear. Chains are falling off and crumbling to the ground—we declare this in Your mighty and powerful name, King Jesus!

King Jesus, in Your name I pray against any and all plans the enemy has set up against each of them and this SUMite nation. Guard over us with Your warring angels. Surround us as we build and rebuild our lives, our marriages, and our families with our prayers, our faith and our love. I speak new levels of faith and strength and belief into every single one of us! We are Yours and You are ours!

Oh Abba, thank You, thank You, thank You. You are so good, so faithful, so full of love and compassion. We praise You now for all You are doing in our lives. We wait expectantly for You. In Jesus' mighty and holy name, amen!

My precious sisters and brothers in Jesus, I love you with the passion of Christ and consider it one of the greatest privileges and honors of my life to be on this journey with you. If there is something that you are specifically struggling with—to believe in, to let go of, to step out in faith—leave a comment. Let's continue to rally around each other and pray in our strength and power as a community who loves and worships God. If you are uncomfortable sharing on this forum, send an email to me directly at dineen@mismatchedandthriving.com.

And remember this: Each step of obedience brings an increase of faith. Our God's favor is upon us and He is fighting for us! Believe it!

Believing and praying with and for you!
Dineen

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

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Shore Up the Walls—Nehemiah, Part Two

NehemiahWall2My friends, thank you for taking this journey with me through the book of Nehemiah and praying through these valuable Scriptures that God wants us to see and understand. I wish I could completely explain what I sense from God's heart for us, the SUMites. The way this community has grown and come together is no accident. God has been intentionally moving here to bring us forward in His plan for the Great Harvest.

I want to clarify about the walls in this series, because a couple people have asked for clarification and that's important. I so appreciate their willingness to ask as it helps me see if I've not explained something as well as I'd hoped. There so much going on and around us, I can barely keep up let alone get it down to words!

In the book of Nehemiah, the walls were for protection, to bring unity and restore the purpose and place of the Israelites as God's people. The walls were to establish boundaries and for protection. Good walls! God wants us to be ready and strong, my friends. Lynn and I have both written in recent weeks how we have sense that God is going to use us in crucial ways to bring many to Christ. As the SUMites we have a unique skill set and God is going to use it, but we have to be ready first. We have to repair, rebuild and "shore up" those broken and weak places in our faith, our beliefs and our marriages.

I kind of think of it as something like this. The enemy has hit us hard, especially recently. There are cracks and breaks in our faith walls and our armor. We can't just toss a prayer here and there and hope it fills the gaps as if we were just tossing handfuls of cement at a broken wall, hoping they would land where they needed to and create a new structure. God wants us to be intentional as we stand strong and firm, and rebuild and repair. Then we are strong in Him and protected as He calls us to where He wants us to serve. It's hard to serve Him confidently when we are vulnerable to the enemies attacks, and one way I have found that enemy works is to bring such chaos into our lives that we even our prayer lives begin to feel chaotic and ineffective. THAT is what we are re-establishing! 

So let's continue shoring up our walls, SUMites! If you haven't read part one yet, scroll down and then come back and read part two. 

then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows. — Nehemiah 4:13
When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Nehemiah 4:15-16
Lord, thank you for frustrating the plans of the enemy. Show us the exposed places in our marriages, in our lives and in our hearts. Holy Spirit, help us don our armor—belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sword of the spirit, helmet of salvation, and establish our feet in the Truth. Lord, we will stand firm in You. Restore and establish the territory of our marriages and family. And we boldly ask for the new territories you have waiting for us.
At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” — Nehemiah 4:20
For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “ They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. — Nehemiah 6:9
Abba, thank You that the enemy's attempts to make us fearful and discouraged will fail. Strengthen our hands, our hearts and our spirits for the work to be done. Thank You for fighting for us! We claim every victory now and praise You for each and every one.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10
Great joy, great strength! Pour out Your Spirit over us for this is the time of the Lord's victory. King Jesus, You are our joy! Such powerful and amazing joy! All praise and glory go to You!
The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. — Nehemiah 8:17
Abba, we declare and claim our time of rejoicing, because You are good and faithful. All that You have promised and said You will do, we believe, Lord, we believe! Your are good, faithful and true to all Your promises.
While they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. — Nehemiah 9:3
Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! — Nehemiah 9:5
Your name be praised, Lord! Forever and ever. For You are holy and glorious and worthy of all our praise and blessings. We bless You, Lord! This is our great honor and blessing—to love and worship You!
“You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst, And You told them to enter in order to possess The land which You swore to give them." — Nehemiah 9:15
Lord, You are faithful and You keep Your promises. Thank You for Your provision for us, thank You for taking care of us. You see our needs, every one of them. You are righteous and so faithful. We are overwhelmed by Your passion for us! Overwhelming passion, a holy and righteous anger for us, Your children. We are not forgotten! You see us, everyone of us! We step forward in trust and faith into the places You have promised us. Abba, continue to grow a hunger in us for You. Help us to understand where You are asking us to go and help us to be faithful and obedient.

My friends, I hope you are seeing the promises here. Yes, we are in a battle but God is fighting for us! He is giving us such joy for strength. He intends for us to rejoice in our victory because He has ordained that we will succeed wherever He is calling us. And we will be fully equipped as we intentionally do our part to pray and stand firm.

I will stop here and finish this on Monday (be sure to come back tomorrow for weekend worship though!). Oh my friends, God’s mercies are new each morning and His promises are forever and for us!

Lord, we claim every promise You are giving us! Thank you for your great faithfulness. We love you!

I love you all so much, my dear friends! So very, very much! And I am praying and rooting for you! Let's share our prayers and hearts in the comments.
Dineen

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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. 

Both books


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

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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

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

Both books


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 

*****

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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

*****

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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

*****

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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

*****

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

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Over 100 Emails and 8 Countries!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Sister in Christ,
Stacey Daley

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

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

*****

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

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Weekend Worship — Colossians 1:9-14

Let's start with a prayer...

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

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

Praying & praising!
Dineen 

*****

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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

*****

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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 

*****

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

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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 

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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

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