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21 entries from May 2012

Summer With My BFF

Of course we can't leave this week without recommending our own Dineen Miller. 

We are all Lexies and we have a story to tell to encourage and help others walking the path of the spiritually mismatched. My prayer is that Lexie will inspire you to step out in faith and trust and realness even when everything around you is telling you otherwise.

Remember, God is faithful. 
Praying and believing, 

265823: The Soul Saver The Soul Saver
By Dineen Miller / Barbour Publishing

Lexie Baltimore is in the supernatural battle of her life. In obedience to God's calling, Lexie uses her art and dreams to help others. But will she have enough courage to help herself when she becomes torn between her atheist husband and a godly man? A widower and a father, Pastor Nate Winslow is drowning in darkness. Will he resist his treacherous assignment to win Lexie's heart or give in to the attraction between them? As events unfold, Lexie becomes entangled in a twisted plot. Will she overcome the evil assailing her or yield to the dark side?


Today we are continuing our Summer reads suggestions. We told you that we are committed to help other authors in the same way so many helped us last year when we launched our book, Winning Him Without Words.

We have some great books for you to consider for your summer. Today meet one of my oldest writer friends. Jenny Smith and I "accidentally" met at the She Speaks conference several years ago. She has a great book, Seriously God? I'm Doing Everything I Know to Do and It's Not Working. 

Seriouslygod"Our house was going into foreclosure, we were moving into a rental house, and God didn't seem to care. We had thought he would come through. He didn't."

Jenny's family faced foreclosure, job loss, the anxiety of no health insurance, and having to learn adapt to a different income bracket, like so many other families. Seriously, God? is not just a book title but the question our hearts are struggling with in these uncertain times.

Join Jenny as she shares her journey of discovering who Jesus said he is and the impact this knowledge had on the early church. Believers like us, who were on a roller coaster that jerked them around and pushed them to dizzying heights, only to plunge them to the depths, over and over--that's what this journey is about, a depth of relationship with God that, even as we stand smack-dab in the middle of life, we have a strong and steady faith!


Fresh Start SUMMER

Today, It's my delight for you to meet Beverly Nault. She is actually a local friend of mine, part of my critique group. Bev has written several books and has a few more in the future. So thrilled for her.

So meet Bev and two of her books about the amazing community of Cherryvale.


The Seasons of Cherryvale Series By Beverly Nault (published)

Fresh Start Summer (Lamp Post, 2011)

Grace & Maggie Across the Pond (Lamp Post, 2011)

Cherryvale, where neighbors care, gardeners share, and God allows do-overs. Along with the rest of the country, Cherryvale suffered economic hardships. Instead of waiting for handouts, the citizens worked together to repurpose, recycle and restore the town to its vintage charm. Now, brick-lined streets, attractive storefronts, and revitalized businesses lure weekend tourists, and destination travelers. Surrounded by an artery called, The Cherrypath, ‘Valers are connected as one in heart and mind. (Acts 4:32) 


Cherryvale’s restored historical charm has attracted a motion picture film crew for location shooting. Faster than the director can yell ACTION! the quiet dissolves as townies argue over the controversial industry, paparazzi camp out on the corners and looky-loos clog the streets. The drama and tension, both on the set and behind the scenes, increases when the poptart starlet of the movie has a life threatening accident, a series of fires break out, and the townie most vocal against the Hollywood types mysteriously disappears. (302 pages, paperback and Kindle)



Today we are continuing our Summer reads suggestions. If you remember on Saturday, we told you that we are committed to help other authors in the same way so many helped us last year when we launched our book, Winning Him Without Words.

We have some great books for you to consider for your summer. Today, meet Elaine Miller. She wrote, We All Married Idiots. Hilarious!!


765522: We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage And Ten Things You Can

We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage And Ten Things You Can
By Elaine W. Miller / Lighthouse Publishing

Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can.


About the Book

I married an idiot–and so did my spouse. The word, “idiot” is derived from the Greek word meaning “common man.” Aren’t we all common man? In fact, there is only One who was uncommon man–Jesus Christ.  Elaine W. Miller encourages couples to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus and run a marriage marathon like an idiot, but not like a fool. An idiot may stumble or fall, but a fool runs the wrong way.

We All Married Idiots teaches husbands and wives to stop concentrating on the three things you will never change in your marriage and begin focusing on the ten things you can. Then, you will esteem your mate as a gift to treasure, not as an idiot to tolerate.


Well It's Memorial weekend. Wow, almost half of 2012 is already gone by. Say What? I'm still stuck in March, I think??

But here we are and this week as Dineen and I begin to enjoy the summer season, we will be traveling and away from our computers this next week. So we thought we would share some summer reading with you.

When our book launched last year, so many of our friends supported us by offering to be part of our publicity and blog tour. We were so amazing at how the Christian Community came around us to help us get the word out about our book. At that time, Dineen and I talked, cried, and prayed giving thanks for the kindness of our community. We also promised ourselves that we would do the same for other author friends who were launching books. So this next week, we are sharing several books we think you will enjoy and would be great beach reads, or camping companions or just a good book to cuddle with on a warm summer evening.

Today, we bring you Kathi Lipp. Most of you know she is one of our ministry partners. Kathi alone has given so much to support and help Dineen and I. A gift we can never repay. 

Kathi's newset book is The Get Yourself Organized Project; 21 steps to Less Mess and Stress. I can bet we all could use a few or all of her tips.


943857: The Get Yourself Organized Project The Get Yourself Organized Project
By Kathi Lipp / Harvest House Publishers

Finally, an organizational book for women who have given up trying to be Martha Stewart but still desire some semblance of order in their lives.

Most organizational books are written by and for people who are naturally structured and orderly. For the woman who is more ADD than type A, the advice sounds terrific but seldom works. These women are looking for help that takes into account their free-spirited outlook while providing tips and tricks they can easily follow to live a more organized life.

Kathi Lipp, author of The Husband Project and other “project” books, is just the author to address this need. In her inimitable style, she offers

Today I say Goodbye

Today I say a tearful goodbye to all of my co-writers at Laced With Grace and tell them I love them.

I say goodbye to all of you who faithfully stopped in to spend your precious time with me. I love each of you. I expect to meet each of your face-to-face at the throne of Grace where we will hug and laugh with glee because God allowed us to share life together here on earth even if it was in this amazing world of the web. I love you deeply.

I treasure you Iris and Laurie and all of my past and present co-writers.

Mostly I love and adore Jesus. To Him all glory, honor and praise belong. Be blessed, Lynn Some of my Favorites:


To read my Goodbyes and some of the my all-time favorite and best stories, visit Laced With Grace.

Laced With Grace

Spiritual Warfare, Part 2: Your Bible is Really a Sword

StockSwordIn last week’s post on spiritual warfare we talked about shifting our focus and seeing who our real enemy is. This week let’s dive back into Ephesians 6 and talk about one specific piece of our armor. Our sword.

Before we do that, I want to make one more interesting observation about verse 12:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Let’s be very clear that we are not left in this battle alone. On the contrary, I believe the last part of verse 12 shows that the battle not only resides here on earth but in the “heavenly realms” as well. If you’ve ever wondered if God is aware or present in our battles, be assured He’s not only aware but is ultimately in control of it all. Satan is a created being and we know that Christ is before all things and in Him all things hold together (Col 1:17). Jesus is large and in charge!

In fact, the more I read and study, the more I see that our role is to stand firm. Our enemy is sure and determined. We must be more so. In Ephesians 6:10-18, we are told repeatedly to stand our ground, to stand firm in our faith.

To do this it’s vital that we:

  1. read the Bible daily. This is the sword of our armor (Eph 6:17). Not reading God’s Word means you’re ill equipped. You have the gun, so to speak, but no bullets. Even Jesus used direct Scripture to fight the enemy off during his testing in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11).

  2. spend time with God in prayer to repent, obtain mercy and find grace (Heb 4:16), reconnect, and receive wisdom, guidance and revelation (Eph 1:15-23).

  3. pray without ceasing—be in constant conversation with God. This is not just communication but a way of thinking (Eph 6:18).

Let me share something with you that liberated me from the enemy’s hold. I remember sitting in my kitchen one night with a dear friend. She and her husband had joined us for dinner—actually they were a believing couple I admired and had invited over in the hopes that they would influence my husband to faith. Yes, I did that stuff too.

Little did I know I would be the one greatly influenced. Now this may be something you already know and understand but for someone like me who was not raised in the church and taught about God’s power being greater than the enemy, it was a huge revelation.

Satan can’t hear your thoughts. Nope, he can’t. Only God can. Satan is a limited being. He is NOT omnipotent and he is certainly NOT omniscient. But he is a mastermind at discernment. He can watch us, hear us, study us, and use all that to plan his fiery darts (vs. 16) against us, but he cannot know us as God knows us.

This is also why Jesus spoke Scripture out loud to ward satan off. Nothing sends the enemy scampering away faster than hearing God’s Word spoken out loud. Another reason why we need to have this arsenal of God’s truth ready to speak out loud.

Do you see how even more precious your thought life is? Satan can interject thoughts and impressions at us that we think suddenly pop into our thoughts, but the key is to recognize them. Sometimes we can’t because he is so crafty that he’s found a weakness and knows how to play upon those doubts and fears already pinging around in our heads. Other times it can be as sudden, foreign and obvious in its lie. (Maybe one of the enemy’s unskilled minions had a shift that particular day. LOL! Remember, the enemy is not omniscient so he can’t be everywhere all the time like God is.)

My point here is, that we can’t discern the enemy’s lies if our minds and thoughts aren’t full of God’s truth. And that truth comes from his Word and tells us:

  1. Who God is. The entire Bible is about our Creator, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Do you know that the power of the Holy Spirit that fills us is the very same power that rose Christ from the dead? The word “power” in verse ten is kratos and is the same word used in Eph 1:19-20:

    and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
  2. Who we are in Christ. We are adopted, accepted, blameless, blessed, chosen, forgiven, holy and redeemed (Ephesians 1:3-14). Shout that back to the enemy when you are feeling unattractive, like a failure, like you can never do anything right, like no one loves or wants you, when you feel you can offer nothing of value to this world. Those are lies. Know God’s truth and it will set you free from them. God doesn’t do anything part way nor does He do shoddy work. God made you and absolutely adores you. He sings over you (Zeph 3:17) and lavishes his grace upon you (Eph 1:7).

Now just sit there a minute and let all that sink in. That alone is some of the most powerful truths we can know and use against the enemy. John 1 says that Jesus is the Word of God and Luke 6:48 says He’s our foundation. That is where we stand firm, in God’s Word, my friends. And that brings us to our feet.

We’ll pick up with the rest of our armor next week. I pray in the meantime that God would ignite a fire in your hearts—an unquenchable hunger—for His Word.

I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! — Eph 1:15-19 The Message

Praying and believing,

Praying in the Spiritual Realm- A Chronicles Update

Why is it I’m always surprised by the warfare and the extreme challenges to come into my home life when we write about spiritual warfare or when we speak about a specific topic? 

I remember getting into some major brew-ha-has (is that a word?) with my husband when Dineen and I were in the middle of writing our first book. It was awful. Scary. Tearful. And these times truly place my spirit in turmoil and draw me away from that intimate relationship with Jesus. I purposely must fight against these times. 

Well this past week was no different…. I spoke to a MOM’s group on Thursday. My topic, Raising Girls. The talk was a lot about my daughter and it went well in that I had minimal nervousness and the audience appreciated the encouragement I brought. I spoke about parenting. You should also know that Dineen and I are working up an outline for our next book which is about parenting kids to faith in a spiritual mismatch. The double whammy speaking and writing about parenting and the devil was ticked. 

Needless to say on Saturday my daughter and I entered the weirdest time of conflict. This is extremely rare in our relationship. And I will add I’m the one who was wrong, who made a mess of it and nearly caused a terrible rift between myself and my girl. Sheesh. 

So after a day of tears, fears, apologies (mine) and a call from her bother, we worked it out. Thank you Lord. There are some tiny lingering issues we will work through but God is good to protect our truly wonderful mother/daughter relationship. 

I’m sharing this with you because I want you to recognize when you come into the enemy’s line of sight, when you gain and extra target on your back. So what do you do? 

I’ve found so many of us don’t know how to pray for spiritual protection. I counsel many women who don’t know what to say, what to do in prayer to defend themselves, place protection around their kids and their spouse and marriage. So today, I’m going to pray for all of us. 

I often will pray something like this and I will pray it OUT LOUD. And I usually walk around my house with my hand up.

Almighty God who reigns supreme in heaven and in my life. I approach your Throne of Grace with Jesus at my side. Lord, today, I feel the weight and the bruising of the enemy who has asked to tear me apart and to harm my children and marriage. Lord, this very hour I surrender my life, ask forgiveness for my sins and seek Your mighty protection by the blood of my Jesus. 

Lord, right now this very hour, dispatch angels, hundreds of them. Send them to my home. Let them surround my home as a mighty force that is impenetrable. Father, let them stand at every door and window with their swords drawn. Empower them to fight and defeat any evil spirit, work or effects that are around my home around me wherever I go. Lord send angels to walk beside my daughter, my son, and my husband. Protect them because I love you and have favor in your eyes as your child. 

Lord, in the name of Jesus and by His redeeming blood, He who holds the keys to death and hell, I bind the spirit of division, of loneliness, of sadness, of (insert what you are struggling with) from my mind, heart, soul and those of my kids and husband. Lord, I bind the evil that comes at me and by my words through Jesus, I bind it back to the pit of hell, never may it return to this earth to harm me or anyone. In Jesus name. 

Father, give me might Joshua courage to pray with your Holy power against the darkness. Show me where I can be light to my kids and husband and a world that needs healing. Lord, may everything I do bring You mighty glory, honor, praise. Let your Word reign supreme and your will be accomplished in my life. 

Thank you for hearing me plea. Thank you as I know you have a hedge of protection around me. I worship you. I adore you. You are my life, my everything. Thank you for Jesus and lead me now, today in the way of everlasting. 

In the powerful, life-changing name and by the blood of Jesus. AMEN 

Now pray it and live it and let your prayers terrify the enemy…. this very hour. Lynn 

Revelation 1:17-18 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Weekend Devo — Sifted Like Wheat

WheatSiftingYesterday we were blessed by a POWERFUL reader letter. In it she mentions Luke 22:31-32:

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

If you’ve read Peter’s story you know that he becomes completely sold out for Jesus. But it’s a process he has to walk through. (Click here to read my original post about Peter’s journey.)

What I love about Peter is that he goes from being “sifted” as a man who is more full of faith in himself to a man who so full faith in Christ that his love for Jesus is transformed from a brotherly love (phileo) to a sacrificial love (agape). He is totally committed to the path Jesus set before him that fateful day on the shores of Galilee when Jesus ministered to this disciple’s broken heart with words of love and breakfast.

God does this for us too, my friends. Lynn and I are undergoing a time of sifting—I truly believe that is part of this time of searching and testing. God wants to bring us to a new level of faith and trust in Him. It is necessary for our faith and for this ministry.

I just want to encourage you to consider every trial and difficulty from a point of thankfulness because one, God is very much there as He’s allowed it for a reason and two, He is using every bit of it for our good. God is faithful and trustworthy.

When we can view our trials from that place of faith, then we can know the peace that surpasses all understanding because it exists regardless of how smooth or choppy our lives are. Our lives are not meant to be easy but they are meant to be full of love, faith and purpose.

Praying and believing,

Another Open Letter

The following is a letter I received in December from a dear reader who has been part of our community here for a number of years. She speaks frankly about spiritual warfare and I thought it appropriate to share with you today in light of our current series.

My friend is writing to Dineen and I (Lynn) but where she speaks to us personally, I ask that you would think that she is speaking YOUR NAME. Because this encouraging message is for all of us.

An now I give you a letter from one of our long-time readers:

I remember when I came across your site. I was so thankful that I was not alone! I think the most powerful thing that you and Dineen have done lately is to post honestly and transparently. Women in these marriages WANT to have hope but they also don't want to necessarily hear that others in "unequal" marriages are thriving and joyful etc. That may sound strange but for the most part unequal marriages suffer, greatly. 

And truthfully if the marriage is unequal the home has a constant open doorway for the devil. He is always welcome and WE must do battle continually. We may get "breaks” the fog may lift to some degree but the battle is continual. For those of us in marriages where there are serious addictions the battles are that much more intense. The need to cling to the Lord is that much more necessary. I think your honesty lately is revealing more Truth than ever. Because the truth is, we may live our entire lives with our spouse and they may never be saved. The hardest thing to grasp in these relationships is that it is not God's WILL that ALL be saved. It is His desire and He woos and calls people to Himself but He gives them the free will to love Him in return. 

This is so difficult for us who have loved ones who are unsaved. At times, I find myself with a lump in my throat, my spirit crying out, and pain that goes deep beyond description, as I watch my loved ones walk further and further away from the Lord. Yet, at other times, there is great peace and there is a sweet surrender. It is then that I realize the peace that Christ had. He mourned those who are lost but pressed forward into God's will, trusting the entire world to God's sovereign care. Jesus prayed that God would "make another way" but prayed nevertheless, that God's WILL be done. God's will called for Christ to die. This side of the Cross we don't argue with God's decision. On the side of the Cross where Jesus' mother Mary kneeled God probably seemed to be failing His people in more ways than they could imagine. But, He knows what He's doing. We must remember that Jesus said . . .Matthew 7:13-14: 

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." 

My great peace has not come from giving up hope.
I cling to the Promises and I declare: 

"But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more"
Psalm 71:14

I pray continually for the salvation of my husband and my loved ones but my hope is not in that outcome. If I hope in that I will find myself disappointed. But if I hope in God, trusting that HE knows best even if that means that He must allow some of my loved ones to turn away from Him then, I will not be disappointed. Just as Jesus' Disciples were not disappointed at the resurrection! So, I guess to make a LONG email short, haha. I just think that the more you share your struggles, the more power you will see in your ministry. God will not force ANYONE to love Him. If He did then the love He offers would not be love at all. You can't FORCE someone to love you. Therefore, each person may choose. Though it is difficult for saved spouses to watch, their unsaved spouse may continue to drift back and forth. It is the power of God moving. Yet, in the end it is the decision of their heart and yes, God allows it. Because of His great love. 

A very dear friend advised me, as I was encountering some very difficult times several months ago, 

"It is God's job to judge, Jesus' job to save, the Holy Spirit's job to give us the direction, strength, and power to walk in faith, and our job to love." 

They were the wisest words that I may have ever heard. I keep them close to my heart each and every day. After those words, I find a place of sweet surrender and peace that can only come from Christ. 

Whew . . .  well, I didn't mean to write that LONG of an email. My heart just pours out to you and Dineen. You both have such a special place in the heart of God. Trust Him. He is writing your story for YOUR good and His glory. Don't pay any attention to what you see on the surface. God is behind the scenes of your life working ALL things for good. It's not about where you're going. It's not about the outcome of your circumstances. It's about who you're becoming! AND THAT is God's concern. You have crossed the line of obedience and dependence on Christ and you have set off every alarm in hell! You both have quite a reputation there!!! Praise the Lord! You both are a threat to the kingdom of darkness and because of you both, souls are and will be saved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Know that because of your faith you are a target for the enemy to bring discouragement, despair, and doubt . . . but know this: 

Jesus has prayed for you: 

"Lynn . . . Dineen . . . Satan has asked to have you,
that he may sift you as wheat . . .
But I have prayed for you, Lynn and Dineen, that your faith may not fail.
And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers (and sisters!)"
(Luke 22:31-32) 

Dearest sister(s) you are dearly loved and I too am so grateful that God brought our lives together! You are a blessing. Although I don't always comment, I am reading every post and praying continually! We will fight this battle together in the strength of Christ! 

I will be keeping both of you close to my heart praying that the peace of Christ will consume you and that the joy you find in the Lord will overflow!!!!

Love you sisters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who Are We Really Fighting?

IStock_000009930085XSmallRecently I watched the show Once Upon a Time. One of the characters, a young boy around the age of ten or so is keenly aware that his world is a battle between good and evil. In this particular episode Henry tells the one person he thinks can save them all, “Evil always wins.” Let me tell you, this struck me deeper than I expected and I will tell you why.

When I was a teenager I was curious about the supernatural. Unfortunately my curiosity wasn’t balanced with an understanding of who God is. I read lots of books, both fiction and nonfiction about evil but hardly read the Bible.

The more I read and allowed influence my young mind, the more I too shared Henry’s viewpoint. Without anyone to tell me God was stronger, that He’d already won when He sent His Son to die for us, I walked in this lie and even became a fearful person. Nightime was the worst.

Then I reached my early to mid twenties and bought into another lie. Satan doesn’t really exist. Evil was just a tool to contrast God’s goodness. There was no hell either.

Are you following me at all here?

A friend recently brought my attention to a survey done by the Barna Group (Most American Christians Do Not Believe Satan and the Holy Spirit Exist, April 2009). In a poll of 1,871 self-described Christians, this is what they discovered:

Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” An additional two out of ten Christians (19%) said they “agree somewhat” with that perspective. A minority of Christians indicated that they believe Satan is real by disagreeing with the statement: one-quarter (26%) disagreed strongly and about one-tenth (9%) disagreed somewhat. The remaining 8% were not sure what they believe about the existence of Satan.

The enemy’s done a great job keeping us in the dark not only about God but about himself as well. I know from first hand experience. As I shared, the lies I bought into made me fearful even of the dark. I was a grown adult afraid of the dark.

Until I learned the truth. I learned that as a child of God I was stronger because He who is in me is stronger than the enemy (1 John 4:4). So why do we often live like we’re defeated?

God is bigger and is in control of the enemy, though I’m sure he’s furious about that too. This fury is probably part of what fuels him to make our lives as difficult as possible so that we don’t walk in God’s promises and know peace and freedom. He can’t take away our salvation but he can make us ineffective. If we let him.

My friends, I don’t claim to be prophet, a Bible scholar or anything along those veins, but God is speaking to my heart on this issue because we are fighting only half the battle. We are fighting against the wrong “person,” so to speak.

We so often fall into this place of seeing our unbeliever as our enemy and I know at times it can truly feel that way. Our focus needs to shift from the obvious or what we perceive to be the problem. As long as we keep struggling against our spouse’s unbelief, the fight stays between the two of us. And that’s exactly what the enemy wants because it creates constant friction and prevents unity. It will destroy the marriage.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

IStock_000011544315XSmallThere is a fine line here that I’m still trying to understand because it’s all over the place sometimes. But this is my theory: When we come up against the issues of faith and unbelief, we are not in a battle with our spouse. We are in a battle with the enemy who has blinded our loved one. That is where the true battle lies.

When we fight with our spouse over the very same issues in marriage that any couple struggles with, believing or not, we are in a clash of wills and pride—the flesh. Even equally yoked couples deal with issues to do with money, how to raise kids, infidelity, etc.

Do these areas overlap? You bet they do. And that’s where it gets challenging. How do we fight against an enemy we can’t see, can’t always perceive, and who uses anything and everything to keep our unbeliever in the dark and us, the believers, feeling defeated? Who uses those day-to-day hurdles to keep our relationships in constant turmoil.

That is my search right now, and my prayer. I’m searching for answers in Ephesians 6 and what our armor means. How do we wear it? How do we protect ourselves and our unbeliever? Are what does it mean to stand firm with the armor of God as our protection?

I’m discovering some pretty interesting things in my search, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Plus I’m still putting pieces together and making sense of it. Next week I will share more, but in the meantime, do your own exploration of Ephesians 6 and the armor of God.

And I leave you with a challenge. Ask God to shift your focus, to see the real enemy at work in your life and your unbeliever’s life. Ask God to help you see who the real enemy is.

Praying and believing,

Spiritual Leadership

When I’m speaking or interviewed for radio, spiritual leadership of our home, often comes up as a topic for conversation. It’s really interesting to me that this question comes to me from other believing men (radio interviews) as well as women who are living unequally yoked.

My friends, we the spiritually mismatched, certainly live in the “in-between.” And spiritual leadership/direction is of monumental importance to us and we wrestle with how to do this well.

Today I'm sharing some thoughts on being the spiritual leader of your home in a mismatched marriage. Join me at the Cafe. Hugs, Lynn

My Husband is not the Spiritual Leader of Our Home


A Mother's Heart. A Savior's Heart

Several weeks ago my friend, Tanya, wrote me and shared a story about her young daughter. And today I want to share it with you. I pray you are blessed through her words and her eyes. 



Tanya Morgan

Tanya: I learned the most valuable lesson from Ella, my six-year-old daughter, today. It was the perfect picture of Christ’s love for us and His forgiveness and what that really looks like. 


Ella and I met a friend and her daughter at the book store this afternoon. The girls were in the kid’s section while my friend and I chatted and looked through the rows of various books and Bibles. When the girls came up to us, each wearing a cute sticker on their arm hey stated that they found them on the floor. We both instantly knew they were lying.  

They swore they weren’t and wanted to know if they could keep them. They then ran back to the shelves that held all of the cute stickers and girly stuff. My friend and I asked each of them once more if they were telling the truth; again they said they were, for sure. It was so obvious they were not being honest. 

As we both walked back to where the girls were you can imagine the scene. We’ve all been there. “Oh no, I’m caught!” was written all over their faces. I was at once disappointed and sad but had to suppress a little giggle at the same time, mostly because they were so obvious in their deception and they didn’t think we already knew, but also because I love her so. 

We separated them, each of the mommies talking to their own daughter. The scene was very serious; one of the girls got walked out to the car while the other one was questioned quietly in the store. After we talked to our girls individually we decided they would let the store clerk know what they had done and apologize to her. Again, you can imagine the scene. 

Lips quivering and hands wringing, Ella blurts out first “Your stickers are really pretty…” They finally confessed and apologized. The clerk was very sweet and gracious and said “I forgive you”. I was feeling sort of proud of them after that but of course I didn’t yet let her see the smile on my face and I talked with Ella about never stealing again, etc., etc. 

A few minutes later the tears spilled out and the big cry started and I could see how much shame she was feeling. We again sat down in their chair and I told her that I forgave her and that I was not mad at her any more. I asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus to forgive her for stealing also. She said she did but didn’t want anyone to hear because she was embarrassed about stealing. I led her in a simple prayer to ask Him to forgive her. When she was done she was still crying just as hard. I snapped my fingers and said “Ella, you are forgiven! It is done just that quickly because you asked Jesus”. 

She said “OK." 

As we were driving home she was still crying, full of regret and disappointment. This spoke to me so clearly about my own sin and forgiveness. 

God loves me so and already knows the stuff I try to hide from Him or pretend doesn’t exist. Even though He is sad in my sin or disobedience, He probably suppresses a smile as I come to Him and ask for forgiveness. Immediately, He grants my desire to be clean and whole again; then He lets His smile show freely in an outpouring of love. But I hang on to the sorrow and regret and disappointment and shame. I continue to cry over the same things I have been forgiven. 

As I continued to drive home, overflowing with love for my daughter and smiling widely in the front seat, I was so blessed by my Savior’s love for me and this truth that He shared with me today!


Thank you Tanya.

Happy Mother's Day, Lynn

What Does Respect Really Mean?

IStock_000015408103XSmallAt church one Sunday, a friend who is also mismatched asked me about how to handle a situation that she either went behind her husband’s back to do what she thought was right in fulfilling a law or being up front and asking for his input and leadership with the understanding that he may well tell her no.

These are the times our faith will be challenged and tested. This is also why Lynn and I are constantly encouraging you to keep a daily appointment with God because first and foremost and in EVERY situation, our first step is to pray and seek God’s wisdom and direction above all else—above what we think, above what others think and above what our spouse might even think.

And here is what I have found to be true over and over again. When we seek God first in these kinds of situations with a complete desire (and I do mean a totally and completely willing heart) to do God’s will and please Him no matter what, even if it means stepping away from what we want to do, God will work out the details. I have seen Him sway the most unbelieving heart into alignment with a believing wife on difficult matters because she sought God first.

I also do not believe God will allow us to be put in a place where honoring Him dishonors our husband (in God’s perspective, not our husband’s). How can He when He has clearly laid out in His word to respect our husband? To do so would be a conflict of God’s character.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.— Ephesians 5:33

And I absolutely LOVE how the Expositors Bible Commentary explains this respect:

“A respect that is conditioned by and expressive of reverence for Christ.” (emphasis mine)

Even though Paul’s words imply an assumption that the husband will love his wife as to be worthy of such deference, I still believe we can show this respect to our husbands with the motivation of serving God, conditioned by and out of reverence for Christ.

And we do this by:

  1. Seeking God’s will with a willing heart
  2. Studying God’s Word to understand His will and character
  3. Trusting God to handle the results

This is especially critical to my friend in this case because she genuinely wanted to do what was right, but she was struggling between the letter and the spirit of the law. Legalism would have led her to go behind her husband’s back—not something God would ask her to do. But genuinely seeking God’s direction first and intervention in the situation will lead her in to the right solution—one she can have peace about and that will include her husband’s leadership.

And by her actions in this situation, she is ultimately honoring both God and her husband, regardless of the outcome. She can walk firmly in that reassurance, security AND protection, and have peace about the matter.

This is just one part of God’s design for marriage—a design that ultimately leads to a partnership that gives both partners freedom and protection.

Praying and believing,

Chronicles of the Donovan Clan - God Hit Me Upside The Head

So what has happened in our marriage, in my husband’s faith journey? Well do you remember that conversation that started this weird journey? I shared that with you last week, read it here. Well, my husband started to attend church with me…… every week…… 

He has been attending church every Sunday since February. Interestingly, my man is not into the worship and music. So, get this, he rises from bed as I’m leaving for church with Caitie, showers, dresses, then drives to church by himself. He joins us as we sit on the right near the front just before the Pastor begins to talk. Not my perfect ideal but friends, he joins us for church of his own volition. 

The Four Horsemen surely must be riding because I NEVER dreamed my man would get out of bed on a Sunday to join me at church. The marriage class ended over a month ago. My husband has been at church. All is right with the world. 

Or is it? 

Darn it! Take a walk with me. 

My man attended a marriage class. I realize we actually have a pretty darn good marriage. He’s been at church with me every Sunday, willingly and rarely displays the “hostile stance.” 

But now these months later, I started talking with him about church attendance. I took great courage from our past breakthroughs and asked him to consider being baptized as a birthday gift for me. Shameless and manipulative, I know. (sheesh, I still make some big blunders in my faith walk with my unbeliever).

My sweet friends, he’s not there. Out of everything that has transpired, the class, the attendance, the faith and love I shower on him, he’s just not there. He told me he doesn’t believe. He told me he attends church because it’s the right thing to do for our family. He told me that it’s just not for him. 

Ugh! I could cry. The disappointment. The pain.

It's still not quite what I thought it would be. I asked him to join my life, as a husband, to be part of church. He did. I KNOW I should be so grateful. And I am. But, it's hallow. I want my husband to truly know the Lord of Lords. So, I keep praying. I keep hoping. And I am so utterly thankful that my man loves me this much to go to church when he really would choose to stay home. 

But astonishing further, from somewhere deep within, rises a hope in me that I can’t fully understand, nor explain. You see, I really, really KNOW God. I have dwelt in His presence and I believe with every part of my being that it’s all about timing. 

God’s timing. 

What God has shown me through this process are truths the enemy kept me from seeing. I have a great guy. Our marriage is in a beautiful place, it’s not perfect, but it’s us. It’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. Filled with love, trust, honesty, failures, yelling at times, mistakes, manipulation, and humanness. It’s the living experience of married love and relationship. It’s a marriage bathed in the love of Jesus because I’m the believer. It’s a marriage of hope, because I worship the God of hope. It’s a marriage of laughter, growth, and authentic relationship. 

I will continue to wait for my man’s salvation. I absolutely believe he will meet Jesus before he leaves this planet. I AM ABLE to even wait until a death-bed conversion if I must, because God is sovereign over my life. He has proven Himself over and over to me. He has provided, comforted, instructed (many times through my unbelieving husband), and He has loved me to distraction. 

I hope in Him.
I trust in Him.
I live for Him and his Son, Jesus. 

As the words of old say, “His grace is sufficient for me.” 

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

My friends, can you say these words today and let Jesus make them real in your life? Thank you for taking this long walk with me. I love you. I pray for you earnestly and for your spouse’s salvation. May the Lord bless you and keep you. 

Love, Lynn

And the Winners are...



Monday: KarenW (email contains the letters "kred")

Tuesday: Joanne (email contains the letters "cupof")

Wednesday: Christine (email contains the letters "fly")

Thursday: Donna (email contains the letters "verd")

Friday: Christy (Cedney25)

Congratulations, ladies!!! And a very sincere thanks to everyone for sharing this incredible week with me. You've made it very special.

Our SUM community is incredible!

Love you all dearly!

An Open Letter from Courtney

CourtneyAn Open Letter from Courtney:

Hi Lynn and Dineen, 

I never thought I would say this, but I'm going to miss this season being in a spiritually unequal marriage in some ways. 

It just dawned on me this morning during a very precious and tear-filled quiet time with Jesus. As the Lord has been impressing upon my heart more and more intensely over the past several months, and even more so, over the past ten days or so, my husband's salvation is days away. 

While I have been waiting and longing for this season to be over for four years now, crying and begging for the Lord to save my husband, there is a precious and sweet grace of Jesus being my husband that I will miss when Jesus dwells in my earthly husband. Can you believe I'm even saying that? I could never have known Jesus the way I've known him if it wasn't for this spiritually unequal marriage. As I know you've experienced too, He has been everything to me during this time--the One who made me strong when I had no strength, the One who loved me when my husband seemed to waiver in his love, the One who held me and wiped away my tears when my husband was reluctant to comfort me in my pain. This Jesus I'm going to miss. Please don't misunderstand me. I know His grace is infinite and multifaceted--it's not going away with my husband's salvation. And this is certainly not the best He has to offer--that will be in Heaven when I'm dancing with Him! But this grace, in my loneliness, in my isolation, in my despair, when I literally had no one else, this grace I'm going to miss. 

My husband’s salvation story is going to be too amazing for words. Jesus' glory is going to shine like the sunrise on a clear spring morning. I can't wait to tell you all about it very soon. 

Thank you so much for your obedience to the Lord. Thank you for your courage and strength to carry on this ministry for women like me who desperately needed the comfort of your words every morning in my inbox, to know that I'm not alone in my struggles. I praise God for you. I couldn't have gone through this without your help. I love you both so much. God honors those who put Him first. 

"But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing on its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing," says the Lord of Hosts.

 -Mal. 4:2-3 HCSB 


The Stories Behind the Story

SoulSaverHello again, dear friends. First, I want to give a big hug and shout out to Lynn for letting me monopolize the blog this week to share this story with you. She rocks!

Second, I want to thank you again for sharing this with me. It’s the culmination of a dream that started in 2009 and the SUM community is a very important part of it. I’m so excited to share some additional tid bits about the birth and progression of this story with you.

How The Soul Saver turned out to be almost prophetic in my life.
When I started writing the story in 2009, it was just a glimmer in my heart and mind. I knew the basics. I knew Lexie was a believer. I knew her husband, Hugh, was an atheist and a physics professor at Stanford University. And I knew they’d lost a child to a brain tumor.

With a short synopsis and the first few chapters in hand,I went to a writers conference that September to pitch the story to some editors and see what kind of reaction I would get. I left this conference without any doubts that I was to write it. Not because of anything said by an editor, but because God made it clear that was His plan.

Here’s where it gets a little “strange.” About two weeks after I got home, we found out my youngest daughter had a malignant brain tumor. We were sent to Lucille Packard (love the folks there!) for her surgeries. Her radiation treatments were to be done at Stanford Hospital, which is attached to Lucille Packard AND Stanford University.

Because of where the tumor was, Leslie’s radiation treatments had to be designed so as to treat the area and not bombard the rest of her brain and eyes. This treatment was carefully designed by a physics professor at Stanford University.

God-bumps anyone?

And all the weeks we were driving back and forth to the hospitals became my research for the book. Can you believe it?

What made me nearly give up on Lexie’s story.
Being a writer isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, and you get a lot of rejections. In the fall of 2010, I was so hopeful that we (my agent and I) had found a home for Lexie’s story. I believed that The Soul Saver and Winning Him Without Words were a perfect match, like Fireproof and the Love Dare. (I wished our publisher of Winning Him handled fiction, but alas they don’t. Regal and our precious editor there, Kim Bangs, have been our greatest champions in getting our message out.)

Needless to say, I was pretty upset when the rejection came. But the final blow was the suggestion this publishing house made to make the story more of a fit for them—take the spiritually mismatched element out.

I was crushed. That was the heart of my story. It needed to be told and I knew God wanted me to tell it!

God bless my wonderful agent who stood by me and encouraged me not to change the story, to just hang on a little longer.

I went to God in prayer and laid The Soul Saver and even writing fiction at His feet, asking Him to take the desire to write it away if I wasn’t supposed to. It was too painful.

Then I let it be.

A couple months later, God released me from doing any more design work—something I’d been praying about letting go so I could write full time. Up until this time, I kept hearing, “Not yet.”

So why now? It didn’t make sense. Nothing had changed. I could only assume that He had something in mind, and I would need more time for the SUM ministry and our Winning Him book coming out in a few months.

This “release” happened on a Saturday. My agent called Tuesday to give me the unbelievable news that a publisher had made an offer on The Soul Saver.

How God opened the door for The Soul Saver in a place I least expected.
Publishing houses have certain “tastes” in the kind of books they publish. The Soul Saver seems to cross genres a little with a story that fit women’s fiction, a thread of danger that fit suspense stories and a supernatural element as well. One house even said they liked the story but didn’t know how they would market it. Publishing Christian based fiction and nonfiction is a ministry AND a business.

So when the offer came from a house I had already assumed wouldn’t be interested, I was floored.

But isn’t that so like God? Like Gideon defeating 120,000 Midianites with just 300 men, God wants us to know that it’s Him who brakes down barriers and opens the door to the impossible.

Not only had God opened the door in the unlikeliest of places, He brought us to a publisher that allowed me to keep our Winning Him Without Words book in the story as part of Lexie’s journey. And not only that, they let me have a page in the back of the book so I could tell readers the Winning Him book was real and that an entire ministry existed for the spiritually mismatched. (Thank you, Becky Germany and Barbour Publishing!)

How you can help get Lexie's story out there.
This is the part I almost left out, but after seeing some of the unexpeted responses to Lexie's story already—a request for information about starting a small group like Lexie's, a comment that reading books where the husband was a believer was too hard, and newcomers finding our site!—I decided it would be okay ask for your help.

Buying or downloading the book is always good (and I am so grateful and humbled when I hear from you that you did), but also requesting it at your local bookstores and libraries goes a long way to getting it out there. The more places people see it, the more people will one, know that there are a lot of us Lexies out there, and two, reach those Lexie's who are still walking this journey alone. That just breaks my heart to think about it. (You can alos mention the Winning Him book too since they work together.)

So, my friends, that concludes this incredible week of sharing one of the greatest adventures of my life with you. I cannot thank you enough for joining me, because sharing this with you all is part of what I have looked forward to the most.

Remember to leave a comment. On Sunday, I will announce the winners!

In my book (wink), you all already are.

Praying and believing,

Let's Have a Little Fun

Have you seen book trailers before? I love them, as long as they're short and sweet. My publsiher did a really great job on the trailer for The Soul Saver. So, for fun (and another opportunity for you to win a book, so leave a comment!) I'm posting it here for your enjoyment.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the stories behind the story. Get ready for some God-bumps...

From the Backcover:

When Trusting God Is the Only Way Out

On an average day, God started her missions in her sculpting studio, revealing the face of the person she would meet at the grocery store, bank, or playground. The goal was always the same. Reach the lost, bring someone back to God, restore hope. But then came the tough missions—the ones that sent Lexie Baltimore into real battle. And she had a few battle scars to show for it.

Tormented that she can’t reach the one person she loves the most—staunch atheist and husband Hugh—Lexie finds her own hope waning when the battle comes to her doorstep in the shape of a pastor who represents everything she wants and everything her husband is not—a godly man.

Then false accusations and rumors spin her husband and family into a precarious position, and the only way out is to trust God. But how can she convince her husband when she’s struggling to trust God herself?

This time Lexie is the mission.

An Interview with Lexie Baltimore, Part 2

Welcome back, everyone! Here's the second half of Lexie's interview.


Okay, here’s a tough one, Lexie and I hope you don’t mind us asking, but I think it’s an area we should address. How did you wind up handling your feelings for Nate?

First of all, I went to God and confessed them. I had to, you know? God not only forgave me (of course He would), He also helped me understand that I wasn’t really “attracted” to Nate per say but was drawn to what I perceived to be a man of faith and envied that. That is what I truly had to repent of, envy and comparing. I’m learning to be content in my marriage and how to love my husband just as he is. God takes care of the rest.

What suggestions do you have for those times when things just seem so hopeless? Being mismatched can cause a marriage to be a roller coaster emotionally and spiritually. How do you combat those low times?

I stay close to God. Always. Even if I don’t feel like it. I find that a heavy heart is always uplifted by those precious words in the Bible. There’s so much in there, so many who have struggled before us and God put their stories and struggles right there for us to read and learn from.

Plus, it’s really hard to lose hope when God puts it on your heart to help someone who needs help or prayer. That helps me keep things in perspective. And the small group I’m part of is such a blessing in my life. These ladies are mismatched too. We pray for each other and hold each other up though it all.

The worst thing to do is to isolate yourself. I used to do that too. That’s where the enemy gains power and control in your life. We need other Christians to stay strong, I understand that now. Especially in a mismatched marriage.

But I’m noticing that the roller coaster is becoming more like a boat ride now. We have smooth waters most of the time, choppy waters occasionally. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, things smooth out and we sail along.

What are the strongest words of encouragement you ever received related to your situation?

You’re not alone. When I found out there were others out there like me, my whole world began to change. Being with other women who were mismatched—it was like we didn’t even need to say anything. We just knew and understood each other. That literally freed my soul from the lock down the enemy had cleverly put in place.

Can I share one more?

Sure, go ahead.

Abby talks a lot about what we go through as preparation. That encouraged me so much because one, it meant God had to put His seal of approval on everything we go through, which two, means that He views it all through His eyes of love and chooses what will help us and allows only that. Trusting God is where we experience the greatest freedom. That never stops surprising me.

Wow, thank you for sharing that, Lexie. That is very encouraging. Okay, we’re at the final question. Are you ready?

Shoot away.

Lexie's husband, Hugh
Lexie's husband, Hugh

Where are you and Hugh headed now?

(She looks off in the distance with a whimsical smile.) We are on an incredible journey right now of rediscovering each other. God is doing some pretty cool stuff in Hugh’s life too. He and Jeremy still read the story of Noah’s Ark at least one or twice a week. 

Sounds like progess?

We’re getting there. Slowly but surely. That was God’s plan all along.


Well, that wraps up Lexie's interview. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember, leave a comment for another book drawing, and be sure to come back Friday for some behind the scenes secrets, like:

  • How The Soul Saver turned out to be almost prophetic in my life.
  • What made me nearly give up on Lexie's story.
  • How God opened the door for this story in the place I least expected.

Again, thank you for sharing this journey with me, my dear friends! Means to world to me.

Praying and believing,


An Interview with Lexie Baltimore, Part 1

My friends, I had a lot of fun (and shed a few tears) doing this interview with Lexie. You spend months and even years with these characters and they become almost real. I thought you’d like to see the picture I used to help me visualize Lexie too.

So, without further ado, here’s Lexie.

LexieLexie, when did you first start having these visions of where God wanted to send you and did He have you sculpting the face of the person you were to help even then?

It started not long after we lost our daughter Mandy. At first I thought I was going crazy! I’d just starting reading my Bible again and praying. A lot! I resisted at first because of my doubts but then that first time... I knew the place well, my bank. But the face God had me sculpt, well, I didn’t recognize him at all.

I did what God asked and I went to the bank that day, but I wasn’t expecting to really see this man. But there he was. Shoulders slumped, waiting in line with his hand clenched around a piece of paper and a wad of bills.

You see, he’d planned to give the teller what money he had in the hope that it would be enough to stop the foreclosure on his home. Then he’d planned to commit suicide in a way that would look like an accident. He figured his life wasn’t helping his family so maybe his death would.

Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. I just knew I was supposed to go up to him and tell him to hang on just a little longer, that God had something very special coming his way.

Truly, it was more like a scene from a movie! (Lexie laughs out loud.) As I’m talking to this man, and he’s crying because he really doesn't want to die, just wants to save his family, the bank manager walks over, recognizes him and tells him the bank made an error. There were seven mortgage payments that hadn’t been reflected on his account. He was actually ahead in his payments. The foreclosure was canceled.

(She leans forward, face beaming.) Don’t you just love it when God comes through in a big way?

Yes, yes, I do! Love it! Is God still using you and your sculpting to reach people who need help? 

Yes, but not as often. I will tell you, I’m so relieved Hugh knows now. To be honest, I was so afraid to tell him, because I didn’t know what he would think of it. Of me. I had to let go of that fear and trust that God would help me handle whatever happened. When I did that—that’s part of my story—it really taught me how to be confident in God and step out in faith when He calls me too. God really and truly does have our backs. Abby told me about that Scripture in Isaiah 58 that says God is our rear guard. He really is!

In the book, you come face to face with evil—Tobias? What was your perception of him? At first, I really thought he was Nate’s friend. But something just wasn’t right there. At first I thought it was just my imagination, but I think God was trying to get me to see with my “spiritual eyes.” Plus, I got this horrible headache every time I was near him. I finally put two and two together that day at the hospital. (Lexie shivers in her chair.) I’d really rather not explain that one again. Can your readers just read it for themselves?

Sure, Lexie. Not a problem. I totally understand, considering I wrote it. (I laugh.) What suggestions or warnings would you give someone in a mismatched marriage to avoid unfaithfulness, not just physically but emotionally?

Oh wow, that’s a big question. Hmmm, well, I can only share what I’ve found to be true in my marriage. I truly thought at one point that infidelity would rip us apart. What I learned through it was to stop focusing on the faith issue in my marriage and just love Hugh as he was. That’s what God wanted me to do all along.

I think when we focus only on what’s not there—that spiritual connection—we tend to withdraw from our husband. I know I did at times and it created a gap between us. Plus it made Hugh feel like I didn’t love him sometimes and that I was rejecting him. Not a good thing! So I’m very careful about making sure my husband knows I love him, and more importantly—especially to him—that I respect him. Just as he is.

Isn’t that what your Winning Him Without Words book talks about too? Love that book. That and Abby saved me so much heartache. Abby’s such a great mentor to me. So thankful for her.

Friends, come back tomorrow for the second half of Lexie's interview. I hope you're enjoyed getting to know Lexie as much as I did. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and remember to leave a comment for the book drawing!

Praying and believing,