233 posts categorized "Devotion"

Weekend Worship — Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord Will Provide

Yep, there it is. My "new" set of wheels.

My dear friends, I've taken you on this car journey with me, first sharing my family's finanical challenges, the need to sell my "beloved" SUV, and then the search for another car. Nothing "magically" appeared but I consider God's provision in this whole scenario as pretty evident and well, just plain cool. My SUV sold in less than 12 hours, giving us much needed funds, and now I have this cute 2003 VW Beetle that reminds me of the little car I drove through high school and college. The pieces just fell into place as we found this little gem online and made a quick sale with an adorable young couple ready to part with it. Even the CarFax said it was a great buy! We kept to our budget and accomplished our goal. Thank you, Lord!

So, all that to say, God provides. Sometimes He simply smooths the path like He did in this case. Other times His hand is more miraculous and astonishing as one story I just had the privilege to share in the new book Lynn and I are working on right now. Yes, consider that a teaser. We have some awesome stories to share in this book.

I bet you have some amazing stories too! Care to share them? What better way to worship God than to share with others His amazing goodness and presence. My MOST favorite thing on this earth is seeing God in action! There is nothing better!

So share those amazing stories right in the comments. Tell of God's amazing provision and presence! Those are the best stories to read and share, my friends. They are the proof that our God loves us, is faithful and loves to astonish us. He's spectacular! And this SUM community is amazing proof of that!

Love you all so much!

Now let's worship our amazing LORD together!

Weekend Worship — From a Reader

My precious friends, I don't know about you but this girl is feeling a bit scattered and off track with all the fuss of the holidays and a house full of people. And I still have my daughter's bridal shower to get ready for next weekend!

So if you're feeling the same, sit a moment and drink in this wonderful message Bridget. I just love what she has to share about God's love: 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ([a]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

The key is LOVE, not as the world loves but as God loves. I know that I cant love in my own strength because it does not work. It always comes up short and does not satisfy. I am tapping into the source of love and I am praying that God will so reveal his love to me that I operate in a new dimension of revelation and have the heart and mind of Christ.

My prayer for Dineen, Lynn and all the woman that are trusting the Lord to move in their lives, their families and their husbands lives is that we would be able to grasp the depth, height, length and breadth of God's love. God is calling us back to our FIRST LOVE so that we can spill over with His love to those around us.

Thank you, Bridget! 
Happy New Year, my friends!
Love you all so very much!

(Here's our weekend worship video, thanks to Heather Passuello!)

I Wanted to Stop Praying

I wonder if you are feeling weary? 

I know this month we are writing about love and I do have so much more rolling around in my brain to share about love. God’s love, our self-love and loving others. But, now for almost a week, I’m just not in the “mood” to write about that. 

What I’m wrangling with this season is weariness. 

It crystalized for me last week when I actually heard myself whisper out loud to the Lord, these words, “Lord, I’m just so weary of constantly fighting the battle. I’m tired of always being on the front lines. I’m exhausted hoping and waiting for the salvation of my husband. I’m fatigued as I pray almost incessantly for my children.” 

As soon as this little prayer left my lips, the words then hit my brain and then my heart. In the moment I wanted to stop praying so badly. I want to stop with my worry and cease the battling with the devil over the people I love. 

When I add to this my demanding writing schedule, travel last week, the entire “getting ready for Christmas” demands and then pile on top the shooting at Sandy Hook, well, it’s just A LOT!

My spirit feels beat up and weak. 

What do we do when it’s A LOT and there is not an end in sight? I mean there is still so much to do to be ready for Christmas. I’m traveling again on Christmas day to see my son for his 30th birthday. (Shhhhhh, It’s a surprise.) And …. and…. and… I know you KNOW what I’m talking about. 

Right now, this hour, I’m not sure I know what to “do.” And I don’t have a wonderful story to share with you that God has arrived to make my life easier. 

However, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper this verse over and over into my ears for days now. 

Galatians 6:9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. (MSG) 

Okay, it’s kinda a pep talk and it does help me refoces a little bit. But then I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Lynn, if you stop praying for your husband, your son and your daughter, who will be covering them with prayer.” 

I respond, “O Lord, no one. NO ONE.” 


Me again, “O Lord that’s what the devil wants, itsn't it? My family needs my covering more than anything right now. Our community of SUM, the nation, Sandy Hook, needs my prayer covering.” 

“Lynn, I know your weary and I will give you rest soon. But, you CANNOT stop your battles in the prayer realm. You must persevere. You must know that your words are impacting the people for whom you pray. I have revealed some of the astonishing results already.You must be assured that if you were to quit, setbacks might happen.” 

And THEN….. God reminded me of a few things to set my soul back in order:

He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End! 

He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be ...
unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone!

He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him, and The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him, The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him,  and The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him, Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and the media can't explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure. 

His ways are right,
His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life! 

I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life. 

I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomers, and is to come. And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.

His goal is relationship!
He will never leave me,
never forsake me,
never mislead me,
never forget me,
never overlook me and
never cancel my appointment in His appointment book! 

When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home! 

He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time, and every way.
He is God, He is faithful. I am His, and He is mine!

Wow, it's amazing how our Great King always knows what we need.
Merry Christmas, Lynn


Weekend Worship — A Testimony

IStock_000017809995XSmallMy precious friends, I can't believe Christmas is so close! As the day draws closer, I'm trying to keep my heart and mind wrapped around the miracle that God brought so long ago and keep my eyes open for the ones He's doing right now. 

I want to share one with you. My rep at a magazine publishing group that I 've worked with sent me a Merry Christmas message by email, and I almost didn't reply back out of "busyness." I'm so glad I obeyed the nudge to reply back, because it opend a dialogue for a brother in Christ to share his story and offer encouragement to our SUM community. 

My friends, read this and receive the wonderful encouragement that God, our Abba Daddy, wants to you. I know this will speak to at least one woman out there who needs to read this. My friend, God brought you here to read this today for a reason. Believe it and know that your Lord has not missed a moment of your pain or your faithfulness. Whatever He is calling you to do, trust Him for the results. Just take that first step of faith and let Him do the rest.

And thank you to Jeff for serving God so faithfully and being willing to share so openly:

I saw the Q&A you did on FamilyFiction.com and your website www.SprituallyUnequalMarriage.com. As someone that put my wife thru HECK for a number of years till I surrendered to God. My heck was not normal heck—sexual addiction, anger issues, spiritual dysfunction issues. Encourage women that no situation is too tough for God. I was so far gone, yet it was my wife’s love and prayers and tough love that got me to the place I wanted real change to happen. The result is I am in Bible school at night, and we adopted 2 kids from Ukraine in 2010. That is the fruit of a life yielded and a marriage transformed!

God is so good! Is that not amazing? 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. — Ephesians 3:20-21

Our Lord is Able!
Merry Christmas, my dear friends. I love you so very much!


Love this music video from Third Day. This song is actually based upon a true story. The song the man heard on the radio was a Third Day song!

Weekend Worship — Let Your Love Loose!

HandHoldingCrossLike Lynn said in yesterday's post, love has the power to conquer all. As I read that a fuller impact of what it means really hit home. This is something I've known since a child. Not sure how other than God just wired me that way, but I never fully understood what kind of love can do that until I began walking with Jesus and studying the Bible.

The mind blowing part of this is the beauty in the way it works. It's part of the beautiful mystery of who God is and how He works. His love funnels down to us through His Son, Jesus, so when we invite Christ into our hearts, that love now dwells in us. 

I mean, think about it. First John 4:7-21 is one of the most powerful pieces of Scripture, my humble opinion. It says repeatedly that God is love. If Jesus is living in us, that means this powerful love, this agape love that's so strong and sacrificial that it drove Jesus to the cross to save us, lives in us as well. This is what I believe, again in my humble opinion, is meant by what Paul says in Ephesians 1:18-21 where he speaks of the very power that raised Jesus from the dead.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 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, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (emphasis mine)

That's the most powerful kind of love I can even being to comprehend! The kind of love that brings the dead back to life! A dead heart, a dead marriage...

This is the miraculous part of walking with Jesus and this is the power that lives in us—to love with a miraculous and supernatural love that defies the world, that defeats the enemy of our souls and shines like the brightest beacon in the darkest places.

So, my precious friends, let your love loose! Let that love that God has placed in you free. Ask Him to bring it on and let love flow through you to everyone in your home and everyone you meet. Do this and watch your world change and when  you change your world, you will impact those around you. 

Through God's love living in us, we have the power to change our lives, our marriages and the world. So let your love loose!

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. — 1 Cor. 16:13-14

Loving with you and loving YOU!


Now let's WORSHIP!

Weekend Worship — Out They Go!

My friends, our wristbands just arrived at my door Friday afternoon and with the help of my daughter and her boyfriend, they are packed and read to go! We wound up with almost 100 addresses—the latest country added was India! That makes 9 different countries now. Wow!

IMG_1869So, be on the look out for your envelope to arrive. I apologize for having to tape the bands to the back of the certificates, but that was the only way to keep from paying a package rate for each one. The difference would have been over a dollar and for almost 100—a bit costly indeed. 

I'm so excited to get these out to you! Let me know when you get them. And how cool would it be to see a "stranger" wearing one of these and finding out you are sisters in Christ?! That's a story I'd love to hear.

I am so blessed to share and walk this journey with you, my friends. I love and treasure each and every one of you!


And now our worship song for the weekend:

Weekend Worship — Keep Going!

IMG_1854A few weeks ago as I was out walking and praying, AND having one of those days that I was truly struggling with some decisions and issues in my life, I came across this garbage can on the side of the path. I read the message (which wasn't there a couple days earlier when I walked last) and smiled. 

I'd just been praying about something that I wasn't sure how to move forward on and then I read this wonderful hand painted message in gold.

"Keep going."

I have no doubts that God put it upon this person's heart to write this message and I'm one of those it was intended for.

Sometimes that's what God asks us to do when we're walking through the more difficult challenges of life. And we can trust His message to keep going because even though we don't know how it's all going to work out or what we'll face on the other side, He does. And He's always working for our good. Always.

Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but that's our promise in Romans 8:28. It's a truth that will change your entire life and outlook if you let it permeate your mind and heart and everything you think you know about God.

I love you, my friends, and I pray God's goodness is extremely real and present for you this weekend. Here's another song for you!

Worshiping with you!

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!

Weekend Worship — Psalm 150

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!

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

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!

Weekend Devo— What's Your Mountain Top?

This is the hilltop in the middle of a park that's in walking distance to my home. In the background you see the hills that back up behind the cluster and crowded homes in my neiborhood. This place is my mountain top where I sometimes go to walk and pray—an oasis in the middle of our busy and noisey community. This week I met a young man named Jaun who spontanteously started talking to me and we spent a half hour sharing our faith. I love God's family.

These hills hold a special place in my heart because God used them to minister to me at a very crucial time. We were on our way to get Leslie's diagnosis and we had no idea what we were about to find out. Literally, as I sat in my car at a traffic light looking at these hills, I turned on the radio and Casting Crowns "Praise You in This Storm" was playing. The first words I heard were:

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth

So now, everytime I look a these suede-like rolling hills, I remember where my help comes from. It is a sweet reminder to me of God's faithfulness and goodness.

How about you? What's your mountain top?

Praying & believing,


Read more: CASTING CROWNS - PRAISE YOU IN THIS STORM LYRICS http://www.metrolyrics.com/praise-you-in-this-storm-lyrics-casting-crowns.html#ixzz259alUavP 
Copied from MetroLyrics.com 

Weekend Devo — Blow Away Again...By You

WriteLetterMy dear and precious friends, 

Yesterday I read all your comments on our post from August 6th about our visit with FamilyLife Today. I am blown away and so very humbled.

To read your stories and hear your hearts in each one...I cried. My daughter walked in and asked me what was wrong. I showed her the page on my computer screen and told her how amazed and humbled and honored and blessed I am, to be used by God to help others, to be a part of this community. 

She asked, "So those are happy tears?!"

Oh, yes, very happy tears. Grateful tears. Tears of joy.

So, today I want to tell all of you how precious each and every one of you are to us. I know Lynn and I have said this before but we really do pray over all of you. At times we cry, other times we laugh and rejoice with you.

You've heard me say God blows me away. Well, you blow me away too. You may think you're not doing very well; maybe you feel like you're failing in your marriage or in your relationship with God (I feel that way at times too, btw), but just the fact that you come here to share your heart openly, that you're seeking God for wisdom and guidance, that you desire to honor God and do what He asks for the sake of your marriage and your desire to know God better...

Well, that tells me you're far from failing, dear friends. You are thriving! Did you know that? You are flourishing. You are succeeding. Victory doesn't mean easy. It's means reaching that place of overcoming and knowing God's joy and peace right where we are.

And you are there! This is our shared journey and I am so grateful and honored and humbled and blessed beyond words to be on the path with you.

Love you all so very much,
Your sister in Christ,

Weekend Devo — Our Greatest Testimony

As I was walking the other day, I had what I call a dream vision. Basically this is my imagination running a little wild with possibility. In this “drimagination” I was with my husband in front of a group and we were sharing our testimony about our faith journeys, walking from a mismatched couple to now sharing a growing and vibrant marriage based in Jesus.

This may sound crazy but I choose to dream big and love to see God wow me. So, it was brief and fun, but what really hit me is the testimony part. What is our testimony now?

On my post last week I talked about how we don’t have to defend our faith and one reader left this comment:

Sometimes I think it can be tough because if prior to our salvation, we weren't addicted to drugs or worse, we feel like our testimony doesn't really matter. That is so not true. Even in the world's eyes if what God saved us from wasn't a big deal, in God's eyes it is. It doesn't even matter, He saved us from an eternity in Hell and we need to stand by that, claim it, and share it. — Heather Passuello

Heather is on to something here and the pieces of the puzzle fell in place as a result of my daydreaming.

You are on of God’s greatest testimonies. Did you know that? Each of us stand as a testimony to God’s amazing love and represent what He has done in our lives.

He saved us! He saved us from an eternity in Hell separated from Him. We are now forever adopted into the family of God and have a place in Heaven with Jesus as coheirs.

Think about it. Just as you, where you are sitting, laying, standing right now—you represent a powerful testimony of God’s love. As Heather so wisely said, let’s claim it and live in the truth that we are Children of God!

Praying & believing,

For fun and inspiration, another Third Day song, Children of God!

Weekend Devo — Pascal's Wager: Worth the Gamble?

220px-Blaise_Pascal_VersaillesHave you heard of Pascal's Wager? I looked it up recently and ask my husband about it. I was curious what he thought of such a theory coming from Blaise Pascal, a scientist whose been influential in his own scientific persuits and beliefs. 

From Wikipedia: It posits that there's more to be gained from wagering on the existence of God than from atheism, and that a rational person should live as though God exists, even though the truth of the matter cannot actually be known.

Here's what my hubby basically had to say in response: Christianity believes our salvation is contingent on your acceptance of God's Son Jesus so Pascal's wager still fails because just believing God exists doesn't save you unless you buy into the fallacy that good works save you.

I must say I was surprised at his clarity of the differentiation and I could see his point. My guy never stops surprising me. He understands more of my "doctrine" than I give him credit for sometimes. I'm relieved too that it's one less hurdle between him and God. I want my guy to have all the facts straight so that when the day does come that he considers Jesus, he'll know the full story and consider the cost (Luke 14:28-33).

 No wagers or gambles. Just all in for eternity.

Praying & believing,


Weekend Devo — All the Fishies in the Sea

FishI saw this SUV on the freeway the other day and had my daughter take a picture of the back. I wish you could have seen me trying to catch up with this vehicle to snap a picture. I promise no animals, people, or fish were harmed in the process. 

Seeing these symbols made me wonder all kinds of things though, and in just the flash of a moment.

Did these symbols encompass the entire family?

Did you earn your fish and place above the bumper once you said yes to Jesus?

Did this family "swim" in harmony and faith?

What did this family of faith look like?

Yeah, lots of questions and most of them not really important for me to know. I was suddenly in that place of comparing and wondering how my family measured up. That old ach and longing tried to make a come back, but I fended it off with the truth that God created all the fishies in the sea to swim in thier own unique ways.

And you know what, that includes our unbelievers, or as I'm coming to think more of my hubby—prebelievers. He's a fish. He just doesn't know it yet. LOL!

So instead of this now being an image of what I don't have, I choose to see it as a promise of what's to come. And I'm planning on some of those little fishies being my future grandchildren because I trust God to continue the legacy of faith in my family that He started with me.

Let's dream big, my friends. God style—for all the fishies soon to be. 

Praying & believing,


Weekend Devo — Feeding on God's Best

IStock_000013074149XSmallLike newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1Peter 2:2-3

Have you ever noticed how you wind up drifting away from your spouse when you don’t spend time together and make time to talk and interact—on purpose, not just out of necessity? Have you noticed how you drift away from God when you forget to pray or wind up so busy you don’t keep that appointed time to meet with Him?

Do you see the connection? Our marriages are an earthly representation of our relationship to Christ, as his bride. When we see our marriages as a training ground of being intentional in a relationship, we are learning what it means to be intentional in our relationship with God.

Just as we have to be intentional in our marriages in order to grow closer to our spouse and mature the relationship, we need to do the same thing in our relationship with God to mature spiritually.

We can’t keep living on milk. Sometimes we have to take a hefty bite of the solid stuff and chew on it for a while to learn and grow in our marriages and our faith. Even when it seems scary, too hard, or just too much work.

Remaining in infancy keeps us from fully experiencing who God is, who our spouses are, and what our marriages and faith lives can become. We miss out on the tasty, meaty stuff.

I know this faith walk isn’t easy. Sometimes God calls us to trust Him in whole new ways and calls us to difficult tasks and directions. Not to starve or punish us, but to feed us with His best.

Praying & believing,

Weekend Devo — God’s Irony

The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him. — Esther 6:4

By now you know how much I love the story of Esther. For one, she is the first spiritually mismatched wife mentioned in the Bible. Esther is our inspiration too. As her Uncle Mordecai said, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” we hold a place in our marriages for “such a time as this.”

The story of Esther never speaks directly of God, but there is no doubt He is present. I love how He’s orchestrating it all. He’s put Esther in a place that probably wasn’t her first choice but winds up serving a higher calling than she ever imagined.

Yet here is Haman, a man totally engrossed in himself, that he’s oblivious to what is going on behind the scenes. In chapter six, God has kept King Xerxes awake and unsettled, leading him to read the chronicles of his reign. He happens upon the recording of Mordecai’s exposure of a plan to kill the king. Then just as he’s looking for a way to honor the man who saved his life, in walks Haman with a plan to kill the very same man.

God’s irony. Don’t you just love it? He’s there working the entire time to bring salvation to His people and even uses the ones most opposed to Him to do it.

I can only shake my head and smile in appreciation of God’s ways. I truly love seeing our great God in action in my life and the lives around me.

Including you! So tell me how God is working “behind the scenes” in your life and marriage.

Praying & believing,

Weekend Devo — What about Dad?

IStock_000015004200XSmallFather’s day can be a difficult day to navigate for many of us. I find it usually has to do with unmet expectations. I know I’ve struggled with this at times, wishing our family picture looked just a little more like the families I saw at church.

But instead of focusing on what’s missing, let’s turn our focus upward and ask God to show us how to honor our men. Make a list of the things your husband does best with your kids and you, then pray and ask God how you can show him respect and appreciation on his special day.

Here are some fun ideas you can do with the kids:

1. Sit down with your kids and make an “I love it when Dad...” list. Either by hand or on a computer, decorate your list and get a frame to show it off. He can hang in his office at home or at work. This is a great way to affirm him as a husband and father.

2. Have the kids help you make him a special breakfast. Fuss over him that morning even if it means staying home from church. This will show him and your children that he’s important to you.

3. Think about one thing your husband really enjoys. A sport, an activity, an event. Surprise him with tickets to a game, plan a day doing his favorite activity, or make his gift something he’s always wanted to do.

4. Give him the day off. For an entire day, make it all about him. Set up his comfy chair with basket with all his favorite treats, a book or video he’s been wanting, and put the remote control in the center. Then join him!

5. Create a coupon book full of acts of service that he can tear out and claim. Your kids will have a blast coming up with ideas for this one. Let them draw each coupon and then staple it together in a booklet.

6. Take him out to his favorite restaurant or on a picnic.

7. Wash his car. The kids will think you’re a hero!

8. Give him a back and shoulder rub. Get the kids to take turns too.

9. If your husband likes to play games, plan a game day full of his favorites and have fun! (You could even let him win sometimes.)

10. Ask him what he’d like to do most that day and then set out to make it happen.

I hope this gives you some ideas. You may even set a new standard that will come around and bless you next Mother’s Day. ☺

Praying and believing,

Weekend Devo — God Has Your Back

HeartinClouds“Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. — Isaiah 58:8

I have loved this particular verse for a quite a while now because God used it to affirm me on a day I wasn’t sure whether I was meant to be a writer. Yep, I asked and He lead me to this verse. You know the rest of that story.

We’ve talked a lot about our armor but this precious piece of God’s Word tells us He our rear guard. He has our back.

Almost daily I am blown away (yes, I know I use that phrase a lot so feel free to suggest new ones. LOL!) by God’s love. It’s taken me a long time to really accept that God loves us that intensely. More specifically, loves me that way.

With that kind of love backing us up, we can walk confidently forward and stand firmly in our faith to defend the holy ground of our marriage.

Praying & believing,

Weekend Devo — Birth of a Stronghold

639294_weed_detail“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” — Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

Sweat beaded on my brow as I worked my way down the flowerbed. The bucket next to me sat nearly full with weeds and dead leaves. To my left, a weed-free bed spanned in elegance. Each bush seemed to sigh, free of the invaders once choking their roots.

To my right, the distance dwindled steadily to the end. Pluck, pluck. Two more imposters joined the bucket with their cohorts. I smiled. My garden would soon be beautiful again.

I reached the end. One final weed. My gloved hands grasped its protruding growth. I froze, took another look, and released my grip.

The tiny plant twinkled in the morning dew, beckoning me with its delicate leaves. I glanced in my bucket for a comparison. Nothing I’d yanked from the soil resembled this beauty. Had a lone seed found its way into my garden? I studied its form again and saw not a sight of offense but one of promised splendor.

What harm could there be in letting it grow?

I left my new visitor alone to flourish among my sweet Japanese Boxwoods and Spirea. Almost every day I inspected the tiny plant, anticipating what unknown bloom would soon burst forth from its exquisite leaves. Surely something so bewitching would promise a flower unlike any I’d seen before.

One day I checked my promised treasure again. My mouth dropped to see the transformation a mere two days had produced. Spiny projections marred the once elegant lines of the green leaves. A thick, gangly stem had replaced the tiny bud I’d thought held a dainty flower. I’d been fooled. I recognized the deceiver for what it was.

A weed.

Like a soldier on a mission, I stood over my garden intruder and made a plan of attack. I wrapped my hands around the base, ignoring the prickle I felt through my gloves, and pulled. Some of the leaves broke off with a jerk, yet the bulk of the weed remained.

More determined than ever, I plunged a spade into the dirt to loosen the soil. Surely that would set this intruder on a path to my bucket. I yanked again. The root held firm despite the few prickly leaves I held. I had to dig deeper.

Again and again I spiked the shovel around the root, giving a tug every so often. The weed loosened but refused to budge. I dug deeper. A gouging hole now marred my garden as well.

Then the nudge of the Holy Spirit brought my hands to a stop. God’s soft voice spoke to my heart.

“This is sin in your life.”

I dropped my shovel. Tears welled in my eyes. The deception fell in God’s light, revealing its darkness. How had its beauty blinded me? Had I recognized this “weed” for what it was, I could have yanked it out sooner. Yet I’d let it grow, lured by its tempting beauty, fooled by the promise of something greater to come.

I’d been an Eve in my own garden.

Head down I prayed for forgiveness. Begged for freedom from this stronghold of sin. God gave me reassurance again of my place in His heart and comforted my spirit.

I glared at the weed, my guilt gone as I gripped the exposed root, praying for God’s help. The sound of the first tear of roots breaking free from the earth spurred me on. I pulled harder.

The imposter released its hold from the soil. A long root dangled from my hand, exposed to sunlight. I tossed the green monster into my bucket, then smoothed dirt and mulch to fill the gaping hole left behind. Peace and satisfaction now replaced the tension of my struggle.

I slipped off my gloves, then wiped my brow. Now my garden was truly free.

Praying and believing, Dineen

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,

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 


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,

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

Weekend Devo — The Power of Dogs

ShastawithBallYes, you read that correctly. I'm talking about dogs today. There is just something about these furry critters that intrigue me. I haven't always been a dog person but after witnessing the HUGE impact our precious Shasta has had on my youngest daughter as she battled first depression and then cancer, I am a true believer that dogs are a special gift from God. My daughter is quick to point out that dog spelled backwards is God, after all. (grin)

Think about your special pet and now imagine God specifically creating that furry creature (or scaled, feathered or whatever defines your pet of choice) with you in mind. Our God is that intentional! Can you believe it? He didn't have to make these furry little critters. He chose to because God loves to delight us.

Now go love on that critter of yours (or your neighbor's if you don't have one) and praise God for thinking of every detail to provide and delight His children.

Praying and believing,

*Photography credit for this cute picture of our Shasta goes to my brother-in-law, Don Miller, whose talent with a camera is amazing!