54 posts categorized "Not Alone"

How To Be The MOST Powerful Voice In Your Kid's Lives

Back To School: Equipping Kids in a contrary culture (Lynn) image from dineen.typepad.com 

Every, single, day our children are bombarded with voices. Social media and television shout continual messages of entitlement, moral ambiguity, hate, lust and fear, to name only a few.

Sheesh! With so much chatter coming at our kids we can fear our voice might be drowned out by voices sent from the darkness. And there are moments in our own home where our children receive conflicting messages from Dad about moral choices, (television, video games, and cultural issues).

I know as a young mom I experienced moments of doubt and fear and this upsetting question would flash into my mind: Will my kids go to heaven?

How do we help our kids find and follow Jesus in today’s culture? How do we as believing parents help our children listen to the right voices?

I have a very simple answer: The most powerful thing we can do to help our children love Jesus is to love Jesus ourselves.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. —Mark 12:30

My daughter, Caitie, turned 20 years old this summer. Finally, the crazy teen years are behind us. Woo Hoo!! *grin* She is walking into adulthood. My daughter was raised all of her life in a spiritually mismatched home. But inspire of the disconnect about faith between her parents, she is walking into a faith-life that is her own. She and I have talked a lot about things she is still trying to sort out about God and she has discovered that living by faith is challenging on a college campus. But she knows the truth.

So much of her foundation in her faith came because she knew that I loved Jesus. She watched me reading my Bible in the early morning hours. She went to church with me every Sunday. I talked to her about the amazing things happening with me and Jesus in our everyday lives.

My love for God was THE most important “voice” in her life.

Mom and Dad, the BEST thing you can ever do to raise your children to faith, is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. This kind of love is ultimately irresistible.

And one more thing happens in your family dynamic when you love God in such a manner. It’s supernatural and I will tell you more about that on Friday. For now, this week, I have a challenge for you mom and dad:

This week make a commitment to pray daily for each of your children BY NAME. Bring them before the Mercy Seat of God and petition for them. Their fears, concerns, their hopes, dreams. Intercede this week and then let’s watch the Lord answer our prayers. I hope to share some heavenly impact in my children’s lives on Friday. I’m praying for them by name.

Lord, help me to be filled with grace, overflowing with compassion and kindness. Shape everything I do with forgiveness and hope. Let me love my children, guide them faithfully and remember always that they are Yours, In the name of Jesus. AMEN.

One more thing, share with me and with other parents in the comments, what scripture verses bring you comfort and encouragement in your parenting? Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Alone Book Banner 2015


Introduction: Back to School Starts Here

NotAloneStudyImageMy friends, the Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart the last couple months about the challenges moms and dads are facing as school starts back up. So many new teachings are being implemented in the public school systems that are complete contradictions to the truths of the Bible. Sadly, we feel helpless much of the time in how to deal with these things, as if our voice has been silenced. And the enemy has fed us the lie that we are powerless. 

The truth is, we are not. Is our God not big enough to help us with this too? I want to propose to you that just as we are mismatched in our homes, we are mismatched with our schools and culture. And the Holy Spirit has also lit a fire in my spirit for how we can help you get ready for school starting back up.

For the next five weeks we are going to pull key aspects from our book, Not Alone, and talk about how we can use the very same principles we suggest to raise Godly kids in a mismatched home in the schools they attend as well. We are raising the next generation to impact the world for Jesus just by living their faith. Now is the time to train up these future “world changers” (as Lynn so beautifully calls them) right. 

Moms, Dads and Grandparents, I firmly believe that just as we bring the aroma of Christ into our homes, we can do the same in our schools as well. We can display the love of Christ in how we handle these challenging areas to our children, to their friends, to their teachers and to those watching. I believe we are being called to rise up for such a time as this to bring kingdom atmosphere with us every time you step foot on that campus and every time you pray over your child’s day, friends, tests, challenges, etc.  

My friends, you are the voice of authority in your child’s life. What they are learning at church is great and can be built upon as well, but during the week, you’re the one who can help your child learn the truths in God’s word and how to apply them effectively to their daily world. And not only will you be helping them learn to navigate school, you will be teaching them the very skills they will need as adults too. We want our children to grow out of our faith and into their own relationship with Jesus. And during the most challenging years of teen and young adult, this foundation will help them stand strong in their faith and for Jesus.

Over the next five weeks we will: 

  • Strategically pray for our children to be equipped spiritually, mentally and emotionally for school each day.
  • Ask God for kingdom perspective of your school so you can begin to see how you can partner with your school instead of seeing it as the enemy.
  • Pray for divine appointments with your child’s teachers, other parents and the school faculty.
  • Look for ways to begin creating an “open-door” atmosphere for your child and his or her friends.
  • Pray for opportunities to show the love of Jesus and bring the Holy Spirit’s presence to the classroom.
  • Seek godly wisdom to know what battles to fight and how to speak in a way that displays the love and integrity of Christ. 

My friends, we can do this. You can do this. God is for us and has our backs. This is His heart for you and your children. If possible, get a copy of our book, Not Alone. Starting next week, we will cover key points from two chapters each week and have a coinciding discussion question to share our thoughts, strategies and opportunities 

In the comments, share the names of your children and their grade, the name of their school, principal and teachers. Lynn and I will be praying with you for your children and the people impacting their lives this year. Jump in and pray for each other too. 

My friends, I sense that this will have so much more impact on our schools and our children than we will ever fully know. Let’s be the righteous moms and dads our children need and let our prayers and faith be the greatest game changers and life builders in our children’s lives.

Today, this very hour, back to school starts here. SUMites, let’s get ready for an amazing year!

All in His love,
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Praying For Our Kids

image from dineen.typepad.comPapa God, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit,

You are our Lord and our God. We come together as a united community, a family joined together by Jesus Christ. We love you. We adore you. We worship you and are your children.

Papa God, we ask that the Holy Spirit would lead us through this next several weeks. Let Jesus teach us and fill us with wisdom and compassion. Help us to be kind in our discussions and impart into our hearts truth. Give myself and Dineen Your words to share in our community. It’s our heart’s desire to equip mamas and daddies so that we can raise our children to become strong believers in Christ. We pray they will walk in strong faith for a lifetime.

We know our children must walk in public schools where curriculum contradicts your Biblical principles and truths. Lord, equip us firstly with the love of Jesus for our children. Love casts out fear. Then Lord, help us to make our home a safe place to land for our kids and a place where we share with them the truth in love. Equip us with every gift of the Spirit that will impart love and wisdom into their lives. In this way Lord, they will come to trust our voice and Your voice over all others that are screaming at them to turn away from You.

Teach us to love unconditionally and not to fear. Teach us to bring up our children in Your ways that they become world changers for the cause of Christ.

In Jesus name, AMEN!

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Back To School.... And A New Series Begins

SUMite Nation:

Train up a ChildWe are shifting gears.

Following the SCOTUS Ruling last month I quickly realized that many of us were staring “Fear” straight in the face. As mamas we were grappling with questions such as.

How do I handle it when little Johnny asks, “Can I go to my best friend’s house to play. Oh and by the way, his dads will be by to pick me up?”

How do I help my child to remain strong in his/her faith when the world says we are haters?

Is there a way to guide them in our new and contrary world today? 

How do I guide them through public school this year?

Moms and Dads, the answer is, YES!

We can raise kids to faith in a Contrary Culture. And in fact, I believe that the SUMite Nation is an unrecognized and unlikely leader in this area already. We have been living and thriving in marriages to spouses who support a humanism world view, gay marriage, evolution, etc.

We have everything we need to lead our children to become world changers for the cause of Christ. So beginning July 31st we are launching a new series… The series title will be announced tomorrow.

TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Let other moms know about this series because so many are living in fear about their children and their future faith.

Okay, this is a teaser….. More to come tomorrow. Tune in as we share some encouraging words that will inspire you as you parent and lead your children in faith. Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


FREE RESOURCE

SUMite Leaders:

All of us are leaders by the way. But for all of you who the Holy Spirit has been nagging to start a small group in your area, this is for you. Fall is around the corner and churches are starting to put their fall Bible studies and small groups together. Perhaps you are to step out a lead one.

Leading a small group in this area that you know well, is one of the most rewarding experiences in your faith walk. 

So pray about starting a small group. Read the booklet in the sidebar. Pray... Pray again. Recruit a friend to lead with you. And use the many resources that are here to help.

Note Alone Cover Art Book coverStudy Winning Him Without Words for marriages and follow that up with Not Alone, a parenting book that will truly help your children find Jesus even in a Spiritually Mismatched home.

Here is a new resource that is adapted from Winning Him by a small group in California. My friends, we can do this unique marriage thing and do it well. Then we can help others to thrive and live in the love and power of the Kingdom.

Hugs, Lynn & Dineen

PRAYER CARDS - New Resource.


20 Years of Parenting In Faith

SUMites,

Train up a ChildIt’s late in the day on Sunday, Mother’s Day. And it’s quiet now as my son and his family have left for home and my hubby of 23 years is having a Sunday afternoon snooze. I’ve waited years and cried many tears hoping for a day such as today. Mother’s Day was simple yet profound. My family attended church with me this morning and then lunch was at our house. Yep, Mike sat beside me in church again.

Yet as I’m alone in my hallway office, typing, my heart is stirring with some emotions and thoughts about you.

I know Mother’s Day can turn out to be a giant disappointment to many in our community. I want you to know right now, I’m praying for your disappointed heart, even broken heart. Often our family members don’t remember to send a card or phone. Often our husband doesn’t remember and we feel forgotten, taken advantage and hurt. We tend to have high expectations of this day that even a super human would be unable to meet. Yet, we want to be validated for the blood, sweat and tears of mothering. So, let me share some words I scribbled down about two weeks ago as I was thinking about mothering from God’s place of vision.

Two weeks ago my daughter, who will turn 20 years old next month was home from college. She was preparing an assignment for one of her classes in which she was to interview her father about his thoughts, his formative years, his beliefs and opinions. I wanted so badly to listen in but I refrained. I did hear one question from the other room however that struck a deep cord in my soul. She asked her dad, “Do you believe in God?”

I couldn’t hear his reply in the distant room. But as I sat there on the couch, 20 years of God’s faithfulness rush past my eyes. Here is my little girl, whom I prayed for like crazy, dragged to church, preached to, loved on, protected and begged Jesus to keep her heart in His hands, here is my little girl, all grown up… Now as a young woman, full of faith, brave enough to have a conversation with her Dad about faith.

It’s 20 years in the making but I’ve been blessed to see the validation of my years of mothering.

So, today, I will be the voice of hope for you today. I will tell you that the years of poop wiping, dragging kids to church, praying with them, crying with your kids, the years of soccer practice, play rehearsal, cramming for a Monday morning test, the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and on and on and on… All those efforts and thankless tasks, well mom. THEY ARE WORTH IT.

To watch this moment where my daughter, a believer in Jesus, interviews her dad about faith, this is what I poured 20 years of my life out to watch happen before my very eyes.

Faithfulness.

My friends, it’s not just God’s faithfulness but my faithfulness as a mother. We, the believing parent, absolutely impact our children’s faith decision. What we speak over them is powerful. What we model is the life they will live. What we pray matters.

So this Mother’s Day I want to share what I did as an ordinary mama beginning years ago. I prayed. I prayed for that child since before she was born. I pray for her now, by name, every day. I pray for her friends, her heart, her studies, her teachers, her mind, her faith, her concerns, triumphs and heartbreaks. I pray for her future spouse and I pray for her in-laws.

My dear SUMites, if we as parents aren’t praying for our children, who is?

We have the most profound opportunity to prepare our children for success in this world but even greater than that, we have the privilege to prepare them to live forever in the Kingdom of God.

Our prayers matter.

Our prayers are powerful.

God’s heart is moved by the prayers of a righteous mama.

Release your unmet expectations today and just know down deep, you are doing the right thing even if not one noticed today. God approves and is so very well pleased in you, Mom.

I love you. Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Update and A Mother's Day Challenge

Hello SUMite Nation: (Challenge is below the update - read on!)

Well, you may have noticed if you are a regular subscriber that we changed our email provider to Mail Chimp. And do my great disappointment, Mail Chimp was unable to create our emails with photos and paragraph breaks. Grrrrr

So as of today, we are with Feedblitz our old service. How does this affect you? It doesn’t unless you subscribed or unsubscribed within the last three days. So, if you are a new subscriber, please subscribe again using the “Never Miss A Post” button in the sidebar -----. Thank you.

Also, a few of you have made donations toward these expenses. Your heart for this ministry and support mean the world to Dineen and I. I will be sending out an email thank you later this week. God bless you! THANK YOU!

As for other changes, in the next week or so we will be uploading our redesign to make SUM mobile friendly. Be patient if things still are wonky. We are working on it. Send me an email if you notice something that isn’t working in a week if it persists.

Funny that so many things happened in the last two weeks that required my “Tech hat.” I prayed God would give me the brain power to do all this myself. Guess what?

HE DID!

Other News:

Please, please visit my video CHALLENGE on MyKLOVE radio app. I have a unique Mother’s Day challenge that’s another opportunity to share your faith with your kids! In fact, I’m going to do this for my grown children. So, look up the app on the store and download it.

I still shake my head in wonder at the gates the Lord opens for Dineen and I. The “MyKLOVE contributor” privilege utterly moves my heart to unending thanks to my Father. My friends, the Lord has many gates for us to walk through and we need only take the keys from His hands.

Tomorrow watch for a post from Dineen about her own mother and on Friday, tune in for something hilarious! I love you so much. In my prayers the past two days, I have been storming the heavens in petitions for you and your families. I love you, Lynn

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The Three Deadly Ds: Disparaging Disbelief

27165685_sDear friends, before Thanksgiving I started a series on the Three Deadly Ds: Dubious Doubt, Debilitating Disbelief and Disparaging Disappointment. In Part One of Dubious Doubt we talked about how the enemy comes in and plants seeds of doubt, as he did with Adam and Eve, and in Part Two I shared some examples of breakthroughs that came as a result of pushing doubt aside and re-establishing God's truth firmly in its rightful place.  

Today, let's talk about Debilitating Disbelief. And that is exactly what the enemy's intention is, to debilitate (weaken, enfeeble, enervate, devitalize, sap, drain, exhaust, weary, fatigue, prostrate; undermine, impair, indispose, incapacitate, cripple, disable, paralyze, immobilize; informal knock out, do in) our faith. Once doubt has come in like a ravaging worm, disbelief moves in to fill those empty places like a fungus or mold. 

  • Your mind is riddled with questions and you may even feel tormented at times.
  • You try to read God's Word but find yourself questioning its truth or thinking it's true for other believers but not for you. 
  • Praise and worship become difficult.
  • Your attitude of gratitude has fled the scene and his unwanted cousin, grumbling negativity, has moved in.
  • Fear subtly increases and can even move into physical manifestations such as anxiety and health issues.
  • Guilt and shame move show up like uninvited guests and make you think you've messed up and that God will never be pleased with you again.
  • You cry out to God but feel like He's abandoned you.

This is why it's so crucial to to seek God in prayer and in His Word, especially in these dark times, and in a mismatched marriage as we don't have a believing spouse to uphold us in prayer and encouragement. And, despite how we feel. The enemy will use your feelings against you to keep you from running to Abba, to our Lord Jesus, for the truth.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. — James 1:22-24

Community becomes even more important because the enemy's final tactic is to isolate you so you'll forget who you are and Whose you are. God's Word and those who carry it are our greatest source of healing, hope and restoration.

My friends, a burden Abba seems to be asking me to carry right now is for those of you whose spouse used to walk in faith with you but has recently walked away. I've received several emails from many of you in this place and have had divine appointments with several dear women who find themselves in this painful position of betrayal. 

Let me say that I get why some walk away. Much of what I've shared today is from my own experience. The enemy tried to destroy me earlier this year and now I understand why someone would walk away, or be tempted to walk away, especially if their faith foundation is shaky or built on sand (Matt. 7:26-27).

Part of my journey to freedom came one night when the demon assigned to torment me finally revealed himself. Amazingly (to me, not God) Abba had prepared me the day before, even though I didn't realize it until after the encounter. He'd shown me more about my authority in Jesus. That night this enemy revealed himself in the darkness, with oppression and hissing. He tried to make me fearful and afraid in my semi asleep/awake state. As soon as I realized what was happening, I rebuked him and went back to sleep! To God be the glory!

What I have learned is that disbelief opens doors to the enemy, who tries to steal our divine destiny and destroy our peace and joy in the Lord. These are the tools that brought me through this dark night of the soul and taught me so much. 

  • Read the Bible every day and write down key Scriptures that speak to your spirit and soul. Go back and reread them later in the day and to start your quiet time the next morning. You’ll be surprised at how much more you receive out of God’s Word by doing this. Our bodies sleep at night but our spirit doesn’t. Give the Holy Spirit a chance to work God’s truth into your heart, soul and mind. Believe His Word—it’s true for you too!
  • Worship and worship more. There are many ways one can worship. With music, by reading Scriptures out loud (the Psalms are great for this), by speaking out praises to God about His character and who He is. Take a walk and praise Him for His creation. Pet your dog and praise Him for putting the fur baby in your life.
  • Invite that attitude of gratitude back home and boot his ungrateful cousin out!
  • Rebuke the spirits of anxiety, fear, oppression, depression and confusion (and any others the Holy Spirit brings to mind). In the name of Jesus, they must go! 
  • Plead the blood of Jesus over your mind, your thoughts and your feelings and speak God’s Word against guilt and shame (no condemnation in Jesus—Romans 8:1).
  • Know, believe, profess and remind yourself that no matter how things seem, God loves you, He always has loved you and He always will love you. His word says He will not abandon you, so believe it. He is with and for you!

I still have much to learn and continue to press forward into more of God (Phil. 3:12). My faith is stronger and I am better equipped to recognize the enemy’s darts. And this translated into helping others to be released from this spirit of torment when I’ve prayed with them in the healing rooms. The places we find freedom and victory will be the places God calls us to pray for and help others find that same freedom and victory (2 Cor. 1:3-7).

My friends, the next and last part of this series will be about disparaging disappointment. I’m waiting on Abba to give me the words and message He wants conveyed for us, His children. Please pray that I hear Him clearly amidst all the hustle and bustle of this move and Christmas. 

Remember, Jesus came to heal, to set the captives free and release prisoners. He is always on our side and always fighting for us. Amen!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS, SUMites! Love you!
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 Copyright: gajus / 123RF Stock Photo


Line by Line - Precept Upon Precept - Unequally Yoked

Unequally Yoked Summer Study

Line by line. Precept upon precept…. 

Most of the time I write articles and commentary on topical subjects related to faith, marriage and parenting. But recently my love for the Word of God has grown exponentially. I am falling more in love with His Holy Word. I didn’t know that was still possible but that is how I’m feeling. And specifically I think it would be a great experience for us to study line by line the passages that are specific to living unequally yoked. 

Today I want to get started, line by line with 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 

But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 

I am using the New International Version translation above but we will also look at a few other translations through this summer study. 

If you have read either of our books, Winning Him Without Words or Not Alone, you will know that this particular passage has enormously impacted both my understanding and hope for my marriage as well as my children’s faith choice. So I would like to walk through this together here for a few posts. After this we will look at other passages such at 1 Peter 3 and other Biblical contexts in which we find specific information and teaching for those of us who are unequally yoked. 

Does this sound like a good idea SUMmers??? (Rosheeda coined this phrase too.) 

Let’s start then with some context. And please hear me now. I am NOT a Bible scholar. I am an ordinary wife and mom. I read the Bible and I ask God continually for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that I may know Him better (Ephesians 1:17) So please, this study should be considered a general study where two friends, me and you, sit down at the table, read the Word, and just talk about it. We can look to other references but the most impacting study is where we share our lives, our experiences, and we receive through the Word of God from one another. 

Okay? Okay!! Let’s go! 

Who wrote the book of Corinthians? And why was it written and to whom was it written? Why do we need to know this information? Good questions. 

Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul to the “believers” in the ancient City of Corinth that was located in Greece. I looked up Corinth on Wikipedia. It’s an interesting read if you have the time. It’s important to understand the culture and the climate of the times because you gain insight into the passages of scripture. You also understand the language and the person who was writing which helps to understand the writers intent. I know this is important because as a writer myself, I am misunderstood at times. It helps to know a person. When you understand their heart and motives, your perception of their writing becomes clearer and easier. 

The believers in Corinth were people who recently worshiped multiple gods and in fact the city was known for the temple of the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love. So the believers did not have an understanding of the Torah, nor the Jewish customs and the faith, Judaism. Paul’s background was Pharisaical and of the strictest sect.  They are relatively new converts to “The Way” as described by Paul. (Acts 9) 

There are some key differences in the people groups that Paul wrote to in his various epistles (letters). Paul sent letters to the Jews, the Romans and the Greeks. I suppose we could do an entire study about these different cultures and the means Paul uses to communicate The Good News to each. But alas, let’s not get that heavy. *grin* Moving on. 

I realize that our first line reads: To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord). So I think we need some context for this line study. Let’s look back to the beginning of chapter 7. 

The very first part of verse one reads: Now for the matters you wrote about: Paul is obviously answering a letter that was written to him from the believers of Corinth. And now Paul is answering their questions. Much like we ask our Pastor or teacher for clarification. 

Paul is specifically addressing questions raised about marriage. You can read the chapter in its entirety by clicking here.

Paul has addressed marriage issues, sex in marriage, widows, and the unmarried as well as divorce. Wow, a lot to cover in a few verses. Then he turns to our sensitive issue; Marriage to an unbeliever. 

Let’s ponder here. Don’t you think it’s interesting that believers who were alive way back when, were also grappling with this very issue. Paul, obviously has addressed this issue before because he includes it in his reply to the church of Corinth. I don’t know about you, but for years and years I always felt like I was the only one living unequally yoked. I thought that my marriage situation was rare and new to the church because they (church leadership) never talked about it. EVER. I often felt isolated and forgotten. Being a married single person can be a difficult road to walk in a church setting. 

However, here we are in Corinth at one of the original New Testament churches and they are dealing with what we live in 2014. Oh how I love the Lord that He knew all these years later we would need His wise counsel and encouragement right from His Holy and powerful Word. 

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Yikes, over a thousand words already and we are just getting to the good stuff. Okay, let’s pick up on Monday with the next line. And can you help me out? What are your thoughts about the precept upon precept study? Are you in? And can you help me with other scripture passages that are specific to living unequally yoked. Hint: There are more than you think. 

I love you my friends. Let’s let the LIVING Word change our hearts and our homes. See you in the comments.

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com


Another Audio Book Giveaway!

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This time it's for Not Alone! We love it when we can share with our SUMite family. Enter for yourself, enter for a friend, enter for a family member! No doubt Abba will lead your heart to someone who needs it. He's so good at that. :-)

Enjoy!
Dineen

 

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Never Alone

IStock_000018235413XSmallI remember a day years ago, sitting in a restaurant with our church youth group. I watched and smiled as they talked and joked around. And as I sat there in the midst of this group, I felt totally alone.

I’d recently jumped in to church with gusto but my husband hadn’t. He’d decided to go quite the opposite direction—atheism.

So there I sat in a room full of people who knew me, yet I felt this loneliness, a longing to be known and understood. And a longing to share my growing faith with my husband.

Times of loneliness seem to enter our lives at times for various reasons, but in a spiritual mismatch it can be even more challenging as we wait for God to work in our marriage and on our pre-believer’s heart.

Something I found so comforting in years past is that this longing to be known is part of our faith DNA.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. — Ecclesiastes 3:11

God has a longing to be known. And just as we want to be known, He wants us to know Him. Thus our need to be known mirrors the Creators very heart for His children—us.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Over the years that loneliness has diminished more and more in the light of Abba’s great love. He’s shown me that often times the thing I long for most is Him, to know Jesus as my best friend and to have that intimacy. I think my greatest challenge as been to truly believe Abba loves me that much AND to truly believe that NOTHING can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39), not even my mismatched marriage or my doubts.

God loves all His children vastly, deeply and completely no matter what kind of marriage or place we are in. And His heart is to know us because He longs for us to know Him.

Now no matter where I sit I know I’m not alone. We never stand (or sit) alone. Jesus is always there!

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to our broadcasts this week on FamilyLife Today, hop over and be encouraged! Our hearts and prayers are always for you, my friends.

And if you want a little chuckle, check out my post "The Spiritual Disconnect" on our MismatchedandThriving.com site. It’s a hilarious story of how I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory with my husband one evening and the discovery made that evening.

Love and hugs to you!

Dineen


The Most Unusual Interview

Good Friday Morning my friends, 

I want to tell you what happened when I asked Dineen to marry me. *grin*. I didn’t really ask her to marry me but I did do something extraordinary. But I must move the end of that story to next Friday. 

Family Life Radio Header
Today I want to give you a heads up. Dineen and I flew to Arkansas in January. We were privileged to be guests again on FamilyLife Radio with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine. These interviews were unlike all of our others. 

Now It’s hard for me to remember all the topics we discussed but I know we tackled pornography and marriage. The difficulty and hope for raising kids. I know I had a very unexpected response to this question: What would you say to an unbelieving spouse who is listening to this broadcast right now. 

Dineen and I have very different answers but when you put them together they were a perfect reply to this question. 

Please find a station near you and listen in beginning Monday, March 10. Then again on Tuesday and our final interview is on Wednesday. 

Here is a link to the FamilyLife site

Here is a link to LAST YEAR’S interviews (click here)

And more than anything, please pray for those who are feeling alone in their mismatched marriage. There have been so many private emails this week that have torn my heart. There are so many who need a fresh word of hope from our Great King. And pray for all the newbies who will find this amazing family on the web next week. 

I love you my friends. Have an amazing week in His Presence. Hugs, Lynn


Audio Books For Busy Wives and Moms

Hi Everyone: 

I have one more story to share about our book, Not Alone, before we launch into our next series. On Monday we are going to have a discussion about contending with the Orphan Spirit. And my friends, I can almost guarantee we have all faced this demon in some way or another. This is a must read! 

But today, as Dineen and I end our week sharing our hearts about parenting, I’m moved to share the words of our friend, Steve Smith. 

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Steve represents Oasis Audio. Oasis Audio published our books in audio and they were released about two weeks ago. Steve went way beyond inconvenience to allow Dineen and I to record the books in our own voices. The audio team worked with a couple of ordinary moms and put together audio books so that some mom out there, who is driving to work and doesn’t have time to read, can hear a word of encouragement from the Lord. 

Steve writes: 

Lynn and Dineen,

I have to tell you, I do popular big-selling inspirational books because they make money and keep our employees in jobs. When Elaine at Gospel Light showed me you titles, I thought about my mom, who fifty years ago was abandoned by my dad. My sister was five. I was two. She was fortunate enough to be a college educated woman and eventually climbed her way to the top of the corporate world, but our lives weren't easy and she did her best to be both mother and father to us. We were not aware of God in our lives until I was in junior high and my mom enrolled me in a Lutheran school because she didn't want me exposed to a public jr. high. When I saw NOT ALONE, I thought of my mom and how this book would have been very helpful to her. 

And then I looked at my own years as a youth pastor and the struggles single moms were enduring. You thanked me for serving the kingdom. I can't accept that noble honor. I made the choice because I wanted to serve women like my mom. But I think Jesus is very happy that you two wrote these books, and I am honored to publish the audio. I don't care if they aren't NY Times bestsellers. I want them to reach and help the people who need them.

 

IMG_1277[1]I about wept when I read this a few months back. I think of the years I spent working full time, driving children to school, feeling exhausted, and struggling with the demands and fears we face when raising children. Wow… 

So, today, Dineen and I humbly unveil the audio recordings of, Not Alone AND Winning Him Without Words. Please think about someone, who is a single mom who needs a word from the Lord to inspire her to stick in there and kept living her faith out in front of little eyes. A woman who needs to know she can come through the loneliness and pain of a spiritually mismatched marriage. Then if you are able, share this audio book with her. Let her know it exists and that all of us here exist to love one another and pray for each other. Buy her a CD if the Lord moves you to help her. Perhaps this woman is you? 

Thank you my friends. THANK YOU STEVE. Please know that Dineen and I continue to pray for you, your ministry and your mom. Thank you for opening another door with our message of hope and Jesus  and the value of a mother to her children. 

Hugs, Lynn & Dineen 

And, now for one more question….. Are you ready for some football strike….. Some warfare? I will make a bold promise. You are going to pray differently for yourself, your family and your marriage after we get started in the new series on Monday. And I promise… We start Monday. 

If you want to read some great posts about spiritual warfare that we wrote last January, visit the sidebar of the blog or click here: Spiritual Warfare: Terrorist Training Boot Camp

Note Alone Cover Art
Not Alone - Audio Book
WinningHim
Winning Him Without Words - Audio Book




Are You Being Called?

BetterTogetherMy friends, I want to tell you a story.

Right after I recommitted my life to Christ, I found a wonderful church that welcomed me and my two young daughters. I was so grateful for this place to grow in my faith, to learn more about Jesus and to see my daughters also nurtured in these areas appropriate to their age. But I felt a definite lack of connection due to my mismatched state. So I went to my pastor for guidance. His words have stayed with me ever since.

“If you don’t see what you need here, then start it.”

And that’s exactly what I did. I started a women’s ministry and connected with other women who wanted to grow in their faith. And amazingly but not surprisingly, one of the women who joined our little group turned out to be spiritually mismatched like me.

Many times in 2013 I sensed Abba was raising this amazing community up for a reason and that the Great Harvest is part of this. Many of you shared that you sensed the same things.

As 2014 has started I'm beginning to see more pieces put into place, and I think many of you are too. I want to share something I read in the last chapter of James Goll's book, Lifestyle of a Prophet, which I just finished:

"The is and will be a great move of the Holy Spirit among women. Many women will be released into the fivefold ministry and they will be used in worldwide revival and reformation, which is upon us. Ultimately, the issue will not primarily be doctrinal. It will be one of necessity due to the volume of need for laborers for the harvest. The coming period could easily be termed "The Era of Women Preachers."

When I read this I knew we were and are part of this, my friends—a "knowing" that came from the Holy Spirit and made my body tremble in the light of its truth. So much of what I'd seen, heard and sensed seemed to fall into place like pieces of a puzzle.

But the puzzle is far from finished. We, the SUMites, stand in a wonderful place of opportunity. I believe Abba is calling us to be the voices in our churches, to help our pastors, elders, deacons and our church family to see the growing need for so many like us who stand spiritually alone. We must help our church families see that to be strong in Christ, we must rally around each other and partner with God to fill the gaps.

In leading a life group in my home church, I’ve learned that we come in all shapes and situations—married, divorced, widowed, single. The enemy wants to make us think we are alone and can't find a place in church. Abba says we are stronger together, and if we don't see a place for ourselves in our church, then make one!

All that He has poured into you is not just yours alone. He intends that you share it with others who are on the same journey as you are. Help those still trapped in the enemy's lies to find the truth.

  • To replace the lie that their marriage isn't blessed with the truth that their faith sanctifies their prebelievers (1 Cor. 7:14) and that Abba truly does bless us and those we love right where we are.
  • To reject the lie that it is up to us alone to teach our children about Christ and lead them to faith. One, we partner with the Creator of the Universe and He has already invested His Son in our children (when we accept Christ, that investment pays out not only to Jesus but to us as well!). And two, as part of a community, we are supported, encouraged and mentored to help us raise godly children.

NotAloneCoverLook at this wonderful testimony from Martha (we loved it so much we included it in our book, Not Alone:

"My girls always loved church. I believe that was because of their Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, mission trips, church socials, etc. They all made such a huge impact on my girls. In fact, Heather, my youngest daughter, wrote a paper in college about the most influential person in her life, and it was her youth pastor. Imagine that—it wasn’t me (smile). All that to say, please encourage young mothers to make the effort to take their children to church, even when their husbands don’t go. I wanted so many times to give up, especially when the kids were small. But the influence of the kind of people I mentioned above is forever planted in a child’s heart. I love the song with the words, “Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed.” Though my kids and yours didn’t have a dad who influenced them spiritually, you and I were not alone; God sent us some help. That’s why I would scream from the rooftops to young mothers, “Get over yourself and go!”

What have I found to be true in stepping out in faith to start such a group?

  • Just as I am privileged to join with others and pray for them, I am prayed for too. I am understood and supported in ways unique to my situation, yet shared by those in my group. I "get" them and they "get" me.
  • My group helps fill that prayer partnership that I don't have (yet) with my prebeliever. I can't pray with my husband about our financial situation or the challenges with our children. But I can with my group and know that even between meetings they are praying for my needs just as I am praying for theirs.
  • As wives and mothers, we do not have to stand alone in contending for our prebelievers and our children. We have friends to stand with us, and we are stronger because we are standing for Jesus, together.

As I said, I believe we have the opportunity to make a shift in our churches that will not only bring more awareness there as we make our voices heard, but will also shift our environments from the lies of "doing it on our own" to the truths of God's love and strength rallied around us in community—communities right in our own churches that allow us to share and encourage and support just as we are encouraged and supported. This is Abba's heart for us and for the church.

If your church doesn't offer a small or life group for those who walk alone in faith, pray about starting one, especially if this is something you've wanted to see happen. Abba may be calling you to be the one, to be an Esther in your church to bring life and hope to those walking in similar places.

NewSUMSmallGroupsButtonTake what you are learning and gaining here into your church. If you don't see a group for you, pray and ask Abba if He intends you to start one. If so, know that He will equip you and we want to help you too. Lynn and I set up resources and small groups pages to help you get started. Abba has also gifted us with a wonderful helper, Sue Conklin, who has offered her years of experience and administrative gifting to help too (go to the small groups page to contact her).

If not a small group, consider mentoring a new wife or young mom. This is the model we see in Titus 2 and is part of God's plan to strengthen His church. Or partner with one or two others and commit to pray and encourage each other specifically for your marriage and parenting.

My dear friends, this is not just about our desire to live effective and empowered lives for Jesus. It’s also about how we can help build a firmer foundation for the generations to come. I want that for my daughters and especially my grandchildren to come. I want to leave a legacy that will continue to grow in the generations to come.

And please know that Lynn and I started exactly in these places of need, searching for a place in our churches. We were and are just two ordinary women who sought Jesus for our needs and He turned it into to much more. Abba doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

Are you being called?

If you are feeling a nudge to start something in your church, or you’re not sure or maybe you’re afraid, leave a comment. I want to pray for you. This is my heart’s desire for you, my friends, and for this ministry to reach more of those in need.

Be shiney for Jesus!
Dineensig


Spread the Love!

21093836_sMy friends, I'm on a love journey. 

When I was a little girl and a teenager, I believed love was the greatest force of all. That love conquered all. Though I can look back and see that this was Abba working in my life in so many ways, I didn't know Him and defined love according to human capabilities and standards, which wound up represented and defined by the flawed human beings around me.

Thus, my definition of love was flawed. Still hope-filled but destined to disappoint. As my faith has grown I've learned that Jesus is our greatest hope, but my understanding of love had a long way to go. 

I shared with you before our week of fasting and praying that Abba had told me this would a "year of intimacy." Well, let me just say, He wastes no time. Quite honestly I'm stunned at what He shown and revealed to me already. Had no idea He'd work so fast!

So, I'm on a love journey again. I've re-embraced my young belief that love was the answer to all things and now understand that IS Jesus. As it says in 1 John 4 that God IS love, Love is our greatest answer, our greatest healer, our greatest defender, our greatest everything.

And the amazing part is that I'm hearing this from so many people all over the place. In fact, I went to an evening worship service last Sunday evening at another church and the pastor's message was all about God's love for us, that He's absolutely crazy about us. This man is on a love journey with Jesus too. 

My friends, this is Abba's heart right now. For all of us (yes, even you sitting there thinking this doesn't inlcude you. It does, trust me.) He is spreading His message of love through so many right now and asking us to share His love with others. He is LOVE and wants to be known for His love. 

Right now I want you to imagine Jesus standing in front of you. Now take every bit of condemnation, thoughts of unworthiness, beliefs of insignificance—whatever trips you up in truly believing you are loved completely by Jesus—and offer it to Him right now. Keep handing this stuff over to Him if you have to. When you're done, ask Him this:

"Jesus, what do you have in exchange for me?" Be still and wait for an answer. He will speak to you—your heart, your mind, an image, a thought—in whatever way He knows you will hear Him. Don't hurry or rush off. You don't want to miss anything, do you?

Then read these words and really receive them. This is God's Word. His truth about you. 

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." — John 15:9

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." — John 15:11

"You did not choose me, but I chose you..." — John 15:16

SUMites, do this as often as you need to with a desire to fully embrace and understand how loved you are. I don't think we'll fully embrace it this side of heaven, but Abba sure wants us to understand a whole more than we do.

During your next quiet time, sit with Jesus. Ask Him these questions, one at a time, and wait for His answers. You may see an image or be reminded of a Scripture. Or you may be flooded with a string of words or feelings.

1. What do you think of me?

2. What do you like most about me?

3. What do you want most for me?

Then what? Tell somebody else that Jesus loves them just like He loves you! Share with them how He has shown His great love for you, and tell them Jesus wants to do the very same thing for them. Spead the love, my friends!

Spread THE Love!

Dineensig

 

 

 

Here are some more goodies I want to share with you:

698517_dancingMy post, "God's Faithfulness to a Mother's Prayers," is up over at Choose NOW Ministries. This is a story of my oldest daughter's journey of faith that culminated in a beautiful picture last May. It's the story of God's faithfulness to my prayers for my girls. I pray it encourages and blesses you!

 

Leo&LeslieI have another post over at The Koala Bear Writer that just makes me chuckle. Are you a fan of the show The Big Bang Theory? You're probably wondering how that show could possibly inspire me to write a post about being spiritually mismatched. Hop over and read my post, "The Spiritual Disconnect," and have a read and maybe a laugh. You'll even get to watch a small clip of this hilarious show!

 

LogoAnd one final goody to share. Lynn and I will be on Joy in the Morning with Naomi Cantrell at 889JoyFM.com Thursday morning between 7 am and 8 am Eastern time. We had a blast chatting with Naomi and shared some stories from our book, Not Alone. 

 

Image credit: belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo


700 Club Interactive

{Lynn} On Wednesday I will get on a plane and head toward Virgina. On Thursday I will be interviewed about our book, Not Alone. Gang, I would be so thankful to have a word whispered to our Lord for me.  

700 ineractiveHere is some information from Molly who is the Senior Guest Coordinator for the 700 Club. She has been so great to me. Thanks Molly:  

700 Club Interactive is a live web-cast we produce from 11:00 – 11:30 am ET (10:00 am CT, 9:00 am MT and 8:00 am PT) so your friends can log onto www.cbn.com to see you live.  Then it will be broadcast nationally on the ABC FAMILY cable network on Monday, December, 11 at 9:30 am ET/PT and at 8:30 am CT.  Mountain time depends on the local cable system.  If the cable system takes the ABC FAMILY East coast feed, it will be seen at 7:30 am MT.  If the  cable system takes the West coast feed, it will be seen at 10:30 am MT.   After this program is broadcast on Dec 11, it will be posted on www.700ClubInterctive.com.  ~Molly

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart because I truly am a bit nervous. I hope to post photos and updates on our Facebook page of the ziplocks or the random acts of kindness or the opportunities to share the Kingdom Gospel while on my travel across America and back. Love you. Taking each of you with me in my heart. Hugs, Lynn


Prepare to Be Made Whole!

Vanessa has been part of our SUMite community for a long time. She has read our most recent book and shared with us her thoughts. Thank you Vanessa. We adore you and are praying for the full salvation of your home. 

***Prepare to Be Made Whole!  Life and Healing Jumps Off These Pages from Two Moms Who are Proof That We Were NEVER alone!!!!***  

Vanessa_profile_pic
My name is Vanessa and I am mother to a sweet 7-year-old girl and a wonderful 18-month-old boy and am proud wife to a man who will do whatever it takes for us. I love teaching my children to know God and to make Him known with our Classical Conversations homeschool group, helping others improve their health, and traveling. I am passionate about enjoying Jesus, who has made the broken pieces of my life whole. I love seeing the big picture and how all our lives connect to make The Whole Deel. ~Vanessa Tang, Cincinnati, Ohio

If you, or someone you know, is living a spiritually mismatched life with their spouse, read this!!!!  Especially if you have been the primary spiritual parent in the family and have young kids, like I do, you will read and re-read this book!  If there is someone in your family in this situation and you want to know how to pray for them or how their hearts are daily before the throne of Abba Father, read this book.  Even if you are the parent of an adult prodigal son or daughter or are divorced and want to know how to press on, read this book.  

 

***You Have a Place in The Church*** 

In the very first chapter, I cried healing tears!  For so long I felt that churches stopped seeing me as a leader in the church because of the different spiritual spectrums in my home.  I felt lost for several years not knowing how to serve in the church.  But both Lynn and Dineen's testimonies made it clear to me that I DO have a place in the church.  I am NOT ALONE.  I have much to offer the brokenhearted around me.  God is not finished with me yet.  Not only does He have a plan for me, as Jeremiah 29:11 states - my spouse and my children "ARE INCLUDED in the spiritual purposes of God!" (1 Cor. 7:12-14)  This book showed me clearly how I believed this lie for too long and re-opened my eyes on the vast amount of opportunity there is for me to serve others. 

***Do Not Worry for Your Kids!****

There was never a dull moment in the book where I felt bored.  I could not put this book down!  After the first chapter empowered me, the next one reminded me *why* there is no need to worry for my children!  God loves them more than we do!  He IS the Perfect Parent we long for our children to have.  He will be by their side always.  He WILL reveal himself to both us and our children - together. 

*The Authors Genuinely Care About You**

Lynn will take you into real life road-blocks most every mismatched parenting marriage will encounter.  Dineen really hit home to me how the buck doesn't stop at praying for our children.  We can pray 9 generations down into our descendents and speak blessings over them! 

And if you are wondering how the authors so easily seem like they mean it when they shout "I love you" to you, the reader - it is because they do!  These authors are not distant.  They will pray for you.  They have become some of my closest friends in praying for my family.  They truly have a heart for each of us. 

***Buy a Hard Copy!  E-Book is not enough.***

I would highly recommend buying the actual book.  The Kindle or e-book versions make it difficult to really answer the questions at the end of each chapter.  

***You will want to do your homework immediately - It is that Good!***

If you are like me, you may detest "homework."  I was sad I only had the Kindle version and now happily await my hard copy to go back and answer the questions so that I can lead a study in my own home. 

***Whether you already pray for your kids or it is difficult to know how, use this book!*** 

Have you ever felt like me and in a roadblock that you forgot how to pray for your kids?  Do you ever feel so tired just surviving that you don't know how to pray?  You will LOVE the "Prayer" section at the end of each chapter.  Lynn and Dineen have literally reached right into heaven to claim over your children, your husband, and your home.   What peace and healing and change came over my house because of their prayer that was so easily transferred from my lips. 

***A Book You can Feel Comfortable Reading Next to your Spouse***

This is not a book you will be embarrassed to leave on your nightstand or ashamed of your husband to know you are reading.  One of the most critical parts of the book is the advice given in the "Respecting Dad" portions after the prayer of the book. 

I will have this book close by me for years.  It gave me new resolve to BE the example for my household.  My kids are 7 and 1 years old.  I feel the courage to now roll up my sleeves and live my life with the tips from this book and joy to open my Bible every morning.  Whereas before, there were days I felt so alone on being the only source of spiritual teaching. Often I found it overwhelming just to go into the Word on these days.  Now, I feel incredibly charged up that God will make each day known to me.  I am not enough.  But He is.  

And He is all I need - and my friends in this book!   It is like they are crouching over my shoulder, giving me a hug I could lean into, and then patting me on the back, pointing my way to the finish line - all the while cheering for me that I can do it and I was NEVER alone!

Visit Vanessa at The Whole Deel.


Another Adventure

Good Monday Morning SUMites! 

Today is a fun and crazy day! Dineen and I will actually be in a recording studio in Los Angeles today and tomorrow. We will be narrating both of our books, Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone, creating an audio book. 

Say WHAT??? 

Who would ever guess us two wacky and ordinary gals would be doing such a thing. Who knew? 

No one is more surprised than the two of us. And how this came about was such a wonder. I remember receiving an email from our Editor, Kim Bangs, the Best Editor in the world, she wrote: 

More Awesome news!  In the mail today we received three audio contracts from Oasis Audio for the creation of audio books from some Regal titles.

TWO of those titles are yours! Both Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone!

Whoooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooo!

Happy, praising Jesus dance…

Kim 

Since then and after our heads stopped spinning, we have been working with the owner of the audio company, Steve. This guy is a hoot. He has been extraordinarily generous with us, gracious, and we are going to have a blast working with him. 

But, you know what the best part of this story is? Steve’s personal story about his mom, Louise. Steve was raised by a hardworking, single mother who was relentless to provide for Steve and his sister and she was an amazing woman of faith. 

Let me explain that Steve works with stars. He happened to mention to me that they just completed a narration of the New Testament with James Earl Jones narrating.

Gulp! 

He likely could make a ton more money spending his efforts on other famous authors, but the economy of the Kingdom is so different than the world. Steve’s heart is for moms just like his mother, Louise. He is investing in the Kingdom to provide this resource to those who are visually impaired or mother's who need to listen on their way to work. He is investing in this community and resources for moms and wives just like his mother, us the SUMites. 

Wow Just WOW! 

For Dineen and I, we are praying our voices hold out because we will both be in booths recording all day Monday and Tuesday. What a sweet gift from the Lord. And what a neat thing to be allowed to narrate our own books. I can’t wait till you hear me read from page 45 of Not Alone:

Sheesh!
God has a strange sense of humor.

I am quirky and I love it that Regal Books allows me to write and now speak in my wacky voice. 

My friends, thank you for traveling this crazy, mixed up, and astonishing journey with us. We are all in this together and everything we do, (including you, me and Dineen), is for the Kingdom of our Great God. 

Watch for photos on our Facebook page. Hugs, Lynn & Dineen 

Oasis Audio

Oh and you can preorder your audio copies now at book retailers.

Not Alone

Winning Him Without Words.

Both books


Tablecloth Of Thanks 2013

I started a Thanksgiving family tradition a few years ago quite by accident. This tradition has become my absolute favorite. I'm sharing it today, as I do every year, so that our new readers can begin this tradition in their home. This is also a Family Faith Tradition I share in our new book, Not Alone.

Enjoy.....A Tablecloth of Thanks

It’s never too late to start a new tradition in your home, especially one which brings honor to the Lord. I have a story to share and a photo. I also want to give you a chance to share some of your holiday traditions or giggles.

Join in today and share a Thanksgiving holiday tradition from your home or share a funny holiday hiccup.

I will share with you that like many newly married young women, I didn’t realize the turkey was stuffed with bagged giblets. Yep, I cook the turkey with the plastic bag and the giblets still inside. We ate it anyway.

Also, three years ago, I set the oven on fire when I moved the giant bird around. I freaked out. My husband came running. The house was crazy, people were yelling, crying and freaking… Perhaps it was only me doing the yelling, crying and freaking. My calm man put the flames out and to this day, I don’t know how he did it because we didn’t own a fire extinguisher.

The next morning I rose before dawn and went shopping at The Home Depot. NO NOT FOR CHRISTMAS… For a fire extinguisher. And now, every year BEFORE I bake the turkey, I check to make sure the extinguisher is charged and ready.

Sheesh!

Today, I'm sharing one of my most favorite family traditions. Here is a post I wrote five years ago for the Internet Cafe. Hope you start a family tradition this year. It's NEVER too late to have a Tablecloth of Thanks.

Tablecloth of Thanks 

Many of you know that I am married to an unbeliever. This past May we celebrated 15 years of marriage. Our unequally yoked marriage has had its challenges to say the least. Over the years, however, our ingenious God has maneuvered us through many touchy issues. 

Our disparity becomes more apparent during the holidays. Giving thanks to our Lord in November is a treasured time for me. I name my blessings one-by-one in prayer, thanking God for His lavish abundance poured into our lives. 

Like most wives living in an unequally yoked marriage, I long for my spouse to understand there is a God. To know He is intricately involved in our lives and everything we have is provision of our creator. I have also learned that forcing God upon my husband is a surefire way to push him away. I am careful to respect my husband and simply trust Jesus to reach him in his perfect timing. 

In spite of my husband’s unbelief, I discovered a unique way to draw him into the celebration of thanks, besides through his stomach. He loves turkey. 

Four years ago, I threw a new, pristine-white tablecloth across our dinning room table two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. I purchased several colored pens and placed them on top. A new tradition was born, a Tablecloth of Thanks. It began with my daughter. I told her, “I WANT you to write on this tablecloth.” She looked at me with skepticism in her eyes, wondering if her mother had lost her mind. 

“Really,” my smiled reassured. “Write down what you are most thankful for this year. Then write the year, 2004, near your name.” 

She grinned and began to write using several different colors. I joined in and wrote my thanks directly on the beautiful tablecloth. 

Later that evening my husband noticed the scribbles on the tablecloth. I watched as he walked over to read our words. I walked to his side and took his hand. I subtly asked him if he would also write down his thanks. He smiled and said maybe later. 

Finally on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, my husband picked up a pen and wrote; I am thankful for my wonderful family, great friends, and a very happy life. 

Wow! Was he giving thanks to our Lord? I am not sure. However, every year since he has continued to write a thankful list. Last year’s entry reads; I am thankful for all of my blessings…family, friends, and the dogs. 

Imported Photos 00001What? Did he use the word blessings? Small steps such as these lead to the Savior. I can’t wait to read his thankful list this year. 

The Thankful Tablecloth is one of my most prized possessions. Everyone who visits our home during the Thanksgiving holiday contributes to this permanent memorial of thanks. It is a visible praise to the King displayed in our unequally yoked home each November. 

One of my favorite thanks is this: 

2006
I am thankful
to be able to sit
on the couch and have
my people pet me.
Peanut 

Hmmmm, I wonder how the dog grew fingers and learned to write???? 

Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

 

Lord God, I will name my blessings one-by-one….. Jesus… eternal life…. clean water to drink…..capacity to love…..empowerment to forgive….. just for a start….. 

It is never too late to start a new tradition. If you want to start your Tablecloth of Thanks, I have a few helpful hints.

  1. Place a sheet of butcher paper under your tablecloth. (I have a permanent smiley face on my dinning room table from the year 2005)
  2. Use colorfast fabric pens.
  3. Store your tablecloth in an airtight Ziploc bag. 

Thank you my friends for sharing this Holiday treasure with me. I wish you were with me today and could share your thankful heart on the Tablecloth of Thanks.

(My friends, if you could, share this post on Facebook and Twitter. It's truly a wonderful tradition and I want so much for families to have an opportunity to share faith in this way. Thanks, Lynn  - click on the buttons below to share. Hugs)


You are a Righteous Mama!

NotAloneImage3My friends, as you're reading this I am on the road on my way to pick up Lynn from the Sacramento airport and then we will continue on from there up to Redding CA for the Open Heavens conference at Bethel Church. Yep, ROAD TRIP!!!

I want you to know that we are carrying this community with us in our hearts. You are a part of us and we just take you with us wherever we go. And we will be bringing back what we learn and experience to share with you, just like last year.

The image I've included with this post is another one to share. And please know how much we appreciate your help. I’ve made a series of these and we are praying for as many as possible to go viral so that this book will go viral and minister to even more moms than we can imagine or have hoped for! That is our dream for this book and I believe God's plan for it is even bigger. We never know the full impact we have on those we love and pray for.

Last week I shared about finding out who had prayed for me as child to know Jesus. I want to share my cousin's actual words with you from his letter—it's all about God and His faithfulness to our prayers.

“When I came to Christ in ’70 I began to pray for my family on a daily basis. Little did I know that the “baby” of the family would be an answer to prayer. You are ministering to many people through your books and speaking. It’s a wonderful thing. I can’t tell you enough about how proud of you I am, it’s a godly pride if there is such a thing. Serving the Lord is the highest calling for a Christian. God bless you.”

Moms, this is what you're prayers are doing even if it's years before you see the full affect. My cousin’s prayers working my life to guide and protect me for 25 years until I jumped all in for Jesus. Trust Jesus and believe your prayers are and will impact your children.

You are a righteous mama and your prayers are powerful and effective!

Thank you for helping other moms understand and embrace this truth by sharing this picture and helping us get the word out. God has chosen the SUMites to bring His love and hope to those who need it in unique ways, because of our unique daily faith walks. Is that not amazing? Blows me away how God redeems everything, my friends. We don’t struggle for naught but persevere through the power and strength and promises of Jesus Christ! Amen!

Hugging you with great JOY!
Dineen




A Fresh Anointing For ALL Mothers By Lynn Donovan

 

On September 26th I opened my Bible and found a note scribbled in the margin. It said:

2006: Today I was asked to be part of the writing team for Laced With Grace. 

As I read this note in my Bible, my heart soared. Seven years ago Iris Nelson found my tiny blog, Spiritually Unequal Marriage and we began an amazing friendship. We began to write, simply from our hearts about our Lord and His hand in our lives. I can’t thank Iris enough for asking me to be part of this Award winning team of writers. I left Laced With Grace a while back as our ministry grew. But my heart will always be part of this home on the web.

So today, Iris has allowed me to come back as a throw back post to September 2006 and share with you a devotion for Moms. This message is from the Holy Spirit for every mom whether they are walking the difficult path of being the spiritual leader of their homes or not.

Join me now and be filled with the truth of How God sees you. I love you the family of Laced With Grace.

Fire…
by: Lynn Donovan
I am filled with fire my friends. And this fire that burns in my stomach also is burning in yours. How do I know this?

Because you sacrifice!

Read the entire post and be filled with a fresh anointing of God's Holy Fire at Laced With Grace.

 

Also, leave a comment over there and be entered to receive a copy of Not Alone Trusting God To Help You Raise Godly Kids In A Spiritually Mismatched Home. 

Train Up A Child and


Launch Day - Not Alone

I prayed away a bully!  Note Alone Cover Art

My daughter was in high school and for months and months during her senior year she was being bullied by another teen. The circumstances were such that a direct confrontation with this bully wasn’t possible so I did what any mom would do. 

I PRAYED. 

In our book, Not Alone, I share this story along with many others of how God makes every difference in the lives of our kids because we pray. God loves us so much and He loves our kids. This book is filled with real-life examples of how the faith of an ordinary mom can change seemingly impossible circumstances for the good of our children. 

Mostly this book will encourage every mother who ponders the question, “Am I enough to parent my child to become a life-long believer in Jesus?” 

There are answers in the pages that will fill your heart with great hope. We share laughter, tears and a whole bunch of God’s truth and promises. I hope you can get your hands on a copy because you will realize that you are a mother who is more than enough and that you are a legacy maker. 

To read a sample or to purchase a book, visit: www.mismatchedandthriving.com

Read Sample here: Not Alone

Giveaways coming. Watch for one tomorrow at Laced With Grace.

FACEBOOK TODAY:
Mom's Together - both Lynn & Dineen will be answering questions. Join the conversation. 

RADIO TODAY:
Lynn will be on the air at KDAZ at 8:05 MT/ 7:05 PT with Birga Alden 

Lynn Will be on Lifeline - WDCX Radio with Neil Boron at 4-5:30 pm ET and 1-2:30 pm PT.

Dineen will be the Debbie Chavez Show 9 -10:00 am. PT

 

Please share this happy day with us. Please share on your Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest. Repin & repost the photo below. Some discouraged mom needs hope today. We love you Sumites. You are our family. Hugs, Lynn & Dineen

We Are Mothers

 


Weekend Worship — It's Almost Here...

NotAlone3DCover2

 

My friends, with our book, Not Alone, officially releasing on Monday, Lynn and I will be online in several places that day. I hope you'll come join us in these discussions or listen in to the radio broadcasts. Go to our EVENTS tab on our MismatchedandThriving.com site to see times and links to these events.

And as we are representing Jesus and this amazing SUMite community, will you pray for us? Ask the Holy Spirit to give us the words and to shine through us, so that listeners and readers will be drawn to Him and begin the journey to freedom and thriving—what this community is all about! Lynn and I are desperate to share those promises and Jesus' life-changing love with more people. And our heart is to bring Jesus all the glory and exalt Him above all. 

545120_473526526007809_668492091_aOne that I'm especially looking forward to is being on Moms Together on Facebook. This is a wondeful community of women who we've had the privilege to interact with in the past and discuss our book Winning Him Without Words. All day Monday Lynn and I will be chatting there about raising godly kids with Abba's help. So exciting!

I am praying already for divine appointments to happen Monday and that discouraged moms will be encouraged and strengthened, and that Jesus will increase in every one of them dramatically! We can do all things through Jesus and being a mom (or dad) is high on that list, my friends!

Have an amazing weekend knowing that whether you are a mom or a dad, you have the Creator of the universe partnering with you to raise those little one's to know Him. He's passionate about your children!

Love you all so much!
Dineen 


A Letter From God To Every Mother

I want to encourage all of our new friends who found our community here yesterday. And I want to love and encourage those who find us today. 

Mostly I want to encourage our entire family who meets here every day to share life, love and our Savior. I adore you. Thank you for loving each other and our Jesus. 

Today, the Family Talk broadcast will talk about raising children in a spiritually mismatched home. I’m absolutely passionate about this issue. Truly, when I was a young mom, I feared that my husband’s unbelief would influence my daughter, perhaps even affecting her eternity. But....

Our faithful God loves to answer prayers of mother’s who bring their children before Him each morning by name.   <-- (Click to Tweet)

Our newest book that releases October 7, 2013 is all about this topic. And I promise you, God showed up while Dineen and I wrote it. Today, I want to offer you an excerpt from that book. 

While I was writing the last chapter, I discovered a profound passage in scripture that applies to all of us. And to find out what that is, you need to buy the book. (yep, sorry a teaser). But as I finished the last chapter, I remember being out on my walk n pray and feeling frustrated. It was as if the story wasn’t yet finished. So finally out of frustration I asked God, “Lord, what do YOU want to say to all mothers.” 

My friends, God was waiting for me to ask. And immediately He began to download to my mind…… 

A Letter. 

It’s a letter that God has written to all moms. And today, I share His love letter with you. 

It’s currently uploaded on our Ministry site. So click over there. Read it. Weep. I kid you not, I cry each time I read it. I really do. And I wrote it. Sheesh! Well I only put it to paper (so to speak). Anyhoo, click over when you have an uninterrupted minute and receive this word from our God who loves you.

 Beloved Mother 

Print a copy and let me know how you felt when you read this letter. 

I love you and a BIG welcome to all of you who found us yesterday and today through Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. 

Love & Hugs, Lynn

To hear the braodcast, click below. And there are also articles on the Family Talk website that Dineen and I wrote about marriage and parening.