59 posts categorized "Supernatural"

Let Me Tell You a Story...

This is a story I wrote in 2006, but it actually happened to me during the Summer of 2002. The reason I want to share this is because it shows how God can work in a simple activity like grocery shopping. God showed up BIG that day for me and I wasn't the only affected. God is closer than we think. We just have to look for Him. 

So read my story, then sit back and think. Did God meet you at the grocery store one day? On the school yard? At work? 

* * *
Exact Change

CoinsI can’t do it anymore.

This line ran through my head, over and over again as I stood in the grocery line. The thought had dominated my mind long before my two daughters and I had joined my husband in London for a week. He’d been assigned to a client there two months earlier, and now he would be required to stay longer. That meant two more months of handling things on my own, and I was already worn out.

We had moved to Switzerland three years ago and found living in a foreign country to be as much of a challenge as an adventure. The first two years alone had been a real struggle for our two daughters. Learning the language and trying to make friends in the small community we lived in had proven to be more difficult than we’d ever imagined. Just shopping for groceries turned out to be one of the biggest adjustments in my life. That and coping with the daily struggles of living in a foreign country had begun to take its toll.

Managing the house, being the main interpreter in the family, and coping with some of the stigma that came our way because we were foreigners had finally caught up with me. I couldn’t escape it. Mind overwhelmed and heart about to shrivel, I didn’t think I had anything left to offer, or the energy to even try.

I felt completely and utterly hopeless over the whole situation. I cried out to God for help with what little strength I had left. Not even a real cry for that matter. Just a simple statement.

I can’t do it anymore.

I put my groceries on the counter and waited for my total in a daze. My thoughts centered around getting home as fast as I possibly could. The cashier finished ringing up my items and told me the amount: 45.56 CHF (Swiss Franks). I ran my bankcard through the machine, but it didn’t register the magnetic strip. The cashier said to try the card again. I did but no luck. Once more. Still nothing.

Since we had just flown back from London the day before, I hadn’t gone to the bank. I only came to the store for a few things to get us by until I had the strength to do serious shopping. I can imagine the picture I made that day as I opened my wallet, hoping I had enough cash to pay for my groceries. The thought of having to put something back was more than I could handle.

As I counted out the bills I was relieved to see I had exactly 45.00 CHF. Now at least I had a chance. I dumped my wallet over into my hand to empty the change section, and the cashier held out her hand to count it for me. I think she recognized my tattered condition as a woman under stress. This, I have found, is an identity that transcends all cultures and languages.

The next moment is still clear in my mind to this day. She looked up at me with eyes bigger than the largest coin she held, and said I had the exact amount. My wallet lay empty, not a single coin remained, and the groceries were paid for. To the Swiss penny.

The next day I went to the bank to order a new bankcard. The teller took my card and ran it through the pin machine. It worked perfectly. I asked if she were sure, so she checked again. There was nothing wrong. As I left the bank, the proverbial mental light clicked on. It was no coincidence that the grocery total and the money in my wallet had matched exactly. That’s when I knew I would be okay. God had shown me I didn’t have to go it alone anymore. He had used a simple activity such as grocery shopping to remind me of what I had somehow forgotten. He’s the one in control and with me every step of the way. I simply had to quit trusting in my own ability and trust him. Where I fell short, He was exactly what I needed.

Right to the last penny.

* * *

One time God even brought me a pair of shoes the exact color I needed. These are small things but He uses them to prepare us for bigger stuff, like what Lynn and Janet shared yesterday. Like seeing a man fall to his knees in the median of a highway (read that story here). The more we trust God, the more we will see. And I love watching God at work, especially in my mismatched marriage. 

How about you? What's God showing/doing in your life and marriage right now?

Praying & believing, 
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


A Holy Anointing by Janet S.

To follow is a guest post by Janet. She has written here for us before but today is a specail treat. She shares her personal story of worship and I KNOW it will touch you. Read all the way through and then watch the 15 second video at the end. I PROMISE you will be changed. Hugs, Lynn

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Janet's white feather aug 2012
One of many feathers God sends to Janet
There is no one size fits all standard when it comes to an intimate time of praise, prayer and worship with God. I know because I’ve tried everyone’s formulas.  The result?  I felt like a failure.  What worked for them just wasn’t working for me.  Praise and worship music was the easy element.  Morning time with God?  Not only am I not a morning person, but neither is our wee tot who enjoys sleeping in our bed and asking for midnight snacks.  Disciplined, concrete pattern reading of the bible from Psalms, Proverbs and gospels?  I tried, exhausting myself to no avail.  Sadly it became a regimented routine transitioning into discouragement.  Specific prayer patterns?  The focus became assuring I mastered them, leaving no detail forgotten, instead of heartfelt conversations with God.  While these work for some, I personally felt like a blue spruce planted on a tropical island. 

Yet this insatiable desire for more - continued to manifest and convict me.  I just knew there had to be more.  But I had no idea where or how to find it.  I was left to seek help from God while being honest with myself.  I had to accept the realization that God, the creator of not only the universe but me, created me already knowing I thrive after the hours of noon.  Freedom in peace of that knowledge empowered me to take the next step.  I released myself from the “morning time with God guilt”, and I began to carve out daily afternoon time with God.  I purchased the Daily Chronological Bible.  Reading, which seemed like an insurmountable goal, was thrilling and intriguing as I read the bible in a story form.

Most interesting was the transformation of my prayer time.  My prayers moved from “me focused” to “Him focused”.  Prayers reminding Him who wronged me and how I needed this or that, dialogue asking for His blessings on my plans became conversations asking for His anointing and courage to move forward with His will and plans. 

During a recent phone call with Lynn we explored worship, prayer and the divine power released when we pray asking for anointing.  I esteem anointing to be a sacred topic—a powerfully holy one, filled with awe and mystery.  The supernatural possibilities of it challenge my human mind, and I still have much to experience and learn.

Let’s journey this together as the joined Body of Christ, open to what He chooses to reveal to us uniquely and individually, through prayer and by learning from one another. 

Gracious Father, we are so humbled by Your love that You entrust each one of us with one of the greatest mysteries—direct access and power of Your Holy Spirit, which is present, alive and moving within each of us.  It is an honor we choose to not take lightly.  Remove stumbling blocks and falsehoods in our paths, experiences and traditions that limit our yielding.  Awaken our spiritual senses blessing us with wisdom and discernment as together we journey to better understand and know You and Your power unleashed. By the blood of Jesus, all for Your glory and honor, Amen.

We see beginning in Genesis and up through the life of Jesus, oil was used in the Old Testament to anoint.   “Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.” Genesis 28:18 NIV   Read Exodus 30:22- 33 NIV.  In these scriptures the Lord reveals a divine recipe of anointing oil to Moses, and He had Moses anoint places, items and people— Aaron and his sons.  “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Mark 6:13 NIV

During the baptism and after death of Jesus the bible continues to speak of oil to anoint, but also begins to include a different and powerful anointing through, by and of the Holy Spirit.  “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” Acts 10:38 NIV  “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14 NIV “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.” 1 John 2:20 NIV  “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,” 2 Corinthians 1:21 NIV

I am convicted to believe His Word shows us physical oil is indeed an element for anointing, used for all time in accordance to His Word and will, but so is unseen oil of the Holy Spirit poured within us straight from His throne.  In each of these scriptures we see a common theme of anointing being mandated before God’s will is purposed and carried out.  Let me stress before God’s will is purposed and carried out.  Anointing is the consecrating, making holy and set apart for His purposes and glory.  For me personally this is convicting.  This isn’t about me telling God my plans and asking for His blessing upon them.  This is me asking for His anointing as I move forward in His will.

Regularly I pray for God’s Holy Spirit to be unleashed and pour down anointing our home, town, church, congregation, family and more.  There is no rhyme or reason to these petitions other than I pray as I am led based on circumstances, need and conviction.  I pray for the anointing of our Pastor whose spiritual gift is to preach to His children each week, for His glory.  I pray for the anointing of our community requesting divine healing, for His glory, because in a short span of time we have experienced tremendous and heartbreaking loss after loss.  I pray for the anointing of my husband’s friendships and work that God will move in them and in him, for His glory.  I pray for anointing of my friends and myself.  In these prayers I am asking God to be the forefront and focus, that His will is accomplished on earth.

When I pray these I believe with full confidence God is at work hearing and answering my prayers.  He never fails to amaze me with answers—divine, supernatural, unexplainable answers.  As Lynn and I ended our conversation she prayed over me asking the Holy Spirit to anoint my writing.  I, the self-doubter and fearer of both success and failure, later prayed again asking for an extra measure of anointing upon my hands as I piece together the writing. 

Hours later I endured another occurrence of what I call “gold glitter” upon my hands.  This is not the first time, nor the only place it physically appears on me.  Each time I am taken aback and startled.  This time though, it was only on my hands.  Specifically the prayer request of anointing both Lynn and I asked God for, for His glory, not mine. (see video below)

Supernatural activity and answers can be found throughout the bible—talking donkeys, burning bush, a rod and snake, and so much more.  We are called to not seek, idolize or worship miraculous signs and wonders.  But we are called to believe with full confidence expecting His answer.  In God’s perfect and holy timing we see many examples in the bible where anointing occurred revealing His power, sovereignty and glory. 

Everything can be set apart, made holy, for His glory, including our day-to-day tasks, and His will and purpose for us.  We just need to pray asking for the anointing, and be an open, willing participant.  We participate by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and to conform us to the likeness of Christ.  And we seal it by stepping out in belief and faith that the anointing has empowered us to do His will—be it writing, preaching, serving or any other gift, for His glory, not ours.

Have you prayed for anointing?  How can we pray for you to be anointed?  Has God answered your prayers in a supernatural way?

Janet.

--My friends, Lynn here. Now behold the glory of God as below is the video of Janet's hands after her prayer time. Thank you Janet for your faithfulness and your love for our Lord. You bring Him great honor today. Lynn

 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


More Than Just Waiting, Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a prayerful Scripture:

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

Praying & believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Praying in the Spiritual Realm- A Chronicles Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


Who Are We Really Fighting?

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

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

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

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

Are you following me at all here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


An Interview with Lexie Baltimore, Part 2

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

Lexie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can I share one more?

Sure, go ahead.

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

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

Shoot away.

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

Where are you and Hugh headed now?

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

Sounds like progess?

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

 

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

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

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

Praying and believing,
Dineen 

 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


An Interview with Lexie Baltimore, Part 1

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

So, without further ado, here’s Lexie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praying and believing,
Dineen 

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


A Story and a Surprise!

DineenI have a story to share with you. And a surprise.

The story is about Lexie and Hugh Baltimore. Lexie is a believer who God uses in a very unique way to reach the lost. Her husband Hugh is an atheist. In the aftermath of a terrible loss, she’s trying to live out her faith as she raises her son Jeremy to know God, even though her husband doesn’t like the idea of her taking their son to church.

Then there is a battle waging all around this marriage. The enemy recognizes how profound an effect Lexi’s faith can have on her husband, and he is not about to give up now. He’s cemented Lexie’s husband firmly in his atheism and is determined to make sure Hugh doesn’t switch sides.

Sound familiar?

Many of you may not know that I write fiction—that fiction is where I started writing seriously. In the fall of 2009, God put Lexie’s story on my heart, a story about a mismatched couple and the battle waging to keep her husband from knowing God. And I knew He wanted it to be a compliment to our Winning Him Without Words book. (In fact, it's even mentioned in the story!)

SoulSaverThe Soul Saver is officially releasing this week, and it’s not only a story I want to share with you, my dear friends, it’s a story I wrote FOR YOU.

On the second page of the book is this dedication:

For all the “Lexies” out there.
Remember, God is faithful.

I am so excited to share this book with you. I have so looked forward to revealing my little surprise for you. I will share with you that at one point I about gave up hope that Lexie and Hugh’s story would get told. Many publishers didn’t want to deal with the “niche” of the spiritually mismatched but God knew there would be a home for this story and He didn’t let me give up. In fact, He did some pretty cool stuff bringing this story to fruition.

This week I will be sharing the stories behind the story. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for a two day interview with Lexie. There are some questions I want her to answer for you, things that aren’t in the book.

And by Friday, you will have the full “skinny” on how God moved very visibly in this story and in my own life and family at the very same time. Some God-bumps are coming there!

Each day that I post I will give a way a copy of The Soul Saver. Leave a comment to enter each day if you’d like. If I had my way and the means to do it, I’d give you all a copy of this book of my heart because it’s our story, my friends.

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

Remember, God is faithful.
Praying and believing,
Dineen

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.


What Really Happens When We Worship. I Promise I'm Not Weird.

Chronicles of the Donovan Clan:

On Wednesday I experienced something with the Lord that I am still processing. It’s a bit unusual but as I lay in bed that night, I felt the same compulsion to share the experience with you. This is exactly how I felt on Wednesday evening when I shared it with the women with whom I was sitting.

Sharing these kinds of experiences is often a scary prospect for me but God has a way of keeping me humble by keeping me awkward. And my obedience and my joy in sharing this story trump my personal comfort and pride. I pray when you read these words you will forever be changed as you experience worship.

Here we go…..

 

 

Whirlwind2

For several weeks I have attended a Wednesday night Bible study in preparation for our church’s annual Women’s Retreat. The study is comprised of the leadership and all the helping hands for the weekend. On Wednesday there were roughly 25-30 women, all sitting in the chairs that are positioned in a horse-shoe shape so we can see one another as well as the worship leader and speaker.

First let me describe a scene from the southwest. I live in a community in California that is considered somewhat high desert. The valley where my home is located is considered inland, a significant distance away from the coast. However, costal breezes make their way to us in the latter half of the day. On a hot summer’s day, as the rising temperatures blow out of the east off the Mojave Dessert toward our town, they mix with cooler costal winds and when the two meet, they really stir up a fight. Out in the middle of the fields you can watch the battle, a swirling, rushing whirlwind whipping frantically toward heaven and then they quickly disappear. See the photo. Now keep that image in your mind.

 

I love this annual study. Many of my long time sisters in Christ serve and are part of this eight weeks. The evening always begins with worship and our sweet, Ellie, sings and plays the guitar like a professional. She begins to play and we follow her lead and sing.

We worship.

The music builds, hands raise, eyes are closed. We are in full-out worship of our Lord. The third song this night is very familiar. Most of us know the words by heart. We sing. The harmonies and the sweetness of the unison voices fill the room and that is when it happened.

I opened my eyes as I felt the crescendo of the chorus. And as I looked around the room I had only what I can call as some sort of a vision. I couldn’t see anything with my eyes but in my mind I was watching the praises of God’s people begin to swirl in a counter-clockwise direction around the room over our heads. Like a whirlwind.

The praises swept along faster and faster and then spiraled wildly upward….. to heaven.

*gulp*

The power of the Holy Spirit was so prevalent that I immediately was covered from head-to-toe with what I call Holy goose bumps. And as I stood there, I completely was so overwhelmed by God’s presence that I could no longer even speak. I couldn’t sing. I felt as though I was going to lift off the ground.

As the music slowed, I began having a kind of conversation with God.

“Oh , Wow, Oh Wow. Lord… Lord… Lord… I love you.”

This is what I heard next, “Tell them.” Not what I expected.

What? Tell them (the ladies in the room) what I just saw. Are you kidding? They will think I’m whacked.

“Tell them.”

Me, “Okay Lord, but You will have to create an opportunity because this is weird.”

Then silence. I was freaked. I slowly sat down as our worship time ended. And then…. God moved.

Normally, after worship, Ellie prays and then the speaker takes the lectern. And I knew if that happened right now the opportunity to “tell them” will pass. And I KNEW I wasn’t going to blurt out to the crowd what I just witnessed. So I waited and then to my utter surprise astonishment, the woman sitting next to me said to the group, “I just love it when we sing and I can hear all your voices.”

Can I just say….. DOUBLE GULP.

God just set the stage for me to "tell them"as this woman was talking about the SINGING. So, I gathered my courage and followed up her sentence and explained what just happened to the room. I don’t remember what I said but I’m sure it sounded weird.

It was awkward but God wanted them to know something. And now God is compelling me to further awkwardness as He compels me to share this story with you.

God wants us to know how valuable our worship is to Him. It is so powerful, so spiritual that He personally sweeps our worship from earth. He carries our praises up unto Himself in a giant whirlwind just like He did on Wednesday as He swept that room with a Holy fury.

He impressed upon me as I sat there that night that there are many of His children who sing to Him in a crowded room and they don’t really understand the significance. They don’t realize just how very close He is to us. But He is near, within our very breath.

I know there are times I have sat in Sunday worship and I was just singing… In a crowd. The significance lost on me.

Well, never again. I will forever be changed as I worship because God is present. And my friends, the sheer euphoria of that experience will carry me on for a lifetime.

I’m sharing this experience today because God impresses me to tell His people that worship is priceless to Him. He draws near and he watches with a smile as broad as the sunrise. So this Sunday, step into your church and worship.

I pray you will also be forever changed by an amazing, loving, and all-powerful God.

Be blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

MAJ Cover 100 size Thumb

Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.