12 posts categorized "Contrary Culture"

The Times They are a Changin'

My friends, I pray this video encourages you. As I suggested, read Ezra and this amazing story of how God used King Cyrus, the leaders of the Trans Eurphrates, King Artaxerxes and King Darius to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The very people and plans to stop this wound up revealing the original edict by Cyrus to rebuild the Temple. God loves to turn things on end and surprise us, SUMites. Remember, things won't look the way you expect. This is not a time of either or. It's a time of yes and both and AMEN!

So let's be in prayer together for our loved ones.

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. — 2 Kings 6:15-17

Lord Jesus, open the eyes of our spouses and loved ones that they me see YOU! In the name  of Jesus, amen!

I love you so much, SUMites! You are amazing!
Dineen

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Broken In A Thousand Pieces But..... Jesus..

SUMites, ANOTHER profound email. What is happening in our community? Ten years of praying, believing, trusting. The fruit is ripe and I celebrate every victory in our SUMite Nation. And I continue to pray and trust for those yet to come.

Today, please meet Kim Valentine. Her story is TRULY miraculous!!!!  Thank you Jesus. (Read to the end because this story is astonishing!)

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One day after 18 years of marriage my husband informed me he was moving out.  As soon as the words left his lips, I knew this time it wasn’t an idle threat. God immediately began revealing to me every sin I committed that degraded, emasculated and disrespected my husband. Every time I blamed, criticized, condemned or withheld intimacy was before my very eyes. The blinders were ripped off and the ugliness of my sin was repulsive to me! Here I was a Christian for 16 years, playing the part, talking the talk and holding the church positions. I felt so valued by my Christian “family” as one of Christ’s ambassadors to the world, but the witness to my own husband was like filthy rags before God.

 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26

I felt stripped bare to the core that day, but in that process God miraculously transformed my heart for my husband. I experienced an infilling of unconditional love for him that was beyond human comprehension. The persistent nagging inside my being that had to speak up and criticize my him was miraculously gone. So many things that irritated me in the past were washed away.  I began to see him through God’s eyes as a precious human being created and loved by Him.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

We had become strangers in the same house living separate lives. We were more like roommates than a married couple and our lives rarely intersected. We hadn't shared a bed for over eight years but I was comfortable with that arrangement, so I didn't care to change.

Had I not realized over the years I was not treating my husband well? I could say “no” and blame other men who had hurt me, other people or society. I have to confess that deep on a spiritual level I knew my actions were damaging to my husband and our whole family.  All factors may be reasons for my behavior but no excuse to treat him with disrespect he didn't deserve.

This new love for my husband welled up inside me and overflowed. I had never felt this way and I wanted him to receive this love from me, but was it too late? I had taken control and removed him as head of our family where God intended him to be all along. Would he think that my actions were nothing more than a ploy to make him stay? Regardless, I started to treat him with respect and submission the way I should have all along.

But I was not completely obedient and trusting God. I fought for control of the situation by plotting and intervening like an amateur detective. I intercepted emails and monitored his bank account justifying it because I was trying to save our marriage. God began to convict me of my intrusion and I realized it was actually an invasion of my husband’s privacy. The harsh reality was, he was leaving and there was nothing I could do to control or manipulate that outcome.

After he moved out I withdrew and began to focus on my own pain.  I started to dwell on my husband’s contribution to the marriage breakdown in my own private pity party. I remember lying on my kitchen floor weeping and begging Jesus to take me Home. I felt like my heart was broken and I was in a thousand pieces. I now believe it was my own sin and lack of “control” eating me alive. One morning I woke up in tears telling the Lord that I couldn't go on any longer, I was too weak.

I turned to my devotional and the scripture verse was from 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

God wanted to heal my heart and life before He could ever heal our marriage. This journey of reconciliation wasn’t only about our marriage but also about my disconnection with the Lord. I took my eyes off Him and lived life my own way.

God used prayer and study to open my eyes and discover I was the contentious or quarrelsome woman of Proverbs. In the message Proverbs 27: 15-16 reads: A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet; you can’t turn it off, and you can’t get away from it.

 “It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.” Proverbs 21:19

God now had my complete attention and I wept in brokenness. Even though my heart had been transformed, I continued to hold on to control. I had to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, renew my mind, be accountable to the Lord for my own actions and not blame anyone else. My obsession with control destroyed our marriage.

A week after this epiphany, my husband contacted me out of the blue and asked me to go out for coffee. I hadn’t heard from him in months. The first meeting started as a casual meeting between “friends “but was actually the beginning of our restoration journey.

My husband had a new softness to him I had never before seen, so I knew his heart was changed. He is back home now and we don't just have a marriage restored but a one that's transformed. I tell people I have the husband I’ve always wanted but never allowed him to be. We are blessed to fall into a deeper love with each other. I am witness as he grows in confidence as the head of our household. There are days I still struggle with wanting control, but being aware helps me learn to surrender it to the Lord.

Learning to be a wife as God intended is counter cultural as the world dictates women be independent. We are supposed to take control in marriage and family instead of depending on the Lord but this is so counterproductive. I have new joy embracing the role God has graced me with as wife and help mate for my husband. I know that after God, my husband is my priority. This is how I honor the Lord.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2.

I have had the privilege of watching the Lord draw my husband to Him.  It has been more than two years since our reconciliation and my husband has recently become a follower of Jesus Christ. I stand in awe at how the Lord is developing him into the spiritual leader in our home. It’s all about Him!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

For many years I sought to find my identity and affirmation in education, positions and career but these pursuits became my gods. I had built my foundation on sinking sand destined to wash away. It gave me a feeling of superiority over my husband. I lost focus that my true identity is found in only in Jesus Christ and the role he has for me as His child, a wife to my husband and a mother to our children.

Kim Valentine 2016I am a  50-something  daughter of the King, wife to one awesome husband, mother to two amazing children and one special "son in love", future grandmother and nurse.  I strive to be a woman after God's own heart and walk in His steps.

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps"
1 Peter 2:21

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This Challenging Culture

NotAloneStudyImageHello, SUMite family! Lynn and I decided we should wrap our study up this week, because we have other things we want to move onto next week. Thus we will conclude our Equipping Our Kids in a Contrary Culture on Friday with Lynn’s post about Legacy Kids. I’m sure it will be amazing too! 

My last chapter, “Challenging Kids,” that I wrote for Not Alone is one of my favorites. I share more of the story of my daughter’s recovery from cancer and two other stories from SUM moms who dealt with challenging questions and situations. I’ve been praying over what to bring out of this chapter and relate it to equipping our children and the Holy Spirit light bulb went on.

Moms and Dads, here’s where your children’s questions may become part of the challenges in your mismatched home. Your sons and daughters most likely will come home with questions about the new things they’re learning that will open up some controversy for you right in your own home if you and your spouse don’t agree on these issues. 

How do we navigate this? How do we keep biblical values in place when the school is teaching the opposite and your spouse agrees with it? How do we continue to stand in faith in our challenging culture.

My friends, we keep doing what we have been doing—trusting God. Yes, the challenges and “playing fields” may seem a little bigger, a little broader, a little more intimidating at times, but none of this is beyond God’s ability or reach. In fact, I believe He is standing ready to move with us, but He wants us to move in agreement and alignment with what He sees even when we can’t see it. 

The perfect example of this came as I’ve been reading the book of Joshua this week for very specific reasons, and one of them I believe was intended for this post, for this exact moment in our time and place as a unique community of faith in today’s culture. 

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.” — Joshua 6:1-7

Scripture paints a clear picture for us here that Jericho was a fortified city—the first walled city the Israelites had encountered. And we’re talking about some heavy duty walls here too. This is what Joshua saw, but I believe that when God told Joshua to see, He was opening the man’s eyes to perceive God’s perspective, that the city was already conquered by His hand. It was done and finished.

My friends, let’s not look at the world today and see what the world sees. Let’s look at our schools, our workplaces, the places we shop, and every person we encounter with the eyes of God. Because just as the Israelites carried the ark of the covenant with them, which was the presence of God, we carry His presence with us every where we go. 

Let’s carry Him into this world and bring His presence with us every where. Let’s march our prayers around these places and bring God into the picture. Sometimes God will even call us to literally do this and sometimes it won’t make much sense. He told me years ago to march in prayer around my husband, more recently to march in prayer around a nearby park in San Jose for nearly two years, and now He has me doing this at another park where I live now. I can’t tell you why, but I know He’s laying down the groundwork and foundation for whatever is next. He wants to bring down the walls of hopelessness, unbelief, despair, pain, sickness, depression, oppression and even opposition.

SUMites, Scripture tells us over and over to pray for wisdom and knowledge. We can ask God to prepare this way for us and give us eyes to see, ears to hear and words to speak. Trust Him to be there with you when your child comes home with questions that call you to stand in faith and give the reason why you believe what you believe. And if that could potentially create conflict with your pre-believer, ask the Holy Spirit to intervene now, to soften hearts, to give you wisdom and peace about how to navigate it. You both have equal place in your child’s life to teach and influence them. Trust God to make His truth stand out more than what our contrary culture is saying.

Nothing this world reveals surprises God and none of it is beyond His power to change. We are His hands and feet to bring His truth and healing to a hurting and damaged world. And we are empowered and equipped with His presence, His power, His grace and His mercy. Nothing is impossible WITH Him. Let’s live it like we believe it, SUMites. With Him, we CAN!

Question: SUMites, what is your greatest concern for your children right now? 

Prayer: Lord, fill every SUMite with more wisdom and knowledge of You. Inspire them with words, creativity and strategies of how to pray and navigate these upcoming challenges WITHOUT ANY fear or anxiety. I pray that they would rise up every morning, convinced and strengthened by the truth of Jesus Christ, that He is with us and will not fail us. I pray that You would fill their minds and hearts with a vision of what You are doing around them and are calling them to partner with You to accomplish. Lord, I pray that Your peace would fill every SUMite home and an impenetrable wall of Your angle armies would surround and protect them. Lord, all things are possible with You! Give us eyes to see, ears to hear and words to speak wherever we go. In the name of Jesus, amen!

I believe in you, SUMites!
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Let's Be Real!

Hello dear friends! I felt led to do a video for you today and well...I'll let that gal down there in the picture tell you how that happened. LOL! This is me being real, because I want to encourage you to be real in your faith so that your kiddos will catch that authenticity for their own lives too. When we live authentic faith lives for Jesus, we change the world. That's part of our purpose here on earth and it's part of God's plan for our children too. Let's be real! Love you! ~Dineen

 Not Alone/Chapter 7: Authentic Kids

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My Daughter Taught Me to be Generous

NotAloneStudyImageMy friends, I’ve heard it said a few times in the last few years that the Holy Spirit doesn’t come child-sized. That’s an amazing thought when you think about it, that just as God’s Spirit dwells in us in “size” and strength, He dwells in our children too when they have made that all important decision to make Jesus their Lord and Savior. 

I’ve seen children do amazing things under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I’ve witnessed this over and over again in my youngest daughter who gave her heart to Jesus at age 5. As her mama, I was proud, but I had to learn to get out of the way when the Holy Spirit moved!

And the way He moved in her was generosity. He still does. When she got her first job, the first things she bought were gifts for her mom, dad and sister. I’ve watched her give away her favorite toy to another child in distress and as she’s become an adult, I see that same generosity displayed in her heart for people (except when they’re  driving like maniacs!) and for animals. For a while there I thought for sure she’d wind up being a missionary!

My friends, I was not born with that generous gifting, but I have learned so much by watching how she operates in this area and seeing how the Holy Spirit moves her heart. Whatever our children’s gift(s) may be, it’s important that we help them understand that they are to be shared. God does not equip us for our own benefit. His economy is the opposite of the world's. The world’s economy is to invest only if there is a return. God’s economy is to invest (give) without the expectation of a return, yet we wind up receiving more than we ever could have imagined. 

I have found that when I quit worrying about my needs and just give into the needs God is showing me, He takes care of mine. He is our provider, our Jehovah-Jireh. When we know we are taken care of and provided for, we are freed to give even more. 

A great place to start with our kids is their allowance. In our book, Not Alone, I suggest giving your child two piggy banks, one for their part and one for their tithe for Jesus. Then let them decide where to “sow” this investment into. They can put it in the offering plate and have a sense of knowing they are acknowledging God’s provision and pleasing Him with the aroma of their sacrifice. A friend just shared a story of her son doing this with his money from mowing yards. He’d seen mom and dad do it and decided he should too. They hadn't taught it yet, but he "caught" it.

My church in San Jose has a children’s ministry that builds up funds to purchase animals for families in third world countries. Each Sunday the children race up to put their money in the bank, usually in the shape of the animal they are working toward purchasing. They are learning to not only give but to be part of a cause to benefit someone else in need. 

We hear stories all the time of a child moved to give in some way or help someone. That’s God moving in our children, my friends, and the Holy Spirit can move in them just as He moves in us.

For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.” — Acts 17:28

They may want to help a friend at school, who they’ve found out is having a rough time. Buy extra groceries and put a bag together for the homeless person they saw on the way to the store. Support a cause they feel passionate about. My youngest daughter has done all these things, even to the point of asking us to take a friend in need into our home. It was a decision we had to make as a family, which meant getting my pre-believer hubby involved. He was moved not only by the need of this teenager but even more so by his daughter’s heart to help. We never see the full scope of the ripple effects of these situations, my friends. Hearts are softened when we least expect it sometimes.

Lastly, I want to share a quote from this chapter:

Finally, lead them to pray for their enemies. Help them see beyond the nice and the nasty and to see people’s hearts. These are life skills they will need the rest of their lives in order to walk into adulthood with the knowledge that first, we live in a world of broken people, and second, we stand among those ranks. But we have a Savior who came in power and love to rescue all of us.

Question: What ways do you teach your children to be generous? Share your stories, SUMites! They’re sure to inspire me and others reading today. And I want to celebrate you! 

Prayer: Holy Spirit, guide me each day to help my children live in an awareness of God’s kingdom. Help me to walk in this awareness too. Help us to see those who need our love and prayers, even if it’s simply someone alongside the road who has been in an accident. Show me the times when I can live and love as Jesus does right in front of my family. In Your merciful name, Jesus, amen!

Our prayers are our greatest form of generosity, my friends. Now there’s a thought to ponder…

All in His love,
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Our Kids, THIS Culture

My Friends,

Lynn here. It's interesting to me that we are working our way through parenting our kids to faith and I'm in the middle of "parenting" both my "adult" children in different areas. I have a lot to tell you about in the weeks ahead.

But because of my hectic weekend, I haven't been able to prepare a proper post. So, I want to put forth a socially relevant question today. And let's talk with one another in the comments about how to walk through our contrary and perverse culture.

What do we do when little Johnny asks if he can have a sleepover with his best friend. And by the way, his dads will be picking him up. How do we explain gay marriage with love, respect and walk firmly in our Biblical convictions?

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.comA few years ago the school curriculum discussion with my daughter covered: Creationism vs the Big Bang. I will tell you more about that later.

Today in the state of California, the elementary schools include the story of Harvey Milk, an openly gay elected official. If we love our kids, we need to help them be prepared when they study ideas, suggestions, theories and history that isn't consistent with the Word of God. Our kids are depending on us! 

Our kids need to hear our voice, our voice of love, over all the other voices that are coming at them at an earlier and earlier age. We can lead our children even through these challenging issues.

So chime in and don't be afraid. We need each other to help one another. And on Friday I will have several proven suggestions to help you be a profound and effective voice in your family. 

I love you my friends. Have a blessed week. Hugs, Lynn

image from www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

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Praying for Our Kids to be Extraordinary (part 2)

NotAloneStudyImageHello, my friends! I pray this study is already helping you get ready for “back to school” and increasing your faith and hope in God to make this school year one of the best yet for you and your children. Let me add too that if you are a homeschooling mom, you are part of this too. Your kiddos need the same equipping for when they are out in the world, whether now at a friends, on a playground, and when they are adults on their own. We want to pour God’s truths into them with all His love so that they will continue what we have started in our own generation.

As I shared on Monday, the enemy wants us to think we are powerless against the “system,” but our God says otherwise. No “system” will keep Him away. Not if we are standing for Him and praying in the Spirit for our children, our homes, our schools—our prayers bathe these places with the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Perhaps one of our biggest challenges can come from our own expectations. I know I used to think that an easy time sailing through school with everything falling into place was how it was supposed to be for my girls. Especially since they were growing up with two parents and much more stability than I had. But that was no guarantee. They have faced challenges, but now I understand that this is part of this life and a life without challenges often winds up to be a selfish one. The key is that we can trust our God to take every challenge and trial and bring great good out of it. 

We know our testimonies are powerful and inspiring. We see it everyday here on this blog. Guess what? Our children’s testimonies are powerful too. 

In our book, Not Alone, I talk about two of my favorite stories in the Bible—Gideon and Joshua. These men overcame the impossible and won their battles, by the power and grace of God. God whittled Gideon’s army to a mere 300 men to battle and overcome an army of Midianites that numbered 120,000. The walls of Jericho fell at Joshua’s order to shout on their seventh day of marching.

Sometimes our situations and circumstances don’t make sense and the direction God leads us may not either. But we can always know that He is good, that He is working for our good, and that He is good at what He does. Take that truth and promise to the bank of your heart, my friends, and to the classroom, the schoolyard, and everywhere else your prayers are following your children. 

Pray and when you hear the enemy’s voice try to tell you that your prayers won’t help and protect your child, or try to tell you that God doesn’t care about you and your children, kick him to the curb with the truth! 

Can I do this? 
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). 

How can I do this? 
“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13, NLT).

Am I alone in this? 
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

Who will help me? 
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1).

What if I fail? 
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

What about the rough times? 
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

My friends, I have walked through depression and cancer with my youngest daughter. I have raised my girls to faith in a mismatched home. Though my girls are now grown, I continue to walk with them in their lives as a mentor, offering encouragement and prayers as I continue to speak God’s truth into them. 

Even though they are adults they still struggle at times with anxiety, because they are still learning how to battle the enemy. But they are getting it, because they listen to my words and watch me live out my faith. My prayers have released the power of God into their lives and He is faithful to do and complete what He starts. He will never abandon them or stop loving them. 

God has done this for me, and He has done and is doing it for you. Some days you may not be able to see it, but He’s there working. You don’t see the air you breath, but you know your breathing it. 

Take a deep breath, moms, dads and grandparents, and trust your God. He may not do it the way you expect Him to but He will do it. He will co-parent your children with you because HE loves them even more than you do and He knows your children by heart. He has a plan and future for your kiddos (Jer. 33:11), and He will bring it to pass no matter what challenges you and your children may face. 

Now breath out that life upon your children with your love, your words, your wisdom and your faith. Not by your strength or power, but by His Spirit! Amen!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing faithfulness. I know that You are able to do all that I have asked and more. I praise and thank You now for the ways in which You are and will be working in my children to make them effective and strong in their faith. In Your powerful and capable name, Jesus, I pray this. Amen!

Challenge: Start a list of areas in your children’s lives that you want to pray about regularly. Find specific verses to pray for your children in each area. You can even make this a prayer journal that you can record answers to prayer specific to your child and give it to them one day to show them how God has worked in their lives. Make it fun! 

For example, when my youngest daughter was dealing with anxiety, I would pray 2 Timothy 1:7 over her: 

Leslie Miller, God has not give you a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and self-control. In the name of Jesus, amen! 

Speak truth into their lives, my friends, and they will take it with them and walk in it everywhere they go!

All in His love!
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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SUM Books 4


Chapter One: Extraordinary Kids (part one)

NotAloneStudyImageMy friends, have we bought a lie? Have we bought into the lie that we’re powerless and alone in helping our children navigate the confusing and changing culture of today? That we are not enough?

I find it so interesting that just a few days ago I stood on my front porch, chatting with one of my neighbors. A simple compliment I made to her about their young daughter helping Dad mow the yard opened up a dialogue about her daughter’s anxiety and issues with school.

That was no accident, my friends. As she shared it was like I was hearing my youngest daughter’s story of school avoidance and anxiety. For the next hour we talked—I shared my heart with this mom, shared how God had always been faithful to my prayers for answers and provided solutions and people to help us. At this point I didn’t know if she is a believer or not and I still don’t.  

As she opened up more I was able to encourage her with ideas that had helped my daughter and I also helped her see areas in her own creativity that she could tap into and use to encourage and engage her daughter. I watched this worried mom become excited and even clap her hands in glee at one point. And all I did was share my heart with her though the love of Jesus.

This was on my front porch, but it could have been on a school yard, a playground, or even in a classroom on parent night.

My friends, the lie the enemy has fed us is that we’re not enough. I know I did for a long time. But I learned and am still learning in some lingering areas, that God is ALWAYS enough? Isn’t He bigger and stronger than anything we face? Doesn’t His Word say He’s faithful and that when His children cry out to Him, He answers? Let’s start crying out, my friends. Not just for God to change the situation but for Him to show us how to be part of His answer.

You are not alone, my friend. Our God not only loves us, He loves our kids. He wants them to know and love Him too. So no matter how contrary this culture is, and no matter how much our schools push Him out, He’s going to show up.

On a front porch. On a playground. And in a classroom. 

Why? Because of you. 

Because we are the righteous of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21) and our prayers are POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE (James 5:16)! Moms, Dads and Grandparents, YOU are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and YOUR prayers are POWERFUL and EFFECTIVE!

I want you to repeat this every morning as you get up (man, is the enemy going to be quaking in his pit):

“I am the righteous of God in Christ Jesus and my prayers are powerful and effective!”

So let’s start praying, declaring and BELIEVING that by the very presence and power of God, we are EXTRAORDINARY and EMPOWERED to help our kids to be EXTRAORDINARY right in the middle of this contrary culture, right in the middle of their schools. We can do this, my friends! By God’s Spirit (Zech. 4:6) and through His love.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. — John 13:35

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for partnering with me to raise my children to know You. Thank You for loving them even more than I do and for having a great plan and future for them. Help me teach them Your ways so that at home, in their school and everywhere they go they will do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with You (Micah 6:8). In Your strong and mighty name Jesus, amen!

Study question: What is one thing you can do on a daily  basis to model your faith to your children? How can you be a loving mentor to your kids and the kids God brings into your life as well? 

Share your answers in the comments, my friends. Let’s encourage and inspire one another with our love for Jesus.

All in His love,
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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


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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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


Back to School: Equipping Our Kids in a Contrary Culture

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Hello, SUM family! I'm so happy to be back! As Lynn shared yesterday, we are getting ready to kick off a new series on Friday.

Let's face the facts: We live in a contrary culture that ignores sound biblical truths. But that doesn't mean God's truth is outdated or irrelevant. Now more than ever, our children need this kind of teaching to navigate new curriculums and teachings that are becoming part of the school systems. We need to equip our kids. 

Moms and Dads (and grandparents!), we want to help you. Join us on Friday, July 31st for the launch of Back to School: Equipping Our Kids in a Contrary Culture. For five weeks we will take the principles from our book, Not Alone: Trusting God to Raise Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home, and apply them to equipping our children to navigate their schools and culture without compromising their beliefs.

We can do this, my friends! And not only do this, but do it well. We are about to impact our homes, schools and neighborhoods in ways we can't even imagine yet and can only be done through God's Spirit, and not our strength. So, let's get ready! Invite your friends—everyone you know who will benefit from this series and anyone the Holy Spirit places on your heart to share it with. God will do the rest.

And, be sure to check out our latest resource on myKLOVE about the "Sanctified Believer." Download the app to your smart phone if you haven't already and join the discussion!

I love you, my SUM family. I am so moved by the Holy Spirit to help all of us navigate what's ahead. I truly feel God's calling to be part of this equipping and I am honored to be a part of it. Lynn and I love you all so, so much. You are precious to us! We pray for you, we contend for you, and we walk with you. Always.

All in His love,
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THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4


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

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Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

THRIVE in your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and raise your children to faith. Our books are filled with practical experience and Biblical advice. -click or tap the photo-

SUM Books 4