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13 entries from March 2024

Who Is This Man?

Jesus Easter 2024Who is this man? (Luke 8:25)

Yeshua, the son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16)

My brothers and sisters, while in prayer, I have sat on hundreds of beaches with the Lord, and with a hurting or a hungry person who seeks and receives His love, wisdom, and healing. I’ve watched as our Savior holds the hands of a man or woman and releases them from insignificance, rejection, and false identities.

I’ve been in the room when our Savior entered. His presence is overwhelming and so intense, that I tremble. His love, goodness, and power are transformative, so much so, that He realign my thoughts, my disappointments, and sets me back on my feet, steadied on the narrow path.

His voice is tender, patient with us, and when he and the father converse, they share a familiar chuckle as they smile at our progress in our faith walk.

I’ve also experienced the sheer power of Jesus. I have viewed him in his glorified state. The devil appears next to him as a flea, whom the Lord flicks with a finger and he vanishes in fear. Jesus is strong, the ultimate power and ruler overall!

Jesus is my only protector. His blood heals, realigns my DNA, forgives, and blots out the failures of my life. He delivers me from evil.

Jesus is available. He leads us into greater encounters of truth, hope, and overwhelms me with his fathomless love.

My friends, on this, Easter, Sunday, along with millions who live on earth combined with the great cloud of witnesses, who have gone before us, we collectively proclaim our belief and faith in our King!

We declare before all of heaven and earth, that we are in love with an invisible man. We believe in heaven and an afterlife. We know in our hearts that Jesus came in the flesh, died, and arose on the third day. He is seated at the right hand of God.

He is the son of God.
He is the savior of the world.
He came to set the world right and reveal the kingdom of God on earth.
He is our Lord and lead us to our father, Yahweh.

Nothing is too hard for him. There is no sickness, mental struggle, or disease, he cannot heal. No one is too far away that he cannot reach. No devil or evil spirit can defeat him. Never will he leave or forsake you or me.

This is the Jesus we know. This is the Christ we love. This is the king, who we serve now, and for all eternity. 

I’m so thankful for the cross, the whipping post, and His glorious resurrection. I’m thankful with all of my heart Jesus willingly died for me and for you.

Who is this man? Yashua, the son of the living God. He is everything we will need or desire. And finally, and most importantly,

HE is risen!!!!

Just as he said!

Mark 16: 1-7 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Thank You for the Blood

Dear SUMites Jesus 2

Today, Friday, the church commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

Today let's say to Jesus, 'Thank you for the blood.'

I wonder if, today, we could each take five minutes to get onto our knees to thank Jesus out loud for what he did for us on the cross? That is, take five minute to not move from your quiet spot, focus on what he did, and articulate our thanks to him. That would be a precious act.

I am going to go and do that now, the minute I press 'publish'.

Well, SUMites, I wish you a beautiful long weekend, and Lynn will be sharing on Sunday.


He Is My Everything


  Hello beautiful SUMite family! Amanda here! I am so happy to get back to connecting with all of you! Ann and Ian have shared some beautiful insights this week. I am so honored to share this platform with them.

Today I would like to share with you all a bit about who Jesus is to me. But before we dive in, I have to tell you all about something that has been going on with me over the last few months. Since January I had been experiencing a bit of writers' block. I would get an idea, begin to jot down some notes, but then lose traction. Sometimes I couldn't find the right words, sometimes I would just go completely blank! If I could show you the journal where I usually write my blog ideas, you would find many half-written potential posts, or even just a few sentences before the idea just slipped away from me! I actually have a note on the bottom of one page that says, "I need to write, but I can't think!" It was getting really frustrating! But as soon as Ann asked us to write about who Jesus is to us, it was like a lightbulb came on in my head! I opened my notebook and immediately began to write. This time the words flowed freely out of me! It was as if the Holy Spirit had been waiting for this one. I think I needed this reminder more than I realized! I pray it touches some of you as much as it has me!

Who is Jesus to me? Over the course of my life Jesus has been many things for me.

When my heart has ached with the loneliness of this SUMite life. When the seat next to me on Sunday feels as though it will always be empty, and my husband's bible gathers dust. He comes in and fills the empty spaces with his love, and I no longer feel so alone. Jesus is my spiritual husband.

When the challenges of parenting (especially in a SUMite home) feel like they will overwhelm me. When fear and anxiety over the futures of my children start to swirl in my head. He swoops in and reminds me that they were his first. He loves them more than I can comprehend. He holds them in his arms. I do not have to carry that weight because he carries it for me. Jesus is my hope.

When a relationship (of any kind) ends, and I am left wading through the waters of rejection, self-loathing, and doubt. He reminds me in his word that I am not broken or worthless. I was bought with a price! I am cherished and loved by him. He will never leave me. Jesus is my friend!

When my health is under attack, when waves of sickness fly at me and my family like arrows. When I am overcome with fear and despair, exhaustion and even doubt. He runs in and declares that by His stripes I am healed! Jesus is my physician!

He pursues me, forgives me, waits for me, and loves me.

The risen Jesus - my sweet and precious Jesus- He is my everything!

I hoped you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it my dear friends! Jesus feels so near and real this week! In the coming holy days, I hope that you grow closer to him, open your heart and let him in to all the places you are lonely, sick, or hurting. He is just waiting. Waiting on you to let him in!

I would love to hear from you in the comments! What are some of the ways Jesus has shown up in your lives? I look forward to hearing from you all!

Love is All Around!

6a00d83451ee9f69e202c8d3aec177200dHoly Week. It’s one of my favourite weeks of the year, but also one filled with sadness. It reminds me of Lectio 365’s Lenten Evening Meditation which they title, “Bright Sadness”.

I find the week is a microcosm of life with Jesus. We journey with Him, suffer death, wait for something to happen, and then there is newness in a resurrection of some sort.

It’s good to walk gently through this week and linger. I was reminded of this when I read Ann Voskamp’s post this morning  where she writes:

“Those looking for something sacred travel slow. Those looking for the holy linger.”

Linger with Jesus. However, you do this, but reading his Word is a great place to start. I enjoy reading the week’s liturgy as they walk you through Jesus’s week. We experience him entering Jerusalem on a donkey, him clearing out the temple, Mary’s wonderfully beautiful blessing with the expensive nard, preparation for Passover, the Passover meal in the Upper Room and then Easter.

I listened to Lectio 365's morning reflection today and it mentioned how the fragrance of the nard probably lingered on Jesus as he was crucified; the soldiers would have smelt it as they nailed his hands and feet to the Cross. Amazing.

Encountering Jesus

I’ve been reflecting for several weeks how the world is saturated in love. God is love and He is always present and therefore, His love is all around.

Every day we can choose to receive this love, to step into it, in some way. Receiving love can be hard for many of us, for a variety of reasons. It typically involves us making a conscious decision to do something and often requires making ourselves vulnerable which can be hard at the best of times.

If love is really all around (as the theme of the movie  ‘Love Actually’ suggests), how do we see it or receive it?

Photo courtesy of Pexels and Enrique

I love clouds. I’m fascinated by the variety of shapes and designs that God provides for us to view. God knows I love clouds. I talk to God about them, “what’s that shape, Lord?” I often see angel shapes which I love and varieties of other creations. I soak in His creativity up as a way of receiving His love for me. "Thank you, Lord. I know you're close!"

It might be taking the time to chat to a neighbour. Hugging someone and allowing yourself to receive the hug as well (Fiona and I are huggers, and we think they’re one of the best things ever!) It might be a grandchild hopping up into your lap and cuddling. It might simply being silent when you start to pray, allowing God to love you in the stillness and quiet of the morning.

Lingering is so important to realising the many ways God is actively present in our lives. In this special week of brightness and sadness, it’s especially relevant. God is always with us, loving us in our own unique ways, just like Martha mentioned on Monday that Jesus speaks to her in her southern language.

May I encourage you to linger this week with God and allow Him to love you.

What aspect of nature and/or God’s creation do you find stops you in your midst and makes you linger and ponder with the Lord? Why not share it in the comments as we’d all love to the encouragement.

Wishing all our SUMites a delightful Easter.

Grace and peace.

"He is My Constant Companion"

My friends Jesus window

Yesterday, we shared in the comments about what life is like with the risen Jesus.

Two of you said, "He is my constant companion." That's how I would describe it too. In a strange way.

I am curious about the fact that I have only ever dreamt of Jesus twice in my life, and in only one of those dreams was he a person. I dream a lot, and given the amount I think about him, you'd think I'd dream about him more than this.

But it's as if he's too ... Heavenly ... to see. Perhaps a dream about him is a once in a lifetime kinda thing.

In the dream, I didn't recognise him. He was a man with shaggy hair, sitting and listening to me, nodding his head like a nice friend.

My family were far away, over by some rocks on a beach, and I was talking to him about them, pointing over at them, stressed, like 'Rescue them!' He simply nodded empathically. But what he was focused on was a set of two bowls in his hand. They were serving bowls. 

I woke up, and thought to myself, 'That was Jesus!'

Just like the two disciples on the Road to Emmaeus, I didn't see him at first:

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaeus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained so that they did not know him (Luke 24:16, NKJV).

These two disciples chattered away to Jesus about what was on their mind. He was a nice companion. Then, they turned aside into a home:

Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight (v. 31).

See what I mean - elusive! He vanished!

And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" (v. 32).

That's the thing. My heart burns when it comes to him. After the dream, my heart burned. Heart burn

What was he saying through that dream to me? He was saying: "Yes, I know you're stressed about your family, I hear you, but I'm not worried. So trust me. What I'm most interested in is the food you're going to serve to others through all this."

The late evangelist, Nabeel Qureshi, had a special dream of Jesus as he battled terminal cancer in his thirties. It was the same kind of thing: A quirky dream, a friendly encounter, and a message that helped him in a difficult time. You might enjoy the video in which he describes that dream, here.

So what are my reflections? He is a friend to us. He does reveal himself to us. But he also allows himself to stay hidden, or to suddenly vanish out of our grasp. He does listen, and he does speak in our lives, but he lets us get hungry for him. An encounter with him is pretty special, and he is our constant companion.

Phew, that's my turn over. And now I can't wait to read something from Ian about Jesus tomorrow.

Love you all.


A Week of JESUS

Hello my friends, Ann here. Jesus

I have missed you! But I did so enjoy the beautiful, thoughtful posts that Jeanne shared with us over the last three weeks. 

And now to a new theme:

This week the church across the world commemorates the crucifixion and the resurrection of JESUS. Here at SUM, we always do the same.

Often at Easter time, we as a community take a trek through the story of Jesus's last week in Jerusalem. But this year I want to do something a little different: Each of us writers is going to write a post about the RISEN JESUS, and what he means to us.

Who is he?

How have we each encountered him?

What imagery does scripture show us about him?

He is the sword that sits between us and our spouse. He is the truth that we debate with our spouse. He is the lover of our soul who our spouse often feels they compete with.

He is the person whom other religions deny. Yet he is the only religious leader who ever died for their followers.


I don't know if it's like this for you, but for me he is elusive; though I know him. He is mysterious to me. I ask myself questions like, "What do you look like?" Or, "Why can't you just come and sit down on the couch next to me?" Or, "Why don't you appear to me in the flesh so that I can find you more real than I do now?" Ann and Jesus

I feel like I have to pursue him, even though I know that he pursues me.

And I love the fact that the Old Testament points to him, miraculously, over and over, in the most genius ways.

What does he look like?

.. One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last." (Revelation 1:13-17, NKJV)

Ah, that's what He looks like. Man I wish I could have seen this image for myself.

Well, tomorrow I'm going to carry on and share some personal reflections on times I perceive that I've encountered the risen Jesus.

And you? What does it look like having the risen Jesus in your life?

Back tomorrow, dear SUMites.


Easter and Audio Book

Spiritual EnforcerSUM Nation.

We are about to embark on the week of Easter. I feel especially move this year by the significance of the blood of Jesus. It's by His overcoming death that we walk in power and authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the leppers (cleanse cancer) and raise the dead. Matthew 10:8

Everything, EVERYTHING, is because of the atonement. Hallelujah. 

All the power and authority that I write about in Spiritual Enforcer, is because of Easter. Gang, keep reading. People are emailing me and are finding victory and help in their faith walk because of the book. 

AND the audio version is now ready for those of you who are really busy. Purchase from Audible, Apple books, and Amazon. Take a listen here. 

Stand strong because we have the authority to March the Kingdom of God forward. AMEN

Blessings and hugs, Lynn

Take Care of My Children

Take care

Hello readers! This final post in the series addresses what we can do to take care of our kids from a distance. We have talked about how to pray both alone and with others, but this final strategy consists of tangible, visible action.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:21)

The devil is real, and he hates us.  If he can’t destroy our faith in Jesus, he will do everything he can to keep us from fulfilling God’s plan for our lives.  Each one of us is called to walk in good works, which God planned for us before we were born (Eph 2:10).  The same enemy who lies to our children tells us that we are powerless to change our situation. He insists that we are unqualified to serve in the Kingdom of God.

As I started working on this series, I kept hearing God say, “Take care of my children and I’ll take care of yours.” I am sure he meant it not just for me, but for all of you.

At first, I didn’t understand who he meant by “my children.” Believers? Actual babies and little kids? As I wrestled over this, he reminded me that every human being is made in his image, and he breathed a uniquely designed spirit into each one of us.  He sends his angels to minister to those who will inherit salvation, not just those who are already saved. God sends his rain on the just and the unjust; he shows mercy to both the saved and the lost. In this sense, all people are his children.

If we have the opportunity to serve believers, by all means we should do it. The New Testament is overflowing with admonitions to love one another, serve one another, carry one another’s burdens, build one another up.  And it’s filled with promises of the rewards that follow these actions done in love.  We don’t need anything big; we can use whatever we have, wherever we are.  Jesus said that if we give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of his disciples, we will surely receive our reward. 

But we can’t limit our kindness to only those who are part of our family or who believe like we do.  We need to reach a little farther.  Jesus gave an illustration regarding the king at the judgment seat, blessing those who saw him hungry and fed him, naked and clothed him, who visited him when he was sick or in prison. “Whenever you did this for one of the least of these, you did it for me.” (Mat 25:40)

Look around yourself.  Who is one of the “least of these” in your life? Who needs something you can give? A smile, a kind word, a helping hand?  Ask God to show you who he cares about and how he wants you to touch them.  Give to someone who can’t pay you back, and the Lord will reward you.

Kindness to the poor is a loan to the LORD, and He will repay the lender. (Pro 19:17)

For many of you, this is already a way of life; you rarely miss an opportunity to serve. Others of us are barely keeping our heads above the sea of chaos and drama and pain, and it’s hard to imagine how we can survive, much less help anyone else.  But we need to do it anyway.  Every act of kindness will enable us to lift our heads a little higher above the waves. And it heaps burning coals on the head of the enemy.

In the spiritual realm, every word and every action results in a series of consequences, for good or for evil. Let’s make all of our words and our actions count. Our wonderful Father will help us to take care of his children, and we can trust him to take care of ours.



Many years ago, I attended an event where a pastor from South Africa was speaking.  I could not tell you what he was talking about, but I clearly remember where I was sitting in the front row when the Lord spoke to my heart: Your children will rise and call you blessed. I immediately imagined the smallest way in which this could come to pass, but then the Spirit elaborated: All four of your children will come to serve me in your lifetime.

As this promise took hold inside of me, I tried not to make a scene.  But I was gasping, and tears of joy were streaming down my face. I remember walking around in a state of euphoria for the next several days. And then life happened, and the feeling faded as my kids went farther off the rails.

In the years since that day, I have not often reflected on that experience. That incident alone would not have sustained me all this time, nor given me any direction.  It’s a long journey we’re on, and we can’t go the distance on a single meal. I could tell you about other promises I have received, while praying, reading the Word, or listening to inspired teaching and prophecy.  But that would be like me describing a spaghetti dinner I’ve eaten and expecting it to fuel you to run a marathon without eating anything yourself.

Jesus said, “…It is the Spirit that gives life.  The flesh will not help you.  The words I have given you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)

The graphic I have chosen for this post is of a woman standing on a high mountaintop looking over the tops of the clouds.  I want to convey a sense of rising above the circumstances around us (the flesh) and focusing on the words of Jesus (the Spirit.)  I encourage you to nurture yourself with the life-giving promises of God.  For every problem you face, God has provided a way out.  All things are possible for him; and he loves your child more than you do. It is essential to spend as much time as you can above the clouds, feeding yourself with the truth of God’s everlasting power and authority.

I love what Paul says in 2 Timothy:

For this reason, even though I suffer as I do, I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

I, too, know whom I have believed, and I am convinced he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him.  The writer of Hebrews advises us to imitate those who through faith and patient endurance receive the promises.  The patience he speaks of is not passive waiting around for God to move, but actively seeking to be closer to God, to know him better, to follow him wherever he leads.  Contemplate the father’s reaction in our parable, who of course represents our own Father God.

At last the son came to his senses… and started back to his father. He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with compassion, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him. ‘Father,’ the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’ But the father called to his servants. ‘Hurry!’ he said. ‘Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Then go and get the prize calf and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast! For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’ And the feasting began. (Luke 15:17, 20-24)

Know that this is our Father’s heart; he longs not just for your prodigal child, but for you as well.  He longs for each of us to turn to him. Every time we begin to move toward him, he welcomes us with open arms, and receives us with great joy.

Today, I bless you with the knowledge of God’s great love for you. I bless your spirit with the eternal power of Jesus’ resurrection. I bless you with overcoming faith, patient endurance, and joy unspeakable.

A Cord of Three Strands

Cord of three strands

Today I want to share about a fairly small thing that has had an outsized impact on my journey over the past several years.  But first, let’s revisit the parable of the original prodigal son in Luke chapter 15.

The younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

It only takes a few sentences to describe the time the son was away; but between the journey there, the squandering, the famine, and the long walk home, it could easily have been several years.  Meanwhile, back home, the father carries on with his business, but with his mind on his son and one eye on the horizon. There are no cell phones, no social media, no way to know whether the son is dead or alive. The parable doesn’t mention a mother, and the oldest son doesn’t seem very sympathetic to the father’s plight. The father is alone in his longing for his son, and the son is gone for a very long time.

Does this feel familiar?

When we find ourselves with a child in a “far country,” we are better off to share the waiting.  It is remarkably beneficial to have people who can pray with you for your child.  For many years I have been part of a small group of moms who meet regularly (usually on Zoom) to pray for each other’s kids; some who are lost, some who are not.  We aren’t typical friends; we don’t socialize or chat on the phone.  These moms have never met any of my kids, and with a few exceptions, I have not met theirs.  But I know their sons and daughters, their sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, and their grandkids, by name and by nature.  And these moms know more about the spiritual state of my kids and grandkids than probably anyone else in my life.  When we meet, we update each other on who is going through what, and then we pray. There isn’t much hand-wringing or advice-giving; just powerful, focused prayer. 

An amazing thing happens when you pray for someone you don’t know.  Holy Spirit often reveals something wonderful about that person that comes out in prayer.  It is a unique blessing both to the child you’re praying for, and to the mom who knows you have just shared God’s heart for their child.  I have been on the receiving end of this blessing more times than I can count.  Another wonderful benefit this group is that if an urgent need or answer to prayer comes up in between the meetings, we can send out a short text and know that within minutes there will be others faithfully interceding or rejoicing with us. 

I believe my participation in this group has been pivotal in my ability to maintain hope.  To be honest, when I attended my first meeting, all of my kids were a mess and I was too.  But the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective!  God has done more than I thought possible in some cases, and I still see his hand at work in others.    

During the time your prodigal is away, I urge you to carve out a regular time to meet with someone for the purpose of praying for your children.  It doesn’t have to be a formal group. A “cord of three strands” is enough – you, your prayer partner, and Jesus.  The only qualifications are love for the Lord and willingness to pray and be prayed for.  Ask God to show you someone or bring you someone.  Take advantage of technology to meet with someone who isn’t close by. 

You could even connect with other members of this community, if you don’t have another connection.  Put your name and time zone in the comments.  If there is a match you can then send your contact information privately to Ann, and she will facilitate a virtual introduction.  It is not good for man to be alone.  May you be blessed to share the journey.  



Thank you for staying with me in this series. Please be aware today’s post is interactive!  We will work through one of the common struggles related to parenting a prodigal child.  As mentioned in a comment last Monday, it is often the case that we dwell on what we did to make our child behave this way.  (If you missed it, read it here.)  That post points out that the enemy’s lies are at the root of the issue.  But it is also true that we as parents are not perfect.  There are many things I wish I had done differently in raising my children: influences I would have fought harder to protect against, moments of harshness instead of love and grace. I could easily go on and on.

As humans, we have two common responses when we are reminded of our failures. Sometimes we become defensive, excusing or denying our actions, placing the blame on someone else, or pointing out that another person is more guilty than we are. Other times, we come to believe that we are incapable of change or unworthy of forgiveness.  But there’s a better way.

In Exodus 34:6-7, Moses is standing in the cleft of the rock while God declares his name.

The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.   I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected— even children in the third and fourth generations.” (NLT)

Often when I encountered this passage, I focused on the concept of the sins of the parents being laid on the children and grandchildren. I completely ignored the part about unfailing love to a thousand generations, and I paid no attention to the forgiveness of iniquity, rebellion, and sin.

There is no question that I suffered for the sins of my parents, and that my children suffered for mine.  You can probably say the same.  But the good news is that in our generation, we can break the chain of suffering and turn instead to receiving God’s unfailing love, for ourselves, our children, and a thousand generations of grandchildren.

How? Examine what God says he forgives: iniquity, rebellion, and sin. These words have three distinct meanings in Hebrew. Briefly, the word used for sin means missing the mark, not achieving what we aim for.  Iniquity refers to twisting something good for our own selfish reasons. And rebellion (the same Hebrew word is often translated transgression) is a willful breaking of trust or relationship.  Take a few moments to consider an instance of each of these in your own life, either in your relationship with God or in your relationship with your prodigal child. Please don’t move on until you have identified these examples.

Now, rejoice! Praise God!  Give thanks to God for his indescribable gift!

He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are made whole.
We all like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all…

He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:5, 6, 12b

Jesus offers forgiveness as a free gift.  He bore our sin, our iniquity, and our rebellion/transgression. And not only ours, but our children’s, also. But to truly receive forgiveness, we must forgive our enemies, our children, and ourselves.

In Mark 11, Jesus gives two fantastic promises:

“Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

It is absolutely essential both to forgive and to be forgiven. Unforgiveness allows the enemy a stronghold in our lives. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”  While he was paying the price for our sins and the sins of the world, Jesus asked the Father to forgive the very people who were crucifying him. He can help you forgive, and he can help you receive forgiveness.  He gives so much joy through this process!  It truly sets us free.

What is Truth?

What Is TruthOn Monday, I encouraged you to identify the lie that your prodigal son or daughter believes, and to counter that with the truth. I remember well sitting in a counselor’s office with my then-teenager, arguing whether there is such a thing as absolute truth.  One of the hallmarks of this age is its relativism, its insistence that each person can define what is true for them, whether or not it’s true for anyone else. 

I believe truth is a person.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  He told Pilate, “For this reason I came into the world: to testify to the truth.”  God created the universe by his word; therefore, his reality is the only valid reality. He created us, and what he says about us is true and valid, regardless of circumstances or the opinions of others or ourselves.  What he says about himself is also perfectly true.  

What is the truth about our children?  They were designed and created by God.  Whether their parents wanted a child or not, God breathed life into them at the moment of conception. He has specific plans and purposes for them.  Think back to when your child was young, and consider what was unique about them.  Take Psalm 139:1-18 and pray it out loud, replacing the references to “I” and “me” with your son or daughter’s name.  Receive the comfort of knowing that our good God is incredibly close to our kids, even when we are not.

If you were able to identify one or more of the lies your child believes, find scriptures that refute that lie. For instance, if your child believes that God hates them, find verses about his love for them and declare that truth.  Romans 8:38-39 is one of many. 

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate (name) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

In your prayer time, ask Jesus to reveal to you HIS truth about your unique child, then sit quietly with your eyes closed for several minutes.  If you don’t hear or see anything, pick up your Bible and read until you feel the Holy Spirit bring a verse or phrase to life in your spirit. Then stop, and ask him what he’s saying about your child in that verse. Take hold of that truth and wage war with it! Write it down, pray it out, speak it out loud every day.

Do not let the enemy discourage you in your mission to explore how Jesus sees your child. Remember Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.”  If there is interference, cut it off.  If I sense that something is blocking the voice of God, I might say, “I am a beloved child of Almighty God. I belong to Jesus who has redeemed me by his blood. I bind every foul lying devil and command it to leave my house and not return, in Jesus’ name. I plead the precious blood of Jesus over this house and declare that no force of darkness can enter.”  If you have a prayer language, by all means, use it early and often!  It’s a great weapon, as the Holy Spirit himself will speak what needs to be said.

Finally, do not be discouraged by the discrepancy between what Jesus intended for your child and what they are currently doing.  Our God is faithful, and he will not give up on your child!  In Matthew 21, Jesus told a parable about a man with two sons. The father asked the sons to go work in his vineyard.  The first son said, “I will not,” but later he repented and went.  Your child might be saying, “No” now, but when they repent, he or she will be a fantastic witness and Jesus will work mightily through them.  Focus on the joy you – and Jesus – will experience when your child comes home.  Allow yourself to dwell on that future joy more than the current circumstance. Our God is more than capable of bringing about this miracle, and it is his will that none should perish.

In addition to Psalm 139, there are a number of verses and passages that encourage me.  Look these up if you’d like, or find your own (and write them in the comments!) May you and your family be blessed with the Truth.

  • Ephesians 2:10
  • Matthew 18:10-14
  • Luke 15:3-7
  • Hebrews 1:14
  • Psalm 91:3-8
  • Jeremiah 1:5
  • Philippians 1:6

Know Your Enemy



Hello, SUM readers!  I confess that when Lynn first asked me to consider a series on dealing with prodigal children, my first reaction was that I had nothing useful to say on this topic.  But the Spirit insisted there are things he wants you to know. I pray that this series conveys our Lord’s love and his hope for you and for your children. There will be six posts in this series, and I pray they bless each one of you.

Although the term “prodigal child” has a wide range of uses, in this series, I deal specifically with our adult children who have cut off or severely limited contact with us. The origin of the term is the parable Jesus tells in Luke 15.  In the story, a man with two sons is asked by the younger son to give him his inheritance early, which the father does. “Not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.” (Luke 15:13 NKJV.)

If you are walking this road, you may wonder how this happened.  Your child, whom you loved and cared for over the course of many years, now views you as their enemy. How can someone you love so much want nothing to do with you? It all begins with a lie. In the Garden of Eden, though God provided absolutely everything Adam and Eve needed, the enemy came in and convinced them that they needed the one thing God forbade. God’s holding out on you, he said.  God isn’t really good. If he loved you, he would want you to have this fruit.

It happens the same way in the lives of our loved ones. Although we aren’t perfect, we give sacrificially for the good of our children.  We do everything in our power to nurture and protect them.  But a voice convinces them that it’s not enough, that we don’t truly have their best interest at heart, and therefore they are better off without us in their lives. The lie they believe is that if we truly loved them, we would somehow make their lives nothing but joy. Whatever faults we have as parents are magnified, and whatever good we do is dismissed.

I have found it helpful to identify the lies that are driving the behavior. What lie does your child believe about themselves and about you that drives them from you?  In Ephesians 6:12, Paul writes,

…Our combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.

Our dark world and our prodigal children are surely in bondage.  Remember that the devil is a liar and the father of lies. Whether it was a friend, a predator, or a nameless voice on the internet, your child was lied to. They are living in deception so strong that our love for them is perceived as harmful.

The basic aim of the evil powers in this and every generation is to drive people away from knowing and trusting God.  The forces compelling our children to shun us are hiding from the Truth that we carry as believers. Whatever form the symptoms take, whatever behavior is manifesting on the outside, the root cause is a twisted, warped view of who God is and who he made us to be. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  None of us can be truly free without knowing the Truth.

Our struggle is not against our children or the people around them, but against the foul lies of the enemy.  Jesus told us that the Spirit will guide us into all truth.  We pray for the Spirit of Truth to guide both us and our children to Truth itself, that is, Jesus.  Keep in mind that although we may not be able to talk to our kids, the Holy Spirit can and does and will. 

The remaining posts in this series will offer practical steps to carry us through this situation. For now, ask the Lord to help you identify the lie your child believes, and ask him for wisdom in combating the lie.  Your responses and questions are welcome!