Shielding Your Family

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Gracewear Collection

When I first met my husband, I knew immediately of his love for integrity and his love for the Word.  It was clearly evidenced in his life and speech and faithfulness to the ministry that God had called him to. It still is.  He pursues integrity and fights the sin that so easily entangles.

Before we got married, on my first tour of the entire house which we would share, I walked in to his master bathroom and saw a printout of Ephesians 6: the Armor of God section.  What?  Single men don’t have Scripture on their walls that they are memorizing.  He said he read it every morning to help engage his mind and prepare his mind and body for the battle against sin that would face him that day.  I didn’t know any single men that did this – that took Scripture this seriously – that was just an added confirmation that I was right when I said “yes”!

Our first three years of marriage have been exciting, ever-changing, and hard at times too.  One of the verses that have been such a comfort to me has been this one:

Proverbs 30

I love the truth that I hear and know to be a fact in this verses.  That doesn’t mean that no harm will ever come to me or my family, because the Bible indeed says that we will face hardships in this life.  But, God has promised He will protect me.  I am safe in his hands.  And my family is too.

As I head out of town this week, with our boys, I know I need to pray a shield of protect around this house, my husband’s car, his work place, our church where he will be some while I’m away, his mind, and his heart.  I don’t only need to pray this while I’m away, but I need to pray for him daily that he would remember this truth and the truth found in Ephesians 6 – that God is his armor.

Gracewear Collection

Gracewear Collection contacted me a few weeks back about their products.  Their simple jewelry line whose primary purpose is to remind folks that God has given us an armor.  We are shielded by faith!  Their jewelry is simple and artistic.  I love the shielded charm that I picked out.  I love pearls and I loved the fact that I could wear it or hook it on something that I with me at all times.  What woman doesn’t love jewelry.  And this jewelry doesn’t scream hey – look at me.  No.  It is simple and pretty – creatively designed to not draw attention (1 Peter 3) but to remind of the truth it proclaims and to look pretty.

Christmas is coming up.  And if you’ve already completed your Christmas shopping – then what about birthday, a housewarming gift, a wedding gift, a baby shower gift (because don’t we mommas worry about our babies?). There is always a reason for jewelry.  You can use my referral link to shop and I get credit.  How great is that?

Ladies – our trust isn’t in jewelry, but in the God who created all things for his glory – and we hope in Him to be our shield.

(This post is sponsored by Gracewear Collection, but all thoughts and comments are my own.)

Glory and Grace: Proverbs 4:4

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There are some phrases that stand out to me in the Bible: therefore, but God, since, remember…and this one


What grips your heart?  Is it fear?  It is loneliness?  Is it pride?  Is it desire?  Why not let it be the things of God and His Word and His promises and His character.


“Let your heart hold faGlory and Grace Proverbs 4st my words; keep my commandments, and live!”

Proverbs 4:4

There is great hope when we cling to God and His Word.  A friend, and former pastor, wrote recently on his blog that there is great LIFE in reading your Bible.  He didn’t make it up.  He got it from an Old Testament book.  Read the Bible.  Find hope.  Find wisdom.  Find the God who wrote it.  And live.  Hold Fast to it!

How to NOT be a Nagging Wife

posted in: marriage, mothering | 0

We have a Tudor style home – one with large peaks on its corner  As we were trying to see about getting the siding replaced this past weekend, I realized how I would never want my husband up on that roof.  How dangerous would that be.

That brings new light to this Proverb: “Better to live on the corner of a roof, then to share a house with a nagging wife.”

How would you say you are in the nagging area?  Nagging can be so much more than just pestering your husband to take out the trash or pick up his socks.

I’ve learned something about this this past weekend as well.  My husband can sense when I am upset ( I don’t have a very good poker face), and more times than not he knows why I am down or struggling.  We’ve only been married for less than two years, but he knows me well (and sometimes, that’s very scary).

But, I could have either chosen to say something about what it was that was bothering me, and therefore make him feel even worse about said subject, which we’ve had many conversations about – or I could choose to praise him and give thanks to him and shower him with blessings for everything he does for me and how godly of a husband and worship pastor and father he is.

Which do you think is better?

Nagging or praising?

I remember watching the movie classic, If a Man Answers, one in which the MIL wants her daughter to begin treating her husband like a dog to see if his behavior changes any.  Most dog owners will tell you that dogs can be trained with rewards, love, scratching behind the ears, etc.

I’m not saying that is the way to go – more than likely – when you start praising your husband, you will find the things you are unhappy about will change or disappear altogether.

The Bible also tells us to speak words or encouragement to those around us, respect our husbands (nagging doesn’t fall in the respect category), and speak well of them to others.  If we are constantly nagging or thinking poorly of our husbands, won’t that come out in our speech to others?  However, if we are constantly loving our husbands well with our speech, then others will follow suit.

Don’t we want to encourage others to walk in love and good deeds?

And how important are the socks on the floor anyway?

Book Review: A Woman’s Wisdom (Brownback)

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Are you ever at a point in your life where you don’t need any wisdom?  I would venture to say the answer is probably “Kim, you are so funny, I always need more wisdom!”  Whether it is in how to live in your relationships, serve in your home or ministry positions, how to get along with your boss, how to parent your children, how to manage conflict which seems to creep up, etc.  There is always room for more wisdom in your life.

The reason I chose Lydia Brownback’s book A Woman’s Wisdom for my Crossway book to review was because my hubs and I are going through James – which some people say is the NT book of Wisdom (matching Proverbs).  This book is definitely that, as her subtitle says “how the book of Proverbs speaks to everything.”

This handy guide to everything in life is chocked full of Scripture that has the power to change and mold your life to what Christ would want it to be – more like Him.  Chapters include such topics as words, financaes, sexuality, friendships and more.  The book of Proverbs (as well as the rest of the Bible) speaks to EVERY area of our life.  I love how Lydia writes directly to women and doesn’t just spout off her own life advice (like so many secular authors do), but points her readers back to the TRUTH of God’s Word.

Here are some fave quotes from it:

“Wisdom is the realization that He is everything.” (pg 23)

“Wise women are governed by the principles of God’s Word, not by their feelings, hormones, or enjoyments.” (pg 28) – I loved this one because it is SO pivotal in my life right now, being in my third trimester and its the middle of the summer!

She helps us guard against pride by saying this: “Each one of us is, in some way, a foolish woman.” (pg 51)

As I had the chance the meet Lydia at the TGCW Conference in June, I found her to be delightful and personable, welcoming conversation by us “normal folk”.  And she has to be into health because she was eating a granola bar! 🙂

Tedd Tripp Live: Parenting Teenagers

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Ah, the joy. I don’t know which was worse for my parents: parenting me when I was little or parenting me when I was a teenager. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to be a parent, but I hope I apply some of these truths now.

Session 3 – Teenagers
Who are teenagers are: insecure, vulnerable, unstable, apprehensive, tend to resist authority.
Common mistakes parents of teens make: spy, disengage, authoritarian vs influence, reckless words, majoring on minors. Do I want to be a person of influence in my teenagers life or do I want to be just seen as an authority figure. There is a difference. Reckless words wound like a sword… Words can be so destructive. The tongue of the wise brings healing.

Goals of teenagers: internalize the gospel, You are parents want your teenagers to embrace God’s truth as their own living faith. They are actually believing, living, acting on the beliefs of the gospel. Even if you walked away from the faith, they would continue to live on the Word of God. Use Scriptures in the life of your teenagers. God’s Word is invaluable, sufficient, God-breathed. The Spirit of God works through the Word of God in the teenager’s heart. Bring objective truth of the Scripture to your parenting of teenagers. God wrote those words. If your kids have a problem with it – they have a problem with God, not with you. You want to shepherd and nurturing your teens interaction with the truth of the Word of God. There is wisdom and vitality in the words of God.
Who is wise among you? James 3. Let them see it by your actions.

There will be periods of doubt in your teenagers. They will doubt. They will wrestle with issues of the faith. Do I believe this because I believe it or that I’ve always been taught this by my parents? They need to internalize their faith. They need to make the transference. You do not need to be surprised by this doubt, but work with your child through this, pray with your teenagers through this. Engage with them, interact with them, study, pursue them,
Ultimately, you want to develop relationships that leads to mutuality of adults under God. There is a difference how you will relate to your teenager once he is an adult. Proverbs 1:
1. The Fear of God. Show the greatness and excellence of God. Proverbs 1.7. He is more than our friend. He is God. We emphasize the familiarity of God and deemphasize his God-ness.
2. Do not forsake your parents teaching. Remind them that no one loves them as you do. Proverbs 1:8-9, Deut 6:4-9. Corrective disciplines are ways of life. Don’t see teenage rebellion is inevitable. Plead with your kids to not walk away. It is far too frequent, but not inevitable. The importance of maintaining this relationship is crucial. Parents and adults should not irrelevant in your youth ministry, churches, or your teenager’s relationships. Give your kids permission to tell you when you have hurt them. Be open with them. BE mindful of the gospel with them.
3. Disassociation from the wicked. The attraction of association with the wicked is camaraderie with a sense of belonging. Make home a great place to belong. Proverbs 1:10-19. Unless you are living in a cocoon some place, this will happen. There will be influences who are pulling on your kids heart – to lure them away from the gospel of God. Sin is so pretty. We need to help our children know how to pull away from those situations. Why would our kids be drawn to sin? US. Us is a key point of Prov 1. (I think of a recent Criminal Minds episode here). Attraction of belonging. We are dealing with desperate, sensitive, unstable teenagers. Any place they belong will be great. Make sure they belong and are welcome at home. You must engage them. They are looking to belong. Welcome their friends. Talk with their friends. Open your home. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to engage teenagers. They crave belonging. It matters more than your carpet and your china. They will spill cokes and they will break your dishes. Which is more important? Your child’s heart or your dinnerware? It’s just stuff!

Tedd Tripp Live: Parenting During the Elementary Years

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Tripp broke up his seminars this morning into ages. He started out the Elementary age by answering some question about spanking and discipline. That is why this one is much shorter than the last:

Heart Directed Behavior: Session 2
What are kids say and do flows from the heart. Proverbs 4:23. Behavior can never be understood in isolation from the heart.
Matthew 15:17-20
Luke 6:43-45
Mark 7:17-23
Leads to behavior: (say and do)
Kids learn how to manipulate your systems. We are not in the task of manipulating our children. This is not behaviorism. This is heart-directed, Gospel centered obedience. Its not about rewards-based obedience.
There are so many things we can do as parents to manipulate our child’s behavior. But fighting over toys doesn’t just come along. It comes out of the heart. Fighting over toys or arguing is based out of a love for self, a heart bent toward sin. We can’t just address the behavior, we have to address the heart. If we are successful in getting the behavior we want without ever addressing the heart, we are showing them that they can get along in life without ever addressing their need for the Gospel.

If we never challenge the love of self, but just manipulate the behavior (sharing the toys). This is not biblical change, it is what Jesus has already condemned the behavior of the Pharisees (dead men, white washed tombs, dirty cups). Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup, than you can take care of the outside. When the heart is full of love for others, than sharing won’t be a problem. It is not that we never correct behavior, but we want to get a bigger vision. We haven’t “won” when we get the behavior changed. We need to address the self-preservation, self-love, self-motivation.

Whenever I am manipulating behavior, I am hypocritically distancing myself from their behavior. “I can’t believe you are so selfish.” There is hypocrisy in this statement. We are all selfish. We tend to draw attention to our good works, and self-sacrifice. Our hearts are not pure. We are also full of self-motivation. We want others to see our good works to praise us. The perverseness of the human heart underscores our actions. Ungodly attitudes of the heart: revenge, fear of man, pride, love of self, self-preservation, fear, envy, hatred, anger, approval, anxiety and fear, covetousness, rebellion. These are godly attitudes and heart behavior that we want to instill and grow in our kids: fear of God, humility, fear of others, generosity, love, peacemaking, God’s approval, grace, submission, perfect love, good of others.

How do we get our kids to start thinking about heart attitudes vs their behavior. You can’t do this with a two year old, but you can do it with an older child. We need to pray for the change of heart in our children. This is not just a salvation event. Christ has given us all things – the whole work of grace. From before the world began to the consummation of all things. There is grace in Christ. Always be taking your child to this place of grace.
Our hope is only found in Christ. We must show this to our kids. This doesn’t always mean telling them to go write Bible verses. Writing Bible verses is good and instructive, but not if you don’t address the behavior of the heart. (Personal note: I learned this well at LCS. I had to write Scripture out many times, I don’t remember the Scripture, but I remember being told to write the verses.). It is not about the writing exercise, it is about moving the child in the direction of the gospel. We need to set grace at work in our child’s heart. Grace is at work in our hearts. We aren’t above the need for grace in our lives. Every opportunity for correction is an opportunity to talk about grace and Jesus’ work on the cross and its ability to change a sinner’s heart.

Point Life to Wisdom

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 Two words I love right now: point and wisdom. 

Point: an end or object to be achieved

Wisdom: the fear of the Lord (Prov 1.7)

As I sit to breakfast each morning, I’ve been reading through the Proverbs, a chapter corresponding to the day of the month.  This morning’s reading was incredible rich.  I thought I would share the scribbles as we live our lives under the Gospel.

What do I want to be: (only by the grace of God since there is nothing good in me and I can’t do this on my own)

1.  I want to walk in whole speech.  See: Col.4, Dt 30.19-20, Eph 5.  Titus 2 tells us to not be slanderers.  In DeYoung’s book he lists Question 112 from the Heidelberg Catechism on the 9th commandment.  This is the answer: “God’s will is that I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone without a hearing or without a just cause.  I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it.  And I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name.”  More than that – I want my speech to always be gracious.  I want there to be something in my speech that offers the grace of Christ to everyone I meet – in everything I say.

2.  I want to have pure desires.  I see this a lot in movies, in the lives of young girls, etc.  They see something, they desire to have it, and they go after it without much thinking or prayer or seeking advice (see James 1).  How many times have I done this?  Let my desires be known and start day-dreaming about these desires without even really knowing what I’m desiring.  I pray this directly over my thought life, my heart and mind, this morning over a pb toast.

3.  I want to be quick to forgive.  This weekend I hung out with a family with 3 young children.  The mom said something to me, highlighting a grace trait of her eldest: he is quick to forgive, he shows me more of the gospel that way than I show him.  We, as selfish and sinful people, long to hold on to grudges.  I recount wrongs done to me in the past as a form of self-righteousness or illustration.  In many cases, I have forgiven the person – but by this action I am not practicing #1 and I am not letting the person live in the grace of Christ and the power of the gospel (Rom 8.1)

4.  I want to not be quarrelsome.  When anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, they usually got two answers: Barbara Mandrell or a lawyer.  I can sing and I can argue.  But, when I look at the traits for a wife, or even a child or Christian – we are not to be quarrelsome.  I don’t even like being around quarrelsome people, its irritating and makes me shrink back and get quiet.  I don’t like it.  So, why do I allow it in myself. 

5.  I want to be prudent.  I asked for prayer for this this morning in staff meeting.  M-W gives the definition as  skill and good judgment in the use of resources.  This is very broad – but here we go: wise use of food, of money, of time, of brain function, of skills and traits, or relationships.  All of these are resources.  How are you being good stewards (another fave word lately)?

6.  I want to be a listener to advice and an accepter of instruction.  This is undergirded with having wise advisors.  We shouldn’t take advice from everyone, because some will give us poor advice: (especially if we get all of our advice on family, relationships, food, religion from popular talk shows and magazines).  On a plane one time I sat ready Redbook I think.  Reading an article on relationships.  I felt crappy after that – not wanting to even get married or ever have sex.  (Note to self, don’t read this stuff).  But, I got off the plane and called friends who spoke wisdom and encouragement from a God-bent that guarded me against the fiery darts of the Enemy.  And I am surrounded by people now in life that speak truth and the gospel into my life at every stage.  So, by being shaped by them and their impacting me with the gospel – I in turn change and shape and pour into others – by the Impact and in the strength of the Gospel.

7.  I desire steadfast love.  Jonah 2.8-9 has been on my bathroom mirror almost since I arrived in RDU.  This has been something I cling to and desire to push towards (and most times doing a lousy job in some areas).  I can’t cling to worthless idols and have steadfast love.  God is SO GRACIOUS to me in this.  I can not live up to His example.  That is a good place for me to be – for me to know that about myself.  He is the only one.  I can push to live by the work of the Spirit to offer that steadfast love to others.

8.  I want to REST SATISFIED (v 23).  Striving, working, pushing, that is not rest.  This tells me how I can rest satisfied: in the fear of the Lord.  Knowing that God is God, I am not, I am sinful man, but He has made a way for me to know Him and be known by Him – the CROSS of CHRIST.  And for that, and in that, I can rest satisfied.  Even when I fail everyday at something.  Christ has completed the task.