Sunday, July 10, 2011


I want to introduce you to a dear friend, Jenni Means. She has been leading in children's ministry for 25 years and is currently on staff at Northlands Church in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. With a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and many years of teaching in both public and private Christian schools, Jenni is highly qualified to speak to parents. But Susan and I think that her greatest qualification is her heart for children and their parents. She has personally ministered to both of our families in ways that have affected us for eternity. How thankful we are for her! Jenni has partnered with No More Crumbs Ministries in training children, youth and adults in Georgia, Holland, Ukraine, UK and Malaysia. She has been married to Scott for 29 years. You'll be hearing from Scott later this summer on this blog, but while you wait, check out his blog on marriage, Journey To Surrender , Jenni and Scott have three daughters.

You will hear more from Jenni on how to help your child hear his Heavenly Father's voice at our HOPE AT HOME 2011 Conference, September 23-24 in Atlanta, GA.
For more Information and to Register, click HERE.

Wholeness and Healing Found in the Voice of the Father

I will never forget that long flight back from Holland, thanking God for His faithfulness and praying for more revelation.  As a children’s minister, I had spent the previous week with my teammate Colleen, sharing with children and other children’s ministers that they really can hear from God and how much He wants to speak to us.  Now as I traveled home, I was thinking about another group: pastors, ministers, and servants of the Lord, concerned about what God wanted to do regarding the orphans of the world.  In less than a month, I would be travelling with Dr. Susan Hillis to Ukraine to speak at the Eastern European Summit on Orphans and the Church.  What message could a Sunday school teacher from Atlanta offer those involved in the orphan crisis?

As I was considering this, I glanced at the seatback next to me where a movie was showing.  I didn’t have the sound but just the picture and it showed a Matryoshka doll.  This immediately caught my attention as I associate the nesting dolls with Eastern Europe.  On the screen someone was taking apart the matryoshka until the tiniest center doll rested in a man’s hand.  That was when the Lord spoke to me.  He said “That is what I want to do!  I want to supernaturally break through all those layers covering the inner, wounded, abandoned child and bring healing.  Every child’s name is engraved on my palm (Isaiah 49).  I desire for them to know that they are in the center of my hand.”

Breaking Through the Layers

All of us are made of spirit, soul and flesh.  We all have the need to be loved and nurtured, wanted and valued.  As the years go by, layer upon layer covers up our inner self but God sees beyond the layers, even if we appear to have happy painted on faces on the surface, to the raw reality of who we are inside.  And He wants to reveal His love, His desire for us and our destiny as a child of the Father.  This message is for the child inside of every one of us and is especially crucial for children who have experienced abandonment from their natural parents.  God wants to break through the layers around their hearts and extract the fear and pain of rejection that they faced, and pierce the lies of worthlessness with the truth of His love and spirit of adoption.
In my experience and observations, for the orphan spirit to be healed and replaced with the spirit of adoption as sons and daughters, it takes more than the love of a family.  It will take more than a commitment to Christ.  It is when the child hears the voice of the Father, speaking to them, that they are set free and healed. I feel this is especially important for the adolescent who is trying to discover who he/she is and does not want to hear things from the parent. 

Consider this quote from the previous post by Andrei Templeton:

“My faith is a constant struggle because of my past but God never fails to reveal something in my time of need. He has given me many words over the years from many people that I look up to. I have heard His voice and guidance on many occasions. If it was not for hearing His voice I would not be the person that I am today”

Hearing the Voice of the Father

I believe God wants to speak directly to His children of all ages, as in the days of Samuel, declaring His identity for them and equipping them to walk into their destiny.  In I Samuel we find the story of a boy being raised in a Godly environment by someone other than his birth parents, Samuel.  Eli is not Samuel’s father, but one who is trusted with Samuel’s care and spiritual training in serving the Lord.  Now we know that Eli made a lot of mistakes with his own sons, but he got it right with Samuel.

Most of us are familiar with this story. I Sam. 2:18 tells us that “Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child,” and verse 26 tells us that Samuel grew “in favor with the Lord”.  Then in chapter 3 begins the story we know from Sunday school,  Samuel is lying down and hears the Lord calling him but mistakes God’s voice for Eli.  And right in the middle of this confusion of going back and forth from Eli to his bed is verse 7 which states, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.”  Here is Samuel ministering to the Lord and even growing in favor with the Lord and yet this verse tells us that Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him! 

Our children can be ministering to the Lord and not know Him.  What was lacking for Samuel just might be lacking for us and for our children. Perhaps they have yet to encounter the Lord by hearing His voice calling them, and we know the Lord is calling them.  If we can be like Eli and just confirm this to the children and show them how to hear from the Lord, then not only will they know Him and have His word, it will be said of them like Samuel in verse 19:

“ So Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”  

You will hear more from Jenni on how to help your child hear his Heavenly Father's voice at our HOPE AT HOME 2011 Conference, September 23-24 in Atlanta, GA.
For more Information and to Register, click HERE.

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