This is Shanda.
Her drink is an iced skinny vanilla latte.
And to say we had our chat under the falling autumn leaves would be an understatement— the leaves were coming down in actual droves to the point that it halted our conversation for a second as we stopped to giggle about it.
I invited Shanda for this edition of Sips & Scripts because I have been working through her digital study of the Seven Churches in Revelation, and I wanted to lean into the topic a little bit more.
But, as God often does, he reroutes my plan from what I think I need to what I actually need.
We began talking about her interest in Revelation, and I found that many of my questions about this book were answered in her two-part podcast series “Are we in the end times?” with Albert Leon. By the way, this particular series is incredibly helpful to anyone studying Daniel, Revelation, or who has questions about end times.
When Shanda mentioned that she was helping her son study the book of Revelation and then decided to offer an online Bible study on the topic, I knew I had my new angle: the recursive nature of motherhood and ministry. Shanda continually circled back to how her work in the ministry helps equip her sons, and vice versa.
Shanda and I both have three sons, and since her boys are down the road a little further, so to speak, I really leaned in to how she balances her burgeoning ministry with equipping herself and her boys to defend their faith.
CONSISTENCY HELPS EQUIP SHANDA’S SONS
“From a young age, my boys knew that early in the morning they would find me praying in my closet. They would come in groggily and land on my lap and listen to their mama pray as they began to wake up. I prayed each morning, and each night, we read the Bible together. There was never really any grumbling because it was such a consistent part of our household and the boys came to expect and embrace it.
We go to church as a family. We pray as a family. We work through cultural issues as a family.”
APOLOGETICS FOR KIDS
“It is these cultural issues that my boys are facing that have prompted me to take an interest in apologetics. When we are raised in the church, our faith is our belief system, and we aren’t always well positioned to defend our faith to outsiders.
So after reading Expository Apologetics by Voddie Baucham, I discovered my new direction for my family and for my ministry: Apologetics.
“Through Mama Bear Apologetics, I found a great resource called Apologetics for Tweens. We have progressed to a more mature phase in our household; now that my sons no longer need me to read Bible stories to them, we do apologetics together as a family.
One of the best creeds that I have found for my sons to defend the Bible to non-believers alsocomes from Voddie Baucham and is supported by 2 Peter 1:16-20:
The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim their writings are divine rather than human in origin”For more from Voddie Bauchum click here
So my sons have committed this to memory which prepares them when they have peers, or even teachers, who try to dismantle the legitimacy of the Word.”
FILTERING ALL INFORMATION THROUGH THE BIBLE
“This year in particular, with COVID, with the BLM movement, and with the election, I was struck by how many people who called themselves Christians could defend actions and beliefs that were so far removed from Biblical teachings.
My ministry stands on the Word without exception.
And I want my boys to know that they are going to encounter so many differences of opinion even within the church— even from Christians.
I impress upon them that the Bible must be the lens through which all incoming information must be filtered.
But in order to do that, they have to really know the Bible, and though I dedicate myself to helping them know the word of the Lord, they are the ones who must exercise discipline in really learning what scripture says.”
The Bible must be the lens through which all incoming information must be filtered.
FOSTERING INDEPENDENCE IN PRAYER
“Just like my boys will need to be the ones who know and understand the Bible, they need to develop their own prayer life as well.
One of my sons is going through some tough anxiety right now, and I assured him that I would pray for him, but I am also guiding him in how to ask for supplication in prayer.
I said, ‘pray out loud with me here, so I can help guide you if I need to.’
Teaching our kids how to pray is an underrated practice. We can’t assume they know the best way to speak and converse with the Lord.”
TAKING BIBLICAL EDUCATION OUTSIDE OF THE HOME
“In addition to teaching my sons, I was a youth ministry leader for years before I was called to my current ministry. These days, I speak, I help women study the Bible, and I podcast, but the pull to Apologetics is really where I see myself headed.
I am currently obtaining my Apologetics certificate so that I can soon help Christians to defend their faith in the same way that I am helping my boys do so.
Though 2020 had its difficulties, it allowed me to embrace the subject of Apologetics and read and discover a passion for it. So, I see 2021 headed in that direction.”
DISCIPLINE QUALIFIES SHANDA TO PREACH TO OTHERS
“My personal verse to stand upon in my mothering and my ministry is from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified1 Corinthians 9.27, ESV
I understand physical discipline through training and nutrition, so my spiritual disciplines keep me from being disqualified as I preach to others— my children included.”
WHERE TO CONNECT WITH SHANDA
My friends and I also completed her study Reflections of Eve: a Woman’s Perfect Purpose in an Imperfect World, which prompted such great conversations in our group about a Godly woman’s role in our modern world.
Shanda’s heart for God and her love of the word is palpable, friends. I left our chat feeling inspired by her passion and dedication to helping others (her sons, yes, but also the women she encounters in her ministry) defend the Word of the Lord and the teachings of Jesus.
Be sure to check out the good fruit she is producing for our Father.
with His love,