Advancing Grace

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Advancing Grace

Each month our Director of Advancement Michael Tooker and Assistant Director of Advancement Michelle Broek will share stories of how the Grace message is impacting the lives of our constituents.

  “Make it Your Own” When we, “make something our own,” this implies the adoption of an idea or concept – to the point where we can describe and defend it as if we authored it ourselves. When we make something our own:

  • It becomes a form of identity – like a husband and wife sharing the same last name
  • It becomes our vocation – like an entrepreneur becoming a business owner
  • It gives color to the narrative of our lives – like the experiences we share through the telling of stories

At Family Matters we’ve been blessed to befriend a multi-generational family that has championed the message of Grace Based Relationships in just this way.  The Stephens, Brooks and Bates families hail from West Texas.  Over the past 11 years, they’ve embraced  the message of Grace, become ambassadors and, “made it their own.”  And what a beautiful thing to behold! When Randy and Susan Brooks first heard the message in 2003, they instantly felt its transforming power.  In Randy’s own words, “This was something really big that I’d never even thought about before!” As Randy and Susan applied the concepts of Grace Based Parenting with their kids, they discovered God’s grace was a powerful catalyst.  Not wanting to keep it to themselves, Susan shared the message with her sister Liz Bates and her husband Devin.  They too embraced it with great enthusiasm to the point that Devin now travels and volunteers at many of our conferences.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house (Matthew 5:15)

With the two families savoring the sweetness of this newfound parenting philosophy, they enfolded their parents, Steve and Pollyanna Stephens, whose hearts were also pierced by the message.  In reflecting upon the journey, Steve, the patriarch and grandfather of four, offered insight into why he and Pollyanna were so taken by Family Matters and the message of Grace.

Stephens (1)

  “We feel like Family Matters gives us a strong support to continue our involvement with our immediate family as well as our greater family.” Because their family has been blessed, they weren’t content to keep this relational wisdom a secret.  Quite the contrary!  This extraordinary clan made it their shared mission to see the message of Grace Based Relationships transform their community. In addition to giving generously, this family introduced the message to their church, local private school and circle of friends.  At it now for several years, Susan recently offered an exciting update: Our church has bought into it.  Our teachers and faculty at our school have bought into it.  It really has kind of become a viral thing.  And now we’re moving out beyond our community.  We’ve shared books and resources with friends of ours from all over the state of Texas as well as the nation. At the heart of Grace Based Relationships is of course – God’s Grace.  And His grace is indeed amazing.  God’s grace both transfixes and transforms.  The Stephens, Brooks and Bates are a living example of Family Matters’ vision of seeing families transformed by God into instruments of restoration and reformation.  To see more stories of transformation, please take a moment to enjoy this video profiling our friends from Texas and a few other ministry partners.    

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