The K Mills

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Book Summary: Fueled By Faith, By Jennifer Kennedy Dean

I first heard of Jennifer Kennedy Dean way back in 2006 when I was trying to get a grasp on prayer and came across her book, “Live A Praying Life.” Although it was a bizarrely-designed book at 9” x 12”, it still contained such astounding wisdom on the subject of prayer that I’ve found myself referring to it at least once a year.

So when I discovered her follow-up, Fueled by Faith, I was curious what more she’d have to say about praying that she hadn’t covered before. Upon reading the first few chapters, however, I was once again deeply impressed with her wisdom. I think the point that really struck home with me was that faith in anything other than Who God Is will let us down. When we have faith in a person, a specific outcome, or (fill in the blank), we will undoubtedly be disappointed and our spiritual growth with slow.

But when we focus our faith on Him, regardless of what we see happening around us, that’s when everything clicks. Once we reach the point we can fully trust God to do what’s right, the stronghold that stress and anxiety has on us is broken. And by “right” I mean what is truly right in His eyes as He’s the only righteous one to make the call.

He is God. He will do what He wants to, and whether we see the benefit to ourselves or not is irrelevant. Because we’re not the main character in the story. We’re all just a supporting cast that He weaves into His story as He sees fit. The sooner we forget that key point, the sooner we get tripped up in matters of faith.

God is not a cosmic slot machine. He can’t be bribed into doing what you want based on your holy performance. He’s already laid the track for the trip. You can decide if you wanna hop on the train, trip over the tracks in your blind determination or be left behind entirely.



Fueled by Faith: Living Vibrantly in the Power of Prayer – Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Subject: Faith

Time: 35:35


Key Thoughts: 

  • God Himself is the focus of our faith.
  • You can’t have faith in an outcome. You can only have faith in a person. Jesus said to have faith in God.
  • Many time our attempts to exercise faith are in hopes that we will be able to somehow manipulate our circumstances and bring about our preferred outcome by “faith” expressed through “prayer.”
  • We think to ourselves that if we can only learn how faith operates through prayer, then we can get God to do what we think He should do, when we think He should do it. This is flesh-fueled, faulty thinking. It isn’t faith.
  • Belief is not faith. And unbelief is not doubt.
  • Faith’s focus is Godnot a specific outcome.
  • Faith is trusting God. No matter what the outcome is.
  • We need to differentiate between believing in an outcome and believing in God. Faith is not believing something. Faith is believing someone.
  • Faith is fully-focused on God.
  • God’s blessings are free, unearned and undeserved. You can’t “buy” them with faith.
  • God will always, in whatever circumstance or situation or moment, be totally and completely in control.
  • Can God make promises to you about the future if He is not in control of the future?
  • Sometimes God intervenes to stop bad things from happening. We need to remember that even when He does not intervene, He does so on purpose. For a specific reason.
  • Faith is knowing that God sees what you can’t.
  • Faith knows that God is continually working toward an outcome that is beyond anything we could ask or imagine.
  • God’s plans are always for your benefit, and they are thoroughly thought out long, long in advance.
  • Wisdom is that which God alone possesses, and that which God alone can give.
  • Unbelief will cause you to dismiss God in favor of your own abilities. And many times people will decide to let fear direct their decisions in life.
  • The Israelites didn’t wonder if God had delivered them from Egypt and miraculously provide for them. But they didn’t have faith that He would continue to save them.
  • Unbelief is choosing to believe our own perceptions and intentionally not trusting God.
  • God put the Israelites in a position of hunger specifically so that He could provide for them with manna for the specific purpose of teaching them that they could trust in His promises.
  • Sometimes we confuse God’s will for His ways. We often see Him bringing His will about in a way that, to us, seems like a mistake. Don’t confuse what He’s doing with how He’s doing it
  • We need to keep in practice so that our response to any critical or negative thought or circumstance in life is faith.
  • God implants and nurtures vision, and He alone allows it to become reality on the earth.
  • Vision is a specific promise from God to you. It develops gradually, slowly, but in time becomes clearer.
  • Your responsibility is to provide the vision with the proper conditions for maturing. Feed the vision the Word of God. The vision will progressively unfold as you walk in obedience.
  • God implanted you with His vision at exactly the right time, and He will bring it about in exactly the right time.
  • Remember that the vision is God’s, and not yours. He will bring about His vision through you.
  • God will bring you through times and crisis points where you’ll recognize that there are elements of your flesh wrapped around the vision.
  • God will announce His plans before He brings them into being, so that we will fully recognize His work, and will not attribute His power to anyone or anything else.
  • Your job is to obey, moment by moment. Say what He tells you to say, and do what He tells you to do. Faith is expressed in obedience.
  • Your enemy is constantly working against your faith, but he can only defeat you if he can discourage you. He is part of God’s plan for growing greater faith in you.
  • Faith is obedience to the present-tense voice of God, and sometimes the obedience lies in not acting. When faith is exercised on the earth, you release His power into your circumstances.
  • God doesn’t want your best efforts or your well-meaning actions. He wants your obedience to His voice. 
  • God has been directing your life toward the vision all along. Ask yourself, how have your circumstances in your past been arranged so that the vision could grow? How have your particular challenges and heartaches and failures enabled you to host the vision?
  • Time and again, God will bring opportunities and drop them in your lap, and you will know that the vision is His, and He will bring it to pass in His way and His time.
  • His vision for you will fit you down to the last detail.
  • God arranges crisis moments at which times you will come face to face with your flesh, and see how you’ve wrapped it around the vision. You will have to relinquish ownership and lay it down.
  • God will purify you so that which you bring forth will be equally pure. He is working in you beyond simple obedience, digging up the roots of unrighteousness that lead to disobedience.
  • The process of purity precedes the promise of power.
  • As you stay God-centered, rather than problem-centered, you’ll see your situations from a different vantage point.
  • Praise doesn’t always radically change your circumstances, but it will change your viewpoint. Even in the midst of your darkest circumstances, God is who He claims to be.

Mom & Dad? Thank You… For Everything.

As we continue to watch marriage after marriage struggle around us, Kim and I have made a special effort to focus on what we’re thankful in our lives (and relationship), rather than concentrate on the sticky points. Our society continues to reinforce the philosophy that one’s happiness is of utmost importance, that it must be achieved and protected at all costs. Regardless of the emotional fallout that you might leave your life – and the lives of your children – if you’re not happy? Drop anchor, jump ship or just torpedo the whole thing to smithereens.

It’s sad.

So as Kim and I thought about our children and what we want to empower them with as parents, we recognized how incredibly blessed our own childhoods were. Both our parents are still married and in a loving, respectful marriage. That, in itself, is astounding. Jaw-dropping. Inspiring.

Now, I love to encourage people. To give them a word of hope when I’m in position to do so, a verbal shot in the arm, if you will. So I suggested we take our admiration one step further and write the thank you letters our parents deserved.

I’m not posting this to make you think I’m some kind of perfect son or any other ego-puffing motive you can dream up. I’m posting this because I want to remind those of us who are married parents why we do what we do. Why it’s worth sticking it out through the crappy times. Worth learning how to communicate and be civil and mature before the divorce, rather than learning the same lessons afterwards. (Because, let’s face it, you’re going to have to learn to do it all anyways. Or else shrivel into a bitter and crusty individual, what with all that unforgiveness burning a hole in your heart. Your choice.)

Just sayin’…

- Kevin


Dear Mom & Dad,

As we’ve had the opportunity to counsel couples the past few years (and watch other marriages struggle or hiccup or even dissolve completely), we’ve come to appreciate even more what God has given to us. But more than just our marriage and relationship, we want to take a moment to thank you for your marriage, and count the blessings that it has provided to us.

So take a moment to stop moving, sit down and allow us to praise you for the greatest gift you could have ever given us: your marriage.

-Kevin & Kim

Thank You For…

Your Commitment

 In a world where people are quick to walk away from difficult situations and relationships, your commitment to stay married – through better or worse – is incredibly rare.

Your Faith

It’s easy to react to the world and our circumstances based on what our senses tell us. What we see directly affects what we believe, and what we believe affects what we do and how we approach life itself. Your steadfast, stubborn faith taught us that there is a God who loves us and is worth serving, even when we don’t understand all of His ways. Your walk has provided us with the footprints to follow as we make our way in life, and we are grateful to follow where you have gone before us. We will be forever grateful for our heritage of faith.

 Your Integrity

Selfish comes naturally to all of us. The idea of acting in a manner that doesn’t directly benefit us is foreign to a culture that promotes self over all. Yet your integrity – your constant drive to do what is right and good, regardless of the consequences to yourself – is a rare jewel, and one that we value above all else.

Your Wisdom

Everyone wants to believe that they have good advice to offer the world, but to receive true, godly wisdom from a parent? Invaluable. Your words were more powerful than you ever realized, and while we can’t say they were always welcome at the time in our youth? We can now say as adults that they were (and are still) appreciated.

Your Merciful Grace

It’s not like we didn’t provoke you over the years. Yet time after time, instead of reacting out of anger or judgment, you showed us what it meant to extend mercy and grace. You modeled true forgiveness to us before we even recognized our need for it.

Your Moderation

When so many families are consumed with the never-ending quest to acquire more and more “stuff,” you kept your head about you. Instead of burying yourself under the crushing weight of constant debt, you showed us what it meant to make purchases with wisdom and restraint.

Security and Stability

As divorce is becoming more and more common, it’s easy to see how devastating the effects can be on a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Thank you for providing a secure, stable environment where we were free to mature at a proper rate, unburdened by unnecessary fears or self-doubts.

Unconditional Love

We have failed. We have struggled. We have doubted. We have succeeded. We have celebrated. And our lives continue to have ups and downs, as everyone’s life does. At every stage of our lives, you have demonstrated to us that you love us. Sometimes that love has been easy to share and show, and other times you’ve probably had to take a couple of deep breaths or shake your head for a bit. But through it all, you’ve managed to shower us with love – no matter what.

Your Humor

Life is hard. Your resilience and ability to keep a sense of humor and to laugh – despite what the world throws in your path – is to be commended. And no matter how many whoopee cushions were confiscated by uptight English professors in school, or toilet-seatscarefully covered in Saran Wrap – it was all worth it.

Your Good Name 

As any news article will attest, it’s easy for people to make one bad decision that will have lasting consequences on an entire family line. We recognize this and praise you for protecting the heritage of our name, for creating a history where our names are received with smiles and gladness rather than scorn. Being able to pass along the legacy of a good name to our own children is a responsibility we don’t take lightly, but it’s one we accept with joy.

Your Patience

You have been patient with us, as we’ve moved constantly, changed careers regularly, changed life goals and ambitions, and as you’ve watched us raise our kids. Thanks for being patient with us. And for being patient with our children. Who like to play with things until they break, whether they’re toys or not.

Your Perspective

Fair and Balanced. (Just like Fox News. Heh.) Thank you for having a balanced perspective on life.  Contrary to the world’s perspective on life being about money, success, impact, cars, and titles… you have taught us that life is about God and people. Loving God and loving others. All the other stuff comes and goes. Thanks for keeping perspective.

Conflict Resolution & Communication

We won’t bother trying to convince you that you didn’t have conflict. But better than not having conflict, you demonstrated for us how to resolve conflict. With respect. With graciousness. With forgiveness.

Your Selflessness

Honestly? We think that we have the most generous and selfless parents out there.  We are continually blessed by ways that you give to our family, the blessing that you are to your friends and communities, and the ways that you serve in your churches at home. Thank you for constantly giving of yourself and modeling that behavior for us.

Your Faithful Obedience

You believe in God. And when things get tough, you never stopped believing. That faithful obedience has been a wonderful example for us, as we deal with what life throws at us. Thank you for not giving up on God. Thank you for obeying Him even when His plans don’t necessarily make sense or the people around you don’t show support. And thank you for your prayers over the years. We know that your faith has had a huge impact on our lives.

Your Mutual Decision-making

Simply put, you have shown us how to make marriage work. Not by dominance or manipulation or passive-aggressive persuasion. But by mutual respect, love and devotion. By listening to each other’s perspectives. And by trusting one another.

Mom & Dad? Thank you both. For EVERYTHING.

Free Music Friday: Songs Of Hope.

It seems the older we get, the more heartache we’re bound to experience. As we get to know more people, spending time loving them and being loved by them, we inadvertently open ourselves up to greater pain in the process. Because just as we’ll share their joy and mountaintops, we’re also going to stand alongside them when they find themselves in the painful valley.

These songs have all had a powerful impact on my life at different times, lifting me out of my depressive funks and giving me a new feeling of hope. They serve to remind me that no matter how dark life can get, God is still good and He’s still in control of the world. And while He does allow us to experience deep, gut-wrenching pain at times, it’s never without purpose. We will heal in time. Life will get better. The more we commit ourselves into His loving hands, the closer He is to us and the faster we find relief.

So if you’re in a low spot of life and find encouragement through music, leave a comment and maybe you’ll be the lucky winner come Sunday. (Genres range from Christian to chillout to alternative to folk. You can listen to the songs via Spotify by clicking here.)

- Kevin

 Track List:

Addison Road – Hope Now

Addison Road – Start Over Again

Alli Rogers – Hope

Telepopmusik – Breathe

The Innocence Mission – It Is Well With My Soul

Superchick – Beauty from Pain

Superchick – Breathe

Plumb – God Will Take Care of You

Olive – Smile

Kaskade – 4:00 AM

Imogen Heap – Lifeline

Imogen Heap – Wait It Out

Hem – The Part Where You Let Go

Lindsey Kane – The Valley

Lindsey Kane – You’ll Be Whole

The Play-doh Chronicles.

As I’ve mentioned in some of the posts a few months ago, I don’t really know why I’m here in Washington, D.C. yet. When I sought God to see what He wanted me to work on back in September, the impression I got was to “wait” and to “write” (here on Three months later, and I’m still floating about, unsure of what else I’m supposed to be doing in the downtime.

Sometimes I find myself being at complete peace with His last instruction, and other times pretty much freaking out in a fit of non-productive spasms. And when His last known directive is followed by suffocating silence, it’s easy for my over-active mind to second-guess whether I even heard Him correctly in the first place. And doubting that? Well… that’s the gaping mouth of a rabbit hole, my friend.

If I were to venture a guess as to what He’s “saying” to me lately, I’d have to say it’s “believe.” That’s it. Just “believe.” What to believe is a mystery. His promises? His Word? His last set of instructions? My discernment of His Spirit’s voice? Probably a combination of all of the above. But it’s still a bit unnerving, as you can imagine.

He’s also been kind of speaking to me in the middle of the night the past few weeks. Once He said clearly that He was trying to teach me something I “couldn’t learn otherwise.” I’ve since prayed for clarification as to what, but received none. Just more silence. Still, I like the idea. I latch onto it hungrily. It would help give my present pain a little more purpose, you know?

One image that popped into my head sometime in October was a Play-Doh strainer (also known as the Fun Factory). You’ve seen this thing… put the good stuff in one side, pick your shape and mash it down hard. Voila! Out comes the spiffy shape! Play-Doh magical moments for all!

So the impression I had was that moving to Washington is kind of a Plah-Doh process for me. I feel that God’s using this key moment in my life, that He’s slowly changing the shape of my heart through the strain and pressure of just being here. It’s an ugly process, and profoundly painful, and from the perspective of the dough? Pretty dang pointless.

But. And this is a big BUT. I think there’s a reason for it.

You see, I envision a time in the near future when the opening before me is going to narrow drastically and suddenly, and for me to pass through from one side of the storm to the other? I’m either going to have to squeeze into the shape of that door “just right” or half of me would get scraped off and go splat.

So that’s my conclusion. Yes, the squeezing hurts like hell, but I believe in His mercy He’s putting me through this now because if He didn’t? It would hurt more to hit the wall later. He’s shaping me today so I’ll be better prepared for tomorrow.

In the meantime? My primary “job”? Is to learn how to praise Him in the interim. To bring my praise and my worship to Him regardless of what I, personally, want to happen in my life. My faith is being transformed from happy theory into stark reality. I can’t just sit back in my comfortable Christian armchair and say that I’ll go where He leads, do what He wants me to do and praise Him at all times…

…I have to actually do it.

- Kevin



Free Music Friday: Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy (13 Sweet Song Selections)

Of all the Christmas Music that’s played nonstop during the season, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is by far my favorite. There’s something about those notes that just entrances me, and makes me want to stop whatever I’m doing and listen. It doesn’t matter which version or musical genre it’s in, I just love it!

So this week I’m giving away 13 of the best versions in my iTunes collection. Click on the links if you want some samples, but otherwise you can trust that if you win this week? You”ve hit the Sugar Plum Motherlode.

And all you have to do is leave a comment to enter. :)



The songs:

Aliqua – SugaFunScary

Bond – Sugarplum

Acoustisaurus – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Christmas Songs Music – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Bill Wolfer – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Arctic Express - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy 

The Fedora Club - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Indigo - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Angels of Venice - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

William Zeitler - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy 

Berlin Symphony Orchestra – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Red Baron Remix)

Music Incorporated Studio Singers - Sugar Plum Fantasy

 The Johnny Varro Swing 7 - Bounce of the Sugar Plum Fairy 

An Open Letter To Those On The Brink Of Divorce.

As the title says, this is short letter from me to you. You, the ones who find yourself where you never thought you’d be: staring at the shambled remains of your marriage. Teetering on the brink of divorce.

I’ve been where you are. Six years ago Kim and I were at that same point, our communication had broken down to the degree that we were both ready to walk away. We harbored our bitterness, anger and outright hatred for each other, surrounded ourselves with smug self-justification and heavy chains of unforgiveness.

The future looked bleak. Hopeless.

Since then, we’ve not only resuscitated our ailing marriage, but with God’s help we’re now in a position to offer real, time-tested advice to those couples who have also reached the breaking point.

There have been a handful of relationships that we’ve counseled over the years, and we’re beginning to see some common patterns in their predicaments. So I’m going to touch on four areas that you’re most likely struggling with and need to actively make change in if you want your marriage to survive.

#1 -  The Time Factor

The mess that’s in your lap today? It didn’t just materialize spontaneously. Your marriage is like a slow cooking crockpot, and this didn’t just happen overnight. The emotions you and your spouse are feeling are the direct result of the slow accumulation of weeks, months or years of bad decisions.

So believe me when I tell you that the solution is most likely going to take an equally long time to establish. That twisted knot of bitterness and hatred in your hands? It’s going to take a joint effort to unravel.

God can help you in the process, but don’t envision Him as an easy fix. He won’t fix your mess immediately or spontaneously. It’s going to take time, and you’ll have to actually do your part in it. And yes, it’s going to hurt. (Far more than just cutting ties or running away…)

#2 – Take Assessment. Take Responsibility.

As much as you want to point the finger and blame everything that’s happening on your spouse? That’s not the whole picture. Whether you realize it and accept it or not, there is something that you did which only served to escalate the problem. You threw fuel on the fire that’s raging against you right now.

So take an assessment and ask yourself flat out: “What did I do? How did I hurt them? What did I say that contributed to their pain and actions?” If you can’t find the answers (or refuse to look closely for them), then go to a trusted friend and ask. And by “trusted” I mean someone who’s not afraid to tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not.

The best solution, however, is to go directly to your spouse and ask them yourself. They’re the one you’ve hurt, and they’re the one you’ll need to apologize to. So instead of playing guessing games with yourself and your friends, why not humble yourself and ask them?

It’s completely possible that the roots of what you’re facing was spiritual. The lies that Satan feeds us are powerful, and those who believe them are easily caught in the mental traps. But the choice to believe those lies? In our hands. So stop looking for a demon under every rock as you try to pass the buck. Take responsibility for what you’ve done wrong and choose to make it right.


#3 – The Big Picture

As I mentioned in “The F Word” a few weeks ago, marriage is a virtual microcosm of every other relationship in your life, and will affect every relationship you’ll have in your future. Whether you choose to resolve your conflicts mutually or jump ship, you’ll be setting a precedent for how you handle these things in the future. Your tomorrow will be determined by how you handle your today.

#4 – In God You Trust?

Just as it was for Kim and I, it’s probably safe to say that for most of you on the brink of a marital meltdown? You’ve taken your focus off of Him and placed it squarely on your spouse. You’ve stopped looking for Him to meet your every need, and instead put the weight of your day-to-day comfort and security on them. And guess what? They failed you. Because they’re human.

You have a choice to make. You’re either going to trust what God says about your marriage, forgiveness and unconditional love. Or not. And at this point in your struggle, you’ll be tempted not to.

It’ll be easy to rationalize exactly why you can’t trust God. You’ll say He just doesn’t ‘work’ for you, or at least doesn’t work fast enough for your preferences. Your mind will work overtime why trusting in God is a waste of time, and then you’ll choose to put your trust in the “next best thing.”


Once you conclude that God isn’t big enough to solve your problems, you’ll shift into full-time, hands on Me Mode. You’ll do everything you can think of to solve your own problem, and since your primary problem is your spouse who makes you miserable? Well, any guesses where that train of thought ends?

Look, let me save you some time. I’ve gone down both paths – I’ve chosen to trust in God, and I’ve flipped Him the bird and gone my own way. And lemme tell you - trusting in Him gets better results in the long run. Yes, it’s more uncomfortable, more painful and more confusing than you’d ever be if you went your own way. But if you’ll choose to trust in Him? To entrust every facet of your life – including your marriage – to Him?

You won’t regret it.

Isaiah 26:3 summarizes my point perfectly.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

God will keep you in perfect peace if you choose to trust in Him. And it’s only because you trust in Him that your mind will be steadfast. Grounded. And finally, after all the storms that have rocked your world?

At peace.

Free Music Friday: Carol Of The Bells (13 Handpicked Songs For You)

I love this song. Out of all the Christmas songs out there, this is my second-favorite one. (My 1st favorite Christmas song will be featured next week.) It’s just mesmerizing. I hear these notes and a part of me freezes so I can catch every single note. Just awesome.

So today I’m offering 13 of the BEST renditions of Carol of the Bells that have ever been written. Bluegrass, Electronica, Pop, Vocal, Orchestral, Instrumental… you name it, I’ve got your genre covered.

Just leave a comment (either here or on Facebook) and you’ll be entered for your chance to win! Winner will be picked Sunday night! Good luck!

- Kevin


Go ahead. Listen to the samples already… 

Carol and the Kings – Alison Brown Quartet

Carol of the Bells – Act of Congress

Carol of the Bells – Lanae’ Hale

Carol of the Bells – Gramercy Brass

Carol of the Bells - Arctic Express

Carol of the Bells – Emmy Rossum

Carol of the Bells – Barenaked Ladies

Carol of the Bells – Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra

Carol of the Bells – Christmas Songs Music

Carol of the Bells – Beckah Shae

Carol of the Bells – London Festival Orchestra Remix

Carol of the Bells – Angels of Venice

Carol of the Bells – Dopaminex






Testing Vimeo.

I like the idea of using Vimeo over YouTube to post videos on It just seems a bit… cleaner. Ida know… but I’ll have to explore a little bit more, weigh the benefits of one vs. the other.

For now I’m posting an old video to test it. It’s pretty funny, to boot. :)


The Mills D.c. Home.

I’m testing the BuddyPress plug-in on WordPress again, to figure out the easiest way for me to upload video this blog thingy. :)

So I’m pasting the following video I made of our Washington condo. Since it’s easy…

Plus a short one of the squirrel we feed in our backyard… porch… thingy…



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